Turmeric for post-workout recovery

We’ve all felt it – that pain and stiffness that occurs several hours (and even days!) after unaccustomed exercise or overworking a particular muscle group. Known as ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ (DOMS), we typically experience these pains when eccentric muscle activity is involved and the contracting muscles are forcibly lengthened.1 This mechanical stress triggers an inflammatory response and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting in sustained inflammation and oxidative stress which can eventually lead to muscle injury and the dreaded DOMS.2

The medicinal benefits of regular turmeric consumption have been well documented; from improving brain function to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease and even fighting certain types of cancer. What is less commonly known is that Curcumin (the active constituent of Turmeric that gives it its distinctive yellow colour) has also proven to be beneficial in recovery from exercise due to its powerful antioxidant and inflammatory effects.

To test the theory, a trial was carried out to measure the effects of oral curcumin versus placebo on DOMS following unaccustomed heavy eccentric exercise. The study was a double-blind, randomised-controlled crossover trial in which the Curcumin or placebo were taken two days before to three days after eccentric exercise and the results found that only the Curcumin had beneficial effects. These included:

  • moderate to large reductions in single-leg squat and gluteal stretch pain at 24 and 48 hours post exercise,
  • reduced pain on walking down stairs, and
  • improved muscle performance.3

Another recent randomised, placebo-controlled, single-blind trial comparing Curcumin with placebo was designed to assess the muscle damage of healthy male volunteers after performing a 45 minute downhill running race. Results found that 1g of turmeric given twice daily resulted in:

  • reduced MRI evidence of muscle injury in the posterior and medial compartment of both thighs,
  • less pain in the lower legs, and
  • reduced systemic inflammatory response in comparison to placebo.2

The results from these studies suggest that turmeric has the potential to be very beneficial in reducing post-exercise soreness after high intensity training.

Nuzest’s Chai, Turmeric and Maca Clean Lean Protein (CTM-CLP) contains 1g of 100% pure Indian turmeric root and 19g of digestible protein per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre- and post-workout supplement. Because Curcumin alone has a very low bioavailability, CTM-CLP also contains 100mg of black pepper per serve which has been proven to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin in humans by 2000%.4 A clinical study conducted on elite rugby players has shown that the combination of curcumin and piperine (black pepper’s active ingredient) supplementation before and after exercise may help lessen some aspects of muscle damage.5

So if you’re looking to dial up the intensity of your training, or you want to recover and get back into it faster, try adding turmeric to your diet.

References:

1Proske, U., & Morgan, D. L. (2001). Muscle damage from eccentric exercise: mechanism, mechanical signs, adaptation and clinical applications. The Journal of Physiology, 537(Pt 2), 333–345. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7793.2001.00333.x

2Drobnic, F., Riera, J., Appendino, G., Togni, S., Franceschi, F., & Valle, X. et al. (2014). Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-11-31

3Nicol, L., Rowlands, D., Fazakerly, R., & Kellett, J. (2015). Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(8), 1769-1777. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3152-6

4Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. (1998). Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers. Planta Medica, 64(4), 353-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-957450

5Delecroix, B., Abaïdia, A. E., Leduc, C., Dawson, B., & Dupont, G. (2017). Curcumin and Piperine Supplementation and Recovery Following Exercise Induced Muscle Damage: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 16, 147-153.

 

The Benefits of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) for Energy and Exercise

MCTs

Fats – the endless scrutiny continues. Which ones are bad for us? Which ones are meant to be good for us? Which ones will make us put on weight? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. The good news is there is one type of fat that experts agree we don’t need to be concerned about – one that is not only good for our health but can also improve our energy and the quality of our workouts.

Medium Chain Triglycerides/Triacylglycerols (MCTs) are a unique form of dietary fat that provide numerous health benefits. Their reduced chain length not only means that they carry fewer calories, it also allows for accelerated metabolic conversion. This means that instead of our bodies storing them as fat (like Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs)), the calories in MCTs are used immediately by our organs and muscles, making it one of the fastest, cleanest sources of fuel for the body.

