ATHLETIC (SPORTS) PERFORMANCE POOR
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Apart from implementing principles from the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN > the following supplements, super foods, herbal remedies and dietary recommendations are very effective in improving athletic performance, boosting immune system and shortening the time of recovery from injuries:
– Chlorella. I don’t know about any food or supplement that would be more beneficial for athletes than chlorella because it is the best energy booster, best detoxifier, regenerator and excellent source of chlorophyll, best quality protein, iron, vitamin B12, Omega 3, iodine and other nutrients. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that it doesn’t seem to be very popular among athletes. Chlorella is a microscopic single-cell freshwater algae which has been found in numerous studies to be an amazing health promoting superfood used to treat some of the most deadly diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and AIDS. It is extremely high in chlorophyll through which it helps our body to process more oxygen thus boosting energy, detoxifying our blood and promoting repair of tissues. Studies demonstrated that although regular vigorous physical activity boosts immunity yet too much exercise may actually impair the immune system and natural killer cell immunity, which may be one reason endurance athletes may appear more likely to get cancer or upper respiratory diseases. Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem in the form of taking chlorella. It was shown that consuming chlorella prevented the negative effect of over-training and the loss in immune function. In a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial scientists gave participants two teaspoons of chlorella a day for eight weeks, and they noticed a significant increase in natural killer cell activities. So, if you exercise too much remember to take chlorella to prevent infections, cancer and other problems. Dosage: Take 2 full tablespoons of organic chlorella powder or 20-30 tablets (500mg) 30 min before breakfast and 1 tablespoon or 10-20 tablets before second main meal with 3 glasses of distilled water or vegetable juice. Read more fascinating facts about chlorella >
– Spirulina is another super algae that is very beneficial for athletes. A double-blind study found that spirulina increased the time people could train before they became exhausted. It also significantly reduced skeletal muscle damage and increased antioxidants in the body decreasing free radical damage. Another study has shown that spirulina could significantly improve time to fatigue in a 2 hour moderate intensity run. It also improved fat burning by 11%, and it improved exercise antioxidant status. The main difference between chlorella and spirulina is that chlorella is higher in chlorophyll (better energy booster) and more effective in detoxifying and regenerating the body while spirulina is higher in protein and nutrients. However, both are very high in chlorophyll and protein. Consuming both, or even better combined with barley grass, seems to be the best way to go. Mix all 3 ingredients in equal amounts and take 2-3 tablespoons 30 minutes before breakfast and 1-2 tablespoons before the second meal but not later than at 3-4 pm as they increase energy for many hours and therefore may interfere with sleep (if you take them too late). >
– Barley grass powder is a super food which is very high in vitamins and minerals and is also rich in energy boosting chlorophyll which has also anti-inflammatory properties. It can be regarded as complete protein food as it contains all 8 of the essential amino acids. Barley grass powder dissolves in water or a juice making it easy to assimilate its many active ingredients including vitamin B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, folate, Pantothenic acid, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Phosphorus, or Manganese. It is estimated that it may contain 10 times more calcium than milk, 40 times more vitamin B2 than lettuce, and 5 times the iron of spinach. Feedbacks from barley grass users: “Barley grass is awesome! My grandfather takes it daily and runs marathons”; “The most well-known barley grass enzyme is superoxide dismutase (SOD). Many athletes take this well-known antioxidant to counteract the large amounts of free radicals which are produced by aerobic exercise”; “Barley grass powder helps to restore the alkaline balance in the body. Human blood must remain slightly alkaline in order for red blood cells to carry their maximum oxygen load”; “Barley grass powder slows down ageing process, boosts energy, and improves muscle-building”.
– Another excellent energy booster worthy to try is Wheat grass juice powder by Pukka herbs (I know it from experience).
– Beetroot has also shown to reduce the maximum volume of oxygen needed during exercise, improved time-trial performance in trained cyclists and running performance in healthy adults. Scientists explain that beetroot helps to improve athletic performance mainly through the vasodilatation (widening) of the blood vessels and through reducing the need for oxygen consumption by muscles. For best results eat raw beet salads and drink 500ml to 1 litre of fresh raw beetroot juice. Watch VIDEO (below) on beets.
