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09-05 Muscle Cramps

More than Bananas & Water
for Muscle Cramps

During this time of the sports season hydration is a hot topic. What do you do if you are hydrating at proper levels but still are experiencing muscle cramps? Are you drinking more water or increasing your banana intake because you believe the fluids and potassium will resolve the issue? If you are, you have the wrong information to solve this problem.

Muscle cramps are caused from a combination of inadequate hydration, large sweat rates and higher sodium loses through sweat.

  Typical
Athletic Occasion
Longer,
more intense
Workout Length One Hour Three Hours
Sweat Loss One Liter (34oz) Four Liter (135oz)
Calories Burned 600 1,800
Sodium Loss 1,150mg 4,600mg

Each athlete loses fluids and sodium at different rates. So who are more at risk for muscle cramping? Athletes that exhibit salty sweat, salt rings around shirts and hats, eyes or open wounds burn when sweat gets in these areas, feel dizzy when standing up, large sweat rates and lower blood pressure in the morning.

Preventing Muscle Cramping
If you fit the characteristics stated above then you:

  • Must stay hydrated along with proper sodium intake--Water is not enough!
  • Sports drink with adequate sodium--At least 100mg Sodium /8oz or 200mg sodium/8oz (Gatorade Endurance Formula)
  • Have foods and salty beverages available, ie pretzels, V-8 Juice, low fat crackers, salted peanuts, brothy soups, tomato based products
  • Salt foods unless restricted
  • During practice/event keep fluid records--Do your best to maintain weight
  • Follow NATA (National Athletic Association) hydration guidelines. To ensure proper pre-exercise hydration, the athletes should consume approximately 17-20oz of water or a sports drink 2 to 3 hours before exercise and 7-10oz of water or a sports drink 10 to 20 minutes before exercise. Fluid replacement should approximate sweat and urine losses and at least maintain hydration at less than 2% body weight reduction. This generally requires 7-10oz every 10-20 minutes.
  • For every one pound lost during practice/match drink 20-24oz of fluids and 200-300mg of sodium
  • Measure blood pressure in morning

If you are still experiencing muscle cramps after following the suggestions above, I highly suggest you find a Dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition. At Sports Nutrition 2Go we follow a step by step process to find out which system works best for the athlete. (Remember every athlete loses fluids and sodium levels differently so you must treat every athlete separately—DO NOT USE a cookie cutter approach in solving this issue!)

  Institute of Medicine
Recommendations
Sedentary Adults
Needs of Physically
Active Adults
Water

Males:
3.7 liters/day (16 cups)
Females:
2.7 liters/day (12 cups)

Males:
>3.7 liters/day
Females:
>2.7 liters/day
(depends upon sweat loss; can exceed 10 liters/day)
Sodium 1.5 grams/day
(3.8 grams salt)
1.5 grams/day
(depends upon sweat loss; can exceed 10 grams/day)
Potassium 4.7 grams/day 4.7 grams/day

Institute of medicine (2004). Dieatary Reference Intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, in press. (www.ion.edu/report.asp?id=18495)

MAKE A "FOOD FOR SPORT/WORK" BAG
(continued from July 05 newsletter)

You can add these items to your Food Bag!

  • Chiquita Sliced Apples
  • Puffin Bars
  • Power Harvest Bars
  • Caramel Corn Rice Cakes

Can White Bread really be as nutritious as 100% Whole Wheat Bread?

Here is a statement from Sara Lee®:

Did you know that one slice of Sara Lee® Soft and Smooth White Bread contains all of the fiber and many nutrients of 100% whole wheat bread?

Our panel of Dietitians at Sports Nutrition 2Go (SN2Go) found some flaws in the product's claims. It does provide more fiber than regular white bread by .5 gram per slice (regular white bread has one gram per slice), but at SN2Go, we like our clients to choose bread products that have at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. This ensures they are selecting breads that come from whole grains and maximizing the B Vitamins that appear naturally in these products. The Sara Lee® Soft and Smooth is a better choice, especially for the picky eaters out there; however, it still does not beat 100% whole wheat bread in our opinion.

Here's another great recipe by Rita!