MCTs have gained popularity with athletes looking to increase energy levels and enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise. 1 A review of the literature has shown that short-term ingestion of foods containing a small amount of MCTs suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during moderate-intensity exercise; whilst extending the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise, at levels higher than those achieved by ingestion of LCT-containing foods.2

MCTs have also been found to assist with weight loss because of their lower caloric content than other fats, as well as their ability to enhance metabolism, increase energy expenditure, and promote the production of ketones – all without adversely affecting metabolic risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure.1,3,4,5 Scientists have attributed the energy-enhancing properties of MCTs to their rapid formation of ketone bodies thus making them an excellent choice for anyone that has increased energy needs or requires enhanced athletic performance.

Now that we have cleared the air on this group of ‘super’ fats, it’s time to put them to use in your own daily routine. Nuzest’s Coffee, Coconut + MCT Clean Lean Protein contains approximately 600mg of coconut-derived MCTs per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre-workout protein smoothie.

Click here for our Pre-Workout Coffee, Coconut + MCT thick shake recipe to help get the best out of every workout.

 

References:

  1. Dean, W. & English, J. (2013). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging. Retrieved from https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/
  2. Nosaka, N., Suzuki, Y., Nagatoishi, A., Kasai, M., Wu, J., & Taguchi, M. (2009). Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate- and High-Intensity Exercise in Recreational Athletes. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 55(2), 120-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.55.120
  3. Mumme, K., & Stonehouse, W. (2015). Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(2), 249-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.10.022
  4. Rego Costa, A. C., & Rosado, E. L., & Soares-Mota, M. (2012). Influence of the dietary intake of medium chain triglycerides on body composition, energy expenditure and satiety; a systematic review. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 27(1), 103-108.
  5. St-Onge, M.-P., Bosarge, A., Goree, L. L. T., & Darnell, B. (2008). Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition27(5), 547–552.

 

The Importance of Protein in an Active Lifestyle

I think by this stage almost everyone knows that they ‘need’ protein, but in my lectures and workshops I still get questions like, “but won’t protein make me bulky?”, or, “won’t eating too much protein give me big muscles?”. And while most of us know that we do need to be eating ‘enough’ protein, less know how much ‘enough’ is and why it’s important!

What is it?
Protein quite simply is the building block of most of the structures in the body. ‘Protein’ is the name given to groupings of amino acids. Protein is broken down to these amino acids which are then used to create enzymes, muscle tissue, bone matrix and many other structural components of the body. All cells require protein.

Quick Fact: Over 98% of ALL the cells in your body are replaced every year!

Why do we Need it?
It helps us to become and remain lean! Protein has a higher ‘thermic effect of feeding’ (TEF) rating than either carbohydrates or fat. This means that when a higher proportion of your diet is protein your metabolic rate (and consequently fat loss) is going to be higher.

Improved Lean Body Mass
An optimal protein intake will allow us to maintain a higher lean body mass. This helps to give us the lean, fit looking physique that many desire (but not ‘bulky’!) whilst also improving metabolic rate further and helping to decrease fat stores and maintain leanness.

Improved Alertness and Focus
Amino acids supply the raw material for the excitatory neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, nor-epinephrine and dopamine. When we do not have enough of these amino acids we are more likely to suffer mental fatigue and physical fatigue.

Bone Structure and Health
Protein provides the matrix for bone and connective tissue. Ample protein helps to provide the structure for healthy bones!

How Much do we Need?
The recommended daily intake (RDA) for protein is based on the activity level of sedentary individuals and is measured by looking at the amount of protein taken in and compared with the amount excreted. It is approximately 0.8 grams per kilo of bodyweight.

What the RDA Doesn’t Take into Account
RDA and DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) are ‘necessary’ amounts for baseline health. In other words – survival. But the optimal amounts we need in order to thrive may be much different!

