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Eating well for better performance
When eating for strength and endurance, athletes and serious sports enthusiasts frequently make some common mistakes regarding food choices. Protein consumption and so-called ?carbohydrate-loading? are often misunderstood.
Just think about the last time you were traveling, and saw a sports team gather in a restaurant for a big, juicy steak dinner that was served with plenty of carbohydrates in the form of pasta or potatoes. All the while, the very enthusiastic team talks about preparing for the big game the next day. Have you ever wondered, ?Is that the best type of meal for athletes about to undergo a very significant physical test of endurance??
Proteins and carbohydrates
Many of us with a Western diet have the belief that we need protein in the form of meat to grow muscles, gain strength, and develop endurance. The truth is massive amounts of meat will not provide the above illustrated sports team with the real power and energy they need for athletic competition. Unless you are an expert bodybuilder, most athletes only need about 10 to 15 percent of their daily diets to come from protein.
Protein is a poor source of long-lasting energy and the body will spend many of hours of ?energy??plus massive amounts of water?to rid the body of protein?s nitrogen waste (resulting in a feeling of fatigue). Furthermore, extra servings of protein do not build muscle mass (muscles develop from training and exercise). If that weren?t enough, extra servings of protein cannot be stored by the body, and any excess not burned immediately as energy will be stored in the body as fat?an undesirable result.
While a small carbohydrate meal consisting of a glass of juice or a banana is recommended for extra energy prior to exercise, ?carbohydrate-loading? in the form of massive amounts of pasta and potatoes is ineffective for most athletes. Instead of producing energy, it may result in fatigue.
Some athletes resort to the carbohydrate-loaded sports drinks that are popular today, but these may not be the best choice either. Commercially prepared sports beverages are not only expensive, but they contain large amounts of high-fructose or simplified sugars. This high sugar content can add up to 50 or 80 calories per eight ounce serving. Does the athlete really need high-fructose (simplified sugars) and all of the associated extra calories?
AIM BarleyLife? powder is available in the original formula with brown rice and kelp, or in a certified organic formula that is kelp-free. Convenient and easy-to-take capsules are also available for original AIM BarleyLife?.
A healthy, well-balanced diet is best
Nutritional experts agree that the best way to ensure plenty of energy for exercise is to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet from a variety of whole foods.
Following a good diet with adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals is critical for optimal performance, according to The Vegetarian Resource Group.
The body is a self-restoring system, and will accomplish recovery after exercise naturally when supplied with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats and water.
AIM BarleyLife??the near perfect food
By nature, the barley plant is about 67 percent carbohydrate and 12.8 percent protein?offering the near perfect ratio of recommended proteins and carbohydrates. In its concentrated juice powder form, AIM BarleyLife? is more than 20 percent protein per serving. The barley plant also contains powerful enzymes, vitamins and minerals, as well as chlorophyll to help the body rejuvenate itself.
Green barley leaves are bursting with vitamins, and contain all of the protein and amino acids needed for metabolism. Green barley also contains important minerals (such as potassium) needed for electrolyte recovery after exercise.
As a whole food concentrate, the nutrients in AIM BarleyLife? are completely natural to the harvested barley plant, and this makes the vitamins and minerals easily digestible to the human body. In a highly soluble state, nutrients are quickly dissolved by the stomach, absorbed by the intestinal walls, and metabolized into the bloodstream to be used by the body for immediate energy or tissue construction. Many athletes (including several Olympic athletes) report feeling a burst of energy and renewed stamina after consuming AIM BarleyLife?.
For the athelete concerned about fat and calorie intake, it is important to note that a typical serving of AIM BarleyLife? is low in sugar and contains very little fat and cholesterol. This makes AIM BarleyLife? a healthy option since high fat content foods can produce muscle cramping and intestinal distress that may interfere with athletic performance.
Amino acids and proteins
AIM BarleyLife? is rich in amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are the major constituents of every cell and body fluid. Amino acids and their related proteins are necessary for growth and metabolism in the body. The body uses them for continual cell-building, cell regeneration and energy production.
Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized in adequate amounts by the body, but must be supplied by food. Laboratory tests demonstrate that AIM BarleyLife? has an amazing profile of protein and a broad specturm of amino acids.
