Does the food we eat alter our performance in competition? What are the winning recipes that will bring athletic success?
To conclude the first chapter of our Sports & Technology series, we examine how we fuel our bodies to be at the top of our game. Powerade was the official drink of the 2012 Olympics in London. And Kellogg's advertised the benefits of the breakfast all over NBC during the games. Clearly, food and beverage corporations are eager to convince us that their products will improve how we perform on the pitch or on the track.
But are sports drinks really better for you than water? What impact do the meals we eat before a competition have on our results? Should we consume protein shakes after a workout to build muscle?
Researchers and athletes alike are taking a hard look at nutrition to separate the substance from the hype in fueling for optimum performance. Join us at swissnex San Francisco to discuss these issues with our panel of experts, including Keith Baar, assistant professor of neurobiology, physiology, and behavior at the UC Davis School of Medicine, Stacy Sims, PhD in exercise physiology and nutrition sciences and Chief Research Officer at OsmoNutrition, Nanna Meyer, professor at the University of Colorado and director of the Sport Nutrition Graduate Program and Christian Belz, marathoner and Swiss record-holder in the 10,000 meters.
Keith Baar is the head of the Functional Molecular Biology Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. His research is focused on exercise metabolism and sports nutrition, in addition to other topics. He has authored more than 70 original, peer-reviewed research and review articles. He also received the Pfizer Human Physiology Prize Lecture from the Physiological Society of London and a fellowship from the Hellman Family Foundation. Baar holds a doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois.
Christian Belz is the head of sales at Nestle PowerBar for Switzerland and the Netherlands. He retired in 2010 from a successful 12-year career in track and field. A two-time semi-finalist at the Olympic Games (2000, 2004), three-time finalist at the Track & Field World Championships, All-American Cross-Country member and holder of multiple Swiss national records, Christan Belz is an accomplished international athlete. He earned a bachelor's degree in international law from the University of Washington in Seattle, an executive MBA from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland, and an MBA (lic.rer.pol.) from the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Nanna Meyer is a native of Switzerland and former member of the Swiss Alpine Ski Team. She is currently a professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is the director of the Sport Nutrition Graduate Program. Her research interests center on bone health as it relates to sport, exercise, and nutrition. Meyer is also dedicated to applied research that refines the efficacy of sport nutrition services provided to athletes. She has worked for the Swiss Ski Team, The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) in Salt Lake City, Utah, and several teams, including the US Speed Skating team. She is currently a senior sports dietitian with the United States Olympic Committee, overseeing sports nutrition operations.
Stacy Sims is the chief research officer at OsmoNutrition, a company she cofounded. Prior to OsmoNutrition, she worked as a research environmental exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist at Stanford University, specializing in recovery and nutritional adaptations for health, body composition, and maximizing performance. In the past decade, Stacy has worked as an environmental physiologist and nutrition specialist for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team and Flying Lizard Motorsports, among other professional and amateur teams. Stacy earned a doctorate from University of Otago and was a postdoctoral research fellow in cardiovascular disease prevention, thermoregulation, and women's health at Stanford University. Stacy raced crew as an undergraduate at Purdue University, competed in Ironman triathlons in her twenties, and is currently a Category 1 road cyclist and elite XTerra triathlete.
Helmut Traitler has a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Vienna, Austria. In 1981 he joined Nestlé Research and has served the company in various roles. In his extensive 29-year career with Nestlé, Helmut Traitler created and managed multiple departments, including the Technology Transfer Team in Lausanne, Switzerland, Global Confectionery Research & Development in York, UK, and the Corporate Packaging Team in Glendale, California. Between October 2006 and April 2010, Helmut Traitler was the vice president of innovation partnerships at Nestec Ltd., working from Glendale, California, and Vevey, Switzerland. Since August 2010, he has been working for his own company, "Life2Years, Inc.," which makes healthy beverages for people age 50 and older. He also acts as Industrial Partnership Connector for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and Senior Innovation Connector for swissnex San Francisco.
Keith Baar, head of the UC Davis Functional Molecular
Biology Laboratory, says that research shows taking in protein immediately after working out increases the amount of muscle gain. Baar further asserts that chocolate milk is a good protein delivery drink.