Rita's Double Grain Salad with Mint

Oh my gosh, is this ever good!  Quinoa, one of the mother grains, is packed full of protein and nutrients. The bulghur wheat helps lower cholesterol and has more than twice the fiber of brown rice! The lemon provides vitamin C, cucumbers are a great hydrating veggie, and the mint does wonders for your digestion.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup or so cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup bulghur wheat, reconstituted (measure after reconstituting) ***
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Lemon juice to taste (start with 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION
Combine cucumbers, quinoa and bulghur. Gently toss in Feta, lemon juice, mint, cumin and salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings. Chill before eating. Serves 3-4.

*** To reconstitute bulghur wheat:

Rinse a couple of times with cool water. Leave about 1/4" of water on top of the wheat. Let reconstitute for 15 minutes or so until most of the water is absorbed. This is a much gentler way of reconstituting than boiling the wheat.

QUINOA

One of the most ancient crops domesticated in the Americas is called Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Quinoa means "the mother." On the Andean altiplano of Peru and Bolivia, and on the Andean plateau, the crop has served as a staple for generations of Andeans,  descendents of the Inca empire.  

To the Andeans, quinoa has been an energy resource supporting vigorous work in the thin air and constant foot travel, often across long distances. Because of its nutritional profile and centuries-long record of providing energy and sustaining life at high altitudes, quinoa has been labeled a 'supergrain'. Quinoa grain contains an excellent balance of body-building amino acids. Essential sulfur-bearing amino acids cystine and methionine are biologically available, along with lysine, a critical nutrient missing from such common cereals such as corn, rice, and wheat.  Protein levels are high and the grain contains vitamin C and the B complex of thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Quinoa is fast-cooking and easy to prepare. Quinoa flour is the lightest of all baking flours and offers a valuable non-allergenic option for individuals intolerant to wheat gluten. 

Around the outside edge of the grain is a hoop, like the band on a barrel.  When quinoa grains cooked the soft inside melts and the hoop separates off. These tiny curved crescents are sprinkled throughout each spoonful, each one resembling a tiny letter "C" and adding a crunchy texture. Freshly harvested from the plant, each quinoa seed is thickly coated with a glossy varnish of dry, bitter, soap-like substances called saponins. These natural soap compounds protect the seed from predation by birds and insects. Most of these bitter saponins have been removed from the grain before it is sold to consumers, but some traces always remain. The saponins are easily dissolved in cold water rinses, usually 3-4 rinses or until the sudsy froth stops forming when fresh water is run over the uncooked grain. 

When cooking, use about 2 cups of water to one cup of quinoa, cook for 15-20 minutes, and this will yield 3- 4 cups of grain.

Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement
Can We Get All the Nutrients We Need from Food?

Continued...

Another question you need to ask and research:
Does the company manufacture their own product?

It is very rare that a company will manufacture their own product because of the cost. There has been one documented case in Australia where a manufacturer who made over 1800 products was shut down. The manufacturer was changing the formulas without the awareness of the product owners. There have been incidences of athletes testing positive even though the product's label did not indicate an illegal substance. The illegal substance came from another product the manufacturer was bottling because the they did not follow pharmaceutical grade standards of cleaning the equipment before starting a new product.

At SN2Go we prefer if the company makes their own products. They have complete control of all processes. If this is not possible make sure the manufacturer has documentation that they follow pharmaceutical grade standards and that they do not make any products that have illegal substances in them. As you can see, finding good supplements are very, very rare!

Go to www.sn2g.com if you want to know what products we recommend. More info on selecting a supplement to follow
in the next newsletter.

Current News

In the news!
Dawn was interviewd by Ben Hewitt for a Runners Magazine on the differences and advantages of eating Pure Maple Syrup versus Log Cabin Syrup.

Dawn Weatherwax was asked to write an article on alcohol and its impact on recovery and performance for the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Speaking Engagements
Dawn Weatherwax is speaking to the fire department on nutrition and performance in Dayton, Ohio on September 28th, 29th, and 30th.

Dawn Weatherwax is speaking to two high school athletic departments on Sports Nutrition and Performance on Sept 25th and Sept 28th. They are sponsored by Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

 

New Client
We just picked up a high school swimmer who finished 4th in the state of Ohio last season.

New Testimonial
"SN2Go helped me as a nonathlete by showing me a healthy way to lose weight. I had gained weight while I was away at school and SN2Go gave me a meal plan that was easy to follow and was very effective."

"As an athlete, SN2Go helped me a lot. The meal plan I was put on gave me a lot more energy than I had before and I could see the results in my performance."

Brandon Mand - Baseball Player


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