Home Posts tagged "Sports Nutrition" (Page 4)

Random Friday Thoughts: 8/14/09

1. I work about 315 days per year at Cressey Performance, so when I can get a weekday off, it's pretty darn special - and that's the case today.  I got in a great squatting session last night, so I don't feel quite so bad about staying home today to sit on my duff and catch up on writing, programming, reading, and planning Tony's Sweet 16 Party (he's 32, so we're going to have double the fun with both Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers as themes; isn't he lucky?).  Actually, it won't be that exciting; the goal is to get all of the following done before noon (and I'm writing this at 7:13am): a. this blog b. the first two blogs for next week c. one tag-along manual for our new products d. five programs e. some emails f. reading with any time that's left over I'm hoping that by mentioning all of this to you that it will make me more accountable to going into tunnel-vision-mode to get it all done.  We shall see... 2. Congratulations to Chad Jenkins of Kennesaw St. - and now the Toronto Blue Jays, who signed a good ol' $1.359 million contract on Wednesday after being drafted in the first round back in June.  Chad's been an incredibly hard worker on my programs and deserves all the success that comes his way.  Nice work, buddy! 3.  Here's a pretty good article about why eggs are actually GOOD for you.  I say "pretty good" not because I think it's new information to those of us in the know, but because it comes from a registered dietitian in a mainstream publication, who are normally brainwashed to adhere to stupid guidelines.  Kudos to Yahoo on this one, but I'm sorry to say that Dr. John Berardi and others have been preaching this for over a decade. 4. Here is a landmark study on how athletes have gotten taller, heavier, and faster during the past century. You can tell that the study was done by an engineer, because any strength coach could have easily told him that this was the case because resistance training and better nutrition habits were implemented over the course of that time. 5. Right now, in addition to a more geeky textbook, I'm reading Blunder, by Zachary Shore, on Gray Cook's recommendation.  So far, so good, although I haven't gotten too far into it (hopefully will this weekend).

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Have a great weekend!

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Building Vibrant Health: Part 4

Today is the fourth part of a guest blog series from Eric Talmant.  In case you missed them, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Building Vibrant Health: Part 4

By: Eric Talmant

There are several options for getting started with Bill Wolcott's Metabolic Typing®.  The first option, what I would refer to as the "Entry Level" option, is to buy The Metabolic Typing® Diet. This involves taking the self-test, which allows the reader to identify his or her general Metabolic Type® category and follow the appropriate Metabolic Type® dietary recommendations. It also provides additional self-tests to further customize the diet.

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The advantage to this option is that it involves a minor financial commitment, and it is certainly much better for you in terms of following a diet plan rather than just arbitrarily eating 'healthy foods'.  I feel so strongly about this that I believe there really is no reason every single person should not know their general Metabolic Type®.  Once you know your general type, it is very much like turning on a flashlight in a dark room.  Since you know what foods you should generally be eating to push body chemistry in the proper direction, you can actually begin to build health.  The very first thing you will notice is improvement in energy levels; followed shortly by the disappearance of food cravings. For a cost of probably $10 or less for a used copy, it just does not make any sense to me NOT to at least take this basic first step. The second option is to take the Advanced Metabolic Typing® Test from a certified Metabolic Typing® advisor.  You are certainly welcome to take the test from me, or if you feel more comfortable working with a local Metabolic Typing® advisor, then visit this link for a list of advisors in your area. The Metabolic Typing® Test offered by Certified Metabolic Typing® Advisors is the most specific test you can take to determine your Metabolic Type®. The HealthExcel System of Metabolic Typing® analyzes 11 Fundamental Homeostatic Controls (FHC) to determine and define one's Metabolic Type®. These FHCs are: 1. Autonomic Nervous System (NeuroEndocrine-Sympathetic/Balanced/Parasympathetic) 2. CarboOxidative (Fast/Slow/Mixed Oxidation) 3. Steroidal Hormone Balance (Pregnenolone/DHEA/Androgens/Estrogens/Progesterone/Cortisol) 4. Neurotransmitter Balance (Excitatory/Inhibitory) 5. LipoOxidative (Anabolic/Catabolic) 6. Electrolyte (Stress/Insufficiency) 7. Acid/Alkaline (6 different kinds of imbalances) 8. Endocrine Type 9. Blood Type 10. Constitutional Type 11. Prostaglandin Balance The Metabolic Typing® Test is the most accurate method of determining Metabolic Types® available in the world today. It is the result of an evolutionary process spanning nearly 30 years, and is based on the input of thousands of practitioners around the world and hundreds of thousands of users. This online test contains a series of questions about physical traits, diet-related traits, and psychological traits that will identify your dominance and sub-dominance, as well as your endocrine type. There are 9 possible Metabolic Type® combinations involving the pairing of the Autonomic and Oxidative systems. Within each type, one Fundamental Homeostatic Control will be dominant and dictates how nutrients behave in your body. Knowing your dominance and sub-dominance will guide you in choosing the best foods for your type. The endocrine system plays a role in shaping external physical features and therefore should be considered as you select the best foods for you from the approved food list. Consulting with your Certified Metabolic Typing® Advisor will help you fine-tune your meals for optimal health.

