Combined Glucose Ingestion and Mouth Rinsing Improves Sprint Cycling Performance

This study investigated whether combined ingestion and mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution could improve maximal sprint cycling performance. Twelve competitive male cyclists ingested 100 ml of one of the following solutions 20 min before exercise in a randomized double-blinded counterbalanced order (a) 10% glucose solution, (b) 0.05% aspartame solution, (c) 9.0% maltodextrin solution, or (d) water as a control. Fifteen min after ingestion, repeated mouth rinsing was carried out with 11 × 15 ml bolus doses of the same solution at 30-s intervals. Each participant then performed a 45-s maximal sprint effort on a cycle ergometer. Peak power output was significantly higher in response to the glucose trial (1188 ± 166 W) compared with the water (1036 ± 177 W), aspartame (1088 ± 128 W) and maltodextrin (1024 ± 202W) trials by 14.7 ± 10.6, 9.2 ± 4.6 and 16.0 ± 6.0% respectively (< .05). Mean power output during the sprint was significantly higher in the glucose trial compared with maltodextrin (< .05) and also tended to be higher than the water trial (= .075). Glucose and maltodextrin resulted in a similar increase in blood glucose, and the responses of blood lactate and pH to sprinting did not differ significantly between treatments (> .05). These findings suggest that combining the ingestion of glucose with glucose mouth rinsing improves maximal sprint performance. This ergogenic effect is unlikely to be related to changes in blood glucose, sweetness, or energy sensing mechanisms in the gastrointestinal tract.

Full Article:

Chart showing studies and results for rinsing!

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Lab ‘v’ Field Testing.

“No significant difference”

The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of agreement between laboratory-based estimates of critical power (CP) and results taken from a novel field test. Subjects were fourteen trained cyclists (age 40±7 yrs; body mass 70.2±6.5 kg; V̇O2max 3.8±0.5 L · min−1). Laboratory-based CP was estimated from 3 constant work-rate tests at 80%, 100% and 105% of maximal aerobic power (MAP). Field-based CP was estimated from 3 all-out tests performed on an outdoor velodrome over fixed durations of 3, 7 and 12 min. Using the linear work limit (Wlim) vs. time limit (Tlim) relation for the estimation of CP1 values and the inverse time (1/t) vs. power (P) models for the estimation of CP2 values, field-based CP1 and CP2 values did not significantly differ from laboratory-based values (234±24.4 W vs. 234±25.5 W (CP1); P<0.001; limits of agreement [LOA], −10.98–10.8 W and 236±29.1 W vs. 235±24.1 W (CP2); P<0.001; [LOA], −13.88–17.3 W. Mean prediction errors for laboratory and field estimates were 2.2% (CP) and 27% (W′). Data suggest that employing all-out field tests lasting 3, 7 and 12 min has potential utility in the estimation of CP.

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10 Tips to help your Preparation for 2017

1. Get the calendar out!

Have a look back at 2016 and pick out the races you completed and in particular the ones you enjoyed and though you might have won or done better in. Pick out a couple and set the first one as your minor goal for 2017. Then pick out your favourite as your major goal for 2017. Make sure the minor goal comes at least 8 week before your major goal. Now your planning for 2017. “Fail to Plan & Plan to Fail”

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2. Set out your training

A periodised training prescription is generally 30 weeks from start to goal. Have a read up on this and get to know how to build one or contact us here through our contact form for coaching and advice. Build your program, set your start dates, note your minor goal and set your sights on your major goal.

3. Get your equipment right

Winter bike, winter clothing, foam rollers, recovery drinks, racing bike, race clothing, etc. Its is important to have the correct equipment for the job in hand. There is nothing worse for motivation during December or January than having to ride a race bike in wet cold conditions while dressed in summer kit. The same goes for racing on your winter bike with big heavy winter clothing. Equipment for recovery is also very important. Get a foam roller , learn how to use it and this will help in recovery. If you’ve forgot some of these and you’ve started your 30 week periodised prescription your already behind where you should be. Clean and maintain your equipment as it will last longer!



