Taking sugared drinks during exercise lasting more than an hour reduces muscle damage and helps you recover faster (European Journal of Applied Physiology, February 2012;112(2):493-500). The more intensely you exercise, the greater the burning you feel in your muscles and the greater the muscle damage. Researchers can measure the amount of muscle damage by measuring the amount of genetic material called DNA that leaks from muscle cells into the bloodstream. In this study, runners ran hard for 8 days and on day 9, they ran very fast 800 meters repeats 10 times. Compared to those who took only water, those who took a carbohydrate drink had lower blood levels of the enzyme LDH, free DNA, and white blood cell counts, leaking from their muscles. This shows that taking a carbohydrate beverage resulted in less DNA damage and better recovery during intense running.
INCREASING THE CONCENTRATION OF SUGAR IN DRINKS HELPS YOU RUN FASTER IN RACES OF MORE THAN 1.5 HOURS. All drinks contain about 8 percent sugar because that is the concentration of sugar that tastes best. All sugared soft drinks, fruit juices and most exercise drinks contain 8 percent sugar.
In two separate studies, 24 healthy males exercised until exhaustion at 70 percent of their VO2maximum in cool conditions (10 degrees C) and 60 percent of their VO2max in a warm environment (30 degrees C). They took drinks containing 0 percent, 2 percent, 4 percent or 6 percent sugar immediately before exercise and every 10 minutes during exercise. With a rise in sugar concentration from 0 percent to 6 percent, they had greater endurance and were able to exercise longer. In warm weather , the 6 percent sugar drink gave them greater endurance (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, February, 2012;44(2):336-43). You need far more calories and fluid when you exercise in hot weather.
IN VERY LONG RACES LASTING MORE THAN 10 HOURS, THE TOP RACERS TAKE IN MORE SUGAR, FLUID AND FAT THAN THE SLOWER RACERS. 18 cyclists took, on the average, 16 hr and 21 min, to complete a 384-km (240 miles) bicycle race. They burned far more calories than they took in. They used 25.5 MJ (a measure of energy), but were only able to take in an average of 18.7 MJ. Those who took in the most calories finished higher up in the race. Those who took in more carbohydrates and fat finished higher up. Increased protein intake was not associated with improved performance. (International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, February, 2012;22(1):19-23).
THE RACE ACROSS AMERICA: You need to take in large amounts of food when you exercise for more than a few hours, otherwise you will slow down and eventually have to stop. In the Race Across America, four cyclists alternated shifts as a relay team and completed the race distance of 2800 miles in 6 days, 10 hours and 51 minutes. Each rode up to 10 hours per day in approximately one hour shifts. Even though they cycled only a quarter of the time and distance, they each burned an average 6,420 calories per day, compared to the average for North American men of a little over 2000 calories per day. They ate and drank as much as they could but were able to take in only 4918 calories/day, for a deficit of 1503 calories per day (International Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2010).
Eight years ago in the same race, a 33 year old bicycle racer used a continuous heart rate monitor to show that he used up more than 18,000 calories per day. He rode for 20 to 24 hours/day, sleeping no more than 4 hours/day. Yet he could eat only about half that much (9000 calories per day), and he lost 11 pounds of body fat in the nine days of competition (International Journal of Sports Medicine, July-August 2005).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: More than 75 percent of North American adults weigh more than they should because they exercise too little and eat too much. These studies show that during long- term continuous intense exercise, it is impossible to meet your needs for food, no matter how much you try to eat.
YOU DRINK FAR MORE FLUID WHEN YOU TAKE SUGARED DRINKS THAN WHEN YOU TAKE WATER ONLY. When compared to those who drank only water, those who took a sugared drink during one hour of combined exercise at 75 percent of their maximum heart rate:
• took far more fluid (1706 cc vs 1171cc),
• were better hydrated,
• had higher blood sugar levels, and
• enjoyed their drinks more
(Appetite, February, 2012;58(1):56-63).
The message is that you will drink more of any drink that tastes good and most people will take far more fluid from sugared drinks than from water.