As long ago as 1975 Gontzea et al have shown that a level of 1.5grams per day per kilo of bodyweight were insufficient when exercise was undertaken and other studies have shown that Tour de France athletes were only able to maintain a positive nitrogen balance at an intake of 1.8g per kilo per day.

Levels up to 3g per kg bodyweight per day (over 3 x the RDA) have been demonstrated to increase lean body mass, reduce fat mass and improve performance.

Most people will do well to get at least the RDA level with additional protein if and when able but overall quantity should be less important though, than eating good quality protein consistently.

The key ‘take home’ point is to eat quality protein at every meal.

Examples of Good Clean Green Plant Based Sources Would be

  • Sprouted lentils, chick peas or mung beans
  • Nuts or seeds (almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds)
  • Tempeh or other fermented protein foods.
  • One 25g serve of Clean Lean Protein provides 22g of high quality protein.

The Singapore International Triathlon

Singapore International Marathon

The Singapore International Triathlon was a two-in-one meet for triathletes aiming to claim national glory. Besides serving as a national championship, the Sunday morning race also served as the final qualifying meet for athletes aspiring to be nominated to next year’s Commonwealth Games.

In this year’s championships, elite triathletes have a designated local-only category (1stwave start of the day at about 7:20 am) and we were also allowed to draft. There were 11 elite men and 3 elite females on the start line.

The swim leg was good, and into and out of T1, we had a tight bunch of 4. The pack worked really well together on the bike and that allowed us to adopt a pack strategy as we pulled and widened the gap between us and the rest. Transition through T2 was fast and I was out on the run in a blink. I went pretty hard on the 1st 3 km into the run to widen the lead as much as possible. My goal was just to go hard today and start getting on the ITU board for some valuable points to build a strong case for my nomination to compete at the Commonwealth Games, although I’ve already been nominated.

It has been a whirlwind since the beginning of this year for me, and I must honestly say it really hit me hard, really hard. I have my parents to thank for alwaysbeing there with and for me through these turbulent times. It helps, it really helped a lot – their advice, wisdom, warmth, love and above all their arms and shoulders are always a place I can turn to cry, hug and hide when I want to shut myself out and reflect.

The smiles came from loads of perspiration, tears, pain, sacrifices, commitment and my supportive and much-valued sponsors.

Thank you Nuzest for your never-ending support and encouragement. Securing my nomination with the Federation for both the Commonwealth & Asian Games in 2018, means a lot more work and sacrifice, goals to be achieved. Nuzest has become a necessary part of my day, and I’m really grateful for your faith in me and bringing me onboard. I am sure we’ll do Singapore proud together.

My next race in Japan – Murakami, on 24th September, will be a standard distance race. Till the next report, here’s wishing you pleasant weeks ahead. Tune-in then for more pictures and action in 2 weeks’ time.

There’s lots of work to do, and reflections to fine tune my standard distance race as I prepare for it.

The Steve Waugh Foundation’s “The Captain’s Ride”

Trevor Bolland, Nuzest’s founder and CEO is three months shy of participating in The Captain’s Ride; an annual 6 day, 800km bike tour of Tasmania in support of the Steve Waugh Foundation.

The Steve Waugh Foundation exists to champion the stories, provide life changing support and improve the quality of life for children and young adults (0-25) living with a rare disease. The Captain’s Ride is as beautiful as it is grueling, covering an expansive range of terrains over the distance.

Trevor is no stranger to committing his time, money and efforts into doing what he can in the hopes of improving the lives of others, in fact he has built his Sydney-based, globally reaching company on the premise of aiming to do just that.

His foray into the health industry was catalyzed in 2005 when his 23-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis – an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system for which modern medicine is yet to find a cure. Not satisfied with the bleak prognosis they were given they looked to experts all over the world for advice – from neurologists and scientists, to naturopaths and everyone in between.

The knowledge and insight they gained over those years was life changing and resulted in careers in the health industry for both, planting the seeds for what is now Nuzest – Nutrition for Life.

