(function(w,d,s,l,i){w[l]=w[l]||[];w[l].push({'gtm.start': new Date().getTime(),event:'gtm.js'});var f=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], j=d.createElement(s),dl=l!='dataLayer'?'&l='+l:'';j.async=true;j.src= 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id='+i+dl;f.parentNode.insertBefore(j,f); })(window,document,'script','dataLayer','GTM-W4N5R9R');

Category Archive: Series News

Byline Bank Welcomed to 10th Annual Race

Byline Bank Named Title Sponsor of Chicago Spring Half Marathon

The Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, produced by Life Time® Healthy Way of Life, is welcoming premium, local financial brand, Byline Bank, to its ranks as title sponsor. Together with Life Time, the nation’s premier healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment brand, Byline Bank will be a driving force in providing a premier race experience for new and veteran athletes.

Set for Sunday, May 20, the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K is Chicago’s spring race celebrating the city’s emergence from winter hibernation where Elite and Age Group athletes from around Chicago, and the world, come to race. The race, which sold out in previous years, is part of the 2018 Chicagoland Half Marathon Series and will host this years’ USA Track & Field – Illinois 10K Championship.

“At Byline, we believe in supporting the communities where we live, work and play. We’re excited to be sponsoring the Chicago Spring Half Marathon, it is a natural fit. As we continue to grow and improve – we’re committed to working as hard as our neighbors to support them as they run towards their fitness and financial goals. We look forward to cheering on the participants at the finish line,” said Byline Bank President and Chief Executive Officer, Alberto J. Paracchini.

Run Brand Manager at Life Time, Dan Lakin, says of the Byline Bank partnership, “As two companies dedicated to improving our local communities, and providing products, services and events that are best-in-class, we couldn’t imagine a better partner when it comes to the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K. We’re excited to introduce Byline Bank to athletes at this year’s event and for years to come.”

An estimated 7,000 runners are expected to participate in this year’s Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Participants will run either 13.1 miles or 10K (6.1 miles) starting along famed Grant Park traversing South along Columbus Drive, and run through Museum Campus and along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront before finishing in Maggie Daley Park. More information is available at www.ChicagoSpringHalf.com.

About the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K
The Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, in its 10th year, is part of the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series which includes the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K (September 23) and awards participants for completing 2 half marathons within the same year. In its inaugural year, 1900 people signed up for the race, today it is one of the most in-demand half marathons in Chicago selling out at just over 7,000 participants.

About Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life
Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 130 destinations in 37 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompasses the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. For more information visit www.lifetime.life.

About Byline Bank
Headquartered in Chicago, Byline Bank, a subsidiary of Byline Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BY), is a full service commercial bank serving small- and medium-sized businesses, financial sponsors, and consumers. Byline Bank has approximately $3.4 billion in assets and operates more than 50 full service branch locations throughout the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas. Byline Bank offers a broad range of commercial and retail banking products and services including small ticket equipment leasing solutions and is one of the top 10 Small Business Administration lenders in the United States.

Cruisin’ in the USA

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had never experienced such a sense of pure, ecstatic joy up until my 12th year of life when I received what would be a life changing gift: my first bike. As my hands shook, I did my best to delicately remove the red ribbon my mother had attached to the handlebars. I could barely see what I was doing through the tears welling up in my eyes. Having asked for nothing else for three whole Christmases, birthdays and heck, even national holidays (Labor Day sales always had the best selection), this light pink Schwinn Talula cruiser before me was the stuff of dreams.

Complete with a basket and bell, I could not wait to take it out and ride it into the sunset. Or, how it turns out, ride it around the block a couple of times before I had to change for church. Your first bike is a rite of passage. The possibilities and freedom that it allotted you as a young adolescent to explore the neighborhood and meet new friends; the independence it bestowed as you rode it to school. These are still the same sensations and attributes that cycling continues to provide even as adults.

