Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

A very interesting article on the werits of various different protein formulas from different manufacturers based stateside but available in the UK.

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by Steven Milner IIST VTCT

I got a message the other day on Face Book about rapid weight loss without pills (you know the ones, legal or otherwise) I asked him if I could publish our conversation and he agreed anonymously of course. This is how it went…

Friend:
Hi steve wats the quickest or most effecient method off losing weight would u say without slimming tablets ? Cheers

My reply:
Try this first and see how you go; cut out all your dietary salt and control how much is in your processed food, if you need the savoury taste buy Lo-Salt (potassium chloride), you can get it in Morrison’s, at the same time buy 6 half litre bottles of cheapo water. The aim is to drink all six bottles throughout your day, keep the bottles for the next day, swill ‘em with Milton fluid or some such and refill them with tap water (there’s nothing wrong with it and it costs you hundreds of pounds a year in bills, so use it mate) do the same every day. What you will find is that you piss a lot at first but this settles down within a day or so, in the meantime the extra water will make your body realise it doesn’t need it (water) in case of dehydration and without the sodium to hold it (water) in, your body starts to shed the water, pounds of it. It goes from under your skin, the interstitial tissues that cushion in and around the muscles and most importantly the fat cells themselves. Because of the Lo-Salt (containing potassium instead of sodium) very little water is lost from the muscles, quite the reverse in fact. You see the body stores a lot of toxic waste in the fat cells and the extra water (2-3 litres a day is about normal believe it or not) provides the ideal environment to flush the shit out. You will see reductions in both weight and inches in the first week but your body will plateau after a few weeks and you should already be on with the next phase by then. Good luck mate, let me know how you get on. ps Do try to eat sensibly at the same time you will get even more water from fresh foods! pps Cuz, would you mind if I posted this reply to my “on form fitness” face book page, I can leave your name out if you like?

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Edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST

20 SUPER FOODS FOR THE GROWING BODYBUILDER.

 

To build muscle & lose fat, you need a variety of proteins, vegetables, fruits, carbs, and healthy fats. Eating protein helps to build and maintain muscle, but it also helps fat loss. Protein has a higher thermic effect on the body than carbs and fats.

Dietary fat actually helps with bodyfat loss, how?  Your body stores fat if you don’t get enough in your diet. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals, necessary for recovery from your workouts. And carbs fuel your muscles so you feel full of energy at the gym.

Many of you struggle to balance these foods efficiently. Sometimes because you’re too busy or sometimes because you just lack the right information. This list will help you — 20 super foods you need to build muscle & lose fat.

1. Whole Eggs. Cheap & rich source of protein: 7g/egg. The yolk contains most nutrients: half the protein, vitamins A/D/E and cholesterol to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Don’t get too worked up about cholesterol in eggs. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol. Really! If you have bad cholesterol you should be working on lowering your body fat rather than wasting a perfectly good and healthy yolk.

2. Fish Oil. Reduces inflammation (joints/skin), lowers body fat and increases testosterone levels. You need 9000mg EPA/DHA per day. Since you’ll probably struggle to get that from eating fatty fish, consider a fish oil supplement.

3. Salmon. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that also gets you 20g protein per 100g serving. Farm raised salmon is, however, omega-3 deficient because it’s corn/grain fed. Go with wild salmon if you can.

4. Berries. Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart & eye diseases. Any kind works: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. Buy fresh or frozen berries and mix with oatmeal.

5. Yogurt. Contain bacteria that improve your gastrointestinal health. Don’t buy frozen yogurt or yogurt with added sugar and fruits at the bottom. Get plain low fat yogurt. Eat it with berries & flax seeds.

6. Flax Seeds. Source of fibre, protein & omega-3. Grind the flax seeds to get the most out of them, but be aware they won’t keep for more than a week when ground. Take 1 tbsp with yogurt & berries before going to bed. Stay away from flax oil: it’s unstable and contains no fibre. I should tell you that in the UK flaxseed oil is Linseed oil. Obviously you can’t just use any old linseed oil.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 70% monounsaturated fats protect against heart diseases and cancer. Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to your salads. Buy extra virgin olive oil if you can afford to, it contains more polyphenols and tastes better.

8. Mixed Nuts. Contain mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fibre, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Mixed nuts are calorie dense, great if you’re a skinny guy who wants to gain weight. This is easy to get right because anything works, almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, etc., peanut butter also works as long as you buy natural or organic peanut butter without added salts/sugars.

