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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • 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.”

  • SUMMER HUNGER-SATISFYING RECIPE: Edamame Hummus

    As an athlete and a health enthusiast, I have experimented with a variety of diets, supplements, and foods. I have been a meat eater, a white-meat-only eater (is there a name for that?), vegan (for 2 years), and now a pescetarian. Let’s just say I have definitely experimented with my diet. But no matter what limitations I put on my nutritional intake, one thing I know for sure is that as an athlete, I NEED PROTEIN. Even if you are just a modest exerciser and don’t consider yourself an athlete, you still need a good amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats—and an electrolyte replacement drink, of course. I have always loved hummus (I love to dip carrots, celery and pita in it!), so when I came across this edamame hummus recipe my mouth was watering! I had to pass it along. ENJOY!

    SUMMER HUNGER-SATISFYING RECIPE: Edamame Hummus Beans are an awesome source of protein, but to change up hummus, which is typically made with chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) try using the superpower of the bean world: soybeans. Soybeans are the only beans that contain complete proteins by themselves and edamame (green soybeans which are picked before full maturity) have a whopping 22 grams of protein per cooked serving. Chickpeas have just 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. Wash it down with a Vitalyte drink and it’s the perfect summer snack!

  • I Tried It: A Ballet-Inspired Workout

    I normally down my low sugar sports drink of choice—Vitalyte, of course—after my run or spinning class, my two preferred workouts. Lately, however, I have found myself a little bit bored of my normal routine and decided that incorporating one new workout each week would give me the taste of variety I have been craving.

    First up: The Bar Method. I was attracted to the workout because I took ballet for years growing up and also because my routine is cardio heavy and I have been searching for a way to integrate strength-training into my routine.

    The verdict? I couldn’t walk down the stairs at my office without wincing the next day, and the day after that was even worse! The Bar Method is ballet and dance based (don’t worry, dancing experience is not required) and is designed to strengthen and stretch every major muscle group. You stand at a ballet bar (I have found tapes teaching the class in which you use a chair for balance, too) for detail oriented work using small movements that will have your muscles screaming and your legs, abs and arms trembling. Bonus: the workout helps correct poor posture, too.

    The Bar Method isn’t the only ballet-inspired workout; look out for Barre3 and other variations and don’t forget to bring your Vitalyte drink with you to class—you’ll need it!

     

  • The Truth about Coconut Water

    There’s no denying that coconut water is buzzed about as a healthy hydration drink, but do the facts stack up to the hype surrounding coconut water? We did some research to find out.

     

    ·         Rumor: It is nature’s sport drink.

    o   During a hard workout, you sweat out sodium and potassium, but coconut water only replaces enough potassium and falls short when it comes to sodium. Down a Vitalyte drink post-workout and you will replenish sodium and potassium.

    ·         Rumor: Coconut water can speed up your metabolism.

    o   Fact: There is no research supporting this claim.

    ·         Rumor: Coconut water makes you look younger.

    o   Fact: Although it contains plant hormones called cytokinins, which have been known to slow the aging process in plants and fruit flies, the jury is still out on humans.

    Now that the myths surrounding coconut water have been debunked you have a few more reasons to choose Vitalyte!

  • The Advantages of Group Training

    By Jenna Novotny, Brand Ambassador

    It seems like common knowledge that training, typically for any athletic endeavor, is easier and more effective in groups. I mean, that’s why so many triathlon clubs, running clubs, cycling clubs, masters swimming groups and the like now exist and continue to pop up, right? But I recently realized that I wasn’t the only person who claimed and believed, “I train better solo.” Up until about three months ago I was a “solo trainer” and I had a whole list of reasons of why I thought ditching the pack was more effective for me.

    - I’m limited on time so I fit workouts in when I can, which means they are usually spur of the moment. - I don’t want to have to plan my day that far out in advance. Do I want to do a 50 mile bike ride at 7am a week from Wednesday? I don’t know!!?? - I hate wasting the time commuting to the group meeting point. - I don’t like talking while I work out. - What if people are slower than me and bring down my pace rather than up.

    And I’m sure on some level (OK I’ll admit it on a definite level) I was intimidated. I was especially nervous joining in on group rides due to my lack of experience on the road. Until recently, most of my bike training was on a trainer and the HUGE herds of seemingly professional bikers on HWY 101 scared the $@#% out of me! I just knew I was going to fall or crash, cut someone off, or make a fool of myself. Fortunately, a friend wouldn’t give up on me and bugged me until I joined him on group track session.

