Category Archives: Fitness

Fluid Loading With Salt Water

MICHAEL HEIKO

Before a marathon or other long race, you make sure your energy stores are as full as possible by carb-loading. But what about your fluid stores? Is it possible to “hydration-load”? If you just drink a bunch of water a few hours before your race, that will stimulate your need to urinate, and you won’t retain any of the extra water (assuming you’re already well-hydrated). But you may be able to circumvent this urge by adding a little salt to your water, which changes the osmolality of your blood and in turn affects levels of the hormones that make you need to pee. There’s a downside, though, as every shipwrecked mariner has discovered: drinking saltwater doesn’t make your stomach feel good.

So is there an ideal balance that allows you to add extra water stores without getting the runs? That’s what a new dose-response study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, from researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, aimed to find out. They fed eight volunteers about a liter of fluid over an hour, varying the sodium concentrations, while monitoring changes in fluid balance, plasma volume, and digestive comfort. The sodium concentrations were 0 (i.e. water), 60 mmol/L (similar to World Health Organization oral rehydration solutions), 120 mmol/L, and 180 mmol/L (similar to concentrations that have given the highest increase in plasma volume in previous studies.

Here’s what the changes in plasma volume and overall fluid balance looked like:

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Only the two highest doses of sodium produced statistically significant elevations in plasma volume two hours after the drinking started (though you can see that the lower sodium dose did produce “intermediate” values). Not coincidentally, only the two highest sodium doses produced diarrhea in the subjects — 1 of 8 subjects had it with 120 mmol/L, and 6 of 8 with the highest dose of 180 mmol/L. The conclusion: 120 mmol/L of sodium provides the best balance between boosting plasma volume and not having to visit the portapotty, at least in a protocol that involves drinking 1 liter of water in six equal doses between 120 and 60 minutes before the race.

So does this actually improve performance? In theory, higher plasma volume should help you pump oxgyen to your muscles more efficiently, thus boosting performance. In practice, it’s worth remembering that (a) you’ll be carrying a bit of extra weight, (b) even without diarrhea, a mildly upset stomach could interfere with performance, and mostly importantly (c) individual responses vary. It’s also worth noting that, even at the higher sodium levels, the subjects peed out between a third and half of the water they drank — that could certainly be a hassle in the final minutes before a race, let alone during the race.

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Psychedelics and Endurance Sports: Increased Energy and Reduced Fatigue?

While anecdotal reports indicate psychedelics are useful in artistic and meditative pursuits, users have also reported them beneficial for physical activities dependent on alertness, awareness, and the rapid processing of sensory data — everything from climbing rock pitches to pitching in pro baseball, it seems.1–4

But in recent years, accounts have surfaced on internet forums of psychedelics offering a different sort of benefit for exercise: increased energy and reduced fatigue during endurance sports like cycling and running.5–8

While the scientific literature is lacking in empirical studies examining the effects of psychedelics on aerobic exercise, experts suggest there are several possible mechanisms — including the placebo effect — that may describe these users’ experiences.

What the Experts Are Saying

In his comprehensive and widely cited 2016 overview of psychedelic science in the journal Pharmacological Reviews, researcher Dr. David Nichols of the University of North Carolina addresses the effects of psychedelics on brain function, sleep, time perception, and visual perception — but nothing related to endurance.9

By email, Nichols confirmed he was unaware of any studies to date focused on this research question in humans. He did, however, suggest a potential mechanism for increased energy and stamina based on previous findings in animal models: dopamine.

“Locomotor activity in rodents is generally a product of increased activity in dopaminergic areas of the brain,” Nichols said.

Psychedelics can turn off inhibitory GABA pathways that suppress dopaminergic tone. So dopaminergic activity is disinhibited, and the effect is similar to what happens if you take an amphetamine.

More generally, research in sports physiology has shown that perceived effort, fatigue, and energy levels — especially in endurance sports — are tightly metered and mediated by the brain. Performance isn’t as closely linked to purely physiological parameters such as VO2 max and lactate threshold as researchers once thought.