Armed with a team of world-renowned health professionals they developed Nuzest – a nutritional platform based on efficacy without compromise; bringing together the best of nutritional science and natural medicine

Nuzest products are designed to offer complete nutritional support to those suffering with chronic disease, those affected by dietary restrictions and people seeking to deal with weight problems. It aims to fill the nutritional gaps caused by consuming nutrient-deficient food, our modern stressful lifestyles and poor eating habits.

The Captain’s Ride is another opportunity for Trevor to continue his path of simply wanting to do what he can to help. Whilst each participant is set to raise a minimum of $10,000, Trevor has set his sights on $15,000, which he hopes will make a big difference to the lives of these courageous young people.

If you’d like to support Trevor in achieving his goal and contribute to putting rare diseases on the map any donation big or small will be so appreciated.

Link to Trevor’s fundraising page: https://www.stevewaughfoundation.com.au/events/fundraiser-dashboard?memberId=3917

If you’d like any further information on the event please see the website link: https://www.stevewaughfoundation.com.au/the-captains-ride/

And here’s a look at the 2016 ride: https://vimeo.com/208577694

Race report #3 from Triathlete and Nuzest Ambassador, Bryce Chong

It’s such a blessing when the race site has scenic views and clear waters. The weather was hot, but with the race starting at 5.45 am, it settled pleasantly. The sunrise was also early and beautiful.

The Standard Distance race for Elite men was on 13th August 2017. It was a pontoon start, with a line-up of 27 elite men from 9 different countries.

The currents were pretty strong that morning with an incoming tide, but I was able to maintain and managed a decent 1500-meter swim. I exited from the swim with the 2nd pack (there were 6 of us), and we maintained this 2nd pack for the entire 40 km bike route. There were 4 people in the lead pack. It was a scenic 4 loops, but it went pretty fast on relatively flat grounds. Our pack worked really well on the bike, and that helped us increase the gap from the chase pack.

The run was 3 loops of 3.333 km. Off the bike, I felt pretty good on the run. Water stops were well spaced out and I made sure to hydrate well because the temperature was rising fast. I maintained a good pace for 8 km with good surges. I started to feel the pain creeping in after the 8 km mark, but I’ve been working on learning to curb and endure this strain and pain, and still push on with a steady pace. Overall, it was a pretty decent run and I finished the race 15th overall, with a time of 2 hours 01 minute and 57 secs.

I was happy with my race outing at Mt. Mayon, especially after my run at Palembang just over 2 weeks ago.

When I returned, I had 2 full days off of training. Then, it was back to training full swing last weekend to prepare for the National Championship on 10th September 2017, and maybe another race end of September (not yet confirmed), as well as a race in 3rd week of October in Hong Kong.

Thank you Nuzest for your never-ending support and encouragement, it really spurs me on. I comforted and blessed to know I am not alone in my journey.

 

5 Meditation apps for people too busy to mediate

Everywhere you look, people these days are stressed out. There is a drive to cope and to survive. People are getting savvier about how chronic stress can lead to ill health. With the rise of stress levels and dwindling attention span, people are increasingly using technology to tap into age old technique of meditation.

Meditation apps are now trending big time. Meditation apps can help you chalk out time in your day to meditate and can teach you how to meditate. They range from meditation for beginners to extensive lessons and subscription tutorials.

Each meditation app has its own unique features. So simply take your headphones, close your eyes and let these apps guide you wherever you are.

1) Sattva:

satttva-phone 393x800

The app has tools that encourage and inspire you to make meditation a daily practice. The app includes a collection of free guided meditation and soothing music. This app not only helps you to keep track of your meditation timings but also helps you to track your state of mind pre and post meditation. Plus, it keeps records of all your meditation and you can unlock titles and achievements as you progress. For a beginner, this can be a good start.

