A Different Perspective for Athletes to Consider: Don’t Ice for Recovery

A Different Perspective for Athletes to Consider: Don’t Ice for Recovery

gary-reinlDistance runner Gary Reinl’s meticulous reporting destroyed the long-held practice of rest and ice for healing injuries, restoring the natural course of healing by the inflammatory response assisted by muscle activation – the intuitive “walk it off” order of coaches in his childhood. His insistence on scientific evidence also makes him a user and advocate of The Right Stuff hydration formula developed by NASA.

Reinl, 63, who started running in the 1960s on water and sometimes salt tablets, remembers a nearly 70-mile run from Philadelphia to Ocean City, N.J., in the summer of 1971 wearing Converse sneakers and sipping water from front-yard hoses on the route.

“Everything we did was wrong,” he says. “I’ve done it wrong, and I’ve done it right, and I’m certain that doing it right is way better.”

icedWhen it comes to treating injuries, doing it right is the opposite of conventional wisdom that held sway for decades under the popular acronym RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Reinl’s relentless research found support for the approach, and Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who coined the term in 1978, recanted in the foreword to Reinl’s 2014 book Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option.

Shifting the Conversation

“We have begun to shift the conversation. We’re shifting it to muscle activation to solve the problem,” says Reinl, who represents an electro-muscle stimulation device, MARC PRO® (Muscle Activated Recovery Cascade), that promotes muscle activation. “Why would you put ice on damaged tissue? People believe it reduces swelling. It doesn’t reduce swelling. It actually increases swelling. Your immune system knows how to handle it. That’s why it sends fluid to the damaged area. Why would you try to reduce the amount of fluid sent to the damaged site?”

Ice slows the natural repair process by shutting off signals between muscles and nerves. Inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process as the body rushes blood and nutrients to the area, and muscle activation helps flush out the extra fluids through the lymphatic system. “The last thing you’d want to do is restrict swelling coming to the area,” Reinl says. “You do want the fluid to come. What you don’t want it to do is accumulate and settle.”

In fact, the delay caused by icing can suffocate healthy cells that would not have died as a result of the injury, a secondary cellular death that Reinl calls “negligent homicide.”

Reinl traced the origins of the “Ice Age” to 1962, when a physician successfully reattached the arm, preserved on ice, of a 12-year-old who was injured while jumping a train in Massachusetts. The story became a sensation, and people mistakenly associated ice with healing. “The intent of putting the severed body arm on ice was to preserve the severed body part,” he explains. “It had nothing to do with damaged tissue; it had to do with managing a severed body part.”

The RICE Approach

riceAfter Mirkin published his RICE approach in 1978, soccer moms everywhere kept nifty snap-and-chill ice packs in their pocketbooks. Athletic trainers, who became common on sports teams in the 1980s, could not perform medical procedures but could legally apply ice. Even after Medicare, recognizing the lack of evidence, stopped reimbursing for ice treatments in physical therapy clinics, the practice thrived in sports.

Reinl has worked with athletic trainers and physical therapists from more than 80 professional teams and other elite athletes who have stopped or reduced their use of ice, although some star athletes still insist on the old approach.

These days, Reinl, whose lifetime running total is above 50,000 miles, lives in the Las Vegas desert and routinely runs 10 miles through a canyon where temperatures can exceed 113 degrees. He preps with a pre-run dose of The Right Stuff and takes another packet for each hour on the road when he returns, ensuring that his body chemistry remains optimal for tissue regeneration and recovery.

“You know how good you feel from it,” he says, adding that his son, a lawyer, rejects all otherright-stuff supplements but adopts The Right Stuff regimen. “I can go out and run 20 in the desert and I’m perfectly fine. I carry a couple of gallons of water with me. I stay fully hydrated on my runs.”

