Posts Tagged ‘vitamins and minerals’

Micronutrients…Make a Mega Difference!!.

Advertisements

Micronutrients are nutrients required by humans and other living things throughout life in small quantities to orchestrate a whole range of physiological functions, but which the organism itself cannot produce.  (Canadian UNICEF Committee, Global Child Survival and Health, 2006, p.67)

I tend to find that many athletes underestimate the importance of vitamins and minerals, that’s why I found it appropriate to start this blog with the acronym, CHOPKINS Cafe MG.  This acronym stands for the bio elements that make up the fundamental structures of all living things; carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, nitrogen, calcium, iron, and magnesium.  Quite simply, these are the “bare necessities” needed for mammalian existence.  Vitamins are organic compounds that a living organism requires in trace quantities for good health, but which the organism can not synthesize and therefore must be obtain through it’s diet.  Vitamins are not an energy source but play a vital role in releasing the energy that is stored in foods consumed for sustenance.  Vitamins play a key role in the control and regulation of enzymes, as well as, the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.  Minerals in contrast to vitamins are inorganic compounds.  Minerals require no digestion, and some may even be stored in the liver.  Minerals are vital in the formation of strong bones and teeth, they also help control the nervous system, fluid balance, muscular contractions, as well as, some hormone functions and enzyme secretion.  Electrolytes provide the proper electrical charge within bodily fluids for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscular contraction, proper acid-base balance for ideal ph and overall fluid levels.  Without getting into specific detail of each particular vitamin, mineral, or electrolyte… The key take home message here is the importance of a balanced nutrition program, a quality vitamin/mineral supplement, and the significants of proper hydration and electrolyte replenishment.  As an athlete, the aforementioned elements are lost through sweat, respiration, physical, and mental stress to the body.  In order to perform at optimal levels at all times, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper nutrition and supplementation.  Intensely trained athletes don’t necessarily have a difference in micronutrient requirements than that of the average person… However, the requirement is typically far greater.

Many studies have been done on athletes using vitamin and mineral supplements.  The outcome is consistently the same,  supplemented athletes show greater performance, for longer periods of time then non-supplemented athletes.  It’s nice to think that it’s a possible to ingest the required amount of vitamins and minerals from one’s diet, but in today’s day and age of pesticides, preservatives, and poor soil quality it’s nearly impossible (I hate to be negative, but let’s be honest here).  I personally believe, as an elite athlete being spot on with one’s nutrition program AND giving an equal amount of attention to micronutrient supplementation based on vitamin/mineral testing is essential to performance.  This simple process will eliminate the guess work involved, ensuring each athlete knows exactly what he or she as an individual is lacking in order to attain… Ultimate Human Performance!

You’re Being Lied To…By The Scale!.

Quickfire Q & A…..

