October 2005 - Issue 048
Welcome to the 48th Issue
This is the last issue of 2005 and I can honestly say that this year has flown by faster than any of the previous 17. For us, it was another year of growth and development. We moved into a brand new building in April and had it stacked to the ceiling and humming at maximum capacity by July. The next step in our growth will be a mid-west distribution facility. I was hoping to avoid that for a couple more years, but with the price of diesel these days, 2006 could be the year.
Our growth has also necessitated additions to our staff, which now numbers almost 25. One of those additions that I am most pleased with is my youngest sister Kadidja. I finally convinced her to take a break from pursuing a career in fashion design in LA to come up here and work with me. You'll find more about our staff additions in the article below.
While the racing season may be winding down, we are already in high gear preparing for 2006. Come January, we'll have brand new clothing designs, expanded soft goods and accessories, new convenience packaging for our powders, a delicious new flavor of Hammer Gel, the Hammer Bar and one or two new E-CAPS products. Much of these are highlighted in this issue and the rest will be a surprise when you get the 2006 catalog in January.
Before signing off, I want to comment on reoccurring feedback we get in response to "controversial" topics and issues we write about in Endurance News. Articles like the ones on the sugar epidemic, the dangers of artificial sweeteners and microwave safety to name a few. In each instance, the feedback is the same: "I haven't read about this anywhere else or seen it in the regular news". My response is: If our articles cause you to rethink accepted norms, (like "replace what you lose" or "just eat a balanced diet and you'll be healthy") or to question the status quo regarding health, supplements and diet, then this newsletter is achieving its purpose. We encourage you to do your own research and dig deeper into the subject.
The whole reason I started writing Endurance News thirteen years ago was because I felt that there was essential information that you needed, but could not find in the magazines, newspapers or TV. So, don't be surprised when you read one of our articles on a "controversial" or under the radar topics that isn't being promoted in the mainstream or sports media.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
The NEW Hammer Bar : The ultimate energy bar is here!
What's that saying - "If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for?" Well, if you're talking about energy bars, then the new Hammer Bar fits that saying to a "T."
Let's be honest. Most energy bars are nothing more than glorified candy bars, loaded with refined sugars, saturated fats, preservatives, and other ingredients that do nothing to support enhanced athletic performance or overall health. Finally, a healthier and delicious alternative is available to you. The Hammer Bar is here! Though it looks like another energy bar, calling it a mere energy bar just doesn't do it justice; we're offering a health and energy bar. Here's what we mean; compare any bar-type product you might be using to these specs:
What Makes Hammer Bars Unique? (and why you should be eating them!)
The Hammer Bar makes an ideal energy bar, but don't let its shape fool you... it's so much more than a mere energy bar! Eating a Hammer Bar for breakfast, lunch, or dinner provides your body with some of the highest quality food you can consume, supplying complex carbohydrates, high quality vegetable protein, healthy fats (no trans fatty acids!), nature's own phyto-nutrients, and enzymes. Whether using the Hammer Bar to help fuel your long distance workouts and races or as a meal replacement, you can be assured that you're giving your body the very best nutrition possible.
The Hammer Bar comes in two delicious flavors: Almond Raisin and Chocolate Chip. Order your supply today!
The Hammer Bar -
Delicious, Satisfying, Healthy!
Added To The Mix In 2006 : Product changes and additions
It seems like there are always changes going on here at E-CAPS & Hammer Nutrition. Everything from staff additions (see page 2) to new buildings (our warehouse is done and fully functioning). Probably the most exciting changes that happen here are the ones that pertain to our product line.
We've had new-product news in the past (Race Caps Supreme and HEED to name a few) and 2006 will be no exception. In the first article of this newsletter we go into depth about the upcoming Hammer Bar. What an amazing product! The Hammer Bar is not only great for you, providing you with healthy ingredients and high energy, but it tastes great too. If you haven't read the above article make sure you do.
Now, back to the changes happening in 2006. One of the biggest is the addition of a 9th flavor of Hammer Gel. After testing numerous flavors, Tropical Hammer Gel was declared the winner. Tropical Hammer Gel is also our 2nd caffeinated flavor with 25mg per serving.
Another product addition in 2006 is Plain HEED. Although both the Lemon-Lime and Mandarin flavors have very subtle flavor, we wanted to give athletes another choice.
And finally, starting next year, Race Day Boost will be packaged in a 3-loading dose container instead of the current 8 giving you a more convenient size to carry to events.
We are excited about these additions and changes and hope that you are too.
Staff Additions : Adding to our family
2005 Highline Hammer : A wonderful weekend out west
Hammer Nutrition headquarters was a flurry of activity August 4-7 as we hosted 17 cyclists (not counting staff) for the 4th Annual Highline Hammer.
Riders from around the country attended with many familiar faces returning from years past. The long weekend was filled with fabulous food, intense seminars given by Steve Born and Dr. Bill Misner, and awesome cycling. Saturday's ride of 136-miles around and through Glacier National Park was amazing. We had bear and mountain goat sightings along the way as well as a few free range cattle that wanted to run alongside the cyclists (only in Montana). The weather couldn't have been better with sunshine and warm temps the entire time.
Next years ride will take place during approximately the same time (end of July/beginning of August) and we invite you to join us. If Saturday's long ride (136 miles, 8,800 ft. of elevation gain) gives you cause for concern...don't let it. The Highline Hammer is a fully supported ride and all riders have the option of getting in and out of the support vehicles at their leisure. In fact, those that did take us up on rides said that they'll be back next year ready to tackle the entire course.
The Highline Hammer is a wonderful event to be a part of and we hope you'll consider coming out to beautiful Montana and joining us. Watch the April issue of Endurance News for finalized dates and information about the 5th Annual Highline Hammer. See you in 2006!
2005 Rider Feedback :
Troy DeLong writes "The 2005 Highline Hammer was a splendid event! Dr. Bill and Steve Born provided everyone with lots of useful knowledge. Seeing all the people from last year and meeting all the new ones this year was fun. Brian Frank and his employees sure know how to make you feel welcome. I don't have one favorite part of the weekend, it was good but my least favorite part was saying goodbye."
Tom Morris from California writes "This was my third Highline Hammer weekend. As always, it was terrific fun because of the guests, Hammer Nutrition's preparations and the motivated staff. Saturday's ride is the acid-test for the products."
And finally, Scott Gaiser from Montana had this to say about his experience... "What a great weekend! A ride in one of the most beautiful places on earth, fellowship with folks who have a common passion, great information to help me perform better and excellent food. What can I say but thanks!"
These days it seems that more need exists in the world than ever before. That is true in Africa especially. However, this ministry (Jinja Miracle Centre-Oasis of Life JMCOOL) has a twist because it is helping out needy cyclists in Uganda so that they can train and race as part of a larger missionary program.
It all started about a year ago. A client in Spokane had a friend who was going on a missions trip to Uganda and knew about the cycling team that a local pastor was putting together. Having lived in central Africa for 4 years as a boy, I had a very vivid understanding of their situation and a soft spot in my heart for their plight.
They desperately needed clothing, helmets and cycling shoes. So I grabbed all of the 2001 and 2003 clothing we had laying around the shop, plus a bunch of my old jerseys and sent them along. Early this spring Pastor David Ssebuufu made a trip to the US and we sent along another load of clothing and goodies for the JMCOOL Cycle Team
Now, we are inviting all of you to make the same donations of old or new cycling clothing, helmets, cycling shoes. They may even be able to receive old clipless pedals or other equipment as long as it's not too heavy. Of course if you'd like to contribute cash, they would gladly accept that too.
