Health and Safety Resources

 Safely Return to Play
(9/14/2020)
 
   

Safely Return to Play


Diamond Doc
By Dr. Marc Richard


Dr. Marc Richard, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Duke University, discusses how to safely return to play after time away. To have your questions answered by Dr. Richard, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Marc Richard, MD, is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University, specializing in elbow, wrist and hand injuries. Dr. Richard’s research evaluates the clinical outcomes of fractures of the upper extremity, with a particular interest in wrist and elbow fractures and improving ways to treat elbow arthritis in young patients. He also has a clinical and research interest in adolescent elbow throwing injuries.


 Staying Baseball-Ready
(8/17/2020)
 
   

Staying Baseball-Ready


Diamond Doc
By Dr. Marc Richard


Dr. Marc Richard, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Duke University, discusses how to stay baseball-ready without organized baseball during COVID-19. To have your questions answered by Dr. Richard, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Marc Richard, MD, is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University, specializing in elbow, wrist and hand injuries. Dr. Richard’s research evaluates the clinical outcomes of fractures of the upper extremity, with a particular interest in wrist and elbow fractures and improving ways to treat elbow arthritis in young patients. He also has a clinical and research interest in adolescent elbow throwing injuries.


 Post-Workout Fueling
(7/22/2020)
 
   

Post-Workout Fueling


Tips to restore glycogen levels after a workout


After a hard practice, your student athlete is probably feeling exhausted and hungry—and it may be best if they don’t wait until the next meal before refueling!

TrueSport Expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, explains exactly what and when your athlete needs to eat after practice..

Refuel within 30 minutes

This can be tricky for parents of young athletes, since often, you’re picking your student up from practice and heading home to dinner in a couple of hours.

"I remember being at the end of those practices, I could eat a horse because I was so hungry, but I didn't really think about eating a whole lot during the practice,” Ziesmer recalls..

It’s tempting to just wait until dinner, but she adds that eating within 30 minutes is ideal for young athletes because that's when they are "most like sponges," so they're really going to soak up all the nutrients. Remember, it can be a smaller snack and your athlete shouldn’t be skipping dinner as a result of the post-workout meal.

Focus on protein and carbohydrates

"The primary goal of post-workout fueling is to get those amino acids back into your muscles to restore glycogen levels in muscles, which means eating protein and carbohydrates,” Ziesmer explains.

The ratio of protein to carbohydrates depends on what type of sport your athlete is in – endurance or power. If your child is doing more running and aerobic exercise, opt for a four-to-one ratio of carbohydrate to protein. An example of this is roughly 40-45 grams of carbohydrates to 10 grams of protein, so a piece of fruit, two servings of crackers, and two light string cheeses.

But if your athlete is in a more explosive sport that has sprinting or lifting, aim for a three-to-one ratio. An example of this is about 30 grams of carbohydrates to 10 grams of protein, or two servings of crackers and two light string cheeses.

Keep easy options on hand

Have a water bottle ready and waiting post-practice (or make sure your athlete has one in their gym bag). Bear in mind, your child doesn’t need a protein shake packed with supplements, and in fact, supplements are not advised for young athletes, even for pre-workout fueling.

Ziesmer is an advocate for whole-food snacks whenever possible. Here are a few of her easy favorites:

• 16 ounces of chocolate milk and a medium banana
• Half of a turkey sandwich with a handful of pretzels
• Muffin – any kind, with 16 ounces of low-fat milk
• 1-2 granola bars with either a sports drink or watered-down juice
• Cooked oatmeal with low-fat milk, raisins, chopped nuts, and maple syrup

She adds that most of these options are easily available, even from convenience stores or gas stations, which means there’s no reason your athlete can’t be properly fueled post-practice.

Mix up carbohydrate sources

Ziesmer remembers seeing a father give his daughter a half-gallon of orange juice post-practice and shudders at the thought. “We have multiple sugar receptors, so just eating fruit as your carbohydrate post-workout is not ideal,” she explains. “That’s because fruit is a quick digesting carbohydrate, but you need some slow absorbing carbohydrates as well. Additionally, having too much fruit can really upset an athlete's stomach. Aim for combinations, like a grain with a fruit, for example."

Don’t skip dinner

Ziesmer notes that for four hours after practice, your young athlete should be refueling slowly and steadily, meaning that post-workout snack is only the beginning. “They really need to be eating about 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram per hour of carbohydrate to refuel after a hard practice,” she explains. “That can be the after-practice snack and then dinner and then even a bedtime snack.”

