Thursday, March 22, 2012

Raw Foods and Athletic Performance

One of my favorite sections of the book The pH Miracle (see previous post) is titled "Green Athletes" on pp. 66 and 67.  Dr. Young has had many impressive clients including a couple of bi-athletes for the 2002 Olympics, the top soccer team from Trinidad, and the West Point Gymnastics Team.  He even consulted Stu Middleman, an ultra-marathoner, who ran from San Diego to New York City in an astounding 56 days - powered by alkaline foods.

Brendan Brazier
Dr. Young performed a study while working with the West Point Gymnastics Team.  He made two groups from 11 gymnasts and supplemented one of the groups with concentrated greens, pH drops to alkalize their water and a pendant to deflect electro magnetic frequencies.  He did not implement the entire pH Miracle program.  In other words, they did not change their diet save the supplementation.  The results were astonishing.  The group that received the supplementation outperformed the non-supplemented group by almost 100 percent.  They increased in strength and endurance and had faster recovery times.  They also had better attitudes towards their training sessions.

Tim Van Orden
There are many athletes who have eschewed the conventional wisdom of obtaining their protein from meat and have made great gains because of it.  A couple of notable athletes in this category are Ironman tri-athlete Brendan Brazier and Tim Van Orden.  Both these athletes are mostly raw vegan and continually win races in their respective divisions.  I have heard testimonials from athletes that say that their bodies recover much more quickly from their training sessions on a plant based diet, meaning that they could train more frequently.  More frequent training sessions means faster and better competition times.  They most definitely have an advantage over other athletes who need more time to recover from their training sessions.  Tim Van Orden states that aging is no longer an issue in his performance.  He easily outperforms athletes that are much younger than him.  He has a very interesting YouTube clip in which he talks about where he gets his protein.  Brendan Brazier is featured in several articles by Natural News.   Check out this particular article!  (There is a typo in this article, Brendan mentions using ham protein.  I'm sure he meant hemp protein.)  Celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder also has an excellent post on plant based diets for fueling athletic performance.  In this post she tackles the issue of animal based protein and how it can actually hinder optimal performance.  I know I have just given you a lot of links to check out, but the information is so good and worth taking the time to look at.

Using Supplements

Dr. Young has a chapter in  The pH Miracle where he explains what the best supplements are.  This chapter is very informative!   (Please pick up a copy of this book for his extensive information on this topic.)  He highly recommends concentrated greens as well as an alkalizing diet.  The greens he is referring to are grasses such as barley grass, wheat grass, kamut grass and dog grass among others. (Sun Warrior, linked below, carries concentrated greens.)  Find a high quality supplement that is organic and dehydrated below 118 degrees so that it can retain all the beneficial live enzymes. He also recommends using pH drops.  You'll need to pick up the book for the rest of what he recommends!

Brendan Brazier mentions foregoing the highly processed energy gels that are available on the market and make your own.  He makes his by using agave nectar, dates and lemon juice.  If you want to stay away from agave, try coconut palm sugar, dates, lemon juice and enough water to blend or process this mix and make it into a gel. You could also use raw honey.

I can't stand those awful sport drinks.  You are far better off drinking coconut water.  Here is an excellent article on Natural News about the amazing benefits of coconut water and how it contains higher quality electrolytes than the toxic sport drinks that are available on the market.

Don't forget to use chia seed!  The Aztecs used chia seed as well as the Mayans.  The Aztec runners would fuel their bodies with chia and consequently did not dehydrate during their distance running.  Here is a blog post that covers this topic.

Lastly, if you are interested in a plant based protein, I highly recommend Sun Warrior.  As you probably would guess, I'm not a fan of most of the protein supplements available on the market - whether from whey or soy.  I don't like them.  I would much rather use something that grows from the earth rather than something manufactured in a chemistry lab.  Products that are entirely from plants, organic and dehydrated at low temperatures do not tax the liver with all the chemical byproducts found in manufactured protein supplements. Not only do natural plant based sources deliver high quality protein, they also have the added advantages of fighting disease (including cancer) and nourishing the body.  All organic foods that come from the earth have this attribute.  While they are known for their high nutritional value, they also boast a broad spectrum of other benefits.  Check out Sunwarrior's newest product, Sunwarrior Blend here

Coming up:  Body-building on a plant based diet.

Enjoy the Journey!