9. Red Meat. Protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, creatine, carnatine and even omega-3 if you eat grass-fed beef. Eat steaks & hamburgers from top round or sirloin

10. Broccoli. High in cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and anti-estrogenic indoles. Broccoli is also high in soluble fibre and low calorie, helping fat loss. Eat other cruciferous vegetables for a change, such as  cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, etc.

11. Spinach. One of the most alkaline foods. Spinach prevents muscle & bone loss, but also cancer and heart diseases because of its high nutrient profile.

12. Turkey. If you don’t believe saturated fat is good for you, try white turkey. The leanest beef has about 4.5g saturated fat/100g, while white turkey has close to 0g which is why it’s so dry.

13. Quinoa. Mainly consumed in the United States, quinoa is often called the South American “king of grains”. Quinoa is higher in fibre & protein (18%, and a complete protein at that) than rice or oats, tastes a lot better and is gluten free, yet still high in calcium which is great for the lactose intolerant. Buy the whiter grain, it’s better quality. Eat it post workout as part of your post workout meal.

14. Oats. Oats and whole grains reduce cholesterol, provide you with low-glycaemic index carbs for energy, and are high in soluble fibre. Try a post workout shake of whey & crushed oats. (If you like that sort of thing)

15. Tomatoes. High in lycopene, which prevents cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste is 4 times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Have pizza or pasta with tomato sauce & olive oil post strength training.

16. Oranges. Vitamin C to fight diseases, magnesium to lower blood pressure, anti-oxidant beta-carotenes, etc. Avoid drinking processed orange juice from concentrates which often has added sugars. Eat oranges or make your own orange juice.

17. Apples. Pectin in apples helps weight loss by increasing satiety (the feeling of fullness). Apples are also the strongest antioxidiant after cranberries (eat the peels). Unfortunately apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Go organic.

18. Carrots. The high vitamin A content in carrots improves eye-health, especially night vision. Carrots are also h in fibre, low calorie and taste good (to some), even raw.

19. Water. Try to read some of my other articles on hydration (secrets of hydration)for more in depth information. Your body holds water if you don’t drink enough. Drinking prevents water retention, helps muscle recovery and prevents dehydration from strength training. Get a brita filter and drink 2 cups of water with each meal.

20. Green Tea. Green tea is a strong antioxidant and natural diuretic. Green tea can also speed up fat loss, prevents cancer and improve blood sugar & circulation. Try to drink green tea in the morning instead of coffee. Real green tea please, not the teabags!

Put It All Together. Eat proteins, veggies, fruits & fats every 3 hours. 2 cups water with each meal. Carbs post workout only. Junk food 10% of the time. Get stronger in the meanwhile and you’ll build muscle & lose fat.

HOW TO BUILD MORE MUSCLE?

by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

Steven Milner IIST VTCT

There are two ways in which muscle can increase in humans…HYPERTROPHY & HYPERPLASIA…the former relates to an increase in the size of existing muscle cells and the latter relates to cell splitting and division through which there is an increase in the number of muscle cells. Hypertrophy is well proven but there is still speculation about whether hyperplasia through exercise takes place or not. Hyperplasia is generally seen during the growth phase of human beings due to the action of anabolic hormones like Insulin like Growth factor -1 (IGF-1). As a fitness professional you should not concern yourself too much with hyperplasia, however keep an open mind, many bodybuilders have a different view.

The tried and tested methods we use during resistance training to increase muscle tissue in the body deal with muscle hypertrophy.

So we need to understand the process of Hypertrophy in order to be successful in our endeavour to increase in muscle in the body.

The 3-pronged attack…

Firstly we need to stress or overload our muscles using resistance training (preferably weight training), in other words we lift weights which challenge the muscles beyond their usual limits. We accomplish this using exercise techniques, reps and sets for various body parts usually until we cannot do even one more repetition…try to lift weights that don’t allow more than 6 to 10 reps before hitting failure. This causes micro trauma at a cellular level. This micro trauma is not acceptable to the body, consequently the body needs to strengthen itself as a protective measure against further damage in the face of a similar challenge. In other words the muscle strengthens itself to adapt to the level of stress caused by exercise. Now the same amount of weights & reps that caused damage at the cellular level giving the body a need to get stronger are no longer challenging enough after hypertrophy has taken place…thus if further progress is desired then the overload has to progressively increase to initiate hypertrophy again. This is called progressive overload. Suffice it to say that without this micro trauma given to the body through progressive overload (PO), the human body would have no need to strengthen itself.

