Nutrition Optimization for Climbers! Ft. Eric Horst


If you haven’t known yet, I injured my finger
a few weeks ago from climbing. After reading your comments, I realized the
road to recovery is often in months instead of weeks. Therefore, I have been researching what else
I can do to speed up the recovery besides resting and doing rehab exercises. I came across the world-class climbing coach
Eric Horst’s podcast and realized nutrition might be something that I can improve on the
inside. Therefore, I decided to reach out to him. If you are involved in an activity, that is
hard on the connective tissues, such as climbing, we have high forces that we load on the very
small tendons and ligaments. Tendons and ligaments are comprised of almost
completely collagen and then water. Every time you climb forcefully, you are breaking
down collagen, so your body needs to re-synthesize collagen to return homeostasis. If you are climbing everyday hard, your body
falls behind and you have net collagen degradation, injuries is just an amount of time in that
scenario. When you eat a protein source, there are a
total of 20 amino acids, but it’s the glycine and the proline just 2 of those 20 amino acids
that comprise nearly two thirds of the collagen in our tendons and ligaments. If you are eating food that have lots of other
amino acids but are low in glycine and proline, there’s a good chance that you are deficient. Now our body can make a little bit of those
amino acids, but only a few grams a day, we do need to consume additional glycine and
proline to prevent a deficiency. The target should be 10 grams of glycine per
day. Vitamin C is an essential co-factor for collagen
synthesis. There’s also trace minerals that are required
for collagen synthesis but I think most diets gets sufficient amounts of those trace minerals. Animal products are most rich in glycine and proline. If you ate 2 servings of pork per day or 2
or 3 servings of chicken, you will get the 10 grams just fine but many climbers don’t
eat much meat products so that’s where a supplemental protein source that is high in glycine and
proline can be helpful, such as hydrolyzed collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen is a more refined version
of gelatin which means it dissolves more easily. The protocol done in the research to really
optimize in target the glycine and the proline to where the body part you want is to consume
the hydrolyzed collagen one hour before you do your training, so that way the collagen
protein digest into the amino acids into your bloodstream, you get the spike of glycine
and proline in the serum at about one hour, and so that is when you want to train your
fingers or elbows or shoulders whatever body part you want to target the collagen to. The mechanical loading of the tendons, draws
in synovial fluid from around the tendons, and that is how they get most of their nourishment,
because connective tissues, tendons and ligaments are virtually avascular, there’s a little
bit of blood flow around the peripheral, some capitularies around the endo tendons, the
center of the tendons are nearly avascular, and they get their nutrition through this
fluid diffusion during exercises, and so the nourishment that you consume after you exercise
is readily carried to the muscles, because they have many capitularies, and the blood
flow continues after workout to carry nutrients to the muscle, but once you stop loading your
fingers that fluid flow in and out of the tendons and ligaments largely ceases and therefore
they have a tough time getting nutrients. The Supercharged Collagen, which is the product
that I developed over the last 2 years is based on the research, this is really the
highest in terms of concentration of glycine that you can get, even higher than pork. It has vitamin C enrichment like was done
in the research, I’ve also enriched it with L-Lucine, which is an amino acid that has
been shown to be a signal of protein synthesis in the body and I’ve also added a small amount
of Tryptophan to give it a complete amino acid profile. An athlete or a climber, who wants to supplement
or get more glycine and proline in their diet and they don’t want to eat all that meat,
the Supercharged Collagen is a product that you can go to as a supplement. If you are really into nutrition, and study
the foods you eat and know how to combine foods, I think you can get the job done without
supplemental protein but many people just don’t have the knowledge nor the discipline
to really follow through and get the job done consistently. To mix up a hydrolyzed collagen drink before
your workout is a pretty simple thing to do. Full disclosure, I am not sponsored and I
won’t receive any commission, either if you purchase anything from Physivantage. I have neither a biology nor a chemistry background
to understand the very details of the science. However, I trust Eric’s knowledge and peer
reviews for the research papers. Personally, I have recently started to consume
the supercharged collagen, but I haven’t feel an obvious effect yet. I am also not sure what’s a fair way is to
measure the effect of nutrition, either. Say, if my finger recover in a short period
of time, it could be because of nutrition, but it could also be because of rehabbing
exercises, or you could even argue that my finger injury isn’t as severe in the first
place. If you know a good way to measure nutrition,
comment below and let me know. In any case, I am going to try every possible
way to speed up my recovery so I can start making climbing videos again. Be sure to check out Eric’s podcast, website,
and YouTube channel, especially if you are serious in climbing. As always, make sure to like and subscribe. See you in the next video.

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