Maximize Your Endurance
As springtime blossoms, outdoor activities can be a lot more fun and lasting if you replenish your nutrition. Whether you hit the ground running to see the early morning sunrise, pump up your fitness routine in the fresh air, or join a team to play sports on a grassy field, any fitness routine can benefit from smart supplementation. It is important to consume nutrition that will sustain your body for the entire duration of your activities. This kind of sustainable nutrition can maximize your energy and endurance.
Sustainable nutrition focuses on what the body uses during exercise, and supplies those needs before, during, and after the activity. This can help keep your biochemistry in an “anabolic state” where your energy is supplied from the nutrients you consume vs. a “catabolic state” where your tissues breakdown. Your energy to move is produced when the body uses oxygen, glucose (blood sugar), and other key nutrients to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate). In addition to vitamins and minerals-especially electrolytes, key nutrients for ATP include amino acids from protein, fatty acids, creatine, choline, carbohydrates, and water.
To build storage of sustainable nutrition, you can start by taking multivitamins and minerals, protein drinks, essential fatty acid supplements, and drinking plenty of pure water daily. Surplus vitamins, fatty acids, and glucose are often stored in fat; minerals are stored in bones and muscles; extra oxygen is stored in the muscles as myoglobin; extra glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, and extra amino acids are stored in muscles and almost all other tissues. A secret weapon for energy, called creatine, is also stored in your tissues to help your body maximize endurance. It works by recycling used-up energy (ADP) and sending it through another energy-producing cycle. Essentially, this helps you produce twice the outcome from each energy cycle!
Thirty minutes or more before a workout, you can supply your body with even more nutrition-specific to endurance. Taking a healthy pre-workout formula can be very helpful. A good formula usually includes B-vitamins, magnesium, creatine, protein (especially branch-chain amino acids), and natural energy-boosters. Regular workouts, where you safely and gradually increase endurance exercises, also helps the body adapt to staying in the anabolic state. It does this by utilizing oxygen better, increasing blood flow to muscles, and storing more nutrients for endurance.
When your bloodstream runs low on needed nutrition or oxygen, you will typically feel a downshift in your energy. This may indicate that you are starting to use nutrients stored in the body, meaning a biochemical shift to the catabolic state. This is a stressful state that releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones stimulate the liver to release glycogen for fuel which sets the body up for a low blood sugar energy crash. Avoid loading up on caffeine because it sends the body into a catabolic state immediately through the same process, and consuming a lot of simple sugars can also bring on a sugar crash and faster burnout.
Adding complex sugars like dextrin or glycerol, as well as electrolytes and trace minerals to your water, can help fuel the ATP energy cycle longer. A little protein, carnosine, sodium phosphate, and magnesium are also found in a lot of endurance products. Many of these ingredients help buffer lactic acid build-up for better recovery. When you reach the finish line and after you have caught up on breathing and hydrating, make sure to have an all-natural protein drink to replenish your muscles.
While shopping for protein and endurance products at your local Good Earth Natural Foods store, check out brands such as Garden of Life’s sprouted grain protein, Ancient Nutrition’s collagen rich Bone Broth products, Allmax, and Hammer Nutrition. Be sure to speak with one of our knowledgeable Wellness Consultants to maximize your endurance program and enjoy a high-energy springtime this year!
Cohen, Barbara Janson. Memmler’s The Human Body in Health and Disease 10th ed. Pg. 152-160. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005. Print
WRITTEN BY TATIA NELSON, BS, MH, IRIDOLOGISTSPECIALTY DIET COACHGOOD EARTH NATURAL FOODSCOACH.GOODEARTH@GMAIL.COM