Ultra processed food trial – ‘The results are in’

The results are in. This (2019) study involved 20 adults following either an ultra-processed (UPF) or unprocessed diet for 2 weeks at the NIH Clinical Centre. This was followed immediately by 2 weeks of the alternate diet. The diets were matched for nutritional composition: calories; energy density; macronutrients; sugar; sodium and fibre and participants were free to eat as much as they liked.

Despite composition matching, subjects on the UPF diet consumed an average of 508 extra calories per day, comprising more carbohydrate and fat, but not protein. Participants gained more weight during the UPF diet, an average of 1kg, and lost weight during the unprocessed diet. This implies that there is something about the processing itself which causes a metabolic issue.

Other interesting points to note were:

During the UPF diet

• The eating rate was faster

• Sodium consumption increased

• To compensate for the lower fibre level and match fibre intake for both diets, beverages with dissolved fibre were given

• Body fat mass increased

During the un-processed food diet:

• Appetite suppressing hormone increased

• Hunger hormone decreased

• Total cholesterol decreased

• Inflammation markers decreased

• Fasting glucose and insulin levels decreased

One thing is clear. Whilst there is much conflict about which diet is the ‘best’ the whole world seems to agree that avoiding processed foods is a good thing.

Refs: Hall, K. D. (2019) Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: An inpatient randomised controlled trial of ad libitum food intake. Cell Metabolism; 30(1) pp. 67-77. e3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946062/

#nutrition #eastbournenutritionist #UPF #realfoodheals #weightlosshelp

Facts of rice

A lot of my clients rely on white rice or pasta for quick meals. I thought I would write this blog about the benefits of brown rice and how to prepare it. Hoping to convince you all that brown rice is the way forward.

Brown rice is a whole grain and a major source of complex carbohydrate, fibre, minerals and B vitamins. Once the husk is removed the rice is sold as whole or brown rice.  Otherwise it is milled and polished at least three more times to remove the bran and the germ from the endosperm, producing white rice. 

Grain anatomy to illustrate which parts of a grain of rice we eat

1. Slower energy release

White rice is quickly digested to sugar increasing the potential for blood sugar spikes which are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. The carbohydrate in brown rice is wrapped in fibre which our bodies can’t digest. This means brown rice is digested to sugar much more slowly with a much slower release of energy. 

2. Fitter and fuller with fibre

Whole grains and fibre keep us full for longer which can help with weight management and keep our gut bacteria happy.  This is turn supports our immune system, mental health and risk of multiple chronic diseases.

3. Good for the heart

The British Heart Foundation says: “Higher intakes of fibre are also associated with a lower risk of heart and circulatory disease, and some cancers.” Brown rice may therefore improve heart health due to its fibre content as well as another specific compound found in its outer layers.

4. Packed with nutrients

Most of the nutrients in a whole grain of rice can be found in its outer layers which are removed during the production of white rice. So brown rice is more nutritious being a better source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).  Brown rice has 10 times the amount of B1 compared to white rice unless it is fortified. Vitamin B1 deficiency (beriberi) has been known to affect populations with a heavy reliance on white rice. This affects the heart, nerves and the muscles.  

The protein content and the quality of whole grains is also much greater than that of refined grains.

5. Antioxidant supply

In January 2023, researchers identified the main antioxidant of brown rice as cycloartenyl ferulate (CAF). This not only protects cells it also boosts the production of antioxidants within other cells.

CAF is hybrid compound of two different types of antioxidant (polyphenols and phytosterols) which may help lower cholesterol levels, suppress inflammation and reduce chronic disease risk.

6. Soaking

This not only reduces cooking time but lowers the arsenic content which can be high in rice according to the FDA. The soaking also makes the nutrients in rice more absorbable because it helps to remove the phytic acid content. The latter can combine with minerals such as magnesium and zinc and block their absorption. Whole grains are effectively seeds so they contain enzyme inhibitors which are activated by water and warmth in preparation for growth.  Soaking in essence pre-digests the grain making it’s nutrients more readily available.

