by Cheshire Que of Manila Bulletin | May 7, 2019
Sports nutrition is vital for fueling an athlete during training, competition, and recovery phase. This goes hand in hand with training to enhance strength, endurance, and overall performance. Would this tandem between sports nutrition and training ever be enough for a professional athlete? Perhaps yes, or maybe not, at least not for a Featherweight Champ and MMA superstar like Mark Streigl. He combines dedication, healthy eating habits, a very active lifestyle that includes rigorous training, and state-of-the-art technology like HBOT to achieve and remain at the peak of his performance as an athlete.
“HBOT is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, in which an athlete goes into a compression chamber subjecting his whole system to high pressure, high concentration oxygen aimed at greatly increasing healing rates by 50-100 percent faster. Oxygen is directly dissolved in the bloodstream at such atmospheric pressures that delivery of oxygen molecules to injured muscles and tendons is facilitated. High oxygen concentration also has a potent anti-inflammatory effect on sports injuries. Oxygen, being a common and basic ingredient in almost all cellular processes, makes training and developing muscles and tissues more efficient,” explained Orthopaedics, Sports & Regenerative medicine specialist and medical director for Aegle Wellness Center Benedict Francis D. Valdecanas, MD, MSc during the Active Fitness Retreat held in Balesin, Polilio, Quezon in April 2019.
Aside from HBOT, Dr. Valdecanas also shared about other medically curated sports science services that help athletes perform optimally. The Intravenous or IV Therapy delivers much needed vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes through the fastest route possible—the veins, making these much needed supplements readily available to the body exactly when they’re needed for healing and training performance.
In a perfect world, where nutrients are mostly preserved and efficiently absorbed in the body, there won’t be a need for supplementation. Unfortunately, due to the decreasing nutrient quality of food, as well as the struggle with unhealthy eating patterns adapted by many athletes, supplementation is necessary with the guidance of a physician and dietitian.
Dr. Valdecanas also shared about the athletic health benefits of Thalassotherapy. “Our signature service in Aegle Balesin is the utilization of the components of the sea (“thalassotherapy” being the Greek word for “sea”), from natural seawater to nutrient-rich ocean bottom mud to the organic antibiotics and antifungal in algae. Soaking in the thalassotherapy pools instantly corrects electrolyte imbalances common after vigorous training and/or competition. Our anti-inflammatory and soothing thalassopools facilitate healing of sports injuries through natural elemental minerals from the sea.”
Electrolyte imbalance can lead to organ failure and even death. It is important to prevent electrolyte loss by replenishing it through oral intake and in this case (Thalassotherapy) through skin absorption.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Getting serious with sports means having to apply science in every aspect of the athlete’s life. There is a need for proper education from experts on sports nutrition, training and specialized technology for safety, enhanced performance, and efficient recovery.
If you are thinking of becoming an athlete, it is recommended to consult with your physician before getting into any type of sport, see a dietitian to ensure nutrient deficiencies are corrected and your nutritional requirements are met, and get an expert coach to train you.