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Sports Nutrition Basics for Active Individuals with Disorders of Amino Acid Metabolism – Part 2

We talked about general topics of sports nutrition in our last blog — let’s now discuss what is important BEFORE, DURING and AFTER exercise for people with an inborn error of amino acid metabolism such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) or Homocystinuria (HCU).

Before getting started, it is important to know that you should always talk to your metabolic healthcare team before changing any exercise or diet routine. The information here is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice.

HYDRATION: Drink water before, during and after physical activity to stay hydrated

When our body temperature increases through exercise, we tend to sweat more and lose electrolytes. This can lead to dehydration and negative health effects.

Don’t just trust your thirst but have a regular schedule for drinking water. Start hydrating before exercise. The intensity of your exercise will determine how much you should drink before, during and after exercise. Your dietitian will guide you.

For those with PKU and Tyrosinemia (TYR), remember to choose drinks that are aspartame‐free as this artificial sweetener contains phenylalanine (PHE).

Nutrition BEFORE exercise: It’s all about the fuel

Nutricia makes Loprofin pastas that can be turned into tasty high-carbohydrate meals!

Start well‐fueled. For most athletes that means a carbohydrate‐containing meal and some protein (from metabolic formula and food) a few hours before exercise.

Not providing enough calories for sports can be problematic for people with a disorder of amino acid metabolism. The body could start breaking down body protein, and toxic substances might increase in the body.

Low protein pasta dishes are excellent choices for high‐carbohydrate meals; low protein baked goods are also great, delicious options. Check out our recipe ideas.

Metabolic formula provides a safe, appropriate source of protein, and a certain amount of formula (as recommended by your dietitian) should be used a few hours before exercise as part of a regular meal pattern. Think about making a smoothie with formula to give you some extra calories. Certain metabolic formulas also provide carbohydrates, so check with your dietitian about which options are best for you.

If a light snack is needed shortly before starting exercise, consider low protein crackers, fruits, a low protein snack bar or So Delicious® coconut milk yogurt alternative*.

Nutrition DURING exercise: Keep it going!

Hydration is key of course, and some people might also benefit from appropriate snacks with long‐term, high intensity exercise. Fruit juices or carb gels may be good options as they provide carbohydrates and some calories for energy. Your dietitian may also recommend a sports drink depending on your needs.

Nutrition AFTER exercise: And now about recovery

After exercise or sports, it is important to refuel—and that can be done with metabolic formula and food. Formula can provide an immediate boost of protein and other nutrients. Calories are needed to keep your body from breaking down too much body protein from muscles, which could result in an increase of toxic substances and be harmful to your health. For some people, it might be best to have a snack right after exercise.

Once you are home, have a proper meal such as: low protein pasta, a low protein sandwich, veggie chili or a fruit smoothie made with metabolic formula.

When it comes to metabolic formula, Nutricia offers a variety of options to choose from to meet your protein needs! Ready‐to‐drink products such as PhenylAde® GMP Ready and Periflex® LQ (for those with PKU) or Lophlex® LQ (available for those with PKU, HCU, TYR and MSUD) are great options to carry with you to practice or a game. Put them in a lunch bag to keep them cool if you like.

PKU PhenylAde GMP Mix‐In is a super‐convenient option to add straight into a sports drink after your game. Nutricia offers a Mix‐In product for the Tyrosinemia community as well called TYR Lophlex GMP Mix‐In.

We also offer formulas that provide more calories if that is what you need. Check out our options, and talk to your dietitian about which one is best for you.

Talk to your clinic about which Nutricia formulas may be suitable for you or your loved one’s sports and fitness needs.

We hope you or your loved one can find inspiration to explore more sports and fitness opportunities! Check out our Facebook page and share what exercise, sports, and activities you and your family do.

All products shown are medical foods for the dietary management of inborn errors of metabolism and must be used under medical supervision.

Always talk your metabolic healthcare professionals before making any changes to your activity or diet routine.

*So Delicious® coconut milk yogurt alternative is an affiliated Danone brand.
© Nutricia North America 2019

Written by: Ulrike Reichert, MS, Director Medical Affairs Keto/Metabolics Nutricia North America

Sports Nutrition Basics for Active Individuals with Disorders of Amino Acid Metabolism – Part 1

Participating in sports and fitness provides many benefits for health and wellbeing—and this holds true for many people with inherited metabolic disorders.

Plenty of members of the metabolic community run races, dance, and play team sports to stay fit. James, a college sophomore with Phenylketonuria (PKU), for example, plays club soccer. (Read our interview with him on getting back to college here). And Danae’, who has Homocystinuria (HCU) and leads the HCU Network America patient group, lifts weights regularly!

We put together a couple of blogs with some basic ideas of sports nutrition for those with amino acid disorders in hopes of inspiring you or your loved one to explore sports and fitness opportunities. Read on and be sure to check out our second blog in this series for more on nutrition before, during, and after exercise.

Huddle with your team (your metabolic healthcare team, that is!)

Before getting started, it is important to know that you should always talk to your metabolic healthcare team before changing any exercise or diet routine. The information here is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice.

Talk with your metabolic healthcare team about which sports and fitness activities may be good for you or your loved one. Your dietitian will take the type, intensity and duration of exercise into account and advise you on your needs.

Play at your best with the help of proper nutrition

Being at your best at your sport not only takes practice, but it starts at home at the table. What you eat affects your physical and mental performance. Being prepared before exercise is especially important for people with an amino acid metabolism disorder.

To play or exercise at your best, keep the following nutrition rules of thumb in mind:

  • A general healthy diet helps your fitness. That means limiting processed foods, avoiding added sugar and eating a variety of fruits and veggies.
  • Protein, coming mainly from the prescribed metabolic formula for most individuals with an amino acid disorder, is important for muscle building and repair.
  • Carbohydrates from special low protein foods, metabolic formula, and regular foods low in protein provide fuel so your body has enough for your sport; avoid sugary foods when possible.
  • Healthy fat sources such as sunflower or walnut oil give you essential fats and calories.
  • And as mentioned, fresh fruits and veggies provide nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Remember: Always ask your metabolic healthcare professionals for advice.

Nutricia offers several different metabolic formulas to help you get your protein, including after sports. Check out ready‐to‐drink PhenylAde® GMP Ready, Lophlex® LQ and Periflex® LQ for those with PKU. Lophlex LQ is also available for those with HCU, Tyrosinemia (TYR), and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). These products are super easy to carry with you in your sports bag.

Convenient options such as PhenylAde GMP Mix‐In that can be easily added to a sports drink, or even Phlexy‐10® Tablets, are other popular options for those with PKU.

Click here for more information and talk to your dietitian about which formula is right for you.

PhenylAde GMP READY, Periflex LQ, and PKU Lophlex LQ are easy to carry with you in your sports bag! Nutricia also makes ready-to-drink options for HCU, TYR, and MSUD.
Nutricia makes Loprofin pastas that can be turned into tasty high-carbohydrate meals!

And how about those carbs? When it comes to getting your carbs in before and after exercise, try our low protein pasta and recipes—made in Italy!

Let’s talk more about nutrition before, during, and after exercise in our next blog, Sports Nutrition Basics, Part 2

All products shown are medical foods for the dietary management of inborn errors of metabolism and must be used under medical supervision.

Always talk to your metabolic healthcare professionals before making any changes to your activity or diet routine.

© Nutricia North America 2019

Written by: Ulrike Reichert, MS, Director Medical Affairs Keto/Metabolics Nutricia North America