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(Example of Part of one Metabolic Type's® Food List that you would get with the Advanced Test)

If you do not have access to a computer, the test can be mailed to you and returned to your advisor for data entry. Services with the Metabolic Typing® Test often include:
  • The most specific, up-to-date color coded diet plan that Metabolic Typing® has for each type, that clearly shows which foods are ideal, neutral, least desirable, and to be avoided for your particular Metabolic Type®,
  • 40 additional documents covering lifestyle recommendations,
  • Individual supplement recommendations,
  • The article "Using Your Diet Plan",
  • Many more documents on how to integrate the Metabolic Typing® lifestyle into your own,
  • Sample menus for your type
These resources are extremely helpful in putting you on the right path to a Metabolic Typing® lifestyle. Consultation sessions are also available with the Metabolic Typing® Program, so contact you advisor to find out their rates.  In my practice, I have found that it is not uncommon for someone to take the test and put all of the pieces together for a relatively inexpensive initial investment (on my site this whole package is only $50).  However, when it comes to fine tuning one's diet and supplements, a Metabolic Typing® advisor sometimes can make all of the difference.  Try the program out for yourself at first and see how comfortable you are with the whole thing. Then, decide whether working with an advisor would be right for you. Finally, if you would like to really get serious about building and maintaining vibrant health, then most Metabolic Typing ® advisors offer what can be referred to as a "Comprehensive" Metabolic Typing® program.  Comprised of the Metabolic Typing® Program, in addition to the Signet MRT food sensitivity blood test, the BioHealth 205 saliva functional adrenal stress profile, the BioHealth 101 urine metabolic assessment profile, a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis from Trace Elements, Inc. and if necessary Neurotransmitter testing for the brain.   This program analyzes all 11 Fundamental Homeostatic Controls and makes appropriate the Metabolic Type® diet, Metabolic Type® supplementation and detoxification, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations. The Comprehensive Metabolic Typing® Program is designed as a complete lifestyle and advanced health-building program. It is intended as an "optimum health-building program" to help your body rebuild and regain its health, if you've lost it, or maximize your potential and keep your good health, if you already have it. The program typically includes the following components:
  • Metabolic Typing® Test
  • Signet MRT food sensitivity blood test
  • BioHealth 205 saliva functional adrenal stress profile
  • BioHealth 101 urine metabolic assessment profile
  • Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis from Trace Elements, Inc.
  • All lab fees for the MRT, 205, 101, and HTMA
  • Neurotransmitter testing for the brain (if necessary)
  • Analysis and interpretation of all test results
  • Customized food list
  • 2 months of email and telephonic MTA support
This is absolutely the most individualized and advanced program for building health that caters to your unique biochemistry that you will find anywhere. Now that you all have a basic understanding of the three main options for getting started in the Metabolic Typing® lifestyle, I encourage you to go out and do some more research on your own and perhaps contact a local advisor.  Begin by asking questions about their services. Then, describe to them where you currently are with your health and diet including your level of commitment.  Your advisor will be able to recommend the best options for you. In Part 5, I will discuss some of the tests mentioned in the Comprehensive Metabolic Typing® program, describe what each one "does", and discuss why they are important pieces in the puzzle of building and maintaining vibrant health. About the Author Eric Talmant is a top lightweight powerlifter and has a "passion for all things nutrition." A 1996 graduate of the University of Evansville, Eric is a certified Metabolic Typing® advisor. Talmant is certified to offer the Advanced Metabolic Typing® Test as well as order blood work (the Signet MRT Test, U.S. BioTek ELISA IgG allergy test, the High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein heart health test); as well as the BioHealth Diagnostics Adrenal and Hormone saliva test Profiles. Eric has competed in the ADFPA, NASA, AAPF, APF, APA, the WPO, and the Raw Unity Meet.  He holds the APF Florida state men's open equipped squat record of 678 pounds. He has been ranked in the top in the 75K class among all raw lifters in the United States for the past two years and he was a top equipped lifter in the two years before that. His best equipped lifts are a 683 pound squat, 391 pound bench press, and a 650 pound deadlift in the 75K weight class. His best raw lifts to date are 485 pound squat without knee wraps, 290 pound bench press, and 635 pound deadlift. He is also the founder and contest director of the Raw Unity Meet, which experienced great success in 2008 and 2009. Talmant brings a unique skill set and 16 years of nutritional experience to his sponsors BMF Sports, Ultra Life, Inc., Critical Bench, and Titan Support Systems.  He lives in rural Spring Hill, Florida, and can be reached through his web site at www.EricTalmant.com.
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Vitamin Water: My New Nemesis

