Category Archives: Diet

Postrun Refreshments – And This Time I’m Not Talking Beer!

In all my years running – after finishing a run, hard workout or race, there were never many options. You could grab a water or an electrolyte-filled drink (i.e. Gatorade, Propel or Powerade). Sometimes I’d think of having a protein shake – if I was doing weights or a really strenuous track workout. So when I learned of athletes on the Spanish River High School Cross Country team running over to the local Publix supermarket post workout to grab a half gallon of chocolate milk and heard Coach Rothman approve, I was intrigued.

According to many experts, Chocolate Milk – with its combined protein, fat, and carbohydrates – may be one of the best post-workout refreshments. And apparently runners know! Following is a survey from Runners World of 5,000 respondents, which asked readers to list their favorite drinks to down after a race or hard workout. The responses were:

  • Water 31%
  • Chocolate milk 26%
  • Sports drinks 20%
  • Beer 15%
  • Other 5%
  • Juice 2%
  • Wine 1%

So getting back to choice #2 – Chocolate Milk…here are more reasons why:

For a high-endurance athlete, chocolate milk is described as a catch-all workout recovery drink. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar — additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.

Downing a post-workout beverage chock-full of carbohydrates isn’t necessarily for the weekend, casual tennis player. A drink like chocolate milk is most useful to a cyclist, swimmer, or long-distance runner. These sports stress high endurance levels and constant, sustained movement. Competing athletes need high levels of calories, carbs, and protein to sustain that level of performance.

*Note that most of the research I’ve seen mentions Low-Fat or Non-Fat Chocolate Milk…

Benefits of chocolate milk:

Chocolate milk is also a source of other nutrients. For example,

  • Vitamin D and calcium in chocolate milk help build strong and healthy bones.
  • Calcium also helps muscles contract properly; aids in blood pressure management; may be helpful in losing body fat instead of muscle mass.
  • Riboflavin, which is a B vitamin found in milk, releases energy from protein, fats and carbs during metabolism.
  • Potassium helps with muscle contraction and aids in fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • When you exercise, you sweat. And when you sweat, you lose essential nutrients. But, you can replace all of these nutrients easily and for low cost. Drinking 16 ounces of low fat chocolate milk within an hour after working out will give you about 320 calories, 52 grams of carbohydrate, 16 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat.

Resources:

Have A Beer…Or Maybe Not

This post is not for my underage readers…so please be warned!

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the South Florida Runs group at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach. There was a no-pressure and “no chip” 5K race/run (which I slept too late and missed) followed by a fun, BYO drinks/food/etc to share barbeque. While I missed the start of the run, I learned later that many of the competitors/participants chugged a beer before the start. As I said, this was a “no chip” 5K. Obviously they would be doing nothing of the sort before a real or “chipped” 5K…or maybe not?!?

It made me start thinking about whether drinking a beer before a run is a good or bad thing. Now I will admit, I am not a big drinker – and especially not a big beer drinker – so this is not really something I’ve really ever considered or contemplated…but I’m sure there are many of you that have.

In college at Brown University, the track and cross country teams held an annual relay race (at the end of the year) dubbed the Beer Mile that involved running a lap, drinking a beer, running a lap, drinking a beer…and so on. (There are many track teams, schools, groups that do this – or so I’ve heard.) Now this was of course a game and definitely didn’t lead to any personal records (PRs)…and wasn’t intended to. But for the runners in today’s South Florida Runs 5K and the rest of us (21 and older runners)…should we actually consider adding a beer to our pre-race regimen? Well, I went out there to investigate…

Having a drink/beer the night before:

  • Carbo-loading right? Well, according to Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., “A 12-ounce bottle contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, which is equivalent to about half a slice of bread. What’s more, because of the way alcohol is metabolized, most of these excess carbs are stored as fat. So you’re actually fat-loading
  • Remember, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning drinking too much the night before a run or race could leave you dehydrated in the morning. (Drinking water before and after that beer may help…)
  • Calming the nerves. For some, yes this can be a good idea (especially if you’ve become used to the practice). But for those like me, that don’t usually drink, the night before a race is definitely not the time to start. In fact, some studies suggest that as little as 12 ounces can disrupt the most beneficial kind of sleep.

