Monthly Archives: January 2015

Essential oils

What do you really know about essential oils?

I realized recently that over the year I’ve been writing these articles, but I didn’t introduce you to any essential oils. I simply offered you some blends that you benefit from for various activities, but I never actually explained important things about these oils and how you can choose to benefit from them.

So, this is going to change.

Today, I’ll introduce you to a very simple but very potent essential oil, easy to find anywhere, and especially easy to use in summer.

I am talking about citrus lemonum, or Lemon.

This essential oil comes from Italy, California or Argentina . Here are its principal properties :

Antianemic, antitumor, antifungal, antitoxic, decongestant, expectorant, insecticide, astringent, tonic nervous, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antisclerotic, antispasmodic, depurative, febrifuge, immuno-stimulating.

It is especially efficient when you suffer from bronchitis, excess mucus, sinusitis, asthma , sore throat and flu.

This oil stimulates your blood circulation, strengthens capillaries, varicose veins, thins the blood, prevents thrombosis, help arteriosclerosis, hemorrhoids and phlebitis.

What does that mean? It means that any athlete should use this oil, atleast as a preventive measure.

Of course, you can choose to add a few drops of it in a massage blend and regularly benefit from it through a good body massage, but it can be even more effective.

You can actually use it to replace a fresh lemon in many ways, in your food.

Before you start sprinkling lemon essential oil a little bit everywhere, let’s cover some basic rules.

The use of essential oils in the kitchen: Basic rules

These oils not only are tasty and smell good but they also have real therapeutic virtues.

We must respect the fact that they act on the body ( much better! ) and we should not have a heavy hand using them.

Fat is compulsory: essential oils are soluble fat and must be diluted in fat before you put them in your mouth.  So, you must ensure that the drops are properly dispersed in a preparation, whether hot or cold, thanks to a fat base (butter, coconut milk , almond milk , yogurt, coconut oil etc. … )

 Do not cook the EO … it is better to add it at the end of the preparation. This is a plus to enjoy the properties of the selected botanical source.

You no longer need to infuse herbs such as thyme, cloves or dried rosemary: simply add one or two drops before you serve your dish, and voilà !

For example:

  1. After having mixed your soup, add a drop of EO in a little yogurt or chicken broth before adding it to the soup.
  2. In a dessert (lemon curd, chocolate pudding, custard), add a drop of EO when the preparation has cooled down.
  3. In a hot sauce dish, add a drop of EO before serving to enhance the flavor of the sauce. (A drop of basil in tomato sauce…)
  4. Similarly, it will be useless to infuse thyme, nutmeg or cloves in cooking water if you add a drop at the end of the preparation!
  5. In a cake batter, add from 1 to 3 drops of … lemon, orange or cinnamon EO before placing it in the oven. The EO • Cinnamon cassia gives a sweet taste to the preparation that can replace the addition of a sweetener in a granola, for example.

Mint is good in chocolate preparations.

Lemon, orange, tangerine, pink adorn make better cookies, granola, waffle …

Basil, lemon, fennel, rosemary combine work very well with a vinaigrette or a tomato sauce.

Pepper and ginger give depth to a curry. But the bonus is that in addition, you will enjoy the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial cleansing and rebalancing of most of these oils.

Here is a little recipe to put you on track

Fresh raw soup with avocado

  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • 3 peeled avocados.
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice.
  • 500 ml of whole milk.
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped.
  • 1 pinch of cumin.
  • 1 large pinch of salt.
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a drop of lemon EO.
  • 2 tablespoons of yoghurt from sheep or goat.
  • A handful of alfalfa sprouts.
  • In a blender, pour half the milk, lime juice, cumin, coriander, salt, garlic and avocado flesh.
  • Mix everything.
  • In a saucepan (medium heat,) melt the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining milk and bring it to a simmer.
  • Add the mixture to the avocado, adjust the seasoning, add the EO stirring well, pour into cups and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a few alfalfa sprouts.

