RR 3, Box 384
THE NUTRI-SPEC LETTER
Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
I just got back from a Father-Son basketball camp put on by the Penn State University coaching staff. I’ll fight the temptation to brag about how well my 9-year old son and his old man did, and get right to the point. One small part of this excellent camp was a half-hour presentation by the Penn State strength coach. Over and over and over again he emphasized the importance of all exercises being done through a full range of motion. Right on! This was an essential point to make. But …surprisingly (or, perhaps I should say not surprisingly) ...
NOT ONE SINGLE EXERCISE HE DEMONSTRATED
What is going on here? Here we have an “expert” in strength training, paid an astronomical salary by a big-time Division One university with an athletic budget approaching a hundred million dollars a year, and all the guy offers is ...
IGNORANCE HIDDEN BEHIND SLOGANS AND ENTHUSIASM.
Should Penn State fire this ignoramus and hire a real strength coach? Sadly, this guy is as good as it gets. All strength coaches come from the same cookie cutter; they all shout the same slogans while presenting the same performance-destroying and health-destroying nonsense.
My point in telling you about the low level of expertise in even elite sports programs is that the “authorities” in athletic training and sports coaching are perfectly analogous to the “experts” in clinical nutrition --- their teachings are not only largely untrue, they are quite often exactly opposite of the truth. Baseball coaches still teach their hitters to swing down on the ball; basketball coaches still teach their shooters to release the jump shot at the top of the jump; track and swimming coaches still train their athletes with long, slow distance; coaches in all sports promote over-training; coaches from youth leagues up to the pros dump Gatorade down the throats of their athletes. There is legitimate scientific research proving that every one of these strategies destroys sports performance. Why do these myths persist even decades after they have been proven false? Simply, ignorance and fear.
Coaches are neither physiologists nor physicists. All they know is that for the last 30 years every championship was won by athletes who trained with established methods. Since they are ignorant of the physiology, they are ruled by their fears --- particularly that if they do something different than the champions then they cannot compete with champions. Do you think when an article is published in the scientific literature about the physics of a baseball bat hitting a ball, you’ll see the Yankees all change their hitting style the next week? If you show the coach of the 76ers a study from the literature on the biomechanics of shooting a basketball, will he rush into practice the next day to tell Alan Iverson his jumpshot stinks? No, in sports, we have the ignorant blind leading the fearful blind.
And, so it goes, decade after decade, as world class athletes perform magnificently in spite of, not because of their training and coaching. And, so here you are, some of you going into your third decade of hearing me spout off in direct contradiction to the common wisdom. Just keep in mind (whatever the subject --- nutrition, exercise, politics, economics, etc) why the common wisdom is common --- ignorance plus fear plus those who would control the ignorant and fearful. Since I have no dependence on the common wisdom, I am free to pursue the truth. When I learn the truth that sit-ups and crunches are not only destructive, but do exactly the opposite of what common wisdom says they do, I need not hesitate to enjoy the benefits of that truth in my life, and to share that truth with my patients and with you.
I am not an inherently disagreeable person. It is just that when I find the truth, it (for the reasons described above) so often clashes with what everyone “knows” to be true. My life isn’t about looking for arguments, it is about pursuing the truth. I am thus delighted that many of you are challenging the information on exercise I have offered in these last few Letters. I am also pleased that many of you have come back with enthusiastic requests for more in-depth coverage of some of these exercise-related topics. There is no way in these letters I can present all the detail on exercise that might be relevant to you personally, so please continue to contact the NUTRI-SPEC staff with your questions and comments.
I also realize that most of you reading this letter are no different than our patients --- you hate the thought of exercise and feel enough guilt and frustration over your exercise deficiency that you do not welcome my rubbing your nose in it with these Letters. Whether or not these letters help you with the information and motivation you need to exercise yourself, there is still priceless benefit here for your patients. Remember, you’ve got at least dozens and dozens of patients who are playing the exercise game and winning less than they would like. Some of them are at one end of the spectrum, competing in high level sports, while others are dabbling at the other end, trying to find a way to lose a pound here and an inch there, without totally disrupting their lives. With the truths gleaned from these Letters, you can guide these patients to maximize their return on time and energy invested in exercise. That you may be an overweight couch potato needn’t interfere with the value you offer your patients. When you have patients interested in exercise, simply exclaim how impressed you with their motivation (and that you wish you had more of it yourself), and, that you have the expertise to guide them to look and feel their best with a combination of NUTRI-SPEC nutrition and physiologically-based exercise. Emphasize that ...
YOU CAN SAVE YOUR PATIENTS FROM THE
Let us continue now with our squashing of ubiquitous exercise myths. The next one we should take on is another that came up during the recent basketball camp --- the Gatorade myth. At this otherwise outstanding sport camp, there was another half hour wasted with a presentation by the Gatorade representative. If you want a perfect example of the hazards of ignoring your NUTRI-SPEC water/electrolyte balance system, you have found it in Gatorade.
I have neither the time for nor interest in being a sports fan, but even with casual and occasional watching of televised events I see frequent examples of athletes whose water/electrolyte balance, already challenged by the severe physiological demands of competition, is exacerbated by Gatorade. In last year’s NCAA basketball playoffs the Illinois point guard was hobbled by muscle cramps as he impotently watched his team go down to defeat. Several years ago in a national championship football game, the Penn State running back had to sit out every second play with severe cramps as the trainers stretched his muscles and poured Gatorade down his throat. Another year the National championship football game was played in sweltering heat as one team succumbed to dehydration in the final quarter --- their fatigue giving the other team a dramatic come from behind victory.