I personally soak brown rice overnight if possible with water and a dash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.  Even a few hours is helpful if I forget the night before. I am constantly surprised when discussing this with my older clients how many will tell me that their parents used to do this. We seem to lose many of our food traditions with the speed of modern life.

7. Leftovers

Cool quickly and store in fridge within an hour of cooking.  Eat within 24 hours or you can freeze it. Defrost it in the fridge and reheat thoroughly.

Refs: https://www.fda.gov/food/environmental-contaminants-food/arsenic-food-and-dietary-supplements; Fallon, S. and Enig, M. G. (1999) Nourishing Traditions: the cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. NewTrends Publishing Inc, Washington, DC.

What's in season?

Food in season

Intermittent fasting and fasting for health

Fasting
Intermittent fasting
Health
Weight loss

Intermittent fasting is in the limelight at the moment but many traditions have been incorporating fasting for millennia.  Humans have historically fasted overnight, for religious reasons or during periods of food scarcity. Some monks have a precept called ‘no meals after noon’ and religions such as Taoism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism all fast.

Fasting principles

What we eat at mealtimes is our primary fuel source for 3-4 hours.  After 4-12 hours we utilise sugar (glycogen) stored in the liver, muscle and brain.  Somewhere between 10 or 12 hours we will start to burn fat out of the liver to produce glucose for energy (gluconeogenesis).  It takes 2-3 days for fat to become the predominant fuel source.

The body will often store toxins in fat cells waiting for an opportune moment to detoxify.  It’s a bit like us putting things in cupboards, pending a rainy weekend for a clear out. When we are constantly digesting this moment doesn’t materialise. The body never gets chance to undertake any longer term regeneration or deep cleaning projects and our cells and guts can become overwhelmed.

"fasting is the body's equivalent of spring cleaning your house or servicing your car"

The digestive system

The inside of our gastro intestinal (GI) tract is still considered external to the human body. The cells lining the GI tract act as the gatekeeper to our body’s internal environment. The lining is delicate about half the width of a human hair.  Nevertheless it underpins all of our health by protecting our immune system and blood stream from toxins and pathogens.  The lining is covered in a mucus layer which contains our gut flora (microbiome) and this forms a selective barrier between us and the outside world.

Host microbiome axis: Interaction between the GI tract, the mucus layer and our immune system

Source: Esser, D. et al. (2019) Functions of the microbiota for the physiology of animal metaorganisms; Journal of Innate Immunity; 11(5), pp. 393-404

The immune system

Just behind our gut lining sits our gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) which is host to the majority of our immune system. Most people eat at least 3 meals a day plus snacks. This means our immune system is on duty 14 hours a day assessing anything that filters through the gut lining for potential toxins and pathogenic material. 

With constant stimulation and no rest, our immune system can’t build up reserves of antioxidants or take care of any long-term building projects. It then risks developing faults or errors of judgment which scientists believe can make us susceptible to:

Types of fasting

There are a number of different types of fasting (see below)*.  There are also hybrid diets such as the fasting mimicking diet (FMD). This is low in calories and protein but high in fat and maintains micronutrient content. Time restricted feeding (TRF) when food is kept to an eating window of 12 hours (7am to 7pm) or 8 hours (8am to 6pm) will provide an overnight fast of 12 and 14 hours respectively. These variations may be more suitable for some people depending on their state of health and unique physiology.  

Longer fasts of up to 5 days can promote autophagy which is a process of programmed cell dissolution.  This takes place once all of our glycogen stores have been utilised c. 24-72 hours around the 4th or 5th day. With this process the body breaks down any damaged cells  such as mis-folded proteins, ameloid plaques, damaged DNA etc. It’s a process of self-eating where the body recycles damaged materials for alternative use. Shorter fasts such as Intermittent fasting help the body to train into longer fasting periods. Fasting shouldn’t be undertaken without due consideration of your current health status and reference to your health practitioner or GP.