– Raw organic Coconut oil (1-3 tablespoons per day with meals) is popular among athletes because it is rich in healthy fatty acids, boosts testosterone, helps build muscles, is good for the brain, helps increase endurance and reduces body fat. Organic virgin coconut oil contains about 50% Medium-Chain Fatty-Acids (MCFA’s), which are converted by the liver into energy, allowing the body to use the fat for fuel immediately , rather than storing it in fat cells. Taken before workout with food, coconut oil is therefore an excellent source of quick sustained energy – perfect for athletes. Research indicates that coconut oil increases levels of testosterone which is the key hormone responsible for muscle growth, and in men, it peaks in the early 20s and subsequently starts to go down with age. According to a 2014 research paper Coconut oil shows huge increase in growth hormone production 30-90 minutes after consumption! Coconut oil is thermogenic which means body uses its fat to generate heat and warm up muscles, which is vital for any athlete to prevent injury. That is one of the reasons why so many of them use coconut oil. One of them once said, “My diet is full of MCT rich coconut oil and it’s helping me to maximise training and recovery.” A human study found that MCTs from coconut oil reduced body’s reliance on carbohydrates as a source of energy and lowered the amount of lactate produced during intense exercise, leading to greater exercise endurance. Read more >
– Tart Cherry is very important for the post exercise lactic acid elimination from muscles. Athletes need top quality sleep for recovery, strength and mental health. Tart Montmorency cherries contain natural hormone melatonin, a phytochemical critical in regulating sleep cycles. Research has shown that regular consumption of tart cherry juice concentrate increases melatonin levels in the brain thus improving sleep duration and quality. To improve sleep, drink one fluid oz of tart cherry juice concentrate diluted in 5 to 8 fl oz of clean filtered or distilled water, about 30 minutes before bed. Also remember about magnesium supplements before bed and all B vitamins after breakfast. Tart cherry juice has also shown to reduce inflammation, muscle damage and pain, increase cycling economy and maximum strength following high-intensity exercise. Many athletes take Ibuprofen before training sessions but NSAIDs eventually lead to many dangerous adverse side-effects including gastrointestinal, renal, and cardiovascular problems. On the other hand, consumption of tart cherry juice before and after intense training reduces muscle pain and inflammation without any health damaging side-effects. To reduce muscle pain, drink one fluid oz of tart cherry juice concentrate twice daily for a week before and on the day of the workout.
– Athletes use Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly to increase energy and endurance. The coach of the very successful Finnish track team from the 1972 Olympics, claimed that most of the athletes on the team consumed bee pollen. She also said that “studies show it significantly improves performance with no negative side effects.” A two year, double blind, placebo controlled study showed bee pollen shortens recovery time after intense exercise, increased recovery time of heart rate and blood pressure. The runners who took bee pollen performed much better than the control group while performing repeated intense efforts. Bee pollen is 25% protein and have a very high ORAC score (anti-oxidant levels). It is very important as antioxidants protect muscles from the oxidation that occurs with intense training. Make sure you get only organic bee pollen. Like propolis and royal jelly, pollen also boosts immunity. According to one study, swimmers who took pollen were more resistant to infections and healthy and they missed only 4 training days, as opposed to the ones taking placebo, who missed 27 days. In another study athletes who took 10 g pollen twice a day, had increased performance and the value of haemoglobin in their blood.
– Drink 2 times a day 2 glasses of cold-pressed Vegetable Juice (mostly carrots, beets, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale) about 30 minutes before each meal (you can add 1 tablespoon of chlorella and spirulina for better results), then start you meal with most healthy and nutritious foods. Fresh raw vegetable juices contain much higher concentration of nutrients than raw vegetable salads or smoothies as vegetables are high in fibre while juice is deprived of it. Therefore, one glass of carrot juice will contain all the nutrients found in approximately one kilo of raw carrots and those nutrients are much easier and quickly assimilated by the body. >
– Maca helps to boost testosterone and to regulate and utilize stress hormones including cortisol and adrenalin. Take 1 tablespoon or 5 – 500 mg capsules of Maca root powder every day for only 7 days. After that take Ashwaganda or Ginseng (both increase testosterone and are powerful adaptogens able to help in balancing cortisol) for another 7 days. Then, come back to Maca for a week, and again switch to Ashwaganda or Ginseng. Try to use them alternatively for about 3 months. After that take a break for about one month.
