A Different Perspective for Athletes to Consider: Don’t Ice for Recovery

A Different Perspective for Athletes to Consider: Don’t Ice for Recovery

gary-reinlDistance runner Gary Reinl’s meticulous reporting destroyed the long-held practice of rest and ice for healing injuries, restoring the natural course of healing by the inflammatory response assisted by muscle activation – the intuitive “walk it off” order of coaches in his childhood. His insistence on scientific evidence also makes him a user and advocate of The Right Stuff hydration formula developed by NASA.

Reinl, 63, who started running in the 1960s on water and sometimes salt tablets, remembers a nearly 70-mile run from Philadelphia to Ocean City, N.J., in the summer of 1971 wearing Converse sneakers and sipping water from front-yard hoses on the route.

“Everything we did was wrong,” he says. “I’ve done it wrong, and I’ve done it right, and I’m certain that doing it right is way better.”

icedWhen it comes to treating injuries, doing it right is the opposite of conventional wisdom that held sway for decades under the popular acronym RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Reinl’s relentless research found support for the approach, and Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who coined the term in 1978, recanted in the foreword to Reinl’s 2014 book Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option.

Shifting the Conversation

“We have begun to shift the conversation. We’re shifting it to muscle activation to solve the problem,” says Reinl, who represents an electro-muscle stimulation device, MARC PRO® (Muscle Activated Recovery Cascade), that promotes muscle activation. “Why would you put ice on damaged tissue? People believe it reduces swelling. It doesn’t reduce swelling. It actually increases swelling. Your immune system knows how to handle it. That’s why it sends fluid to the damaged area. Why would you try to reduce the amount of fluid sent to the damaged site?”

Ice slows the natural repair process by shutting off signals between muscles and nerves. Inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process as the body rushes blood and nutrients to the area, and muscle activation helps flush out the extra fluids through the lymphatic system. “The last thing you’d want to do is restrict swelling coming to the area,” Reinl says. “You do want the fluid to come. What you don’t want it to do is accumulate and settle.”

In fact, the delay caused by icing can suffocate healthy cells that would not have died as a result of the injury, a secondary cellular death that Reinl calls “negligent homicide.”

Reinl traced the origins of the “Ice Age” to 1962, when a physician successfully reattached the arm, preserved on ice, of a 12-year-old who was injured while jumping a train in Massachusetts. The story became a sensation, and people mistakenly associated ice with healing. “The intent of putting the severed body arm on ice was to preserve the severed body part,” he explains. “It had nothing to do with damaged tissue; it had to do with managing a severed body part.”

The RICE Approach

riceAfter Mirkin published his RICE approach in 1978, soccer moms everywhere kept nifty snap-and-chill ice packs in their pocketbooks. Athletic trainers, who became common on sports teams in the 1980s, could not perform medical procedures but could legally apply ice. Even after Medicare, recognizing the lack of evidence, stopped reimbursing for ice treatments in physical therapy clinics, the practice thrived in sports.

Reinl has worked with athletic trainers and physical therapists from more than 80 professional teams and other elite athletes who have stopped or reduced their use of ice, although some star athletes still insist on the old approach.

These days, Reinl, whose lifetime running total is above 50,000 miles, lives in the Las Vegas desert and routinely runs 10 miles through a canyon where temperatures can exceed 113 degrees. He preps with a pre-run dose of The Right Stuff and takes another packet for each hour on the road when he returns, ensuring that his body chemistry remains optimal for tissue regeneration and recovery.

“You know how good you feel from it,” he says, adding that his son, a lawyer, rejects all otherright-stuff supplements but adopts The Right Stuff regimen. “I can go out and run 20 in the desert and I’m perfectly fine. I carry a couple of gallons of water with me. I stay fully hydrated on my runs.”

He recommends The Right Stuff to runners, endurance athletes, military personnel, and even golfers who spend long hours in the hot sun. You can check out the science behind The Right Stuff.        [Editors Note: links to NASA studies can be found on the brand’s website at http://tiny.cc/TheRightStuffStudies]

“Any elites I talk to, I say just look around and look at how people are trying to solve the problem,” Reinl says. “Look at the science behind The Right Stuff.  It improves muscle function. It improves your physiology. It improves muscle activation. It feels good. Every edge counts.”

