Archive for September, 2011
I often get asked this question and so I thought I’d write a blog about it to clarify some key points….
We know that as your load increases from any aspect of your life, whether that is from stress, poor nutrition, body burdens, extreme levels of exercise….Then there is an increased need for micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) to enable the body to deal with the load.
My main concern with endurance athletes is the long term load of increased levels of the oxygen free radical from sustained periods of aerobic exercise. The body burns oxygen and one of the most damaging free radicals is the oxygen free radical from this process. Our body has many mechanisms to deal with this, so we want to support them as much as possible. (Please see the research in the foot note)
We know that increased free radical damage is a contributing factor to cell dysfunction and therefore cancer. Through the years I have been amased by the amount of endurance athletes who suffer from skin cancers in their late 30’s and forties. It would appear from clinical observation that as a group they are more vulnerable than the population from skin cancers. I believe it is due to the increased exposure to UVB while training and a lack of antioxidants to deal with the free radical production of heavy aerobic exercise.
So what should you be supplementing as an endurance athlete? Well that depends on what level you wish to supplement…I’ll give you 3 levels so you can choose what suits your needs…
Level 1 – A mineral. vitamin and antioxidant supplement like BePure ONE. This will provide the B vitamins and some extra magnesium for mitochondria (energy) production. Plus a solid base level of protection antioxidants including manganese which is one of the biggest oxygen free radical scavengers in the body (very important for runners or for people performing a lot of aerobic exercise). You’ll also want to be taking a high EPA/DHA fish oil like this one, this will help keep the inflammatory pathways lower, plus of course the other many benefits of a high quality omega 3. (Be very careful of cheap omega 3 supplements as they are often loaded with heavy metals). I would also recommend that you have 500ml of bone broth a day as it provides a full spectrum of glycoaminoglycans of which glucosamine and chondroitin are two. This will help avoid joint and ligament injuries from the training (click here and log in for free to my website to learn how to make a bone broth). If you can’t be bothered to make the bone broth then joint flex is the next best option.
For me this Level 1 is the minimum supplementation an endurance athlete should be taking….in fact this is pretty much the minimum for anyone living in the western world.
Level 2 – On top of level. Take extra magnesium - this is the one I like – this will help your muscles to relax at night and provide extra magnesium to be used by the mitochondria. Also take at least 100mg of Coenzyme Q 10 – ubiquinol form is the best absorbed, but is really expensive, so this one is a good one to start with, still good absorption… but cheaper (email us if you want the ubiquinol form – email@example.com). I’m keen on getting as much CoQ10 from your food as possible – it’s extremely heat sensitive, so you will need to eat your red meat as close to raw as you can handle (and not be on statins – prescription drug for cholesterol). Click here to see my favourite ways to eat beef. At level 2 I would also supplement a specialist antioxidant, something like Bioquench. As the level of exercise increases so will your oxidative stress and therefore your antioxidant protection needs to be increased also.
Level 3 (serious) – On top of level 1 and 2. Take adrenal rebuilder and herbal adrenal support for maintained hormone production through heavy training (stops you feeling tired in the mornings). Double the BePure ONE dosage and split through the day to get B vitamin availability in the blood stream, and increased antioxidant protection from both phytonutrients and minerals. Start taking 3 – 6 grams of this vitamin C a day to help with collagen reformation after training.
A couple of other nutritional factors…
Eat the right macronutrients for you! You’ll need to be eating the right fat, protein and carbohydrate levels to support your body through it’s training. Your genetic needs for protein, fat and carbohydrate will begin to change as your body slows down it’s oxidisation rate of carbohydrate at a cellular level, as your body become more efficient at being an endurance athlete. Join the BePure site for free to take the online test for what you should be eating.
Maximise your nutrition from high quality fats, proteins and carbohydrates. During increased training and events you may need to increase your intake of processed foods like protein powders and glucose gels. With protein powders be sure to use one that utilises pea protein as the amino acid source NOT whey or soy (unfermented soy contains xeno estrogens that mimic estrogen, decrease testosterone in men in drive estrogen/progesterone imbalances in women). I get in one of the best Pea proteins in the world from the States, it’s not on the website, so email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like it.
