Fish out of Water

Hydration and the importance in our everyday lives

Many people may not think about hydration when they think about nutrition.  This is an important topic as the weather has made a drastic change in the last few weeks.  The human body’s make-up is about 50-70% water. Even a small amount of dehydration can result in a decrease in cognitive functions including short-term memory, alertness, and concentration, as well as many other bodily function impairments.  Overhydration, also known as hyponatremia, is more commonly seen in marathon runners and can also cause serious problems, such as encephalopathy. If untreated, encephalopathy can lead to irreversible cognitive impairments or death. Water is critical to life and all of our body’s systems.   Listening to our bodies and finding that balance with hydration is key.

Some of water’s most important functions include body temperature regulation and homeostasis, nutrient absorption, protection of organs and other tissues, headache prevention, and better digestion.  Many things can influence the body’s water volume and total body weight, such as consumption of food and drink; medications and supplements; urine, feces, and sweat excretion; loss of water from breathing; sodium consumption; and other metabolic processes.  Athletes typically have a higher total body water weight compared to non-athletes because of an increase in muscle mass and and increase in metabolic functions. As we age, total body water typically decreases as our muscle mass and metabolic functions decrease. That does not, however, mean that the risk of dehydration decreases.

Why is hydration important for my nutrition and overall health?

  • It assists with nutrient absorption and digestion
  • Water may help relieve symptoms of uncomfortable constipation (along with a nutritious diet)
  • Staying hydrated helps maintain a good blood volume and blood pressure
  • Water helps prevent muscle cramping
  • It helps rid the body of toxins by way of digestion, metabolic processes, and breathing
  • Water helps with skin complexion and clarity
  • Hydration helps keep all mucous membranes lubricated (mouth, nose, eyes)
  • Being hydrated helps keep our heads clear and our brains alert
  • Hydration is a great indicator of our day-to-day health

What should I do to get better hydrated if I do not get enough water?

  • Buy a new, fun water bottle and bring it with you everywhere you go
  • Carry a gallon with you if you have a hard time counting how much water you drink or if you do not have a source to fill it from
  • Drink a big glass right when you wake up and finish it before leaving for your day
  • Drink more water earlier in the day to prevent making up for it at night and having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night
  • Eat plenty of water-containing vegetables and fruits
  • Drink a glass of water with all meals
  • Get fancy and throw some natural flavor in there occasionally (fresh lemon, strawberries, basil, etc.).  *Limit the added sugars and acids as they can affect your teeth and cavity risk
  • Mark tallies on your water bottle with a dry-erase marker and erase each time you fill it up. Have a goal of how many times you should fill your specific water bottle
  • If you exercise a lot or exercise in higher heat, your hydration needs will be increased, so guzzle a little more water.  Some athletes may benefit from an electrolyte-replacing beverage to help with hydration and replacing lost electrolytes from prolonged exercise

I hope this helps keep your skin clear and hydrated, intestines well-digested, brain alert and focused, muscles hydrated and cramp-free, and your body feeling and moving well!  Find that balance and listen to your body.

-Janna Holmgren, email me : nutrition@uptowncore.com

 

References:

Muth, Natalie. Sports Nutrition for Health Professionals. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company, 2015.

Andrews, Ryan. Precision Nutrition: All about dehydration. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-dehydration

Prehab for Runners

Spring Into Running

By Daniel Hounjet, Intern, Core Health

As the snow melts and weather turns people are eager to get outside and start running.Because of the climate we live in many people either choose not to run in the winter or they run indoor on a treadmill. So, for the most part individuals who start running are not taking the necessary steps to prepare their bodies for the increased strain on the body and to prevent chronic injuries that come with an increased volume of running. The most common overuse and altered mechanics injuries that seem to plague runners include low back pain, shin splints, Iliotibial band (IT) syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runners knee) and plantar fasciitis.  I will provide you with a few recommendations to help prevent some of these issues.

