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 .

Sudden Cardiac Death

sudden, cardiac, death, hearth, sport, athlete, scd

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

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an extremely rare event. The most common reason for cardiac death related to sports is the cardiomyopathy hypertrophic, an abnormal enlargement of cardiac muscle. It’s a rare heart disease that predispose a person of SCD because of physical exertion.

Commotio cordis is another reason for SCD. It’s a direct trauma to the chest at a specific moment in the cardiac cycle and this trauma triggers a dangerous arrtyhmia (abnormal rhythm) of electrical system of the heart. A commotio cordis usually arrives in sports where a blunt projectile, such as baseball ball or hockey puck, hits the athlete’s chest.

Treatment

Cardiac arrhythmias that threaten the lives of young athletes are very difficult to treat. The immediate use of AED (automated external defibrillator) can provide an advantage.

Prevent

sudden, cardiac, death, sport, hearth, athlete, scd

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent death from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is to identify the disease and recommend the athlete avoid any strenuous activities. Cardiac ultrasound can diagnose this condition. Some experts have called for the screening of athletes with ultrasound or electrocardiograms (EKG), although this screening is controversial because of the high cost and scarcity of this condition.

However, athletes with cardiac symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath in relation to physical activity, palpitations, convulsions and especially syncope (fainting) must stop the competitions and must do deeper tests.

In addition, a family history of cardiac abnormalities justifies a complete cardiac evaluation. Especially a known parent with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or a history unexplained sudden death in a family member.

There is the creation of different forms of protection for the chest and pads, but unfortunately no method has prevented this tragic event. The rules regularly change in the sport and some times to try to avoid commotio cordis. For example in baseball and softball, it’s the limitation of the use of aluminium bat. This rule can protect the pitcher by decreasing the speed of the ball after contact with the bat. There are other rules too, such as using a softer ball and teaching players to turn their chest when the ball is hit by the bat.

Stats

  • Fortunately, SCD is extremely rare in the sport. For the majority of people do sports to cardiac benefits.
  • In young athetes, the most common causes of SCD are 25-30% hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and 20% commotio cordis.
  • Coronary artery abnormalities are the cause of 14% of SCD in athletes.
  • Marc-Vivian Foe, a Cameroonian soccer star had a sudden cardiac death during a match in 2003.

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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 .

MRSA Infections

mrsa infection anatomy

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

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureaus), or MRSA, is a bacterium that creates skin infections and other types of infections. The first time that MRSA was seen in US hospitals during the 1970s. Recently, there is a new strain of MRSA know as Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or CA-MRSA, has left hospitals and began to spread in the community.

This is the strain that is prevalent among athletes. The difference between CA-MRSA and Healthcare-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) is in their effects. CA-MRSA usually creates skin infections while HA-MRSA causes bloodstream, urinary tract and surgical site infections. This make CA-MRSA less dangerous than HA-MRSA. Another difference is that CA-MRSA is more vulnerable to antimicrobial.

Symptoms

Signs of infections are :

  • Redness

  • Warmth, Swelling

  • Pus

  • Pain at sites where there are skin wounds

  • Abrasions or cuts

MRSA has the ability to spread to other organs in the body and when that happens, symptoms are more severe.

At this stage, symptoms are :

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Low blood pressure

  • Joint pain

  • Severe headaches

  • Shortness of breath

  • An extensive rash over the body

These more advanced systemic symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Treatment

The 1st choice for treating MRSA skin infection is to use an antibiotic that has been created to kill bacteria with mild side effects. Most early infections with no widespread symptoms can be treated with oral antibiotics. Because of the nature of this decease and antibiotic options, many patients think they’re « cured » after only a few doses and decide by themselves to stop taking the prescribed drugs. However, MRSA is able to re-infect the patient and become resistant to antibiotics used previously.

For moderate to severe infections, treatment may be with intravenous antibiotics.

