Exercise is a vital part of health and well-being. I encourage all my patients to incorporate exercise into their lifestyle. In addition to regularly increasing heart rate to benefit circulation, brain health, cardiovascular and respiratory system, it is vitally important to continue to build muscle. Intense exercise is essential to overall health. However, exercise is also stressful on the body. Raising the heart and respiratory rates is stressful on the body, and there is a state of catabolism (breakdown) and anabolism (building) are pro-inflammatory. We have to make sure that we support our bodies appropriately for exercise to ensure that we heal and recover well.
Nitric Oxide (NO)– NO is an important signaling molecule that has a very powerful effect on circulation. NO helps to dilate the blood vessels, increasing the circulation of blood and improving oxygen carrying capacity. This is incredibly beneficial to all of us, because it helps to improve the elasticity of the arteries which tend to get stiffer as we age. NO also decreases platelet aggregation to prevent clotting and scavenges free radicals, and prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
All of these effects make NO an extremely beneficial nutrient for pre-workout. Studies show that it has a profound effect on exercise endurance and power output.
The most effective way to increase NO levels is to supplement with l-citrulline. It bypasses the liver metabolism, making it more biologically active and able to work for longer in the blood vessels, where it has all of its positive benefits.
We carry several supplements in-store and online that make for excellent sources of NO. I recommend taking these supplements 30-60 minutes before exercise.
Another aspect of exercise is the focus on muscle growth and recovery. While exercise is, indeed, important for your health, it is stressful on the body. To prevent injury, wear and tear on the joints, and excessive inflammation, it is helpful to take some supplements after a workout. Popular post-workout supplements like BCAAs and whey protein powders are helpful for muscle building, but I believe it is more important to provide collagen and natural anti-inflammatory herbs.
Over the past several years, collagen proteins have gained tremendous popularity, and with good cause. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body, making up nearly 30% of the total protein in the body.
It (collagen) is the main protein in connective tissue, which includes bones, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, hair, nails, and more.
Over time, production of collagen declines, leading to weaker collagen structures. This decline in collagen leads to outwardly noticeable changes in the body, like wrinkles, the appearance of cellulite, and changes in hair and nails. In addition, weakening collagen structures do put you at a higher risk for injuries and degradation of joints and bones.
There are many studies on the benefits of collagen, and with numerous brands to choose from, it is difficult to know which types of collagen are necessary and which brands actually work. I highly recommend OrthoMolecular CollaGEN for many reasons. First of all, the type of collagen in their product has been widely studied and contains Fortigel®, Mobilee ®, and Tendoactive ®. Each of these trademarked components are backed by research studies that are proven to work. More bioavailable and in a smaller dose, CollaGEN provides the nutrients needed to prevent joint injury, and build up precious collagen that is lost in aging.
Unlike other collagens on the market, CollaGEN does not require a big dose.
And finally, I absolutely love an anti-inflammatory post-workout. This really helps to reduce inflammation, which is the central component of all disease. Intense exercise is inflammatory, and the faster you can decrease inflammation in the body, the better.
I love to use InflammaCore powder because it provides protein, along with therapeutic doses of anti-inflammatory herbs. I add in a scoop of CollaGEN and get a nice post-workout meal that tastes good and is good for my body, too!
If you have questions about this article or any of these recommended supplements, please contact Dr. Eliza Klearman or come into the Vail Valley Pharmacy in Edwards!