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MUSC Health Blog

Keyword: nutrition

By Stephanie Davey, MEd, ATC, PES
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine
www.MUSCHealth.org/Sports

The middle of July means that high school football is just a couple of weeks away. In South Carolina, most of our high schools start around July 27th. If your son is planning to play football and go through preseason, there are a few things they need to focus on off the field in order to be safe and productive on the field.

Hopefully, your son has already been working on his conditioning. This will go a long way to him being able to acclimate to the South Carolina heat. South Carolina High School League mandates an acclimatization practice plans that all high schools must follow. If you have questions about that plan you can find it on the South Carolina High School League website

Hydration is always the first thing that comes to mind when we think of preseason football. Your son must be hydrated prior to reporting to practice each day. There is no way to catch up if they are already dehydrated when they arrive. Two ways to tell if they are hydrated is monitoring the color and volume of their urine and making sure they weigh in and out of practices. Their urine should be a light yellow color and high in volume before they go to bed each night. Secondly, they should be weighing in prior to practice and out after practice. They can do this at home or with their athletic trainer. For every pound that they lost during practice, they need to drink 20-24 oz of fluid. If they do not regain the weight they’ve lost during the previous practice, they may need to be held out of practice until they’ve rehydrated. To rehydrate, they should consume water and a sports drink. Soda and beverages with a high caffeine content should be avoided. Energy drinks should not be consumed at all.

The next thing to focus on is proper nutrition. The body is just like a car, the better fuel you put in it the better it performs. Your son needs quality food that is high in nutrition volume with a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your son needs 40 – 50 kcals/kg of body weight. They should consume 4-8g/kg of carbohydrates and 2-3 g/kg of proteins.  Foods to focus on are lean meats, eggs, nut butters, protein shakes, pastas, and fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables with a high water content can also help to hydrate. Your son needs to eat prior to practice, even if it is an early morning practice. It shouldn’t be a big heavy meal, but they need to have some source of energy before practice.

The last thing to focus on is sleep. The National Institute of Health recommends that high school athletes get an average of 9-10 hours of sleep each night.  Proper sleeping habits with allow your son’s body the time it needs to recover after each practice.  It allows him to stay focused and think clearly during practice. Better recovery and better focus leads to better performance.

Taking these steps will go a long way towards protecting your son during preseason football, ensuring that he has a fun, productive and safe football season.

Every new year, many people are tempted to try the newest fad diet to either help lose weight or enhance athletic performance or both. Many of these diets call to restrict certain food groups such as carbohydrates. While this may help with weight loss temporarily, if not monitored carefully, a low-carb diet can lead to decreased energy and athletic performance. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body, and thus are important especially in an athlete’s diet. Once the body depletes its stores of carbohydrates, the body switches to use alternate fuels such as protein or fats.

Carbohydrates often get a bad name because they are often found in simple form in processed foods including refined sugars and white flour. These commonly are seen in cookies, sodas, pasta and white bread. These foods are generally not satisfying to the appetite and cause spikes in blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates, however, are digested more slowly, leaving you feeling fuller and having less effect on blood sugar levels.  Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes (beans, lentils and peas).

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of a daily calorie intake. For an individual on a 2000 calorie per day diet, that would mean 900 to 1300 calories in the form of carbohydrates. Rather than having these calories come from “empty sources” such as processed foods, carbohydrates should come from nutrient-dense foods that are naturally occurring. My favorite diet tip is to stay to the outside of the grocery store when I am food shopping. On the outside you will find the fresh produce, meats, and dairy. Most processed food is in the center aisles. Natural foods will provide a better fuel for the body, improving overall health and athletic performance.

Rather than limiting a certain food group, the best nutrition advice is to ensure that your diet has variety, balance and moderation. A diet rich in nutrient-dense foods from all food groups will allow for the best result in the New Year and for many years to come.

For more information:

https://www.choosemyplate.gov
https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/

Dr. Candi Jump and family
Dr. Candi Jump and family 
Photo provided by Emily McGinnis Photography

“I grew up on the Jersey Shore, but probably not the Jersey Shore you are thinking of,” laughs Candi Jump, pediatric gastroenterologist at MUSC Children’s Health. While slightly joking about her New Jersey connections with her persona of calm and casual, anyone who has a child with GI issues knows that she is a very serious and accomplished physician when caring for these children.

