A Different Perspective for Athletes to Consider: Don’t Ice for Recovery

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gary-reinlDistance runner Gary Reinl’s meticulous reporting destroyed the long-held practice of rest and ice for healing injuries, restoring the natural course of healing by the inflammatory response assisted by muscle activation – the intuitive “walk it off” order of coaches in his childhood. His insistence on scientific evidence also makes him a user and advocate of The Right Stuff hydration formula developed by NASA.

Reinl, 63, who started running in the 1960s on water and sometimes salt tablets, remembers a nearly 70-mile run from Philadelphia to Ocean City, N.J., in the summer of 1971 wearing Converse sneakers and sipping water from front-yard hoses on the route.

“Everything we did was wrong,” he says. “I’ve done it wrong, and I’ve done it right, and I’m certain that doing it right is way better.”

icedWhen it comes to treating injuries, doing it right is the opposite of conventional wisdom that held sway for decades under the popular acronym RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Reinl’s relentless research found support for the approach, and Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who coined the term in 1978, recanted in the foreword to Reinl’s 2014 book Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option.

Shifting the Conversation

“We have begun to shift the conversation. We’re shifting it to muscle activation to solve the problem,” says Reinl, who represents an electro-muscle stimulation device, MARC PRO® (Muscle Activated Recovery Cascade), that promotes muscle activation. “Why would you put ice on damaged tissue? People believe it reduces swelling. It doesn’t reduce swelling. It actually increases swelling. Your immune system knows how to handle it. That’s why it sends fluid to the damaged area. Why would you try to reduce the amount of fluid sent to the damaged site?”

Ice slows the natural repair process by shutting off signals between muscles and nerves. Inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process as the body rushes blood and nutrients to the area, and muscle activation helps flush out the extra fluids through the lymphatic system. “The last thing you’d want to do is restrict swelling coming to the area,” Reinl says. “You do want the fluid to come. What you don’t want it to do is accumulate and settle.”

In fact, the delay caused by icing can suffocate healthy cells that would not have died as a result of the injury, a secondary cellular death that Reinl calls “negligent homicide.”

Reinl traced the origins of the “Ice Age” to 1962, when a physician successfully reattached the arm, preserved on ice, of a 12-year-old who was injured while jumping a train in Massachusetts. The story became a sensation, and people mistakenly associated ice with healing. “The intent of putting the severed body arm on ice was to preserve the severed body part,” he explains. “It had nothing to do with damaged tissue; it had to do with managing a severed body part.”

The RICE Approach

riceAfter Mirkin published his RICE approach in 1978, soccer moms everywhere kept nifty snap-and-chill ice packs in their pocketbooks. Athletic trainers, who became common on sports teams in the 1980s, could not perform medical procedures but could legally apply ice. Even after Medicare, recognizing the lack of evidence, stopped reimbursing for ice treatments in physical therapy clinics, the practice thrived in sports.

Reinl has worked with athletic trainers and physical therapists from more than 80 professional teams and other elite athletes who have stopped or reduced their use of ice, although some star athletes still insist on the old approach.

These days, Reinl, whose lifetime running total is above 50,000 miles, lives in the Las Vegas desert and routinely runs 10 miles through a canyon where temperatures can exceed 113 degrees. He preps with a pre-run dose of The Right Stuff and takes another packet for each hour on the road when he returns, ensuring that his body chemistry remains optimal for tissue regeneration and recovery.

“You know how good you feel from it,” he says, adding that his son, a lawyer, rejects all otherright-stuff supplements but adopts The Right Stuff regimen. “I can go out and run 20 in the desert and I’m perfectly fine. I carry a couple of gallons of water with me. I stay fully hydrated on my runs.”

He recommends The Right Stuff to runners, endurance athletes, military personnel, and even golfers who spend long hours in the hot sun. You can check out the science behind The Right Stuff.        [Editors Note: links to NASA studies can be found on the brand’s website at http://tiny.cc/TheRightStuffStudies%5D

“Any elites I talk to, I say just look around and look at how people are trying to solve the problem,” Reinl says. “Look at the science behind The Right Stuff.  It improves muscle function. It improves your physiology. It improves muscle activation. It feels good. Every edge counts.”

