Monthly Archives: July 2014

Glutathione for Recovery and Youthfulness

N-acetyl cysteine is an unheralded amino acid when it comes to athletic performance and keeping over worked cells happy. From an athlete’s point of view, there are few things as important as recovering quickly after intense activity and staying healthy leading up to an event. During acute and chronic high intensity activity the skeletal and heart muscle increase their utilization of your “master” antioxidant, known as glutathione. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is the rate limiting substrate in glutathione production. Most people have an abundance of glutamine and glycine the other two amino acids needed for glutathione production but NAC is depleted quickly.

Oral NAC can increase cellular glutathione levels between 30-40%. Considering that glutathione delays muscular fatigue induced by oxygen free radicals during strenuous muscular contraction, it is best to keep glutathione levels at their threshold. Another important part of the glutathione picture is its immune enhancing properties. After prolonged intense exercise the number of white blood cells called lymphocytes in the blood decreases and natural killer cell function is suppressed making the body more susceptible to viral and bacterial assault. Keeping glutathione levels optimized enables a sickness free competitive season.

Many athletes have poor dietary habits or do not supplement in a way that meets the demands they are placing on their body. This can cause antioxidant adaptation failure. Basically, instead of growing younger with the increased VO2 max and muscle mass gains from their years of heavy labor, they are aging more quickly. How terrible would it be to put in insane amounts of physical activity, pushing your body to the edge on most workouts and take a snap shot of your tissues a year later and find out you actually aged faster than the person who just twiddled on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes three times per week? Maintaining optimal antioxidant status permits adaptation to occur and gains to be continually made without the sacrifice of overall health in the process.

This is why it is so vital to get in a rainbow of colors throughout your meals each day, to enable adaptation in the antioxidant system. Second, supplement optimally in a way that meets the demand put on your body. High intensity exercise or long duration moderate exercise causes a massive amount of oxidation. This has to happen otherwise your body would not be creating the fuel for you to perform and to make gains. So if you are not the type to be content with your current fitness status and truly want to see where your body can take you, then you MUST consider your fuel!

A study of the Canadian cycling team showed that the average athlete had a blood glutathione level depression in the range of 40%. Upon optimizing glutathione levels, the athletes were able to improve performance between 1-3%. At first glance, these numbers seem meaningless; I mean what is a 3% gain in performance really going to get you. Well if you are an Olympic athlete just a 1% increase in performance is the difference between a gold medal and sixth place. That is huge. One athlete sees doors open for him/her at every turn and the other likely falls into obscurity dreaming about what could have been. Yes, all because of 1%.

Elite Fuel Athlete Stephen Angove

Stephen Angove at age 60 will be competing in his first Crossfit Master’s Games after finishing 7th overall in the world after regionals. He was the only 60+ Master’s athlete from the Northwest to qualify. He finished his first Crossfit Open experience in 34th place this year. He did this in the middle of the most intense time of the year for a CPA, tax season. Stephen owns a tax firm. He wishes the open was at a different time because he didn’t feel like he was able to perform as well as he would like given the 14 hour work days, seven days a week and the little sleep he gets from January 1st to April 15th.

He started doing Crossfit about 1.5 years ago and hasn’t looked back. He has always been an avid exercise enthusiast; however working out by himself he says was “boring and lonely year after year.” When his local gym, Thorbeckes became affiliated and started Crossfit Thorbeckes he jumped at the opportunity. Stephen states that the Crossfit workouts and community have really energized his workouts. “The atmosphere at Crossfit Thorbeckes is so encouraging and friendly,” says Stephen.

He is very thankful for his trainers especially Travis Schliesser who has worked extensively with him on form and learning all the new Crossfit movements. Though he had worked out all his life and made it a point to stay in shape, he had very little exposure to Olympic lifts, hand stand push-ups, pull-ups, double-unders and muscle ups. “You do one WOD and feel great and think you have it all figured out,” says Stephen “and then the next day you finish the WOD and realize wow, I have a long ways to go.” He was really impressed by the strength and fitness of many of the young girls who would regularly beat him in workouts when he started.

Even though he turned 60 this year, he has noticed significant strength gains. Initially his max back squat was set at 95lbs and after a year of Crossfit he had been able to increase it to 310lbs. He is a testament to the body’s ability to adapt and make significant gains no matter ones age.

Though he didn’t expect or have plans to compete in Crossfit, Stephen finds himself heading to Carson, CA for the 2014 Crossfit Master’s Games. He is very excited and looking forward to competing with the fittest on the planet. Stephen now encourages clients, friends and family to join a local Crossfit affiliate and see how there fitness and ability to meet the demands of life significantly increases.

Stephen is well known in the community for his generosity. He is always finding people to bless and mentor, especially young men.

Stephen has five children (four daughters and one son). He also has three granddaughters, adding to the female dominance during family gatherings.

He is also an Elite Fuel athlete.