Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Heather, would smoking pot help with my concussion?”

I’ve been asked this little gem of a question several times in the past year. With the high number of concussions I see each year, combined with the prevalence of marijuana in the news lately, I’m not surprised quite frankly. Cannibis and concussion …. The debate continues. Does it help? Does it harm?


Well, there isn’t a lot of research performed in this area. BUT, looking at several research papers and having experience with patients who have tried putting toxins in their bodies while still compromised, in my opinion the conclusion is, smoking pot (and drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes) is a bad idea.

“Why would someone want to smoke pot while concussed?” you ask? There are several reasons that I have come across. Sleep regulation is the first reason. Often with concussion, a patient’s circadian rhythm is affected, especially if they resort to napping during the day when they can’t sleep at night. Patients in turn, don’t receive the restorative sleep that they need and think that smoking marijuana will give them that relaxing effect and allow them to sleep. The second reason is appetite control. Appetite can be negatively affected after a concussion and often patients resort to different means to increase their desire for food ie. marijuana.

Whatever reason you have for smoking cannabis, research has shown that whatever “positive” effect you think you’re getting, you’re not. Putting a toxin into your body when your system is already compromised is never a good idea. Research has shown that alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana users had far greater length of recovery time. There are far better treatment options and each of them is different depending on the patient. Simply put, there is no “cure-all”. Concussion is complicated enough without adding something that will significantly impact the result.

Heather Marchment, The Sports Clinic

Monday, 20 June 2016

Dr. Julia Alleyne - "Most Influential Women 2015"

The Toronto Pan Am & Parapan Am Games held in 2015 were the first Pan American Games to select a woman as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Julia Alleyne. Julia works at Toronto Rehab and the University of Toronto and is a highly valued member of the team at The Sports Clinic at UTM.

For her highly successful contribution to the Pan Am Games, Julia was recently recognized nationally as one of the "Most Influential Women 2015" by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

Dr. Alleyne with Pachi - the Pan Am / Parapan Am Mascot

It was her vision, inspiration, and guidance that provided over 2,000 medical and anti-doping professionals with an incredible opportunity to volunteer their services to athletes, coaches, officials, spectators and workforce.

Thanks to Julia for her work at the Pan Ams and congratulations on being selected for this prestigious award.

Your First Appointment with a Sports Dietitian


Sports Dietitians are Registered Dietitians that have received additional training and have specialized in sports and physical activity.  The body processes and uses the nutrition you get from your food and supplements differently when your body is physically active. Knowing this, here’s a list of things that you need to prepare before your first assessment with a Sports Dietitian:

Basic Info

The Basic Info includes your age, height, weight (Measured first thing in the morning after you pee), food allergies, intolerances, religious or cultural practices involving food, past medical history and any medications, including birth control for women.  I also like to benchmark clothing size, even if it is measured by how you fit into a specific outfit, to provide a baseline comparison of future development.

Supplements

Athletes usually take many supplements to help them improve their performance, this includes protein powders, protein bars, multivitamins and even herbal supplements.  Bring a list of supplements you take.  Your Sports Dietitian can help ensure you are taking the right supplements and avoiding potential harmful (or banned) substances.

Workout Schedule

Providing your training schedule will help the Sports Dietitian best time your meal intakes to fuel your training sessions and to better help you recover from your workout or training session.  It’s also helpful to know the purpose of the training session.  For example, a hockey player may have a training session focusing on stick handling or speed skating; these are very different training goals and have to be fed differently.  For a runner, targeting hills training, tempo run or speed run would also help the Sports Dietitian know how to identify the right fuel. Knowing the Perceived Rate of Exertion also helps the Sports Dietitian make better recommendations.

Sport History

It’s important to know how long you’ve been active in your sport.  Athletes develop muscle maturity, which can impact how effectively your body uses nutrients and calories.  The longer you’ve been active in your sport, the more efficient your muscles may become at using calories, which impacts the food targets set by your Sports Dietitian.

