Dynamic Chiropractic - February 14, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 04

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Nutrition to Give Your Athlete the Winning Edge

By -- Anthony J. Cichoke, D.C., D.A.C.B.N.

Softcover/spiral bound -- 142 pages

See pages xx, Parts #T-140 for information on how to order

When I first entered into private practice my main concern was with adjustive procedures. It still is, but at the beginning my obsession with adjusting was so pervasive that little else really mattered. Some super straights might feel that was as it should be, but after a while I realized that there was a public out there who were poorly informed, if at all, about nutrition. The "experts" in all matters of health were the MDs. The fact that they never studied nutrition in medical school meant little. All that mattered was that they had the right initials after their names.

After a few years of hearing nutritional horror stories from my patients I began to realize that I was doing a disservice by not advising those who needed the correct information. After all, I had studied biochemistry and nutrition in chiropractic college, and had been involved with bodybuilding and weight training for years as an editor for Weider muscle magazines. Bodybuilders were and are the greatest proponents of specific nutrition for specific needs. With this background, I was neglecting a major force in the healing arts because I was just too lazy to do anything but adjust.

During my time with bodybuilding I remembered watching a famous bodybuilder gulping down hundreds of supplements from an enormous plastic bag. At the time I wondered just how the body could assimilate so many messages at the same time.

Later, while working in a medical clinic, I was astounded by all the supplements that had been prescribed for the patients. Knowing that certain nutrients were synergists to some, while antagonists to others, I became increasingly alarmed with the cavalier manner in which nutritional supplementation was administered. Lack of proper nutritional advice can be almost as deleterious to health as no advice at all.

In private practice once again, I now employ what I feel is a common sense approach to supplementation.

While all my patients have special needs, athletes have requirements that are indigenous to more stressful activities. Because of this I've had to construct some rather convoluted programs to satisfy their individual needs.

For a while I was beginning to feel that I was pretty sharp at what I was doing. Then along came Nutrition to Give Your Athlete the Winning Edge. In reading it I found that there was so much I'd forgotten or just didn't know.

These are the kinds of texts that bring you down to earth. Whenever you feel that you know just about all there is to know about something, a book like this sets the record straight.

Dr. Cichoke has long been one of the best known and most ardent activists in the area of chiropractic sports medicine and has held important posts with both the AAU and in chiropractic education. He is also a diplomate in nutrition, which certainly enhances his credibility on the subject of sports nutrition.

There are 20 chapters and an appendix and bibliography in this volume. Be not afraid. Even if you know little to nothing about nutrition and athletes, it is written in an easy and informative style that lends itself to use as an excellent reference volume.

Above all, it must be emphasized that this volume is not just another text dealing with nothing but supplementation. While it touches on the subject of specific nutrients, it does so with a therapeutic velvet glove. It is as much a text on the need for specific diets as for pills and, as such, explores areas of athletic nutrition I hadn't been aware of before.

An example might be "soda loading" with bicarbonate of soda to diminish the hydrogen ions in fatigued muscles or the special diets needed by some athletes before strenuous competition.

It doesn't matter whether your interests lie in weight control, ergogenic aids, enzymes, maladaptive food reactions, diets or nutritional sources of energy, there's something here for just about everyone.

While the text may be about giving athletes the winning edge, by reading this and learning from it, it could do the same for your practice.