Pastor David or Minister Lisa can confirm exactly what they are able to accept. Anything, including an e-mail of affirmation would be greatly appreciated. Their contact information can be found to the right of the picture below.
Ask Dr. Bill, Bill Misner, Ph.D.
QUESTION : I have been diagnosed with hypertension. Are there any foods or nutrients that I can use to help this condition?
ANSWER : There are described two forms of hypertension, (1) Essential, which no single cause can be determined, and, (2) Secondary, which specific cause may be determined by medical diagnosis then treated specifically.
If no cause has been isolated by your physician, (1) reducing stress triggers, (2) reducing sodium from salt or MSG added to food, (3) reducing fat body weight, (4) reducing high fat meats (except fish), and (5) increasing fiber from whole grains, fruit, and vegetables prepare systemic physiology for a number of anti-hypertensive dietary supplements that by differing pathways reduce elevated blood pressure.
Fluids Shown To Lower Blood Pressure
Water = forced fluid to rehydrate (Chronic dehydration elevates blood pressure)
Foods Shown To Lower Blood Pressure
Celery (due to 3-n-Butyl-Phthalide content)
Herbs Shown To Lower Blood Pressure
Allspice Tree (Berry)
Supplements Reported To Reduce Elevated Blood Pressure
Rynchophylline (Oxindole Alkaloid in Cat's Claw)
Arginine (6,000 mg per day)
Taurine (6,000 mg per day)
Forskolin (Diterpene in Coleus)
Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA)
*Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
*Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
*Magnesium (500-1000 mg/d)
Oleuropein (Olive Leaf and Olive Oil)
*Coenzyme Q10 (200-300 mg per day)
*Tri- & Di- methyl Glycine (TMG & DMG)
Nicotinic Acid form of Vitamin B3
*Vitamin C (1 gram+ per day)
*Each asterisk mark ingredients contained in several E-CAPS products: Carlson Salmon Oil, Premium Insurance Caps, Tissue Rejuvenator, Race Caps, Super AO, REM Caps, HEED. Taking these with the foods and fluids suggested should lower elevated blood pressure within 4-6 weeks chronic dose.
Of these, Carlson Salmon Oil, Premium Insurance Caps, and Race Caps Supreme are the most important supplements for attaining healthy-normal blood pressure gradients. If there are secondary hypertension factors operant, then your physician should be consulted for medical resolution.
Training : It doesn't stop because the leaves change
by Jeb Stewart
Champions and seasons are made and broken by what we do or don't do in the off-season. Too many athletes wait until the racing season is upon them to hire a coach and ask them to work miracles with their fitness, having put in a haphazard off-season at best. Even worse, many athletes fire their coach when the racing season is over and then hire them again come spring. Many coaches may not have slots available and may require that the athlete pay another start up fee for the additional work they must now do since they have not been working together continuously.
This approach is very short sighted and leads to less than optimal fitness and unattained goals come race season. What you do in the off-season determines the heights that you can reach during the next year. Those who do it correctly, meet and far exceed their goals, and those who do not end up falling short and wondering why.
Why is this? Well, the most common traps involve doing too much or too little. Doing too much can take many forms such as going too hard when they should be really working on their base fitness, doing too much or the wrong stuff in the gym, and gaining too much weight by not approaching their nutrition correctly. However, even more athletes fall into the latter of the two categories. Doing too little includes: Not taking any time off, not doing enough miles, skipping cross-training or gym work, not doing enough base work before moving up the training spectrum, not attending to goals and long-term planning and not taking this time when there are no races to attain those elusive body composition goals.
Having a coach can also help you make sure that the things you are doing are actually helping you attain your goals. I see too many athletes either skip cross-training and instead do nothing, do only gym work (often times doing the wrong stuff), employ faulty nutritional practices and gain too much weight as a result. I also find that a lot of people do their base training at too low an intensity to really get the gains they are shooting for. Having a coach prescribe the correct Power or HR training zones can help you make sure you are actually developing your aerobic fitness when doing this ever so important part of your training. There is nothing worse than to find out that all of those miles you did only helped slightly at best. Never mind the athlete who just goes from racing to mountain bike racing to cyclo-cross to group rides, and then wonders why they never seem to get any better. Many of these things can and should be worked into a complete conditioning program for the bike. However, if you are going to train, then we had better make sure that what you are doing is actually going to benefit you in the long run.
Many athletes unfortunately want to come into form overnight and in endurance sports it just doesn't work like that. Those who are patient and diligent in their preparation make the greatest gains. Take for example an athlete I am fortunate enough to work with. She started with me in November with her goals being in July. Her patient progress paid off in spades when she was on the podium 13 out of the 14 races, won her state championships and two stage races. She was patient and believed in herself, her coach and the process. That's a perfect example of what doing things correctly can get for us.
Some of the many things your coach can help you with during the off-season include:
Whether you are a recreational racer or a full-time athlete, what we do outside of our racing season is hugely important, and quite often will determine what we can achieve when the time comes to perform. So don't miss this golden opportunity to create your best season ever by working with a coach who can help you optimize the time you spend training in the off-season and make sure you are on track for the upcoming year.
For more information on subjects related to endurance training or for any of your coaching and training needs check out Jeb and the rest of the coaches from the Peaks Coaching Group at www.peakscoachinggroup.com.
Jeb Stewart is a USA Cycling Expert Level coach and has a Master's degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. He is certified by the ACSM, the NSCA, the NASM and is a head coach and co-owner of The Peaks Coaching Group. He has a long history of competing in a variety of athletic endeavors at the national level and currently races on the road around the country annually. He specializes in coaching athletes of all walks of life using a holistic approach and is on the forefront of coaching cyclists with power. Jeb's passion for helping people go to the next level in all of their endeavors has led him to become a presenter, writer, and consultant on anything related to training, performance, and wellness. You can contact Jeb directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (813) 230-2900.
This is a suggested comparison showing "approximated" upper values for what is lost during prolonged endurance exercise to what can be successfully absorbed, replaced, routed into the energy cycle for the bulk of the fit, acclimatized endurance athletes. This material was extracted from the following literature:
Nates' Corner : Time to work on weaknesses
The competitive season is over for most of us, and will be soon for the rest of us. Now is the perfect time to look back on your training & racing to assess your weak points.
As a triathlete, maybe your weakness compared to your fellow competitors is swimming. Maybe as a cyclist you lack the power to stay up with the pack on the climbs. As a runner, maybe your lack of speed keeps you from being competitive at the shorter distances (like 5ks).
When turning a weakness into a strength, the key is to focus on that weakness while downplaying your existing strengths. In the case of the weak-swimmer triathlete, this would entail 1-2 cycles of training where swimming was the focus. With each cycle lasting 4-5 weeks, this turns into 8-10 weeks of concentrated effort in the pool. Let's say this triathlete swims 2-3 times per week normally. In a Swim Focus cycle, he/she would swim 4-5 times per week. But to keep weekly hours manageable, a cut back in cycling and running is necessary. To keep your fitness relatively stable in the other two sports, the triathlete could cut back to two workouts per week per sport.
