By Oleg Vasiliev, “Gymnastics” Magazine
Many people are complaining on fatigue, exhaustion, quick weariness and performance decrement. Perhaps, they should take some vitamins and strength will come back. Moreover, there are a lot of medicines, which promise to increase the tone. But it's not all as easy as it sounds. It’s not always useful to stimulate sportsman’s performance capability.
The reason is that everything in nature flows cyclically: night succeeds day, spring succeeds winter. The same can be said about physiological processes in human organism, they also flow cyclically. There’s time for rise, there’s time for fall. Both are quite normal for a human and a sportsman.
Natural performance capability minimum is registered in spring, maximum – in the end of summer. Contemporary medicines can only prolong performance capability a little bit for some time; in this case it can appear in June or July. But it’s simply dangerous to block the natural performance decrement (though modern pharmacology can do it) as gymnast won’t achieve performance capability maximum, which should be demonstrated at important competitions. There’s no maximum without minimum.
In spring it’s reasonable to support gymnast’s organism during performance decrement, to help her to overcome this natural process not putting the decrement away.
For this purpose vitamins are used, adaptogenes should be used very carefully. Adaptogenes are the substances of vegetable or animal origin, which tone up and stimulate at the same time.
There are more than 5 dozens of adaptogenes: ginseng, eleuterococcus, golden root, magnolia-vine, kola, green coffee, pollen, pantocrine, royal jelly. Don’t think that it’s necessary to take a fistful of vitamins. Some vitamin deficiency in spring is normal for a human.
Sportsmen can start suffering from vitamin deficiency in any season. It usually can show itself in motiveless signs of overtraining. Sportsman can complain on weakness, irritation, bad sleep, wake up difficulties. But if vitamin deficiency decreases the performance capability, surplus of vitamins doesn’t increase it. Human organism practically can’t accumulate vitamins, that’s why there’s no sense to vitaminize it in advance.
However, if gymnast is given a task to proceed her intensive training, she can’t do without adaptogenes. At the same time, it’s important to understand that adaptogenes exhaust the organism’s resources. That’s why adaptogenes are prescribed together with vitamins.
Adaptogenes and vitamins are only ingested by normal intestinal flora. They are ingested in much smaller quantities in case of disbacteriosis, moreover they can be biochemically changed by bad intestinal flora.
The best vitamins and adaptogenes, which are compatible with the organism, are natural foods: herbs, fruits etc. Herbs are ingested much better and causes less adverse effects than the drugs do. You should start supporting your organism from these nutritional supplements and not from pharmaceutical substances.
For this purpose, let’s apply to herbal medicine. Phytotherapy goes well together with antibiotics and all the medicines, if a gymnast needs to take them.
First, take the endemic herbs (local), then the exotic ones. The same rule is for fruits and vegetables. Those who lives in temperate climate should eat more cabbage and carrot, and less kiwi and avocado etc. Citrus fruits can cause not only allergy, but also sensitization (pigmented spots under the action of sun beams).
It’s not so difficult to make a choice in large amount of adaptogenes. The best part of adaptogenes stimulates sex hormones (male ,female, or both, for example, bee products).
Female hormones are stimulated by such adaptogenes as golden root (lat. “Rhodiola rosea”), ginger, royal jelly etc. These adaptogenes shouldn’t be prescribed for the gymnasts, as they can start gaining weight and shaping their female figures (hips and pelvis will grow). Eleuterococcus less stimulates female hormones. So you can take it, but in small quantity.
Female adaptogenes (i.e. ginseng) are not prescribed for girls, as they stimulate shoulders’ and hair growth, bones become heavier.
So, what adaptogene is more secure in spring? Magnolia-vine, Echinacea and polyvitaminic tea during 3-5 weeks. These substances less stimulate hormones. Adaptogenes can be taken in alcohol solution, as their effect is smaller in watery solution.
Magnolia-vine and Echinacea are taken in the first part of the day, on an empty stomach, 30-40 minutes before the meal.
Rosehips can be taken as a polyvitaminic tea. It’s very convenient to infuse them in thermos and take to the gym (4 tablespoons of rosehips for 1 liter of boiled water). You can drink this tea all day long.
Magnolia-vine, Echinacea and Rosehips are good for little gymnasts too.
This topic about spring organism support would lack for something, if we don’t be precise about glicine - amino acid, important for young gymnasts. Everything that comes to the blood, goes to the brains – this is a characteristic feature for children before 12 years old. That’s why neurologists prescribe them glicine. But glicine may cause easy crying, weeping and even aggression on the background of magnesium deficiency (which is typical for gymnasts with dysplasia). That’s why glicine should be taken together with vitamin complex “Mg-B6”.
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