4. Body Care

Don’t forget to get your niggles and injuries from last year treated and continue to visit your therapist on a monthly basis throughout your prescription in order to maintain balance within the mechanical structures of the body. You masseur/masseuse will also appreciate shaved legs.


5. Strength & Conditioning

Get your self tested and assessed by a strength and conditioning coach who knows your sport. It is important that you address your weakness during the winter months as this will improve your limiters during the racing season and improve overall performance.

images-16. Nutrition

Get your head out of the biscuit tin! Its time to schedule your food intake and to appropriate food to your daily needs wether it be a rest day or a full on split session day. This is one of the most important elements of your training. One can train hard all day long and every day of the week but you will not get gains in performance if the nutrition is not timed correctly and appropriate to your needs. Remember its not what you like but what you need that counts!

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The best time for sleeping is directly after food which should be eaten directly after one’s training session. If you can’t get that sleep than stay relaxed and off your feet. Nightime sleep also needs to be adequate and going to bed that 30-60 earlier will make all the difference.


8. Infection Control

Get your self a little bottle of hand sanitiser and keep it with you and use often. For instance washing your hands after the bathroom is great but you still have to get out of the bathroom and that means using the door handle which has been used by tons of people who don’t wash! So use your sanitiser when you get out of bathroom. Try keep hands away from eyes and mouth to stop transfer of infections from the hand into the body. Clean remote controls and door handles once a week at home. Use sanitiser after activities like using buttons in lifts, pass machines etc. All this will help drastically reduce the chance of infection.

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9. Medical

Get yourself down to your local sport doctor and get checked out before your start. Get your bloods checked to make sure your not deficient in anything. It is also important to get checked again in 2 -3 months into the prescription to make sure nothing has changed. One of the most common problem we see is low iron levels which can lead to fatigue and poor recovery and in extreme cases can cause exhaustion and force you to refrain from training for a number of month.

10. The Most Important!

Get out a pen and paper, “Read this again” and start off on the correct foot, I wouldn’t say right foot as you might be left handed! “Fail to Plan Plan to Fail” Good Luck for 2017 and if you need any assistance do not hesitate to give us a call.

The Athlete Clinic.

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Pre Christmas Training Camp 2014

—————-Fully Booked——————–

—–Details of next Camp to be released next week—–


Following on from the success of our 2012, 2013 and early 2014 training camps we are delighted to offer our training camp in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria for the last week in November 2014. Maspalomas is traditionally a great location for winter training camps as the weather is generally constant at 20-24 degrees.

From the image below the terrain is also quite challenging but the island also offers flat roads for those lacking that “mountain goat gene”. The Camp will run in the last week of November and be fully guided and coached by Jonathan Gibson who has coached riders to European & World competition standard.

The camp offers instruction & coaching for improving climbing, cornering, general training and nutritional requirements, group riding at speed and various other topics required by a rider to be competitive in his or her chosen category.

Our post Christmas camp will be during the last week of January 2015 and should be booked early, so the decision is your Pre or Post Christmas or both? If you have any queries regarding the content or structure of the camp please call me (Jonathan) directly on +353 87 2453114 and for booking please go direct to Neenan Travel. It is advised to book early as places are limited. Booking through Neenan Travel Please Contact Susanne @ 01 6079900 Neenan Travel Group also t/a Registered in Ireland 26065. Travel Agents Licence number TA0203


Departing Dublin Tuesday 25th November

Depart 14:10 arrive Las Palmas 18:40

Return Tuesday 2nd December

Depart 19:30 arrive Dublin 23:59

Price per person –

Transfer to & from Vista Oasis Apartments

7 nights self catering

1 bedroom – 2 sharing €521.00

1 bedroom – 3 sharing €475.00

Optional extras –

Check in bag on Aer Lingus flights is €50 return-20kg bag or €40 return-15kg bag

Bike on Aer Lingus flights €80 return (bike slots are limited, first come first served basis)

Travel insurance €23

Road bike rental available here. Bikes are Cannondale and range from €14 to €52 per day. Please contact company directly to arrange and book your bike.


