LHI Tip of the Week- When and How to Hydrate: Sports Dietitian Jennifer DeWall Shares Tips and Guidelines

It’s late July,  and as the tempuratures rise we need to pay more attention to our hydration status.  This is especially important during exercise and sports related activities, so that we don’t become dangerously overheated and dehydrated.  Choosing what to drink and when is sometimes a difficult decision with all the choices of beverages available.  As a youth softball coach, I often see the overuse of sport-type beverages when water would be a more appropiate choice.  According to the American jenndewallAcademy of Pediatrics, sports drinks are beneficial in both adults and youth althletes when used to replenish carbohydrates, electrolytes and fluids after endurance or high-intensity exercise. Water is recommended for the average athlete that is involved in regular activity. It is also important to know when to re-hydrate because when you feel thirsty it may be too late. Sports Dietitian and owner of Nutrition in Motion, Jennifer DeWall, has had the opportunity to council a wide variety of athletes and recommends the following guidelines when it comes to being properly hydrated before, during and after physical activity.

Hydration Guidelines

2 hours before: 14-22 oz.
10-20 minutes before: 7-10 oz.
Note: this can be a sports beverage if exercising on an empty stomach

During Exercise
6-12 oz. every 15 min. or as tolerated
1+ hour exercise add in sports beverage
Note: in extreme conditions, sports beverages or other electrolyte sources may be needed sooner.
Post Exercise
24 oz for every pound lost
Low-fat chocolate milk, water, sports drink

General Tips:
• Make sure you are drinking half your weight in ounces of water daily. Add in at least 10% if exercising. For example, a 140 pound athlete needs 70 ounces of water daily minimum.
• An easy way to judge general hydration status is by urine color. Light, straw colored urine is optimal. Anything darker may indicate your body is already dehydrated which may impair performance.

Prepared by Jennifer DeWall RDN, CSSD, LD – Sports Dietitian

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Running Shoes? A Happy Feet Investment

3rd place division finish.. I love running!

I am hooked!

If you are like me, a want-to-be better runner, one place to start is your shoes. Happy feet for a happy run! I started my running quest last fall when a friend asked me to run a charity 5K. My first thought,  “I hate running”, but would give it a shot.  Just to be clear, my history with running has been more of a punishment in competitive sports. I finished 3rd in my age division and admit at that point I was hooked. I am a competitor at heart and liked the fact that I could still compete in activities.  As my passion for running grew, so did my desire for the right apparrel and equipment.  Selecting running shoes usually involved a quick trip to the department store to buy a pair on sale. So, basically the cheaper the better.  It’s the runner’s form not the shoe, right?

Loving my morning run

A very hilly morning run

I found with my self-selected, cheaper version of running shoes my feet hurt and occassionally would experience tingling in my toes, as though I had a pinched nerve. After talking with a few of my experienced runner friends, I ventured out to invest in a pair of better running shoes.

Off with the old tired soles

Off with the old tired soles

I was lucky to find Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny, Iowa. Kyle’s Bikes, like other outdoor active sports stores, offers a great selection of shoes paired with the latest technology. At Kyle’s they have the Dartfish gait analysis, which examines your posture and foot strike when running. This latest technology helps to place you in a more appropiate shoe.
Not being an experienced runner,  I was excited about finding a shoe that could make my feet feel better during and after my short distance runs. So, off to the shop where I met Bill Lorenz, otherwise known as the “Guru of shoe.”  Bill was extremely helpful pointing out that losing a toenail should not be a right of passage for runners to celebrate. This happens when the toenail bed is bruised and could be the result of the shoe being to tight or small. He advised that buying a running shoe the same size as your dress shoes is not the right approach. On average, running shoes should be a half size to full size bigger to allow feet to swell during a run.  Running shoes, just like any shoe have a mile limit. The mileage limit depends on the brand, but usually should be replaced an average of 300-400 miles. Bill suggests purchasing a new pair about half way through your mileage and alternate from old to new to help extend the life of each pair.




Happy Runner

After selecting a shoe size just a half size bigger and performing the Dartfish Gait Analysis, we selected the perfect shoe in the perfect color. What a difference it made. My feet and body are very happy and the investment is worth it to my health and safety. No matter what level runner you may be, consider seeking an expert like Bill to help you find the right fit shoe. It can help you stay happy and healthy. Now, off to some 5Ks this summer.

Happy Running!

Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa 
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LHI Tip of the Week: Beachfront Fun

July marks the start to several summertime activities from family reunions to picnic northiowabeachoccasions. This year let’s celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month by hitting the water and getting active at one of your favorite state park beaches.

You might be thinking that going to the beach can be a little overwhelming because of all the “stuff” we feel we need to pack for the day.  My thoughts exactly, when the kids say “let’s go to the beach.”  Once we get there and are settled in for the day, it’s quite relaxing. Try these ideas to make your next venture to the beach more healthy and happy.