Vitamin Water: It drives me crazy. High-school kids drink it non-stop and think the added nutrients to it outweigh the problems associated with downing those nutrients with a bunch of simple sugar. Actually, most kids don't even know that it's loaded with "crystalline fructose;" they just think it's regular water and someone just dissolved a Flintstones chewable into it and made it taste good. You know what? Even though most young athletes eat terribly, they still get plenty of vitamins, for the most part. They also get plenty of fructose - so there's certainly no need to supplement that. As Dr. John Berardi has said in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective Nutrition Programs, "Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea."
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Why I’m an Idiot…

In about eight hours, I'll be hopping on a plane to head to Ireland for a week. In my infinite wisdom, though, I'm going to complete a lower-body training session before I head to the airport - probably not the brightest thing to do when you've got a overnight plane ride ahead of you.

On the bright side, my girlfriend whipped up a batch of Apple-Cinnamon Bars from JB's new Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook Version 2.0, so I'll have something delicious to keep my mind off of the ridiculous soreness I'm going to be experiencing - and it'll keep the diet clean while we're across the pond. (Don't worry; I've got some blog content "in the well," so we'll keep updating in my absence.)
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Precision Nutrition: Nutritional Travel Strategies for Eating on the Road

Q: I really enjoyed your “What I Learned in 2007” article, especially where you touched on keeping a clean diet in spite of all your travels. Do you have any more tips? A: I do, but rather than reinvent the wheel, I might as well refer you to a great article by Dr. John M. Berardi, CSCS, creator of the Precision Nutrition system. This is reprinted with his permission:

Eating on the Road: Nutritional Travel Strategies

More and more the biggest challenge my clients face is sticking to their nutritional plan while on the road. Therefore in this article, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite strategies for maintaining your nutritional discipline when traveling. Strategy #1 — Location, Location, Location If you’re planning to take to the road for sport or for business, your first item of business is this—ensure that everything you need is in close proximity to where you’ll be working or playing. Location is key. So let’s say you’re going to a week long conference at the Indiana Convention Centre and RCA Dome. Well first, get on the internet and find all the hotels nearest the Convention Centre. Next, give these hotels a call to find out where the nearest grocery stores, restaurants and gyms are located. Pick the hotel with the best combination of nearby resources. This way, even if you don’t get a rental car, you can easily walk or cab to your fitness and nutritional havens. Skip this strategy and you’re giving yourself big excuses to skip workouts, miss meals, and make poor food selections while on the road. Strategy #2 — The Penthouse Suite? While you don’t necessarily have to stay at a 5 star hotel or choose the penthouse suite, one great strategy for you road warriors is to choose a hotel chain that offers rooms/suites with kitchens or kitchenettes. If you know a nice kitchen set-up is waiting for you, you won’t have much difficulty sticking to your meal plan. Just have your cabbie drop you at the grocery store on your way from the airport. Once you get to your hotel room you can rest assured that you’ll be able to eat as well as when you’re at home. If you’re looking for a good hotel chain, Marriott Residence Inns are a nice choice. You can find other hotels that meet your needs as well. I recommend Marriott because my clients have always had great experiences with them. Now, if you absolutely can’t find or afford a hotel that has a kitchen or kitchenette, make sure that your hotel room has, at the very least, a refrigerator (most do). As long as you’ve got a refrigerator, you can stock your hotel room with good snacks. My athletes and I pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, bottled water, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, regular cheese, natural peanut butter, whole grain breads and mixed nuts on our way into town and snack on these during our weeks on the road.

Strategy #3 — Can You Ship Egg Whites Next Day? Here’s a great strategy I picked up former client and current good friend, Austin. This guy is a bona fide road warrior himself and has a ton of great strategies for eating on the road. Instead of going shopping when he gets to town, Austin actually ships his food and supplements via UPS or Fed Ex. He gets a medium sized cold shipping box, loads it up with ice, protein powders, fruits and veggies, mixed nuts, legumes, meat, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, cooking pans, utensils, shaker bottles and non-stick cooking spray and ships it to his hotel before leaving home. By doing this, Austin doesn’t need to worry about where grocery stores and restaurants are located. As soon as he arrives in town, he’s good to go—nutritionally, at least. All he needs to find is a gym and he’s set. Again, although the shipping option may seem a bit pricey, you’ll end up saving money on restaurants and the price may work out in the end. Strategy #4 — The Big Cooler Here’s another strategy I picked up from my buddy Austin that helps ya’ transport both luggage and groceries simultaneously for shorter trips that might last only a day or two. Pick up a big cooler with an extendible handle and wheels (much like the wheeled luggage so popular nowadays), put a little partition down the middle, and you’ve got a ready made combined cooler/suitcase that can act as a carry-on. Put your cottage cheese on one side and your drawers on the other!

Strategy #5 — What’s On The Menu? If you decide to have others prepare your meals for you when on the road, make sure you use Strategy #1 above to find out where the restaurants nearest your hotel are located. Next, visit them on the web for downloadable menus. If they don’t have downloadable menus, call them and ask them to send a menu over to your hotel for when you arrive. By having the restaurant menus, you’ll know exactly what types of food you can have access to at all times. Also, when dining with a group, you’ll be able to suggest places that conform to your nutritional requirements. Strategy #6 — You Don’t Have To Order From The Menu Here’s a hot tip that most people fail to realize. Most restaurants can easily provide a meal custom to your specifications even if it’s not on the menu. So don’t become a slave to the menu offerings. Ordering a specific number from the menu is almost always a recipe for disaster unless the menu is designed for "healthy eating" or whatever the restaurant is calling it. Most normal dishes have too much fat and too many processed carbohydrates for most body-conscious individuals. Instead of ordering an item directly from the menu, either ask for an item that you like prepared without the sauces or high carbohydrate portions or simply ask for a portion of protein and a few servings of vegetables and fruit on the side. Remember, you’re paying top dollar for your meal and you’re about to tip your waitress. So don’t feel bad asking them to meet your needs, uh, nutritionally, that is.