In his 2018 book Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, journalist and author Alex Hutchinson argues that runners and cyclists are far more beholden to brain chemistry than they often acknowledge.10 For example, even elite athletes during serious competition have been shown to accelerate — not slow, as expected — toward the end of a race, suggesting they were subconsciously holding back until the effort was almost over.

Hutchinson cites the work of researchers like Romain Meeusen, a professor of human physiology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, who has shown that brain chemistry is involved in the regulation of fatigue during prolonged exercise — with the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (mimicked by “classic” psychedelics and mescaline, respectively) both playing important roles.11,12

“There’s no doubt that perception of effort is mediated by the brain, even though many of the inputs — temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels, and so on — are coming from elsewhere in the body,” Hutchinson wrote in an email. “And in endurance sports, if you can change perception of effort, you can change your performance. So the idea that psychedelics might boost performance isn’t totally outlandish.”

Meeusen’s team has tried — unsuccessfully, it seems — to improve physical performance during exercise through nutritional manipulation of neurotransmitter systems.13,14 But he hasn’t tested psychedelics yet, he acknowledged when contacted by Psychedelic Science Review.

Possible Role of the Default Mode Network

There is a yet another potential mechanism more germane to psychedelics that could be involved, at least in theory. Extensive research has shown that activity in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain is reduced after ingestion or injection of psychedelic drugs. The DMN, as we now know, is associated with introspective and self-reflective thought. Additionally, activity in the DMN is often inversely correlated with that of nearby networks geared toward task completion.15

If the DMN is tamped down by a psychedelic during exercise, and task-oriented networks amplified, could the result be an athlete who is less likely to dwell on discomfort or self-doubt and more likely to be laser-focused on the job at hand — all while being energized or at least distracted by a heightened sensory experience?

In her 2019 book The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage, author Kelly McGonigal notes that studies have shown that exercise (particularly in green spaces like parks) can reduce activity in the DMN, just like psychedelics.16

“If you focus on what is unique about green exercise, the class of drugs it most closely resembles is the entheogen, a category that includes psilocybin, ayahuasca, and LSD,” McGonigal writes in her book. “Like green exercise, these drugs alter consciousness by temporarily reorganizing the default state.” So perhaps there is some synergy in play.

Is it the Placebo Effect?

Or could all this be the result of the placebo effect — more cynically, an imaginary phenomenon — engendered by some people’s desire to perform better, or at least to feel better, after taking a small dose of a psychedelic? Even given all the potential mechanisms seemingly available to explain away claims on internet message boards, Hutchinson wouldn’t rule that out. At least until some treadmill tests have been run.

“There’s a difference between saying something is theoretically possible and showing something is actually true. And to make that jump requires more than anecdotes and subjective impressions,” he writes. “So to me, until proven otherwise, psychedelics are in the same category as all the supplements and wearable gadgets that I get press releases about: it’s an interesting idea, but nothing more until proven otherwise.”

Source – PsychedelicReview

RUN | Pleasures of Pain

I’m beginning to get that consistent urge to run again. During the cold weather I rather not get out there. It’s warming up and I don’t just have to run, it feels as if I need to run. In the midst of a flood of information and nothing but time to sift through it all I’m realizing I’m find my peace of mind through the pleasure of pain. Running is pain to me. Pain is released, my will power is tested and I learn pain is temporary. I’ve come to look forward to the soreness in my body after a good run. There’s something satisfying about not being able to stand up for more than 20 seconds in the kitchen while I assemble the food to a cutting board. It’s the memories that come back with each step it’s the memories I don’t want to remember that make me run harder, faster, more pain. Pain can’t be ignored only accepted. I’d be lying to myself if I said it’s a struggle to get my shoes on and build up the motivation to run but I’ve found myself bored when I’m not in the realm of pain. The pink suede Pumas I copped for my first art exhibition I now run in aren’t meant to be ran in at all but that’s all I have to work with. I say I’ll buy some new shoes soon but I enjoy the pain of pushing kicks beyond their limit. Similar to my body I push it to test it’s limits to test how much pain can I really tolerate. Typing this the back of my left ankle is throbbing but I look forward to being outside running 12 hours from now. 12 minute methodical miles. 2 hours of pain that has become my personal pleasure. I can depend on this pain but I know one day everything will feel good and I will have to make my self hurt to feel alive.

