Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Post Run Recovery - Science or Fiction?

The received wisdom states that we should refresh our energy and protein supplies as soon as possible after a long run with a mixture of carbs and protien at a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 in order to aid recovery as perfectly as possible.

I always used to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich at such times, but now as a fat burner often as not I have nothing at all post-run apart from a glass of water (my go-to running fuel!). For one thing I have plenty of fat to burn and for another I simply don't feel hungry.

The LCHF approach has served me perfectly well with great recovery between runs and no noticeable effect on performance. I can still run a decent 5K or Marathon without needing food during or afterwards. It is possible that my performance might have been slightly better if I followed the mainstream advice, but I doubt it; I would almost certainly weigh more as a result and that in turn would probably slow me down. It seems to me that better fueling, simple recovery and easier weight control just come for free on LCHF; it might be that elite runners might notice a difference but I'm sure that no one else would.

Now comes some interesting research that suggests that for "normal" runners it doesn't make much difference what you eat post-run; or rather it doesn't make any difference if we get your 4:1 from dedicated sports recovery formulas or from fast food.

Somehow I don't think most people would buy the science if the resulting advice was to consume a Big Mac straight after a run instead of Science in Sport REGO Rapid Recovery drink. But this report suggests that there is indeed no difference.

Could it be that the whole sports energy and recovery industry is actually a simple marketing con? Surely not.

Don't be surprised if we see MacDonalds marketing themselves as the perfect post-run restaurant.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Is Coca Cola Running Scared?

What are Coca-Cola and PepsiCo doing to fight off the challenge that their products are unhealthy?

According to last month’s British Medical Journal  the big food companies being allowed to monopolise the funding of most nutritional research. This leads to big conflicts of interest for the scientists and can effectively lead to a softening of the impact of collective research (and by that I mean that Big-Food will choose the scientists they want and act to restrict future funding to anyone who publishes negative findings). And being in the driving seat also enables them to create an illusion of self-regulation. 

Recently Nestle signed up to the UK Responsibility Deal where members pledge to improve public health in England; they then produced a low-sugar Cheerios cereal option, which no one will buy because it is tasteless. What have they achived for public health? Nothing. They will say that they have created a choice, but neither choise is healthy.  I don't think they are taking this "Responsibility" very seriously. But the more the food industry can claim to regulate themselves the less the government might be inclined to legislate against them.

The closer we look at the way that sugar industry is run the more we can tell that they already know that the future looks bad and they are already preparing for it.

It’s only money that drives the truth into the open. Each year Coca-cola (and no doubt the rest of them) have to produce a market risk analysis for their investors, and it openly declares that they live in fear of two things: that research that will show that their products are unhealthy and that governments will legislate against them or tax their unhealthy products.

So is it any surprise that the food industry want to be so closely involved in the researching and policing of nutrition?

And so my faith in scientists and their research takes another battering.  These days I am far more impressed by a doctor who says “Look, my patients are getting better when they try this diet” than I am by the words of  a scientist who sits on the board of a panel funded by Coca-Cola.