 

Ultra-Runner Shares How She Wins at Everything!

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meredith-dolhare-badwaterAfter a stellar career in high school and college tennis, a busy married life with two young children, a newspaper column on fitness and a career in PR and advertising, a business as a certified personal trainer, and extensive volunteer work, Meredith Dolhare found herself sidelined with a second badly broken foot in 2007. Her husband Walter suggested she set a goal, and she picked Iron Man – although she didn’t own a bicycle. Dolhare started spinning classes while she was still wearing a cast and competed in her first Iron Man in 2008.

Finding Her Outlet

“I realized I had the bandwidth for it,” she says. “I ran a marathon right before it in Prague. I realized that I liked the long stuff and I had a real knack for the bike. I found my outlet for competitiveness.” She ran 12 Iron Mans in three years, Ironman colored logoincluding three on consecutive weekends in the Alps followed a month later by an Ultraman in the United Kingdom – 6.2 miles swimming, 261.4 miles biking, and 52.4 miles running.

After spinal surgery in 2012, Dolhare returned to run a 100-kilometer race and a 135-mile race. She struggled with nausea – vomiting frequently during races when she ate solid food or too many calories.

The Right Stuff has made a huge, huge difference. The first race I used, it I won

“I have a lot of trouble with electrolyte imbalance,” she says. “The Right Stuff has made a huge, huge difference. The first race I used it, I won” – two hours ahead of the second-place woman in a 50-mile race that was training for the 135-Badwater 135mile Badwater in Death Valley, with temperatures up to 130 degrees. The next weekend, she finished a double marathon in San Francisco even faster, and she placed third among women in Badwater, where she took a bottle of The Right Stuff every 2½ hours. Months later, she finished the companion 508-mile Death Valley Cup – the sixth woman ever to complete both races in the same calendar year.

“I used The Right Stuff also during the bike race,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without it. That product really works for me. I use it sometimes before I run, during the run, after the run. I drink it during the day.” Her 14-year-old son and some others on his cross-country team that she coaches also use The Right Stuff.

Athletic Participation is a Longtime Focus

Athletic participation is a longtime focus for Dolhare, who grew up in Memphis and was the 9th-ranked U.S. tennis player when she graduated from high school. She went to UCLA on a scholarship but transferred after her freshman year to Vanderbilt University, where she was captain of a team that rose from 72nd in the country to eighth by the time she graduated with honors. “It was a great experience,” she says. “I loved it.” But her extensive play – singles and doubles, fall and spring – left her overused shoulder too damaged to pursue a professional tennis career.

Non-Profit Engages People Through Running

After the NCAA tournament her senior year, she married Walter, a star tennis player at the University of Notre Dame who had gone into banking. She started work in advertising and public relations, as well as her “Get off the couch” newspaper column. The couple moved from Memphis to Charlotte soon after their first son was born, and she started volunteering and fundraising. In 2012, she founded RunningWorks, a non-profit running program that engages people in running to foster teamwork, discipline, confidence, self-respect, and respect for others.

Sportscar Racer Shares His Success Formula

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dave-goreeDave Goree’s father sold his race car when Dave was born but quickly returned to the sport – the two were working on race cars by the time Dave was 14. “I fell in love with it and wanted to drive,” Goree says “It was difficult for me to get into sports car racing. I got into motorcycle racing. I’ve been back and forth between motorcycles and cars several times since then.”

In his 35 years in motorsports, he has won races and/or championships in every category except Indy Lights. He has also seen vast improvements in safety in the sport – from losing a driver every year or two in the past to intense focus on preventive improvements in the rare event of a fatal accident.

An ordinary highway accident in 2011 damaged Goree’s lower back, a worse injury than any he has suffered on the high-speed track, but he expects to drive again this season. “We’re building a Sprint car for me to drive and probably another one for an assortment of my friends to drive,” he says.

Starting His Own Team

Goree was chief engineer for an Indy Lights team when the indy lights croppedeconomy soured and the team disbanded in 2009. He started his own team and competed on a shoestring – carpooling with another team to a race in Canada, borrowing a Formula SAE team from a local college, and running an extension cord from the friendly team parked next door. The group stayed up all night making repairs after an accident on Saturday and placed 10th in the race on Sunday.

