Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Are They Really that Important? (plus salmon burgers)

Wow,  I had no idea it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a blog. The past few weeks have indeed been crazy with traveling to the Pittsburgh marathon, Challenge Knoxville, the CPSDA sport dieticians conference in Mobile, AL and coming up, Rev3 Rush in Richmond. I’ve certainly been meaning to write and I have a list of blogs that are on my to do list. So while I can’t promise perfection, I’m going to try to be better at this whole blogging thing. My goal is to continue to provide relevant and current info in sports nutrition, endurance training and healthy recipes. There is so much misinformation out there, I want to try to bring some reason to what I feel is often the media preaching false info. So I’ll start today with omega 3 fatty acids and the benefits to athletes. This isn’t too controversial a topic, but it’s a very important one.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

  • PUFA-they are polyunsaturated fatty acids that contain 2, 3, 4 or more carbon-carbon double bonds
  • Nomenclature-the last or “omega” number refers to the position of the first carbon-carbon double bond, with respect to the methyl end of the molecule
  • Omega 3 fatty acids then have the first carbon-carbon bond occurring 3 carbons from the methyl end of the molecule
  • There are also omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids with omega 6 being the most prevalent in our diets. However for most Americans, neither fatty acid is prevalent (not a positive).
  • Essential fatty acids that must be taken in by the food we eat (or a supplement)

Two Types of Omega 3’s:

1. ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid): found in vegetables oils, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds, some vegetables like kale and spinach, etc. The body can also partially convert ALA to EPA and DHA. The numbers are not that great, with less then 8% of ALA being converted to EPA and less than 4% being converted to DHA.

2. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): found in fatty fish-anchovy, herring, salmon, cod liver/herring/salmon oil

Benefits to Omega 3’s:

1. Inflammation:

  • Omega 3’s have been studied extensively in the aid of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disorder, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, osteoarthritis and many others.
  • The belief is that the omega 3’s could attenuate injury by reducing the inflammatory response through the reduction of the formation of pro-inflammatory group 2 eicosanoids. Some studies, both animal and human have showed decreased severity of inflammation, joint tenderness, morning stiffness and grip strength.
  • This has an obvious application for athletes, who often train hard, and must compete with additional inflammation, joint soreness and sometimes injury. They can also assist with tissue repair, remodeling and adaptation.

2. Multi-Organ System Support:

  • Cardiovascular system-years of data has shown a correlation between increased dietary intake of omega 3’s and a reduced incidence in coronary heart disease. A good example is the Inuit. A 1970’s study showed that the Inuit had a cardio-protective effect of omega 3’s from marine sources. While their overall diet is very high in fat, they have a low incidence of cardiovascular disease.
  • Brain/Mood support-A relatively new field that is emerging, but has been showing promising research in reduction of depression, postpartum depression and suicide.
  • Neuroprotective- science is still emerging, however some studies (animal and human) have shown a decrease in nerve damage to the brain, spinal and peripheral nerves following trauma or lack of blood flow. This could greatly impact sports prone to concussions.
  • Orthopedic-reduction in inflammation, and increased tissue repair and remodeling-might be a benefit to take vs NSAIDs for muscle pain

3. Muscular Performance:

  • Multiple studies have shown  the ability of fish oil to alter inflammatory cell signals, cytokines, pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and white blood cell funtion. Excessive inflammatory signals have been shown to increase muscle protein breakdown, and impair strength (things you do not want to occur as an athlete).
  • Other studies have shown improved range of motion, and improved pain from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) with fish oil supplementation.

4. Body Composition:

  • Research has been mainly done in animals, however there are a few studies showing the potential for human benefit from omega 3’s on body composition
  • Some reserachers believe that fish oil (EPA/DHA)  can work to decrease body composition by increasing fatty acid oxidation, and move the fat away from being stored. Also, there is a belief that it can support insulin sensitivity. This area needs further reserach however as some studies have shown benefit, while others have shown no benefit.

Best Sources: Are supplements or food better?

