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FEATURED nutrition

Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition for Athletes

Every athlete should create a training schedule that allows for ample rest and off-days to help the body recovery and rebuild after training. While this helps address the physical stress of training, this does not address the nutritional stress of training. In addition to physical rest and recovery, the body needs recovery nutrition to support the rebuilding process. If this important step is missed, the body will not perform at optimal levels, and the next day of training and performance will suffer.

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Adaptogens - Reduce Stress & Improve Performance


There are several herbal extracts that supplement the body’s ability to deal with stressors like anxiety, fatigue, overexertion, trauma, etc. These herbal extracts are called adaptogens. They are thought to balance the endocrine (hormone) system and boost the immune system. They promote a state of balance and stability in the body. Adaptogens can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without over stimulating. They can normalize body imbalances. By supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress. They enable the body’s cells to access more energy; help cells eliminate toxic byproducts of the metabolic process and help the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently.

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BCAAs - Increase Muscle Endurance & Recovery


There are nine essential amino acids that are required for optimal muscle building and tissue growth. The three that are most effective in this process are the branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Regardless of your activity level or sport, BCAAs can serve as a great addition to your nutrition program to increase overall muscle maintenance and building, as well as improve your performance by delaying fatigue.

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Carbohydrates for Performance


Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate). They provide substantial calories within our diet, and serve as a quick and easy source of energy during physical activity. Carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient (compared to protein or fat) for your body to break down and use as fuel – and are therefore known as the body’s first energy source. Read more to learn how to fuel with carbs for optimal performance!

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Electrolytes: Hydration For Performance


An electrolyte is any substance containing free ions that behaves as an electrically conductive medium. That means that one of the main functions of electrolytes is to work together to conduct nerve impulses that allow you to contract your muscles. Other functions include controlling fluid balance and regulating certain hormones.

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FTM's Nutrition Principles for Staying Fit and Healthy


We have an incredible amount of information at our fingers tips – and are bombarded daily with an information overload, whether it’s the newest study, research, or diet fad out there. This information can be confusing – who do you trust? Where was the research sourced? Are eggs good or bad? What fats are healthy? What about the blood type diet? We could go on and on. The reality is, eating healthy is SIMPLE.

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Iron, are you deficient?


There is a lot of confusion about iron. How much do I need? Am I deficient? Is there a test for it? These are the typical questions that are common among athletes and for good reasons. Iron is critical to top performance. Iron is key to the production of hemoglobin, the red pigment in the blood that takes oxygen and carries it to the working muscles (as well as organs and the brain). If you're deficient, you'll feel exhausted, among other things, and not be able to perform in your training, let alone in competition.

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Keep the Pounds Off During the Holidays


It's that time of year where cinnamon, pumpkin, eggnog and peppermint find their way into everything from your coffee to your hand soap. It's also the time of year where Americans gain anywhere from 1 to 5 pounds, which contributes to overall weight gain throughout the year. We thought it well timed to share a few tips to help you keep the weight off during this holiday season.

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Protein Powders


Proteins are essential building blocks in the body, from muscles to the immune system. During exercise, you are in a catabolic state which means that you are breaking down your muscle tissues and depleting your energy. That is why it's so important to use protein immediately after exercise to help rebuild your muscles stronger than before; ideally within the first 30 minutes and definitely within the first 2 hours.

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Recovery: The Key to Peak Performance


Recovery nutrition and care goes beyond the immediate recovery needed after a race or competition. For your body to perform at its best, it needs to continue the recovery process well past the day of your event or hard workout. What you do in between events - how you eat, how you sleep, and how you rebuild - are all a part of the recovery process and will affect your next training or event.

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The benefits of pure caffeine Vs coffee


We discuss the results of a small clinical trial that concludes that pure caffeine helps improve performance but coffee (containing the same amount of caffeine), does not.

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Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin


Vitamin D is a fat soluble essential vitamin that plays an important role in disease prevention and in maintaining optimal health. Vitamin D affects nearly 3000 genes in the human body, and supports our bodies in many ways including bone health, teeth health, and helps support a strong immune system.

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Why Do Muscles Cramp?


