Dietary Fats

dietary, fat, oil, fish, avocado, nut, olive

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Of the 3 macronutriments, fats are the nutrients that are the most dense in energy. Fat is composed of the same thing as carbohydrates (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) but the difference is that the atoms are not linked together in the same way. Fat is in plants and animals. Oils are liquid fats. Fats are insoluble in water. Fats are organized in 3 categories:

  • Simple fats (triglycerides)
  • Compound fats (phospholipid, glucolipid, lipoprotein)
  • Derived fats (cholesterol)

Here are the 3 fat’s functions in your body:

  1. Fats are the main source of stored energy (body fat)
  2. Fats help to protect and cushion the major organs
  3. Fats have an insulator effect, preserving body heat and protecting against excessive cold.

Fat is the most dense nutrient in calories 1 pound (453gr) of fat contains 4000 calories while 1 pound (453gr) of protein or carbohydrate contains about 1800 calories.

When you do exercise and stay within your aerobic capacity, it means you don’t run out of breath, your body uses fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy at around 50/50. But if you continue, your body will use more fat than carbohydrates as a source of energy. If you train for 3 hours, your body can use fat to create 80% energy for your body.

As you could read, there is different type of fat: saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated. These terms mean the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the molecule. Here is an analogy with a string’s ball so that it’s easier to understand. Saturated fat is like a length of string in a messy clutter. Unsaturated is like a rope with some entanglements. And polyunsaturated is like a rope carefully wrapped without the sign of a tangle. The more fat is saturated (tangled), the more likely it’s to remain in the body and clog the arteries, which increase the risk of heart disease.

There are also other factors. Diets rich in saturated fat tend to increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Health experts advise that 2/3 of your fat intake is polyunsaturated fat.

Saturated fats are found in:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Shellfish
  • Egg yolks
  • Cream
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Chocolate
  • Lard

Unsaturated fats are found in:

  • Avocados
  • Cashews
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Peanuts, peanuts oil, peanut butter

Polyunsaturated fats are found in:

  • Almonds
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Margarine (usually)
  • Pecans
  • Sunflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Fish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnuts

Essential Fatty Acids

fatty, acid, saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega,3,6,9,linolenic, linoleic, cla, gla, arachidonic, epa, dha, oleic, lauric, myristic,palmitic, stearic

Essential fatty acids are inevitable in a healthy diet because your body can’t create it itself- That’s why it’s essential that you eat foods containing essential fatty acids. It’s a shame because many bodybuilders have low fat diets and they develop deficiencies in dietary fat. Fortunately there are foods and supplements that provide “good fats” to avoid this extreme. Here are some examples:

Fish oil

Instead of eating low-fat fish, test salmon, trout or mackerel. Fish oil is needed by organs, especially the brain. You can also take fish oils as supplements.

Polyunsaturated vegetable oil

In vegetable oils, there are 2 acids that are valuable: linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Supermarket oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil don’t contain linoleic acid. Soybean oil is the only supermarket oil containing linoleic acid but you need ot pay attention to GMO. For linolenic acid, you can find that in linseed oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil.

Monounsaturated fatty acids

There are the most harmless fatty acids compared to some polyunsaturated fatty acids because they don’t affect your cholesterol or your prostaglandins (regulators of the hormones action). Monounsaturated fatty acids are found in olive oil and macadamia nuts.

Supplements of fatty acid

These supplements contain essential fatty acids from fish oils and other sources.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Carbohydrate

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. All carbohydrates are sugars that are molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Glucose is synthesis by plants through the photosynthesis process (using the sun’s energy) or by animals during the glycogen synthesis process. But be careful when I talk about glucose (sugar), I’m not talking about table sugar. There are several categories of glucoses (sugars). Here they are:

Monosaccharides

  • Glucose (blood sugar)
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Galactose (a kind of milk sugar)

Oligosaccharides

  • Sucrose(table sugar)
  • Lactose(milk sugar)
  • Maltose (malt sugar)

Polysaccharides

  • Plant polysaccharides(starch and cellulose)
  • Animal polysaccharides (glycogen)

The speed of which carbohydrate metabolized are measured with the glycemic index. A high glycemic index (a large increase in serum glucose) indicate that carbohydrates metabolized rapidly. A low glycemic index (a small increase in serum glucose) indicates that carbohydrates metabolized slowly or differently.

