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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • How I do Triathlons and The Equipment Involved: Part 2

    By Erica Davis screen-shot-2012-07-16-at-84803-pm

    Hand-cycling for me is the equivalent to most people riding a bike.  People either see someone riding a racing chair or a handcycle.  The racing chair is what we use for the run portion in a triathlon.  There are different body positions for both of these types of equipment.

    On the handcycle, most riders are low to the ground and extend their legs straight out front of them while their backs are leaned back.  Sometimes people make comments at us about taking a nap, which is definitely possible. :)  We also get a lot of stares and comments from kids who say how cool our bikes look or tell their parents that they want one.  If they only knew…

    So unlike when you're riding a bike and your legs turning in two motions, our arms go together.  You won't be able to see that in the picture, but you will be able to see the position I am in.  Because the muscle you have to put into powering a handcycle requires your arm muscles, which are much smaller than leg muscles, we typically do not go as fast. The only time we really kick it into high gear- speed wise- is, you guessed it, on a downhill.

    Speaking of hills, uphill is definitely not our strong suit.  And please people, if you see us out riding, the smart ones of us will use a flag but there's not a whole lot more we can do.  I know that I always look out for all cars in case they are not looking out for us but you never can be too careful.

    My mission is to get to get out there and ride and have fun.  If this is how it is of how we get to be out and ride, then we take the risk just like any other cyclist.  But we do what we can just like we all do in order to have fun, train, and race.

    Enjoy the ride people, Enjoy the ride.

  • The Many Benefits of Chia

    The Many Health Benefits of Chia

    The word “Chia” is derived from the Mayan word for strength, because the Mayans and Aztecs fully understood the power that one can derive from these amazing seeds. Quite often, manufacturers and sellers will drastically overstate the health benefits associated with a seed or supplement, but the benefits of chia are backed up by science as well as history.

    In the early Aztec and Mayan empires, people knew there was something special about chia. These seeds, which come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, comprised one of four essential grains used as part of everyday consumption, and were also incorporated into medicines and used by Aztec warriors as a source of strength and vitality.

    Fast-forward more than 5,000 years, and scientists are coming to prove what the Aztecs and Mayans knew all along: Chia is an amazing nutrient source. For starters, chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than fatty acids. These fats are essential for human health, but most people do not get enough of them. Chia seeds are also so rich in antioxidants that the seeds can be stored for extremely long periods of time without becoming rancid.

    But omega-3's and antioxidants are just the tip of the iceberg. Chia is also very rich in fiber, as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous and zinc. It can enhance the nutritional value of other food when used as an additive, and with its nut-like flavor, it can enhance the taste of your favorite foods as well.

    For these reasons and more, chia is being heralded as a “superfood.” You may have heard a lot about other superfoods like blueberries, broccoli, spinach and salmon, and these foods are all great, but many of them contain only a subset of the vast array of nutrients that you will find in chia. For instance, blueberries—like chia—contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, but they lack the omega-3 fatty acids. With its diverse selection of nutrients, vitamins and essential fats, chia is arguably the perfect food.

    Chia can be consumed in many ways. The grain is completely beneficial on its own, and unlike flax, you can derive its benefits without grinding the seeds. You can also use chia as a food additive or as a liquid. Unlike most seeds, you can even find chia in gel form, which is extremely beneficial in its own right. The gel causes a reaction in the stomach, drastically slowing the conversion process of carbohydrates into sugar. Chia gel can also help to balance your electrolytes.

    Like the Aztecs and the Mayans who lived centuries ago, you can enhance your own health and vitality by incorporating chia into your everyday diet. Whether you want to increase your energy or just ensure that you get those essential vitamins and nutrients every day, chia can set you on the right path.  Check out our Chia gel, Chia Surge.

  • Chia: A Miracle Food in the Aztec Empire and the Modern World

    Health food stores are flooded with seeds, seasonings and supplements that promise some amazing benefits, but there is one incredible seed that has remained largely under the radar in modern times, despite centuries of cultivation. That seed, of course, is chia. Chia boasts numerous health benefits, and has been promoted by health experts like Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Mehmet Oz, but what exactly is chia and where does it come from? This history of this miracle food is just as remarkable as its benefits.

    By most estimations, chia consumption is believed to date back to approximately 3,500 B.C. The chia seed comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which belongs to the mint family. The plant grows most abundantly in southern Mexico, and was an everyday part of the Aztec and Mayan diets more than 5,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that between 1,500 and 900 B.C., chia was even an important cash crop in the Aztec empire.

    During their golden age, chia seeds were used and consumed in a myriad of different ways. They could be enjoyed by themselves, mixed with other grains, mixed with water to create beverages, ground into flour, incorporated into various medicines, and pressed into a liquid base for face and body paints. Chia seeds were even traded as currency and presented to the gods during important religious ceremonies.

