Tag Archives: Nutrition

Nutrition for Recovery

Nutrition for Recovery
From http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=2159&itemid=3979&mid=11504

11/30/2011

Knowing how much carbohydrate, protein and fat to get in a day is good. But knowing when you should be getting those nutrients is even better. In general, follow these guidelines for incorporating carbohydrate, protein and fat into your day.

¨ Spread carbohydrate intake out over the course of the day (i.e. smaller meals and frequent snacks). This keeps blood sugar levels adequate and stable.

¨ Eat some carbohydrate before morning practice. Note: This can be in the form of juice.

¨ Eat carbohydrate in the form of a carb-electrolyte drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade, during workout IF workout is 90 minutes or longer. Gels are also acceptable.

¨ Eat carbohydrate and protein within the first 30 minutes after practice. This enables the body to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle tissue. This is perhaps the most important time to eat!!!!

¨ Eat again (something substantial, like a real meal) before two hours post-practice has elapsed. This is critical to maximizing recovery!!!!

¨ Incorporate fat into the day at times that are not close to workout. Fat is necessary, but contributes little to the workout or immediate post-workout recovery period.

Part of the reason good nutrition is critical during recovery has to do with the fact that the body is extremely good at making the most of what it is given. Following exercise, the body is very sensitive to the hormone insulin. Insulin is that hormone that rises every time blood sugar rises. In other words, every time a swimmer eats carbohydrate, which causes blood sugar to rise, insulin goes up. Well, it’s insulin’s job to remove sugar from the bloodstream, and it does so by facilitating its storage as glycogen. Glycogen, the storage form for carbohydrate, is what the body taps into for fuel when exercise is very intense. This can happen quite a bit during a tough workout, which is why it’s important to see that glycogen is replenished before the next practice.

The American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada Joint Position Statement on Nutrition and Athletic Performance states that:

“After exercise, the dietary goal is to provide adequate energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and to ensure rapid recovery. If an athlete is glycogen-depleted after exercise, a carbohydrate intake of 1.5 g/kg body weight during the first 30 min and again every 2h for 4 to 6h will be adequate to replace glycogen stores. Protein consumed after exercise will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. Therefore, athletes should consume a mixed meal providing carbohydrates, protein, and fat soon after a strenuous competition or training session.” (ACSM, ADA, Dietitians of Canada, 2000, p 2131)

In addition, research (van Loon et al, 2000) has implicated immediate post-exercise carbohydrate ingestion (1.2 g/kg/hr for 5 hrs) in the enhancement of glycogen re-synthesis.

Body Weight in lbs (kg)

Carbohydrate Required (g) to meet Intake of 1.2-1.5 g/kg

120 (54.5kg) 65-82g
130 (59.1kg) 71-89g
140 (63.6kg) 76-95g
150 (68.2kg) 82-102g
160 (72.7kg) 87-109g
170 (77.3kg) 93-116g
180 (81.8kg) 98-123g
190 (86.4kg) 104-130g
200 (90.9kg) 109-136g
210 (95.5kg) 115-143g
220 (100.0kg) 120-150g

Swimming Nutrition

Recovery Nutrition During Hard Training

12/12/2011

 

Thanksgiving Dinner Illustration.

BY DAN MCCARTHY//NATIONAL TEAM HIGH PERFORMANCE CONSULTANT

 

During hard training cycles, like Christmas training, it is imperative for athletes not only to eat promptly (within a half-hour) following a hard training session, but eat the right amount of carbohydrates and protein as well. A sound recovery plan will be based on an athlete’s body weight.