 Having a drink/beer right before your run:

  • Again, it will potentially dehydrate you – especially if you are running in the hot sun, like many of the South Florida Runs guys and gals were today. Make sure you drink a lot of water before and after.
  • One runner and writer Christopher Prawdzik, in fact, goes on to say drinking before running can be dangerous. He says:  “As alcohol intake increases, blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow to muscles and therefore reducing endurance during workouts and extending recovery time afterward.”
  • Christopher adds: “For long-distance runners, the effects are even more serious. Restricted blood flow negatively affects the body’s heat regulators — and the door swings both ways. That means both the inability to stay cool in high heat and an abundance of heat loss on a cold day. The brain isn’t immune, either. If the heart can’t pump efficiently, the brain won’t get enough blood, so your balance and ability to focus suffer. But this also means the body can’t detect problems down the road. If you can’t balance or focus, you might not know when you’re thirsty. Unfortunately, alcohol’s most noticeable effect helps mask everything mentioned above. Euphoria, a sense of power, reduced inhibitions and an overall calming effect can tell the brain everything is OK.” Read Christopher’s entire article here.

So all in all, most of the “research” I found focused on enjoying running and how those runners that use the beer to relax seem to do better. However, using alcohol to train (like one would use protein drinks or Gatorade) is probably not such a good idea…And moderation is key (as always).

Here is an interesting article with more information on this that you may enjoy: A Beer Before A Run? Some Serious Runners Say Yes

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What To Buy The Runner “Mom” In Your Life

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and because there are sooo many moms out there that are now running (casually and competitively alike) I figured it was a great opportunity to recommend some fantastic gifts for the active and/or running mom in your life. Here’s the list, which ranges in price, as well as activity level and interests.

  1. Fruit or vegetable delivery from a national chain and/or local stand. I’ve seen a few of these offers on Groupon lately as well as advertised via email. This is a great option for the healthy mom in your life. Add some color and unique vegies/fruits with this convenient and thoughtful gift. Options include: Harry & David’s Organic Fruit of the Month Club or here in Florida Annie’s Organic Produce Buying Club of South Florida. Prices depend on option you choose.
  2. The Nike+ Fuel Band is brand new and a pretty interesting concept. The device is worn snug on your wrist and tracks your activity for the day…turning it into “Nike Fuel.” You start off with a goal of how much movement you want and the lights turn red, then yellow, then green as you near that point of desired exercise. It’s $149 but if even if it just serves as a reminder to start working out and moving, it’s worth it!
  3. AdvoCare Products: Is the running mom in your life looking to tone up and lost weight? Get her on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge program – and better yet, do it with her! It’s amazing what someone can accomplish in just 24 days. Help motivate the mom in your life by getting her started on a quality lifestyle, diet program. The 24 day program (complete with recommended add-ons) can cost around $250.
  4. The ultimate gym bag! The Gaiam Everything Fits in the Bag is eco-chic and can keep anyone organized. Just $60, this is an easy gift for the active mom in your life!
  5. Who doesn’t love leggings?! They are comfortable yet cool; light yet covering; and useful for whatever activity or non-activity someone is doing! For under $30, these Yoga Foldover Leggings can be yours!
  6. EA Sports Active for Wii! So much fun yet hard and great for working out in the home and burning calories! It’s under $33, but remember, you still need the Wii!
  7. A 60-minute massage! Yes, how could I forget. Dr. David Rudnick of the Chiropractic & Sports Rehab Institute in Boynton Beach offer regular massages as well as Raindrop Massage! I’ve had the latter and it is truly amazing! Learn more here.
  8. And no running mom gift list would be complete without the jogging stroller! So here is just one option. Of course, do you research as there are many out there and it’s important to find the right one so you actually use it!