Strategy #7 —Protein and Energy Supplements Using some combination of the strategies above, you should be able to ensure that good meal options are always around the corner. But sometimes when you’re on the road it’s impossible to slip back to your room or to get to a restaurant. For times like this, you’ll need to consider a few supplement options. Typically, when at home I only use 1-2 scoops of protein powder per day, but when on the road, I may use up to 6 scoops if necessary. Protein choices are both hard to come by and more expensive than other options. So increasing your dietary energy with protein powders is a good fall-back option. Strategy #8 — Powdered Veggies Normally, at home, I get about 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day. But when I’m on the road that amount is usually reduced to somewhere around 2-4 servings unless I’m very conscious of my intake. A great way to make up for this reduction in my micronutrient intake is to use a powdered vegetable supplement such as Greens+.

If I’m on the road, these products help make up for the deficit I may be experiencing. An added bonus is that I seem to better digest my protein supplements when adding some powdered veggies to my protein shakes. Strategy #9 — Homemade Bars If you’re not into drinking numerous protein shakes per day, another great option is to bring some homemade snacks with you. In fact, homemade protein/energy bars are a fantastic alternative to the mostly crappy, store bought, sugar laden, artificial ingredient containin’, protein bars. Strategy #10 — Sleep Pills Jet lag, time zone changes, unfamiliar sleeping environments, poor nutrition, altered exercise habits, and the stress associated with big business meetings or competitions can all really impair your ability to get adequate rest when on the road. Following the previous nine steps will help you take care of your nutritional intake. Making sure not to skip workouts will also help. So will the addition of a ZMA supplement. While research hasn’t provided direct evidence to support a relationship between zinc and/or magnesium status and sleep quality, most ZMA users find dramatically improved sleep quality when taking this supplement. Three capsules before bed should do the trick. If you’re going to be successful in maintaining a good nutritional plan, no matter what the circumstances, you’re going to have to plan for the unplanned and display adaptability to all circumstances. The guidelines included in this article should help get you thinking about how to become a successful road warrior. For more great training and nutrition wisdom, check out our complete system, Precision Nutrition. Containing system manuals, gourmet cookbook, digital audio/video library, online membership, and more, Precision Nutrition will teach you everything you need to know to get the body you want -- guaranteed.  And what's more, your online access allows you to talk exercise and nutrition 24/7 with thousands of fellow members and the Precision Nutrition coaches.
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One More Reason I Love My Job…

One of the biggest perks of being in this business is that I get a lot of free stuff sent to me. I’m not going to lie: a lot of it is absolute garbage that is so bad that I can’t read or view the whole thing. I look at some fitness gimmicks and can’t help but think “why?” I’ve actually got an entire section on my bookshelf of stuff I’ve received that’s just flat-out bad.

Why do I even mention this to you? Well, for one, so that you’ll know that if something gets a thumbs-up in my newsletter or blog, it’s legit. Second, and more importantly, I’ve grown to see patterns – and one such pattern is that everything that John Berardi has sent me is pretty much gold. The newly introduced Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook 2.0 is no exception.

I was impressed not only with the presentation of the book (well organized and easy to read), but obviously the content itself. There is an excellent and diverse selection of recipes, and they’ve been met with open arms and salivating mouths from our athletes.

One of my pitchers was in the office when it arrived, and I he asked if he could see it. That night, he made some of the bars and said that they came out great. Young athletes are a great measure of how good a nutrition product is; they’re impressionable, yet very stubborn. If something isn’t good, they’ll call BS or just ignore it altogether. Only two nutrition products have gotten my guys going; this one and the nutrition component of Jason Ferruggia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets.

Check it out for yourself: Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook 2.0.

