Dr. Dana Ryan, director for Sports Performance and Education of Herbalife Nutrition.

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

GIVEN the many health challenges an individual faces nowadays, the need to stay healthy could not be more underscored.

For Dr. Dana Ryan, director for Sports Performance and Education of Herbalife Nutrition, it goes a long way if one incorporates proper sports nutrition in their push to stay healthy.

Dr. Ryan said that staying fit goes beyond working out in the gym on a regular basis and staying active as it also involves feeding the body with the right nutriments.

“Some people think that sports nutrition is some over complicated thing. The reality is sports nutrition is grounded in the same principles as general good healthy nutrition,” said Dr. Ryan, who recently visited the country. “Sports nutrition is really about putting the right nutriments in your body at the right time,” she added.

To further illustrate how proper sports nutrition works, Dr. Ryan shared some helpful tips when exercising, namely, make sure that you have adequate carbohydrates before you exercise, have some electrolytes when you’re exercising for over half an hour or doing an intense workout, and get some good quality protein after you exercise.

Having adequate carbohydrates before exercise, the expert said, ensures that your body has enough “fuel” for the activity.

“We don’t store a lot of carbohydrates but it’s our first source of energy when we’re exercising,” said Dr. Ryan, adding that simple carbohydrates from fruits would be enough.

Electrolytes are also important when exercising to stay hydrated.

“When you sweat when you’re exercising, you lose electrolytes in addition to fluids. Drinking water is sometimes not enough. You need electrolytes to stay hydrated,” the Herbalife official said.

Post-exercise, taking protein is essential to rebuild muscles.

“Have at least 20 grams of protein in combination with some carbohydrates,” Dr. Ryan advised.

Adding, “When you exercise, you break down your muscle fibers. Consuming good protein can help rebuild them and make them stronger.”

Dr. Ryan has worked with members of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Barcelona FC and Liga in Ecuador, football players training for the National Football League Combine and others in support of their nutrition programs.

Sports nutrition, she said, is not only for elite athletes and Olympians but for everybody who is generally active.