WhiteBoard Talks - Week Five Recap

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 5 - Monday

Topic - Alcohol

The main focus of this topic is not to say what is right or wrong about the consumption of alcohol, but to give you some facts about how alcohol affects your body from a recovery and performance point of view. Everyone knows that excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided in all facets, but how does a post workout brew affect your body and its ability to recover?

To start lets layout how your body reacts to alcohol.

Once consumed stomach and small intestines start to absorb the alcohol into the blood stream, generally with ten minutes you will start to feel the effects of consumption. Once the alcohol is consumed your body identifies it as a toxin. Naturally your body wants to rid itself of toxins, and alerts your digestive system to make the alcohol a priority to process and pass through as fast as possibly (this is why it is a diuretic). Now that your digestive system is focusing on the alcohol it is not focusing on any other nutrient rich food that you may have consumed with that drink. You may not need all those excess calories you ate and potentially will store them as fat. 

Next question, how will alcohol affect performance and recover?

Alcohol, beer, and wine, post exercise is a continuing debate of right and wrong, with numerous studies to see how athletic performance and recovery is affected. Knowing how it affects the digestive system is a good start, but numerous studies show that a drink or two post-workout are better than having a sports drink post-workout. A beer will contain significantly more water per volume than sports drinks and will have more electrolytes at a higher volume than those sports drinks too. This does not mean that you should pound a beer post workout everyday, this is just to show you that it is a potentially better option than a sports drink. A few drinks in moderation after exercise has not shown any adverse effects in hydration levels post workout, but it does act as a central nervous system depressant.

All in all, alcohol is not the answer as an optimal rehydration drink, but every now and again after a workout (in moderation < 2) will not greatly affect your ability to recover.

As a side note - Alcohol has other health benefits too. Everyone has heard that drinking wine is good for the heart. The reason being that it raises your levels of HDL (High Density Lipoprotein)(good cholesterol). HDL/good cholesterol takes blood away from your artery walls thus helping prevent build up plaque/heart disease. LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)/bad cholesterol does the opposite, sticking to artery walls and clogging blood vessels. 

This again just means a drink or two in moderation will be fine. Just do not drink everything at once. Not advisable.  

*We do not condone underage drinking.




WhiteBoard Talks - Week 5 - Thursday

Topic - Wrapping up Nutrition

This will be the last part of the nutrition series focus.We will take the following week off from WhiteBoard Talks and then resume the following week with a new topic.

If you ever have any questions please contact a coach by email/text/class.

If we have peaked your interest from a nutrition setting over the past month. Contact a coach to take the next step. We offer nutrition counseling and would love to help you further your quest and to find the right fit for you.

If there are any topics that you wish to cover in the future. Please e-mail us at info.crossfitelectriccity.com

WhiteBoard Talks - Week Four Recap

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 4 - Monday

Topic - The Confusing World of Diet Plans

Diet plans are a never-ending rabbit hole. We are going to attack them in a different manner rather than going over the finer details of multiple plans. 

The definition of “Diet” - the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats

There are a million different diet plans out there. However, if you see Jim and Jane doing Paleo with great results, that does not automatically mean that you will have the same great results doing Paleo. Your physiology, stress levels, workout schedule, genetics, and lifestyle are drastically different from Jim and Jane. So you cannot expect to find the same results. 

The idea we are trying to get across is that you may try a dozen different diets with varying success, but the goal is to find what works for you. A great start is what we have been preaching for weeks now; meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Almost every diet that you will come across will have the same underlying concept of eating real food that is unprocessed. After that is where diet plans start separating and changing shape.

The following is a basic breakdown of Macronutrient Recommendations on six different plans

Banting Diet Ratio - 5% Carbs/25% Protein/70% Fat
Keto Diet Ratio - 5% Carbs/30% Protein/65% Fat
Low Carb Ratio - 10% Carbs/30%Protein/60% Fat
Paleo Diet Ratio - 25% Carbs/35% Protein/40% Fat
Zone Diet Ratio - 40% Carbs/30% Protein/30% Fat
USDA Guidelines - 55% Carbs/15% Protein/30% Fat

A few observations that could be made here, Fats and Carbs have the greatest variations while protein stays pretty true through all. There are people that have had great success at each diet plan from above. 