Pedalin’ Prowess

In recent times, there has been a steady boom in the integration of cycling back into our daily lives. The boom is largely responsible for the new onslaught of bike sharing programs, commuting options and the reemergence certain sports, such as triathlon, to keep cycling in the mainstream. It is the flexibility and accessibility of these features, coupled with its environmentally friendly consumption and health benefits to its users that it continues to claim and revolutionize our cities today. In just Chicago alone, there are “200-plus miles of bike lanes and 13,000 bike racks…(With a plan to have) a total of 645 miles of lanes by 2020.” Below we look at some of the newcomers to the bike scene, the benefits to cycling and the importance of sharing the road.

Goin’ Green and Fightin’ Fit

The health benefits to cycling are numerous. The calorie burning from just an hour of riding a bike can be anywhere from 500 – 650 calories. It is great cross training for new swimmers as the intensity and range helps build your lounges and air intake. Riding a bike works on multiple muscle groups from your quadriceps to your calf muscles; helping to keep you on point, in one swift pedal, with leg day. The beauty of biking comes from your environment. We often get lost in our heads when running or lifting weights but biking keeps you present and keeps you energized as it allows you to take on challenges as they come: hills, crowded pathways, the open road. As we mentioned earlier, it helps with cross training from other sports such as swimming and running as it eases up the exertion placed on your arms and feet.

In cities like Miami, where public transportation is more of a hassle than a benefit, new bike lanes in the downtown area and public parks have allowed for a cleaner, more affordable option to get around. According to the National Household Travel Survey, “Americans older than 25 accounted for most of the increase in cycling…” Millennials seem to be the driving force behind the sustainability and fitness efforts behind the recent surge.”We are more aware of the pollution crisis and the affect our negligence will have on future generations. We are living through stronger storms and more volatile weather all due to global warming. If there is anything to be done, it needs to start now.” states Chelsea Walsh of Biscayne Bay. In an effort to combat our ever increasing air pollutants, many jobs have offered stipends or perks to those employees who commute to work. In addition, these new lanes and special parks are being built in once abandoned and derelict areas of the city that will be transformed with beautification projects that include gardens and compost areas.

Learning to Share the Road

While there has been a reemergence in the pastime, there are still dangers to contend with when out on the road. When bike sharing first emerged, there was a major outcry against programs such as Divvy and Citi bikes as many stated that it would flood the already brimming crowds of bustling cities.. Having to be aware of tourist pedestrian traffic while in your vehicle is one thing, but adding speed and inertia has led to countless accidents and hospitalizations. Whether the error lies on the cyclist or the vehicle varies in each situation but for the most part the fault is two-fold. Ride sharing benefits the city as an extension of tourism but riders are novices to the layout and without proper protection. They are more focused on finding where they’re going than to their immediate surroundings. At the same time, there are more experienced bikers who neglect the rules of the road and will swirl past traffic and stop lights to beat traffic.

Many vehicle drivers forget to share the road and will make lane changes or turns without being cognizant of our bikers. I know I’ve been the recipient of foul and imaginative slew of words when cutting off a fellow cyclist. Bike lane improvements have been proposed in many cities to add items such as buffers, plants and cement partitions to further protect both entities on the road. The latest study, published as a research letter Sept. 1 in JAMA, documents “a rise in cycling-related injuries and hospitalizations among adults from 1998 to 2013. Adjusted for age, reported injuries rose 28 percent, and resulting hospitalizations increased 120 percent. There was also an increase, to 56 percent from 40 percent, of accidents that occurred on streets.”

Safety First

Education plays a vital role if we want to make any progress in fully and efficiently integrating cycling into our daily lives. While the idea of buying a car without seat belts is bizarre, slow progress has been made in properly educating newcomers to keeping safe. Yasamin Sabeti, a local Chicago resident brings up a good point: “One of the things that scares me the most is seeing so many cyclists without helmets. It is the only protection you have between outside negligence and your brain. Not sure why this is still an option and not a requirement.” There are many gadgets out there today to keep you protected and safe; ranging from lights to side mirrors to reflective clothing. The industry is growing with the popularity rise, with many local bike stores seeing a surge in both attendance and sales.