What’s cool now I being able to check the gylcemic index of foods on internet. For example, Chinese restaurant rice has a very high glycemic index compared to brown rice or wild rice.

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

Carbohydrates are the easiest type of food to turn into energy for the body. When carbohydrates converted to glucose, glucose circulates in the blood and helps muscle contraction. Glycogen in the muscle and liver stored for future use. A supply of carbohydrates is necessary for an ambitious bodybuilder for several reasons:

  1. Carbohydrates are a basic type of energy. Carbohydrate stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen will allow to train intense and heavy.
  2. Size of muscles increases when the body stores glycogen and water in individual muscle cells.
  3. Carbohydrates in the body have an effect that prevents the body from burning excess protein to create energy.
  4. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain to be operational. Carbohydrate deprivation can have very negative effects on mood, personality and mental abilities.

There is a reason why carbohydrates are really needed as fuel for a workout. This is because most exercises are anaerobics exercises. Anaerobics exercises are flushed through intense puffs and exceed the body’s ability to provide enough oxygen to sustain the effort. But the carbohydrates structure allows to continue feeding the muscles during an exercise for a short period without oxygen. Therefore, when you do intensive weight training or you run a 100 meter sprint, your energy for these efforts is mainly composed of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate supplement

carbohydrate, supplement, powder

Intense training creates a demand in the body to replace glycogen and amino acids. Be careful that your body contains enough carbohydrates after training, otherwise your body may start using amino acids (protein) as a source of energy. The period during which the body is in very high demand for carbohydrates is shorter than for proteins. The best results are obtained when you give the necessary carbohydrates to your body about 20 minutes after your training.

This need for immediate replacement of glycogen is the reason why many bodybuilders use a carbohydrate supplement after training with a protein supplement. It’s very useful when you do a strength training with a cardiovascular session (treadmill, stepper or bike). If you do cardio too soon after your strength training, you’ll be depriving your body of carbohydrates. And as you lack energy, your body will quickly use your amino acids (protein) to create the energy that is missing.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Accidental Genius

genius, badge

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I heard Olivier Roland’s tips and I learned some good stuff.

There is an interesting book by Mark Levy named Accidental Genius . This book explains a method to unleash your creativity and brain’s power to find solutions to your problems.

This book doesn’t speak to the fact that supposedly we use only 10% of our brain but rather that we underestimate an important thing, write what we think. When we think without written support, we deprive ourselves of an enormous source of structuring thoughts. Our thoughts go further and more structured when we think in writing than when we think in our head and we forget those thoughts very quickly.

Unfortunately, there is a difficulty. It’s that we write very slow compared to the speed we think. But Mark Levy has a method to overcome this difficulty, it’s free writing.

Free writing

write, pen, free, writing

Choose a problem that takes your head, take a piece of paper or open a document on your computer and start writing all that happens in your head.

For exemple, if you wan to start a company, the problem can be : « how can I start a profitable company as soon as possible ? ». Like a brainstorming, you write a maximum of idea in a minimum of time. To ease this process, ,you write without paying attention to grammar, vocabulary, syntax, punctuation, etc. You write with lots of mistakes to make it fluid. Anyway, you don’t write for someone, you write for yourself so you can let go, write whatever you want.

When you have a moment where you block, keep writing. You can write 40 times the same word, it doesn’t matter. As you continue to write, you will force your brain to find other ideas and to return to the flow of thoughts. It’s advisable to do this for 10 minutes.

I tested this method and it’s surprising but I have to use it more often to develop this skill. What I like with this method is that I can use it for all areas of my life and it takes 10 minutes in the day.

