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Science Overload

by Meghann on November 4, 2011

Alright, where did I leave off?

Oh, yes, the sports and science portion of our day.


Dr. David Nieman is the director of the Human Performance Lab in North Carolina and did a presentation on Immunonutrition Support for Athletes. The whole presentation was very science heavy (and maybe a bit over my head), but all the facts and figure about recovery for athletes were fascinating.


Dr. Nieman has run over 58 marathons in his lifetime and mainly focuses his research efforts on protecting endurance athletes’ immune systems in recovery. He explained that pupils who do roughly 45 minutes of moderate exercise a day have strong immune systems, but when you add the stress of pushing yourself in endurance events (such as running a marathon) you compromise your immune system and increase your odds of becoming ill after each long workout.

His lab has recently discovered (and is currently testing) that quercetin (a flavatoid) boosts athletes’ immune systems when combined with other flavtoids. The results have been pretty spot-on and I was happy to see that quercetin is naturally found in a lot of my favorite foods.


Unfortunately the subjects were tested with over 1000mg of quercetin up to 3 weeks leading up to the main endurance event, since the most common source of quercetin (apples) only has 10mg of quercetin on average, you would need to eat 100 apples a day to achieve the same results. Yikes!

They’re currently testing supplements and drinks with the necessary amount of quercetin, but I still got the message of making sure to load up on as much fruit and veggies leading up to the event to ensure good health in recovery.


A few other interesting facts I picked up?

  • When bananas went head-to-head with gatorade as race fuel in a marathon setting, the results were exactly the same.
  • Additional vitamins added to sports drinks were deemed unnecessary in testing. Dr. Nieman referred to it as ‘expensive urine’
  • They’re testing traits in non-alcoholic beer that have proven to aide in race recovery. They’re calling it ‘Athletic Beer.’ (I’m going to pretend those same traits are found in regular beer too and drink up in the name of health after Savannah 😉 )
  • All the research for race recovery applies to warfighters too and is often funded by the government for that reason.


Again, science overload, but I learned a lot! All of the race recovery stuff was really interesting. 🙂

After our brains were turned to mush over facts and figures, we headed across the street for our buffet lunch.  


Everything on the buffet was made with Dole’s new Mushroom Powder.


The Mushroom Powder is pretty cool because it’s an all natural source of vitamin D (I mean, it’s literally mushroom powder, nothing else) and just one teaspoon added to a meal a day provides all the vitamin D you need for 24 hours. It’s virtually flavorless and can be added to anything and everything (including baked goods).

I loaded my plate up with a little bit of everything and dug in.


Everything was delicious (as I’ve come to expect) and, no, I couldn’t taste the mushroom powder, but I figured if they went though these great lengths to prove it to us, that I wasn’t going to.

I grabbed a soup too, but only had a couple of bites.


Chocolate dipped pineapple for dessert.


A little race recovery knowledge followed by a little food. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Just out of curiosity… what’s your race recovery routine? Do you find you’re often sick following a big race?

1 Natalie @ will jog for food November 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

That is so interesting! I wouldn’t mind trying “Athletic” beer!

Plus I need some of that chocolate covered pineapple 🙂
Natalie @ will jog for food recently posted..Food Fact Friday: Cuban Sandwich

2 Caitlin November 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

I don’t race but I feel nauseous a lot of the time after I do cardio. It’s frustrating because it prevents me from proper re-fueling!
Caitlin recently posted..Comparison Traps and Tennessee Recap: Part Two

3 Diana November 4, 2011 at 11:38 am

Check out FRS for a quercetin ‘supplement.’ It’s backed by Lance Armstrong and other big-name athletes. I really like the pomegranite-blueberry chews. I’m not a big fan of their drinks though, especially the pre-mixed ones.

4 Amanda November 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm

That’s where I first heard about quercetin too. I have tried the Peach-mango concentrate, it’s not bad.
Amanda recently posted..Techmology: what is THAT all about?

5 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 4, 2011 at 11:39 am

Sounds like you’re learning tons! Post-race, I usually don’t find that I get sick. I am careful to recover properly though (rest, nutrition, stretching) so I think that definitely contributes to it. Have a great afternoon!