He recommends The Right Stuff to runners, endurance athletes, military personnel, and even golfers who spend long hours in the hot sun. You can check out the science behind The Right Stuff.        [Editors Note: links to NASA studies can be found on the brand’s website at http://tiny.cc/TheRightStuffStudies]

“Any elites I talk to, I say just look around and look at how people are trying to solve the problem,” Reinl says. “Look at the science behind The Right Stuff.  It improves muscle function. It improves your physiology. It improves muscle activation. It feels good. Every edge counts.”

 

Sportscar Racer Shares His Success Formula

Sportscar Racer Shares His Success Formula

dave-goreeDave Goree’s father sold his race car when Dave was born but quickly returned to the sport – the two were working on race cars by the time Dave was 14. “I fell in love with it and wanted to drive,” Goree says “It was difficult for me to get into sports car racing. I got into motorcycle racing. I’ve been back and forth between motorcycles and cars several times since then.”

In his 35 years in motorsports, he has won races and/or championships in every category except Indy Lights. He has also seen vast improvements in safety in the sport – from losing a driver every year or two in the past to intense focus on preventive improvements in the rare event of a fatal accident.

An ordinary highway accident in 2011 damaged Goree’s lower back, a worse injury than any he has suffered on the high-speed track, but he expects to drive again this season. “We’re building a Sprint car for me to drive and probably another one for an assortment of my friends to drive,” he says.

Starting His Own Team

Goree was chief engineer for an Indy Lights team when the indy lights croppedeconomy soured and the team disbanded in 2009. He started his own team and competed on a shoestring – carpooling with another team to a race in Canada, borrowing a Formula SAE team from a local college, and running an extension cord from the friendly team parked next door. The group stayed up all night making repairs after an accident on Saturday and placed 10th in the race on Sunday.

His Goree Multisports is mostly motorsports but includes bicycle racing and hopes to include equestrian competition. Outsiders sometimes fail to realize the high-level athleticism, both mental and physical, required for successful race car driving, Goree says.

Formula car drivers are athletes.

“Formula car drivers are athletes. The physical demands those cars put on you is hard for people who have never driven one to imagine,” he says, listing g-forces and the hard-to-turn non-power steering. “You’re operating near your physical limits, and it’s such a mental game. Racing is 90 percent inside your head. It’s about ultra-precision – being that controlled operating at mental and physical maximum. It requires that your brain is perfectly hydrated.” [Editor’s note: Race cars do not have air conditioning.  Temperatures in the cabins often exceed of 120°F, significantly increasing the risk of driver dehydration which impacts their respond times needed at such high speeds]

That’s why Goree uses OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Right Stuff –  he’s seen how it helps drivers maintain focus and avoid cramping that can impair driving in the heat of a race.

“In my experience watching drivers, using The Right Stuff vs. when they don’t, especially near the end of the race – you can tell the difference during those the money laps,” he says.

[Editor’s note: For more information about The Right Stuff® from NASA visit www.TheRightStuff-USA.com]
Lynda Best-Wiss, Triathlete and Coach succeeds during Half Iron Man while Surviving 100+ heat with The Right Stuff

Lynda Best-Wiss, Triathlete and Coach succeeds during Half Iron Man while Surviving 100+ heat with The Right Stuff

Linda Best-Wiss has competed in triathlons for some time, but the Buffalo Springs 70.3 Half Ironman really put her to the test.  During the race temperatures rose above 100°F and she thrived by properly dialing in her hydration protocol.  Watch how it worked for her.  She qualified for the Kona Ironman World Championships in Hawaii!

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How Does This Firefighter Thrive During Those High Heat Situations?

firefighterMinneapolis Fire Captain Paul Nemes joined the force over 20 years ago, looking for the life of service he had admired in a friend’s dad who was a firefighter.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he says. “It’s rewarding. It’s a second family. Being a captain or officer on a rig, you’re the first in on a building fire.  Whether single-family residence or apartment building, you have the most impact on the greatest number of folks.”

About five years ago, he noticed his weight gain was leaving his knees and hips sore after multiple daily firefighter trips to high-rises. He’s shed 55 pounds – weighing less now in full firefighter gear than he did without the gear before – and the joint problems went away.