If you need more guidance to use essential oils, you’ll find my user’s manual here: http://www.clubequilibrenaturel.com/essential-oils-user-manual/

How to recover faster and relieve pain after prolonged, unusual or exhausting efforts?

We all need to improve our recovery to relieve pain after a hard sporting weekend! Let’s explain now how COMPRESSPORT® can help you in this Monthly News – Scientific approach article focused on exercises inducing muscle damages.

Unusual hard or prolonged efforts cause muscle damages !

Unusual prolonged or exhausting efforts will often result in muscle damages usually followed by a slow and painful recovery. Why? Because eccentric muscle contractions and the important oxygen consumption will increase muscle damages. Furthermore, the full healing of muscle damages requires inflammatory processes and edema which will induce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (with a peak after 48 hrs). The DOMS may be extremely uncomfortable and last up to 7 days : walking normally becomes difficult and go down the stairs is almost impossible! The fatigue is installed and you have to wait some days before to restart your sports activities.

mn-11

Help your body improve your recovery and comfort with COMPRESSPORT® Technology !

Pressing on the veins, the COMPRESSPORT® technology used during  your recovery activates the venous return (from +15 % to +25 %) and therefore prevents the inflammation and edema (until -100 %) [1, 2]. Consequently, the extent of muscle damage is reduced and the DOMS are limited (until -50 %) [2,3]. Moreover, the muscular performances which are reduced after prolonged, unusual or exhausting efforts are restored faster ! [2, 3].

MN 11-Graph

Figure 1 [2]. Perceived DOMS and squat jump height (index of muscular performances) relative to baseline (pre) following exercise-induced muscle damage.
: Values recorded when compression tights (ankle to hip) are worn during the recovery.
: Values recorded for passive recovery. Asterisks represent significant different between groups. 1, 24, 48, 72 and 96 indicates hours after the exercise.

Limit your DOMS with COMPRESSPORT® Compression Sleeves and Socks !

To prevent the inflammation, edema and limit the DOMS you have to compress your tired muscles. We suggest you to use the COMPRESSPORT® Full Legs or the combo R2 and ForQuad during the 1 or 2 h which follow a prolonged, unusual or exhausting effort. For longer periods or when you are strictly passive (travel in plane, bus, train or car for example), you may also use the COMPRESSPORT® Full Socks V2. Why do I need to use different products for active and passive recovery? Because you need to have a compression around the foot during your passive recovery to prevent the blood stagnation. Finally, the COMPRESSPORT® Armsleeves will help you for efforts involving the arms.

References

  1. Ménétrier A, Mourot L, Degano B et al. Effects of Three Post-exercise Recovery Treatments on Femoral Artery Blood Flow Kinetics. J Sports M Phys Fitness (in press)
  2. Jakeman J.R, Byrne C, Eston R.G. Lower limb compression garments improves recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in young active females. Eur J Appl Physiol 2010; 109: 1137-1144.
  3. Ménétrier A, Terrillon A, Caverot M, et al. Effects of elastic compression during and after the Trail des Forts of Besançon. Kinesither Rev 2014; 14: 35-41.

About The Author

dr-arnaud-1_new

Dr. Arnaud M. comes from Besançon in France. He has a PhD in Life and Health Sciences and works at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon (EA 3920, Exercise Performance Health Innovation Laboratory). Arnaud is also the Scientist Manager for Compressport International. You can contact him at arnaud@compressport.com

To be a vegan…

I was thinking about what to tell you, then I’ve found this photo!

(Put the photo here).

A follower of veganism is a vegan. Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals.  The number of vegan runners is increasingly high.

Looking at this picture we can see that the “piece of meat” has less protein than the “broccoli” piece does. It’s calculated per 100 gr of aliment. When we see it, we can think: “Oh yes, it’s easy to be a vegan or vegetarian runner!” But you don’t see that it can be easy to take 100 gr of meat for example and that it cannot be easy to eat 100 gr of broccoli. The piece of meat has vitamin B12.  The piece of broccoli doesn’t have vitamin B12. Therefore, it’s not as easy to be a vegan runner as it looks like.