– Ashwagandha (also called Indian Ginseng) and Rhodiola. Athletes also need mental and emotional support as their profession can be very stressful leading to adrenal fatigue and sleep problems. Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola can be very beneficial for them. There are athletes who claim that after few weeks of taking high enough doses of these herbs they managed to improve their emotional health and slept much better. Fifty-seven resistance trainers were given either a placebo or 300mg extract of ashwagandha root twice a day for 2 months. During the eight weeks, the men did a resistance training program that targeted major muscle groups in the upper and lower body. After 2 months, upper body strength improved significantly more in the ashwagandha group: the placebo group increased the amount they bench pressed by 26.4 kg (58 lbs). But the ashwagandha group increased theirs by 46 kg (101 lbs). Similar results were obtained for lower body strength. The placebo group increased their leg extensions by 10 kg (22 lbs) compared to a 15 kg (32 lbs) increase in the ashwagandha group. Ashwagandha group also built bigger muscles: arm muscles were 5cm larger in the placebo group but 9cm larger in ashwagandha group; chest muscles were 1.5cm larger in the placebo group but 3.5cm larger in the ashwagandha group. In addition, ashwagandha improved muscle recovery time better than placebo and significantly reduced muscle damage, produced significantly greater loss of body fat percentage, and significantly increased testosterone levels more in the ashwagandha group (>, >, >).
In another study Ashwagandha doubled the swimming performance in rats and prevented decrease of adrenal cortisol & vitamin C (which occur due to swimming stress) (>).
Proper cognitive function of the brain, focus and response time are also important aspects of athletic and sport performance. In one controlled study, healthy men on a daily dose of 500mg of standardized Ashwagandha extract experienced significant improvement in their reaction time and task performance (>). According to a 2-month study 50 adult subjects on 300mg of Ashwagandha root extract twice daily significantly improved general memory, task performance and attention (>).
– Russian researchers found Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero) to be an excellent herb to enhance athletic performance as well as to strengthen the body during times of stress. Researchers from Taiwan also confirmed that Siberian Ginseng is capable of improving athletic performance. researchers summarise: “Eleutherococcus senticosus is an effective nutritional ergogenic aids for people who perform endurance exercises, but the exact mechanisms involved need further investigation.” Also other ginsengs are known to increase energy levels, relieve stress, enhance immune system function, control blood sugar, and improve cognitive function. However, only Siberian Ginseng can be used by those who suffer from high blood pressure. In fact it may even help to lower increased blood pressure. Compared to Asian or Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng may have more of a stimulatory (energy boosting) rather than an adaptogenic effect. Often promoted as an athletic performance enhancer, Siberian ginseng may also have moderate benefits in promoting recovery following intense exercise.
– Ground Fenugreek mixed with Manuka honey, raw honey or molasses increases protein absorption, improves digestion and strength. A double-blind study found that male weight lifters who took fenugreek extract had significantly increased upper and lower body strength compared to a placebo.
– The adaptogenic herb Schizandra has been known to improve physical performance. A controlled 1995 Russian study found that 74% of distance runners ran their best time when taking schizandra.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
– Take a good quality Multivitamin (the one made by Phoenix Nutrition is my favourite >) twice daily with meals.
– Vitamin D3: 5-20,000 IU a day with meals (don’t take D2). The research on contact and non-contact injuries and vitamin D is too strong to ignore, and proves that vitamin D is a game changer. Vitamin D literally saved athletes in the NFL as without supplementing this vitamin they constantly struggled with muscle problems. In addition, vitamin D is extremely important for the immune system and bone health. Vitamin D is known as a muscle hormone. While in most collision sports there is an increased risk of fractures, improved muscle function excites athletes far more than bone health. It is important to know that almost all people are deficient in vitamin D and that dark-skinned and black individuals are at even higher risk of the deficiency. Also without enough Magnesium vitamin D is useless in the body as without this mineral vitamin D cant be converted in the kidneys to its final form. Vitamin D must be taken with magnesium also because it leads to magnesium deficiency and because most people today are already magnesium deficient. New Research Shows Vitamin D Can Dramatically Increase Athletic Performance > Read more about Vitamin D >
– Magnesium: 2 x 200-400 mg 30-60 min before breakfast and before bed. Most athletes think zinc is more important, but magnesium seems to be more beneficial for them because apart from the fact that like zinc it benefits hormones it is much more important for the muscle performance. Use magnesium citrate internally and at the same time magnesium chloride oil spray externally especially on armpits (its absorbed through the skin and works as a deodorant).
– Iron deficiency anaemia is a common problem among athletes, and if you are low on iron, your ability to transport oxygen is impaired causing lack of energy. Low iron levels can ruin an athlete’s season and increase the risk of injury because it intensifies tiredness. Best natural sources of iron are spirulina, chlorella, moringa, wheat grass, barley grass, molasses, kale, spinach. The best iron supplement is iron bisglycinate. Always take iron with vitamin-C as it doubles its absorption. On the other hand coffee, black and green tea and anything with caffeine reduces iron absorption.
