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Jargon Buster

A

Aerobic Energy System

This is known as your endurance energy system. This system allows you to complete long duration, low intensity exercise. The aerobic energy system is a mechanism of energy (ATP) production which breaks down fats and carbohydrates in the presence of oxygen to produce 38 energy molecules.

Anaerobic Energy System

This is your high intensity, interval energy system. When the aerobic energy system has reached its maximal work rate, the anaerobic energy system allows the body to produce more energy very quickly without the presence of oxygen by burning high rates of carbohydrate. Although energy can be produced very quickly allowing for high power output, a bi-product of this energy production pathway is lactic acid.

Adaptation

With regards to exercise training, adaptation is a change in physical structure and/or function after completing a block of exercise training.

ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate)

The energy currency of the human body. The human body breaks down fats, carbohydrates and proteins continually to produce ATP in order to survive. ATP is a molecule found within every living cell and without it, the cells could not be powered. During periods of exercise, cells become stressed and in order to maintain a given exercise intensity, ATP must be produced at higher rates than at rest.

Amino Acid

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. If a house was a complete functional protein, then the bricks would be an amino acid. Many amino acids must join together to form a chain like structure, before they form a complete protein. Some amino acids can be produced within the body, and others must be consumed within the foods we eat. These are categorized by essential and non essential amino acids.

Essential Amino Acids

Nine of the 20 amino acids are essential. This means our body cannot produce them and we must source them from our diet. These amino acids are commonly found in; red meat, white meat, fish, beans, and lentils.

Non Essential Amino Acids

These amino acids can be produced in the body naturally. We do not need to consume them. There are 11 naturally occurring non essential amino acids in the human body.

B

Bonking

Bonking or ‘hitting the wall’ are phrases used by endurance athletes and coaches to describe the sensations associated with complete glycogen depletion. When the body uses all of its internal or ‘endogenous’ carbohydrate (glycogen) stores, the body has no other option to burn fat. Here the athlete will experience a significant reduction in power output and a significant increase in perceived effort.

C

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are commonly known as sugars, which are characterized in two forms, simple and complex variations. Simple sugars are short chain carbohydrate molecules, naturally sweet in flavor, and complex carbohydrates are generally considered much longer chains and naturally less sweet. Carbohydrates can be broken down to produce ATP during both light and intense exercise conditions. Carbohydrates are stored within the human body as liver and muscle glycogen at a maximal quantity of 500g, equal to 2000kcals. Because carbohydrates can be utilized at low and high exercise intensities, carbohydrate becomes a considerably valuable nutrient required to enhance endurance performance.

E

Electrolytes

TORQ Energy and Hypotonic drinks contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are a mixture of minerals and salts that are commonly lost through sweat during exercise. The term “electrolytes” suggests that there is an electronic component to these solutes. This is correct. When the 5 key electrolytes are present in a liquid solution (water), they create an electronically conductive environment allowing for clear electronic messages to be sent from the brain and nerves to the muscles. Electrolytes also help to regulate the acidity of the blood by ensuring there is enough solutes in the blood to ensure the water concentration in the blood remains optimal. Electrolytes can assist with the delivery of vital nutrients such as carbohydrates for optimal exercise performance.

Endogenous

In relation to sports fueling, and endogenous fuel source is one that is is already stored within the body. For example, if a sports person completes an exercise session without consuming any food or drink during their session, they would have used and depleted their endogenous fuel stores.

Exogenous

In relation to sports fueling, exogenous means types of fuel that an athlete consumes from food or energy drinks.

F

Fatigue

Fatigue is a term used to describe tiredness. Many things can cause tiredness, such as poor sleep, stress, high work-loads and importantly exercise. The term fatigue may be considered bad, but it actually forms an important part of the process of getting fitter. To get fitter we must first stress the body beyond its comfort zone. Once the body is fatigued, the body is required to repair and adapt so that the same level of stress doesn’t cause so much fatigue in the following sessions.

Fasted Training

A training method often used by elite athletes to find ‘marginal gains’. This method involves completing endurance exercise in a carbohydrate depleted state. By limiting the availability of necessary fuel sources (carbohydrate), the body is forced to work harder, generating more fatigue. Once the athlete has fully recovered from the training session, the outcome is a greater response to the endurance training session, with a better functioning aerobic energy system.

Fats

Fats are one of the 3 most commonly known food groups. Fats play an important role within the human body. Fats assist with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. When high quantities of poorly selected fats are consumed within the diet, there is an increased potential for excessive weight gain, heart disease and development of type 2 diabetes.

G

Glycaemic Index

Glycaemic index is a numerical value given to carbohydrates, based on the rate that carbohydrates consumed from food ends up as the simplest form of carbohydrate, glucose.

H

Hydration

Hydration is an area of sports fueling that focuses on the replacement of water and electrolytes lost through sweat from exercise. Good hydration is important to sports performance to assist with nutrient delivery, thermoregulation and efficient muscular contraction.