These infections associated with deep abscesses or boils require open surgical drainage in addition to antibiotic therapy. Most infections resolve in 7-10 days with an adequate treatment despite the fact that a deep abscess can take up to 4 weeks to eradicate the infection by resolving the abscess cavity.

Early identification and treatment of MRSA infections decrease the amount of playing time lost and decrease the chance that the infection will become severe. Skin may be protected by protective clothing or gear designed to prevent skin abrasions or cuts.

Prevention

mrsa infection anatomy

It’s necessary that athletes have good personal hygiene but it must be added that athletes and visitors to athletes facilities must also keep their hands clean by washing them often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub. The minimum is to have clean hands before and after sports and activities. For example when we use weight training equipment that is shared by all gym members, it’s important to have clean hands after using toilette or when someone is injured taking care the wounds (including changing bandage).

Ordinary and antimicrobial soaps are effective for washing hands. It’s noted that liquid soap is a better option because it’s not possible to share this type of soap compared to bar soap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol are the perfect choice.

Athletes should shower immediately after exercise and shouldn’t share soap and towels. Washing all uniforms and clothes after each use is important. Athlete should avoid sharing items that are in contact with the skin and avoid sharing personal items as they contact the skin. Fortunately, most surfaces don’t provoke a risk of spreading staph and MRSA.

Athletes who have had MRSA

Several high school, college and professional athletes have contracted MRSA infections. There have already been epidemics among athletes on the same team. A study published in « The New England Journal of Medicine » shows an infection MRSA among St. Louis Rams professional football franchise (USA) athletes. During a single season, MRSA infections were found among 5 of 58 Rams athletes (9 percents) that was tested. All infections developed on areas of the body that are common places for turf injury.

Stats

  • Today, MRSA accounts for about 50-70% of the S. Aureus infections that are present in healthcare facilities across the world.

  • Statistics fro the Kaiser foundation in 2007 indicated that approximately 1.2 million hospitalized patients contract MRSA infections.

  • Serious MRSA infection is still predominantly related to exposure in the healthcare setting, where approximately 85 percent of all serious MRSA infections occur.

  • Fortunately, in children under 18 years old, mortality rates are much lower (1%), even though the number of hospitalized children with MRSA has almost tripled since 2002.

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 .

How To Reduce Stress (Part 1)

stress

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

I am doing a synthesis of the Dale Carnegie’s book “How to stop worrying and start living”  and other sources on internet for a blueprint to manages stress in 4 steps.

Stress is about change, it means adapting to the environment of a changing structure. Stress is a feeling triggered by the interpretation of an event. It’s a reaction related to the constraints and the pressure undergone in its environment. Stress can be interpreted as something positive, whether it’s considered a challenge or as something negative, if it’s considered a harmful event.

The truth is that stress is a mistake of reasoning in relation to the attitude or behavior we adopt. This is an answer that isn’t adequate. It’s an alert for mental dysfunction as the body gives us an alert for physical pain. Fortunately, people can learn to control stress in 4 steps : Take a step back and analyze what triggered the stress ; anticipate and visualize ; organize yourself and communicate and turn away or adapt and accept.

1st step – Take a step back and analyze

 

keep calm stress

 

It’s necessary to step back and analyze what triggered the stress. Because before trying to solve that, it’s important to know what caused it. By analyzing what caused the stress, we can avoid certain consequences.

To do that, here’s what you can do :

  • Make a list of sources of annoyance that you have in your family, friends, school, work, transportation, etc. Once you have found them, classify them from the most impacting to the least impacting. You can also do a 20/80 analysis, that means identify the 20% of the sources that bring you 80% of your stress.

  • Ask yourself these questions : « What is the problem ? What is the cause of this stress in these sources ? What are the most serious consequences that I suffer of my experience ? »

  • Understand the emotion that created in these moments. Then check if it’s a real fear or rather a theoretical concern that doesn’t have much to happen in your life.