“You get rid of the junk during starvation — and once you have food, you can rebuild… The damaged cells are replaced with new cells, working cells — and now the system starts working properly.”

Dr Valter Longo

What fasting does

Your autonomic nervous system (ANS) carries out all the functions which basically run your body on a day to day basis.  Fasting seems to press the reset button on your physiology and all the functions of your ANS including:

Gut / immune system reset - fasting appears to reset our metabolism and rejuvenate the immune system as it gets chance to rest and recover and restore our antioxidant reservoirs.

Gut hormone/stress reset – fasting resets our hormonal systems and avoids the constant adrenaline state to which so many of us have become accustomed.

Gut / brain reset – fasting can help to change our emotional relationship with food as we challenge the body to adapt to different levels of food supply.

Liver reset – fasting facilitates detoxification as we burn fat and sugar out of our liver compartments. 

How fasting improves health

Studies in humans and mice of different types of fasting demonstrate improvement in multiple health indicators such as:

My approach and cautions

I don’t introduce fasting until I believe the client is sufficiently healthy to follow the protocols safely.  My approach is personal to each client. Before starting to restrict food intake we work to ensure that they are well nourished from a micronutrient perspective, have a well functioning liver and detoxification pathways and are hormonally stable.  In addition they will preferably be trained in the breath-work I teach.  This helps clients to work with their autonomic nervous system to manage their stress levels and emotional state in general, but also around food.

We typically start with 2-3 days of intermittent fasting.  Usually it’s from the last evening meal at around 7 pm until about 1 pm or lunchtime the next day. This provides an 18 hour break for both the digestive and the immune systems.

Hydration is also important.  I have a specific hydration protocol for clients to follow when they are preparing for or undertaking a fast or intermittent fast. There are some contraindications to fasting so I always recommend working with a health practitioner.

What the research shows

Most of the research is currently in mice but it seems to demonstrate:

Get in touch on 07740 876233 for more information or if you would like or to discuss your health concerns and how I might be able to support you.

Please note: This article is intended for information purposes so readers can gain an understanding of the benefits of fasting for health.  I highly recommend working with a health practitioner if you plan to try this as there are many aspects to take into consideration.

References

Chaix, A. (2022) Time-restricted feeding and caloric restriction: two feeding regimens at the crossroad of metabolic and circadian regulation; Methods Molecular Biology; 2482 pp 329-340 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2249-0_22

Cheng, C-W. et. Al. (2014) Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA topromote hematopoietic-stem-cell-based regeneration and reverse immunosuppression, Cell Stem Cell; 14(6) pp.810-823 http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(14)00151-9

Longo, V.D. and Panda, S. (2016) Fasting, circadian rhythms, and time restricted feeding in healthy lifespan; Cell Metabolism;14; 23(6); 1048-1059.

Mattson, M. P., Longo, V.D. and Harvie, M. (2018). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Research Reviews: 29 pp. 46-58.

Rangan, P. et. al. (2019) Fasting-mimicking diet modulates microbiota and promotes intestinal regeneration to reduce inflammatory bowel disease pathology; Cell Reports; 5;26 (10); pp. 2704-2710.e6. doi:10.10.16/j.celrep.2019.02.019

Sutton, E.F. (2018) Early time-restricted feeding improves insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and oxidative stress even without weight loss in men with pre diabetes; Cell Metabolism; 5; 27(6); 1212-1221,e3.

Wei, M. et al. (2017) Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease; Science Translational Medicine; 15;9(377)

Vaughn, K.L and Mattison, J.A. (2018) Watch the clock not the scale; Cell Metabolism, 27 pp.1159-1160.

Training

Zach Bush Biology Basecamp (2020)

Pending:- Intermittent fasting: personalization for better outcomes by Amanda Swaine, DipION, BANT, CNHC

* Fasting types:- intermittent fasting (60% energy restriction on two days or more), fasting mimicking diet, time restricted feeding (8 hour food window) and periodic fasting (5 day diet providing 750-1100 kcal).

