MOUTHGUARDS: WHAT'S PROTECTING YOUR SMILE?
Melanie Mason, MS, ATC, LAT, CSCS; Scott Fleagle, ATC, LAT
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Athletic Training Services
As football season quickly approaches, one area of protection that athletes often don't think about is their mouth and teeth. Mouthguards come in a variety of types, styles, and colors. Unfortunately, athletes usually pick the mouth guard that looks the "coolest". In this article, we will discuss the reason for using mouth guards, the different types of mouth guards, and the strengths of each type.
Mouthguards provide a cushion that prevents the teeth from being forced against each other in a violent way. They also provide protection from blows by objects and/or other athletes. Guards help prevent injuries to both the teeth, and the surrounding soft tissues of the mouth. They are required in football, but can also be helpful in other contact sports.
Type 1: Stock mouth guards
These mouthguards are the least expensive type. They are meant to be used right out of the package, with no alterations. Stock mouth guards do provide some protection, but not a lot because they aren't fit to each athlete's teeth.
Type 2: Boil and bite mouthguards
Boil and bites are heated in boiling water to soften the material, then placed into the athlete's mouth to form around the upper teeth. The boil and bite guard is inexpensive, convenient, and easy to mold, and provides better protection than stock mouthguards.
Type 3: Custom mouth guards
Custom mouthguards are the most expensive type, but also provide the most comfort and protection. A dentist creates an exact mold of the athlete's teeth. This mold is then used to create a mouth guard that fits perfectly over the athlete's teeth.
When using any type of mouthguard, always make sure that it hasn't been "chewed down" or cut off. Wear the guards as they are intended to be worn, and follow all instructions for wear and care.
Aaron Bewyer, DPT
UnityPoint Health Des Moines
Volleyball season often brings shoulder injuries to those who play. This article will touch on some of the reasons why these injuries occur, how to treat them, and better yet, how to prevent them.
Volleyball is considered an overhead activity. Serving, spiking, setting, and blocking all involve reaching or swinging the arms, sometimes violently. Injuries can be traumatic or cumulative. Traumatic ones involve a sudden force or impact to the shoulder or arm and include rotator cuff tears, dislocations, subluxations (partial dislocations), and separations.
Cumulative injuries are more common and include diagnoses such as rotator cuff tendonitis, bursitis, or impingement syndrome. These often occur because the shoulder is a very unstable joint that relies on the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and capsule to control the motion. Overloading these tissues by playing for long durations (like at a picnic or while on vacation) can irritate and cause injury -especially if you are not used to these motions. Warming up with similar light activity or basic exercises (such as some jumping jacks) and stretching can help improve your chances of not being the one that gets hurt.
If shoulder soreness or pain persists, icing, stretching, and taking some nonprescription anti-inflammatories may be all you need to recover. However, persistent pain may require a trip to the doctor and possibly physical therapy. In PT, exercises to balance the shoulder strength and flexibility will likely be given. Control is needed to keep structures from getting overloaded or pinched for long term results. (Searching online for basic scapular stabilization and rotator cuff exercises is an option for you overachievers out there.) Proper posture is also needed to put the shoulder in its place to function properly. Modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation may also be utilized.
So whether you are playing volleyball for the first time in years or playing in sand leagues to keep sharp for the fall, give your shoulders a chance by warming up and playing for reasonable times. Enjoy the summer!
Fueling Your Workout
Alison Tedrow, Senior Dietetics Student, Iowa State University
Have you ever heard someone say they like to workout on an empty stomach because then they burn more fat? This is one of the most detrimental workout myths out there. The reality is, working out on an empty stomach breaks down muscle instead of building it and will most likely lead to not having the energy to complete a good workout. This is because the body's preferred source of energy is carbohydrates. When a workout is completed in a fasted state the body will use whatever carbohydrates are left, then protein from muscle degradation, and finally fat. Food is fuel, and just like a car can't run without gas, the body cannot run without food. Therefore, proper nutrition can make the difference between a good workout and a sluggish workout. The keys to successfully fueling a workout are meal or snack composition and timing.
What is eaten immediately before a workout, if anything, is an important item to consider because this is what the body will primarily rely on to get through the workout. It is generally considered best to provide a good source of simple carbohydrates and protein. Why? Because carbohydrates are the body's preferred source of energy and simple carbs will be absorbed quickly. However, during a long workout (2 or more hours) consuming a combination of complex and simple carbs would be best so that the complex carbs can fuel the later part of the workout, due to slower absorption. Protein will promote quick muscle recovery and help to minimize damage. Research has shown that supplements that combine carbohydrates and protein reduce muscle damage and soreness because of the response created by both the myoglobin and the creatine kinase in muscle (1). Supplying a pre-workout meal with carbs and protein can be as simple as making toast with peanut butter, mixing Greek yogurt with berries, grabbing a handful of raisins and almonds, or blending a protein shake. Precisely how much one should eat is going to vary by the intensity, frequency, and duration of the workouts. In addition to eating before a workout it is also important to remember to properly hydrate with plenty of water.