For the cyclist lacking climbing power, time in the weight room will help, with an extra emphasis on the legs. Also, intense repeats lasting from 20 seconds to 2 minutes will help boost leg power. If you live in a nice climate year-round, then these repeats should be done up a steep climb. These short intervals are potent and should be done 1-2 times per week.
Likewise, the runner lacking speed for the short races needs to increase the amount of interval work he/she is doing. Two workouts a week on the treadmill or at the track, done at 5k race pace will do wonders to boost your overall speed.
Again, over the course of 1-2 cycles, you can see a significant improvement to your weaknesses. By shifting your focus, you can improve without necessarily training more. It's a matter of training smarter. And this will make you a better athlete in time for next season.
Nate Llerandi is a former national champion class swimmer/world class triathlete. He has been coaching since 1990 and creates programs for athletes of all sports and ability levels. You can contact him at email@example.com
Once they're gone.. they're gone
We've discounted all the Voler clothing in stock to get ready for the 2006 style. Check out these prices!
Cycling House : Warm winter training
The Cycling House in warm, sunny Tucson, Arizona is your place to train this winter. This totally new concept allows you to do your own "training camp" in one of the most desired locales in the country. Stay for 3 days or 3 weeks. We provide airport pickup, bike assembly, lodging, all food, fully sag-supported rides, and more. You concentrate on your training and leave the rest to us. Hammer Nutrition fuels are supplied on all rides.
Each morning, you wake up in the beautiful Tucson Foothills, eat a healthy breakfast and head out on an epic training ride. Depending on your training program, lunch will be served en route or you can return to the casa for a delicious lunch. After lunch, take a siesta or just relax by the pool. Dinner is served on the patio overlooking town. Hiking, golf and sightseeing is all around you. Of course, if you have your own accommodations in Tucson, you can join us just for training rides. During your stay, you can even perfect your pedal stroke with the use of our Power Cranks equipped Lemond Revmaster stationary bike.
We have access to some of the country's finest riding terrain, which is one of the reasons why it's a favorite winter destination for so many pro athletes. Challenge yourself daily on an endless variety of challenging routes, including Mt. Lemmon with it's 27 miles of scenic climbing and a summit of 8200 feet.
We operate November thru April and can cater to individuals, groups or teams.
Check us out at www.thecyclinghouse.com for rates, availability or contact us at 1-800-967-6897 for more details.
The Cycling House - You'll feel like you're on a pro team when you stay and ride with us. See ya this winter in Tucson!
Dr. Bill To Retire : Leaving a lasting legacy
At the Highline Hammer Weekend this past August, Dr. Bill announced that he would be retiring on his Birthday in February of 2006. I guess I knew that this day would come, but honestly I thought it would not be for another three to five years. On the other hand, knowing that he has been putting in 12 hours + daily for the past 9 years, it's not such a big surprise.
The magnitude of his presence in my company cannot be overstated. From the first product he and I developed together in 1992 to the ones we'll be bringing out in 2006, Dr. Bill has engineered some of the best endurance supplements and fuels ever - Those include Sustained Energy, Endurolytes, Premium Insurance Caps, Perpetuem, the new Tissue Rejuvenator and the new Race Caps Supreme, to name a few.
However, despite developing all of these cutting edge products, I think what we've appreciated most is his passion for helping others. Whether it's personal e-mail inquiries or answering questions on the Endurance List, Dr. Bill treats each question as if it were the first time he'd heard it and the questioner with complete respect.
In his spare time, he single handedly published the Journal Of Endurance every month covering 12 to 14 different topics in painstaking detail. For a regular person, this could be a full time job in and of itself.
Nothing I've said so far does justice to the legacy of this humble and kind man. He may be retiring in February, but his wisdom and teachings will continue to benefit our clients and endurance athletes all over the world for decades to come. That may sound lofty, but I believe it.
I am honored to have been his associate for the past nine years and to have known him as a friend for the past 18. All I can say is "Enjoy your retirement Bill, you've certainly earned it!".
When he does retire, he will be leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. If you have a Ph.D. or MS. RD. in nutrition, a passion for helping others and would be willing to relocate to Whitefish, Montana, give us a call.
Simple Sugars and Complex Carbohydrates : An incompatible combination
If you look on a container of a Hammer Nutrition fuel you'll find something that you'll probably not see on another energy drink or gel... a warning. For example, on a container of HEED you'll find these words: "Do not combine HEED with any product containing simple, refined sugars. Negative side effects may occur." Similarly, you'll find the following on a container of Perpetuem: "WARNING: Do not combine Perpetuem with any product containing simple, refined sugars."
What's up with that? Why are we so adamant about not combining simple sugars with complex carbs? Well, the reason for that is simple: we want you to enjoy your workout or race, we want you to achieve your best possible results, and we want you to do that without having stomach issues such as bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and a host of others. However, when you consume a simple sugar fuel at or near the same time as any of the Hammer Nutrition fuels (which contain no added simple sugars) you very much put your workout and race, and your stomach, in jeopardy.
Here's the deal: simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc) need to be mixed in concentrations no higher than 6-8% in order to achieve an acceptable absorption osmolar value of body fluids (280-303 mOsm) and be digested with any efficiency. That's it. The problem is that a 6-8% solution is a pretty weak mix and will only yield about 100 or so calories an hour, which is inadequate for maintaining optimal energy production. Some athletes realize that and try to resolve the problem by making a double or triple strength batch of their simple sugar product. Unfortunately, that solution is now far too concentrated, it's much higher than 6-8% and, unless more water is consumed or added to the mix (at which point the athlete might very well be flirting with over hydration) that concentrated simple sugar solution will not pass the gastric channels. Energy production is compromised and stomach distress is sure to follow.
The same problem occurs when an athlete combines a simple sugar fuel with a complex carbohydrate fuel. The beauty of complex carbs is that they will match body fluid osmolality, not at a 6-8% solution, but a more concentrated 15-18% solution. Even at this seemingly too-high concentration complex carbohydrates (such as maltodextrins/glucose polymers) will empty the stomach at the same efficient rate as normal body fluids and provide substantially more calories (up to three times more) than simple sugar mixtures will. However, when simple sugars and complex carbs are consumed together or near each other, it increases the solution concentration beyond what either source can be efficiently digested at. In other words, when you consume simple sugars and complex carbohydrates together or within close proximity of each other, you negate the efficient digestibility of either source. Once again, energy production will be compromised and a variety of stomach issues are likely to occur.
1.) If the athlete consumes a simple sugar fuel the body will only permit 6-8% of it in solution into circulating serum for fuel replacement. 2.) Complex carbohydrate fuels are easily and more-rapidly absorbed in a 15-18% solution. More calories are absorbed faster, and are available for energy production, from complex carbohydrates than simple sugar.
The higher the simple sugar content, the higher the solution osmolality, the less of it is absorbed immediately. The longer the chain of sugars linked together as a complex carbohydrate the more of it is absorbed in higher solution because its osmolality is closer to that of body fluids. Therefore, the ideal carbohydrate source for athletes is long-chain complex carbohydrates, which is what all the Hammer Nutrition fuels are comprised of.
You don't want nor need to consume ANY simple sugars with any of the Hammer fuels. The Hammer fuels will meet all your energy needs and you won't have to worry about any stomach issues that can occur when you consume simple sugars with them.