As your need for energy from food (particularly carbohydrates), increases, from training. Be sure that the grains you are eating are properly prepared. Continue to minimise gluten in your diet if you are intolerant (70% of tested white skinned people in America are!) If you are intolerant and continue to eat gluten you will shut down your pelvic stabilisers and get ankle, knee, hip and low back injuries from your running. Learn how to prepare healthy grains here…
Hard core exercise like performing marathons and Iron man contests can be a lot of fun (so I hear!), but increased nutrition needs to be a part of the training.
In health and happiness
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Topic: Flavonoids, Antioxidants, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Post-Exercise Oxidative Stress
Reference: “Effect of Mixed Flavonoids, n-3 Fatty Acids, and Vitamin C on Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Capacity Before and After Intense Cycling,” McAnulty SR, Nieman DC, et al, Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2011 Aug; 21(4): 328-37. (Address: Dept. of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA).
Summary: In a randomized study involving 39 athletes, supplementation with flavonoids, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids taken for 2 weeks prior to and 3 days during cycling at 57% Wmax for 3 hours, was found to be associated with reductions in the immediate post-exercise increase in F2-isoprostane. Subjects received supplementation with one of the following interventions: 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C; 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C + 400 mg isoquercetin, 30 mg epigallocatechin gallate, and 400 mg omega-3 fatty acids; or, placebo, daily for 2 weeks before and during 3 days of cycling. Subjects in both treatment groups were found to be protected against the significant increase in F2-isoprostanes post-exercise, as found in the placebo group. This effect was found to be independent of changes in plasma antioxidant capacity. These results suggest that supplementation with flavonoids, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids may benefit athletes.
People often ask me what I eat and so I thought I’d give you an insight into one of my days…
Woke up at around 5:30am and waited for some break of light. At 6:15 hopped into bed with Isabella, my 3 1/2 year old as she had woken up and was calling. At 6:30 got up, rinsed the soaked quinoa, opened a tin of coconut cream and put it on the stove with a stick of cinnamon. (Click here and log in for free to learn how to cook quinoa).
During the next hour cleared the overnight emails and put the finishing touches on my latest evening seminar, while drinking a cup of black tea. Then ate the cooked quinoa, I added some extra fat in the form of raw cream and had some home bottled peaches for some extra antioxidants. Technically speaking this is slightly too many carbohydrates for my metabolic type, but these days I’m not quite so anal about that, (plus I knew I was going to the gym and that’s the best time to eat too many carbohydrates)
More computer work till 8:45 when I went to Cross Fit. Quick easy workout today only 10 minutes, popped by the office in town then back home for some more food. Usually I’d have my second course at around 9:15am…but today instead I went for a mid morning snack including…
Banana, 6 brazils, gogi berries, and tomato juice with katitai fire (tabasco sauce) and grated raw liver (straight from the freezer).
Back to the computer to answer technical nutritional questions…then it’s lunchtime! Whoopee…
Magic mineral broth with lentils and bacon bones for lunch today – we used Rebecca Katz basic recipe and added lentils and bacon bones to bring up the protein content and make it more of a soup. Watch Rebecca make it here on youtube.
Afternoon – Filmed some new material I’d been researching for the VIP Health Club members…
Early dinner tonight 5:30pm as I’ve my new seminar tonight…Forever Young – The Five Keys to feeling young.
Simple fast dinner… rare rump beef salad on 14 green salad, there’s no recipe for this one simply sear the beef and place on a green leafy salad with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It just so happened that when I started counting the different types of greens Lynda had picked from the garden it was 14. Diversity in your diet is very important, even with leafy greens…. Each one will collect a slightly different mineral profile from the soil and some will retain more vitamins like the all important vitamin K – which raw Kale scores very high in….
Off to present my new seminar…
I hope that gives you an idea of what my diet looks like on a daily basis. I try and get as much diversity into my diet as possible and it is truly seasonal, meaning I predominately eat only foods that are in season. My diet changes in winter from around 40% raw to summer where it might get up to 85% raw and so as spring rolls on we’ll be getting into more salads and raw foods…
All of the food consumed today was a minimum standard of organic which is fairly standard for me.
Happy eating and have a wonderful day!
In health and happiness
P.S I didn’t include the supplements I took as that’s a whole blog in itself…