Wednesday, September 23, 2009



To help you determine whether you are getting the right balance of these nutrients, the government has established the Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) as a standard for nutrient intake. Their recommendations for protein, vitamins, and minerals exceed the average nutritional requirements to meet the needs of nearly all people, including athletes (see table 1.1).
In the following posts you will learn how to eat a high-energy. healthful combination of foods that provides the daily requirement of these important nutrients and promotes your health and fitness.


When choosing your meals and snacks, try to base your nutrition game plan on these three important keys to healthful eating:

1. Variety. There is no one magic food. Each food offers special nutrients. For example, oranges provide vitamin C and carbohydrates but not iron or protein. Beef offers iron and protein but not vitamin C or carbohydrates. You’ll thrive best by eating a variety of foods.
I often counsel athletes who severely restrict their diets. One runner, for example, limited herself to plain yogurt, rice cakes, and oranges. Besides lacking variety, her diet lacked iron, zinc, vitamins A, E, K, and much more.

2. Moderation. Even soda pop and chips, in moderation, can fit into a well-balanced diet. Simply balance out refined sugars and fats with nutrient-wise choices at your next meal. For example, compensate for a greasy sausage and biscuit at breakfast by selecting a low-fat turkey sandwich for lunch. Although no one food is a junk food, too many nutrient poor selections can accumulate into a junk food diet.

3. Wholesomeness. Choose natural or lightly processed foods as often as possible. For instance, choose whole wheat rather than white bread, apples rather than apple juice, baked potatoes rather than potato chips. Natural foods usually have more nutritional value and fewer questionable additives.

Table 1.1 Reference Daily intake.

The Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) are not requirements but rather an
estimate of safe and adequate nutrient intakes for proteins, vitamins,
and minerals that will maintain good health for almost all people. The
values are designed for the age group with the highest needs. For
example, the RDI for iron is based on a woman's need and is a number
overly generous for men. You should try to meet the RDIs on a daily basis. If your daily nutrient intake varies, but your average weekly intake meets the allowances, you are unlikely to suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
The Daily Values expressed in percentages of the RDIs on the nutrition facts on food labels are based on the following intakes:

Monday, September 21, 2009


Food is more than just fuel that stops your hunger. Food contains nutrients essential for maintaining optimal health and top performance. There are six types of nutrients.


Carbohydrates are a source of calories from sugars and starches that fuel your muscles and brain. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source when you're exercising hard. You should get about 60 percent of your calories from the carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, breads, and grains.


Fat is a source of stored energy (calories) that is burned mostly during low-level activity (e.g., reading and sleeping) and long-term activity (e. g., long training runs and gentle bike rides). Animal fats (butter, lard, fat in meat) tend to be saturated and contribute to heart disease and some cancers. Vegetable fats (e. g., olive oil, corn oil, canola oil) are generally unsaturated and less harmful. I recommend that my clients limit their fat intake to about 25 percent of their daily total calories.


Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, red blood cells, hair, and other tissues, and for synthesizing hormones. Protein from food is digested into amino acids, which are then rebuilt into the protein in muscles and other tissues. Protein is a source of calories and can be used for energy if inadequate carbohydrates are available (e.g.,during exhaustive exercise). About 15 percent of your calories should come from protein-rich foods such as fish, poultry, meats, tofu, and beans.


lhtamins are metabolic catalysts that regulate chemical reactions within the body They include vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, and K. Most vitamins are chemical substances that the body does not manufacture, so you must obtain them through your diet. Vitamins are not a source of energy.


Minerals are elements obtained from foods that combine in many ways to form structures of the body (for example, calcium in bones) and regulate body processes (for example, iron in red blood cells transports oxygen). Other minerals are magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, chromium, and zinc. Minerals do not provide energy


Water is an essential substance that makes up about 60 to 75 percent of your weight. Water stabilizes body temperature, carries nutrients to and waste away from cells, and is needed for cells to function. Water does not provide energy


Dear friends,
Last Friday I have got permit from NANCY CLARK, MS, RD to publish some of the articles of her famous "SPORTS NUTRITION" course. From today I'll be posting some parts of her lessons. Enjoy!

Food is one of life's pleasures. Food is also important for fueling your body and investing in your overall health. As an active person, you may want to eat well but you struggle with juggling food and good nutrition with your busy schedule of work and workouts, family and friends. Students, parents, businesspeople, and athletes alike repeat-edly express their frustrations with trying to eat high quality diets. "I know what I should eat," they tell me. "I just don’t do it." Although they take time to exercise, they don’t always make time, or know how, to eat right.

One basic trick to winning with nutrition is to prevent yourself from getting too hungry. Hunger depletes the energy you need to choose the foods that both support your sports program and enhance your health.

This course is dedicated to teaching you many tricks so you can easily enjoy an optimal sports diet. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to design your personal good nutrition game plan, regardless of a busy lifestyle.
Whether you are a fitness exerciser or an Olympic athlete, you can nourish yourself with wholesome foods, even if you are eating on the run.
Keep reading!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


An estimated one to three million athletes (90% of male and 80% of female bodybuilders) in the USA use steroids or androgenic substitutes. Statistics for the UK are unknown but many believe it to be proportionally similar to the US. The drug is not just reserved for bodybuilders and power athletes either. As team sports becomes faster and athletes become stronger and more powerful, more and more players are inclined to experiment with steroids.

Anabolic steroids function in a similar manner to the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone contributes to gender differences such as greater muscle mass and strength. The hormone's effects are lessened when synthetically prepared in the form of anabolic steroids but they still augment an increase in lean muscle mass and strength gain when combined with resistance training. Athletes often take a combination of steroids (called "stacking") in an increasing dose (called "pyramiding"). Dosages for medical uses are usually in the 5-20mg range, however, athletes take between 50-200mg to achieve an ergogenic effect.

Despite the positive gains in strength and power, there are many, well documented negative side effects to taking steroids (which is banned by all sporting governing bodies). They include: damage to the cardiovascular system, increased risk of coronary heart disease, alterations to normal hormonal balance, infertility, abnormal liver function and interference with the immune system.

A substance called Androstenedione (known as "Andro") claims to offer similar androgenic effects to anabolic steroids and can still be bought over-the-counter without prescription in some countries at the time of writing. It's often marketed as "one step away" from testosterone without the negative side effects of steroids. Some sporting governing bodies such as the IOC and the Men's Tennis Association ban its use because it may endanger health. Andro is classed as a food and so bypasses the Food & Drug Administrations rules. It can even be bought in the form of chewing gum.

There is little scientific evidence to support the use of Andro in sport. Studies comparing a supplemented group who undergo a weight training program versus a placebo group show that gains in strength and lean mass are the same. Unfortunately, HDL (good cholesterol) is often reduced in those taking Andro potentially increasing their risk of coronary heart disease. Serum estrogen (female sex hormone) has also shown to increase with Andro supplementation, which can lead to gynecomastia (breast development). One of the appeals to athletes is that there is no specific test for Andro. However, because commercially produced Andro is not always pure and may contain testosterone, there is a real risk athletes may test positive for steroid use anyway.