MACRO-NUTRIENTS
Macro-nutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy.  Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, mental acuity as well as many other functions of the human body.  The word “macro” means large, therefore, we require macro-nutrients (macro’s) in large amounts.  There are 3 macro-nutrients; Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats.  The amount of calories or energy each macro provides varies, carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, proteins also provides 4 calories per gram, fats however provide 9 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates are required in the largest amounts, and as an athlete our requirement is greater than that of the average individual.  In order to really understand the importance of carbs, we must first know the purpose of carbs. 1) Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source.  2) Carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy.  3) All the tissues and cells in our bodies can use glucose for energy.  4)  Carbohydrates are required for the central nervous system, kidneys, brain, and the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.  5)  Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and in the liver and later used for energy.  6) Carbohydrates are important for intestinal health and waste elimination.  Carbohydrates can be found in starchy foods like grains, potatoes, and fruit.  Other foods such as (fibrous carbs) vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and milk (lactose) products contain carbs but in lesser amounts.
Fiber refers to certain types of carbs that our bodies can’t digest.  These carbs pass through the intestinal tract and help to move waste out of the body.  There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  The benefit/purpose of soluble fiber is that it binds to fatty acids allowing for removal from the body also soluble fiber prolongs gastric emptying to allow the sugars to breakdown at a slower rate.  Insoluble fibers job is to move bulk through the intestines helping to control and balance pH (acidity) in the intestines.
When an insufficient amount of carbohydrates are consumed, or not consumed for that matter, the body must utilize proteins for energy even to the point of cannibalizing muscle tissue as a source of energy.  This is never an ideal situation for anyone let alone an athlete trying to reach peak performance.
Proteins provide the basic structure of all living cells.  Proteins are used for making essential hormones and enzymes, tissue repair and growth, optimal immune function, and preserving lean muscle.  The basic building blocks of proteins are called amino acids.  There are two types of proteins, complete and incomplete.  Amino acids are categorized as essential and non-essential.  Of the 20 amino acids that have been identified 9 are considered to be essential amino acids, those that cannot be manufactured by the body therefore must come from dietary intake (or supplementation).  The body being the survival device that it is can manufacture the non-essential amino acids from the by-product of carbohydrate metabolism.  Meat, fish, milk, cheese, whey and eggs are examples for food sources that contain complete proteins, I believe as an athlete these foods should comprise the majority of your daily protein intake.
Fat is a major source of energy and aids your body in the absorption of several vitamins.  Types of fats vary considerably both from an athletic standpoint and a health standpoint.  While fats are the most energy pack of the macronutrients, saturated (with a few exceptions coconut oil being one of them) and trans fats should be very limited in one’s diet.  Foods such as butter, shortening, lard, and meats particularly high in fat are examples of saturated fats.  Trans fats can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, snack food such as cookies and crackers, and especially in fried foods.  These types of fats should be replaced with healthy fats such as  omegas 3, 6, and 9, which are mono and polyunsaturated fats respectively.  As an athlete we need quality fats to keep our hormones at optimal levels, they also aid the body in the production of high density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good cholesterol”.  Essential fatty acids are essential in keeping the body healthy from a cellular level.  Excellent sources of essential fats can be found in nuts, and nut oils, avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish such as salmon, swordfish, and mackerel.  I do however find it worth mentioning that the research coming out on arterial plaque build up in connection to sub par ratios of Omega’s 3 and 6 verses all the blame going to saturated and trans fats is quite interesting.  The FDA previously recommended a ratio upwards of 20:1 for Omega’s 6:3; that ratio has recently (as of writing this) been adjusted to a 3:1 ratio recommendation for Omega’s 6:3.  I plan to elaborate on this as more research is published regarding the topic!
Even though water does not provide a caloric value it is widely considered a macronutrient, and for good reason, think of the amount we require just for survival.  Water is essential for ALL energy production in the body!  Water also plays a role in temperature regulation, waste elimination, and is integral to the cellular processes.  Upwards of 70% of body weight is water.  Insufficient water levels in the body results in a decrease of blood volume thereby reducing overall oxygen transportability of the blood to properly supply the muscles during exercise.  Since water is used to regulate body temperature, inadequate cooling of the body occurs.  The heart rate increases as the cardiovascular system is stressed and overheating occurs, leading to possible heat stroke or heat exhaustion.  An athlete should start consuming several 8 oz glasses of water starting 2 hours prior to activity, and as a rule of thumb should consume 4 oz every 15 minutes during exercise to replace the fluid lost through sweat and to maintain blood volume.  Keep in mind every BODY is slightly different and has slightly different needs!  Also, remember there is a big difference between “performance nutrition” and “cosmetic nutrition,” the piece above is geared specifically towards performance based nutrition.  When an athlete or individual needs to be at peak performance they must consume their macros accordingly!

1st installment from U.H.P. ebook.

