Fad Diets for Athletes

Author: Annika Weisjahn

There are new diets and trends that seem to come up every year. While fad diets may be very popular and relatively harmless to the regular population, there may be more things to consider when looking at these diets through the eyes of an athlete. These diet plans often need modification to make sure that they are meeting their energy needs, macronutrient, and micronutrient intakes are met to fuel their training and performance goals. (1) A popular trend in these diets is to restrict carbohydrate intake; however, it is also shown that impaired physical performance can also be attributed to a low carbohydrate diet (2). Most people working in the exercise science field will say carbohydrates must make up the better part of an athletes diet if they want to perform at their peak level (2). This is important because in order to fuel muscles in a high intensity workout, they need glycogen in which they get from carbohydrates. However, it is not just carbohydrates that are important to fueling a workout; if you are working out for longer than a few minutes, a workout is fueled by a combination of intra-muscular and extra-muscular carbohydrates, lipids, and a small amount of amino acids (3).

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Is My Coconut Water Blood-Sugar Friendly?

Author: Rachel Selva

Coconut water is a hydration drink of choice for many people, including me. I like it because it hydrates me after a tough workout, and it tastes really good too! I was recently exploring the nutrition facts on the back of the bottle (as a curious exercise physiology student is bound to do), and I noticed one of the ingredients: organic erythritol. The claim on the back of the bottle states that “Erythritol carbs have no calories or effect on blood sugar.” I find this interesting, because as a type 1 diabetic, I always look to see if I need to give insulin for a meal or beverage. And looking at the carbohydrate content on the back of my coconut water bottle showed me that with 9 grams of carbohydrates per serving and 18 grams per bottle, I would indeed need insulin. So this question came to mind: If erythritol carbohydrates have no effect on blood sugar, then why do I give insulin to drink my coconut water?

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