Friday, August 28, 2015

In response to the NCAA and SEC Conference taking a proactive stance towards the health and safety of the student-athlete, LSU Athletic Training has further clarified its Concussion Policy so that all medical personnel, coaches and support staff, as well as the student-athlete are all aware of the process and steps taken to protect them from the short and long-term effects of concussions. To view the policy in its entirety, please click HERE.

Monday, July 27, 2015

How Pain Killers are Turning Young Athletes Into Heroin Addicts

Heroin use cuts across demographics. Young, old. Male, female. Wealthy, indigent. Urban, rural and, most of all, suburban. But public authorities devoted to prevention and law enforcement, from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have been struck by a growing concentration in an unlikely subset of users: young athletes.

Read this recent article in its entirety by clicking HERE

Thursday, May 21, 2015

THE GAME: #iamonestudent

Maybe you are a victim of a sexual assault...perhaps you have been the target of sexual harassment...or you were a bystander to a situation that has left a friend with emotional or physical scars. This video has a powerful message of hope and recovery for those affected by assault. Working together to stop sexual violence will be critical to overcoming the stereotype that we have become and perpetuated by not getting involved. Click HERE to watch The Game: #iamonestudent.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Anxiety, Depression and More

Life gets turned upside down, inside out and backward as student-athletes transition to college life. So much of what was normal expectations in terms of academic performance, athletic achievement and self-confidence gets challenged when the athlete feels like they are on their own. It is certainly not surprising to see so many college-aged students struggle with their mental health during these years. It is not abnormal, it is very prevalent, and it is something that can get better with a little assistance. An article in Inside Higher Ed by Scott Jaschik explores the rates of anxiety and depression in college students. Click here for the entire article and know there is always someone that is willing to help. Speak with your athletic trainer for a direct referral to our Director of Sports Psychology.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Put a Nutritious Smoothie Together

      Image result for smoothie
       Smoothies are a good way of consuming two or more different food groups if you are in a hurry. Many different foods can be put into a smoothie, making the possibilities endless. They can be consumed to fuel your body after a workout by adding protein, to increase your intake of vegetables without knowing they are in your smoothie, and to increase your dairy intake. There are four main ingredients to a nutritious smoothie: a base, fruits and/or vegetables, protein, and any extras you would like to add.

Base: The base is the most important part of the smoothie. It must have some kind of liquid so that the smoothie is smooth, hint smoothie, and easy to drink. Milk, soymilk, almond milk, yogurt, and water are just a few liquids that can be used as a base in a smoothie. Adding dairy such as milk and yogurt contribute to your daily intake of dairy, which is important since most people do not consume their recommended dairy intake per day. Try to stray away from fruit juices as a base because they are high in sugar and calories.

Fruits/Vegetables: The large variety of fruits and vegetables that can be blended into a smoothie is what makes them so nutritious. Fruits add sweetness, texture, fiber, and other important nutrients to the smoothie. If you use frozen fruit, the fruit will be sweeter, but also, the smoothie will have a thick, frosty consistency. Fruits are a good source of fiber because of the pectin, which makes the smoothie creamy. Vegetables also add many important nutrients to your smoothie. I know, you’re thinking, “vegetables?! That doesn’t sound good at all.” However, fruits and the base mask the taste of the vegetables. By putting vegetables in your smoothie, you are consuming the food group that most people do not consume enough of without even tasting it! Vegetables like kale, carrots, spinach, avocado, and cucumber add nutritious value to a smoothie.

Protein: Many athletes add protein to their smoothies to fuel their bodies after a workout and to increase their muscle gain. You can also add protein to a smoothie to consume as a meal replacement. Most people add protein powder like whey and casein to increase the protein content in the smoothie; however, there are other options if you are wanting to obtain your protein needs through food rather than supplements. Tofu, peanut butter, or other nut butters can be added to a smoothie to increase the protein content.

