Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Fishy Business

    When it comes to healthy eating, fish is always at the top of my list. Oily fish like two of my faves, salmon and tuna, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids—which have been known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce coronary heart disease. Although fish-heavy diets risk mercury exposure, the FDA recommends that people consume no more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from food daily. And fish are a low-fat source of protein, which is essential for weight loss.

    So sounds like fish are a go, right? Except for one thing: many popular fish are endangered. Vita Girl to the rescue! Read the following list for your best picks for fish to get your omega-3s.

    10 endangered fish:

    1. Albacore Tuna 2. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 3. Atlantic Cod 4. Atlantic Salmon 5. Chilean Sea Bass 6. Eel 7. Imported Shrimp 8. Japanese Yellowtail 9. Red Grouper 10. Orange Roughy

    Swap those 10 endangered:

    1. Alaskan Sablefish 2. Alaskan Wild Salmon 3. American Lobster 4. Pacific Cod 5. “Pole and Troll” Tuna 6. U.S.-farmed Barramundi 7. U.S.-farmed Shrimp 8. U.S.-farmed Tilapia 9. U.S.-Yellowtail Snapper 10. Wahoo

  • Energy Zapped?

    I don’t know about you, but after dragging myself to spin class or forcing myself to run as the sun comes up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I am always pooped come Thursday and Friday! I love working out in the morning and it is always worth it to know that I don’t have my workout looming ahead of me all day at work, but I start to lose my momentum toward the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your energy up throughout the week:

    ·         Get moving! This is a given, but the more active you are, the more energy you will have. If you sit at a desk all day like I do, try to take frequent breaks to walk around and boost your circulation. Also, make sure to sit up straight to increase your oxygen intake.

    ·         This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but regular workouts help keep energy high.

    ·        Dehydration is an instant energy-zapper and gives this Vita Girl an instant headache.

    ·         Try something new! New experiences give you a rush of adrenaline. Have you always wanted to try kayaking? Rent one and hit the water. I usually spin and run but when I want to mix things up I try a yoga or Pilates class.

    ·         Speaking of yoga, a few deep breaths can give you a boost when you’re feeling zapped and need a pick me up.

    ·         Make sure your blood-sugar never dips too low. I eat small meals throughout the day and always keep Vitalyte Sticks in my bag to jazz up water when I am short on time.

    ·          Spend time outdoors! There’s a reason you feel relaxed when at the beach or in the woods, spending time outside lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones.

  • Top 10 Best Brain Foods. Consume and Thrive.

    Captain Vitalyte here excited to report the top 10 foods proven to improve your mind and fuel your body. Which one is your favorite?

    1.    Blueberries—Regular blueberry consumption improves memory function in addition to being rich in antioxidants. Research has also found that blues can reverse age related issues relating to motor function, balance and coordination.

    2.    Salmon—Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps your brain develop tissue thereby increasing and intensifying your brain power. Further, salmon also plays a key role in fighting Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive disorders.

    3.    Flax seeds—Flax seeds are chalk full of ALA- a healthy fat that inspires the cerebral cortex in its function. This portion of the brain is in control of processing sensory information and is obviously imperative to functioning.

    4.    Coffee—Yay for caffeine! Regular coffee consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other mental disorders. Caffeine contains antioxidants and those puppies are good for you. The important thing to note is those added sugars, flavors etc are NOT part of the goodness so consume accordingly.

    5.    Mixed nuts—Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and other nuts contain properties that help with everything from fighting insomnia to promoting mental clarity and strong memory. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 and almonds contain natural mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Note though that they are high in calories so pay attention to portion size!

    6.    Avocados—Don’t let the avocado’s fat content fool you. It’s a healthy fat that promotes blood flow, keeping your mind functioning at its peak. Avocados have also been shown to lower blood pressure.

    7.    Eggs—Egg yolks are rich in choline, an essential nutrient to improving memory function and they're super versatile. Make a hard boiled egg to add to your salad or a breakfast scramble atop a piece of whole grain toast and you'll be thinking clearly and awake in no time!

    8.    Whole grains—From oatmeal to whole grain bread, whole grains are excellent brain foods as they improve circulation and contain essential fibers, vitamins, and even some Omega-3. Also try Ezekiel bread- a sprouted grain that's all the health rage these days.

    9.    Chocolate—Dark chocolate not only tastes great , but is also antioxidant-rich, improves focus and concentration. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, improves memory and reaction time. So eat up!

    10.    Broccoli—Broccoli has been shown to improve memory function as well as slow the aging process. This means a broccoli-rich diet will keep you young and sharp.

  • Give Meatless Monday a Try

    Vita Girl here! Since it’s Monday, I thought I would make a healthy living suggestion that I have already adopted: Meatless Mondays. Relax, I’m not asking you to give up meat entirely (I am not a vegetarian myself), but cutting down on your meat consumption by just one day a week can lower the amount of sodium and saturated fat you consume—especially if you eat cold cuts.

