Get Race-Strong Through Nutrition

Photo: John David Becker

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If you want be able to retrieve you personal best or just to cross the finish line without struggling too much, your body has to be in robust equilibrium. The following article picks up the rather vague term of “balance” and tries to explain how balance can be achieved and maintained. To stay balanced is the secret for keeping yourself healthy despite strenuous work- outs and competitions. An all-but-forgotten natural nutrition supplement can help.

Before you start browsing through the text below, just imagine your body being a densely woven network in which all elements are communicating. A current of signals is permanently rushing through our bodies connecting all the knots (cells, organs, organ systems) with each other. This very dynamic process is holding together our bodies and is responsible for keeping the balance. Beestings, also known as colostrum, is a physiological cocktail of signal molecules stabilizing the network connections.

During periods of severe stress signal transmission is either increasing to an extent that over- burdens the control mechanisms, or the signal transmission comes to a halt with the same consequences, namely jeopardizing the body‘s balance. Training should always remain within the borders of balance. The connections between the knots should be highly dynamic and flexible. If they become rigid, then the connectivity might break down in certain areas of the body, where the strain is extra high. Training has to increase the flexibility and stability of the network connections of the body. This applies to the body as a whole not only to the muscles and the metabolic pathways. If you keep these paths in mind, the science and the thought concept behind beestings will be easier to understand.

Training for your biggest race

The weeks and months of training for your biggest race of the year are hard times for the body. During this time, you have to permanently push the limits without destroying the continuity of balance. You have to abstain from a lot of sweet things to receive the reward in the end. This drives your body into a delicate situation.

To reach a peak on race day a bunch of conditions have to coincide. Staying balanced by pushing the limits at the same time over the long months of training may be a shaky walk along a thin line. As an athlete who has to combine training with regular working hours, the task of being optimally prepared is even more challenging.

Due to the training stress your body is floating in an inflammatory state of varying degrees beyond the normal. To control this condition and not tilting over the edge is the tricky part. Don‘t risk your hard work by getting sick or injured. Sufficient recovery, a reasonable tapering phase, abstaining from processed foods and consuming the necessary nutrient-rich foods are the pillars of balance.

Controlling the inflammatory states in your body is essential for staying fit and healthy

Regardless which training program you follow the continuity of the training is essential. No injuries, no infections, no bouts of allergy and sufficient recovery times are the preconditions for a successful build-up. You are well familiar with the fact that endurance training means stress for your body: positive stress in the case of proper training intensity, negative in the case of overtraining.

The more you push your body to exertion, the more stressed it gets. If you manage your training within the limits where the training stress is not harming your immune system, autonomic nervous system and/or your hormone regulation, then the reward will be a body that can endure a lot. If you do otherwise and drive your body permanently

over the edge, then inflammatory processes may take over and lead your body into a state of a chronic systemic inflammation. Then, training becomes inefficient.You feel permanently fatigued and stressed, and you may call yourself lucky, if you don‘t come down with an illness, an injury or the worst an overtraining syndrome.

Here are some cues how you can find out whether you are balanced. When you don’t feel this way, that’s an indication that you’re over the edge:

Deep and recreative sleep.

No mood swings, emotionally stable.

Extent and duration of fatigue within the scope of your training exertion. Duration and extent of muscles soreness not longer than 3 days.

Good appetite, no craving for sweets, body weight stable or controlled weight loss respectively. Normal temperature sensation, no bouts of sweating in the cold and no freezing in the heat.

Beestings makes you more stress-resistant and modulates the inflammatory processes in your body. You can take it as a preventive measure and as a therapeutic agent. As a natural food, consumption is totally harmless. You cannot overdose it. You will always benefit from it, as you do from other quality foods. Beestings has anti-inflammatory effects,strengthens your immune system and balances the activity of your autonomous nervous system.

The tapering phase

For endurance competitors, tapering is a key element of the physical preparation in the last 2 to 3 weeks up to the race.