 

NHL Head Athletic Trainer shares the solution to hydration challenges even in the cold of the hockey rink

NHL Head Athletic Trainer shares the solution to hydration challenges even in the cold of the hockey rink

Like any hockey player growing up in the Detroit area, Piet Van Zant dreamed of playing with the National Hockey League (NHL) Detroit Red Wings. An injury that sidelined him in high school put him on a career path that led to the Red Wings organization more 20 years ago. He’s now the Head Athletic Trainer.Piet Van Zant

“You want to play for your hometown team,” says Van Zant, who was introduced to athletic training after his injury. “Once I started in the program, it was definitely something I knew I wanted to do as a career.”

After he graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 1993, Van Zant went to work for the minor league Adirondack Red Wings. After six years, he was added to the Detroit Red Wings medical staff as an Assistant Trainer, and he became Head Trainer in 2002. He earned a master’s degree in Performance Enhancement in 2004 just as emphasis on sports training and nutrition was accelerating.

Boosting health, safety, and performance

“Over the years, it’s definitely become a more evidence-based practice for athletic trainers and anybody in the medical field when it comes to pro sports and pro athletes,” Van Zant says. “You need to have research and proof that your treatments and your therapies you’re doing with athletes actually work.”

Red Wings HockeySince Van Zant joined the Red Wings, the organization has added a nutritionist, strength coach, a physical therapist, and two massage therapists, with access for players to acupuncture, chiropractic, and other strategies to boost their health, safety, and performance. The Nutritionist introduced him to The Right Stuff a few years ago.

Hydration is imperative in sports like hockey

“It started with a couple of problem players, and it’s evolved to a preventive strategy for multiple players,” he says. “Hydration is imperative in sports like hockey where you’re wearing equipment that weighs you down, that increases the heat. Your body’s not able to dissipate that heat as well as if you were in shorts and a t-shirt.”

Despite an environment cold enough to keep the rink frozen, Hi Res Hockey Goalie croppedthe intensity and length of hockey events – some 3½ hours – in heavy equipment can cause sweating that disrupts sodium and electrolyte balance. In one extreme case, Van Zant say, a goalie lost 15 pounds in a single game.

Just plain water over that time frame isn’t going to cut it,” he says. “It is crucial to maintain that balance. The Right Stuff helps us do that.”

Competing and Continuing Education Drive the University of Nebraska Sports Nutrition Director

Competing and Continuing Education Drive the University of Nebraska Sports Nutrition Director

Lindsey Remmers was playing volleyball and majoring in nutrition at Winthrop University when she Lindsey Remmers Nebraskaasked a professor about career possibilities that combine sports and nutrition. “I asked him about jobs, and he said there’s nothing, really,” she recalls. Today, Remmers is Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Nebraska.Nebraska

“I didn’t know it existed until I went online and randomly looked to see if Nebraska had a dietitian, and they did,” she said, adding that about a dozen schools had such positions in 2005 and more than 70 have them now. “It’s grown a lot.”

Remmers, who was a volunteer assistant responsible for meals and travel for the team in her fifth year at Winthrop, worked for James Harris at Nebraska, where he taught her the science of hydration and the role of nutrition in athletes’ recovery. Her job includes answering questions and giving brief talks at workouts, organizing meals for home and away games, providing one-on-one advice, leading a freshman orientation on sports nutrition, giving grocery store tours, and administrative tasks.

Although players miss their pizza and French fries, she says, they appreciate the positive impact on their performance. “It’s all for good – to make them leaner, stronger, faster,” Remmers says. “That’s the motivation for them – to become a better athlete. You’re going to get out what you put in. That goes for training and eating.”

Remmers maintains her own health by running, completing Tough Mudder obstacle races and preparing for a marathon. “I like to stay active,” she says. “When you have a race or competition, it gives you something to train for. It gives me a reason to exercise.” kiwi-packet-group2

She uses The Right Stuff to maintain her own hydration and encourages athletes to use it too.
I never do a long run without it and I find that I don’t have to drink as much water.

