So my notes from a recent lecture, "Performance Eating for Endurance Activities", are simply notes for me and don't mean much to anyone else reading them. Merely outline headers as prompts for me on the information that I wanted to share. But, here is one of the main take-home items from the overall information:
Reduce Inflammation for increased Endurance Capacity in Life.
Here's why and here's how...
When it comes to food and our bodies there are two major factors that underline everything else: "Absorption and Utilization".
Basically, in order to 'utilize' anything that we consume, we need to be able to effectively (and hopefully efficiently) 'absorb' the food, water, vitamin, supplement, etc. into our body through our gastrointestinal tract. In order to rebuild muscle, rehydrate, and/or heal from injury or working out, we need to be able to get the nutrients into the bloodstream and then dispersed to the correct tissue or organ.
This happens through food or supplement being broken down into it's basic components (protein, carbohydrate, fat, water, vitamin, and/or mineral) and binding to the appropriate receptors on the intestinal lining. If the item does not bind to the appropriate receptor then it continues through the intestinal tract and comes out as an "expensive urine or bowel movement". Expensive because the high quality, organic, "free-range", grass-fed, or expensive supplement or vitamin goes straight through the body and is not put to good use.
One of the two ways that Inflammation can negatively affect your Endurance Capacity is to inhibit the absorption of the food/supplement item.
The lining of your intestinal tract has millions of tiny finger-like projections, called villi, that have the receptors for the basic components of food to be absorbed through on their surface. Using a hand and finger-like analogy, these receptors are all over each finger including down in the webbing between the fingers/villi. In the presence of an irritating substance, these villi become irritated and inflamed and much like a hand swelling up from inflammation, the receptors are 'covered up' by the surface of the swollen finger(s) on either side. The number of receptors that are available and accessible for the food components to be absorbed through are significantly reduced. So, as an example, if there are 100 items to be absorbed, the reduced number of accessible receptors means that perhaps only 50 of the items will be absorbed. Less absorbed means less transported through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream and therefore, less utilized. So, whatever 'expensive' supplement or food you take in is not fully absorbed and therefore not fully utilized. A specific example might be someone who wants to benefit from a specific and researched supplement X. The research says that the correct amount of X to take in order to see benefits is 2 grams. Well, with the scenario outlined above, the 2 grams is consumed, but only 1 gram of X may be absorbed and therefore the benefit will not be seen. The conclusion might be, "The supplement X does not work for me...". When in fact it would work if it was properly absorbed.
The second way in which Inflammation can negatively affect your Endurance Capacity is through a protein secreted by the Liver and fat cells called CrP (C-Reactive Protein). CrP is secreted in the presence of inflammation which the body interprets as irritation and/or injury. CrP has been linked to increase occurrence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. Bad stuff to say the least and big detriments to Endurance Capacity. Irritating, and therefore inflamming, the intestinal tract can increase the production of CrP which causes a myriad of other health problems which negatively affects your Endurance Capacity.
How do you decrease the likelihood that this will happen?
Simple, eat "Food".
Food, made up of protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals is easily absorbed and utilized by the body because the intestinal tract does not get irritated when it is consumed.
What does irritate the intestinal tract is "non-Food".
Here is a short list of "non-Food" items that irritate and inflame the intestinal tract:
Partially Hydrogenated ______
Modified ______ Starch
Autolyzed ________ Extract (MSG)
Hydrolyzed _________ Protein
MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG)
Red, Blue, Yellow
Sometimes Natural Flavor (depending on the source can be MSG)
For these last two, I recommend if you have a question to see a Naturopath who can do a complete exam and find out what "non-Foods" cause inflammation in your intestine.
So do your best to reduce or eliminate these "non-Food" items from your diet. So that anything you consume will be 'utilized' to the utmost and increase your ability to fuel your system and thereby improve your Endurance Capacity.
I hope you find this information helpful and/or useful.