Post about "Nutrition"

Antioxidants, Free Radicals, and Sports Nutrition

As you know, I am a physician. It’s part of my profession to keep abreast of what’s happening in medical /health research. Being retired helps, because doctors simply do not generally have the “extra time” to devote to the scientific literature.

But I do. And I love it. I am one of those individuals who really enjoys …brace yourself…chemistry. When I’m done here, you should be excited too, especially if you are interested in sports nutrition and antioxidants, though not necessarily in that order.

Sports nutrition is a vast industry with emphasis on optimizing PERFORMANCE. Off hand, I can think of quite a few categories involving sports nutrition:

* sports nutrition and supplements for athletes,

* sports nutrition and athletic performance,

* sports nutrition and body building,

* sports nutrition and endurance training,

* sports nutrition and special diets in a variety of sports,

* sports nutrition and strength training,

* sports nutrition for running, jogging, walking, skiing, swimming

* There’s even Rocky Mountain sports nutrition

* …the list is endless.

So far, no surprises, huh? Well, here’s one for you. Did you know that when you exercise intensively you INCREASE the free radical burden in your body? If you’re a serious sports enthusiast, you should know that.

But…the real news is what science is now finding out about that free radical burden of yours. You should pay close attention here.

Suddenly, chemistry gets real personal.

Everyone of us has, what may be called, our antioxidant protective capacity. That means our bodies normally utilize antioxidants to protect us against the harmful impact of free radicals.

First of all, what are antioxidants? They are molecular substances which offset free radical damage to the body. Antioxidants, “quench” free radicals (for lack of a better metaphor) neutralizing their damaging effects on the cells of the body.

* Antioxidants are found in foods such as cranberries, green tea and even chocolate.

* Antioxidants are found in vitamins such vitamin C and E.

* Antioxidants are found in carotenoids such as beta-carotene.

* Antioxidants are found in many substances supplied by the body such as glutathione.

* Antioxidants are found in many herbs and enzymes.

The impact of antioxidants is boosted by glyconutrients to offset free radicals in your body…and, as a result of your athletic exertions.

Antioxidant capacity must be provided in your sports nutrition regimen or you could be “robbing Peter to pay Paul” with your workouts. As you will see, without a glyconutrional presence in your sports nutrition, the healthful gains made by your physical workouts will be offset by your own free radical burden.

Free radicals, sports and sports nutrition

Free radicals are those chemical species which contain one or more unpaired electrons, capable of independent existence. They form in the body due to a variety of reasons as offshoots of cellular activity or as products introduced to the body from the outside.

As an analogy, think of running a car engine as the cellular production
and the car emissions a the free radical production. The engine produces products which cannot stay inside the car without further damage. They simply must be neutralized and expelled.

Free radicals form and cause damage by reacting with many substances in your body. It is estimated that upwards of 200,000 free radical attacks occur in our bodies daily.

When free radical damage is done, the body can remove the compounds formed by its cellular repair system. However, if the body cannot handle the free radicals (with antioxidants for example), nor remove the compounds, then disease can be the result.

Contrary to popular opinion, free radicals do not circulate throughout the body. The half-life of most free radicals varies in a range of a few nanoseconds to about 7 seconds duration. That means they will react within the “neighborhood” (a few Angstroms or microns near where the increase in free radicals occurred) …organs, connective tissue, circulatory or nerve tissue, bone or lymphatic material are all candidates for free radical attack.

Wherever they form, they will damage the surrounding areas, unless prevented by the body…So the body does NOT have the luxury of just filtering away any circulatory fluids to find the free radicals. The body’s defense systems must be…well…fairly omnipresent to neutralize the effects of free radicals. The antioxidant protective system must be healthy.

Since they are highly reactive substances, they react with all sorts of cell elements readily. But, when they do react with your body cells, they can damage the cells and even kill them. Often, the damage from free radicals can CHANGE the cellular structure enough to cause DISEASE such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and a host of others.

The type of disease that occurs is dependent upon which of the free radical defenses in the body weren’t functioning properly and where the free radical attacks occur.

The body has pretty sophisticated antioxidant defense systems. But, the body CAN get overwhelmed in its antioxidant protections against such free radicals…

Indeed, unless antioxidant enhanced sports nutrition (with glyconutrients) are used to offset the increased free radical burden, the BODY will suffer as a result of intensive sports training, stress, and competition.

Glyconutrients VITAL to sports nutrition …

Studies comparing marathon runners who did and did not take glyconutritional sports nutrition supplements were undertaken. The results were reported by the Proceedings of the Fisher Institute For Medical Research ( August 2003, vol.3, no.1). The results “demonstrated strikingly different patterns.” Antioxidant protection appeared to be powerfully enhanced against free radicals with glyconutritional supplementation. Thus, the body was protected for several days after the marathon run.