The diet for you should require a few things.

  1. It makes you happy

  2. Keeps you healthy (mentally, physically, and emotionally)

  3. It is SUSTAINABLE (most important)

If what you are doing is not working, then don’t be afraid to switch things up. Be disciplined, give it a month, then assess, evaluate and make adjustments as needed. Remember marginal compliance will not bring consistent results. 



WhiteBoard Talks - Week 4 - Thursday

Topic - Hydration

Debunking 5 common Hydration Myths

  1. Urine color as a measurement of hydration

  2. If you are thirsty, you are already severely dehydrated

  3. You need to replace your electrolytes

  4. Any level of dehydration will negatively affect performance

  5. You can not drink too much water

Urine Color:

Urine color is typically a delayed response. When you are working out, your body is in a constant state of flux when it comes to urine color. So one typically tries to replenish levels in response to a delayed system. Vitamins and minerals in a diet can also affect the color of urine. If your urine is clear, you have become over-hydrated. 


If you are thirsty, you are already severely dehydrated:

Your body is amazing and it speaks to you everyday without you paying attention. You can feel thirsty and still be hydrated. The human body can go anywhere from three days up to a week without water (Barring external factors). An hour long gym workout will not deprive you of the amount of fluid-loss that would require you to over-hydrate. Best thing to do is listen to our body; if you are thirsty, drink. If you are not thirsty, don’t drink. The body is well equipped to tell us when to drink and vice versa when not to/stop drinking.


You need to replace your electrolytes:

Sports drinks and water do not come close to replacing the electrolytes lost due to exercise. If you are worried about replacing electrolytes after a workout, go eat a meal! The answer is not to consume sports drinks because of sodium levels. A majority of the sports drink that you consume to replace the electrolytes will only end up in the toilet hours later, because the threshold for absorption will not be meet by these drinks. 


Any level of dehydration will negatively affect performance:

An increasing number of studies are finding that hydration levels prior to an event do not negatively affect performance output as previously thought. As long as hydration levels are sufficient prior to exercise you will see you ill side affects from being under-hydrated. Conversely there are new studies showing that being over-hydrated can have negative affects on performance. Again if you aren’t thirsty, don’t drink.


You can not drink too much water:

This might be the scariest of all. You can absolutely drink to much water. If you flood your body with to much fluid of any kind you can risk EAH (Exercise Associated Hyponatremia). 


“EAH occurs when blood-sodium levels become diluted. Hyponatremia can cause mild symptoms such as irritability and fatigue or more extreme symptoms including nausea, vomiting, seizures and comas. Brain swelling—exercise associated hyponatremic encephalopathy (EAHE)—can cause death.” HILLARY ACHAUER


Water is essential to life and proper human function, but it does not mean that we need to flood the body with to much water. The body has built in safety measures to tell us when we need water, all we have to do is listen to them. We should try to keep fluids in (water) equal to fluids out (urine and sweat). Long story short if you are thirsty, drink. If you are not thirsty, don’t drink. 

WhiteBoard Talks - Week Three Recap

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 3 - Monday

Topic - Take the Time, Make a PLAN and STICK to it!

Eating great is not complicated, but at times it can be very difficult. Poor food choices surround us everyday with an ease and convenience that makes it hard to stick with a good diet. How can you stay on track with so many traps around you?

One of the best ways to avoid the pitfalls of poor choices is to build a meal-prep routine. Most imagine that meal prep is this terribly long process that creates a huge mess in your house, takes 5 hours, and leaves you with a fridge that looks like vacuum packed rations for a space mission. No matter what your situation there is a method for you.


The best way to start is to make a plan for your meals. Decide what meals you want to make for the week. Put together the grocery list, and then decide how/when you want to cook them.  If cooking everything at once and eating out of Tupperware for the week is how you operate, choose that method. Or you could cook enough food for dinner to make lunch leftovers for the next day, everyday. The biggest factor is that you choose a method that is realistic to you, and something you can maintain for more than a couple of weeks.

Meal prep doesn’t have to stick with whole meals too. You should prep your snacks as well. That way when you get the craving for something sweet, that snack is prepped and ready for you instead of making a poor choice.


