The Clean Athlete
You know that I do not believe in fake foods. I believe in real foods and the healing power of foods. Hopefully by now you see the value in belief as well.
Something I see a lot of is that the fake foods enter into the “healthy” space when my clients start to look at achieving fitness-related goals. Whether competitive athletes, recreational athletes, or weekend warriors, somehow they seem to be guided towards supplementation of some sort by their trainer.
Regardless of your level of athletic competition, we can up level this discussion of supplementation to real food.
Why do we need to be real with our supplements too? Simply put, because inflammation is real. Inflammation that persists damages the body and causes illness. This chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases. A major cause of this inflammation is the toxic substances in the food (and supplements) we eat (and take).
Myth - sports drinks are needed for hydration
Check the labels on these drinks. They are loaded with stuff you do not need for hydration. Many contain: water, sugar, sucralose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, brominated vegetable oil, natural flavors, salt and artificial colours which are linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney, and brain cancers and also mess with cognitive function causing hyperactivity.
An alternative: Make your own sports drink
1 quart of liquid (green tea, herbal teas, plain water)
⅛ - ¼ tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
¼ cup or more of juice (optional. Can use grape, apple, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc)
1-2 tbsp honey
Myth: Energy gels or goos are needed for energy
Long-term use of energy gels does you more harm than good.They deliver more glycogen (carbohydrates) to your muscles so you can power through your workouts and events, but your body then never learns to burn fat efficiently. The fructose in goos may create unwanted changes in the brain that causes overeating as it interferes with the brains ability to register a feeling of fullness. Most energy gels use maltodextrin made from genetically modified corn (see below).
An alternative: Make your own energy balls
Your favourite nuts
Raw cacao powder
Combine in food processor
Myth: Whey protein builds lean muscle mass and supports fat loss
There is truth here. BUT whey also comes with other challenges for many, including bloating and flatulence. Also many popular brands are loaded with heavily-processed stuff that is better avoided, such as:
Ace-sulfame potassium which can hamper your metabolism because you cannot metabolize this calorie-free sweetener.
Maltodextrin, a high glycemic index sweet usually manufactured from GMO corn which can change your gut bacteria composition in a way that makes you more susceptible to disease.
Potassium bicarbonate, the side effects of which may include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and/or gas.
An alternative: Organic, non GMO protein powders that are dairy and whey free