The cause of muscle cramping is not yet fully understood. Why do some people cramp while others don't? Or why do you cramp during one race and not another? Science is slowly discovering the reasons. Although we don't yet have a complete picture, as is often the case when trying to unravel the secrets of the human body, the predominant view is that cramping is linked to 3 factors.

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Amino Acids


Amino Acids are the building blocks of the body that make up proteins. These make up the muscles, tendons, and organs to name a few. All the cells in your body depend on them for growth and maintenance. The body can make some of the amino acids from other nutrients but others it can’t. The body must get them from your diet. These are called essential amino acids (EAA) and include the Branched Chain Amino Acids (aka BCAA).

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Beta-alanine: efficient intra-muscular acid buffer & performance enhancer


The fatigue that sets in during a workout or race can halter performance and increase self doubt to the point of wanting to throw in the towel. The difference between an athlete who can outperform, or 'go the distance' and one who simply cannot, is the athlete's ability to synthesize and store carnosine in muscle tissue. Read this article to understand how Beta-alanine can aid in this process.

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Citrulline Malate: Buffer lactic acid, delay muscle fatigue & boost nitric oxide


A lot of athletes use pre-workout supplements to boost performance and delay muscle fatigue. These supplements are mainly comprised of caffeine, beta alanine, b-vitamins, and some type of nitric oxide booster, usually L-Arginine. However, if you want to exercise in the evening or simply don’t want to consume caffeine, Citrulline Malate could be perfect for you.

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Energy & Protein Bars - Real Food for Real Energy


Bars are the packaged deal – a tasty package containing a variety of nutrients and energy all wrapped in one. Bars offer a quick and easy delivery of nutrients for any athlete – and can be used as part of your training or competition nutrition strategy, or simply as a meal replacement or snack on the go. At FTM, we are always prepared and like to keep one or two bars with us at all times – in our gym bag, car, everyday bag, and in every drawer (just kidding) to make sure we always have energy on the go. Check out our comparison chart and read more info here!

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Fueling Crisis: Fat Fanaticism and Fact


Carbohydrate, Protein, or Fat? The debate continues as several products hit the market focusing on one fuel source over another. At Feed The Machine, we always encourage you to try things out for yourself. Not all supplements are created equal, and with so many variables (sport, activity level, duration, fitness level, daily nutritional intake, etc.) there is no ''one size fits all''. To fuel your curiosity, check out this article as a three part series regarding the carb vs fat debate.

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Is Caffeine Good or Bad for Athletes


That is the question Dr. John Berardi helps explain in this video.

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Magnesium: Important for Overall Well-Being and Performance


Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral that is important in over 300 enzymatic systems including muscle contraction, nerve function, ATP activation, protein synthesis, & blood sugar regulation. Magnesium is the second most common deficiency in developed countries and is important for overall health and athletic performance.

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Proven Nutrition: Stacking For Performance


We’ve partnered with Proven Nutrition to offer our athletes an effective line of products that can be combined in stacks to meet specific performance goals. We’re confident the recommended stacks below will elevate your game to the next level. Every athlete, no matter what the sport, intensity, or duration can truly benefit from these products. Read this article to learn more about each product and how you can create a supplement strategy using stacks to help you achieve optimal performance.

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Sports Drinks


Sports drinks can be used anytime you need calories or hydration and are essential for physical activity that is over 60-90 minutes. They offer a quick and effective way to deliver such nutrients as calories, amino acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. There are four types of drinks you’ll find in this category along with a comparison chart to help you find what drink is best for you!

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The Evolution of Energy Gels


Gels have come a long way and are a great addition to any athlete’s program, whether you’re an adventure racer, triathlete, cyclist or CrossFitter, gels can provide a quick boost of energy and nutrition in an easy to use pouch. With so many options, flavors, and beneficial ingredients, you really can’t go wrong! We suggest trying a variety of brands and flavors to find the right gel for you! Read this article and view the comparison chart to learn more.

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Vitamins & Minerals - Foundation to Good Health and Performance


Vitamins and minerals are foundational nutrients. That is, they are the nuts and bolts of the body so to speak and are the foundation of good health. They are building and maintenance materials that, over time, build the strongest and healthiest body possible. Vitamins and minerals are also essential nutrients. This means that the body cannot make them but they are essential to life.