Acid or Alkaline?

There are so many controversies in nutrition and one of these is the theory around the acid-alkaline balance of the diet.  This blog explores the science and debate around this topic.

If you want to calculate the acid/alkaline of your meal ‘The PRAL’ (Potential Renal Acid Load) scale calculates how acid or alkaline a food is per 100g consumed. This scale is determined by measuring the pH of the ash remaining once the food has been burnt. It is however the subject of debate as the high temperatures used far exceed those of digestion and also burn off the sugar which is thought to cause acidity in the body itself.

The simple way to understand this topic is that alkaline forming foods include all vegetables especially spinach, all herbs and most fruit.  Acid forming foods include all grains, cheese, meat, fish and peanuts as well as processed foods.  Pure fats, sugars, and starches are neutral, because they don’t contain protein, sulphur, or minerals. A source of confusion is that some foods such as lemons and citrus taste acidic but have an alkalising effect on the body.  Examples of highly alkaline vegetables are spinach, broccoli, kale, cucumber and parsley.

When we digest protein acids are produced however these are buffered by bicarbonate ions in the blood.  This reaction produces carbon dioxide which is exhaled and also salts which are excreted by the kidneys. The kidneys produce ‘new’ bicarbonate ions which are returned to the blood.  So as with most things in the body a cycle is created which enables the body to maintain blood pH within a range of 7.35 to 7.45. So whilst food is linked to acidosis through the potential to place a more acid or alkaline ‘load’ on your body, this is quickly resolved to maintain a stable blood pH.

It is important to keep in mind that sufficient protein intake is important for health generation as well as facilitating acid excretion.  So a very low protein diet can in fact increase acidosis and have adverse health effects. 

However if our body’s are in a constant acid-base disequilibrium this is a type of systemic stress. If compensatory mechanism’s diminish a persistent acidogenic diet may increase the likelihood of an H + surplus and lower levels of serum bicarbonate.  The scientific term ‘acidosis’ refers to a process, a dynamic compensatory response not just a change in blood pH.  Many health conditions such as osteoporosis, kidney disease and muscle wasting are associated with a chronic low-grade level of metabolic acidosis.  Although the mechanisms are not fully understood it is thought that there is a trade-off for constantly countering the effect of acid foods. Over time this may deplete buffering reserves of alkaline minerals especially in bones and tax muscle, kidneys and endocrine systems.

Some researchers suggest our contemporary Western diet has a higher acid load relative to that of our ancestors. Minich and Bland (2007) suggest that the root of this may lie in the agricultural revolution, processed food and grain products and more recently popular diets such as Atkins and Paleo.  The latter are high protein diets which increase our net dietary acid load. They are often accompanied by a decrease in the micronutrient and phytochemical intake from fresh fruits and vegetables.

However other researchers dispute these claims. For example the famous researcher and dentist Weston Price found the diet of primitive Eskimos to contain an acid/alkaline balance of 707:382. He was specifically interested in dental caries which in the modern Eskimo diet have increased from 0.9 to 130 per 1000 teeth, whilst the acid/alkaline diet balance reduced to 382:227.

What is clear is that our bodies strive to maintain homeostasis including normal blood pressure, normal blood sugar and normal blood pH. 

If pH falls to below 7.35 then the body regulates acid-alkaline balance via the following:

Patrick McKeown author of ‘The Oxygen Advantage’, points out that acid forming foods stimulate breathing to off load carbon dioxide via the breath.  Metabolic bicarbonate buffering processes occur over several days whereas adjustment via the breath can occur within minutes to hours.  However this stimulus can cause people to resort to mouth breathing rather than nasal in order to restore homeostasis within the body. This aspect of pH adjustment is often ignored in nutrition articles but it’s one of the key reasons I trained in the Oxygen Advantage technique.  Unfortunately mouth breathing or over breathing via hyperventilation can quickly become habitual which can then result in pH moving in the opposite direction causing respiratory alkalosis (Brinkman and Sharma, 2021). Symptoms are wide and varied and can include: shortness of breath (dyspnea); fever; chills; peripheral edema; weakness; confusion; light headedness; dizziness; anxiety; chest pain; asthma; abdominal pain; nausea; vomiting or weight loss.