The snow has melted, the streets are dry, the trees are blooming and you’re ready to get your running on… But wait, what is the first thing you should do before exercising? Warm up?! You’re absolutely right. A quick 5-minute warm up will go a long way in injury prevention. When we talk about warming up, we don’t want to go and do static stretches. Instead we want to increase blood flow to the body by increasing our heartrate and go through similar motions as when we’re running. Here are a few exercises that will help warm up properly.

-Butt kickers

-High knees

-Heel walk/Toe walk

-Lunges

 

Warmup

Each exercise should be done for 20-30 feet, 1-2 times. Once we’ve gone through these exercises it’s a good idea to do 2-3 short sprints to really get your HR up. Now that you’re ready to hit the road be sure that your starting with a distance and pace that is significantly below what you ended the previous season. Our bodies are highly adaptable to stresses placed upon it, so it important for injury prevention to slowly build back up to where you where the previous season. By slowly increasing our duration and intensity we are allowing our bodies to adapt to the stresses placed on our body, from the increased strain on our joint, our tendons and even to regain our oxygen capacity.

Cool Down

Our post run recovery is just as important as our preparation and the run itself. That is why there 3 aspects should be incorporated post run. First off, we want to slowly bring out heart-rate down. It may be difficult to do with our busy lives, but having a proper cool down will prevent blood from pooling in our extremities and the unwanted potential for dizziness and or loss of consciousness. Cooling down will also help flush out the metabolite (lactic acid) build up in your legs. Try walking or even a low intensity dynamic stretch will be great to slowly bring that HR back down. Once you’ve cooled down we want to stretch and or roll (foam roller, lacrosse ball etc.) the area that worked the most during the run; calves, lumbar musculature, hip flexors and gluteus maximus and medius. Here are a few stretches to consider.

-Pigeons stretch

-Lunge stretch

-standing calf stretch

-Hamstring stretch

-Stiff leg good mornings

 

Remember that these stretches and rolling these areas are for preventative measures and may not be the right stretches if you have altered body mechanics or are injured. If you suspect you have altered mechanics, (loss of mobility of a joint, hypermobility/ instability and/or loss of motor control) a good general tip to know, if there is an underlying issue and the pain or stiffness is only on one side of the body there is likely something that isn’t working the way it should. If you think you may have a compensation or would like to be evaluated consider seeking professional advice from a chiropractor or Physical therapist.

Advances in Functional Training Excerpt

 

Refueling

Lastly, we want to ensure we are refueling and replenishing lost nutrients. If you are running long distances with a duration greater than 90 minutes at moderate intensity it’s important to replenish our glycogen stores as they will be depleted after an intense distance run. That being said a balanced refuel is essential, consider 4:2:1 ratio of carbohydrates: protein: fat. We want to consume the carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels (glycogen is the muscles energy source for sustained activity). Protein to repair any damage to the muscle due to the increased intensity and lastly fats, which will slow digestion and allow for less of a blood sugar spike post workout. We also want to replenish any fluid losses. Water and a good electrolyte drink will go a long way in minimizing stiffness and soreness. If you are running for a shorter duration under 90 minutes, you are likely not depleting your glycogen stores. Therefore, rehydration and your regular diet will suffice. Research suggests that it is a myth that we need to consume protein within an hour post exercise, and that a balanced meal prior to activity will carry you through your run and even into your recovery. https://jcdfitness.com/2016/09/should-you-eat-fat-in-your-post-workout-meal/

Macros : Where to start

Tracking Your Macros

Let’s get into the bulk of your diet and talk Macronutrients.  Macros are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat.  This is what makes up your daily caloric intake and provides you with energy not only to tackle your workouts, but also to fuel your basic daily functional needs.  Tracking your macros is an effective way to make sure you are staying on track to achieve your nutrition goals.

To build an appropriate diet, we need to find out what your macronutrient needs are.  Body type, activity level, age, and your goals will all help shape how many of each macro you need.  Different people need different amounts of each macro to help either build muscle and mass, or reduce overall body weight.  Working with your nutrition coach will help dial in these numbers to a tight range you want to achieve each and every day.  The My Fitness Pal App is perfect for entering your daily intake.  Here are a few tips now that you have your macro count and a place to track them;

*Be honest!  Track everything even if its just a few bites off your kids plate or a quick snack you didn’t plan on having.