The vitamin B12 is a bacterial product needed for maturation of red blood cells, synthesis of DNA, cell division, and normal nerve function. A deficiency can lead to several health problems, including megaloblastic anemia and nerve damage. The consensus among nutritionists is that vegans and even vegetarians should eat foods fortified with B12 or use supplements. The broccoli is a rich source of protein, vitamin A, C, E, K, Calcium, Riboflavin…it’s great, but no B12. I think a runner can be a vegan, but take it easy.

A vegan runner needs the animal sources, animal protein, so he really needs to take “vitamin B12” supplement everyday. The vegan runner also needs to pay attention to calcium. He should take 3 servings per day of high calcium food to have bone health, and also a good metabolism functions like muscle function and vascular contraction. It can be soy milk, tofu, almonds, or hazelnuts, or a calcium supplement, as necessary.

Common vegan dishes include rice, beans, vegetable soup, falafel, hummus, veggie burritos, veggie burgers and pasta. But the bases of vegan dishes are the soy. Soybeans are a complete protein. Plant milk such as soy milk, grain milk (oat, rice) and coconut milk are used instead of cows milk.

The main difference between a vegan and vegetarian diet is that vegans exclude eggs and dairy products. Ethical vegans state that the production of eggs and dairy causes animal suffering and premature death.

The good point is the vegetarian and vegan diets usually contain as much iron as animal-based diets, or more; vegan diets generally contain more iron than vegetarian ones because dairy products contain very little quantity of iron.

If you’d like to be a vegan runner go ahead, this is a nice lifestyle!

Just take care of your diet properly!

Green juice secrets

Green juices are power packed with nutrition

Green vegetables have the ability to transform sunshine into the food that all creatures consume.

True to their nature, greens produce chlorophyll, which oxygenates the body.

This enables us to release stored toxins in the body.

If you are a sportive person, this is an excellent supplement to your diet.

Taking green juice, your haemoglobin (that has a similar molecular structure as that of your red blood cells) will get elevated, improving the blood circulation as a result and giving your body a boost of energy.

A green juice will cleanse your digestive system, lungs and liver (which will rev up, if sluggish – causing you to retain weight).

However, few know that one must opt for green juices as opposed to just vegetable juice.

So what makes the green juice a better option?

This is because without the fiber, fruit juice is basically sugar, which will add to your weight.

So juice fruits as a treat but try and eat them whole as far as possible.

While the fiber content takes a beating, juices do deliver a powerful array of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are absorbed immediately into the blood stream. However, avoid combining vegetables with fruits, as they require different enzymes for digestion. The only exception is an apple, which has a more neutral effect.

You can see below some recipes.

All green plants have Vitamins A and C, which are important co-factors for calcium absorption.

Chlorophyll foods also act as a form of ‘stored sunshine’, to regulate calcium and Vitamin D deficiency.

So if you get no sunshine, then increase the greens in your diet.

mn-o1

This quick and easy recipe is made in a blender, giving you the option to strain the juice for a thinner consistency, or no, it’s up to you.

Ingredients:

RECIPE 1

– 1 1/2 cups water
– 2 cups kale
– 2 green apples cored
– 1/2 cup parsley leaves
– 1 medium cucumber
– quartered ?2 celery stalks roughly chopped
– 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger peeled
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

RECIPE 2

– 1 1/2 cup of water
– 1 cup spinash
– 4 broccoli florets
– 1 medium cucumber
– 1 apple cored
– 1/2 cup parsley leaves
– 1 medium cucumber
– quartered? 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
– 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger peeled
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

OPTION 1

Add all  the ingredients into the blender jug in the order in which they are listed. Blend the ingredients on the highest-level setting, such as “liquefy,” until the juice is well blended.

It will have the consistency of a smoothie.

If you want to enjoy the pulp with your juice, pour the mixture into glasses and serve. If you prefer a thinner consistency, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, and using a spatula, press the pulp into the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Pour the strained juice into glasses and serve.