After the onslaught of training the body initiates the process of repair work…this repair work doesn’t just end at bringing the muscle cell back to its original self but over compensates to make it bigger and stronger than it was, in this way muscular hypertrophy takes place.

Nutrition is the second part of the 3-pronged attack, unless the muscle building nutrients such as protein are present in sufficient quantities exercise will remain a stimulus for hypertrophy, but will not lead to more muscle growth.

The third part is rest & recovery. After inflicting the growth producing damage through intense weight training and allowing for sufficient muscle building material through correct nutrition, if you don’t rest sufficiently you will end up working out again sooner than you should. The rate at which the body can rebuild and over compensate is governed by the amount of rest it gets.

So to sum up, in order to achieve muscle hypertrophy you should train the muscles with sufficient intensity using progressive overload (PO) to break the muscles down. This will initiate in the body a process of repair and regrowth.
This can only happen when the bo dy is given the right nutrition – adequate protein (N) and sufficient time to rest in between workouts (R). This will result in super compensation yielding a bigger muscle cell than before, so as an equation then it reads like this,

PO + N + R = HYPERTROPHY

If you want to know what type of exercises, nutrition and rest best suit your muscles genetics check out some of my other articles

Secrets to growing a muscle

Secrets about body fat and reduction

Secrets about hydration

or visit my fitness site for a more health based perspective www.onformfitness.com

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED #7  Six secrets of  the champions

 Edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT


Six Muscle Building Secrets From The World’s Best Bodybuilders!
By: Daniel Przyojski Oct 11, 2006

The difference between having a well developed physique or looking like a guy that ‘works out once in a while’ is in your applied training knowledge. Here are 6 training secrets from the best. Apply these and see if they work for you!

In my earliest days of being an aspiring bodybuilder, I trained too often and too hard. Believe you me; I trained harder than most top bodybuilding stars. I’m not saying this to brag about myself; in fact it’s quite the opposite. I’m saying this to point out how ignorant I was when it came to applying real life training methods that actually build muscle and not just tear it down. The difference between having a muscular, well developed physique or looking like a guy that “works out once in a while” is in your applied training knowledge. At first I reasoned that going to the gym 5 or 6 times a week was a sure path to building an outstanding physique. After a few fruitless years of weight training at the University of Futile Methods, I discovered 6 powerful muscle building secrets from the WORLD’S BEST BODYBUILDERS. Once I applied this scientifically sound training knowledge to my bodybuilding lifestyle, in 12 month’s time I built more muscle size and strength than in the previous 3 years.

Check and see how many of these 6 secrets you’re applying to your bodybuilding lifestyle!

Secret #1: Stimulate The Muscle Don’t Annihilate It!
This has to be the granddaddy secret of them all. If I had just a dime for every person who gave up weight training because of over training, I would quite possibly be the richest man in the world. I learned this secret from Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman. Here was one of the best bodybuilders that ever lived, and I was doing more sets and reps in my weight training than he was. Ronnie Coleman believes that you should strive to, “Stimulate the muscle, don’t annihilate it.” Once a muscle has been thoroughly stimulated, more sets and reps will just retard growth. Great bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman limit the number of sets and reps per workout, this makes it easier to target your specified muscle and enhance its overall potential. Too many bodybuilders are guilty of “over training.” Most weight lifters just go into the gym and do countless exercises per muscle group and never give a thought to the whatifs or whyfors of the training regime they’ve adopted. It’s that type of approach to training that leads to insignificant gains in muscle mass and overall fitness. To stimulate muscle growth pick 1 or 2 basic exercises per muscle group and perform 4 to 6 all out hard work sets for each exercise. Rep range should be between 6 to 20 reps with all the weight you can safely handle.

Secret #2: Heavy Basic Exercises Build Big Muscles!
Countless sets of concentrated dumbbell curls, preacher curls, cable curls and incline dumbbell curls will not produce half the results that a 6 set weight pyramid of all-out 6 to 20 reps Olympic barbell standing curls will.  My training partner and I were guilty of this crime. The same can be said for the Squat. All out barbell back squats for 6 to 20 reps will produce more muscular size and strength than 50 sets of leg extensions, leg curls, and even leg presses. I learned this important secret from Lee Priest; a man whose training methods of using heavy squats will put slabs of muscle on the most hopelessly skinny guys you have ever seen. Champion bodybuilder Jay Cutler is also a big advocate of big weights with basic exercises. The biggest, strongest, and best-built champions of both past and present always incorporate the squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press and bent over rows into their training. You cannot build mighty muscles lifting mini mouse weights. End of story!