Other common substances often used by athletes, known as prohormones, include Clenbuterol and DHEA. Clenbuterol, a drug often prescribed in Europe for obstructive pulmonary disease, is banned for sporting use in the UK. Studies show that, like anabolic steroids, it can increase lean muscle mass but also has potentially serious side effects. DHEA has been labelled in the media as "the mother of all hormones" and receives much hype in the anti-aging community. Athletes believe that it can also provide androgenic effects similar to testosterone but there is little research to back up this theory. Although DHEA is available without prescription at this time, it is banned by many Sporting Committees because of the long term health concerns that have yet to be researched.

But again, unless you know exactly how to use this staff you better avoid it

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Supplements & Ergogenic Aids

Erogenic aids consist of supplements, drugs or procedures believed to improve athletic performance. Some of these substances are completely legal while others remain banned and unethical. Many are completely untested yet still receive endorsements from professional sports stars.

Those supplements that do have some limited research to back up the claims seem to receive even greater media hype. This section examines some of the more popular substances that many enthusiastic athletes consider a necessary training and performance aid.


Often referred to as "pep pills", amphetamines exert a powerful stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Two of the most commonly used substances at the time of writing are Benzedrine and Dexedrine. They increase blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, cardiac output and blood glucose. They are said to increase alertness and a feeling of energy, decrease the sensation of fatigue and enhance self-confidence. Amphetamines create similar stimulatory sensations to that of cocaine but the effects last considerably longer. Some of the short-term side effects include headaches, insomnia, hallucinations, convulsions and even heart attack. Longer-term use can lead to uncontrollable movements of the face, paranoid delusions and nerve damage.

Amphetamines are a banned substance and if athletes are made aware of the well-documented side effects it's unlikely they would consider using them. However, sport is not immune to amphetamine abuse. The National Center For Drug Free Sport (NCDFS) completed a survey in 2001 amongst college soccer players in the USA. Approximately 2.9% of those surveyed admitted taking amphetamines on a regular basis. The percentage of women's soccer players admitting to amphetamine use in 2001 was higher than in any other sport at 4.6%.

Ironically, the majority of the research shows that taking amphetamines prior to an event has no advantage. While it may "psyche up" athletes, excessive stimulation and palpitations can severely hinder performance.

Another banned stimulant commonly used by athletes in many sports is ephedrine. Ephedrine is found in many cold remedies and can be bought as a weight loss supplement in the UK (although it is now banned for this use in many countries including the USA). Although there are a few studies that show limited beneficial effects to athletic performance. thought to be due a reduced perception of exertion, the overall evidence is by no means convincing. Ephedrine use has also been linked with serious health concerns such as heart attack and stroke.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Provided by: The Canadian Press

Enhanced blueberry juice prevent obesity, diabetes in mice.
A Canadian study has found that enhanced blueberry juice helped manage, and even prevent, obesity and diabetes in mice - a finding researchers are hoping will lead to similar results in humans.

Researchers at the University of Montreal said they've discovered that blueberry juice transformed by a bacteria found on the skin of the fruit halted the progression of the two conditions in mice.

Pierre Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the university, said the bacteria quadrupled the amount of antioxidants in the juice - boosting what is already thought to be helpful in protecting the body against certain harmful molecules.

The researchers found the juice reduced blood sugar levels in the rodents, which is critical to the onset of both conditions.

"This has great potential," Haddad said Tuesday in Montreal. "Our discovery is major because it opens the door to a lot of possibilities for helping people with obesity and diabetes."

The group of mice was predisposed to Type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition of the pancreas that can lead to cardiovascular problems, blindness and kidney complications. It is linked to diet and can be brought on by obesity.

The researchers suspect that the fermented juice reduced the mice's caloric intake and sugar levels, helping to stop the onset of the two conditions that have become epidemic in North America.

Haddad said sugar levels in the group dropped by one-third after the mice were given the enhanced juice, made from low-bush blueberries that are grown in various parts of Canada.

About 60 per cent of the mice in the test group had normal blood sugar levels after consuming the juice, with the remaining 40 per cent registering levels indicative of diabetes.

"Consumption of fermented blueberry juice gradually and significantly reduced high blood sugar glucose levels in diabetic mice," said Tri Vuong, the study's lead author.

"After three days, our mice subjects reduced their glycemia levels by 35 per cent."

If shown to be safe for humans, it could provide an important natural tool in controlling weight and managing blood sugar levels in people who have had Type 2 diabetes for years.

Haddad said it's not yet clear why the juice prevented diabetes or helped control blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes, adding that they haven't drawn a definitive link to the juice's increased antioxidants.

He said they will do further research to see if there are any harmful effects and, if not, try to begin testing on people.

Haddad, who also works with the Aboriginal Anti-Diabetic Medicines group in Montreal, said the findings could help slow the spread of conditions that have reached epidemic rates in North America, particularly among native populations.

"The rates of diabetes have just exploded there from less than five per cent to almost one in five people in the north of Quebec," he said.

Haddad said researchers are also looking at the juice's effects on certain types of cancer and neurological conditions.

Friday, August 28, 2009


provided by WebMD

What does a high-protein diet have to do with heart disease?

More Saturated Fat, Less Fiber

Many high-protein diets are high in saturated fat and low in fiber. This combination can increase cholesterol levels and raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association does not recommend high-protein diets for weight loss.

Is there a connection between a high-protein diet and osteoporosis?

Losing Calcium

People on high-protein diets excrete more calcium through their urine than do those not on a high-protein diet. If a person sticks to a high-protein diet long-term, the loss of calcium could raise their risk of developing osteoporosis.

A high-protein diet and kidney disease: what you need to know.

Protein May Affect Kidney Function

People with kidney disease should consult a doctor before starting a high-protein diet. Research suggests people with impaired kidneys lose kidney function more rapidly if they eat excessive amounts of protein – especially animal protein.

A healthy lifestyle: the one surefire way to a healthy weight.

High-Protein Diets: Still Questions

There are no long-term studies of high-protein diets, so their ultimate health impact is unknown. But the experts are sure of one thing: the formula for permanent weight loss is a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating nutritious, low-calorie foods and participating in regular physical activity. Note: Check with your health care provider before making major dietary changes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


provided by WebMD

Yes, whole grains should be part of your high-protein diet, too.

Go Whole Grains, Go Fiber

Most high-protein diets limit grains to a couple servings a day, so you want to make sure the grains you do eat are pulling their weight. That means staying clear of white breads and pastas, which have little to offer nutrient-wise, when compared with their whole-grain cousins. Whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas, on the other hand, are rich in fiber, which might otherwise be in short supply for people on a high-protein diet

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of every healthy diet.