Lunch time view in Puerto del Mogan

Lunch time view in Puerto del Mogan

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Some pictures from the Junior European Championships 2014 in Switzerland

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How to Train Like a Pro!

I have been involved in national and international level sports both as an athlete and coach since 1980 with 28 of those years spent coaching athletes from gymnasts to pro tour cyclists and a  variety in between. As a certified coach in a number of sports I choose to broaden my skills in order to better understand the athlete and with that aim completed strength & conditioning along with orthopaedic massage & injury management courses. The training and skills developed by adding these courses to my own skills have developed my understanding of the athlete. Athlete Prevention, Athlete execution (and no we done shoot anyone!) and Athlete Results are a staple diet in all that we do at The Athlete Clinic. In prescribing a training session to an athlete it is important that the session does not injure or prevent the athlete from training or actively recovering the next day. This focus on training prescription is Athlete Prevention. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is and example of this or even simple overload in one session. With a training session prescribed we enter the Athlete Execution phase. The method for carrying out the session must be correct wether that is by monitoring the intensity by heart rate monitor or by pace or the method in which the session is executed. One also needs to execute “stretching” and “range of motion” routines correctly. I have yet to see an athlete doing a set of 3 different stretches correctly. Gymnastics is a hard sport which requires a massive amount of conditioning for only a few minutes or just seconds of competition. We don’t recommend the activity in the picture below. Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 13.46.43   Athlete Results is where the evaluation by the coach or oneself takes place. Analyse the training files, examine your physicality asking questions such as, did I hit the correct training zones, should I be as tired or as fresh as this after my session, have the results of previous day affected todays session and result, should todays results enter tomorrows Athlete Prevention when prescribing for the following day session. The last few paragraphs are a little insight into how High Performance drives athletes and how we at The Athlete Clinic manage and coach our athletes. We communicate, prescribe and then expect the athlete to digest the prescription. The athlete needs read the prescription and provide feedback, maybe a wedding on a weekend might prevent training so with communication these days could be changed to act as recovery days with pre loading of heavy training prior to the wedding ensure that the athlete is getting full training loads in per cycle wether that being Macro, Meso or Micro. (Article on training cycle HERE) Here a few simple tips for your training

1. Endurance spins are long and tedious. Generally one only needs to train for approx 10% more than your longest event. Make sure you have the correct clothing as on long training spin the weather can change and if your on a single long loop you can find yourself far from home. Eat and drink well though out the spin. If the weather is promised bad stay closer to home by doing laps of a short course. Mix up these session by meeting ability liked groups or going away for a weekend and training on different roads or even a trip abroad. Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 14.42.25 2. Sprinting can be very hard on the body and joints. It is not recommended that if you are new to cycling that you do any hard sprinting for the first 12 months until your body develops the strength to handle these efforts. When sprinting it is very important to complete such session in a safe manor. Do not do these on a busy main road. Find a quiet spot, maybe an industrial estate or back road and ensure your bike is mechanically sound, your cleats are in good shape and your helmet fits good. Sprinting can be for 1 minute or 10 seconds depending on what one is trying to achieve. The staple diet of the pro riders is the 20 second on and 40 second off sprint. The number, intensity and recovery of these sprints depends on the ability of the rider. Factors such as cadence and incline can also be factored into these effort all eliciting different effects and results. Again one can see where Athlete Prevention, Athlete Execution & Athlete Results are so important. Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 14.43.48 3. Intervals can range from just over a minute to 20 minutes. The number, intensity and recovery of these intervals depends on the ability of the rider. Factors such as cadence and incline can also be factored into these effort all eliciting different effects and results. The professional rider uses monitoring equipment for these intervals with the power meter the favourite tool of choice. During the longer intervals of 5 minutes+ the heart rate will level out and stabilise, it usually take around 3 minutes for this to happen and these intervals can be done on Heart Rate alone. With the shorter intervals of under 5 minutes the power meter is king as it displays a power number generated from pushing the pedals and the power meter displays a instant reading which does no take time to adjust. This allows the rider to train at a particular zone and be 100% sure they are at that zone while doing the more intense intervals of up to 5 minutes. Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 14.50.20 4. Recovery is as important as ones training. “If your standing and you can sit, then sit. If your sitting and you can lie down the lie. If your lying and you can sleep then sleep” This is the simplest of all advice and one the pros live by. Massage, eating, sleeping even 10 or 15 mins naps have proven to benefit recovery. Don’t forget the active recovery, the easy spin to the coffee shop or the paper will all contribute to your recovery. With recovery its all the continuous little things in your life that you do that add up to give goo recovery. Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 14.46.20 8. Nutrition is what keeps you going and repairs the damage you’ve done training. If you need to loose weight then a 500 calorie a day deficit will encourage weight loss without damaging muscle size or volume. A good balanced diet with quality foods and calorie watching is whats needed for good nutritional balance. Don’t buy burgers in a box but get your meet minced in the butchers in front of you and make your own. If its in a box chances are that the product in the box has been optimised for the profits of the business selling the product and not for you consumption. Nutrition can be made very complete with this diet and that diet. Stay simple, keep your diet varied and balance, watch the calories in and the calories you use, make sure your covering what you need from your training load requirements and you wouldn’t go to far wrong. We offer a free consultation and advice service for your initial enquiry. If you are interested in our coaching services or athlete services we can be contacted HERE. For regular updates and free tips sign up to our page.

