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.


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.


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 -

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!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Hamstring Injuries: Look to Exercise and Manual Therapy for the Fix

In professional sports, athletes rely on their on- and off-season training to develop and enhance current sports specific movements that further prepares their bodies for maximized sports performance. Unfortunately, many athletes encounter injuries which impedes their growth and performance, and ultimately reduces playing time.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports globally. Very few sports are played across very large fields, with long playing times, and infrequent rest periods, which makes soccer a challenge for sports performance training. It is not uncommon to see athletes succumb to injuries throughout the season. Coaches rely on athletic training to allow their players to mitigate injury and perform at the best of their ability. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you train, sometimes the demand of the sport can be too much on your body, or an unforeseen play can lead to an injury.
Running injuries remain a hot topic in sports medicine, especially among soccer athletes. The hamstring muscles are one of the most common sites to be injured among soccer athletes. This group of muscles is comprised of the biceps femoris (BF), semitendinosus (ST) and semimembranosus (SB), and are commonly injured following explosive movements or kicking activities which puts biomechanical stresses along muscle-tendon units while in the frontal plane[i]. Research has shown us that when these three muscle bellies (BF, SMT, SMB) are not capable of engaging synergistically to provide adequate contractions, this causes the muscles to fatigue prematurely, ultimately resulting in injury[ii]. Research has also shown us that the cause of initial injury can be due to metabolic changes after the eccentric phase (unloading, kick follow through) which is found more often in the BF as a result of reduced activation of the ST, with recurring injuries due to poor endurance training. Unfortunately, it is difficult to isolate the training of these muscles bellies to unify neuromuscular recruitment, but strength endurance training can help prevent any neuromuscular inhibition of the group which can further help prevent injury. Keeping all this in mind, it is not at a surprise that injuries often occur towards the end of a season or end of a match when fatigability settles into the muscles and thus heightens the chance of injury or re-injury.
Looking forward, in attempting to protect the hamstring against structural or functional damage, the soccer athlete should seek out effective training that involves plyometrics and heavy eccentric loading in the distal ranges of motion. An exercise to consider which has been shown to help with these training goals is prone leg curls until exhaustion[iii]. A recent study recommended an 8 week in-season plyometric training program that included various drills for 20-25 minutes, twice per week. Plyometric drills included multiple jumps (ankle hop, vertical and lateral hurdle jump), horizontal and lateral bounding, skipping, and footwork (speed ladder). Each plyometric session was composed of 4 different exercises and 2 to 4 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions[iv].
Keeping in mind with injury prevention and training, clinical rehabilitation is very important to consider such as the use of acupuncture which helps disrupt taut bands of muscle that often would otherwise contribute to biomechanical dysfunction, fatigue, and imbalanced muscle tone[v]. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce referral pain, improve range of motion and decrease trigger point irritability. Moreover, the use of spinal manipulative therapy, muscle release therapy techniques are also helpful in improving range of motion deficits and other biomechanical areas subject to stress such as the hips and mid and lower back. Together, these conservative therapies in combination with an eccentric and endurance exercise program are helpful in mitigating hamstring injuries among soccer athletes, and can be implemented across many other athletic disciplines.
Dr. Nourus Yacoub, DC
Medical Acupuncture Provider
Dr. Yacoub is a Chiropractor and Medical Acupuncture provider with The Sports Clinic at UTM -, and is the medical trainer for the University of Toronto Mississauga Varsity Eagles. He currently owns and operates The Royal Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic and manages a health blog that can be found at
[i] Opar D, Williams MD, Shield AJ. Hamstring injuries: factors that lead to injury and re-injury. Sports Med. 2012;42:209-226
[ii] Schuermans J, Van Tiggelen D, Danneels L, et al. Biceps femoris and semitendinosus: team mates of competitors? New insights into hamstring injury mechanisms in male football players: a muscle functional MRI study. Br J Sports Med. 2014; 48:1599-1606.
[iii] Schuermans J, Van Tiggelen D, Danneels L and Witvrouw E. Resonance Imaging Susceptibility to Hamstring Injuries in Soccer: A Prospective Study Using Muscle Functional Magnetic. Am J Sports Med. 2016; 20-31.
[iv] Meyland C and Malatesta D. 2009. Effects of in-season plyometric training within soccer practice on explosive actions of young players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 23(9) 2605–2613
[v] DeWitt J and Vidale T. 2014. Recurrent hamstring injury: consideration following operative and non-operative management. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 9(6) 798-812.