  • Food is the obvious choice, because along with the omega’s, you’re getting vital nutrients, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc.
  • There is some concern though, as most of us do not eat as much fish, nuts or seeds as would be needed. In that case, a supplement can be handy. In addition, there is some concern over the presence of environmental toxins in fish. Choosing a high quality, lab tested fish supplement can be a good way of knowing you are getting your omega’s without the worry of heavy metals.
  • Best choices for foods: seeds (flax, chia, hemp), nuts (walnuts), soybeans, sardines, wild caught salmon, grass fed beef, and omega 3 enriched eggs

Fish Supplements:

  • If you’d like to go the supplement route, make sure you are choosing a supplement that is pure (no heavy metals), wild caught, supported by third party testing and are in the triglyceride form.
  • I like the brand Nordic Naturals, which contains Vitamin D (also needed by athletes) and 800mg of EPA and 400mg of DHA.
  • While fish oil supplements are not vegan, I do think that vegans are at a disadvantage in that they just consume ALA. While some does convert to EPA/DHA, it is not an efficient conversion and they will be missing out on some important benefits. I would recommend a fish supplement in addition to a diet high in flax, chia, walnuts, hemp, etc.

 

What about the Ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3?

  • Both omega 3 and omega 6 are heart healthy. There is some evidence that had showed that omega 6’s were not as healthy as omega 3’s. This research is a bit outdated, and my belief is if you can increase both, you will greatly benefit your body.
  • Traditionally, a 4:1 Omega 6-Omega3 ratio would have been considered ideal. However due to my goal of reducing the fear surrounding food, and just saying increase your nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies and fish, I’m not concerned with a ratio.

Some coming full circle, yes, Omega 3’s really are that important. In addition to just upping your intake of fish, nuts and seeds, I’d consider a supplement. I don’t exclusively endorse only one and I certainly don’t get paid, but I do want you to be sure to get a high quality, highly tested one. That way there are no banned substances in there. That’s always a worry with supplements.

To help try to convince you to eat more fish, here is one of my favorite recipes for salmon burgers. The awesome thing is, you can buy canned wild salmon. It provides the same benefits, at a fraction of the cost. And for burgers, it is already broken down/chunked, so it flakes very easily. And this recipe does not taste very fishy at all.

salmon burgerSalmon Burger over Greens, with Lemon Dill Sauce (serves 5)

14oz canned wild salmon, drained and de-boned
2 cloves garlic minced
1/3 cup onion minced
1/3 cup bell pepper minced
3/4 cup oats
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
5 tbsp olive oil mayo-gluten and dairy free, divided
1.5 tbsp lemon juice, divided
2 eggs beaten
Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp lower sodium Old Bay
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp relish
10 cups mixed greens
10 small red potatoes (steamer bag), steamed
1/2 lb green beans (steamer bag), steamed

Directions:

Dill Lemon Sauce:
1. In a small bowl mix 3 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp relish, .5 tbsp lemon juice, and dash dill and Old Bay. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Salmon:
1. In a medium bowl place drained salmon. Make sure there are no bones left in salmon, then flake.
2. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, oats, mustard, 2 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 eggs, pepper, dill and Old Bay. Mix and form into 5 patties.
3. Heat a saute or grill pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked.

Potatoes:
1. To save time, buy potatoes in a steamer bag. Follow directions and split between 5 plates.

Green Beans:
1. To save time, buy green beans in a steamer bag. Follow directions and split between 5 plates.

Assemble:
1. Place 2 cups of greens onto each plate. Top with one salmon patty, lemon dill sauce, potatoes and green beans.

Nutrition: Per Serving

  • Kcal: 446
  • Carbs: 51g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat:15g
  • Fiber:9g
  • Sodium:763mg

Recovery Strategies Post Marathon

*This blog is for the average marathon runner who runs 1-2 marathons a year, not the athletes who can run a marathon each month. Some things will still apply like the hydration and nutrition examples, however the return to running will not be the same. So just a heads up on that.*

We’re a few months into marathon season, and I get a lot of questions on proper recovery post race. Personally I just had two runners run their spring marathons (Boston and Toronto) and both are headed to Boston next year. Woot woot! So, these two, plus yourself or your athletes need to make sure they are taking the steps to ensure proper recovery, so they can resume training once again.

