Monthly Archives: June 2018

Overreaching or Overtraining?

OvertrainingJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Physical activity or exercising is one of the cornerstones of good health. However, as with many things in life, too much of a good thing can actually be harmful. More common in professional and competitive athletes than those who regularly exercise three or more times per week, excessive training without adequate rest can result in a maladaptive response termed Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) with symptoms of persistent fatigue, mood state changes and disturbances in the immune, neurologic and endocrine systems. It’s well known that improvements in cardiac health, athletic performance, endurance, and muscle strength require a certain degree of exertion or overreaching during exercise. Overtraining, however, can impede one’s progress, or worse, result in an injury, necessitating cessation of the activity altogether until proper and complete healing takes place.

You may not be training for the Olympics, but you may be overdoing it at the gym.

While OTS is a recognized illness with similarities to chronic fatigue syndrome and major depression, OTS is considered its own entity, indiscriminately striking the most hardworking competitive athletes. Every day exercisers, weekend warriors, or those who train for 10Ks or half-marathons, as well as cyclists, swimmers, cross country skiers and bodybuilders who overtrain for optimal performance, can find themselves in a state of fatigue that only weeks or months of rest can reverse. Overtraining is best avoided by undertraining, in itself self-defeating for those who are competing with themselves or others.

Signs that you may be overtraining:

  • Higher resting heart rate
  • Reduced ability to perform high intensity exercise
  • Fatigue lasting longer than 72 hours after a workout, often accompanied by insomnia
  • An unpleasant feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Persistent joint or muscle pain or weakness, lasting longer than three days.
  • Loss of appetite, irritability or depressed mood
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Decreased incentive, or a compulsive need to exercise
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Symptoms of less than optimal immune function, such as cuts or scrapes that are slow to heal or more frequent ailments such as colds or sore throats

Intense, prolonged training can result in significant trauma to the muscles. However, the proper amount of trauma to muscle tissue, along with adequate rest and recovery time, results in improved muscle growth and strength. While exercise breaks down muscle tissues causing microscopic tears, rest days allow muscles, nerves, bones and connective tissues time to rebuild. Individuals whose lifestyles include everyday exercise activity can maintain their schedule with less intense exercise on rest days, or by exercising different muscle groups to allow recovery of previously hard-worked muscle groups.

Regular exercise, along with designated periods of rest, lowers stress levels, enhances mood, boosts energy levels, improves cardiovascular health, and aids weight maintenance. The general advice to “eat less and exercise more” is often considered an inefficient approach to health management and weight control and may actually lead to injury or fatigue. Shorter bouts of higher-intensity exercise, combined with weight bearing exercise several times a week, can be tailored or modified to meet individual needs and goals. For healthy balance, rotate exercise intensity, get sufficient sleep and proper hydration, and be sure to schedule some time each week for the body to heal and rejuvenate.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplement to support exercise, recovery and overall heath:

Klean AntioxidantKlean Antioxidant™ by Klean Athlete®: This antioxidant blend includes astaxanthin, maqui fruit and vitamin C, along with the patented combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid to help guard against free radical cellular damage associated with intense physical training. NSF Certified for Sport®.


Recovery SupportRecovery Support by Theramedix: This delayed release proprietary enzyme blend is formulated to promote soft tissue maintenance and provide support for muscle recovery after exercise or over exertion. Filler, preservative and artificial ingredient free.


Klean ElectrolytesKlean Electrolytes™ by Klean Athlete®: This product helps to replenish minerals that may be depleted during intense exercise or physical stress in support of proper muscle function and the maintenance of good health. NSF Certified for Sport®.


Athletic NutrientsAthletic Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations®: Specifically designed to support physical training and performance, this complete, hypoallergenic, nutrient rich formula targets endurance, promotes energy, and lessens muscle fatigue. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Klean RecoveryKlean Recovery™ by Klean Athlete®: This powdered supplement is formulated specifically for athletic endurance and recovery. Rich in amino acids crucial to muscle building and nitrogen balance, Klean Recovery™ provides a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein in support of optimal glycogen and protein synthesis. NSF Certified for Sport®.