    I like a turkey sandwich as much as the next girl, but there’s no denying that processed or cured meats contain nitrates, chemical preservatives, sodium and saturated fat. I always look for organic or whole cuts of meat for my sandwiches and try to eat meat-free a few days a week. To ease yourself into eating less meat, maybe try just one day a week, like Meatless Monday!

    Some of my favorite meatless lunches include a regular old PB&J on wheat bread; a healthy burrito made from grilled zucchini, black beans and low-fat cheese; and an egg white frittata with broccoli (made in the micro!). Paired with some fruit or baked pita chips and washed down with mineral water and I am completely satisfied!

  • Staying Germ-Free at the Gym

    Vita Girl here! Today I want to address a workout tip that you might not think about: avoiding germs at the gym. I know everyone’s sweaty and avoiding germs might seem like a lost cause, but a few simple antimicrobial tools can keep you from catching a cold or another illness while working out. Follow my health advice below and your workout will be (almost) germ-free.

    1. Invest in your own gym equipment. I know, that’s why you belong to a gym, right? Well, I splurged on my own yoga mat and medicine ball and have never been happier. Many newer yoga mats even boast antimicrobial technology so one quick swipe with a damp paper towel and you are good to go!

    2. That goes for a gym towel, too. You gym may provide towels, but think about how many sweaty people are reaching for them! You can find towels with antimicrobial technology to cut down on surface bacteria as well.

    3. How many times have you gone straight from the gym to meet a friend for coffee or run an errand? I admit that this happens to me frequently, which is why I always make sure to wear workout clothing with odor-eliminating and antimicrobial technology.

    4. You wouldn’t walk around a public restroom barefoot would you? Well, the same goes for the gym. Wear flip flips when walking around the showers and locker room. I even go one step further by wearing in-studio footwear during yoga and Pilates. Bonus: they help me from slipping in Downward Dog.

  • Stop Sweat It Its Tracks

    Full disclosure: I, Vita Girl, sweat when I run. A lot. I watch with envy as I pass girls without an ounce of sweat soiling their Lululemon outfits and don’t know how they do it! Gulping down an electrolyte replacement drink post-run hydrates me, but I set out to investigate what else I can do about the s-word (sweat).

    Even if you aren’t physically sweating, you are still losing water and vital nutrients, which is why drinking Vitalyte is important. According to a study conducted by Women’s Health, we perspire enough each day to fill a shot glass! And that amount is before running or working out. As for the amount you sweat, blame it on your DNA, which regulates the actual amount we sweat.

    The easiest way to stay dry when exercising, giving a presentation at work or even on a first date is to swipe on antiperspirant. Look for a formula that contains aluminum, which is absorbed into your skin and puts a cork in your sweat-producing eccrine glands. Applying antiperspirant at night will help keep you even drier the next day.

    Clinical-strength over-the-counter antiperspirant is another option. It packs more of a punch than regular old antiperspirant thanks to as much as 20 percent aluminum zirconium (the max amount permitted by the FDA).If that doesn’t work, Botox might be the answer. Relax, I’m not asking you to go the Real Housewives route, but the wrinkle reducer can be injected into the forehead, palms, feet or armpits to stop sweat for up to eight months. Be forewarned: the FDA-approved procedure isn’t cheap.

  • Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Minus the Hangover

    Vita Girl here, just stopping by to wish you a happy Cinco de Mayo! I know I’ll be in indulging in a margarita (or two!) in honor of the holiday, but I don’t want to be paying for it tomorrow and I’m guessing you don’t either. Vitalyte can help.

    First off, if you are choosing a margarita as your Cinco de Mayo drink of choice, pick a classic margarita on the rocks instead of a frozen margarita. You’ll save hundreds of calories and cut way back on sugar without sacrificing taste. If you’re going for beer, rest easy: most Mexican beers clock in at around 150 calories per 12-ounce bottle. You can always opt for a light option to slash calories even further.

    Even if you do follow my suggestions for the best Cinco de Mayo libations, you might still wake up with a hangover, which is where Vitalyte comes in. Drink some of the electrolyte replacement drink tonight and first thing when you wake up tomorrow. Alcohol acts as a diuretic—causing dehydration—but also dehydrates the cells of the body and the neurons of the central nervous system, which is why you wake up with a headache, dry mouth and no appetite.

    So down some Vitalyte before you head out for chips, salsa and margaritas, have one before you go to sleep or in the morning (or all three!) and prevent a hangover this Cinco de Mayo and all summer long. Salud!