The surge of sports such as triathlon and cycling have also helped to educate the populace by bringing the importance of safety to the forefront. Many events are certified by upper governing bodies such as USA Triathlon, who adhere to strict guidelines when competing in one of their events. Kids will see their favorite celebrities in protective gear and will follow suit. Many schools are hoping to implement videos and programs into their curriculum in an effort to bring light to the severity of negligence in the same manner that drunk driving videos have done to first time drivers.

In essence, there is much innovation coming forth from the cycling world and it is interesting to see how cities and their populace continue to integrate and grow with the surge. Whether you’re an active commuter or a novice unwrapping their first bike with shaking hands, there is no denying the many strides that have been made for our favorite pastime.

See below for links to amazing biking programs in a city near you!

Miami, FL

Chicago, IL

New York City, NY

Denver, CO

San Diego, CA

 

Works Cited
Brody, Jane. “Cycling 1o1 Needn’t Be Collision Course.” 21 Sept. 2015 https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/cycling-101-neednt-be-collision-course/

How Women Took Over Running

Women now outnumber men at the finish line of organized races, and women’s-only races are starting to seem unnecessary.

By RACHEL BACHMAN
Originally published by the Wall Street Journal
May 16, 2016 12:26 p.m. ET

Women and girls, not long ago an afterthought in distance running, now own it.

They made up 57% of the 17 million U.S. race finishers in 2015, according to industry-backed tracker Running USA. That includes everything from 3.1-mile trots before Thanksgiving dinner to 26.2-mile marathons.

Many women run to win prize money or medals. Millions more have taken to treadmills, sidewalks and running trails to achieve personal bests, socialize and improve overall health.

Mary Wittenberg, CEO of Virgin Sport, is a longtime runner and the former CEO of New York Road Runners, which operates the New York City Marathon. She notes that there are fewer women-only events than there used to be because at most races, women are the majority.

“It’s amazing growth,” she says. Running appeals to women because “if you put the work in, you can do it. Completing the distance has become as big a goal as your time. That makes it far more accessible.”

Women were still a small minority of overall race finishers in 1984, when American Joan Benoit Samuelson won the first women’s Olympic marathon, 88 years after the first men’s Olympic marathon. A trickle of female amateurs followed her into running.

A decade later, Oprah Winfrey finished the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon in the Washington, D.C., area in just under 4½ hours, wearing bib No. 40 to reflect her age. Thousands of people cheered her on along the course and at least three reporters ran the race with her to cover her feat. One of them was Amby Burfoot of Runner’s World magazine.

About a year after that, Mr. Burfoot, who also won the 1968 Boston Marathon, took a surprising phone call. He says it was someone from Race for the Cure, a relatively new series of road races for women to raise money for breast-cancer research. Organizers said they had more than 10,000 women registered for a race in the Midwest.

“It was the funniest thing we’d heard in the world,” recalls Mr. Burfoot, now an editor emeritus who recently wrote a book about female pioneers called “First Ladies of Running.”

“We were Runner’s World, and we were completely unaware that there was this tidal wave,” he says.

Men made up 68% of U.S. road-race finishers at the time. After Ms. Winfrey’s finish and with a rapidly expanding number of women’s races, their participation surged. Women surpassed male finishers by 2010.

Women have flocked to running more than other endurance sports. Less than 15% of USA Cycling’s 62,000 members are women, a spokesman says. The group oversees all major disciplines of competitive cycling. About 47% of the 63,000 members of U.S. Masters Swimming, a nationwide training group for swimmers age 18 and above, are women, according to the organization.

Tracey Russell was a competitive swimmer in college but says running has an advantage in helping women form bonds. Although it’s common for people to chat while they run, “it’s hard to do that during [swimming] intervals,” she says.