His Goree Multisports is mostly motorsports but includes bicycle racing and hopes to include equestrian competition. Outsiders sometimes fail to realize the high-level athleticism, both mental and physical, required for successful race car driving, Goree says.

Formula car drivers are athletes.

“Formula car drivers are athletes. The physical demands those cars put on you is hard for people who have never driven one to imagine,” he says, listing g-forces and the hard-to-turn non-power steering. “You’re operating near your physical limits, and it’s such a mental game. Racing is 90 percent inside your head. It’s about ultra-precision – being that controlled operating at mental and physical maximum. It requires that your brain is perfectly hydrated.” [Editor’s note: Race cars do not have air conditioning.  Temperatures in the cabins often exceed of 120°F, significantly increasing the risk of driver dehydration which impacts their respond times needed at such high speeds]

That’s why Goree uses OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Right Stuff –  he’s seen how it helps drivers maintain focus and avoid cramping that can impair driving in the heat of a race.

“In my experience watching drivers, using The Right Stuff vs. when they don’t, especially near the end of the race – you can tell the difference during those the money laps,” he says.

[Editor’s note: For more information about The Right Stuff® from NASA visit www.TheRightStuff-USA.com]

Pro Tennis Player Saves Himself from Dehydration and Credits NASA

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tim-kpulunTim Kpulun was wilting in the Florida heat and humidity, about to run out of energy in the four-hour match, out of all his usual supplements to keep his body in balance, when he remembered the packs of The Right Stuff that a friend had given him. He took the NASA-developed hydration drink additive, called The Right Stuff® for the first time. He felt the power return, and went on to win the match.

I tried The Right Stuff and I felt and saw a difference

“I tried The Right Stuff and I felt and saw a difference,” he recalls. “It is this thing that rejuvenated me. I came through a really difficult match. My body was calm. It wasn’t my fitness that got me through. It is this thing that rejuvenated me. I felt like I came alive.”

Tennis is Life

concordiaFor Tim Kpulun, who grew up in London, started playing tennis at age 7, attended Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., and went pro after his college success, tennis is life. At his parents’ urging in his youth, he switched from playing both soccer and tennis to concentrating on the individual sport. At Concordia, he lost only three matches in three years and realized he could pursue a career.

“There was a year where I went the whole season and I lost one match,” he recalls. “To do this is not easy. I thought, ‘I must be doing something correct. After I’m done, I’m going to give it a shot, put everything into tennis. I am a better tennis player than I was, that’s for sure. It’s made me a better competitor, a better athlete. It turned out to be life-changing I have grown as a person. This sport has designed me. The life that you have is all around this. It’s in your blood. It’s what you do.”

Living in Southern California, Kpulun relates to numerous leading coaches for advice about his game. He has ranked as high as 622; his ranking has dipped to around 800, but he is redoubling his focus and expects to advance quickly. At that level, matches are often in difficult venues and climates where matches don’t stop when the temperature reaches 105 degrees or more. Later this year, for example, Kpulun plans to travel to Cambodia.

“Some of the tournaments we play, they’re not in pleasant places,” he says, adding that The Right Stuff helps him succeed in such environments. “You have no choice. You’ve got to deal with the conditions. Everything there is to test your physicality. You need something to keep you. You need the best thing for you.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“I need this thing to survive those climates. I love Florida, but it’s humid – you’re sweating eating lunch, you’re dehydrated maybe in your sleep. I’m in ridiculously good shape, but it doesn’t matter what shape you’re in – if you don’t have the right thing in your body, you will break. For the conditions we play in, The Right Stuff®has been the best thing by a mile.” [Editor’s Note: Learn more at http://www.TheRightStuff-USA.com ]

Word-Record Holder, Ultra-Distance Runner Shares His Story

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Valmir Nunes Graveyard 100 croppedValmir Nunes has been running ultra-distance races [Editor Note: Ultra-distance races are longer than 26-mile marathons, typically 50-100 miles and longer] for nearly half his life, starting at age 26 after battling back from a debilitating disease when he was 18. The globetrotting Brazilian has won races from the United States to The Netherlands to Greece. He has set world records and still holds the South American and Brazilian Ultramarathon records, as well as the record in the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley.

