Meet our AR summer interns: Todays post is by Andrew D’Ovidio

Andrew  is an exercise science major going into his junior year at Central Connecticut State University. Andrew runs track and field at CCSU and is a certified nutritionist with the International Sport Science Association (ISSA). When you see Andrew around the facility, say hi!

Concerns with Protein Supplementation

Protein supplementation has become increasingly common within a fitness driven community. Although, over supplementation of protein in one’s diet can be detrimental to their health. With modern day focus on fitness and a growing fitness industry emerges myths, especially with the nutrition side of things. One of the biggest weight loss “myths” or “hacks” you may have heard put a focus on a “low-carb, high protein diet”. When people hear this, the first thing they do is go to their local supplement shop (GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, etc.) and pick up a tub of protein thinking they have found the answer to their solution; especially athletes. False. While protein is necessary to maintain the body and build muscle, carbohydrates cannot be neglected. That is why low-carb, high protein diets do not work in the long run. Yes, you will initially lose weight because your overall caloric consumption drops, but then your body will fall into a state of chronic fatigue as it has to work harder to obtain energy elsewhere. First stop after all your carbohydrates are depleted, protein and muscle tissue. If you are consuming high amounts of protein and little to no carbs, protein will be converted into carbohydrates for energy through a process called gluconeogenesis. Another thing to note with high protein consumption is the stress added to one’s kidneys. Excess protein leads to excess nitrogen load in urea, which can cause fluid imbalance leading to dehydration. Dehydration is never good. There are many ways to avoid health issues related to excess protein. The first step is to calculate, roughly, how much protein you need for your specific fitness goals. This way you are not consuming overly excessive amounts. The most important preventative measure, get the majority of your protein through the food you eat on a daily basis. By doing so you also ingest the two other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats. Keep in mind, protein supplements are what they say… “supplements”. They are not necessary, especially with a balanced diet.

Coming Soon...AR Adventures!

As people get older, I believe it can become increasingly difficult (for some) to workout in a gym. Why? I don’t believe that it’s lack of ability or desire, but lack of motivation. I see it every year with New Year’s resolutions; People want to go to the gym and lose weight, but more often than not, their goals and objectives are quickly abandoned. For many of us, when we were in high school and college, we were motivated to train because we were athletes. Dreams of being elite athletes got many of us in a strict routine of working out and going to the gym. Sports gave us something exciting to strive for.

When I entered college I knew that I wasn’t going to play sports at a higher level so my desire to train was diminished. I kept trying to find ways to stay healthy and fit; then I found Adventure. I fell in love with rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking because they were highly active, new and interesting; and if I wanted them to be, competitive. I could commit myself to adventure sports without actually being committed to anything. I found total freedom in it, and I was motivated to train again, but above all, it was just fun. Outdoor activity can give you just as much of a workout as the gym can if you let it. Going out and finding rocks to climb and finding trails to take my bike on didn’t feel like a chore at all.

You might be wondering “what are the benefits other than fun and excitement?”- as if you needed other reasons. Being in the woods, anything can happen at any time and you must to be able to react. The slope on a trail could change, the weather remains constantly unpredictable, and any other situations that mother nature decides to throw at you unexpectedly. Adventures challenge your balance, strength and endurance all while keeping your mind sharp. No two experiences are alike and there is something amazing that happens to our brains when we are out in nature. A study, performed at Stanford University, suggest that simply walking in a natural green environment improves one’s mood and attitude almost instantly. Check out the link below to see the full New York Times article.



With all this said, I am excited to announce we will be offering AR Adventure classes in the spring! If you’re interested in challenging your mind and body simultaneously, then AR Adventure is for you. For more information please email me at:

-Harrison Elias

This Spaghetti Saved My Marriage

In these days of Paleo, Low Carb, No Carb, just a little bit of carb world we live am I supposed to keep my Italian husband happy??? I've already failed at making his mom's favorite "gravy" which to most of us Non-Italians is pasta sauce. I guess I thought everyone grew up on Prego, but boy was I wrong! So, what's a girl to do when she doesn't want ALL those heavy carbs from a pasta dish but still wants to keep her man happy?

Cook up some spaghetti...squash that is.

With only 42 calories, 10 grams of carbs and no fat in just one cup of spaghetti squash, this vegetable is safe for any diet AND may just save my marriage. Spaghetti squash contains a fair amount of fiber, which is great for keeping us fuller longer, as well as the mineral manganese. Manganese has been shown to play a role in the regulation of blood sugar, absorption of calcium and the functioning of the nervous system. All sounds pretty good right, but how's it taste?

Well, I am happy to report that the Spaghetti Squash passed my Italian husbands test. I looked up a recipe from and found this AMAZING casserole. The biggest challenge was cutting the squash and keeping all my fingers intact. After a few close calls, I realized by tossing it in the microwave for about four minutes first, it made it so much easier to cut.

Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think!


Dealing with Calf Strains

It seems that nearly everyone has complained of a pulled/strained/torn muscle at some point. A common place to pull a muscle is the calf, which is clinically known as the gastrocnemius muscle. This article will discuss the proper management of a strain to ensure proper healing so that you can quickly and safely get back to your prior levels of function and workout routine.

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