Moving Science into Action

 These are snippets on Nutritional Science, which can help improve performance.

Food / Ingredient




Apple  Keeps the doctor away  "Researchers at the University of South Carolina gave lab animals a supplement of quercetin, a compound found in apples, for several days. They ran the animals on a treadmill until exhaustion and inoculated then with the influenza virus. Animals that received the quercetin supplement were less likely to get sick than those that did not receive the supplement." (Fuel, 2008) "Make foods high in quercetin (apples, onions, garlic and broccoli) part of your diet, especially after an intense or long run, when your immune system is fragile" (Fuel, 2008).
Caffeine Morning boost Adenosine receptors in the brain promote sleep and supress arousal when adenosine is administered by the body's natural clock. Caffeine serves as an antagonist to block the adenosine receptors, thereby preventing sleep, as opposed to being a stimulant. Too many doses in a day makes the mind and body feel more lethargic due to the body compromising by producing an excess of adenosine.  A single cup of coffee or black tea in the morning, never after a meal, to help get the day started.
Caffeine  Set PBS "Scientists at two universities in Minnesota gave runners a drink with or without caffeine (equal to two cups of coffee) one hour before a VO2 max test. PArticipants who had caffeine experienced a four-percent increase in VO2 max and three-percent increase in lactate threshold. This performance boost can translate into a 30-second improvement in 10km times."  (Fuel, 2008) "Have one or two cups of coffee or tea an hour before a hard workout or race for a potential drop in times" (Fuel, 2008).
Caffeine  Speed recovery  "Researchers in Melbourne, Australia, put participants through bouts of exhaustive exercise to drain glycogen stores. Researchers then gave the athletes a large dose of carbs either with or without caffeine. Within four hours, caffeine boosted glycogen rebuilding by 66 percent compared to carbohydrate alone." (Fuel, 2008) "After a hard run, refuel with a carb-rich meal along with coffee, tea, or a caffeinated energy drink to boost recovery" (Fuel, 2008).
Chicken-noodle soup  Helps hydration "Scientists in Louisiana, gave runners two cups of either chicken-noodle soup or water before a 90-minute run in the heat. Compared to those who had water pre-run, runners who ate the soup had better hydrataion and electrolyte levels post-workout. Researchers think the soup's sodium made subjects thirstier, whic encouraged them to drink more." (Fuel, 2008) "Before a hot run, have some soup with about 800 mg of sodium per cup to promote drinking mid-run" (Fuel, 2008).
Tea  Reduce muscle soreness  "Exercise physiologists from Rutgers University gave participants a black-tea extract or placebo for nine days and put them through a stenuous workout. Compared to the placebo group, participants who received black-tea supplements had significantly lower amounts of muscle soreness and damage. Researchers believe catechins, the antioxidants in black and green tea, were responsible for reducing inflamation." (Fuel, 2008)  "Drink one or two cups of black or green tea a day to increase the amount of catechins in your diet and perhaps stave off muscle soreness" (Fuel, 2008).


























Fuel, 2008. Fridge Wisdom - nutrition advice for healthy, hungry runners. Runners World [printed magazine] December 2008. pp. 38. Website <>.