It might or might not come as a shock, but a lot of runners negate recovery and go back to training too quickly . They may feel good, and the fear is that they will lose fitness. While it’s true you will lose some fitness in the short-term, in the long-term fitness will be gained. Our bodies create new muscle, mitochondria and recover during rest. So let’s get that worry right out-of-the-way. And likewise, if you start running too soon, you are likely to set yourself up for being over trained. I’ve seen this happen quite a few times (not from athlete’s I’m coaching) and I want to help prevent over training in general. It will wreak havoc on your body, metabolic systems and hormones. My goal is prevention. Let’s talk physiology.

Running a marathon (26.2 miles for those not aware) is quite a feat, and also quite a challenge on our body. The typical runner will feel fatigue and muscle soreness in the few days post race, but it’s the intracellular damage  to your muscles, tendons and ligaments that you often don’t feel, that causes the most trouble. Since the damage is submicroscopic, you can’t see it, feel it and you think you’re ready to run again. If you start again too soon, you will delay the cellular healing, in addition to the healing of other structures like our connective tissues. Our bodies are often in immune compromised states post marathon, so to add a return to training,  can lead to prolonged cellular inflammation and the development of a cold or other virus.

So what should you do?

Immediately Post Marathon (in the few hours after)

  • Consume a re-hydration beverage that provides carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein. If your beverage does not contain protein, you can consume protein in a solid form. This might look like 24oz of an electrolyte sports drink, and a 20g protein bar. It’s often hard to eat a lot post race, so quick and easy go to foods like drinks and bars are great. Shoot for 1g/kg bodyweight of carbohydrate and at least 20g of protein in the 30-60min post race. In the few hours post race, try to focus on a full meal that includes carbohydrate, fat and protein.
  • Continue drinking water or a diluted sports drink throughout the day and next day if you feel dehydrated or your urine has not returned to a pale yellow.
  • Consume vit. C in the form of fruit like an orange or take a vit. C supplement. While the evidence does not show consuming vit. C will prevent you from getting a cold, there is some reliable research that shows consuming it post marathon (the research was using marathoners) helped prevent the development of an upper respiratory infection.
  • Put on compression tights, or use inflatable compression boots like Normatec. If the $1000-$5000 inflatable boots are out of budget, a less expensive pair of compression tights will assist with blood flow and minimize soreness. Similar to vit. C, the evidence showing the benefit to compression before or during a race is limited, there is more substantial research showing benefit post exercise.
  • Walk around, don’t just sit down. Make your muscles keep moving.

The Next Day:

  • Make sure you have refueled your glycogen stores. This means consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates to refuel your body. Up your carbohydrate intake just a bit to make sure you are refueling well.
  • Continue to focus on eating food containing higher amount of vitamin C. Citrus fruits and bell peppers are my favorites.
  • You can continue with the compression tights for a few hours at a time. No need to wear them  continuously.
  • Move around, walk, don’t sit down for extended periods of time. The key to helping you recover is active recovery. Active recovery should be done at less than 60% of your heart rate max. In other words, it’s usually slower than warm up or feels like a warm up pace. In addition to walking, swimming is my favorite active recovery. The water helps to support your muscles.
  • Write a journal entry, or create a log of your race. Write down what went well, what didn’t, how much you ate and how much your drank during the race. If your nutrition or hydration wasn’t on spot during the race, this will be key to knowing what to do next race. If you can do this within a day, you will have a better chance of remembering.
  • Enjoy your accomplishment. Whether you raced well, or had an off day, you had the ability to go out and run a marathon. Be proud and excited that your body allowed you to do that. If your race didn’t go well, the log of your race will help to determine why.
  • Sleep is important, go to bed early and make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

The Few Days Post Marathon:

  • Continue with active recovery like walking. Yoga, swimming and easy cycling are also good ways to keep moving.
  • Stretch, foam roll or get a light massage. As stated before, you have intracellular damage, too tough of a massage can prolong healing.
  • Continue with high quality healthy nutrition. You can focus on foods rich in omega 3’s like walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and salmon. This will help with inflammation.
  • Try to continue getting a bit extra sleep.

The Week after the Marathon:

  • Return to easy running if desired. There is no need to push yourself to run, take more time off if your body wants and needs it.
  • You can start return to running with 20-30min runs, but only easy paced. No intervals, hills, tempo, etc.
  • If you’ve been checking your heart rate daily pre-race, this week you can continue to check to make sure it isn’t elevated. One of the reasons for an elevated heart rate is that it means your body is under stress. If your heart rate is 5-10 beats higher than pre-marathon, more rest is needed.