Meal prepping is all about time and how much time you can commit to it. Imagine regaining 135 minutes of your day! According to  Statista.com people spend 135 mins/day on social media, think of what you could do with that time regained. Even if you cut that number in half and devoted it to your food/diet/meal prep/anything!


The common thread when it comes to meal prep, is: take the time, make a plan, and stick to it!

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 3 - Thursday

Topic - Sleep - Stay away from the Blue Light

Sleep, the more of it we get, the better off we will be. A slew of things are happening in the body as we sleep, so much so that researchers willing admit that we don’t know enough about how valuable sleep actually is. The recommended levels of sleep vary by source, but they all tend to come back around to 8-10 hours of sleep per night.


The first part of our discussion will be what effects us, performance-wise, with sleep?


We will start by talking about three hormones that are connected to sleep: 
Growth Hormone, Leptin, and Cortisol

Growth Hormone:
Growth hormone aids in bone and muscular recovery, without it the body doesn’t repair as well. Growth hormone is released when we sleep, especially the early stages of our sleep. While as CrossFitters that are constantly damaging our muscles we should want as much help as we can to repair them. Another benefit of growth hormone is that it helps stimulate the release of triglycerides from fat cells. 

Leptin:
Leptin does a couple of cool things for us at night. First, when asleep, your fat cells will repress your appetite by releasing leptin. While two, leptin regulates insulin. Poor sleep habits do not get the benefits of leptin being released which causes hunger in the middle of the night in the form of a food craving.

Cortisol:
Unlike Growth Hormone and Leptin, we do not want a ton of Cortisol in our bodies. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol in the body starts effecting the body in negative ways. It can make the body stop using food for energy, build fat stores and slowly starts breaking down muscle tissue. Two things that increase/elevate cortisol are STRESS and OVERTRAINING. A primary factor to regulate cortisol levels is sleep!


Finally let’s touch upon Blue Light.

Blue Light:
Screens (TV, Laptop, Phone, LEDs etc) give off blue light wavelengths, these wavelengths have been shown to upset our circadian rhythm after the sun goes down. Melatonin typically starts to be released as it gets darker outside. Exposure to blue light 2-3 hours before bed has been shown to have adverse effects on the body by significantly suppressing Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Melatonin typically starts to be released in greater supply as it gets darker at night. Exposure to light (especially Blue Light) will greatly hinder the bodies reaction to release melatonin.

WhiteBoard Talks - Week Two Recap

WhiteBoard Talks - Week 2 - Monday

Topic - Dropping Sugar Bombs

Sugar can be seen as an addiction - Cravings, losing control, and eat more than planned.

Sugar is necessary within your diet, it fuels every cell in the brain. The brain sees it as a reward and makes you want more it. When you continuously do the same thing it creates a habit by reinforcement, which can be hard to break.

Now when we say that it is necessary to our health, we want to remember that the sugar we intake should come from a natural source; i.e. “meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.” Last Thursday we talked about the hormonal response to eating refined carbs and sugars (INSULIN). Quick spikes in energy and then the sudden drop/crash makes us want more to repeat the habit of a sugar high. 

This weeks goal is to retrain the brain and taste buds. Cutting one sugary item per week and being more conscious of where sugar hides. 

In nature sugar is hard to come across. It is either seasonal for when fruit grows, or is protected like bees protecting honey. “Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy” (Lustig, Schmidt, Brindis/international Science Journal)

Other names for Sugar:
Agave Nectar
Brown Rice Syrup
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Dextrose
Evaporated Can Juice
Glucose
Lactose
Malt Syrup
Molasses
Sucrose 

Sugar consumption has nearly tripled in the last 50 years, Drinks are a primary contributor to this.

20oz Bottle of Gatorade contains 34g of sugar (134 calories)
24oz Bottle of Powerade contains 40g of sugar (154 calories) equivalent to 10tsp of sugar
20oz Bottle of Coca-Cola contains 64g of sugar
20oz Bottle of Mountain Dew contains 77g of sugar

Eat your calories! Don’t Drink Them!



Whiteboard Talks - Week 2 - Thursday

Topic - Supplements 

Eating real food (meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar) is the main and only priority of macro and micro nutritional intake. Supplements are just that, in addition to/supplementing our diet. Now that doesn’t mean that there is not a time or place for supplements. The recommended supplements that will support CrossFit when added to a healthy diet.