My question is, are you also going to test this method or are you one of the people who reads my blog to make yourself feel good ? What are you doing ?

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Manage Your Lipids

lipids nut avocado fish oil seed

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

Lipids help with brain function and hormones production like testosterone. Lipids are also the element that is the most energetic : 1gr of lipid is 9kcal while 1gr of protein or carbohydrate is 4kcal.

Lipids create the fat of living beings, which is why we most often use the word « fat ». There is 4 fat’s type :

  • Harmful fat – These are transformed fatty acids like partially hydrogenated oils. We find them everywhere, that’s why it’s important to have an ingredients label on foods.

  • Bad fat – These are saturated fatty acids

  • Neutral fat – These are monounsaturated fatty acids and they’re very beneficial for health.

  • Good fat – These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are very beneficial. There are 2 families, omega 3 and omega 6. If your body has too much omega 6, it creats health problems.

Type

Harmful fat

It’s fatty acids that are partially hydrogenated oils that are, for example, in Nutella, candy, cookie, fast food and all pastries. It’s advisable to eat them moderately otherwise they create health problems. And unfortunately the majority of people consume this type of fat too much.

Bad fat

It’s fatty acids that are, for example, in butter, beef, cheese, coconut oil and cold cuts. Overeating this type of fat increases the insulin resistance that can cause diabetes. It also decrease the ability of your body to use this type of fat as energy.

But be careful because not all foods that contain this type of fat are equal. Take the example of coconut oil. Coconut oil is full of lauric acid which has excellent antibacterial and digestive properties for the body. This coconut oil is very rich in MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) whick is convenient to use to be shreddedd because it helps the fat’s oxydation and keep your muscle mass.

Fatty acids that are in bad fat have an important role in the testosterone’s production, that why it’s recommended to consume it in average quantitiy.

Neutral fat

It’s fatty acids that are, for example, in olive oil, almond oil, macadamia nut, brazilian nut, avocado and oleic sunflower oil. It’s important to diferentiate between oleic sunflower oil and classic sunflower oil. Classic sunflower oil has a lot of omega 6 and this create a lot of inflammation and other health problems. On the other hand, oleic sunflower oil contains oleic acid. Oleic acid has properties that control cholesterol levels by lowering your bad cholesterol and boosting your good cholesterol. Oleic acid is also good for the memory.

Good fat

It’s essential fatty acids, which means these are fats aren’t produced by your body. That’s why they’re important to consume. A deficiency of these good fats will create health problems. There are 2 families : Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Omega 3 : The source of omega 3 are fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and tuna. There are also plant sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds, brussels sprouts, walnuts. It’s recommended to consume the animal source because they’re richer in omega 3 than vegetable sources (unless your eat huge amount of grain).

Omega 6 : The source of omega 6 are, for example, classic sunflower oil or soybean. All these foods with too much omega 6 are too present in the supermarkets. Omega 6 creates a lot of inflammation problem in your body, while Omega 3 decrease inflammation.

Consumption

lipids nut avocado fish oil seed

According to scientists, there is a ratio for having a healthy body. This ratio is :

  • -4/1 so 4 = omega 6 and 1 = omega 3

  • Or 1/1 so 1 = omega 6 and 1 = omega 3

The majority of people consume 20/1 so 20 = omega 6 and 1 = omega 3. That’s why a lot of people have health problems.

Lipids consumption is related to body weight. For exemple, take a person who weighs 85kg and who is beginner/intermediate :

  • To gain mass, it’s 0.9gr to 1gr per kilo of bodyweigth so 0.9 x 85 = 76.5 and 1 x 85 = 85. Which means between 76.5 and 85gr of lipids per day.

  • To be shredded, it’s 0.5 to 0.8gr per kilo of bodyweight so 0.5 x 85 = 42.5 and 0.8 x 85 = 68. Which means between 42.5 and 68 of lipids per day.

Now, take a person who weighs 100kg and who is a pro :

  • To gain mass, it’s 1gr to 1.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 0.9 x 100 = 100 and 1.2 x 100 = 120. Which means between 100 and 120gr of lipids per day.