Keep Fruits & Veggies on the Table

No matter the emphasis on protein, make sure you leave room for fruits and vegetables in a high-protein diet. These nutrient gold mines contain powerful antioxidants that aren't found in most other foods, and research suggests that people who eat plenty of fruits and veggies may lower their risk of cancer.

So who benefits from a high-protein diet?

A Diet Aimed at Dieters

High-protein diets may help people lose weight -- at least in the short term -- because dieters tend to feel full longer when they eat more protein. This alone can cut down on snacking and lead to fairly rapid weight loss. Combine speedy weight loss with the satisfaction of feeling full, and it’s easy to understand why high-protein diets are popular. Unfortunately, many people gain back the weight once the diet ends.

What are the drawbacks of a high-protein diet?

More Protein, More Risks?

The medical community has raised many concerns about high-protein diets. These diets often boost protein intake at the expense of fruits and vegetables, so dieters miss out on disease-fighting nutrients -- which may raise their risk of cancer. Other potential health risks include high cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis, and kidney disease.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


provided by WebMD

Tofu & other soy products: getting your protein from plants.

Soy: It’s High in Protein, Too

Soy products, such as tofu, soy burgers, and other soy-based foods, can offer a high-protein diet a nutritious plant-based source of protein. An added bonus: Consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily may also help lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease.

Beans: Packed With Fiber, Too

Beans pack a powerful one-two punch – they are loaded with protein and also full of fiber. Along with protein, fiber helps you feel full longer and also helps lower cholesterol. As for the protein content, a half-cup of beans is the equivalent of 3 ounces of broiled steak.

Low-fat dairy gives your diet a high-protein boost.

Low-Fat Milk Products

If you want to give your high-protein diet a tasty boost, don’t overlook dairy products as a protein source. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are not only protein-rich, they also provide calcium for strong bones and a healthy heart. Strive for 2-4 servings of low-fat or nonfat milk products daily.

Right quantaty of high-protein energy bars can help your diet in a pinch.

Cereal and Energy Bars

Pressed for time? You can turn to high-protein cereal or energy bars to give your high-protein diet a fast boost. Just make sure the bars you choose have at least 6 grams of protein and not too much sugar or fat (be careful here!).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


provided by WebMD

Poultry also has a big part in a high-protein diet.

Think White Meat

Chicken and poultry pack plenty of punch in a high-protein diet, and if you enjoy the white meat you’ll be eating a lot less fat than if you choose dark. To slim your meal down even further, remove the skin, which is bursting with saturated fat.

Pork: A tender addition to a high-protein diet.

Look for Pork Tenderloin

It may surprise you to learn that pork tenderloin is a white meat. What’s more, the cuts available today are 31% leaner than they were 20 years ago. If you’re interested in a high-protein diet, you may want to plan on pork.

Seafood gets along swimmingly in a high-protein plan.

Lots of Protein, Healthy Fats

Fish is a no-brainer -- it’s loaded with protein and almost always low in fat. Even the types that have more fat, such as salmon, are a good choice. That’s because the fat in fish is generally the heart-healthy kind known as omega-3 fatty acid -- and most diets don’t contain enough of this good-for-you fat.

Eggs: take time to crack a few in a high-protein diet.

Eggs: Affordable, Convenient, & Tasty

Eggs are perhaps the most classic and certainly least expensive form of protein. The American Heart Association says an egg a day is safe for healthy adults, so you may want to get cracking with eggs when you’re on a high-protein diet.

Monday, August 24, 2009


provided by WebMD

Why should you start a high-protein diet?

The Goal Is Weight Loss

High-protein diets take a page from the low-carb craze. The goal is to lose weight by eating more protein-packed foods, which often means consuming fewer carbohydrates. The portion of total calories derived from protein is what defines a high-protein diet. In a typical diet 10%-15% of daily calories come from protein. In a high-protein diet, this number can be as high as 30%-50%.

How do high-protein diets work?

Curbing Appetite Plays One Role

Besides curbing appetites, high-protein diets may also change a person’s metabolism. When carbohydrates are severely restricted, the body begins burning its own fat for fuel – a state called ketosis. Ketosis may shed weight, but it’s also associated with headaches, irritability, nausea, kidney trouble, and heart palpitations.

Not all high-protein diets are the same.

Starting a High-Protein Diet

High-protein diets come in many forms, and not all are created equal. The most nutritious high-protein plans are low in fat and moderate in carbohydrates, rather than high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The following slides present a variety of foods that fit the high-protein diet bill.

Lean beef: it’s one star of a high-protein diet.

Say Hello to High-Protein Steak

Nothing says protein like a nice juicy steak. And if you’re careful to choose a lean cut, you can get all of the protein with far less fat. In fact, a lean cut of beef has barely more saturated fat than a similar size of skinless chicken breast.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Provided by: The Canadian Press

MILWAUKEE - From heart-friendly margarines to sugary cereals that strengthen bones, once-demonized foods are being spiked with nutrients to give them a healthier glow - and consumers are biting, even on some that are little more than dressed-up junk food.

A report released Thursday finds that even in a weak economy, people will pay a premium for products seen as preventing a health problem or providing a good alternative to sodas and empty-calorie snacks. The report is from research firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

These products include winners and sinners: juices that supply kids with needed calcium, but also candy disguised as granola bars with just a smidgeon of much-ballyhooed nutrients.

The industry calls these products "nutraceuticals" or "functional foods." Critics say they could lead people to consume too much of certain nutrients, plus too many calories and fats.

New York University food scientist Marion Nestle calls them "calorie distractors."
"Functional foods are about marketing, not health," she said. "They delude people into thinking that these things are healthy," and they often eat more than is wise, she said.


Her shame list includes a candy bar pumped with caffeine and B vitamins, marketed as an "energy boost," and fattening ice creams enriched with calcium and helpful bacteria called probiotics.

Other nutrition experts worry about too much of a good thing. The studies are far from definitive, but some suggest that too much of vitamins A, C, E and folic acid can be risky for some people.

Folic acid, for example, is "uncharted territory" because so many foods now are fortified with it, said Tufts University nutrition expert Alice Lichtenstein. "We don't actually know how high you can go" and be safe, she said.

Americans have a big appetite for these products.

Functional foods account for more than $27 billion in sales a year - about 5 per cent of the U.S. food market, the Pricewaterhouse report says. Estimates of future growth range from 8.5 to 20 per cent per year, far more than the 1 to 4 per cent forecast for the food industry as a whole.

Fiber, for digestive health, has been a big draw. In 2007, General Mills expanded its Fiber One brand into bars with appealing flavours such as Oat&Caramel and Chocolate Mocha. Sales exceeded $100 million in the first year.

In 2004, the company added whole grain to its entire Big G cereal line - 50 to 60 brands. Kathy Wiemer, a company dietitian, argues that a cereal such as Lucky Charms, made from whole grain oats and containing less sugar than many yogurts, is a healthy breakfast choice.

"There are some misperceptions around foods that contain sugar," she said. "And we know that consumers are far below the recommended intakes" for fibers and whole grains.

