Cold Smoothie Ideas Perfect for Warmer Weather

As a sports nutritionist, ultra marathoner, busy working mom, and health nut… I love smoothies, especially in warmer weather. They’re quick, easy, and cold! Making them yourself is usually the best way to go because you control the ingredients to keep them good-for-you.

Last week I was on WBAL in Baltimore sharing some of my favorite warm weather smoothie recipes. You can watch the whole video here, visit WBAL’s website for the full recipes, or check out some of the highlights below:

“Red Recharger” Recovery Smoothie

For all those athletes out there, whether you run, swim, bike (or do all three… I know, I’m a triathlete too!) You will love this smoothie. Any exercise you do over 60 minutes is considered “endurance” and needs proper recovery nutrition.

8588977321303240808Why, you ask?! Endurance exercise creates inflammation and depletes your body of carbohydrates. You also create “damage” (tiny tears) to your muscle (it’s how you make them bigger and stronger!) Recovery nutrition is important in order to replace those lost carbs and fluids, along with protein for repairing muscle.

I recommend using tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries as part of the Red Recovery Routine. (side note: I did it for New York City marathon and recovered within 2 days!)

Research has shown that anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds in cherries, reduce pain and inflammation comparable to some well-known pain medications.

This smoothie is made with tart cherry juice, frozen tart cherries (both found year round), strawberries, yogurt, a little nutmeg, OJ concentrate and honey for a little natural sweetness. To try the Red Recovery Routine or for more recipes you can check out www.choosecherries.com.

Soy Banana Nut Smoothie

This makes a great fast meal or pre-fuel for a workout. It’s made with Silk soymilk, banana, peanut butter and honey. I love Soymilk because it is a good source of wholesome, complete soy protein. Eating whole soy foods like soymilk and edamame are associated with lower risk of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer. Silk soymilk is especially great because it’s “GMO free” and has no cholesterol.

peanutsinhand-AdjustedI love using peanuts and peanut butter in smoothies! I consider peanuts a “superfood”. They have 30 vitamins and minerals and 7 grams of protein per serving — more protein than any other nut, for “lasting energy”. They’re also affordable and convenient.

To finish up this smoothie, I use banana and honey for “quick energy” carbs, potassium, and some natural sweetness.

Here’s the recipe I created especially for the segment:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Silk soymilk
  • 1 sliced banana, fresh or frozen overripe
  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup ice

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth. Serve in a cold glass.

You can get more recipes in addition to the smoothies at nationalpeanutboard.org and silk.com.

Mango Lassi

MangoLassi_DTThis is a great option for a quick snack on a warm afternoon or if you wanted, you could add some ‘spirits’ to this and make it a frozen cocktail.

I made it with Silk PureAlmond unsweetened almond milk which has only 30 calories per serving — less than half the calories of skim milk. I like using almond milk here because you get a good flavor too. For a snack or cocktail, lower calories makes sense to me because a snack is meant to bridge two meals…and most people who drink frozen cocktails are looking for ways to keep the calories lower.

This beverage is made complete with diced fresh mango, fresh lemon juice, honey, ice and beautiful mint garnish. Get the mango lassi recipe at http://silk.com/recipes/mango-lassi.

“Green” Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

It might sound weird, but you can use green vegetables like spinach, celery, and even kale and it can taste good! When you pair it with fruit like green apple or green grapes, it provide sweetness and I promise it does not taste like you are drinking veggies.

In this smoothie I used avocado (also a fruit – and green!) to add a creamy texture, and for the liquid I used coconut water. I like coconut water because its hydrating and it provide potassium, an important electrolyte for muscle contractions.

Get all these recipes on the WBAL website

To get the recipes for all these delicious smoothies in one place, just visit WBAL’s website.

Share your favorite smoothie recipes!

Leave a comment below telling me your favorite smoothie recipes and/or ingredients. I’m always looking for new flavor combos!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for my time to do this segment by Silk, National Peanut Board, and Cherry Marketing Institute, but was not compensated to write this post.

Energetic Kids Soyfoods Video Launches Today!

You might remember that earlier this summer I launched a series of videos  with the Soy Foods Association of North America that aimed to show how soy can be a nutritious part of your eating plan — no matter what your age or activity level.

I’m thrilled to announce that TODAY the second video, titled The Benefits of Soyfoods for Energetic Kids, launches and shares tips for how to incorporate plant-based protein like soy into meals and snacks to fuel your active child.