High Fructose Corn Syrup & Obesity
Several recent studies show that drinking large amounts of carbonated beverage is associated with increased risk for obesity and that the extra gain in weight is not due just to the calories in the soft drinks (1,2). Evidently something in soft drinks makes people eat more food than they would otherwise. High fructose corn syrup may be that factor. High fructose corn syrup is the leading sweetener in the United States today with 4.5 billion dollars worth sold each year. High-fructose corn syrup first appeared in the American market in 1966, and now the average American takes in 62.6 pounds per year.
Several recent studies have shown that fructose is processed differently in the body than the far more common sugar, glucose (3,4). Glucose causes the pancreas to release insulin which drives sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Glucose causes fat cells to release leptin that makes you feel full so you eat less. Glucose prevents the stomach from releasing ghrelin that makes you hungry. On the other hand, fructose does not cause fat cells to release leptin and does not suppress ghrelin. This means that fructose increases hunger to make you eat more. Furthermore, the liver converts fructose far more readily to a body fat called triglyceride, than it does with glucose. High triglyceride levels raise blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and lower blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol, which increases heart attack risk.
Recent data shows that large amounts of fructose cause insulin resistance, impair glucose tolerance, produce high levels of insulin, raise triglycerides, and cause high blood pressure in animals. Not all this data has been replicated in humans, but there is every reason to believe that large amounts of fructose will have the same adverse effects. High-fructose corn syrup is found in almost all soft drinks and fruit beverages and a wide variety of processed foods; check the list of ingredients in the foods you buy.
Friendly Affiliation : Hammer Gel and DAWF
If you venture onto the Hammer web site you may notice a logo, a "seal of approval" so to speak, signifying that Hammer Gel is approved ("Diabetic Friendly") by the Diabetics and Wellness Foundation (www.dawf.org). In Endurance News #46, in the article entitled "Hammer Gel Safe For Diabetics: Complex Carbohydrate Formula Good For Glucose Levels" we discussed the outstanding results of a study by Dr. Marty Reynolds, M.D., which noted the beneficial effects of Hammer Gel usage by diabetic athletes. Shortly after that study we began a partnership with the Diabetes and Wellness Foundation, specifically Jay Handy, the president of the organization. As mentioned earlier, Hammer Gel has been approved by the DAWF and we're now enthusiastic supporters of the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes events.
So what has this to do with the non-diabetic athlete? Plenty! In an article that appears on the News Target web site (www.newstarget.com/001056.html) in May of 2004 author Mike Adams (a.k.a. "The Health Ranger" - www.newstarget.com/adamshealthstats.html) writes the following sobering words...
"The US is headed for a diabetes epidemic that could see as many as 41 million Americans suffering from full-blown diabetes if prevention measures are not put into place, announced Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. Right now, 18 million Americans have full-blown diabetes, which already makes the disease an epidemic. But if nothing is done to reverse the trend, this number will more than double in the years ahead." [Note: Less than two years since Adams' article was written, the figure, according to Jay Handy, has reached 28 million]
"What can be done to stop this diabetic epidemic? Fundamentally, we have to look at what causes diabetes in the first place. And there's no mystery about that: people become diabetic due to natural cause-and-effects laws concerning food choice and physical exercise. If you eat certain foods while avoiding physical exercise, you will automatically become diabetic over time. It's certainly not a medical mystery."
The solution then, is straightforward: avoid eating the foods that cause obesity and diabetes. That means people should avoid all refined white flour, refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, milled grains and other processed carbohydrates. Instead, they should turn to natural herbal sweeteners like stevia and xylitol, and of course natural forms of sweets like apples, strawberries and carrots. The second part of the solution involves physical exercise: people need to walk or engage in cardiovascular exercise for one hour a day, six days a week. Adding a strength training component would further accelerate their health progress and prevent them from becoming diabetic."
As you can see, diabetes is already at epidemic levels and the outlook is seemingly quite grim. However, following the guidelines that we've been recommending for years - guidelines that are very much similar to those suggested by Mike Adams and other health professionals - you can take major preventative steps to avoid becoming a diabetic. In addition, using Hammer Gel and the other Hammer fuels (note that HEED, to our knowledge, is currently the only sports drink that uses both stevia and xylitol) can play a big role in that as well.
Since its inception, Hammer Nutrition's goal has been to help endurance athletes reach their highest levels of performance and health with products that are safe, natural, and effective. Dr. Reynolds' study and the approval of the Diabetes and Wellness Foundation further supports our philosophy that complex carbohydrates are preferable to simple sugar for fueling athletes during exercise.
Compex Corner : Resources for current and potential Compex owners
With a growing number of our clients already enjoying the benefits of the Compex muscle stimulator and most of the rest of you inching closer to making the decision to buy a unit, we felt it was time to allocate a little real estate in Endurance News. This space will be used keep you informed about advance usage protocols, client feedback, new resources and anything else related to Compex.
Off Season Strength Training Program Joe Arnone has written a new article that provides a comprehensive strength training routine for off season, including settings and everything. This is the newest article posted at http://www.e-caps.com/compex and click on "related articles".
Additional Compex Articles In addition to the new strength training article, you can find 12 additional articles that go into great detail about the mechanisms involved in the Compex technology and sport specific protocols for runners, cyclists and triathletes.
Whether you've already purchased a Compex unit or are still procrastinating, I mean considering, getting one, you should check out the Compex Endurance group. Compex Endurance is a private list for endurance athletes who are owners and potential owners of the Compex muscle stimulator. The focus here is to gain and share knowledge concerning the best applications and usage of the Compex devices. This group is moderated by senior Staff member Joe Arnone, our in-house expert and regular user of the Compex Sport. Many other experts and athletes familiar with the technology also participate on the list. If you are considering buying a Sport or Fitness Trainer model, this list is a great way to go.
To join the Compex Endurance list: go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compex_endurance and click the button titled "Join This Group".
The compex units sold in the US are not allowed to have the "rehabilitation" programs for accelerating muscular healing that their European units do. Not to worry, if you have a muscle injury, there is a work around. Basically, the rehab programs provide a steady current pattern, like a tens unit at your chiropractic office, to maximize blood flow to the muscle, which in turn accelerates healing. You can duplicate a rehab program by repeating the warm up portion of the endurance, resistance or strength programs two to four times. Performing your own "rehab sessions" on troublesome muscle groups, along with regular use of the active recovery program after training can effectively resolve chronic muscle issues, according to athletes who use Compex.
"I have been a tri geek for 20 years. This is the first time that I have ever been able to do any strength training that had results instead of minor injury to my knees. Felt very strong for Lake Placid this year. Much more than ever before."
"How easy is it to use? Well it is very easy. When you get the kit it comes with a little picture book that tells you where to put the pads and how to plug it in. Also the Hammer articles outline the different programs really well."
"It was easier to use than I thought and I am very pleased with the product and the support from Hammer."
A Site To Behold : Check out www.e-caps.com
You've probably noticed it already but we wanted to give you a run-down of all the changes we've made at www.e-caps.com. From a new look to new features, we think you'll enjoy the new site and the ease at which you can find the knowledge and products that you are looking for.
A New Look - The whole site has undergone a facelift! Our goal was to make it a little more streamlined, a little less cluttered and a little more consistent with the printed materials that you see. As well as a cosmetic change, all of the content throughout the site has been reviewed, rewritten and reorganized to make information easier to access.