– Zinc – 15-50mg a day with meal. Eat also 2 tablespoons of soaked overnight in distilled water pumpkin seed. Normal cell division, strong immunity, hormonal balance, brain function, digestion of proteins, and metabolism depend on having enough zinc in the body. Zinc also aids in repairing tissues after exercise and plays a key role in hormone production, including testosterone, which is essential for building lean muscle mass. Unfortunately, like it is in case of vitamin D or magnesium, deficiency of zinc is a huge problem today due to soil depletion, stress, use of stimulants and refined diet. Make sure you take zinc with 0.5-1mg of copper. Zinc raises the levels of three important anabolic hormones in the body: growth hormone (GH), testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Low levels of zinc correlate with lower levels of testosterone, which can greatly affect strength, body fat, and recovery. According to a study, both serum total testosterone and serum free testosterone were increased after intense training in cyclists as a result of supplementing zinc for one month. Research has also shown increased levels of GH & IGF-1 after intense exercise. Following strenuous exercise, these increases in testosterone, GH, and IGF-1 levels result in increased muscle building, improved recovery time, and increased strength in both men and women. Zinc supplements may cause nausea so take them after main meals such as breakfast. I have tried various types of zinc and it seems in my case only zinc citrate doesn’t induce nausea.
– B Vitamins (B-complex): 50-100mg a day with breakfast. B-vitamins include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12) and folic acid (folate). These micronutrients are necessary during the body’s process for converting proteins and sugars into energy, and are used during the production and repair of cells, including red blood cells.Active individuals lacking in B-vitamins perform worse during high-intensity exercise and have a decreased ability to repair and build muscle. A daily low intake of less than one-third of the RDA for several of the B vitamins (B1, B2 and B6) and vitamin C, even when other vitamins are supplemented in the diet, may lead to a significant decrease in VO2max and the anaerobic threshold in less than four weeks.
– Vitamin B12 (must be sublingual methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin): 2000mcg under the tongue, only after breakfast. It adds energy, detoxifies the body, helps produce red blood cells, boosts immunity and prevents neurological damage in athletes. Deficiency of this vitamin is regarded as rampant also among meat eaters. >
– Vitamin K helps improve exercise performance by enhancing our ability to utilize energy during bouts of physical activity. Take daily dose of 100-500mcg Vitamin K2 MK7 (must be from fermented natto). Read more about Vitamin K >
– L-glutamine – amino acid, essential in intensive athletic training as it quickens muscle recovery after exercise. It also provides energy to the brain, works as mood elevator, enhances the immune system and improves long and short term memory. For bodybuilders, glutamine promotes nutrient assimilation, regulates protein synthesis and stimulates growth-hormone production.
– L-lysine (amino acid) helps convert fatty acids into energy and improves athletic performance taken together with the amino acid L-arginine. Athletes take L-lysine and L-arginine together to boost growth hormones and help muscles recovery when working out. According to one study, as a result of taking 1200 mg of L-lysine and the same amount of L-arginine human growth hormone was increased 8 times! Keep in mind that high levels of arginine may lower lysine levels in the body.
– L-carnitine is another popular among athletes amino acid which in human body is metabolized from methionine and lysine with the assistance of co-factors niacin, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. It plays very important role in cellular metabolism as it transports fatty acids into the mitochondria where those fats are turned into energy. In this way l-carnitine helps athletes to burn fat and get more energy. L-carnitine also helps remove toxic byproducts from mitochondria.
– Beta-Alanine (3-6 grams per day) supplementation can help improve your exercise performance and training volume. During high-intensity activity, body accumulates hydrogen ions, causing a drop in pH, leading to fatigue. Beta-alanine increases intramuscular carnosine content, thus improving body’s ability to buffer hydrogen ions and delay fatigue.
– Creatine. Creatine is safe and effective supplement for athletes. Research is supportive that it may actually reduce cramps. Creatine is a muscle enhance and a energy booster. Any speed and power athletes should take it, especially when they aim at adding muscle mass. Malic acid is often combined with creatine in order to improve the absorption of creatine.
– L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid but one of the most important for athletes as it plays crucial role in blood circulation through the production of nitric oxide (NO), a vasodilator which enhances blood flow. It is very beneficial for athletes as it helps to reduce blood pressure while at the same time increasing flow of blood to the muscles oxygenating them and providing nutrients they need to improve endurance. L-arginine also stimulates the release of growth hormones and the breakdown of lipids promoting muscle growth and fat burning. In addition, L-arginine assists in the creation of another important for athletes amino acid creatine.