    The ancient Aztecs actually consumed four essential grains on a daily basis: maize (corn), beans, amaranth, and of course, chia. Incidentally, the combination of these four grains satisfies the current Food and Agriculture Organization-World Health Organization (FAO-WHO) guidelines for healthy eating. Clearly the Aztecs were ahead of their time.

    These seeds were not only consumed for everyday sustenance. They were even essential to Aztec warriors, who could sustain themselves for 24 hours on a single tablespoon. Even the Aztecs' enemies saw how vital and important these seeds were to the culture, health and religion of early Mexico, and the Spanish sought to do something about it.

    When the Spanish conquistadors invaded Latin America, they quickly outlawed the cultivation of chia. Hernando Cortez, who led the invasion, sought to subjugate the Aztecs, and believed that the suppression of chia would serve as a huge blow to the Mesoamericans. The Aztecs, after all, believed that chia had religious significance, supplying them with almost supernatural power. The Spaniards succeeded in eliminating chia from daily life, and it soon became an obscure and almost forgotten crop.

    In recent years, chia has made an incredible comeback, as many scientists have come to the conclusion that the diet of these early Americans was far superior to the typical American diet today. Chia has become popular not only in the United States for its nutrients, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, but it has made an impressive comeback in Mexico as well. It remains a traditional food of the Tarahumara and Chumash peoples of Chiuahua.

    Vitalyte's Chia Surge is a revolutionary new energy gel for runners and athletes looking for a healthier, more natural boost during grueling challenges.

  • How I Do Triathlons. By Erica Davis

    By Erica DavisErica Davis, Vitalyte Brand Ambassador

    This is the first blog of a three-part series to explain to you, my dear readers, and to give you a mental image of how I, as a challenged athlete, do triathlons.  So, since the first leg of a triathlon is swimming, here goes…

    If you don't do this already, try swimming with a pool buoy in between your legs so you are only swimming with your arms while the pool buoy holds your legs up. Then, try to avoid using your abs on top of not using your legs!  Swim with your arms and your arms only.

    I have a two piece wetsuit that, while  in the pool, I wear just the wetsuit bottom. In the ocean I will wear a full wetsuit.  Then, I put on braces that go from the back of my thighs down to my calves, keeping my legs straight.  Next, I put on a strap that goes around both legs - binding them together.

    As mentioned, try to swim without using your abs. I have very limited control of my abs- so if I roll over too far, I could throw off my swim stroke. Despite my limited abdominal control, swimming is a great workout for both my arms and my abs, for they help in any way they can.

    All in all, we can get our swim technique looking pretty good just like anyone else even though we don't have as much power without our ability to kick.  So, knowing that, it definitely feels good when I pass someone in a race!  Its just all about adaptions and figuring out what works for you, no matter your situation.

    My next blog will be on handcycling which is the bike portion of my triathlon.  Thanks for reading!

  • Vitalyte Wins Again! by Soren Thompson

    By Soren Thompsonscreen-shot-2012-06-25-at-838

    Once again Vitalyte has helped me succeed in a tough competition environment.  The Pan Am Zonal Championships held this past week in Cancun is possibly the most important competition for seeding going into the London Olympics.  My goal was to do great at the event, but when I arrived I immediately knew it would be a challenge.

    Outside the weather was extremely hot and humid while inside the gym was frigid and dry from excessive air conditioning.  Vitalyte kept me perfectly hydrated allowing me to maintain my physical and mental stamina the whole competition long.  I was at my best during the final matches when it mattered most.

    Thanks once again, Vitalyte!

  • Rock Your Tri with Tri Rock and Vitalyte

    As a premier sports nutrition company, Vitalyte strives to surround ourselves with the best. That is why we are so proud to be the official on-course gel and sports beverage of the 2012 TriRock Series. Competitor Group, pioneers of the road race industry, has brought fun, rock n’ roll, and an unbeatable atmosphere first to the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series, and now to their Tri Rock Triathlon series. With live bands lining the course each leg of the race, the energy, passion, and competition simply can’t be beat.

    Six races make up the TriRock Series over the span of seven months. Vitalyte Sports Nutrition proudly fuels these rockin n racin’ triathletes through their swim, bike, and run. Thousands of cups of Vitalyte will be filled with the world’s best electrolyte replacement so that each of the 1,500 competitors per TriRock event will be hydrated and prepped to preform at their best. Vitalyte’s innovative Chia Surge Endurance Gel is also available for competitors during the race so that they can get that extra ‘surge’ of power during the last leg of the triathlon.

    Thus far, triathletes have graced the waters of Lake Welch for the New York TriRock, held May 5, 2012, and Annapolis, Maryland at the City Docks on May 12th race, to name a few. With perfect weather conditions and a brilliant setting against the Chesapeake Bay, there’s no doubt that this event rocked.