Among beverages, vitamin-enhanced versions of Tropicana Pure Premium juices now account for 40 per cent of Tropicana sales and the share is growing, said Dave DeCecco, a spokesman for Tropicana's maker, PepsiCo Inc. A kids' version has added vitamins A, C, D and E plus folic acid, potassium and calcium.

Coca-Cola Inc. makes an enhanced Minute Maid orange juice with a host of vitamins plus zinc, and an apple juice marketed for kids with multiple vitamins and calcium. Kraft Foods Inc. sells a version of Capri Sun drinks with added antioxidant vitamins.

Soft drinks, including vitamin waters and sports beverages, now claim a third of the nutraceutical market, according to the Pricewaterhouse report. They have gained as carbonated soft drink sales have declined.

Dairy products, led by yogurts such as Yoplait and Dannon's Activia line, accounted for nearly $7 billion in sales in 2007, just behind the beverage category, the Pricewaterhouse report says.

However, "plus" products can have minuses, such as sweetened "silly beverages that cost $2 and $3 apiece with added ginkgo or caffeine or chromium, a supposed appetite suppressant," said David Schardt, senior nutritionist for the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"It's really a junk food dressed up to look prettier than it is," he said. "People are going to be deceived into thinking a lot of these products are especially healthy for them when there's little evidence they are. There's more hype to these products than there is reality."

Some consumers agree.

Ahna Deverey, shopping at a grocery store in suburban Milwaukee, shook her head at milk with added DHA/omega-3 fatty acid. The label said it "helps support a healthy brain."

"I sometimes think it's overkill," she said. "I try to avoid as many additives as possible, and when it says 'doctor-recommended,' you know damned well you don't need it."


The federal Food and Drug Administration is paying more attention to health claims on functional foods. The FDA recently sent General Mills a letter saying that Cheerios was being "promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug" - lowering cholesterol 4 per cent in six weeks.

General Mills says it is working with the FDA, that its fiber health claim "has been FDA-approved for 12 years," and that the cholesterol claim has been on Cheerios boxes for more than two years.

Several nutrition scientists say they hope the agency will go after hyped claims of foods and ingredients that can "boost immunity" - a vague concept with little hard science to back it up, Schardt said.

Omega-3 fatty acids also are drawing more attention. The ones that some studies have linked to heart benefits are derived from marine sources, such as fish oil, but many foods touting omega-3 use plant sources, Lichtenstein said.

The biggest worry is that adding a nutrient will give "a health halo" to foods and lead to overconsumption, she said.

"The biggest problem we have in the United States is overnutrition - too much calories," Lichtenstein said.

Brian Wansink, a food marketing expert at Cornell University, sees another risk. Health benefits come from eating the entire food, not just a single nutrient inside it, he said.

"People are sort of losing the point of why they're eating certain foods," Wansink said. With functional foods, "we end up eating it like it is medicine, so we end up eating too much of it."

"THE EVERT OTHER DAY DIET" provides more detailed info at this point - "DO and DON'T"

Thursday, August 20, 2009



Even Oprah swears by the benefits of this fat-burning, metabolism-boosting antioxidant. When used in combination with a healthy-eating program and fitness plan, green tea can have a great impact on cholesterol levels, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and other medical conditions.

A recent study showed that people who drank tea for more than 10 years also had a reduction in body fat.

Green tea is loaded with an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallete, which not only stops the growth of cancer cells but kills them as well. This property also lowers cholesterol levels and prevents the formation of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Green tea is so effective in promoting good health because of how it is made. The steaming process stops the EGCG property from being oxidized the way it is through the preparation of other teas.

Many of the weight-loss supplements on the market include green tea or green tea extract in their formula. According to a finding at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, research indicated that men who consumed a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those individuals burned more calories than those who took just caffeine or a placebo.

Experts also believe that green tea works to prevent blood sugar spikes following a meal by slowing the action of a digestive enzyme called amylase. In addition it's thought to increase the metabolic rate.

One of the most recent studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that the consumption of tea rich in catechins, which are found in green tea extract, lower both body fat and cholesterol levels.

Another perk is that green tea has less caffeine than your daily cup of coffee. So how much is good? The opinions change from expert to expert. While one study showed that Japanese men who drank 10 cups of green tea a day remained cancer free, another showed that women who drank five cups or more of green tea had fewer recurrences of breast cancer.

One website suggests meeting in the middle with four or five cups a day to experience the benefits of green tea. However, you can drink as much as you’d like. So far, the only known side effect from this wonder drink is insomnia, which can be attributed to the caffeine.

Experts also believe that green tea works to stop blood sugar spikes following a meal by slowing the action of a digestive enzyme called amylase. In addition it's thought to increase the metabolic rate.

One of the most recent studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that the consumption of tea rich in catechins, which are found in green tea extract, lower both body fat and cholesterol levels.

Another perk is that green tea has less caffeine than your daily cup of coffee. So how much is enough? The opinions differ from expert to expert. While one study showed that Japanese men who drank 10 cups of green tea a day remained cancer free, another study showed that women who drank five cups or more of green tea had fewer recurrences of breast cancer.

One site suggests meeting in the middle with four or five cups a day to experience the benefits of green tea. However, you can drink as much as you’d like. So far, the only known side effect from this wonder drink is insomnia, which can be attributed to the caffeine.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


By Jennifer Sygo, National Post

Beets are a good source of folate, a B-vitamin important for the formation of red blood cells, and perhaps best known for its role in preventing birth defects.Photograph by: Richard Arless Jr, For Canwest News Service

At this time of year, it’s easy to step out of the same old menu: Try beets, zucchini, eggplant & rapini.
Picture it: You’re wandering the produce section of your grocery store, or maybe you’ve hauled yourself out of bed early enough to hit a local farmer’s market. It’s August, and there’s plenty of fresh local stuff available. But before you know it, you’ve gravitated to the same foods you bought last week. Broccoli, carrots, peaches: You know them well, and like an old pair of sneakers, they’re always there, comfy and easy.

First of all, let’s give credit where credit is due: Eating any fruits or vegetables is a good thing. Not only do they provide the bulk of so many nutrients we need for optimal health, like beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and soluble and insoluble fibre, but there is a pile of evidence that consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps support a healthy weight and reduces your risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

But does that mean you should rest on your cucumber-and-tomato laurels? Of course not! After all, you are an open-minded budding foodie, with a penchant for living life on the edge. So in the name of all that is green and leafy, throw off your shackles and take a chance! Use these tips for preparing some of the less commonly chosen local produce, and spread your wings and fly, young grasshopper. Embrace your inner beet!


Ah, beets. Great for making Grade 2 art projects, borscht and not much else, right?