  • Athletes should eat .5 grams of carbohydrates for every pound of body weight
  • Athletes should eat 15-20 grams of protein
  • Athletes should drink 24 ounces of water for every pound lost
  • Athletes should include electrolytes (sodium, potassium) from food with salt or a sports drink

The dieticians at the USOC have compiled some suggested recovery meals based on body weight:

 

110-132 Pound Athlete

  • 16 ounces of chocolate milk and water, or
  • 6 ounces of non-fat Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and water, or
  • A natural ingredient sport bar (fruit/nut), a glass of skim milk, and water

154-176 Pound Athlete

  • 24 ounces of chocolate milk and water, or
  • Sport bar (45-50 grams of carbs/15-20 grams of protein) and 16 ounces of sport drink, or
  • 12 ounces of non-fat Greek yogurt, one cup of fruit juice, and water

198-220 Pound Athlete

  • 24 ounces of chocolate milk, water and a banana, or
  • Sport bar (50 grams of carbs/15-20 grams of protein) and 24 ounces of sport drink

Not only must an athlete eat their recovery snack within a half hour of completing practice, but they must also have a meal within an hour of eating their recovery snack, and add another snack an hour after the meal. Obviously this is not a recovery plan for every day of the year, but it will certainly make a difference when the coach pulls out their special New Year’s 10,000-yard set to cap off an intense week of holiday training

Tips and Tricks

Weekly Round-up

from Scientific Swimming Article Review by noreply@blogger.com (G. John Mullen)

1. The important of vitamin D, read here.

2. Want to raise your testosterone?  Watch some sports, read here.

3. Is Michael Phelps having an off year, the swimming geek (name up for grabs this weekend) believes so, read here.

4. Rest intervals, how important are they in hypertrophy training?  Also, how is hypertrophy measured?  Read here

5. Where are my triathletes with back pain?  This article discusses how peripheral sources can cause back pain. It focuses on the foot, specifically the subtalar joint.  This can be one cause of low back pain, but it isn’t so simple.  In fact the hip can control the ankle which can be causing back pain…I know it is a convulated puzzle!  Anyway, quick here for the read.

6. A fellow physical therapy enthusiast Tom Hermann discusses the importance of power training in swimming.  I have been breaching this for a while and find every swimmer can benefit from this form of resistance training.  The only area I disagree with Tom is with back squats.  Swimmers stress their shoulder a lot and I the position to hold the bar during back squat is advantageous for injury.  Instead I have athletes perform front squats for quad activation in combination with a hip extensor strengthening exercise, read here.

7. Well Shawn Cater aka Jay-z was the first rapper with a shoe and now Ryan Lochte is the first swimmer with a shoe…love it!  Eric thanks for breaking the story first, click here.

8.  What athlete does not have superstition?  I remember pressing my goggles into my eye sockets repeatedly before a race and having specific pre meet meals in college.  I know other swimmers who perform a specific amount of arm swings or have a “special” suit.  Do these superstitions help?  A recent study reports they actually make a difference, read more here.  What is the weirdest pre meet ritual you’ve seen?  Don’t worry if you submit something I won’t assume it’s about you…

9.  Are push-ups good for swimmers?  Hells yes!  Similar to baseball pitchers discussed in this article, swimmers have weak serratus anterior and lower trapezius muscles, in fact swimmers with shoulder pain how lower activation of these muscles, which I discussed here.  Watch below for proper push-up progression, turn the speakers up!

Popout
Thera-bands can be purchased here. Thera-Band Single Pack Latex Exercise Bands – 5′ x 5.5″ – Green

10. Leg extension machine has to be safe, I mean everyone does it, right?  Wrong, bad kitty!  This exercise puts high stress on the patellofemoral joint and can lead to injury, read here.

11. Want to sleep easier, don’t eat these foods

12. Sports nutrition is something I feel swimmers are lacking, click here to see a video of the top 5 supplements athletes should ingest, I don’t advocate every supplement, but the risk/benefit should be considered.

13. How often do you sit?  At internships I only sit 4 hours a day compared to school days where I sit up to 12 hours a day!  Here is a good article discussing the risks of prolonged sitting.  I am in talks with USMS about the effects of sitting on swimming, stay tuned.

14. Here is another post which questions the horrific claims of lactic acid.  I discussed it briefly in the baking soda conversation, read here. Once again, great anaerobic athletes typically can produce high lactate, so can it be that horrendous? Wanna try, ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda – 12 lb. bag?

15. Oblique and abdominal strength is essential in swimming and the crunch is overused.  People are sitting way too much (refer to #13) and a crunch mimics the poor posture sustained throughout the day.  Here is another “atypical” abdominal exercise which would be easy to implement.