Ms. Russell is CEO of Conqur Endurance Group, which owns the Los Angeles Marathon. She says the surge in charitable organizations forming training groups and raising money through road races has largely been driven by women.

 In this year’s L.A. Marathon, women made up 46% of runners but 59% of entrants through charities, which give runners a discount or free race entry in exchange for fundraising certain amounts.

Nationwide, women made up 44% of marathoners and 61% of half-marathoners in 2015, according to Running USA.

One surprising influence in the rise of women’s running: improved gear. For decades, athletic-apparel manufacturers paid little attention to women’s needs. Many women ran in one-style-fits-all running shorts and ill-fitting sports bras.

Recent years have brought an avalanche of apparel for women, from boutique designers to major manufacturers such as Under Armour and Adidas.

Much of it is worn lounging on the couch. But it was women’s rising interest in health and fitness that stirred companies to focus on them. Nike forecasts that sales of its women’s products will roughly double by 2020.

Years ago, “you always didn’t feel good going out for a run,” says Toni Carey, who lives in Atlanta. “Now I can go to whatever brand that’s going to make me feel good, look good and support the activity I’m doing.”

Ms. Carey and a college friend, Ashley Hicks-Rocha, five years ago turned their running blog into Black Girls Run!, a nationwide organization to promote running among African-American women. (“ ‘Girls’ is used as a term of endearment,” she says.)

Black Girls Run! has about 70 groups nationwide and 200,000 participants. Some run “virtual” races, where runners register for a 5K or 10K distance, complete it on the honor system and receive a medal in the mail. The option appeals to new runners intimidated by formal races, Ms. Carey says.

Women’s groups like Ms. Carey’s are helping further diversify running, Ms. Wittenberg says. Participation of racial minorities has climbed in recent years, according to Running USA.

“It would just be great to see the men’s side see growth, too,” she says.

Instead of running, some younger men especially have joined the trend toward weightlifting and high-intensity interval training. Overall participation in road races has dropped in the past two yearsas millennials have shown less interest in running than older adults. Average finishing times for men and women also have slowed down as race fields have gotten older and grown to include more recreational runners.

For many women, running is less a competition than a social experience.

Five years ago Pam Burrus, a 35-year-old mother of two who lives outside Atlanta, founded Moms Run This Town, a training and social group that now has about 700 chapters, most of them in the U.S.

Members can join group runs or organize their own runs via the group’s Facebook pages. The group also goes by the name She Runs This Town, after attracting daughters and nonmothers. “It’s become our ‘us’ time,” she says.

Running might especially benefit the mental health of women, who suffer from more depression than men do. Studies have shown that both aerobic exercise and sunlight can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression.

Ashley Lauretta, a 29-year-old freelance journalist in Austin, Texas, says she started running after a college counselor suggested it could help her anxiety disorder by helping her control her breathing. It did.

“I like how uncomplicated it is compared to other sports,” she wrote in an email. “You just need the right pair of shoes and you can get out and go.”

5-Ingredient Smoothie

by Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS II

A smoothie is a quick way to get some calories in when short on time! I encourage my clients to consume a maximum of one protein shake per day and focus the rest of the day on getting protein from food sources. And by no means is a daily protein shake a requirement for endurance athletes.

When building a smoothie, be sure to have all macronutrients represented – a carbohydrate, a fat and a protein. This will help to keep blood sugar stable as well as energy levels. Here is one of my favorites:

  • 1 scoop whey or vegetarian protein powder (protein)
  • 1 banana (carbohydrate)
  • ½ avocado (fat)
  • 2 T chia seeds (fat)
  • 1-cup fresh spinach

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS Level II is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances including three IRONMAN races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

7 Ways to Eat More Mindfully

by Heidi Wachter

Strategies for learning how to eat with awareness.

Each of us makes more than 200 daily decisions about eating most of them unconsciously, according to behavior scientist Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating and Slim By Design. Clueing in to these decisions can help make them work for you rather than against you. Increase your mindfulness factor with these strategies:

Snack wisely before shopping. Grab an apple or some veggies before grocery shopping. Wansink found that healthy noshing primes you to buy healthy: Study participants bought 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who didn’t eat such a snack beforehand.