April – 36.79 | avg time 12’51 | 8 Runs

With another week left I may go for a sizable run on the last day of this month to wrap it up strong. About 14+ miles and slow pace it to 5 miles a day until the 28th. I’m even thinking of starting a running section for the Infocus247 YouTube page The post run routine typically includes a nice big meal to replace some weight all veggies salmon from time to time. Big Sorrel drink to get the stomach bubbly and boo boo explosive. Tmi? Until next time RUN IT!!!!

https://ibb.co/S347Zg4

– London

71 Marathon Runner Jeannie Rice

Jeannie Rice keeps running, setting records, and encouraging the rest of us to stay motivated.

She’s 71 years old but following her world-record-setting half marathon in August, Jeannie Rice has no intention of slowing down.

In fact, going after records has become a pastime for this grandmother from Mentor, Ohio, who finished the Akron Half Marathon in 1:37:07 (chip time 1:37:01) to surpass the previous mark for 70-plus women by more than 30 seconds. She’s also the age group world record holder in the marathon (3:27:50) and has the American records in the mile (6:37), half, and full marathon distances.

Rice has advice for all of us about goal setting, motivation, and maintaining health in order to train and compete consistently. She also talks about why her only rival is herself. Read on for tips from the master.

Constantly change your goals.

Rice, who initially started running when she was 35 with a modest objective to shed a few pounds, now runs to set world records.

“I wouldn’t have dreamed years ago of a world record; I wouldn’t even think that. And now I’m trying to break my own record,” said Rice, who qualified for the Boston Marathon in 1984 during her second attempt at that distance and has done so every year since.

Over the last 36 years, Rice has adjusted her goals to ensure that they are ambitious but also attainable, acknowledging that her age brings new limitations.

“I understand one of these days maybe I won’t be able to run a marathon. I’m not going to give up until my body says no…. at that point I’ll do half marathons,” said Rice, who has completed more than 1,000 races.

Persist with discipline, knowing failure is not final.

Running impacts every facet of Rice’s life: early morning runs, nutritious meal planning, and the eliminating alcohol before races. Each choice brings Rice closer to achieving her running goals.

She routinely wakes up before sunrise to train.

“I don’t think I have natural talent. I train hard, and I work hard to get where I am,” she said. “Sure, some days I wish I could sleep in, but I know I wouldn’t feel good that day. I know I would feel better once I get up and do it.”

Persistence has also been crucial to her achievements. For Rice, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try… and try again. This was especially true during her quest to secure the 13.1-mile world record.

Rice came close to eclipsing the record, not once, not twice, but three times prior to actually doing so. After narrowly missing the record by one minute in Naples, Florida, due to hot and humid conditions, she made another attempt in Fort Myers. There she ran a world-recording breaking time of 1:36, but the course had not been sanctioned by U.S.A. Track & Field, which is a requirement for certifying any record. Her third go was in May 2019 at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, where she came up two minutes short due to a particularly hilly course.

Play some mental games.

When the running gets tough, Rice strategically and intentionally focuses on variables that are in her favor.
During the Akron Half Marathon, she knew that the hilly course could thwart her attempt to secure the world record, as it had done in Pittsburgh. Instead of obsessing about the tough terrain—something out of her control—she reminded herself that she felt good and that the weather was ideal.

Rice also employed mental games to propel her through the toughest portions of the race.

“When I started going uphill, I didn’t look up high,” she said. “Instead I just looked down and pretended like I was going downhill.”

Remember that prehab is better than rehab.

Remarkably, Rice has never experienced a running-related injury. The consistency in her training is a huge asset to getting the results she wants.

“Injury free is the most important thing. I have a lot of friends they get better, they get faster, and then they get injured,” she said. “Then they start all over again. Injury-free is number one. Listen to your body.”

Some of her good health is genetic, but Rice also doesn’t take any chances. She’s proactive about maintaining a healthy body and she is keenly aware that if she breaks or injures something, it will take her much longer to heal.

“I used to like trail running when I was younger. But, with all the up and down and tree stumps, I avoid that now. I am very careful,” said Rice, who splits her time between Ohio and Florida, opting to live and train in Florida during the precarious Ohio winters.

