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Optimizing Nutrition for Sports Performance

Author: Jerry Nichols 09.05.2012 · Posted in Nutrition

Athletes are usually so focused on how macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, fat—affect their performance, but what about

A top-down view of skeletal muscle

A top-down view of skeletal muscle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

bioactive compounds and micronutrients? Can they improve performance? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Ageless Essentials Daily Pack has exactly what you need to take your skills to the next level. Here are seven powerful ingredients in Ageless Essentials that can help you gain a competitive edge:

1. Coenzyme 10 (CoQ10): Coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) is a vitamin-like substance that is essential in generating about 95 percent of the body’s energy. It is also a potent fat-soluble antioxidant. Exercise increases the need for oxygen—10 to 20 times more than the resting state—causing an intensified metabolic process known as oxidative stress. The coping strategies that the body has developed to combat oxidative stress can become maxed out during times of intense physical activity and can lead to tissue damage and inflammation, excess fatigue, and delayed recovery. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that supplements of coQ10 not only decreased oxidative stress but also reduced over-expression of pro-inflammatory genes and reduced levels of creatinine, an indicator of muscle breakdown (1). Although a degree of muscle breakdown stimulates growth, minimizing damage can allow athletes to recover faster and train harder.

2. Resveratrol: Phenols are compounds naturally produced by plants and are used to protect against pests and pathogens. Resveratrol, a phenol, has exhibits similar protective properties in the human body. Now research has found that, when paired with exercise, resveratrol can enhance strength, metabolism, cardiovascular efficiency and exercise capacity. In this study, rats consuming resveratrol ran longer and faster (2). Additionally, the rats developed stronger leg muscles with an 18 percent strength gain in the calf muscle and 58 percent gain in their tibialis anterior (on the front of the leg) muscle. Even more important for athletes, scientists found that resveratrol’s ability to improve cardiovascular efficiency lead to higher levels of fat burning, increased muscle mass, and improved endurance.

3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is renowned for quenching free radicals, as well as playing a major role in collagen synthesis, hormone formation, and fat metabolism. The newest skill to add to the vitamin C resume is its ability to act as an ergogenic (exercise-enhancing) aid. In a study conducted at Arizona State University, researchers found that subjects who supplemented with vitamin C had decreased heart rates during exercise and a 10 percent decrease in the perceived difficulty of physical activity compared to the placebo group (3). In addition to decreasing the effects of oxidative stress in athletes, vitamin C supplementation may be able to optimize performance by decreasing the discomfort of high-intensity physical exertion.

4. Fish Oil: Strength training has long been thought to have health benefits, but now research shows that supplementing with fish oil can amplify the benefits of resistance training. A study shows that elderly women taking fish oil who began a strength training regimen had increased neuromuscular responses compared to women who did not take the supplement (4). Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which can alter cell membrane fluidity. This fluidity may affect the uptake of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that triggers the process of muscle contraction. The combination of fish oil and strength training may lead to faster communication between nerves and muscles, and thus faster muscle contraction for athletes. An additional bonus for athletes is the soothing effects of omega-3s to assist with a proper recovery.

5. Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly recognized as one of the most common health problems in the world today, with athletes being no exception. Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) is a hormone that is essential for bone growth & repair, cell function, management of inflammation, and mineral balance in the body. It can either be consumed through the diet or synthesized in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight; however, evidence is showing that people are not getting adequate amounts. Vitamin D deficiency may make an impact on training quality and injury, and as a result, athletic performance. A study of elderly patients found that supplementation with vitamin D significantly increased the mean diameter of type II muscle fibers (5). The discovery of vitamin D receptors (VDR) on muscle cells provides further evidence that vitamin D plays a significant role in muscle structure and function. Finally, apart from supporting optimal athletic performance, higher vitamin D status has been link to improved overall physical health and muscle function well into old age.

6. Calcium: Getting enough calcium in your diet is so important that your body will actually “rob” calcium from your bones if there is not enough in the blood. Lacking calcium in the diet not only leads to poor bone health, but it can also severely affect nerves and muscles causing weakness, muscle spasms, and muscle pain. Calcium is an integral part in the communication between nerves and muscle cells for muscle contraction to occur. Without sufficient amounts of calcium, muscle weakness will result in decreased athletic performance and discomfort. Athletes most at risk for inadequate dietary calcium intake are those who are involved in weight-control sports such as figure skating and distance running. Additionally, some evidence points to increased calcium losses related to intense endurance training (6). Be sure you’re getting enough.

7. Electrolytes: Ever notice that your skin feels gritty after a workout? That is actually salt that has escaped through your pores. The evaporation of sweat from the skin’s surface assists the body in regulating core temperature. Unfortunately, the side effect of this temperature-regulating mechanism is the loss of essential electrolytes and fluid. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, 1 to 2 percent loss of body weight in sweat begins to compromise physiologic function and negatively influence performance. Greater than 3 percent further disturbs physiologic function and increases the risk of developing cramps or heat exhaustion. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are important minerals that for regulating the hydration status of the body. It is not only important for athletes to rehydrate but also to replace the electrolytes lost during exercise to perform well and recovery quickly.

The greatest concern when choosing the right supplement is to find a product that is high in quality and supported by science. Isagenix Ageless Essentials Daily Packs are carefully formulated to contain proper nutrients to help you power your workouts—helping you reach athletic goals. Let Isagenix nourish your body so you can focus on preparing to win the gold.

For more information about this topic and other health and wealth related topics use the following websites:

www.facebook.com/health2money

www.isafun.com

www.billionsisagenix.com

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www.weightlossbydetox.com

References

  1. Diaz-Castro J, Guisado R, Kajarabille N et al. Coenzyme Q(10) supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise. Eur J Nutr 2011.
  2. Dolinsky VW, Jones KE, Sidhu RS et al. Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats. J Physiol 2012;590:2783-99.
  3. Huck CJ, Johnston CS, Beezhold BL, Swan PD. Vitamin C status and perception of effort during exercise in obese adults adhering to a calorie-reduced diet. Nutrition 2012.
  4. Rodacki CL, Rodacki AL, Pereira G et al. Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:428-36.
  5. Sato Y, Iwamoto J, Kanoko T, Satoh K. Low-dose vitamin D prevents muscular atrophy and reduces falls and hip fractures in women after stroke: a randomized controlled trial. Cerebrovasc Dis 2005;20:187-92.
  6. Dressendorfer RH, Petersen SR, Lovshin SE, Keen CL. Mineral metabolism in male cyclists during high-intensity endurance training. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2002;12:63-72.
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