Posts filed under ‘The High Road to Health’

Refuel With Antioxidants and Electrolytes

“Refuel with Antioxidants

and Electrolytes.”

By Joe Stout B.Sc. M.S. IP

As you read this, your body is waging an endless war against silent and invisible assassins. These assassins aren’t a new strain of swine flu, they haven’t caused any widespread panic, and no amount of antibiotics or vaccines will get rid of them. They are free radicals and they, and the oxidative damage they cause, are here to stay. Every single human on God’s green earth is engaged in this battle and the consequences of this war are linked with diabetes, hypertension, cancer and many other disease states. These microscopic hit-men (free radicals) are infinitesimally small and are continuously attacking and destroying the very foundation of our living cells, our DNA. Free radical oxidation happens everyday; when we eat, when we work, and especially when we exercise.

Free radicals cause oxidative damage and although they are invisible to the human eye, their effects can be noticed in mere minutes. Find an apple, cut it in half, then wait and within moments, oxygen molecules will attack the flesh of the apple, cause oxidative damage, and cause the apple to turn brown. In living organisms, this occurs as well. There is often a chain reaction wherein one free radical disrupts a portion of DNA which creates a new free radical. These two free radicals will then create more free radicals, fueling a vicious cycle.

So is there any hope? What can we possibly do to slow or prevent the role of free radical induced oxidative damage? First, there are some things to avoid. Although total elimination of oxidative damage is impossible, there are many lifestyle practices that if engaged in will increase damage. Some practices that speed up free radical oxidative damage are smoking, eating charred/fried foods, and overexposure to ultra-violet (UV) light, (ie sun/tanning bed). Merely avoiding these practices is an excellent way to slow down oxidative damage.

But should we really only play defense when it comes to our health? As the adage goes, “the best defense, is a good offense” and that is exactly the position we need to take to combat oxidative damage. Free radicals have a veritable foe in the oxidation war, they are called, you guessed it, antioxidants. Let’s go back to the apple analogy from earlier and instead of having the apple merely “avoid” unhealthy practices like smoking and extreme UV exposure, let’s have the apple take the offense. We will douse the apple slice with a potent antioxidant such as lemon juice and then wait for oxidation to occur. We had better have a good book to read because it is going to be a lot longer wait than before. The lemon juice is packed with ascorbic acid, (aka vitamin C) which prevents the apple from oxidizing. Vitamin C is only one of a long list of antioxidants. Others include vitamin A, vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, glutathione, and astaxanthin. There is a much longer list than just these few, and all of these antioxidants are working to neutralize the damaging effects of oxidation. Antioxidants are literal life savers because if we didn’t have these “good guys” in our system, free radical oxidation (the bad guys) would kill us in a matter of days. It is really that crucial!

Now that we’ve got the background, let’s hear some bad news. Oxidation happens all the time. Sometimes we can avoid it, sometimes we can’t. Exercise is an area where we just can’t avoid oxidation. Free radical damage will happen if and when you exercise. But as we all know, exercise is a cornerstone of health and therefore it is an interesting juxtaposition that exercise can actually induce a life shortening process like free radical oxidation. When we exercise we generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which function as free radicals. As exercise intensity increases, so does the production of ROS. The problem, as we have seen above, is that these highly unstable (reactive) oxygen species are directly responsible for causing oxidative damage during exercise. In fact, ROS has been shown to have a highly negative impact on muscle performance as well as muscle recovery. Therefore, everyone involved in a daily exercise routine must make getting enough antioxidants a priority!

The natural question at this point is “what foods have the most antioxidants?” and the answer is, “those foods with a high ORAC value.” The ORAC value stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and is based on how many free radicals a specific food can absorb or neutralize. So, if a cucumber has an ORAC value of 214 and a yellow bell pepper has an ORAC value of 694 then the bell pepper has the capacity to absorb three times more free radicals than the cucumber. The higher the ORAC, the higher the antioxidant power. Simple enough.

Mt. Capra’s SOLAR ENERGY™ is the perfect choice for athletes and non-athletes who are looking for a sports recovery drink that not only refuels their electrolyte stores but also delivers an antioxidant knock-out blow to the destructive force of oxidation. SOLAR ENERGY™ contains a proprietary blend of superfoods, antioxidants, and electrolytes, the primary being Capra Mineral Whey.™

Intense exercise will always produce free radical oxidation as well as diminish the body of crucial electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. The Capra Mineral Whey™ that is found in SOLAR ENERGY™ supplies the body with much needed bio-organic sources of over 20 minerals. Remember that bio-organic, or wholefood sourced minerals, are key. There are countless sport recovery drinks that contain nothing more than table salt and sugar water and have no natural food sources. Mt. Capra has really taken SOLAR ENERGY™ to the next level by insisting all their electrolytes/antioxidants, have a natural food source. Along with supplying key minerals/electrolytes, SOLAR ENERGY™ contains such superfoods as goji berries, wild blueberries, acerola cherries, and many more! These superfoods combined with the bio-organic minerals present in Capra Mineral Whey™ make for a powerful post-workout recovery drink. When SOLAR ENERGY™ is combined with Mt. Capra’s Double Bonded Protein™ the pair creates a synergistic muscle recovery duo that can replenish systemic electrolytes, fuel new muscle growth/repair, and stave off dangerous free radical oxidation

July 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

Muscle: Built by Nature.

joe stout “Muscle: Built by Nature.”