Online Search - You spoke and we listened! In the upper left hand portion of each page there is now a search field to make finding the information you need easier and more efficient. It's super easy to use - simply enter your search term, click "search" and voila! Your results will pop up based on keyword matches and will be displayed by relevancy, organized in two sections- products and knowledge.
For example, if you're looking for information on how to deal with muscle cramping, type "cramping". If you want to find a supplement to help you get better quality sleep at night, type "sleep". We will continue to enhance and improve this feature, ensuring that your keyword entries always result in the best possible matches.
Community - We have two online discussion groups that enable members to come together and share tips, experiences and advice on our products.
The Endurance Group is a private list for endurance athletes, with a focus on all facets of training, diet, nutritional supplements and fuel sources. This group is moderated by company owner Brian Frank, along with our Research & Development specialist Dr. Bill Misner, and Senior Technical Advisor Steve Born.
To join the Endurance Group: go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/endurancelist and click the button titled "Join This Group".
Compex Endurance is a private list for endurance athletes who are owners and potential owners of the Compex muscle stimulator. The focus here is to gain and share knowledge concerning the best applications and usage of the Compex devices. This group is moderated by Senior Staff member Joe Arnone, our in-house expert and regular user of the Compex Sport.
To join the Compex Endurance list: go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compex_endurance and click the button titled "Join This Group".
Spotlight - We have so much information to share with our clients and we wanted an easy way to get the word out, so we created a special "Spotlight" section on the home page to post announcements, new articles, updates and other important information. This section randomly rotates so you will see something fresh each time you come to the site.
Resource Center - We like to say that our knowledge is your advantage and nowhere is that more evident than in our Resource Center. We've amassed a library of knowledge during our 18+ years of working with athletes and we'd like to share it with you.
Kicking off the Resource Center is the Free Downloads section where you'll find items like the hugely popular "Endurance Athlete's Guide To Success" as well as Compex training protocols for a variety of endurance sports and more.
Further down in the Resource Center is a section we like to call Performance Tips. We don't know many athletes who aren't looking for ways to improve their performance so if you're among the majority you'll want to check out "15 Simple Ways To Improve Your Athletic Performance Right Now." You will also find a section on Hydration as well as information on the Pre-Race Meal and much more.
There is so much in the Resource Center that it would take paragraphs to detail all the great knowledge that you have access to but above are some of the highlights. You'll also find the Endurance Library, Ask the Experts, FAQ, Resources and Publications. Check it out!
This is just a short summary of a few of our changes online. We are continually improving our services, updating our content and striving to make your online experience a pleasant one.
If you have a suggestion or feedback that you would like to share, go ahead and drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. While we may not be able to implement every suggestion that we get, it does give us a good sampling of what our clients needs are.
Athlete Spotlight : Paul Romero & Karen Lundgren
Our Athlete Spotlight this issue is Paul Romero (P) and Karen Lundgren (K), collectively known in adventure racing circles as Team Sole, one of the powers in the continually growing and ever-competitive world of adventure racing.
Steve: How long have you been racing and what first got you started?
K: We've been racing for 8 years. We were both mountain bike racing at the time and I saw an ad for one of the short Hi-Tec races (3.5 hours). A girlfriend and I talked Paul into coming with us and from that point on we were hooked. We both said "we've gotta do this again" and immediately started looking for more.
S: How well did you do in your first event?
K: In our first event we entered the corporate division because the standard co-ed division was sold out. We finished 6th place in the corporate category. We knew we could do better; we both felt strong and loved the event.
P: The first real event (Expedition Race) was Eco Challenge Morocco Africa (racing as Epi with Jack Dunn and Nick Moore, two amazing guys). It went well - a top 10 finish in our 1st Int'l race, got tons of Int'l media with Discovery Channel, and it was pretty darn motivating.
S: You two make up the foundation of the team...who is/are your other team member(s)? What do you look for when obtaining a member for Team Sole?
K: Yes, we have been the foundation, and we have brought many teammates in and out of the mix. It's difficult to find teammates with the same goals and dedication to the sport. You can't just dabble in adventure racing (AR) and be good at it. It has to be your life. We live, eat and breathe AR, really. Just ask anyone who comes to stay with us.
Apart from that it's tough to find people to get the time off from their lives and jobs to travel and race for weeks at a time. Oh, and then you have to like the people too. Some people you might like a lot on a day-to-day or training basis become different people in the middle of a five-day race. You either really like racing with someone or you don't. There is no in between.
P: We are stoked to have the fresh blood of Travis Macy on board in the second half of ‘05 and in ‘06. He's from Boulder, CO and fast as hell. He joined us at the epic Explore Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle (cold and brutal), the Eco Motion in Brazil, then the World Championships in New Zealand. We've also had Darren Clarke the paddling powerhouse from Queensland.
S: What was the hairiest situation you ever found yourself in and how did you resolve it?
K: One of the hairiest moments I remember was last year in Brazil at the Eco Motion race. We had been racing for a couple of days and came to the white water kayak section. White water is usually a push for me anyways and I am always just a bit nervous to approach these sections. Well on this particular day we came to the white water section in the dark of night. Most races close the river sections at night, but on that day there was no waiting for sunlight, we were going. We teamed up with another team who was at the section the same time as we were and we got in the water together. We paddled the entire river section, sometimes Class III +, under the cover of darkness. Listening to the river and hearing the rapids, knowing that the safest thing to do is to get speed, get some momentum to steer your boat through the rapids, but feeling the fear of paddling hard, straight into the unknown.
S: Describe what a typical training week is like for you.
K: With adventure racing you've got to train many skills, which is all a part of the fun. I listen to my body and I try to keep it fun, interesting and challenging. I try to do multiple days of training to simulate a race: biking to running to paddling and back. Besides, Paul and I have a lot of other stuff going on: our adventure race training camps and the adventure races that we organize... oh and an office job as well! I try to fit training in where ever and when ever I can.
P: It's all over the map, depending on the event we are preparing for. We usually have our team Honda Element loaded with bikes, kayak, surf ski, paddle, and trail shoes all the time. So, it's sort of a "wherever we go, and what ever our friends may want to do we just do it" type of thing.
S: Which of the E-CAPS and Hammer Nutrition products do you use and what's your supplement/fueling program look like using those products?
K: We take a variety of supplements daily, especially the Mito-R Caps, Tissue Rejuvenator, Premium Insurance Caps, and the Carlson's Salmon Oil. During our events we even more so rely on the E-CAPS products. Paul puts together several small racing packs of E-CAPS supplements for us and then we pack them strategically in our gear so that we take a complete pack every 4 hours. In addition we carry Endurolytes with us 100% of the time and take them every hour or so and in very hot climates we use and carry with us the Liquid Endurance. We also use Hammer Gel, Sustained Energy, and HEED. I like to mix a thick bottle of SE and drink it at transitions and pre-race. SE and a couple of gels have saved my life from the lowest of lows in the middle of a race.
S: Tell us a little about the events that you're currently promoting - the E-Camps, the Explore CA series, and any other events you're doing.
K: E-Camps is our Adventure Race Training camp - the only adventure race training that focuses solely on racing. The format is unique in that we run skills clinics and then a mock 30+ hour race in which we and our staff of professional racers/coaches come along with each team to offer advice and improve skills. It's a real "on the job training" program. We love the program and we're excited to say that in 2006 we're going international. We'll host our first 2006 event in Brazil to kick off E-Camp International (more info can be found at www.ecampinternational.com).
