Common Exercise Injuries To Look Out For

One of my passions lies in sports medicine, specifically Athletic Training (hence the ATC/L credentials).

Today’s post features a topic that is near and dear to my heart. This is because one of my passions lies in sports medicine, specifically Athletic Training (hence the ATC/L credentials). With that being said I want to remind everyone that I am not writing the content of these email, but merely sharing tips and tricks of the gym. So I feel I must say that what you are about to read is not intended to diagnose or treat anyone’s specific problem, and if you have any specific questions please visit your doctorūüôā
Okay lets get to the heart of this weeks topic EXERCISE INJURIES!!! Growing up without an ATC at any of my sporting event I had to do a lot of self assessment and treatment which is why I got my undergrad in Athletic Training. This post was written by Linda Melone on theprevention.com website, and features one of my favorite people to follow Dr. David Geier. It is very well written and features 8 injuries that I have seen/treated/experienced many times with excellent suggestions on how to avoid them.
1. Patella femoral overuse syndrome
Also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and Runner Knee, this common problem manifests as pain under the kneecap that worsens when running, going down stairs, or sitting for long periods of time with knees bent. Tips to avoid this issue include strengthening the quadriceps muscles, as well as hamstrings and calves..
2. Rotator cuff tear
This injury involves damage to one of the four rotator cuff muscles that keeps your shoulder socket in place. Avoid repetitive overhead motions, and consider seeing a doctor if you modify your workout to minimize pain without improvement for a few days.
3. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
This issue is more often than not a non-contact injury. It tends to happen when you land awkwardly from a jump, stop suddenly, change directions rapidly, and slowing down while running. There are many prevention programs, and bio-mechanics experts (cough cough) that can aid in preventing these injuries. However, preventative steps include always trying to land softly on your toes with your knees bent.
4.¬†Boxer’s fracture
“Even if you’re not a fighter, participating in boxing classes or other training programs where you punch pads held by a trainer or you pummel a heavy bag can result in a boxer’s fracture.” I see these injuries more often in novice “punchers” and frustrated teenagers who punch the ground. Easy preventative steps include¬†proper protection on your hands and again proper bio-mechanics.
5. Hamstring strain
Also known as a pulled muscle, these injuries can take as little as a few days or a week or two to heal or as much as six to eight weeks or even more! Prevention includes warming up thoroughly and knowing how/when to stretch.
6. Ankle fracture
These nasty injuries, along with ankle sprains, happen when¬†you land awkwardly and invert or “twist” your ankle. Having proper proprioception (hand eye coordination) and¬†making every effort to avoid landing on uneven surfaces are good strategies to avoid these problems.
7. Labral tear (shoulder)
I have had the unique pleasure of suffering, and getting surgery for, this injury myself! Although my injury was from a stiff arm during rugby, the author sums the core issue well as “Falling on an outstretched hand during a cardio class, a sudden pull trying to lift a heavy weight in CrossFit, or trying to stop yourself from falling can all result in this injury, defined as a tear of the cartilage bumper within the socket of the shoulder.” To avoid this injury, use a proper weight and, notice the common theme, use proper bio-mechanics.
8. Stress fracture
These tricky injuries also known as hairline fractures, often happen due to repetitive stress and usually take time to develop. Stress fractures are largely preventable if you stick to a plan that never increases your exercise by more than 10% per week and has varying routines.
I hope this post was informative, and if you want some more detail please read the article by clicking here.

All About Shoulder Strength & Stability

How to maximize your shoulders’ ability to move in a safe and injury resistance manner.

