Resolution Series: Exercise and Sports Nutrition Supplements

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fitness-classYou do not have to be a professional athlete or a body builder to benefit from sports nutrition supplements. Weekend warriors, obstacle course participants, runners, CrossFitters, and people looking to be healthier and get in better shape are all candidates for top-notch sports nutrition products, such as the Pathway CleanFit line.

Even if you’re just getting into a regular exercise routine, sports supplements may help improve your performance and your recovery. One of the major differences between regular exercisers and people who are sedentary is that exercise might feel different to both groups. Although physically active people feel good after a workout and experience more energy, those who are typically sedentary can feel fatigued and experience more aches and pains when beginning an exercise program.

It can be a vicious cycle – if you feel physically exhausted after exercise, you may be less motivated to exercise again in the future. Thankfully, there are certain strategies, nutrients and foods that can give the general population a helping hand when working out.

Diet

Those who are struggling with exercise motivation should know that eating a diet high in whole foods and vegetables helps boost mood and energy. One recent study showed that those who followed the Mediterranean diet (vegetables, olive oil and fish) had increased alertness and energy after a workout.

Water

Hydration is key for both mood and exercise performance. Even the mildest dehydration affects cognitive functioning and enhances perceived exertion when it comes to exercise.

Pre-hydrating and hydrating during exercise with water, even coconut water, may improve the effects of exercise. Research has shown that coconut water has a great electrolyte profile and antioxidant properties that may aid in post-exercise recovery, thanks to the important vitamins and minerals it contains, such as vitamin C, copper and zinc.

Supplements

• BCAA: Branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: valine, leucine and isoleucine. Essential amino acids are amino acids that our bodies cannot produce from other materials, and so we must ingest them regularly. Good sources are lean meats, egg whites and dairy products. Pathway Cleanfit™ BCAA powder is also an excellent source. This water-soluble formula of BCAAs, glutamine and B vitamins mixes easily into water for maximum absorption.

Pathway Cleanfit BCAA provides branched-chain amino acids that are essential to building and maintaining muscle tissue and have long been used by athletes and other active individuals to activate protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown caused by intense training or physical activity.

In addition to helping build muscle, BCAAs can be used by muscle cells as an indirect energy source during strenuous exercise without forming pain-causing lactate. Normally, when we perform strenuous exercise while burning other fuel sources such as fat or carbohydrate, a byproduct called lactate is produced. Lactate is the chemical responsible for your painful and stiff muscles the morning after a hard workout. Taking in BCAAs before working out helps to prevent the build-up of lactate and thus reduce or even eliminate the “morning after” problem. Most studies have also found a reduction in perceived workload after taking BCAAs. This may help you get the extra reps out of your workout that you’ve been aiming for!

• L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine is vital for the delivery of large fatty acids into every energy dependent tissue in the human body. This is especially true for the heart and skeletal muscles where a great deal of their energy is derived from fatty acids. L-carnitine is critical to heart function and its optimal performance. L-carnitine enhances the rate of ATP production, which is important for energy production. L-carnitine does this cellular work, both when you exercise and rest, but research confirms that it is especially effective during intense exercise. One of the best times to take L-carnitine is post-workout, but you can take it with any other high-carb, high-protein meal throughout the day.

• Protein Powder: Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids in biologically significant amounts and is one of the most complete sources of proteins and amino acids available. Derived from grass fed cattle, Pathway Whey Protein is one of the cleanest powders on the market and does not contain any synthetic hormones such as rBGH. The whey protein concentrate used in this formula is produced through an ion-exchanged, ultra filtration process that yields a high level of protein and amino acids.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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January 2017
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