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Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Post Marathon Recovery Advice

    Hello Vitalyte fans! How was the La Jolla Half? I bet many of you are still feeling the burn. And perhaps I should have posted this sooner. But anyways, here are some great tips for post-marathon recovery (provided by the lovely Active.com). Listen up and get your body back on track.

    Step 1 – Recovery actually should start the minute you finish the race. As soon as you’re done, slowly wind your body down. After all, depending on if it was a half or a full, you just ran between 13 to nearly 27 miles. What you really need to do is keep walking for at least 10 minutes after you cross the finish line. Doing so will allow your heart rate and blood flow to return to their normal states. It also reduces the possibility of blood pooling in your legs, which causes fainting. For the remainder of the day you should ideally get up and walk around for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.

    Step 2 – Refuel that empty tank of yours! As soon as possible after the run, eat a healthy meal that includes carbohydrates, protein and sodium. It’s said that essential nutrients are most efficiently absorbed in the first 30 to 60 minutes after the race has ended. That being said, get a good PB & J sammie and drink up that Vitalyte!

    Step 3 – After a few hours have passed since the race, it’s time to soak your muscles in cool water. San Diegans, head down to the beach for a refreshing dip in the ocean. Those of you near a lake, take advantage of its cool waters. If you can’t get to either, draw a lukewarm bath at home and then add ice. Anyway you go, you’ll want to soak for about five minutes to help decrease inflammation and help speed the recovery process. Definitely avoid hot tubs or hot baths! As tempting as they may be, the heat can be a roadblock to recovery.

    Step 4 – Hydrate to the max. Um hello, you just ran a marathon. Drink drink drink to replace those lost electrolytes. Water is key, but sports drinks like – do I really have to hint anymore here? – Vitalyte, will help bring your electrolytes fast. Also, eat small meals frequently throughout the rest of the day.

    Step 5 – Massage out the pain. Schedule a massage no sooner than two hours after the race. If you get one too soon they can create added soreness. But, when you get one a little later on, they have a great impact on post-marathon recovery. Plus, they just feel great and are relaxing.

    Step 6 – For the next 7 to 10 days following the race refrain from running and stick to lower impact activities like swimming, cycling and yoga. If you run too soon after a big race, you are just asking for an injury.

    Step 7 – When you do start running again, don’t go full-speed ahead right away. Slowly work your longer and harder runs back into your routine.

    Hope these handy tips help some of you!

  • Run Your Heart Out! Sunday's La Jolla Half Marathon

    Picturesque vistas of turquoise water and golden sands, the feel of the wind blowing through my hair, the warm sun on my face…. These are a few of my favorite things. Sunday’s La Jolla Half Marathon is coming up and it’s going to be stellar. Ok, ok, I’m not actually slated to run in the race but I for sure may cruise out there to watch everyone and support Vitalyte. But for those of you hard-core marathoners out there who are running, you’re in for a fantastic time.

    Here are some motivational thoughts and race-day tips to get you physically and mentally prepared for Sunday (or any half marathon you may run):

    Just Show Up. You may find that come race-day morning you are tired, stressed-out or just not mentally prepared for the challenge ahead of you. Yes, 7:30AM is pretty early. But the crucial thing is to get there and just do it. Stop over-thinking or if you are going to think about anything, think about how great it will feel to be out running next to the ocean. Even if you get there, start the race and can’t get to the finish line, the important thing is that you were there.

    Take It All In. Now that you’re up and going, enjoy every minute of it. Enjoy the fact that you have two legs that can carry you all those miles. Enjoy the way you feel at mile 1, when you’re fresh and full of energy. Enjoy how you feel at mile 10, even if you are beyond drained (as I would be) and think you can’t go any farther.

    Slow and Steady Wins the Race Well, I don’t know about winning the race, but you will at least be able to finish so long as you don’t overdo it, especially at the beginning. Pace yourself and bring your pace down a bit in the beginning. Then, kick it up a notch or two for the last few miles.

    Have Fun. See all those people on the sidelines? (I will be one of them.) They are there for you. They’ll be cheering you on so don’t forget to have fun and cheer back. High-five the kids on the sidelines. Wave to the crowd. Feeling like you want to give up? Find a fellow racer and start up a friendly conversation. It’s amazing how your pain magically goes away when you focus on outside things.

    Last but not least, Sport Your Finisher’s Medal. Wear it everywhere. Take it to the bar with you. Take it to dinner. You made it though the race. You deserve to have a little self-serving glory. So go ahead and be proud. You did it.

    Good luck on Sunday everyone! We will be rooting for you!