You have a choice. You can either move around in almost any direction, but be at a high risk of injury, or you can be strong, stable, and at a low risk of injury, but you can only move around a little bit. Which choice sounds better to you? Well, if you’re the joints of the hands and feet you chose the latter. But if you’re the shoulder joint, you chose the former. Being such a dynamic joint with a very low level of stability, the shoulder is ¬†naturally very prone to injury. That’s why today’s post is all about how to maximize your shoulders’ ability to move in a safe and injury resistance manner.
How It Works
There‚Äôs a lot of moving parts¬†when we talk about getting the arm overhead. There are 12 ribs and their spinal attachments, 10 of which have attachments at the chest. You also have scapular motion through 3 dimensions (to the side, to the front, and rotations), humeral rotation and alignment within the glenoid fossa, AC and SC joint motions or limitations, spinal motion of, at minimum, the 12 thoracic spine segments, and¬†24 muscles that attach through the thoracic spine, scapula and humerus. In total,¬†there’s motion from 38 joints, making for a whole lot of potential for things to get¬†wonky. By simply raising your arms overhead, a trained eye can tell a lot about what’s going on in the upper body. Take a look at the table below, or¬†this video, to see how important it is for the muscles and the joints of the upper body to be in sync (1).
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What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
One thing that drives the issues seen above is the ever-growing tendency for us to sit! Putting other health issues aside, sitting is bad for us because it drives poor posture. Sitting drives the head forward and bends the spine in a way that makes it difficult for the shoulders to allow the arm to get overhead. It also decreases the flexibility of the big Lats and reduces the strength of the lower traps, rotator cuff, and serratus anterior (2). You may not care about those muscles, but what you probably care about is the fact that these issues can cause problems that include subacromial impingement, rotator cuff tears, glenohumeral inferior instability, sternoclavicular joint pain, acromioclavicular joint pain, glenohumeral osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder syndrome, scoliosis, lateral epicondylalgia, kyphosis, thoracic outlet syndrome, headaches, neck pain, and upper crossed syndrome (3,4). YIKES! 
 
Inline image 2
 
What’s The Best Solution?
The best solution always depends on the problem. So what’s your problem? Well, if you have to ask, you may want to seek out a professional to help you find out. In general, most people should work on a few things in particular. If you are fit and looking to do overhead or military presses to get big strong shoulders, you need to¬†work on technique¬†and¬†changing up your mode of training¬†(i.e. using resistance bands with dumbbells,¬†bottoms up training, or changing the plane of motion). If you’re not quite ready for that level of intensity, you should be working on some basics.¬†Essentially, you need to get some scapular (shoulder blade) positional stability and glenohumeral stability. Try to resist rotating the torso, and use a little bit of abs to hold it all together.¬†Here are some great exercises¬†to work on basic shoulder stability (5,6):
 
Inline image 3
 
Prone extension – Lie face down with the shoulders resting in 90¬į and raise the arms up off of the ground
Forward flexion in side lying – While lying on your side with your top arm straight, raise and lower your arm off of the ground
External rotation in side lying – While lying on your side¬†elbow flexed 90¬į, rotate your arm upward¬†with a towel between the elbow and trunk to avoid compensatory movements
Prone horizontal abduction with external rotation – While lying face down hands by your hips, raise your arms off of the ground and squeeze your shoulders together
Push up plus РWhile in a push up position against a wall or on the ground, perform a full push up and emphasis on an extra push once the arms are fully extended (bonus points for using an unstable surface)
Plank walking РHold a push-up position with the feet together and walk the hands sideways while keeping the feet in place making an arch
Bottom Line
To have healthy shoulders, good posture, and lower chances of upper body pain and injury, you need to work on the basics. External rotation exercises are underappreciated by almost everyone. Whether you like to lift heavy weights, or if you simply want to place a can of beans on the top shelf without pain, you need to be working on shoulder health. And while there are many ways to achieve happy shoulders, simply working on the muscles of the back is a good place to start. So, sit up in your chair, roll your shoulders back a few times, and take a deep belly breath. See how easy it is to get started?!
References
1. Howe, L., & Blagrove, R. (2015). Shoulder function during overhead lifting tasks: implications for screening athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 37(5). 
2. Weon, J., Oh, J., Cynn, H., Kim, Y., Kwon, O., & Yi, C. (2010). Influence of forward head posture on scapular upward rotators during isometric shoulder flexion. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 14(4), 367-374. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2009.06.006
3. Nagai, K., Tateuchi, H., Takashima, S., Miyasaka, J., Hasegawa, S., Arai, R.. . Ichihashi, N. (2013). Effects of trunk rotation on scapular kinematics and muscle activity during humeral elevation. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology : Official Journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, 23(3), 679-687. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2013.01.012
4. Fayad, F., Roby-Brami, A., Yazbeck, C., Hanneton, S., Lefevre-Colau, M., Gautheron, V.. . Revel, M. (2008). Three-dimensional scapular kinematics and scapulohumeral rhythm in patients with glenohumeral osteoarthritis or frozen shoulder. Journal of Biomechanics, 41(2), 326-332. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.09.004
5. De Mey, K., Danneels, L., Cagnie, B., & Cools, A. M. (2012). Scapular muscle rehabilitation exercises in overhead athletes with impingement symptoms: Effect of a 6-week training program on muscle recruitment and functional outcome. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(8), 1906-1915
6.¬†de Ara√ļjo, R. C., de Andrade, R., Tucci, H. T., Martins, J., & de Oliveira, A. S. (2011). Shoulder muscular activity during isometric three-point kneeling exercise on stable and unstable surfaces. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 27(3), 192.