Find motivation in unexpected places.

Even though Rice has secured her ultimate goal—age group world records in both the full and half marathon distances—she has an insatiable drive to train and compete. She wants to set a new marathon world record (besting her own) by 30 seconds at the Berlin Marathon this month.

“I want to make it a little bit harder for other girls to break my record, so I can keep the record for as long as I can,” she said. “That’s my motivation.”

She has also gotten encouragement from unlikely sources. After setting the world record in the half marathon, Rice was overwhelmed with encouraging comments on social media from hundreds of strangers.

“Even the guys say I’m an inspiration and that makes me go out and run even harder,” Rice said. “They don’t know me; I don’t know them. Things like that make me feel good. I am helping people.”

Source – WomensRunning 

Getting Greens… Essential Minerals and Vitamins

Like everyone else, I’m trying to eat healthier. But it’s not always easy, especially this time of year. And while I love to eat vegetables, sometimes they aren’t the most convenient food to toss in my purse for an on-the-go snack. Like many health-conscious people, I struggle with ensuring I get enough vital nutrients in my diet, especially those found in greens like kale, chard, and collard greens. Or those in cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. And trying to toss everything in a smoothie can make for one expensive (and potentially nasty tasting!) drink.

But I love the idea of powdered greens for a quick on the go nutritional boost. They are a tremendous addition to any nutrition regime, especially a vegan one. However, blending some dirt-like tasting green concoction with water often makes me gag. Minerals help the body function at optimal levels, and at the very least, add a mineral water a day to your regime.

Like vitamins, minerals are an essential component to help your body run smoothly. Without essential minerals such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur, your body can not function properly and perform all of its cellular work such as exchanging oxygen and fuel from the blood stream to your cells. You may feel tired, hungry, a little “off” and not understand why. Minerals are found in the foods we eat, but also in the ground — dirt is one way that minerals get sucked up into the root systems of the plants and earth growers like carrots, turnips, onions and more. A balanced diet is critical to maintain optimal mineral health in our bodies. They perform a multitude of functions including regulate hormones, maintain a healthy nervous system and help your cells operate throughout the day.
Macro and micro minerals are both found in nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens, vegetables, roots, legumes, and even whole grain. Higher doses of macro minerals (think sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc.) are needed than micro minerals such as selenium, iron, zinc, fluoride, iodine.
We found a helpful chart to help you identify what’s what.
 
Because of today’s grab-and-go culture of eating, many people are not getting a proper amount of these essential minerals, especially magnesium, iron and iodine.
You may want to consult with a nutritionist to help you asses which minerals you are lacking most and ensure your green supplement provides those. Also, trust your source. Here are three brands I’ve used in the past and vetted well.

This easy-to-make creamy drink masks that, well, green taste of a veggie-based mineral powder. ( A few of my favorite brands are HealthforceSunfood, and Dr. Schulze’s)

It’s easy to bring on your commute, or put in the fridge at work and sip throughout the day.These rich, sweet and creamy drinks almost make it feel like a drinkable dessert or even a light meal replacement for when you’ve had a big day of eating the day before or are trying to hold off for a celebratory evening dinner.

Try either of these two variations on the same drink for when you’re in the mood fo a chocolate drink or more inspired by a mint flavor! And pssst—don’t tell but you can even make these without the green powder for a protein-filled sip. 

Creamy Green Dream Mineral Drinks

 

Cashew Milk Base

¾ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
10 -12 oz. cold filtered water
2 tsp. Mineral Green powder 

 

Creamy Mint Dream – ADD:

1-2 drops peppermint essential oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup OR 5-10 drops liquid stevia
Dash Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

 

Creamy Salted Caramel Chocolate Dream – ADD:

1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
5-10 drops English Toffee Stevia 

Store in a glass bottle and chill well before drinking. Keep in refrigerator for no more than three days.

Written By –

Read More of the Article Here: How to Eat Your Greens Without Having to Power Through the Spinach

Benefits of Running in Sand

New research shows that hitting the beach can decrease a runner’s risk of injury and increase endurance.