If a situation is truly unavoidable, you need to prepare yourself to accept it. We must give up the impossible because it’s extremely stressful to have no way to change a situation. To avoid this, you need to anticipate situations that may lead you into an impasse. Once these situations identified, you must try to really avoid them or change the course of things from the start.

It’s impossible to keep control of all things in your life. It’s useless to set inaccessible goals.

2nd step – anticipate and visualize

 

anticipate visualize telescope

 

 

The best way to handle stress is to anticipate. Based on the list you made in the first step (source of stress), imagine solutions and possible answers. Ask yourself these questions : « Why did you agree to be in this situation ? ». If what you do make sense, it limits the stress.

Decide how you want to live a situation. An event that happens to you can have not effect on you until you choose words to qualify it. If you say that an event is happy, boring, sad or extraordinary, it can become so. By qualifying the event, you modify the perception that you have of this event.

The way you see the event determines your body’s reaction. So take a moment to think before judging and classyfying a situation as negative.

Take Olivier Roland’s example. When Olivier Roland began to meditate, his neighbor’s dog was barking. At first it disturbed Olivier to focus on his breathing, it was stressful and annoying. After a while, Olivier realized that it wasn’t the barking dog that was stressful, it was Olivier’s interpretation of the situation. From the moment that Olivier decided that the barking dog was something neutral or positive, he began to appreciate when the dog barks. It’s a sign of life.

Imagination can be used to help fight stress. Get in shape before a stressful event. You can create a positive state of mind when an event is negative. Think of something positive like music, a holiday, projects in progress. Visualize a happy moment, a happy memory.

This the end of Part 1. In the 2nd Part, I talk about organize yourself and communicate and turn away or adapt and accept.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Abs Stretching

abs stretching anatomy

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on your stomach on your hands with your arms extended :

  • Straighten up your chest slowly by tilting your head back slightly

  • Maintain this position for few seconds while breathing slowly to feel the stretching of your abs.

Variant

It’s possible to make this movement with your hands on a bench and your feet on the floor, or you’re lying on your back on a big ball (Swissball).

Note

Stretching of abs can be an important element in some sports like throwing sports, especially the javelin. In this type of sports, it’s essential to have good flexibility and a good abdominal amplitude to make the movement perfectly.

Attention

Abs stretching are to be avoided in case of lumbar pathology.

different pelvis position man woman anterior superior iliac spine pubic tubercle anatomy

abs pregnant woman child belly weight antomy

Note

The position tilted forward (anteversion) of women’s pelvis allows a portion of the child’s weight to be transferred to the abs. By analogy, abs muscles can be compared to a « hammock ».

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-Steph

How To Do Sumo Deadlift

sumo deadlift

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with the barbell on the floor in front of you. Your legs spread with your feet outside (always in your knees axis) :

  • Bent your legs to have your thighs in horizontal. Your arms are straight, you take the barbell with a pronated grip. Your hands on the barbell are to your shoulders’ width. You have the possibility to have one hand with a supinated grip and the other with a pronated grip to prevent the barbell from rolling. And with this technique, you can lift an extremely heavy weight.

  • Inhale and block your breath. Arch slightly your back, squeeze your abs and you stretch your legs by straightening your torso to have a vertical position with your shoulder drawn back. Exhale at the end of the movement.

  • Put back the barbell on the floor by blocking your breath.

It’s important to keep your back straight during all the movement to avoid injury.

This exercise works especially quadriceps muscles and adductor muscles.

This exercise works less the back’s muscles than the classic deadlift because the back is less bent at the starting position.

Note

It’s important to lift the barbell in front of your shins at the beginning of the movement.

Do this exercise with light weights and high sets (maximum 10 sets) to strengthen the lumbar’s region by working thighs and gluteus.

If you do this exercise with heavy weight, you need to be careful to not trauma hips joints, adductors muscles, and lumbosacral junction.

