Carbohydrates for Athletes by Isaac Smith

[Isaac Smith is a Senior at North Carolina State University and is currently enrolled in the Athletic Lab Coach Apprenticseship Program] Often times, when people hear the word carbohydrate or “carbs” their skin begins to crawl and their minds immediately shift toward unhealthy weight gain. This is only the case when simple carbohydrates are consumed more often than complex carbohydrates, or when carbs are eaten in excess. As with anything in life, too much of something can be detrimental. Carbohydrates get an awful reputation when they are actually very beneficial to our bodies, especially to high performance athletes and those competing in strength sports. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary readily source of energy and in order for these athletes to perform to the best of their abilities, their carbohydrate consumption must be adequate on a daily basis. Athletes need to consume carbohydrates for a multitude of reasons. They are constantly pushing their bodies to, and beyond limits some would view as unobtainable and this would not be possible if their bodies weren’t properly fueled. Strength athletes such as weight lifters or power lifters need to consume fewer carbs than high performance athletes since their sports are specifically in the weight room. On the other hand, high performance athletes participate in heavy resistance training in addition to having multiple practices and games per week which requires them to consume larger quantities of carbs. Think of having a high performance sports car that runs on premium gas, but you put regular gas in it or try to drive it on empty. The end result will be a car that does not operate to its fullest potential and the same thing goes for an athlete who doesn’t consume proper carbohydrates. According [...]

By |2017-04-12T19:35:05-04:00March 29th, 2016|Nutrition Info|0 Comments

How to Avoid the Dreaded “Off Day” by Jack Carver

[Jack Carver is a Senior at the University of North Carolina and is currently enrolled in the Athletic Lab Coach Apprenticseship Program] If the science of sport has taught people anything, it’s that there are several things besides how much weight is moved in training that actually enables athletes to perform at higher levels. It’s complicated; you have to have the right intensity, volume of exercise, biomechanics, rest, nutrition, and so much more. A ton of effort is required to actually get it all right and perhaps the worst (and most common) way to mess it up is the dreaded “off day,” (not to be confused with “rest days,” which are vital to recovery). “Off day” here means a day that you do not have it in you to perform your best. You may notice it as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning or you might not realize it until you get to work. There may even be days that you don’t even realize it was a bad day until the day is over, and you’re about to go to sleep and you realize “I just was not productive today.” Nobody likes those days; not you, not your spouse, not your boss, and certainly not your performance coach. Many times, especially in the fitness industry, it’s common to hear phrases along the lines of “if you put the work in, the results will follow.” While hard work certainly is important, it’s also important to make sure that the work is taking you as far as it can. You have to put in the right work to maximize the return on investment, especially with increasingly specialized training programs. Everyday when an athlete “doesn’t have it” [...]

By |2017-04-12T19:35:29-04:00March 8th, 2016|Nutrition Info, Training Info|0 Comments

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness by Robert Riddell

[Robert Riddell is a Senior at the East Carolina University and is currently enrolled in the Athletic Lab Coach Apprenticseship Program] While many think fatigue and soreness is caused by the accumulation of lactic acid this is an old myth that hasn't died. Lactic Acid  For energy, our muscles use glucose and glycogen during exercise. When these energy sources are broken down, our body produces what is called lactic acid. This acid is the “burning” sensation felt when working our muscles, which can also be attributed to low oxygen levels in the muscle, as well as the recruitment of fast twitch fibers. Removing lactic acid from the blood may be aided by performing a “cool down” immediately following exercise. Research indicates that lactic acid levels in the blood return to normal within 40 minutes of a cool down, as opposed to 60 minutes without. Lactic acid, however, is not the reason you are sore after intense exercise. Muscle soreness is something that effects us a day or two after a heavy bout of activity. This is referred to as DOMs or, delayed onset muscle soreness. DOM’s in actuality is a type 1 muscle strain associated with pain that restricts movement. Pain varies from light to severe stiffness (Braun). What is soreness? Soreness is the result of the breaking down of muscle proteins. Muscle fibers are torn during contractions that produce high force. An inflammatory-repair response is initiated, which is responsible for the pain, tenderness, and immobility of the muscle (Kenney). The body is not used to performing muscle-lengthening exercises. Because of this, eccentric movements cause more damage than concentric movements (Kedlaya). Due to fewer motor units being activated during eccentric than concentric contractions, force is spread over a small [...]

