Are there performance benefits to running on an empty stomach?
Quite the opposite. Running on an empty stomach is like trying to drive your car with no gas. There is no fuel in the tank to perform your best. For females this is even more detrimental as it causes an increase in the hormone cortisol which in high amounts leads to inflammation, increased fat storage, weight gain and injury. We need some cortisol release during out workouts to mobilize stored nutrients but as with many things regarding nutrition, more isn’t better. You don’t have to eat a lot but one of my favorites toast with peanut butter, banana and honey.
How important are post workout meals for Recovery?
As I mentioned in the previous question, when we exercise, we secrete the hormone cortisol to mobilize nutrient stores to be utilized during our run. When we are done running (or doing any exercise for that matter), it is important to turn that cortisol off to prevent it from causing inflammation. The inflammation that results from prolonged elevated cortisol make it harder for the nutrients consumed later to get back into cellular storage and can lead to elevated levels of soreness and potential injury. The best meal to consume after is whatever your body is craving as that is indicative of what you have become depleted in. It’s also important to combine a carbohydrate and a protein so that the protein can assist in moving glycogen from carbohydrates back into storage. Some examples of post- workout snacks are banana and peanut butter, pizza, crackers and hummus or a fruit and yogurt smoothie.
What led you to be a registered dietitian?
There are a few factors that led to me becoming a dietitian. My dad’s cousin was a dietitian and in 8th grade I shadowed her for a day and thought “this would be a really fun career!” I was also a gymnast for a very long time. Gymnastics is a sport that comes with a lot of pressure to be a certain size and a lot of body shaming. I was not an exception to this experience ,and I became a dietitian as a result of some of the issues I had a results of that pressure. I am currently working on a memoir describing this experience. Stay tuned for “32 Strands, a Memoir.” Coming soon!
Dr. DeLorenzo has been a Registered Dietitian (RD) since 2001. She received her BS in Food Science and Dietetics from the University of Rhode Island and her MS and Ph.D.in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ. She currently is the Program Director for the MS in Nutrition and Human Performance Logan University and serves as the team dietitian for USA Para Powerlifting at Logan.
In addition to dietetics, Dr. DeLorenzo is a 200-hour trained yoga teacher and teaches online yin yoga and power yoga and provides yoga therapy for clients with anxiety, body dysmorphia, and pain.
Dr. DeLorenzo specializes in working with athletes.
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