For instance, your athlete could have chocolate milk post-practice for carbohydrates and protein, followed by a dinner of chicken, brown rice, and sautéed vegetables. They can finish off the night with a small bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit and peanut butter for a combination of carbohydrate sources, proteins, and a small amount of healthy fats.



Your athletes know what foods and meals make them feel good as they recover from practice or competition, so encourage them to remain accountable for their sports nutrition.

Ziesmer concludes, “Remember, if you don't eat before exercise, then you're performing that much less well and you're burning even less energy. And then, if you skip that and your post-workout fueling, you often wind up over-eating later, as well as feeling extra fatigued and more susceptible to injuries and illness.”



TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.


 Sliding Injuries
(7/20/2020)
 
   

Sliding Injuries


Diamond Doc
By Dr. Marc Richard


Dr. Marc Richard, Orthopedic Surgeon at Duke University, discusses what is known about sliding injuries so that players can stay safe on the bases. To have your questions answered by Dr. Richard, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Marc Richard, MD, is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University, specializing in elbow, wrist and hand injuries. Dr. Richard’s research evaluates the clinical outcomes of fractures of the upper extremity, with a particular interest in wrist and elbow fractures and improving ways to treat elbow arthritis in young patients. He also has a clinical and research interest in adolescent elbow throwing injuries.


 Pre-Workout Fueling
(7/8/2020)
 
   

Pre-Workout Fueling


Improve performance by eating at the right time before a workout


Young student-athletes are often faced with a tough challenge when rushing to practice after school. How do you fuel for a practice or workout with limited time and when lunch is often hours before the final bell rings?

TrueSport Expert Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, shares what parents and coaches need to know about pre-workout fueling for middle and high school athletes.

Understand youth energy needs

“Kids' energy needs are a double-edged sword,” says Ziesmer. “Because of their metabolism and everything going on in their bodies as they develop, their energy needs are going to be higher per kilogram of body weight as opposed to an adult. But because they weigh less, their caloric needs will still often be less than an adult.”

Any time you’re trying to calculate caloric needs, especially when it comes to pre-workout carbohydrate needs, the amount per kilogram of body weight that they need is higher than an adult would need. You can use this handy table to get a sense of your child’s needs based on age and sex, but it will vary slightly based on weight. Ziesmer also notes that you might be shocked by how much your athlete needs. Between the energy cost of the workout and the daily requirements for a growing body, they really are burning through those calories.

Hydration matters

Hydration needs are also a bit higher, due to the fact that children have more surface area on their body proportionate to their weight, so they dehydrate faster than adults do. Ziesmer notes that kids, and even teens, are not as aware of hunger or thirst cues, especially during play (or practice). Make sure your athlete is always equipped with a water bottle at school and encourage them to sip steadily throughout the day rather than chugging a liter of water just before practice.

Tell your athlete to eat early

It can be tricky with school schedules and rules around eating in class, but your athlete does need to pre-fuel for practice, especially for practices like cross-country running where energy expenditure is high.

If lunch is early in the day – more than three hours ahead of practice, then Ziesmer recommends, “An hour before practice is good for a small snack because that gives your athlete time to digest their food. When eating an hour before, you need roughly one gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. So, if an athlete is 150 pounds, or 68 kilograms, then they need approximately 68 grams of carbs, 5-10g protein. A sample snack would be 8 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice, 1 serving of whole grain crackers, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or 1 light string cheese.”

Skip protein bars

"I am not opposed to a Clif Bar, for example, because it’s whole foods that are compressed into bar form,” Ziesmer says. “But I definitely advise against bars that are packed with protein and chemicals, like a Quest bar.” In addition to the highly processed nature of bars, a lot of these bars are marketed for sports but are actually protein-based, so they aren’t ideal for eating ahead of practice.

“The problem with protein bars is if an athlete is eating too much protein before practice, then the stomach is really too busy trying to digest that food,” she explains. “A lot of the athlete's blood is now in the intestines trying to digest the food rather than being delivered to working muscles, which is going to sink the performance."

Aim for whole foods

Ziesmer urges parents to provide whole food options whenever possible in order to ensure that your young athlete doesn’t begin to depend on processed snacks. “It is really hard to get a good balance of macronutrients in a bar, and real food is just a better choice due to digestibility and nutrient content” she adds. Some options that should be easy for your athlete to eat between classes include:

• Half a bagel with nut butter
• Pita with hummus
• Yogurt with fruit and granola
• Half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
• Half of a turkey sandwich
• Handful of pretzels with some watered-down fruit juice

Encourage your athlete to eat the right foods at the right time before a workout for improved performance and decreased likelihood of fatigue and injury.



TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.