Making Mornings Beter

Without a doubt mornings can suck, but they don’t have to!

Today’s post is a double whammy, because we have 2¬†posts on the docket. Of course they are both related to making your mornings easier, and starting your day off right. This is an area that I personally struggle with for many reasons. For one, I like to stay socially active, and many of my friends don’t have the same hours that I do. Whats worse is that my wife is a college student and she is never up in the morning, and gets home around my bed time. So if I want to spend time with her I need to push my physical limits to make it happen (which I am always happy I do). If these examples sound familiar then you know how much beds can resemble quick sand in the morning. The more you struggle to get out, the more it seems to suck you right back in.
So without a doubt mornings can suck, but they don’t have to. In fact mornings can be the best time of the day, especially when its your exercise time. So the¬†two¬†blogs¬†that I am featuring today include why the TV is bad for bed time, and ways to make morning exercise happen happily.
So the first¬†step to making mornings better is to get enough sleep. Since we can’t really add hours to the day and make our wake up time later, we need to make sure that we go to bed on time. Here are a few times to make it happen:
1. Sleep Debt.
Even if you stay up later by only a few minutes a night due to screen time, you can develop a “sleep debt” by not getting the rest the brain needs. And until that debt is paid off you will suffer the consequences of feeling tired all day long.
2. Altered Brain Bedtime Habits.
Believe it or not the brain learns habits and behaviors of falling asleep. Making the TV a part of the habit can create a positive feedback loop that exacerbates issue #1.
3. TV Makes You Take Longer to Fall Asleep, and Wake Up Earlier.
This is bad for obvious reasons, and happens because the stories and dramas on TV can raise stress levels.
4. Wakes You Up More Often.
This is because the stimulating effect of light tells our brains ‚Äúgo!‚ÄĚ
5. Poorer Sleep Quality.
Because of the reasons above it’s obvious why the quality of what little sleep you get is poorer
The¬†second¬†post is a list of 24 hacks to make waking up to exercise easier. I’ll cover my top 5 favorites, but I highly suggest you check out the whole blog post.
1. Pack accordingly and get in bed early.
The most important thing for me to do when I get home is unpack from the day, and repack for tomorrow. No one wants to scramble around in the morning so make life easier and make it happen before you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
2. Make it a habit.
There’s that “H” word again! If it is a morning task, rather than a habit, you are more likely to not do it. So do workout 2-3 times per week in the morning, do it every day to make harder to skip out on.
3.¬†Think about how you’ll feel afterward.
Have you ever dreaded going to the gym or doing a workout, but once your done exercising feel great? I do. All the time pretty much. I sometimes hate the thought of exercise, but once I buckle down and get started I know that I will feel like a million bucks. Keeping that thought in the back of my mind can be the difference between actually getting it done or not.
4. Schedule brunch.
We all know nutrition is important, so have a daily meal scheduled after your workout. Have a continuous appointment set with a friend, family, or pet to eat after you workout to get you through the day, and get protein to those muscles! More importantly, it will be another habit that you won’t want to break by skipping a workout.
5. Do it no matter what.
Even if you just get up and piddle around for a little bit, it’s better than doing nothing at all. I’d rather go through the motions than feel like I let my self down later in the day.

About Cupping: Good For Your Health or Just a Hickey?

Let’s take a look at the history of poor decision making by Olympians, what cupping is and its supposed benefits, and what it actually does.