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Critical Power and Anaerobic Capacity of Grand Cycling Tour Winners

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Link to full article: Critical Power & Anaerobic Capacity of Grand Tour Winners

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Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery.



The role of nutrition in modulating postexercise overnight recovery remains to be elucidated. We assessed the effect of protein ingestion immediately before sleep on digestion and absorption kinetics and protein metabolism during overnight recovery from a single bout of resistance-type exercise.

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Sixteen healthy young males performed a single bout of resistance-type exercise in the evening (2000 h) after a full day of dietary standardization. All subjects were provided with appropriate recovery nutrition (20 g of protein, 60 g of CHO) immediately after exercise (2100 h). Thereafter, 30 min before sleep (2330 h), subjects ingested a beverage with (PRO) or without (PLA) 40 g of specifically produced intrinsically [1-C]phenylalanine-labeled casein protein. Continuous intravenous infusions with [ring-H5]phenylalanine and [ring-H2]tyrosine were applied with blood and muscle samples collected to assess protein digestion and absorption kinetics, whole-body protein balance and mixed muscle protein synthesis rates throughout the night (7.5 h).


During sleep, casein protein was effectively digested and absorbed resulting in a rapid rise in circulating amino acid levels, which were sustained throughout the remainder of the night. Protein ingestion before sleep increased whole-body protein synthesis rates (311 ± 8 vs 246 ± 9 μmol·kg per 7.5 h) and improved net protein balance (61 ± 5 vs -11 ± 6 μmol·kg per 7.5 h) in the PRO vs the PLA experiment (P < 0.01). Mixed muscle protein synthesis rates were ∼22% higher in the PRO vs the PLA experiment, which reached borderline significance (0.059%·h ± 0.005%·h vs 0.048%·h ± 0.004%·h, P = 0.05).


This is the first study to show that protein ingested immediately before sleep is effectively digested and absorbed, thereby stimulating muscle protein synthesis and improving whole-body protein balance during postexercise overnight recovery.

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Milk ingestion stimulates net muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise.



Previous studies have examined the response of muscle protein to resistance exercise and nutrient ingestion. Net muscle protein synthesis results from the combination of resistance exercise and amino acid intake. No study has examined the response of muscle protein to ingestion of protein in the context of a food. This study was designed to determine the response of net muscle protein balance following resistance exercise to ingestion of nutrients as components of milk.

