Nutrition

Managing Post-Workout Hunger

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Of the various hormones in the human body, there are two hormones whose primary responsibility is regulating hunger, these are:

  • Ghrelin – Which signals that you’re hungry
  • Leptin – Which signals that you’re full

Some people are hungry after a workout while some are not. Typically, hunger won’t kick in until a few hours or so but there are several factors that can cause hunger in these situations. Here are some reasons why you’re hungry and how it can be fixed.

Not eating enough before workout

It’s common for some individuals to fast before a workout in order to achieve weight loss. However, by going this route, one is could end up going a good number of hours without any fuel. As a result, one is going to experience mild to severe hunger after workout.

Fix this by fueling with a small high energy snack or combine with protein depending on your goal.

Some ideas include:

  • Apple sauce
  • Energy gel
  • Piece of fruit
  • Energy chews
  • Carb + protein (liquid)

Not drinking enough fluids

Staying hydrated is imperative for performance but many don’t hydrate properly. At times, one may feel hungry but it can be mistaken for thirst, so don’t be afraid to drink a cup of water. During more intense workouts or workouts lasting longer than 1 hour, a sports drink is suggested. Coming into a workout dehydrated or relatively close to it, ghrelin will kick in telling you that you’re hungry during and/or after workout.

  • Weigh yourself before and after workouts – For every 1lb lost, drink 16-24 oz. of water.

 

Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

EPOC is the oxygen uptake above resting values used to restore the body to the pre-exercise condition.  Some of the elements during EPOC are the re-synthesis of ATP, glycogen, protein and restoration of oxygen levels. These elements are refueled from nutrition. After workouts, our energy substrates are low which causes a need for refuel leading to hunger.

 

 

Baechle Thomas R., Earle Roger W., Essentials of strength and conditioning, National Strength and Conditioning Association; Third edition.

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen

https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Performance%20Hydration%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

 

By Jesse Rodriguez

Jesse is a nutritional science major with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Jesse swam for the El Salvador national team and competed at the international level. Jesse is currently working towards a CSCS and registered dietitian license. He currently works at UCLA as a sports nutrition intern assisting both dietitians with meal plans, body composition, and education materials. Jesse is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

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How Vitamin C and Gelatin Supplementation Influence Tendon and Ligament Health

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By Daniel Goebel

As athletes, we are always pushing ourselves to new limits, and putting our bodies in constant forms of exertion. The more we exert ourselves, the more our body is being tested. For major repetitive sports such as football, rugby, and long distance running, the body is repetitively exerting forces on the joints and incurring fatigue as the exertion grows. As this prolongs, musculoskeletal injuries arise. But what can be done to try and help prevent these injuries from occurring? What better way than to reduce injuries and prepare you better for prolonged and sustained exercise with a simple gelatin enriched with vitamin C? Researched conducted by Shaw et al. shows how repetitive stress exercises coupled with gelatin enriched with vitamin C prior to exercise helped build tendon and ligament strength, which thus promoted injury prevention and tissue repair.

Tendons and ligaments respond to exercise in much different ways than muscles do[1]. For muscles, there is a large amount of blood flow that continuously circulates to the muscle, specifically following a high intensity workout. For tendons and ligaments, it’s a little different. Tendons are essentially avascular, with no blood flow coming to them. As Baar mentioned in his podcast on Sigma Nutrition with Danny Lennon, tendons are like a sponge. Nutrients in the blood flow don’t go directly towards tendons, but tendons need to receive nutrients in some way. When you squeeze all water out of a sponge and you put the sponge back into a liquid environment, the sponge expands and sucks all of the nutrients, or excess materials, from the environment. That’s essentially what happens in the cartilage of your ligaments and tendons. Every time you impact the ground or exert a load against a tendon, water is squeezed out. As the tendon recovers, that water is sucked back into the extracellular matrix and with it comes with any nutrient that’s in the blood at that moment. That’s where the nutrient intervention comes into place. In order for the blood and extracellular matrix to have the collagen and necessary nutrients in place for that tendon recovery phase, intervention needs to take place about an hour before the workout.

Collagen is a protein found in our bodies that is the most abundant fibers in our connective tissue. Collagen binds our cells together, to create the strongest form of connective tissue possible. As we increase our collagen by nutritional or exercise intervention, the connective tissue strength is improved. The role of vitamin C in the production of collagen is to interact with amino acids within collagen cells. It adds hydrogen and oxygen[2]. Baar noted that 50 mg of vitamin C was all that needed to be given prior to exercise in order to promote the interaction between amino acids in collagen cells.

