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For May 26, 2017

  • A High-Protein Diet May Increase Need For Calcium
    A High-Protein Diet May Increase Need For Calcium


    Japanese Study Confirms Earlier Reports A high-protein diet, especially from meat, may lead to an increased rate of calcium excretion in the urine, according to a study of 755 Japanese men and women. This means that those who eat diets high in protein, especially animal protein, may need to consume more calcium than those who eat less protein- rich diets, study author Roichi Itoh of the Tokyo Kasei Gakuin University in Tokyo reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If individuals with a high meat intake do not also receive enough calcium, they may be at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, Itoh noted. The study confirms the results of previous studies indicating that diets high in protein, especially animal protein, adversely affect calcium retention, she said. It has been hypothesized that calcium is lost with high-protein intake because of the increase in the glomerular filtration rate and the decrease in renal reabsorption of calcium, according to the study authors. Oatmeal for Energy Studies Show Momma's Stick-to-Your-Ribs Breakfast Powers Your Workout Many cold mornings mothers have given their children hot oatmeal before sending them off to school, because they knew that the oatmeal would stick to their ribs and keep them warm and alert till lunch. Well, chalk up another point for mother's wisdom. The latest study has shown that oatmeal can boost exercise capacity, increase endurance and extend workout time. Women who ate oatmeal 45 minutes before exercising on a stationary bike were able to maintain a designated speed for 15 minutes longer than those who ate a sweetened breakfast cereal. The women were also able to stay on the bicycle 40 minutes longer. Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber and thus its carbohydrate energy is released into the body slowly. Carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into the blood will cause insulin levels to rise quickly and result in hypoglycemia when the sugar is cleared from the blood. Because oatmeal is slowly broken down into carbohydrate, this slow release prevents a rapid rise in insulin and the accompanying hypoglycemia.The high concentration of protein in the oatmeal may also help slow the breakdown of the carbohydrate. So for anyone who needs long-lasting fuel for prolonged exercise and endurance sports, oatmeal may be the breakfast of choice. This natural wholesome food kept you going strong as a child and it will do the same thing for you now.

    Protein Increases Glycogen Storage Dramatic Insulin Response Protein intake during the post-exercise phase has received more attention recently in a article published in Training and Conditioning. Jean Storlie, R. D. states that combining protein with carbohydrate in the post-exercise meal increased glycogen synthesis. The maximum response from carbohydrates is between 0.55 - 0.68 grams per pound. By adding protein, you get a more dramatic insulin response which, in turn, stimulates glycogen synthesis. Consequently, the article now recommends including a protein source at 40 percent of the carbohydrate dose immediately post-exercise and at two-hour intervals to enhance glycogen repletion.

    Example: Carbohydrates = 0.5 grams/lb X 150 lb = 75 grams Protein = 40% of carbohydrate dose = 0.40 X 75 grams = 30 grams

  • The Supermeal
    The Supermeal

    Remember how Mom always used to warn you "Skip breakfast and you're asking for a tidal wave of neuropeptide Y two hours after lunch"? Okay, maybe she didn't put it so technically. But she undoubtedly said that breakfast is the most critical meal of the day.

    Nutrition researchers, of course, reached the same conclusion long ago. Skipping breakfast, they found, can slow your metabolic rate. In fact, studies from the Mayo Clinic show that breakfast eaters burn up to 150 more calories per day than do those people who don't eat breakfast. Also, "eating breakfast is a good way to short-circuit after-lunch cravings," says Dr. Wayne Callaway, a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic. Researchers have found that when underfed lab rats are finally given a meal, levels of neuropeptide Y -- the neurotransmitter that triggers the snacking impulse -- skyrocket, causing the animals to binge even though they're full. And studies of school kids have shown that skipping breakfast can turn your thinking to mush. Breakfast truly is, as the Zulus call it, indlakusasa, or the "strength meal." Here are some simple ways to maximize its benefits.

