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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • 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

  • My cycling build-up…………..By Bill Lightner

    By Bill Lightner, Brand Ambassador

    So now I decided to get into and stay in shape.It was hard work and wasn’t easy.I started out cycling easy or at least what is consider easy by today’s standards.In the beginning, I mapped out a path and every Saturday and Sunday morning I’d slip on some shorts, t-shirt and sneakers, jump on my trusty Schwinn and head out for a grueling 10 mile ride.The “real” cyclist around here would say that I picked a fairly flat route but to me, it was tough!There were some rolling hills, some wind and of course getting used to riding on the road ...with traffic.I set goals for myself, the first being just to keep peddling and never stop.I’d pushed myself to go as hard as I could to burn the calories and increase my cardio workout.I had to adjust to numbing hands, a little saddle sore and knee pains, not to mention muscle cramping. I found out that the way the bike was “fit” to me (the height and position of the saddle, the height of the handlebars, the length of the stem, etc) were all very important in how I rode the bike and how comfortable I would be over the distance.As I adjusted to my aches and pains, having my bike adjusted to properly fit me, finding out what real bike shorts and shoes were all about and what it was to hydrate/drink while I rode (thank god I found Vitalyte about this time!!), I increased my mileage about 5 miles every month until I was riding about 40-45 miles consistently.I had a basic bike computer (I have since up-graded my bike computer to include a heart rate monitor that helps let me know how hard I’m working) to help track my time on the bike, mileage rode, speed and average speed over the course of the ride.I also kept a log of my rides so I could tell how I improved over time.

    After nine months of riding by myself and building up the mileage on the bike, I purchased my new bike, a light weight carbon fiber bike.I started riding with the local Bicycle Club and now knew I had been bitten by the “cycling bug”!Now, almost 5 years later, I continue to ride 4 times a week, logging 150 to 175 miles a week.I have lost the weight I wanted to lose, altered my diet to eat healthier and now living a better and healthier life.I have continued with new cycling challenges all the time.It’s helped to keep things interesting and increase my fitness even more.I celebrated my 50th birthday this month and since January of this year, I have completed the California Triple Crown and the King of the Mountain challenges!Neither challenge was an easy feat! More to come on these events……..

    Should you have any questions about my blogs, please don’t hesitate to ask (I can be found on Facebook)!

  • My first official race back to competitive running...

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    By Milena Glusac

    Decision is made! My first official race back to competitive running will be the Hollywood Half Marathon on April the 7th. Yep at 6am I will tow the line with thousands of other runners to run with the stars in the city of cinematic legend. I am so excited! I have waited seven years to be able to make my return to racing and with the help of Vitalyte, the official drink sponsor of the race, I have been able to train and get my body healthy. The next nine months is going to be fun, hectic and be filled with many busy days as I juggle training, working and coaching.

    You can follow my progress up to the race and even join me in my training for this inaugural event. I will be posting my workouts and give training tips so feel free to message me with any questions.

    Training thus far is going great and I know this time around my racing is going to be much more enjoyable because now running is just a beautiful piece in a wonderful life-it’s not the entire picture.

  • Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia.. Other than a 90s Throwback, What is it?

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    Ch-ch-ch chia! No, not the 90s as seen on tv phenomenon.. though that was and still is awesome.. Chia is THE ultimate super food. With more calcium than a 8oz glass of whole milk, more fiber than a bowl of bran flakes, more magnesium than whole head of broccoli, more antioxidants than a whole pomegranate, more protein than an egg, and more omega 3’s than a whole Atlantic salmon, plus many other vitamin and mineral benefits, chia is pretty much the cat's meow. If that’s not enough for ya, Chia, when consumed, absorbs up to 10 times its weight in water allowing for a slow release of carbohydrates that have proven to increase energy outputs for hours. The Barefoot Runners of Mexico run hundreds of miles a day with chia fueling their fire.

    Intrigued? You should be. And guess what? Vitalyte will be releasing two chia products in the next 6 months.

    Chia really is one of the greatest superfoods on the planet and Vitalyte is one of the first companies to take it commercial with a great tasting gel and bar.

    Once again, we have combined the very best in nature with the firm understanding of scientific precepts to create a freaking awesome product.

    Pretty cool eh?

  • Some Sneaky Bad Foods To Avoid..and some good ones too.

    By Captain Vitalyte

    It seems the health trend is here to stay (shock gasp) and while I think we've made some pretty solid strides toward educating the American public at large...we still have a long way to go. Recently, laws passed requiring restaurants and fast food joints to post the calorie counts in plain view. While I was both excited and disgusted by the reality of the food on those boards, most people were visibly upset. This boggled my mind and was further proof of the massive blinders that evolve over people's eyes. Wouldn't you want to know that the Blueberry Banana Bran muffin has 200 more calories than the large slice of lemon cake? I would. There's nothing worse than making what you consider to be a consciously healthy food decision only to find out you did the exact opposite. You would think people would want to know...and I hope you do because I found some sneaky unhealthy super market foods that you might want to think twice about.