By Joe Stout B.Sc. M.S. IP

Question any athlete, body builder, or health conscious individual about what they value in a nutritional supplement and you may get a large variety of answers. Some value taste over everything else. Others cherish minimal processing techniques as well as an absence of artificial additives. Some are concerned about optimal nutrient availability and others prioritize products Strong Kidmade in an environmentally sustainable fashion. For many individuals, it is simply price that is the deciding factor. Whatever the case, there is no question that everyone values (dare I say demands?) efficacy in their nutritional supplements. No matter how good it tastes, environmentally green it is, or even how low the price tag is, no one values a product that produces shoddy results.

Desire for efficacy is probably most evident in the muscle-building arena of protein supplementation. There are literally thousands of protein supplements available ranging from vegetable, soy, and animal proteins all claiming different functions, ingredients, benefits, and levels of efficacy. Although the sheer size of this list can be intimidating, it is important to remember that, efficacy (ie the ability of a protein supplement to make new muscle) is always the most important factor. Therefore, we can quickly reduce the number of viable protein supplements.

First, unless you are vegan, stay away from vegetable proteins. Vegetable proteins lack the complete spectrum of essential amino acids which, as the name implies, are essential for muscle building. Supplementing with a protein that lacks essential amino acids is like taking a daily multivitamin that is missing key vitamins.

Second, avoid soy protein as it contains a host of nasties such as phytates which block key enzymes, and phytoestrogens (yes hormones!). Phytoestrogens can/will disrupt normal hormonal function. As if these two constituents of soy weren’t bad enough, “natural soy” is actually toxic! Unless soy is enzymatically treated with chemicals to neutralize a dangerous enzyme, it is unsafe for humans to consume. Don’t let anyone tell you that soy is healthy because it’s “natural.” It’s only “safe” if highly processed!

Thirdly, avoid protein supplements that contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, or aspartame. Research is still very limited on whether these artificial additives are safe for human consumption long term.

These factors, narrow the list to naturally flavored animal-derived proteins such as casein (milk) protein and whey protein. Most individuals choose whey protein because it is famous for digesting quickly, making it known as a fast protein. This is true but if you only choose a fast-acting protein you will miss out on many of the benefits of whey protein’s counterpart, casein (milk) protein. Casein digests slower and is thus known as a slow protein. The wonderfully designed human body requires natural forms of food. Therefore, it follows whey protein alone, or casein protein alone, will give results that are not as effective as when they are together in their natural form and ratio.

Both of these proteins have different jobs. Whey protein stimulates new muscle growth and casein protein suppresses existing muscle breakdown. Take either by themselves and you are only receiving half of the benefits. As stated above, efficacy means everything!

The last important aspect to view is price. Even Double Bonded Protein the best product in the world is no use if it is outside the individuals budget. Thankfully, Mt. Capra has come to the aid of those living, working, and training on a shoestring budget. Mt. Capra’s Double Bonded Protein™ (available for the unbelievable price of $19.95 for over 2 pounds) is a high octane whole protein supplementproduced from all natural goat’s milk. It contains the full spectrum of amino acids from whey and casein proteins. The unique and natural blend of these two proteins provides a powerful muscle-building supplement that triggers new muscle growth while suppressing muscle breakdown. Double Bonded Protein™ is all natural and comes in a delicious chocolate flavor, which is made with organic cocoa and other natural chocolate extracts. Double Bonded Protein™ has been naturally sweetened with stevia and has excellent taste and palatability. Double Bonded Protein™ is an online exclusive and can only be found on www.mtcapra.com.

July 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm 3 comments

Heart Healthy Interview

terry perryTerry Perry has been a Registered Dietitian for over 25 years. Her expertise ranges from disease prevention to nutrition education. Being the former Chief Clinical Dietitian of Holy Family Hospital in Spokane WA, she has valuable experience that she has graciously agreed to share with us in this issue of The High Road to Health. During this interview Terry and I discussed the extraordinarily important and often overlooked mineral/electrolyte known as potassium. (more…)

March 20, 2009 at 10:25 am 1 comment

Benefits of Goat’s Milk

By Dr. Thomas Cooke D.O.

“Milk, it does a body good.” This was the marketing mantra employed by the cow industry in the 1980’s to boost interest in cow’s milk. The campaign was wildly successful and as a result, The Dairy Farmers of America have reported sales topping 11 billion dollars in 2007. But does the overwhelming popularity of cow’s milk in the United States signify that it really is the best?

Continue Reading March 20, 2009 at 12:56 am Leave a comment

“Whole Protein” Superior to “Isolate.”

By Joe Stout B.Sc. M.S. ip

Protein supplements are often offered as whey protein isolates because it has long been thought that isolated whey protein is the best supplement for protein accretion (gain) due to its fast digestion rate. Recently however, there have been various studies that show evidence that casein (milk) protein may have more efficient total body protein accretion capabilities due to its slower digestion rate…

Continue Reading March 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

Let’s Talk About Enzymes

In the vast universe of nutrition, knowledge is often assumed. Some fall into the habit of simply spewing nutrition “buzz words” or phrases without proper understanding or appreciation for the topic at hand. With this in mind, let’s define both an enzyme and its function…

Continue Reading March 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm 2 comments

Reconsider Whey Protein Isolate

Stop by any major heath food store and you’ll be sure to find an abundance of protein supplements littering the shelves. As the consumer, you will observe that the majority of protein containers exhibit brightly-colored labels featuring sweaty bodybuilders in revealing clothing. (they also seem to have one or two token close-up shots of biceps) These are whey protein isolate supplements that promise “fast digestion…”

Continue Reading March 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm 1 comment

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