Selected Food Sources of Vitamin C[3]

Food Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent (%) DV*
Red pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup 95 158
Orange juice, ¾ cup 93 155
Orange, 1 medium 70 117
Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup 70 117
Kiwifruit, 1 medium 64 107
Green pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup 60 100
Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup 51 85
Strawberries, fresh, sliced, ½ cup 49 82
Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup 48 80
Grapefruit, ½ medium 39 65

Gelatin was shown to have an almost doubling effect on collagen synthesis when 15 g of gelatin, a natural byproduct derived from animal skin, bones and tendons, was used[4]. Bone broth, an example of gelatin, creates gelatin when boiling bones. The collagen is getting broken down, when cooled it forms jello.

This is extremely helpful in recovering from injury, as when gelatin is intervened into the diet prior to a workout and then exercises are loaded to the area of the injury, the nutrients will be guided towards that area of the body. For baseball pitchers, they would ingest gelatin prior to exercise, then throw or do resistance band work to activate the ligament through this fatigue-based damage to then promote the uptake of nutrients. For long distance runners, jump roping for five minutes will activate the tibial stress fractures, hip stress fractures, Achilles problems or plantar fasciitis in order for the cells to get a response.

Adding vitamin-enriched gelatin is an easy and effective way to promote tendon and ligament health.

 

[1] Baar, Keith. “SSE #142 Training and Nutrition to prevent soft tissue injuries and accelerate return

to play” Gatorade Sports Science Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

[2] “Vitamin C and Collagen.” A Moment of Science – Indiana Public Media. N.p., 27 Sept. 2003. Web.

[3] “Vitamin C.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web.

[4] Murphy, Pam. “Sources of Gelatin.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 18 Nov. 2015. Web.

 

Daniel Goebel received his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Westmont College. Daniel played baseball at Westmont. Daniel currently works at UCLA as a Performance Nutrition Intern assisting in distributing planned meals and recovery snacks, body composition evaluation as well as creating education material. Daniel is working towards his Register Dietitian license. Daniel is a member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

 

How Vitamins Affect Sports Performance

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By Jesse Rodriguez

An apple a day keeps the doctor away right? Not quite since dietary guidelines recommended us to consume ~3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Vegetables, specifically, are overlooked but they shouldn’t as they are superfoods. Mom was right when nagging us about eating our veggies at the dinner table.

Vitamins are our main focus here and how it can help performance. There are two types of vitamins:

  • Water soluble – Vitamins B and C
  • Fat soluble – Vitamin A, D, E, and K
*Vitamins A, C, and E have antioxidant effects

The difference between the two are the elements of metabolism. Some water-soluble vitamins require digestion while some don’t, however, they are all absorbed in the small intestine then transported through the blood to their target areas. Similarly, some fat-soluble vitamins require digestion while some don’t. In order to get absorbed, it must be incorporated into a micelle with the help of bile. The micelle then gets absorbed into the intestinal cells by passive diffusion in the small intestine. Those with diseases or complications may have trouble absorbing vitamins or producing the necessary enzymes for metabolism.

Vitamins help performance in many ways such as serving as antioxidants to reduce inflammation or working with minerals such as calcium to promote bone strength. Furthermore, some fruits can serve as a pre-workout packed with carbohydrates with a low glycemic index providing a steady dose of carbs throughout the workout. Additionally, fruits contain fructose, a simple sugar, that is digested quickly aiding in glycogen replenishment. Because vitamins have various benefits, I will cover only a handful of fruits and vegetables that can help your health and performance.

  • Fish, Beef, Yogurt, Milk, Chicken – Vitamin B12
    • Helps formation of red blood cells
    • Maintain brain function
    • Create and breakdown protein and fat
  • Pears – Vitamins C, K, B3, B6, B9
    • Increase energy levels
    • Aids in digestion
    • Decrease blood pressure
  • Cucumbers – Vitamins C, K, B1, B7
    • Aids in protection of brain
    • Increase digestive health
    • Decreases stress
    • Freshens your breath!
  • Milk, Eggs, – Vitamin D
    • Increase bone strength
    • May increase musculoskeletal health
    • May improve muscle efficiency
  • Oranges, Carrots, Milk – Vitamin A
    • Aid in vision and cellular differentiation
    • Promotes eye health
    • Antioxidant effects helping in muscle recovery

To summarize, vitamins are imperative to our health and can aid in performance. Add a banana or apple to your mid-day snack. You can also try things like carrots with hummus, celery sticks with peanut butter or steamed broccoli with your dinner. Eating your servings of fruits and vegetables doesn’t have be boring so mix it in with your daily foods. Eating a balanced diet includes all food groups containing vitamins which are important for different functions in the body

 

Jesse Rodriguez is a nutritional science major with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Jesse swam for the El Salvador national team and competed at the international level. Jesse is currently working towards a CSCS and registered dietitian license. He currently works at UCLA as a sports nutrition intern assisting both dietitians with meal plans, body composition, and education materials. Jesse is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

Prebiotics vs Probiotics

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By Jesse Rodriguez

Gut bacteria has been a trend lately, and there is a good reason why its talked about but what is gut bacteria? And why is it good?

