Friday, October 24, 2008

Take Your Shot

There's not much that can keep Dwayne Wade from playing basketball.
He's got a reputation for getting knocked down and getting back up each time.
Last Winter, though, he got hit by something worse than a bruised quad - the Flu.
And that wasn't the first time a virus infection took its toll on D-Wade. He suffered a similar fate back in 2006.

Since Flash is smart enought to wear pads under his uniform to reduce his risk of injury, I hope that he's also smart enough to get a flu shot at the start of each season.

So what about you?
Do you take steps to reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu during basketball season?

Here's a good article from 2006 written by Dr Tom Brickner , a team physician here at UNC.

Read it.
Think about it.
Then talk to your local doctor about getting a flu shot.

Don't like shots? You might be able to use an inhaled flu vaccine.
Again, talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of it before you decide.

And don't forget to wash your hands.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Big D

No, this post is not about Dallas.

It's not about defense either (although defense does win games).

It's about Vitamin D.

You know, the vitamin that's found in fish, eggs, and fortified milk.

The vitamin that may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Here's the news.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled the recommended dose of vitamin D for infants, children and adolescents from 200 IU (international units) to 400 IU.

If you can't get enough in your daily diet (and by spending 10+ minutes outside in the sunlight each day), then you should take a vitamin that has the new, increased amount in it.

But how is this going to help my crossover? My jumper?

It's not.

But it may decrease your risk for osteoporosis as an adult (women are 4 times more likely to develop brittle bones as men) and it may also help prevent infections, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and diabetes.

That should be a good enough reason for you to make sure you're getting enough of the Big D every day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Website from the American Academy of Pediatrics

As a member of the American Academy of Pediatric's Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, I just wanted to let you know that the council has recently come out with a new and improved website design.

At , athletes and their parents can go to the Policies and Publications section where they'll find lots of credible, reliable information about the care of the young athlete.

The website is also listed on my LINKS section under Sports Medicine Resources.

Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


An article in the October issue of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reveiwed the potential use of milk as an alternative to other commercial recovery drinks.

It reminded me of a study I heard about a couple of years ago that found chocolate milk to be as good a recovery drink as some sports drinks on the market.

This review article by Brian Roy, a Canadien researcher contends that:

Milk increases "muscle protein synthesis, leading to an improved net muscle protein balance" (which, when paired with resistance exercise, will help build muscle tissue ).

"Low-fat milk has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than commercially available sports drinks as a rehydration beverage".

Low-fat milk "is a safe and effective post exercise beverage for most individuals, except for those who are lactose intolerant."

So how does milk help you gain muscle mass and recover from exercise?

It contains carbohydrates (lactose) in amounts similar to many commercially available sports drinks (glucose, maltodextrin).

"Milk contains casein and whey proteins in a ratio of 3:1 which provides for slower digestion and
absorption of these proteins resulting in sustained elevations of blood amino acid concentrations."

The whey protein in milk also contains a large proportion of branched chain amino acids which have an integral role in muscle metabolism and protein synthesis.

Finally, "milk also has naturally high concentrations of electrolytes, which are lost through sweating during exercise".

While the author admits that "More research is need to better understand how milk promotes recovery after exercise and to better understand the physiological mechanisms through which it acts", I think that drinking low-fat milk after a workout (but not before a practice or game!) might provide a more natural alternative to some of the commercial recovery drinks. And don't
forget that the calcium and vitamin D found in milk is especially important for adolescent female athletes.

For the full article (including nutritional information for milk compared to varous sports drinks) go to

Best Wishes for a Quick Recovery

My prayers and best wishes go out to Antawm Jamison of the Washington Wizards who injured his right knee in the first half of his team's pre-season game last night.

I was fortunate to meet Mr. Jamison, a former National Player of the Year at UNC , this past Summer when we provided some education, measurements and testing during his annual All-Star Basketball Camp in Charlotte for area children.

Watching him during the camp and learning more about his charitable endeavors off the court, I learned that he's not only an exceptional basketball player, but a good man as well.

I hope he recovers soon.