Prof. Timothy Noakes, the author of Waterlogged and The Lore of Running, gives the following advice for this critical period of time: “Once you decide to taper, do as little training as your mind will allow you, but do that little at a fast pace!”

Tapering is a very individual thing. It‘s about finding the right duration of the taper, the right volume, intensity and frequency of the specific training sessions and about the best pattern of tapering for yourself.

Beside all controversial discussions around this topic there is an agreement about the fact that the tapering phase is a very critical part of the preparation period. The body is very frail in the final weeks before a big race. Susceptibility for illnesses and injuries increases tremendously.

During tapering the activity of the autonomous nervous system and the immune system should not decrease dramatically because otherwise the inflammatory conditions in the body spread and become more severe.

“It has taken me a while to learn what kind of taper works for me,” says pro triathlete Rachel Joyce. “I used to do too little in the week or two leading up to a race, and this leftme feeling lethargic and flatcome race day”

The slow-down of the training during a taper leads to a drop of the activity state of the autonomous nervous system and the immune system. If one does not maintain a certain amount of training stimulus, however, the body loses its race-readiness and falls into the “holiday trap.”

Be generous in your use of beestings during taper. It supports immunity and the nervous system by improving healing.

The race: Peaking on a solid balance

In endurance races the body faces mainly two critical conditions, one is fatigue and the other are gastrointestinal complications. The stress of a race jeopardizes the fragile balance.

Muscle activation depends on brain activity. When fatigue kicks in, signal control becomes weaker and weaker. In that case, storms of signals can reach the muscle without being properly filtered. This lack of control of the signal transmission from the brain to the muscle and back may lead to cramps followed by exertion and finally exhaustion. This type fatigue takes place in the central nervous system, not in the muscle. Consequently, you need your brain working at full capacity to retrieve your personal best.

Stomach discomfort

Endurance performance affects the integrity of the intestinal barrier. Heat stress, mechanical shearing forces, oxidative burst, reduced blood flow and excessive carb intake are only a few of the many stress factors that may induce an integrity loss of the intestinal barrier.

The consequence is increased intestinal permeability. Plainly, the stomach and/or gut start leaking and the selective absorption of nutrients from the gut stops. Bacteria and toxins penetrate non-selectively into the body‘s interior and harm its balance. Cramps, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, vomiting, pains or/and stomach bleeding are the symptoms.

Beestings positively influences the stomach and gut, and it is bolstering against fatigue. Therefore,take it leading into a race.

Recovery: Time for build-up, inflammation control and healing

Recovery is a highly active phase for the body. If you see this part of training through these eyes, it may be easier for you to accept taking a rest without feeling bad. Beestings as an inflammatory modulator is a real asset during this time of your training program.

It is common knowledge that endurance strains always go hand in hand with micro-injuries in muscles, sinews, connective tissue and smallest blood vessels. These tiny injuries are required in order for the muscle to adapt to a higher performance level.

The injuries can be as tiny that you don‘t not even notice them or so bad that long lasting muscle pains arise (DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness).

All these injuries induce inflammatory processes in the body, forming the foundation for all healing and adaptation processes that finally bring about the training effect and performance improvements.

Healing processes demand a strong and balanced immunity

The immune system is steering the inflammatory and subsequently the healing processes. An intact immune system can heal micro-injuries within 3 to 5 days. If micro-injuries do not heal well, due to a weakened immune system, which may be caused by an insufficient recovery time, then muscle ruptures and injuries may be the result.

When the body is in a state of inflammation, beestings works as an anti-inflammatory agent. The growth factors it contains influence the cells’ regeneration. Molecules in beestings foster muscle growth and repair processes within the gut, the bronchi and the stomach.

Susann Kraeftner, MD, the founder and scientist behind Biestmilch, has worked in intensive care and the pharmaceutical industry. For many years she was looking to escape medicine and finda way to get involved with a more creative way of working. Since 2000 I have pursued my life experiment to resuscitate beestings as sports nutrition. We call it Biestmilch. Go to to learn more.

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