Two Weeks Post Marathon:

  • Here is where your training will return to looking like a runner. Your runs can be 3-6 miles for short runs, and 7-8 miles for longer (this will depend on your speed).
  • I urge you to train to your body and not try to get back to intense training. Two weeks post marathon you can be running 4-5 days a week, but try to focus on easy, aerobic running.

2-4 weeks is my rule for post marathon return to running. If an athlete is in good shape pre marathon, their return to running will be shorter. If someone is newer to the marathon world, they should take a bit longer recovery. There is no right or wrong with return to running. Everyone is different, and each coach is different in how much they want their athletes to recover. I am a more conservative coach when it comes to recovery. I’d rather my athletes rest, refuel and mentally prepare for the next race ahead. If they jump into organized/structured training too soon, their body may not be ready, we might prolong the muscle damage and mentally, they haven’t had the break they need. It is an art and science, as is most things with coaching. Some marathoners could look at this and say no way, I’m running again the next day. That will work for some, but the newer marathoners, the more masters an athlete (older), the degree of injury prone or a history of over training will dictate a longer recovery. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad if you want to take more recovery, listen to your body first.

Here’s a mock sample of what a 2 week recovery might look like. Some call it a reverse taper.

  • Week 1-walking, cross training
  • Week 2-return to running, continue cross training if desired
  1. Race Day-walk easy, no additional exercise
  2. Day 2-off, just easy walking around-don’t sit around, your body needs to move, stretching/yoga
  3. Day 3-off, just easy walking around, stretching/yoga-do something, no sitting
  4. Day 4-20-30min of walking, swimming, cycling or yoga
  5. Day 5-off
  6. Day 6-30-40min of walking, swimming, cycling or yoga
  7. Day 7-30-40min of walking, swimming, cycling/more advanced runners could start running here-if you’re a newer marathoner, even if a fast runner, you are not “advanced” as your body isn’t prepared for what it went though. Advanced means multiple marathons a year for several years.
  8. Day 8-off
  9. Day 9-20-30min of aerobic running
  10. Day 10-off
  11. Day 11-30-45min of aerobic running
  12. Day 12-45-60min of aerobic running
  13. Day 13-off
  14. Day 14-60-70min of aerobic running

Let your coach and your body be your guide (check your heart rate, are you breathing more heavy then usual, are you exhausted post exercise). Give yourself at least 1 full week of no running. Then, the second week can be easy running, or stick with more gentle aerobic exercising like walking or swimming. Week 3 and 4 should be continual builds back to about 75% of where you were pre-race. So it might look like:

Week 1-cross training

Week 2-15-25 miles-25-40% of mileage pre-marathon

Week 3- 20-35 miles-50% of pre-marathon mileage

Week4- 30-50miles-75% of where you were pre-marathon

Week 5-80-90% pre-marathon distance

Week 6-Pre-marathon distance

In the month post marathon I generally don’t stick with the 10% weekly increase rule. Because you are just re-building back to where your body was pre-marathon, I don’t think it’s necessary. When building in the second month and after the marathon, I do stick with no more than a 10% increase each week as your body isn’t used to the increased mileage.

Remember, everyone is different in how much they need to recover. Some need 1 week, some need 2, and some need a month away from running. Listen to your body, your coach and ignore others if they tell you you’re doing something wrong. Unless of course if you’re training for your next marathon in the week post marathon. Then, stop and read this again.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies, GF/Dairy Free

So I totally missed the boat today and forgot it was Cinco de Mayo. Brett and I love Mexican food, but it slipped my mind. Instead I made a grilled chicken, asparagus and sweet pea pasta. The kicker was, we used quinoa pasta. We aren’t gluten free, but I thought why not. For future knowledge, after examining it more closely, it turns out it is corn based, with quinoa as the second ingredient. I was ok with that, but if you’re anticipating all quinoa, the brand I used was not. Not to get you all excited about quinoa pasta, because I also made fudgy chocolate brownies. Yumm!