Secret #3: Eat Like A Bodybuilder To Look Like A Bodybuilder.
This sounds simple and actually is simple, yet most trainees screw it up

1. Protein. The most important element to the bodybuilder. Protein is for growth, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue. One to one and a half grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is recommended. The highest quality proteins are from animal sources i.e. eggs, fish, poultry, and meat and dairy products.
2. Carbohydrates. Raise the blood sugar level and supply the muscles with energy. Best sources of carbohydrates are potatoes, oatmeal, stone ground whole wheat bread and cereals. You should also consume several servings of vegetables every day.
3. Fats. Fats are essential to a good diet as they heat the body and lubricate body parts. They also provide a necessary base for carrying vitamins A, D and E. You can get ample amounts of good fats through your daily diet of fish, eggs, and if needed a tablespoon of olive oil. If you’re trying to build new muscle and keep your body fat at 10 percent or less, you’ll wind up looking like a well defined scarecrow. As Gunter Schlierkamp says, “Eat big and grow big!”

Secret #4: 7 To 9 Hours Of Sleep At Night.
You cannot and will not grow bigger and stronger if you ignore this rule. 7 to 9 hours of sleep is required for the total recuperation and growth of the entire body. Muscular bodybuilders like Chris Cormier and Markus Ruhl are big believers in proper rest. Rest time is when the combination of proper training and eating come together and morph into making bigger, stronger muscles. When you’re at the gym heaving the weights around, you’re actually tearing down the muscle tissue not building it up. When you’re eating the proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water, you’re feeding the muscles for growth. But when you’re sleeping the actual growth is taking place. Get your rhythm down, improve your sleeping habits! The average, healthy individual needs to live on a 25 hour cycle, but of course our planet is on a 24 hour cycle. So instead of switching planets, let’s look at what you can do to better understand this.    The body is at rest and can do what it’s meant to do at sleep time, GROW. Power naps throughout the day (15 to 45 minutes of sleep) are also a great way to build up extra energy and give the muscles time to repair and grow. Just remember this, cut your sleep short and you’re cutting your progress short! You have to decide what you want most, late nights out partying with friends or a bodybuilder’s physique that turns heads wherever you go!

Secret #5: Have A Master Plan.
This secret could arguably be the number one ingredient needed to be successful. I learned this secret from the all time bodybuilding great Arnold Schwarzenegger and have never forgotten it. What are our goals and why are we training? Without a master plan you’ll be like a ship at sea with no defined destination and without a rudder to steer yourself. Here is what a master plan consists of. First off, what’s your goal?

1. End Goal. What do you want to be or accomplish? Do you want to win a state or national bodybuilding championship? If so then that is your end goal.
2. Goal Map. This is where you plan out the ways and means of accomplishing your goal and how long it will take you to achieve it. How will you cycle your training, how will you cycle your diet, what supplements will you take, what will you have to give up in order to realize your dream?
3. Take Action. Now this is really the hardest part, taking action and sticking to your plan. You must stay the course until you reach your desired outcome. Neither Arnold nor any other champion bodybuilder would have been successful if they abandoned their master plan after their first setback or failure.

Secret #6: A Winner Never Quits And A Quitter Never Wins!
Remember this very simple phrase and make it a part of your life. When Gunter Schlierkamp defeated Ronnie Coleman some people said he just got lucky. A lucky break or successful event in life is nothing more than being physically and mentally prepared to take advantage of an opportunity when it comes your way. Think and act like a champion and you’ll be one!

Power Health Always,
Dan Przyojski
Email: dan@powerhealthproducts.com

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED #7  Six secrets of  the champions Edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

FAT BURNING: THE FACTS

At some point or other we have all wanted to burn off some body fat but what if you want fast results? Well fear not, here are my top tips to help burn off that tyre around your waist.

1. PRE-BREAKFAST MORNING CARDIO
Studies show that working out in the morning burns up to 3 times more fat compared to working out at any other time during the day. To get into the ‘fat burning zone’ a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio is required.

During the day your body’s main source of energy is the carbohydrates that you get from eating your meals. As you sleep at night for 6+ hours, your body uses up all those carbohydrates as energy for the various bodily functions that go on even while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning your body doesn’t have any carbohydrates left to use and it will look to burn body fat instead for energy.