“I became interested in running when I was 16 years old,” Nunes says “My first experience was a 100-meter race and another 1,500-meter race in school. What attracted me to running ultras was that I always liked exercising. I never really got tired from running; it was never too much. Running ultras gave me the opportunity of running for long period of times. I like being a professional runner because I have been all over the planet and I have friends from all different parts of the world. I have been through many things in my life, but my passion for running has helped me overcome all the obstacles.”

…my passion for running has made me overcome all the obstacles

Valmir Nunes badwater_2007Nunes won the 1991 world championship in the 100-kilometer race in Italy and the USA National 100 Kilometer Championship. In 1995 in The Netherlands, he set a world record in the race that stood until 1998. Nunes won the 153-mile Spartathlon in Greece [Editor Note: this race takes a similar path to the one Pheidippedes ran when seeking help during the Battle of Marathon] in 2001 and the Badwater 135 (217 Km) from Death Valley up Mt. Whitney in 2007, in 114° heat in his time of 22 hours 51 minutes 29 seconds, the first time the race had been completed in less than 24 hours. More recently, he won the 170.1-mile (274 Km) 24 Hours in Taiwan and the 24 Hours in Croatan in Croatan National Forest in North Carolina.

“The first time I ever saw The Right Stuff TRS_LOGO_2015_BACKGROUNDwas in a running packet I received in a race in the United States,” Nunes says. “I used it, and I really liked it. The Right Stuff helps me stay hydrated and as a positive consequence it helps me with my resistance – which is very important when running long distances – and lowers my heart rate.”

“What attracted me to start coaching other people was the idea of teaching others what I had learned through my experiences,” he says. “It is very important that runners learn how to pace themselves; how to keep hydrated before, during and after races; how to be mentally prepared to enter a competition; how much to train – and to understand that we all have good and bad times during a competition.”

Nunes, who published a book on ultrarunning in Portugese in 2010, also recommends The Right Stuff to the runners that he coaches.

Ultrarunner/Clinical Nutritionist Offers His Take on High Fat Diet for Endurance Athletes

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Carwin LIDr. Carwyn Sharp traces his interest in nutrition to his undergraduate days when he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland. He also holds a Master of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Nutrition/ Nutritionist from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  He also has 14 years of coaching experience including as the Head Performance Coach at Elite Training 4 Athletes. In addition, he is an accomplished athlete with a marathon PR of 2:46 and is a competitor in ultra-distance running races.

Today, Sharp is Chief Science Officer for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). NSCA LogoHis interest in nutrition is personal as well as professional.

“I got into endurance sports and more recently have been dabbling in a high-fat diet,” Sharp says. “There are a lot of endurance athletes using high-fat diets. You’re training your body to utilize fat.” This approach avoids the problem of carbohydrate-dependency for athletes whose workouts or events, such as marathons or Iron Mans that last three or more hours and require replenishing of the carbohydrates.

“If you’re dependent on a high-carb diet, which most athletes are, you can have a problem,” Sharp says. “You’ve got enough fat to last for days. It intrigued me. The benefits of the high-fat diet opposed to the high-carb diet are pretty evident.” The downside to high-fats diets, he says, is that it leads the body to excrete sodium at a higher rate than carbohydrate users.

I felt better once I had taken the extra sodium. Since then, I always have it around just in case.

“You need to replace a lot of fluids and a lot of electrolytes,” he says, especially in the high-altitude area like Colorado Springs where I live.

I was looking for a product I could take during longer workouts. When you go out on these long training bouts or race events, having something palatable is very helpful. A lot of times when you’re running, you don’t have access to soup along the way. You want something tasty as opposed to water and tablets. For me, I was having some GI problems. I have a fairly sensitive stomach. You want something in liquid form.”

Sharp met David Belaga of The Right Stuff at an NSCA conference and tried the product during the 2013 Leadville Trail 100 (mile) race in Colorado.Leadville Series

“I was really dehydrated,” Sharp recalls. “I felt better once I had taken The Right Stuff. Since then, I always have it around just in case. I recommend it to athletes. I recommend it to anybody who’s interested in trying a higher-fat diet. It certainly something worth trying. One of the keys is that it is a no-calorie product. I think some people consume too many calories.”