Having been at MUSC and in Charleston now for three years, Dr. Jump could not imagine a more perfect setting for her and her family. She always knew she wanted to teach on some level and proudly states, “I come from a family of teachers – my mom, sister, and aunt are all in education, and I knew that my career choice would involve teaching. My role at MUSC Children’s Health has allowed me to do just that.”

“Working at MUSC in pediatric healthcare has given me the opportunity to give back to the next generation of physicians. I can be a mentor, as well as closely involved in academic medicine at the same time. I also love caring for kids and always knew pediatrics would be my path in medical school. Now, as the program director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Fellowship Program, I have the opportunity ability to fulfill all of my passions.”

When she is not running around after her kids on the beach or treating patients at MUSC, Candi is not afraid to explore all of the adventures Charleston has to offer. One week, it may be Charleston Power Yoga, the next it’s surfing, or maybe checking out the newest “place to be” on James Island with friends. One thing is certain — Candi Jump knows how to soak up the sun and enjoy an active lifestyle in the Lowcountry. When asked how she envisions a perfect Saturday in Charleston she smiles and says, “That’s easy; morning yoga, brunch with the family, and a day on the beach – it doesn’t get much better than that.”

While fun in the sun is important, Candi is very serious about her role as a physician. She completed her residency and chief residency at the University of Connecticut in Hartford. She then went on to complete her training as a fellow in pediatric GI at the world famous, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After training, she opted for a closer-knit academic center in a desirable location. MUSC Children’s Health in Charleston fit the bill, and the rest is history.

Candi and her husband, an avid surfer and surf artist on James Island, love the coastal life of the Lowcountry. The family can often be found hanging beach side at Folly with their two kids, Cooper and Ruby, and their rescue lab, Moose. With two toddlers and a dog in tow, Candi is never sitting still for too long. Her office is filled with images of small kids and the beach, illustrating her life as a mother and wife. As a physician, her life is equally fulfilling as evidenced when she speaks of the children she treats and the other physicians with whom she is privileged to work. 

“What I value most about what I do at MUSC Children’s Health is the impact that our pediatric GI group has in this community. There is such a large need for pediatric GI providers in the state, and I enjoy working with such an accomplished group of physicians who are passionate about what they do.”

Candi Jump is among that group of passionate doctors and we are very glad the beaches of Charleston charmed this incredible physician away from the Jersey Shore.  

Guest Post by:
Jennifer Hunnicutt, MS, ATC
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

Following sports injuries, we know the basic healthcare regime: rest, ice, elevate. We know what to put on our bodies, but do we know what’s best to put in our bodies? Nutrition is a very important, yet often neglected, part of recovery from injury.

First let’s address what happens after an injury. Inflammation immediately occurs to stimulate the healing process. Your cells are producing chemicals to clean up the area and prevent further injury. Inflammation can last several days to weeks, however, excess or long-lasting inflammation is not a good thing. Small injuries can become chronic if we do not take care of our bodies. Unfortunately, many foods we eat cause inflammation within our bodies that slow the healing process.

While you are recovering from your injury, eat foods that are wholesome and natural. Find high-quality meats, fruits, and vegetables that will support your body while it repairs the injury. Avoid processed foods. Watch out for excess dairy, a food group known to cause inflammation. Limit alcohol consumption, as it has been shown to slow healing following muscle injury. Supplement your diet with lean protein to maintain muscle mass, especially when your injury requires surgery and/or immobilization.

So how do you know if you are eating the right foods? Consider keeping a food diary. Take notes of what foods make your feel better (or worse). Do you notice that a particular food increases the pain in your injury? If so, avoid it. Bring your food diary to your appointments to discuss your diet with a healthcare professional.

If your injury causes you to go from very active to less active, then you are going to be expending less energy each day. Thus, you may want to consider lowering your caloric intake to prevent weight gain. If possible, find another type of physical activity to maintain your cardiorespiratory fitness, even if it’s just walking. Lastly, ensure you are getting plenty sleep in order to give your body the energy it needs to recover.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association follows a “food first” philosophy: look for ways to supplement your diet through wholesome foods, such as high-quality proteins and vegetables, rather than pills and ergogenic aids.

Always talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. Be careful of products that promise faster healing. Just as there is no quick fix to enhance performance, there is no quick fix to recovery from injury. Recovery takes time, so let’s provide our bodies the best possible environment through a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. MUSC’s comprehensive sports medicine team of doctors, athletic trainers, and physical therapists can provide the guidance you need following your injury. Ask how you can improve your diet and lifestyle to promote recovery following your sports injury.

