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[Savannah-cvs] Bayonne Health Online:Mastering Sports Nutrition...

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Subject: [Savannah-cvs] Bayonne Health Online:Mastering Sports Nutrition...
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 20:51:58 -0400

Bayonne Health Online, a free community service provided by Michael J. Acanfora, D.C., e-broadcasts health information to thousands of local residents, twice monthly to improve quality of life and to assist with making better healthcare decisions.
Thought Of The Day: "Don't learn the tricks of the trade; instead learn the trade."
Doctor's Office - Feature Article

Mastering Sports Nutrition: Tips for older athletes

Nancy Clark, MS, RD

One hundred years ago, life expectancy was 42 years. Today, most of us will live twice as long.

With age, we gain not only wrinkles and gray hair, but also wisdom, an appreciation for our mortality and the desire to protect our good health.

If you are a master's athlete, you also have the desire to remain competitive. You may wonder if you have significantly different sports nutrition needs from younger athletes.

To date, the research suggests older athletes have no significantly different nutritional needs other than to optimize their sports diet so they'll have every possible edge over the younger folks.

Their biggest nutrition concern should be to routinely eat quality calories from nutrient-dense, health-protective foods that invest in top performance, enhance recovery from hard workouts, and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and other debilitating diseases of aging.

The following tips can help older athletes (and aging athletes -- i.e., all of us) create a winning food plan that's appropriate for every sport, including the sport of living life to its fullest!

Don't end up like Mickey Mantle, who once said, "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself ..."


Focus your meals on wholesome carbs. Multi-grain bagels, rye crackers, brown rice and oatmeal are just a few examples of wholesome grain foods that both fuel muscles and protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Carb-rich bananas, orange juice, yogurt and/or smoothies also do the job. If you are now slowly recovering from workouts, remember that rapid post-exercise refueling optimizes recovery.


As people age, their protein needs slightly increase -- but not enough to have a separate protein recommendation for masters athletes. Just don't skimp on protein-rich foods.

Be sure to eat protein with at least two meals per day to build, repair and protect your muscles. Peanut butter on toast, turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread and/or spaghetti with meat sauce will do the job.

Red meat, reputed to be bad for heart health, can actually be a welcome addition to a sports diet as long as it is lean. (Beef's cholesterol content is similar to that of chicken and fish.) Lean beef offers not only protein but also iron, zinc, B-vitamins and other nutrients important for athletes.

Protein-rich fish -- in particular salmon, swordfish, tuna and other oily fishes -- offer health-protective fats that reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as cancer and the discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis. Target 12 ounces of fish per week (two to three servings).

If you prefer a vegetarian diet, enjoy generous amounts of beans, nuts and soy. Consuming a protein-rich plant food at each meal can supply adequate protein. Enjoy chopped walnuts in oatmeal, hummus in a pita pocket, tofu in a stir-fry.


Healthful plant and fish oils have a health-protective anti-inflammatory effect. Given that diseases of aging, such as heart disease and diabetes, are thought to be triggered by inflammation, consuming plant and fish oils that reduce inflammation is a wise choice. (For example, people who eat peanut butter five or more times per week reduce their risk of heart disease by 50%.)

Enjoy a little healthful fat at each meal: slivered almonds on granola, trail mix with nuts for snacks, fish with dinner, a sprinkling of olive oil on salads. Fat is not only satiating and abates hunger, but it also is an important fuel for endurance exercise.

Learn more about calcium, fiber, vitamins, fluids, and weight.

Click to review rest of article...

Nancy Clark, MS, RD
Visit Nancy Clark, RD

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- In Spine Magazine (May 2003 issue), researchers note that 74.4% of students, ages 12-18 using backpacks, reporting back pain.
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Note: This online health and news magazine developed by Healthy Practices, Inc. is intended to provide health information to improve quality of life and assist users to better understand their health and arrange more easily for healthcare services.

Information provided is authored by local and national healthcare professionals, some affiliated with this e-magazine. Other information is from outside sources, including nationally recognized healthcare resources, organizations and professional groups.

This e-magazine is not an attempt to replace the need to seek healthcare services or to provide specific healthcare advice. Information provided should not be used to diagnose or dispute a qualified healthcare professional's judgment.

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