Posts Tagged antioxidants

What supplementation should endurance athletes take?

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 –  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 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.

Happy training,

In health and happiness

Ben Warren


P.S Don’t forget to join us on face book for daily inspiration.


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.


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Green tea enhances belly fat loss!

We all know about the fantastic antioxidants found in Green Tea (that’s why I put it in my BePure ONE).

The latest research now shows that green tea can be beneficial for weight loss too! In a study of 132 overweight subjects given either green tea extract or a placebo, the green tea group had significantly improved abdominal (belly) fat loss and reduced serum triglycerides (that’s good too). [1]

It is believed that green tea promotes thermogenesis.  Thermogenesis involves your body increasing energy burning through brown fat cells – the result…More energy, feeling warmer and body fat loss! There are many foods that are thermogenic and I get into these in great detail in my BePure VIP Health Club. A study supporting this has found that green tea increased resting energy expenditure and fat oxidation – great news! [2]

I alternate between a couple of green teas – an organic gunpowder green tea and this Japanese lime green – give it a try!



Ref: 1 – Maki KC, et al.  Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults.  JNutr. 2009 Feb; 139(2):264-270

2 – Auvichayapat et al.  Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomised, controlled trail.  Phsiol Behav.  2008 Feb 27;93(3):486-91

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A nutritonal perspective on menopause

It’s an all too common story…  modern day women appear to get hit really hard by the ravages of Menopause – recently one female client told me she had been menopausal for 10 years!  In stark contrast in tribal society’s menopause passes with no symptoms, how can this be so?


NUTRITION!  When you start to look at the causes of menopausal symptoms it becomes quite clear why…nutrition being the key (although stress has it’s factor)!


Essentially menopausal symptoms are caused by hormonal imbalance – including the three main types of oestrogen (oestradiol, oestrone and oestriol) and progesterone.


There are many reasons why these hormones become imbalanced, certainly environmental oestrogens play a role.  But, essentially it is a deficiency in nutrients required to biotransform the oestrogen into weaker/stronger forms to balance the system.

Basic nutrients like iodine, B6, B12 and folate, Vitamin D and A together with antioxidants, all assist in maintaining this balance.


Another major factor during menopause is primary sex hormone production is switched from the ovaries to the adrenal glands.  The adrenal glands are capable of this job but require a lot of nutrition.  There is a cascade of hormone production in the adrenal glands that rely on nutrients to make hormones.   The following nutrients are required: Vitamin C, E (mixed tocopherols), B3 B5, B6 and synergistic relationships with other B vitamins. magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, copper and iodine.


Rebuilding adrenal function is a nutritional challenge one which should be primarily supported by food.  My Life Changing Programme is designed to help people rebuild their adrenals through the foods eaten.  Extra micronutrients should also be taken in the form of supplements to ensure maximal nutritional availability for hormone production and detoxification.


This Supplement should have high levels of B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as found in BePure ONE.


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