You do not need to take any minerals during exercise that lasts less than three hours. The only mineral that you need to take during exercise lasting longer than that is salt and drinks that are adequately salted usually taste awful. You can get your salt from foods such as salted peanuts, chips or crackers, or just adding salt to anything you eat.
How Massage after a Workout Helps You Heal Faster from Intense Exercise and May Even Help Prevent Heart Attacks and Cancers
Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario have shown that deep massage after an intense workout causes muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria (Science Translational Medicine, published online Feb, 2012). This is incredible. Enlarging and adding mitochondria can help to prevent heart attacks and certain cancers.
The authors asked 11 men to exercise to exhaustion on stationary bicycles. After the workout, one of each participant’s legs was Swedish-style massaged for 10 minutes. Biopsies were taken from one quadriceps muscle before and after the workout, and from both muscles immediately after a 10 minute massage of one leg, and 2.5 hours later.
When you exercise intensely, you feel a burn in your muscles. When the burning lasts for while, you have significant muscle damage. Biopsies of muscles at that time show bleeding into the muscle fibers and disruption of the muscle fibers themselves. In response to muscle cell damage, your immunity produces certain proteins called cytokines that remove the damaged muscle parts. This increases swelling and delays healing.
Massage reduced these cytokines and, surprisingly, increased the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without massage. The previously held explanation that massage improves muscle blood flow and gets rid of lactic acid does not have firm research support. Furthermore, research from this same group shows that massage decreases blood flow to muscles after exercise, and therefore slows lactic acid removal from muscle after exercise.
MITOCHONDRIA MAKE YOU FASTER OVER DISTANCE. Athletes who start an intense endurance training program can double their concentration of mitochondria in muscles in about 4 to 6 months. Massage increases the number of mitochondria even more. The limit to how fast you can move in competition is the time it takes for oxygen to enter your exercising muscles. Increasing mitochondria markedly increases the rate that muscles can take in oxygen so they make you faster over long distances.
ICE AND NON-STEROIDALS BOTH DELAY RECOVERY FROM EXERCISE Massage is good because it increases mitochondria and healing. Ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, block muscle repair and delay healing.
HOW INCREASING MITOCHONDRIA HELPS TO HELP PREVENT CANCER: Anything that increases or enlarges mitochondria helps to prevents cancer. Cancer occurs when cells lose their genetic limit of programmable number of doublings called apoptosis and forget to die. The cancer cells then live forever and kill you by invading and destroying other tissues in your body. See the eZines from January 15 and January 22, 2012
Insulin Increases Pancreatic Cancer Risk
Drugs that are used to treat diabetes are classified into those that raise insulin levels and those that lower insulin levels. Insulin, and drugs that raise insulin levels, increase risk for pancreatic cancer (The American Journal of Gastroenterology, published online Jan 31, 2012). Pancreatic cancer has no effective treatment, with a five year survival rate of less than five per cent.
Normal cells can get their energy from the Krebs Cycle in mitochondria or from sugar (glycolysis) in the cell and outside the mitochondria. Cancer cells have defective mitochondria and therefore get their energy primarily from sugar.
Anything that raises blood sugar levels also increases risk for cancer:
• eating red meat (blocks insulin receptors),
• taking sugared drinks and foods,
• storing fat in the belly,
• being overweight,
• having high insulin levels, or
• having high triglycerides.
Anything that lowers blood sugar levels safely helps to prevent cancer:
• losing weight,
• having adequate levels of vitamin D, and
• eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
The same rules apply to drugs that treat diabetes. Insulin and sulfonureas (which stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin) increase pancreatic cancer risk. Metformin lowers insulin levels and therefore helps to prevent pancreatic cancer. Other research shows that metformin (Glucophage) lowers risk for breast and ovarian cancer also.
List of sulfonurea drugs:
Diabeta, Micronase, and Glynase (glyburide)
Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL (glipizide)
Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., and his wife, nutritionist Diana Mirkin bring you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for 50 years more
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