For you to take advantage of this morning fat burning opportunity you have to exercise first, before eating breakfast. If you do have breakfast, then you’ll just give your body more carbohydrates as a source of energy instead of the body fat that you want to burn off.

Another great thing about working out first thing in the morning is that your metabolism gets revved up and then stays elevated throughout the day. An elevated metabolism means that you’ll burn more calories and lose more weight. If you exercise at night you may still burn fat while you work out but as soon as you go to sleep your metabolism will slow down and you’ll have missed out on all the extra fat burning that you could have had during the day if you’d exercised in the morning. When you sleep your metabolic rate is always at its slowest.

For advanced athletes adding an extra workout to your daily routine 4-6 hours after your morning workout will maintain your already high metabolism. Most fat calories are burned when doing cardio at moderate intensities. If you make your second workout of the day a weights workout, then you will burn mostly carbohydrates during it.

2. EAT BREAKFAST
Another way to keep your metabolism revved up all day long is to eat breakfast. Have breakfast after your morning cardio and you’ll give your body the perfect combination to jump start your metabolism. If you skip breakfast your metabolism will run slower causing you to burn less fat. Eating breakfast will help stop those cravings you may have later on in the day and along with working out in the morning, will also keep you energised throughout the day and lower your stress levels.
It is best to have 6 small meals throughout the day as this will keep your metabolism at a higher level. Every time you eat, your body uses energy to break down, digest and use the food. Eating a small meal every 2-3 hours allows the body to experience calorie burning and less calories are stored as fat. Consuming multiple meals also aids in lowering cortisol levels allowing testosterone levels to remain high. Elevated testosterone levels increase muscle growth, which in turn boosts calorie burning properties in your body.

3. CONSUME PROTEIN
It is recommended that you consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. This should be split between your 6 meals throughout the day. Following a high protein diet means you will need more calories just to maintain bodyweight levels and in turn it makes it easier for your body to burn fat. The constant stream of amino acids also means that muscle tissue is less likely to be broken down. The best forms of protein are lean cuts such as chicken and turkey breast, lean beef and low/non fat dairy.

There are also supplements available that can aid with fat burning, here is my guide to those all important supplements:

CAFFEINE
Caffeine is involved in increasing the mobilisation of fat cells into your circulation and is seen as a potent stimulant. Caffeine’s stimulant properties aid strength training if used pre-workout and can also help to reduce muscular soreness.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea contains high concentrations of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is responsible for the tea’s thermogenic effects. In addition to its fat burning qualities green tea extract is also a powerful antioxidant. EGCG is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C and more effective than vitamin E at cell protection.

FORSKOLIN
Forskolin is extracted from the roots of the coleus forskohlii which is a wild plant that grows throughout India, Thailand and Burma. Forskolin stimulates the part of the brain that synthesises epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. Together, epinephrine and norepinephrine directly increase the heart rate, triggering the release of glucose from energy stores and increasing blood flow to the skeletal muscle. It has been shown that forskolin is also beneficial for decreasing bodyfat levels and stimulating free testosterone levels.

L-TYROSINE
This naturally occurring amino acid can impact the production of neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for fat mobilisation and fat burning. This impact usually occurs when dieting so supplementing L-Tyrosine into your daily routine when in a dieting phase can help your mind stay balanced as well as aiding with fat burning.

CAPSAICIN
Capsaicin is known as the element which makes chilli peppers hot. It also helps increase your levels of norepinephrine which aids fat burning.

ACETYL-L-CARNITINE (ALCAR)
Alcar is the acetyl eater of L-Carnitine and occurs naturally in animal products such as red meat and dairy products and is vital for fat metabolism. It has been reported that using this supplement results in a great increase in muscle carnitine content and studies show that increased skeletal muscle carnitine levels result in a greater use of fats for energy during exercise.

CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA)
Cla is a fatty acid found naturally in red meat and dairy products. It is known for its fat loss properties and also helps with cellular health and muscle building. Scientific studies uphold CLA supplementation as a simultaneous fat burning, anti-catabolic and anabolic aid.

HYDROXYCITRIC ACID (HCA)
Hca is an appetite suppressant and has been shown to increase lipolysis (fat burning), boost serotonin levels and allow the body to use fats instead of carbohydrates for energy.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your fat burner:

-Drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water with each dose of fat burning product and keep hydrated throughout the rest of the day.
-Take your first dose upon waking (before your pre-breakfast cardio).
-Take a second dose 30-60 minutes before lunch and take your last dose 30 minutes before dinner.

