By Dr. Hilary (Booth) Chambers, ND
With Spring in the air, running season is back in full swing. Whether you’re training for a 10km, half or full marathon, or you’re an avid athlete looking to boost your workouts, it’s important to understand how we can best support the body while we train.
What happens when I train?
Exercise has tons of benefits: building muscle, improving heart health, releasing endorphins and boosting mood, just to name a few. However, long distance running and high intensity training regimens can have negative effects on the body. My goal is to support the body to minimize these impacts and maximize your athletic performance.
While we train, blood flow is re-routed from the stomach and digestive tract to the muscles, where more oxygen is needed. This reduces our ability to break down and digest our refueling foods. This is why we sometimes feel nauseous (or worse…) after an intense training session.
Our ability to absorb nutrients is also diminished to about 50-60% when blood flow is rerouted from the digestive tract to muscles. It’s interesting to note that this also happens when we eat while we’re stressed or on the go.
Nutrients are also depleted more quickly when we train. Our B-vitamins are used up to convert energy stores into fuel for the body, electrolytes are excreted in sweat, minerals are needed to produce hormones like endorphins, growth hormone, and cortisol.
The body also requires a higher input of protein to repair muscle tissue and build lean muscle mass. As this process occurs, the body also experiences increased inflammation, which can hinder our recovery process.
How can I support my training regimen?
Runners require higher input of vitamins, minerals, water, protein and calories than the general population. A nutrition plan that is specific to your training regimen is extremely important, but many athletes are already on a phenomenal diet plan and are looking for that extra edge.
Intravenous (IV) therapy is being used in athletes to decrease recovery time, improve muscle repair, decrease inflammation, improve energy production, and reduce the risk of that “crash” that often happens after a big race.
IV therapy delivers nutrients, electrolytes and protein directly into the bloodstread, bypassing the digestive tract. This allows us to achieve higher doses of nutrients than what the body could absorb through the digestive tract from food or supplements.
For long-distance runners, weekly IV therapy for six weeks leading up to a race with one or two sessions after a race will support the body to improve your training outcomes. For body-builders and other avid-athletes, an IV therapy schedule can be tailored to support your long-term training goals.
We wish you the best of luck this Spring as you train, strengthen your body, and improve your health!