View Entire Video Here:

Here’s a press release that appeared today on CNBC.com that includes a quote from yours truly!

Food and nutrition expert Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS encourages parents to serve nutrient rich and calorie wise soyfoods as dinner and snack options for regaining energy after an active day. “Soy veggie tacos could be a quick and healthy dinner for families. Low-fat soymilk is a nourishing recovery drink after sports for your ‘all-star’ in training,” said Scritchfield.

As a plant-based protein, soyfoods are a great choice for kids. Soy is easily digested, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and are comparable to beef, milk, eggs, and fish as quality sources of protein. Some studies have even shown that if you start eating them when you’re young that they can help prevent some forms of breast cancer.

Here’s a recipe I shared in the video that’s quick, easy, and family-friendly:

Easy Veggie Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp soybean oil (vegetable oil)
  • 1-2 cups soy crumbles
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 diced tomato
  • chopped lettuce
  • low-fat cheese
  • taco shells

Saute the diced onions in the soybean oil until translucent. Add the soy crumbles and heat throughout. Then add the taco seasoning (follow the package instructions). Once combined, assemble your taco and add toppings like tomato, pepper, black beans, lettuce and cheese.

Watch a full recipe demo in the video.

Snackin’ on Soy — Some Other Kid-Friendly Ideas

Fresh or dried edamame or honey roasted soy nuts can be a great alternative to traditional “salty” snack foods. Soy nut butter can be a way to shake up the traditional “ants on a log”  — top celery sticks with soy nut butter and raisins. To satisfy a sweet tooth try low fat chocolate soy milk. It’s especially great after a long practice or sports game to help athletes repair and build muscle.

I hope you enjoy these videos — the next one will be out in a few months so stay tuned! What are some of your favorite ways to get soy protein? How have you introduced soyfoods to your kids?

More info on the benefits of soy for kids available at Soy Foods Association of North America website.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my work creating the videos with the Soy Foods Association of North America, but I was not compensated for writing this blog post or any related tweets announcing the “Energetic Kids” video.

Naturally Fuel Your Fitness Routine!

I was back on Let’s Talk Live this week sharing a plethora of ways you can naturally fuel your fitness routine. Over 60% of DC residents are active, and as I always say — if you can’t fuel it, you can’t do it! So, check out highlights from the segment and maybe you’ll find a new pre- or post-fuel idea for your next workout.

Watch the entire segment here:

For this week’s segment, I worked with recipes that are made from Pure Canadian Maple Syrup which is 100% natural and rich in carbohydrates that provide our bodies the energy we need before workouts. Just remember to check the label and make sure it says “100% maple syrup”. Most of the “pancake” brands actually use high fructose corn syrup and don’t have the same vitamins and minerals. I also shared tips for protein-rich foods like smoothies and pistachios that can be great for recovery nutrition by helping our muscles repair themselves after a workout.

Step 1 — Fill Your Body’s “Gas Tank” With Carbs 

Carbs give your body quick energy so you can go the distance — check out these great pre-fuel ideas:

  • Pre-Workout Rice Pudding: Try this pre-fuel rice pudding with pure maple syrup and berries.  It’s got the right balance of carbs and protein for workouts. You can have it warm or cold and is a cinch to put together. Because the maple syrup is unprocessed, it contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance and normal muscle function.

  • Anytime Maple Energy Squares: These maple energy squares are another good choice for fueling your workout — either before or after. They’re a great “make ahead” item, and have nutritious oats, eggs, sunflowerseeds, almonds, coconut, dried fruit, and Canadian maple syrup, which contains 54 different antioxidants.  Exercise increases “oxidative stress” which can lead to cell damage so the antioxidants help protect our cells.

  • No Time to Cook? No Problem! If you’re short on time before a workout, you can always opt for fruit like bananas, apples, and pears. They’re nature’s perfect on-the-go foods and are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Step 2: Hydrate As You Go

Most people can drink plain water throughout their workouts and be totally fine. Sports drinks are meant more for endurance athletes (think marathon runners) or team sports with lengthy practices. Aim for about half a cup of fluids every 20 minutes of exercise.

Step 3: Mend Those Muscles With Carbs and Protein

Smoothies are great after a workout because the carbs in them help replace what you burned so you aren’t as sore afterwards. The protein they contain helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Canadian maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese and zinc, two minerals that are vital for muscle recovery. It also contains the electrolyte potassium that helps with normal muscle function. You can get these nutrients in the Fruity Maple Refueler Shake that I make with strawberries, bananas, quick cooking oats, Greek yogurt, and maple syrup.