Wrong! There is much more to love about the noble beet, which can be found fresh right now in a variety of fiery tones. Why eat this bulbous root veggie? Well, the sweet, earthy taste aside, beets are a good source of folate, a B-vitamin important for the formation of red blood cells, and perhaps best known for its role in preventing birth defects. Beets are also rich in potassium, which can help with blood pressure control, are a source of dietary fibre, and are low in calories at about 40 calories per ½ cup, cooked.

OK, that’s all well and good, but what on Earth do you do with them? Believe it or not, beets are really easy to prepare. If you can make a potato, then you can make a beet — and if you can’t make a potato, then that’s another matter. Here are the basics:

Take your beets by the roots, cut off the greens (which you can prepare in the same way as rapini, see below), and boil them with the skins on (this will help retain the moisture) until they are soft like a boiled potato. Remove from the water, and take the peel off with a knife or your fingers once they have cooled a little. Cut into medallions or small cubes, toss with a bit of olive oil, pepper, and a touch of salt, if desired, and that’s it — they are ready to serve.

Alternatively, you can toss the cooked beets with olive oil, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar and serve warm. Or cool them and serve as a salad with a bit of sour cream and fresh dill.

If you want an even simpler and lower calorie method of preparing beets, just wrap them in foil and put them on the barbecue until they are tender — you don’t even need salt or oil.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


By Marlowe Hood, Agence France-Presse

Researchers have found that a glass of beetroot juice can boost endurance. Subjects in the study who drank the juice easily outperformed a control group in tests and were able to exercise at the same intensity for up to 16 percent longer.Photograph by: Mike Carroccetto, Canwest News ServicePARIS - A glass of beetroot juice boosts endurance by reducing the amount of oxygen needed during physical exercise, according to a study released Friday.

Beetroot boosts sports stamina, scientists say

Subjects who drank the juice easily outperformed a control group in tests and were able to exercise at the same intensity for up to 16 per cent longer.
The findings, published in the U.S.-based Journal of Applied Physiology, will be of keen interest to endurance athletes but may also prove helpful to people with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases as well as the elderly, the researchers said.
There are essentially two ways to enhance physical performance in relation to oxygen intake.

One is to raise the "VO2-max" level, which is an individual's highest possible rate of oxygen consumption during all-out exercise.
The V02-max ceiling varies from person to person. It is partly genetic but it can be increased through training or the use of EPO, the oxygen-boosting drug that has plagued the Tour de France cycling competition as well as other professional sports.
"But there is an alternative," explained Andy Jones, a professor at the University of Exeter in Britain and lead author of the study.

"If you can reduce the energy cost" — the amount of oxygen used — "that can be beneficial too," he told AFP by phone.
That's where beetroots come in.
In experiments, Jones and colleagues asked two groups of people to exercise at a fixed, high-intensity work rate for as long as they possibly could.
The group that drank a red-coloured placebo held out on average for nine or ten minutes. Those who drank beetroot, however, went 11 or 12 minutes.
"They were exercising at exactly the same work rate. The improvement in performance was not because the V02-max had changed but simply because the efficiency had been enhanced," Jones said.
"We were amazed by the effects on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means."

Whether the juice will also work over several hours of less intense exercise — equivalent to long-distance running or cycling — remains to be shown but seems likely, Jones added.
The researchers are not sure exactly how the ruby-red elixir works but they do have an educated guess.
Like lettuce and spinach, beetroot is rich in nitrate, which the body converts into nitrite. This, in turn, is a chemical trigger for another compound, nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide can dilate blood vessels and thus provide more oxygen to muscles. "But we think the key is that it seems to do a lot of weird and wonderful things within the muscle cells' mitochondria, where oxidated energy is produced," Jones said.
Earlier laboratory studies confirm the link between nitric oxide and increased energy output but further experiments are needed to see whether this truly is the magic ingredient.

Another study, published last year in the U.S. journal Hypertension, found that beetroot juice reduces blood pressure too.

Monday, August 17, 2009



Within two hours after the event you should aim to consume 100-200 grams of carbohydrate. Muscles are depleted of carbohydrate stores, which need to be replenished as quickly as possible. Sometimes it can be impractical or unpalatable to eat a large meal immediately afterwards. High carbohydrate drinks offer a convenient alternative.

The sports drinks mentioned in the table above are good but this is one of the few occasions when taking a high carbohydrate drink is preferable.


Homemade Electrolytes Sport Drinks

You may have heard of "isotonic" sports drinks that have been "scientifically developed in conjunction with top athletes". But it's very easy to make your own, low-cost carbohydrate drink that is just as effetive!

Isotonic means a fluid containing electrolytes and 6-8% carbohydrate (such as the sports drinks in the table above). To make your own add 200 ml (7oz) of concentrated orange juice (orange squash) to 1 litre (34oz) of water and add a pinch (¼-½ teaspoon) of table salt.

Hypotonic is a fluid that contains electrolytes and a very small amount of carbohydrate. This is used in very hot conditions where fluid replacement is the most important factor. To make your own add 100 ml (3.5oz) of concentrated orange juice to 1 litre (34oz) of water and add a pinch (¼-½ teaspoon) of table salt.

Hypertonic refers to a fluid that contains a large amount of carbohydrate and is ideal for refuelling after a game. To make your own add 400 ml (13.5oz) of concentrated orange juice to 1 litre (34oz) of water and add a pinch (¼-½ teaspoon) of table salt.

That's it for this part. In the final part we will look at some of the most popular supplements available to athletes and whether they really do live up to their claims.

Homemade Sports Drink by

Makes 1 Quart

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup orange juice or any other juice your kids love (not concentrate)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 ½ cups cold water
1. In the bottom of a pitcher, dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water. Add the juice, lemon juice, and the remaining water; chill. Quench that thirst!

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cup): 200 calories, 50g carbohydrate, 110mg sodium

Friday, August 14, 2009



Fats are another vital part to a healthy diet. Good fats are needed to nourish your brain, heart, nerves, hormones and all your cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails. Fat also satisfies us and makes us feel full. It’s the type of fat that matters in addition to how much you consume.

Saturated fats, primarily found in animal sources including red meat and whole milk dairy products, raise the low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Substitute lean meats, skinless poultry, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish and nuts. Other saturated fat sources include vegetable oils such as coconut oil, palm oil and foods made with these oils.

Trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), as well as lowering HDL, or good cholesterol. Trans fats are created by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas, a process called hydrogenation. Primary sources of trans fat are vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Monounsaturated fats - People following traditional Mediterranean diets, which are very high in foods containing monounsaturated fats like olive oil, tend to have lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Primary sources are plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil. Other good sources are avocados; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans; and seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds.

Polyunsaturated fats – These includes the Omega-3 and Omega-6 groups of fatty acids which your body can’t make. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in very few foods – primarily cold water fatty fish and fish oils. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood and help prevent dementia. See below for more on Omega-3. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts. It is important to know that these oils become unhealthy when heated due to the formation of free radicals, which can lead to disease.

