Courtesy of Ben Sit, Sports Dietitian with Evolved Sport and Nutrition
1 scoop Vanilla Casein Protein Powder
¾ cup Frozen Blueberries
½ cup Frozen Raspberries
¼ cup Frozen Blackberries
1 tbsp Peanut Butter
1 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Flax Seed Flour
1 cup Soy/Almond/Skim milk
½ cup Uncooked Oats
Add all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a sealed container and place in refrigerator until ready to consume.
For a time saver, double or triple the recipe to portion out into separate containers
One of the most popular words I hear around the athletic community is “supplement”. What do you take for a supplement? What brand of whey protein do you use? Are you cycling through creatine? What about those BCAAs? This is most definitely a loaded subject and one that I could write a dissertation about. Today’s focus will be on educating ourselves on protein and skimming the surface on protein powders.
Let’s start by reviewing protein. Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients from which we get energy (aka calories). Protein is made up of building blocks we call amino acids. There are 20 in total, 9 of which are essential, meaning we have to get them from external sources (food). Some of protein’s functions include enzyme and hormone production as well as building and repairing muscle, skin, nail and hair.
How much protein do I need daily?
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein is 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day for the average adult. There has however been some debate about whether this amount is enough to promote optimal health. Protein is important especially in those looking to increase their physical activity for fitness or sport. Not enough protein and energy intake and the body will break down protein in the muscle and use it for energy. It’s no surprise that more active individuals would require more protein compared to those who call walking to the bus stop their daily sweat.
Protein requirements will vary greatly depending on many things; what type of athlete you are, your weight, age, exercise intensity, duration, physical preference, and diet quality. Endurance athletes require 1.2-1.4 g/kg of body weight per day where as strength and power athletes require 1.2-1.7g/kg. Some suggestions recommend 1.1 to 1.4 g for recreational athletes. (Fink, 2009). As an example, a crossfitter who works out 4 times a week on average, weighing approximately 185lbs would need somewhere around 93-120 g of protein daily. A female recreational crossfitter weighing approximately 130lbs needs about 65-85 g of protein daily.
Are protein supplements necessary?
The International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests high-quality protein from food is enough to repair muscle tissue and improve performance (Campbell, 2007). High quality proteins come from milk, egg, soy, meat and fish. These sources contain all the essential amino acids. Leucine, an essential amino acid, may actually play a very important role in initiating muscle protein synthesis. Leucine-rich proteins include dairy products, beef, poultry, seafood, pork, peanuts, beans, lentils, and soybeans. Some evidence also suggests that 10-20 grams of high quality protein in the early recovery period is enough to maximally stimulate protein synthesis (PEN, 2014). Whey and soy protein for example are high quality proteins. Rice and pea protein however are not complete proteins.
Protein supplements are no more or no less effective than food for building muscle mass when dietary energy intake is adequate (PEN, 2014). Even though that may be the case, I don’t ever rule out protein powder. Of course as a Dietitian I am a big supporter of food through nutrition, but powders can be of benefit for some.
For starters it’s extremely convenient. Here’s a scenario; you finish your workout, socialize with your pals for 10 minutes, commute home, answer some emails, make your meal, and finally start eating 2 hours post exercise. You have already missed the most critical time for refueling. Taking protein powder and having this on your way home with carbohydrates instead of waiting the 2 hours would be of benefit to your recovery.
I might also recommend a supplement for those who don’t have much of an appetite following a workout. By simply not eating any protein you risk protein catabolism; where your body may utilize muscle protein as an energy source when its glycogen stores are depleted. Powders are also an easier and faster way of consuming protein. Making a smoothie with some yogurt and fruit, or munching on a homemade protein bar with dried fruit and whole grains is clearly a much better alternative to not eating, which many of us are guilty of doing when the thought of making a meal is exhausting in itself.
Some of the reasons why I might not support them? As an isolated macronutrient, protein powders lack other nutrients that naturally accompany proteins found in food. Beef has iron. Salmon contains healthy fats. Yogurt has calcium. Protein supplements do not contain these nutrients. When we eat food sources of protein, we often eat them in conjunction with other whole foods that offer vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and heart-healthy fats that are not found in protein supplements.