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    1. Marie Callendar's Chicken Pot Pie -  while you might glance at the nutrition information and see that it's 520 calories and 800 mg of sodium...which is high anyway...look again...that serving size is HALF the pie. The whole thing is 1,040 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth), and 1,600 mg of sodium (an entire day’s worth). Yea..think twice.

    2. Fostering the Fat. Sorry that might be blunt but come on Olive Garden. Their Tour of Italy special includes lasagna, chicken parm and, you guessed it, fettuccine alfredo capping off at 1,450 kcal in addition to dressed salad for 350kcal and finally 1 breadstick for 150kcal. That meal is yea..more than your daily 2,000 and a ridiculous amount of sodium. Gross.

    3. Chipotle Chicken Burrito. I'm actually really upset about this and still don't really understand. Beans are good for you. Chicken is good for you. Lettuce, tomato and avocado (in moderation) are good for you. Heck, cheese is even good for you in small doses. I know this burrito is big but 970 calories and 2,200 mg of sodium?? How is that even possible? What did they bathe the bird in grease? Well it is and I'm bummed about it... maybe it's because McDonalds owns them. Better option? Burrito bowl, no cheese, no sour cream and even then...it's not great.

    4. Just don't get it. Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake at the Cheesecake Factory. It has 1,670 calories and nearly 3 days of sat fat. Just don't.

    5. Again. Just don't. Cold Stone's Gotta Have It Oh Fudge! Shake tops off at 1,920 calories. For perspective... eat 2 16oz steaks and a buttered baked potato instead.

    6. Granola. I'll say it, it tastes amazing but for a food so high in calories...it really should wear a disclaimer. Without the milk, 1 cup can quickly ad up to over 640 calories...and that's no health food if you ask me.

    I think I've grossed you all out enough for one day but take the time to read next time you're out. You might think twice about ordering the chicken burrito over the chicken salad if there's a 500 calorie difference...just a thought. We'll close this off with some healthy foods in which you can indulge.

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    1. Sweet Potatoes- a versatile food to say the least. From Thanksgiving to Summer- these puppies can be baked, grilled, steamed, you name it. Rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, you could even cut them in the shape of fries, bake with some light olive oil and pepper and enjoy.

    2. Mangoes- are rich in Vit C, A, Potassium and Fiber. Eat plain, with yogurt, in sushi or even frozen!

    3. Wild Salmon - shocking. You've heard it for years but it's still true. Salmon is a super food, chalk full of omega 3s and other awesomeness. Eat it. Eat if often.

    4. Garbanzo beans - here's one I didn't know but I'm glad about it. Throw these into salads, quinoa, currys, soups, you name it. They're high in protein, fiber and iron to name a few.

    5. Butternut Squash - steam, slice, bbq, bake, even put it on pizza, this squash is an awesome squash. Full of vitamin A and C in addition to fiber, they're sold cubed at almost all grocery stores for your convenience. Bake with pepper and a little olive oil and you'll be set to go!

    6. Broccoli- this classic vegetable is full of awesome from vitamin C and carotenoids to folic acid. Eat it steamed to keep max nutrients and top with a dash of lemon or red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

    That's all for now folks. You know what to do.

  • Quinoa. Superfood Extraordinaire.

    By Captain Vitalyte

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    I like to think of myself as a pretty healthy eater. I bring my lunch to work, stray away from fast food, try to think of food as fuel for my body.. you get the gist. Everyone talked about Quinoa and I've been feeling left out in that I don't cook it. Sure, I eat it; I actually really like it, but something in me has made me nervous about making it. Well, nervous no more...I'm going to do it. Before I do though, here are some fun facts and recipes I've found in preparation for my Quino-a-dventure.

    In the words of the Wiki, Quinoa is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

    Now that you know that integral nugget of knowledge, I'm excited to report that Quinoa can be consumed at all times of the day in many shapes, flavors and forms. That said, here's a great breakfast Quinoa recipe where you cook the quinoa in apple juice and milk, gradually stirring in cinnamon and dried fruit, topped off with yogurt. Sounds like a super food to me.

    If you're looking for a side dish or salad or even a bed upon which your main dish can perch, here's a red quinoa with spring herb tabuleh recipe that is a whopping $1.25 per serving (a solid perk). Another one I found is a lovely fruity, summery twist called the Superfood Salad complete with strawberries and blueberries, sunflower seeds and beets..now you know why it's called superfood. Finally one that might very well be my first project is a summery quinoa salad with summer squash and black beans. Until my cooking challenge comes to fruition...enjoy the aforementioned ways to rock your quinoa right.

