Eating for Athletic Performance

cyclistI had the opportunity to work at a cycling event recently. As many riders from the 80 mile mountainous ride were coming in, one serious cyclist came to our booth and said “I need calories, please anything”. Obviously, we hooked him up with a Vive!™ shake. He chugged it and then another half of one 10 minutes later. He explained that 15 miles back he had bonked (depleted glucose and glycogen stores causing extreme muscle weakness) coming up the last hill. Can bonking be prevented or delayed nutritionally? Yes absolutely!
Certainly training is essential for endurance particularly to push back the anaerobic threshold so you don’t bonk as easily, however the role of your nutritional intake is 3 to 4 times more important than any other part of your regimen. Many runners and cyclist will take glucose gels and electrolytes drinks during their event to replenish their lost blood sugar and electrolytes, which is necessary. Some will add supplements containing L-Tyrosine, Larginine and Beta Alanine to aid performance and they can help. However, to turn glucose, fat and protein into readily available energy is a highly complex process that involves many metabolic actions requiring enzymes, and the cofactors and factors, vitamin and minerals. In the metabolic pathway many vitamins and minerals are necessary to convert the energy source (foods) into energy molecules such as Phosphocreatine, ADP and ATP. Additionally the antioxidants contained in vegetative foods is very important at protecting muscle cells from the heavy oxidative damaged caused by intense exercise. They help speed up recovery as well.

You cannot overcome a nutritionally poor diet with supplements. However you can supplement a nutritionally rich diet and increase performance potential. Refined and processed foods are nutrient thieves. They deplete your body of more nutrients than they provide.

Nutrients (factors and co-factors) and their effects on energy metabolism pathways.

Enzymes are required to make energy and cannot do their jobs without factors and cofactors! If you do not get the nutrients from your diet the body robs them from muscle and organs to produce the energy you demand.  Continued nutrient depletion leads to slower recover and less than optimal performance potential and eventually illness and disease.  Vive!™ provides an abundance of factors and co-factors!

Thiamine (B1)
B1 is an essential cofactor (required for enzymes to do their job) in the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. B1 is needed for normal muscle function.
Riboflavin (B2)
B2 is a cofactor and helps in the release of energy from fats and carbohydrates. B2 is part of the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) oxidation reaction in the cell to make energy. B2 is very important in the conversion of fat to energy.

Nician, Nicotinic acid, B3
B3 is a cofactor and is transformed into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and NADP, which play a key role in cellular energy production.

Pantothenic acid (B5)
B5 plays an essential role in the Krebs cycle (one of three energy major energy pathways) as a component of coenzyme A (a critical enzyme needed to make energy).
Pyridoxine B6
B6 helps in the release of energy from carbohydrates fats and proteins. B6 is used as a cofactor mainly in protein and amino acid metabolism and is involved in over 100 enzymatic reactions.

Biotin (B7)
B7 is a cofactor involved in metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and utilization of B vitamins.

Folic acid, Folate (B9)
Folates function as a family of cofactors required for methylation reactions. Folate is essential for metabolic pathways involving cell growth and replication.

Vitamin B12
B12 is essential for metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and the synthesis of proteins. B12 is required for folic acid metabolism.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for synthesis of carnitine (carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria). Vitamin C increases can triple the absorption of non-heme (iron from plants) iron and the synthesis of cortisol.

Calcium is essential for the contraction of muscles and activation of nerves. Calcium activates a series of reactions including fatty acid oxidation for use in the mitochondria.
Phosphorus is a structural component of the nucleotide coenzymes creatine phosphate, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). All of which are required in the mitochondria for energy to be produced.
Magnesium is essential for the relaxation of muscles and nerves. Magnesium is used in over 300 enzyme reactions. Required by all enzymatic reactions involving the energy storage molecule ATP.
Trace minerals

Cooper is involved in the making of some enzymes. Copper is also involved in iron metabolism.
Chromium promotes insulin action, thus promoting glucose (blood sugar) uptake by the cells.
Iron is essential in hemoglobin for transporting oxygen and for storing oxygen in the muscle and releasing it when needed during muscle contraction. Iron facilitates the transfer of electrons in the cell energy pathway and is important in ATP actions.
Manganese is a cofactor of several enzymes involved in metabolism of carbohydrates and gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the making of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. It involves the tearing down of muscle to turn certain amino acids and glycerin into glucose. This begins when you bonk as glucose and glycogen stores are depleted. This is very hard on the body and you want to avoid it.
Zinc is an essential part of more than 100 enzymes, some of which are involved in the cell energy pathway.
If you want to optimize your performance, beginning today you need to ensure you are adding a bounty of nutrients to your nutritional stores daily. Ideally, you should be eating a minimum of 7 servings of vegetables, 3 servings of fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and limited whole grains. Vive!™ boost your performance potential by giving you a bounty of energy producing and recovery enabling nutrients!

Additionally, if you are meat eaters include free range lean meats, wild caught fish, free-range organic poultry and eggs. Anytime you can make your food selections organic, wild caught and free range you reduce the risk of contamination from pathogens and potentially increase your nutritional intake.

This website can give you a great list of which foods are the best sources for which nutrients.
Eat great to perform great.
Healthy Wishes,
Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Developer of Vive!™

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