October 19, 2009

Dietary Alchemy

How much do we really know about diet? Are we still basing it off our grade school memory of the Canada Food Guide? For the most part, that’s where my mind goes to when I think about a healthy diet. I remember the four major food groups: Fruits and Vegetables are one, Proteins are another, then Dairy, and then Grains and Cereals. Eat three balanced meals throughout your day based on these groups and we should be good to go – I won’t argue that. BUT, is there more to it? Is there a smarter way to construct your diet?

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September 21, 2009

Coffee – An Athlete’s Edge

Who doesn’t like to wake up to a mornin’ cup’a joe?

For lots of us it’s a ritual, and for people like me it can be the reason I get out of bed, period. It’ll be 8:30am on a Saturday and I’ll be rolling over for another half hour of sleep when I’ll think, “Oooo… I could get up and have coffee!” The next thing I know, I’ll be up.

For a long time coffee had a bum wrap – it was simply considered bad for you and that was the end of it. Recently though, a lot more research has been done (notably on people who don’t also smoke) and suddenly that nasty cup of mud water has almost become a health drink. If you do a quick Google, articles pop up on how it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type 2 Diabetes, Cirrhosis of the liver, Arthritis and even certain types of cancers, liver cancer being one. That’s a pretty impressive resume for a beverage that used to be ‘bad’ for you. Coffee has also recently been cited as a proven performance enhancer for athletes. – Read More –

April 14, 2009

Drugs in Sport – No such thing as a level playing field

It’s only my opinion, but there is no such thing as a fair, or level playing field – not when you really get down to it. In the recent wake of the media mayhem surrounding Lance and the Tour, I sat around this weekend and gave it some thought, and in the realm of sports, amateur, professional or otherwise I couldn’t come up with any ironclad examples of truly pure, fair competition. Someone will always have an advantage of some kind, be that access to better training/coaching, better diet, better equipment, or enjoy better physical health and so on. Even something like home field advantage tips the scales of competition. Other factors like temperature, or altitude also factor in. If a team does its training session at sea level and then goes to play in Colorado, the mile high city, clearly they will be at a disadvantage to the team that plays and practices regularly in the thin air.

My point is, that short of cloning two identical teams and having them play in a kind of universal vacuum where every factor can be controlled and equalized, the concept of a level playing field just isn’t a reality. It’s a really nice thought, but that’s about it. – Read More –

February 16, 2009

Sports Drinks vs. Water

Haymaker’s Punch, or Switchel might have been the earliest form of the ‘Sports’ drink. It was a homemade mixture of water, vinegar and molasses, popular among American ranchers during the hot, hard working haying season. Sound like something you’d want to drink on a hot day?

Modern sports drinks have changed a lot since then, but in essence they remain the same as a water-based, sugary, salty and tart mixture that works to replenish carbohydrates, electrolytes, and various other nutrients while hydrating our bodies.

The Million Dollar Question:Do sports drinks hydrate us better than just water?

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