Blog Category: Sports Nutrition

5 Reasons Why Our Flex Plan Is Perfect For You

5 Reasons Why Our Flex Plan Is Perfect For You

Has the summer left you feeling a little guilty? It’s time to put aside the guilt and focus on your goals. As the new school year begins, there’s no better time to start forming healthy habits and routines – for yourself and your family. Well, you’ve found yourself on our website, and that’s a great place to start! But, which program is right for you AND which program will generate lasting results? Let us tell you why the Flex Plan will do both of these things.

Our Flex Plan is a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) approach to reaching lasting results health and nutrition goals. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. 3 Month Commitment

Research has revealed that habits take 66 days to form. That is the equivalent of 2 months and 5 days. By choosing our 3 month Flex Plan, the first two months will allow us to get to know YOU and lead you in the formation of nutritious habits. In the third month, we’ll be able to work alongside you as you navigate a balanced lifestyle and solidify your new habits. 

2. Personal Approach & 1:1 Advising

Everyone loves when things are personalized to them, and with our flex plan, you’ll have just that. The flex plan provides you with 6 one on one consultations lasting up to 40 minutes. This way, we are able to get to know you, your concerns, and your desires so that we can provide you with plans and suggestions that are tailored to your lifestyle and your preferences!

Doing this ensures that we are comprehensive in each of the following topics:

3. Healthie App Access

Healthie is a mobile food and activity diary that will help you stay motivated during your time on our Flex Plan. With this app, you simply take a picture of what you ate, drank and type in any workout you did. This allows us to assess your meals and make sure that they’re balanced. It also allows us to ensure that your food choices compliment your goals.

4. No More Counting Calories!

Think coming to a dietitian is going to involve time wasted looking up calories in ingredients and typing in each one? Think again! Our approach to nutrition removes this tedious task. Research has shown that calories are not reflective of the quality of food that you are eating. Rather, they just reveal how much energy the food can provide. At Eat 2 Perform, we look at the photos you’ve provided through Healthie to help you make sure that you are eating nutrient-dense, balanced meals that work for you.

5. See the Change

Over the course of three months, you’ll see your habits change as you look back on Healthie entries. Eat 2 Perform aims to help active individuals reach their highest level of performance. Since we commit to you for three months, you will also likely see your performance improve. With our help, you’ll establishing healthy habits and routines to ensure that your body is in the best shape for whatever you desire – speed, strength, agility, etc.

There’s no need to wait for Monday or for the new year to accomplish your goals when you could start today. We are ready for you! Send us an email and we would love to work with you as you begin to navigate the changes that will come when you make your nutrition a priority!

Down to the Bone on Bone Health

Down to the Bone on Bone Health

What do we want? Strong bones! When do we want them? Now! How do we get ‘em? Let me tell you!

Bone health is important for people of all ages. We are born with 300 bones in the body, and by the time we reach adulthood, we have 206 bones, each with specific functions that, when combined, allow us to move, bend, and perform the way we want. 

Don’t be concerned about the “lack” of bones in the adult body, though. The reason for this is just that as our bodies grow, some bones fuse together to create longer, denser ligaments that are capable of doing more work. And the large quantity of bones in young children simply means that this is the time to optimize bone density. Bone density increases until about age 25, and decreases from there. So, parents and influencers of young children should be mindful of this when feeding kids, and especially young athletes, who require the use of their bones regularly.

Eating enough food is one of the most important aspects of bone health. When we don’t eat enough, bones are broken down to create energy for the body to use. Luckily, most young kids are quite intuitive so they are able to listen to their body and ask for food when their body signals hunger. But, it’s a parent/guardian’s responsibility to have foods that promote bone health available when their hunger strikes. And what are these foods? These are foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin K such as eggs, dairy products, beans, and green vegetables.

Another bone building element is the outdoors! Being outside provides large amounts of vitamin D, which increases the bodies’ absorption of calcium – a key component of bone formation and maintenance.

As far as bone-building meals go, try offering eggs or yogurt for breakfast, a burrito with beans for lunch, and maybe steamed vegetables with meat or tofu for dinner. “Bone”-appetit!

Sports Injuries Part 2: Recovering from a Sports Injury

Sports Injuries Part 2: Recovering from a Sports Injury

In sports, there are few things worse than being injured. Sitting on the sidelines for competitions you’ve been training for is not fun. But, good news, there are ways that you can help speed up your recovery process to get back in the game as soon as possible! Check ‘em out below!

  1. FUEL

You’ll notice this is a repeating point from my previous post about preventing sports injuries. However, it is equally as important if not more important during recovery from an injury. When an athlete breaks a bone, tears tissue, or gets a concussion, they are left unable to participate in their typical training regimen. Because of this, many think that decreasing the quantity of food they eat is necessary since they’re not training as intensely or as regularly. Incorrect. In fact, the trauma that your body experiences upon injury is immense and the amount of energy required for recovery is larger than you would think. Eating too few calories leaves the athlete’s body underfueled and will actually slow down recovery.

