Tag Archives: sports recovery

Natural Energy from Oxygen in a Can

Canned oxygen has actually been around for many years. booost Oxygen have focused on the sporting benefits derived from inhaling almost pure oxygen. Their mantra is that they help sports people “get through the wall.”

The science isn’t that complicated – having a higher concentration of oxygen in your blood gives you more energy, and as Dr John Brewer from the Lilleshall Human Performance Centre says: “Extra oxygen enables you to recover more quickly from exertion. It allows someone to train and then exercise again.”

Here are some quick facts that might surprise you:

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Booost Oxygen tanks contain 99.5% oxygen with a natural peppermint flavouring
  1. Roger Bannister, the famous 4 minute miler used medical oxygen
  2. Oxygen gives us 80% of our energy, and food just 20%
  3. The brain, which is only 2% of your body by weight, uses 20% of the oxygen you inhale
  4. Before the industrial revolution oxygen levels on earth were as high as 38%. In some places now, they are down to 10%
  5. Oxygen is used as the first stage of treatment for victims suffering from any trauma

The product is being used by people in all areas of sport. Squash champions Amr Shabana and Daryl Selby are regular users, as is the UK’s strongest man, Eddie Hall. Professional rugby league teams are customers, as are triathletes, boxers and Muay Thai fighters. Team GB triathlete Mark Buckingham, who recently won his first world title, uses booost as an important part of his swim training program.

booost Oxygen is available in a “super tank” size, which provides up to 100 shots and now also comes in a “travel tank” size which provides over 20 shots – this was originally developed for cyclists to fit into their jerseys, but is also convenient for runners and will easily fit into the smallest handbag. The tanks contain 99.5% oxygen, with a natural peppermint flavouring which leaves the mouth feeling fresh.

In many ways, oxygen is a great sports supplement – it has no calories, no sugar and no caffeine, and it provides an energy burst which can enable athletes to lift more, go faster or just keep going.

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Magnesium – the humble mineral essential for sports

As the current generation of the world’s sporting elite bow at the biggest event on the planet, many athletes will be looking for that final ingredient to boost their athletic performance.

A growing number of doctors and professional coaches believe that magnesium is the single most important mineral to sports nutrition. Research has identified that even a marginal deficiency in magnesium can result in a significant reduction in exercise performance.

Magnesium allows the body to burn fuel and create energy in an efficient way which does not lead to lactic acid build up. However during vigorous exercise, critical minerals including zinc, chromium and selenium, in addition to massive amounts of magnesium, are excreted in sweat. Those minerals are then difficult to replenish.

Therefore athletes are often advised to increase portions of magnesium rich foods in their diet, such as green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. But there is evidence to suggest that this still isn’t enough for those taking part in regular sports, where magnesium will be lost much faster than average.

For example, it is extremely unusual that enough magnesium would be consumed by dietary sources alone. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) can be misleading, as they only represent the minimum amount that should be taken for the maintenance of health.

Transdermal magnesium chloride treatments should be used as a staple part of any sports nutrition programme. Transdermal application of Magnesium is particularly suitable for athletes who need high levels of magnesium and where oral supplementation is much less effective in the treatment of injuries and tired muscles.

Dr Popescu, Physician of the Romanian National Football Team, tested Magnesium Oil during Euro 2008 on his team both on and off the pitch. As a result, he now strongly recommends the product for further usage in other sports and teams, after it was found to be beneficial in 90 per cent of cases.

But it’s not just professional athletes who can benefit. Many studies have found that magnesium supplementation will also enhance the performance and endurance of long distance runners, skiers, cyclists and swimmers.

Of course, magnesium doesn’t just help with performance – we often forget how important recovery is. We all know the delights of the two day burn, and without quick and full recovery, training programmes can often be delayed. A concentrated magnesium bath – foot, or full body, will help relax cramping muscles as well as replace the lost magnesium.

There have been positive examples of faster recovery through supplying magnesium oil to various sports personalities. A strong example is Team GB women volleyballers, who have praised the performance and recovery effects of transdermal magnesium.

Transdermal Magnesium
Transdermal Magnesium may have better absorption rates and aid recovery in sporting individuals

Lucy Wicks, Vice-Captain of GB Women’s Volleyball Team, said: “Our intense preparation programme means we have long days of training which are tough and tiring and our bodies are being pushed to the limit. We particularly like the magnesium flakes which we use in a warm body soak after an ice bath. Our legs are definitely feeling the benefit– in fact they are feeling great!”

Sports injuries can also be avoided with transdermal magnesium therapy. Dr Jeff Schutt insists that a shortened hamstring is a result of a lack of magnesium. He believes that Magnesium Oil sprayed into a sore Achilles tendon, or soaking the feet in a magnesium rich chloride footbath as the single best thing – apart from stretching – that can be done to prevent hamstring or other sports injuries.

Dr Mark Sircus, author of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, firmly believes that a whole new world of sports medicine is going to explode onto the scene when athletes and coaches find out that magnesium chloride from natural sources is available for topical use.