How much fat is too much? It depends on your lifestyle, your weight, your age and most importantly the state of your health. Focus on including Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats in your diet, decreasing Saturated fats, and avoiding Trans fats as much as possible. The USDA recommends that the average individual:

Keep total fat intake to 20-35% of calories
Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet)
Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet)
Limit cholesterol to 300 mg per day, less if you have diabetes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


by Dr Mairlyn Smith

I'm a huge fan of berries. It never ceases to amaze me that those tiny little bundles can impart such a huge flavour hit.

Take blueberries for instance. With the recent heat wave British Columbia has experienced the berries have hit an all time record in production making them the biggest high bush producers in Canada and second in the world.

My BC roots are definitely showing when I tout the benefits of these amazing little blue orbs. Even if I was born in Timbuktu I'd still be plugging these antioxidant dense Lilliputian gems.

The last time it rained here in Toronto, for anyone keeping score in the weather wars that was about two hours ago, I started surfing the net and came across an article in the New York Times on miracle berries.

Hold the phone; I thought blueberries were the only miracle berries out there. Is there a contender in the house?

Blueberries are considered a super fruit by both Canadian and American food researchers. Not a miracle berry, but a super fruit none the less. Loaded with a diseasing lowering powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, blueberries may reduce the build-up of bad LDL cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to scientists at the University of California. In animal studies a blueberry rich diet has been shown to prevent Alzheimer's as well as reduce stroke induced brain damage.

Armed with my blueberry knowledge I read the miracle berry article with great interest and a hint of healthy scepticism.

Miracle berries or miracle fruit (or try the botanical name synsepalum dulcificum) gets its name not because it tastes amazing and is good for your heart and brain but because it alters your taste buds for about one hour so that sour foods taste sweet. Hmmm. Interesting.

Lemons and vinegar taste like honey and apparently Tabasco sauce tastes like doughnut glaze. Hmmm. Weird.

This berry is a native plant from West Africa and for a hefty price tag you too can indulge in taste bud manipulation. Expect to shell out one hundred loonies for about twenty berries and that's only if you can find them in your city, note not your supermarket, your actual entire city. Best bet is to check the internet and have them flown up from either Texas or Florida. Hmmm. Expensive.


Miracle berries are highly perishable. They have to be shipped overnight packed in dry ice and must be eaten within fifteen minutes of being thawed. Local blueberries last about ten days in your fridge and you can eat them anytime after you wash them.

I'm not rolling in dough and neither are any of my foodie friends so none of us have actually had the berries, miracle or otherwise, FedExed up to experience this taste bud malarkey. So with nothing to go on except the article in the New York Times here's the deal. Apparently one little berry smashed up in your mouth and held there for about one minute is the formula for gastronomic illusion. Then its taste bud trickery and shots of vinegar all round. Wonder how your GI tract feels the morning after an evening of Tabasco shooters and eating whole lemons? I'm thinking a bottle of Pepto-Bismol may come in handy. A handful of blueberries? No worries for any day-after stomach traumas.

All things considered: flavour, availability, health, and bang for your buck? I think I'll save myself $97.00 and buy a basket of local blueberries.

Check out this GUIDE for some blueberry recipes, where the berries actually taste the way Mother Nature intended them to, no smoke and mirrors allowed.

Monday, August 10, 2009


provided by Dietitians of Canada

1. Have the number of Vegetables and Fruit Food Guide Servings recommended for you each day in Every Other Day Diet Food Guide. Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day.

2. Enjoy soups often – it might be a broth soup with lots of vegetables or a soup made from pureed vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, carrot or red pepper. You can even experiment with soups using fruits, such as melon and apple.

3. Keep frozen peas, beans, corn or mixed vegetables in the freezer to steam or microwave as part of a meal or for a quick addition to stews, stir-fries, chili, or soups.

4. Make a fruit salad at least once a week with a mix of different fruits such as apples, berries, oranges, grapefruit, melons, peaches, pears or pineapple. Use a combination of fresh or canned fruit. Add a splash of citrus juice to keep it fresh. Having it ready and available in the fridge will ensure it gets eaten.

5. Keep a variety of raw vegetables cut and washed in the fridge for quick snacks. The choices are endless – carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peppers of any colour, radishes, cherry tomatoes, turnip.

6. Throw berries onto cereal, into muffins and pancake batter, or on a salad. Add grated vegetables, such as carrot, zucchini, beets, to muffins and cakes.

7. Whirl up a "smoothie" using ½ cup (125 mL) milk or orange juice, a 6 oz (175 mL) container of flavoured yogurt, and ½ cup (125 mL) fruit in a blender.

8. Pack fruit and vegetables to take for snacks or lunch every day. Wash and cut in advance, and carry in small plastic bags or containers. This preparation will help increase the odds that it will get eaten rather than traveling back home.

9. Try vegetables like broccoli, celery, green beans and green peppers. Try a 3-pepper stir-fry with red, green and yellow peppers. Make it Asian-style with Chinese broccoli, bok choy, mini-corns and water chestnuts. Use your imagination.

10. Enhance bottled or canned tomato sauces with extra vegetables such as peppers, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, onions or zucchini. Grating them finely into the sauce can sometimes get them past children who might not be eating many vegetables.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have got this short letter from Dr. Adrian Smyth this morning, want to share it with you, guys...

Good morning, Alex
We used to have the four food groups to use as a nutrition guide. Then it became the food pyramid, and even that has changed dramatically from its original design. It started with one type of food, grains, as the foundation and worked its way up to the smallest necessary dietary elements at its peak. Now it’s sliced horizontally with stairs going up the side.

And all this while one group says carbohydrates are key to good health and nutrition and meats and fats should be heavily restricted, while another group says you can eat a lot of fat as long as you watch your carbohydrate intake. Is it any wonder that most people don’t get the right nutrition each day?

While experts still seem to have trouble agreeing on whether diets should be more protein or carbohydrate based (though the government has opted for carbohydrates), no matter which way you lean in that debate there’s little question about the nutritional benefits of eating enough fruits and vegetables.

The common phrase is “5 a day,” meaning that you should aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins that serve as antioxidants, protecting us against everything from premature aging to cancer and diabetes. While eating these foods can’t prevent these things, they do help lower a person’s risk of many conditions and diseases.
Including many fruits and vegetables in your diet not only helps you get the best nutrition, but also makes it easier to maintain a normal weight. Someone without a weight problem is less likely to develop one, provided the low calories and high fiber of the fruits and vegetables aren’t cancelled out by the addition of lots of junk food or a high overall calorie intake.

Someone with a weight problem can more easily lose pounds to achieve a more normal weight with fruits and vegetables as a large part of his or her diet. An overweight person may be eating more than the necessary calories each day, but that doesn’t mean that he or she is getting the proper nutrition. It’s possible, but most overweight people eat too many calories from things like processed foods.
Processed foods often contain staggering amounts of calories, as well as things like large amounts of fat and sugar that you wouldn’t even know are there unless you read the nutrition label. Since all food is required to display this label listing calories, different types of fats, carbohydrates, sugars, sodium, cholesterol and more, you should use the label as a tool in your quest for good nutrition.
The experts give guidelines, like no more than 30% of your calories per day from fat, that can help many people maintain a healthy diet. If you need a specialized diet like a diet that doesn’t contain peanuts or has limited sugar, using these labels can help, as well.

