Category Archives: Nutrition

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Athletes and Alternative Medicine

As an athlete, you need to be in a state of continual improvement, continual practice, and continual innovation. To stay fit and functional, it’s crucial to address health issues, not just as they arise, but also preventatively. It’s no secret that many top athletes employ alternative medicine to keep them at the top of their game. But which of those practices are helpful for the rest of us?

Acupuncture/Dry Needling: Acupuncture and the related field of dry needling both use intramuscular stimulation via small, fine needles in order to relieve pain/inflammation and encourage healing. The benefits of acupuncture and dry needling are well established, with few risks when practiced by professionals.

Kinesio Taping: Kinesio taping and related methods are rehabilitative tape placements designed to provide support and stability without movement restriction as well as reduce swelling. Although Kinesio taping is noninvasive, when applied improperly it can cause tissue damage, so it’s crucial that a certified or experienced practitioner performs this treatment.

Chiropractic/Osteopathic Treatment: Both chiropractic and osteopathic treatments involve muscle, bone, and tissue manipulation to improve function and flexibility. Both practices have a long history of success with minimal risk.

Lomilomi: Lomilomi is a Hawaiian practice of massage without the use of any tools or devices, emphasizing the benefits of skin to skin contact, often in concert with other holistic modalities.

PRP Treatment: Also known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, PRP involves injecting a concentrated version of the patient’s own blood into injured tissue to stimulate recovery. Because PRP has no outside substances, it is ideal for athletes who compete in sports where certain substances have been banned.

Prolotherapy: Prolotherapy is another injected treatment, using a non-nutrient, non-steroid dextrose and anesthetic combination to fortify ligaments, tendons, or joint capsules. While the anesthetic component is non-narcotic, it may not be approved for use in all sports, so consult your doctor prior to treatment.

If you’re looking to improve as an athlete or come back vigorously from an injury, you should certainly consider adding one or more of these alternative treatments to your medical regimen. To speak to one of our experienced staff about which options would be best for your situation, request an appointment now!


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Warm Up With These Nutritious Winter Cooking Tips

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Winter cuisine cues up images of home baked cookies and hot chocolate on a snowy day. Comfort foods like these can take the edge off of harsh winter weather and seemingly endless days cooped up indoors. These winter staples have their place, but who can afford to let their nutrition veer off course for an entire season? Stay fit and healthy in the coming months by appeasing your winter palate with these enticing–and healthful–favorites. 46023672_l

 

  • Oatmeal: Recommended by health experts as one of the best ways to start your day, a delicious and steamy bowl of oatmeal is sure to lure you out from under the blankets. To give your oatmeal a protein kick, add a handful of your favorite nuts along with a teaspoon of real maple syrup to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Soups: Combat the winter chills with a variety of hot and flavorful soups. The possibilities are endless. Take a standard favorite like chicken noodle, but swap out the pasta for brown rice and throw in some extra leafy greens like kale or swiss chard to give your body an easy to make, nutrient-packed lunch or dinner.
  • Root Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, and other root vegetables are a satisfying way to get your five to ten servings of vegetables for the day. Who wants to eat a salad in near-zero temperatures? Cut up some root vegetables and arrange them on a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper, cook for 45 minutes or until soft, and enjoy this delicious array as a side to a grilled chicken breast or pork chop.
  • Beans and Legumes. Not just the baked beans you find at a summer barbecue! Explore the wide variety of beans and legumes available and experiment with various preparations. Chickpeas match exceptionally with pesto. Try mixing lentils and quinoa with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Beans and legumes are a staple in many soup and chili recipes that are a great winter treat as well.

 

Don’t let the winter derail your health. To learn more about the impact your diet has on health conditions and your overall wellbeing, request an appointment with the Advanced Health and Wellness Center of NJ.


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Good Nutrition May Keep You Warm in the Cold Too

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by Christopher J. Tucker, MD

With the changing of the seasons and the accompanying drop in the temperature outside, many athletes flock to the ski slopes, the ice rink, and the mountainside seeking outdoor adventure and fitness. Exercising in cold weather presents several unique nutritional challenges. Taking a few simple precautions can help maximize performance and keep athletes healthy and allow them to safely achieve their fitness goals.

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What changes when the temperature drops?

When exercising in cold weather, your core body temperature tends to drop. In warm weather, it is generally easier to regulate body temperature, as excess body heat is removed through sweating. In addition, the body needs to warm and humidify the cold, dry air that you breathe, which requires even more energy (up to 23 percent of calories burned in cold weather exercise go towards warming inspired air). The caloric requirements of the athlete in cold weather are higher than what would be required during a similar level and duration of activity in warmer temperatures. This is due to food being used to fuel the body’s increased metabolism in addition to providing energy for the exercise itself.

 

Can I drink less water?

One of the biggest nutritional mistakes that athletes make is to drink too little water when exercising in cold weather. Cold diminishes the body’s thirst mechanism and athletes need to make a conscious effort to consume enough fluids. This is necessary to keep up with the demand of both exercise, as well as fluid lost when warming the body and humidifying inspired air. When exhaling during heavy breathing considerable water is lost during respiration. Dehydration leads to decreased performance, and physical endurance. It is commonly cited as the root cause of many outdoor winter sporting accidents and misadventures.

 

What should I eat?

Proper nutrition begins with planning ahead. Ideally, athletes should consume complex carbohydrates two hours prior to exercise. Warm foods are ideal as they can help to contribute to heat preservation. Foods such as soups, chili, pasta, baked potatoes, breads, bagels with peanut butter, or lean meats are excellent pre-exercise sources of fuel. It is also important to continue to replace carbohydrate stores being burned during exercise, to prevent fatigue and contribute to body heat. It is a good rule of thumb to bring along easily digestible snacks such as energy bars and gels, trail mix, sandwiches, or fruit.

 

For more great tips like this, check out In Motion, an official wellness publication by The American Orthopedic Society For Sports Medicine in conjunction with AOSMI.


Good health requires balance. Physical fitness, nutrition, sleep, pain management, and stress relief all contribute to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. At the Advanced Health and Wellness Center of New Jersey, we help patients struggling with weight loss, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other conditions using holistic techniques. Request an appointment and get started on a path towards comprehensive wellness.