There is virtually no one who can’t benefit greatly from increasing their daily magnesium intake – it is an essential part of health. For the professional athlete however, it can mean the difference between winning and losing, or even whether they are fit to compete at all.

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How Oxygen can help…

Oxygen – the natural energy provider

We’ve all heard the expression to “take a deep breath” when we’re stressed. We know that we yawn when we’re tired. And we all understand that we breathe harder when we exert ourselves.

In every case, it’s the body demanding more oxygen. Oxygen fuels our brain and our muscles and actually provides 90% of our nutritional energy.

Here are some interesting facts about oxygen:

  • Two thirds of the mass of the human body is oxygen
  • Oxygen concentration in our blood is around 60% to 70% – anything below 52% and life becomes extinct
  • Before the industrial revolution oxygen levels on the planet were as high as 38% – in some places now they are as low as 10%
  • Oxygen is colourless, odourless and tasteless. But as a liquid or solid, it’s pale blue
booost Oxygen
booost Oxygen can help when breathless at high altitude, during sports or due to pollution levels

Canned oxygen is becoming increasingly popular – celebrities like Simon Cowell and Lady Gaga are using it, and sports stars are increasingly incorporating oxygen into their training and nutrition plans, both to help peak performance and to aid recovery.

One way to think about oxygen is to imagine it like an energy drink – it really does give you that kind of boost, both mentally and physically. But the big benefit is that unlike most energy drinks, oxygen has no calories and no sugar in it, and you don’t suffer from a post caffeine “low” in the same way as you do with most concoctions.

bodykind has recently teamed up with British company booost Oxygen to offer their product to their customers. You can find booost on the bodykind website.

They recommend a few “shots” if you’re feeling tired or lethargic. For exercise, they suggest up to 5 beforehand, as many as are needed during the workout, and 5 more at the end during your recovery phase.

As well as booost focusing on the sports benefits of using oxygen, there are many other uses for canned oxygen:

  • There’s plenty of research that headache symptoms (particularly so called “cluster” headaches) can be relieved
  • Oxygen is well known as being helpful for hangover symptoms
  • People living in areas of high pollution may certainly benefit from breathing pure, clean oxygen
  • It’s helpful at altitude, so anybody visiting high places for skiing, snowboarding or hiking could use the product
  • Canned oxygen is no substitute for medically administered oxygen, but for scuba divers, when there is no alternative, puffing canned oxygen can help until any decompression symptoms are being properly treated
  • Although it can’t help with weight reduction, using it to keep you motivated whilst exercising could contribute to a weight loss programme

Written by the team at booost Oxygen

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Cherry Juice may improve sleep quality

A recent study carried out by researchers at Northumbria University has found that tart cherry juice improves both the quality and duration of sleep.

Drinking tart cherry juice can improve the quality and length of sleep
Drinking tart cherry juice can improve the quality and length of sleep

Participants in the study slept for an extra 25 minutes each night after drinking two servings of the juice drink during the daytime.

Tart Montmorency cherries contain significant amounts of melatonin, a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps to regulate sleep in humans.

The study required 20 healthy volunteers to drink a 30ml serving of either tart cherry juice or a placebo juice twice a day for seven days. Urine samples were collected from each participant to measure levels of melatonin.

The researchers found that when participants drank cherry juice for a week there was a significant increase in their urinary melatonin (15-16%) both compared to the placebo group and to their own measurements taken at the beginning of the study.

Each participant wore an actigraphy watch sensor to monitor their sleep and wake cycle. Participants also kept a daily ‘sleep diary’ to record their own sleep patterns.

The actigraphy measurements showed that those who consumed the cherry juice saw an increase of around 25 minutes in their total sleep time and a 5-6% increase in their ‘sleep efficiency’, which means that they spent less time lying in bed awake.

The sleep diaries kept by the participants also showed that cherry juice drinkers spent less time napping in the daytime than they did before the study began. During the study, they also spent less time napping than the placebo group.

Study leader, Dr Howatson, said: “These results show that tart cherry juice can be used to facilitate sleep in healthy adults and, excitingly, has the potential to be applied as a natural intervention [to] populations with insomnia and general disturbed sleep from shift work or jet lag.”

In clinic, I often recommend the tart cherry concentrate, CherryActive, to sports nutrition clients. This is because its high antioxidant content improves muscle recovery between workouts. I suspect that the improved sleep quality afforded by the melatonin in cherry juice might also account for the benefits that athletes feel when using this drink.

In many countries, melatonin supplements are available over the counter. They are often used by shift workers, or those suffering with jet lag or other sleep difficulties. In the UK, where melatonin supplements are not freely available, tart cherry juice appears to represent a safe and effective natural alternative.

Written by Nadia Mason,  BSc MBANT NTCC CNHC

References

Howartson G, Bell, PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, McHigh MP, Ellis J. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European Journal of Nutrition, October 30th, 2011.

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