  • My Story Back to Good Health... by Bill Lightner

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    After leaving our Desert home temporarily in 1997 due to poor economy/work, spending 4 years in Missouri (misery, no disrespect to Missourians, just a city boy in the country) and 2 years in So. Florida, we finally made it back to our Desert home where we belong. While away and during the first 3-1/2 years back home, I had been doing a lot of traveling, sitting in a plane or car, entertaining clients, eating out a lot and just generally “porking it up”!! The tennis a couple times a week with my wife just wasn’t cutting it for enough exercise!

    Of course I was in denial about my weight gain……….."No honey, I’m just retaining some water! It’ll go away”, LOL!!! Then I started going to the Doctor for physicals……. I was told that while I wasn't terribly overweight and could stand to lose a few pounds, my cholesterol and triglycerides were dangerously off the charts!!! Although I don’t like taking medication, I was placed on cholesterol reduction medicine. When I asked what I needed to do to avoid being on medication for the rest of my life, the Doctor told me to lose about 10lbs, start exercising more and to change my diet. I thought, “Gosh, what do I do? Work is so demanding and I love to eat……!”

    My sister-in-law and her husband are personal fitness trainers and are into cycling big time. With their encouragement I thought I’d get back on my 20 year old Schwinn and see how it goes. Well, after nine months of riding by myself and building up the mileage on the bike, I went out a purchased a new, 'real', light weight, carbon fiber bike. I finally felt that I could attempt riding with the local Bicycle Club without embarrassing myself. Wow, what a RUSH that was!! I started out slowly and in the back of the pack until I learned what I was doing and slowly got used to riding in a large group. I quickly found that it was GREAT!! I had been bitten by the “cycling bug”!

    Now, almost 5 years later, I continue to ride 4 times a week, booking 150 to 175 miles a week (other than my long distance challenges….blog to come), play tennis with my beautiful wife (though while I’m moving way better on court, she’s still kicking my butt!) and walk 1.5 to 4 miles 5 to 6 nights a week.

    I’m reaching the ½ century mark this month (turning 50 years old) and I’m proud to say that I’m 35 to 40 pounds lighter. I have reduced my medication to every-other day (in the process of things, I found out that the cholesterol thing is also hereditary. That means the best I can hope for on the medication is every-other day), my cholesterol and triglycerides are well within the proper range, and my resting heart rate is down to about 50bpm! The Doctor said if my heart rate went down anymore, I’d be dead, LOL! I also altered my diet a bit without hurting my love to eat and I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel. It’s truly an AWESOME feeling!!! I feel like I’m finally ready for the second half of life!! Who wants to join me?? It’ll be a great ride, I promise!!

  • Welcome Brand Ambasadors!

    By Captain Vitalyte

    I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our first batch of Brand Ambassadors: Bill Lightner and Jenna Novotny! The applications were numerous, the competition was fierce but these two rockstars shone bright and brilliant and we're proud to have them as part of a the Vitalyte team. Their bios are in progress so I won't spoil all of their surprises but here's a bit about them.

    Jenna is a San Diego native who is currently loving the Grape Vitalyte Flavor. She's into marathon running, triathlons, swimming, biking, tennis, yoga, standup paddleboarding, volleyball, soccer, rock climbing..long story short, this lady is active. She longs to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, is lactose intolerant and says, "If running shoes and workout clothes were appropriate attire for every occasion I would be a happy girl." Finally, she loves to chat, in person and online, so you should definitely follow her on twitter @runjrun screen-shot-2011-06-30-at-100153-am

    Bill is a cycling junkie from Palm Desert who just got his Triple Crown, which is a huge deal. He, like Jenna, is loving Grape Vitalyte and said pasta is his go-to meal the night before a race. He says he doesn't feel his age and he certainly doesn't look it at 50 years young. He rediscovered cycling 4 years ago and hasn't looked back. He says, "the bike and the road, really help to clear my mind" and he's also very involved in his local biking club, The Desert Bicycle Club. screen-shot-2011-06-30-at-100311-am

    Stay tuned for their profile pages, blog posts and more - and congratulations to our Vitalyte Brand Ambassadors again!

  • Ice Baths & Cheeseburgers by Milena Glusac

    By Milena Glusac

    I saw the return of irritable Milena today. I used to know her well. Usually she only appeared after a hard day of training back in the day when she was running 90 miles a week ice_bath2_smpreparing for a marathon. I used to deal with her by having her take an ice bath to cool off the burning muscles, eat and then crash in bed for a few hours. Usually that did the trick.

    Well this time irritable Milena is working and has other responsibilities so time isn’t as bountiful as it used to be. Ten years ago the old trick might have worked but it is dated and irrelevant to the life I lead today.

    Yep, today instead of relying on the archaic methods of 2001, I centered myself by taking my dogs, Parker and Mala, for a walk in the beautiful summer weather, rocked out to Rhianna in my car and then thoroughly enjoyed a cheeseburger that was strategically followed with a slice of cheesecake. Let me just say I am enjoying Milena of 2011 and I am enjoying my training a lot more.

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