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Three groups of volunteers ingested one of three milk drinks each: 237 g of fat-free milk (FM), 237 g of whole milk (WM), and 393 g of fat-free milk isocaloric with the WM (IM). Milk was ingested 1 h following a leg resistance exercise routine. Net muscle protein balance was determined by measuring amino acid balance across the leg.


Arterial concentrations of representative amino acids increased in response to milk ingestion. Threonine balance and phenylalanine balance were both > 0 following milk ingestion. Net amino acid uptake for threonine was 2.8-fold greater (P < 0.05) for WM than for FM. Mean uptake of phenylalanine was 80 and 85% greater for WM and IM, respectively, than for FM, but not statistically different. Threonine uptake relative to ingested was significantly (P < 0.05) higher for WM (21 +/- 6%) than FM (11 +/- 5%), but not IM (12 +/- 3%). Mean phenylalanine uptake/ingested also was greatest for WM, but not significantly.


Ingestion of milk following resistance exercise results in phenylalanine and threonine uptake, representative of net muscle protein synthesis. These results suggest that whole milk may have increased utilization of available amino acids for protein synthesis.

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Feed your genes: How our genes respond to the foods we eat?

How our genes respond to the foods we eat?

What if you could answer this question at a molecular level — what if you could find out how our genes respond to the foods we eat, and what this does to the cellular processes that make us healthy — or not?

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When we eat foods our genes are “up-regulated” or “down-regulated”. The other term for this is called “knowing up” or “knocking down” a gene. The fact that a gene is switched on or off is due to what our parents give us. I saying that our genes function at different levels. One might have a gene working at 15% and another individual have the same gene working at 90%. In trying to understand how to “up-regulate” or “down-regulate” i.e. increase a gene from 15% efficiency to 50% efficiency or decrease from 90% to 60% researchers at The Norwegian University of Science & technology (NTNU) researched the effects of food on this process.

If you could ask your genes to say what kinds of foods are best for your health, they would have a simple answer: one-third protein, one-third fat and one-third carbohydrates. That’s what recent genetic research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) shows is the best recipe to limit your risk of most lifestyle-related diseases.

Food affects gene expression

NTNU researchers Ingerid Arbo and Hans-Richard Brattbakk have fed slightly overweight people different diets, and studied the effect of this on gene expression. Gene expression refers to the process where information from a gene’s DNA sequence is translated into a substance, like a protein, that is used in a cell’s structure or function.

“We have found that a diet with 65% carbohydrates, which often is what the average Norwegian eats in some meals, causes a number of classes of genes to work overtime,” says Berit Johansen, a professor of biology at NTNU. She supervises the project’s doctoral students and has conducted research on gene expression since the 1990s.

“This affects not only the genes that cause inflammation in the body, which was what we originally wanted to study, but also genes associated with development of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, dementia, and type 2 diabetes — all the major lifestyle-related diseases,” she says.

Common dietary advice and chronic disease

These findings undercut most of the underpinnings for the diets you’ve heard will save you. Dietary advice abounds, and there is a great deal of variation as to how scientifically justified it is. But it is only now that researchers are figuring out the relationship between diet, digestion and the effect on one’s health and immune system — so they can now say not only what kinds of foods are healthiest, but why.

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“Both low-carb and high-carb diets are wrong,” says Johansen. “But a low-carb diet is closer to the right diet. A healthy diet shouldn’t be made up of more than one-third carbohydrates (up to 40 per cent of calories) in each meal, otherwise we stimulate our genes to initiate the activity that creates inflammation in the body.”

This is not the kind of inflammation that you would experience as pain or an illness, but instead it is as if you are battling a chronic light flu-like condition. Your skin is slightly redder, your body stores more water, you feel warmer, and you’re not on top mentally. Scientists call this metabolic inflammation.

A powdered diet

Johansen and her colleagues conducted two studies. The first was to determine what type of research methods they would use to answer the questions they had. In the pilot study (28 days) five obese men ate real food, while in the second study, 32 slightly overweight men and women (mainly students) ate specially made powdered food.