16. Gold Medal Mel posted a great interview with Nathan Adrian…47 in practice, damn! Click here.

Two Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat After Exercise

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Posted by: Dr. Mercola | July 27 2010

Did you know that what you eat directly after exercising – typically within two hours – can have a significant impact on the health benefits you reap from your exercise?

Consuming sugar within this post-exercise window, will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that eating a low-carbohydrate meal after aerobic exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity. This is highly beneficial, since impaired insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes and a significant risk factor for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

In addition, as HGH Magazine explains, consuming fructose, including that from fruit juices, within this two-hour window will decimate your natural HGH production:

“A high sugar meal after working out, or even a recovery drink (containing high sugar) after working out, will stop the benefits of exercise induced HGH. You can work out for hours, then eat a high sugar candy bar or have a high sugar energy drink, and this will shut down the synergistic benefits of HGH.

… If you miss reaching HGH release during working out, you will still receive the calorie burning benefit from the workout. However, you’ll miss the HGH “synergy bonus” of enhanced fat burning for two hours after working out.

This is an extremely important fact to remember if you want to cut body fat and shed a few pounds.

The University of Virginia research team demonstrated that carbohydrates are burned during exercise in direct proportion to the intensity of training. Fat burning is also correlated with intensity. However, the actual fat burning takes place after the workout, during the recovery.

This makes the “Synergy Window,” the 2 hour period after a workout, very important in maximizing HGH, once it’s released during exercise.”

Fitness expert Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go! further explains how you can maximize your HGH production by limiting sugar intake for two hours post exercise, in this article on HowToBeFit.com.

Exercising one hour a week and getting the same results as traditional strength training might sound impossible. However, University of Florida orthopedics researchers have developed a system that may do just that, and as you will read in my comment below, the kind of exercise you perform can dramatically reduce the time you spend in the gym while still getting better results than you did before.

The system created by University of Florida researchers uses eccentric (negative) resistance training, which capitalizes on the fact that the human body can support and lower weights that are too heavy to lift.

According to UF Health Science Center:

“Through a system of motors, pulleys, cams and sensors it adds weight when a person is performing a lowering motion, and removes that weight when the person is lifting. As a result, the body starts seeing loads, resistance, and forces that it doesn’t normally see”.

Other scientists have found additional clues that explain how exercise reshapes and strengthens more than just your muscles.

It changes your brain too.

In the late 1990s, researchers proved that human and animal brains produce new brain cells, and that exercise increases the process. But precisely how exercise affects the intricate workings of your brain at a cellular level remained a mystery.

However, a number of new studies have begun to identify the specific mechanisms, and have raised new questions about just how exercise reshapes your brain.

In some studies, scientists have been manipulating the levels of bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP) in the brains of mice. The more active BMP becomes, the more inactive your brain stem cells become and the fewer new brain cells you produce. Exercise reverses some of the effects of BMP.

According to the New York Times:

“BMP signaling was found to be playing a surprising, protective role for the brain’s stem cells … Without BMP signals to inhibit them, the stem cells began dividing rapidly, producing hordes of new neurons.”

With This Rinse, Performance Improves

With This Rinse, Performance Improves

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

By GINA KOLATA
Published: July 19, 2010

Exercise scientists say they have stumbled on an amazing discovery. Athletes can improve their performance in intense bouts of exercise, lasting an hour or so, if they merely rinse their mouths with a carbohydrate solution. They don’t even have to swallow it.

It has to be real carbohydrates, though; the scientists used a solution of water and a flavorless starch derivative called maltodextrin. Artificial sweeteners have no effect.

And the scientists think they have figured out why it works. It appears that the brain can sense carbohydrates in the mouth, even tasteless ones. The sensors are different from the ones for sweetness, and they prompt the brain to respond, spurring on the athlete.

Many athletes depend on sugary beverages to keep them going. But often, when blood is diverted from the stomach to working muscles during intense exercise, drinks or foods cause stomach cramps. So a carbohydrate rinse can be a way to get the same effect.