*Don’t guess.  Measure your food.  Portion sizes are tough to judge just based on looks, and this can lead to a massively inaccurate count.  A digital scale is the best way to measure your food.  They are just $20 at Target!

*Track your food throughout the day.  Its easy to wait until 9pm before entering your meals.  Its too late now when you realize you over ate or under ate all day.

*Share your macro count with your coach.  Giving feedback can help expedite the learning process to figure out YOUR best macro count.

Move well.  Eat well.  Be Well.

Written by,

Dane Schneider, Pn1

dane@springhillgc.com

Blood Flow Restriction: Get Pumped

Blood Flow Restriction Training article by Core Health intern Daniel Hounjet

What is blood flow restriction training (BFRT) you ask?

BFRT is when you place a cuff similar to a blood pressure cuff around your arm or leg and perform certain exercises. Once the cuff is placed on the arm or leg you pump the cuff up to the point where you are restricting 80% of the blood that is trying to return to the heart (venous blood flow), while allowing the blood to reach the area of treatment (arterial blood flow). The reason it only restricts flow returning to the heart is because veins that are being restricted are closer to the surface of the skin in comparison to the arteries, therefore the cuff only affects the vessels that are close to the surface of the skin.

BFRT allows individuals to exercise with 20-30% of their 1 repetition maximum (1RM) while going through a specified exercise. BFRT allows for significantly less strain on the joint while still achieving the benefits that you would see with traditional strength and mass gaining exercises.

The exact mechanism is yet to be determined, but personal testimonials and current research suggests that there is proof in the pudding. BFR can be utilized by a broad range of individuals some of which include athletes, weekend warriors, wounded soldiers and elderly. Some of the measured benefits include;

  • Decreased recovery time post-surgery
  • Decrease bone healing time and decrease in muscle loss when a limb is immobilized.
  • Allows for a decreased strain on the joints and surrounding soft tissue while obtaining the benefit of heavy loads
  • Increased athletic performance due to increased muscle activation and increased protein synthesis

BFR has shown a decreased recovery time from surgeries such as ACL replacement, patella tendon rupture or Achilles tendon reattachment. One of the big reasons for BFR benefit in individuals who are recovering post-operation is that they are able to begin rehab earlier and are able to regain their strength without heavy loads. BFRT has been turning heads and is now used by several NFL players, some of which include Adrian Peterson and Jadeveon Clowney.

Blood Flow

With the increased research and success that BFR patients are seeing, it is no wonder it is quickly becoming a staple in many rehab and performance clinics

BFR is exceptionally safe and can be utilized by a broad range of individuals as previously mentioned.  As BFR becomes more known and researched it will surely become clearer what the exact mechanism is that causes these benefits.

There are a few contraindications which include; deep vein thrombosis, pregnancy, varicose veins, high blood pressure or cardiac disease. If you have any of these conditions be sure to consult your physician or trained health care provider.

Blood flow restriction training

Blood Flow

http://www.owensrecoveryscience.com/learn-more/category/in-the-news/P12/

 

Schedule your blood flow restriction session online via the homepage

Stress Effect

Coming off one of the busiest “busy” seasons of my career, I have been thinking a lot about stress.  Stress IS a normal part of life.  We all have it in some form and it comes from a variety of sources, external and internal.  Typically, our bodies respond to stress by activating our nervous system and outputting hormones.  However, there are times when stress is increased or we operate in a stressful environment for a prolonged period.  This heightened period of stress can impact our health in an extremely negative way.  A prolonged period of high stress can alter our mental state, impair our sleep, cause cravings for certain foods and ultimately directly influence unwanted body changes.

In the midst of my tax busy season I found as I continued to push harder and say yes to more and more my mental state deteriorated.  I became more irritable and at times abnormally emotional.  My sleep was profoundly impacted.  I would often feel pure exhaustion but have a complete inability to either fall or remain asleep.  My weight crept uncomfortably up, my muscles were not recovering and I continued to become more stressed and overwhelmed.  I knew I had to make a change but I also felt a desperate need to keep the wheels of the bus in motion.  I feared if I took my foot off the gas pedal everything would fall apart.

