“Nutrition is the key to sustainable performance enhancement “
RH+ offers the most advance Nutritional Therapy for Athletes. Nutrition and supplementation play a major role in recovering capabilities from activity, injury prevention, performance enhancement as well as cognitive and strength gains.
Nutritional and supplemental strategies have gone leap and bound after functional medicine came into picture. It not only looks into the amount of hydration, macros ratios, pre or post nutrition but it looks also into underlying factors like nutritional deficiencies, gastro intestinal health, hormonal imbalances and inflammation. This is because the said causes if present can impede the performance and recovery of an athlete.
Most of athletes usually train the same way as their competitors do, the only difference that makes one sportsperson finer and have an edge over other is through nutrient timing, lifestyle and supplemental strategies.
HORMONES AND SPORTS PERFORMANCE
The hormones like DHEAS, Cortisol and Testosterone affect the sports performance directly and indirectly. DHEA and Cortisol are the body’s long-acting stress hormones and are antagonistic to each other to some degree. Whereas DHEA has an anabolic or building influence, cortisol has a catabolic or tearing down effect on the body. Both of these effects are essential and these two hormones must be in proper balance for optimal health and performance in sports.
Cortisol also acts as a strong inflammatory agent in recovering from injuries when required but chronically elevated cortisol can be detrimental to health.
Cortisol and DHEA are in direct control of many body systems. Abnormal levels of these hormones contribute to a greater likelihood of sports injuries and slower recovery times. With cortisol and DHEA imbalances, metabolism of carbohydrates and fats is compromised, leading to premature drop in blood sugar during workouts, which cut off the fuel supply to the brain and body at critical moments.
Under adrenal stress, blood sugar handling problem develops, causing a person to make poor food choices, with a tendency to eat too many sweets and high GI carbohydrates that reduce the performance level.
Cortisol levels vary throughout the day; rising in morning, becoming peak at noon and then gradually decreasing with almost zero levels at midnight. Variations in cortisol at specific times in our daily rhythm reflect different health problems. High night time cortisol levels reflect an inability to shut down our stress response before sleep. This often occurs in people who have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Those with high night time cortisol often report having trouble shutting their minds off at night and ceasing to worry about tomorrow. Conversely, some people have low cortisol production. This is seen in those with significant fatigue, a poor immune response, and in athletes with unexplained performance problems. These might include weak concentration, determination and other ‘mental focus’ problems.
Testosterone is also a major influence on sports performance and recovery patterns because it signals nearly every cell in body. It is the most anabolic hormone responsible for muscle growth and strength gains. Body can be under undue physical or psychological stress can affect testosterone to cortisol ratio (lowers testosterone levels).
Assessment of salivary diurnal patterns of free Cortisol, DHEAS and Testosterone gives an insight about the hormonal imbalances. The imbalances can be corrected by removing the stressor, modulating lifestyle and dietary habits along with supplemental support if needed.
DIGESTIVE HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE
Some facts related to Digestive health and its role in sports performance is:
- Healthy Gut Flora plays an important role in endogenous production of short chain fatty acids and essential vitamins, which directly or indirectly affect your performance by optimizing digestion and assimilation
- Adequate levels of Pancreatic enzymes and HCL is important for proper digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients like vitamins and minerals
- Intestinal integrity is important for right kind of nutrients to pass through and prevent the unwanted things to pass into the blood stream
- Any kind of Intestinal infection or pathogen can lead to higher inflammation, which can severely affect the performance in long run
NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND SPORTS
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that transmit information throughout the brain and body. They play role in muscle fiber innervation upon activity by musculoskeletal system. There are various neurotransmitters in brain, which perform different actions before, during or after any activity.
Dopamine: It is similar to adrenaline and affect brain processes that control movement, emotional response and ability to experience pleasure and pain. It helps you to stay motivated during progressing phase of an event and pursuing goal despite hindrances and failures.
Adrenaline: It is responsible for wakefulness or arousal and acts as a spark to initiate any activity. It increases fuel supply to muscles and innervate muscle fibers to react in response to the signal. It actually activates CNS, increases heart rate, rate of respiration and prepares body for action.
Acetylcholine: It is a major neurotransmitter released at the end of neurons called synapses for conduction of nerve impulses from one neuron to other throughout the body. It also helps to improve learning skills and memory. It regulates the atomic nervous system (voluntary muscle action) thereby directly affecting strength and power. It’s also responsible for cognition, concentration and focus. It’s severely depleted during exercise session or activity longer than two hours.
GABA: It is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter and tends to decrease the excitability of nerve cells and CNS activity after an event and thus has an anxiolytic effect on body.
Serotonin: It is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter like GABA and its higher activity in brain is linked to hastened fatigue. Higher the levels, high will be the perceived exertion and mental fatigue during exercise. BCAA has been known to decrease the metal and physical fatigue, soreness as they compete with 5HT receptors in brain.
The dominance of a particular neurotransmitter or the balance among them dictates your personality type and your psychological state. It also helps you to find out the kind of training you best respond to regarding volume or intensity and your recovering capabilities after workout or an event.
SUPPLEMENTS AND SPORTS
Nutritional Supplements play a key role in sports performance and have been into existence since long time. There are hundreds of supplements available in market claiming to improve sports performance. Almost every athlete is either using or have used supplements during his/her sports career in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage. Few are meant to be used to meet the daily nutritional needs such as protein, fish oils or multivitamins, while others are meant to directly improve strength, speed, and endurance or prevent muscle damage. The astonishing fact is that only a dozen of active ingredients contained in supplements are able to deliver the desired results.
The labels and claims made by supplement companies are falsely promoted to enhance performance in one way or the other because the dietary supplement industry is not controlled by FDA so it is very difficult to trust the potency, purity and quality of supplements and the ingredients contained in it.
- Few points you should take into account while using supplements are:
- Scientifically validate efficacy of supplement
- Correct and accurate labeling
- Ingredients contained in supplement other than active ingredients
- Long term safety of supplement
- Interactions between two supplements, if any
- Banned substances hidden from label
We at RH+ source the best supplements scientifically proven to give results throughout the world. Few companies do exist where they do third party testing to ensure the accurate dosage, quality, potency and quality of product and are certified to be free of any banned substances. We will recommend you the supplement protocol as per individual requirement only after nutritional assessment.
How RH+ can help you in your Sports Career?
We will perform Nutritional and Neurotransmitter Assessment, Blood and Salivary Hormonal Profile to find out any functional imbalances related to adrenal axis, digestive system or neurotransmitters. Every person is unique and so is his/her nutritional requirement, body composition and recovery patterns. We also take into account the kind of sports you play or position you are into if it’s a team game.
RH+ will help you unleash the maximum possible potential within you to achieve your sports or fitness goal in minimum time possible with the help of cutting edge and latest advances in nutrition, supplementation and recovery methods. We will guide you from step to step throughout your sports career in every step to achieve what you had never known before.
To know more, call us or book an appointment with us.