The sumo deadlift is one of the 3 powerlifting’s movements.

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-Steph

Spinal Disc Herniation

disc herniation

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

First we can say : « disc herniation » or « herniated disc » but I prefer use « disc herniation » in my article.

Disc herniation is a common pathology in bodybuilding. This often occurs because of poor back placement during exercises such as squat, deadlift and rows (barbell bent row, seated row, etc).

During the execution of theses exercises, the main defect observed is the rounding of the back or a flexion of the spine. Because of that discs are pinched forward and loosened backward.

disc herniation

If an intervertebral disc cracked or aged, the gelatinous fluid of the nucleus pulposus moves backwards and can compress the spinal cord or roots of the spinal nerves. The symptoms of a disc herniation depends on the nature of the lesion, the amount of nucleus displaced and the surface that nucleus compresses.

The disc may have a bump or even worse, the nucleus may explode through the surrounding annulus fibrosus. It’s also possible that the posterior ligament that joins the vertebrae to each other is broken. The compressions caused by the rupture of the annulus fibrosus are always painful and incapacitating.

In bodybuilding, disc herniation are mainly at the lumbar level. Often between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae or between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. The pain is dull and deep and sometimes with numbness and tingling. Often the pain is in the middle of the back or on one side. The pain extends onto the glutes, pelvis and pubis. Sometimes pain can be felt throughout the leg following the path of the sciatic nerve because the sciatic nerve is compressed at the root (hence the name of sciatic to define this type of pain).

disc herniation sciatic nerve

Usually disc herniation resolve spontaneously and the pain gradually disappears. But in some cases the bump on a vertebral disc doesn’t disappear and can continue to painfully pres on the nerves or it’s a loose piece of intervertebral cartilage that compresses the nervous elements.

In these 2 cases, the doctor will think of doing a surgical operation to remove the part that compresses the nerves.

To avoid having a disc herniation, it’s essential to do squat, deadlift, « good morning » and rows (rows, barbell bent row, seated row) with excellent positioning technique.

Attention

For all exercises done with very heavy weight, it’s necessary to perform a « blocking » :

  1. Take a deep breath and block the breathing to fill the lungs like a balloon. This stiffens the ribcage and prevents the top of the torso form tilting forward.

  2. Squeeze abs stiffens the belly, This increases the intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the torso from sagging forward.

  3. By slightly arching the lower back with lumbar squeeze, this allows to have the spine’s bottom in extension.

These 3 simultaneous actions is what we call « blocking ». This « blocking » has the function of avoiding the rounding or bending of the spine because with very heavy weights, it can create disc herniations .

Note

After a training session with very heavy weights, it’s advisable to do stretching for the spine. There is an excellent exercise to relax the back muscles and rebalance the pressure inside the intervertebral discs. Click here .

Bad position

disc herniation bad positon squat deadlift

For exercises such as deadlift or squat, it’s important not to round your back to avoid lower back injuries.

Disc herniation

disc herniation

Flexion of the spine with heavy weights can create disc herniations at the level of the lumbar vertebrae.

These disc herniations are common at squat and deadlift. This is caused by a bad back position during exercise. That’s why it’s important to work the technique for these exercises.

Disc herniation according to the age

disc herniation intervertebral

From the age of 30 years old, intervertebral discs degenerate and don’t worry, it’s normal, The annulus can crack and the nucleus pulposus dries progressively.

Vertebral discs of people over 30 years old are more rigid, less elastic and the mobility of the spine is more limited. But as the viscous gel of the nucleus pulposus deacreases due to drying, the risk of the vertebral discs moving and compressing the nerves diminished.

Vertebral discs of people under 30 years old are more flexible, more elastic and there is more mobility with the spine. There is a greater amount of viscous gel in the nucleus pulposus which increases the risk that vertebral discs will move and compress the nerves. Disc herniation is very common among young athletes.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you

-Steph