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Can we train to prevent injury?

Did you know 8.5 million people in the UK suffer with painful joints?

Have you ever suffered an injury, ether it be an awkward landing jump, twisting and changing direction at speed or even tripping over the kids toys? If you’ve ever been injured, think about how quickly it happened. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), for example, injuries to this knee ligament happens in a blink of an eye. Our muscles need to react quickly to this force to help protect the joint and keep it stable. How do we train for injury prevention?

Does strength training help?

Strength training is important for overall health and wellbeing, but we need to build our fast twitch muscles to execute a rapidly responding neuromuscular system. Even the strongest person in the gym could have risk of injury if their muscles don’t produce sufficient force rapidly enough.

Training for injury prevention

This is where we need to target our fast-twitch muscles fibres and not the slow-twitch endurance-type muscle fibres. Fast twitch fibres have the quickest response time, highest strength and most power capability.

How do you target fast twitch muscle fibres?

Use a high load. Aim for 3-5 reps working to failure, meaning that 6 reps will be impossible to lift with the correct technique.

  1. Isolate each limb by performing single-legged exercises
  2. Be explosive during the lift. Using an explosive force it encourages use of those fast twitch muscles, which we need to target.
  3. Eccentric Muscles contractions – working the leg eccentrically activates the muscle with the leg extended.
  4. Rest 2 minutes between sets – fast twitch muscles tire quickly!

These are the basics covered for injury prevention. These rules are great for anyone, and not just for every day injury prevention but also those people who spend a lot of time doing sports too!

 

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Coconut Protein Balls

These Vanilla & Cocao protein balls are a great for a quick post workout fix, or as a healthy snack at any time of the day.

Makes 12 – 14 protein balls

Vanilla & Cocao Protein Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops of vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocao powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (or hazelnut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chai seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaked coconut

Method

In a bowl mix the protein powder, cocao powder and almond butter together.

protein ball mixMelt the coconut oil slightly in the microwave (about 10-20 seconds) and pour into the mix and stir. The mix should turn soft, if it’s still too dry add in more coconut oil until you get a smooth texture.

Pop the mix in the fridge for 5 minutes, and the coconut oil will solidify enough for you to roll into balls.

Sprinkle the chai seeds and coconut flakes out ready to coat the balls.

As you roll the mix into balls, the coconut oil will melt the balls slightly, but that’s ok, the balls will harden up again at room temperature.

Coat the balls with the flake mix, and pop them on parchment paper ready to cool and set in the fridge.

Store in an airtight container and ENJOY!!

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Sports Nutrition Supplements – ingredient advice

Sports Nutrition Supplements

Although I generally recommend it is important you have a good balanced food intake, sometimes you don’t always have time to cook a high protein meal post workout, or there may be a few hours until you can get to eat a proper meal. It is important you use protein powder in addition to your diet not as a food replacement. It is also important that we stay hydrated drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, but again after a vigorous workout, sometimes this isn’t enough.

Struggling to sit down on the toilet after a leg day?

Ever trained so hard 24-48 hours later you are struggling to sit on the toilet or walk up & down stairs after a run? Even lifting your arms trying to put a jumper on may be tricky after a shoulder day? After any sports activity or fitness regime,, failure to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscles with protein quickly as possible after training will have an effect on recovery and you may suffer DOMS.

So, what is DOMS? (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

DOMs.. the easiest way to describe it, is your muscles asking for protein and nutrition. The soreness and ache is your muscles repairing the damage which has been done in any gym, fitness class or sports activity. It is also important to stay hydrated but sometimes after a vigorous days exercise, sometimes water is not enough. There are a few supplements I highly recommend you incorporate in your training programme to help both of the above problems. The supplements I mention below will include a few little key ingredients: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, D ribose and magnesium.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, D ribose and magnesium

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, D ribose and magnesium, in other words  ‘the awesome foursome’ . Each one of these nutrients is needed by the microscopic structures inside our cells called mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the fuel your body requires at the cellular level. Without enough of it, your cells can’t function at optimum levels. This is why health nutrients such as Coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, magnesium, and D-ribose is so important.”

The Awesome Foursome’ explained:

CoQ10

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that protects and energises cells. It’s a natural occurring compound which is used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance, CoQ10 is present in almost every cell in the body so is vital to the functioning of your body.

D-Ribose

This is the body’s form of natural sugar, this will allow you to train harder, and recover up to 400% quicker! D-Ribose is found naturally in every living cell of your body and is synthesised from glucose, but this is slow process and requires energy. D-Ribose will bypass this process, enter your muscles quicker, in return will help you train longer and recover quicker rebuilding cellular ATP and returning muscle energy to normal.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is an amino acid involved in lipid (fat) metabolism. L-Carnitine has the ability to move fatty acids into the mitochondria. It will encourage your body to use your fat stores before burning out your glycogen stores – again this will help you train harder and longer!

Magnesium

You can easily find this is a whole range of foods including bananas, spinach, avocado and dark chocolate!!

muscleform_driboseSo how do you get all these supplements? If you would like to buy the “awesome foursome” supplements separately you can purchase them through Amazon or Muscleform and follow the dosage instructions on the packet for each supplement. The best is powder form rather than tablet, then you can add it to your drinks while you workout.

There is another option if you would like these supplements altogether in the form of a sports drink. A company called Arbonne do a range of sports products, and we are going to take a look at the product called Prepare and Endure part of their PhytoSport range.

Arbonne PhytosportArbonne Prepare and Endure is packed full of vitamins to help you get the energy you need alongside the first 2 carbohydrates which we need; D-ribose and L-carnitine.

To get the remaining 2 ingredients of ‘The Awesome Foursome’; Magnesium, and Coenzyme CoQ10, Arbonne do another product, the Arbonne Protein Powder. This Arbonne powder is a full protein delivering a 100% amino acid score, and It also includes the last 2 of the “awesome foursome“.. Coenzyme Q10 and Magnesium, complementing the Arbonne PhytoSport Prepare & EndureArbonne Prepare and Endure.

I would take Prepare and Endure a couple of days leading up to a vigorous Sports Event where you will need your energy most. You would also gain benefits from taking it daily if you are an active person and do a lot of sports or training.

Vegan Protein Powder

Vegan Protein Powder

The Vegan Protein Powder

It comes in Vanilla or Chocolate flavour, I personally like the vanilla flavour as I can add flavour to it, and it makes great vanilla pancakes!

Each serving gives you 20 grams of pea protein – much easier and quicker to digest than whey, plus it’s packed with masses of nutrients and supplements – 20 essential vitamins and minerals.

So in a nutshell… D ribose keeps your body topped up with his own natural sugar. CoQ10 and L-carnitine helps convert this natural sugar to energy, and magnesium is the glue that holds it all together. 

For me, since taking these supplements, I am able to train harder and suffer less fatigue, plus I am finding that I am recovering a lot quicker… So all in all, I would recommend these supplements to complement a training programme or any sports training.

Happy Training 🙂 x