  • Mother Knew Best - Eating Like a Kid Again

    Happy Monday Vitalyte friends! I did some thinking over the weekend and I came to realize that, frankly, I eat terribly. As a 26 year old, who’s on the go all the time, occasionally living paycheck to paycheck and who, to be quite honest, fears her own cooking, my eating habits are not the best. In fact I usually expect a weekly lecture from my mother asking me if I’m eating well and reminding me to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday. But what can I say? I don’t have the time nor the desire to grocery shop or cook. Usually I grab a granola bar for breakfast or skip it altogether, I eat out almost every lunch and my dinners usually consist of cheese and crackers or a frozen pizza.

    Let’s compare this to when I was 10. At that age, my mom cooked for me. She always made sure I had three complete meals a day – healthy, balanced meals – and that I had snacks in between. I always got enough protein, fruits and vegetables. I never overdosed on sugar. Never touched alcohol. And certainly never went near coffee. No wonder I had so much energy.

    So why have I let myself succumb to the vices I am a prisoner of now? Convenience, laziness, heck, maybe even a tinge of rebellion have caused me to change my eating habits so drastically from when I was a kid. Well I say, the bunk stops here. No more excuses. I am going to start changing my consumption habits not for any dietary, weight-loss reasons, but simply because I want to feel better. They say you are what you eat, so I have got to stop putting garbage into my body. My mother never let me do it when I was a kid; she knew better, And now I know better too. I am going to make a conscious effort to grocery shop for healthy foods, not just what is convenient. I am going to conquer my fear of cooking and try new recipes. And I am going to try to kick my caffeine habit (this last one may be the hardest). There are so many other healthy energy drinks that I can try for energy instead.... hmmm like Vitalyte maybe?

  • The iPhone Discoveries Continue... Health Apps

    Ok, so I mentioned a couple of months back that I finally got on the bandwagon and got an iPhone and I have to say, I am beyond stoked about it. I mentioned a few getting-in-shape apps that I had come across, but since then I have discovered so many more! Did you know there’s an app for practically anything you can think of? Street maps, locating your nearest happy hour, home improvement tools? It’s kind of crazy. But here’s my favorite category of apps – Health apps. Who would’ve ever thought a few years back that you could monitor your health through your phone? I mean, weren’t we all just concerned with cell phones giving us cancer? Now they can actually help you improve your health? Well anyways, check out these awesome personal health apps:

    Fight Anxiety – DoAsOne.com’s free Custom Breath Pacer is an awesome tool to use next time you find yourself starting to get tense at work. The app helps you focus on relaxing your breathing. And we all know that it is so important to practice deep breathing when stressed because it helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

    Take Your Yoga to Go – If you are someone who is always traveling around and don’t have a lot of time to pop in to your local yoga joint, this app is perfect for you. The All-In-Yoga HD app is only $3.99 and gives you access to a library of 25 yoga videos, available in both beginner and expert versions. But that’s not the only cool thing. You can actually personalize your yoga workout with this app. It uses an algorithm based on your goals, skill level and time to design the perfect yoga workout for you. There’s also a ton of instructional videos for all those poses that may seem foreign to you. Pretty cool, huh?

    Don’t Get Burned – Ok, so this one’s not really an app but really more of a cool idea. Being a San Diego local, I know that if I go 20 minutes without sunscreen I turn into a lobster within 5. The bad thing is, I seem to forget this on a routine basis. And skin cancer is an all-too-common phenomenon nowadays. For only $4.95 a month you can sign up at OhDontForget.com to receive routine text messages reminding you to put in sunscreen. And honestly, it really does make a difference seeing that friendly reminder everyday.

    So friends, if you haven’t already, seriously check out all the apps and cool things you can do with your smartphone. Marketers are coming up with some pretty clever stuff…. Who knows? Maybe there will be a Vitalyte app someday soon…

  • Skip the Hair of the Dog - Try These Hangover Tips

    We’ve boasted for awhile now that our Electrolyte Replacement Solution is amazing for curing hangovers. It basically replenishes your body of the essential electrolytes it needs for healthy functioning. But, we thought we’d give you some other hangover pointers that the famed Dr. Oz has suggested.

    • EAT PLENTY OF FOOD – Neither Dr. Oz nor we can stress this enough. Make sure to have plenty of food in your stomach before you drink. You will feel the affects of alcohol a lot sooner and a lot harsher if you drink on an empty stomach.

    • DRINK THE CLEAR STUFF – Pale spirits, like vodka, white wine and gin are a better option than their partners red wine, bourbon and whiskey. Dark booze contains more congeners, chemicals that up inflammation in the body, making your hangover worse.

    • H20, H20, H20 – Yes, hydrate! During the party you are at, and when you get home. Before hitting the sack, drink at least two glasses of water. Alcohol dehydrates you and dehydration reduces the liquid around your blood cells and leads to headaches, dizziness and nausea.