OPTION 2

You can do the same process with just 1 cup of water and without the lemon juice. You leave this consistency smoothie in ice cubes.

Then, when you want to do the juice, you take one ice cube and make your lemon juice (1 cup of water and 1 lemon), mix all into the blender.

How to prepare one of the toughest Ultra Trail on Earth : Marathon des Sables®?

For once and since COMPRESSPORT® is an official partner, the scientific approach does not focus on the compression but on the Sultan Marathon des Sables®  which will run from the 4th till the 14th of April. On this occasion, we have requested the advices of Thibault Lussiana, a specialist in biomechanics of running.

The Sultan Marathon des Sables®, a mythic race that all ultra-distance runners must do at least once

The race takes place in the Moroccan desert and includes 6 stages with food self-sufficiency over a 240-km distance. Each participant must carry his own equipment, containing food, sleeping gear and other materials except water, which is provided by the organization. The equipment weight should be between 6.5 and 15 kg. In addition, the sand and the climatic conditions, with temperature reaching 50°C during the day and 5°C at night, make this multistage ultra-marathon one of the hardest! Therefore, it is necessary for the new participants to have an excellent knowledge of the race and its constraints, including physical preparation, equipment, recovery but also management of food and hydration (discussed in another part of this news).

The ‘shock weekends’ to prepare the race …

Of course, the maximal aerobic power development remains important as in all endurance events. However, the specific work at very low intensities is equally important in ultra-marathon. One of the key to success lies in performing the famous ‘shock weekends’ described by the Pr.Guillaume Millet and corresponding well to multistage events. Equipped with your running bag (by gradually increasing the weight): go for 2-3 days with 5 to 10 hours per day at really low speed (alternating periods of walking and running). Thus, you will train in almost real conditions and prepare your body, your muscles and your digestive system to the stress encounter on the event. Similarly, it will be necessary to run on soft surface (ideally on sand), to accustom your stride to a different biomechanics.

Injury prevention, recovery … Take care of your body!

Feet injuries such as burning and blisters are one of the major causes to stop the race. To prevent them, there are some tricks …

  • You can apply a cream to strengthen the feet and to avoid such inconveniences. More simply, the use of gaiter could impede sand seeping into the shoes and thus increase friction.
  • The choice of running shoes and socks is also important: they must be able to dry quickly and to allow your feet to breathe.
  • Speaking of equipment, compression sleeves will be effective before, during and after the race. By increasing the venous return (that is crucial in warm environment – since vasodilation phenomenon is increased), they may ensure a sensation of light legs before to start. During, they may prevent the muscle damage and postpone the fatigue. Finally, they will accelerate the recovery process after the stages – essential during multistage ultra-marathon! 
  •  Furthermore, the best way to recover will be to sleep properly.
  • Therefore, do not forget warm and isolating garments for the night …

About the Author

Thibault Lussiana comes from Besançon in France. He is a PhD student in Life and Health Sciences and works at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon (EA 4660, Exercise Performance Health Innovation Laboratory). Thibault is also member of the Volodalen Company. You can contact him at thibault@volodalen.com

 

Marathon Des Sables® diet

What should I take for one week race in the desert?

During the MDS® the runner must have a minimum total weight of 6.5 kg. The important is to have 14.000 kcal, which will decrease each day around 2000 kcal and it’s equivalent weight approx. 500gr or 600gr/day in your bag.

Everything must be well planned and trained.

The runner must train with his bag, shoes, socks…but his principal objective here is think about hydration, food and supplements for this race. That means nutritional requirements during  the desert run, like having a quick digestion, lots of calories in few aliments and easily absorbed without gastrointestinal complications. The supplementary food is very important in this kind of race.

Normally many runners will carry more than 6,5 kg during the Marathon des Sables®, but its important to know the weight limit and the rules because each day the organizers will control the runner’s bag.

What should the runner bring for this week race?