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Five Random Thoughts from David Barr

1. Soreness = Muscle Growth. In the 1990s, we “realized” that soreness is just a result of the muscle inflammatory response, and has little to do with actual growth. However, consider the following: if Arachadonic Acid (AA) is the fatty acid that gets converted to prostaglandins (PG) during inflammation: a) Blocking the conversion of AA to PG prevents both soreness and muscle growth b) Increasing levels of AA increases levels of PG, soreness, and muscle growth c) The most damaging type of training yields the greatest soreness, strength and muscle gains 2. Short workouts aren't as great as you think. In the late 1990, it became all the rage to keep workouts to less than 45 minutes. It was believed, based on scientific evidence, that training for longer periods would result in a temporary decrease in anabolic hormone levels. Now, we realize (irony intended) that the impact of acute hormonal regulation is minimal, and it is far better to have a stimulating workout – even if it takes longer. 3. Apparently, pre-training meals suck? In spite of the evidence to show that pre-workout meals result in the greatest observable increases in muscle protein synthesis (the acute measure of muscle growth and recovery), people still refuse to use them. Considering that they also provide a tremendous increase in blood flow during training, which every newbie seems to be after, shouldn’t everyone be using them? 4. Faith vs. Reason. People are going to believe what they want even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Sadly, this even results in people getting upset by the mere presentation of data that contradicts a belief. In the supplement world, if you add in the fact that the placebo effect accounts for >60% of the resulting effect, you’re just asking for people to freak out. 5. Protein Pulse Feeding. The idea of spiking blood amino acids with protein, similar to the way in which we spike insulin with carbs, is the most anabolic nutritional revolution since whey protein was developed. Protein pulsing: not just for post-workout meals!

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The Average Teenage Diet

A few people found it hard to believe that the "average" teenage diet I outlined in my interview at T-Nation yesterday could actually be so bad. Don't believe me? A 17-year-old wanting to play Division-1 college baseball just brought this two-day diet record in for me: Monday 7:00AM - Cheerios Crunch, Skim Milk 7:30AM - Energy Drink 11:00AM - 3 Double Chocolate Cookies, Skim Milk, Pasta w/White Sauce and Chicken 4:00PM - Sub w/ Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Mozzarella Cheese, and Red Sauce, Coke, Cookies 6:00PM - Sprite 8:00PM - Orange Soda 9:00PM - Buffalo chicken and ham calzone with blue cheese 10:30PM - Gatorade Tuesday 7:00AM - Cheerios Crunch, Skim Milk 7:30AM - Energy Drink 11:00AM - 3 Double Chocolate Cookies, Crispy Fried Chicken 12:00PM - Gatorade 3:45PM - Medium Iced Coffee, 2 Doughnuts 7:00PM - Popcorn, Candy, Soda 8:00PM - Grilled Chicken, Gatorade 10:30PM - Gatorade The scariest part is that neither of these were training days. He also has numerous chronic injuries (elbow) that just don't seem to be getting better. Not exactly Precision Nutrition material, huh? Eric Cressey
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A Quick Tip from Kelly Baggett

Acid Buffers are a very useful and under-rated supplement when it comes to increasing work capacity and tolerance to high intensity activity. If you're trying to avoid or improve "neural fatigue," this is where it is. The body will maintain its PH range in a narrow range regardless of how you eat, but the important thing is what your body has to do to maintain that proper PH. Sub-clinical low-grade acidosis increases cortisol and occurs in most people due to the increased consumption of grains and reduced consumption of veggies and fruits. It also tends to naturally occur in response to stress of any kind. This includes: caloric restriction, intensive activity, and lack of sleep. Low-grade acidosis is, in my opinion, one reason why people dieting are more prone to lose strength. So how do you fix it? Eat your veggies and fruits. One pound of green veggies per 50 pounds of bodyweight per day is ideal. Vegetable juicing is a good idea. Additionally, a couple of extra grams of sodium and potassium bicarbonate (baking soda or Alka-Seltzer) can be useful, as can extra magnesium, glutamine (a teaspoon with each meal), and l-carnosine. If you pay attention to how you feel, you can eventually get to a point where you know when to supplement with extra buffers. The acidic state is associated with a “wired out” anxious stressed out type energy. The alkaline state is associated with relaxation. If you're feeling too relaxed, lay off the buffers. If you're feeling stressed, add them in.
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