 

“The Right Stuff allows athletes go harder, longer,” she says. “When you’re dehydrated and fatigued, you’re at high risk for injury. I never do a long run without it and I find that I don’t have to drink as much water.”

Remmers hopes the Sports Dietitian field grows to provide a staff dietitian for every 100 athletes to provide more individualized programs. “There’s going to be a lot more specialized sports nutrition,” she says. “There’s all kinds of science coming out.”

Remmers has already seen dramatic changes in sports nutrition awareness since her college days. “We were starving during practice,” she says, recalling pleas to the coach for snacks. “You don’t think about bringing stuff and there was nothing there available. Now at Nebraska, we have fueling stations where they can grab a snack before practice if they need it.”

 

2010 and 2012 NCAA Football Champion University of Alabama: Nutrition is Critical to Athlete Success!

2010 and 2012 NCAA Football Champion University of Alabama: Nutrition is Critical to Athlete Success!

Amy BraggAmy Bragg was the eighth full-time college sports dietitian in the entire US when she was hired at Texas A&M in 2004, a position created when the Athletic Director came from the pioneer athletic-nutrition focused University of Nebraska. As the profession has mushroomed in the past decade, Bragg, who moved to the University of Alabama Alabama Univ ofin 2010 (Editors Note: In 2011 & 2012 Alabama was the College Football Champion), hopes to see nutrition awareness expand into other fields.

Nutrition is a big, broad concept, beyond sports nutrition,” she says. “It affects every person. It’s something I would like to see grow.”

Bragg credits her interest to a nutrition and foods course she took as a high school senior, taught by a dietitian who was ahead of her time on the subjects of herbs, recipes, and sustainability in the 1990s. “Nobody was really thinking of sustainability in the food supply back then,” Bragg recalls.

Bragg earned a degree in Finance from the University of Texas, where she supported the athletic program as a football hostess, and went on to earn a nutrition and foods degree at the University of Houston. She became a Clinical Dietitian at the Texas Medical Center in Houston in 2001 and also started consulting with athletes about nutrition before she joined Texas A&M. Bragg, one of the founders and past-president of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA), witnessed the early days of the athletic nutrition movement.

Athletic Nutrition Movement

“Back then we were just getting connected, creating a listserv, starting to talk, about a dozen of us networking, going to meetings, running into each other and sharing ideas, how to navigate challenges,” she recalls. “It was slow initially. The growth has really happened, I think, in the last three years. It’s really evolved.”

…when you manage the food supply you get better outcomes, when you manage nutrition rather than just react to it or treat issues medically. You get a much greater benefit for the athletes’ development and their long-term health.

“Those of us who have worked with Athletic Trainers and Strength Coaches for a while have been able to show…when you manage the food supply you get better outcomes, when you manage nutrition rather than just react to it or treat issues medically. You get a much greater benefit for the athletes’ development and their long-term health. It’s an important partnership with the other support staff. Parents and athletes value it. They value nutrition when you talk about it in a recruiting scenario and they value it when they come on campus.”

Athletes often overlook the importance of what they eat for their performance, Bragg says.

“Athletes don’t respond to lectures, and they don’t want to be forced to see a nutritionist,” she says. “They can’t see that they’ll get anything from it because they don’t have a weight problem. It shouldn’t be punitive. For every athlete, it should be about performance, it should be about health. They typically don’t eat well. Getting them to eat better keeps them on the field. You have to get them at the right time. Sometimes it’s when they’re injured. Sometimes they’re doing a rehab and you can affect them more – they’re more responsive. But really it’s for everyone.”

The nutrition plan includes The Right Stuff when needed to protect athletes’ hydration.

“There are occasions and specific athlete needs that require higher sodium intake,” Bragg says. “The Right Stuff is an effective add-on to whatever you’re doing for hydration. In the food plan, for some athletes, The Right Stuff becomes essential for them to perform well throughout an entire game. If you’ve ever had a full-body cramp, you’re responsive to anything that will keep that from happening again.  The Right Stuff is a powerful aid in prevention of cramps. [Editors Note: Studies show the formula also improves core thermoregulation, protecting the body from overheating and increases athletic endurance]

If you’ve ever had a full-body cramp, you’re responsive to anything that will keep that from happening again.