  • Follow the 25 percent rule.
  • Breakfast should account for at least a quarter of your daily calories, says Callaway. Some men do better by dividing the day's allotment into thirds, while others prefer a breakfast-lunch-dinner ratio of 30-40-30. No matter which pattern works best for you, he says, if you can adhere to it for three weeks, your appetite will naturally "lock on" to the routine. How much food are we talking about? Consider this example: If a 30-year-old man weighs 160 pounds, stands 5 foot 10, and works out regularly, he'll burn about 2,640 calories a day. He could eat 2 pieces of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of margarine and 2 tablespoons of honey (322 calories); 1 cup of Wheaties with a half-cup of skim milk (144 calories); 5 strips of bacon (163 calories); 1 banana (116 calories); 1 cup of coffee with whole milk (20 calories); and 4 ounces of orange juice (56 calories). The total: 821 calories, or 31 percent of his daily fuel requirement.

  • Eat carbs first.
  • When you sleep, your body is in a fasting state; to fuel metabolism and brain function, it uses carbohydrates stored as glycogen. So when you wake up, "your body still has plenty of fat to burn, but what you don't have is very many carbohydrates," explains James Hill, Ph.D., the associate director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado in Denver. Refuel with a breakfast that is high in carbohydrates -- whole-grain cereal and toast or a bagel, plus a piece of fruit.

  • Choose whole grains.
  • High-fiber, whole-grain carbohydrates contain more nutrients than refined, processed ones do, and they'll make you feel fuller for longer periods. Select whole-wheat toast, hot oatmeal, or a cold cereal, such as bran flakes or shredded wheat, with at least five grams of fiber per serving.

  • Have some java.
  • Caffeine increases the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters involved in mental acuity, says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., a cognitive-science researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wurtman, the author of Managing Your Mind & Mood Through Food, calls caffeinated beverages "probably the most potent mind-alerting component of breakfast." Just a cup or two should do the trick.

  • Catch a protein lift.
  • Wurtman believes that a breakfast delivering at least an ounce of protein can enhance mental function by providing the brain with tyrosine, a chemical necessary for alertness. You can get that from one cup of yogurt or from a two-egg omelet.

    From Mensjournal.com, by Jim Thornton

  • Dan Wirth - Eating and Nutrition Tips
    Dan Wirth - Eating and Nutrition Tips

    Dan wrote this advice in response to a Fitrex member's question. It has been edited for use as an article.

    The longer I am in the fitness profession the more I see how important good nutrition is. Good nutrition will give you more energy, enhance recovery, reduce bodyfat, help to increase your muscle mass, prevent injuries, reduce lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, and, well, you get the picture. Many people get frustrated about what is the best way to achieve a better eating plan. I understand! There is big money in the nutrition industry and so much advertising out there. They're all trying to tell you who has the best diet or what new supplement invention will make you the next Mr. or Ms. America.

    I will give you what I feel are 4 of the most important points to achieving better nutrition. They are simple to understand and easy to do.

    First Point - Try to eat more foods that we all know are healthy. Things like fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat protein sources like chicken and fish, unprocessed grains like real oatmeal (not the brown sugar and cinnamon packets)! and whole wheat breads. Try to reduce your intake of foods that we all know are not so healthy. Things like candy, pop, Captain Crunch, Burger King, etc. By simply doing this you will put yourself in line to achieve those benefits I talked about earlier.

    Second Point - Try to eat at least 4 times per day. Don't skip breakfast and then load up in the evening when you're less active and more prone to storing those calories as fat. When I say eat 4 times a day, I don't mean 4 big sit-down meals -- eat less, but more frequently. This will help to keep your metabolism healthy which is very important as we get into our 30's. It will also give you a much more even energy level throughout the day and you won't feel so dead when you get home from work. Better energy means better production at your job, in your social life, with your training program, etc.

    Third Point - Drink tons of water! At least a gallon a day. We have all heard this but very few of us make it a point to actually do it. Get into the habit of carrying a water bottle with you to the gym or keep one on your desk at work. I have seen fantastic responses with our clients at Select Fitness and with the athletes at the University when they simply drink more water. Drinking water helps to flush your system of waste products brought on by stress, pollution, and yes, exercise. It can reduce the occurrence of headaches, increase physical performance levels, and reduce the effects of muscle soreness and injury. The next time you feel a little fatigued, try drinking a glass of ice cold water. I guarantee you that five minutes later you will feel better. The human body is mostly water and by not drinking enough it's like running your car with low oil levels all the time! Trust me on this one, it works!