It’s been a while since I baked, and I had a urge to bake something. My goal was to set off to make a no added sugar brownie, using only dates as a sweetener. I still used dates, but I only had 10. So, instead I added some Stevia. I also added some dark chocolate chips, which really made the batter richer. And depending on the % dark chocolate, you will have more or less added sugar. Since the rest of the brownies were so healthy, I went a bit lighter than I normally do, and used 70% dark chocolate vs my traditional 85%. The brownies ended up having 6g of added sugar per bar from the chocolate.

If you’re looking for a lower in fat, lower in sugar brownie, you must give these a try. You can use gluten free all purpose flour, or whole wheat flour. I love experimenting, so I used an all purpose rice flour designed for baking gluten free goodies. It was from Pillsbury. And I must tell you, Brett gave the thumbs up. Before I posted this, I needed his discerning brownie seal of approval. I hope you enjoy these non traditional brownies.

IMG_0881

(I’m still working on making my pictures my appealing and I swear the plate was centered when I took it).

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies: (16 brownies)

10 dates, soaked if need be
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
3/4 cup-1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (skim is fine as well if not dairy free)
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups gluten free or whole wheat flour-I used Pillsbury all purpose gluten free flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup Stevia
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups dark chocolate chips or vegan chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.
2. In a blender, blend first 4 ingredients. Start with 3/4 cup milk, only adding more at the end of the recipe if the batter seems to dry.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, stevia, baking soda and salt.
4. Mix the wet ingredients gently into the dry ingredients. Combine until thoroughly mixed.
5. Mix in the chocolate chips. The batter will be slightly thick (here is where if you need more milk, add it).
6. Pour mixture into the pan and spread out using a spoon. You will need to gently push into place.
7. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. My oven took 18 minutes.
8. Cool completely, cut and serve.

Nutrition: per brownie

  • 150kcal
  • 30g carb
  • 3g protein
  • 6g fat
  • 3g fiber

 

Specific Nutritional Needs for the Female Athlete, Part 2

Today I’ll finish up this 2 part blog, and touch on the importance of energy balance, the female athlete triad, a bit more on hormones and vitamins and minerals that we somethings overlook. For any men reading this blog, this part is especially important if you have loved ones who are female (spouses, children, etc), or coach female athletes. In addition, while you don’t have a menstrual cycle, the same negative effects can occur with you from a hormone perspective. I’ve worked with several semi elite male athletes who due to their over training and low-calorie intakes, had their hormone levels have drop so far that they have had to stop training. It can take months of rest and my help to assist them in rebuilding and recovery. So this information is for you as well. Let’s start with energy balance.

Energy Balance: aka, the amount of calories your body needs to maintain its healthy processes

Each of us, no matter male or female, need a set amount of calories to just maintain our body and its metobolic functions. The minimum amount needed is called our basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the rate where if we were to lay in bed all day, we’d need this much just to maintain our body. Then, on top of this, we add in our activities of daily living, and any additional exercise. This creates our total energy requirements, or total energy expenditure (TEE). If we consume more than this amount, we can gain weight, and if we consume less than this amount, we can lose weight. The key word is balance.

The best and most accurate way to calculate these numbers is in a scientific lab, using a calorimeter. Because this is so limited to the general public, there are calculations that you can use that will help you determine your ideal calorie amounts. Here are some scientifically recognized numbers to use for calculations on yourself.

Maintenance Calories: 15-16 calories per lb/30kcal per kg
Fat Loss: 12-13 calories per lb
Weight/muscle gain: 18-19 calories per lb

Let’s use myself as an example. I am 140lbs, and I’m in between fat loss and trying to maintain right now. Fat loss is hard when I’m not allowed to exercise a lot yet, and I’m certainly not trying to gain weight. So here is my range:

Fat Loss: 140x 13kcal=1820kcal

Maintenance: 140x15kcal=2100kcal

If I were to give myself a recommendation, it would be between 1800-2100kcal per day. In this range I will maintain, or lose slightly. And right now, that is around where I am shooting for.

What happens when you under eat, or under nourish your body for the amount you are training?

Your body will sense that it is not getting enough calories and will start to reduce the non imperative functions like the menstrual cycle/reproduction. Your body will recognize that it is in a negative energy balance and it will think this is a threat to your survival. This is also the case when an endurance athlete severely restricts food groups, fasts, skips meals, and their fat loss isn’t budging. Because the body believes it’s starving, you hold onto your fat stores, with you body believing it needs them for survival. Another topic for another day, but it’s a key I often find with athletes not losing fat-they aren’t eating enough, or enough carbs.

