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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Born this Way

    Ibuprofen-4 dollars. Hot soup-3 dollars. New footsie pajamas-25 dollars. Taking a few days off from training because of cold-priceless. In the past I used to push through training when I was a little under the weather but the wiser, gentler me actually takes this time to step back, take a few days to completely recover and then go back to training a little fresher than before. This week when I was sick, I sat back one evening and actually took account of all that I ask my body to do in a typical day. I was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself, with the demands and tasks that I physically and mentally meet and achieve each day. Geeze, no wonder I need a little down time here and there. Now that I am working, I have to integrate my training with my work schedule and when my body calls for rest I have to listen. Sometimes I need to squeeze my run in during a 45 minute window between meetings or get up extra early so I can put in six or seven miles while most people’s alarms are still an hour from ringing. People always ask me what “drives” me to continue this journey. Many say “aren’t you too old to resume competitive running? Why don’t you just take it easy and run for fun?” I guess they just don’t understand the fact that, as Lady GaGa puts it, “Baby, I was born this way.” I was always the first one up in the morning at my household when I was growing up and I was the last to bed. I didn’t have hyper out of control energy, I just always knew what I wanted to do. At age five I ran a soccer jog-a-thon. It was about 90 degrees out that balmy summer day and everyone, including my parents, tried to get me to stop running. The heat didn’t bother me and I had no clue that the 20 continuous laps I ran around the high school dirt track was equal to five miles. Running was just always something I loved to do. So now when I need some time off I simply stop. I take a few days to regather and I know the recalibrating my body needs to do will happen and the next week will be a better week of training. And with a little over six months to go before the Hollywood Half, I know that I will be right back on track with training next week and my body will be healthy and rested. Not to mention I have a stellar pair of new footsie pajamas for the next time I need a few days off!

  • Awesome Recipe from Jenna

    As an athlete and a health enthusiast I have experimented with a variety of diets, supplements, and foods.  After being a meat eater, a white-meat-only eater (is there a name for that?  those that don’t eat red meat), vegan for 2 years, and now a pescetarian, I have definitely played around with my diet.  But no matter what limitations I put on my nutrition intake, one thing I know for sure is that as an athlete I NEED PROTEIN.  Even if you aren’t an athlete and just a modest exerciser you still need a good amount of protein, fiber and healthy fats.  I have always loved hummus (I love to dip carrots and celery along with pita in it) so when I came across this edamame hummus recipe my mouth was watering.  And now I am passing it along. ENJOY!  Oh and I like to pair this with my Lemon or Citrus flavored Vitalyte.

    HUNGER SATISFYING RECIPE: Edamame Hummus Beans are an awesome source of protein, but to change up this dish typically made with chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) try using the superpower of the bean world – soybeans.  Soybeans are the only bean that contains complete proteins by themselves and edamame (green soybeans which are picked before full maturity) have a whopping 22 grams of protein in every cooked serving.  Chickpeas have only around 14 grams per serving.  This dish also has a great amount of fiber; so really it’s a win-win.

    1 cup frozen shelled edamame 1 tsp chopped garlic 1 Tbsp tahini 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 3 Tbsp water 1/4 tsp salt 1 Tbsp olive oil

    Boil frozen edamame 4 to 6 minutes; drain. Combine edamame in a food processor with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, water, and salt; blend well. Drizzle in olive oil. (If the texture is too thick, add another tablespoon of water).  For a zesty kick, stir in 1/2 tsp sriracha, a Thai hot sauce found in your grocery store's condiment aisle.

  • My Cycling Challenges - Bill Lightner

    My Cycling Challenges…………..

    I have always been active (most of my life anyway) in sports whether it’s been cycling, running, playing tennis, playing golf, skiing, in-line skating or whatever is tickling my adrenaline rush. Since taking on this relatively new path of fitness and good health, setting and achieving new challenges/goals has played a very important part to me. Since I found cycling, something I can be fairly good at and be competitive without actually competing on a top level, challenging myself has kept things interesting and fun! I cycle with many that are 20 years my junior and as many they are in their 60’s and 70’s! That’s encouraging to me that I can keep up with some of the younger folks (for now) and that by staying in shape, I can continue as long as I want.

