The Art of Sports Nutrition
|Sports nutrition is an art. This relates to how you apply the science. Once you know what to do, and provided you are guided by reason, the art has to do with the application of what you know is clearly the most rational thing to do.
Take it from me based on decades of observation and personal experience. The "doing it" is by far the most difficult part, and the fact that you’re a fitness or health professional, athlete or health enthusiast makes no difference whatsoever. Although the public might expect otherwise, you and I both know that every living soul has the same exact challenge, that being, to overcome ourselves, to do what is best and to get the hell out of our own way. Just ask Oprah.
The art of sports nutrition relates to consistency, timing and reliability with respect to what the science has determined. For example, do you take your vitamin supplements without fail? Whether or not you take them or certain ones in specific amounts, such as vitamin C, creatine or glutamine, is established through objective science. The consumption of dietary supplements must first and foremost answer the demands of rationality, logic and safety. After that we’re stuck with ourselves and that’s why most of us fail. When guided exclusively by emotion humans always get into trouble.
The art also relates to what and how we actually eat, including the way we group macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs) and how we combine whole food with our supplements. For example, Tracy and I have 2-4 protein shakes every day. Our delicious mouth-watering shakes are packed with whey protein isolate, hemp protein, fruit, hemp seed oil, glutamine, ribose, creatine, spirulina and vitamin C.
In addition to the powder supplements added to each shake blended in filtered water, we also use our shakes to "Shake & Take", meaning, we take or swallow our other supplements in capsule and tablet form at the same time. This daily ritual makes for a splendid and extremely practical daily procedure. The "art"we create is equal to the benefits we receive. In fact we ourselves are the canvass on which we draw. Our lives represent the art we create and this is why we have such high self-esteem. We did it and we love doing it.
The measure, the quantity, the timing, the application, the consistency, the day-in and day-out administration of the food we eat and the supplements we take, that is the art of sports nutrition. The art relates to constant application. The art relates to the consistency of the application but here’s the caveat. What you do cannot contradict the science. Objectivism and rational thinking has no tolerance for that.
You take your vitamins at a certain time for example. The fact that you do this is how the art is revealed. The reason why you do it is based on the purity of objective science.
The art of sports nutrition relates to the skill of eating, how you prepare your meals, how you segregate, combine and partition your protein, fats and carbohydrates, when you take your vitamins and when you take your shakes. The quality of your "artwork" is revealed when you consume treasure and push the junk aside. Why would you possibly choose the lowest quality materials when attempting to create your best work of art?
The art of sports nutrition can be compared to the skill, development and training of an elite athlete with a health centered consciousness. You have to show up. You have to practice. Practice makes permanent and practice is where the rubber hits the road.
Ever wonder why doctors call what they do a "practice". They are in a constant learning flux. The next time you visit your doctor remember that he or she is "practicing" on you.
Does it matter to your coach how or if you practice? Of course it does. Each practice is a step closer to creating athletic excellence. It’s an opportunity to refine your skills, improve your technique, identify flaws in your system and more importantly, identify flaws in your attitude and emotional make-up. It is the latter that most often hinders personal progress.
The art of sports nutrition may be compared to a great painter possessed by the vision of what only he can see in the workshop of his own mind. Through both learned and natural skill, he transfers that vision onto a canvass for all to see. This is also true regarding the art of sports nutrition. We can transfer the intellectual property that we alone possess from within our own mind and make it as real as the floor beneath our feet.
Like a portrait created by a great artist, would our friends see the same magnificence in the art we produce every day? Would you hide the picture like Dorian Gray, or proudly display it for all to see? Is what you do an outstanding example of the art of sports nutrition in motion? Would people crowd around and gaze at your work in awe with admiration?
Ultimately our objective is to maximize our personal health, improve our performance and preserve our independence. If you are true to the art, I guarantee people will talk. They’ll solicit you for advice, pay you for it and still wonder how you do it.
Is this not prey tell what millions do when they gaze at Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or marvel at Michael Angelo’s Statue of David?
Did these artists create such timeless works of art for praise alone? No way. They did what they were motivated to do because of who they were. They were driven by the virtue of their own beauty and selfish passion. Like Wyatt Earp and the Prodigal Son, once they discovered what they had lost, once they came back "to their senses", they simply revealed to the world what they always had the potential and desire to do.
Over time they moved their abilities forward to the next and ultimate level of self-mastery through the time honored tradition of apprenticeship. They applied the principle of consistency and continuous practice and from that moment on, they understood the how and the why, and so must we.
As always, stay well and live free! Dr.C