May 2107: Volume 2


MuscleSound at Podium

You may have seen that Podium Sports Medicine has started to use MuscleSound technology to help our patients with both diagnosis and nutritional optimization. It’s also a great tool for obtaining a quick, accurate, non-invasive measurement of body composition.

Until recently, this technology has only been available to professional athletes and teams. It has been used in Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL, and professional cycling. Now, it’s available to the rest of us, and Podium is proud to be one of the first providers for public use.

Using MuscleSound for body composition measurement is fairly straight-forward and easily understood. The ultrasound picture visualizes fat under the skin and measures its depth. Measurements are taken at seven sites on the body (similar to skin fold calipers), and results in both a body fat percentage and regional quantification of fat stores. In more basic terms, it shows where you hold more fat – for example in your abdomen, or in your thighs. If you re-check regularly, you can trend your body composition and specifically see where you are (hopefully!) losing fat. The cost is low, making it entirely reasonable to plan for regular measurement.

This technology was developed for a much cooler reason though, at least in my opinion. MuscleSound uses non-invasive ultrasound imaging to measure glycogen stores in the muscle tissue. Glycogen is stored carbohydrate, so MuscleSound lets us take a look inside the “fuel tank” of your muscles. We’ve been able to gather this info for decades, but it previously required taking a biopsy of the muscle tissue. Needless to say, this was rarely done.

Looking at glycogen stores can tell us about an athlete’s diet and the health of their muscles. We can also see if there is a side-to-side imbalance which may impact biomechanical function. The data is quite valuable, and it’s now so much easier to attain!

To look at an athlete’s nutritional regimen, we would ideally take a measurement on a rest day, then again pre- and post-workout. This gives us information on fuel use and fuel replacement during a workout. Two visits and three scans gives you an individualized profile of glycogen usage.

This muscle health data can be used in many clinical scenarios, but a recent patient interaction is a great example that I’ll share – with their permission, of course! An elite, international-level endurance athlete was struggling with declining performance. He was trying to lose a little weight, had cut his carbohydrate intake, and had been participating in a training camp at altitude. Training volume increased, weight increased and performance declined. Blood work showed significant stress and physiologic dysregulation (insulin resistance, struggling thyroid, elevated inflammatory markers and dropping testosterone).

MuscleSound showed markedly low glycogen stores. His tank was empty, and training had beaten him down. As he rested and increased his carbohydrate intake, his measurements showed glycogen replenishment and his lab values quickly began to normalize. MuscleSound was key in helping to determine his weight gain was not due to overeating but to hormonal dysregulation from under-fueled training (on the spectrum of Overtraining Syndrome).

As you can see, this technology can play a very important role in both diagnosis and optimization, and its a useful instrument for athletes in a variety of scenarios. At Podium Sports Medicine, we think MuscleSound can be a helpful and inexpensive tool to help you reach your goals. As a subscriber to this newsletter, we’re offering you a $5 discount on your first use. There’s no reason not to come check it out!


Joseph Hicks

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee

Sport: Triathlete, Runner, Cyclist

Fresh off the Boston Marathon with an impressive finishing time of 3:28:20, Dr. Joseph Hicks is proudly representing the Podium Racing Team for his second consecutive year. An avid runner and cyclist, he began swimming about two years ago with the goal of entering his first triathlon. Focused training and a fierce competitive drive found him quickly climbing the podium.

In that time, he has completed five Ironman 70.3s and two full Ironman competitions, plus he has placed in the top of his age group in several races.

Podium Racing p/b Visit Knoxville is excited to have Joseph back this season for what has already been an exciting year of competition and resulted in several top finishes and personal records.


Deal of the Month!

Want to try MuscleSound for yourself? Bring a printed copy of your Newsletter email to your appointment and you’ll receive $5 off a MuscleSound scan!


No-Bake Hemp and Chia Protein Bars

Recipe provided by Scott Hussey and adapted from

These bars have become a favorite around here – among athletes and their offspring alike! Perfect for a quick, energy-packed pick-me-up or a post-work out snack.


  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup whey protein (vanilla flavor)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup almond butter or peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil or MCT oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  •  ¼ cup raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips or unsweetened coconut flakes to add a bit of sweetness


  1. In a large bowl, mix together oats, whey protein, chia seeds, hemp hearts and ground flax seeds. Stir until combined, then add applesauce.
  2. Warm almond butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan over medium low heat. (This will make mixing the ingredients together by hand much easier. Using an electric mixer yields uneven results.)
  3. Add warmed ingredients to dry ingredients. Mixture should seem quite wet.
  4. Pour into an 8x8 pan and allow to set in the fridge until completely cooled. Mixture will harden once cold.
  5. Remove from fridge and cut into 16 squares. Bars can be stored in the fridge for about a week or frozen for several months. Bars are also delicious enjoyed frozen!

Note: Because the bars are no-bake, they become sticky when exposed to prolonged heat, so try to resist throwing them in a cycling kit pocket.