Detox 101 – What is Detox?
Detox diets, when done correctly, help the body rid itself of toxins that can build up to harmful levels and play a role in many health conditions. Some of these health conditions include allergies, high blood pressure, sinusitis, kidneys stones, migraines, gallstones, colitis, obesity and more. Much of the detoxing that takes place happens in the liver and intestinal tract, but other systems including the skin, kidneys, lungs and lymphatic system are involved1.
Where do toxins come from? Our bodies produce toxins called “free radicals” as part of its normal daily processes, but we also encounter external toxins from our diet, medication and environment. As an athlete, you will be especially interested in toxins originating from:
- Running on roads next to traffic, or by parks and pastures that have recently been sprayed with pesticides expose you to car exhaust and/or pesticide toxins.
- Working out too hard for too long creates oxidative stress in the body that might be difficult for detox pathways to compensate for.
- A report by Consumer Labs found that nearly one-third of tested protein powders had issues with quality, including: lead contamination, missing 16 grams of protein per scoop, and containing extra carbs2. Please promise me you won’t buy a protein powder just because it is cheap. Rock It Coaching is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of the sports supplement industry.
Detoxification in the liver is a two phase process:
- The first step (Phase I) turns toxins into a by-product that is easier for the body to eliminate than the original toxin, but it also creates a free radical in the process.
- During Phase 2, partially processed toxins are packaged with other co-factors so they can be removed from the body.
If toxins are broken down in Phase I but the body is not able to package them and excrete them, the toxins will do more damage in the body than they were doing in the first place, and there will be more of them because that free radical was created in the process. There are several inhibitors of Phase 2 Detox including intestinal inflammation, genetics and a lack of co-factors needed to package the toxin for excretion. Co-factors needed for packaging come from the diet and are usually specific vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
As I mentioned in the previous blog post, detox is serious business and should only be done under the care of a qualified health professional. “You will feel worse before you will feel better,” is not a safe detox mantra. Detox diets that make people feel worse are often successful at releasing and breaking down toxins in Phase 1, but lack the nutrients to package the toxins for excretion in Phase 2. Therefore, an abundance of toxins freely roams the blood stream causing headaches, stomach problems, weight gain and fatigue, the very thing the diet was supposed to be fighting. Detox diets, and our day-to-day diet for that matter, must contain the correct foods with the right balance of nutrition to allow for Phase 2 detox.
Rock It’s Bootcamp provides a balance of nutrition to support the body in both phases of detox, and will help you learn healthy detox habits that you can carry on all year long. If you are interested in a complete detox beyond the scope of our Bootcamp, please contact me for one-on-one coaching.
Find out more about our REnew Year Gentle Detox Bootcamp at: http://rockitcoaching.com/2017/01/be-a-spectator-or-get-in-the-game-introducing-our-gentle-detox-bootcamp/
- Frank Lipman, The Be Well Blog. What Do You Mean by Detox? 1-10-17 https://www.bewell.com/blog/what-do-you-mean
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