    Fourth Point - Take a quality multivitamin\mineral supplement on a daily basis. This will help guard against any minor nutritional deficiencies that you may have if you don't eat perfect all the time. There have been numerous studies in the last 20 years that point to the advantages of getting the right amount of vitamins in your diet. Immune system function, and protection against cardiovascular disease are just two of the major benefits of optimal vitamin and mineral levels. I feel we have the best vitamin and mineral supplement on the market. The reason it's the best is because of the quality ingredients, clean manufacturing and low cost ($24.00 dollars per month). There are many good nutritional companies out there but many of them overcharge for their products. Check out the Foundation Pack in the Supplement Section of Fitrex.com.

    O.K., if you just try to do the above you will be better off than 90% of the general population! A little bit of thought process and organization is all it takes. If you want to get a little more advanced, read on:

    Fifth Point - Multiply your bodyweight in pounds by the number 13. This will give you a solid number of the amount of calories needed to function. If you want to lose or gain weight, increase or decrease this amount by 500 calories on a daily basis. The amount of calories one should eat is based on many things so you may have to adjust your intake levels slightly to dial in to what's best for you!

    • 50% of your calories should come from quality carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grain products)
    • 25% of your calories should come from quality low fat protein sources (chicken, fish, egg whites, soy products)
    • 25% of your calories should come from quality fat sources (nuts, seeds, avocados, flax seed oil, olive oil)


    Calories: If you weigh 180 lb. you would need approximately 2400 calories a day. A little more if you are very active. 180 x 13 = 2,350 calories.

    Carbohydrates: 2,400 x .50 = 1,200 calories from carbohydrates or 300 grams of carbohydrates (carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram).

    Protein: 2,400 x .25 = 600 calories from protein or 150 grams of protein (protein has 4 calories per gram).

    Fat: 2,400 x .25 = 600 calories from fat or 66 grams of fat (fat has 9 calories per gram).

    Again, if you are very active, especially if you are doing more cardiovascular work you will need to increase your caloric intake primarily in the form of carbohydrates!

    This is a basic example that will start to get you on the right page when it comes to the amounts of foods you should be eating. These steps require a little more work but they can be valuable to know if you want to maximize your health. If you would like more information you should pick up a copy of "Nutrition Made Simple" by Robert Crayhon (published by M. Evans and Company). Robert is a certified nutritionist and owns two nutrition practices in New York. He has an easy-to-read writing style and sees the big picture when it comes to quality nutrition!

    Dan Wirth M.A., C.S.C.S.
    Fitness Director (Fitrex.com)
    Director of Strength and Conditioning
    The University of Arizona
  • Interval training.
    Interval training.

    Interval training is a special training technique that involves periods of higher intensity exercise interspersed with periods of rest or light activity. These intervals, which can be used to enhance competitive performance in a specific sport or to improve general fitness can vary in the following ways:

    1. Intensity and duration of the exercise period.
    2. Intensity and duration of the rest period.

    Depending on how the workout varies an athlete can train the specific energy system necessary to develop his or her specific fitness goal.

  • Gear Up: Finding Your Ideal Sports Bra
    Gear Up: Finding Your Ideal Sports Bra

    Comfort or Bust: Great Sports Bras

    (Prevention, September 1999) � Sports bras are looking more like regular bras, complete with hooks, cup sizes and even underwire. Sounds like a step backward, right? We thought so, too, until we tried out two of those new styles.

    Surprisingly, even reluctant testers found them comfy. The underwire didn't jab on either one, but provided good support. The padded, adjustable straps didn't dig into shoulders. Favorite feature: back hooks -- no more looking like Houdini trying to get out of a straitjacket.

    One tester found these bras so comfortable that it "felt like not having a bra on at all." Two others liked them more than their everyday bras and wore them to the office.

    These sports bras with cups -- referred to as encapsulation-type sports bras -- offer more support and better fit for larger breasted women than the more traditional Ace-bandage-type sports bras. Some styles even offer cup sizes up to DD.

    (We tested Champion Jog-bra style #161, and Speedo by Warner's style #1900, available in department stores for $30 to $40.)

  • Athletic Performance - Study of Hockey Goalies Nets Surprise
    Athletic Performance - Study of Hockey Goalies Nets Surprise

    (Mayo Clinic) Imagine that you're watching a youth hockey game between equally matched teams. One goalie's heart is racing. The other goalie's heart rate is much slower, beating closer to a normal rate. Which goalie do you think will perform better?