“You can get an advantage from tricking your brain,” said a discoverer of the effect, Matt Bridge, a senior lecturer in coaching and sports science at the University of Birmingham in England. “Your brain tells your body, ‘Carbohydrates are on the way.’ ” And with that message, muscles and nerves are prompted to work harder and longer.”

It’s a relatively small effect, said George A. Brooks, an exercise researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved with the research. But a small difference, he added, “can make a big difference in competition.”

The discovery began with some puzzling findings dating to the 1990s.

Until then, exercise scientists thought they knew why it could help to eat or drink carbohydrates during a long endurance event like a marathon. Muscles can use up their glycogen, the storage form of glucose, during long exercise sessions. But if athletes consume carbohydrates, they can provide a new source of fuel for their starving muscles.

That theory predicts that carbohydrates should have no effect on performance in shorter races, an hour or less. Muscles can’t use up their glycogen that fast, and by the time the body metabolizes the carbohydrates for fuel, the race is almost over.

Then came a handful of studies showing that carbohydrates did have an effect in short exercise sessions. Athletes, often trained cyclists, rode hard and fast for an hour or so after drinking either a beverage containing carbohydrates or one that tasted the same but contained an artificial sweetener.

In intense exercise sessions lasting more than half an hour, the athletes were able to go faster or keep going longer when they had the drink with carbohydrates. Their performance improved as much as 14 percent.

Some studies, though, did not find an effect. And the difference seemed to be that athletes who were hungry showed improved performance.

It made no sense. Could the body somehow have metabolized the carbohydrates in the drinks and put them to use in such a short time? Did the muscles even need carbohydrates in such short bouts of exercise?

Asker Jeukendrup, an exercise physiologist at the University of Birmingham, and his colleagues put that idea to the test. They were among the first researchers to discover a carbohydrate effect in cyclists riding hard for an hour, and they had been puzzling over what could account for it.

So they gave trained cyclists intravenous infusions of glucose or, as a control, intravenous salt water, before asking them to ride as fast as they could for about 24 miles, about an hour. The intravenous glucose meant the athletes had large amounts of sugar available right away — no digestion required. But it had no effect on their performance.

Next they tried what seemed like a crazy idea. They asked the cyclists to do the same ride, but first to rinse their mouths with the maltodextrin solution (or, as a control, with water).

“The results were remarkable,” the researchers wrote. Just rinsing with a carbohydrate had the same effect as drinking it.

Other scientists repeated the experiment. One group used runners, asking them to run for 30 minutes or, in another study, 60 minutes. Rinsing the mouth with carbohydrates consistently led them to run farther, as compared with rinsing with placebos.

Dr. Jeukendrup and his colleagues continued to tweak the study conditions. What happened, they asked, if athletes ate breakfast before rinsing with carbohydrates, or drinking a carbohydrate solution? Then, they found, carbohydrates had no effect.

Meanwhile, neuroscientists found that rodent brains, at least, responded to carbohydrates in the mouth independently of their response to sweetness. It is carbohydrates that matter, and so artificial sweeteners do not stimulate these pathways that go from the mouth to the brain.

Then Dr. Bridge and his colleagues in Birmingham used functional magnetic-resonance imaging to determine whether glucose, which tastes sweet, has the same effect on the brain as the tasteless carbohydrate maltodextrin. They also tested artificial sweeteners for comparison. The brain scan results confirmed the exercise study results: Carbohydrates activated brain areas involved with rewards and muscle activity. Artificial sweeteners did not.

Is rinsing worthwhile for most athletes? Scott J. Montain, an exercise researcher at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, thinks not. The effect is real, he said, but added, “Endurance competitors are better off just consuming the calories.” That way they get real fuel, instead of “sipping and then spitting out expensive, sticky spit.”

Dr. Jeukendrup and Dr. Bridge, though, say they use the mouth-rinsing trick themselves.

“You do notice a benefit,” Dr. Bridge said. But he noted that in a study, the athletes don’t know if they are getting carbohydrates or not. “If you know you are doing it,” he said, “then there’s a chance it’s a placebo effect.”