What is the problem with Gatorade? As you know from scientific literature we’ve quoted here in the past, Gatorade not only does not enhance sports performance, it does not even quench thirst! You see, Gatorade is hypertonic with respect to body fluids. In other words, its density of sugars and electrolytes is greater than that of the body fluids. Just as a shipwrecked sailor adrift on the ocean dies of thirst while surrounded by water, athletes die a little of thirst every time they drink Gatorade. To get the benefits of the sugars and electrolytes in Gatorade, an athlete would need to dilute it with at least 2 if not 3 parts water.
So --- if you recommend to your athletes that they dilute their Gatorade half and half with water, they will do alright, but, they will still not get the ideal sugar and electrolyte replacement they desire. You see there are two other problems with Gatorade. First, the sugar in Gatorade is largely fructose, which as you know from your study of NUTRI-SPEC is the most pernicious form of sugar. It has devastating short-term effects on glycemic control (as well as long-term harm by raising triglycerides and contributing to dysinsulinism and eventually diabetes --- although these are not of immediate concern to the competitive athlete). The other problem with Gatorade is that the combination of electrolytes has a deficiency of chloride as well as an excess of potassium with respect to the amount of sodium.
If you really want an ideal sport drink, then have your patients make their own. The recipe is quite simple. Take a 24 ounce bottle of water; pour off 4 ounces. To the remaining 20 ounces add 4 teaspoons of dextrose, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt, plus 1/32 teaspoon of di-potassium phosphate. My son and I call this “Power Water.” An athlete can drink this throughout the longest and most demanding athletic competition without the need to drink additional water to maintain hydration, and, with confidence that electrolytes are being replaced in perfect proportion. I buy a 6 or 8 pack of 24 ounce bottled water and in just a few minutes I make 6 or 8 bottles of power water. The di-potassium phosphate you buy from NUTRI-SPEC and the dextrose (glucose) can be found at most health food stores (-- they often package it under the name “corn sugar”).
Of course the efficacy of power water is dependent to a degree on the quality of meal eaten prior to the athletic competition. My son’s tournament basketball team drove 30 miles to a Saturday tournament last Spring with the first game starting at 9:30. I was appalled to find out that most of the boys on the team had eaten at best a bowl of junk food cereal, while one had had a couple of cookies and one had eaten nothing at all. My son had his standard 10 ounces of raw goat milk followed by 3 eggs and 2 pieces of bread. The schedule of double elimination tournaments is always uncertain, and as it turned out they played three games before getting a meal break. Half way through the third game the rest of the team was done, seemingly moving in slow motion as Garet ran up and down the court alone.
There is much, much to be said about sports nutrition, but really most of it is just a variation of the NUTRI-SPEC Fundamental Diet. One of the most important subjects you need to understand is the proper way to feed muscle growth. Whether you are dealing with an athlete training for competitive sports, or a body builder, or even the middle aged woman who wants to believe in the spot reducing myth that we dispelled last month, you must make them all understand that muscle growth is what they need, and there is only one nutritional way to optimize that growth. We will make that nutrition the major subject of next month’s Letter. This is particularly difficult yet important to understand for the women who want to believe in the spot reducing myth because you will be able to show them not just that fat can only be lost metabolically, but that building muscle guarantees a fat burning metabolism.
Let us finish this Letter with a question that came from a NUTRI-SPEC doctor whose 21 year old son is not just a competitive athlete but a tri-athlete --- competing in back-to-back-to-back marathon bicycling, swimming, and running. This is the most grueling athletic competition ever devised by man. Before I get into the doctor’s specific question about nutrition for his son, let us make it perfectly clear that training for and competing in triathlons is not healthy. It is actually destructive at least to some extent, but the destruction can be minimized if the training is done intelligently. Clearly, those who compete in such sports have made the personal choice that such an endeavor enriches their lives enough to be worth paying the price of increased catabolic stress. I do not disagree with that spirit --- for many, the benefits of such competition can exceed the cost. This doctor’s son has made that choice, and a little knowledge of NUTRI-SPEC and the physiology of exercise can help this young man minimize the catabolic stress while maximizing the physical and emotional satisfaction he gets from his training and competition.
The doctor’s question is how to feed his son’s voracious appetite? In particular, his son is convinced that he needed to drink “protein shakes” between meals to satisfy his appetite and to meet the nutritional needs of a body in tri-athlete training. After reading these Letters the doctor knows as well as you do that these supplements are largely fructose plus denatured protein that stimulates the production of serotonin. Nevertheless, he must come up with something for his son to eat, and his son sees these drinks as his only option. Here is the recommendation I made for the doctor’s son, a version of which is adaptable to those in any form of intense athletic training.
1 or 2 cups of POWER TEA plus a cup of cream replaces the junk food shake with true ANABOLIC NUTRITION.
Yes, true anabolic nutrition is what the athlete in training needs. The detailed explanation will be offered in next month’s Letter, along with ...
WHY YOUR DAINTY DUMBELL FLINGERS
Meanwhile, put all your exercising patients age 32+ on your Diphasic Nutrition Plan, and all those younger on 3 OXY POWER to minimize catabolic stress.
P.S.: Essential to the success of your Diphasic Nutrition Plan is the Oxy A+ - Formula EW balancing procedure. Essential to success with many of your Anaerobic patients is an Oxy A+ saturation to bowel tolerance. (Finally!) We can offer you Oxygenic A+ in a more convenient and economical 4-ounce bottle. SPECIAL: two 4-ounce bottles of Oxy A+ FREE with every 10 you buy.