However, when glyconutritional sports nutrition was NOT used, the damaging effects of the free radical burden appeared to remain in the body for about five days. Thus, the subject “consistently excreted higher concentrations of free radical byproducts…” as compared to that of the glyconutritional subject. It should be emphasized that the subject studied WAS TAKING other antioxidants, though not glyconutrition. Despite that fact, the above cited results were obtained.

That’s another way of saying that when glyconutritional supplements were not used, the free radical burden upon the body was not lifted. Antioxidant protection does appear to be (significantly) strengthened with glyconutritional sports nutrition. Such antioxidant protection appears to be of benefit for athletes overall, including training, stress, competition and dietary issues.

The glyconutrional revolution in sports nutrition and therapy is just beginning. More studies are being done. More results are coming in concerning free radicals and the capacity of the glyconutrients to boost antioxidant affect against free radicals.

Sports nutrition is about to see a new revolution…

Better still. I believe that it is quite probable that, with glyconutrition, sports PERFORMANCE is about to see a revolution in al fields.

5 Key Daily Nutrition Needs for a Healthy Body

Are you concerned with maintaining your health but confused with the plethora of nutrition products available?Do you feel overwhelmed when you browse the nutrition aisle of your local health food store?There are so many choices begging for your health dollar but do you really need all this stuff?If you have read my web page “Natural Health Based Only on Needs” you know that much of what is available may not necessarily be required to maintain your health.What you need to ask yourself is “Does my body really need all this stuff?”The answer of course is, well…, NO.The fact is….There are only 5 nutritional essentials that your healthy body needs for maintenance and to ward off potential threats to its ongoing health.The first 3 may be obvious to you but the other 2 also fill a very real need. If you miss any of these 5 your body’s health is in jeopardy.1. Vitamins are essential to the creation of energy. They form the best health insurance policy for your body and should be purchased in a multi vitamin format.B Complex vitamins are required for energy, healthy blood cells, nerve, brain and cardiovascular healthAntioxidant Vitamins A, C, and E should be included to assist your immune systemNOTE: If you are getting your vitamins from supplements make sure they are formulated from whole food sources and contain enzymes, co-enzymes, antioxidants, precursors, activators, trace elements, and numerous other naturally occurring synergistic micronutrients which work together to balance and nourish your body, making it more resistant to aging and degeneration.2. Minerals are critical for energy and stamina as well a strong bones, hair, skin and nails. Make sure the mineral supplements you buy are easily recognized and absorbed by your body. The best form to buy are amino acid chelated mineralsChelation is the process of binding a mineral to another substance in order to ensure absorption and make the mineral usable by your cells. This process enables a mineral to pass through the gut wall.Their are about 21 minerals which are used in nutritional supplements however only 11 of them deserve your attention on a daily basis. They are:calcium,
vanadium and
boronRemember if they are NOT chelated they are probably NOT usable by your body at the cellular level.3. Antioxidants help protect you from the serious health risks of free radical damage caused by pollution, toxins and stress.Reactive molecules known as “free radicals” are created by environmental toxins, stress, over-exercise and even normal metabolism. They bombard your body, weakening cell walls and allowing disease, degeneration, and aging to occur.As you are probably aware, antioxidants work to defuse these free radicals and as I indicated above some vitamins are very good at this but your body needs much more.For some very potent, cutting-edge, antioxidants look for:grape seed extract,
pine bark extract,
resveratrol from grape skin,
organic olive extract,
cranberry and raspberry,
selenium and
natural sources of the antioxidant vitamins A and C.4. Friendly Flora strengthens your body’s immune system and supports your overall health. Billions of stabilized flora or friendly bacteria are needed to help suppress harmful bacteria and promote optimal health.Think of a lush green lawn. The blades of grass are so closely packed that they do not allow room for the weeds to gain a strong hold. As long as the lawn is well nourished and watered it remains free of encroaching weeds. This is what happens in your digestive track when you continue to feed it good bacteria as well as the food which it thrives on.Unfortunately…These friendly bacteria are destroyed by carbonated drinks, coffee, birth control pills, alcohol, laxatives, stress, aging and antibiotics. Replacing them is essential if you wish to maintain daily nutrition.5. Digestive Enzymes Supplements allow your body to receive maximum nutrition and energy from your food, as well as properly digested fats.Vital enzymes are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient utilization of the foods you eat. The key to maximizing your energy levels lies in proper food digestion. You need to get the most nutrients out of each meal.Food normally contains the appropriate enzymes to digest it but unfortunately they are destroyed by cooking and processing methods as well as commercial growing practices. This is why it is a good idea to eat raw fruits and vegetables as often as possible. Since this is not always practical it is important to supplement with a variety of digestive enzymes every day.So you see? It is as easy as that.Just 5 keys to daily nutrition and you can’t miss.Well, I guess you are probably not very impressed are you?I am sure this article raises more questions than it answers but it is hard to cover all the material you want in one page.You now have the basics and if you want me to fill in the blanks I would be happy to show you how to zero in on the nutritional supplements your body needs on a daily basis.