To summarise, in order to get fast acting results you will require:

-30 minutes of steady pre-breakfast cardio.
-Six small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism high.
-Time permitting, an extra workout 4-6 hours after your cardio to keep your metabolism high.
-A fat burner from the list above to help you achieve the results you desire.
-These tips will assist you in elevating your metabolism to burn more calories and fight fat on a daily basis and ultimately help shed all that unwanted body fat.

This article appeared on the Flex UK website authored by MEHMET EDIP

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED SECRET #4 Hydration Continued

By Steven Milner (please refer to the credits at the end of the article)

DRINK YOUR WAY TO WINNING PERFORMANCES: THE SEVEN SECRETS TO HYDRATION!

If you want to perform at a high level, you need to drink. Water, that is. For each percent of body weight lost due to dehydration, your performance slips by about two percent, and a meager two-percent loss in weight can force your heart rate and body temperature to spiral upward, making strenuous exercise almost impossible to carry out. If you’re going to be exercising for 20 minutes or less, dehydration is not usually a problem, but difficulties can arise during longer exertions. For example, copiously sweating athletes can flush about 1.5 litres of fluid per hour through their sweat glands, a total of three pounds per hour. If these heavily perspiring individuals weigh 150 pounds, that’s a two-percent loss in weight after just one hour, producing a four-percent dip in performance if no fluid is taken on board. The downturn in performance would be smaller, about two percent, after 30 minutes, but that’s still enough to make a difference to serious athletes who are interested in winning. But what are the rules for fluid intake? How much do you really need and what should your drink be like? To make it easy for you, I’ve listed the seven rules of fluid intake during exercise below. If you follow these rules, you’ll keep your body water intact during exercise and perform at a much higher level.

RULE NO. 1: The rate of passage of water from your stomach into your small intestine depends on how much fluid is actually in your stomach. If there’s lots of water there, fluid flow from stomach to intestine is like a springtime flood; if there’s little water, the movement resembles a lightly dripping tap. Therefore, to increase stomach-intestinal flow (and overall absorption of water) you need to deposit a fair amount of liquid in your stomach just before you begin your exercise. In fact, 10-12 ounces of fluid is a good start. This will feel uncomfortable at first, so practice funnelling this amount of beverage into your ‘tank’ several times before an actual competition.

RULE NO. 2: To sustain a rapid movement of fluid into your small intestine during your exertions, take three to four sips of beverage every 10 minutes if possible, or five to six swallows every 15 minutes.

RULE NO. 3:  If you’re going to be exercising for less than 60 minutes, don’t worry about including carbohydrate in your drink; plain water is fine. For more prolonged efforts, however, you will want the carbohydrate.

RULE NO. 4: Years of research have suggested that the correct concentration of carbohydrate in your drink is about 5-7%. Most commercial sports drinks fall within this range, and you can make your own 6 %  drink by mixing five tablespoons of table sugar with each litre of water that you use. A bit of sodium boosts absorption, one-third teaspoon of salt per litre of water is about right. Although 5-7%  carbohydrate solutions seem to work best for most individuals, there is evidence that some endurance athletes can fare better with higher concentrations. In research carried out recently at Liverpool John Moores University, for example, cyclists who ingested a 15% maltodextrin solution improved their endurance by 30% compared to individuals who used a 5% glucose drink. The 15% drink also drained from the stomach as quickly as the 5%, though many other studies have linked such concentrated drinks with a slowdown in water movement.

RULE NO. 5:  A 6% ‘simple sugar’ drink will empty from your stomach at about the same rate as a fancy, 6% ‘glucose polymer’ beverage, so don’t fall for the idea that the latter can boost water absorption or enhance your performance more than the former, and don’t pay more for the glucose-polymer concoctions.

RULE NO 6:  Contrary to what you’ve heard, cold drinks aren’t absorbed into your body more quickly than warm ones. However, cold drinks are often more palatable than warm ones during exercise, so if coldness helps you to drink large quantities of fluid while you exert yourself, then keep your drinks cool.

RULE NO. 7:  Downing drinks during exercise does not increase your risk of digestive-system problems. In actuality, most gut disorders that arise during exercise are caused by dehydration, not from taking in fluid. Dehydration induces nausea and discomfort by reducing blood flow to the digestive system, so by all means keep drinking

Source: The Maintenance of Fluid Balance during Exercise’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol..15(3), pp. 122-125,1994, and ‘The Effect of Different Forms of Fluid Provision on Exercise Performance’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 14, p. 298,1993