Coordination, Balance & Nutrition

Some days when I ride, my internal “balance” meter just seems a bit off. I can still ride, but it doesn’t feel as natural or easy as normal. Sometimes its because I didn’t get enough sleep and other times I haven’t eaten in a while. Anyway, don’t laugh, but I’ve always heard that Blueberries can improve your sense of balance. I Googled it today and found at least one research study to back up the rumor. It has to do with aging rats walking a narrow pole. I guess they couldn’t train them to ride a unicycle. :smiley:

Anyway, just thought I would see if anybody (other than lab rats) eats certain foods or supplements to improve their Balance & Coordination and if you noticed a difference.

Iron deficiency has been shown to have negative affects on balance and coordination, and for those who do a great deal of extreme riding, as many of us do, there is also something called “Sports anemia”. Studies have shown that athletes often have low iron stores (Ferritin) which they lose through excessive sweating, so they often need more than the 8mg RDA of iron to keep their levels up.

Too much is also bad, and toxic, but too little can have many consequences as well, some irreversible. Rather than taking supplements, eating an iron-rich, well balanced diet will provide all the nutrients and minerals you need, but the vitamin companies won’t tell you that! :roll_eyes:

I’m sure I get plenty of iron from my daily diet Coke :D.

Probably more aluminum than iron!:wink:

The key here is to eat a whole food diet that has lots of colors and plant-based foods as possible… Sorry, no diet coke :slight_smile:

As far as ferritin and iron status, this is probably due to a dietary imbalance pre and post exercise and takes a couple of month to develop (definitely not the reason for occasional balance issues). This conversation could open up a whole nutritional can of worms. :smiley:

Until the age of seventeen, I was a meat and potatoes guy, sure I ate some fruits, but no veggies other than tomato sauce would pass these lips. In my first semester at community college I took a nutrition class; this would prove to be a big eye opener for me.

During this class I learned about having a balanced diet, and as a result I started eating vegetables, cut back on meat, increased fiber, and starting taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement daily. As a grew more conscious of the world around me I ultimately gave up all animal products other than milk and eggs.

Fast forward twenty five years…I am now very close to being a vegan, one cup of milk in my daily latte is about all I eat of animal products. I still take a vitamin/mineral supplement daily, I eat a very balanced diet, not much junk in my daily intake, lots of raw foods, don’t eat out much, don’t consume alcohol or drugs, etc…

I meet people, some whom were once vegetarian/vegan, who tell me that they “must have meat or they become unhealthy”. Is this true? Does your body “know” where a protein source was derived?

No. Your body doesn’t know if the protein you ate came from a cow or a soy bean, all it knows is what amino acids are contained in that protein. Note that you do need “complete proteins” which need to be eaten in certain combinations if you don’t eat meat or eggs (meat and eggs are generally considered complete proteins). So what goes for proteins, also goes for all nutritional components, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, fiber, your body only knows them for what they are, not for where they came from.

So, a balanced diet must include a certain ratio of these components, but how you get them is your choice, through balanced eating or in combination with supplements. There is no advantage to having extra anything; a high dose of vitamin C every day has no intrinsic benefit other than making your urine rich in vitamin C. In fact some vitamins and minerals in excess can accumulate in bad ways, though most are simply excreted in the urine. Extra protein, fat, and carbs are processed and stored by the body; we knows these by other names: love handles, flab, double chin, wings, etc…none of which are desireable last time I checked :wink:

If you are concerned about having a nutritional deficiency, the best way to check is to have complete labs done by your medical provider, but the thing that you can do as an individual is to record what you eat for one month, then break it down and compare your results with what is the suggested by FDA or other organization, for your body type, age, activity level, etc…

Most Westerners eat too much protein, too many simple carbohydrates, not enough fiber, and too much saturated and trans fats. We also don’t drink enough water…

I strongly suggest that every college student take a nutritional class, it could literally save you life :smiley:

And if you met me, you would not believe I am a vegetarian; but you might mistake me for a cop :astonished:

Already did the college thing and the nutrition classes. I eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. I’ll stick to my pig pickin’s and you can have your donuts and veggies… :smiley:

Stay sober and stick to resveratrol-rich foods such as red grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and peanuts. You can also take pills from the extracts of these foods such as

Oh come on! aren’t our “love handles” the result of intense twisting of our torso during healthy Uni riding ? :roll_eyes:

my nutritional supplements: good and varied cooking (and black chocolate :p)
my gift to the devil: drinking Guinness after a ride :wink:

Good and varied cooking. I believe in eating varied. Very strict and limiting diets like vegany is trendy now. But I don’t think it beats eating varied.