PATRIOTS IN PERFORMANCE: FITNESS IS NATIONAL SECURITY

Published on: August 11, 2023
Interview with Dr. Rachele Pojednic for Major League Nutrition podcast

PATRIOTS IN PERFORMANCE: FITNESS IS NATIONAL SECURITY

Let’s talk performance optimization research with Dr. Rachele Pojednic.

The physical education and fitness of our youth has much room for improvement. What better way to discuss how this topic ties into national defense than with performance researcher Dr. Rachele Pojednic herself?

Dr. Rachele Pojednic is the latest expert guest on the Major League Nutrition podcast, sharing science-based performance optimization research from her career experience. Rachele’s path to becoming an Associate Professor and Program Director of Exercise Science has been the grounding force of her latest research. From myth-busting wellness trends to communicating it in a way any athlete can understand, there’s a ton of new info in this episode you don’t want to miss!

This is a performance optimization researched-based talk to help create an awareness of the latest wellness trends, but there’s a plot twist! You’ll learn how health education and wellness tie into our national defense crisis, a problem that runs deeper than just patriotism and complacency.

Key takeaways include: cryotherapy as a method to optimize military and athletic performance, and for which types of exercise it backfires, in athletic recovery. After over a decade of Dr. Pojednic’s work studying nutrition supplementation, physical activity interventions on muscle physiology, performance and recovery, and muscle related chronic disease, you’ll see why endurance athletes need different recovery tactics than athletes in strength training events.

Listen to the Episode

MEET DR. RACHELE POJEDNIC

So, who is Dr. Rachele Pojednic?

Before you start a google search, let’s begin by telling you about Dr. Pojednic’s considerable experience in performance optimization research. Rachele currently lives in Stanford, California, where she examines therapies designed to enhance performance & recovery. She is an Associate Professor & Program Director of Exercise Science at Norwich University (bicoastal!), but that’s not all!

She is also the Director of Scientific Research & Education at Restore Hyperwellness, a research associate at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School,  and an award-winning faculty member at the Harvard Extension School.

Previously, she was a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Nutrition Department at Simmons University in Boston, MA.

 

“Association is not causation! What that means is that there’s a relationship, we think, between a particular input, let’s call it – going into a Finnish sauna – and a particular output, let’s call it – cardiovascular disease.”

 

3 WAYS TO OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE

  1. CONSIDER THE ALTITUDE YOU ARE GOING TO TRAIN IN
  2. REMEMBER THAT ASSOCIATION IS NOT CAUSATION
  3. BECOME A MORE INFORMED CONSUMER


“I’m a biochemist, so I really care about these physiologic cascades that occur during some kind of exposure. I’ll give you an example. In a study that we’re doing looking at cryotherapy at Restore, I’m specifically looking at inflammatory pathways. By that, I mean, I’m looking at 5 or 6 different cytokines to see if they activate each other, or, activate independently, because of a 3 minute exposure to cryotherapy.”

 

DO YOUR RESEARCH WHEN RESEARCHING

We do want to be thoughtful and careful when looking at who funds the studies and if there’s a conflict of interest. Is the conclusion an association? Is it a causation? Is it in the population that’s relevant to you? There is minimal government and outside funding going to human nutrition, supplementation, food, and non-pharmaceutical health research. The research funding must come from somewhere. Researchers are required to disclose conflicts of interest.

 

“One of the things that I said when I got the job is I’m not coming in to rubber stamp your products. I’m coming in to help you evaluate them and to understand where they work, where the limitations are, what populations they work in…

 

…What I think that will help to do is if we do this well, as the scientists that are on staff, which I truly believe we can do, it will start to help the consumer, help the clients, understand where’s the BS, who can be trusted, what are the outcomes that I’m looking for, and if we’re really honest as scientists, what are the limitations?”

 

CATCH NEW EPISODES ON THE MAJOR LEAGUE NUTRITION PODCAST

 

Join Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN, for educational interviews with the best experts across health, fitness, and sport, as well as science-backed answers to nutrition and health questions. Regularly catch new episodes full of expertise from Nicole’s ground-breaking work in the field.

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