TO ENSURE YOU PERFORM AT YOUR BEST, WE HAVE ADDED A FEW GUIDES FOR YOU TO READ THROUGH. IT WILL GIVE YOU A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF NUTRITION.
WHY DO WE NEED NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS?
First one needs to understand the concept of “TRAINING”
WHAT IS “TRAINING”?
The word “training” is too often interpreted as meaning “physical exercise”. The truth is that “training” actually includes THREE MAJOR COMPONENTS.
The act of GETTING “OUT THERE” and doing the physical exercise is actually only one third of the equation.
The other two (frequently underestimated or forgotten) components are:
- REST – to give the body time to repair tissue damage and rebuild itself stronger than before and
- NUTRITION – this includes mainly (a) the energy (carbohydrates) it needs to exercise effectively and (b) the building materials (proteins, essential fats) it needs to do the repair & rebuilding with. In addition there is the general physiological function & (very important) immune system support of the athlete, which requires many micronutrients, vitamins & minerals to work properly and remain healthy. As we will see, getting this nutrition is easier said than done – especially where daily training athletes are concerned.
Without these two, much of the actual physical exercise benefit is either wasted, or of a lower quality than it could be, with resultant slower improvement, and sometimes complete “burnout”.
However, it is a fact that very few people are able to eat all the correct foods at the correct time in order to obtain the overall dietary balance necessary for optimum physical performance – especially when the constraints of a modern lifestyle are factored in. This is why supplements are necessary…..
THE CORRECT DESCRIPTION OF NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS (in a sporting context) is therefore:
“Making intelligent use of natural foodstuffs (or ingredients contained in certain natural foodstuffs) at the optimum time and in the optimum ratios (ie; convenient & practical) to assist the body in maintaining exercise intensity and duration, and to ensure that resources are available to fully recover from both exercise induced tissue damage and depleted energy reserves before the next exercise session”.
However, as you will soon see, it can go way beyond this…..
Unfortunately, some athletes seem to think that “supplements” are essentially drugs (similar to steroids, stimulants and diuretics), and that to use them is in some way cheating, or harmful. This is a carry-over from the typically “body-building / rapid weight loss” orientation that most supplement companies have, and the unrealistic media marketing gumpf they serve up.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. Modern scientific research has given us a greater understanding of how our bodies function, what nutrients play a positive or negative role in athletic functioning, and at what times and quantities they have the greatest benefit.
It is therefore pretty stupid for any sportsperson, regardless of the level they compete at, to ignore this – as you immediately place yourself at a disadvantage against people who have taken the trouble to find out more and experiment for themselves.
AND I SPEAK FROM FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE!
I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 30. At the time of my initial diagnosis I was a committed, competitive cyclist. Super fit, and one of the best riders in my club. I rode at least 80 or 100km almost every day & thought I was invincible – until one morning when I noticed a lump in my throat. Within two weeks my world crashed around me with the dreaded words “you have cancer”.
With the support of my wonderful family, loyal friends & excellent doctors, AND a more balanced lifestyle (including nutritional supplements), I survived. I am now 46, and probably healthier than I was in my late 20’s.
Over the years, and after various treatments and experiences (including an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant), I developed a fuller understanding of what some of the causes behind my illness were, and how to address them with “lifestyle management” and most importantly, correct nutrition. I had, had plenty of subtle and not so subtle “warning signs”, but because of my “Iron man” attitude, had ignored them and instead gone out and trained even harder. And that ignorance and denial eventually almost killed me.
And now, having been fortunate enough to have survived, I believe that what I have learnt can help prevent other people from making the same mistakes. For committed sportspersons this does not necessarily mean training less, but it does mean TRAINING SMARTER, and supporting that smarter training with PROPER REST AND PROPER NUTRITION.
What’s more, the older you get, the more important it becomes to be a “THINKING” athlete – using your intelligence & experience to counter the benefits of youth! Correct use of nutritional products will not only improve your race results and “personal bests”, but also increase the amount of pleasure you get out of your sport.
Most importantly it will also help ensure that you live long enough to tell your grandchildren about it!
PREVENTION is BETTER than CURE…..
Colin Frohlich (Formulator of FiT Supplements)….article compiled in 2005
MAXIMISE AND TAILOR BODY RESPONSE
- SHORT TERM – Getting the maximum improvement out of every training session
The principle behind training is “overcompensation” ie; the training actually causes physiological damage, to which the body responds by rebuilding itself stronger than before (recovery). However, if nutrition is inadequate, or rest time insufficient, the body will not have the resources it needs to accomplish this rebuilding efficiently, leading to a vicious downward spiral due to inadequate repair and replenishment before the next training session commences. Some of these symptoms include; continual tiredness, sore muscles, irritability, lack of improvement (and sometimes even a loss of performance), etc.
- LONG TERM – Continually supporting your immune system
As you should have gathered, in the long term, this is actually the most important reason. And just taking a multivitamin tablet everyday is NOT enough! Sportspersons have higher nutritional needs (protein, carbohydrates, EFA’s, and other micronutrients) than sedentary people. If your body does not get these you will continually suffer from opportunistic illnesses and infections (eg; colds, flu, saddle sores, ME etc), REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY VITAMIN TABLETS YOU TAKE EVERY DAY!
And, if this continues long enough, could result in more serious, and possibly even fatal long term health consequences.
Once your training reaches a level of; more than 1 hour per day / on consecutive days / at more than 70% of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) – YOU WILL CERTAINLY START TO BENEFIT FROM SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION.
NOTE about COST EFFECTIVENESS
We are amazed at a few so-called “professional” dieticians who mindlessly slate supplements as being “expensive & unnecessary”. We challenge them on both points. Do the math and you will see that most locally manufactured supplements are:
- Cheaper per serving (they seem to be unaware that you are buying many servings in one container) than buying some other form of convenience / instant food;
- Far more practical than trying to put together special, optimally balanced wholefood meals immediately after training (or other appropriate times when they are most effective);
- More ACCURATE in terms of knowing what you are eating, AND;
- Much healthier than many of the so-called “natural” alternatives that are full of hydrogenated processed fats and so on!
The choice of products can be quite bewildering at first, especially if you have never used any professional supplements before. To help simplify things and get you started here are some initial suggestions. For last minute race preparation & racing OR economic sampling of six different products, take a look at the FiT Big Five Combo™. For daily training support we suggest you start by considering FiT CarboTrain™, possibly combined with FiT DuraTrain™ or FiT MetabElite 40™.
- CORRECT USE OF FIT SUPPLEMENTS AND TRAINING SYSTEMS CAN:
- Improve quality of training sessions and optimize body response to exercise AFTER training
- Stimulate post-exercise muscle growth and tissue healing
- Support the immune system which reduces “downtime” due to illness
- Extend endurance and rapidly replenish energy reserves during events
- Shorten recovery time to allow more frequent training
- Improve power and speed
- Help prevent ‘over-training syndrome’
- Improve lactic acid tolerance
- Assist with weight loss or weight gain programs
- Stimulate natural growth hormone release
- Help prevent injury to joints and cartilage
- Improve mental focus
- Assist with illness and injury recovery
- Assist with combating cramping
Whether you are a tri-athlete, rugby player, swimmer, cyclist or runner, or simply wanting to improve your health, or the amount of enjoyment you get from your sport, FiT can provide you with the nutritional advice and balanced products that WILL help YOU achieve your goals.