Stress Fractures in Athletes: How to Optimize Bone Health

Practical ways to reduce stress fractures in athletes are the key points Melissa discusses in her podcast interview. Melissa is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Specialist in Sports
Dietetics (CSSD). She has been practicing for over 12 years in various role including: sports nutrition, health and wellness, private practice and as an assistant professor.

Melissa is currently an Assistant Professor in the Health Sciences department at James Madison University (JMU), teaching in the Dietetics program. She has taught various undergraduate and graduate courses; some of which include, Nutrition Assessment, Nutrition and Physical Activity, Sports Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition. In addition to her teaching responsibilities she works closely with the Sports Medicine department providing nutrition services for the athletes.

Most would consider Melissa’s hobby of competitive running a second career. She has qualified and competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. That is over 12 years of competing and training at the highest level, post-collegiately. Melissa was a Division I collegiate athlete at the University of Dayton in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track, where she received numerous recognitions. Melissa attributes her athletic success to her dedication and passion of the sport and to all the “little things” that often get over looked such as getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, and training smart.

Melissa currently lives in Charlottesville, VA and trains with the Ragged Mountain Racing Team. She has a few more running goals to meet before she retires and runs for pleasure.

In this podcast you will learn:

1. Melissa’s interest in studying nutrition for bone health.
2. What factors make bone susceptible to injury?
3. The types of athletes or sports are at a higher risk of sustaining a bone related injury?
4. Are females at a greater risk than males? If so, why?
5. How nutrition plays a significant role in keeping our bones strong and healthy and how macronutrients play a role in bone health?
6. Could an athlete being overweight or underweight put them at risk for a bone injury (i.e. stress fracture)?
7. What vitamins play an important role in bone health?
8. Vitamin D and Athletic performance. Research on the New York Giants as they tested their players in 2011 and over 60% of their athletes had low levels which also correlated to injuries. Why is Vitamin D so important?
8. Vitamin D supplements and the food supply?
9. What minerals play an important role in optimizing bone health?
10. The difference between taking a calcium supplement vs. getting your calcium from foods. Are the absorption rates better from one over the other?
11. Supplements that are beneficial to take to optimize bone health?

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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