Let’s talk about the bacteria in our gut. Our bodies contain about 100 trillion bacteria living in our gut, also known as Microbiome. Microbiome synthesize neurotransmitters that communicate to the brain impacting our immune system, brain, weight, and mood. It’s also important to know that one’s genetics, diet, and environment influence these microbes.

Many people have heard about prebiotic and probiotic but what are they? Both are found in supplements but there’s no need to cash in on these supplements when they’re readily available in our everyday foods.

  • Prebiotic – “nondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, thus improving host health”
  • Probiotic – “live microorganisms (i.e bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) intended to promote health benefits”

Simply put, prebiotics promote the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut while probiotics are the good bacteria that live in the gut; prebiotics are the food for probiotics. They work together to improve GI health, enhance calcium absorption, boost immunity, and overall health and wellbeing. As a result, they may positively impact your health which then affects performance ultimately affecting your goals. Because prebiotics are fiber, adequate intake has been shown to:

  • Control appetite
  • Control development of Type II diabetes
  • Regulate body weight
  • Alleviate inflammation, typically irritable bowel syndrome

Because these are found in many foods, here is a list of common foods containing prebiotics and probiotics or containing both, called synbiotics:

Prebiotic foods:

  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Soybeans
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Leeks
  • Chicory

Probiotic Foods:

  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Pickles
  • Green Peas
  • Kefir products
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Natto

Synbiotic Foods:

  • Yogurt + Honey
  • Yogurt + Banana
  • Oats + Dark Chocolate
  • Legumes + Pickles
  • Miso Soup + Garlic

Incorporate these meals into your diet as a snack or dinner to increase your overall wellbeing.

(2016) Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitaminsand-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/prebiotics-and-probiotics-the-dynamic-duo

Ho, N., & Prasad, V. (2013). Probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics and naturally fermented foods: why more may be more. Annals of Gastroenterology : Quarterly Publication of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology, 26(3), 277–278.

Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417– 1435. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu5041417

 

 

Jesse Rodriguez is a nutritional science major with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Jesse swam for the El Salvador national team and competed at the international level. Jesse is currently working towards a CSCS and registered dietitian license. He currently works at UCLA as a sports nutrition intern assisting both dietitians with meal plans, body composition, and education materials. Jesse is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

Feedback Systems & Diet

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Are We Asking the Right Questions?

Our comprehension of nutrition is fundamentally flawed. This topic is taught very frequently in terms of independent and isolated variables (consider the controversies surrounding isolated Vitamin C consumption). In some respects, this can be useful. We can use the isolation of variables in conjunction with the scientific method to determine cause and effect, a variable’s relationship to our health, and so on.

But what we tend to overlook is the bigger picture. This includes the why, as well as the association between variables. To delve into this idea further, let’s consider some food as well as its respective feedback systems.

Natural Foods

Our relationship with organisms which fall within our diet is complex and has its basis in evolution, and natural selection.

Some of these organisms, like fruits, directly benefit from their relationship with consumers. When such a fruit is filled with more nutrients, it is more likely to be consumed by a greater variety of organisms thus spreading the fruit’s seed further and further. Over millions of years, this creates a feedback cycle which continues to perpetuate the qualities which its consumers find the most beneficial.

In this case, the benefit to the various consumers are an influx of nutrients, be it vitamins, minerals, or macronutrients such as carbohydrates. Therefore, the consumers must also evolve to have the fastest access to this food source.

In some instances, the producer can also screen its consumers–consider the various defense mechanisms fruits have against bacteria and viruses. This occurs because viruses cause the seed to sprout in close proximity to the parent plant, creating competition within the species (killing out these weaker, disease prone genes in a species over time).

Processed and Designer Foods

The feedback system of these foodstuffs are entirely different. Here, the feedback loop encourages food to be designed to meet consumer demands. This demand is traditionally taste or convenience.

Even when processed foods are labeled as ‘healthy’ in some form or fashion, be it gluten free, fat free, sugar free, etc., the feedback isn’t necessarily creating health, but rather the image of health, while still encouraging mass-market appeal via taste and branding campaigns.

A Bigger Picture Approach

As an individual focusing on your diet, it can be far too time-consuming to hone in on specific nutrients when we can consider bigger-picture concepts, such as this idea of feedback systems within our dietary choices.

Consider why have you been presented with a particular food, or even a particular piece of information. Will a food genuinely benefit you? Who else is benefiting from the food you are about to consume?

When you consistently ask these questions, you can begin to notice patterns in the world around you, as well as motives of those involved in a particular system, and so on. A purely ‘paleo’ style diet, which this post may seem to favor, may particularly benefit few individuals (i.e. those selling books or paleo-friendly supplements), but this can be a good place to start for those new to dieting. Especially over diets which ignore food choice as long as caloric intake and macronutrient breakdown are met.