Don’t supersize it. Keep smaller dishes — like appetizer plates and juice glasses — front and center in your cupboard. Researchers discovered that diners at a Chinese buffet piled 52 percent more food onto large plates and ate 45 percent more than those who used smaller ones.

Make healthy food visible. Wansink’s research found that people who wrapped healthy leftovers in plastic wrap were more likely to see them and eat them than those who used foil. On the flip side, people ate 2.2 more pieces of candy a day out of a clear bowl than an opaque one.

Keep a clean kitchen. In a Cornell study, people ate 44 percent more snacks in a cluttered kitchen than they did in a clean one. “If your environment is out of control, you may feel that you don’t need to be in control of your eating either,” says Wansink.

Put food away. Researchers discovered that women who kept a box of cereal on the counter weighed 20 pounds more, on average, than those who put it in the cupboard. Keeping food out of immediate sight and reach helps reduce temptation triggers.

Plate it up. Even if you just want a snack, put it on a plate: Plating food increases your awareness of portion size. “Dishing out a ration makes you see exactly how much you are eating,” Wansink explains.

Minimize distraction. People who dine while watching TV, reading, or working have a harder time keeping track of what they consume — and routinely eat more.

Distracted eating is a problem for two reasons: “First, you don’t pay attention to whether you’ve had 14 or 40 potato chips,” Wansink says. “Secondly, you often won’t stop eating until the end of the show, regardless of whether you’re full or not.”

Such eating patterns become mutually reinforcing, meaning it becomes hard to watch TV without eating, he explains.

Heidi Wachter is the staff writer at Experience Life. This article originally appeared in Experience Life, the no gimmicks no-hype health and fitness magazine. Learn more at ExperienceLife.com

Get the Best Bang for Your Buck: What to Look for in a Sport Nutrition Product

By Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, METS Level II

Sport nutrition products are a multi-billion dollar industry. As the popularity of endurance racing events continue to grow, the marketplace has become saturated with these foods. You have your choice of gels, chews, bars, powders, pills and smoothies. How in the world do you determine the best fuel source for you?

I teach my clients to incorporate clean eating strategies into their everyday lives as well as during training and racing. After all, don’t training fueling and everyday fueling become synonymous for most of us? Clean eating means searching out foods that provide the best nutritional value and are minimally processed, leaving nutrients intact. This also means being selective about packaged products when they are consumed. Do you know and understand what every ingredient is in that item? You should.

Based on these fueling strategies, here are the important questions to ask on your quest for the best sport nutrition products:

WHEN DO YOU USE IT?
There are pre-workout, during-workout and post-workout sport fuels. What are you looking for? I typically reserve sport product use for “during” only and urge clients to eat real food pre- and post-workout. Protein shakes have become a staple in many athletes’ diets, which is ok if they are limited to one per day and are a quality whey or vegetarian protein source (i.e., no weird ingredients/additives). The same concept applies to bars – stick with a maximum of one per day and ensure you are comfortable with the ingredient list.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT ON BLOOD SUGAR?
Most sport products are comprised of quickly digesting sugars that inherently raise blood sugar, especially when used outside of training. You don’t want your blood sugar to be yo-yoing all over the place – it does nothing to help your energy levels, body composition, performance or general health. There are products emerging designed to stabilize blood sugar and provide a more consistent, gradual release of energy over time.

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS?
You can gather from my comments above that ingredients are hugely important to me. They should be to you too. So many of our food choices offer a laundry list of questionable ingredients and it’s time we stop accepting this as the norm. When looking at sport nutrition products, it’s important to determine where the sugar source is coming from. Is the sugar source something natural like a puree extracted from fruit? Or something manufactured in a lab? The more natural option will be gentler on your stomach, and will taste much better to boot.

