What Nutrients will improve your exercise and your recovery?
With the “active” exercising season upon us and warmer weather and longer days nourishing us, how are you feeling with your workouts? Do you feel energized and recover easily? Do you feel depleted, injured and inflamed? I hear from many of you that you are ramping up your exercise, training for something new, pushing yourself to the next level or simply trying to regain strength and health this summer season, therefore I wanted to give you a few ideas to help you optimize your training, as well as feel good and be healthy in the process.
While I do promote exercise for all my patients in some form, I especially encourage you to find something you enjoy that you can sustain. We have evolved as very active beings and our bodies are not designed to be sedentary. Exercise not only promotes health and wellness related to our cardiovascular system, brain function, weight optimization, bone protection, sleep promotion and improvement for your sex life, but it will also stimulate endorphins which are our “feel good” hormones. I personally find exercise to be very meditative and energizing so I can be more productive and focused to engage in the life I choose. Whether you enjoy a more moderate or intense exercise, I encourage you to listen to your body, as we have an innate wisdom if we truly listen.
If you are someone who chooses to engage in high intensity exercise which is longer than a sixty minute session, note that this can unfortunately wear the body down and put you at risk for inflammation and injury, so my goal today is to offer you solutions. You can have it all and stay healthy in the process.
Difference between Moderate and Intense Exercise
Moderate exercise (less than 60 min per day) will improve your mood, help your sleep, balance your hormonal system, regulate sugar metabolism, oxygenate tissues, increase fat burning enzymes in muscles and improve the muscle to fat ratio, increase bone density and reduce fluid retention (to name a few).
Intense exercise (60 min or more in one session) will increase cortisol and adrenaline and nori adrenaline which stresses the adrenal system, increase amino acid deficits, increase mineral and trace mineral deficits, increase immune stress, create a catabolic process (wearing down increasing risk for injury - 50% of non-contact injuries are due to nutrient depletion) and decrease metabolic efficiency. Heavy exercisers tend to have more glucose (sugar) disturbances, water imbalances, lactic acid accumulation, gut impermeability leading to increased histamine, mast cell activation, free radical damage, nutrient depletions, anemia and neuroinflammation. High intense “intervals” are different and do not carry the same risks as the Intense exercise as it’s not sustained exercise and you have a resting period between the exertion.
If you are exercising in the “intense exercise” category or simply want a few ideas to optimize your performance and recovery with exercise and health, here we go! Lifestyle
Sleep 7-9 hours
Healthy Organic Diet with targeted nutrients listed below
pH Balance and Alkalization
pH balancing correction is key! Your body cannot absorb minerals properly if you don’t have a balanced pH and you are acidic. If your body lacks minerals like potassium and magnesium, your muscles won’t fire and you will have poor exercise performance. (see “How to Alkalize your body” in the P2P portal under the Library) Your Goal pH is at least over 6.5 and you can increase alkalization by green drinks, eating more veggies and lemon water. You don’t want to drink alkaline water, you want your body to alkalize itself. Intramuscular acidosis is the main cause of fatigue during intense exercise L Carnosine acts as a buffering of muscle pH
Heal your Gut To correct a “leaky gut”
Remove inflammatory foods
Replace digestive enzymes
Repair with L Glutamine, Zinc Carnosine, Immunoglobulins (ask us for Dr. LaValle’s Mucosa Better Butter Recipe)
Repopulate with Pre/Probiotics
Vitamin C at least 1000mg before exercise and take this daily (don’t take antioxidant supplement after exercise or it can negative some benefits)
Pre/Probiotics (please choose a professional brand for optimal viability)
Zinc Citrate, Aspartate, Chelate at least 25mg daily
Vitamin D optimization (dosing is individual and blood level dependent but usually 2000iu is safe) Minerals
Neuroinflammation is always concerning and this happens during periods of sustained high cortisol as well as in a nutrient depleted state. Therefore, nutrients are key to helping reduce brain inflammation. Specific nutrients that are helpful are Omega 3’s, Magnesium and Phospholipids.
A new and exciting product is Rg3 nasal spray. This compounded product is B12 and Ginseng and it decreases neurotoxicity, inhibits calcium channel activation and reduces glial cell activation (see newsletter on Neuroinflammation on the website Blog. This is a prescription medication and would need an appointment *Rg3 spray is indicated for chronic stress, Traumatic Brain injury recovery, Neurodegenerative disease support, Cognitive improvement
Exercise Nutrients and generalized dosing recommendations. While it would be amazing to get these specific nutrients strictly from food, the reality is that it is very challenging and therefore I am recommending a variety of nutritional supplements for you to consider for your performance enhancement and recovery. Pre- Workout Nutrients
Vitamin C 1000mg
Pantothenic Acid (B5) 500-1000mg
Magnesium Malate or Glycinate 400-1000mg depending on weight
D Ribose 3-5 grams
Beta Alanine (aids in the production of carnosine) *Thorne product 1.6grams
Adenosine Triphosphate Disodium Salt (ATP) *Douglas labs product 20mg
Mid Workout Nutrients
Magnesium Malate (see above)
Branch Chain Amino Acids – Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine
BCC allows the body to skip the normal digestion processes and become quickly available in the muscle to be used as energy (see link below for difference b/w BCAA and Essential)
Dextrose / Sugar
Post Workout Nutrients
Riboflavin-5-phosphate (B2) 30mg
Pyridoxal- 5- phosphate (B6) 30mg
Folate (not folic acid) 1000mcg
Methylcobalamin (B12) 1000mcg
Magnesium Malate again
L- Glutamine 3 grams
Leucine 5 grams- Leucine provides this signal to switch from a catabolic state to an anabolic state – where the body stops breaking down muscle and starts to rebuild it.
Beta Alanine again
Essential Amino Acids
**Extra note on D Ribose and why it’s so fantastic
Improves lactate disposal
Improves ATP= energy, stamina and endurance
Reduces elevated heart rate, especially if you are in a hypoxic state
Improves glutathione and reduces free radical production
Maintains electrolyte balance
daily dose 5-30 grams
If you cannot take any supplements please make sure to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. I hope that with these suggestions will help you not only perform and recover better but also prevent injuries and inflammation in the process. Remember, your body will give you signals if something is wrong, it’s important to really listen. We also have an innate ability to heal, yet it takes some careful listening and self-care to heal. Hopefully these tools can help you have it all so that you can do whatever, whenever you want and feel amazing in your body in the process!
May your summer and fall be filled with vibrant energy, health enthusiasm and a whole lot of fun in the process! Yours in Health, Carrie
**Full disclosure- I am not an exercise physiologist or athletic trainer and my education on nutrient repair comes from Dr. James LaValle, one of my favorite professors at the A4M who is a Pharmacist and Nutritionist and works with athletes and Olympians https://www.jimlavalle.com/bio.html
Timing of exercise may matter! https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-019-0229-z
Exercising early in morning boosts brain function https://news.ohsu.edu/2019/07/02/study-reveals-a-short-bout-of-exercise-enhances-brain-function
Ten benefits of moderate exercise https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-exercise#section8
Branch chain vs Essential Amino Acids https://www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/essential-amino-acids-vs-branched-chain-amino-acids
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