Archive for April, 2009

Vitamin B Deficiency & Poor Athletic Performance Linked

Fitness, performance | Posted by admin April 26th, 2009

Active individuals lacking in B-vitamins – including college athletes and other elite competitors — may perform worse during high-intensity exercise and have a decreased ability to repair and build muscle than counterparts with nutrient-rich diets, according to recent Oregon State University research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

The B-vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, B-12 and 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. For active individuals a marginal deficiency in the nutrients may impact the body’s ability to repair itself, operate efficiently and fight disease. The stress on the body’s energy producing pathways during exercise, the changes in the body’s tissues resulting from training, an increase in the loss of nutrients in sweat, urine and feces during and after strenuous activity and the additional nutrients needed to repair and maintain higher levels of lean tissue mass present in some athletes and individuals may all affect an individual’s B-vitamin requirements.

“Many athletes, especially young athletes involved in highly competitive sports, do not realize the impact their diets have on their performance. By the time they reach adulthood they can have seriously jeopardized their abilities and their long-term health.”

Current national B-vitamin recommendations for active individuals may be inadequate, and athletes who follow the recommended daily allowances set by the U.S. government may be receiving lower amounts of nutrients than their bodies need. Athletes who restrict calories or limit food groups like dairy or meat have an increased chance of deficiency. Such athletes are often concerned about maintaining a low body weight for sports like gymnastics and wrestling.

The B-vitamins are in whole and enriched grains, dark green vegetables, nuts, and many animal and dairy products. It is suggested athletes and individuals with poor or restricted diets consider taking a multivitamin or mineral supplement.

Article adapted from original press release by Medical News Today

Nutrition as a Risk Factor for Injury in Elite Athletes

Recovery - Repair | Posted by admin April 20th, 2009

During the past two decades there have been scientific breakthroughs in understanding the role human metabolism plays in exercise, physical performance and athletic injuries. Studies have shown that specific forms of dietary behaviors may potentially be linked to health benefits or problems and their association to athletic performance. The field of sports nutrition has indicated that athletes have greater demands for macro and micronutrients than inactive humans. These findings have dictated the dietary recommendations of individuals participating in sports. This innovative and intergraded science has shifted from practical studies investigating the effects of dietary restrictions and supplementation, to the direct investigation of the biochemical basis of specific nutritional demands for elite performance and injury mechanics.

As sport induced injuries are on the rise, sports medicine specialists and sports nutritionists have been trying to determine how nutrition is related to injury. As human performance becomes more advanced and elite athletes are becoming more dependent on their team nutritionist, it is becoming evident that proper nutrition is essential for proper performance during practice and competition. Specific nutrients are critically important for enhancing the quality of performance, conditioning, practice time, recovery from fatigue, and avoiding sports induced injuries. For an athlete, improving biomechanical performance and avoiding the disturbance of homeostasis by strenuous demands by their specific sport is crucial. Since athletes require more nutrients than the recommended daily allowances (RDAs), it is important that they not only eat a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, but meet the nutritional demands and supplementation required before and after rigorous exercise.

Reference: “Injuries in Athletics: Causes and Consequences”
Residual Levels of vital body cell nutrients, vitamins and minerals can be quantified by Functional Intracellular Analysis (FIA)

Food For Thought . . .

Fitness, performance | Posted by admin April 16th, 2009

The link between genetic variations and adverse health outcomes during the various stages of life, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurodegenerative disease is compelling. By adjusting your lifestyle, you can have a great impact on how your genes work and compensate for areas in which you are genetically predisposed to functioning at an altered level.

Over the past few decades, epidemiological, clinical and mechanistic studies have indicated many relationships between nutrition and health. For example, links have been established between dietary habits and degenerative diseases like cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Ref: Natural Health Solutions – Research

A Mystery May be Unfolding . . .