If you have been watching the Olympics at all, you probably have noticed the results of cupping. And by that I mean the ridiculous red circles that can be found on many of the athletes. But, I mean if they’re doing it, it must work, right?!?! Well after some digging, I have the answer to that question. So let’s take a look at the history of poor decision making by Olympians, what cupping is and its supposed benefits, and what it actually does.
 
Pursuit Of Excellence 
Olympic athletes are not the same as you and I. They will do anything to get the gold. That’s why over the years they have been the test subjects for many ridiculous health practices. They are willing to try anything, even if it’s nonsense. Athletes can be¬†very superstitious¬†and often believe anything they hear. In the past, they have brought us¬†money wasting scams¬†like¬†Energy Bracelets,¬†negative ions¬†or energy frequency therapies, and the every popular¬†kinesio tape. None of these remedies have been shown to work, and they all have risen and abruptly fallen out of vogue as soon as the athletes get wise to it. But is cupping going to make a rapid disappearance, or is it here to stay?
What Is Cupping?
At its core, cupping is a form of bloodletting intended to remove stagnant blood, expel heat, and treat high fever, loss of consciousness, convulsions, and pain. The process of cupping involves taking cups, which are usually glass but can also be plastic, bamboo or anything, are placing them on the skin, and reducing the air pressure in them via pumps or by heating them and causing cooling contraction. The cups are placed according to traditional acupuncture points. After the cups are removed, bruises remain.
Inline image 1
Today, cupping is used for different purposes and advertised in ways that don’t involve the words “blood letting” for obvious purposes. Modern day cupping works by helping to align and relax qi. Back here on earth where reality is, cupping¬†has been thought to¬†draw blood to the affected area and produce hyperemia or hemostasis, which result in a therapeutic effect (1).¬†Cupping can be sold to us by saying that the suction will remove undescribed and nonspecific “toxins” from the body, even though¬†we don’t have toxin glands. And like other nonsense therapies, it has been claimed to treat and cure loads of ailments such as¬†herpes, muscle strain, “meridian” diagnosis, as well as to increase blood flow, activate the immune system, cure back pain, and 999 other diseases (2).
Does It Work? You Better Believe It!
There is a¬†ton of research¬†on cupping. And out of all the ailments that it is reported to help, pain management is the only one that has a shred of evidence.¬†A very tiny shred¬†at that. Of course there is no credible evidence that it helps¬†athletic performance, be it in swimming or any other sport.¬†This is, in part, due to the fact that¬†research into cupping is mostly negative or of poor quality and with high bias (3). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try! Even though currently,¬†there is a lack of dosage guidelines or known effect¬†which means practitioners are pretty much¬†making it up as they go along¬†doesn’t mean it won’t work. I mean, if pro athletes think it’s doing something even though it has no positive effect on the human body in regards to recovery or pain, then it must be working some other way right? If you’re asking that question, you would be right. The best explanation of how cupping works is through a¬†psychological mechanism.¬†In other words, cupping works because people think it works. The word placebo comes to mind. So even though the data says that it won’t work for anyone, if you believe hard enough it will work, great for you!
Inline image 2
Whats The Worst That Could Happen
Okay. You decided that I am full of crap and that the appeal to antiquity is too strong on this one not to give it a try. So what’s the worst that could happen, you get a few bruises? Well when it’s all said and done, you don’t want to be one of the unlucky ones. With any treatment, there are side effects.¬†Cupping has some nasty ones. You could end up with large¬†holes in your back, or a hemorrhaged artery (4) or maybe something less serious like a burn or infection. Wet cupping does draw blood after all, and our skin is never all that clean.¬†Cupping is no different than acupuncture, bloodletting, phrenology, or any other medical pseudoscience. The treatment is based in¬†pre-scientific superstitions, and has simply been re-branded in order to more effectively market the treatment to modern customers.
If you’re looking to recover quickly after exercise, or perhaps for some pain relief, I suggest you skip the cups and the bruises and just get a nice massage. A good massage is relaxing, which is something we all need at times. But on top of this, it can significantly improve the healing of muscle,¬†reduce tissue inflammation, and promote cell regrowth (5). Now there’s something to get excited about!

