PERFORMANCE FUNDAMENTALS

WHAT ARE THE NUTRIONAL BASICS FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Often athletes want to skip over the fundamentals and get right to the “good” stuff. They want to workout and train like their favorite college or professional athlete. The problem with this philosophy is you never appreciate all the time and effort it takes a conditioned athelte to get to where they are today. The knowledge and effort gained by saving every pennny to buy a new car vs winning a lambo makes a difference in the end result. 

Sports training is a process of learning the proper moves then executing them. Like many we want to go from riding a bike to racing without using training wheels. Nutrition is the basis of all building blocks when it comes to performance and boosting outcomes. The adage that bigger is always better is sometimes true. When it comes to athletic performance to overall wellness many basic nutrients have a synergistic effect. Not only do they work well alone but when combined the result is magnified than using just one alone.

As with any process good things come in time. The same is said to be true of nutrition and health.   Here are some performance basics amino acids, protein, creatine and other supplements.

WHY ARE AMINO ACIDS IMPORTANT IN ATHELETIC PERFORMANCE

Protein is an essential component of every cell in the body. Skin, hair, nails, hormones, bone, muscle, cartilage, and blood are all made of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that make up the thousands of different proteins in the human body. Of those 9 are considered essential amino acids because they can not made by the body, but must be obtained through diet. These include: soleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RECEIVE NUTRIENT THERAPY

There are several ways to obtain the proper nutirents the body needs for general health either by eating a specific diet or taking supplements. Today there are several routes of administration that fit into every lifestyle. Some are easier to manage than others but each has it's own perks and draw backs.

Routes of suplement or medication administration:

  • Transdermanl ie patch, cream, or lotion applied to the skin
  • Nasal spray
  • Oral (tablet, capsule or liquid that is swallowed)
  • Subliquinal (disolvable tablets or liquid placed under the tongue)
  • Subcutaneous - SQ (small needle injection just under the skin into the fat layer)
  • Intramuscular - IM (needle injection placed into the muscle)
  • Intravenous - IV (injection into a vein)

PROS AND CONS OF TRANSDERMAL ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION

Several medications now come in the form of a cream, lotion, patch or roll-on and this includes hormones like testosterone, birth control pills, antihypertensive medication and more. Still there are very few supplements that are currently being manufactured with enough aborptive success. Some products containing vitamin C have shown significant improvement, but one downfall to vitamin C is it has a short expiration date compared to others and often the color turns a darker yellow or a shade of brown. At present there is a very limited if any supplement application such as amino acids but there have been great success with hormones. 

The pros of transdermal or topical applications is ease of use. Some forms of patches can remain on the skin for a week to 30 days ensuring you don't forget to take you daily dose. Cons are often skin irritation from the cream or glue from the patch. Others claim the irritation is from a higher dose needed to be applied to the skin because absorption through the skin is the least effective method of receiving a medication or supplement. Another con is the transfer of medication to another person. This can happen with medication like testosterone where the spouse can receive a considerable amount of the same drug and develop some degree adverse effects such as excess hair growth as one example. Therefore the area of application matters.

Advances are being made at a rapid rate and I don't belive it will be long before the route of administering medication or supplements improves.

PROS AND CONS OF NASAL SPARY

One of the best advances in the administration of medication is in the form of a nasal spray. It offers a direct way to apply medication with rapid uptake directly from the membranes in your nose. Some may frown at using a nasal spray but it is a great way to ensure rapid onset and ease of use. Some peptides are available in this form making administration easier that injections. One such peptide is PT 141 primariy used for sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Feedback from users thus far has been overwhelimingly positive.

Cons are having to use a nasal spay and nasal irritation that may cause redness, itching and/or bleeding in some individuals. It is a great alternative to other forms and one to continue monitoring.

PROS AND CONS OF SUBLINGUAL ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION

Sublingual administraton has been in use for decades and used primarily in it's early years by the military. Rapids disolvable tablets offer a significant method of adminstering a substance with rapid onset, ease of use and high absorption rates. With any route of administration one major differnce between one route and another is in how much of the drug or supplement is absorbed. For the administration of peptides, hormones and supplements the race is on when looking at compounding pharmacies. Compounding pharmacies are not all created equal and neigther are the products they produce. This said to be true of where each pharmacies purchases it's products, how they test the quality of their ingredients and the ways in which they combine products to ensure rapid absorption.

Another pro is eliminating the digestive tract. Many people problems with absorption with oral administation and this route bypasses that process. As far as cons the one moste noted would be taste. Some have a slighty bitter taste which can differ greatly from one pharmacy to another. So if tastes is an issue for you more expensive products tend to taste better, have more pure ingredients and absorb faster all of which you want in a subliqual product. The other con is cost. Peptides and hormones are on the higher side until they are around a little longer

PROS AND CONS OF SUBCUTANEOUS INJECTIONS

Termed SQ for short, subcutaneous injections offer an exceedingly high level of absorption as compare to other methods. They offer ease of use in such that the needles are of a smaller size and the areas of self injection tend to be easier. Most SQ injections can be performed at home without having to come into your providers office thus significantly improving the time allocated to a threapeutic plan. This also offers time saving for those who travel or have a busy lifestyle. The other significant pro is absorption. Many peptides, hormones and supplements are now administered via SQ instead of IM or IV. This leads to less brusing or muscle discomfort while maintaing high absorption rates. Rarely is IM injection superior to SQ and most studies show both forms are nearly equivalent.

Some cons are having to inject the medication and bringing needle with you while you travel. Although rare, people do  mention some mild brusing at the site of injection, itching or redness. Others state mild discomfort or irritation as the peptide, supplement or hormones is being injected. On a good note, many pharmacies add lidocaine a numbing medication in with the supplement to help although those who experience any discomfort state the irritation is transient. 

PROS AND CONS OF INTRAMUSCULAR INJECTION

Intramuscular injections ie IM have been used for decades. Other than IV, IM injections are the only form used for most medications, supplements and hormones. One reason is due to the chemical structure of the substance being injected. Substances that are very thick or have larger molecules simply can't be adminstered with a smaller needle or the absorption via anther route is poor such as testosterone. Studies are showing near equality in absorption of IM and SQ offering a good alternative to other therapies such as IV therapy.

Cons are similar to SQ administration with the exception often many times the needle requires to be slightly bigger because of the thickness of the product needing to injected. Here the injection must be in the muscle which can cause difficulties in administration. Brusing and discomfort during the injection are often similar to SQ but still pose a con when it comes to othe routes of administration.

PROS AND CONS OF IV THERAPY

Intravenous therapy is the best method by which medication and supplements can be administered. It offers 100% absorption into the blood stream. It is the method that offers the highest amount of absorption we know. One of the pros is the number of substances that can be added at one time during administration. It offers the best way to administer several different substances or medictions at the same time.

One of the most apparent cons is in self-adminstration which is nearly impossible if you have to place your own IV. Long term IV catherters are available and make this process much easier. IV administration has the highest risk of infection, bleeding and allergic reaction than any other method. 

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