Lowfat chocolate milk is another great recovery option if you don’t have time to make a smoothie — it has a good mix of carbs and protein too.

Step 4: Smart Snacks and Meals

I love recommending pistachios as a nutritious and easy on-the-go snack.  Wonderful Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat, and highest fiber nuts. And they have protein, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are important for recovery nutrition.

Wonderful Pistachios on Let’s Talk Live set

Plus, you can’t beat the serving size — 49 kernals!! 1 serving has 300mg of potassium which is way more than a sports drink (only 30 mg potassium in sports drinks). Reach for roasted and salted pistachios to replenish the sodium/potassium you lose during your workout.

Nutrition Main Page Image

For meals, I like to keep it really simple and use whole foods – quality ingredients. This is something you can do for lunch and dinner. Combine any 2 non-starchy veggies – cucumbers and tomatoes, and 1 type of bean – chickpeas, any one type of lean protein – tuna , one herb – flat leaf parsley, any one fat – feta cheese. All you do is mix up these ingredients, and add some fresh lemon or vinegar.

You have a simple, healthy meal ready in no time, it’s packed with nutrients, and will keep you fueled all day long.

What are your favorite “go-to” pre-fuel and recovery snacks?

Disclaimer: I worked with Pure Canadian Maple Syrup and Wonderful Pistachios as part of the TV segment. I was not compensated for this post.

New Video Series Shows the Power of Soy Protein

Team USA logoThe Olympics are right around the corner — I can’t wait! I love watching how the events seem to inspire people to get out and exercise more. Part of becoming more active (or just being active) is knowing how to fuel your exercise so you have the energy to go the distance, but also to repair your body after a workout.

I’m thrilled to be a part of a new education initiative by the Soy Foods Association of North America. We created a series of four videos in which I offer tips for individuals of all age and activity levels to eat a healthy, balanced eating plan that includes antioxidant and nutrient rich soy foods.

The first video just launched in time for the opening ceremonies in London 2012 is “The Benefits of Soyfoods for Elite Athletes” and highlights the importance of soyfoods for competitive and active Americans.  These athletes have unique nutrition needs including an increased need for protein to help the body repair itself after rigorous exercise.

The 3 other videos coming out quarterly over the next year include:

  • The Benefits of Soyfoods for Energetic Kids
  • The Benefits of Soyfoods for Active Adults
  • The Benefits of Soyfoods for Aging Americans

For more information on soy you can visit: www.soyfoods.org/nutrition-health/soy-and-performance.

One of my favorite ways of including soy is making a recovery smoothie with fruit and soymilk. Frozen banana adds a creaminess that is divine. Adding some chia seed, peanut butter, or coconut (or a combo) goes a long way with flavor and nutrition. What are your favorite soy recipes for your active life?

Disclosure: Soyfoods Association of North American compensated me for my work in the video production, but not for writing this blog post.

Bananas for Active Living and Healthier Snack Ideas – WBAL TV Appearance

I was thrilled to work with Dole (@DoleBananas on Twitter) and Pirate’s Booty (on Facebook) for a TV appearance on NBC’s WBAL 11 in Baltimore. I provided nutrition tips for active lifestyles and shared a research study that suggests bananas can be as effective as sports drinks for exercise.

I also shared some tasty banana recipes, tips for fueling before, during, and after workouts, and a few ideas for better-for-you snacks you might crave after some activity.

Watch the full segment now:

Rebecca on WBAL for Dole and Pirate's Booty

Here are a few highlights from the segment:

Vitamins, minerals, nutrients oh, my!

Bananas are packed with vitamin B6, which is an important energy nutrient, along with vitamin C, potassium (an important electrolyte for athletes especially) and fiber which helps keep our digestive system healthy (keeps those pipes clean if you know what I mean.)

Check out the Dole website for recipes. The pumpkin banana bars are especially tasty. The bars or bananas are great before, during or after a workout to help replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates that are used up/lost during workouts.

Water – A Key Fuel During Your Workout

Don’t forget to hydrate with water! We get hot, we sweat to cool down our bodies, and we lose water. You just need a few gulps 2-4 ounces every 20 minutes during a workout. You can pre-fuel almost any workout with 2 cups water and a banana. 

