YOU Docs: Boost and Maintain Energy

October 28, 2011 | Featured in the Fall, 2011 Issue

LeBron James
You might have noticed that LeBron James performed better in the first quarter last season than he did in the fourth quarter. The reason might actually have to do with his arteries.

That’s right: not his muscles, his brain or his heart (spirit), but his heart function—how well his heart supplies energy to his muscles through his arteries. LBJ’s muscles perform well in the first quarter, but to function well down the stretch, they need extra energy. And eating well before the game can provide just that.

As you use your muscles, your arteries refill their energy supply with oxygen and nutrients by pumping more blood into them, forcing the removal of performance-sabotaging waste products like lactic acid. So a key to peak performance is to ensure your arteries are performing at an optimum level on game day.

Think of your vascular system as a train network. Your heart is the main station, the hub through which all trains must travel. Your arteries and veins are the tracks and tunnels that flow through your body, dropping passengers (blood) off at various sub-stations (joints, muscles).

If there’s an obstruction in the tracks, the passengers get irate. In your body, a station getting less blood than it needs will not perform at peak level. Your arteries normally dilate when demand from your muscles increases—unless you have inhibited them.

Artery Inhibitors to Avoid Before Games: Saturated fats, processed meats, milk chocolate, coconut oil and caffeine.

What inhibited LeBron? Possibly that last item, as he reputedly enjoys drinking coffee before games, at halftime and during third quarter breaks.

Artery Expanders to Consume Instead: Foods containing citrulline and arginine, such as watermelon, walnuts or almonds.

Photo:  zimbio.com

Michael F. Roizen, MD, is Professor of Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He has co-founded 12 companies, including the popular websites RealAge.com and YOUBeauty.com.

Mehmet C. Oz, MD, is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His TV show—The Dr. Oz Show— recently won its third Emmy, with Dr. Oz his second as the best daytime talk show host.

Topics: YOU DOCS
Dr. Mike Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz
- Doctors Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz, authors of four New York Times #1 bestsellers on health, entertain and educate athletes on choices that can make...
Dr. Mike Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz
- Doctors Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz, authors of four New York Times #1 bestsellers on health, entertain and educate athletes on choices that can make...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 7,249,274
Dashon Goldson: Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 6,401,573
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 24,820,205

Featured Videos

Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Views: 1,175,887
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 23,406
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,968
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,214
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,426,460
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,836
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,836
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,222

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Best Protein Choices

Best Protein Choices

YOU Docs: Q&A on Acne Solutions

YOU Docs: Q&A on Acne Solutions

YOU Docs: Q&A on What Can I Do to Get Better Sleep?

YOU Docs: Q&A on What Can I Do to Get Better Sleep?

Build Muscle With Eggs

Build Muscle With Eggs

Should I Drink a Protein Shake Before and After I Work Out?

Should I Drink a Protein Shake Before and After I Work Out?

YOU Docs: Q&A on Energy Drinks

YOU Docs: Q&A on Energy Drinks

Flu-Fighting Vitamins and Minerals

Flu-Fighting Vitamins and Minerals

Danny Strong Brings 'Salinger's War' to the Big Screen

Danny Strong Brings 'Salinger's War' to the Big Screen

YOU Docs: Q&A on Overcoming a Tobacco Addiction

YOU Docs: Q&A on Overcoming a Tobacco Addiction

YOU Docs: Q&A on Healthy vs. Unhealthy Foods

YOU Docs: Q&A on Healthy vs. Unhealthy Foods

Ask the You Docs: Is There an Energy Drink Thats Healthy?

Ask the You Docs: Is There an Energy Drink That

DNA and the Future of Us

DNA and the Future of Us

YOU Docs: Q&A on Testing for STIs

YOU Docs: Q&A on Testing for STIs

YOU Docs: How Sleep Improves Performance

YOU Docs: How Sleep Improves Performance

YOU Docs: Tobacco and Athletic Performance

YOU Docs: Tobacco and Athletic Performance

Brain Benefits of Exercise

Brain Benefits of Exercise

The Athletes Superfruit: Watermelon

The Athlete

2 Energy Drink Rules Athletes Must Follow

2 Energy Drink Rules Athletes Must Follow

YOU Docs: Q&A on Addiction Detox

YOU Docs: Q&A on Addiction Detox

YOU Docs: Building Better Muscle

YOU Docs: Building Better Muscle

YOU Docs: Q&A on Smoking and Losing Weight

YOU Docs: Q&A on Smoking and Losing Weight

YOU Docs: Q&A on STIs

YOU Docs: Q&A on STIs

YOU Docs: Q&A on Sex and Athletic Performance

YOU Docs: Q&A on Sex and Athletic Performance

YOU Docs: Q&A on Addictions That Make You Look Old

YOU Docs: Q&A on Addictions That Make You Look Old

The Easy Way to Get More Energy

The Easy Way to Get More Energy

YOU Docs: Q&A on Facial Hygiene

YOU Docs: Q&A on Facial Hygiene

How Eating Right Can Help You Quit Tobacco

How Eating Right Can Help You Quit Tobacco

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

How Eggs Can Change Your Genes

How Eggs Can Change Your Genes

YOU Docs: Q&A on Preventing Blemishes

YOU Docs: Q&A on Preventing Blemishes

Eat Well to Sleep Well

Eat Well to Sleep Well

YOU Docs: Q&A on

YOU Docs: Q&A on "Healthy" Addictions

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

YOU Docs: Q&A on Tanning Beds

YOU Docs: Q&A on Tanning Beds

YOU Docs: Boost and Maintain Energy

YOU Docs: Boost and Maintain Energy

YOU Docs: Q&A on Preventing Acne Scars

YOU Docs: Q&A on Preventing Acne Scars

YOU Docs: Q&A on Creatine

YOU Docs: Q&A on Creatine

YardBarker