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In the industrial age, which spans our entire lives—unless we predate King George II of England!—companies have dumped their harmful by-products and waste into the most convenient places available to them: into the air, rivers, lakes, and other areas where the unwanted materials would seem to “wash away.”
It wasn’t until the late 1970s that the EPA began to regulate hazardous waste disposal. Many could very convincingly argue that even modern sanitation and waste-disposal regulations are nowhere near strict enough, and not adequately enforced, a global crisis affecting the air we breath and the soil in which we grow our food.
Many of these harmful toxins found in our environment have profoundly bad effects on your body and your health. Not surprisingly, some of these chemical nasties have a direct effect on your athletic performance, inhibiting your body’s ability to function and perform at a higher level. For all of you training and competing in triathlons and marathons, it is critical to think about your increased potential exposure to toxins and how you can combat some of these performance-sapping problems.
The toxic effects of lead, arsenic, cadmium, BPA, PFOA (also called C8) and other toxins can and do affect athletic performance. Lead can impair normal cell function and lead to digestive problems, muscle and joint pain, nerve disorders, and high blood pressure. These toxic influences in the environment must be constantly removed so that heavy metals and chemicals do not build up and concentrate in our body’s tissues.
Specifically, heavy metal toxins block enzymes needed for the body to make energy and protein. If your body cannot produce the protein and energy it needs, you will not perform at the optimal levels called for when training for a race or athletic event. Fatigue, lack of energy, inability to recover, and injury can result.
While most athletes and nutritionists pay close attention to what they voluntarily put into their bodies in the way of food and water, you must be aware of what the body is involuntarily taking in through exposure to air, water, produce and meat.
In training for a triathlon or other long events, you have to make sure you’re drinking a sufficient amount of pure water (about 8 glass per day, more if you are exercising and excessively sweating), which also helps ensure healthy bowel movements.
There are also ways you can aid your body nutritionally to help the body remove environmental toxins. This includes foods and vitamins that promote liver function, including vegetables (try to consume at least 30% raw), healthy sources of protein at every meal (including eggs, lean meat, etc.), and a multi-vitamin including key supports like Vitamin A, C, E, selenium, zinc and more.
Growth Hormone (GH or HGH) is a key hormone that helps us build muscle and burn fat.
Your muscles are made of cells that have been fused together into muscle fibers. And on the outside of these fibers are things called satellite cells.
When you work out you damage cells in the muscle fibers. To fix this, your body releases Growth Hormone, Growth Factors (other hormones) and Testosterone. These tell the satellite cells to start replicating to both repair and replace damaged cells in the muscle, and also to add more cells, increasing the muscle fibers in size.
If your cells are taking in less sugar because they’re resisting insulin knocking at their door to let in sugar, then the cells have less energy to work with.
That sugar is there, and insulin is happily converting it to fat, but your cells aren’t getting it so of course they’re hungry and will keep telling you to eat more until they finally get some.
I’ve been asked many times about the one vitamin or supplement a person needs for good health, about this or that diet, about going Vegan or going Carnivore, and much more.
So I wanted to take a moment to look at some things here. Not the pros and cons of different diets or the importance of one vitamin over another, but instead — how you can determine what is right for you.