Tackling Post-Workout Snack Food Cravings

You might find after a workout you are a little hungrier or you are just craving something crunchy, sweet, or salty. You don’t have to fight those urges, you just need a wee bit o moderation.

I love Pirate’s Booty for a snack that has tons of flavor (white cheddar!) and it’s baked, not fried and it’s delicious — something you don’t always find in “baked snacks” (you know what I mean). This is great if you’re craving something more crunchy. Pirate’s Booty is all natural, half the fat and fewer calories than fried snack chips you may come across. They’re also gluten free (good for people with Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance) and have no trans fats.

Since it’s summer, we know those cold snacks cravings are increasing. If you have ever had frozen banana you know it is an excellent sub for ice cream. Why not have fun and make these frozen banana dark chocolate pops rolled in nuts!

Banana Chocolate Pops

- cut banana into thirds (half if it is small size, however most are medium to large)

- melt semi sweet or darker chocolate morsels or bars in the micro for about 45 seconds and stir (you will need about 1/4 cup per whole banana, but you lose a fair amount of chocolate in the bowl)

- using popcicle sticks or wooden coffee stirrers, skewer the banana

- roll about half the banana in the chocolate to coat

- roll the chocolate part in chopped nuts — any kind will do, peanuts, walnuts, pistachos

- place in a freezer safe container, let the pops freeze for at least an hour and enjoy within a week for maximum freshness

Click here to view the entire video

What are your favorite ways to fuel your workouts this summer?

Disclosure: I received compensation for the TV appearance, but did not receive compensation for writing this blog post.

Smart Marathon Training Event in Washington, DC!

I am so excited to be joining Jeff Horowitz at the Water Street Gym this Sunday, February 12, 2012 for the Smart Marathon Training book event! Jeff Horowitz is not only a great friend, but he is a great author and ultra-marathoner, as well! Join us, and hear me dish out some great advice about sports nutrition! Pack in the most benefits to your training program, while enjoying tons of complimentary services!

Here’s the info:

Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

Place: Water Street Gym, 3255 K Street, Washington, DC 20007

Contact: Tel: (202) 812 – 5050 or E-mail: Trish@Waterstreetgym.com

Reliving My New York City Marathon – In Pictures

The ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing more than 100,000 applicants annually. The 2011 race had 46,795 finishers — and I was one of them with a time of 4:36:44. Check out my race recap – and apply for the NYC marathon lottery. You won’t regret it. (Good luck getting in. It took me three years.)


Even though I have finished 7 previous marathons and ultra marathons I have never done the “red recovery routine” before. As a “powered by red” team member for NYC marathon, I had the perfect opportunity to try it out on myself.

Basically, I added in 10 ounces of tart cherry juice a day the week leading up to the marathon and for a few days after the race.

I’m completely sold. I cannot believe the difference in my post marathon recovery. I had minimal pain and inflammation compared to other marathons. I thought I’d eventually feel it 1-2 days post-race (due to DOMS) but I didn’t. Watch my full video experience here.

I seriously hope you consider trying the red recovery routine yourself. If you are curious about what is “special” about tart cherry juice, it’s the anthocyanins. Tart cherry juice has anthocyanins I and II in large amounts and they have been found to help reduce pain and inflammation in endurance athletes.

Race Preparation

I do so much to get ready physically and mentally for a race. One major thing I need is sleep. I was lucky because it was “fall back” time. I also got good sleep 2 nights before race day. I absolutely LOVED this from my race packet – a door sign for the hotel. Ha! It reminded me I needed to get that shut eye. It was lights out by 9:30 p.m. I woke at 3:30 a.m. for a minute but then got good rest/relaxation until 6:45 when I had to get out of bed to catch a cab by 7 a.m.

Getting to the Start

It was basically a race in itself. I took a cab to a ferry to a bus and walked to the start. But check out some of the cool sites along the way!

Leaving Manhattan – We had an escort with a machine gun! Don’t mess w/ marathoners!


She is so beautiful in the morning sun. Thanks to the People of France for this gift – Libertas – the Roman Goddess of Freedom!

Pre-Race at Staten Island

Here I am with an 87 year old woman who has completed over 20 New York marathons! You go girl…

I made a friend on the bus from the State Island ferry to the start line. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be invited to start the race with them. They were doing a 4 min run, 1 min walk pace for a 4:45 finish. That was in the zone of my time so I figured, what the heck! It was great to have some tempo buddies. And… I got someone to draw cherries on my face to help me “rock the red”!

