ISSN 2017 Conference Notes Day 1

I had the opportunity to go the international society of sports nutrition (ISSN) national conference in Phoenix Arizona in mid-June. It was a great conference where I learned a lot and had fun. Meanwhile Phoenix had high temperatures of 118 while I was there, which was brutal to walk around in. Below are the notes that I took on each day of the conference. As usual my note taking often has pieces of information and rarely comes in paragraph form. *post script, due to the length of this I’m breaking this up in to three different posts due to the length of it.*

Day 1

Fenugreek helps with glucose control but not so great with testosterone enhancement.

There are a number of factors that ad up together to give athletic performance: (upper left reads “genetic endowment”)

athlete stuff ISSN.jpg

Vanheest – Down the Rabbit Hole presentation

There is partitioning of metabolic fuels (split between carbs and fats broken down for energy).

Interesting point of the expendable functions of the body: reproduction and fat storage

Reducible functions: thermoregulation, growth, and movement

Essential functions: cell maintenance, circulation, and brain function

In the animal model, when gerbils are calorie restricted they don’t ovulate.

The female athlete triad was identified in 1992, position stand was made in 1997, the female athlete triad is a spectrum that can lead to osteoporosis, amenorrhea, and perhaps an eating disorder.

RED-S – Relative energy deficiency in sport. This effects performance by decreasing coordination, and health by decreasing immune function. There is a link between performance and food intake.

The macroeconomic view of energy balance (how does this work over the long term).

hormone flow chart ISSN.jpg

Free living athlete study designs are muddy

In female athletes ovarian suppressed women had a significantly lower energy balance and a suppressed IGF-1 and T3. They in turn had a significant decrease in performance, and taper in the female swimmers had no effect to recover performance. The rate of performance improvement linked to energy status.

Amenorrheic haven’t had a cycle in the past three months, oligorrhea is not having one in the past 30-90 days. Bigger caloric deficits linked with menstrual issues especially when over 400 calorie deficit per day. T3 hormone changes related to change in performance with a strong positive relationship.

The stopping of hard training recovers the cycle in female athletes, but the resuming of hard training makes it go away again. Backloading calories (all at the end of the day) in athletes has been related to a decline in performance.

The same negative hormonal adaptations occur in male swimmers when they go through intensified training cycles.

Nutrition in elite athletes is not as great as you would guess especially in the collegiate level and younger.

State of the Female Fitness Industry – Kleiner

Title 9 has led to a 10x increase in female participation but the amount of money in female sports is much lower than male sports (specifically football).

Collegiate athletics for women on average is not very diverse outside of basketball and another sport that I didn’t write down in time, maybe soccer. There are still some issues with religious practices in sports (hijab). Most female collegiate athletes are coached by men. Very little research in sport involves women, performance and injury data from females is under represented. Need to follow the cycles for women for research.

Marketing preys on women and doesn’t have great information. More research must be done so real facts can be presented.

One tennis player was quoted “I would rather lose to Serena (Williams) than have her body” – Woof.

There is a frequent issue with under fueling, hydrating, and vitamin D intake in female athletes. Some differences between the sexes are: pre fueling – women use more fat oxidation. Their energy needs do increase during pre-menstruation, tend to be less sensitive to carbs, need more powerlifting for aerobic performance, need physical activity for pelvic floor health, early physical activity is health protective, but you need to be aware of the increased risk of under fueling.

Some points of concern: drive for protection an issue, lack of female data, over training and over reaching.

Negative trends – women uncomfortable in the gym, put fitness last, too much focus on aesthetics in the media for women.

There are some difference in training the genders, aim to focus more on individual accomplishments and the joy of movement with women.

There is a female athlete conference in June of 2018, I should look in to it.

FITR women App for research

Recently the US women’s soccer team sued to be paid the same as the men’s US soccer team.

In the military a study of female cadets were given iron supplements and that group shaved 2 minutes off their two mile time by the end of the study compared to controls.

Be wary of using the ketogenic and low carb diet, this can work, but not necessarily works well for everyone.

The concept of “train less and eat more” is something distance and competitive athletes need to ponder as a means to optimize both health and performance.

The Minnesota starvation diet study – subjects lost 25% of their body mass, had symptoms of depression, preoccupation with food, hysteria, decreased libido and brain function, had social withdrawal.

Food is fuel, exercise is not punishment

If doing a thyroid check you need more than your TSH ran, get your T4 and T3 ran so you really see how you are functioning.

Suffering is not a badge of honor.

Teaching women to train, start something like this on campus.

“Eat less, move more” is not a panacea

Work on a friendship with food,

You can’t outsmart your physiology

Beware of social media – lots of mistakes here

In athletes – certain diet patterns might need supplementation (vegetarian, vegan) to get all of their needs met.

Know there is a difference between normal blood values and optimal values

Compete and be healthy – not treating this like they are mutually exclusive (in sports)

Compare food logs (5-7 days) with their activity. For some athletes just start with a recovery stage of nutrition.

Post pregnancy training – liability is the major issue here not the training itself. Be aware of the caloric needs of pregnancy and nursing (higher during nursing than pregnancy).

Peg creatine might be a better choice for you since you have to take less of it each day, but what you save in time might increase in cost. Also try and space your creatine intake to be away from the time you are training.

Beta glycan supplementation might help with inflammation


The big take home points from this day were about working with female athletes. Make sure that you are appropriately monitoring them and that you are not causing negative relationships with food. If athletes are not taking in enough calories this can show with changes in the monthly cycle of the athletes. More research must be conducted with women and focus on positive relationships with diet and exercise.


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