Nutrition After The Marathon!

Congratulations to all of you for signing up for the ‘Baldock Beast’ half marathon, and good luck to you all!

You have probably been training hard for the last few weeks which will have strengthened your heart, reduced the effect of stress, improved your energy levels and made you feel and look good! However there is a downside to excessive exercise known as ‘oxidative stress’. During intensive exercise the body needs more oxygen than normal, and this results in a greater production of ‘free radicals’. These are unstable oxygen molecules that possess either one electron too many or one too few, and they steal an electron from other healthy molecules thus interfering with the normal biochemical processes. This then starts a molecular cascade that resembles a falling stack of dominoes leading to cellular damage. Damage to the cellular structures can be responsible for damaged and sore muscles, slowed recovery and a reduction in immunity.

It is now recognised that athletes who train intensively have additional nutritional requirements and after a marathon it is essential that they replenish the vitamins and minerals that they have used to compete. Research has indicated that intensive exercise could compromise or depress the immune system and many top class athletes suffer from recurring bacterial and viral infections. One possible explanation for this is that exercise increases the levels of the hormones, adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol in the body and these may reduce the functioning of the immune system.
Supplementing with antioxidants to prevent oxidation damage therefore is a must. Studies have shown that 200-400mg of vitamin E daily and 200-1000mg daily of vitamin C can reduce markers of muscle damage. Much research is focused on the beneficial effects of some of the more recently discovered antioxidants and the proanthocyanidins extracted from the seed of red grapes and pine bark are possibly the most potent antioxidants so far discovered. Cats Claw and Echinacea have attracted the attention of researchers as immune system boosters as well. Echinacea has been widely used for centuries as an anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial and research indicates that it stimulates the production of T-cells, the natural killer cells of your white blood cells, that have specificity for different antigens.
To build muscle mass and repair tissue the body must have an adequate intake of protein. Amino acids, vitamins and minerals are essential for building muscle mass and strength. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the maintenance of optimum health. Exercise, particularly if intensive, places an additional demand for these key and vital nutrients. Maximol a multivitamin and mineral supplement, is an all natural product with a high bioavailability factor because it is in a liquid form.
It contains all the vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and ultra-trace minerals that are classified as essential for your body and optimum health.
If you would like any further advice or would like to try any of the products mentioned please ring us at The Wyndham Centre. Don’t forget that it is essential each and every one of us takes vitamins and minerals on a daily basis because we do not get the nutrients we require from our diet. Next year make sure you take all the necessary nutrition before the marathon and you will find that you run even better!

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