IS IT NON-GMO/ORGANIC?
Although these features may drive the price up a bit, they are nice to have. Non-GMO is essential. Genetically modified products have no place in a clean-eating diet. Organic items are also important, especially when considering products with fruit, nuts and grains included.

The times are a-changing when it comes to sport nutrition products. A new wave of more natural, non-GMO, organic, blood sugar stable products are on their way in, which is great news for endurance athletes. But please do use real food when the opportunity is there, even in favor of a more natural sport product. And contact me if you’d like help getting your fuel plan dialed in.

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, METS Level II is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances including 3 Ironman races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. Brooke and her husband, John, own Destination Kona Triathlon Store in south Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

Summer Fueling: How and What to Eat for a Successful Race Season

By Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS  

I live in Arizona, where summer heat takes on a whole new meaning. But even when the temps approach scorching, triathletes continue to hit the pavement and the (bath-water warm) pool to crank out those workouts. The show must go on, and so must proper fueling.

For many athletes training in warm climates, appetite tends to drop off as the thermometer readings climb. It’s important to keep this in mind during summer months and make any adjustments necessary to keep intake where it needs to be and those hot workouts well fueled.

Here are some tips for adjusting your fueling strategy for summer:

FUEL UP ON SEASONAL FOODS
Produce comes to mind whenever seasonal foods are mentioned, and that’s perfect because fruits and vegetables are the two best carbohydrate options in an athlete’s diet. Summer is a great time to take advantage of the wide variety of produce that graces your supermarket’s shelves. This time of year is also the perfect time to visit your local farmer’s market to support locally grown food from farmers in the area. Besides the healthy carbohydrate component, fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins and minerals (think antioxidants) that you just can’t get from other foods. They are versatile, too – cut up a bunch of fruit varieties for a fruit salad, roast vegetables for a veggie-and-egg casserole, or throw both into a huge green salad that is light on the stomach, but packs a nutritional punch. 

INCORPORATE LIGHTER FOOD OPTIONS
Each season boasts its own comfort meals, like a big bowl of chili in the fall with a football game on the television. Summer is more centered on light, fresh foods that fill you up, but don’t weigh you down. Instead of that chili and cornbread duo, try a flaky grilled fish like halibut with some roasted green beans and a mixed greens salad topped with avocado and mango. And remember to eat balanced no matter what season it is – carbohydrate + fat + protein at all meals and snacks. Becoming too reliant on carbohydrates throws blood sugar levels out of whack and negatively impacts your health, weight and training.

TIME RECOVERY FUELING RIGHT
Coming back from a long, hot outdoor workout can be an exhausting and possibly nauseating event in itself. Then, picture yourself consuming a large meal post-workout and you may be ready to toss your cookies. Don’t stress about getting those calories replaced. Keep in mind that you really only need to replace 20% of the total calories burned during exercise, and that this can be accomplished slowly (over time) for the next several hours post-exercise. After long workouts, do attempt to get at least a snack back in within an hour of exercise conclusion. This snack can be anything from a Greek yogurt with fruit to a protein smoothie with fruit and coconut oil. Again, balance is key. Don’t feel the need to gorge yourself the minute you walk in the door, especially if you are feeling nauseous from the elevated temps.

FOCUS ON ONE TIME OF DAY FOR YOUR LARGER MEAL
It’s ok to pick the time of day when you are most hungry and to make that meal a little larger. Or to break meals down into smaller snack-size portions in order to meet calorie requirements. Sometimes a large, heavy meal is too overwhelming to the system no matter what season it is. If you wake up ravenous in the mornings, make that meal a little more substantial followed by a lighter lunch and dinner. Same with feeling hungrier at lunch or dinner. Make adjustments according to what your body is telling you. If your evening meal is your heaviest, make sure to eat early enough that the food has time to settle and begin digestion before laying down for bed.