  • To be shredded, it’s 0.9 to 1.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 0.9 x 100 = 90 and 1.5 x 100 = 150. Which means between 90 ans 150gr of lipids per day. A pro can take 150gr of lipid because he decreases carbohydrates.

These amount of lipids are to be divided between 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion.

To be shredded, it’s really important to consider MCT

You have to pay attention to MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) because it increase your thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is what turns calories into heat and increases your metabolism to burn more fat. MCT helps you to be shredded by keeping your muscles mass as much possible.

It’s recommended to take 2 teaspoons of MCT per day, otherwise you will poop everywhere.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Manage Your Carbohydrate

carbohydrate source food

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

If you want to learn how to manage your protein, click here and for amino acids, click here.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. It’s true that we can have energy with proteins and lipids but they provide less quantity of energy.

To put it simply, when you eat carbohyrates, they turn into glucose and then into glycogen. To better understand, I’ll take the example of a gasoline tank. Imagine that the tank is a muscle and that the gasoline is glycogen. Gasoline in the tank helps move the car and glycogen in the muscle helps move your body.

This glycogen is shared in many places in your body : 80% in your muscles, 14% in your liver and 6% in your blood.

Carbohydrate type

 

Most people know 2 types of carbohydrates, slow carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. There is a 3rd type, it’s fibrous carbohydrate and unfortunately many people neglect them.

Slow carbohydrates :

  • Whole wheat bread / white bread (refined carbohydrate)

  • Whole wheat rice / white rice (refined carbohydrate)

  • Oatmeal

  • Cereals (muelsi is excellent because there are often lipids and carbohydrates that are added like nuts, raisins, etc. ).

  • Sweet potato / potato

  • Whole wheat pasta / white pasta (refined carbohydrate)

  • Kinoa

  • Couscous

Simple carbohydrates :

  • Fruit (fructose)

  • Honey

  • Dextrose

  • Maltodextrin

  • Lactose (it’s sugar in the milk)

  • Cluster dextrin (it’s perfect during your training session because it has a low glycemic index).

Fibrous carbohydrates (vitamin, fiber et minerals) :

  • Vegetables (aspargus, carrot, cauliflower, salad, etc)

Carbohydrate, insulin and insulin spike

insulin spike blood sugar

There is a special relationship between carbohydrates and insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, they turn into glucose, which is a type of sugar, and then glucose is turned into glycogen. Glucose is managed by insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas. The insulin’s role is to manage the sugar’s level in the blood. This avoids having too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) or not enough sugar in the blood (hypoglycemia).

The problem is that the majority of people eat any type of carbohydrate anyway and they may quickly get a lot of fat. It’s important to understand that each carbohydrate has a different gylcemic index and this glycemic index will cause different insulin spikes.

Glycemic index

A glycemic index indicates how quickly carbohydrates become glucose in the blood. It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to eat carbohydrate with a low glycemic index rather than those with a high glycemic index.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index  :

  • Sweet potato

  • Oatmeal

  • Kinoa

  • Sugar free fruit juice

  • Whole wheat rice

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Fruits (apple, orange, cherry, pear, apricot)

  • Cluster dextrin (for your training session)

 

Carbohydrate with high glycemic index :

  • Potato

  • Couscous

  • Table sugar

  • White rice

  • White bread

  • White pasta

  • Cereal (Kellog, Nestle, etc.)

  • Dextrose

  • Sweet drink (soda)

  • Fruit (melon, watermelon)

Here is an exemple of low glycemic index carbohydrates to eat. For high glycemic carbohydrates, it’s recommended to eat them in moderation because if you eat them in large quantities, after several years, you have the risk to becoming diabetic or having other health problems.