– D-Ribose. One of the studies involved participants with chronic fatigue showed an average of almost 50% increase in energy levels after only 3 weeks and an average overall improvement in quality of life of 30% as a result of taking D-Ribose supplementation. In a trial involved healthy athletes D-Ribose was able to restore muscle energy levels to normal in just three days after a very intense exercise. Muscles of those who were not given D-Ribose still remained fatigued and energy-starved after three days of rest. The heart’s ability to resynthesize ATP is limited by the supply of D-ribose. D-Ribose increases energy levels in the heart muscle improving its function, blood circulation, and speeds up recovery after periods of reduced blood and oxygen supply. Research indicates a possible effect of D-Ribose in supporting antioxidant activity. Studies give evidence that D-Ribose administered before and after intense exercise help reduce free radical production and oxidative damage. Read more >
– Branched Chain Amino Acids are popular especially among strength athletes and bodybuilders who take BCAAs during workout. They taste good and may help speed up the recovery and repair processes after a tough workout. A 2010 study found that participants who ingested BCAAs at 100 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight experienced significantly less muscle soreness and damage following a high-volume squat protocol. BCAAs, especially leucine, help regulate protein metabolism by improving protein synthesis and suppressing protein degradation. This benefit may improve recovery of muscles damaged during resistance training.
– Betaine anhydrous (also known as trimethylglycine or TMG) is a compound derived from the amino acid choline and is naturally occurring in plants (especially sugar beets). 23 male athletes were given either 2.5g a day of betaine or a placebo during 6 weeks of training. The athletes on the betaine had improvements in arm muscle size and bench press training. They also had significantly improved body composition (percent body fat and lean body mass).
Take the following most powerful antioxidant supplements to slow down ageing process, prolong life, boost energy, protects and strengthen immune system, heart, nervous system and memory, increase fat and sugar metabolism, improve detoxification and liver function, prevent cancer, and more:
– Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) improved endurance in athletes.
An antioxidant cocktail with pine bark extract, increased endurance by 17%. In another study involving cyclists, the same Pycnogenol supplement, also increased muscle endurance and performance after a single dose taken before the training [>, >].
In a study involving 147 people, a daily dose of 100 mg of Pycnogenol, improved sit-ups endurance, push-ups & running over a 2-month training program. 150 mg per day enhanced swimming & biking scores in athletes preparing for a triathlon. Pine bark extract also reduced muscle cramps & pain, and improved triathlon time scores [>]. Participants were able to exercise on a treadmill longer after taking Pycnogenol daily for about a month. Two groups of people went through a 2-months training program. One was given 100mg a day of pinebark extract (Pycnogenol) and the other one wasn’t given anything. The men and women in the pinebark group had significantly better improvements in their 2 mile running time, were able to do more sit ups and push ups, and had significantly less oxidative damage. In the second stage of the study participants went through 1-month training for a triathlon. One of the groups given 150mg of pinebark extract per day. As a result the pinebark group significantly improved their time in swimming, biking and running, and had less oxidative stress and faster recovery times.
Pycnogenol reduces muscle fatigue and muscle damage by preventing the short-term raise in the production of harmful free radicals (cause of muscle damage and pain) after intense exercise. The same study revealed that pine bark extract can increase endurance performance [>].
According to another trial, 200 mg of Pycnogenol per day, reduced muscle pain & cramps in 66 healthy people, athletes, and subjects with blood vessel problems after one month [>].
