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Underperforming, Overreaching or Overtraining?

What are overreaching and overtraining? Overtraining is a phrase commonly used in competitive sport. True overtraining syndrome is actually quite rare, but the spectrum of conditions that come under the umbrella of unexplained underperformance syndrome can affect athletes more frequently. There are three main subsets of this syndrome. The first is named functional overreaching. ThisContinue reading “Underperforming, Overreaching or Overtraining?”

Lactate Zones

Training intensity is often organised into three zones, allowing us to measure how much time is spent in each zone and therefore at each intensity. One of the most common ways to measure these zones in the lab is via blood lactate levels. Lactate is a product of the metabolism of glucose. There are 3Continue reading “Lactate Zones”

Vitamin Deficiency and Supplementation in Athletes

Vitamins are essential micro-nutrients obtained from the diet and environment which are vital in a multitude of processes within the body. These include energy metabolism, oxygen transport, bone health and immune function. Vitamin supplementation is common in athletes, but is it necessary, and is there any evidence that it improves performance? Many studies taking placeContinue reading “Vitamin Deficiency and Supplementation in Athletes”

Mineral Deficiency and Supplementation in Athletes

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients found in a variety of plant and animal foods which are essential for hundreds of biological processes throughout the body. Many of these processes are vital for exercise and athletic performance, such as energy storage and utilization, protein metabolism, oxygen transport, bone metabolism and immune function. Despite the importance ofContinue reading “Mineral Deficiency and Supplementation in Athletes”

CBD- The Evidence

What is CBD? CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is an active ingredient derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. CBD oil does not contain THC, which is the active component of cannabis that causes a ‘high’. CBD oil is legal in the UK provided it contains less than 0.2% THC. There is good and validatedContinue reading “CBD- The Evidence”

Do Muscle Stimulators Enhance Recovery?

What is a Muscle Stimulator? Also known as an electrical nerve stimulator, or TENS machine, these are devices which stimulate low frequency electrical pulses through electrodes placed on the skin, inducing short and low intensity muscle contraction. The most common brand-named devices used in the functional fitness world are Compex and PowerDot, however it isContinue reading “Do Muscle Stimulators Enhance Recovery?”

What is VO2 Max?

What is VO2 max? VO2 max is the maximal amount of oxygen an individual can utilize, typically over one minute during an intense, maximal effort. It reflects the maximal capacity of the individual to perform aerobic work. It is generally seen to be the gold standard measure for a person’s aerobic fitness. (1) Oxygen is required by skeletal muscles for the aerobic metabolism of glucose and fatty acids, our bodiesContinue reading “What is VO2 Max?”

Does Nasal Breathing Really Improve Performance?

Does the way we breathe during exercise affect our performance? I think most of us probably don’t think too much about it, when we’re mid workout, gasping for breath, we’re just doing everything we can to keep moving. For elite competitors however, for those fighting for that extra 1%, these kinds of considerations can be extremely important. I’ve noticed a few high-level athletesContinue reading “Does Nasal Breathing Really Improve Performance?”

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