At the end of the day, taking a protein supplement comes down to lifestyle habits and really what’s most convenient for you. Is it a good source of protein for recovery? Sure. Should you substitute it for a meal? No. If protein powder is what works for you, try to accompany it with food sources that are rich in carbohydrates, electrolytes and fluid for recovery. Now at this point you might be asking yourself “but what kind of supplements would you suggest”? That’s a topic for another time, readers…
Emilie Trottier, RD, Sports Dietitian
Fink HH, Burgoon LA, Mikesky AE. Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Athletes: Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2009
Campbell B, Kreider RB, Ziegenfuss T, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:8
PEN. Sport Nutrition Evidence Summary. The Global Resource for Nutrition Practice. 2014
Stuffed Sweet Potato
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 10
2 small sweet potatoes
¾ black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, diced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice (optimal)
- Prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places and cook the potatoes in a microwave on high for 2-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake at 425°F for about 1 hour, or until tender all the way through.
- Combine beans, tomato, oil, cumin and coriander in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. You can also heat these in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed throughout.
- When cool enough to touch, cut each potato lengthwise, press open to make a well in the center and spoon the bean mixture into the well. Top each with half of sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice.
A Dietitian does many things, but to put it simply we promote health through food. We work with people, families, communities, cities, media, healthcare professionals and anyone you can possibly think of to achieve this. There are many types of Dietitians that function in many roles, but the primary objective is to promote health through food. This is not to mean that Dietitians are the food police, we are far from that. In fact Dietitians will often be the first to advocate for all foods belonging in all diets, we promote responsible eating to achieve better health.
You may be confused at this point because you may think that a Nutritionist or Holistic Nutritionist does the same thing. Well, you’re partially right, but a Nutritionist doesn’t have anywhere near the same amount of training, liability or qualifications that a Dietitian does. In Canada, the term Dietitian is a legally protected term. This means that anyone calling themselves a Dietitian has received a degree from an accredited university program, has completed either a strenuous Dietetic Internship or Master’s Program and has completed a competency exam to protect the public and to ensure a high standard of care. Unfortunately a Nutritionist is not a protected title and does have defined standards of training. Someone with no formal education, a person who took a weekend course at a local gym, or someone with a PhD could call themselves a Nutritionist. It is not a regulated term, and therefore can be used by anyone. Additionally, a Nutritionist does not have the same level of liability in their practice that a Dietitian has. Dietitians make recommendations to manage your health using evidence-based practice guidelines. Unfortunately this standard of care is not the same for anyone that calls himself or herself a Nutritionist. What this also means is that a Dietitian is legally and financially responsible for your health through food. We can be fined and have our licenses revoked should there be any malpractice. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about a Nutritionist.
Now at this point you may think that I’m being a bit hard on those who dish out dietary advice who aren’t qualified and/or regulated. This is because as a Dietitian, I believe that people should have the right to accurate and scientifically proven information and not be prey to whatever new trend is being touted by the likes of Dr. Oz, Hollywood celebrities, personal trainers or anyone else not fully qualified to give nutritional advice. Think of it this way, if you were renovating your house would you ask your carpenter to fix your plumbing or electrical? I’m hoping your answer would be ‘no’ because that’s exactly what’s happening when you take recommendations from someone that isn’t qualified to give you dietary advice.
Now at this point you may be wondering what a Sports Dietitian is. This is a Dietitian who has received training in addition to their dietetic license to gain specialized skills in understanding how food interacts with the body to promote the best athletic performance possible. Following the same legal, professional, and financial responsibilities that a Dietitian has, a Sports Dietitian exists to give you the best information that research has to offer. Now I bring you back to the renovation example I used earlier, because the fitness industry is notorious for taking advice from unqualified individuals that call themselves nutrition experts. I’m not saying that they don’t have any information; I’m saying that they don’t have the same knowledge or training. After all, we live in a world of information overload it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s not. Think of it this way, the fitness industry will promote hundreds of dollars in supplements to either ‘burn fat’ ‘bulk up’ ‘tone up’ or ‘enhance immunity’, but they never promote REAL food. It is not uncommon for uneducated fitness lovers to purchase hundreds of dollars in supplements each month, but completely neglect the therapeutic value of food and consume a poor diet.
If you want concrete, scientifically proven information to enhance your athletic performance through food go see a Sports Dietitian. Nutrition is the like foundation of your house or the gas to your car, so if you truly value your health and athletic performance it’s well worth the investment.
Emilie Trottier, RD, Sports Dietitian
Every word you possibly need to know before hitting the turf and track with us.
Runners often talk in weird lingo that seems a bit strange to people who don’t lace up, and yes, even to us CrossFiters. We’ve broken down some of their weirdest terms and some more obvious ones to make sure we can all talk in slang (I often make up my own ones that many have caught me saying). Read up and get ready for the very first teaser Endurance class this Saturday at 10 a.m. Sign-up here
So here we go! Feel free to let me know of ones you’d like to add to our list:
The maximal pace and time that your body can work before the anaerobic energy systems start to kick in. Runners want to increase this threshold so that they can maintain a high pace for a longer period of time.