The runner couldn’t forget the base rule to have energy and succeed during this marathon:

  1. Provide carbohydrates to maintain adequate blood glucose concentration and delay the depletion of glycogen stores.
  2. Replenishment of electrolytes, especially sodium.
  3. Fluid replacement to prevent dehydration.
  4. After each stage day race take also some protein and amino acids to recovery muscle.
  5. If the runner does it, it’s no mystery, he can enjoy the race and finish all course with health.

Some examples of what to bring during the Marathon des Sables® for breakfast:

  • Cereals or oats.
  • Nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts).
  • Cappucino in powder.
  • Dates.

15 min before race departure:

1 gel.

During the stage day of Marathon des Sables®:

  • Electrolytes (mineral salt).
  • Energy bars.
  • Gels.
  • Dry fruits (dates, raisins, prunes).
  • Honey.

Lunch time (after the stage day race):

  • Electrolytes (mineral salt).
  • Amino acids (BCAA and Glutamina).
  • Lyophilized food.
  • Nuts.

Dinner time (after the stage day race):

  • Cuscus or mashed potatoes.
  • Dry cheese or dry meat (ham, chorizo).
  • Soup in powder.

During the long stage (day 4) probably the runner needs something else to eat as a solid food.

Maybe can be the  lyophilized food if it’s quickly to prepare and the runner doesn’t need hot water. Otherwise the runner can take some cereals with dry fruits. Important to bring a bit of oil, salt and pepper then the ultra runner can cook his meal using it. Also one peace of garlic and ginger because they works as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Remember the basic rules for an ultra runner

15 minutes before departure:

Eat something between 30-50g of carbohydrate such as a bar, a gel or dry banana.

During the race:

WEIGHT KG X 0.7 = x gr MINIMUM of CARBOHYDRATE/HOUR.
WEIGHT KG X 1 = x gr MAXIMUM of CARBOHYDRATE/HOUR.

Usually the best quantity is between 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour of racing.

IRONMAN nutrition strategy

Physical demand exists and the role of food is vital to achieve this goal

The average total caloric expenditure for an IRONMAN can range from 8,000 to 11,000 calories. Consuming this amount of calories is extremely difficult, but the athlete needs to eat and drink, not to loose too much calories and performance.  Nutrition for an Ironman influences, so you can be first or second, or you can or cannot reach the goal.

Carbohydrate Intake/Hydratation

  • Do not consume too much food as it can cause intestinal distress (diarrhea, abdominal pain).
  • Consume enough carbohydrates to provide additional fuel to the working skeletal muscles.
  • Keep the blood sugar (glucose) to the limit to avoid unnecessary wear during races and maintain certain performance.
  • Avoid weight loss during the trainings. Some of the lost weight is fat and carbohydrates (besides water that is stored, carbohydrate, or glycogen). The loss of more than 2 Kg of weight will definitely affect performance.
  • Optimize hydration including sodium, electrolytes and carbohydrates (sugary drinks).

All carbohydrates are ingested immediately and used by the muscle (oxidized). The carbohydrate source can be glucose, sucrose, maltodextrins or fructose. Consistency of carbohydrates: solid, liquid, gel, etc. 

What is sought is to increase the oxidation of muscle, and to achieve this it is recommended to consume a combination of glucose (or maltodextrin) and fructose (2 parts glucose and 1 fructose) as they are transported in two different ways in the small intestine and will eventually bring more profit.

Also, drinks containing glucose and fructose are better tolerated than solid foods, because they require less digestion. It is very easy to prepare these sports drinks, ingredients are maltodextrin, fructose, salt and water. You should calculate what should be your carbohydrate intake during the race in order to meet their needs and to not be weary. An easy way to calculate is 1 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of weight. For smaller triathlons, the recommended intake is between 30-60 grams per hour.