Similar to most things in life it seems to be about balance. Indeed Sagen Ishizuka (1851-1910, founder of the macrobiotic diet, linked the equilibrium of acid and alkaline foods with the Chinese ideas of Yin and Yang.  Natural balance not radical consumption of either or.

For help with nutrition or breathing advice and training please call me on 07740 876233.

References

Brinkman, J.E. and Sharma, S. (2021) Respiratory Alkalosis; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482117/

Cam Magazine (October, 2014); https://www.scientificwellness.com/blog-view/the-alkaline-diet-science--health-benefits-425

Minich, D.M. and Bland, J.S. (2007) Acid-alkaline balance: role in chronic disease and detoxification; Alternative therapies; 13(4).

McKeown, P. (2015) The Oxygen Advantage. Harper Collins, New York.

Robey, I.F. (2012) Examining the relationship between diet-induced acidosis and cancer; Nutrition and metabolism; 9(72).

Weston Price (1934) Acid alkaline balance by Dr, Weston A. Price; https://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/acidalkaline-balance-by-dr-weston-a-price

Helen Maxwell

07740 876233

Helen@helenmaxwellnutrition.co.uk

www.helenmaxwellnutrition.co.uk

Breathing for runners

Running 
Breath coach
Oxygen Advantage

Maximise your performance through

BREATHING

Learn how to

Functional breath training and simulation of high altitude training with

 Helen Maxwell certified Oxygen Advantage® Instructor

Contact Helen on 07740 876233

Breathing-pattern - could it be the missing link?

The way we breathe is intricately linked to the way our body functions on both a physical and psychological level. When we breathe correctly we oxygenate our organs to maximise their function.

Between 50-80% of the general population have some level of breathing-pattern disorder

The researcher and professor of physical therapy, Kiesel (2017), has found that between 50-80% of the general population have some level of breathing-pattern disorder.  The Oxygen Advantage® programme is designed to reset and optimise your breathing-pattern to improve your overall health and well-being.  It also works specifically on performance for sports and exercise.

Signs and symptoms that your breathing is disordered

Signs that your breathing may be disordered or that you need to improve your breathing include.

Why consider learning to breathe correctly?

Correcting how you breathe may be the missing link in your health journey.  For example if you wake up tired or struggle to focus in the morning this may because of how you breathe during the night. 

When we learn how to breathe properly we can impact all kinds of health issues such as:

DigestionImmune function
Weight lossEnergy levels
AnxietyChronic fatigue
AsthmaExercise induced breathlessness
ConcentrationFocus
Sleep problemsSnoring
Sports performanceCOPD

How is breathing connected to weight loss, energy levels, chronic fatigue and anxiety?

There is a close link between breathing and metabolism which is connected to energy and weight. There seems to be a relationship between the amount we eat and over breathing. Exercises designed to stimulate the para sympathetic nervous (PNS) system seem to bring the body back into balance. This PNS stimulation helps to lower anxiety levels, reduce emotional eating and appetite as well as improve the basal metabolic rate. This is through complex interactions between respiratory rate, heart rate, and the increased capacity of the blood to carry oxygen.

What about asthma and breathing difficulties?

This is one of the key reasons people undertake the programme.  The mechanics and depth of how we breathe affects the amount of air and blood in our lungs. If we breathe well our lungs will protect us against pulmonary infections and we will generate an important molecule called nitric oxide. This molecule is generated in the nasal passages and is our first line of defence against foreign particles. Nitric oxide is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral and it dilates our airways and blood vessels to enhance delivery of oxygen and micronutrients to the tissues. Generating nitric oxide has been found to have significant health benefits especially with regard to chronic and age related disease.

