April 27, 2022
Delayed-onset muscle soreness most known as DOMS is muscle pain that begins after training.
DOMS symptoms start at least between 12 to 24 hours after workout. The most common causes of this condition are high intensity exercise or eccentric exercise.
This is because the body responds to this tiny damage in muscle fiber by increasing inflammation.
WHAT WE SHOULD CONSIDER
DOMS can affect any person who exercises, from elite athletes to beginners, or anyone who has not worked out in a long time. There are some indicators of muscle pain such as CPK and decrease in force of maximal voluntary contraction that can take us to diagnosis.
DOMS can lead to muscle injury because of the inflammatory response and fatigue. This is the reason why we should prevent it.
There are many ways of prevention, such as staying hydrated, warming up before exercise and cooling down after a high intensity activity. Last but not least, taking workouts to the next level of intensity one small step at a time. This can help safely build individual strength and endurance while it minimizes the effects of DOMS.
April 27, 2022
Muscle cramps have multiple causes: muscles overused, dehydration, nutrition deficiency like mineral depletion or nerve compression are the most common causes.
It is a sudden and involuntary contraction of the muscle. Long periods of exercise or physical labor can lead to this condition.
Most cramps develop in leg muscles, and can generate sharp pain.
When we talk about nutrition deficiency, it is directly related with dehydration or overhydration, mineral or electrolyte depletion.
PREVENTIVE NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES
In order to decrease the tendency to muscle cramps, especially in endurance training, we should consider what we eat and drink before and during the activity.
Depending on the sweat rate, temperature and humidity, the recommendations will be more demanding.
We should achieve water balance: both dehydration and overhydration could be factors to cramps. Daily food should be nutritionally complete and good choices of carbohydrate strategies of carbohydrates both before and during the activity.
Electrolytes play a very important role. They can be supplemented through salts, isotonic drinks or salt wáter.
April 21, 2022
Spirulina is considered as a superfood because it is not essential but nutritionally dense and could be beneficial in case of habitual consumption.
It is a type of blue-green algae that has a high protein and vitamin content, which makes it an excellent dietary supplement for people.
It is a high protein and vitamin algae, that will abort the next benefits:
✨PROTEIN: it contributes approximately 57 g of protein in 100 g (1 spoon is the equivalent of 10 g of spirulina, which contains 5 g of protein. The same as yogurt)
✨IRON: High iron contribution. One spoon is the equivalent of 5 mg per serving.
✨VITAMIN E: vitamin that has antioxidant properties.
✨VITAMIN B12 which is NOT bioavailable.
HOW TO INCLUDE IT IN THE DIET
Spirulina is available in powder or tablet form.
As a powder, people can add it to smoothies, in salads or soups, mix it in energy balls or in fruits or vegetables.
Remember that the use of super foods does not replace daily diet. They will be taken as a plus in the feeding. Taking them in isolation Will make no difference in health.
April 21, 2022
Aerobic exercise is a low to moderate intensity activity that can be maintained for 30 minutes or more, in order to improve the cardiorespiratory capacity of the individual.
It's an activity that strengthens the heart, and contributes to improving HDL cholesterol levels.
Most individual sports disciplines are related with aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, walking among others.
AEROBIC EXERCISE AND CALORIC EXPENDITURE
Low intensity but endurance exercise is related to fat burning activity. The reason why is because the energy substrates used for the activity are glucose (main fuel of the body) and fat (this is through beta oxidation in mitochondria).
Both aerobic exercise and strength training are important in order to improve body composition.
In aerobic training, because of the caloric expenditure during the activity, and with nutritional planning, the individual can go into caloric deficiency which means in using fat as a power source.
April 13, 2022
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it increases the sympathetic nervous system: these systems prepare the organism for stress by increasing heart rate and blood flow to muscles. This is the principal reason why it could be useful in cyclical and endurance sports like ultra marathon, IRONMAN and cycling.
There are other functions that could enhance performance:
- It could increase the use of lipids for energy performance through beta oxidation.
- It could be part of muscle contraction. These are the reasons why it would improve sensations in the athlete´s performance.
CAFFEINE RECOMMENDATIONS IN SPORTS PERFORMANCE
To be useful as an ergogenic aid, we should consume significant amounts, but in safe doses because it could have side effects like tachycardia, anxiety and bad sleeping.
Actual recommendations are between 3 and 9 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight, approximately 60 min prior to exercise. This could be translated into 200 mg of caffeine in a person weighing 60 kg.
STRATEGIES TO MEET CAFFEINE NEEDS
If we consider the athlete that is weighing 60 kg and should be incorporating 200 mg of caffeine, we could translate it in different alternatives:
Caffeine tablet is the most practical, because it is presented in big doses each tablet (50 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg per tablet), which is the equivalent of 3 espressos (80 mg caffeine each one) , or 600 ml energy drink or 4 glucose gel (30 to 50 mg caffeine each).
Caffeine could enhance sports performance, but we should consider correct planning with a professional looking for practicality, logistics and correct doses.
