Lynda Best-Wiss, Triathlete and Coach succeeds during Half Iron Man while Surviving 100+ heat with The Right Stuff

Lynda Best-Wiss, Triathlete and Coach succeeds during Half Iron Man while Surviving 100+ heat with The Right Stuff

Linda Best-Wiss has competed in triathlons for some time, but the Buffalo Springs 70.3 Half Ironman really put her to the test.  During the race temperatures rose above 100°F and she thrived by properly dialing in her hydration protocol.  Watch how it worked for her.  She qualified for the Kona Ironman World Championships in Hawaii!

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Pro Hockey (AHL) Athletic Trainer Saves “Heavy-Sweater” Goalie from Dehydration Symptoms

kevin-kacerKevin Kacer chose to attend Indiana Central University, now the University of Indianapolis, because he figured he’d get more experience as a student athletic trainer at the small school. He was right.

“I was the only student trainer there my freshman year,” says Kacer, who had seen programs with dozens of students at Purdue University and Indiana University. “It was a small Division 2 school. I knew I would get a lot of experience early in my collegiate career. I was traveling with the football team, I had the baseball team, I did wrestling and basketball.

I wanted to be an athletic trainer

“I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be an athletic trainer,” he says, adding that his high school coach and athletic director sent him to summer camps for trainers. “I played sports growing up. I came to that realization that I wasn’t going to go much further playing sports, but I liked it and I liked helping people.”

Kacer earned his degree in physical education and, with his extensive experience, passed a national exam to become an athletic traChicago Wolves Logo croppediner. The head athletic trainer at the university, who had moved to Fort Wayne and opened a sports medicine clinic, helped Kacer get a job with the Fort Wayne Flames pro indoor soccer team. After two years, he moved to the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League, then the Fort Wayne Fury of the Continental Basketball Association. After two years as an assistant trainer with the Detroit Pistons, Kacer moved in 1995 to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, where he is head athletic trainer.

“I have everything to do with the health and safety of the players,” he says. “I manage all of their injuries. I’m the guy that takes care of their first aid needs, emergency needs. I’m that first responder when something happens to one of our players. Their health and safety is my No. 1 concern. I’m doing what I wanted to do.” Kacer is a member of the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society (PHATS) , National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

I’ve grown to use The Right Stuff for a lot more of my guys that are chronic sweaters.

A few years ago, he suggested The Right Stuff to a goalie who is a heavy sweater. “And, now he uses it religiously,” Kacer says. “He loses a lot of water weight both in practice and in games. It became a problem with him, getting dehydrated and losing that edge.  (Editor’s Note: Studies show hockey players are some of the heaviest sweaters among team sports athletes; e.g., 3+ L/game) .  I’ve grown to use The Right Stuff for a lot more of my guys that are chronic sweaters. They get overheated and lose that edge. It’s a very, very physical, demanding sport. Our games are usually two plus hours. It’s a pretty good aerobic sport.  The Right Stuff has been helping our team for a few years now!”

Athletic Excellence in College Depends on Optimal Sports Nutrition

Randy Bird started a biology major at Virginia Tech because he planned to go to medical school, maybe becoming an orthopedic surgeon so he could stay connected to athletes in the sports that he loved. When prospects of a medical career lost their luster, he Randy Bird Hd Shotswitched to human nutrition, foods and exercise science to achieve the same goal.

Bird is Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Virginia as well as the president of the 800+ member Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (learn more about CPSDA at sportsrd.org), that serves colleges, pro teams, military and others.

“Back when I was starting at University of Kansas, in 2005, there were only 10 schools that had a full-time sports dietitian,” he says. “In the last nine years, we’ve gone from 10 to 45 schools, maybe close to 50 now,” including several schools with multiple staff members.

NCAA Lifted Food Restrictions at Universities

That growth likely will accelerate because the NCAA has lifted restrictions on food that universities can provide to athletes, scrapping regulations that once permitted bagels but not cream cheese or peanut butter.

That rule change should spark even more job growth because you need somebody who knows what they’re doing managing that food,” Bird says. “The profession was already growing. That new rule, or the removal of the old rule, really drives us forward even more.”

Some athletes imagined that the change would turn college into a cruise ship, with lavish buffets at every turn, but the reality involves strategic fueling that will be implemented differently at different colleges.

Randy Bird by BodPod“It’s going to be up to the school what they can afford to do and what’s best for their athletes,” Bird says. “In some situations, a school might be able to do a breakfast and lunch set up for athletes. For us, that’s not a viable option,” because of the logistics of classroom and practice locations.

“The athletes still have a meal plan, but we’re going to be using it more to provide the additional calories that our athletes need to make them whole, to repair the damage they’ve done from their workouts and to maintain their health.”  Improvements in nutrition can improve safety as well as health for the athletes.

“A big majority of injuries happen when the athletes are fatigued,” Bird says. “If they’re underfueled, they’re going to be spending a lot more of their games and practices in that fatigued state. If they’re underfueled, they’re not recovering as well so you’re going to be having more muscle injuries.

Fuel starts with food but includes appropriate supplementation, such as shakes to replenish calories and vitamins, and The Right Stuff to sustain hydration.

That’s where The Right Stuff comes in – to aid in hydration and replace the electrolytes during practice and games.

“We want to provide food as the baseline,” Bird says. “Food needs to be the majority of what our athletes are getting. However, there’s plenty of room still for supplementation too. That’s where The Right Stuff comes in – to aid in hydration and pre-loading and replacement of electrolytes lost during practice and games.”

Hydration is Critical for Collegiate Athletes’ Performance

Bird, who heard of The Right Stuff through the CPSDA, started using it at Kansas and brought it to Virginia, first for football, where the NASA-developed formula has eliminated the need for IVs during game halftimes and drastically reduced the number needed for practices.

“It has cut down on the amount of IVs we have to give,” Bird says. “To me, that’s tremendous. When I started working here, the first summer during training camp, we had IVs that we had to do just to make sure guys were hydrated when they were going out to that second practice.

“We’ve developed a strategy to help them hydrate. If they can come into the game hydrated and then maintain these hydration practices during the game, there’s no need for an IV. They’re not losing as much, and they’re replacing what they lose.”

Other sports, including lacrosse, soccer, and tennis, are also using The Right Stuff and have reported excellent results too, he says.

Each packet has nearly 1.8 grams of sodium in it, which is critical for those marathon runners and triathletes.  “A typical tennis player could easily sweat out five or six pounds of fluid,” Bird says, losing at least 2-3  grams of sodium. “Using The Right Stuff is an easy way to stay up with that electrolyte loss.”