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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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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Why Are Carbohydrates Important for CrossFit?

Why Are Carbohydrates Important for CrossFit?

CrossFit is a branded fitness program that involves ‘constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.’ In a nutshell, the answer to why carbohydrates are so crucial for CrossFit comes down to human physiology and the energy systems predominantly involved in this type of training.  Carbohydrates  Carbohydrates are made up of starches, sugars and cellulose. Once digested, they are broken down into single sugar molecules in the form of glucose. This can then be stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen, ready to be used as a quick energy source.  Examples of carbohydrate-rich foods: Bread, bread rolls, wraps Pasta,…
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Nutrition for Optimising Immunity in Athletes

Nutrition for Optimising Immunity in Athletes

Optimising immune function in athletes can help in numerous ways. By reducing the frequency and duration of illnesses, it allows more time for training while at peak function. It can also mean that fewer competitions, events, or games are impacted by illness too. While we cannot prevent getting sick 100% of the time, there are certain things we can do with nutrition to help still. Why This MattersGetting sick not only leads to missed training sessions or games/events, but it also exerts a lingering negative impact on performance for quite some time after the occurrence. Training intensity is typically reduced…
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Dietitian’s Quick Guide to Training Nutrition: Fuel Your Performance And Enhance Recovery

Dietitian’s Quick Guide to Training Nutrition: Fuel Your Performance And Enhance Recovery

Whether you're an athlete or simply someone who loves to exercise, paying attention to your nutrition around training can make a significant difference in maximizing your performance and optimizing recovery. In this dietitian's guide, we'll explore the basics of training nutrition and how you can take your training and recovery to the next level. Pre-Training: Power Up with Carbohydrates Before your training session, it's crucial to ensure you have enough fuel in the tank to sustain your performance. Carbohydrates are the body's preferred source of fuel, so they should be your main focus during this time. Ideally, aim for a…
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New Zealand Blackcurrants: Benefits for Athletes

New Zealand Blackcurrants: Benefits for Athletes

New Zealand Blackcurrants are not exactly the most well-known nutrition strategy for improving performance, but there is some solid research indicating benefits. They can potentially help with a wide range of things including: Improving race times Helping with recovery Improving blood flow Increasing fat oxidation In this post, the research will be summarised, and some practical interpretations will be made. Mechanism of Action  Anthocyanins appear to be the main component of blackcurrants that drive the benefits for athletes that we are looking at. These are the pigments responsible for the blue, purple, red and orange colours of certain fruits and…
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How to Track Macros: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Track Macros: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cutting, bulking, improving diet adequacy, or trying to achieve specific health goals? Tracking your macros properly will get you there. If done properly, it can be one of the most useful and successful ways to achieve your goals. Because you don’t have to cut out food groups (ie. Keto) or meals (ie. Intermittent fasting) to achieve your goals. You get to eat the foods that you enjoy and simply adjust the portion in order to achieve body composition goals. Though it appears simple, research shows that almost no one can do it accurately.  Background “Macros” is an abbreviation of the…
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