Running

Why Athletes Reach for White Rice Over Brown Rice

White Rice Athlete

Whole grains are generally good for you and are a recommended food to improve overall health. However, athletes often follow different nutritional guidelines when considering what’s best for sports nutrition.

One of the biggest differences in the diet of elite athletes is the preference of white rice over brown rice. White rice can be a primary carbohydrate source that’s excellent for quick energy and glycogen replenishment. The goal of the athlete and lifter is supplying adequate amounts of macronutrients to fuel extreme training and replenish severely depleted glycogen stores. White rice plays a major part in this process and is considered excellent sports nutrition for these athletes.

One of the most popular meals for lifters is a large bowl of white rice combined with grilled chicken breast and endurance runners often carbo load with white rice before events. Because white rice ranks high on the glycemic index, informed athletes and lifters recognize the high glycemic value of white rice to provide quick fuel for hard workouts and facilitate muscle recovery.

According to USA Rice Information, rice contains more carbohydrates than potatoes for the same serving size. Parboiled, converted, and instant white rice is suggested for pre and post-workout meals. Consuming white rice ensures the body is properly fueled for the competitive athlete.

And for those training less than 4-days per week or suffering from a metabolic disease, brown rice is considered a better choice as brown rice is still a healthy nutrient dense food. Brown rice is absolutely recommended for the general populous and everyday fitness person who can tolerate whole grains, but for those going the extra mile sometimes white rice is the better choice.

Summer Tips: Tips for Running at the Beach

Beach Running Tips

Running on sand—while it definitely has lots of benefits—can be tricky.  On the plus side, the unstable surface provides extra strength training for your lower leg muscles, which have to work harder to stabilize your feet.  And when you sink into the sand, it makes it even tougher for your body to lift up for each step, amping up the intensity of your run. 

Thicker sand exaggerates each step making you feel like you’re climbing, so your calves are working that much harder to propel you forward.

But like any new activity, using your muscles in that different way can leave you super sore. Follow the below tips to enjoy your surfside run—and still feel good the next day.

Pick the Right Pack
Tighter, more packed sand (or even better, wet sand) is preferable to a dry, looser surface.  It’ll still be soft, but you’ll sink in less and be less likely to overuse your muscles while trying to stable.

Keep it Short (and Less Frequent)
Even though your muscles are working extra hard, you might not feel the impact of an hour-long beach run until the next day…when you wake up achy and barely able to enjoy your vacation, let alone fit in another run.  Start with just 20 to 25 minutes at a time (or even less) to make sure you don’t overdo it.  And if you live near the ocean, don’t start doing all your runs at the beach.  Once a week would be ideal.

Go Barefoot (if You Want)
If you’re prone to injury or require a very supportive shoe, you might want to keep them on.  Not sure?  Try walking a mile on the beach.  If your calves hurt the next day, you probably shouldn’t run barefoot.

Go Flat—and Out and Back
Shorelines are sloped, which can mess with your form.  Run on the flattest part of the sand that you can, and make sure you run back on the beach the way you came to even out any imbalances.

Stay Safe!
Wear extra sunscreen, since water and sand reflect rays.  And check the tides so you don’t get stuck in a situation where you’re far from home and can’t run back.

VarCity Lifehacks: Make Running with AirPods Easy

AirPod Life hacks

Caroline V already gave us her take on running with AirPods.  The big takeaway was that while AirPods boast superior design, the smartest charging case and great Bluetooth hardware, the sound quality can suffer when the smooth plastic tips inevitably lose the noise isolating seal in your ears.  And while Caroline gave us suggestions for add-ons that help our AirPods stay in place, taking these parts on and off every time we want to charge isn't ideal.  

So VarCity scoured the internet and discovered our favorite lifehack for keeping AirPods sealed in your ears.  Using a hole punch and a roll of Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape, which is cushioned and grippy, you can strategically place tiny dots on your AirPods so they stick in your ears without slipping.  Best of all, the AirPods still fit in the case, so they can be charged without having to remove any tips.  And while it looks a little different, as you can see in the photo above, the tape is completely hidden inside your ear while you’re using the AirPods, so it’s obviously not a big deal.  Let us know how this hack works for you in the comments section below and be entered to win a free pair of AirPods!