As you read this, your body is waging an endless war against silent and invisible assassins. These assassins aren’t a new strain of swine flu, they haven’t caused any widespread panic, and no amount of antibiotics or vaccines will get rid of them.
They are free radicals and the oxidative damage they cause, are here to stay. Every single human on God’s green earth is engaged in this battle and the consequences of this war are linked with diabetes, hypertension, cancer and many other disease states. These microscopic hit-men (free radicals) are infinitesimally small and are continuously attacking and destroying the very foundation of our living cells, our DNA. Free radical oxidation happens every day; when we eat, when we work, and especially when we exercise.
Free radicals cause oxidative damage and although they are invisible to the human eye, their effects can be noticed in mere minutes. Find an apple, cut it in half, then wait and within moments, oxygen molecules will attack the flesh of the apple, cause oxidative damage, and cause the apple to turn brown. In living organisms, this occurs as well. There is often a chain reaction wherein one free radical disrupts a portion of DNA which creates a new free radical. These two free radicals will then create more free radicals, fueling a vicious cycle.
So is there any hope? What can we possibly do to slow or prevent the role of free radical-induced oxidative damage? First, there are some things to avoid. Although total elimination of oxidative damage is impossible, there are many lifestyle practices that if engaged in will increase damage. Some practices that speed up free radical oxidative damage are smoking, eating charred/fried foods, and overexposure to ultra-violet (UV) light, (ie sun/tanning bed). Merely avoiding these practices is an excellent way to slow down oxidative damage.
But should we really only play defense when it comes to our health? As the adage goes, “the best defense, is a good offense” and that is exactly the position we need to take to combat oxidative damage. Free radicals have a veritable foe in the oxidation war, they are called, you guessed it, antioxidants. Let’s go back to the apple analogy from earlier and instead of having the apple merely “avoid” unhealthy practices like smoking and extreme UV exposure, let’s have the apple take the offense. We will douse the apple slice with a potent antioxidant such as lemon juice and then wait for oxidation to occur. We had better have a good book to read because it is going to be a lot longer wait than before. The lemon juice is packed with ascorbic acid, (aka vitamin C) which prevents the apple from oxidizing. Vitamin C is only one of a long list of antioxidants. Others include vitamin A, vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, glutathione, and astaxanthin. There is a much longer list than just these few, and all of these antioxidants are working to neutralize the damaging effects of oxidation. Antioxidants are literal lifesavers because if we didn’t have these “good guys” in our system, free radical oxidation (the bad guys) would kill us in a matter of days. It is really that crucial!
Now that we’ve got the background, let’s hear some bad news. Oxidation happens all the time. Sometimes we can avoid it, sometimes we can’t. Exercise is an area where we just can’t avoid oxidation. Free radical damage will happen if and when you exercise. But as we all know, exercise is a cornerstone of health and therefore it is an interesting juxtaposition that exercise can actually induce a life-shortening process like free radical oxidation. When we exercise we generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which function as free radicals. As exercise intensity increases, so does the production of ROS. The problem, as we have seen above, is that these highly unstable (reactive) oxygen species are directly responsible for causing oxidative damage during exercise. In fact, ROS has been shown to have a highly negative impact on muscle performance as well as muscle recovery. Therefore, everyone involved in a daily exercise routine must make getting enough antioxidants a priority!
The natural question at this point is “what foods have the most antioxidants?” and the answer is, “those foods with a high ORAC value.” The ORAC value stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and is based on how many free radicals a specific food can absorb or neutralize. So, if a cucumber has an ORAC value of 214 and a yellow bell pepper has an ORAC value of 694 then the bell pepper has the capacity to absorb three times more free radicals than the cucumber. The higher the ORAC, the higher the antioxidant power. Simple enough.
Mt. Capra’s SOLAR SYNERGY™ is the perfect choice for athletes and non-athletes who are looking for a sports recovery drink that not only refuels their electrolyte stores but also delivers an antioxidant knock-out blow to the destructive force of oxidation. SOLAR SYNERGY™ contains a proprietary blend of superfoods, antioxidants, and electrolytes, the primary being Capra Mineral Whey.™
Intense exercise will always produce free radical oxidation as well as diminish the body of crucial electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. The Capra Mineral Whey.™ that is found in SOLAR SYNERGY™ supplies the body with much needed bio-organic sources of over 20 minerals. Remember that bio-organic, or wholefood sourced minerals, are key. There are countless sport recovery drinks that contain nothing more than table salt and sugar water and have no natural food sources. Mt. Capra has really taken SOLAR SYNERGY™ to the next level by insisting all their electrolytes/antioxidants, have a natural food source. Along with supplying key minerals/electrolytes, SOLAR SYNERGY™ contains such superfoods as goji berries, wild blueberries, acerola cherries, and many more! These superfoods combined with the bio-organic minerals present in Capra Mineral Whey.™ make for a powerful post-workout recovery drink. When SOLAR SYNERGY™ is combined with Mt. Capra’s Double Bonded Protein™ the pair creates a synergistic muscle recovery duo that can replenish systemic electrolytes, fuel new muscle growth/repair, and stave off dangerous free radical oxidation.
Here’s to your health!
[team_member name=”Joe Stout, M.S.” title=”Father of 5″ img=”http://www.mtcapra.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/joe.jpg”]
Joe holds both a M.S. and B.Sc. degrees in Human Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Bridgeport and Washington State University. Joe has been married to his wonderful wife Elizabeth for seven years and has 5 beautiful children. He is the President of Mt. Capra and lives on and manages the family goat dairy.