    • EGG IT UP – The next morning have eggs for breakfast. Dr. Oz claims them to be his go-to hangover cure because they contain cysteine, a substance that breaks down acetaldehyde, a hangover-causing toxin in alcohol. He also says that both broth and bananas are a good choice because they replenish sodium and potassium lost.

    • SKIP THE CUP O’ JOE – Although most of us love coffee when we are hungover, it actually does nothing to help. Rather, it delays the hangover. Try peppermint tea or a glass of 100% fruit juice. Peppermint soothes your stomach and fructose in the juice helps the body metabolize alcohol faster.

    • WORK IT OUT – While Dr. Oz says you can’t flush alcohol out of the system with exercise, he knows just like we do that exercise produces happy feeling endorphins that make you just feel better overall.

    I should make a point here to say that excessive drinking is always unhealthy for your body. It is best to limit your intake to one drink at a time. However, we have all been down the over-indulgence road from time to time. Hope these tips help!

  • Chi Running

    If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a running enthusiast. If enthusiast is too strong a descriptor, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your time or maybe just enjoy it more. I’ve had my share of injuries. Years of gymnastics, dance and over-training will do that to you. I heard about Chi as I was searching for ways to enjoy running again. They had become painful, labored and with joint pain everywhere, I found it difficult to relax and settle into a groove.

    Ultra runner Danny Dreyer and his wife Katherine founded Chi Running in 1999. Since then it has grown into a movement. If you haven’t at least heard of it, you may have been living under a rock! So what exactly is Chi? Chi is hard to define, but has been referred to as vital force, cosmic energy and biorhythm. It is our connection to the flow of the universe and the force within the human body. Chi is not just energy, it’s what gives energy the power to be energy.

    Thanks for the lesson, Vita Girl, now what does that mean for my workout? By paying attention to your body and adopting this technique, you’ll minimize injury (at the very least) and start enjoying yourself. The key to Chi is good posture and relaxation. Form is emphasized over speed and power, as well as body alignment, arm positioning, heel strike prevention and maintaining a constant cadence.

  • Clearing the Air

    You know those runners whose minds go blank when they work out? The ones who say, “My head goes silent and I just concentrate on the road?” Well, I’m not one of them. If anything, I use the time to constructively work through the day’s events. For me, it’s cheap therapy. I go until I feel better, the problem is solved or I’m just too exhausted to worry about it anymore. So by the time the endorphin rush kicks in, I’m already halfway to Happy Land. Some of the best ideas of my life have come to me on long runs where I let my mind wander. The more there is to process, the faster the workout goes and the more refreshed I feel.

    Adversely, I find when I “concentrate on the road” my workouts seem tedious and all-around unenjoyable. I become overly occupied with the click in my left knee, the tightness of my sport bra, my breathing, my pace and how much distance I should cover. I notice other runners on the road and feel compelled to compare our strides. To me, concentrating on the road is a lot like sitting at your desk on a Friday afternoon and watching the clock tick down to 5 o’clock. But I know this is what many do when they lace their running shoes.

    No matter your preference: letting the miles fly by as you jam to your favorite tunes, periodically checking your watch as you pass pre-set road markers or letting the free time act as your therapist, there is no wrong way to enjoy your workout. Runners may take different routes, but we all end up at the same place at the end—better off than we started.

  • Types Of Runners: Waddler, Shuffler, Dinosaur, Gazelle & Shi-Shi Runners

    Everyone runs differently. The goal is to relax, fall into a rhythm and finish the race in a respectable amount of time. Right? For some participants, yes. For others, not so much. I realized this during the last race I ran. It was a long one, so I had time to make some observations. And let me tell you, you can tell a lot about a runner’s motivations by their stride.

    The Waddler: Is this person even moving? This one is the easiest to spot. There isn’t much else to say. You know exactly who I mean.

    The Shuffler: Similar to The Waddler, except they can make an impressive headway. So why the shuffle? Maybe they’re injured and have adopted this stride to minimize the impact. Maybe they don’t like the idea of having only one foot at the road at a time. Or maybe they really, really enjoy tap dancing! Who knows. All I know is this type of form reminds me of someone walking over hot coals: shoulders up and tight, bottom clinched, feet working out a little soft-shoe action. They just don’t look comfortable.

    The Dinosaur & The Paddler: Like a T-Rex with its short arms hanging limply in front as it forges through the forest, The Dinosaur is on a mission. Usually a fast-moving breed, they could improve their time if they only worked their arms into the race. I considered naming this type of runner, The Paddler, then realized it deserved a separate, yet related category. The Paddler is what The Dinosaur wants to be. The Paddler may let his arms hang down, but unlike The Dinosaur, he slaps at the air and pulls it behind him. The Dinosaur gets dusted by The Paddler, left alone and wishing evolution was a speedier process.

    The Gazelle: The most beautiful runner on the street. Carefree. They lope through the course with the boundless energy of any number of forest animals, but only the gazelle shares this runner’s grace. I’ve often wondered if they were taught this form, because you tend to see packs of The Gazelle at cross-country track meets. But after years of trying to mimic this stride and failing miserably, I now believe they were born this way.

    Like a UFO blasting into space, The Gazelle appears as a flash in the corner of your eye and then is gone. The next time you’ll see him, he’ll coolly be sipping Vitalyte and downing a banana as you cross the finish line.

    The Shi-Shi: There’s a whole lot of prissiness going on here. Usually dressed to the 9s. They look like they know what they’re doing but are too concerned about perspiration ruining their outfit to really go for it. Their stride usually has some lateral motion, some wicked hip swagger and possibly some chest protrusion. The Shi-Shi/Dinosaur hybrid is fairly common. I’ve seen many. Next to The Gazelle, they are the prettiest runners, albeit for totally different reasons.

  • How to Make Exercise Fun

    OK, Vita Girl, I’ve got the shoes, I know the yoga poses, now how do I make working out fun?

    Many of us feel about exercise the way we felt about eating Brussels sprouts as a kid— an unsavory thing we have to do to get something we want. Back then, that something was probably dessert or pleasing our parents. Now, it’s looking and feeling good! But sometimes, against our best efforts, our exercise routines become downright uninspired. Boring. The boogey monster separating us from the couch and cocktail at the end of a long day.

    Like eating Brussels sprouts, much of the dread associated with exercise can be traced to adolescence. If you ever played sports, you were probably made to run as punishment (a missed shot, poorly executed routine, etc). An unlucky (and forever scarred) few of us, were also forced to weigh in for events. Those memories are ingrained, no matter how we try to convince ourselves we’ve moved past them.

    When I think of workout fun, I sometimes think of an old episode of Friends— the one where Phoebe and Rachel decide to run together in Central Park. Much to Rachel’s horror, Phoebe takes off sprinting with a type of form never before witnessed in the running community: legs kicking awkwardly, arms flailing, head bobbing side to side. At first, Rachel chastises Phoebe and refuses to run alongside her. Then she realizes how much fun it is and decides to adopt it.

    I’m not saying you should act like a goof and alienate members of your running club. I am saying you should channel your inner Phoebe! It doesn’t have to be all serious and VO2 max all the time either. If you’re focusing on calories burned, counting down the time left on your run, or worrying if you look funny doing an exercise, you’re tossing the fun factor out the window and should switch up your routine.

  • 5 Ways to Get Off Your Hide and Find Your Stride

    I’ve given a lot of attention to running in the past blogs. The reason for it is simple: 1) I love an excuse to get outside, listen to music and be alone with my thoughts; and 2) It gives me a high that’s comparable to eating a box of caramel turtle chocolates (minus the calories). But running isn’t for everyone. Some just don’t find it enjoyable. Others physically can’t because the impact aggravates join pain and old injuries. So what do you do if you want to get active, but aren’t sure how to get back in shape?  Here are 5 tips:

    1) It isn’t forever. Think of exercise as a date, a date who needs to impress you. While sticking to a regime is beneficial, it doesn’t mean you just have to do one thing. Also, the benefits of switching it up are well documented and keep you from plateauing. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find something you want to do day in and day out, your perfect heart-pounding exercise match, the yin to your yang. Until then, let them court you. Don’t settle. Don’t get stuck.

    2) Make it fun. Think back to when you were a kid. Running around outside, throwing the Frisbee, splashing in the pool, rolling down hills. You did those things because you thought they were fun. Remember? Hopping on your bike and riding to your friend’s house was an adventure. Right? So what’s stopping you from making it fun now?

    3) Go it alone or make it social. There are pros and cons to each. A partner will push you. Or they’ll show up and reinforce your I-don’t-feel-up-to-it-today attitude. Ask yourself how you’ll benefit with a partner. Do you mind letting someone see you sweat? Will you be more self-conscious with or without one? Sometimes distraction is good (Wow, did I really just run 5 miles while watching that tv show on the t.v. at the gym?), and sometimes it’s counterproductive (Gee, you’ve been talking my ear off the last hour and a half and I haven’t even broken a sweat.). The decision is yours.

    4) Make a game of it. Set small goals and document your progress. So what if you can only handle the treadclimber 15 minutes your first time out of the gate?  Or huff and puff the whole way through your first Body Pump class?  This will change. And you’re going to start feeling like a rockstar as your endurance improves.

    5) Reward yourself. This is really, really important. Been eyeing that super snazzy pair of running shoes? Been dreaming of a big bowl of clam linguine all week? By allowing yourself an occasional indulgence, you’re more likely to feel good about working out-- Like it’s less of a chore and more of an excuse to pamper yourself. And when it comes down to it, what could be more indulgent than the gift of health?

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