    Initially when I first started cycling, my biggest challenge was just getting out every Saturday and Sunday. I would tell myself to just keep peddling, don’t stop. Each month or so, I would increase my mileage 5 to 10 miles. I started keeping a record of how long the ride took, and my average speed to track my progress. I soon build up my mileage and strength that I thought I could ride with the local Club without embarrassing myself.

    When I joined our local Club, I found out what that really meant to ride with a group of people and my next challenge began. In August, my fellow Brand Ambassador, Jenna Novotny wrote a great blog about Group Training, check it out if you haven’t already. I found that I really enjoyed riding with a group of people, it inspired me. There is such a variety of ability levels within the group; I had to find the right group to get started with. The challenge became keeping up with that group and pushing myself to get better enough to catch up to and ride with the next group. During this time, I was also encouraged to take on Organized Group Rides such as the Tour of Palm Springs. The first year I did the Tour, I rode 55 miles which was a push for me at the time. Later that year and after doing several more longer 55+ mile rides I was persuaded to ride my first Century (100 miles). This was a great accomplishment for me, not to mention not an easy first time Century that included 6,800 feet of climbing. This challenge very soon grew to become a Century ride a month for one year. The year was great fun with an awesome riding partner, great friends and finished my last Tour with my first Double Century (200 miles) ride.

    Now one might think, “What comes next?” Well, after a minor injury at the beginning of the following year, I got the hankering for my next challenge. The Double Century that I had done was kind-of a lead in…… My riding partner and I decided to aim for the Triple Crown (3 Double Centuries in a calendar year) and to add a “small” twist, throw in the King of the Mountain series (3, 110 mile mountain rides totaling some 32,000 feet of climbing). The year is almost over and I’m proud to say that I (we) have accomplished this great feat however it isn’t over!! It seems that there are 2 more Double Centuries in my near future to join the 1,000 mile Club! Crazy I know but I’m already being persuaded for next year’s famous/infamous Everest Challenge (a 2 day, 200 mile, almost 30,000 feet of climbing) race.

    The success of my challenges has now centered on training, diet and the right electrolyte replacement drink to keep me going. Please look to my following blogs about how I prepare for these challenges.

  • Sunday Funday

    I was just heading out for my Sunday “long run” and my roommate asked me what I had planned after my run. “You mean besides scrambled egg whites, a half a bagel, cottage cheese with blueberries followed by a mimosa, ice bath and long nap? That’s my day pretty much.” From the persuasive look on her face I knew that my plans were pretty much going to be thrown out the window. “It’s Sunday Funday,” she said with a high pitch elation. “You have to join us. I want you there by 11:00. Plenty of time for you to do your run, shower and walk over to brunch.” She assured me I would have an unforgettable day and yes the brunch spot served “egg whites” so I didn’t need to worry.

    I reluctantly accepted her offer. I mean I had my day pretty much set and I make a mean mimosa and my bed sounds so inviting!

    After I ran a good 9 miles around the bay I quickly showered, put on my casual comfy clothes, pink Charger hat and flip flops and walked over to the bar and grill by our house in Pacific Beach. Two hours later after a great breakfast, amazing mimosas and even more amazing laughs with all of my friends, my roommate and I headed home to grab the beach cruisers and pedal down the bay to my friend’s house for a bar-b-que. Ok so this was technically my first time on a bike since college! That’s 15 years! The fact that I had a slight buzz going from the champagne and orange juice I downed a little while ago was either going to work for me or against me. Agghhhhh they say you never forget how to ride a bike and I was really hoping that damn old saying was true as I hopped on the pink two wheeled ride that was going to get me 3 miles down south. Ok so far so good...we hadn’t crashed into anything, fallen off or run anyone down at this point. I spoke a little too soon. Danielle decided to turn around to yell at me, “Isn’t this relaxing?” As she was looking back at me and continuing to attempt to bike straight ahead I watched her veer straight into a parked car, bounce off the door, remain on her bike all while she had no idea what had just happened. I was torn between laughing my you-know-what off and finding out if Danielle was ok. Her response of, “Quick pedal fast there was a guy asleep in that car” told me she was alright. “Great,” I thought as I was pedaling for dear life down the street, we are going to get arrested for assault with pink beach cruisers. Just what I need.”