In the summer months, athletes are more active than ever. Stay on track with your healthy fuel plan by incorporating the above suggestions into your diet. The combination of great fueling and exercise is unstoppable when it comes to you meeting your goals. Make this summer season your most productive yet!

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS Level II is a sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances including three IRONMAN races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. Brooke and her husband, John, own Destination Kona Triathlon Store in south Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

Inside an Energy Bar

By Margret Aldrich 

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Experience Life magazine.

They promise power, performance and enhanced recovery, but many energy bars are little more than candy bars by another name. The worst are full of sugar, refined flours, artificial ingredients, and hydrogenated fats, making them a poor choice for most health-motivated types.

A little label know-how can help you pick a better bar, one that will help amplify (not sap) your energy. Here’s what to watch for in a few key categories.

FATS
Energy comes from three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Fats are the most concentrated source of energy. Healthy fats not only help us feel satiated, they also help balance blood sugar and prevent energy dips. Look for bars containing fats from whole foods such as almonds, sesame seeds, coconut, and flax rather than hydrogenated oils (trans fats), or industrial vegetable oils, like corn and soy, which have less desirable nutrition profiles.

PROTEIN
This vital nutrient helps build muscle, stoke metabolism and support tissue repair. But some so-called protein bars contain just 15 grams of protein (and a far greater quantity of sugary carbs), while others have up to 30. Higher protein generally means a lower glycemic index and more gradual energy delivery.

The amount of protein you need depends on your activity level and goals: The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that adults aiming to build muscle and strength eat 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound of body weight daily (90 to 135 grams of protein for a 150-pound person).

The most common energy-bar protein sources are derived from soy and dairy, but others include nuts or nut butters, and several brands are now including unexpected ingredients like grassfed beef, bison and lamb — and even insect-flour protein.

CARBOHYDRATES
Carbs (including sugars and fiber, described below) often get a bad rap, but they’re the body’s main source of fuel. In choosing an energy bar, keep in mind that more carbs generally equate with more quick-access (but shorter-lasting) energy — and with a higher glycemic index. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association shows that athletes looking for a quick boost should reach for an energy bar (with a minimum of 40 percent of calories coming from carbs), while endurance athletes would be wise to keep blood-sugar levels stable with a lower-carb protein bar (ideally one with less than 40 percent of calories coming from carbs). There are no official guidelines that separate an energy bar from a protein bar, though, so be sure to read the ingredients and the nutrition label.

SUGAR
With energy bars increasingly engineered to taste like desserts, it’s no surprise many are loaded with processed sugar. Some have a whopping 25 grams — more than many candy bars. Unless you are preparing to burn a lot of energy fast, steer clear of the blood-sugar spike-and-crash problem by choosing bars with less than 10 grams of sugar. Avoid artificial and highly refined sweeteners (including high-fructose corn syrup); look for natural sweeteners like dates, honey and pure maple syrup instead.

FIBER
Fiber facilitates healthy digestion and detoxification, supports cardiovascular health and curbs cravings. Fiber also helps reduce glycemic load and moderate energy delivery. The amount in energy bars varies wildly, from 1 to 14 grams (the latter of which is as much as two servings of broccoli). Aim for more, when possible, ideally from sources like fruit, chia and flaxseeds, and chicory root.

2016 Michelob ULTRA Queens 13.1 Registration Blitz Now Open!

Join us on Saturday, March 19 for the 2016 Michelob ULTRA Queens 13.1! The registration blitz is open until March 31 at 11:59 p.m. Don’t wait, register today to get the best price!

Blitz pricing
Monday, March 23 – 50% off
Tuesday, March 24 – 45% off
Wednesday, March 25 – Sunday, March 31 – 40% off

> REGISTER NOW

2015 Mich ULTRA Queens 13.1 Athlete Guide Now Available

We proudly present the 2015 Mich ULTRA Queens 13.1, taking place Saturday, March 21 at beautiful Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Check out the 2015 Athlete Guides for detailed schedules, course information and more.

> View the 2015 Athlete Guide

We’ll see you at the start line!