Overtraining Syndrome.
Overtraining Syndrome. A Practical Guide.
Crash and Burnout.
Overtraining effects on immunity and performance in athletes.
Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome in Athletes.
9 Reasons to Skip Your Workout…Sometimes.
How does exercise make your muscles stronger?


Designs for Health®

DesignsForHealthSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Since 1989, Designs for Health has provided superior quality, research-backed nutritional products formulated by health care professionals exclusively for health care professionals. Designs for Health® is led by a committed team of nutritionally minded clinicians whose ultimate goal is to provide formulas that maximize the potential for successful health outcomes. Under their guiding philosophy, “Science First,” Designs for Health remains unwavering in their commitment to deliver efficacious professional grade products formulated with meaningful quantities of synergistic therapeutic agents.

Designs for Health® utilizes a comprehensive evidence-based approach to research and development and strict GMP manufacturing standards ensure consistency, potency and efficacy of their nutritional supplements. Their wholly owned manufacturing division allows for optimized control over essential elements of production, including new product formulation, manufacturing procedures, and quality standards, as well as in-house testing to ensure products are free of heavy metals, pesticides, toxins, and microbials. Designs for Health® is NSF GMP Registered, assuring the highest manufacturing standards for reliability and quality.

To see more products from Designs for Health®, please visit

Vitamin D Supreme...Vitamin D Supreme with Vitamin K1 and K2: This synergistic formula supplies a clinically beneficial dose of highly bioavailable vitamins D3, K1 and K2 in support of optimal bone and arterial health, as well as the maintenance of proper immune system balance. Gluten free, GMP compliant, Non-GMO formulation.

Homocysteine SupremeHomocysteine Supreme™: Formulated with specific B vitamins, synergistic nutrients, and a proprietary NatureFolate™ blend, this product helps to maintain an optimally functioning homocysteine pathway in support of numerous biochemical reactions. These include detoxification, neurotransmitter production, healthy immune function, joint and cartilage structure, and brain and cardiovascular health. Gluten free, GMP compliant, Non-GMO formulation.

Magnesium Buffered...Magnesium Buffered Chelate: This highly stable and absorbable form of magnesium bisglycinate buffered chelate, as TRAACS®, provides 150 mg of elemental magnesium per capsule. Due to a patented process this form is less likely to cause unfavorable gastrointestinal distress than other magnesium forms. GMP compliant, Non-GMO formulation.

DigestzymesDigestzymes™: This proprietary blend of digestive enzymes supports optimal digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and provides specific enzymes to aid the breakdown of lactose, gluten, and casein. Gluten free, GMP compliant, Non-GMO formulation.


That Not So Cute Belly Fat

BellyFatJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

When your goal is healthy aging, waist size matters. Chubby bellies may be cute on babies, but a large waist size in adulthood is linked to a host of serious disease risks. Different from visible subcutaneous fat stored just beneath the skin, visceral fat is found deep within the abdominal cavity, where it fills in spaces between vital internal abdominal organs, including the liver, pancreas, and intestines. This deep belly fat is metabolically active, functioning as an endocrine organ and secreting hormones and other chemicals associated with increased risk of developing age related diseases. Visceral fat accumulation substantially increases cardiometabolic risk factors, such as high blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides, as well as low HDL cholesterol.

Middle aged spread or the tendency to gradually gain weight in mid-life, may seem like a normal consequence of aging. However, where we carry that weight matters, as a growing belly likely results from accumulation of both types of fat. Overall weight gain, as well as the subcutaneous fat that accumulates on the hips and thighs, appears to be much less health damaging than visceral fat. Biologically active visceral fat cells disrupt the body’s normal balance, or homeostasis, and increase cardiovascular disease risk by releasing immune system chemicals known as cytokines. These and other biochemicals are believed to have deleterious effects on insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and blood clotting. Visceral fat is directly linked to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, as well as higher LDL and total cholesterol, and lower HDL cholesterol.