2) AURA:

Aura 394x800The app has a different concept each day; you get a three-minute meditation that’s customized based on how you’re feeling in the present moment. When new users join, they get to answer a few questions to help the app understand their needs and their familiarity with meditation. They have a mood tracker to check how you’re feeling over time, and also they offers daily reminders for completing short breathing exercises. After each session, users can provide feedback that can help Aura become more in tune with their goals.

3) BUDDHIFY:

Buddhify 400x800The app introduces users to techniques of meditation compatible to urban lifestyles. It offers 80 guided meditations ranging in length from approximately 4 to 30 minutes. The 11 hours of guided meditations practices are designed for activities such as commuting, taking a short break at work, at the gym, and going to sleep, etc. There are also multiple voices to choose from until you find your favorite soothing voice. You can also track your progress through stats and graphs.

4) HEADSPACE:

Headspace 396x800Headspace teachs less spiritual and more science-based meditation techniques. They have one free section while access to the rest of the app requires a subscription. The Take10 series is free and comes with 10 daily guided meditations. Andy, the narrator is a Tibetan monk, has a soothing voice and makes it easy to meditate. You can download guided meditations for offline use as well. There is stepwise detail instruction given to users along with animations to guides you every possible way.

5) CALM:

Calm 450x800Calm explains the mindfulness meditation technique with the 7 Days of Calm. This features seven sessions of 10 minutes each. Once you complete seven sessions, you can move on to 21 Days of Calm and the full catalog with a paid subscription. The app offers sessions for situations, such as when you’re traveling, angry, or need to focus. The app keeps account through a calendar that shows you how many times you’ve meditated during the month.

Meditation is a personal practice. While one app may be perfect for one person, it may not work for others. Most of the above apps have a free trial option, so the best way to see what works for you is to try them.

 

This article was originally published by our friends at SOULSCAPE.ASIA.

Race report #2 from triathlete and Nuzest Ambassador, Bryce Chong

The last few races were blessed with heavy downpour and wet conditions; Palembang’s heat was totally merciless.

The race for Elite men was on 22nd July 2017 at 7 am. A pontoon start, with a lineup of 35 elite men and 28 U23 men starting together.

There was some shuffling and pulling during the swim leg, but otherwise it was a decent 1500-meter swim. There were several small packs upon swim exit, but it all formed out distinctively during the bike leg; 6 loops and the road was wide with several bends.  The 1st pack had 6 men, while the 2nd pack had 5 men. I was in the 3rd pack – which was also the biggest pack, with about 15 or so men. I was pretty happy with my bike leg that day.

The run was a 4 loop of 2.5 km, on a road without trees or shelter. The blazing sun and high humidity was unforgiving. During my first round in the run, I felt really lousy because I had this excruciating palpating pain on my head between my brows. After grabbing and pouring 1-1/2 bottles of water on my head and drinking the balance, the pain got slightly better, and I did surges to bridge the gap. The pain came back even stronger after my 2nd loop run and stayed. My thoughts were focused on my desire to complete the race, so I settled to a much slower pace, hydrating and pouring lots of water on myself at the 2 water stops to avoid crashing out under the heat and sun.

Ice cold towels greeted every athlete at the finish line. There were 3 to 4 athletes that succumbed to the unfriendly weather and DNF, and a good number who crossed the finish line had to be taken to the medical tent due to heat exhaustion and hallucinations, 2 or 3 had to be taken to hospital for IV drips. I’m really grateful and thankful I crossed the finish line, but had to be assisted to the medical tent to rest for about 20 minutes.

It wasn’t the decent time I was looking to do, but I am content that I was among the 2 other Singaporeans crossing the finish line for the Asian Games slot qualification.

Lots of work to do, and reflections to fine tune my game as I prepare for my next race.

THANK YOU Nuzest for your never-ending support and encouragement, it really spurs me on.

It’ll be 3 days of recovery before gradually gearing in again for my next race.

Till the next race, here’s wishing you all a very pleasant week and weeks ahead. Tune in again for more pictures and action in just 3 weeks’ time.