It’s not often at a NorthEast MultiSports membership meeting that the featured speaker offers yummy-looking homemade energy bites to the audience. But that’s just what Laura Casterline, RD, LD did at Peak Recovery & Health Center for our June 7 meeting. After the energy bites, her presentation, “Let’s Talk Supplements,” covered the principles of nutrition in training, competition, and recovery. Casterline is one of the staff practitioners at Nutrition in Motion, a personalized nutrition counseling firm and a NEMS sponsor. Her specialty is sports nutrition.
Unlike drugs, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nobody in that business has to meet any standards but their own. Consequently, even among the vendors who are not trying to be deceptive, it’s possible to find products contaminated with heavy metals or ones that don’t contain as much of the nutrient as claimed. To help us navigate this chaos, Casterline recommended a site called LabDoor, which performs independent testing on the leading products within 34 categories and ranks them. LabDoor analyzes label accuracy, product purity, nutritional value, ingredient safety, and projected efficacy.
Casterline recommended that we approach any supplement with three broad questions: 1) Does it contain what I need? 2) How is it sweetened? 3) What additional ingredients does it contain? Some of the more eye-opening points in her presentation:
- High fructose corn syrup, which is often used as a sweetener in supplements, is frequently contaminated with mercury, can be responsible for fatty liver disease, and can induce leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone responsible for suppressing appetite and making you feel full. Leptin resistance can lead to obesity.
- CoQ10, which occurs naturally in your body and acts as an antioxidant, can be depleted by interacting with statins (widely used for cholesterol control) and strenuous exercise.
- Magnesium helps with sleep, headaches, and healing (and therefore recovery), but 85% of Americans are deficient in it.
- B vitamins are depleted by stress, including strenuous exercise.
Nutrition in Motion emphasizes personalized nutrition, so it’s good to know that Laura Casterline is now offering nutrition counseling on Mondays at Peak Recovery & Health Center. If you missed her presentation, ask about an appointment.