  • Stay Cool When Temps Heat Up

    There’s a new Vita Girl in town! For my first guest post for Vitalyte, I thought I’d make a confession: even though I know how good I’ll feel after my run, it is still a daily struggle to lace up. Lately, the excuse that has been popping into my brain before I get ready for my usual four-mile run is the heat. It might be easier to run outdoors when the weather is nice, but I have a hard time staying hydrated when it’s hot out. Sweaty and thirsty is definitely not the look I am going for this summer, so here are my best stay-cool tips for running in the warmer months:

    • Start early. I find that it’s easiest to hit the pavement first thing in the morning, before it gets too warm and, more importantly, before I find something else to distract myself with! Sure, checking my email in my PJs sounds nice, but checking my email freshly showered after my run is even better.

    • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Mother Nature provides the best form of hydration in mineral water and there is no need to mess with perfection. Sometimes plain water isn’t as appealing post-run as sugary sports drinks are, so choose ones without artificial colors and sweeteners.

    • I slather on sunscreen year-round, but during the warmer months I wear a hat on my runs for added sun protection. Bonus: a hat keeps my hair off my neck so if I don’t have time to wash it after my run it is in better shape.

    • I constantly update my running playlist so I never know what song is coming next. It’s much easier to finish that last half-mile when listening to one of my favorite songs! If I am adding mileage to my run, I will even tack on a few extra songs to trick myself into forgetting that my run is longer.

    So in the winter I grumble about running when it’s brisk out (my ears get cold!) and in the summer I lament about dehydration because of the warmer weather. That still doesn’t stop me from running, whether it is to relieve stress, enjoy the outdoors or make up for indulging in that extra slice of pizza (okay, maybe two extra slices) last night.

  • Harnessing That Childlike Energy

    As a guest blogger for Vitalyte, I have to level with you. I am not a huge endurance sports person anymore. Although I used to be. When I was a kid, I was a gymnast for nearly 10 years. I went to practice four times a week for four hours, and during competition season, I was competing in meets almost every Saturday for hours on end. Coupled with those 16 hours of practice a week, I also had dance lessons for another two hours a week. On top of all that, I am proud to say, I was a straight-A student.

    Boy, if only we had the energy now that we had when we were kids. Think of everything we could get accomplished. I want to channel the inner child in me and harness that energy once again. I challenge you to do the same.

    To start with, I am going to make myself healthier. When I was a kid, I was always on my feet, whether that be at gymnastics practice or outside playing with my friends. I kept the blood flowing through my veins and I enjoyed it. Now it seems, getting me up and working out is such a task. There is always something else on my mind that I am thinking about or I simply just don’t enjoy working out. I’ve come up with a couple solutions to this.

    One, I am going to consciously allot myself a certain amount of leisure time a day, where I am able to put my worries aside, and focus only on the moment I am in.

    Second, I am going to harness the inner kid inside of me and start doing activities that I enjoy. Running is off the list. I never have nor ever will enjoy it. Maybe I’ll look into taking some dance classes, going swimming, rollerblading, bike riding – the stuff I used to love when I was a kid.

    The point is to figure out what made me so happy when I was younger, because when I am happy, I feel healthier. And when I feel healthier, I feel like I can take on the world. I urge you to join me on this mission this year to take back your inner child. Have fun, get healthy!

  • Water Love. More Great Reasons to Get Your H20!

    I grew up in Seattle so it’s safe to say, I know a lot about water. It’s everywhere up there. There are two lakes surrounding the city, a vast Sound that it’s nestled in, and plenty of rivers and streams to keep all the fishermen in the Pacific Northwest happy. And the rain. Oh the rain. It seems to remind native Seattleites everyday of its existence. Ok, maybe not that often but quite a bit. Now I live in sunny Southern California. And I find I hardly get enough water in my life. My skin is constantly dry, my eyes are constantly searching for tears. So this has all led me to do some thinking about the importance of good ol’ H2O in our lives. We all know that water and hydration are essential to proper functioning, but did you know about these other benefits?

    For one, if you’re not properly hydrated you will most likely feel fatigued. A lack of water forces your brain to work harder than it otherwise would to perform the same tasks. Wonder why you have that splitting headache? It could be because you haven’t had enough water. Cells need water to function. So, don’t starve them!

    Now this next little tidbit of hydration information particularly caught my interest. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t get enough dairy everyday. As a mildly lactose-intolerant individual, I cannot go near milk, limit my cheese intake, and only have yogurt on special occasions. So, one thing I worry about is getting enough calcium in my diet. I definitely don’t want my bones to start decaying someday. Well, drinking mineral water may help to up your calcium intake and prevent bone loss. There we go. Crisis averted.

    Here’s another little doozy that I just love. Drinking cold water (around 37.4 degrees) can help to increase caloric expenditure for about an hour after you drink it. The cooler water forces your body to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. Translation - you burn more calories. Also, having a glass of water before you eat can help to curb your appetite so you eat less.

    So there you have it. A few cool reasons why you need to stay hydrated!

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