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Lisa McDowell (Sports Dietician): Realized Power of Nutrient Dense Diet When Father Had Cancer


In recognition of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month, MomsTeam asked 30 experts in 2012 to write a blog answering two questions: first, how or why did they get into their field, and second, how have they made a difference in the life of a youth athlete in the past year.

Today, with the National Hockey League playoffs about to begin, we hear again from Lisa McDowell, sports dietitian for the Detroit Red Wings.

By Lisa McDowell, MS, RD, CNSD

A sports dietitian realized the power of nutrient dense when her father was being treated for pancreatic cancer.  She now helps elite athletes, including members of NHL's Detroit Red Wings, to fuel with the rainbow and eat highly concentrated, natural food; a diet which has helped improve performance, prevent injury, and speed injury recovery.

Nutritional Supplements: Not For Young Athletes, Says Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark

Taking nutritional supplements such as creatine, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, puts young athletes at a disadvantage because if they start taking them early they will never know what their bodies can do without them. 

Well-Balanced Diet Can Eliminate Need for Nutritional Supplements

An athlete's nutritional needs can usually be met by eating a well-balanced diet, eliminating the need for supplements, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark.

Anti-Doping Agency Supplement Safety Program Gains Support

NSF International, a non-profit firm that tests and certifies dietary supplements and sports nutritional products to ensure they are free of banned substances such as steroids, has announced full support for the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) "Supplement Safety Now" campaign.  The campaign will create increased awareness around this important public health issue and help safeguard consumers from taking steroids and other illegal or controlled substances in products that are marketed as "safe and legal" dietary supplements.

Vitamin Supplements Don't Work, Potentially Dangerous

Well-meaning parents and coaches, who advise youth athletes to take dietary supplements in an effort to promote early athletic development, improve performance, or to provide nutrition "insurance" are, unfortunately, misinformed. Simply put, there is no place in the diet of a healthy child for megadoses of vitamins, minerals, or other ergogenic aids (dietary supplements that supposedly enhance performance above levels anticipated under normal conditions).

Facts about Vitamins

There are a surprisingly large number of myths about nutrition. Here are some of the common myths and the truth about vitamins:

Vitamins and Minerals In Some Commonly Eaten Foods

Want to know what vitamins and minerals your family is consuming when it sits down for a meal? Here's a list of the vitamin and mineral content of some commonly eaten foods.

Food Sources for Calcium

Everyone knows that calcium is needed for a child's growing bones and to build strong teeth. But what parents may not know is the wide variety of foods that their child can eat to meet her calcium needs. Here's a chart listing the amount of calcium in many common food items.

U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) For Vitamins

Your child doesn't need to take a vitamin supplement if she eats nutrient-dense food that contain them. Here's a list of sources for vitamins and the function they perform in the body.

Vitamins Important Part of Child's Diet

Vitamins are complex "organic" (ones that contain carbon molecules) substances that the body cannot make on its own but that it requires in small amounts for a number of important bodily functions. Here's a rundown on the thirteen fat-soluble and water soluble vitamins, their functions, and advice on how to ensure that your child gets all the vitamins she needs for sports.

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