By |2017-04-12T19:35:38-04:00March 5th, 2016|Nutrition Info, Training Info|0 Comments

Stephanie Funderburk earns Precision Nutrition Certification

Just weeks following Coach John Grace earning his Masters degree, Stephanie Funderburk, earned her Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. Stephanie is Athletic Lab's Director of Private Training. Precision Nutrition is a leading authority in Nutrition and Health Coaching. Their Level 1 Certification is regarded as the best nutrition and wellness certification in the field. As a company, Precision Nutrition has advised companies like Apple, Nike and Equinox. Their methods have been implemented with professional teams as far reaching as the San Antonio Spurs and Seattle Seahawks. The certification distinguishes itself by not only the depth of information (equivalent to a Masters course) but also bridging the gap between knowledge and application. Athletic Lab's coaching staff is among the most educated, experienced and credentialed in the country. The minimum requirements for our coaching staff easily exceed the qualifications of the most credentialed coaches at our competitors. We are continually striving to stay ahead of the curve and on the cutting edge of our field.

By |2017-04-12T19:37:12-04:00January 1st, 2016|News, Nutrition Info|0 Comments

Athletic Lab Healthy Living Challenge Returns for 2016

We're excited to announce the return of our highly successful Healthy Living Challenge to coincide with the New Year. The group contest that is like a smarter and more effective version of Biggest Loser. The average participant in our Healthy Living Challenge loses 5% body fat and learns sustainable healthy lifestyle changes that allow them to maintain or continue their losses! We're adding several new additions to the program: We're lengthening the duration from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. Providing an optional mid-program Body Composition Analysis at no additional cost. We're incorporating FitBit sleep and activity monitoring technology and use of MyFitnessPal to help improve results and educate participants. FitBit is a wearable wristband that allows wearers to track the number of steps they take in a day, the number of floors they climb and the quality and duration of their sleep. The 8 week competition will begin on January 4th. As part of your enrollment you'll go through workshops on nutrition, healthy cooking practices, how to navigate the super market, and the role of stress management and sleep in controlling weight. We will guide you through this 8-week challenge and teach you how to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle. Your $99.95 fee gives you up to 3 BodyMetrix ultrasound measurements to accurately determine your fat loss along with entry to nutrition and wellness seminars, and a food log analysis. Male and female winners will be determined by a point system based on improvement in body composition using our BodyMetrix ultrasound measurement, performance in workouts, class attendance, various fitness challenges, FitBit metrics and MyFitnessPal participation throughout the challenge. Signup Now!   Once registered, you can purchase or rent a FitBit charge. They are available for purchase for $76 which is 40% off [...]

By |2017-04-12T19:37:42-04:00November 30th, 2015|News, Nutrition Info|0 Comments

Caffeine:  Benefits, Placebo, or Both? by Houston Deck

[Houston Deck is a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University and an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab] “After oil, coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world. More than 50 percent of Americans drink coffee everyday — three to four cups each, more than 330 million cups a day and counting (Neal, 2002).” Whether it’s an average Joe looking for a pump after leaving the 9-5 or an elite athlete training full time, caffeine is highly sought after for its ergogenic benefits.  Coffee, caffeine pills, powder, energy drinks and pre-workout supplements are all various forms of caffeine. How much does this drug actually benefit us within the weight room? First, let’s understand what caffeine is and what it does. Caffeine is found in various plants as an alkaloid in the seeds, fruit and even leaves. It is the number one used drug in the world with 74% of all elite athletes reportedly consuming caffeine prior to competition (Coso et al., 2012). The drug is shown to increase calcium release and influence actin and myosin binding sites. This increase of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum can increase and benefit both muscle contraction and duration of the contraction (Olorunshola, Kolawole V., Achie, L.N. 2011). Also, acute ingestion of caffeine is shown to delay time to fatigue. This is due to increased calcium release inside the muscle fibers and higher delivery of blood to muscles that are at work (Green et al., 2007). So when it’s international chest day at the gym, how much of this caffeine is actually helping? In one study on caffeine ingestion and upper body resistance training, 5mg/kg bodyweight caffeine was given to 13 men who performed an average of 2.5 reps more [...]