[Editor’s Note: The Right Stuff® is NSF Certified for SportCertified for Sport Mark_Blue 633KB which means every batch is tested and cleared not to contain any banned substances, heavy metals or any other adulterants; learn more: http://nsfsport.com/listings/certified_products_results.asp ]

Decades of Competing in Endurance Races Equals Many Years of Success

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greer 2Mike Greer, who grew up running track and playing football near Lubbock, Tex., was a heavy-sweating athlete long before anyone invented electrolyte-replacement sports drinks. “I wonder how any of us even lived,” he says. “They wouldn’t allow us to hydrate during workouts or after workouts sometimes.”

Today, at age 76, with 44 marathons and 369 triathlons (so far) on his resume

Greer has adopted The Right Stuff to keep himself hydrated, and he recommends the product to others who come to him for motivation and participate in his events. His BSLT Triathlon Inc., which organizes 10 triathlons and other races each year, held its BSLT Logo26th annual Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake east of Lubbock in June.

Greer’s long story, with chapters still being written, has health at the heart and touches a host of family, education, business, and hobby experiences.

After high school, he won a full athletic scholarship to the University of Houston, U of Houstontransferred to the University of Texas at Arlington in both sports, and served in the Army for nearly three years, keeping up his fitness and his competitive drive in his career as a sales representative and business owner. Without a UT Arlingtonhigh school or college coach to motivate him, he motivated himself.

Going the Distance

“I maintained my fitness over the years by doing things I could do,” he says. “In the Army, I took up the game of handball. After 12 years of that – sometimes you’ve got to recognize things going on in your body – I decided to go for more aerobic stuff.” He broke a foot during a handball tournament and was suffering frequent pain in both elbows.

Greer’s track events had been the 100-, 200-, and the 400-meter relay in college, and he had stayed away from distance running. But he decided to run a mile one day, and after two weeks, he was running 10 miles. “I wasn’t running very fast, but I was running,” he says. “I liked the feel of it. I started running with the local running club.”

In the mid-1970s, Greer entered his first marathon, near Lubbock, and finished in 4:52 – through a wind chill of 40 below zero and 20 water crossings – placing second when he let a bundled-up competitor pass him in the last quarter-mile. “That was my introduction to endurance running,” he says. “It really charged me. I had the bug.” He cut his time to 4 hours in the next marathon and broke 4 hours in the third. With that start in 1977, he’s run 44 marathons and 65,000 miles. Since he turned to triathlons in 1983, Greer has run 369 and counting. “I want my body to stay in shape,” he says. “The main thing I believe in exercising is the heart muscle.”

The main thing I believe in exercising is the heart muscle.

Greer met David Belaga at the USA Triathlon expo in Colorado and became a representative for The Right Stuff soon after trying the product.

“Being an endurance athlete, I’m always looking for something that’s going to help with leg cramps, help me prevent dehydration,” he says. ‘It was designed to do that for very important people – when you go in a spaceship and you go off the planet, you’re going to be naturally dehydrated. They designed it for them, but endurance athletes dehydrate a lot too. 4 flavors V_comp wh bkgrndThe Right Stuff is so far ahead of what’s out there from a hydration standpoint. Rather than dehydrate and do something about it, it gives you the ability to hydrate and stay hydrated and not go into this deficit.”

Greer drinks The Right Stuff in 16 ounces of water when he works up a sweat, such as a few minutes on the bike after swimming in a triathlon. “When you feel a sweat, you start drinking,” he says. “That’s my rule of thumb. Don’t try to slam it.

Your body’s more open to receive The Right Stuff once you’d worked up that sweat in the heat of the workout or the heat of competition. That’s basically how I use the product and recommend people use the product.”

Concentration is Key

The Right Stuff, like dependable bicycle tires and well-stocked water and food stations on the triathlon route, leave him free to concentrate on competing, Greer says. “I know my hydration’s good,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to worry about anything but competing. That’s the ultimate for an athlete.”