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Why the Gut is King


Probiotics continue to be a hot topic as science further discovers the many advantages of having beneficial bacteria in your system. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your overall health, and more importantly, your digestive tract. Not all bacteria are created equal, and your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are naturally found in your body, and can be taken through food and supplements to increase the amount of ‘’good’’ or ‘’beneficial’’ bacteria in your system.

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Are you gluten sensitive or have Celiac Disease?


Confused about all the talk about gluten free diets? Well, your not alone. If you listen to the pro gluten free crowd, you'd think everyone should stop eating gluten. However, as it turns out, the reality is not so simple and there is still so much we still don't understand.

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Carbohydrates and Endurance: Clearing up the Confusion


First Endurance consults with hundreds of athletes primarily on nutrition and how to best fuel their body for long distance racing. Through these consultations with beginners, veterans, elite amateurs and professionals, it is quite clear that carbohydrates and how they should be used is vastly misunderstood.

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Dragon Herbs: Attaining Glowing Health with Tonic Herbs


Dragon Herbs makes a variety of products using tonic herbs. Tonic herbs are a group of elite herbs from Chinese Medicine that promote health. They help us feel and look younger due to the health-promoting constituents that help strengthen our body, calm the mind, promote creativity and provide a powerful immune system. Read this article to learn more about Dragon Herbs products.

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Essential Nutrients: What Your Body Needs


The body is an amazing machine that can do so much to keep it functioning, however, there are nutrients that the body cannot make, and must be obtained from other sources such as food or supplements. These are known as essential nutrients – and are organized into six different categories: vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, carbohydrates, and water.

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How to Become Fat Adapted and Improve Performance


While mainstream “experts” continue to dismiss the “fat as fuel” approach for performance athletics and continue to advocate a carbohydrate (CHO) based approach, very much like the USDA Food Pyramid (and you can see what that has done to the health of the nation), a small but growing group of researchers are studying “fat-adaptation” or “keto-adaptation” as it applies to human performance. The “science” has yet to be published, but the data emerging shows a very different picture from what has been established as the limits for fat utilization, one consistent with the performances of athletes who have adopted the VESPA/OFM approach.

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Joint Health and Inflammation - Tips for Every Athlete


Joints serve as the connection between two bones allowing movement and flexibility. Joints consist of smooth tissues called cartilage, synovium, and synovial fluid. Joints allow you to bend your knees, elbows, back, neck and ankles. They allow you to row, lift weights, cycle, and run. There are 360 joints in the human body! Joints are essential to movement and need support due to the stress and physical activity we put our bodies through. Age also takes a toll on joints, causing them to wear and tear cartilage, which can lead to arthritis, discomfort, and decreased mobility.

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MCT oils - Can they boost endurance?


Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are unique fats that contain between 6 and 12 carbons. All oils contain short chain, medium chain, or long chain fatty acids, which range from 2 to 22 carbon atoms in length. The carbon chain is important to note, as it plays a role in the energy required to use, store, and digest the fat. MCT oils have been shown to help increase endurance and energy in endurance athletes.

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Reaching your racing weight and staying there


For most athletes (like endurance athletes), one of their goals is to weigh as little as possible without losing power so their power to weight ratio is optimal. This is especially important for athletes who fight gravity as in cyclists going uphill.

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Strength and Power


Strength and Power refers to the strength of your muscles and your muscle’s capacity to exert force and/or speed. We carry products that are designed to increase strength and power by doing a few things including: supporting muscle growth and rebuilding, reducing muscle fatigue, and increasing oxygen delivery - allowing you to go longer, harder, and faster. Read this article to learn more about ingredients used in the products we carry to help support your strength and power goals!

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The Power of Honey


Our bodies run off of glucose, and in endurance sports, glucose is the difference from making it to the finish line and bonking halfway into a race. We do know that not all sugars are created equal, and we prefer using natural sugars (versus high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners). We always suggest trying out a few different forms of energy to see what works best for you. Honey is one of our favorite forms of natural sugar. Not only does it provide the energy needed during high activity and endurance sports, but it provides several health benefits and is packed full of vitamins and minerals.

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What's the difference between Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavor?


What is a natural flavor and how does it compare to an artificial flavor? That's a good question and while worth a closer look.

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