SPORTS NUTRITION MISSION BRIEF: The mission of this article is to challenge you to spend 21 days Experimenting with the Playmaker Project’s 3 Big Food Rules. I 100% GUARANTEE THESE RULES WORK.
If applying these rules doesn’t completely transform your energy levels and body composition then I will backpedal around the state of New Mexico 3x. Just kidding, kinda…
KNOWING YOUR ENEMY
Mark Hyman, MD, is the Head of Strategy and Innovation for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, board president of clinical affairs for the Institute for Functional Medicine, and founder and director of The UltraWellness Center. In his latest book, the Food Fix Dr. Mark Hyman goes deep into the Industrial Food Complex and how it Targets low income, people of color.
I want to start this article here because many of the athletes, teams, and coaches who are a part of the Playmaker Project come from and/or are in this demographic. Additionally, my wife is black and the 2 sons we have created together are young men of color so for me this is super personal.
Ancient Chinese Military General Sun Tzu (Wrote the Art of War) would have been a Bad Ass coach and one his infamous quotes is this, “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”
When you are ignorant of your enemy you increase your likelihood of losing by 50%. I don’t like those odds.
Don’t know Big Food Industry is the Enemy? Check this out from the Doc’s book, “The food industry spends more than $12 billion a year funding nutrition studies (while the NIH [National Institute of Health] spends only $1 billion), polluting and diluting independent research, and confusing policy makers, the public, and even most doctors and nutritionists. Studies funded by the food industry are eight to fifty times more likely to find a positive outcome for their products.”
The Doc also talks about how much money Coke and their Big Food/Big Soda Team pour into health organizations that are supposed to be serving OUR interests, not their corporate sponsors.
Get this: “Twix is a health food according to the American Heart Association, in case you weren’t aware—and so are Froot Loops, Cocoa Puffs, and French Toast Crunch, right along with the 7 teaspoons of sugar per serving. It shouldn’t be called breakfast; it should be called dessert. When you grind it into flour, whole wheat or not, it is worse than sugar. The glycemic index of sugar is 65 and that of whole wheat bread is 75, which means that the bread raises your blood sugar more than table sugar. Below the neck, there is no difference between a bowl of sugar and whole wheat bread. Well, actually, the bread is worse.”
Come on son, Twix is a health food, really? Know your Enemy, Know your Enemy, Know your Enemy.
If you really want to maximize your athletic potential and improve your body composition then you need to know that you have an opponent that is spending 12 billion dollars a year to have you do the opposite. They Win if you spend your life flabby and fatigued.
THE HIDDEN OPPRESSION OF THE INDUSTRIAL FOOD COMPLEX
Most of us are familiar with food deserts in low-income neighborhoods but check this out, “The big food companies target black and Hispanic youth with their least nutritious products, including fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and snacks. From 2013 to 2017, food advertising on black-targeted TV increased by 50 percent. Black teens viewed 119 percent more junk-food-related ads—mostly for soda and candy—than white teens.”
And, in the introduction of the book, the Food Fix the Doc tells us this, “money earned from SNAP makes up about 20 percent of Coca-Cola’s annual revenue in the United States. That doesn’t include any revenue from noncarbonated sugar drinks like Powerade or Vitaminwater. That makes Coca-Cola a billion-dollar welfare recipient.”
Let’s pause for a sec. on that.
TWENTY-PERCENT of Coke’s revenue comes from the USA’s welfare program. How is this possible? Because Coke and their Industry buddies have spent a CRAZY amount of money and energy lobbying politicians to make it that way. Along with their $12b of junk science.
HOW TO COMPETE
How do you improve your body comp, maximize your energy levels, and fight back against an opponent who is spending 12 billion dollars to see you flabby and fatigued?
How do you fight back against this opponent, optimize our body composition, and improve your energy levels so you can Dominate in the 4th quarter?
By keeping it Simple and applying the 80/20 principle. 20% of what we do leads to 80% of the results, but 80% of what we do leads to only 20%. Nutrition can be a never-ending wormhole so in this case let’s just focus on the 3 Biggest sports nutrition levers you can pull today to transform your body.
APPLY THESE 3 FOOD RULES
FOOD RULE #1: STOP DRINKING YOUR SUGAR
Soda and fruit juice are Toxic. Don’t just take my word for it, let’s listen to Doc H again, “Stop drinking sugary beverages. If you’ve gotten this far, then my next recommendation probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Don’t drink sugar. The best way to reform the food system is to make sugar-laden foods less profitable. If consumers demand healthy products, then eventually companies will have to comply. It’s not just soda. Fruit juice has a health halo. But don’t be fooled by its vitamins and antioxidants. Fruit juice is loaded with sugar and is just as harmful as soda. Avoid buying it, and certainly don’t give it to your children. Cutting sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health.”
FOOD RULE #2: EAT REAL FOOD AND THROW OUT FACTORY FOOD
Eat real food not food from a factory. The corporations that create their food products in a factory that come from a factory don’t care about the quality of their foods or the nutrient density, they care about profit. Here are the 3 things made in the factory that we want to throw out.
a) Eliminate Ultra-Processed Food: 60% percent of the modern American diet is ultra-processed food. This food has little nutritional value, causes massive inflammation, and also messes with our energy levels, decision-making and focus. Think pretty much any food in a box that has a bunch of ingredients in it that you can’t pronounce.
If you cannot pronounce an ingredient then don’t eat it.
b) Eliminate Factory Farmed Animal Products, Dairy and Meat: The animals raised in factory farms are raised not eating what they are evolved to eat and because of that they are really sick. Because of that these animals are given a CRAZY amount of anti-biotics and steroids. The healthier the animal the healthier he/she will be for you. Remember this, you are what you eat ate.
c) Eliminate Factory Fat: If you eat “crappy fat” like the fat found in French fries, doughnuts, and most packaged foods then you are damaging your cells, muscles, brain, and tissue. See the image below on the fats that you want to eat compared to the fats that you want to stay away from.
FOOD RULE #3: STOP EATING AT SUNSET
This one requires some self-discipline, and it is especially hard for us athletes because many times we compete at night, but man is it powerful. Doing this improves sleep because our digestive process takes up a ton of energy.
Our body does a CRAZY amount of restorative work while we are sleeping.
As an athlete, this restorative work is even more important to us because our body is our meal ticket. If you eat a lot before bed then most of your body’s energy is now focused on digestion rather than recovery, restoration, adaptation, and growth. Stop eating 2 hours before bed.
EAT LIKE A PRO
Please don’t tell me you can eat anything you want and still play great. If you’re eating junk and playing well, think about how much better you’d be playing on a simple nutrition plan.
The F-1 Race Car will drive just fine on regular fuel, but give it something special and it will perform like never before. The difference between an average athlete and an elite athlete is in their habits.
An average athlete has average habits. An elite athlete has elite habits. We can never free ourselves from habits.
The human being is a creature of habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. You can trade in the habits of the average for the habits of the elite.
Let’s do this!
M. Ed (Human Potential)
MBA (International Leadership and Coaching)
N.A.S.E Certified Speed and Explosion Specialist
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY
Make the Decision: The root of the word “Decision” means to Cut Off. Make the Decision. DECIDE to make your athletic performance and sports nutrition a priority.
Clean Out your Pantry: Get rid of the Foods that you know are not improving your athletic performance.
Eliminate Ultra-Processed Food.
Eliminate Factory Farmed Animal Products.
Replace Vegetable Oils with Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and MCT Oil.
Stop Eating 2 Hours Before Bed: This will reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and improve muscle growth and reduce body fat.