Extras: Once these three ingredients have been added to the smoothie, you can still add anything extra to increase the taste or the nutrient density. Flax, chia, or hemp seed can be added to the smoothie to increase the fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acid content. Cocoa powder is also good for nutrient and taste value. Yes, you heard me right. It contains flavanols, the compound that makes chocolate good for you, and it is low in calories, sugar free, and fat free. Anything extra can really amp up the nutrient content and make your smoothie even more delicious.

       Smoothies can be very nutritious and good for you as long as you watch and control what you put in them. Since the flavor combinations are endless, you most likely will never get tired of them. You can experiment with flavors and the nutrient intake, they can replace a meal if you are in a hurry and do not have time to make a one, and they can help you consume your recommended intake of certain food groups like vegetables and dairy. As long as you watch the amount of calories you are putting into the smoothie, they are one of the most nutritious foods to consume!

Contributed by: Brenna Breaux, LSU Undergraduate Sports Nutrition Intern

Monday, February 16, 2015

Can Meditation and Yoga Really Elevate My Game?

Photo from Elite Daily- link below

“That stuff’s for “granola girls”.
“How can that make me strong?”
“I’d rather be weight lifting.”
These are all familiar comments that we hear after suggesting to add yoga and meditation into our elite athletes' training regimen. Yet after they try it, the appreciation begins. The experience is humbling…and who doesn’t need some humble pie? As the practice of adding core work, flexibility and concentration becomes more common place for elite athletes, the likelihood that athletes will be better prepared for competition improve. Read the Elite Daily article on how the Seattle Seahawks utilize this form of training to better their game.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Go Nuts!

Nuts often times receive a bad rap because they are high in calories. However, nuts are energy and nutrient dense and provide numerous health benefits.  Consumption of nuts has been associated with a decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI) and Coronary Heart Disease. Nuts contain protein which can help you stay fuller longer, fiber that promotes healthy bowel function, and unsaturated fats that help to prevent hardening of the arteries. They also lower LDL Cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Omega -3 fatty acids, which are also known as the “healthy fats”, are found in nuts and have many benefits such as controlling blood clotting. Nuts also contain magnesium which is required for the body to produce energy, copper which is required to make collagen, folic acid and vitamin E.

PeanutsThe most popular nut in the United States is the peanut. Peanuts and peanut butter make up 67% of all nut consumption. A serving of peanuts (about 28 peanuts) contains 161 calories, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Peanuts also include good amounts of niacin, potassium, phosphorus and folate.

PecansOut of all the nuts, pecans take first place with the highest antioxidant capacity. In one serving of pecans (about 19 halves), there are 196 calories, 10% of the recommended fiber intake, no sodium or cholesterol, and 17 grams of unsaturated fats. Pecans also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

AlmondsAlmonds are high in monounsaturated fats, fiber and protein. They are cholesterol free and low in sugar. Almonds are also a good source of vitamin E and magnesium. One serving of almonds is 1oz (about 23 almonds), and contains 164 calories, 4 grams of fiber, the highest of all the nuts, and 6 grams of protein.

WalnutsIn a serving of walnuts (about 14 halves), there are 185 calories, 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. They contain the highest amount of omega-3s compared to other nuts. Walnuts are a good source of magnesium and phosphorous.

Studies show that people who eat nuts a minimum of two times a week are less likely to gain weight compared to those who never eat nuts. Nuts can be easily added to any meal or snack. Add them to your oatmeal in the morning, swap them in for a protein source in your salad at lunch, or use them on top of your salmon at dinner time. Nuts are an excellent school snack packed with protein and fiber to hold you over until the next meal. Mixing nuts with dried fruit makes a delicious combination for those with a sweet tooth.

 Although nuts contain all of these great benefits, it is easy to over consume nuts, which can drastically increase your calorie consumption. Remember that one serving of nuts equals one ounce, which is about a handful. 

Contributed by Rachel Pfister:
Healthy Tiger Undergraduate Sports Nutrition Intern 
& Graduate of LSU Dietetics Program