Overall, diets that avoid most processed foods and stress things like fish, lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables offer the best nutrition.

Dr. Adrian Smyth

By Dr. Adrian Smyth - "CLEAN EATING" magazine expert.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Article By: Jennifer Gruden

Try these 3 salads to get more cancer-fighting foods into your diet.

Although the risk factors for cancer are complex and no single food can cure or prevent cancer, numerous studies have shown a link between diet and cancer risk.

One of the most promising areas of research involves examining antioxidants. According to the American Cancer Society, "The body appears to use certain nutrients in vegetables and fruits to protect against damage to tissues that occurs constantly as a result of normal metabolism (oxidation). Because such damage is linked with increased cancer risk, the so-called antioxidant nutrients are thought to protect against cancer. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and many other phytochemicals (chemicals from plants). Studies suggest that people who eat more vegetables and fruits, which are rich sources of antioxidants, may have a lower risk for some types of cancer."

Here are three salads to help you get more cancer-fighting foods into your diet this summer.

Power packed pomegranate salad


Pomegranates are known for their antioxidant punch, which has fueled pomegranate juice sales in North America and around the world. But the seeds may have benefits the juice doesn't. A Technion-Israel Institute of Technology research team presented a study in June 2001 which indicated that pomegranate seed oil triggers apoptosis -- a self-destruct mechanism in breast cancer cells.

This salad combines pomegranate seeds with spinach, a leafy green also rich in antioxidants.

1 pound cleaned spinach leaves, tough stems removed
3/4 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Seeds from 1 pomegranate (approx. 1 cup)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, or President's Choice brand Honey Pear Vinaigrette.
Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle on the red onion, parsley, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Just before serving, dress the salad with either shakes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or the PC Honey Pear Vinaigrette, to taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Blueberry chicken salad


Blueberries have become a part of the anti-cancer arsenal due to the fact that they are the berries richest in anthocyanosides, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the prevention of cancer cell growth. This lunch type salad is a great way to add blueberries into your diet, as well as increasing your consumption of leafy greens and lower-fat meat. Feta cheese and pecans add a decadent feel to the dish.

4 cups sliced Belgian endive (about 2 large heads)
1 cup gourmet salad greens
1 1/2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp chopped pecans, toasted

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine first four ingredients in large bowl. Combine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper; stir with whisk. Add dressing to endive mixture; toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese and pecans.

Yield: 4 servings

Black bean and tomato salad


Beans contain a number of phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent or slow genetic damage to cells – and may particularly aid in preventing prostate cancer. In addition, the high fiber content of beans has been connected with a lower risk of digestive cancers. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which has been shown to be especially potent in combating prostate cancer.

2 cups corn kernels (about four ears of grilled corn, or use frozen or canned)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, chopped finely

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine corn, black beans, and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Whisk oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt and pepper together. Drizzle over salad and toss until coated.


Friday, August 7, 2009



Athletes can lose between 2-3 litres of sweat during 90 minutes of intense exercise, particularly in hot and humid conditions. They can also lose as much as 2-3 kg (4½-6½ lbs) in body weight during the same period. This amount of fluid loss will certainly have a negative affect on performance.

Ideally to counteract dehydration, athletes should consume 200-400 ml (7-14 oz) of cold water or a suitable carbohydrate solution 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start of their event. During the any intervals, they should try to drink another 300-500 ml (10-17oz) of a sports drink. During hot weather or strenuous training sessions, coaches should try to provide their athletes with 150-250 ml (5-8oz) of drink about every 20 minutes.

Following a match or hard training session, it's essential that lost fluids be replaced. Water on its own is fine, but to replace fluid AND replenish energy stores, a high carbohydrate drink may be more suitable.

Drinking Before & During Competition

The right carbohydrate drink taken before and during composition can postpone fatigue and stabilize blood sugar preventing light-headiness, headaches, nausea and "jelly-like" muscles. However, not all carbohydrate drinks are created equal. Too much carbohydrate or sugar can actually hinder performance.

A solution that contains 40% carbohydrate empties the stomach much slower than plain water (which is 0% carbohydrate). This means that high sugar drinks such as Coca Cola, regular Lucozade, Exceed High Carbohydrate Source and Gator Lode (up to 40% carbohydrate) are NOT the best fluids to consume before or during exercise.

The ideal sports drink should contain 6-8% carbohydrate. It should also contain a small amount of salt. Sodium concentration in the blood can reduce due to sweating and drinking lots of diluted fluids. If it gets too low it can lead to nausea, headaches and blurred vision. Adding just a pinch of salt can offset this potential danger.

Sodium is also an electrolyte. Electrolytes help control the passage of water between body compartments and they also help to maintain the acid-base balance of the body. Electrolytes (or lack of them) have been associated with muscle cramps in the latter stages of sport games.

Here are some effective sports drinks currently on the market suitable before and during a match or training session:

Drink 200-400 ml (7-14oz) of a suitable sports drink 5 to 10 minutes before the start but no earlier unless it's several hours before the start. During any intervals drink up to 300-500 ml (10-17oz). In hot climates try to drink 150-250 (5-8oz) ml every 20 minutes or so.

AcaiBurn and NutriFlex

I'll be honest to you, guys. I don't know much about this loss-weight-feel-great AcaiBurn sounds-great product. But the NutriFlex - the parent manufacturer - we have tried a lot by my son - top leveled hockey player, wy wife and myself - it's amazing. Another point - it's not my affiliate product, just in case...

To enlarge the text just click on picture above.

Thursday, August 6, 2009



As an example, soccer players can use up 200 to 250 grams of carbohydrates during a game. It's important that they (and other athletes that perform for a similar duration) replenish those stores as quickly as possible. It becomes even more important if the athlete has more than one competition in the week or are involved in heavy training.

Ideally, a large, high-carbohydrate meal should be eaten within two hours of the finish and it can and should consist of high GI foods. Bananas and dried fruits are good immediately following a match, as are sandwiches and high-carbohydrate drinks like Gatorade Exceed and Lucozade. A main meal several hours later might consist of bread, pasta, potatoes and rice as well as other simple sugars like cakes and sweets.

Even under the best circumstances it can take over twenty hours to fully restore carbohydrate stores. This has implications for athletes who are competing five or six days a week (perhaps during a tournamnet). In this case carbohydrate replenishment at regular intervals during training sessions becomes very important. This is where high-carbohydrate drinks can offer a real advantage


Carbohydrate loading is often used by long distance athletes to "pack " their muscles with energy. The actual process involves depleting the muscles of carbohydrate a week or so before the event with exhaustive exercise and a low-carbohydrate diet.