Timing of a pre-workout snack or meal is just as vital as what is eaten. The exact best time to eat before a workout is going to vary from person to person so make sure to experiment a little, but generally between thirty and ninety minutes before a workout is going to be best. Eating too close to a workout will cause the stomach to compete with the working muscles for blood to help digest the food, which can cause stomach cramping and nausea. Eating too far ahead can cause the body to run out of fuel before the workout is complete, causing the body to feel tired and fatigued. Not only does correct timing fuel the workout it also can increase lean body mass and increase muscle strength gains during resistance training (2). Now what about those morning workouts? Those can be tricky, but the best option is to eat some combination of simple carbs and protein immediately after waking up so that by the time the workout has begun the body has had adequate time to process the food. If this does not seem like enough time, a bed time snack the night before could also fuel the workout (3).
While both what is eaten and when it is eaten are important, the trick is putting those together. Meal or snack and timing should vary by how close it is to the workout. For example, if a workout is planned for 4 in the afternoon, consuming a substantial lunch 3 to 4 hours beforehand and then a snack approximately 1 hour before should provide sufficient fuel. A substantial lunch would allow the metabolism to continue supporting the body through the day and should include all of the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. An example of a food containing all of the macronutrients could be a turkey and cheese sandwich with mayo. The pre-workout snack should be modeled as discussed above including simple carbohydrates and protein to provide the fuel needed for the workout. However, if time did not permit for lunch until closer to the workout consuming a lighter lunch may end up being the best option. Adjusting your meals and snacks can be easily achieved as long as proximity to the workout and meal or snack composition is considered.
No matter what your exercise plans may be, make sure to also plan your pre-workout nutrition. With good meal or snack composition and timing you will be providing yourself ample energy to have a successful workout. Just remember, if you can't fuel it you can't move it!
For questions, contact:
Carrie J. Leiran, MS, RD, LD
The Nutrition Centres at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines-Des Moines
Baty, J. et al. The effect of a carbohydrate and protein supplement on resistance exercise performance, hormonal response, and muscle damage. Journal of strength and conditioning research/national strength and conditioning association , 21:321-329, 2007. (1)
Clarke, N. Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Champaign: Human Kinetics, 2008. (3)
Cribb, P. J. and Hayes, A. Effects of Supplement Timing and Resistance Exercise on Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exercise , 38:1918-1925, 2006. (2)
We might want to take some diet advice from our European friends from across "the pond." Research has shown following a Mediterranean-inspired diet (heart-healthy eating pattern based on traditional food and cooking styles) reduces your risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Eatright.org explains what this diet places an emphasis on:
- Plenty of exercise and enjoying meals with others.
- Eating fish or shellfish at least twice a week.
- Eating plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
- Replacing butter with healthy, liquid fats like olive oil.
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
- Small portions of red meat.
- Red wine, in moderation, if appropriate.
Iowa Health - Des Moines to Become the Presenting Sponsor of the Downtown Farmers' Market
DOWNTOWN DES MOINES - The Downtown Community Alliance (DCA) is pleased to announce opening day for the Downtown Farmers' Market is Saturday, May 4, 2013. The DCA is also excited to announce Iowa Health - Des Moines is the new presenting sponsor for 2013 Downtown Farmers' Market season. The Market spans nine city blocks and is held in the Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines, every Saturday morning, rain or shine and even holidays, from May 4 - Oct. 26, 2013.
"Our new presenting sponsor Iowa Health - Des Moines is the perfect partner to help educate our community on living a healthier life. People are taking a step in the right direction by purchasing fresh local food at The Market and Iowa Health - Des Moines will help take it to the next level," says Kelly Foss, Downtown Farmers' Market Director.
Iowa Health - Des Moines plans to offer special programming every Saturday during the season that will focus on living well. Market patrons can expect to interact with Iowa Health - Des Moines staff on all topics from eating healthy, child safety, screenings and weight loss.
"We are proud to be the premier sponsor of the 2013 Downtown Farmer's Market," said Eric Crowell, Iowa Health - Des Moines President and CEO. "This partnership provides us a wonderful opportunity to support our local farmers, to reinforce the health benefits of eating fresh, locally grown foods, and most importantly, it confirms our commitment to the community we serve."
The Downtown Farmers' Market supports producers from 47 counties across Iowa, offering seasonal fresh fruit, vegetables and so much more. The Market also offers specialty and artisan food, provides a variety of local art and entertainment and offers learning opportunities. Foss says, "We are looking forward to sharing even more great news in the near future about additional enhancements to the Downtown Farmers' Market in 2013."
The Downtown Farmers' Market began in 1976 with just 15 vendors and an average of 200 shoppers and operated July - September. Today, The Market has grown to more than 200 vendors and an average of 20,000 visitors each Saturday during May - October. The Market also produces a Wednesday Farmers' Market in the fall and a Winter Farmers' Market in November and December. Last year opening day attracted a record crowd of nearly 40,000 people.
The Downtown Farmers' Market is produced by the Downtown Community Alliance and is presented by Iowa Health - Des Moines. Media partner is Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. In 2012, The Downtown Farmers' Market was named one of America's Best Farmers Markets by Country Living magazine.