Sleep, Stress and Training

Sleep, Stress and Training

The Athlete’s Secret Weapon

By Coach Matt Russ

Athletes are always looking for an edge. This may come in the form of a new supplement, gadget, piece of equipment, or training methodology. Many of these are of negligible or no value to performance enhancement. But the most effective ergogenic aid is actually readily available and free; it is sleep.

First and foremost remember this; you are weaker after a work out. Your body has been broken down and it will take some time to repair itself. You will only benefit from the work out if this process is not upset or delayed. Your body releases a slew of hormones as you sleep, and one of the most important for recovery is Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This wonder hormone produced by the pituitary gland repairs muscles and connective tissue, making them stronger and able to handle an even greater training stress load. It helps rejuvenate organs and bones as well. After a good nights sleep you wake up refreshed physically and mentally; ready to resume the training process. Name a supplement that can safely accomplish that!

Adapt and Overcome

We are creatures of routine and we like to follow plans and programs, but this can work against us. One of the first things I tell my athletes is that their plan will need to be adapted throughout the season. Adapting an athlete’s plan is as important as designing a great training plan. The pros can train, eat, sleep, and repeat. For the rest of us training is not our job; it is in addition to our job. It is easy to upset the training process and we have to realize family and work responsibilities come first. There may be certain key work outs throughout your training week. If you need to increase rest and recovery, you can minimize lost training time by performing these work outs over other less critical ones. Don’t feel you must follow the letter of your plan no matter what. A good coach will understand this as well. Don’t stack missed work outs on the week end either. This type of overreaching leaves you exhausted and burned out going into your next training week.

Read more about training volume, sleep, and stress in the full article.

About the author:

Matt Russ has coached and trained elite athletes from around the country and internationally for over ten years. He currently holds expert licenses from USA Triathlon, USA Cycling (Elite), and is a licensed USA Track and Field Coach. Matt is head coach and owner of The Sport Factory, and works with athletes of all levels full time. He is a free lance author and his articles are regularly featured in a variety of magazines such as Inside Triathlon, and Triathlete. Visitwww.thesportfactory.com for more information or email him atcoachmatt@thesportfactory.com

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Lack of Exercise in Young Adulthood Associated With High Blood Pressure in Middle Age
By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News

June 1, 2010 — Young adults who don’t get enough physical and aerobic exercise increase their risk of having high blood pressure later in life, a new study shows.

Researchers who analyzed 20 years worth of data conclude that a “substantial” proportion of high blood pressure cases are associated with a lack of physical activity and not enough aerobic fitness.

There is a difference in measuring aerobic fitness and physical activity, according to scientists at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Physical activity is a behavior, while aerobic fitness is a physiological measure that reflects a combination of physical activity, genetic potential, and functional health of various organs.

The researchers examined data on 4,618 men and women taking part in a research project called the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study, or CARDIA. 

Study researcher Mercedes Carnethon, PhD, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern, says the study confirms earlier research pointing to a link between fitness and hypertension “by showing that fitness during young adulthood — a time when cardiovascular disease risk burden is typically low — is an important indicator of hypertension development in middle age.”

Carnethon says in a news release that high blood pressure is known to develop over a long period of time and is due to a combination of factors that includes genetics, diet, and health behaviors.

“Our study measures a comprehensive set of these health risk factors over 20 years, making this one of the longest follow-up studies to test whether activity and fitness are associated with hypertension development,” she says.

The researchers measured blood pressure and estimated fitness levels based on the duration of exercise treadmill tests conducted on people who were between 18 and 30 in 1985.

Participants were re-examined after two, five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years.

Activity was assessed by an interviewer who administered a self-reported questionnaire.

Researchers say low fitness has a stronger link with the development of hypertension than low-reported physical activity, though the two appear to have independent effects.

Researchers also found that:

  • Hypertension incidence was 13.8% per 1,000 person-years, a calculation found by taking the number of new cases within a specified time period divided by the size of the population initially at risk.
  • Low fitness was associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure after adjusting for smoking, age, sex, cholesterol, race, diet, and other factors.
  • The estimated proportion of high blood pressure that could be prevented if participants moved to a higher fitness category was 34%. This figure is called the “preventive fraction,” which tells scientists, at least hypothetically, what proportion of disease could be eliminated if the risk factor were removed from the studied population.