By |2017-04-13T10:54:38-04:00July 14th, 2015|Nutrition Info|0 Comments

Chocolate Milk: Not So Secret Recovery Drink by Aminee Alexander

[Aminee Alexander is a Masters Student at NCSU and an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab] Proper recovery from exercise is just as important as your workout. Depending on your workout, your body needs to replenish its muscle glycogen stores, repair the muscles after all the wear and tear, re-hydrate after the water loss from sweat, and begin the process of muscle growth. What you put in your body after your workout essentially determines how your body recovers. There are several sports drinks that are geared toward recovery providing the carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes needed to recover. These drinks can be expensive over time but a cheaper alternative is……chocolate milk! Chocolate milk may become a popular alternative to traditional sports drinks because of it’s “good taste, wide availability, low cost, and convenience” (Gibson). Chocolate milk, in particular that of the low-fat variety, has been shown to contain as much carbohydrate and protein as commercial sports drinks geared toward post-exercise recovery (Gibson). In addition to the carbohydrate and protein, chocolate milk also contains calcium which is a major component of muscle contraction and the building and maintenance of strong bones which can help in the prevention of bone fractures. Research suggests that the time frame for optimal recovery using chocolate milk should follow the same guidelines for any recovery drink which is within 2 hours of a workout. In order to meet the current recommendations for post-workout carbohydrate intake a 70-kg male would need to intake 17 to 27 fluid ounces of low-fat chocolate milk while a 60-kg female would need 14.5 to 23 fluid ounces (Karp). As far as protein is concerned, low-fat chocolate milk is known to be a high quality protein and contains all nine essential [...]

By |2017-04-13T10:55:25-04:00April 29th, 2015|Nutrition Info|0 Comments

May Beach Body Challenge

Summer is almost here and Athletic Lab will be running a "Beach Body Challenge" to get you looking right. The challenge will run for 4 weeks and from April 27th through May 23rd. Fans of our Healthy Living Challenge will be familiar with the rules but we're shortening the length of the challenge and making the rules a little more rigorous. The Beach Body Challenge should be a fun way to get fit and learn healthy habits at a great value. Challenge: Get fit and shed those extra pounds from winter Rules: Weigh-in at the beginning and end of the challenge You must keep a food log that will be submitted to our Director of Healthy Living, Doretta Gaudreau Points will be awarded for attending training sessions (be sure to checkin!), turning in your food log each week, and for each pound lost Prize: A free BodyMetrix Ultrasound for body composition ($40 value) and your choice of a $100 account credit or a $150 gift card to be given to a friend or family member. Cost: $25 per person Duration: April 27-May 23

By |2017-04-13T10:55:57-04:00April 8th, 2015|News, Nutrition Info|0 Comments

The Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements by Darius Marsh

[Darius Marsh is a student at ECU and an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab] Are you one of those people who wish they had more energy at the gym; or the burning tingling sensation during your workout? Well, this is what most people would call some of the effects of pre-workout supplements. Although, these feelings or senses are effects the general population consider pros of pre-workout supplements. The general population, as well as professionals argues over the pros and cons of the effects of taking pre-workout supplements for the gym, performance, or sports in everyday life. Individuals are confused on the true effects of pre-workout supplements usually being influenced by biased commercials or retail personnel opinions. The effects of pre-workout supplements may have a negative impact on individuals’ perception but there are also numerous benefits to these supplements as well. Pre-workout is essential to many athletes, general population, and body builders today for benefits in different areas of focus. Some of these pre-workouts benefits include things such as mental focus, increased stamina, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. It is important to most people now of days to have that mental focus or drive in the gym to have a successful workout, and this effect can be produced by some pre-workout supplements having a trigger to a person’s stimulus. Many people take the pre-workout supplements because it gives you the extra energy you need or increasing time till muscular fatigue. Another benefit of pre-workout supplements is the increase in muscular strength and endurance. This has been a proven effect to many different individuals whether it be bodybuilders, athletes, or general population. According to a study done by Brandon Bradely on ingesting pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, B-Vitamins, [...]

By |2017-04-13T10:57:16-04:00February 24th, 2015|Nutrition Info|6 Comments

Post Workout Supplementation Guidelines by Breanna Rohde

[Breanna Rohde is an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab] As soon as you finish a workout of any intensity, your body has been depleted of energy. Scientifically speaking, energy is created to allow the body to perform work by the break down of specific chemical compounds in three macronutrients found in the body. Those macronutrients include carbohydrates (CHO), proteins (PRO) and, to a lesser extent, fats. These macronutrients are broken down into smaller chemical compounds in order to be used as energy. This process is called catabolism (1). This system of releasing and building energy is extensive and complicated, so I will keep things simple. Your body has now taken these three macronutrients, broken them down and used them to expend energy. Whether it is 30 minutes to an hour and a half later, your body is now lacking in CHO, PRO and fats. It is at this point that you may feel lethargic or tired. More importantly, your muscles have been broken down and in order to complete another workout the muscles require repair. This is an important part to your post workout routine. The body needs to be replenished with nutrients that it lost in order to aid in overall recovery as well as muscle repair. What do you grab after a completed workout? The most common form of post exercise supplementation is in the form of a beverage. There are so many new products becoming available in order to supplement in your post workout recovery process it can be difficult to decide what you should or shouldn’t take. As stated earlier in this article, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three macronutrients broken down in order to release energy. So it would [...]

By |2017-04-13T10:57:20-04:00February 19th, 2015|Nutrition Info|0 Comments