FitnessSpark*S* is written by exercise physiologist and personal trainer Judy Chong. It is based on her over 12 years of experience and it is her hope that the information will educate and inspire folks to better fitness, health & wellness.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Muscle Soreness, Hidden Sugars & A Better Halloween Treat
No Pain, No Gain??
Success? Yes, No or Maybe?
Why You’re Sore: Exercise,
particularly eccentric exercise which lengthens the muscle as it is working can
cause microtears in the muscle fiber, and the connective tissue surrounding
it. This sets up an inflammation which
results in waste products that stimulate nearby nerve endings. This in turn causes localized pain and soreness. You may
have heard this referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
While there are numerous studies targeting various therapies
or remedies for preventing DOMS, another pertinent question is whether such
soreness is essential for developing muscle.
The answer is yes…and not necessarily.The damage to the muscle fibers stimulate
muscle satellite cells which join with the muscle fiber.This results in the release of growth factors
that help repair the damage, and enhance the regeneration of the muscle
fiber.Thus, soreness is indicates damage,
which can be the precursor to muscle growth.
However, the more you exercise, the more efficient your body
and muscles will become in adapting to the exercise induced damage.The sensation of pain can gradually be
reduced.Experienced exercisers may feel
some fatigue with a particularly hard workout, but can have little DOMS afterwards.
Remember also, that too much soreness (soreness lasting more than a day or two) from over exercising, or
doing “too much, too soon” can stress your body’s ability to repair and
regenerate quickly.Subsequent workouts
may lack some of the intensity necessary to continually challenge your muscles
to develop. Plus, going up or down stairs may be interesting for awhile!
Bottom Line: Moderate soreness is
good, but lack of soreness is not necessarily bad.It is possible to titrate a workout
progression so that there is a gradual overloading of the muscles that doesn’t
produce DOMS. For more detail, see this link.
There’s lots of research coming out lately about the dangers
of refined added sugars – school kids got healthier in 2 weeks when sugars were
controlled.In adults, its been found
that those extra calories can be deposited in your belly, increasing your risk
of heart disease and cancer. Added sugar
can also raise your insulin levels, increasing the risk of insulin resistance
Need more convincing?
Refined sugar can age your cells more quickly, as well as causing
inflammation which has been found to be related to increased risk of many other
With the holidays fast approaching, this might be added
incentive for not indulging too heartily.Here are some sneaky foods to beware of:
Granola Bars & Cereals– these can have up to 25gm of
added sugar in a one cup serving.The
RDA for added sugars is 10 gm/day.Keep
in mind a teaspoon of sugar is 5 gm, and that there are 4 calories per gm of
Ketchup based salad dressings– these pack a surprising
9-10gm of sugar in a 2 tablespoon serving.You wouldn’t sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar on your salad, would
you?Better choices – home made
dressings including oil/vinegar, garlic, or balsalmic vinegar.
Yogurt contains lactose (milk sugar) which is naturally
occurring.However, yogurt with added fruit will have up to 30 gm or 120 calories of sugar.That sort of defeats any healthy feelings you
might have that you chose yogurt as a snack. Plain Greek yogurt with a little stevia, maple syrup or honey will have fewer
Frozen Meals– surprised?In addition to 500-600gm of sodium, many frozen meals can have 30 – 40
gm of added sugar
Dried Cranberries – ¼ cup or a handful can have 29gm of
sugar.We’re talking about Craisins
here.Compare to the 4 gm that a whole
cup of fresh cranberries have.
Fruit Juices– these often have 20-30gm of sugar added for
flavor.Look for 100% juice.
BBQ & Other Saucescan have up to 12gm of sugar per
serving – that’s close to 3 teaspoons of sugar.Ask for sauces to be served on the side so you can control the amount.
White Wine. Reds have
less sugar than whites. Whites also vary
by varietal. Rieslings can have up to 6
gm per glass, while dryer whites might be as low as 1.5 gm.
Canned Fruit – the problem here is the syrup often contains
high fructose corn syrup.There can be
30gm or more per cup of canned fruit.Look for water or natural juice packed varieties.Or choose fresh whole fruit.You’ll get fiber, as well as the benefits of
the nutrients in the fruit.
You'll Need: 4 whole-wheat sandwich
thins, 2 teaspoons butter or margarine, 1 (8-ounce) block of Colby Jack cheese,
Directions:Preheat oven to 350°F. Split
four sandwich thins in half (so you have 8 slices) and butter one side of 4 of
the slices. Lay butter side down on a baking sheet and layer Colby Jack cheese
on them. Cut out jack-o'-lantern faces on the other 4 slices, then butter one
side and lay butter side down on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove and place jack o'-lantern faces on top of the sandwiches. Link