We try to have a full arsenal of things to get athletes through every situation, and The Right Stuff is an important part of that for us.”

Bragg hopes that the athletes’ nutrition education will impact the rest of their lives. “It’s part of their development and their performance and their lifelong health,” she says. “Athletes are going to go on and become parents, and they’re going to develop their children’s nutrition. We’re talking about the big picture.”

To learn more visit www.TheRightStuff-USA.com

World Champion San Francisco Giants Count on The Right Stuff to Keep Their Ballplayers Well Hydrated

World Champion San Francisco Giants Count on The Right Stuff to Keep Their Ballplayers Well Hydrated

The MLB (Major League Baseball) Defending World Champion San Francisco Giants, with a strong emphasis on nutrition and hydration, turn to The Right Stuff® when players need an electrolyte boost, says Carl Kochan, the team’s head Strength and Conditioning coach. carl-kochanThe World Champions, who adopted the NASA-developed product, as an important part of their hydration program more than two years ago, consumed as much of The Right Stuff in this year’s Spring Training as all last year’s regular season as players became more familiar with its benefits.

The Importance of Hydration

“Hydration is a huge component of performance as well as recovery,” Kochan says.

MLB Logo SF Giants BallIn addition to the challenges of practice and games, the Giants need regular hydration for their long flights to East Coast and Midwest opponents. They are among the most-traveled MLB team, and hours in dry airplane air require regular moisture replenishment.

“There’s evidence-based research out there that not just athletes but everyday people flying can need eight ounces of water for every hour in the air,” Kochan says. “With our rigorous travel schedule, some guys are not doing the best of their ability to eat properly as pertains to performance.”

Players can turn to The Right Stuff before, during, and after the practice or game for that extra boost.

Sweaty destinations, especially during the summer months, also can remove more water and nutrients than players restore with ordinary eating and drinking. Players can turn to The Right Stuff before, during, and after practice or games for that extra boost. The product is available to the whole team, and individuals choose when to use it.

“It changes each day because guys’ hydration levels change each day,” Kochan says “The ultimate goal is to educate each player. You do your best as part of a medical staff to educate players so they can make a good performance nutrition decisions. They need to get their electrolytes balanced for the best performance on the field. If they’ve thought about that, we’ve done our job.”

As part of a comprehensive nutrition and hydration program, The Right Stuff helps players feel well-prepared for play rather than sluggish and lethargic, Kochan says.

[Editors Note: The Right Stuff is not another sports drink, it is serious hydration for serious athletes™.  The company participates in the NSF Certified for Sport program, so every batch is independently tested and cleared not to contain any banned substances, heavy metals or other adulterants.]

NASA-developed Hydration Aid Helping Soldiers in Hot Climates

NASA-developed Hydration Aid Helping Soldiers in Hot Climates

The Right Stuff, NASA-developed electrolyte drink additive was originally created for our astronauts and now used by high-exertion athletes from football players to triathletes, is helping U.S. troops stay strong in high-temperature locations where they are deployed.TRS_LOGO_dbl drop w ™ jpeg

Keeping Our Troops Hydrated

Donations of the product by Colorado-based Wellness Brands Inc. are coordinated through Operation Troop Aid of Tennessee, a decade-old nonprofit committed to providing care packages and bill payment assistance to soldiers of all military branches.

“The Right Stuff is made for such intense athletes,” says Mark Woods, founder of Operation Troop Aid. “These troops are in harm’s way in a very hot environment, so keeping their hydration up is critical to their performance. It makes a lot of sense.”

Woods established Operation Troop Aid after he helped manage the nationally-televised Garth Brooks performance after 9/11 on the U.S.S. Enterprise, where he was stationed.

The organization, which partners with fairs, festivals, shows, and other events, has distributed more than $6 million worth of products. Sponsors range from restaurants and jewelers to radio stations, a popcorn producer, and a chocolatier.

David Belaga, CEO of Wellness Brands, contacted Woods when he heard about the initiative three years ago. Since the first donation, included in care packages, Wellness Brands has shipped The Right Stuff directly to troop stations for distribution to the units.

We’re grateful to Operation Troop Aid for making possible this way to serve and support our troops.