Two to three days before the event the athlete switches to a very high-carbohydrate diet. In their depleted state, muscles take up more carbohydrate than they normally would giving the athlete a large store of energy.

For most sports and events, carbohydrate loading is unnecessary. In fact a disruption in an athlete's normal eating pattern can actually cause stomach upset and lead to impaired performance. A more sensible approach is to increase carbohydrate intake in the days leading up to a game or event.

That's it for today. Hopefully by now you have some useful strategies for eating before and after a sporting event, as well as inbetween. Of course, eating is not the only side of nutrition. What, when and how much we drink is also important and this will be the subject of the next part

For more details I strongly recomend you to consider THE EVERY OTHER DAY DIET GUIDE

Wednesday, August 5, 2009



When the fuel light goes off on your car's dash you stop at the closest gas station and fill'er up. When your body's fuel light goes off first thing in the morning many people ignore the signal and dash out running on empty.

Yes, filling up your body's tank before leaving the house is this month's new healthy behaviour.

Breaking the fast or breakfast is one of the most important healthy eating rules that you can follow. When you wake up your body and your brain, both need fuel. Breakfast eaters think faster and clearer, solve problems more easily and are less likely to be crabby during the day. Which if you have a teenager is reason enough to insist they eat breakfast.

Trying to lose weight? Skipping breakfast may sound like a great way to save calories, but breakfast skippers ended up eating the calories they missed and then some. In a study published by Obesity Research, people who lose weight and maintain that weight loss are breakfast eaters not abstainers.

In my perfect world everyone would have time for a sit-down breakfast. If that includes you, go for a whole grain cereal that's low in sugar, salt and fat. Buyer beware, just because it says whole grain on the front of the package doesn't necessarily mean that it's a healthy pick. Make label reading your latest hobby and scrutinize each and every one you read. There isn't a standardized serving size between similar products so make sure that you're comparing equal serving sizes when you're comparing brands.

If you don't know what ½ cup (125 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) of cereal looks like, measure it out into your bowl so you can eyeball it the next time. Pour on the skim or soy milk, sprinkle with 1 tbsp. (15 mL) ground flaxseed and ¼ tsp. (1 mL) ground cinnamon. Top with ½ banana or ½ cup (125 mL) of your favourite fresh or thawed frozen berries.

Finish your breakfast off with ½ cup (125 mL) calcium-fortified orange juice and you're good to go. The calorie count for a healthy breakfast for the average person should be between 400 and 550 calories. My breakfast is around 400 calories.

When we're in a hurry I set the table the night before with the bowls, empty juice glasses, spoons, cereal boxes, cinnamon, bananas and a knife. It really helps speed things up. The next morning it feels like the Breakfast Fairy came while we were sleeping. All that's left is getting out the ground flaxseed, milk and juice.

On weekends, try a bowl of steel cut oatmeal. For price and flavour I like Steel Cut Oats, topped with ground flaxseed, cinnamon, walnuts and some dried fruit.

We all need something for breakfast to get our engines revved and ready to go. But if you really don't have time in the morning, here are some Dash and Dine ideas for a breakfast on the run:

Trail mix:
Make this version the night before.

In a portable container, toss together 2 tbsp. (30 mL) of your favourite unsalted nuts, 1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal, ¼ cup (60 mL) dried fruit — raisins, dried cranberries, dried mango or apricots.
Calcium-fortified orange juice
PB morning:

2 slices 100% whole grain whole wheat toast - make sure the label says whole grain whole wheat.
Spread with 1 to 2 tbsp. (15 to 30 mL) peanut butter; wrap it up in wax paper and go.
Calcium-fortified orange juice
Egg lovers:

The night before, hard cook two omega-3 eggs, peel and store in the fridge overnight.
Calcium-fortified orange juice
An apple a day:

1 large apple
2 tbsp. (30 mL) unsalted nuts (walnuts are a great combo with the apple)
Calcium-fortified orange juice
Blender mornings:
Whirl this in a blender until smooth, pour into a thermos and shake before drinking.

1 cup (250 mL) skim or soy milk
½ cup (125 mL) vanilla lower fat yogurt
½ cup (125 mL) frozen blueberries
½ banana
¼ tsp. (1 mL) ground cinnamon

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Pre and Post Competition Eating

Long gone are the days when athletes thought that eating a big steak before a game would give them lots of energy. Today's elite sports men and women follow a strict diet, particularly on the day of a competitive match or event. While diet won't turn poor athletes into great ones, it can make the difference between performing poorly and tapping your full potential.

The Glycemic Index

Not all carbohydrate is digested and absorbed at the same rate. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale of how much a particular type of food raises blood sugar over a two-hour period compared to pure glucose.

For example, a piece of food with a GI score of 45 means that it raises blood sugar 45% as much as pure glucose in that two-hour period.

Common sense says that simple sugars which are broken down quickly, like fructose in fruit, should have a higher GI than complex carbohydrates, but that's not always the case. White bread, white rice and potatoes (all classed as complex carbohydarets) have a very high GI. That means they raise blood sugar almost as much or even more than pure glucose. Fructose has medium GI because the fibre found in fruit slows digestion and absorption.

Choosing foods with a high GI will help to quickly replenish carbohydrate stores after a game or event. Before a game or event, low GI foods are more appropriate as they release energy more slowly and for a longer period.

Pre Match Eating

The goal prior to a game or event (and even a training session) is to maximise carbohydrate stores in the muscles and liver and to top up blood glucose stores. Studies have shown that consuming foods with a high GI within an hour of exercise can actually lower blood glucose, which is not what an athlete wants! The reason is because the body produces an "overshoot" of insulin, which helps muscles to take up sugar in the blood. This in turn causes low blood sugar levels.

Athletes should eat foods with a low to medium GI before a match. This allows for a relatively slow release of glucose into the blood and avoids the unwanted insulin surge.

Consuming carbohydrate at least an hour before the start allows any hormonal imbalance to return to normal.

Example low GI foods include pasta, whole grain breads and rice, oatmeal, milk and milk products and fruit (except bananas and dried fruit).

The pre-match meal might consist of pasta in a low-fat tomato sauce, baked beans or scrambled eggs on toast and fresh fruit such as apples, pears or orange juice. Some grilled fish or chicken and vegetables could accompany the carbohydrates. Ideally this meal should be eaten at least three hours prior to the start - especially if nerves are a factor, which can impair digestion.

Food in the stomach is given a high priority to be digested before it has chance to spoil. As a result greater blood flow is directed to the digestive tract - not good news when players' muscles will soon be demanding an increase in blood flow too. The result of performing with a full stomach is nausea - the body's attempt to cease exercise so that it can redirect blood flow back to the stomach.

There is one exception to consuming carbohydrate immediately prior to the start of a game and it's in the form of a sports drink 5 or 10 minutes before kick off.

For more details I strongly recomend you to consider THE EVERY OTHER DAY DIET GUIDE