Sports nutrition guide for high-intensity athletes

In my younger days, I was a track and field athlete. But I had no idea about sports nutrition. However, I did pay attention to what made me perform better or worse. Having more carbs was fine, especially for running, jumping and other cardiovascular exercises. But fats and greasy foods made my body more sluggish. A runner might eat more carbohydrates because his muscles will use them for energy, whereas fats and proteins are converted to energy much slower.

Be Proactive and Eat Just the Right Amount of Protein

Protein seems to be one of those nutrients where people resort to extremes. Some people consume more protein than they need because they want to be strong and lean, while others aren't getting quite enough because they haven't fine-tuned their plant-based diet. High-protein diets are among some of the most popular for weight loss, but they may actually come with unwanted side effects like weight gain and greater risk of death in people with heart disease risk factors. But somewhere in the middle is a healthy, balanced protein diet that is just right for the average man or woman.

Are all protein powders created equal?

Protein powders have become the go-to meal replacement option. According to Euromonitor International, 2013 sales of protein powders were at least $7 billion for sports nutrition powders as well as weight management protein shakes. Conditioned by years of meat-industry proclamations of protein being good for building muscle, yet stymied by the dangers of animal fat in the diet, consumers are turning to powders to get the protein they feel they need. But, potential dangers lurk in certain protein powder supplements.

Does eating breakfast really help control your weight?

It may seem like skipping a meal would help you lose weight, but it turns out the opposite is true. Eating breakfast actually helps with weight loss and long-term weight management. Eating breakfast is a daily habit for members of the National Weight Control Registry. These people have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years. 78 percent of them ate breakfast every day, and almost 90 percent said they ate it at least five days a week, showing that starting your day with breakfast may be an important part of losing weight and keeping it off.

Proactive hospitals opt for antibiotic-free meats

Recently, as I was waiting in a hospital lobby, an article in their newsletter caught my eye. It said that they are now serving antibiotic-free meats in their cafeteria. I was elated! Why? Because by serving antibiotic-free meats, the hospital may very well reduce the likelihood of its patients developing a resistance to antibiotics.

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