Participants in the latter study were randomly assigned to go six days on a diet with 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, with the rest of the calories from protein (15 percent) and fat (20 percent), then a week with no diet. Then came the six days on a diet with half the carbs and twice as much protein and fat as in the first diet. There were blood tests before and after each dieting period.

The amount of food each person ate was calculated so that their weight would remain stable and so that equal portions were consumed evenly over six meals throughout the day.

The researchers had help developing diets from Fedon Lindberg, a medical doctor who specializes in internal medicine and who promotes low-glycaemic diets, Inge Lindseth, an Oslo dietician who specializes in diabetes, and Ann-Kristin de Soysa, a dietician who works with obese patients at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim.

“We wanted to know exactly what the subjects were getting in terms of both macro- and micronutrients,” says Johansen, -“A tomato doesn’t contain a consistent amount of nutrients, or antioxidants, for example. So make sure we had a handle on the health effects, we had to have accurate accounting of nutrients. That’s why we chose the powdered diets for the main study.”

Solving the control problem

Diet studies that compare different diets with different amounts of fat are often criticized with the argument that it is difference in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that causes the health effects, not the rest of the food intake.

The researchers addressed this problem by having the same amount of omega-3 and omega-6 in both diets, although the amount of fat in general was different in the diets that were tested. The researchers also avoided another common problem: the natural variation in gene expression between humans.

“Each of our study subjects was able to be his or her own control person, ” Johansen says “Every subject was allowed to go on both diets, with a one-week break in between the diets, and half began with one diet, while the rest started with the other diet.”

Blood tests were conducted before and after each diet period. All of the measurements of changes in gene expression were done so that each individual’s difference in gene expression was compared with that person alone. The results were then compiled.

Johnson says the studies resulted in two important findings. One is the positive effect of many meals throughout the day, and the details about the quality and composition of components in an optimal diet, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The second is that a carbohydrate-rich diet, regardless of whether or not a person overeats, has consequences for genes that affect the lifestyle diseases, she says.

A way to measure genetic temperature

Throughout the study, researchers surveyed the extent to which various genes were working normally or overtime. An aggregate measure of the results of all of this genetic activity is called gene expression. It can almost be considered a measurement of the genetic temperature of the body’s state of health.

“We are talking about collecting a huge amount of information,” says Johansen.

“And it’s not like there is a gene for inflammation, for example. So what we look for is whether there are any groups of genes that work overtime. In this study we saw that an entire group of genes that are involved in the development of inflammatory reactions in the body work overtime as a group.”

It was not only inflammatory genes that were putting in overtime, as it would turn out. Some clusters of genes that stood out as overactive are linked to the most common lifestyle diseases.

“Genes that are involved in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer respond to diet, and are up-regulated, or activated, by a carbohydrate-rich diet,” says Johansen.

Johansen is not a cancer researcher, and is not claiming that it is possible to eliminate your risk of a cancer diagnosis by eating. But she thinks it is worth noting that the genes that we associate with disease risk can be influenced by diet.

“We’re not saying that you can prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s if you eat right, but it seems sensible to reduce the carbohydrates in our diets,” she suggests.

“We need more research on this,” Johansen adds. “It seems clear that the composition and quantity of our diets can be key in influencing the symptoms of chronic disease. It is important to distinguish between diet quality and quantity, both clearly have very specific effects.”

The body’s arms race

Johansen argues that diet is the key to controlling our personal genetic susceptibility to disease. In choosing what we eat, we choose whether we will provide our genes the weapons that cause disease. The immune system operates as if it is the body’s surveillance authority and police. When we consume too many carbohydrates and the body is triggered to react, the immune system mobilizes its strength, as if the body were being invaded by bacteria or viruses.

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“Genes respond immediately to what they have to work with. It is likely that insulin controls this arms race,” Johansen says. “But it’s not as simple as the regulation of blood sugar, as many believe. The key lies in insulin’s secondary role in a number of other mechanisms. A healthy diet is about eating specific kinds of foods so that that we minimize the body’s need to secrete insulin. The secretion of insulin is a defense mechanism in response to too much glucose in the blood, and whether that glucose comes from sugar or from non-sweet carbohydrates such as starches (potatoes, white bread, rice, etc.), doesn’t really matter.”