Human beings are arguably the most complex organisms on the planet.  That being said, I plan to highlight what I feel to be the most important topics for the purpose of human performance to make you a better athlete.
PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF THE HUMAN BODY
    I believe that to understand the needs and requirements of an elite athlete we must first understand the primary purpose and function of the human body.  First and foremost, the human body is designed for survival, we are a survival mechanism.  Having said that we are complex organisms with the built in motivation that is present in every life form to develop our potentials to the fullest extent possible.  It’s not just about survival, but also that all creatures strive to make the very best of their existence.  The body’s organ systems works together to maintain a constant internal environment called homeostasis.  This homeostasis becomes disrupted from the physical and mental stress that our bodies go through when we train, practice, and play sports.  The human body must maintain specific ph levels throughout the blood, organs and  the remaining parts of the body.  For instance, when the ph level of the blood is not within the range of 7.35-7.45 the body must derive compounds from elsewhere to act as a chemical buffer if you will, to maintain a proper ph level.  It is vitally important for the body to maintain blood ph, even a minimal variation in either direction can change the entire electrical chemistry of the body, this will never produce ideal end results.  It’s important to note that the body, as a byproduct of training and exercise creates various acids (most notably lactic acid) therefore, we as athletes need more alkaline compounds.  Thankfully we can combat this through a proper diet with correct nutrient breakdown, and supplementation, I also firmly believe in the benefits of alkaline water.   An even greater benefit of the adaptive nature the human body possesses occurs when put under the physical and mental stress of intense anaerobic training, we respond by repairing ourselves to be bigger, faster, and stronger for the next training session or big game.  Keep in mind that growth refers to an increase in size either through an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia) or through an increase in the size of each individual cell (hypertrophy).  In order for growth to transpire, anabolic processes must occur at a faster rate than catabolic processes.  The human body works on an as needed basis.  We as athletes have a much greater caloric expenditure and higher rate of muscle tissue breakdown than the average individual therefore requiring a greater amount of macro and micronutrients for proper growth and repair.