Explore CA is another one of our projects, a 24-Hour AR series in California. We joined together with the best race directors in the state to promote AR and create this great 24-hour series. It's been a big success with events in Tahoe, Catalina Island, and Baja, California. Our next event will be held in the Gold Country of California. The series will culminate with our 3-5 day non-stop expedition race in Baja California, Mexico, The Baja Travesia. It's become the biggest expedition race in North America for 2005 (December 2-9) and we're quite excited by the response we have received from both sponsors and athletes. More information can be found at www.bajatravesia.com
S: What's next for Team Sole?
K: We've got two big races remaining on our calendar for 2005 - Eco Motion Pro down in the south of Brazil and the World Championships in New Zealand in mid November. Then maybe a little break and a good sleep-in after the Baja Travesia in December!
S: What advice would you give someone wanting to get more involved in adventure racing?
K: The best way to get involved in adventure racing is to talk to adventure racers. Volunteer at an event or two. See what it's really like. If you still think you want to get involved, sign up for E-Camp. It gives you an excellent taste of real adventure racing. A chance to complete a course while an experienced racer holds your hand.
Top Notch Service : A thank you from the Lone Star state
I just wanted to send a big THANK YOU to the Hammer People. I just finished the Half Championship in MO and received a free bottle of gel and electrolyte pills in my bag. I also had a chance to check out new gel flavors on the run course and received several packets in my race bag along with more electrolytes! WOW! Then to top it all off I received my monthly order, using the DISCOUNT offered to participants and you sent me even more free stuff! Although the free products are definitely wonderful (and thank you so much for them), I have to say that I equally appreciated the note on my order wishing me good luck in my event. It is one thing to have a great product but add to that the amazing customer service you offer and you are absolutely unbeatable. I've said it before, but felt I needed to say it again simply because a company like yours is hard to find these days. Please send the message to all your team members that their little extra effort is worth gold.
- Lisa in Texas
Thanks for the kind words Lisa...you just made our day!
2005 Awards : Hammer Nutrition cleans up
"You guys cleaned up this year!" These were the excitedly spoken words of Francis Cebedo, the founder of MTB Review (www.mtbr.com). Cebedo stopped by the Hammer Nutrition booth at this year's Interbike Trade Show (9/28 - 9/30) and presented us with not one, not two, but four 2005 Choice Awards in the Nutrition category. These awards were given for Hammer Gel, HEED, and Perpetuem, and it's the third year in a row that Hammer Gel has received this prestigious award. In addition to the MTBReview.com awards, Hammer Gel received top honors in the Nutrition category at RoadbikeReview.com.
Hammer Nutrition was also honored in the 2005 Inside Triathlon Reader Survey. In the Sports Drink category, out of 20 possible choices, Hammer Nutrition drinks were chosen as the third most preferred products, behind two of the most heavily advertised products in the industry, and ahead of all other contenders.
In the Gel category of Inside Triathlon's 2005 Reader Survey, Hammer Gel showed that you don't necessarily need to be the biggest or the oldest to be one of the best. Out of 10 possible choices, Hammer Gel placed a solid second, ahead of products considered to be some of the "big hitters" in that category.
Our commitment to providing you with the highest quality fuels has never been about receiving awards and we promise it'll always be that way (you're the reason for our commitment). Still, we have to admit that it's great to receive this recognition and we want to thank you, our loyal clients and fellow athletes, for helping us achieve this notoriety.
From the Saddle of Steve Born : It's fall!
Welcome to the autumn edition of Endurance News! My first thought as I wrote this was "I can't believe it's already October...where did the summer go?" But of course, with shorter, cooler days upon us here in northwest Montana, it's indeed time to say goodbye to summer. And, with the word "goodbye" in mind, I'd like to take a moment to say a few farewell words to someone I admire greatly and who I'll miss working with.
As Brian mentioned in the article on page 8, Dr. Bill is retiring shortly after the first of the year. I have to admit that even though I knew he'd be retiring some day, I never thought I'd see the day it would actually be happening (hey, the guy's a stud...I thought he'd be here forever!). But now that this time of his retirement is imminent I wanted to take a moment to say what an honor and privilege it's been to work with such a great man, a man of tremendous knowledge (he's one of the "giants" in nutritional science, in my opinion), and someone who is about the kindest, most gentle and most humble person you'd ever meet. I can honestly say that a huge chunk of the knowledge I've acquired over the years has come from Dr. Bill. I can also say, without reservation, that he has played a vital role in the success I've enjoyed as an endurance athlete. It was his tireless efforts in helping me with my supplement and fueling program that made a world of difference when it came time to race.
I'll never forget how he personally hand-made batches of this stuff he called Perpetuem for me to use in my training for my attempt at completing a first ever Double Furnace Creek 508 back in 2002. I was so impressed by this tremendous new fuel that I literally begged him to make more for me so that I could use it (along with Sustained Energy and Hammer Gel, of course) during the actual record attempt. I can only imagine the late nights he spent producing enough of this marvelous product so that I could have an ample supply for my record attempt. Needless to say, I thought of Dr. Bill often during that record attempt and, along with many others of course, I have him to thank for it being so successful.
Thank you, Dr. Bill, for all you have done for me and for so many other athletes!
When I first started handling the event sponsorships for the company a few years ago we probably sponsored less than 100 events annually. Well, that figure has grown substantially and, at last count for the 2005 season so far, we've sponsored over 1500 events. To give you an idea of the number of participants that 1500+ events represents, we've provided, in addition to product samples, brochures, and product prizes, a total of 375,000 race bags. Wow! Now, I estimate the number of events we sponsor will most likely reach close to 1800 or perhaps even more by the time the 2005 calendar year is over. So needless to say, if you're doing a triathlon, mountain bike race, road or ultra cycling race, adventure race, or ultra running race there's a good chance you'll see a Hammer Nutrition presence there. And sure, a big reason why we sponsor so many events is because we believe it's a good marketing strategy. However, an equally important reason is because we very much want to be supportive of endurance sports and, with the number of events on our calendar, our slogan "We Support Your Sport" has never been more applicable.
As you probably know, the primary sport we sponsor is triathlon, if for no other reason than because there are so many of those types of races (in all different distances) to sponsor. In fact, I'd say that of the 1500+ events we sponsor, about 1/3 of them are triathlons. One thing I noticed that I thought was interesting was that of the 70 half iron distance triathlons that I found listed on the internet, we sponsor 43 of them, or nearly two-thirds. And, of the 20 half iron distance races that make up the U.S. Half Iron Championship Series, we sponsor 14 of them, an overwhelming majority. So just in that faction of that particular sport, it's evident that we're very much a major presence, helping to support the sport of triathlon.
We are, of course, very interested in supporting the other above-mentioned sports as well and I'd like to see us easily top the 2000 mark for events sponsored in 2006. You can help! If you know of an event that we should be sponsoring, send an email to us (or have the race director send one to us) at email@example.com with the information about the event (type of event, date, estimate of participants, contact info).