Clinical trials with various activity and fitness levels are needed before doctors can use the study information to make recommendations about the amount of physical activity needed to improve fitness and lower the risk of developing hypertension, the researchers say.

The study is published in the journal Hypertension.

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension.

Prevent Swimmers Ear

A Sign of the Season: How To Prevent Swimmers’ Ear

from The Swimmers Circle by Braden K.
This very painful infection of the inner-ear can ruin a season, a summer, or even a swimming career if it becomes severe enough. Luckily, with diligence, swimmer’s ear can be easily prevented with about 2 minutes of care after each practice.

Swimmer’s ear is caused by water penetrating the water-resistant lining of the ear canal. This lining is usually pretty solid, but when it is wet for a long period of time, it becomes pruney and soft, much like our fingers and toes do. This makes the ear very susceptible to tearing, and once there is even a tiny tear, bacteria can get into it and cause all sorts of nasty infections.

Symptoms: People with swimmer’s ear usually complain of an itchy and/or painful ear. The pain can be quite severe. The ear is particularly sensitive to the being tugged up and down. The earwax may appear soft and white, and there may be a small amount of clear discharge.

#1. The first step is to consider ear plugs. When fit properly, these can help keep water out of the ear. General commercial earplugs do not tend to fit great, but ask your doctor if you want to get custom made plugs. Pulling a cap down over the swimmer’s ears will help keep the earplugs in place (as well as cover them up for those kids who are shy about them!).

#2. After practice, playing in the pool, and even baths and showers, use ear drops to dry the water out of your swimmers’ ear. Q-tips can irritate the ear canal and contribute to swimmer’s ear, so ear drops are the safest way to dry them out. Tip the swimmer’s head to one side and put a few drops in. Keep the head tilted for a minute or so to ensure it absorbs the water and bacteria, and then tip the head the other way to drain the solution. Repeat with the other ear.

These solutions can be bought at your local grocery store, or just combine 1 part water, 1 part vinegar, and 1 part rubbing alcohol. The vinegar disinfects, and the rubbing alcohol dries the ear out. Note that these drops are to be used to PREVENT swimmer’s ear, or to treat very mild cases.

FOR MORE SEVERE CASES, consult a doctor before putting anything in the child’s ear to prevent a very painful reaction. Prevention can go a long way, because once a swimmer gets an infection once, it is likely to recur frequently.

This article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your or your child’s health.

Training Secrets

Training Secrets of an Olympic Swimmer

BY Natalie Secretan

Building strength, perfecting body mechanics and technique.

Swimmer doing the butterfly stroke

It doesn’t matter how much you train in a day, if you don’t perfect your body mechanics, it won’t make much of a difference to the finish line.

For Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, spending more time on stroke mechanics is more important than the 3 to 5 miles twice a day that he puts into his training.

The trick is to slow things down and focus on what your body is doing. Keeping straight in the water is essential, especially off the wall. Being streamlined for at least 15 meters off each flip turn, Lochte is able to transition into the stroke with increased momentum and this is key.

“The only way to really work on technique is to swim very slowly and really think about every little thing that you’re doing. How your body is positioned, what your hips are doing, the positioning of your shoulders and hands and feet.”

Body position is also crucial. Lochte recommends using a pull buoy between the legs and concentrate on keeping your stomach above the water during backstroke. Work with the water not against it.

Kicking is Key

Kicking drills are also important to develop strength and body position. The amount of kicking that most elite swimmers do in practice has gone up at least 20 percent in the past few years. Kicking drills will help you build stamina and strength, and improve performance so that you get the most out of your stroke.

That old staple, the kickboard is every swimmer’s best friend. In order to build stamina and prevent exhaustion, a swimmer must have strong legs and the kickboard is the ideal fitness tool. It helps with stability because your arms are still and allows you to focus on your legs.

