Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Team Physician Development Course
April 24, 2013 1 Comment
The Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) begins its annual meeting in beautiful Whistler, B.C. tomorrow. Events have already begun, with the pre-conference Team Physician Development Course, and my good friend and fellow sports medicine colleague, Kate Wiley, M.D. from Calgary has been in attendance. She provides us with a guest blog entry from Day 1 of the Team Physician course. Thanks Kate!
Day 1- Team Physician Development Course, Guest Blog, Kate Wiley, M.D.
The sun is going down here in beautiful Whistler BC where I am attending the annual Canadian
Academy of Sports Medicine Meeting. What a gorgeous place to have a sportsmedicine
conference – awe inspiring mountains, alluring wilderness and a playground for the active
I have returned from a run along the trails of Lost Lake, and I have been able to reflect upon the day’s lectures. I am lucky to have some extra time in the day to get in some personal training for the summer’s upcoming triathlon series. Despite being a “mature” athlete, a “master”, I am always looking to learn how to be more competitive. I listen to the lectures with my patients foremost in my mind, but, selfishly, I also think about what I can take for my own use. How can I get a little faster, recover more quickly, stay injury free?
As sportsmedicine physicians our mandate is to keep the active active so we teach our patients about injury prevention, rehabilitation and sports nutrition. I was especially excited to hear an engaging talk today about sports nutrition. I have heard many sports nutritionists talk about the best way to fuel an athlete for optimal performance, but I have been reticent to incorporate these stategies into my own athletic regimen. I have never been convinced that these supplements,sports drinks,and food replacements aids are any better than what I did as a competitive athlete in my youth. Somehow I managed to do quite well as an athlete with a good sensible diet, water when I was thirsty and the old fashioned “pasta meal” before my competitions. I got by well with the banana taped to my bike in triathlons. I drank a little water at a couple of stations during the marathon. I certainly didn’t carry water with me either on training runs or in races. I am always amazed at the amount of water I see some runners carrying on waist belts on a sunday morning. Is a regular water intake really necessary? Do sports drinks/gels really make a difference or are they an enormous marketing ploy. Could I perform better I adopted some of these strategies? How do I give practical advice to my patients who also what a competitive advantage?
So, I was excited to hear our speaker, Dr. Bruce Davidson, the Chief Medical Officer for the 2010 Canadian Parlympic Team and one of the organizing faculty for this Team Physician Development Course, give a talk on sports nutrition. His talk, admittedly somewhat controversial, left us with a few key points that affirmed what I have been doing for years. Firstly, despite various recommendations for a certain amount of fluid per hour for longer events, thirst remains the best measure of when you need to drink. Secondly, carbohydrates during a longer sporting event do help to sustain work, but this could come in the form of a sport drink or a real food like a banana or a fig newton if tolerated. Thirdly, post exercise carbohydrate and protein do improve recovery but not weight loss. Finally, there is good scientific evidence that chocolate milk post exercise is good practice but at the same time some other real food alternative that includes carbohydrate and protein would work equally well.
What I took home from this talk was that what I had been doing for 30 years was sound practice: drink when I am thirsty, eat something with carbohydrate and protein after exercise, and eat or drink what you tolerate during prolonged activity. I think this is a whole lot easier to pass on to my patients than recommending one gel over the other or one sports drink over another.
Once again, Grandma always knows best.
Kate Wiley is a community GP/Sports Medicine physician working at Lifemark Health, Talisman Centre, Calgary, Alberta Canada. She has three active, teenage daughters who are competitive runners and swimmers, and she herself is involved in physical fitness, participating in triathlons, cross-country skiing, and cycling.