January is the time we want to put our best foot forward and make an impact on our health and weight loss goals. Millions of Americans are flooding health centers and yoga studios to get a jump-start on their fitness resolutions. Work outs tend to be harder this time of year in an effort to make up for the holiday food extravaganza, or simply because some of us have finally decided that this is the year we will actually get in shape.
Doing too much too soon can prevent people from realizing their fitness goals. To avoid burn out, fatigue and injuries, it is important to give the body the nutrients it needs, plus take plenty of time to rest and recover in between workouts.
Bonavitas, a nutraceutical company based in Provo, Utah has just launched a new muscle recovery drink that uses all natural ingredients to assist the body in replenishing its stores of electrolytes without causing a spike in blood sugar. The carefully designed Bonavitas recovery drink supplement helps to increase the effect of any workout, yoga or Pilates session by supplying just the right amount of nutrients at just the right speed of absorption. Void of unnatural ingredients such as aspartame, dyes and sucralose, Bonavitas supplements are safe, taste real and won’t build up toxins in the body.
The makers of Vita Coco, the 100 percent natural re-hydrating coconut water, were served with a 5 million dollar lawsuit August 11th. A recent study by Consumerlab.com, a product testing company, found that Vita Coco and other all-natural coconut water drinks were not as hydrating as clever marketing may have indicated.
Vita Coco and other coconut water drinks have become popular in the past few years, noting their superiority to sports drinks in replacing electrolytes after exercise. Vita Coco ad campaigns in particular claim that their drink has 15 times the electrolytes found in sports drinks, which according to the current law suit is false.
Many health experts believe that while coconut water is a good source of potassium it is not an adequate source of re-hydration, especially if participating in heavy exercise like marathon training. Experts also say that unless you’re exercising strenuously for over an hour, there is no need for electrolyte replacement afterwards and that water is enough to replenish your system.
“This is a major focus of the marketing for coconut water,” Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab told the Huffington Post. “When you start making claims comparing it to sports drinks, you expect them to at least deliver on what they are promising. People should be aware that the labels are not accurate on some of the products, and they shouldn’t count on coconut water for serious rehydration.”
Part of the joy in endurance running is that the athlete is afforded more calories than their couch dwelling counterparts. However, when a well-meaning non-runner says to me, “you get to eat whatever you want though, right?” I have to sadly answer no and explain how I believed that lie once too.
I began running with hopes that I could eventually eat junk food all day long and pay no penance for it. It took me just a few stomach churning runs to realize that I was wrong. For most runners, their performance is directly related to their diet.
“Junk in, junk out,” is the phrase nutritionist Diane Greenleaf likes to use as a reminder for how our body works. She pointed out that while training does lead to more calories being burned, it doesn’t replace the fact that the body needs nutrients. And it’s no surprise that our tasty junk food isn’t chock-full of vitamins.
Playing sports has a multitude of benefits for kids. Beyond the understood exercise, children learn time management, how to get along with other players, and most importantly, the necessity of teamwork. One of the most important, and least emphasized, skills that children will learn while playing sports is the necessity of proper nutrition and how it relates to both endurance and results.
Have you heard the saying, “You only get out of it what you put into it?” That saying seems tailor made for sports. As adults, we know the importance of fueling ourselves correctly, being certain to be adequately hydrated and well rested. These lessons are not usually at the forefront of a coach’s mind, however, and when you spend time ferrying your kids back and forth, it can often slip to the bottom of your priority list as well. After all, you’ve got to remember where the practice has been scheduled, remember to get the kids there on time AND the gear – something’s bound to slip your mind.
Arguably the most important aspect of the children/sports/nutrition triangle, and the one easiest to overlook, is hydration. Sure, we send our kids to practice and games with a water bottle – but do we make sure that they drink it all? And is the beverage that we’ve given them the best choice? How many of us have seen the swarm of players at the end of a game, grabbing a sugar sweetened drink pouch and thought to yourself, “Is that really the best beverage choice for a player who has just run for an hour?” Let’s take a look at hydration as it relates to the child or teen athlete.