6 Anne P November 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

It’s been so fun reading these recaps! I had a blast at the Dole Summit last year. I LOVED their cafeteria and the cooking competition was awesome, too. And spa treatments, obvi. Wish I were there again this year with you girls! xo

7 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

That mushroom powder sounds really interesting, I’ll have to be on the lookout for that!
Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Late Nights with Kabocha Squash

8 Britt @ runwithbritt November 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Wow what a great opportunity. I’m a huge science nerd (I’m a Kinesiology major) so I’m so interested in things like that. I went to a presentation by the Huffins Institute last Spring an it was amazing. There is a lot of new research going on with eliminating the free radicals in the body after endurance events. I hope they come back to campus this year to share the results! That mushroom powder looks amazing. Is it already available in stores?

9 Meghann November 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm

It’s not in stores yet, but you can order it online

10 Cait's Plate November 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Mmm chocolate dipped pineapple looks incredible.
Cait’s Plate recently posted..Cute Decorations

11 Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Quercetin is also very good for repairing aging in the skin, it’s starting to pop up facial moisturizers!
Morgan @ Life After Bagels recently posted..Update From The Surgeon

12 Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

bananas taste better. by a lot.

When is the mushroom powder going to be available to the general public?
Cat @Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Drinking While Baking

13 Meghann November 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

They’re working with getting it on shelves, but you can purchase at

14 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I don’t have a good routine set for recovering from a long workout or race. I’m pretty bad about it actually since I’m never hungry. I usually am exhausted the whole rest of the day, but the next day I’m back to normal after a good night’s sleep!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..I am a Superhero.

15 Laura November 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I’m really interested in this mushroom powder business…

Good to know about bananas and gatorade, but I’ll probably stick to the ol’ ‘ade because its much easier to suck down while running 🙂
Laura recently posted..Marine Corps Marathon 2011 Race Recap

16 Monica C. November 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm

After a long run or marathon, I have often felt hungover: dehydrated, somewhat lethargic and needing to “doctor myself” the rest of the day by replacing lost fluids and sodium getting lots of rest!

17 Kiran @ November 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I’ve been oohhing and aaahhhiiing over the foods during this summit – have fun!
Kiran @ recently posted..Pumpkin yogurt soup w/ grilled marinated shrimps

18 Heather November 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Ha, that’s cool info about the beer!
Heather recently posted..Foodie Friday–Runner’s World Muffins

19 Sheila Dereba November 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I believe in conditioning the mind to create a fit body. I am glad I am able to stick to my health routine because I have conditioned my mind into it. 🙂

20 Hope November 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

That mushroom powder sounds really interesting. I love chocolate with pineapple. It’s such a good treat 🙂
Hope recently posted..A Splash Of Purple…

21 Hillary November 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm

How do I recover? I eat! Haha. I try to eat a balance of protein and carbs, and I definitely load up on bananas for potassium.
Hillary recently posted..Stress Relief

22 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I LOVE science like this! <—nerd alert 🙂

I've never been sick after a big race, so we'll see if that ever happens, knock on wood!!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..My Running Story

23 Army Amy* November 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I have yet to get sick following a race, but I honestly haven’t given too much thought to post-race recovery. it’s definitely something I should think about!*
Army Amy* recently posted..Loves

24 Lori November 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Is the mushroom powder already on store shelves? What section would they put that in? Spices? I really want to find it!

25 Meghann November 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I think it will be in the supplement section, but it’s not in store yet. You can only purchase it online at

26 Lori November 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thanks! I am trying to purchase it but their site is not loading any of my information… Will try again tomorrow. Thanks for all the info on the products!

27 Bonnie November 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I don’t get sick often, but before the 2007 NYC marathon I had a slight cold, that turned into a MAJOR voice losing, cough-filled horrible cold literally a few hours after I finished the marathon and continued for the next three days!

28 Sophie @ threetimesf November 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Mmmm that choc dipped pineapple looks great!

29 Mary Claire December 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm

The pictures made me crave for what you just had. I so love the food pictures, maybe I should start taking snaps of my food before I eat them up. Healthy and very yummy. Just the way I like it.

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