References

Buell JL, Franks R, Ransone J, Powers ME, Laquale KM, Carlson-Phillips A. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: Evaluation of dietary supplements for performance nutrition. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48(1):124–136.

Turocy PS, DePalma BF, Horswill CA, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: Safe weight loss and maintainance practices in sport and exercise. Journal of Athletic Training. 2011:46(3):322-336.

Guest Post by:
Lindsey Clarke
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

It’s that time of year again; time to pace ourselves through the slow roll of successive holidays from late fall through the New Year where we partake in the revelry the season brings. Who doesn’t love the parties, holiday events, gift shopping, and holiday breaks spent with loved ones? While disruption of normal routines and #treatyoself can lead to holiday weight gain, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean all is lost as long as you have a game plan for your merriment.Array of party food

“When what to my wondering eyes should appear? But an extra ten pounds on my hips, thighs, and rear.” Ten pounds over the holidays…are you serious?!?! According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, this frequently reported number is grossly over-estimated. They report that the average weight gain from mid-November to mid-January was actually less than 1 pound.

The takeaway here? You’re not going to gain massive amounts of weight from a few holiday indiscretions; our bodies just don’t work that way. But, if you let the one or two pounds from each holiday season accumulate, they can add up over time. Many of us overindulge over the holidays, hoping that our January 1 resolutions will put us back on a healthy track again. Making resolutions is the easy part; it’s the sticking to it that takes hard work. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself; establish a plan to get yourself through the holidays making good choices, and setting yourself up for success in any goals you set for the New Year. Start making realistic holiday health resolutions now, so you can cruise into the New Year happy and healthy.

Don’t hold yourself to such strict standards that you can’t enjoy the celebration. Beating yourself up over slips from your plan is no fun for anyone. Follow the tips below to avoid falling into the “I’ve already ruined my diet/healthy eating today” landslide.


Party Game Plan

  • Consume protein beforehand.  This will satiate you, and helps prevents overeating or binging due to hunger.
  • Don’t stand next to the food table.  Fix yourself a plate and remove yourself from temptation. This also helps prevent mindless grazing.
  • Be selective. Choose things that look extra special or are your favorites. Don’t eat something just because it’s there.
  • Be mindful of the number of alcoholic beverages you partake in. Alcohol is just empty calories. And let's be real with each other…overconsumption can lead to poor dietary choices. “Pass the celery” said no tipsy party-goer ever.

Marathon shopping excursions can lead to poor snack and/or meal choices and less than ideal grab on the go fast food. A little planning can keep you from face planting into a food court buffet.

Shopping Game Plan

  • Stay hydrated! People often mistake thirst for hunger. Water can also keep you feeling full.
  • Eat a good breakfast with protein and fiber. This will give you the energy you need to carry all those shopping bags and help prevent mindless snacking.
  • Pack smart snacks. Nuts, dried fruit, apples, and beef jerky all travel well.
  • Plan ahead and meal prep before you leave for the day. This is the perfect opportunity to use that new slow cooker recipe you’ve been wanting to try; add a nice salad and dinner is served!
  • Don’t park in the closest spot; parking farther away just increases your step count for the day.

Getting creative with your activity can take the doldrums out of sticking to your regular workout routine. Use your family and your surroundings to make your holiday workouts fun!

Activity Game Plan

  • Being one of four siblings, I know family competition is alive and well! Create fun activities for the entire family to do. Who can rake the biggest leaf pile or shovel snow from their side of the driveway the fastest?
  • Take advantage of your surroundings. Strap onto your snowboard, cross-country skis, or spend the day sledding and snowball fighting. We lucky Charlestonians can burn calories walking or running out along one of our beautiful beaches or enjoy the views from the Ravenel Bridge.
  • Sign up for holiday races. Many cities host Reindeer Runs or other seasonal races. Make it a family affair or just get your squad together and get moving!

It's perfectly fine to miss a day (or two or three) of exercise, eat your favorite holiday foods, and enjoy a festive drink. The important thing is that you don't let it turn into weeks – and then months – of no exercise or unhealthy eating. If you accept going in that there will be some sidesteps from maintaining/adhering to your newfound or established habits, you'll be better prepared to get back on track and move and groove right into 2017!

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season from the MUSC Health Sports Medicine team!!

 

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