(NaturalNews) Athletes and athletic teams are always looking for an edge to boost their performance beyond their competition. Some have looked to new training techniques, while others have succumbed to temptation and resorted to illegal steroids and other performance enhancers. Now, it appears that a combination of new technology, proven natural plant extracts and optimal nutrition may outperform the banned substances and do so legally and safely.
Body core cooling outperforms steroids
Researchers at Stanford University found that temperature is a primary limiting factor for performance because the longer muscle temperature is elevated, the more muscle energy shuts down to prevent cellular destruction from prolonged over-heating. The researchers developed a device known as the Core Cooling Glove which lowered body temperature and essentially reset the muscles' state of fatigue, thus enabling longer and more vigorous workouts which led to astounding athletic performance increases.
According to the researchers, use of the glove increases performance even more than steroids. In one early example, researchers had a confessed "gym rat" team member use the glove every other round while doing rounds of pull-ups. In the next six weeks, he went from doing 180 total pull-ups to over 620 - an unprecedented physical performance improvement.
Pineapple extract enables up to eight times faster healing
Bromelain is a general name for a family of proteolytic enzymes obtained from the pineapple plant, especially the pineapple stem. For athletes, bromelain reduces swelling and pain and greatly increases healing and recovery time.
In one study, 74 boxers with bruises on the face and hematomas of the orbits, lips, ears, chest and arms were given bromelain four times a day for four days or until all signs of bruising had disappeared. A control group of 72 boxers were given a placebo. In 58 of the boxers taking bromelain, all signs of bruising cleared completely in four days, with the remaining 16 requiring eight to 10 days for complete clearance. In the control group, only 10 had complete clearance within four days, with the remainder requiring up to 14 days for resolution.
The Russian olympic team's secret herbal weapon
The herbal plant suma (Pfaffia paniculata) is used in herbal medicine throughout the world and is considered a tonic and an adaptogen. It has been called "the Russian secret," since it has been taken by Russian olympic athletes for many years due to its ability to increase muscle-building and endurance without the side effects of illegal steroids. These benefits are evidently due to an anabolic-type phytochemical called beta-ecdysterone and three other novel ecdysteroid glycosides present in high amounts in suma.
Suma root contains 19 different amino acids, several electrolytes, iron, magnesium, zinc, trace minerals, vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K, and pantothenic acid. It acts as an oxygenator at the cellular level, likely due to its high germanium content. Its high iron content may account for its traditional use for anemia. In addition, novel phytochemicals including saponins, pfaffic acids, glycosides, and nortriterpenes are also contained in suma root.
Optimal performance needs optimal nutrition
Most are unaware of just how wide a variety of nutrients the body is designed to utilize as well as the optimal amounts needed for optimal health and performance. For example, the organic supplement IntraMax contains a whopping 415 different nutrients and the body utilizes every single one of them.
While optimal nutrient intake allows optimal performance, nutritional deficiencies rob performance - and unless we supplement well most of us are deficient in some nutrients. As an example, it is estimated that 70 to 95 percent of us are deficient in magnesium, the "master mineral" which is essential for 1300 body functions.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.