In addition to his practice in the water, Lochte recognizes the benefits of weight training and the strength it adds to his overall performance. He spends three times a week in the gym and focuses on building core strength.

Weight Training

Every sport benefits from building core strength. This is especially true of an elite swimmer who relies on the agility of their torso to keep them balanced and streamlined in the water.

To warm up, Lochte likes to use a medicine ball, then it’s multiple sets of push-ups, followed by 500 abdominal crunches.

Nutrition

No training diet is complete without proper high performance nutrition. For athletes getting enough calories and protein is often a problem. During the peak of his competition, Michael Phelps consumed 12,000 calories a day. Supplementing your diet with protein powders and supplements is the best way to make sure your body gets the proper nutrients it needs. Whey protein isolate and creatine are fast-absorbing and easy to digest and provide concentrated protein formulas that help to increase muscle size and strength.

For more information on protein powders, check out our Product Reviews.

Academic Achievement

Students’ Physical Fitness Associated With Academic Achievement; Organized Physical Activity

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2010)

— Physical fitness is associated with academic performance in young people, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association’s 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

“As children’s health continues to be a concern — especially when it comes to obesity — some have suggested that children’s physical fitness is associated with their academic performance,” said Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., study presenting author and associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

To study the association between children’s physical fitness and academic performance, Cottrell and colleagues analyzed the body mass index percentiles, fitness levels and standardized academic test scores of 725 fifth grade students in Wood County, W.Va. The researchers focused more on the children’s fitness level than their weight. They then compared that data to students’ fitness and academic performance two years later, in the seventh grade.

They separated the participants into four groups of students who were:

• in high physical fitness levels in fifth grade and remained so in seventh grade;

• fit in fifth grade but had lost their fitness by seventh grade;

• not fit in fifth grade but were physically fit by seventh grade;

• not physically fit at the beginning of the study, in fifth grade, nor at the end of the study, in seventh grade.

Children who had the best average scores in standardized tests in reading, math, science and social studies were fit at the start and end of the study, researchers found. The next best group, academically, in all four subjects, was made up of children who were not fit in fifth grade but had become fit by seventh grade. The children who had lost their fitness levels between fifth and seventh grades were third in academic performance. Children who were not physically fit in either the fifth or seventh grades had the lowest academic performance.

“The take-home message from this study is that we want our kids to be fit as long as possible and it will show in their academic performance,” Cottrell said. “But if we can intervene on those children who are not necessarily fit and get them to physically fit levels, we may also see their academic performance increase.”

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Students’ Physical Fitness Associated With Academic Achievement; Organized Physical Activity

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2010) — Physical fitness is associated with academic performance in young people, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association’s 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

“As children’s health continues to be a concern — especially when it comes to obesity — some have suggested that children’s physical fitness is associated with their academic performance,” said Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., study presenting author and associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. “The research, however, had not developed enough to define the nature of that relationship.”

To study the association between children’s physical fitness and academic performance, Cottrell and colleagues analyzed the body mass index percentiles, fitness levels and standardized academic test scores of 725 fifth grade students in Wood County, W.Va. The researchers focused more on the children’s fitness level than their weight. They then compared that data to students’ fitness and academic performance two years later, in the seventh grade.

They separated the participants into four groups of students who were:

  • in high physical fitness levels in fifth grade and remained so in seventh grade;
  • fit in fifth grade but had lost their fitness by seventh grade;
  • not fit in fifth grade but were physically fit by seventh grade;
  • not physically fit at the beginning of the study, in fifth grade, nor at the end of the study, in seventh grade.

Children who had the best average scores in standardized tests in reading, math, science and social studies were fit at the start and end of the study, researchers found. The next best group, academically, in all four subjects, was made up of children who were not fit in fifth grade but had become fit by seventh grade. The children who had lost their fitness levels between fifth and seventh grades were third in academic performance. Children who were not physically fit in either the fifth or seventh grades had the lowest academic performance.

“The take-home message from this study is that we want our kids to be fit as long as possible and it will show in their academic performance,” Cottrell said. “But if we can intervene on those children who are not necessarily fit and get them to physically fit levels, we may also see their academic performance increase.”