Avoid the fat trap!

The professor warns against being caught up in the fat trap. It’s simply not good to cut out carbs completely, she says. “The fat/protein trap is just as bad as the carbohydrate trap. It’s about the right balance, as always.”

She says we must also make sure to eat carbohydrates, proteins and fats in five to six smaller meals, not just for the main meal, at dinner.

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“Eating several small and medium-sized meals throughout the day is important. Don’t skip breakfast and don’t skip dinner. One-third of every meal should be carbohydrates, one-third protein and one-third fat. That’s the recipe for keeping inflammatory and other disease-enhancing genes in check,” Johansen explains.

Change is quick

Johansen has some encouraging words, however, for those of us who have been eating a high carbohydrate diet. “It took just six days to change the gene expression of each of the volunteers,” she says, “so it’s easy to get started. But if you want to reduce your likelihood of lifestyle disease, this new diet will have to be a permanent change.”

Johansen stressed that researchers obviously do not have all the answers to the relationship between diet and food yet. But the trends in the findings, along with recent scientific literature, make it clear that the recommendation should be for people to change their dietary habits.

Otherwise, an increasing number of people will be afflicted with chronic lifestyle diseases.

The new food balance sheet

Most of us think it is fine to have foods that you can either eat or not eat, whether it comes to carbohydrates or fats. So how will we know what to put on our plates?

Do we have to both count calories and weigh our food now?

“Of course you can be that careful,” says Johansen. “But you will come a long way just by making some basic choices. If you cut down on boiled root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots, and replace the white bread with a few whole meal slices, such as rye bread, or bake your own crispbread, you will reduce the amount of bad carbohydrates in your diet quite significantly. Furthermore, remember to eat protein and fat at every meal, including breakfast!”

Salad also contains carbohydrates

Johansen explains that many of us do not realize that all the fruits and vegetables we eat also count as carbohydrates — and that it’s not just sweet carbohydrates that we should watch out for.

“Salad is made up of carbohydrates,” says Johansen. “But you have to eat a lot of greens to get a lot of calories. Steamed broccoli is a great alternative to boiled potatoes. Fruit is good, but you have to be careful not to eat large quantities of the high-glycemic fruits at one time. Variety is important.”

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The best is to cut down on potatoes, rice and pasta, and to allow ourselves some of the good stuff that has long been in the doghouse in the refrigerator.

“Instead of light products, we should eat real mayonnaise and sour cream,” Johansen says, “and have real cream in your sauce, and eat oily fish. That said, we should still remember not to eat too much food, either at each meal or during the day. Fat is twice as calorie-rich as carbohydrates and proteins, so we have to keep that in mind when planning the sizes of our portions. Fat is also different. We shouldn’t eat too much saturated animal fat, but monounsaturated vegetable fats and polyunsaturated marine fats are good.”

Fountain-of-youth genes

Johansen’s research also shows that some genes are not up-regulated, but rather the opposite — they calm down rather than speed up.

“It was interesting to see the reduction in genetic activity, but we were really happy to see which genes were involved. One set of genes is linked to cardiovascular disease. They were down-regulated in response to a balanced diet, as opposed to a carbohydrate-rich diet,” she says. Another gene that was significantly differently expressed by the diets that were tested was one that is commonly called “the youth gene” in the international research literature.

“We haven’t actually stumbled on the fountain of youth here,” Johansen laughs, “but we should take these results seriously. The important thing for us is, little by little, we are uncovering the mechanisms of disease progression for many of our major lifestyle-related disorders.”

Johansen’s research has been supported by NTNU and Central Norway Regional Health Authority. Other key partners have been Mette Langaas, a statistician and associate professor of mathematics at NTNU, Dr. Bard Kulseng of the Regional Center for Morbid Obesity at St Olavs Hospital, and Martin Kuiper, a professor of systems biology at NTNU.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science & technology (NTNU) & Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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