You train HARD! You put the work in, eat right, get your protein in and even try to get a good amount of sleep in. However instead of feeling rejuvenated, energetic, strong, and vibrant you feel run down, a bit tired, watery looking, and down right achy! What the heck, Beck!
Inflammation: The silent KILLER of Results
So what exactly is inflammation? Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. Picture when you hit your head on something hard. Your body rushes blood to the area in an effort to bring heeling blood and nutrients to deal with the damage. It’s part of your immune system’s natural response to heal an injury or fight an infection. However the inflammation that most of us deal with is CHRONIC inflammation. Picture in the above example if the bump on your head never went away and the blood was constantly putting pressure on your skull and brain.
In essence that is exactly what is going on inside a lot of athletes and individuals are internally struggling with inflammation. In addition to reducing recovery time, joint pain, loss of muscle, and loss of mobility in our joints chronic inflammation can be an even bigger issue leading to heart disease, dementia, arthritis, diabetes and a host of other ailments.
Top 5 Causes of Chronic Inflammation
- Omega 3 fatty acids (anti inflammatory) out of balance with omega 6. This is probably one of the leading causes of inflammation in the united states due to our lack of omega 3 consumption This is why Mediterranean diets tend to have lower heart disease than their USA counterparts.
- Chronic Stress Chronic stress is ongoing, 8 or more hours per day which leads to prolonged and elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Situations like a bad relationship, very stressful work environment, and anxiety all are examples.
- Chronic smoking & drinking No surprise here that excessive alcohol intake and smoking both lead to chronic inflammation.
- Poor Nutrition/Micro-nutrients Diets high in sugar and low in vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes can lead to chronic inflammation Lack of sleep & high caffeine intake This goes along with the elevation of cortisol from stress and lack of recovery. High intake of caffeine overtime can lead to adrenal fatigue which can cause chronic inflammation.
How to combat inflammation
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil (EPA/DHA) are amazing at reducing inflammation and balancing out your omega 3’s and 6’s. 1600 mg daily for females and 3200 mg daily for males is what RZ1 Nutrition suggests. If avoiding chronic stressors like a poor boss or failing marriage is not feasible then confront them head on. This can be done directly with the person, in therapy, or through self help books. The longer you let it fester the more of a toll that it will have on your health/inflammation.
Prioritizing recovery and sleep, especially if you are exercising hard, eating in a caloric deficit and/or training for an event. Often our caffeine intake is higher during these times compounding the affect. That extra hour of sleep, massage, or day off may be exactly what your body requires. Lastly making sure that your dietary fiber, protein intake, and micro-nutrient intake are all a priority. Start your day off with a super shake (see
https://www.resultz1.com/rz1-nutrition for the recipe) and limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg for females and less than 400 mg for males.
Closely linked to inflammation, oxidative stress is an even larger concern. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress
as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer. Unlike inflammation oxidative stress is unavoidable. Picture an apple turns brown when exposed to air, our cells can “rust” when we breathe due to oxidative stress, a process caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable
molecules that damage or “oxidize” cells throughout the body in a process called oxidative stress. So simply the act of breathing heavy increases oxidative stress. Oxidation happens under a number of other circumstances including: when our cells use glucose to make energy,
when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and creating inflammation, when our bodies detoxify pollutants, pesticides, and cigarette smoke. In fact, there are millions of processes taking place in our bodies at any one moment that can result in oxidation. Oxidation
increases when we are physically and/or emotionally stressed. Cellular reactions produce waste products called free radicals which cause damage to our cells. Oxidative stress is the state our body is put in when the levels of antioxidants in our body are not high enough to counteract
the damaging effect of free radicals. Mitochondrial dysfunction is now understood to be present in hundreds of different health conditions. Google “oxidative stress” and almost ANY disease and you will find a link.
Combatting Oxidative Stress
Some health professionals advocate increasing your antioxidant consumption to combat the bodies free radical production. Not a bad theory however the research on antioxidants clearly shows that as you age, your cells can’t produce enough antioxidants to fight oxidative stress and
antioxidant supplements and “superfruit” juices just don’t work effectively. (it would be like putting out a house fire with tablespoons of water) The key is to have our cells produce their own antioxidants, so you can neutralize free radicals, feel younger, and live healthier. To do this activating your bodies NRF2 pathway has been proven to help our bodies produce our own antioxidants. Some natural herbs that do this are:
Current studies show that turmeric helps fight cellular
stress, reduce joint discomfort and aid digestion.
Studies suggest it provides strong cellular defense and
may improve concentration, alertness and focus.
Ashwagandha has also been used as a way to support
memory enhancement and as a sleep aid. REM sleep is a
MAJOR factor in reducing oxidative stress
Green tea contains a high concentration of powerful
antioxidants called polyphenols. Green tea has been used
for many health benefits, including regulating body
temperature and blood sugar, aiding digestion, improving
mental processes and improving cardiovascular health.
Milk thistle supports liver, kidney and gallbladder
function. Several scientific studies suggest that substances
in milk thistle protect the liver from toxins.
We suggest a supplement called Protandim which contains all 5 of these ingredients and has over 23 peer reviewed clinical studies that support its ability to reduce oxidative stress. For more information or question email email@example.com