– Coenzyme Q10 (100mg a day) – excellent energy booster and heart health support. Taking into consideration all the key benefits of CoQ10 a regular supplementation of this excellent antioxidant may effectively strengthen the heart, prevent some side effects caused by regular use of cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins, slow down ageing process, help maintain proper blood pressure and blood glucose levels, my enhance body’s immune function, boost energy and improve athletic performance, stimulate body’s metabolism to accelerate weight loss, and help maintain healthy gums. CoQ10 is extremely important especially for the heart health and heart function (crucial for athletes). You must take 100-200mg per day if you are on statins as this drug causes huge deficiency of CoQ10! Deficiency of CoQ10 and Magnesium leads to heart failure and eventually to heart attack. Read more >
– Alpha-Lipoic Acid (600-1200mg a day): Very affective in reversing nerve damage in the body (especially when combined with sublingual methylcobalamin form of B12) such as peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. It also helps prevent and treat diabetes, heart damage and cataract. It is most effective in increasing body levels of glutathione and CoQ10, improves skin condition, memory, removes heavy metals from the body and increases energy. Together with Acetyl L-Carnitine reduces sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc, lowers blood pressure and was able to improve vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease. Read more >
– Acetyl L-Carnitine (1 to 3g per day in divided doses): Like Alpha lipoic acid, it gives many benefits for the brain, nervous system, metabolism, heart, immune system, and blood sugar levels. In one study it imposed a huge energising and rejuvenating effect on ageing rats, and can do the same for ageing humans. It is even more effective when combined with Alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10. Rea more >
– NAC (N-Acetyl cysteine) (500 to 1000mg a day): One experienced physician, who recommended this powerful antioxidant to his patients, wrote that “in certain cases, this supplement can make the difference between life and death.” Read more >
– Often consume foods which increase levels of Glutathione (king of all antioxidants): Asparagus, Okra, Garlic, Onions, Rice bran, Mangosteen, Chlorella, fresh Dandelion leaves and fresh Nettle leaves (rinsed with very hot water to prevent stinging), Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Maca, Turmeric, Lentils, Parsley leaves, Collard greens, Kale, Brazil nuts, Mustard greens, Radish, Turnip, Watercress, Bok Choy, Rosemary, Berries, Avocado, Peaches, Watermelon, Beets, etc. Keep in mind that cooking (heating) reduces the glutathione content of vegetables by 30-60%! Canning is even worse as it almost completely destroys glutathione!
– Phosphatidylserine can help you work out longer. A double-blind research has demonstrated that it can increase the amount of time athletes can exercise before becoming exhausted by about 25%.
– Malic acid improves muscle performance and reduces muscle fatigue after exercise. It is also used to boost athletic performance when taken in supplement form. It is often combined with creatine in order to improve the absorption of creatine.
– Good Probiotic formula with meals. Probiotics are very important for athletes because they are important for the immune and nervous system and because they are catalysts for other supplements like such as B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, or iron. Many athletes have poor gut health due to antibiotics and poor diet, and as a result their immunity is low and absorption of nutrients in the intestines is impaired. There are examples of athletes who struggled for getting enough iron for a long time until they started taking good quality live probiotics. Make your own home-made raw Sauerkraut (don’t buy it as it is heated) and have at least 1-2 tablespoons with meal every day as it is the highest natural source of extremely beneficial Probiotic Bacteria you desperately need in your intestines. Alternatively, you may take a good probiotic formula. But make sure it contains live bacteria that are stomach acid- and bile-resistant as majority of probiotic supplements and yogurts on the market contain dead bacteria or bacteria that are not able to survive in the stomach.
Running or any intense exercise exacerbates gut dysfunction, because blood is diverted away from digestive organs, leading to their hypoxia (depriving them of oxygen). This hypoxia in the gut damages the gut lining, causing discomfort and increasing gut permeability (letting toxins from the gut enter the bloodstream). Such leakage of toxins into the bloodstream increases temperature, also in those who exercise in hot conditions, thus reducing physical performance. Probiotics, however, improve gut function and seal the gut lining preventing damage and leakage of toxins. Therefore, taking probiotics should improve exercise performance in the heat. (>)
In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (>) 10 runners completed two run-to-exhaustion tests under hot conditions (30 C / 86 F, 40% humidity). Before each test, they took a a probiotic supplement multi-strain probiotic with 45 billion CFU of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus strains for one month. According to the results, 8 of the 10 subjects were able to run faster on probiotics. The average improvement was from 33:00 to 37:44, which is about a 14% improvement. That size of improvement in a constant-pace time-to-exhaustion test generally corresponds to about a 1% improvement in a race or time trial, which is definitely significant. (>)
– Omega 3 from fresh ground flax seed and soaked overnight chia seeds give long energy. Since Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory it really soothes aching muscles.
– Glucosamine and Chondroitine to support joint health in athletes.
– Every day after breakfast take one tablet of a good quality Multivitamin-mineral formula such as VM-2000 (Solgar), VM-75 (Solgar), Special Two (NOW Foods), Earth Source (Solgar), etc. Never buy cheap vitamins or popular multivitamin supplements such as Centrum as they are very low in vitamins and minerals and contain only poor quality low strength vitamins and minerals and only few or no additional ingredients such as herbs, super foods, or enzymes. Always compare the number of ingredients and strength of vitamins and minerals per tablet.