A wide cross-section of athletes from High Schools and Colleges to Pro teams (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL etc.) and Olympians use The Right Stuff for training and competition.   “Athletes, firefighters, construction workers, and others who do strenuous labor in hot and humid conditions are benefiting from this product.” Belaga says. “We’re grateful to Operation Troop Aid for making possible this way to serve and support our troops.”

The Right Stuff from NASA is a prepackaged, electrolyte, liquid drink additive that goes instantly into solution when added to at least 16 ounces of water. The formula combats cramps, headaches and the other symptoms of dehydration; protects the body from overheating both in times of intense exertion as well as in high heat settings; and increases endurance over 20 percent more than any other NASA-tested formula. Plus, NASA studies show that the formula also offsets the negative effects of jet lag and high altitude.  Learn more at www.TheRightStuff-USA.com

Pro Hockey Coach and Firefighter Preaches the Importance of Hydration

Pro Hockey Coach and Firefighter Preaches the Importance of Hydration

Kevin Ziegler Kevin Zieglerknows fire and ice. Ziegler is a member of Minnesota Task Force 1 in the Minneapolis Fire Department, which he joined 14 years ago. He is also a Strength and Conditioning Coach for hockey players, a childhood interest that led to his role as Global Director of Sports Performance for Octagon Hockey.

“I was into hockey as a young kid,” Ziegler says. “I figured out that hockey wasn’t going to pay for my education but football was.” He attended Iowa State University on a football scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Physiology and a master’s degree in Physiology. He also holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Ziegler’s hockey career includes work as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League and consulting with other teams, including the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers. In 1990, he opened his pioneer sports training center exclusively for enhancing academic performance. Clients have won World Championships, World Series Championships, National Championships, and the Stanley Cup.

Although he has received offers to coach NHL teams, Ziegler remained committed to his native Minnesota and his firefighter work for Minneapolis. He was directing strength and conditioning for a hockey team of 16- to 20-year-olds when a nutritionist friend introduced him to The Right Stuff®. kiwi-packet-group2    Now he recommends it to hockey players and keeps it on hand for his firefighting job.

Hydration for Athletes

“We had talked about hydration for athletes. It’s one of the biggest issues,” he says, citing a Yale University study of hockey players that confirmed that those in pads sweat more than those without pads. “It’s something that’s really well known in hockey. Hydration is hugely important, especially for goaltenders.”

Our recovery for our team was much faster for the players that were using The Right Stuff than for the players that weren’t using it.

The Right Stuff is the solution. “Our recovery for our team is much faster for the players that use it than for the players that weren’t using it,” he says.” For the goaltenders, it gave them an advantage. They recovered quicker. They didn’t cramp. It made our travel that much better because our players weren’t getting dehydrated. Once you get dehydrated, it’s very hard to catch up. I found it was very beneficial. From there I started using it in our pro camps in Octagon. I’ve used it with our diabetic athletes to keep them hydrated. We’ve had great results.” [Editor Note: The Right Stuff does not contain any sugars or carbohydrates]

In addition to the benefits during workouts and games, Ziegler notes, The Right Stuff eases the dehydration of air travel that contributes to jet lag for teams flying cross-country.

“I think it would be a great product where you’re put in a situation where you can get dehydrated – flying or playing at altitude,” he says. “For an athlete who has to play the next day, jet lag is something you want to avoid.”

Ziegler drinks The Right Stuff for his own hydration at work. “I use it personally in the firefighting,” he says. “Especially if it’s a hot day, I keep The Right Stuff with me when I’m on the fire truck.”

How Does This Firefighter Thrive During Those High Heat Situations?

firefighterMinneapolis Fire Captain Paul Nemes joined the force over 20 years ago, looking for the life of service he had admired in a friend’s dad who was a firefighter.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he says. “It’s rewarding. It’s a second family. Being a captain or officer on a rig, you’re the first in on a building fire.  Whether single-family residence or apartment building, you have the most impact on the greatest number of folks.”

About five years ago, he noticed his weight gain was leaving his knees and hips sore after multiple daily firefighter trips to high-rises. He’s shed 55 pounds – weighing less now in full firefighter gear than he did without the gear before – and the joint problems went away.

