“Are Greens (as in MegaGreens powder for example) as a supplement, not as a meal replacement, worth the taste or the money? Only because a Gorilla has 3% body fat, weighs 250kg, are ripped, shredded and only eats vegetation and small bugs 20 hrs a day”. Paul Hodgson.
Although Gorillas have an enviable amount of strength, they also have both the smallest brains and the largest digestive tracts of any primate. The reason our brain has grown twice as large as it should be for a primate our size, is due to the fact that in our ancestral past we had access to large animals laden with nutrients. Far more nutrients than we could ever hope to find in fruits and leaves.
“The Australopithecine brain grew to Homo proportions becuase meat let our digestive systems shrink, thus freeing up energy for those brains”. L. Aiello and P. Wheelr, The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis.
Our brains need to be fed with nutrient dense food.
Gorillas feed on cellulose, and are able to do so because they contain fermentative bacteria necessary to digest it. An extra long digestive tract also helps this process. The bacteria breaks down the cellulose, and the gorilla actually feeds on the bacteria. Something we are simply unable to do, and thats why those green powders certainly wont contain any cellulose!
Whether the green powders are a good addition to your diet is open to debate. As with many supplements, the bioavailablity of the nutrients may be questionable. They often have preservatives added to extend shelf life which obviously isn’t beneficial to health. After all, how long can you keep greens in the fridge before they have to be thrown out?
In my opinion, you are much better off adding fresh, organic greens to your diet and avoiding the supplements.
“Overtraining: Myth or fact?” Jack Mason
Unfortunately fact. It follows the theory of supercompenstaion…
“In sports science theory, supercompensation is the post training period during which the trained function/parameter has a higher performance capacity than it did prior to the training period”.
Without adequate recovery, you will never reach a state of ‘supercompensation’, the point you should be applying a new stimulus for continued gains. Over training just results in a decrease in strength, performance, and will lead to injury.
However, there are strength and hypertrophy programmes out there that will actually tap into the overtraining principles. Charles Polyquin has a programme called “supercompensation”, which uses an overtraining principle to create a huge supercompensation once recovery is allowed. It’s an advanced technique and not for everyone.
The difficulty lies in determining your own frequency and volume for peak performance. Overtraining for one individual might be an inadequate stimulus for another. Learn how your body responds to different training modalities and find what works for you.
“With Cancer playing a part in everybody’s lives these days, what evidence is there to suggest we should avoid certain food and eat others?” Andrew Murfin.
Well as I discussed in my blog post on Omega 3 and prostate cancer, it can be difficult to decipher research that is popularised in the media. Studies can be misleading unless you know what your looking for.
Having said that, there is body of research out there with regards to red meat and cancer. This is taken from Mark Hines’s book, Our Natural Diet;
The consumption of red meat and processed meats has been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, including prostate (1), oesophageal and gastric cancers (2,3). However the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Some studies (3) have reported an association between the content of heme-iron and heterocyclic amines, whilst others have asscoiated the risk with increased nitrate consumption (2).
This can all sound quite scary, but red meat does provide health benefits. The focus should be on eating high quality, grass fed meat that is not overcooked and limiting intake to twice a week. Grain fed and processed meat should be avoided completely.
“Keeping fit and healthy with shift and night work?” Seven Murfin
Shift and night work can be a real problem with health and fitness. Sleep plays such a crucial role in recovery and hormone balance that disturbed sleep on a regular basis can really hinder any weight loss/performance goals you might have.
It is crucial to invest in black out blinds whilst making an effort to sleep for around 8 hours. The trick is getting the body into consistent reversed sleep pattern. A bed time ritual can also help you drift off to sleep and help the body start to wind down and switch off following work.
1. Wright, J.L et al. “AMACR polymorphisms, dietary intake of red meat and diary and prostate cancer risk”. Prostate, 2011, 71 (5), 498-506
2. Silvera et al. “Principle component analysis of dietary and lifestyle patterns in relation to risk of subtypes of oesophageal and gastric cancer”, Annals of Epidemiology, 2011, March 23 (Epub)
3. Cross et al. ” Meat consumption and risk of oesophageal and gastric cancer in a large prospective study”, American Journal of Gasroenterology, 2011, 106(3), 432-442