Fitness, performance | Posted by admin April 12th, 2009

It is believed to be a top athlete you need the right genes. One gene which has been shown to play a role in elite athletic endurance has been discovered. It’s called the ACE gene, because it codes for the enzyme that activates the hormone angiotensin–ACE is short for angiotensin converting enzyme.

A group working in London knew that ACE is active in muscle tissue, where it regulates blood flow, so they figured it might have a role in endurance performance. They knew that the gene comes in two forms–I (for insertion) and D (for deletion)–so they did a study to find out if endurance athletes are more likely to have one or other form. The athletes they chose were elite mountaineers who could ascend above 7000 m without oxygen. Bingo! The I form was much more prevalent amongst the mountaineers than in the general population. What’s more, the mountaineers who could go to the highest altitudes without oxygen had two copies of the I form (one from mom and one from dad). The researchers then showed that the I form of the gene produced a greater response to strength-endurance training in army recruits: after a 10-week training program, time to exhaustion in a weighted elbow-flexion exercise lasting 2 min increased by only 6% in the recruits with two copies of the D form, by 21% in those with an I and a D, and by 66% in those with two Is. The findings were published in the May 21 issue of Nature (Montgomery et al., 1998). Two months later an Australian group reported that the I form of the ACE gene was much more frequent amongst elite rowers than in the general population (Gayagay et al., 1998).

There are several important implications. First, athletes in endurance sports will show a better response to training if they have two copies of the I form of the ACE gene, so it won’t be long before talent identification includes DNA testing. Will that be any different from selecting on the basis of maximum oxygen uptake? Secondly, other genes predictive of athletic potential will soon be discovered, but no gene will ever substitute for hard training, good coaching, and good sport-science support. Finally, sport scientists doing training studies with endurance athletes should think seriously about getting their subjects DNA tested, because the presence of the I form will help explain individual differences in the response to training.

Reference: Will G Hopkins PhD, Physiology and Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin 9001, New Zealand.

Components of Fitness & Performance . . .

Fitness, performance | Posted by admin April 9th, 2009

Following are the Components of Physical Fitness :

1. Speed: The speed is the ability of a person, vehicle movements at high speed in the shortest time. It is equal to the distance, per unit of time. the element of speed is in most of the athletic skills like running a sprint, some skills of football, basketball, etc.

2.Strength: Strength is the ability of a muscle to become experts or released by the contraction force a person to overcome resistance or opposition.

3. Power: Power is the ability of muscles to maximum effect in the shortest time. It is equal to force multiplied by speed. It is the combination of strength and speed. Speed and power are combined for a high performance in activities such as baseball throw, jump for height, soccer kick, punch boxes, etc.

4. Stamina: Stamina is the ability of the person to move moderate (sub-maximum) contractions over a longer period under the terms of exhaustion or fatigue. It is the product of all the mental and physical energy of the human body.

5. Flexibility: Flexibility is the ability of muscles to move with a large range of motion.

6. Agility: Agility is the ability to change a person or position in space to change directions quickly and as effectively as football player quickly changes direction, or the opponents dodge, barrier crossing of the barrier or barriers, zig-zag running, etc.

7. Balance: Balance is the ability of a person to control the human body or to maintain balance under static and dynamic conditions, such as hand, skating, skiing, catch a fly in baseball, etc.

Reference citation: Sports & Recreation – Free Blog

Your Body’s Needs . . .

nutrition | Posted by admin April 6th, 2009

Do not underestimate the importance of minerals and trace minerals for the human body. Minerals are the catalysts for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body uses genetically for replacing body cells and maintaining good health and strength. You body can make some vitamins like Vitamin D from the natural sun and Vitamin A from Beta Carotene, but the only way to get minerals is from the foods we eat or from supplements. Find out your body’s residual levels of vitamins & minerals so you can take action based on scientific evidence instead of speculation. Functional Intracellular Analysis is key to quantifying vital levels and identifying defiencies based on actual body cells (lymphocytes).