 

References

  1. Cao, H., Li, X., & Liu, J. (2012). An updated review of the efficacy of cupping therapy. PloS One, 7(2), e31793.
  2. Bamfarahnak, H., Azizi, A., Noorafshan, A., & Mohagheghzadeh, A. (2014). A tale of persian cupping therapy: 1001 potential applications and avenues for research. Forschende Komplementärmedizin (2006), 21(1), 42.
  3. Lee, M. S., Kim, J., & Ernst, E. (2011). Is cupping an effective treatment? an overview of systematic reviews. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 4(1), 1.
  4. Interv Neuroradiol. 2016 Aug 1. pii: 1591019916659264. Extracranial vertebral artery rupture likely secondary to “cupping therapy” superimposed on spontaneous dissection.
  5. Crane, J. D., Ogborn, D. I., Cupido, C., Melov, S., Hubbard, A., Bourgeois, J. M., & Tarnopolsky, M. A. (2012). Massage therapy attenuates inflammatory signaling after exercise-induced muscle damage. Science Translational Medicine, 4(119), 119ra13.

Water Water Everywhere!

Today’s post is another double whammy! I am talking about staying healthy in the pool, and for those non-swimmers, the delicious healthiness of watermelon.

Today’s post is another double whammy! I am talking about staying healthy in the pool, and for those non-swimmers, the delicious healthiness of watermelon. I figure that in this heat everyone should be looking to use one or both of these things to stay cool¬†
Watermelon is one of my favorite foods because of how useful it is. Whether you slice it, cube it, freeze it, or make a drink from it, watermelon is endlessly delicious. Better yet, it is HEALTHY! Some of it’s good qualities include:
– Natural hydrator by containing 92% water
РHaving heart healthy nutrients such as lycopene and citrulline
РAn arginine precursor that can decrease body fat and enhance muscle
РDecrease post-exercise muscle soreness
Now that we know that watermelon helps out so much with exercise, lets take a look at swimming as a way to stay healthy. We all know that swimming is a great way to stay in shape. In fact swimming has been shown to reduce death rates in men, as well as decrease blood pressure. But it is not without its own set of risks for orthopedic injuries of the shoulders, knees, and lower back. So here are a few tips to keep those joints feeling good:
– Work on your stroke mechanics, and correct them before you develop pain
РUse traditional rehabilitation exercises as part of your injury prevention program. Target and strengthen the abdominal muscles, rotator cuff muscles, muscles around the shoulder blade, lower back muscles, and quadriceps and hip muscles (see me for details on how)
– When you are experiencing pain, tell some one and ADDRESS IT!!! Don’t fight through the pain. It drives me nuts when my athletes do this.
I hope everyone enjoyed this weeks post! Be sure to check out the¬†NASM¬†blog post about watermelon to get some great recipes, and check out Dr. Geier’s¬†blog¬†for more info about preventing injuries while swimming.

All About Sugar; Disease, Inflammation, Insulin, & Fat Gain

So what really happens when you eat sugar?

You eat sugar, your insulin spikes, you get fat, end of story. That’s how the story¬†goes¬†for people who are trying to sell you their products. But, because you are reading this,¬†you must already know that the likes of food babe and “Dr.” Mercola are full of crap. So what really happens when you eat sugar? Well let’s take a look at what the science says and dispel some myths and ease the fear caused by those only looking to line their wallets.
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Low Carb Diets
I’ll start by saying low carb diets work (1). They work because they force you to eat fewer calories than you use throughout the day. The same way that any weight loss program works. But it’s¬†not¬†due to some magical¬†insulin pixie. When you cut out a ton of calories, you are going to lose weight. It may seem obvious, but too many people mix up the message. A big part of why cutting carbs lowers your weight is due to water.¬†Switching to a low carb diet will cause an initial sharp¬†increase¬†¬†in total weight loss, but this is due to the drop in water weight that accompanies carb restriction (2). Of course this means¬†that¬†as soon as you start eating carbs again, you will regain the weight rapidly. Finally,¬†many are¬†successful on a low carb diet¬†because it automatically increases protein, which helps to curb appetite (3). They also typically eliminate all junk foods, which is where our excess calories come from.¬†Bottom line, if it works,¬†it works.
Inline image 2
About Insulin
I have written about this twice before (Part 1,¬†Part 2), but the more internet garbage I read, the more I want to write about it. Here’s a¬†good way¬†think about insulin’s roll in weight gain¬†‚ÄúInsulin is like workers in a warehouse.¬†Calories are the boxes that the workers have to stack on shelves.¬†If there‚Äôs lots of workers (high levels of insulin) and lots of boxes (a calorie surplus) then the boxes are packed quickly, and you get a build up of calories, i.e. fat gain.¬†If, however, you‚Äôre in a calorie deficit,¬†there are no boxes for the workers to store, so no matter how much insulin is present, there‚Äôs nothing to be stacked, and no fat mass to be added.‚ÄĚ In¬†other words, the only time carbs actually contribute to fat gain is in the context of a calorie surplus. It is also important to note that insulin sensitivity issues are most likely a result of obesity than it is a cause (4).¬†Bottom line, it’s not the insulin.
 