We are mainly interested in sponsoring the following types of races:
Ultra running - Trail running races in the 25k/m - 100k/m range
Cycling - Road races, double centuries, ultra distance races
Mountain Biking - Cross country, 6-24 hour races
Adventure Racing - All distances
Duathlons/Triathlons - All distances
The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success
Hard to believe that we're coming up on the three-year anniversary of the first printing of this fueling resource but it's true. Back in 2002, when Brian and I put together the first edition it was a mere 22 pages in length. We were both hoping that it would have some sort of impact with endurance athletes but we had no idea just how much of one it would eventually prove to have. Well, with over 70,000 hard copies in circulation I'd say it's definitely had an impact. In addition, there have been several times that amount in downloads. For example, for the five-month period between April 21-Sept 20 The Endurance Athlete's Guide To Success was downloaded 47,449 times. Impactful? Indeed!
Not too long ago we completed the 7th edition of "The Guide" and it's a full-fledged book, now over triple the length of the original incarnation; a full 70 pages long. There's a lot of great information in there, along with some very cool photos, and if you haven't read it yet I'd encourage you to do so. Hard copies of The Guide are $2.50 each or you can download a free copy from our web site at www.e-caps.com/downloads/fuelinghandbook.pdf
In closing, I want to say thank you for helping us to have another great summer season here, and that I hope you've had a great one as well. If your competitive season is done for the year I hope it's been a good one (check out my article on post-season supplementation) and if you're still competing I hope your remaining races go really well. Don't forget that we're here to help you, should you have any questions about fueling or supplementation so don't hesitate to contact us if we may be of assistance.
Have a great fall!
Confessions : I sacrificed performance to save a buck or two!
Editors Note : As we were putting together this edition of the newsletter, a client of ours sent the following story via email. We liked it so much that we wanted to share it. Enjoy!
It was good to visit with you several days ago! I want to thank you for the Hammer Nutrition jersey you gave me... I like it so well I plan on purchasing another on my next visit. I have just returned from a 9-day self-contained ride down to Stanley, ID and back, via Lolo Pass and back up over Lost Trail (964 miles).
We fueled our ride almost exclusively with Hammer products, with the exception of a light breakfast and a sandwich or sub in the evening. We were energized the entire trip and the sense of well being was the most intense I have ever experienced on a long tour. (We pre-positioned re-supply at Riggins to ensure we would not run out of Hammer items.) I rode 2476 mi. in 34 consecutive days to prepare for this ride. At this point a short story/confession is in order!
Last summer I trained for a similar ride and sparingly fueled with Hammer products only during the rides... I thought it would be too expensive to totally rely on them before, during and after riding. After 50 or 60 miles it was necessary for me to find a place where I could purchase a few jojos, chicken strips and a pop etc. to satisfy the gnawing hunger and waning energy. $5.00 +or- shot and often a struggle to get going again! I had been doing the same routine for 6 years and I just thought, "That's the way things are!"
On our ride we missed our re-supply of Hammer products (P.O. closed on Sat.) so I ended up with a lot of "extra" stuff after we returned home. I decided to fuel my rides entirely with Hammer items just to see if I could tell a difference... and it wouldn't cost any extra since I already had the stock. After a few days I realized what an imbecile I had been, sacrificing performance, confidence and health for what I thought might be a couple of dollars a day! Imagine my dismay when I found it really didn't cost any more to use the best nutrition products available! With a very light breakfast I could rip off 60 or 80 miles, relying on Hammer Gel, HEED, Perpetuem, and Recoverite, and feel totally energized at the end and ready to do it again the next morning. A completely new experience of confidence and energy level from the "old days" of struggling to get 5-6 days of riding per week. Also a significant attribute of the Hammer products for me is that they are so friendly to the "lower gastronomical tract!" Take my word for it, at 62 that is an important "added value!"
In summary, I want to thank you for improving the quality and distances of my ride, while leaving me fully energized and confident at the end of that day and ready to tear out the next morning!
Columbia Falls, MT.
Product Spotlight : Off-season supplements
Note: This article first appeared way back in 2000, in EN #29. While a lot of the information from the original article is still very valid, I felt it was time to revise the article and supplement suggestions.
For many of us, the competitive season is fast coming to a close. If that's the case for you, you know it'll soon be time to look back and evaluate all the things that went right as well as the things that need improvement. It's an ideal time to set your goals for the next season. Dr. Bill Misner has suggested that "preseason goals should be realistically set at 1-3% above personal bests at each distance with planned training peaks set to meet those goals methodically." If you're like most athletes, you'll probably be doing some form of aerobic cross training outside your primary sport as well as weight training. But the day to day training, the accumulation of several hours spent in your sport of choice is definitely on the decrease. When I lived in Southern California the off season simply meant less miles on the bike. But since I've moved to colder climates I have used cross-country skiing and weight training (and now the Compex as well!) as my winter training. So I try to stay active all year round even if the duration and intensity is less than during my main season.
But whether or not you choose to be active year round, once your main competitive season ends does that also mean the end of your supplement program? I don't believe it should be and later in the article you'll find my supplement suggestions for the off season. If you plan to remain active, training frequently and racing occasionally, I wouldn't hesitate to remain on pretty much the same program you followed during your main competitive season. There's no reason to stop supplementation if you're going to remain active because you will still want to provide your body with the nutrients it needs so that you can get the most benefits out of your training. Now, you may find it desirable to cut back on the dosages but I would definitely continue your supplement program. I do not believe there is any reason to cycle off supplements, especially the three Daily Essentials - Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and Mito-R Caps - during the off season.
Free Radical Neutralization Important All Year Round!
Louis Pasteur, recognized as the father of modern medicine, once said, "the key to medicine is host resistance" and this is where antioxidants excel. Antioxidants strengthen our immune system, increasing our resistance to many types of toxins, bacteria, viruses, and degenerative diseases. They accomplish this primarily through the neutralization of excess amounts of free radicals. Researchers Bradford and Allen write, "A free radical is simply a molecule carrying an impaired electron.... All free radicals are extremely reactive and will seek out and acquire an electron in any way possible. In the process of acquiring an electron, the free radical... will attach itself to another molecule, thereby modifying it biochemically." [R. Bradford & H. Allen. Oxidology. Chula Vista CA: R.W. Bradford Foundation, 1997. Pp. 64-65.] Leibovitz and Siegel state: "However, as free radicals (FR) steal an electron from the other molecules, they convert these molecules into FRs, or break down or alter their chemical structure. Thus, FRs are capable of damaging virtually any biomolecule, including proteins, sugars, fatty acids and nucleic acids." [Leibovitz, B. & Siegel, B. (1980) "Aspects of free radical reactions in biological systems: aging" J Gerontal 35: 45-56.]
So even though some free radical activity in the body is actually a beneficial thing, allowing free radicals to accumulate and go unchecked - which they easily do, overwhelming the body's built-in antioxidant defenses - is definitely not beneficial. Dr. Bill says, "The human body uses free radicals to destroy specific microbes; however, when free radical volume accumulates in time or in high volume, mutagenic activity or degenerative disorders may occur." Free radicals are now believed to be a primary culprit behind a tremendous range of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and others.
A good portion of free radical damage results from the process of oxidation, which is somewhat of a double-edged sword. For example, whenever our bodies convert food to fuel it is done by oxidation, a vital, life-sustaining process. The down side is that the process is not 100% efficient and the metabolism of food, especially foods that are high in fats, can cause high amounts of free radicals to be produced. And even though oxidative damage occurs at higher levels during intense and prolonged exercise, it occurs at ALL times. In addition, free radicals are also produced from environmental pollutants and ultra violet radiation and stress of any kind creates free radicals.