– Water (distilled is the best option) – 2 hours before a workout, seep water during (clear urine), dehydration can cause muscle cramping and fatigue >
– Caffeine is often recommended for athletes but its not a wise choice as over time it creates more problems and harm than benefits. Read more >
– Avoid stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine (in coffee, guarana, chocolate, green tea, cola drinks, etc.), theophylline (in tea) or and theobromine (in cacao and chocolate) because although they appear to give you a short time energy boost yet it is only a borrowed energy, which means sooner or later you will have to pay for it with the loss of energy. And, as soon as you feel exhausted you it will force you to use stimulants again and again thus causing a vicious circle and addiction. Apart from that, stimulants also weaken your immune system and lead to nutritional deficiencies and may contribute to depression and other health problems. Don’t believe media promoting coffee and chocolate as beneficial for our health as those claims are based on studies that are sponsored by coffee and chocolate industry.
– Strenuous training weakens the immune system through overproduction of cortisol (stress hormone). For this reason you need to boost your immune system by taking Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Chlorella, Probiotics, Hot and cold alternative showers, and avoiding sugar, fructose, glucose, cheese, milk, dairy, stress, refined foods, antibiotics.
– Hydrotherapy (hot and cold alternative showers) before and after every training and event to improve circulation, oxygenation, regeneration, immunity and detoxification >
– Avoid frequent sex & masturbation as it leads to muscle weakness, poor concentration, loss of motivation and a huge zinc and dopamine deficiency >
– Diet: Complex carbohydrates (whole grains, oats, whole breads) with soaked chia seeds daily and 3 hours before event. According to the book “Athletic Performance Winning Formula” by Robert Haas in order to boost a long-term energy you need to “keep fats and oils to a minimum, decrease protein, and increase complex carbohydrates such as whole barley, oats, and raw vegetables, and drink lots of (distilled) water before, during, and after performance.”
– Avoid: gluten, wheat, sugar, chocolate, pizza, meat, artificial sweeteners, white flour products, hot spices, stimulants (coffee, cola, tea, green tea, chocolate, etc.)
– Every day in the morning and before going to bed: Pray and read the Bible with faith starting from the Gospel of John. There are other excellent inspired books which will empower you spiritually, morally and emotionally: Steps to Christ, Ministry of Healing, Desire of Ages, Great Controversy (all of them written by Ellen G White) >
– For great results in athletic performance read and implement HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
– Sleep 7 to 9 hours each night and if possible go to bed before 10 pm because the more you sleep before midnight the more efficient your rest will be.
– Every week take one whole day of rest, according to the fourth commandment >
The following testosterone boosters will help increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance:
Tribulus Terrestris (Puncture Weed), Ginsengs, Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium), Maca, Coconut Oil, Damiana, Spirulina, Chlorella, Ashwagandha, Oat Straw (Avena Sativa), Resveratrol and Grapes, D-Aspartic Acid, DHEA (Testosterone Precursor), Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D3, Beans, Nuts (soaked in distilled or clean filtered water over night), Garlic, Avocado, Almonds, Cabbages, Broccoli, Pomegranate, Avoid consuming canned food, avoid foods and water stored in plastic containers and plastic bottles, don’t drink unfiltered tap water, drink only distilled water with pinch of pink or Celtic salt, Exercise, Stress Control, Healthy Diet & Lifestyle.
For external use the following are excellent for JOINT PROBLEMS, MUSCLE CRAMPS & PAINS, INFLAMMATIONS, BRUISES, SPRAINS, and INJURIES:
– Magnesium Chloride oil spray for muscle cramps and pains
– Charcoal (poultice) for inflammations
– Green Clay and Bentonite Clay poultices for inflammations and regeneration
– Comfrey cream
– Propolis cream or tincture (mixed with raw coconut oil or olive oil)
– Aloe Vera gel
– Ginger poultice
– Cayenne pepper (Capsaicin) (mixed with raw coconut oil)
– Steamed Onion poultice
– Potato (grated) poultice >
Alternative (contrast) hot and cold showers are great to reduce pain and inflammation and will give a tremendous boost to the blood circulation, improve metabolism, regeneration of damaged tissue, the elimination of toxins, and stimulate both the nervous and the immune system. Always start with hot shower and after about 2 – 5 minutes when your body is warm enough take a 1 – 3 min cold shower slowly reducing the temperature until it is coldest possible. After that, repeat this procedure alternating the flow of water from hot to cold, back and forth 3-5 times in a row. You can also start the whole treatment with hot shower followed by prolonged cold bath and during the bath often rub your body with a very cold towel.