By learning to breathe correctly, improving oxygen uptake and controlling the amount of air you breathe asthma symptoms may reduce or resolve and the need for medication can diminish.

Why does our breathing affect our digestion and our immune function?

Our gut membrane is the barrier between our internal and external world. It is the vital link between what we eat and the nutrients our body digests and absorbs. It’s surface area is as big as two tennis courts but it is delicate, only one cell thick and half the width of a human hair. Most of our immune system is situated just behind this membrane which starts in the sinuses and runs all the way down our throat to the stomach and intestines. It works to protect us from any unwanted substances we may ingest.

Many of us eat on the run, in a rush or whilst feeling stressed.  When we learn to breathe correctly we oxygenate our gut so it can relax, digest and function optimally which in turn supports our immunity.

How can changing how we breathe improve our exercise performance?

Many of us gas-out too soon when we exercise.  This breathlessness can actually put us off exercising.  We instinctively think this is because we can’t get enough oxygen. It has much more to do with being unable to tolerate the build up of carbon dioxide and lactic acid in the body combined with weak respiratory muscles. This chemical oversensitivity can be retrained and reset so the body can do more with less.  We can also retrain the mechanics of breathing to improve the strength of our diaphragm, and the inspiratory and expiratory muscles.

What is the Oxygen Advantage® programme ?

The Oxygen Advantage® programme teaches you the science and the practice of breathing right.  You learn the science of breathing and the ‘how to’ practical part which has two stages. The first stage is to assess your breathing and then learn how to retrain and repattern this for optimal function.  The second stage of the programme uses exercises which simulate high altitude training.  This teaches the body to do more with less, improving athletic performance for both recreational and professional sports people. 

Once you have learnt the exercises and reset your breathing receptors you simply incorporate it into your daily activities.

Benefits

The physiological benefits will depend on how your body responds to the core benefits of:

We pay little attention to the way we breathe because it’s such an automatic process. The Eastern philosophies such as yoga and Tai Chi have always taught that it is a key component of health.  We have never been taught to address it but with the Oxygen Advantage® programme you will learn the science and the practice from a fully qualified instructor.

You can read more about the Oxygen Advantage® programme here.

Helen Maxwell

www.helenmaxwellnutrition.co.uk

Helen@helenmaxwellnutrition.co.uk

07740 876233

References

Kiesel, P.T. et al (2017) Development of a screening protocol to identify individuals with dysfunctional breathing. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 12(51), DOI: 10.16603/ijspt20170774

Djupesland, P.G. et al. (1999) Nitric oxide in the nose and paranasal sinuses – respiratory tract physiology in a new perspective; Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 119(27); pp.4070-4072.

Bryan NS, et al. (2017) Oral microbiome and nitric oxide: the missing link in the management of blood Pressure. Current Hypertension Reports:19(4):33.

Stephan BCM, et al. (2017) Cardiovascular disease, the nitric oxide pathway and risk of cognitive impairment and dementia; Current Cardiology Reports: 11;19(9):87.

Enter 'The zone'

An air of mystery surrounds ‘The Zone’, a near mythical state of mind-body alignment which athletes seek but few master. Rupert Sheldrake (author and biologist) suggests that sport may be one of the few remaining ways for people to experience an altered state of consciousness.  Sport requires: total concentration on the ‘present’; dedication; discipline and a will to explore and stretch beyond normal physical and mental capabilities. These qualities are all elements of committed spiritual practice potentially leading to similar experiences.

HeartMath® research suggests that this flow state is about heart-brain synchronisation achieved by connection with your intuitive heart.  When we do this over and over, with intention, it gradually becomes easier. We begin to understand it’s not a one-shot experience but a place we can train ourselves to enter at will.  There is a formula to get there to become physically, mentally and emotionally coherent. When we are coherent we are present, we think clearly, react intuitively and can play great sports.

