Today our topic is Sports Nutrition. This topic is a very special topic to me because it was the reason behind why I decided to pursue a career in Dietetics. It was spring semester of my senior year in high school. I was getting ready to start my senior track season and I wanted it to be my best. I knew that in order to reach all of my goals, I had to run more miles, so I did this. Late at night, after basketball practice, I would go out to the barn on my parents’ farm and run on my mom’s treadmill.
Although, I was feeling really good, it wasn’t enough. I started researching nutrition. Every day I would come home for lunch and just research anything and everything nutrition related, I was OBSESSED!
I loved learning about how food affects our bodies. I started meal planning, grocery shopping, making food for my parents and I (can you imagine my parents’ delight?), packed a cooler to take to every track meet. It wasn’t long before I started to feel the changes…..it was working! By the end of that season, I had reached many of my goals I had set-out to achieve including; qualified and ran in the state track meet, won and placed at almost every meet and just missed the school record in the 1500 by 1 second. I had never even come close to achieving any of those goals in prior years. My take away from that season, was that FOOD DOES MATTER.
This was ultimately when I made my decision to become a dietitian and help others achieve their own goals through nutrition. Fast forward to current day, I am still an avid runner and compete in multiple marathons and half-marathons every year and I still firmly believe in the importance of fueling the body properly, so that the body can perform at a higher level. This leads us to the topic of the most recent episode of “The Dr. Heidi Koch Show”!
During this episode, Dr. Heidi Koch and I discussed some helpful tips for getting started on a healthier regimen that would complement exercise. The recipes below provide healthy, fun and tasty ways to fuel your body properly for exercise including pre- and post- workout. These recipes are not just for people who exercise, they are for everyone!
I chose to feature Beets not only because they are a “Superfood” and packed with many antioxidants, but also because there is growing research that they are a very effective pre-workout. Beets get their red color from Betanin, a nitrogen-containing antioxidant.
Nitrate is important for athletes, because nitrate is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it expands blood vessels and increases blood flow throughout the body. This can be helpful for athletes, because if the body has an increase in blood flow this means an increase in oxygen and nutrients available in order to decrease fatigue. Wait, beets can have the potential to decrease fatigue in athletes?!
This is great news! Now how do we get everyone to LOVE BEETS and consume before a workout? Answer……smoothies! This beet smoothie is delicious and filled with antioxidants not only from the beets, but also from the Dandelion Greens, Naval Orange, Apple, Blackberries, Pineapple, and Strawberries. The link below will direct you the recipe. Enjoy!
*Please note I used Dandelion greens in place of kale in this recipe
Serving Size: ½ of recipe
Fat (g): 0.5
Carbohydrates (g): 31
Protein (g): 2
Carfagno, Dr. David. "Beet Juice: A Natural Pre-Workout." Web log post. Scottsdale Sports Nutrition Institute. N.p., 20 July 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. <www.scottsdalesportsmedicine.com>.
Cermak, N. M., Gibala, M. J., van Loon, L. J. (2012) Nitrate supplementation’s improvement of 10-km time-trial performance in trained cyclists. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 22(1): 64-71.
Cutrufello, P. T., Gadomski, S. J., Zavorsky, G. S. (2015) The effect of l-citrulline and watermelon juice supplementation on anaerobic and aerobic exercise performance. Journal of Sports Science, 33(14): 1459-1466.
Esatbeyoglu, T., Wagner, A. E., Schini-Kerth, V. B., Rimbach, G. (2015) Betanin – A food colorant with biological activity. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 59(1): 36-47.
Volpe, S. L. (2015, May). Sports Nutrition Supplements Update. Symposium presented at the ACSM 62nd Annual Meeting Advance Program, San Diego, CA.
Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins
Spiralizing vegetables has become my new favorite way to eat vegetables. Over the past few year, it has widely grown in popularity due to so many people wanting to live a lower carbohydrate lifestyle and decrease or eliminate grains. Spiralizing provides a tasty way to increase vegetable intake while decreasing grains. Who knew that a spiralized daikon radish could be used as noodles in a soup?! Or spiralized sweet potatoes in a muffin?!
There are so many fun recipes! Check out “Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals” by Ali Maffucci it is an AWESOME cookbook filled with practical recipes to help you become inspiralized!
Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins
1 small sweet potato, peeled, spiralized with Blade C, then riced (approximately 1 cup)
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tbsp. Unsweetened coconut flakes
Pinch of Salt
1 Large egg plus 1 egg white
2 Tbsp. of Honey (I used Agave Nectar)
½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
5 Tbsp. Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips (such as Enjoy Life)
*I used 3 ½ Tbsp. and it still had a lot of chocolate flavor, if you wanted to make this lower calorie.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 6-cup muffin tin lightly with cooking spray.
2. Combine the sweet potato rice, cinnamon, baking soda, coconut flakes and a pinch of salt in a
medium bowl. Add the egg and egg white, honey and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Fold in the
3. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each ¾ of the way. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a knife
inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tin and allow
to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Information: Please note that the nutrition analysis is approximated using MyFitnessPal
Serving Size: *Per 1 muffin using only 3 ½ Tbsp. of chocolate chips and Agave Nectar
Fat (g): 7
Protein (g): 4
Lately, I have been trying to find ways to make meal planning easier, breakfast faster, and stay low-carb. Egg muffins are a perfect solution! You can make these ahead of time, freeze for future use, and they are easy for “On the Go”. There are many variations of egg muffins that would be great for post-workout. Have fun with different vegetables, herbs and spices, protein, etc. to give your muffins a twist on flavor and more variety for you!
Pair these tasty muffins with the Chocolate chip sweet potato muffin and/or the High-Protein Pancake for a perfectly filling and high-protein, moderate carbohydrate post-workout meal.
*Please note, I substituted 6 Tbsp. Liquid Egg Whites in place of 2 eggs to reduce the amount of fat.
Serving Size: Per 1 muffin
Fat (g): 9.1
Protein (g): 8
These high protein pancakes are one of my new favorite products. They are the perfect pre- and/or post-workout treat providing a great ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat. They can be made ahead in bulk in order to make your busy morning even easier. Expert Tip: Instead of reheating pancakes in the microwave, use the toaster for a perfectly toasted pancake! Top your pancake lightly with your favorite nut butter as you rush out the door to provide a more filling and sustainable treat. If you like a fluffier pancake and would like to add more protein, follow the instructions on the box by substituting milk for water and adding 1 egg…..YUM!
The nutrition information below was calculated using 1 cup “Kodiak Power Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack mix” + ¾ cup Skim Milk + 1 whole egg
Serving Size: Per 1 Pancake
Fat (g): 2
Protein (g): 7
*Please note that the nutrition analysis is approximated using MyFitnessPal