    Many people would expect a better performance from the goalie whose heart rate is slower. However, a new study suggests the opposite: Young hockey goalies with faster heart rates tend to make more saves than those who become less physiologically aroused in competitive settings.

    The finding was a surprise to long-time hockey fan and sports psychologist Aynsley M. Smith, R.N., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, Rochester, Minn. She is the lead author of a study that examines how age, anxiety and physiologic arousal affected athletic performance in 43 participants (ages 10 to 18) at a youth hockey camp. The researchers, whose initial study was published in the January 1998 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, had theorized that goalies would not sustain remarkably high heart rates because they generally don't skate around as much as other players.

    But the study showed that goalies had slower average heart rates when skating around the rink in full equipment during warm-up than while standing in the net waiting for shots. The average resting heart rate among the goalies was 81 beats per minute. During the action, however, heart rates soared to an average maximum of more than twice the average resting rate. In general, they sustained higher-than-expected heart rates while they were in the net � even the goalies who encountered very few shots.

    "We found that the better-performing goalies � defined as those who stopped 100 percent of the shots � were older, had faster heart rates and had slightly lower anxiety scores than the goalies who made less than 70 percent saves," Smith said. Researchers used electrodes under the goalkeeping equipment to measure the heart rates of goalies as they rotated through each of six skill stations. The anxiety scores were assessed through questionnaires that the participants filled out.

    Smith theorizes that the faster heart rate is related to increased secretion of epinephrine (adrenaline), a hormone that stimulates the heart and increases muscle strength in high-intensity situations. After the action, the goalies generally reported being unaware of how fast their hearts were beating while they played in the net.

    "We previously thought that if you were tense and your heart was racing, you would not perform well. We've found � and it seems to be borne out in other peoples' research as well � that athletes can be quite calm in terms of anxiety, but their heart rate may increase substantially in anticipation, in a positive way, when they are in a demanding athletic situation. This higher level of arousal seems to facilitate eye-hand response time," Smith said.

    Why conduct such a study?

    There are several reasons to learn how the body responds to various physical demands, including sports. As an example, say a teen-ager with a heart condition wants a doctor's permission to play hockey goalie. Without such a study, the doctor would have little scientific evidence about the position's demands upon which to determine whether the teen-ager should play for a whole game, part of a game, or not at all. Such implications also may be of interest to coaches and exercise physiologists.

    Quite separately from the above example, there are other reasons to study the relationship between physiologic arousal and athletic performance. Athletes, coaches and sports scientists look for "zones" of optimal performance. For example, a basketball player may consistently hit a higher percentage of her shots in the second half. Sports scientists may ask what factors help explain her pattern of finding her "zone" later in games. Is she highly anxious when the game begins? Is her warm-up routine too subdued to get her "into the game" in the first half?

    It's likely that different athletes have different optimal performance "zones," but there may be certain physiologic states that generally better prepare the mind and body for specific athletic demands. Too much arousal (i.e., a very high heart rate) may be as detrimental to performance as too little arousal, says Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., co-director of the Mayo Sports Medicine Center. What athletes may be looking for is the optimal performance zone between those extremes.

    The hockey study creates a baseline of data to learn where the optimal zone of functioning is for hockey goalies. It's not the first time that a study has found an optimal zone of heart rate to be faster than previously believed. For example, it was once believed that marksmen were most accurate when they slowed their heart rate down � slow enough to squeeze off a round between heart beats. But when the heart rates of Olympic marksmen were measured during shooting, those whose hearts slowed to below their resting rate actually performed the worst. The better-performing shooters had a heart rate between 8 and 50 beats per minute higher than their resting rate, according to research by Daniel Landers, Ph.D., of Arizona State University.

    Down the road

    Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and elsewhere are conducting further research with more sophisticated, "real-time" physiologic measurements of athletes during various types of competition. "We are learning more and more with each study on older goalies performing at higher levels of competition," Smith says. One of the goals of these newer studies is to evaluate the effects (including possible negative effects) of athletic competition, particularly in high-profile "solo" positions, such as baseball pitchers, football quarterbacks and hockey goalkeepers. Besides heart rate, Mayo researchers are measuring athletes' release of stress hormones that may be associated with negative health effects such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

    � 1995-1999, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

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