Implementing Detox Into Your Sports Regime sets alarm bells ringing for many people. The trend of a couple of years ago to “detox” ran along the same lines as Medieval Doctors who drilled holes in patients heads to release evil spirits. This trend is nothing new. I met the same thing when I was up in Montreal (training with the Impact soccer team) in 1997.
Dude, where’s my energy?
I was invited to take part in pre-season with the, then, A-League Montreal Impact. I wasn’t too keen on their view of me as a “British-style” player and that they’d a very odd guy doing nutrition with them. He lectured myself and some other triallists on “detoxifying” our bodies. He laid out diet plans that ran counter to everything I’d learned in my years in sports. He told us that toxins from certain vegetables (potatoes in particular) were slowing us down and that we had to cut caffeine, dairy and wheat from our diet.
Doing without my morning tea I could handle, no dairy in Canada was no biggie, potatoes and bread were a different matter. But I was dedicated to earning a contract so I followed the rules. By the 6th day more than half the newbies were cut and I felt terrible, physically. Whereas before I could train and recover quickly, by the 2nd week I was struggling to keep up with the simplest tasks.
I could see the returning players were not following the rules so I asked one, a Canadian International, what was the deal. He told me the guy was a quack and to ignore everything. He was indulged because the club owner’s wife was a fan of his diets. Going back to my normal plan I suddenly felt free and I learned a lesson to not follow any diet blindly again.
In all reality the whole detox nonsense is just that, a nonsense. In preparing this article I spoke with a number of nutrition specialists within and without the Kaprina LLC team of specialists. The view was unanimous, though with little caveats. And it is from these caveats that we’ll give you a real way of implementing detox into your sports regime. One that is sensible, scientifically proven and healthy.
First, the myth. By drinking X, eating Y, using Z you will cleanse toxins from your body. Deadly toxins built up over years from eating bad things and living in a bad, unhealthy world. This tonic/tablet/potion/elixir/berry/magic bean will chase the nasty toxins from your body and you will be younger/healthier/sexier/hairier/happier. Roll up, roll up, this magic I have in my hand will cure all your ills by banishing deadly toxins from your life. Sound familiar? Yet in any store you’ll see such products, many of which have terrific qualities and that you need to use, though not for what’s claimed on the label.
Second, the legend. Feed a fever, starve a cold, or did I remember that right? Our family never bought into this one. You need to eat and drink, even when you’re sick, especially when you’re sick. Sure your body wants to get rid of whatever is making it ill, though it needs fuel to keep going. Starve yourself and you prolong the illness and possibly get worse.
From religion to cults to diet gurus, we’re hardwired into believing that fasting, abstaining and so on will bring us enlightenment, good luck and good health. In my childhood we never ate meat on a Friday, ever. While the reason for this lay in Catholic Church doctrine (eating the flesh of a warm blooded creature was okay, but cold blooded like fish and reptiles was okay) it also had an economic reason for it’s continuance through the centuries and the Catholic obedience to this ancient rule lies behind McDonalds Fillet-o-fish. So detox in some shape or form has always been with us, so our Kaprina LLC Advisory Board came up with a way of implementing detox in a non-fraud way.
Implementing Detox into your Sports Regime
Like the marketing maxim, KISS, keep it simple stupid.
- Know your goal – what are you looking to do? Have more energy? Lose weight? Build muscle? Be at your best for pre-season? Keep muscle tone as a mature person?
- Write down your diet for a week – It’s not just young girls filled with teen angst who provide interesting reading material for their mothers (who of course just happened to find the diary locked inside a desk drawer) who keep diaries.
- Become more organic/natural – Eating processed food is not bad on occasion, though in our ready-to-run society it remains a problem when looking a slowing down our body with junk food.
- Cut back on sugar – Sugar is a major issue that continues to be largely avoided as it is a massive business. There are lots of sweet alternatives to processed sugar – fruit for a start.
- Watch your salt intake – We need to take care of how much salt we put in our bodies. Of course processed and junk foods can throw up a curveball on this one, though a little forethought will help.
- Read the label – See what is inside. Some ingredients can be very well hidden, like colours or sugars, though if you take a little time you’ll be better off. Implementing detox is as simple as knowing what ingredients are healthy and what are not.
- Watch your booze – When people give up drink for Lent or a set period (the first week of January), they feel lighter, better, healthier and have more spare cash. Being aware of your alcoholic intake reduces the negative sides of drinking and this is a starter when implementing detox into any sports regime.
- Cut the fags – Smoke yourself thin, relax with a ciggie. We know that smoking is not healthy, that it delivers toxic chemicals with a delicious woody taste. Reducing or cutting out smoking is a real way to detox.
- Toxic supplements – It’s not just here in Russia that gyms are filled with people whose output degrades month-by-month because they’re downing a test-tube that promises a boost like no other. A detox can start by introducing quality supplements into your sport diet, and you’ll end up saving money into the bargain.
- “More water” – Is not just a catchphrase it is a real issue when Kaprina LLC’s Advisory Board looked our own view of detox. Dehydration is an issue for those working in air-conditioned offices and those who drink copious amounts of coffee, tea or caffeine drinks. Our body needs water to keep the system moving and making sure that any toxins entering our system and flushed out.
Eat Right, Drink Right, Train Hard
The 10 suggestions above will help you get your diet in order to keep your energy up, reduce unhealthy and unhelpful items from your diet plan and increase the effectiveness of your sports regime. There is no such thing as a quick fix and no wonder “detox” pill or potion. When you think of detox, think of using your diet to make you better. Think of what you eat, drink and smoke that might be impacting on your training and performance. Implementing detox is simple, it is easy, it is fun.
Go for it!