Consumption

Always take into consideration your bodyweight and your training’s intensity. There 2 bad situations :

  1. Have a not very intense training and eat too much carbohydrates, which results in having too much fat in the body.

  2. Have intense training and eat a little carbohydrate, which results in being weak.

Take for example :

  • A man who weighs 85kg and is a beginner. In this case, it’s recommended to start with 3.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 3.5 x 85 = 297.5gr of carbohydrates to eat a day.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who is advanced or pro. In this case, it’s 5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 5 x 85 = 425gr of carbohydrates to eat a day. As an advanced person, the training sessions are really intense, that’s why you need this amount of energy.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who wants to be shredded. Let things be clear, it’s being shredded and not losing weight. In this case is between 1.2 ans 2.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so it’s between 102 and 212.5gr of carbohydrates to eat per day.

The carbohydrates amount to eat is to be divided into 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion. Each meal is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

To be shredded

shredded lean lose weight vs versus

Let things be clear, be shredded isn’t a weight loss. In this situation, leptin must be taken into consideration. Leptin is a hormone that regulates your appetite. When you start to lower your glucides, leptin will aslo decrease and you’ll be hungry. These feelings of hunger are created because of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone called « hormone hunger » because it stimulates the appetite. Ghrelin also affects your insulin and testosterone.

This means that people who too quicly decrease their carbohydrates will fail because the lack of energy will be too brutal. The feeing of hunger will be too intense because the body has not had time to get used to the new diet. This is where nutrition is out of control.

Never reduce carbohydrate to 0. The people who do that, make a diet ketogenic and you have to master this type of diet. The professional bodybuilder is doing this diet for 4 weeks, but they can do that because of chemical aid (steroids) and they have a dietician. The problem is that those who aren’t professional athletes and who are on a ketogenic diet do that because someone told them it was good. That’s why in the gyms there are people who lose consciousness because they don’t have enough energy. You need 50 to 130 grams of carbohydrates, just for your brain, it’s not a simple diet to lose weight.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Manage Your Amino Acids

amino acids

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

To put it simply, protein is an assembly of amino acids which means that you have to eat protein so that your body can have amino acids. There are a total 20 amino acids, 8 are essential and 12 nonessential. Be careful, nonessential amino acids are also needed. When you see an amino acid with the word « star », it means that it’s an important amino acid to be in shape.

What we call essential amino acids are those that our body doesn’t not produce. That’s why you have to look for them from an outside source. This outside source is the food you eat in the form of meat, egg, fish, dairy product, etc. And it’s possible that the outside source is whey protein powder in concentrate, isolate or hydrolyzate form.

Each amino acid has one or more important functions that’s why I’m only going to talk about important functions to be in shape.

amino acids table

Essential amino acids

Here are the 8 amino acids :

Lysine

This amino acid transports calcium to your body and reduces the tryglycerin’s rate.

Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine are BCAA (amino acids star)

These 3 amino acids have the function of giving energy, repair muscle tissue, anticatabolic, helps in congestion (pump) and helps burn fat.

Methionine

This amino acid is an antioxidant, helps in burning fat in the liver.

Threonine

This amino acid creates elastin and collagen, it’s for the skin. This is beneficial for slowing down old age.

Phenylananine

This amino acid increases alertness.

Tryptophane (amino acids star)

This amino acid reduces appetite and promotes sleep. It’s also a precursor of serotonin, that is to say gives you a good mood.

Nonessential amino acids

Here are the 12 amino acids :

Histidine

This amino acid helps recovery and growth.

Arginine (amino acids star)

This amino acid is the Viagra of amino acids. It’s also the precursor of nitric oxide which helps with congestion.

Glutamine (amino acids star)

This amino acid helps to be focus, to have more energy and helps with recovery.

Aspartic acid

This amino acid increases testosterone but is not definitive. There has been a lot of scientific studies concerning this amino acid but unfortunately, it has not been 100% proven that aspartic acid naturally increases testosterone. This is why it’s interesting to read the latest scientific studies on amino acids because we’ll discover new things.

Gutamic acid

This amino acid is a neurotransmitter and it’s also used as a fuel of the brain.

Cysteine

This amino acid a detoxifier for the liver, fat burner and antioxidant.

Ornithine (amino acids star)

This amino acid derived from arginine. It increases your growth hormone, increases your sleep and gives you more vitality.