Fructose & High Fructose Corn Syrup
For some crazy reason, there are people on the internet who are ranting on about how bad fruit is for you because it has fructose in it. In short, fruit is good for you for many reasons, and fructose is not bad. Moderate levels of fructose consumption do not adversely effect body weight or blood chemistry. However, obscenely high levels of intake (>150 grams per day) may have undesirable health effects (5). High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been blamed for the rise in obesity over the years. But the reality is that HFCS is the same as any other sugar and has nothing to do with the rise in obesity (6). Bottom line, HFCS and fructose are sugar and nothing more. Keep your consumption in check and you will be fine.
Sugar Addiction
Not so long ago,¬†I can remember news outlets around the US saying that sugar is as addictive as narcotics. The thought was that sugars would impact the pleasure center of your brain as well as energy-regulating hormones including insulin, leptin, and ghrelin.¬†This issue was popular because it would mean that our addiction would lead us to eat more sugar, which would make us eat more calories, and therefore make us fat. These stories got lots of views and clicks,¬†so the media kept¬†em comin¬†for a while. The problem is that the stories were based on terrible studies. In reality, the “addiction” seen in animals (and possibly in humans) is due to intermittent access to sweet tasting or highly palatable foods, not the neurochemical effects of sugar (7).¬†Bottom line, no one has ever needed to do a line of sugar because they got the shakes.
Inflammation, Diabetes, Heart Health & More
People from around the world, throughout history and today, have lived long,¬†obesity-free¬†and disease-free, lives while consuming carbs as much as 70% of their diets (8,9).¬†If carbs themselves are fattening, these populations would not have had lean bodies and good health overall, regardless of how active they were.¬†I’ve also heard talk around the gym lately that carbs, sugar in particular, cause¬†inflammation¬†and are therefore bad. Don’t get me wrong, chronic low grade¬†inflammation¬†is a¬†real¬†thing,¬†and it is bad, but it’s¬†not caused by¬†fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, or glucose in¬†normal-weight to obese adults. Not even when¬†consumed¬†in high¬†amounts¬†(10). There’s also¬†little support for a relationship between sugar consumption and diabetes, increases in blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or¬†cardiovascular disease (11).¬†Bottom line, there’s no link between sugar consumption at normal levels within the human diet and various adverse metabolic and health-related effects.
Night Time Carbs
You will never guess what I’m about to say.¬†Carbs at night… are not bad! They can help you sleep,¬†help fuel training performance¬†the next day, and¬†carbs at night will have absolutely no negative effect on fat loss (12). Consuming food at night has no effect on overall metabolism either.¬†Bottom line, be happy with your meals and don’t sweat that night time snack.
 