“I changed my eating habits, eliminating a few things completely,” he says. “It was time to get exercising. I got into running pretty seriously. I ran my first marathon last year. My goal was to break four hours, which I did.”

The firefighter schedule also leaves free time for Nemes to run a side business as an excavator and landscaper, often spending long, hot days laying 100-150 retaining-wall blocks that weigh 120 pounds each. All three strenuous, sweaty activities – firefighting, running, and landscaping – often left Nemes dehydrated, fatigued, and cramped, no matter how much water or sports drinks he consumed. A friend on the firefighting force introduced him to The Right Stuff.

“I was looking for something to supplement what I was doing,” he says. “It works for me. I use it exclusively for training and the actual racing – marathon, half-marathon, 5K, whatever. I got involved with this product and I go through five or six bottles of water with The Right Stuff in it in the course of an 8-10 hour day laying block. It is night and day. I experienced less fatigue and no muscle cramping or soreness.

All three strenuous, sweaty activities – firefighting, running, and landscaping – often left Nemes dehydrated, fatigued, and cramped, no matter how much water or other drinks he consumed.

Nemes also uses The Right Stuff at his firefighter job on days with extreme heat or dew points, when suiting up can lead to excess sweating even without a fire to fight.

“We average somewhere between 10 to 14 runs a day,” he says. “Just putting that gear on with the ambient temperatures that high, you’re in a full sweat before you get out to the call. I’ll add The Right Stuff to my water. You still sweat, but you don’t have that fatigue factor as readily, and you don’t end up cramping up. You see it time and time again – these guys go to these fires on a hot day, a hot fire, they come out and they’re cramped up. They end up getting an IV to address their fluid loss. I don’t experience that.”

The International Firefighters Association and others are conducting research to gauge the effects of dehydration on firefighters’ absorption of smoke and other hazards in their work. Those results could mean The Right Stuff’s benefits are even more important, Nemes says.

“I use the product in the fire service, I use it for my training for my running, I use it during the races, and I use it on my days off for strenuous activity, such as the retaining-wall block laying,” he says. “It works for me. I’m sold on it.”

What Can This NASCAR Driver Teach You About Optimal Hydration?

Michael Mcdowell - The Right StuffAfter racecar driver Michael McDowell switched to NASCAR from sports cars and Indy cars in 2007, he suffered extreme dehydration on a track in Virginia and went looking for a solution.

“I was doing a lot of research and trying to find out how to stay hydrated,” says McDowell, a Phoenix-area native who moved to Charlotte in 2004. “At the time, I was losing anywhere from 8 to 10 pounds per race of water during the race itself. I was trying to figure out a way to stay hydrated. You’re in the car four or five hours. It’s 110 to 130 degrees inside the car. Obviously, in our sport, hydration is key.”

When driving around the track at over 150 mph, reaction time is critical. Proper hydration is essential to maintain that continuous, nearly instantaneous response timing.

He first learned about The Right Stuff® when he was at an event with former NASA Space Shuttle Pilot Bill Gregory who uses it for his endurance training. Bill is an enthusiastic user of The Right Stuff who even joined the Board of Wellness Brands, makers of The Right Stuff. Since McDowell found The Right Stuff three years ago, he has cut his water consumption during races by half, from 64 to 32 ounces.

The Advantage

“I feel like it gives me an advantage,” he says. “During the race weekends, I will take it within an hour leading up to the race. Then, in the middle of the race I’ll take one as well. I just mix it in the water and have it in the car with me. It works well. One of the main reasons I continue to use it is because I simply don’t lose as much water throughout the event, so I don’t have to rehydrate as much. I’m not losing as much, which is ideal for me.”

One of the main reasons I continue to use it is because I simply don’t lose as much water throughout the event, so I don’t have to rehydrate as much

McDowell also turns to The Right Stuff when he’s involved in other sweaty sports, such as when he competes in triathlons.

“For me, I take it when I know I’m going to do something that’s going to be extreme and long-lasting,” he says. “I use it for all of those extreme conditions.”