While pursuing his demanding fitness regime, Greer has also earned the equivalent of a master’s degree in military science and a Ph.D. in psychology; organized eight businesses, including a material handling firm for the cotton industry; stayed in the active reserves for the Army, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel; written two books; and raised six children. Greer has 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He and his wife Marti are in the USA Triathlon Federation South Midwest Hall of Fame, and she is in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for gymnastics.

greer imageGreer advises endurance athletes and others as a certified life coach (greercoach.com), more motivational than technical. “I motivate people to do the sports if they’re interested in being motivated. I’ve motivated lots of athletes who came to me and said ‘what do I do to get started?’” he says. “I give them my formula. It’s not even written down. I tell them, ‘here’s the three stages you’re going to be involved with me. Then get a good coach.’” One woman who took his advice became one of the top ultra-endurance athletes in the world, winning double Ironmans five times in eight years.

In his spare time, Greer rides a Harley-Davidson and studies U.S. presidents. Recently, a remark about Jimmy Carter’s goal-setting inspired him to make a long-range list that will take him to 91. That includes at least 10 events, including three half-marathons, a year, and probably some more Ironman races.

“That’s the way I do my life,” he says. “It’s been a full life up to here, and you know what? It’s not over. During the years, I’ve tried to stay right on the cutting edge. I’ve been able to have a very diversified life.”

Introducing New All-Natural Lemonade The Right Stuff® Hydration from NASA

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lemonade pouch 10-15New The Right Stuff® Lemonade is a new flavor of the same highly effective NASA-developed, blend of electrolytes, which as always, contains no carbohydrates. This new variety is sweetened with all-natural Stevia and like all the other flavors, is NSF Certified for Sport.

Based on numerous published studies (links can be found here on our website), The Right Stuff is far superior to any other NASA-tested formula for:

  • Combating the cramps, muscle fatigue, light-headedness and headaches caused by heavy sweating, dehydration and electrolyte loss
  • Increasing endurance by over 20% or more than any other NASA-tested formula
  • Improving core thermoregulation;protecting athletes’ bodies from overheating during times of intense exertion and in high heat settings

All versions of The Right Stuff are NSF-Certified for Sport and so are clear from all banned substances, heavy metals and contaminants.

High Schools and Colleges across the U.S., numerous pro teams (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS) and Olympians along with first responders (firefighters, military) and industrial workers (construction and paving crews, roofers, parcel delivery etc.) all have integrated The Right Stuff into their training and event-day regimens.

Additionally, the NASA studies show thlemonadeat the formula is also a powerful aid for fighting the negative effects caused by Jet Lag and high altitude

To learn more:

Visit www.TheRightStuff-USA.com

Call 720-684-6584
Or
Click here to visit our Facebook Fan Page

Improving Nutrition Habits for High School, Collegiate and Professional Athletes

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Tavis PTavis Piattoly, who played football and other sports in high school, dropped 50 pounds in the summer after he graduated, before he enrolled in Louisiana State University as a pre-med student. Now he offers High School and other athletes the expert nutrition he wishes he would have known as a 17-year-old who got used to fast food before practice and Chinese buffet afterwards.

“I wish I’d had the knowledge then that I have now,” Piattoly says. “I wouldn’t have made such bad decisions. There was no one there to tell us.”

NO Saints croppedPiattoly switched his major to dietetics with an emphasis on sports nutrition and achieved his goal of working with the New Orleans Saints, for seven years. He’s worked 12 years with Tulane University and now operates his own My Sports Dietitian (www.mysportsd.com), an online education and software platform for athletes, parents, coaches, athletic trainers, and coaches that offers phone apps for tracking nutrition, one-on-one counseling for athletes, and a mentorship program for young sports nutrition students and practitioners.

Logo Tulane croppedSince he started at Tulane in 2003, Piattoly has seen rapid growth in staff Sports Dietitians in Division 1 schools, now totaling about 75. He believes the focus is spreading to the 8 million high school athletes and their parents who are seeking safer and more effective performance.