Another excellent and very simple water treatment is hot foot bath. Keeping your feet for about 30 minutes in hot water can be very helpful in boosting immunity and reducing congestion and pain from any area of the body. The very important benefit of water treatments such as hot foot bath is its ability to move blood from different parts of the body such as brain, chest, abdomen, etc. which is very helpful when the blood in brain and internal organs is congested, inflamed and often overloaded with toxins and impurities. It might be very beneficial in case of pain, sinusitis, headaches, cancer, arthritis, any inflammation or even fibromyalgia which is believed to be caused by too much blood in the brain which overstimulates the nervous system leading to increased sensitivity to pain.
If you are a diabetic use thermometer or ask someone to check the temperature as diabetics have lower sensitivity to heat and may burn themselves.
Find out more about HYDROTHERAPY >
SUGAR AND BAD SWEETENERS
– Avoid foods containing refined sugar as it spoils your appetite, weakens your immune system and leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Don’t consume sweetened beverages and foods which are high in empty calories, refined sugar, white flour, and fat. Never use artificial sweeteners nor high glucose / high fructose syrup as they are more harmful than even refined sugar.
– Avoid drinking fruit juices because they have high glycaemic index due to the fact that they are deprived of fibre and are high in sugar. Drinking fruit juices between meals will also cause stomach to release some digestive enzymes thus reducing their amounts during meals and impairing digestion.
– Don’t eat overripe or unripe fruits, and avoid canned, fried, or frozen vegetables or fruits.
HEALTHY SUGAR REPLACEMENTS
– In case you have a sweet tooth try to substitute the unhealthy products with fresh and dried fruits (dates, raisins, figs, prunes, etc.). If you miss traditional dairy ice creams, which are very unhealthy, make your own delicious and healthy ice creams by blending frozen bananas or other frozen fruits. You can experiment adding some raw honey (or sweeten the ice cream with xylitol or stevia), coconut cream, lemon juice, plant-based milk, a little bit of carob powder, ground cashew or other nuts to improve the flavour.
SPIRITUAL, MORAL & EMOTIONAL EMPOWERMENT
Most of us know from experience that it is very difficult and often even impossible to control stress, overcome fear, anxiety and depression, or to become a positive-thinking person simply because those negative emotions and fears seem to be a part of our nature. The good news however is that many people claim to find inward peace and great improvement in emotional health as a result of daily heart-felt meditation and spiritual communion with a Higher Power. However, according to medical research this kind of spiritual approach is effective only when combined with a sincere faith in a powerful but at the same time loving and carrying God. On the other hand, believing in a demanding, punishing and vengeful God was associated with increased risk of depression and mental disorders.
Also thoughtful reading an uplifting spiritual literature such as the Gospel of John (found in the Bible), which presents God as always loving, saving, healing, forgiving, and self-sacrificing, is another great way to find inward peace, hope and happiness, if your reading is combined with true faith.
In case you lack strong will power, which is required to improve lifestyle, avoid junk food and stimulants, don’t forget about fervent daily prayers (not mantra-type or short but talk to God using own words until you fill His peaceful and empowering influence) and reading or listening to a good spiritual literature (such as the Bible, Desire of Ages > and “Ministry of Healing” > by Ellen G White available online free of charge). It will greatly increase the effectiveness of your improved diet and lifestyle.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18);
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).
Because from my own experience I know and remember how difficult it was, in my case, to change my eating habits and give up on junk food and stimulants using my own pathetic at that time will power, I recommend to you reading or listening to a book “Steps to Christ” > and Great Controversy > by Ellen White. If you carefully study all the information presented there and follow the steps, you will not only become victorious but will actually experience an inward peace and transformation which will enable you to enjoy your new lifestyle (including diet and regular physical activity).
- 346 Abstracts with Exercise Research
- If Soaked Nuts and Whey Fight to Death, Who Comes Out Alive?
- How to Gain Muscle and Strength on Plants (Interview with Jack Norris, RD – Part 1)
- Can You Reduce Muscle Soreness and Gain Muscle Without Supplements? Interview with Dr. Michael Greger (Part 2)
- Plant-rich Sports Nutrition
- 92 Abstracts with Athletic Performance Research
Share this article!
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015;12:43
J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2013;53:644-54
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.
© 2016 Slawomir Gromadzki – All Rights Reserved