Nutrition educator, Mary Ruth Swope, Ph.D. and author of the book, Green Leaves of Barley, notes: ?All proteins are not created equal! The body can use proteins in some foods better than those found in others. Proteins from plant sources are very easily digested and assimilated. Not all, however, contain the full range of amino acids required for growth, repair, and maintenance of tissue. Barley juice powder is not among that group?it contains them all.? (Swope 1996)
Enzymes are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Cooked and processed foods are depleted of enzymes. However, in their natural state, green barley leaves contain a multitude of live enzymes.
Enzymes are essential for the thousands of chemical reactions that occur throughout the body, including the production of energy at the cellular level, the facilitation of digestion, the absorption of digested nutrients, and the rebuilding and replenishing of all that the body requires for metabolism to occur.
One enzyme in particular, superoxide dismutase (SOD), appears in AIM BarleyLife? at a very high level. ?SOD is one of these enzymes that increases the efficiency of energy production.? (Swope 1996) SOD is also thought to reduce tissue damage and slow the rate of cell destruction. It seems to provide a natural defense against the free radicals that break down synovial fluids. Synovial fluids protect the joints from inflammation. Low levels of SOD have also been associated with degenerative diseases.
Muscles cannot move without oxygen supplied by the bloodstream. High chlorophyll content foods such as AIM BarleyLife? are excellent oxygen transporters. Chlorophyll?found naturally and in abundance in green barley? helps to remove carbon dioxide from the body and greatly stimulates the red blood cells. Red blood cells are the mechanism by which oxygen is supplied to the muscles, cells and body tissue.
In the 1940s, researchers discovered the similar properties of chlorophyll to human hemoglobin. ?One of the most fascinating discoveries in the biological sciences was the observation of the similarity between the green pigment in plants and the red pigment in blood. They are nearly identical.? (Swope 1996)
Abundance of vitamins and minerals
AIM BarleyLife? is an excellent source of vitamins?and is literally bursting with beta carotene (vitamin A). The beta carotene content found in AIM BarleyLife? is substantial, representing nearly two times that found in raw carrots and 8 times that found in a raw broccoli. Beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) is an important antioxidant and improves cardiovascular health. Because beta carotene is found in its completely natural (raw form) in AIM BarleyLife?, there is no need to worry about vitamin A toxicity. Any beta carotene that is not absorbed by the cells and turned into vitamin A, is simply eliminated by the body.
In addition to vitamin A, AIM BarleyLife? is an excellent source of vitamins: B6, C, E, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate; as well as minerals: calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
?Dried barley juice has a wider range, higher quantity, and better balance of minerals than any of the foods that are commonly valued for mineral content.? (Swope 1996)
The all-important mineral, potassium
AIM BarleyLife? is particularly abundant in potassium. The motion of muscles during exercise involves the release of potassium. When potassium is absent, the muscles strongly resist releasing potassium, increasing sodium levels. Too much salt or too little potassium can result in tension and muscle fatigue. The role of potassium is to neutralize and balance sodium levels, which helps to lower blood pressure and aid in muscle activity. This action is extremely important to athletes.
It is interesting to note that many commercially prepared carbohydrate sports drinks include salt and potassium as the two major ingredients for what is known as ?electrolyte? recovery after exercise. As mentioned earlier, these drinks contain high fructose sugars, and can add significant calories.
Whole body health that?s easy to take
When searching for the perfect way to improve performance, athletes will sometimes try a variety of questionable methods to build muscle or lose weight, and may sometimes risk their very health in the process.
AIM BarleyLife? is a perfectly natural way to supplement the diet without fear of toxic side effects. As a whole food product, the green juice concentrate of AIM BarleyLife? is a healthful way of supplementing the sports diet. The vitamins and minerals are natural to the leaves of the barley plant?with the molecules of the nutrients in a near-pure state just as nature originally made them. There are no known toxic side-effects.
For that reason, nutritionists and sports trainers consider green barley juice to be perfectly safe for the diet. As long as your healthcare practitioner has not forbidden you to eat a green salad, you can enjoy the benefits of AIM BarleyLife?. Of course, those with a severe medical condition should always consult a health practitioner.
Copyright ? AIM International, Inc. Used with permission.
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