 

Random Race Photos

It’s not easy to run and tweet, let alone grab pics, but I managed to do it. Here are a few things I captured that weren’t completely blurry :)

Mile 1-2

I think this was the prettiest bridge. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn

I took more pics but they were very blurry so I didn’t include them here. It was basically crowd shots — awesome spectators — and shots of bands. There were 130 bands total. THANK YOU for keeping it fun! There were great signs. My fave “Because 26.3 would be just crazy”. I also enjoyed the kids passing out oranges and suckers. So cute!

Bridge Queens to Manhattan – Right before mile 16 – Hubby is waiting for me at 63rd St


Mile 18 – Have U Hugged a Firefighter?

(don’t know this guy at all, but things like that happen when you’re that far into a race!)

Mile 22 – Wow, more firefighters!

Mile 25 – Central Park – Just capturing the last mile!

Post-Race in Central Park

We got a goodie bag that included an apple (of course) so I took a pic of me getting my own “bite” out of this BIG apple.

The Bling

And of course, it’s all about that BLING :) so here’s mine….

Helpful Hints for a Healthy Lunch in Women’s Running Mag

I’m a woman. I run. So it is only natural when @WomensRunning contacts me for an interview on sports nutrition that I’m going to say YES!

The article was on healthy lunches. In usual fashion, my spin focuses on meeting the body’s needs for nutrition and physical performance. When I get a chance to reach lots of people, I smash diet myths as much as I can. For this article, I picked the “low carb” myth – no way, Jackson! Runners need carbs. I emphasized whole grain carbs that are minimally processed and give a 1-2 punch of nutrients along with the quick energy we need right about lunch time. Manage your energy levels. Eat real food, enough so you don’t starve, and don’t fear the carbohydrate.

Check out my smattering of tips in the online article. I managed to get in messages about mindful eating (take a lunch break) and hydration. Better yet, go buy your own copy of the mag — lots of good stuff in this issue you can’t get online!

Book Review, Part 2: Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance

In this second part of my book review, I wanted to  highlight some interesting points that I learned about how to refuel and energize your body using carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each macronutrient plays a vital role in nutrient timing for before, during, and after your workout. Read below to see how what and when you eat can affect athletic performance.

Carbohydrates

As the primary fuel used for energy, carbohydrates can serve specific purposes in the body if they are strategically eaten before, during, and after exercise.

  • Carbohydrates can be stored and utilized for energy anywhere from 24 hours ahead of your exercise up until about 15 minutes before you begin.
  • Eating a good meal in the day previous to exercise ensures that your muscles will be full of glycogen, or stored glucose, that your body can tap into for energy.
  • Carbohydrate intake during exercise spares the use of muscle glycogen so that your body can use those last reserves for the end – your last sprint toward the finish line, final moments of the game, or your break-away for a game-winning goal. This is because the carbohydrates that you eat during an event go straight into your bloodstream where your muscles can use it instead of using their stored energy.
  • After exercise, it is important to “refuel, rehydrate, and rest” – what Skolnik and Chernus call the three R’s in sport.
  • Refueling quickly after exercise is important, because it is within the first 2 hours that your muscles store glycogen at the fastest rate.
  • It is most effective to start with a high-Glycemic Index food or beverage as soon as possible, because these carbohydrates are quickly absorbed, digested, and delivered into your bloodstream as glucose.

Protein

Protein is another nutrient that is essential for sport and performance. It provides many vital functions, but excessive protein intake can creat excess ammonia in your body as well as lead to the dehydration of muscles. It is important to refuel on protein following an intense training or weightlifting session so that the muscle fibers that were destroyed can be rebuilt. Follow these tips for proper refueling.

  • The  maximum effective dose of protein your body can handle efficiently at one time is 20-35 grams. Eating any more than this at one time is simply a waste.
  • Your body cannot efficiently use any more than 2-2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight in a single day, so it is important to calculate your protein needs and not eat in much more excessively than what your body needs.
  • Protein is utilized differently by all individuals, but more specifically on the type of exercise: endurance or resistance.
  • For endurance training, many researchers find that it may be helpful to mix protein and carbohydrates for your post-workout meal to aid in muscle recovery and immunity protection.
  • The addition of protein can result in less muscle protein breakdown and reduced muscle soreness, according to studies done on athletes.
  • For resistance training, protein is an important nutrient that aids in protein synthesis which must be greater than muscle breakdown in order for muscles to grow in size and strength.
  • Adequate carbohydrate and fat are needed to spare protein for muscle repair.
  • Consuming a snack following a weightlifting session will help with recovery – limiting the tissue breakdown as well as promoting muscle building.

Fat

Dietary fat intake plays a major role in athletic performance with both direct and indirect effects.

  • Eating too much fat right before working out can slow you down.
  • Not eating enough fat can inhibit testosterone production and muscle building.
  • Fats are very calorie dense and are great sources of calories for athletes that require a high caloric intake

In this section on fat, the authors describe how our body uses fat and burns it for fuel. This section is extraordinarily interesting and useful for all individuals. Since there are many misconceptions regarding the “best” exercises for fat burning and weight loss, I found this section of the book to be very informative. The authors address properly fueling your body before exercise. Many people workout on an empty stomach because they think they will burn more fat that way. Though exercising without eating would technically burn more fat, you will hinder your athletic performance and fatigue much earlier than if had you eaten. The authors also discuss the trend of dietary periodization as well as a high-fat diet and its affect on performance.

For more information about Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance, check out the Facebook Fan Page or my interview with one of the authors, Andrea Chernus MS, RD, CDE, on her book and other relevant topics in sports nutrition!

Book Review, Part 1: Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance

Are you interested in how the foods you eat affect your athletic performance? Or what you can eat following a workout to quickly refuel your muscles and regain energy? Do you have questions about the latest supplements or research regarding improved performance? Well, I’ve just finished reading  Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance by sports nutritionists Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM and Andrea Chernus, MS, RD, CDE and recommend this book to anyone interested in these questions regarding nutrient timing.

Many of you may be wondering, “What is nutrient timing?” As the authors suggest in the subtitle, Skolnik and Chernus explain it as “the right food, the right time, the right results.” More specifically, nutrient timing can be described as “a strategic approach to how much, what, and when you eat before, during, and after training and competition to maximize training effects, reduce risk of injury, maintain healthy immune function, and help with recovery.”

The authors begin this book with a quick introduction to nutrient timing and an overview of the benefits, which include increased energy throughout training, proper repair and strengthening of your muscles, increased immune function, and proper recovery and injury prevention. The also introduce the reader to the concepts of metabolism, the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, and also some key hormones, including testosterone, growth hormone, insulin, glucagon, epinephrine, and cortisol.

In Part 2, the authors delve into the macronutrients and how they are needed before during and after training and competing. They review carbohydrates, protein, and fat and how each of these play vital roles in training and competition. They also discuss that what and when you eat directly and indirectly affects your athletic performance. The remaining chapters in part 2 discuss important vitamins and minerals, hydration issues, and supplements. The authors provide excellent research studies in these sections and are definitely worth reading about.

My favorite part of this book, however, was part 3. It is in this section that the authors discuss timing guidelines that you can use to create the best nutrient timing for your performance. In the first section they discuss the three strategies – consistency, quality, and timing – and how to incorporate that into your diet. In the next section they discuss how to create your own personalized Nutrition Blueprint. This is based on calculating your specific calorie and macronutrient needs (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) and then appropriately and strategically distributing these calories throughout your day. Skolnik and Chernus walk you through each step in creating this Nutritional Blueprint, as well as how to translate it into a food plan. They also address issues such as weight loss, weight gain, and vegetarianism.

Sample menus and food plans are also provided for different sport and exercise, such as strength and power training, two-a-day workouts, endurance training, and stop and go sports. At the end of the book there are appendices with tons of information, including how to calculate your calorie needs through finding your basal metabolic rate, meal and snack ideas, macronutrient needs determined by what sport you participate in, and also a list of carbohydrate, protein, and fat content in common foods.

Overall I really enjoyed reading and reviewing this book. I was impressed by the vast knowledge that these two renowned sports nutritionists incorporated in this book, and I think it is an excellent source for any questions or concerns you may have about nutrient timing regarding your athletic performance. The Nutrition Blueprint information is invaluable to any and every athlete – whether you’re a high school or college athlete, a professional athlete, an avid sport and exercise enthusiast, or simply someone who wants to better time their nutrition to make the most out of their exercise regimen.

In the next installment of this book review, part 2, I will share what I’ve learned from the book regarding specific nutrient timing for each of the macronutrients before, during, and after exercise.

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