“I changed my eating habits, eliminating a few things completely,” he says. “It was time to get exercising. I got into running pretty seriously. I ran my first marathon last year. My goal was to break four hours, which I did.”

The firefighter schedule also leaves free time for Nemes to run a side business as an excavator and landscaper, often spending long, hot days laying 100-150 retaining-wall blocks that weigh 120 pounds each. All three strenuous, sweaty activities – firefighting, running, and landscaping – often left Nemes dehydrated, fatigued, and cramped, no matter how much water or sports drinks he consumed. A friend on the firefighting force introduced him to The Right Stuff.

“I was looking for something to supplement what I was doing,” he says. “It works for me. I use it exclusively for training and the actual racing – marathon, half-marathon, 5K, whatever. I got involved with this product and I go through five or six bottles of water with The Right Stuff in it in the course of an 8-10 hour day laying block. It is night and day. I experienced less fatigue and no muscle cramping or soreness.

All three strenuous, sweaty activities – firefighting, running, and landscaping – often left Nemes dehydrated, fatigued, and cramped, no matter how much water or other drinks he consumed.

Nemes also uses The Right Stuff at his firefighter job on days with extreme heat or dew points, when suiting up can lead to excess sweating even without a fire to fight.

“We average somewhere between 10 to 14 runs a day,” he says. “Just putting that gear on with the ambient temperatures that high, you’re in a full sweat before you get out to the call. I’ll add The Right Stuff to my water. You still sweat, but you don’t have that fatigue factor as readily, and you don’t end up cramping up. You see it time and time again – these guys go to these fires on a hot day, a hot fire, they come out and they’re cramped up. They end up getting an IV to address their fluid loss. I don’t experience that.”

The International Firefighters Association and others are conducting research to gauge the effects of dehydration on firefighters’ absorption of smoke and other hazards in their work. Those results could mean The Right Stuff’s benefits are even more important, Nemes says.

“I use the product in the fire service, I use it for my training for my running, I use it during the races, and I use it on my days off for strenuous activity, such as the retaining-wall block laying,” he says. “It works for me. I’m sold on it.”

How Did This Olympic-Medal Winning Sprinter Get His Plans Back On Track For Gold in Rio?

Walter DixWalter Dix started running track when he was 6 or 7 years old, guided by his father, Washington, a middle school track coach and former sprinter. The Fort Lauderdale native set a Florida record in the 100-meter dash when he was in high school and won a scholarship to Florida State University, where he set a junior record in the 100-meter and won numerous NCAA championships as well as gold and silver at the Olympic Trials in 2008 – earning him one of the highest-value endorsement contracts with Nike in track and field. Dix won bronze medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008.

Dix graduated from Florida State in 2008, with a social science degree concentrating in anthropology, and turned professional.

Dix won bronze medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008.

He missed the 2009 World Championships because of a hamstring injury at the U.S. championships, but in 2010, he won the 100-meter and was runner-up in the 200-meter sprints at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The next year, he won silver medals in both races at the World Championships, but another injury at the 2012 Olympic trials kept him out of the London games.

Back on Track

After a year of recovery, Dix is back on track and aiming for the 2016 Olympics, with meets in the US, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and others. He hopes to qualify for the Continental Cup.

The Right Stuff, which he started using in 2010, will help.  “I was looking for something to help me stay hydrated, healthy, able to compete, keep my electrolyte levels up and keep me from dehydrating,” he says. “I was introduced to The Right Stuff by my friends and my brother. I started using it 30 minutes before my races. I felt a dramatic improvement in my hydration. Ever since then, I’ve been using it to keep hydrated.”

The focus on nutrition came when he turned pro, Dix says, especially after the 2009 injury.

“In college, you have class and study hall, most of us are just out there competing,” he says. “In 2008, I was a kid. When I became a professional, that’s when I really started to focus on diet and nutrition.

When I became a professional, that’s when I really started to focus on diet and nutrition.

I talked to doctors about nutrition, keeping healthy, keeping my body and legs hydrated. Dehydration is the problem.

Dix figures The Right Stuff® electrolyte drink additive will give him a boost for the comeback.