Glycine

This amino acid increases your energy and helps the synthesis of creatine.

Proline

This amino acid protects your joint.

Serine

This amino acid increases your energy, your memory and focus.

Taurine

This amino acid increases your energy, focus and endurance.

Tyrosine

This amino acid is important for the body because it regulates your hormones which are dopamine, epinephrine and adrenaline.

Amino acid derivatives

These amino acids are not part of the list of essential and nonessential amino acids because they derive from these 2 lists.

L-Carnitine (star)

This amino acid derives from Methionine and Lysine. This increase your energy, helps burn fat in your liver and burns fat.

Citrulline Malate (amino acids star)

This amino acid derives from Arginine which allows you to produce more Arginine in your body, helps to create more nitric oxide, more vasodilatation, more congestion, more endurance and more recovery buffer of lactic acid.

Choline and Inositol

These amino acids derive from Methionine and Serine. This helps in burning fat in the liver, helps to focus and it’s a fat burner.

amino acids food source

amino acids food source bcaa

If you don’t read my article about protein, click here.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Concussion

concussion
A blow to the head that makes the brain hit the skull

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interessed in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters mental state or creates others symptoms. Many people think they have no concussion because they have not lost consciousness. You must know that it’s possible to have a concussion without losing consciousness. Often football or rugby players say : « I just got my bell rung » when they have been hit on the head that makes the ears rings, but these symptoms are often consistent with concussion.

Signs

  • Balance problems

  • Difficulty communicating, concentrating

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Fatigue

  • Feeling emotional

  • Feeling mentally foggy

  • Headache

  • Irritability

  • Memory difficulties

  • Nausea

  • Nervousness

  • Numbness or tingling

  • Sadness

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Sleeping more than usual or difficulty falling asleep

  • Visual problems (blurry or double vision)

  • Vomiting

Diagnostic

diagnostic

As soon as a concussion is suspected, a trained coach, certified athletic trainer or the team physician should immediately perform an initial « sideline » evaluation, including :

  • Symptoms list review

  • Focused neurological exam

  • Focused orientation exam that tests short-term memory recall such as the event, play, opponent, score or last meal.

  • Focused orientation exam that tests long-term recall such as name, birth date, place of birth.

  • Assessment of athlete’s ability to stay attentive to a complex task such as reciting months backwards.

If a person is suspected of having a concussion and there is no diagnosis, a concussion may place an athlete at risk of developing second impact syndrome. It’s a potentially fatal injury that occurs when an athlete suffers a second head injury before the old head injury has completely healed.

Second impact syndrome

Second impact syndrome is a potentially fatal injury that occurs when an athlete suffers a second head injury before the old head injury has been fully healed. Unfortunately, it’s complicated to know if the brain has been healed from the first injury. Even after all symptoms resolved, it’s possible that the healing isn’t complete and that it increases the risk to the brain of having the second impact syndrome. Neurocognitive testing can help doctors or physician decide when the athlete can return to the competition in the best conditions.

Neurocognitive testing

Neurocognitive testing

Neurocognitive testing is a questionnaire (usually on the computer) that athletes do that deals with several areas of brain function, including memory, problem solving, reaction times, brain processing speed and post-concussion symptoms. It’s most valid if the athlete has a pre-injury baseline test on file to compare the post concussion test. This information can be really helpful for the doctor or physician to decide when the athlete can return to the competition.

When to return to the competition

All athletes suffer concussion (whatever the gravity) should pass an evaluation by a qualified health care provider before returning to the competition. Athletes should return to competition after they have been completely cleared of all concussion symptoms and have no symptoms during and after physical tests.

Baseline testing is important for assessing concussion symptoms after an incident. The baseline testing often includes neurocognitive tests, symptom checklists, sideline assessment tools such as the Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool and balance testing.

Statistics

  • Athletes who have already had a concussion are more likely to have another concussion.

  • Children and teenagers are more likely to have concussion and take longer to heal than adults.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph