- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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July 25, 2013
Sports nutrition basics
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
So you've made the commitment to train for a marathon, triathlon or other endurance event. You dedicate time and follow your workout schedule, logging each hour and type of workout. But your log may be missing some key information if you're not monitoring your fluid and dietary intake.
Why is it important to pay attention to sports nutrition? The right fuel can help you optimize your training and reach your personal best — or at least finish upright and feeling good.
Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking and perhaps retooling your drinking and food habits during your training. These tips are for those training more than an hour a day.
Dehydration will compromise performance. Drink fluids, mostly water, during and between meals.
- Pre-workout. Drink enough that you can comfortably exercise.
- Post-workout. Weigh yourself pre- and post-exercise. For every pound of weight (fluid) loss, drink 16-24 ounces.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your muscles. The longer and more intense the exercise, the more carbohydrate your muscles need. Are you eating nutritious carbohydrate foods at each meal and snack? Examples include fruits, grains, such as cereals, breads, pasta, rice, quinoa or barley, and starchy vegetables, such as peas, corn, and potatoes, as well as milk and yogurt.
- Pre-workout. Eat a carbohydrate-rich snack or small meal, depending on timing and tolerance.
- During workout. Drink a sport drink or diluted juice, or eat a small amount of carbohydrate. Some people like the convenience of sport gels or similar products.
- Post-workout. Drink a carbohydrate-containing beverage soon after finishing. Including protein with carbohydrate following your workout will aid in muscle recovery. Milk meets these criteria.
Take a close look at your meals and snacks. What are the carbohydrate-rich foods? Do you have a few servings at each meal? Do you carry a water bottle all day? How often to you refill it? Can you tolerate eating and drinking before, during and after your workout? If you're already practicing some of these tips, has it changed your performance?
Need more specific advice tailored to your body size and training needs? Seek out a registered dietitian or certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD).
To your health,