If you’re an older athlete – say over 50 – and want to stay competitive, do you have different nutritional needs than your younger counterparts? Most research to date suggests that your nutritional needs are not significantly different. However, there are definitely ways you can optimize your diet and supplement program to help you keep your edge. The following tips can help you stay competitive. The most important thing you can do is routinely eat quality calories from nutrient-dense, health-protective foods that support top performance, enhance recovery from hard workouts and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other debilitating diseases.
The Parrillo Nutrition Program is designed to supply quality calories in amounts to keep you well fueled. It consists of lean proteins, starchy carbs, and fibrous vegetables. Combine these at each meal and you’ll obtain an excellent nutritional base for performance and health. Consult your Parrillo Nutrition Manual for details on how to plan your diet. Recovery is the process of regeneration that takes place in the aftermath of a workout. To appreciate its importance, consider what happens inside your body as a consequence of intense exercise: Energy giving glycogen stores are depleted; muscle protein is dismantled; microscopic tears in muscle fibers occur; energy producing compounds are lost from cells; and fluid and electrolytes dwindle. Older athletes sometimes recover more slowly, so you’ll need to help the process along by supplying your body with all the nutritional building blocks it needs to restore what’s lost and repair what’s damaged. Of all the nutrients necessary for optimal recovery, dietary carbohydrate takes precedence for two reasons. First, carbohydrate restocks your body with muscle and liver glycogen, which can be depleted during exercise. Replenishing these stores allows you to train harder on successive workouts for greater gains.
Second, carbohydrate reduces the need for muscle protein breakdown to provide energy for resistance exercise, leading to a more favorable protein balance in the body. Carbohydrate also triggers the release of the hormone insulin, which promotes muscle growth as well. Various research studies have proven that a carbohydrate/protein supplement triggers the greatest elevations in insulin and growth hormone levels in exercising study subjects. Clearly, protein works hand in hand with post-exercise carbs to create a hormonal environment that promotes the greatest increase in muscle growth. This nutrient combination also jumpstarts your body’s glycogen-making process — faster than if you just consumed carbs. Carbs produce a surge in insulin levels. Biochemically, insulin is like an accelerator pedal that races the body’s glycogen making motor. Good recovery drinks include Parrillo Pro-Carb™, 50/50 Plus™, or Optimized Whey™.
As we get older, our protein needs increase slightly. Nutritionally, protein is the basic, most important building material in your body, essential to high level health because of its role in growth and maintenance. Your body breaks down protein from food into nutrient fragments called amino acids and reshuffles them into new protein to build and rebuild tissue, including body-firming muscle. Protein also keeps your immune system functioning up to par, helps carry nutrients throughout the body, has a hand in forming hormones, and is involved in important enzyme reactions such as digestion. Proteins found in the Parrillo Nutrition Program include fish, white meat poultry, egg whites, and our line of protein powders and bars. Although your bones have stopped growing, you can keep them strong with weight training and daily calcium. Yes, you can get protective levels of calcium from natural foods, but it’s a good idea to hedge your bets and take a mineral supplement. Per pill, Parrillo Mineral-Electrolyte™ contains 250 mg of calcium; 5 mg of iron; 250 mg of phosphorus; 75 mcg of iodine in the form of kelp; 250 mg of magnesium; 11 mg of zinc; 50 mcg of selenium; 500 mcg of copper; 10 mg of manganese; 25 mcg of chromium picolinate; 45 mg of potassium; 500 mcg of boron; along with other nutrients.
I recommend that you take one tablet with each meal during the day for optimum metabolism and well being. Yes, your joints may get creaky and achy with age, but don’t despair. You can help them with some natural approaches, and hopefully not have to resort to over-the-counter or prescription pain killers (unless your physician recommends them). One option available is evening primrose oil™, in particular has specific benefits for athletes, bodybuilders – really, anyone who is interested in improving personal health and fitness. It comes from a plant that grows wild along road-sides. It is so named because its yellow flowers resemble in color real primroses, and these flowers open only in the evening. From this oil, your body can directly obtain GLA, which stands for gammalinolenic acid. GLA is ultimately converted into the prostaglandin E1 series, a group of beneficial chemicals that helps reduce inflammation, regulates blood clotting, decreases cholesterol levels, and lowers high blood pressure, among other functions.A growing number of medical experts and scientists now believe that taking GLA-rich oils can effectively fight the inflammation – the major cause of swollen, painful joints.
GLA is a building block of a beneficial type of prostaglandin, which exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Thus, supplementing with GLA increases production of these prostaglandins and may help control the pain and inflammation associated with joint problems and arthritis. Parrillo Performance recognized the need for a product that counter-acts joint and inflammation problems. The Parrillo Performance solution is Evening Primrose Oil™ a concentrated source of essential fatty acids, including GLA. EFA’s keep joints lubricated, hair and skin healthy, and brain neurons firing correctly. Each 1000 mg gel cap contains 30 IU’s of vitamin E, 100 mg of Gamma Linolenic Acid and 760 mg of Linoleic Acid. Take one to three capsules daily. Our ongoing research recently led us to develop the Parrillo Joint Formula™ to assist in the rebuilding of damaged joints, tendons, cartilage, and soft tissue.
This supplement contains glucosamine, a combination of glucose and amino acids that has been extensively studied for joint health and support. When you supplement with glucosamine, it gathers in the liver, kidneys and articular cartilage. Once it reaches the chondrocytes, the cells that produce cartilage, the glucosamine is incorporated into those cells. Eventually, it forms a viscous fluid that helps protect and lubricate your joints and cartilage. This formula also contains chrondroiton, which appears to stimulate cartilage cells to create new cartilage and it may also slow the breakdown of cartilage; shark cartilage, with its mucopolysaccharides that help relieve the chronic and painful inflammation that is so injurious to joints; and green sea mussel, a nutrient that supports the restoration and maintenance of synovial fluid and connective tissues.
The suggested usage is one or two tablets three times daily. For best results, use in conjunction with the Parrillo Performance Nutrition Program. Adequate fluid replacement is essential for athletes of all ages. But the older you get, the less your thirst mechanism kicks in. In other words, you may need fluids but not feel thirsty. To reduce the risk of dehydration, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of pure water every day. For the older athletes who are competing in high intensity endurance exercise, evidence for the usefulness of carbohydrate containing sports drinks, such as Parrillo Pro-Carb™, exists. Eat plenty of good calories, recover properly, protect your joints, and drink plenty of fluids – and you’ll enjoy feeling young as you keep your winning edge.
Rock, C.L. 1991. Nutrition of the older athlete. Clinics in Sports Medicine 10:445-457.