    We made it to Paul’s house in record time with no marks on our record and totally enjoyed the Charger’s season opening game. I think the carefree nature of our day along with a lot of laughs had a lot to do with my expeditious recovery from my nine mile run. You know, I wasn’t even sore the next day. I highly recommend you incorporate a Sunday Funday as part of your post-workout regime. It’s good for the soul! Just be careful where you decide to ride your bike!

  • Struggle

    I got one of those “inspirational” emails from a friend today.  You know the kind...the ones you are usually too busy to open. The email that arrives in your inbox right at the same time your boss emails you two new projects (with deadlines due in three days);  your best friend sends you a text telling you she has to cancel your trip to Cabo (because her mother-in-law is coming to town that same weekend); and your hairstylist leaves a voicemail telling you not to worry (that the orange will eventually come out of your hair and she will graciously give you 20% off the next time you come in for color correction!). Aggghhhh...it’s been one of those days and you REALLY don’t have time for another message.

     

    Well, stop and read this slowly: I believe in gifts from the universe. Five minutes before I read the email I was on my way to pick up Benadryl for my poor little Basset Parker (who kept me up all night) and in the most sleep-deprived manner I kept asking myself why I had to struggle so much over the past few years. I closed my business, lost my savings, dealt with stress fracture #12, and my family unit crumbled. Basically, I started with a clean slate in all areas of my life at the age of 36.

     

    I got home and decided to check my email while I contemplated how I was going to hide the medication in Parker’s food.  It was then that I received an unsolicited email from Victoria that was delivered in perfect timing:

     

    “For those days when we wonder why we have to struggle.....

     

    A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then, it seemed to halt in making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go on.

     

    The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

     

    The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand, able to support the body, which would contract in time.

     

    Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

     

    What the man—in  his kindness and haste—did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

     

    Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

     

     

    And we could never fly...

     

    boom”

     

     

    Easily put...there is beauty in struggle and strength in vulnerability.  Enjoy your run!

  • Staggering Statistics about Sugary Drinks

    As Vita Girl, I know how important it is to drink sports nutrition drinks to replace nutrients lost when working out and going about your day. But I am always shocked at the amount of sugar hiding in so-called sports drinks. Something else that shocked me? According to a report by MSNBC.com, approximately half of Americans drink a sugar-sweetened beverage on any given day. What’s more, teenagers and young men consume way more than recommended limits for maintaining good health.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed 17,000 Americans about their diets and found that one in 20 drinks the equivalent of over four cans of soda each day. And teenage boys drink the most soda, sports drinks and other sugary liquids. The average male in the study consumed 175 calories per day from drinks containing added sugar, while the average female consumed 94 calories from drinks containing added sugar.

    These statistics are staggering when you consider that the American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 450 calories per week from beverages sweetened with sugar. That’s less than three cans of soda! Many schools have stopped selling soda and artificial juices to lower consumption, as sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked to weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    The results from the study offer yet another reason to consumer low sugar sports drinks (hello Vitalyte!) when reaching for something other than water.

  • Vita Girl Says: Get Running!

    Vita Girl here, and today I am going to state my case for why you should start running.

    1. It’s easy! Before you scoff, just think about it: running doesn’t require much more than a pair of running shoes—and maybe a muscle cramp relief drink. While it may be hard to master yoga poses or get into the groove in Zumba class, everyone knows how to run!

    2. Running may not require learning a new skill or purchasing any new equipment, but it is hard. Running burns tons of calories while giving your heart a workout.

    3. Running gets a bad rap for being hard on your joints, but running helps reduce body weight, which is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis). In addition to weight loss, running strengthens the ligaments around your joints and also boosts your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins.

    4. I don’t know about you, but I always feel less stressed after I run. Running has been proven to help combat depression. Try it and feel your stress melt away.

    5. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many kinds of cancer, and runners also increase protection against stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Running has been shown to raise good cholesterol, lower blood pressure and boost immunity.

    6. A surprising study conducted by a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine looked at 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984-2005. The subjects (all over the age of 50) were asked to measure simple tasks, like opening a milk carton, each year. The disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners—and the researchers concluded that regular exercise could reduce disability and the risk of death by lowering inflammation, improving response to vaccination, improving thinking, learning and memory functions and increasing cardio fitness and bone mass. Need I say more?