April 13, 2022
When we talk about energy balance, we refer to the relation between intake of food and output of work (calories eaten vs calories used during the day).
Depending on our sport goals, body composition or clinical goals, we should considerate how to make this balance.
POSITIVE vs NEUTRAL vs NEGATIVE ENERGY BALANCE
There are three types of BALANCE: POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NEUTRAL ENERGY BALANCE.
Negative Energy Balance is when energy intake is less than energy expenditure, usually resulting in weight loss, looking for fat loss.
Positive Energy Balance occurs when energy intake is greater than energy expenditure, usually resulting in weight gain, looking for Muscle gain.
Last but not least, Neutral Energy Balance is when the calories you take in is equal to the calories expanded. The weight is usually maintained. We look for balance.
The first thing we have to analize at the time to look for some goal in body composition is Energy Balance. After that, calculation and distribution of macronutrients.
April 13, 2022
One of the characteristics distinguishing males and females is the different sex hormones: the menstrual cycle is divided in different phases with different hormones which can fluctuate exercise performance. Ideally, trainers should consider cycle phases in order to plan workouts of the month, to reduce the tendency to frustration when performance declines, and to optimize recovery phases.
HORMONAL PHASES AND PERFORMANCE
It results that when women are in ovulation, they can achieve their personal best in strength, compared to the follicular and luteal phases. The reason for this is because of increased estrogen, getting the body into an anabolic stage, and because it has a protective effect against muscle damage.
On the other hand, when women get into luteal phase, the body is not primed for high – intensity training. The body gets into a catabolic stage, where muscular repair is slower and energy body decreases.
The knowledge of menstrual phases could be useful for performance training planification. This is because the trainer could take care of the athlete and could understand what's happening with her body in the different phases of the cycle.
April 13, 2022
Ambient temperature and relative humidity can be external factors that influence sports performance. This is the reason why there could be some differences between training during summer or winter.
When we refer to nutritional facts, we should consider that in the cold there is less sweating than in hot temperatures. Because of this, loss of water and electrolytes in heat is higher than in cold. We have to take care of the temperature, because both overhydration and dehydration could cause gastrointestinal symptoms and complications during training performance.
EXTRA NUTRITIONAL FACTS
There are other details we should take care of like clothing, warm up and mobility, among other facts.
On one hand, find appropriate clothing to maintain body temperature, but comfortable and allow us to keep the correct technique: if the athlete is running, to keep the correct stroke and stride.
In case of warm up and mobility, we should consider that on cold days we tend to contract muscle fibers, so we should have to focus on warming up to prevent injuries.
Cold temperatures can be great in sports performance, if we take care of the details.
March 29, 2022
Ketogenic Diet is a very low carb, high fat diet. The idea of this diet is to eat less carbs and replace them with fat and protein, resulting in a state called ketosis.
Ketosis is a process that happens when our body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn energy, producing ketones which will become our body and brain main source of energy. This could be useful in epilepsy when children with seizures do not respond to medications.
Nowadays, it is related to weight loss. This is because the first thing we lose when we do not eat carbs is glycogen and water, resulting in immediate weight loss.
NEGATIVE ENERGY BALANCE
The real reason why it can result in fat burning is calorie deficit or negative energy balance. Ketogenic Diet is another way to get a negative energy balance, but is not the only way to consider fat burning.
On the other hand, you have to consider that 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories vs 1 gram of carbs or protein equals 4 calories: this is the reason why we need to control intake in order to be at a negative energy balance.
Keto diet could be useful but is not for everyone. We should consider that limiting one macronutrient or a food group could take the person to some adverse effect like anxiety or carb binge.
March 29, 2022
Vitamin C, whose scientific name is Ascorbic Acid, its a vital micronutrient, because its main function is to act as cellular antioxidant: this means that it stops cellular aging, caused by free radicals.
Because of this function, we can prevent lots of diseases and body damage. On the other hand, it participates in immune system strengthening, articular regeneration (it participates in endogenous collagen synthesis) and to take advantage of iron bioavailability.
Most fruits and vegetables are Vitamin C sources, so we can get it easily. The only thing we have to consider is its lability. This means that it oxidizes easily, losing its main function of antioxidants.
External factors like sunlight, air or heat make the oxidation of Ascorbic Acid, making it unuseful. That's why we have to eat food sources at the moment in order to maximize its benefits.
We can find this Vitamin in the following fruits and vegetables:
- CITRUS (like Orange, lemon, grapefruit) = the most concentration of the vitamin is in the “White part” under the peel.
- Berries, strawberries, and blueberries
- PEPER = take in account that it has to be raw pepper.
March 18, 2022
Immune system is a large network of organs and protein cells that work together in order to protect our body from pathogens that could cause infection, illness or disease.
It is made up of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that produce globulins and antibodies. These organic compounds can recognize foreign substances and join them to stop them.
The best way to support our immune system is with changes in our lifestyle like diet, exercise, resting correctly and stress management. If we dont change our lifestyle, we could have more of a trend in catching diseases, viruses and bacteria.
Beyond individuality and genetics, we should take into account that lifestyle can be a determining factor of health.