With all the news about Lance Armstrong and his admission to using banned substances to enhance performance and endurance, there is a risk that he is indirectly endorsing these substances. Afterall, they must work if he won 7 Tour de France titles!
Some will believe that if they don’t resort to “illegal” methods of training then they have no hope of winning. They will be mentally defeated before even stepping foot onto the field. Others will believe that the only way they can win is by breaking the rules and possibly “risk it at all costs…” as Armstrong admitted to being driven to do.
Still others will become cynical and automatically assume that extraordinary sports performance is the result of blood-doping, blood transfusions, EPO and testosterone injections or other banned practices.
They will quickly forget the hours of training, the sports and nutritional science, the safe, non-doping dietary supplements used, and the genetic benefits of the champion.
What’s a legitimate, competitive person to do? Well, since military sports have many of the same rules as other sanctioned sports you’ll be happy to know that there are ways to fortify your blood, your heart and your lungs so you stay at peak performance…safely and drug free!
The Benefits of Nutrition when working at Higher Elevations
Studies of altitude training and increased oxidative stress at higher altitudes are nothing new for the military. Sure, when they spend the time and money to research a soldier’s performance at high altitudes, it has little to do with how well they will do in a military sports event.
However, that doesn’t mean that their findings, combined with the research and sports training of top athletes, doesn’t give us a hint about how our body responds when we “climb a mountain”.
We all know that success leaves clues. You can read these clues, apply the findings, and benefit during military training, military operations, and yes…even on the sports field!
First, let’s look at the benefits of nutritional fortification. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, U.S. Marines were given supplements to find out if nutritional fortification would limit the amount of oxidative stress when they worked at moderate altitudes (3000 meters or 9800 feet). One group received a mixture of antioxidants and supplements, another group received a single antioxidant supplement (not a mixture), and another group received a placebo.
The entire group participated in strenuous work at that altitude. And while all of them were physically tired (just as expected), the group taking the supplemental mixture had less oxidative stress.
So, clue #1 is that dietary supplements containing a blend of ingredients formulated for extreme conditions help reduce stress when working at altitudes.
The Benefits of Altitude Training for Military Sports
Now, let’s look at all the talk around EPO and blood-doping.
Studies confirm that when your blood delivers more oxygen to your muscles and tissues, your performance and endurance improve. This has been proven in the lab, and it’s been proven on the field.
The questions that come up revolve more around sports ethics and whether or not synthesized means of enriching your blood should be allowed or whether it gives you an unfair advantage over your competition. And, we really don’t know if there are long-term negative effects when using synthesized testosterone or EPO….or synthesized anything for that matter!
That’s why Military Grade products are natural, herb-based, and non-doping. It’s great to fight and compete like a warrior; however, it’s never okay to put your team at risk if you suddenly have a negative reaction to anything supplement you’re taking.
For a military sport, that may just mean that your team loses the gold medal. For a military operation it may mean the difference between coming home alive and whole…or not.
For this reason, let’s look at clue #2, EPO, and altitude training.
EPO is not some back-alley drug
It’s a hormone that is naturally produced in your body. When you’re at higher altitudes, breathing “thinner” air, the amount of oxygen easily available declines. This triggers EPO to jump into action. It signals your body to produce more red blood cells. Since there is less oxygen available, your body knows that it needs more blood cells to carry enough oxygen to your muscles and tissues.
This doesn’t happen instantly. There is an acclimation period of about 28 days at altitude to get lasting effects to that increased red blood cell count.
Now the difference here between military training and sports training is that acclimation and the amount of work done at altitude.
In sports, it’s most beneficial to “live high and train low”. Typically, the athlete will train lighter at altitude and save the tough workouts for a lower elevation. This gives them the benefits of more red blood cells attained at altitude and takes away the negatives of not being able to workout as hard as they normally would because they get tired more easily and lose speed as a result of the thinner air.
In military training or operations, you don’t always have the luxury of working light at higher altitudes. For your purposes, you really need that nutritional and dietary fortification to reduce the amount of oxidative stress put on your body as you work in various altitudes.
Gadgets and Gizmos in Military Sports
And what if you’re training for a sporting event but can’t travel between elevations? Can you still get oxygen-rich blood such as those that benefit from altitude training?
That’s a great question!
If you look at some of the training apparatus of elite athletes, those that compete on a world-wide stage, you will find gadgets and gizmos that simulate the environment of higher elevations.
The European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology published their research findings of competitive road cyclists who trained using simulated altitude apparatus. One group trained in a hypobaric chamber, while the other trained at sea level. It was a small study of just 8 cyclists; however, those that trained in the chamber had an increase in capillary density and work capacity.
Did you know how important diet and nutritional fortification is to your Military Training Success?
Discover how science can give you the competitive edge…just when you need it most. Are you taking “generic” Dietary Supplements? Or are you fueling your body with the best there is?
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