It may not be the exact same story for everyone but I can imagine we have all experienced a period of heightened stress.  Chances are there was little we could do to avoid the stress.  We have jobs and responsibilities and commitments to many people and situations.  It is likely that at times our lives are busier than normal.  While we cannot just shut down and decide we no longer want to show up to work or keep our other commitments, it is important to manage our lives so we do not reach the point of burnout.

Once I came out of my busy season fog I made a promise to myself that I was not going to allow the overwhelming feelings to happen again by prescribing to the following:

  • Sleep before everything else. If I cannot fit in something without sacrificing sleep then I need to re-examine my commitments.  I am no good to others OR myself and my body without 7-8 of rest each night.
  • I can say no and it is ok. Less really is more.
  • Walking and low impact moving is sometimes more important for our body than a high impact workout.
  • Meal planning and feeding my body whole, well-rounded meals is good for my brain. Relying on sugar-laden foods makes me feel sluggish.
  • Caffeine can be a bandage if we begin to rely on it to get us through the day. Limiting my intake allows me to function on a more balanced plane.
  • Recognizing the impact stress was having on my body allowed me to begin to undo the negative impact. I had to be kind to myself to start the recovery process.

The weight has started to come back off, I am sleeping through the nights and my emotional and mental well-being are operating at my normal levels.  I am much happier which really the ultimate goal is.  We all will have stress on a daily basis, how we manage it will impact our nutrition and wellness infinitely.

-Amy Moser

For Inquiries regarding our nutrition program please contact me at nutrition@uptowncore.com

Spring Cleaning: Your Plate

Now that our hibernation is over and summer is right around the corner there have been a few things on my mind.  One, I need to do some spring cleaning. Two, I am pumped for all the time I get to spend in the backyard having bonfires and watching the pups run around.  And three, it’s farmer’s market season so I will be cleaning up my diet and adding a ton of fresh veggies to my meals! Fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers galore!  If this sunshine and warmth doesn’t motivate you to clean up your diet and replace some of the rich, heavy comfort food with crisp, colorful, local fruits and veggies I don’t know what will.  Here are some pro tips to help clean up your plate as the sunny summertime becomes a reality

  • Visit your local farmer’s market weekly to stock up on some fresh fruits and veggies for your meals
  • Sign up for a CSA share or split with a friend. Fresh produce delivered to your door
  • Wash, cut up, and place all those veggies or fruits in containers right away to have ready for snacking or throwing in a pan to cook.
  • Make vegetables a priority with your meals and build your plate around them.  Roasted, raw, steamed, grilled, in a salad, in a smoothie, sauteed, or scrambled with eggs
  • Get protein in at every meal to help keep you satisfied (eggs, beef, chicken, fish, seafood, dairy sources, greek yogurt, beans, legumes, etc.)
  • Nix the pasta and warm, buttered bread at dinner and replace it with roasted potatoes or root vegetables drizzled with olive oil
  • Pick some of the seasonal fruit to have with breakfast, for snacks, or a healthier dessert option topped with coconut cream
  • If your fruits or veggies are nearing the end of their freshness, cut up and place in a freezer bag to use later in a smoothie or cooked up as a side
  • Stock up on some good spices and herbs to season your veggies
  • Break out that grill and bring your cooking outside! Get a vegetable basket for easy grilled veggies
  • Balance meals and snacks with protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Examples: Grilled pork chop, roasted golden potatoes and broccoli both drizzled in olive oil; Mixed greens salad topped with fresh peppers, onions, tomato, cilantro, avocado, salsa, greek yogurt, grilled chicken, and a handful of corn tortilla chips; Greek yogurt or cottage cheese topped with fresh fruit and a small handful of chopped nuts and shaved coconut
  • Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it and make meals more complicated than they need to be

I hope these tips motivate you to do some spring cleaning to your own plate and start your summer off feeling well-nourished and energized.

Coach Janna