Hypertonic

Refers to solution with an osmolality above 290mml/kg, which is higher than that of the blood. To absorb a Hypertonic solution the body must first draw fluid out of the blood into the small intestine to dilute the rich Hypertonic solution and create a pressure gradient for absorption. This sounds pretty severe, but it isn’t and your body has evolved to be able to handle this relatively regular task (whenever you eat anything in fact). A Hypertonic solution results in less water absorption relative to Hypotonic and Isotonic solutions, so are not good at all at hydrating the human body, but it will deliver more carbohydrate, so offers a very rich source of fuel.

Hypotonic

Hypotonic refers to a drink with an osmolality of below 280mmol/kg, which is lower than that of the blood. A Hypotonic solution creates a positive gradient between the intestine and blood, which allows rapid absorption of fluid. To make a solution Hypotonic however, it has to have a low carbohydrate content to keep the osmolality low and therefore the use of a Hypotonic drink comes at the compromise of carbohydrate delivery. It may deliver a lot of fluid, but if the fluid isn’t rich in carbohydrate, it won’t do a very good job at providing the 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour needed on your longer exercise bouts.

I

Insulin

Insulin is a hormone produced within the pancreas by beta cells. Insulin is responsible for the regulation of many metabolic processes with one of the most important, being the regulation of blood glucose concentrations. When the concentration of blood glucose becomes too high, the pancreas detects the need to reduce blood glucose concentrations by releasing insulin and allowing glucose to enter muscle and liver cells for storage.

Intensity

The intensity of the session relates to how hard the session was. This can be measured in a number of different methods such as heart rate, power or rate of perceived exertion. The higher the value, the harder the session is.

Isotonic

Isotonic refers to a drink that has a very similar or matched osmolality to that of the blood, so a higher solute concentration than a Hypotonic solution. Although the movement of an Isotonic solution is slower than a Hypotonic one, it will carry a lot more carbohydrate with it, so it will provide good levels of fuel for longer performances as well as a very competent hydration mechanism. The hydration mechanism is actually so good that if you’re exercising for longer than an hour, you really don’t need to worry about how you might be losing out to a hypotonic solution. The very nature of the longer exercise bouts means that they are less intense and therefore perspiration rates will be lower anyway.

L

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an organic acid formed as a bi-product of anaerobic metabolism. When there is little to no oxygen available, but the demand for energy production is high (high intensity exercise) ATP must be produced quickly. ATP is produced when carbohydrate is broken down in to a molecule called pyruvate. However, when concentrations of pyruvate became too high, the cell converts this molecule into an acid known as lactic acid. Many athletes may experience the sensations of lactic acid accumulation by a noticeable burning sensation within the working muscle. Insert Krebs Cycle Diagram

Lactic Acid Buffers

High intensity exercise such as interval sessions, cause an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle and blood. Increased concentrations of lactic acid has been shown to significantly reduce exercise performance via a decrease in cellular pH (acidosis), promoting the onset of fatigue. The body has the ability to buffer lactic acid from the muscle cells during exercise, with the use of a lactic acid buffer called muscle carnosine. Endogenous (stored) carnosine is located within the cytoplasm of muscle cells, the same location where lactic acid accumulates during periods of high energy demand. Carnosine binds to lactic acid and buffers it to the bloodstream where it can disposed.

M

Metabolism

The process of breaking down fuel sources (fat, carbohydrates and protein) in to usable energy.

O

Osmosis

The process of osmosis is the moving of fluids from a low solute concentration to a high solute concentration, to maintain equilibrium. For example, when salt is present with large volumes of water (an electrolyte beverage), the large volumes of water dilutes the salt concentration within the intestine, and therefore, due to an imbalance in osmatic pressure, the water will move to a higher concentration of salt, (found in the blood) to try to maintain equilibrium. Add Passive Hydration Video

P

Periodization

Periodization is the process of breaking down your long term training goal into manageable progressive chunks. Breaking down your long-term goal will ensure the correct type of training is targeted at the right time, effective recovery is planned and training motivation remains high.

Protein

Different proteins make-up the human body. Examples of these proteins are, muscle fibers, skin cells & enzymes. In order for new proteins to be made, amino acids must join together, to create a poly peptide chain. Once a polypeptide chain has been constructed, it undergoes a number of formational changes in order for it to become a working protein.

S

Solute

A solute is a component or ingredient found within a mixture. For example, TORQ’s energy drink would contain the solutes of electrolytes and carbohydrates. The solvent would be the water.

Solvent

A solvent is often a liquid that dissolves the solutes. In many instances, water would be considered as the solvent.

Super compensation

Super compensation will only occur if the body has become fatigued, then recovered optimally through rest and good nutrition, this process is all about developing an exercise adaptation. Super-compensation is the spike above the initial performance baseline which will only last for a short period of time. The spike above performance baseline can also represent “freshness”. If you are aiming to peak for an event, the event must be scheduled so that you arrive at this point within a training cycle. The point of which the body is at its fittest and most fresh.

V

Volume

In the context of sports training, volume is determined by the amount of training you complete. Often this related to the amount of hours you have completed across the course of the week.