Meet Shane Ellison, founder of HealthFX. An organic chemist by training, Shane has seen the ugly side of the pharmaceutical industry. He is on a crusade to re-educate a misinformed populace on solid health and nutrition practices. News flash: good health and prescription drugs have nothing in common... His concepts are guided by science, pure and simple. OK, maybe not so simple...but with Shane, you'll get no BS hype - and there are no shortcuts.
Yes, HealthFX is the primary sponsor for team HealthFX. It should be obvious by now, however, that I'm not one of those "brought to you by x, y, and z!" types. I am no sellout and in fact probably don't do as much as I should for my sponsors. But, you can be damn sure that if I do talk about a product and/or company favorably, it's simply a result of positive experiences and a desire to share the knowledge. I'm a workng stiff just like you, where my $$ goes is important to me.
Shane has been my nutritional advisor since '03. Before I met Shane, I bought into all the high carb-low fat craze that most sports nutrition experts tout. Yet, every time I'd pick up my training, I'd eat even more and gain wait. WTF? Whew, glad those days are gone. Compared to '02, my typical race weight is 10-14 lbs less with lower bodyfat, increased power and endurance...a lot of this is a result of nutrition choices.
Every now and then I get a HealthFX email with some real gems. Shane spends a lot of time writing, more than I do ;) The latest is too good not to share. So here you go. This is my biggest "secret", and now the words out.
Here's to your good health.
The Athletes Deadly Mistake – 3 Benefits to Avoiding
It By Shane Ellison, M.Sc.
www.healthmyths.net © 2006
www.health-fx.net © 2006
Most athletes have ignored the warning not to eat sugar. They usually pay more attention to fat and carbohydrates. This mind-set is courtesy of the self-appointed nutrition gurus who promote low fat, high carbohydrate eating plans. This is a deadly mistake.
Most low fat, high carbohydrate foods are loaded with sugar or "sugar mimics." These include sucrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed proteins, trans fat and milk sugars such as lactose and maltose. In many cases, these food adulterants are being fed to an athlete’s body every time they put something into their mouth. The body responds by pumping mass amounts of insulin into the blood stream.
Insulin is the nutrient taxi. It escorts glucose and other nutrients into the muscle cells. It is also the chief fat storing hormone. To the athlete, this means an artificial feeling of energy coupled to fat storage. But the real danger lies in sugars ability to create a metabolic nightmare later in life.
High insulin levels lead to a medical condition known as insulin resistance or Syndrome X. Today, Syndrome X is an epidemic among children and adults. An estimated 80 million Americans suffer from this slow but insidious killer.
Similar to those who consume excess alcohol and develop resistance to it, excess insulin numbs muscle cells. Muscles no longer react to it. The insulin receptors within the body become "jammed." Unable to gain entry into muscle cells, glucose (blood sugar) remains in the blood-stream. Blood sugar skyrockets.
Recognizing the rise in blood glucose, the pancreas attempts to curtail the danger with yet more insulin production. The blood stream becomes toxic with exorbitant amounts of insulin and glucose. Syndrome X begins to take its toll on the body. It leads to the clinical diagnosis of depression, premature aging of the skin, hypertension, heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer — sometimes in that order.
To avoid insulin resistance, athletes must stop making the mistake of lowering fat intake while increasing carbohydrate consumption. Instead, they must increase their consumption of healthy fat and protein while lowering carbohydrate intake. Basically, this is the antithesis of what the "gurus" promote. Rest assured though, it is in complete accord with science. Three benefits of increased fat intake await:
1. Athletes will lose fat and build muscle.
Unlike carbohydrate, consuming healthy fat does not cause a spike in the fat storing hormone insulin. Instead, it keeps insulin levels low (or controlled) relative to sugar and carbohydrate (carb) consumption. When insulin is controlled, the body is better equipped to take part in fat burning courtesy of "thermogenesis." Thermogenesis is the conversion of fat to heat and physical energy (lipolysis). The best athletes in the world have mastered thermogenesis — either through diet, supplementation, or both. Sparking it is the Holy-Grail for eliciting lean muscle mass and even raw athletic power – the kind that sets apart the weak from the strong.
Be careful, the wrong kind of fat will make you fat. That would be the trans fats coming from food served out of a window (think Wendy’s).
2. Athletes will have far more energy and endurance
When thermogenesis is active, the body can utilize fat as a substrate for heat production as well as ATP production. ATP is the master energy and strength producing molecule within the body. The more you have, the better you perform.
A single fat molecule can produce a whopping 129 molecules of ATP. In contrast, if thermogenesis is not being activated the body is forced to utilize an inferior source of ATP production — carbohydrates. A single carbohydrate molecule produces a paltry 38 molecules of ATP! Do the math – fat yields more than three times the energy as a carbohydrate!
The difference between fat and carbohydrates as fuel substrates is the difference between sustained energy and "bonking." Promoters of sports gels and sugar fortified energy bars and drinks ignore this basic biochemistry — or don’t understand it.
3. Athletes will not age-prematurely
Everyone has heard of the endurance athlete who was seemingly healthy yet keeled over on his morning bike ride from a deadly heart attack. Excess sugar consumption plays a leading role in this sad fate due to its ability to leach essential nutrients from the body. Such nutrients include fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. The outcome is a dying cardiovascular system unfit for physical fitness resulting in a premature heart attack.
Trash the carbs and sugar. Eat healthy fat. Healthy fats can be obtained from coconut oil (in tea or used for cooking), cod-liver oil (contains omega-3 fats known as EPA and DHA with the added value of vitamin D), olive oil, avocados (omega-9), eggs (raw, scrambled, hard-boiled, whatever), fish, nuts, seeds, chicken and grass fed beef. Adhere to this basic nutrition science and you’ll break personal records guaranteed.
About the Author
Shane holds a Master’s degree in organic chemistry and has first-hand industry experience with drug research, design and synthesis. With his keen ability to sift through scientific literature and weed out fact from fiction, Shane has empowered thousands to assert their health freedom by saying "no" to prescription drugs. Learn more about his books Health Myths Exposed and The Hidden Truth about Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs. Get his FREE Life-Saving Health Briefs at www.healthmyths.net. His nutrition supplements that work can be found at www.health-fx.net.