  • I Tried It: Hybrid Yoga

    I love the zen feeling I get after yoga class, when I am walking home while downing an electrolyte replacement drink. Even though my body is sore from contorting itself into different yoga positions and harnessing my energy to remain in tree pose (for a full five minutes!), I still don’t feel like I am getting the same workout that I do after a calorie-melting run. Enter: hybrid classes, which fuse yoga with calorie-burning intensity. I tried a few different variations so here’s my take:

    Yoga for Athletes: A Vita Girl favorite! These postures are created for the sports-minded.

    Figure 4: Hello yoga, meet ballet. The mat poses work abs and arms, while ballet-inspired moves tackle the lower body.

    Core Fusion Yoga: A mash-up of yoga, Pilates and the Lotte Berk method.

    The verdict? I highly recommend any of these hybrid classes. So check out which one your gym is offering and be sure to bring your healthy hydration drink to class with you!

  • Coconut Water: Friend or Foe?

    Coconut water- Friend or Foe?If you have stepped into a health food store in the last couple of years, or a regular grocery store in the last few months, you have undoubtedly been bombarded by coconut water displays. It seems that there is a new coconut water brand popping up every day.

    If you believe the media hype, coconut water is the best electrolyte replacement drink in the market, boasting “15 times the electrolytes of sports drinks.”

    So is coconut water really that great of an electrolyte replacement? An answer to that very same question was recently pursued by ConsumerLab.com and the answer isn’t exactly what the makers of all those brands were hoping for. In fact, that report by ConsumerLab.com was the catalyst for a pending lawsuit against Vita Coco, the biggest coconut water brand on the market.

    The lawsuit cites the study, which found “at least some” Vita Coco flavors had significantly less sodium and magnesium than advertised. Hmmm.

    The other question not specifically answered by the ConsumerLab.com study concerns the nutritional benefit of coconut water. The sporting community has gone to great lengths to understand the delicate balance of electrolytes necessary for optimal hydration. Coconut water may have 15 times the potassium of other sports drinks, but without a proper ratio of sodium—which acts as a transport mechanism for other electrolytes—all you have is a really expensive bottle of potassium.

  • 241 Days

    I can honestly say that at the age of 35, my running “priorities” have shifted. Yep, there used to be those oh-so-neurotic days when, if I ran less than what my training schedule dictated, I felt a lingering sense of guilt that wouldn’t melt away until I made up for it during my next training session.

    I do own a GPS unit, but it stays in my drawer most of the time now, its neighbors are an empty training log and some unused pens. These forgotten items serve as reminders of how my running dynamic has shifted as my life has become a balance act between training, work, friends, coaching and writing.

    It’s funny how life is. It moves along but eventually brings you back to where you started, when running laps on the soccer field and playing chase with your dogs was pure joy and freedom of being in the moment and being alive realized.

    With 241 days to go until my first race in 7 years, I have come full-circle and the joy has returned to my sport. Even though I have chosen a race and know I will once again be “competing,” I don’t feel the stress and anxiety I once did when I was racing “at my best” in my late 20‘s.

    When I run now, I listen to Katy Perry on my iPod and remember my “Last Friday Night” and laugh. Even though there were no “pink flamingos in the pool” or “DJ passed out in the yard” my friend Kevin was hysterical as usual, the cosmos were epic (thankfully I had Vitalyte as a hangover cure the next day!) and no one felt like leaving at closing time. Basically, play has returned to my activity. How? Why now? I’m not asking any questions. I’m just living and enjoying all aspects of my life.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still train. But I really, really, really listen to my body. I was in the gym at 6am this morning strength training and am getting ready to lace up my shoes for a nice easy 5 mile run along the boardwalk in a few minutes. But if was too tired for the run, then I would wait until tomorrow and wouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt about it! Instead, I would enjoy taking my dogs for a walk, or having a cup of coffee with a friend, or finishing up some work emails of I wanted to be productive.

    So how many miles have I run this week? I can’t tell you off-hand. But what I can tell you is that I feel fit, rested and happy; or as the Three Little Bears so eloquently stated it “Just Right.”

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