Without an MRI, it’s hard to determine the amount visceral fat being stored. Research shows that belly size or waist measurement is a reliable indicator of the health risks linked to visceral fat. Those with a large waist size, and consequently a larger amount of visceral fat, may have increased risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers, including breast and colorectal cancers. Fatty liver, in particular, seems to highly predict whether an individual will develop metabolic issues, as even those who have a normal BMI can accumulate a dangerous amount of visceral fat.

The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to moderate-intensity exercise and diet, while subcutaneous fat is much harder to lose. Abdominal crunches can tighten abdominal muscles but won’t help rid visceral fat. To reduce overall and visceral fat, as well as metabolic risk factors, one needs to be physically active most days of the week. Even small amounts of weight loss can have a significant impact on disease risk.

Tips to reduce deep belly fat:

  • Know your numbers including your waist circumference and blood pressure, blood sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise is key to preventing and losing belly fat. There’s no way around it, diet alone is not enough to reduce deep abdominal fat accumulation. Studies have shown that a brisk, 30 minute walk, six days a week prevented more belly fat accumulation, and that doing more, not harder, exercise worked best to lose belly fat.
  • Add more healthy plant-based meals to your diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, fish or vegetable proteins, and high fiber, nutritious whole grains, such as buckwheat, quinoa and bulgur.

A healthy diet combined with moderate intensity exercise, such as walking and resistance training, not only helps reduce belly fat, but can also positively affect blood pressure, weight management and insulin resistance, improving overall health and reversing metabolic syndrome risk factors. Metabolic syndrome refers to the co-occurrence of several known cardiovascular and diabetes type 2 risk factors. Those diagnosed with metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following risk factors:

  • Waist Circumference: For men, low risk 37” or less. High risk, greater than or equal to 40”. For women, low risk 31.5” or less. High risk greater than or equal to 35”.
  • High triglycerides: Greater than or equal to 150 mg/dl
  • Low HDL cholesterol: Less than 40 mg/dl for men; less than 50 mg/dl for women
  • High fasting blood glucose: Greater than or equal to 100 mg/dl
  • High blood pressure: Greater than or equal to 130 mmHG/85 mmHG

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products in support of healthy weight management and overall health:

PGX Weight Loss Meal...PGX® Weight Loss Meal Replacement French Vanilla by Bioclinic™ Naturals: This delicious and satisfying meal replacement alternative helps curb appetite and prevent food cravings with supportive nutrients for blood sugar metabolism. The low glycemic load and index helps to normalize post-meal hyperglycemia and increases satiety, potentially promoting a lower caloric intake. Provides 25 g of undenatured whey protein per serving. Wheat, yeast and artificial ingredient free. Also available in Double Chocolate and Very Strawberry flavors.

PGX DailyPGX® Daily Softgels by Bioclinic™ Naturals: This clinically studied polysaccharide proprietary complex provides three viscous fibers shown to reduce post-meal glucose concentrations and help improve glucose tolerance. Gluten, wheat, yeast, egg, dairy, tree nut, sugar and artificial ingredient free formulation.

CLA Trim 1000CLA Trim 1000™ by NuMedica®: This Non-GMO pure form of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) has been shown in clinical trials to support healthy body composition by aiding the reduction of body fat, while promoting lean muscle mass. Gluten, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, milk, egg and artificial ingredient free.

Berberine 500 mgBerberine 500 mg by Integrative Therapeutics: Used traditionally in Chinese and herbal medicine for centuries, Berberine has been clinically shown to aid blood sugar, insulin and lipid metabolisms, as well as provide support for cardiovascular and metabolic functions. Gluten, wheat, corn, soy, and dairy free, vegetarian formulation.

Super HCA (1,400 mg...Super HCA™ by Douglas Laboratories®: Super HCA provides 1400 mg of high quality garcinia cambogia extract sourced from tropical fruit in support of normal appetite regulation and healthy weight management. Gluten, soy, dairy, wheat, yeast, corn, sugar, and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO formulation.

The Skinny on Visceral Fat.
Why belly fat is dangerous for the heart.
Why is it more dangerous to have belly fat?
Visceral Fat.
A comprehensive definition for metabolic syndrome.
Visceral Fat (Active Fat).