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Supplements for Endurance Athletes

Supplements for Endurance Athletes

There are many ways that supplements can be beneficial for endurance athletes. As a sports dietitian I typically take a “food first”, but not necessarily a “food only” approach. In many cases, it is possible to optimise things through food. But there are also times when supplements can be beneficial. The best example is when achieving certain optimal intakes through food is unrealistic. This post will be focused on supplements, but I also have an article on overall endurance nutrition. For this post, the structure will be: There is a clear focus on supplements that can help. I won’t spend…
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Does Citrulline Supplementation Help Endurance Performance?

Does Citrulline Supplementation Help Endurance Performance?

Citrulline supplementation has gained attention for its potential benefits in improving endurance performance. There are a bunch of proposed mechanisms for how it can help endurance athletes achieve better race times. Although some mechanisms make sense, the biggest thing to look at is outcomes. Does citrulline supplementation improve performance? While anecdotal data has merit, particularly when we lack research, in this article we will look directly at what the research we have available has found.    Mechanisms Before jumping into the research, it is worth looking at the mechanisms to understand how citrulline could help theoretically. Improved Blood Flow The…
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Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Better Than Regular Olive Oil from a Health Perspective?

Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Better Than Regular Olive Oil from a Health Perspective?

Olive is well known as an option that is consistently linked with health benefits. Given the price disparity and distinct flavour profiles, it's natural to wonder whether there are significant health differences between extra virgin olive oil and other varieties of olive oil. In this article, the differences will be summarised, and some practical take-away points will be added too. Definitions Virgin olive oil is simply olive oil that has been obtained directly from olives without any chemical treatments or heat. It is the least processed form and is often considered to be high quality. Other forms of olive oil…
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Alpha-GPC – Everything You Need To Know

Alpha-GPC – Everything You Need To Know

α-GPC (also referred to as Choline alphoscerate or L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a natural choline compound found in the brain. It is considered a parasympathetic agent and is commonly taken as a supplement for its potential cognitive and performance-enhancing effects. Cognition When ingested, it is easily absorbed and crosses the blood-brain barrier which is then metabolized into choline. Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which facilitates learning, memory, and focus. Neurodegenerative Disease Most of the research in humans regarding its effect on cognition is on those with neurodegenerative diseases or some degree of cognitive decline. A 2023 systematic review on…
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Nutrition for Concussions: What Does the Research Show?

Nutrition for Concussions: What Does the Research Show?

Navigating the area of nutrition for concussions can be tricky. There's not as much direct human research as we'd like on concussions. It is, obviously, ethically challenging to study. But clearly, nutrition can help with overall brain health, including the prevention and management of concussions. The following post will be based on a combination of theoretical thinking and focusing on the evidence that we DO have. At a minimum, there will be some useful things in this post that have a high likelihood of helping. General Theme – Overall Healthy Diet As a general theme, having an overall healthy diet…
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Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG) – Is it Worth Taking?

Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG) – Is it Worth Taking?

Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) is a supplement that combines the amino acid arginine with alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG). Arginine is an amino acid that plays an important role in the urea cycle and is involved in nitric oxide production, which is what it is known for in the performance space. On its own though, the absorption of arginine is quite low. AKG plays a role in metabolism by regulating energy production through the Krebs cycle, the process through which cells generate energy in the form of ATP. By combining arginine with alpha-ketoglutarate, the aim is to potentially enhance the delivery of arginine to…
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Nutrition for ADHD: A Dietitian’s Guide

Nutrition for ADHD: A Dietitian’s Guide

When it comes to ADHD, the connection between diet and symptom management is both fascinating and significant. ADHD is a broad topic though. The goal of this post is to cover most of the key things that matter. I want to acknowledge that: It would be silly to say that nutrition can “solve” or “cure” ADHD. It would be equally silly to say that nutrition plays no role in ADHD. The first section of this article will cover nutrients of interest. The reason we will start there is because there is a lot of research highlighting situations where nutrition can…
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Is Coffee Good or Bad for Health?

Is Coffee Good or Bad for Health?

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages and psychoactive substances in the world. Therefore, it's important to explore its specific ingredients, their impact on health, and the overall association between consumption on health outcomes and if there are any potential drawbacks. Ingredients Coffee consists of many compounds, and its composition varies depending on factors such as the specific bean, roasting and storage methods.  Coffee contains caffeine, with about ~80mg caffeine in each shot on average, however this varies significantly. It is a rich source of antioxidants, containing a high amount of certain polyphenols.  In the research, coffee is actually…
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Butyrate: Everything You Need To Know

Butyrate: Everything You Need To Know

Butyrate is one of the three primary short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), alongside acetate and propionate that is produced in our gut. This tiny molecule has been shown to have far-reaching effects, from supporting gut health to lowering inflammation. Dietary Sources Butyrate actually comes from the Latin word 'butyrum', which means butter. Butter contains 3-4% butyric acid, making it the richest dietary source of butyrate. Despite this, most of this SCFA is produced by gut bacteria when dietary fibre is ingested. Therefore, to increase butyrate production you should consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. Aim for…
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Nutrition of Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Actually Matters?

Nutrition of Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Actually Matters?

Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), differs from Osteoarthritis (OA) in that it is caused by an autoimmune reaction where the immune system attacks the lining surrounding the joints. This results in inflammation, pain, swelling, and potential joint damage over time. It mainly affects the joints, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Other symptoms include red, puffy hands, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and hard bumps under the skin near joints. RA affects about 1% of the population and although the cause is not well understood, it seems to involve environmental,…
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