You may have heard the term, but do you know how Oxidative Stress develops and impacts your body? I won’t get too detailed, but here is a brief explanation. When we excise we consume O2 and a bi-product of that is carbon dioxide, which our body absorbs. When you’re breathing, we absorb O2 through out capillaries and deliver it accordingly to our tissues/muscles etc. At the same time, carbon dioxide moves from the capillaries into the air sacs and travels to the blood stream. When you exercise, you’re obviously taking in more O2, which equates to increase in carbon dioxide. When this happens, you have more free radicals that damage all components of a cell, including protein, lipids, and dna … this is known as Oxidative Stress.The way to combat Oxidative Stress is to consume foods rich in antioxidants, which help aid in the recovery and prohibit free radicals from “stealing” an electron from a healthy cell. Oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the development of cancer and many other diseases. However the main concern with endurance athletes is that Oxidative Stress is linked to chronic fatigue, which can lead to poor performance, increase in injury and the probability to catch a cold.
So what you should you do to combat Oxidative Stress? Eat the rainbow! Veggies and fruits are rich in antioxidants and have thousands of phytonutrients that no multi-vitamin can come close to. The more colorful your diet, the better! Try to consume 10-13 servings of veggies and fruits. If you’re only consuming 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, slowly build your way up. 85-90% of the time I eat a plant based diet. I also take a whole food supplement Juice Plus as well as their plant based protein. I make shakes for breakfast because it’s one of the easiest ways to get a head start on your vegetable consumption (add things like spinach, kale, carrots, beets). If you want to learn more about Juice Plus, let me know and I can explain in more detail.Another antioxidant rich food that I’m a big fan of is Tart Cherry juice. I take a supplement, but when available I’ll purchase some tart cherry juice, especially when my training increases. Here is a link about how tart Cherry Juice helps.
For a product to actually help reduce or buffer lactic acid in you body I recommend a Beta Alanine supplement. My favorite one is Optygen by 1st Endurance. It’s the same brand of Pre-Race which is what I only take day of a race. Test out the Pre-Race before a workout to see how your body reacts. For some people it affects them more (I’m in that category) so I only take half a scoop w/ 8 ounces of a sports drink 45 minutes before competition. Since taking all the products in the photo above, I recover quickly, my race performance has improved and I have not had any injuries (knock on wood!). I’ll invite you guys to the lecture – it will be free and part of Chucktown Triathletes
Example of lunch or dinner – veggies galore and organic basmati rice. You can add chicken or tofu, shrimp is another great option. Just think rainbow and try to incorporate at least 4 colors into every meal.