The biofeedback from HeartMath® technology helps to build awareness of how our different emotional states affect the rhythmic pattern of heart activity.  It gives real time information on your heart rate variability (HRV) which is a measurement of the time intervals between consecutive heartbeats. 

Physically active individuals tend to have a higher HRV and this is associated with better health status. Athletes (recreational and professional) with a high HRV can respond, flex and adapt to the demands of their training and sport more easily.  But like most things in life it’s about balance and sport has a positive and negative relationship with HRV.  Your heart-beat is affected by your respiratory/cardiac cycle known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia or RSA. The sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is activated to cope with the demands of sport or exercise. If this exceeds available resources then vagus nerve function will diminish, negatively affecting our RSA and HRV. 

Teaching people to sustain positive emotions facilitates emotional and psychological coherence, enhancing mind-body co-ordination and shortening reaction time.  Tiger Woods was once asked during a championship game if there was a specific area players should look out for.  His response “No, not really.  I think the guys who are really controlling their emotions are going to win”.  I remember some years ago watching my son play football and thinking how much time and energy the players were wasting on emotions like frustration and anger at referee’s decisions or missed goals.  At the height of competition the ability to manage emotional reactions, make clear decisions and trust your intuition is often the difference between winning and losing.

Studies have shown that coherence can spread through entrainment, so team chemistry may result from a kind of collective team coherence or resonance. Perhaps a shared sense of energy, rhythm and intuitive knowing occurs to generate interaction and a successful team outcome. High school teacher and basketball coach Beth McHamee included HeartMath®  techniques in their training.  Before each game the team did a Heart Lock -in® and they used Quick coherence® on court and at half time. They ended the season with a record 15 wins compared to the previous six.

In Sweden hockey players trained in HeartMath® have used the techniques to switch from a chaotic to coherent emotional state when they are in the box watching the game.  This has improved their game observation ability but in addition they improved their physical stamina. Master Kelly (World Martial Arts Champion) also found benefits outside of his sport.  He used

HeartMath® techniques to maintain his edge to fight whilst competing in a younger competition category. He also used them to relax and handle stress from competition and travelling as well as to overcome injury setbacks and spark creativity and focus when writing his book.

HRV training and biofeedback have also been shown to play a useful role in the psychological response to injury and the rehabilitation process. The techniques can help them to deal with their roller coaster of emotions and the inevitable pain catastrophising which can become predictive. Compared to controls the HRV trained subjects lowered their respiration rates and improved on all psychological outcomes.  Their perceived level of control increased with the opportunity to become an active participant in their treatment.

Get in touch to learn how to use the Heartmath® biofeedback technology and techniques to tackle those situations where you react emotionally rather than respond intelligently. 

Experience science-based technology and coaching for taking charge of your life.

Proven to help you reduce stress and anxiety by increasing your inner balance and self-security.

Learn to access your heart’s intuition to become the best version of yourself more often.

“The brain thinks, but the heart knows” Joe Dispenza (neuroscientist) 

Helen Maxwell

HeartMath® certified coach

www.helenmaxwellnutrition.co.uk

Helen@helenmaxwellnutrition.co.uk

REFS

Perry, J., et al. (2018) Effectiveness of athletes’ mental strategies in maintaining high heart rate variability: Utility of a brief athlete-specific stress assessment protocol, ‘Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology’, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2017-0016

Ravi, S., et al. (2018) Heart rate variability: biofeedback and controlled breathing, competitive and recreation sport athletes, 2nd International conference on lifelong education and leadership for all, Latvian Academy of Sport Education, pp.413-418.

Rollo, S., et al. (2017) Effects of a heart rate variability biofeedback intervention on athletes psychological responses following injury: A pilot study; International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine, 3(6) DOI: 10.23937/2469-5718/1510081.

Sheldrake, R., (2019), Ways to go beyond and why they work: 7 spiritual practices for a scientific age, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd.