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  • The Vitalyte Edge

    The Vitalyte Edge

    It seems that the sports drink choices in your local supermarket or convenience store are virtually endless. With so many colors, flavors, bottle sizes, and advertised functions, how does one choose the right energy drink?  We say go with the best and here’s how you figure out which one of those drinks is the best.

    Imagine that you are standing in front of one of those shelves at the local supermarket trying to decide which endurance drink is right for you.  This process of elimination will help narrow down your choices. Every time drinks are eliminated, the shelf gets smaller and smaller.

    Artificial  - If it’s got anything artificial in it, it has to go. Sweeteners, colors, any ingredient that is artificial gets put on the chopping block. This is by far the biggest category of products you should not be drinking. If the drink is neon in color, throw it out. If it has artificial sweeteners, throw it out. If its flavors come from artificial sources, you guessed it… toss it.

    Sodium – Now that a major chunk of your choices are gone, that shelf should be looking a lot smaller. Now we have to get into the nitty gritty of sports drinks to decide what has the potential to be a good nutritional drink. Sodium is the next biggest category to eliminate. Traditional sports nutrition logic suggests that a body needs massive amounts of sodium to help stay hydrated. While sodium is necessary to help transport other key electrolytes into the cell, too much of it is bad. So anything that has a sodium potassium ratio of more than 3 to 1 gets tossed out. Go with low sodium products!

    Potassium – Now the shelf should be looking really bare. You are going to be down to a handful of sports and hydration drinks. Now that we have thrown out the high sodium drinks, it’s time to throw out the high potassium drinks. This is only really found in Coconut Water. Currently coconut water is under a great deal of scrutiny regarding its supposed false claims about its electrolyte content. Regardless of its true content, coconut water is incredibly high in potassium. Potassium is moved in and out of the cells with the help of sodium so the same logic that forced us to get rid of the high sodium drinks, also requires that we get rid of the high potassium drinks. Your body needs a proper ratio of all electrolytes to function properly.

    Sugar Source – We are really down to slim pickings on our shelf and what is left represents some of the healthier sports products available on the market. Now it’s time to talk about efficiency. Drinks use all sorts of sweeteners to make them enjoyable but the right sweeteners also act as a transport mechanism for electrolytes. The wrong sweeteners slow down the process of electrolyte absorption causing more waste. Glucose is your body’s natural sugar and any food product that is taken in has to be converted to glucose before being used as a fuel source. By drinking products that have glucose in them, you ultimately increase the absorption rate and time of electrolytes by removing the unnecessary processing of other sugar sources.

    Taste – Finally there is taste. If a product tastes bad, you’re not going to be inclined to drink it. So by removing the hundreds of the products that don’t meetour criteria for a healthy sports drink, you should be left with only one choice, VITALYTE Electrolyte Replacement. For over 40 years the very best athletes in the world have turned to Vitalyte as their drink of choice.

  • The Modern Women

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    My name is Milena Glusac and I am a world-class athlete.  I am also the account executive for Vitalyte Sports Nutrition, a coach, fitness consultant and thirty-six year old single woman who is balancing a full schedule with training, work, clients, basset hounds, dating and friends.  My color coded daily calendar looks like a cross between a rainbow and that crazy art style where you flick paint at a canvas until you get something resembling skittle barf. Sometimes it is a lot.  I mean sometimes it is “Oh my God I needed that double-shot non-fat sugar-free latte five minutes ago” a lot.  I am sure there are a lot of you women reading this that can relate to the “hamster wheel” feeling that comes with always running and never feeling like you get anywhere.  As a fitness coach, I often hear women say that at the end of the daily juggling act, the one thing that always gets left out is me. The modern woman can sometimes be a modern martyr. Not by choice, but by consequence of the schedule that demands we wear 15 hats throughout the day. The mother, the worker, the wife, the neighbor, the girlfriend, the cook, the chauffeur are but a few of the different roles we play in our waking hours. The modern woman has become so adept at taking care of everyone except herself. That’s why I am here.

    Modern_Woman-Endurance

    What will follow over the next couple of months, and maybe longer depending on how well this is received, will be my story and what I have learned as a result of being a professional runner, a business woman, and sometimes really bad judge of men. I would love to share my experiences with you and how I went about changing things for the better.  My series of blogs is going to be about my journey from elite athlete to modern woman and how I found a healthy balance of work, fitness and play.  You will learn my twist on the standards for nutrition, hydration, and how to set realistic fitness goals.  But you might also read some entertaining blogs about my experiences on a first date or how to really handle the commitment phobic “boyfriend.”

    So go grab your Starbucks and find that quiet five minutes in your day (even if its in the bathroom with the door locked while your family waits for breakfast) to take a trip with me.  If I’ve done my job correctly, you learn about nutrition, great fat burning workouts, how to get a killer butt and matching abs, what bra to wear for a specific event and even why you should never eat a salad the night before a big race. In addition, and with a little luck, you’ll hopefully laugh with me, cry with me, and come to know me as another woman and friend looking for a small reprieve from the hamster wheel.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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

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