Beetroot Juice?

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

If your an athlete that wants a boost in performance, particuarly endurance you may want to experiment with beetroot juice.  A study in 2009 by Bailey et al. in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that participants supplementing with .5 liters of beetroot juice for 6 days experienced a remarkable increase in perfromance.

The study measured 8 males cyclist’s time to exhaustion during intensive cycling and found that the participants who used beetroot vs the placebo were able to ride for 92 seconds longer.  Also when they exercised at moderate intensity the amount of oxygen they used was decreased by 19 percent. The researchers believe beetroot juice’s high level of nitrates may be converted to nitric oxide in the body allowing better blood flow to skeletal muscles.

Like all studies there could be a number of flaws, and there is a large confounding variable.  My advice would be to experiment with beetroot juice before a week of heavy training, and see if it helps.  Take one cup of beetroot juice daily for a week.  During this time make sure you record if your making progress, and mentally note whether it has any negative gastrointestinal effects.  If you don’t mind the taste or the purple color it turns your feces, then feel free to use this drink in moderation.



Posted: September 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today I wanted to shed some light on cinnamon.  I believe spices are an important part of any diet regardless of your goals, they bring tons of flavor without the added fat and sugar.  Here are some reasons you should include cinnamon in your diet besides the fact that it tastes great.

– Cinnamon has high antioxidant properties

-Cinnamon has been shown to lower fasting serum glucose, tiracylglycerol, and LDL- and total cholesterol concentrations in diabetics.

-The addition of cinnamon to a meal delays gastric emptying, and lowered blood glucose concentrations after a meal.

-Over the long term it may increase fat metabolism, and favorably effect glycogen synthesis.

Recipe of the day:  Try adding a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon to your oatmeal, with a tablespoon of honey, a handful of walnuts, and a half cup of blueberries.

About 440 calories, 8 grams of fiber, and ten grams of protein

I wanted to address interesting phenomena in the athletic field today.  I wanted to make this article one of my first posts because it is the basis for designing a proper nutrition plan for an athlete.

Athletes competing at all different levels are sabotaging their performance because they have conflicting goals.  The problem arises when an athlete restricts him or herself to a diet and training program that is not aligned with their current goal.  An example of this would be an mma fighter trying to compete at a high level uses a low carb diet in a quest to get abs.  Or if a baseball player in search of attaining more home run power starts bulking up in attempt to gain more power, and with all the lifting burns out before practices.  Take some time and ask yourself have you ever restricted yourself from certain food groups in order to change your body?  Have you worried to much about vanity, when in reality you should be worrying about performance?

For the recreational athlete looking to get a better body competing and changing body composition may not be a problem.  Let me assure you that any serious athlete in training will need to eat to support their training and recovery.  Making changes to your body takes serious effort and a very specific approach that does NOT coincide with athletic performance.  The reality of the matter is that serious athletes must train a specific way.  Athletes need not develop large muscles or obtain a six-pack, they do not need a high bench press.  Athletes must instead train and eat in a way that develops athletic ability, power, and speed.  Unless a body composition problem is directly impacting your performance (ie: an overweight marathon runner) vanity should be the last thing you worry about.

Fedor one of the worlds greatest fighters understands training and eating isn't all about looking pretty

But why cant an athlete do both? Why would it be a bad idea for an athlete to lose weight while in training?  The answer lies in the physiology of our bodies.  When taking in less energy then your body needs to maintain your weight, the body turns to stored energy to survive.  The energy stored in your muscle, and fat all are “tapped,” into in order to sustain body functions.  Over time while training this energy is depleted.  Even with adequate food and rest your body may not be able to replenish it optimally.  Further more in heavy training your central nervous system becomes taxed, and needs time to recover.  Loosing weight while doing heavy training can leave you at a greater risk for muscle loss, decreased immune system, and increase your chances of injury.  After a while of training on a low calorie diet you can seriously impact your ability to recover and may experience negative mental side effects as well, like a loss of motivation.

Hopefully it is now obvious it is not a good idea to lose weight while in serious training. Gaining weight can lead an athlete down  an equally troublesome path if gaining muscle becomes the prime goal.  In order to gain weight the muscles need to be stressed consistently with a caloric surplus.  The energy you devote to gaining weight (lifting weights) may ultimately ruin your athletic performance.  Week after week an athlete is not going to be able to sustain heavy workouts, conditioning, and skill practices it is simply to much.

In summary,

-Athletes often sabotage their performance when they focus on vanity instead of performance goals.

-Athletes must decide what their primary goal is when they train.  An athlete seeking to reach the upper levels of competition should focus more on skill and performance rather then vanity goals.

-Athletes should focus on gaining or losing weight in the off season.

-If you choose to try and change your body composition during the season there is a very specific way to diet in order to maximize both processes, as well as certain training protocols.

The simple truth is that changing your body will take time… and chances are it will be a long time.  The sooner you accept this the sooner you will become the person you want to be.  When you accept the fact that changes in your body composition occur over months as opposed to days you will be well on your way to a near effortless transformation.

See the problem with diets these days is they lead you to believe that everyday is crucial to your dieting success.  You may have seen diets that involve carb manipulation, timed eating, and other strict diet rules, like no carbohydrates after 6 pm.  These dieting rules are ultimately barriers to your success…day to day it becomes a struggle to not break a dieting rule.  You may make it a day or two, maybe even a week but chances are you will fail.  You will break one of the diet rules and then it will ultimately lead to discouragement and failure.

The truth is the one thing holding you back from your ideal body is caloric intake.  Everything else is not worth worrying about.  Out of the many diets out there the best one will be the one that you can maintain.  As long as the diet you pick emphasizes a sustainable caloric deficit, it is likely viable.

Pknutrition Principles

Posted: August 1, 2010 in Mission statement

The underlying mission of this blog is to take a realistic approach to body composition, and nutritional needs.  All to often people undertake drastic changes to their diet in order to achieve their ideal body.  Information in this blog is meant to reveal the truth about dieting and body composition.  It is my opinion as a nutritionist that radical transformations of the body will only occur once a person accepts that changing your body composition will indeed take a long time, this is the fundamental aspect of pknutrition.  As a dieter accepts the burden of time they will slowly realize how easy eating for your goals really becomes.  Overtime you will watch your body transform effortlessly.  Regardless of if you want to lose fat, gain muscle, eat for sports performance, or general health Pknutrition aims to give the dieter valuable tools that change the way you think about dieting in order to ensure success.  Following the simple principles of Pknutrition will ultimately free you of the obsessive dieting behaviors that hold you back from the body you deserve.