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Are Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes A Performance Enhancer? (Probably Not…)

There will be a lot of mashed potatoes consumed at Thanksgiving meals across America this week. I came across a research study suggesting that potato puree is as effective as an energy gel in promoting performance improvements in endurance cycling. Is it possible that mashed potatoes are also performance enhancers? Probably not, especially when they’re accompanied by 3000 calories of turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and bread. 🙂

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It’s Time To Think About Vitamin D

Over the past weekend many parts of the U.S. turned their clocks backwards one hour, which means we are now in “Standard Time”.  I like to think of this as “daylight losing time”. Our afternoons get darker earlier. With fewer opportunities for sunlight exposure we’ve got fewer opportunities to make a critical component of health, fitness, and athletic performance: Vitamin D.

In today’s post I’ll briefly describe where Vitamin D comes from, outline Vitamin D’s effects on sports performance and fitness, and what to do if you need to get more Vitamin D in your body.

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How I Talk To Young Athletes About Nutrition

One of the benefits I found working as a high school team physician is the opportunity to have conversations with intelligent young people and every once in a while to positively influence their life choices. Nutrition is an area fraught with confusion, as the messaging the kids receive from the media and occasionally from coaches runs counter to what we believe would be the optimal choices for them.

I’ve found that there are two key components to having a successful conversation. The first component is when to actually have the conversation (the training room works best for me). The second component is to use examples from the best athletes in the world as models of high performance habits. By using these tactics I’ve been surprised over the years that young athletes are far more receptive to the messages than I once believed.

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Risk Factors For Adolescent Stress Fractures

Stress fractures in adolescent athletes are unfortunately fairly common. Here’s an interesting recently published scientific study that aims to identify risk factors for stress fractures in adolescent athletes. The authors found several characteristics associated with stress fracture risk: lower than normal body mass index, four weeks or more history of shin splints, minimal involvement in weight training, decreased amount of sleep, daily stress, and low dairy intake.

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Caffeine For Athletic Performance: Good Or Avoid?

By Dev Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Caffeine ingestion for sport performance is generally fine for adults and associated with performance benefits. Side effects must be closely monitored. A large number of teenage athletes consume caffeine and other stimulants but the potential for more…

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Two Protein Bars That Work

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Nutrition bars are a smart choice when you need portable nutrition Aim for nutrition bars that are made from naturally occurring ingredients and feature high protein and zero or very low sugar There are many choices…

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Is Sugar Killing Our Kids?

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup are likely responsible for a number of negative health issues, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome Create a lifetime healthy habit by eliminating processed sugars from a kid’s diet,…

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Refueling After Training Or Games

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Muscle recovery after exercise requires a combination of carbs and protein. Muscle is believed to recover better if refueling starts in the first hour or two after exercise. Start as soon as possible (ideally in the…

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Do’s And Don’ts Of Supplements For Young Athletes

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: Supplement use in high school aged athletes is very common, especially amongst male athletes Whenever possible get your “supplement” from food first, for example, lean meats and tofu are excellent natural sources If you do buy,…

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The Female Athlete Triad: A Serious Problem Needing Careful Attention

By Dev Mishra, M.D. President, Sideline Sports Doc Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Key Points: The ‘female athlete triad’ is a combination of eating disorder, lack of menstrual cycle, and low bone density This is a complex medical issue requiring care from a number of medical professionals If not treated, the female…

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