INSULIN- THE DEATH HORMONE……OR IS IT??
BY: JASON CROCE
    ONE OF THE MOST FRIGHTENING THINGS I SEE WHEN I LOOK AT SOCIETY AS A WHOLE IS THE GROWING NUMBER OF INSULIN RELATED HEALTH ISSUES.  WHAT’S WORSE IS OUR FUTURE GENERATION WHICH ONCE WAS HEALTHY, ATHLETIC, STRAPPING YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN ARE NOW HUNCHBACK, POTBELLIED, OUTTA SHAPE FUTURE LEADERS OF AMERICA.  FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY A CENTURY  LIFE EXPECTANCY IS ON THE DECLINE.  IF THAT DOESN’T SCARE YOU ENOUGH CONSIDER THIS  DIABETES, OBESITY, HEART DISEASE, HYPERTENSION, ALMOST ALL TYPES OF CANCER ALONG WITH EVERY OTHER INSULIN RELATED HEALTH PROBLEM ARE SKYROCKETING AT AN ALARMING RATE.  YES, I AM BEING RATHER BLUNT BUT SOMETIMES IT TAKES TUFF LOVE TO OPEN PEOPLES EYES. I BELIEVE IT’S NOT INSULIN, RATHER LACK OF UNDERSTANDING HOW TO CONTROL INSULIN THAT IS KILLING AMERICA.  WHAT I WANT TO PROVIDE YOU WITH IS THE HOW’S, WHAT’S, AND THE WHY’S OF UNDERSTANDING INSULIN, IT’S FUNCTION, AND HOW TO CONTROL IT THROUGH FOOD AND SUPPLEMENTATION.
    I FIRST WANT TO DISCUSS GLYCATION, A SUBJECT THAT I HEAR VERY LITTLE ABOUT IN THE FITNESS/ BODYBUILDING WORLD BUT DOES GETS SOME PRESS TIME IN THE ANTI-AGING/ LONGEVITY ARENA.  IT’S INEVITABLE THAT THE PROCESS OF GLYCATION WILL ULTIMATELY OCCUR IN EVERYBODY THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE, SOME MORE OFTEN THAN OTHERS IN FACT IT MAY BE HAPPENING AS YOU READ THIS.  GLYCATION IS THE RESULT OF A SERIES OF PROCESSES THAT CAUSES DAMAGE TO THE CELLS BY A SUGAR MOLECULE BONDING TO A PROTEIN OR LIPID MOLECULE WITHOUT THE CONTROLLING ACTION OF AN ENZYME.  BASICALLY IT’S THE DAMAGE YOUR CELLS ENDURE BY HAVING CONSTANTLY ELEVATED BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS.  IT APPEARS THAT OF THE 3 SUGARS, FRUCTOSE AND GALACTOSE HAVE APPROXIMATELY 10 TIMES THE GLYCATION ACTIVITY AS GLUCOSE, THE PRIMARY BODY FUEL.  GLYCATION IS THE FIRST STEP IN THE EVOLUTION OF MOLECULES THROUGH A COMPLEX SERIES OF SLOW REACTION’S LEADING TO ADVANCED GLYCATION END-PRODUCTS (AGE’S).  SOME AGE’S ARE BENIGN, AND SOME MORE REACTIVE AND CAN BE IMPLICATED IN MANY AGE RELATED CHRONIC ILLNESSES SUCH AS: TYPE 1AND 2 DIABETES (BETA CELL DAMAGE), CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, CANCER, PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY, DEAFNESS, AND BLINDNESS.    IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A SUGAR MOLECULE COULD BE SO DETRIMENTAL TO THE BODY AS A WHOLE.  THE REASON GLYCATION HAS THE ABILITY TO EFFECT SUCH A WIDE RANGE OF DISEASES IS THE RESULT OF THE VERY BASIC LEVEL AT WHICH GLYCATION’S INTERFERE WITH MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR FUNCTIONING THROUGHOUT THE BODY.  KEEPING THE BODY HEALTHY FROM A CELLULAR LEVEL SHOULD BE THE CORNERSTONE OF LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.
    I WANT TO TAKE MOMENT TO EXPLAIN THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRES THROUGH THE COURSE  OF EATING FOOD TO THAT SAME FOOD BECOMING THE ENERGY THAT GIVES US THE ABILITY TO PERFORM AT OUR VERY BEST.  FIRST ,YOU EAT A MEAL CONSISTING OF PROTEINS, FATS, AND CARBS.  THE CARBOHYDRATES ARE BROKEN DOWN INTO SUGARS CALLED GLUCOSE WHICH ENTERS THE BLOODSTREAM THROUGH THE SMALL INTESTINES.  AS BLOOD GLUCOSE RISES, INSULIN IS RELEASED BY THE PANCREAS TO DISPERSE THE GLUCOSE.  THE CELLS HAVE INSULIN RECEPTORS POSITIONED SO THAT INSULIN CAN BIND TO THEM FACILITATING GLUCOSE ENTRY AND UTILIZATION IN THE CELLS.  ONCE INSIDE THE CELLS, GLUCOSE IS BURNED TO PRODUCE HEAT AND ADENOSINE TRIPHOSPHATE (ATP), A MOLECULE THAT STORES AND RELEASES ENTRY AS REQUIRED BY THE CELL.  AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME IF CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT RE-INTRODUCED INTO THE BODY THE PANCREAS WILL MANUFACTURE A HORMONE CALLED GLUCAGON.  THE PANCREAS RELEASES GLUCAGON WHEN INSULIN LEVELS ARE LOW TO CONVERT AMINO ACIDS INTO GLYCOGEN.  IT’S REALLY THAT SIMPLE PEOPLE.  MAINTAINING A HEALTHY DIET CONSISTING OF COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES, ESSENTIAL FATS, AND LEAN PROTEINS EATEN AT CONSISTENT INTERVALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY.  COMBINED WITH RESISTANCE TRAINING AS WELL AS CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE CAN IMPROVE INSULIN EFFICIENCY GIVING THE GLYCOGEN WE EAT A PLACE TO STORE.  