  • Less is best. Only pack essentials such as sunscreen, beach towels or a blanket,  a small cooler and maybe a game. Pack them the day before to create less hassle the morning you head out.  You will find it much easier to carry less and that hands are the best sandcastle building tools.
  • Plan to use two towels per person, one to sit on and one to dry off and cover up. To keep the sand under control, place a large blanket down first under the towels.
  • Stock the cooler full of everyone’s favorite fruit and veggies for refreshing and hydrating beach day snacks.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after. Remember, sometimes swimming can dilute the thirst buds so be sure to set a timer, take a break and hydrate.
  • Chill out in the shade with a fun game to take a break from the sun.
  • Relax and soak up the scenery. Enjoy the sounds, smells and view at the beach, or play beach I spy to create lasting memories.

beachworkoutRelaxing at the beach is a great way to free your thoughts from the busy week, but so is working out. Use some beach time to get active. Try a quick and fun beach workout to get you up off your beach towel.


 photo(12)Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa 






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LHI Tip of the Week: Summer Survival with Sunscreen and Blueberries

Summer means fun in the sun, with lathered on sunscreen of course! July is UV (ultraviolet) Safety Month and most of us are aware of the harmful effects the sun can have on our skin. Protection with sunscreen is a necessary component to prevent damaging effects from the suns UV rays but so are the foods we put on our plates.

blueberries-in-hand-shutterstock_8400148Eating foods rich in Vit A, such as low fat dairy; antioxidants, such as berries and essential fatty acids, like walnuts or salmon can boost skins ability to heal for a more vibrant, youthful and healthier skin. Summer is the season to enjoy antioxidant rich berries and since July is National Blueberry Month, let’s give a shout out to the blueberry. Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits because they offer a sweet, tart flavor  and are packed full of water to help us stay hydrated.  Blueberries along with other deep red, purple and blue fruits contain a high concentration of antioxidants which can help skin cells against damaging free radicals and may provide defense against cancer.

recipe_imageWhen spending the day at the park or beach be sure to pack up some fresh blueberries or try a cooler friendly recipe like the Mojito Fruit Salad (non-alcoholic) which would be perfect to serve at any 4th of July celebration.


Recipes courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats. Article adapted and references from Web MD 
photo(12)Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa 




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LHI Tip of the Week- Staying Hydrated: Think Outside the Water Bottle

waterbottlepour (3)Do you ever just sit back and enjoy a handful of juicy grapes or a slice of watermelon in the summer heat? I find eating fruits and vegetables when hot and thirsty to be quite satisfying. Staying well hydrated is essential to good health. Drinking water is the best source but not the only way. According to the Institute of Medicine, 20 percent of our water intake comes from food. Foods with high water content such as fruits, vegetables and dairy are also a great source of essential nutrients that are important for an active lifestyle. So think outside the water bottle and try adding these foods to your diet to stay well hydrated and healthy.

Fruits such as berries, melons and peaches are mostly water but also rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Potassium is an electrolyte we lose when our bodies sweat and important for fluid balance and circulation. Vitamin C helps protect the skin against UV, pollution and sweat damage.  Try tossing strawberries onto your favorite summer salad, or twist up your taste buds with these refreshing summer recipes:  Triple Berry Summer Salad or Peach Caprese Saladwatermelonplate (6)

Favorite tip: Make watermelon a staple food at picnics or backyard barbecues. It’s an easy and fun way to keep friends and family well hydrated. Watermelon is roughly 92% water and low in calories. To add a new twist on flavor, try grilling slices of watermelon and tossing it with feta cheese and mint, or whip up a Watermelon Salsa to serve over grilled fish.


Recipes courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats and ISU Extension and Outreach
Written by Nikki Stahr, Registered Dietitian with Live Healthy Iowa photo(12)
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LHI Tip of the Week: Kick off Summer Hydrated and Healthy!

As your summer time activities kick into full gear, it’s important to focus on staying well hydrated. Drinking water is the best way to replenish our body’s fluid needs but we can also eat our water by enjoying foods with a high water content such as watermelon, citrus fruit and oatmeal cooked in water or milk. Staying properly hydrated is essential for every cell, organ and tissue in the body. According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the daily fluid intake of 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women with help sustain normal activity. We can lose up to 10 cups of water a day just by normal activities such as breathing, brushing our teeth and sweating.

Try these tips to keep hydrated:

  • Wake up with water. Keep a glass of water bedside and drink it in the morning before getting out of bed.
  • Freeze water to go! Stock several freezer safe water bottles in the freezer and always have an ice cold supply to go.
  • Keep a refillable water bottle on the desk and set a timer to refill it. This is a good reminder to get up and get active too!

The amount of fluids the body needs depends on several factors, such as age, gender, activity level and weight. Curious where to start?  Web based calculatorsspa-water for a starting point. Friendly reminder: these are estimates and always talk with a health care provider before starting a new routine.


Need a boost to get on the hydration track? The LHI Burst Your Thirst challenge is a perfect opportunity to help us drink more water, get more active and win some great prizes The BYT Challenge kicks off Monday June 16, so gather some water drinking buddies and register. (Registration open through June 27)


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LHI Tip of the Week – A S.M.A.R.T. Goal With a Deadline

As a veteran to the Johnson’s Elite Training Boot Camp run by Dream Team captain, Shawn Johnson, Julie was a rookie to Live Healthy Iowa’s 10 Week Wellness Challenge. This was the first year she participated in the Challenge and was drawn to it for the Imageopportunity to work toward her wellness goals with support from her Challenge team members and fellow boot campers. With her son’s upcoming wedding in May, Julie set goals and worked hard throughout the 10 Week Wellness Challenge.

Her goal kicking off the Challenge was to work out at least five times per week. It’s important to set a firm date to accomplish your goals by and to write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Julie’s son’s wedding was the perfect motivation for her and she set herself up for success by determining her S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Julie struggled at the beginning to complete difficult exercises in her work out classes. By the tenth week, she had made huge strides and was able to complete the entire workout. At the end of the challenge, Julie had lost six pounds, 3% body fat and maintains her goal to work out at least five times per week.Image

The biggest change for Julie after completing the 10 Week Wellness Challenge was her nutrition and daily meals. She eats smaller portions and now incorporates protein shakes and bars. Julie learned that your body needs more protein in order to burn more calories throughout the day and especially during exercise.

Accomplishing her goal wasn’t easy and took a lot of will power but her teammates and fellow boot campers kept her motivated and held her accountable. Shawn and her team were by her side the whole time; always pushing her to finish one more rep.

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