2. Prioritize Protein

Protein is the main component of muscles, tendons, bones, and many other parts of the human body. When you break/tear/strain something, the proteins that were holding it together are lost. So, it is extremely that you are reintroducing high levels of protein in order to allow the body part to be restored quickly and effectively. In general, an injured athlete should try to eat about 0.45-0.55 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. For a 200 pound athlete, that is around 110 grams of protein each day during the healing process.

3. Vitamin “Come Back”

Known to most as vitamin C, an athlete may consider calling this nutrient Vitamin “Come Back.” This vitamin, which is also an antioxidant, is highly regarded for its role in immune function and its ability to speed up recovery rates after physical activity, and is absolutely critical for any healing process. High amounts of vitamin “Come Back” can improve the rate at which the body is able to respond to and heal injuries. For injured athletes, it is necessary to be eating at least the daily recommended intake, 90mg for males and 75mg for females, of vitamin C. Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, green vegetables, and bell peppers.

4. Fit in Fats

Both our brains and cell membranes are coated in a protective layer of fat. This allows for efficient communication within our body and improves our resiliency to attackers outside the body. Because of this, increasing the amount of fat consumed during recovery is extremely important as the body begins to rebuild what was lost.

Sports Injuries Part 1: Prevention

Sports Injuries Part 1: Prevention

No one wants to get injured when playing their sport, so what can you do to prevent injury? Here are a few tips!

  1. Eat Enough

Eating enough is arguably the most important measure of injury prevention. Ensuring that you are consuming enough calories to meet daily energy requirements is essential. Without adequate caloric intake, you are underfueling your body, and it is extremely hard to make any athletic improvements without sufficient nutrient delivery to muscles. With a calorie deficit, muscle mass will decrease and if high intensity training continues, the risk for stress reactions and/or stress fractures increases also.

  1. Enjoy the sun

When you aren’t eating a varied diet, nutrient deficiencies occur. One of the most damaging deficiencies is vitamin D because of its role in bone metabolism which is directly linked to muscle and therefore, strength. You can get vitamin D from foods such as eggs and salmon, but you can also get plenty from enjoying some time in the sun. Fun fact: calcium, highly concentrated in dairy products, is also essential for optimal bone and health and by pairing calcium-rich foods with foods containing vitamin D, the body’s absorption of vitamin D increases! So, in these hot summer months, enjoy your next ice cream cone (dairy = calcium) outside (sun = vitamin D) to maximize absorption of both nutrients, cool off a bit, and prevent injury!

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Multiple studies have concluded that sleeping less than 6 hours a night drastically increases an athlete’s risk for injury. Decreased sleep is linked to both decreased reaction times and immune function as well as increased production of stress hormones. When these effects are all combined due to lack of sleep, risk for injury drastically increases. For athletes, 8-10 hours of rest is ideal to best recover from training in order to decrease injury risks. If you have trouble sleeping, eating foods rich in magnesium, such as almonds or spinach can be a natural approach to sleep improvement!

  1. Don’t Fear Fats

Although fat is sometimes thought to have adverse effects on an athlete’s body composition, it is critical in injury prevention. While at rest and during low-moderate intensity or endurance sports such as running, cycling, or walking, the body prioritizes the breakdown of fat to fuel performance. So, avoiding fat will increase risk for injury and can inhibit performance improvements since adequate amounts of energy from fat will not be accessible. Additionally, cell membranes are primarily made up of fat. Having healthy, intact cell membranes greatly decreases risk for injury because healthy cells have better reaction times and greater efficiency at sending and receiving signals within the body.

  1. Stretch!

Stretching before and after exercise is extremely important for injury prevention. Stretching before a workout helps to loosen up muscles and prevent injury during exercise. However, researchers caution against getting “too-loose” prior to a workout and suggest trying dynamic stretches before workouts to best protect yourself from injury. For example, do some walking lunges before starting jumping lunges. Save deep stretching for after a workout to allow for the release of the lactic acid that builds up during your workout and decrease the time it takes your muscles to recover.

5 Misconceptions Athletes Make About Nutrition

5 Misconceptions Athletes Make About Nutrition

Remember the saying “you are what you eat”? Well, it’s pretty much true, at least in terms of athletic performance. Nutrition is an essential part of being an athlete. The quantity and type of food you consume can impact your games, practices, energy, and more. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your meals!T

There are plenty of misconceptions about what an athlete should or shouldn’t eat to maintain (or lose) their weight while simultaneously improving their athletic performance. To be sure, everything should be consumed in moderation, but there are some false claims out there that we should talk about.

1.Carbohydrates (carbs) are bad. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

In today’s day and age, low-carb diets, including ketogenic, are heavily encouraged as a method to shave off pounds. (If you don’t know about the ketogenic diet, read about it in here). Here’s the real news: carbohydrate is the main source for generating fuel during exercise. When your carb consumption is inadequate, it means your performance will also be inadequate.