Focus on When and What You Eat

“You can change behavior more with a 14-year-old than a 28-year-old,” says Piattoly, who starts with a focus on when the athlete eats and then focuses on what they eat. “Now we know nutrition can give athletes a performance advantage if they time their intake correctly. High school athletes are underfueling their bodies to support their activity. Nutrition can make a good athlete great – or a great athlete good.”

Athletes who train five hours a day, maybe in two different sports, should eat about every three hours, he says. When Piattoly advises an athlete, he starts with a three-day food log to be sure they’re not energy-deprived – then starts replacing the breakfast doughnuts or toaster pastries with shakes, eggs, and oatmeal.

It all starts with timing. That’s the first nutritional strategy I employ.

“It all starts with timing,” he says. “That’s the first nutritional strategy I employ. If we can fix the ‘when,’ we can fix the ‘what.’ Ninety percent of the kids I work with are highly motivated. They realize nutrition is the piece they’ve been missing all along. Parents are a critical piece, especially Moms. Mom is usually the food provider for the athlete, or sometimes it’s a single dad.”

Piattoly helped a small-framed high school linebacker gain 50 pounds by his senior year and earn a college scholarship. He worked with a high school quarterback to add 20 pounds of lean muscle so he could attract college scouts.

“It’s all about teaching them to get enough calories to support what they’re trying to do,” he says. “It’s the missing component, it’s the secret weapon, it’s the component that leads to success in everything else.”

The food-first approach incorporates supplementation where appropriate, including The Right Stuff for heavy-sweating athletes and those susceptible to cramps. “In the New Orleans area, it’s really humid,” Piattoly says. “We use The Right Stuff with a lot of our athletes that are heavy sweaters. It’s good for any athlete. We get a lot of sodium in our diet, but when we sweat it out at accelerated rates, we need to replenish it. Our body needs it.”

Interest in nutrition is expanding to younger ages because it both helps prevent injury and enhances performance. “We’re going to see this field continue to expand throughout the collegiate level, high school, club teams,” Piattoly says. “It’s going to trickle down, just like athletic trainers did in the past”

NHL Head Athletic Trainer shares the solution to hydration challenges even in the cold of the hockey rink

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Like any hockey player growing up in the Detroit area, Piet Van Zant dreamed of playing with the National Hockey League (NHL) Detroit Red Wings. An injury that sidelined him in high school put him on a career path that led to the Red Wings organization more 20 years ago. He’s now the Head Athletic Trainer.Piet Van Zant

“You want to play for your hometown team,” says Van Zant, who was introduced to athletic training after his injury. “Once I started in the program, it was definitely something I knew I wanted to do as a career.”

After he graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 1993, Van Zant went to work for the minor league Adirondack Red Wings. After six years, he was added to the Detroit Red Wings medical staff as an Assistant Trainer, and he became Head Trainer in 2002. He earned a master’s degree in Performance Enhancement in 2004 just as emphasis on sports training and nutrition was accelerating.

Boosting health, safety, and performance

“Over the years, it’s definitely become a more evidence-based practice for athletic trainers and anybody in the medical field when it comes to pro sports and pro athletes,” Van Zant says. “You need to have research and proof that your treatments and your therapies you’re doing with athletes actually work.”

Red Wings HockeySince Van Zant joined the Red Wings, the organization has added a nutritionist, strength coach, a physical therapist, and two massage therapists, with access for players to acupuncture, chiropractic, and other strategies to boost their health, safety, and performance. The Nutritionist introduced him to The Right Stuff a few years ago.

Hydration is imperative in sports like hockey

“It started with a couple of problem players, and it’s evolved to a preventive strategy for multiple players,” he says. “Hydration is imperative in sports like hockey where you’re wearing equipment that weighs you down, that increases the heat. Your body’s not able to dissipate that heat as well as if you were in shorts and a t-shirt.”

Despite an environment cold enough to keep the rink frozen, Hi Res Hockey Goalie croppedthe intensity and length of hockey events – some 3½ hours – in heavy equipment can cause sweating that disrupts sodium and electrolyte balance. In one extreme case, Van Zant say, a goalie lost 15 pounds in a single game.

Just plain water over that time frame isn’t going to cut it,” he says. “It is crucial to maintain that balance. The Right Stuff helps us do that.”

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