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Running!

Are You At The Right Racing Weight?

I recently read an advertisement for a new diet program and thought I had to share…

As a runner or athlete, you know that every extra pound you carry costs time, wastes energy, stresses your joints, and affects your performance.

And you know that “dieting” doesn’t help much, either. Diets only leave you feeling weaker by starving your body of vital energy and choking off the nutrients you need for muscle growth and training improvement.

What’s worse: With diets, you run the risk of undernourishing your body and losing muscle along with fat. So what’s the answer?

Burn off excess fat, get lean and finally get to your RACING weight.

The ad happens to be for a new book by a Triathlete selling his nutrition program…It goes on to ask, could 5 or 10 lbs be standing in the way of your personal best?

WELL, the book brings up a good question and something that’s important for all athletes and especially runners. In high school, prior to my junior year, I never thought about weight. As Coach Rothman said, do the workouts, eat well and the weight will be at what it needs to be. It seemed so easy then. Junior year, however, I started packing on the pounds. I was growing up you could say. All of a sudden, I found that I needed to pay attention to what I was eating. No more sharing pints of Ben & Jerry’s with one of my teammates in the local Publix parking lot after every long run. It was during the winter of my junior year – between cross country and track – that I got my eating schedule under control. I was on a nutritional program that told me what and when to eat. It was a perfect balance of carbs, protein, fats, etc. I was eating enough that I felt energetic, yet not too much so I kept my body lean. Later on the in the spring, I ended up winning the Florida 6A Track & Field 1600m and 3200m State Championships. So you could say the program worked.

But was it easy from there? No, I definitely went through phases again through my senior year and through college of eating too much again, and then eating too little. My energy was low and my races suffered; or I was carrying an extra few too many pounds and my races suffered. The balance is tough for a lot of us. I am the first to admit it, and that’s why a program that tells you what and when to eat has always been ideal for me. It ensures that I am not eating too much and that I am most importantly not restricting too much! It also allows me to live my life and not worry about what I am eating and if I had too little or too much. Because who wants to spend their life thinking about what’s next on the menu?

Now, 12 years later since that junior year of high school, I am back on a program and enjoying it once again. I am seeing the results and I am feeling good. If you or someone in your life needs that guidance, I recommend the AdvoCare program. It’s a complete nutritional and eating plan that keeps you on schedule and on target to be strong and lean. More details here.

Still not believing me? See some of the results!

AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge

As mentioned in the Diet and Health section, I decided two weeks ago to get my eating schedule under better control, clean up my food (less oils, fats, sugars) in and effort to improve my skin/reduce acne breakouts, and improve my energy levels with less coffee and more vitamins! I started the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge after it was recommended by numerous friends and business colleagues and promised I’d share updates on how the program was treating me. Well here is my first update – on day 11 of the program and right after the first 10-day cleanse:

  • The first ten days went by very quickly and I felt satisfied. I did not have any coffee (for those of you that know me – this is a huge win in itself!); stocked up my fridge with organic vegetables, fruits and meats (chicken, eggs and salmon): and felt pretty comfortable following it all. After a few days – you get used to the schedule of when to have foods, vitamins, supplements, etc. and it becomes the norm.
  • My exercise routine remained the same as it was prior to the start of the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge. (I will add that I ran a comfortable 65 quarter on the track half-way through the 10-days but I can’t really attribute that to the diet!)
  • I lost a total of 5 lbs; 5 inches on my belly; and a quarter inch on my hips. I was in pretty good shape before so didn’t have a lot to lose but I can 100% see my abs better – which is always a trouble spot for me. I need to get my body fat percentage measured again so that I can report that accurately.

And here is the proof! (Please ignore the awful tan lines from running!)

Let me know if you want to also try out the 24-Day Program as I’m a new distributor! Or visit my AdvoCare website here.