Protein:

Taking protein immediately after a workout does have some advantages. It becomes a fast and efficient source that has been shown to accelerate the muscular recovery process and potentially enhance muscular adaptation. 

This is not a ploy to sell protein that we carry, but it can help in recovery process after strenuous exercise. i.e.(CrossFit)


Creatine: 

Creatine enhances muscular adaptation to resistance training. If you are doing multiple sets of a Strength Movement, creatine will help you be better in the third and fourth set than you would without it. However, not everyone responds to creatine, and creatine will also causes your cells to retain water, which can lead to weight gain.


Fish oil Omega-3s:

Omega-3 fats are known as “anti-inflammatory” fats, and omega-6 fats are known as “pro-inflammatory” fats based on their physiological functions. Both are needed in relatively equal quantities. A fish oil supplement will help improve our O3 to O6 ratios from the normal American Diet. Fish oils should be used under care for the fact that they will act like a blood-thinner, and they also should not be taken in consumption to off-set a poor diet. 

Remember you are what you eat, eats. 

All-in-all, no supplement will trump a great diet of real food (single ingredient/non-processed), but some can help improve human performance in the gym. 

WhiteBoard Talks - Week One Recap

Day 1:

Food/nutrition can effect weight, sleep, mood, social interactions, recovery, athletic performance while battling chronic disease and more! 

First things first, what to eat:
“Meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar”


What does this mean?

1) If you could not have harvested it out of your garden or farm and eaten it an hour later, it is not food.

2) Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, and do not go down the aisles. 

3) If it has a food label on it, it is not food. You do not see a label on the chicken. It is not on the tomatoes. But it is on the chips and cookies. (If it has an ingredient list on the packaging it is not a real food)

4) If it is not perishable, if it says “Best if used before 2020,” it is not food.

Proteins - You are what you eat, eats! Grass-fed organic, if not as lean of a cut as possible

Carbs - Try new vegetables - Eat the rainbow - Different color veggies bring different vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Eat in season vegetables as much as possible

Fats - limited nuts and seeds, animal fats from grass-fed sources, grass-fed butters,  olive oil (raw/uncooked), avocados, coconuts (oil & meat)

Keep it simple!

 “Eat an adequate amount of protein, control carbohydrates and fill the rest with fat. Carbohydrate control is at the heart of this program”

-Greg Glassman


Day 2:

Off the Carbs, Off the Couch.

WOD scores are getting better in the gym, and we are getting stronger. Are we still retaining unwanted body fat? What is the first thing we would ask? (How is your nutrition/diet?)

That leads us back to the Pyramid. Food/nutrition supports everything that comes afterword. We do not want to build the pyramid upside down. Keep yourself accountable by making the order of development a priority.

Let’s talk about what off the carbs, off the couch means.

Start with the easy one!

Off the Couch.

By being here, in the gym, on a regular basis. We are talking 3-5 days a week minimum, keeps you consistent. In turn, being consistent helps fight against sedentarism (the habit or practice of not moving or exercising). Sedentarism is a willful behavior, it is something you have a choice over and make a deliberate action on. By staying consistent within the gym we are fighting against sedentarism.

Off the Carbs

By using, “Meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar” we are modifying the way we look at food. Now what we mean by “off the Carbs” is to not eliminate carbs completely from our diet. Carbs are a vital source of energy among other factors within our diet. When we say off the carbs what we really mean is - off of the excessive consumption of carbohydrates, particularly refined carbs and no sugar/added sugar.

Examples of refined carbohydrates:  chips, crackers, pretzels, white bread, pasta, sugary drinks, anything made with white or all purpose flour, 

Its best to limit/avoid refined carbs due to their inherent nature to digest very quickly which spikes insulin, when insulin is secreted or chronically elevated, fat accumulates in the fat tissue.

When insulin levels drop, fat escapes from the fat tissue and the fat depot shrinks.

We secrete insulin primarily in response to the carbohydrates in our diet.

Again this does not mean to eliminate carbs from our diet. This means trying to slowly eliminate refined carbs and all added sugars.