It’s also important to bring long-term data of your performance to see trends and patterns in your competitive results.  The Sports Dietitian will work together with you to get your body ready for competitions by trying different nutrition strategies at different times to see what works best for you.

Past Injury

Many athletes have experienced some form of injury at some point in their career, it’s important to share this with your Dietitian.  The type of injury can indicate different nutritional issues that need to be addressed.  For example, many runners tend to get shin splints, cramps and knee or lower back injury.  These can all tell very different stories as to what the athlete needs in their diet to prevent these injuries from re-occurring.

Athletic Season

Sports Nutrition needs to match your athletic season.  A Triathlete training for their first Ironman race will need different nutritional recommendations at different points of their training schedule to get in the best possible shape possible for race day.  For Physique competitors and Body Builders, nutritional goals in the bulk phase are extremely different than in the cut phase.  Furthermore, make sure you let your Sports Dietitian know if you’re in your competitive season or if you’re in the off-season.


Summary

There’s a lot of information that a Sports Dietitian needs in order to help you reach your maximum potential in your sport.  Giving more information could mean the difference between First and Second place, or in attaining a new personal best.  Remember, everyone is different and so are their needs.  The more information you bring the better your Sports Dietitian will understand your unique nutritional needs.

Perhaps the most effective time to see a Sports Dietitian is in your off season as it’s very likely that they will need to get in touch with your coach to see what their goals are for you for the upcoming season and believe it or not, the off season is the best time to reach those goals in order to ensure you have the best competitive season possible.


Benjamin Sit, RD, Sports Dietitian.
The Sports Clinic - www.sportsclinic.ca

Monday, 13 June 2016

Healthy Recipes - Check Out Ben Sit's June Recipe

Ben's recipe this month is The High Protein Iced Capp.  Just in time for summer.


Check it out, along with Ben's other healthy recipes on the Sports Clinic Website by clicking here.

Cool down!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Welcome Dr. John Haverstock, MD, FRCSC

Dr. John Haverstock, MD, FRCSC, is an orthopaedic surgeon with fellowship training in upper extremity surgery.  Based at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, he specializes in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the shoulder, elbow and wrist.

John is a graduate of Dalhousie University, where he studied Kinesiology and Medicine.   After a surgical residency at the University of Western Ontario, he trained at the Roth McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre in London, Ontario.

He will be consulting at our Winston Park location once a month starting Monday, June 27 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

The Sports Clinic is very pleased to have Dr. Haverstock on the team!







Monday, 9 May 2016

2016 Summer Olympics - Perspective from Alan Nolet

The Summer Olympic Games in Rio are only 3 months away.  Our Canadian athletes are training harder than ever, making sure to take great care of their finely tuned bodies!

Aches and pains are treated quickly as an important step to prevent minor injuries from becoming chronic.  Athletes also strive to prevent injury using a combination of nutrition, massage, physiotherapy and rest on a weekly and daily basis.  I know this because I was fortunate enough to compete for Canada's gymnastics team at three Olympic Games in 1988, 1992 and 1996.  Having been on the National gymnastics team for over 20 years and national champion in 1993, I know what it takes to recover and maintain a healthy body at an elite level.

Alan Training for the 1996 Olympics
Years later, as a Registered Physiotherapist, I see many elite and amateur athletes regularly making two common mistakes.  First, they over-train, and second they neglect minor issues which then turn to more serious injuries, preventing them from reaching peak performance.

Whether you are a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, the experts at The Sports Clinic are here to get you back in the game and keep you at your best!

Contributed by Alan Nolet, B.H.Sc.PT, B.Kin, CAFCI, C/NDT.  Alan practices at The Sports Clinic at UTM and also at Physiotherapy On Wheels.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Healthy Recipes - Check Out Ben Sit's April Recipe

Ben's recipe this month is a Vietnamese Low Carb Lemongrass Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Tofu.  Now that's quite a mouthfull.


Check it out, along with Ben's other healthy recipes on the Sports Clinic Website by clicking here.

Bon appetit!