Electrolyte requirements

  • The consumption of sodium and other electrolytes is of great importance. Gels are good source of electrolytes because they provide approximately 200 mg per unit, depending on the type and flavor. A cyclist loses about 1 liter of sweat per hour equivalent to 1300 mg of sodium, 230 mg potassium and 12 mg of magnesium. For this reason, in some cases it is helpful to supplement with additional electrolytes (sodium or tablets or capsules of electrolytes).
  • Hyponatremia (drinking too much water) is a problem during an IRONMAN. It is normal to have lost water weight during the competition, but ideally would be minimal and properly hydrated. You can not take large amounts of water as they can cause hyponatremia. You should preferably be hydrated with sports drinks and gels and consume foods that allow you to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Swim time / Cycle time / Run time

  •  During the swim section try to avoid eat and drink, keep your energy to relax and swim well. If you feel weak, take a gel.
  • Remember that the first feed zone is during the bike section (because of distance, convenience and stability stomach).  It is the best time to eat solid food. The best option of solid food? Need to be a fast carbohydrates (sushi, sweet potato, white soft bread, rice bars…). Aim for 200-600 calories per hour on the bike based on your size, training and racing experience, and tolerance for food intake.
  • Carry most of your calories with you on the bike and get water and sports drink at aid stations.
  •  Rely more on drinks and less on solid food as the race progresses. If you tend to forget to eat and drink during your race, set your watch to beep every 20 minutes.
  •  When you leave the bike and go to the run section…remember that you have a long way to go and need to settle into a smooth cadence, it’s important to drink and eat well. You can take a gel or bar with some liquid calories such as a maltodextrin and an isotonic drink. The electrolytes are also important during the run section.
  •  Eat and drink as much as you feel like it, but try to get more liquid food during the run time. – – Don’t drink water as this may exacerbate hyponatremia.
  • When you finish the race, some electrolytes and amino acids are welcomed for a faster recovery.

Prepare your mind and stomach because IRONMAN is not easy, but if you eat and drink well you can HAVE FUN, for sure!

Are you using the power of sleep?

Most research works today show how much sleep is essential to our mental health (sleep is food for the brain), to our weight, but also to our physical health, especially when you are an athlete. And today, more and more are in deep need of sleep.

There is so much to say about sleep, but what is the purpose of today is its link with inflammation. If you have been reading my other articles, you are certainly aware now of how inflammation is a root to most of chronic diseases and unfortunately to your pains and aches.

As an athlete, you don’t need more pains and aches in your life.

So, some facts.

Have you ever heard of fibromyalgia?

This is a very debilitating condition that is a good illustration of how sleep deprivation work to feed pain in your body. People with fibromyalgia have such a light sleep that they never enter the deep sleep phase that nerve endings need for their regeneration.

So the irritated and inflamed nerve fibers get more and more inflamed, which induces lack of memory and focus, anxiety, depression, lack of coordination, skin issues and, of course, pain.

Actually, lack of sleep, even a few hours during one night, can lead the immune system to fight your body healthy tissues and organs, trigger a cellular circuit that feeds inflammation and damage nerve endings. This is what happens with fibromyalgia. But once pain is there, it is very difficult to get some sleep…This is the beginning of a vicious circle…

Indeed, tissue repair and growth are under the control of growth hormone, which is secreted during sleep! This is why physical recovery happens during deep, slow sleep. And this is why, lack of sleep can lead to unwanted pains, nerve degeneration, and all the diseases that even an athlete can be the victim of!

So do not take the chance.

Here is how aromatherapy can help you improve the quality of your sleep

The aromatherapy of sleep

Since we want to avoid the possible toxicity of taking sleeping pills (which are not curative anyways), we want to start avoiding what creates the lack of sleep.

Here is a list of what doesn’t help:

  • Alcohol.
  • Coffee.
  • Tea.
  • Chocolate.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Marijuana.
  • Birth control pill.
  • Beta blockers and thyroid medicines.
  • Late exercise.