    After some speed work that left me feeling like a snail, I realized my limited solo training was lacking in more areas than one. Before I delve into my solo training shortcomings, let me say that I officially joined that training team, Breakaway Training, and now train with them about four days a week. I have become such good friends with many of the athletes in this group that we often end up hanging out outside of training. In addition to meeting some great new friends with common interests, I highly recommend getting over the group fear and joining a training team because:

    - No matter how many Bostons, Tours, or Konas you’ve run or won you will never know EVERYTHING about your sport. Hearing the mistakes or successes other athletes have made will help you make fewer mistakes and discover great training secrets earlier. - You can discover new products and tools and learn which ones on the market are best. Which GPS watch should you buy? Best running shoes? Ask around in your group. - Training with a group of fellow athletes can be close to having a doctor, therapist, and coach video-tapping you all in one. They get to know your pace and progress and can provide positive reinforcement—or on some days can tell that you’re dragging and check in with you, asking “Hey you’re looking a little drained, what’s going on?” - You can discover new routes. I have found so many great new running and biking routes from joining others in my training group. - SAVE MONEY! Now that I am in the running group, when I pick an out of town race I usually have someone else doing the same race. Can you say “travel buddy?” Carpool to the event + share a hotel room = spending less money! - No one likes being alone on race day! I hate those early morning races when you don’t have a race buddy to help ease any pre-race nerves. And what’s even better than having someone with you before the race…having someone there at the finish line with you!

    Oh and in case you were wondering, I have had a few close calls on my first bike rides on the road that I’m sure drew some attention, but I haven’t eaten pavement yet!

    Jenna

  • When to Workout: Morning, Noon or Night

    By Captain Vitalyte

    I've often heard that starting your day with a workout is the way to go...and I get that. It kick starts your metabolism, burns more because you have yet to eat much and, it starts your day off on the right track. But what really is the right time of day to work out... or is there one? Some people are just not morning people and even those who are, I would imagine, still have a rough time getting up on occasion. Further, I can get up for a light jog or a yoga class in the early morning hours, but a butt kicking bootcamp or a gnarly set of sprints? I just don't think my body is ready for that before the sun's up. That said here are some pros and cons of early am workouts you might find interesting.

    Mornings Pros: • The majority of people who exercise consistently do so early in the day. It is easier to form the exercise habit through morning exercise. • Fewer distractions and schedule interruptions. • Can make time for exercise by getting up a bit earlier. • Raises your heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories earlier in the day. • Gives a feeling of physical energy for hours. • Improves your mental acuity for hours. • Cooler temperatures in summer. • Air pollution is lowest in the morning. • The body adjusts to your exercise time, so if you are training for a morning sports event, train in the morning.

    Cons: • Body temperature is at its lowest 1-3 hours before awakening, making morning a time of naturally lower energy and blood flow. • Cold, stiff muscles may be more prone to injury - be sure to warm up well before doing a higher intensity workout, and do gentle stretching. • If you do not enjoy morning exercise, you won't easily form a habit by choosing a morning workout time. • Because body temperature and hormones are higher in late afternoon, you probably get the same or better calorie-burning effects later in the day.

    Noon Pros: • Can make a habit to walk and exercise at lunch time and break time. • Can use a walking and exercise partner at work, school, or in your neighborhood. • Body temperature and hormone levels are higher than first thing in the morning. • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for lunch, can help you avoid break-time snacking. • Improves blood flow to the brain so you are sharper in the afternoon. • Stress relief from work, school, or home stresses.

    Cons: • Time limits may not allow you to get in a full workout - any amount is good, but best if you can walk for 30-60 minutes or more at a stretch • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times. • Research shows that lung function is worst at noon.

    After work Pros: • For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 pm. Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give your your best workout for both endurance and building muscle. • Research shows lung function is best at 4-5 pm. • Muscles are warm and flexible. • Perceived exertion is lowest - how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster by doing so in the afternoon. • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner. • Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.

    Cons: • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times.

    Evening Pros: • For most people, body temperature and hormone levels peak at 6 pm. Exercising 3 hours before or after the peak will give your your best workout for both endurance and building muscle. • Muscles are warm and flexible. • Perceived exertion is low - how hard you feel yourself to be working at exercise. So you may be able to work out harder or faster. • Can help regulate the amount of food you feel like eating for dinner. • Stress relief after a day at work, school, or home.

    Cons: • Distractions and other commitments make keep you from walking and exercising at the appointed times. • Need to allow one to three hours to wind down after walking or exercise to be able to fall asleep.

    As you can tell...there are perks and downfalls to them all so I guess the long and the short of it is find out what works for you and stick to it. Here's to working it out.

    In curls, sprints and downward facing dogs in the morning, noon and night

    Captain Vitalyte

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