    I’M NOT JUST WRITING ABOUT THIS TOPIC BECAUSE I WANT A PLATFORM TO GIVE MY OPINION ON WHY AMERICA IS THE MOST OUT OF SHAPE AND OBESE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.  NO, BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT IF YOUR NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION YOUR PART OF THE PROBLEM.  WHILE I UNDERSTAND THAT NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO CHANGE THE WAY THEY EAT OR START EXERCISING MORE OFTEN,  I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT A COUPLE OF SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN TRULY HAVE DRAMATIC AFFECTS ON CONTROLLING INSULIN LEVELS.  I CAN SAY THIS WITH CONFIDENCE BECAUSE I’VE SEEN THE BENEFITS FIRST HAND.  OVER THE YEARS I HAVE DONE NUMEROUS EXPERIMENTS ON MYSELF USING A GLUCOMETER  TO MONITOR THE EFFECTS THAT ALL KINDS OF FOODS HAVE ON BLOOD SUGAR WITH AND WITHOUT A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SUPPLEMENTS.  ALONG WITH HANDS ON EXPERIMENTS I HAVE ALSO COMPILED A BOAT LOAD OF RESEARCH TO FURTHER CONFIRM MY SAME FINDINGS THAT SUPPLEMENTATION WITH CHROMIUM POLYNICOTINATE AND VANADYL SULFATE CAN PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE REDUCTION OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS.   CHROMIUM IS A CO-FACTOR OF INSULIN, STUDIES SHOW SUPPLEMENTATION WITH CHROMIUM ALLOWS THE INSULIN THAT THE PANCREAS DOES PRODUCE TO BE USED IN THE MOST EFFICIENT MANNER POSSIBLE.  NIACIN BOUND CHROME AKA CHROMIUM POLYNICOTINATE IS SUPERIOR TO ALL OTHER FORMS OF CHROMIUM.  NIACIN BOUND CHROME HAS ZERO TOXICITY EVEN IN HIGH DOSES.  IT HAS A 600% GREATER BIO-AVAILABILITY THAN CHROMIUM CHLORIDE AND IS 300% BETTER THAN CHROMIUM PICOLINATE.  ADDITIONAL CLINICAL TRIALS HAVE SHOWN CHROMIUM POLYNICOTINATE LOWERS SERUM CHOLESTEROL LEVELS AND IMPROVES HDL(GOOD) CHOLESTEROL, LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE, REDUCES BODY WEIGHT,  INCREASES LEAN BODY MASS AND OF COURSE PROMOTES PROPER INSULIN FUNCTION IN THE BODY.  THE OTHER PART OF THE EQUATION IS VANADYL SULFATE.   VANADYL IS A TRACE MINERAL FOUND IN THE BODY THAT HAS THE ABILITY TO “RE-SENSITIZE” THE MUSCLE RECEPTOR TO ACCEPT GLYCOGEN.  IT’S LIKE TURNING AN OFF SWITCH, ON.  TAKE A DRUG ADDICT FOR EXAMPLE, AFTER AWHILE THE INDIVIDUAL WILL HAVE TO CONSUME MORE OF THE DESIRED DRUG IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A HIGH.  WE AS HUMAN’S EAT FOOD FROM THE TIME WE ARE BORN TILL THE TIME WE DIE.  OVER TIME THE MUSCLE RECEPTOR LOSES IT’S SENSITIVITY TO RECEIVE NUTRIENTS FROM THE BLOODSTREAM.  THIS IS WHERE “RE-SENSITIZING” THE RECEPTOR BECOMES A BETTER SOLUTION THAN EATING MASS AMOUNTS OF FOOD IN ORDER TO RECEIVE COVETED NUTRIENTS NEEDED FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH.  WHEN COMBINING CHROMIUM POLYNICONATE AND VANADYL SULFATE, 1 PLUS 1 NO LONGER EQUALS 2, IT’S MORE LIKE 3 OR 4.  THE RESULTS THAT CHROME AND VANADYL  HAVE ON GLUCOSE DISPOSAL ARE  COMPARABLE TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN MY OPINION.  I HAVE WITNESSED TYPE 2 DIABETICS TAKING GLUCOPHAGE (METFORMIN) CHANGE THEIR DIET, BEGIN EXERCISING, AND START SUPPLEMENTATION WITH VANADYL AND CHROME AND NO LONGER NEED PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION.  OF COURSE I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND DO NOT RECOMMEND STARTING ANY SUPPLEMENT REGIMEN WITHOUT SPEAKING WITH A PHYSICIAN.  BOTH VANADYL AND CHROME ARE NATURALLY OCCURRING IN THE BODY.  BY INCLUDING GLUCOSE DISPOSAL AGENTS SUCH AS VANADYL AND CHROMIUM YOU ASSIST THE BODY IN USING INSULIN  EFFICIENTLY.  THEREFORE PUTTING THE LEAST AMOUNT OF STRESS ON THE PANCREAS AS POSSIBLE.  ONE THING ALMOST EVERY LONGEVITY STUDY HAS IS COMMON IS THAT REDUCING THE STRESS PUT ON THE PANCREAS IS CONDUCIVE TO LIVING A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE.  I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THESE 2 SIMPLE MINERALS COULD HAVE AN IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENT ON THE HEALTH OF AMERICA AND ADD TO THE QUALITY OF LIFE AROUND THE WORLD,  “PEOPLE DON’T PLAN TO FAIL, THEY FAIL TO PLAN!”