Here is a list of what does help:

  • Herb teas (to replace hot milk…) : chamomile, sage, verbena, peppermint (it is sedative).
  • Exercises, but in the morning or not after 5:00 pm (too stimulating), except for Qi kong or Tai chi, any stretching is good.
  • Progressive relaxation: laying down on the floor, pull on each of your limbs one after the other, and release. Contract your face and release, relax your tong, your forehead, contract and release your shoulders. Visualize your are like butter on a beach, melting under the sun…feel yourself spreading on the floor.
  • Get yourself some music to induce sleep: for some it’s going to be classical (adagios), for other planning esoteric music…find yours!
  • Control your blood sugar : your brain is strongly dependent on glucose to function. A drop in blood sugar is enough to stimulate adrenalin and cortisol secretion, which stimulates awakening. So to maintain a good glucose level, stay away from quick refined sugar (candies, sweets, refined/white foods, alcohol) and chose slow sugars, low glycemic index carbs.

5-HTP

Serotonin plays an important role in sleep as it increases deep sleep without making you sleep longer. 5-Hydrosytryptophan is a natural serotonin precursor, and clinical studies have shown how it induces and maintain sleep, even at low dose. Simply take 100 to 300 mg, 45 min before retiring.

Melatonin 

3 grams of melatonin taken in the same time will increase your chances to fall into Morpheus’s arms!

Here are the essential oils that will help you:

I have categorized them to help you adapt each formula to your needs.

If your bad sleep comes from anxiety…

Massage your belly, around the ombilic, 3 mn, with this blend at night :

In 5 ml of base oil (1 tbs), add:

  1. 1 drop Ylang Ylang EO.
  2. 1 drop Patchouli EO.
  3. 1 drop Frankincense EO.
  4. 2 drops May chang EO.

If you feel your problem is nervous, over-excitement…find someone to massage your back with this blend:

In 5 ml base oil, add:

  1. 2 drops Green mandarin EO.
  2. 1 drop Valerian EO.
  3. 2 drops true Lavender EO.

and you may also massage your fore arms with this oil, several times a day if you wish to feel calmer.

If you feel you could benefit from the anti-anxiety blend as well, simply mix them together (you’ll get 10 ml of blend total) and massage your belly and your arms with it.

What to eat?

Finally, make sure what you eat is not making your blood sugar tilt on the wrong side, so this concerns especially your diner. Think complete carbs, avoid fruits, avoid cheese and red meat.

To conclude, having a proper quality sleep may involve a few adjustments in your routine or even your lifestyle, but when a pain free life is at stake, isn’t it worth it?

 

Nutritional strategy during long and cold expeditions

Compression products as well as a good strategy of food and hydration are necessary during a long and cold trip

Tiredness, extreme cold and long expeditions make the athlete suffer a lot, and mainly the body, at a physiological level. Attention to nutritional strategy will be important because the body and mind suffer high stress conditions. The food must be well chosen: small volume, easy to digest and concentrated energy. They should be foods that require less consumption oxygen and less energy on digestion. The figure of 7,000 kilocalories (kcal / day) might mean that an athlete may spend a lot when in intense activity in cold and long trip, for example. And if it’s also in high altitude (above 3,000 meters altitude) the body will spend more calories than in normal life!

During an expedition the energy intake should be based mainly and primarily on carbohydrates (65%), as they give us energy to continue the activity. Moreover, proteins are what help us in the reconstruction and muscle recovery (10%) and they are healthy and good fats (25%). The good fat helps to protect our body from severe cold and is a good source of energy. A diet rich in carbohydrate quantity prevents from hypoglycaemia.

Details like a hot broth or a hot and salty soup before, during and after each day of expedition is an excellent option to keep the body warm, safe from hypothermia or falling sales. But the broth or soup has low calories … so therefore it is essential to carry in your backpack during activity, nuts, dry fruits (like nuts, peanuts, dry banana, apple, pineapple, dates or raisins), energy bars and cereals, because they are good sources of carbohydrates and calories. Having gels are a good choice for moments of stress when the weather is bad or when our hands are frozen and we need immediate power before some point of maximum effort.