Harvard student-athlete Samantha Acker held a similar misconception but after meeting with a nutritionist, she worked on getting slow-digesting carbs, and says it’s made a big difference.

She says, “I don’t have as many cravings after practice and I feel like I have more energy during long conditioning sets.” Carbs give you sustenance and allow you to play or practice for prolonged periods of time. Depending on the intensity and duration of exercise, you should be fueling up both before and after with carbs. Check out Tables 1 & 2 in this study to find out recommendations based on these 2 factors.

2. You can’t get protein if you’re vegan or vegetarian. And it’s not sustainable as an athlete.

Meat isn’t the only source of protein you can find; it’s just the most talked about. Michigan student-athlete alumni Caroline Anderson is vegan, and also manages to be a record-breaker water polo player with numerous accolades.

She says, “Being vegan is something I believe is very possible for athletes at all levels to do.” Eggs, greek yogurt, Soy products, nuts, beans, legumes and quinoa are all great sources of meatless protein that are found easily and affordable. Another option many athletes take is protein powder. (If you’re interested in purchasing some, use the promo code 219157 for Klean products at this link)

3. You can never have enough water.

I’ve heard the phrase “hydrate or diedrate” a lot. Don’t get me wrong, hydrating before, during, and after is definitely necessary and maybe not emphasized enough. But there’s a danger with  excess hydration. If you’re drinking solely water, and drinking too much of it, you’re putting yourself at risk for hyponatremia, a condition where your sodium levels are too low. Hyponatremia includes a list of symptoms that is detrimental to a person’s health and well-being, let alone their athletic performance. So when you’re drinking that water, make sure you’re also replacing the electrolytes you’re losing during exercise.

4. You shouldn’t eat before a practice or game, because it might make you feel sick or bloated.

To an extent, this is true. The amount of time between when you eat and when you practice, as well as the type of food that you’re eating can impact your performance. And of course, every athlete is different; what works for one person may not work for the next. For Duke student-athlete Daichi Matsuda, eating too close to exercise led to him feeling bloated and gave him cramps. He’s found that eating 1 to 1 ½ hours prior to practice or competition is ideal.

5. Snacks are always unhealthy.

“Snacks” is just a name, as is “lunch” or “dinner”; they all can be unhealthy if you choose to make it so. There are definitely ways to snack in a way that you’re benefiting from it, both physically and mentally. Listen to your body—if it’s signaling you for food, grab a small bite to eat. Avoid heavily processed foods and go for the fiber-filled  foods to keep you full longer. (Click here for a list of our snack bar recommendations).

The Top 5 Nutrition Bars To Give You Energy

The Top 5 Nutrition Bars To Give You Energy

With so many bars out there to choose from, how are we to know which ones are the best for us? Is it the bar with the most protein? Or the one with the lowest sodium? Or how about the one with no fat?

Here are 5 bars that are great for you AND will give the energy you need to take on your day!

1. RX Chocolate Sea Salt

This bar tells it straight. NO BS. The RX bars have very few ingredients in order to provide people with healthy, on the go snacks. The chocolate sea salt bar contains dates, egg whites, almonds, cashews, chocolate, cocoa, and sea salt. These ingredients will keep you sharp, focused, and full until your next meal.

Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 9 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 24 grams carbs (5 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar), 12 grams protein

2. Kind Bar, Nut Delight

Can’t think clearly? Having trouble focusing on assignments or projects? Here is the perfect bar to boost your brainpower, stabilize your blood sugars and get you through your work. This bar is full walnuts and almonds, which have healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to kickstart your brain. These nuts are known to increase brain function and improve memory.

Nutrient Facts: 210 calories, 16 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 14 grams carbs (3 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar), 6 grams protein

3. Health Warrior Chia Bars, Banana Nut

Chia seeds are extremely beneficial to your body. Providing you with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, and calcium, it is a powerhouse of nutrients. This 100 calorie bar is the perfect on the go snack or breakfast bar.

Nutrient Facts: 100 calories, 5 grams fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 14 grams carbs (4 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar), 3 grams protein

4. LaraBar, Cherry Pie

Lara Bars are both delicious and nutritious. The Cherry Pie bar has only three ingredients: unsweetened cherries, dates, and almonds. Not only do the cherries provide anti inflammatory properties,  but this bar provides you with vitamin B and enough energy to fuel your body.

Nutrient Facts: 200 calories,  8 grams fat, 28 grams carbs ( 4 grams fiber,  20 grams sugar), 4 grams protein

5. Perfect Bar, Carob Chip

Busy day ahead of you? Don’t have time to stop and eat? As much as not skipping meals is strongly advised, we all have those busy days where sitting and eating a meal is not an option. The Carob Chip Perfect Bar has just the perfect amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. While this bar is 330 calories, it gives you enough energy to make it through strenuous work days, long travel days, or back to back classes. This bar will hold you over until your able to grab a snack.

Nutrient Facts: 330 calories, 18 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 28 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber, 19 grams sugar, 16 grams protein, 50 mg sodium