Free Radicals are higher in people who:
So even though you may be taking some well-earned time off from full-time training and racing, free radical production NEVER takes a day off and neutralizing them is the primary reason for the supplement suggestions I've made.
Premium Insurance Caps - I consider a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement the foundation of any program and I consider Premium Insurance Caps to have no peer in that category. It's especially important during the competitive season because you're depleting these basic nutrients at very high rates, nutrients that are important maintaining the optimal performance of many bodily functions, including the protection and enhancement of the immune system. It's also important to replenish our bodies with these basic nutrients during the off season as well, if only because our food supply is severely lacking in these important vitamins and minerals. I often recall something Dr. Misner wrote and his words have been instrumental in why I believe supplementation with a multivitamin/mineral product is so important: "Athletes today ingest only 11% of the organic nutrients from their food sources that the athletes of the 1940's enjoyed. Modern science has concluded that marginal nutritional deficiency and imbalance is directly responsible for 644 diseases or disorders."
For the replenishment of vitamins and minerals, supplying what the diet cannot, and to provide the basics of antioxidant support, taking Premium Insurance Caps on a daily basis is an excellent idea. You may not require the full two-packet dose (which we recommend for workout sessions over 1.5 - 2 hours) but the consistent intake of one half to one packet (4-7 capsules) a day will help provide the nutrients your body needs that it cannot get in adequate amounts from our food sources.
Race Caps Supreme - This product is a "must have" during the competitive season as its nutrient components powerfully enhance energy production, endurance, and recovery. The primary nutrients in Race Caps Supreme, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and idebenone, are vital for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the basic energy molecule of each cell, and this is but one reason why it's such an important "during season" supplement.
However, I believe that as good as the athletic-specific benefits are, the general health ones of this product (especially from CoQ10 and idebenone) outshine them, which is why Race Caps Supreme is on my year-round supplement list. Entire books have been written just on CoQ10's antioxidant benefits and you could spend an awfully long time on the internet reading about the other numerous benefits of this incredible nutrient. Here are but a few of the ones attributed to CoQ10:
Now, as important as CoQ10 is, and with such tremendous benefits, there are some experts that feel that idebenone, the synthetic variant of CoQ10, is an even more powerful antioxidant and a substance that yields even greater benefits. In fact, the antioxidant powers of idebenone are so potent that it is used to protect organs from damage when they are removed from a donor for transplant to a patient.
With Race Caps Supreme you have two powerful substances, which, along with the vitamin E in the product, have some outstanding general health benefits. All three substances - CoQ10, idebenone, and vitamin E - are premier antioxidants and cardiovascular health nutrients, which is why I believe using this product every day is a very wise strategy. The specific dosages I suggest in the article "The E-CAPS Daily Essentials" (you can find that article in the Getting Started section of the E-CAPS web site) would be very applicable during this time of the year.
Mito-R Caps - I think the most exciting anti-aging research I've read in many years was that of Dr. Bruce Ames regarding the effects of two nutrients, Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) and r-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA), on the health of the mitochondria. Ames' landmark studies found that both ALC and r-ALA (both of which are contained in Mito-R Caps) played vital roles in improving mitochondrial activity and cellular metabolism, which is beneficial not just for athletic performance but even more so for general health. The anti-aging implications of the ALC/r-ALA combination are staggering when you think about the potential they have for delaying, and even possibly reversing, mitochondrial aging, which would mean that the millions of energy-producing "furnaces" in our bodies might possibly be restored to more youthful levels.
In addition, r-ALA is one of the most potent antioxidants discovered and what makes it so unique in that regard is that it is both a water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in both the fatty and watery regions of the cells. It also has the unique ability to boost and recycle other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, CoQ10, and glutathione. No wonder so many nutrition experts refer to it as "the universal antioxidant."
What Dr. Bill wrote when we first introduced Mito-R Caps is at the heart of why I recommend taking the product every day of your life: "The longer you can stimulate the lifespan or health of the mitochondria, the longer you will live and the better you will perform in endurance events. The athlete who has the most healthy/efficient active mitochondria is the athlete who performs at their best." As with Race Caps Supreme, the dosages I suggest in the article "The E-CAPS Daily Essentials" (again, you can find that article and dosage suggestions in the Getting Started section on the E-CAPS web site) would very much be appropriate during the off season.
Carlson's Norwegian Salmon Oil - If there was ever a group of nutrients that I would classify as being essential all year round, it would be the Omega 3 fatty acids. As I wrote in an earlier edition of Endurance News, the components of fish oil (DHA/EPA) improve endurance by increasing mitochondrial efficiency via their positive effects on coenzyme Q10 and idebenone, two key substrates involved in energy production. The absorption rate of these two fat-soluble nutrients is greatly increased in the presence of a fat source and there's arguably not a healthier fat than fish oil.
For general health purposes, fish oils provide one of the absolute best defenses against cardiovascular disease. For example, an ever-growing body of research suggests that athlerosclerosis, angina, heart attack, arrhythmias, stroke, and congestive heart failure may be prevented with the consumption of fish oils. Fish oils help to reduce blood pressure, maintain arterial wall elasticity, and prevent blood clotting...they really are the heart's "best friend."
Newer research shows that fish oils have a positive influence on brain function and mood, including the alleviation of anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms of depression. In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil have been shown to provide impressive anti-inflammatory benefits by reducing specific pro-inflammatory cytokines and Series 2 prostaglandins, while increasing the level of anti-inflammatory Series 3 prostaglandins.
There are two essential fatty acids (EFA) that we need for life itself - the Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot make either of them so it's necessary that we obtain them from dietary sources. However, while most of us consume an overabundance of Omega 6's, our Omega 3 intake is woefully lacking. The bottom line is that we need Omega 3 fatty acids and the best source for them is fish. Consumption of certain types of fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines) two to three times a week, while being an extremely wise strategy, is simply not possible for most of us. That's where the Carlson's Norwegian Salmon Oil supplement comes in. 1-2 soft gels twice daily is a super easy way to make sure you obtain the essential O-3 fatty acids.
Phytomax - I wish I could say that my diet is excellent all the time. The truth is that it's not always possible, especially in the winter where I live, to obtain substantial amounts of vegetables. I have found this product to be a real benefit for helping provide additional nutrients not found in other foods or supplements. The vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals in Phytomax (I suggest 3 capsules daily), along with the vitamins and minerals in Premium Insurance Caps, will very much fulfill your nutritional "basics" and augment the nutrients you obtain in your diet.
One of the benefits of Phytomax is its ability to help promote optimum alkalinity in the body, which helps create the best environment for the health of the cells. Other benefits that can be obtained with consistent use of the product are increased energy levels, faster recovery, improved immune system function, improved moods and mental clarity, and a higher quality of sleep.
One of my favorite "quotes to live by" comes from sports nutrition expert Dr. Michael Colgan. In his book, OPTIMUM SPORTS NUTRITION [Advanced Research Press, 1993] Colgan suggests that we should, while we have the opportunity, make our athletic goals a major focus of our lives. In doing so, however, he urges that we understand that achieving excellence is not possible by doing things halfway or by moderation. Excellence in athletics is a year round proposition so even though the off-season may be a time for cutting back on heavy training, I believe it still requires a full time commitment to your athletic goals, especially as the focus shifts more towards general health requirements than it does actual training. A year round supplement program is vital for making positive increases in both fitness and health and I believe the one outlined in this article covers a tremendous amount of nutritional "bases."
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