“This is the year when I really got a chance to use it,” he says. “I began using it and started to see a dramatic improvement. I’m not getting as tired or dehydrated. On my first meet, I felt the same impact of not being so tired after running and not getting “dry muscles”. I can feel my muscles loosen up and not be as tight as they used to be.

The Right Stuff is a prelude to every meet and often part of the training regimen that Dix has intensified this year. “In the past, when I have gotten hurt, I wasn’t able to work as hard in training,” he says. “I am now maximizing my fitness so I can compete and be more aerobically fit. I train two hours a day, five days a week.”

Dix, who is training at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, hopes to enter a graduate program in health administration and work as a college track coach or sports administrator eventually – after achieving his personal goals in the field. “I’m trying to win a gold medal at the Continental Cup and hopefully win the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 2016,” he says.

How Can You Perform Like The Collegiate and Pro Athletes While Competing In The Heat?

Becci Twombley grew up in the beach volleyball town of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and played volleyball at Pepperdine University, where she graduated in 1998 with a degree in athletic training and sports medicine. She married Dennis Twombley, a Pepperdine baseball player who was drafted by the New York Yankees, and they spent five years moving among minor league cities where she took coaching jobs.Becci Twombley

Becci became interested in the importance of nutrition for athletes and earned her Registered Dietitian certification in 2003. In the years before athletic organizations recognized the need for such a specialty, she was a pediatric and neonatal nutrition specialist in a hospital – using nutrition to help children’s bodies recover just as she now uses nutrition to help athletes’ bodies recover. “You’re doing the same thing – whether it’s an exhaustive training session or therapy, you’re trying to replace nutrients and help the body recover,” Becci says.

In 2007, UCLA hired her part-time to run its sports nutrition program, a position that grew into full-time. In 2009, Becci was a founding board member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA), whose membership has grown from 20 to 65 full-time professional members (and over 800 in total) as awareness of the field accelerates. She is also a member of the Sports and Cardiovascular Nutritionists (SCAN) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Two years ago, she became Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Southern California.

The athletes are really reliant on Sports Dietitians to make sure everything gets done the way it’s supposed to be done,” she says, adding that she emphasizes food first – milk, meat, vegetables, fruits, carbs, juices – and supplements as appropriate to provide balanced nutrition. For sweaty athletes, that’s The Right Stuff, says Becci, who rushes it to the practice field when coaches text that they are ready to practice.

The Right Stuff is Essential

shutterstock_39389809 FB hi“The Right Stuff is essential for football practice,” she says. “They all call it ‘the packet.’ I open it, mix it with water, and they drink it on the field,” she says. “The coaches notice it. The line coach has three guys that need it.” No-huddle offense means 95 to 115 plays per practice, compared to 70 in an ordinary offense, and the roster is down to 73 players, fewer than most schools. “Our guys are taking more snaps,” Becci says. “We really rely on The Right Stuff for that sort of thing.”

Sweating players in full pads can lose at least 1,000 milligrams of sodium an hour. The Right Stuff provides over 1700 milligrams in one packet, and instead of abrasive sodium chloride it’s sodium citrate, which is easier to digest and can help ease the buildup of free radicals that causes muscle fatigue, she says.

“It’s not just because they’re going to cramp,” Becci says. “We want to make sure their muscles are working efficiently. We’re minimizing any breakdown. Linemen need it most. They’re losing a ton of water, but they’re also losing a ton of salt. It’s imperative they have every asset they can.”

The Right Stuff is important for other athletes too, says Becci, who introduced the product when she became team nutritionist for the Major League Baseball Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this season.

One of the first things I did when I got to the Angels was get The Right Stuff there too!

“One of the first things I did when I got to the Angels was get The Right Stuff there too” she says, adding that some players have not suffered their usual cramps since they started using it. “They have to make sure they’re just as fueled in the ninth inning as they were in the first. The catcher uses it. The pitchers are using it so they’re well hydrated all the way through.

One of the things I notice most with it is, in talking to the athletes, they feel as though they don’t become as lightheaded as the course of the game goes on. It’s because it has a significant amount of sodium in it and you’re reloading that sodium. You’re losing less water, and you’re retaining sodium.

The guys that use it have to use it every time. There’s no playing without it after you’ve felt the benefit.