    Down the road, keep an eye out for for TriRock Austin, set to take place September 3rd and then on to Vitalyte’s hometown and “America’s Finest City” the following week for TriRock San Diego. September is definitely the month to rock your tri on as the series starts to wind down after that in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on September 15th and finally closes out the year in sunny Clearwater, Florida on November 11th.

    It’s been a wonderful road thus far and we are so proud to hydrate and fuel the athletes that compete in the best triathlon series there is. We will keep you updated with our upcoming adventures and look out for event photos. Stay fit, stay hydrated, stay fueled, and don’t forget to rock your tri.

  • My Pre-Race Winning Recipe - by Jamie Brown

    By Jamie Brown

    My favorite thing to eat is "Pizza" however pizza not being the healthiest food choice before a race. So I have spent many hours looking fortpw_7842 a healthy alternative before many of my races. The one I settled on for my National Championships run over memorial day is the great:

    Summer Grilled Vegetable Pizza

    Ingredients

    1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough

    1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered

    1 (4-ounce) zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices

    1 (4-ounce) yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices

    1 small red onion (about 7 ounces), cut into 12 wedges

    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

    Cooking spray

    1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

    1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's)

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

    6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and torn into pieces

    Preparation

    1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

    2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.

    3. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

    4. Flatten bell pepper pieces with hand. Arrange all the vegetables in a single layer on a large cutting board or baking sheet; brush both

    sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Arrange onion wedges on skewers, if desired. Arrange vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray,

    and grill for 3 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender and grill marks appear. Remove from grill. Coarsely chop bell pepper.

    5. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface, and pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Carefully remove pizza

    stone from oven. Sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone; place dough on pizza stone. Bake at 500° for 5 minutes. Remove the partially baked

    crust from oven. Spread sauce over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

    Arrange the vegetables over dough, and sprinkle evenly with salt and crushed red pepper. Top evenly with cheese. Carefully return pizza to

    pizza stone. Bake at 500° for an additional 12 minutes or until the crust and cheese are browned. Brush edge of dough with remaining 1

    1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Cut into 6 large slices.

  • My San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon

    By Laura Conley
    The day before the race I felt that little scratch on the back of my throat and knew that meant I was getting sick ... then I couldn't sleep at all Saturday night because my throat hurt so bad and I had a fever!  So I woke up 4am, rolled out of bed, drank my Tri-phase and went to race!
    I felt so crappy I barely did any warm-up and just jumped into corral 1 for starting position.  I began a little to fast at 6:20 pace (goal was to maintain 6:30pace) so then after about mile 2/3 I began feeling run-down fatigue of being sick.  I did my best to keep it together and push through but more and more people started passing me which made me feel even worse!
    So then around mile 7 I took a Chia Surge and by mile 8 my legs and attitude improved slightly.  I realized I was probably calorie deficient so I took another one at that point...
    Well, by mile 9 I was a different person!  I started thinking about my pace and running faster.  At mile 10 I decided "I am going all-out for this last 5K of the race" and took off full-speed ahead!!  I must have passed 80% of everyone who passed me earlier and boy were they shocked!  I heard "Wow", "What the #$#*^$&", and "Nice Kick!" I think I made up for my mid-race slump by sprinting in those last 3 miles to finish in 1:27:15.
    Now I know take the Chia surge earlier in the race or before warming up for that much needed energy! :)
  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #5 Cool Off

    Cool Offbasset_hound_cooling_off-1

    Being continually sore or nursing a slight injury can create a lot of stress and can sometimes cause you to want to take a sabbatical.

    Avoid the misery that comes when you aren’t recovered by taking these precautions. Keep the muscle inflammation down by taking an ice bath after your hard workouts or long runs. Fill the bath tub 1/2 full with cold water, throw in a few handfuls of ice and in you go. Soak for 10-15 minutes. Your muscles will thank you.

    Also, add Vitalyte’s Complete Recovery to your post-workout regime. The powerful S.O.D is a super potent anti-oxidant that aids in reducing muscle inflammation. Plus the glucosamine in there is great for your joints (and for all of those of you with shellfish allergies, good news. It’s a non-shellfish source of glucosamine). So when you are feeling a little burdened by the bumps and bruises of training, cool off and bring down that inflammation so you can be motivated to get out there the next day.

  • Milena’s Top 5 Tips for Staying Motivated: #4 Pick A Destination

    Pick a Destinationbermuda-destination-wedding

    There are so many fantastic road races now to choose from.

    Pick a road race in a city or country that you want to visit and take a “racecation” as I call it. You get to pair an adventurous trip with a great race. That’s pretty cool to look forward to.

    Doesn’t get much better than that.

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