Where do hormones come in?

Too few calories, and not enough body fat, can wreak havoc on the body’s hormones. It can reduce the production of estrogen, increase cortisol (stress hormone that has a catabolic effect on muscle and bone) and reduce the amount of calcium that is absorbed (estrogen plays a role here as well). So right there you have the starting stages of the Female Athlete Triad. In addition, female athletes who have hormone imbalances can also have additional symptoms including: fatigue, hair loss, anemia, and slower injury healing. So even if you are an athlete, or coach an athlete that does not have the female athlete triad, you may have a disruption in your hormones, and need blood work to check hormone levels from a physician.

The Female Athlete Triad:

1.Disordered Eating-fasting, skipping meals, not taking in enough calories, restricting entire food groups

2. Amenorrhea-irregular or absent menstrual periods-while this seems like a benefit to some female athletes, it is dangerous and shouldn’t be treated lightly. If you lose or have an irregular period, this means your hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are out of balance, and most often, you need to consume more calories and add body fat.

3. Osteoporosis– low bone density or bone loss-because there is a link between our sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and bone health, women who under consume calories can lose bone density. Sometimes enough to put them into osteoporosis, which is generally an older women’s (think grandmother) medical issue. Often  you’ll see athletes with stress fractures, or a history of stress fractures.

As you can see all three are tied together. You can have just one of the triad, however they often go together, and it is a dangerous trio. The female athlete triad is most often found in endurance sports, or aesthetic sports like gymnastics, ballet, running, triathlon and rowing. The key is prevention. I believe it is very important for parents, coaches and peers to be on the look out for signs of any of the three. In addition, educating athletes about the dangers of the female athlete triad.

Vitamins and Minerals: All the vitamins and minerals are important, however these are the ones that I frequently see are missing from a female diet.

Iron: transfers oxygen in the blood to the muscle

  • Those at greatest risk are female endurance athletes (teens-50’s), those restricting calories and certain food groups and during menses –the pounding from running is thought to decrease iron stores
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia: Too few healthy red blood cells due to too little iron in the body
    Signs include: fatigue, decreased performance, weakness, shortness of breath, pale
  • Focus on iron rich foods-tuna, chicken, fortified foods and make sure you are eating them with Vit. C. This helps to absorb iron.
  • Need 18mg/day-if between 19-50 years old

Calcium: Important for bone health, preventing stress fractures, strains, building and repair or bone tissue and maintenance of blood calcium levels.

  • Dairy foods-milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, fortified foods-although the calcium that is added to these, actually has poor absorption
  • Females 19 and over-1000mg a day

Vitamin D: Important for the absorption of calcium, regulation of serum calcium levels, bone health and immune function

  • Calcium and vitamin D go hand in hand. Sun exposure, and fortified foods are the best way. Some foods naturally have some vitamin D, although it’s very small. Taking a supplement is my recommendation.
  • Female adults can take up to 2000IU’s a day

B Vitamins: important because a lack of B vitamins can cause reduced athletic performance (optimum energy production). The B Vitamins are necessary to convert carbohydrates and protein into energy, and used in the production and repair of cells (including red blood cells).

  • Sources: meat, fish, eggs, green leafy veggies, nuts, fortified foods
  • Taking B vitamins will not give you energy, just facilitate the production
  • If you are a vegan, you must take a B-12 supplement, as it is not found in high enough doses in nature
  • There are 8 B vitamins-B1-Thiamin, B2-Riboflavin, B3-Niacin, B-5-Panothenic Acid, B6, B-7-Biotin, B-9-Folic Acid, B12
  • A general multivitamin, or complex B-vitamin can be beneficial

General Recommendations:

  1. Consume an appropriate amount of calories for your body
  2. Don’t diet, fast, skip meals or cut out entire food groups
  3. Reach out to a sports dietician or nutritionist if you need help with your nutrition
  4. Reach out to a coach, parent, doctor or friend if you feel you might be at risk for anything I’ve mentioned above
  5. Eat a well rounded diet of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, dairy, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  6. Consider adding in a general multivitamin to your daily nutrition

If you’d like further help or have any questions, please contact me