During your stay in the refuge or hotel or base camp to sleep, the food must also be rich in calories (protein, carbohydrates, good fats and minerals salts) to recover the entire body. Couscous with vegetables or meat, pasta with Bolognese sauce, rice with chicken and vegetables soups are examples of food to bring in a long expedition.

Coffee and tea are important to keep the athlete alerted during the expedition. Drinking water and mineral salt (isotonic drinks) are essential to maintain a hydrated and balanced body.

If you keep this nutrition strategy you can run, cycle and walk light (without extra weight) and be fit to finish your trip !

Wearing compression during running efforts – To decrease muscle fatigue!

Last time, we have seen that wearing compression before an effort is based on the venous return improvement. It is also the first argument of many manufacturers to justify the use of compression stockings during running efforts. But to date, it is widely discussed … With  COMPRESSPORT®, this debate does not exist! For a long time, we have understood that the benefits of the compression are elsewhere: focus on the reduction of the vibrations …

Compression and venous return: explanations …

MN O5_Calf

The calf muscle pump improves the venous return during running effort.

Decreasing the veins diameter – like a pressure applied on a tube of toothpaste – wearing compression stockings at rest improves the venous blood return towards the heart. This improvement justifies the use of compression stockings before (feeling of light legs) and after the effort (faster removal of blood toxins). But during running efforts (from 4-5 km/h), the compression does not improve the venous return(3) … Really, it is already optimized: the calf muscles press sufficiently on the veins to increase the venous return!

The reduction of the vibrations to decrease muscle fatigue

MN O5_Muscular vibs

Muscular vibrations recorded with (A.) and without (B.) COMPRESSPORT® R2 thanks to accelerometer sensors fixed on the calves.

Wearing compression during running efforts is mainly based on the reduction of the muscular oscillations (-33%), which reflect the vibrations caused by the impact with the ground. Decreasing these vibrations, the compression prevents the muscle damage (-42%) created by the repeated impacts during prolonged efforts (particularly in downhill)(1). As a result, the muscle fatigue is decreased. After the effort, the inflammatory process is reduced (-52%), which means that the delayed onset muscle soreness are prevented by using compression during the effort (1, 2).

COMPRESSPORT® is designed to optimize the reduction of the vibrations!

MN O5_Graph

Vertical muscle vibrations (x) recorded with the  COMPRESSPORT® R2 (MN 9_Compression), with a standard compression(MN 9_Short) or without compression (control condition). * : Significantly different from the control condition. : Significantly different from the standard compression.

That is for all these reasons that our compression garments for effort are not designed to improve the venous return but to optimize the reduction of the vibrations, while highlighting the comfort. For example, using a reverse gradient (low pressure at the ankle and high pressure at the calf), the COMPRESSPORT® R2 decreases more the muscle vibrations than a standard compression (medical gradient: high pressure at the ankle and low pressure at the calf).

Conclusion

The venous return improvement is often – wrongly – suggested to justify the use of compression garments during intense running efforts. Now, we are able to say with any certainty that wearing compression during running efforts is mainly based on the reduction of the vibrations!

References

  1. Borràs X, Balius X, Drobnic F, Til L, and Turmo A. Effects of lower body compression garment in muscle oscillation and tissular injury during intense exercise.Portuguese Journal of Sports Science 11: 685-688, 2011.
  2. Ménétrier A, Terrilon A, Caverot M, Mourot L, and Tordi N. Effects of elastic compression during and after the Trail des Forts of Besançon. Kinésithérapie, la Revue (in press).
  3. Murthy G, Ballard RE, Breit GA, Watenpaugh DE, and Hargens AR. Intramuscular pressures beneath elastic and inelastic leggings. Annals of Vascular Surgery 8: 543-548, 1994.

About the Author

dr-arnaud-1_new

Dr. Arnaud M. comes from Besançon in France. He has a PhD in Life and Health Sciences and works at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon (EA 3920, Exercise Performance Health Innovation Laboratory). Arnaud is also the Scientist Manager for COMPRESSPORT® International. You can contact him at arnaud@compressport.com