Final Thoughts
Low carb diets are good and bad. As mentioned before, going low carb or ketogenic means your diet is higher in protein, which helps to curb appetite and eliminates junk foods, which is where our excess calories come from. But in the long term,¬†it means you have to sacrifice a lot. You will have a harder time going out and eating with friends, preparing meals will become far less convenient (especially for sandwich lovers like myself). You might feel worse,¬†and have lower energy¬†and overall mood.¬†If¬†anything,¬†it will make it harder to lose fat in the long run due¬†to¬†a (slightly) lowered metabolism (13). Some may say “if it works,¬†it works” but is it really worth the sacrifice? That’s up to you.¬†The bottom line¬†however, is that carbs don’t make you fat. So the next time someone says that sugar is making the world fat, tell them “it‚Äôs because of junk food as a whole ‚Äď the total calories ‚Äď and not just the carbs.”
References
1. Westman, E. C., Yancy, J., William S, Mavropoulos, J. C., Marquart, M., & McDuffie, J. R. (2008). The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1), 36-36. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-5-36
2. Kreitzman, S. N., Coxon, A. Y., & Szaz, K. F. (1992). Glycogen storage: Illusions of easy weight loss, excessive weight regain, and distortions in estimates of body composition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 56(1 Suppl), 292S.
3. Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., Lemmens, S. G., & Westerterp, K. R. (2012). Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. The British Journal of Nutrition, 108 Suppl 2(S2), S105. doi:10.1017/S0007114512002589
4. Kahn, S. E., Prigeon, R. L., McCulloch, D. K., Boyko, E. J., Bergman, R. N., Schwartz, M. W.. . Palmer, J. P. (1993). Quantification of the relationship between insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in human subjects. evidence for a hyperbolic function. Diabetes, 42(11), 1663.
5. Madero, M., Arriaga, J. C., Jalal, D., Rivard, C., McFann, K., Pérez-Méndez, O.. . Lozada, L. S. (2011). The effect of two energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet versus a moderate natural fructose diet, on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters: A randomized controlled trial. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, 60(11), 1551-1559. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2011.04.001
6. White, J. S. (2008). Straight talk about high-fructose corn syrup: What it is and what it ain’t. United States: American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.25825B
7. Westwater, M. L., Fletcher, P. C., & Ziauddeen, H. (2016). Sugar addiction: The state of the science. European Journal of Nutrition, doi:10.1007/s00394-016-1229-6
8. Lindeberg, S., Eliasson, M., Lindahl, B., & Ahr√©n, B. (1999). Low serum insulin in traditional pacific islanders‚ÄĒThe kitava study. Metabolism, 48(10), 1216-1219. doi:10.1016/S0026-0495(99)90258-5
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Stopping DOMS

Today’s post is all about mitigating Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Today’s¬†post is all about mitigating Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Now I want to be clear that DOMS is neither a good or a bad thing. It is just a part of the exercise experience for all of us. However, no one wants to be disabled the day after a heavy exercise session. So in an attempt to help us all walk normally after leg day, I will do my best to explain what causes DOMS, and how to dampen it.
Speaking of leg day, I think we have all been there. Day 1 you squat. Day 2 you feel tight. Days 2.5-4  you feel like every step, stair, and leg movement will make you cry. Days 6-7 you start to feel better and you do leg day again. This problem is experienced frequently and more severely with the initiation of an exercise program in a previously untrained person or muscle group. There is debate as to the exact cause of DOMS, however it is safe to say that muscle damage plays a large roll in its causation.
Here are a few ways to prevent DOMS when starting a new program, brought to you by the NSCA.
1. Caffeine! That’s right, a cup of Joe can help relieve some of that muscle pain. But the dose and timing make this intervention difficult to nail down. Around 5 mg/kg before a workout is recommended, but that equation isn’t always right for everyone.
2. Cryotherapy – This fancy term for ice bath, is an intervention that has been used for years. But realistically it’s just not practical. No one likes to be dunked in cold water, and especially not for the 10 minutes suggested. But hey, I won’t stop you if you want to turn your self into a Popsicle to avoid a little pain the day after a heavy lift.
3.¬†Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) – I am personally not a big fan of this intervention. Research shows that it has modest effects, and there’s no consensus on how much to take or when. For me, the best option is to take a high quality protein before and after exercise. It’s cheaper, tastier, and has a multitude of additional benefits.
4. Aerobic exercise – This should already be a part of your exercise routine, so it should be easy to implement. Doing 10-20 minutes worth of cardio before resistance exercise, or using active rest between sets, can be a great way to off set some DOMS.
I hope you all learned about some new ways to decrease your DOMS. Be sure to check out the full article for more information about each intervention, and to check out some of the science behind it all.