Cynthia Sass

Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD is a nationally known nutrition and health expert and holds two master's degrees--in nutrition science and in public health--and is Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics. She is active in both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Cynthia is the nutritionist behind and co-author of the Flat Belly Diet. Check out her new book, The Ultimate Diet Log.

In her Showcase U blog Cynthia shares the smarts you need to make the food you eat a teammate in your game plan for athletic excellence.

Learn more about Cynthia at:

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May 05, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

By Cynthia Sass

Welcome to my blog! I’ve been a sports nutritionist for nearly 15 years and I absolutely love my job. I’m the nutrition consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies and I work one-one-one with men and women in numerous sports, from pros to college, high school and recreational athletes.

The C.S.S.D. after my name stands for Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (that’s a mouth full, huh?). In a nutshell, C.S.S.D. is the top sports nutrition certification you can get. First, you have to become a registered dietitian (R.D.), which requires at least a bachelor of science degree in nutrition (I have a B.S. in nutrition and 2 masters degrees), a 900 hour supervised internship, and passing a national comprehensive registration exam. I then had to complete a minimum of 1,500 hours of specialty practice experience in sports nutrition, and finally take another (very difficult) board certification exam. But all that hard work was all worth it, because the right nutrition plan can truly transform an athlete, from boosting power and strength, to improving flexibility, pumping up endurance, speeding recovery, reducing injury risk, decreasing inflammation, and bolstering immunity.

Sports nutrition is all about giving a body in motion what it needs to perform well and recover properly. Whether you get your adrenaline pumping on a field, in the water, or riding a board, what, how much and when you eat really does set the stage for how well you play, and how much you benefit from each training session or workout.

That phrase, “You are what you eat” is absolutely true – nutrients from food are literally the foundation for the structure, function, and integrity of your tissues, from your immune system to your muscles. Here’s the deal: every cell in your body has a pre-programmed life span – a stomach cell lives about a day, a skin cell about a month. So each and every day your body is busy making new cells to replace those that have died off, and how healthy and strong those new cells are is directly determined by how well you’ve been eating. A junk food filled diet low on nutrients doesn’t give your body much to work with (it’s like constructing a house with cardboard and tape instead of bricks and mortar). But a powered up eating plan can help you build cells that are stronger, less susceptible to injury, and heal quicker. When you really think about the power of nutrition, it’s just phenomenal!

On top of all that “regeneration,” athletes are always repairing existing cells. This includes recovering from the wear and tear of performing, as well as training. When you spend a few hours hitting the weights, you’re creating stress on muscle and bone cells, and it’s the healing of those cells that makes them stronger. During recovery, nutrients from your diet travel to muscle and bone to heal it. This builds new muscle and denser bones. So in reality, it’s the recovery from training rather than the training itself that makes you a better athlete. Without adequate rest and nutrition, you’re just tearing down cells and actually getting weaker rather than stronger.

All of this is why I’m so excited to share my tips, strategies and info with you each week. I’ll include the best foods to eat, which to avoid, what to drink, the low-down on supplements, and easy ways to power up your plate to keep you body in peak performance. If there are specific topics you’d like me to tackle, send me a note. I look forward to hearing from you!

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View all the archived blogs by this author by clicking on the orange bolded titles below.

Are You Short on the Sunshine Vitamin?
March 13, 2009

Hi Fructose Frenzy
February 22, 2009

Young Athletes, Adult Health Risks
January 26, 2009

6 Athlete-Friendly Fast Food Options
January 14, 2009

Low Cost Meals
December 29, 2008

Doing Red Meat Right
November 21, 2008

Eat More to Lose
November 07, 2008

Stay Healthy Strategies
October 30, 2008

Preserve Muscle with Produce!
September 08, 2008

August 21, 2008

Add Some Exotic Fruit to Your Training Table Today
August 13, 2008

Learn to Love Your Veggies!
August 07, 2008

5 Foods With a Bad Rap
July 28, 2008

5 ‘Healthy’ Foods That Aren’t
July 21, 2008

Diet, ADHD & Athletes
July 14, 2008

Do You Struggle with Body Image Issues?
July 07, 2008

Mediterranean-ize Your Meals
June 28, 2008

Back to energy bars! Here’s part 2. Hope it’s helpful!
June 23, 2008

Fast Food Follies
June 16, 2008

Fake Sugars Aren’t Athlete Friendly
June 10, 2008

Superfood Fruit Juices
June 03, 2008

Energy Bars – Part 1
May 24, 2008

Immune Boosting Foods
May 19, 2008

Step Away From the Rockstar
May 12, 2008

Welcome to my blog!
May 05, 2008

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