When Kyra Oliver heads out for her morning run, she usually opts for a paved route. But once or twice a week, the 50-year-old San Diegan runs past the start and heads toward the beach instead, where she watches the sun rise and listens to the waves crash as the miles tick by. Running on the sand helps Oliver clear her mind, but it also supplements her training for marathons and 50-mile trail races.

““It works different muscles and requires a different focus for me,”” Oliver explains. ““If I’’m on the packed sand by the water, I can set a nice pace and do short pickups. Running where it’’s looser can be a good strength workout that simulates variances I might find on the trail.””

Oliver’’s right: Opting for a soft surface like sand is a smart way to add diversity to your regular training routine. “By putting in mileage on the sand, you’’ll put less stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles, which can help decrease the risk of impact-associated injuries like stress fractures,” says Erika Lee Sperl, a kinesiologist and high-performance sport consultant for Orreco, a sports and data analytics company in Los Angeles that helps elite athletes optimize performance.

Research backs that up. Studies have shown that running on the beach, —especially on soft, dry sand that’’s typically found farther from the water’’s edge— will likely lower your odds of impact-associated overuse injuries. In a small 2017 studypublished in the European Journal of Sport Science, for example, women who ran on soft sand experienced less muscle damage and inflammation than those who ran on grass. And a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that the soft surface even reduced muscle soreness and fatigue.

“With every foot strike, there is almost four times less impact force on soft sand versus firm ground like grass,” says Martyn Binnie, Ph.D., a physiologist at the Western Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of the latter study. “This is a good thing for reducing load through the body,” he says. So when you need a lower-impact session but still want to get in a hard workout, sand is a great option.

“IF YOU WANT THE BIG BENEFITS, YOU NEED TO AIM FOR THE SOFT STUFF.”

But there’s a flip side to every coin, and while running on soft sand makes you less likely to suffer an impact injury, the chances of other injuries (like a sprained ankle or tendinopathy) rise, says Armin Tehrany, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care in New York City. An uneven surface and constantly shifting ground are to blame, he explains, but as long as you exercise caution, those are two factors that can also enhance your workout. “You’ll have to work harder [to stay balanced], and as a result, you will get a better workout if you spend the same amount of time on sand,” he says.

In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running on sand forces your body to work at least 10 percent harder than it does on grass. Again, soft, loose sand is where you’ll score the most benefits, says Binnie, who conducted the study, but even firm, packed-down sand can boost your performance.

“Firm sand near the water is still about 5 to 10 percent softer than grass,” he explains. “[But] if you want the big benefits, you need to aim for the soft stuff.”

So what exactly makes sand so special? Binnie says that when you run on firm ground, less elastic energy, which is stored in your tendons, is absorbed, so you don’t have to work quite as hard. Sand doesn’t extend that courtesy. Instead, it absorbs that energy, meaning you have to generate more force with your muscles. Proof: A study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology found that running on sand actually requires 1.6 times as much energy expenditure as running on a firmer surface.

Couple that with the fact that your hip- and knee-stabilizing muscles are working nearly twice as hard, according to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, and you’ve got a recipe for a higher heart rate and blood lactate threshold, says Binnie. Translation: Your cardiovascular training gets a boost without the added stress of having to run faster or farther. Those aren’t the only benefits you’ll gain, either.

“Running, especially on the road or a treadmill, is a very uni-planar, repetitive exercise, which can lead to muscular imbalances. Often the common weakest links for runners
are the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and ankles,” Sperl says. “By running on sand and challenging your stability, you’ll start to build strength in these areas, which can carry over to performance benefits on the road.”

Binnie notes that because of the different technique and range of motion used on sand to combat the “slip” element, the joint angles around the hip, knee, and ankle are similar to those normally seen during faster running speeds on firm ground. So, theoretically, he says that if you wanted to improve your road running time, then incorporating sand running into your training, specifically early in the season, can help augment training adaptations. That’s why each expert suggests adding a sand run into your routine on a regular basis if you have access. If not, hit the beach on vacation.

Read the full article at RunnersWorld

LL Cool J | Hotboxing with Mike Tyson EP 32

I found this interview very real in a way that reflected the true friendship between Mike and LL Cool J. What I found even more interesting was the family history that they shared with each other. You can be following habits that run in your family for ages but never know until you find out who you truly are.