When you literally cannot feel your legs and lungs but keep pushing, as a result lactic acid builds up.
Ya, it’s gross. But ask any runner and they will probably tell you their toenail has changed colour from running at one point. Make sure your shoes aren’t too tight to avoid this nastiness.
Number of steps taken per minute while running. Fast people like Bolt run 180 steps per minute, or more – don’t worry we’ll get there!
Literally, cool down your body. We will have dedicated time to cool down your muscles and get them flushed out.
I shouldn’t even be telling you what this means because it won’t happen. But this is used in a race when a runner “did not finish,” or “did not start.”
It’s fun to say, try it. I bet you already read it out loud. It means “speed play,” in Swedish and is a training method, which involves quick bursts of sprints followed by easy paced jogs, over and over again. This run is challenging for veterans and newbies as you can push it as hard as you want (Hint: this may be our teaser workout).
The ball of your foot should strike down on the ground and roll off the full foot. You should run as light as a feather to avoid injury, and so you can stealthily sneak up on everyone when you pass them.
One of the kinds of workout we will be doing is called high intensity training. This will be interval style based with fast paced runs followed by limited rest. These workouts push capacity and conditioning.
“Hitting the wall”
This is the feeling you get when your legs really start to burn and everything hurts. And at that point, I will be screaming to push through because that is when the fun really starts.
These help cool your muscles down and get rid of all that gunk that builds up if you don’t take care of it. Yes, literally a bathtub filled with ice cubes.
“Start your kick on the last 20 metres,” that doesn’t mean you actually kick your foot in the air. It means your feet start turning over fast and you give everything you have to finish off your race.
As you continue to run faster and push more, lactic acid will increase and cause your muscles to diminish –aka the feeling of your muscles turning to jello.
“Long slow distance run,” we will do these sporadically so don’t be alarmed when I use the acronym.
We often say “keeping pace,” meaning you have to run at a calculated pace so you don’t gas out. “5km pace,” is often used to refer to the time of a 5km run applied to a different distance.
Not like a puck bunny, but close. The person who runs at the front to pace a race is often referred to as the “pace bunny.”
Get used to these because we will have them all summer long: personal best and personal record!
This is highly encouraged during our runs – ha ha, not that kind of pick-ups. These are similar to fartleks but are often shorter distances and more focused on accelerating through the runs.
You have all done these! This includes drills with varied heights of boxes and bounding to develop leg strength and explosiveness.
Often referring to everyone’s favourite work out: repeat 200’s (#jk). This means you run 200 metres multiple times and try to repeat the time, every time.
“Season best,” good news — your first run will be your season best!
We will do resistant training with sleds and bands as a way to work on resistance training so you can feel super fast.
This is the second type of workouts we will be doing. This is targeted at getting explosive and fast with proper form and often shorter distances. These types of workouts include intervals, hills and sprints.
Total run time divided into parts to know how you have to pace you race.
“Go run a few strides,” means you start slow and gradually get faster lengthening your running stride. This is used as a warm up tool before the work out to get your legs moving and warmed up.
This will be one of three of our type of workouts. Tempo means running at a faster pace than a jog but not as fast as a sprint, “comfortably hard.” Examples are diagonals or middle distance volume.
In only a few short weeks (four) 416 Endurance will finally start!
At first, running may seem difficult or uncomfortable; or for some it may come naturally and easy. Whichever way you feel, proper form and technique can go a long way in improving you running ability.
It’s quite common for us to get asked questions about running myths. Some people ask if running will make people have “thunder thighs” (no!), or if eating a banana the night before will actually stop you from cramping when you run (sorry BananaWOD, this one is false).
We have debunked a few running myths you should know about:1. You have to run every day and mileage is all that matters
Too much mileage and not enough recovery can cause cumulative fatigue and result in injury. Runners don’t have to run 26 km before a 26 km race. Yes, mileage is important but not in excess. Running intervals and trying to reach lactate threshold will help push your body and challenge your ability each time and every time as you reach new goals. A variety of different workouts and intensity levels will allow for greater performance.2. Running injures your knees
We have all heard it. But guess what – There is no scientific evidence that regular running damages knees. Runners don’t get arthritis in their knees more often than non-runners. Running issues are often caused by tight glutes and tight calf muscles. However running with improper form can lead to many issues such as knee or ankle disaffection.
3. Running is a natural movement, not a skill
Running is highly technical. From the stride, arms, foot strike to sprinting and block starts—It all takes practice. Practice and direction in learning these skills will prepare you to become a more efficient runner.
Now that we’ve set the record straight get ready for the next post where we will explain common running terminology! Now watch these puppies run on a treadmill