• Exercise, gut health and gastrointestinal issues
    Blog,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    Exercise, gut health and gastrointestinal issues

    Exercise is generally regarded as beneficial for health. Gut health is not an exception, athletes tend to have microbiomes with increased composition and/or function. However, too much exercise can be detrimental. This is an overview on exercise, gut health and gastrointestinal issues. Exercise and gut health Most people will agree that exercising is beneficial for health. When comparing the microbiomes of exercising individuals (including athletes) with those of sedentary individuals, scientists have found: More bacterial diversity and/or richness, generally regarded as beneficial to health More short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) metabolic pathways, important for intestinal integrity and other aspects of health Increased metabolic pathways of amino acids (including branched-chain amino acid,…

  • eating for training and competition
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    Eating for training and competition

    Nobody would think about running 10km as preparation for an Olympic weightlifting meet. You should be polishing off your lifts and throwing in some max days to simulate competition day. This should translate seamlessly to nutrition. However, many athletes overlook their nutrition strategy and show up to competition with no plan. Eating for training and competition require the same amount of thought. If you are planning to participate in any kind of sporting event, from amateur to elite-level competitions, you should have a nutrition strategy in place. This includes non-competitive events such as martial arts gradings. As you will see below, your nutrition strategy is unique to you because it…

  • Future Whey
    Blog,  Fitness,  Nutrition,  Product reviews,  Training

    Product review: Future Whey

    Future Whey is a newish sports supplement. I decided to try it mainly because I got a free sample, but also because the packaging got me intrigued. It looks like detergent. It looks like a prank product. It is not. The name implies this is a whey powder product, but it claims to be dairy-free – this is confusing. Future Whey is really a collection of amino-acids, including the branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs, which are the ones preferentially taken up by muscle cells. What is in Future Whey? From the website: essential amino acid blend (L Leucine, L Threonine, L Valine, L Isoleucine, L Lysine, L Methionine, L Phenylalanine,…

  • Krav Maga
    Blog,  Fitness,  Training

    What is Krav Maga and why I do it

    Krav Maga is the self-defence system used by the Israeli Defence Force. Therefore, it is not a sport, a martial art or a fitness class. Krav Maga was created by Imi Lichtenfeld in the 1940s for army purposes. He later adapted the system for civilian populations. There is a grading system that works like most martial arts: with a belt system that reflects the practitioner’s level. This is mainly to determine which techniques are taught to which people. More advanced practitioners, for example, learn third-party protection (i.e. how to defend others). Training topics include holds (e.g. chokes – including head locks, wrist grabs, shirt grabs, bear hugs, takedowns, etc.), weapons…

  • Weightlifting
    Blog,  Fitness,  Training

    What is weightlifting and why I do it

    Weightlifting or Olympic weightlifting (a.k.a. Oly lifting or lifting) is an Olympic sport (hence the name) that consists of 2 lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk (see videos below). When people ask me what I do for exercise (I look fairly strong and fit for a woman my age), I just say “weightlifting” knowing that most people will assume I mean “I lift (pink) weights” or “I do bodybuilding”. Less often, some people think I do powerlifting, which is a completely different beast. I tried to avoid saying the word “Olympic” because some people think this means I actively participate in the Olympic games (LOL!). Training for Olympic…

  • Blog,  Nutrition,  Self-experiment

    Supplementing creatine

    One of the talks that caught my attention at the SDA Conference was Dr Tom Doering‘s work on creatine supplementation for master athletes. For those who are not into sports, the term “master” means old. The cut-off age depends on the sport; in my case (weightlifting) is 35. As we age, we lose muscle mass and strength and creatine can be a useful supplement for older athletes, particularly those engaging in weightlifting and other power sports. Dr Doering recommends taking creatine monohydrate with meals or a post-exercise snack containing carbohydrate and protein. The protocol is a 7-day loading phase (0.3g/kg/day) followed by a maintenance phase of 2g per day. I…