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Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Tips

Here are the top tips from USSA's High Performance Dietician Adam Korzun, on staying healthy on the hill, including utilizing one of the easiest choices in the grocery aisle, the new, Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars.
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Q: What benefits do Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars offer as a snack? 

A: With 10 grams of protein, Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars make an all-natural energy boost as simple as a stroll down the granola aisle. Each bar is less than 200 calories and packed with five grams of fiber to keep you feeling full for longer, and to help avoid overeating.

Q: What health benefits does protein offer?

A:  Consumers are continuing to seek foods with health benefits, including protein. Protein is an energy providing nutrient that plays a major role in muscle recovery and building. It also helps keep the immune system functioning properly.

Q: Why did Nature Valley® decide to launch a protein bar and how does it fit into the brand’s product profile?

A: Consumers are increasingly looking to foods containing protein as a dietary staple (57% compared to 60% for fiber), given its energy boosting benefits and role in muscle recovery/building. Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars are designed to be an approachable, all-natural source of energy for any time of day.

Q: Adam, what are you up to these days?

A: I’ve been working with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) for almost two years as their high performance dietician. My job entails managing the nutrition program for all of the ski and snowboard athletes, including nutritional counseling, planning and even cooking for the team on the road.

Q: What are your thoughts on protein bars?

A: Protein bars are a great and convenient way to have a balanced snack on the run and turn a simple granola bar into a more complete “mini meal.”  

Q: What guidelines do you use for choosing a protein bar?

A: My general recommendation is that a protein bar should contain at least 8-10 grams of protein and no more than 20 grams of protein. The total calories depend on the individual's goals.

For the general public, I recommend that the carbohydrate: protein ratio be 2:1 or less (so around 20 grams of carbohydrate or less for every 10 grams of protein). Carbohydrates are needed for most physiological functions, but not in the extremely large amounts that we consume them; that is unless you are training high volume and intensity. I recommend a lower carbohydrate: protein ratio because it provides your body the amount it needs without the excess sugar that your body will just end up storing.

Q: What are some of the best times to snack, and why?

A: For the everyday individual, it is a good idea to plan a small snack or meal every 3-4 hours. 

For the athletes I work with, I encourage them to snack constantly. I advise them to eat "bookends" around their training session. This way, they are always beginning a training session with energy and ending the session by starting the recovery and refueling process. This same ideal can be applied to everyone - the total volume of food or energy is just less if you are not as active as an athlete. 

Q: Why are you working with Nature Valley®?

A: As the high performance dietician for the USSA, I’m a firm believer that it’s important to have protein present in every diet. Nature Valley® has been the Official Natural Energy Source for the USSA for more than a decade, and I’m a fan of the new, all-natural Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars.

Q: Do you eat Nature Valley® bars?

A: I do! I also recommend them to USSA athletes. Protein bars are perfect for busy days – be it a snack on the plane or in the airport to avoid overpriced, nutrient-less foods, or as a snack during a long workout or as a post-workout recovery tool.

Q: Are you being paid by Nature Valley®?

A: I have a mutually beneficial relationship with Nature Valley® on behalf of the USSA, of which Nature Valley has been a longtime supporter. I’m not at liberty to discuss any monetary funding.

 

 

 

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