Miller JZIf you have any physiology, performance, or nutrition related questions, email Ben at



For this column I will briefly highlight a couple of articles that I have bookmarked because I thought they would be of interest to those that read YGR.  I will provide a brief summary of the article, and a link where it can be accessed if you are interested.  All of these are well written for the public and applicable to your performance.  


Why Vitamins Might be Bad for Your Workout:  This is the New York Times summary of recent research that shows that taking exogenous antioxidants – meaning antioxidants that you take in from outside the body – can be detrimental to exercise training adaptations. I have covered some of this topic in the past.  Please be mindful that there is a big difference between exogenous antioxidants (such as Vitamin C and E) and the antioxidants that your body makes itself, which are called endogenous antioxidants (such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase).  There is a growing body of evidence that taking exogenous antioxidants blunt the very effect we are trying to induce with exercise, so be wary of those that advocate vitamins and other compounds with “loaded with antioxidants”.


Brain Doping (Thank you to YGR groupie Tom Bondurant):  Although this article is not perfect, it does highlight the role of the brain in fatigue.  These experiments relate to the Central Governor Theory of Fatigue originally proposed by Timothy Noakes that this column has discussed previously.  The theory states that the brain integrates peripheral cues to regulate a safe level of exertion to complete the task at hand.  In other words, a single factor (for example lactic acid, despite what Bob Roll states) does not limit exertion and cause fatigue, but rather, a cadre of cues, both conscious and unconscious, control sustainable exertion.  I am a fan of this theory even though it has been very difficult to experimentally test.  This article discusses how brain stimulation can change the perceived parameters to delay fatigue.


Personalized Carbohydrate Intake:  This journal article is by Asker Jeukendrup who has worked with teams such as Rabobank in the past and has now transferred from academics to the global head of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute.  This article does not have a ton new in it, but it does break things down quiet nicely on how you should fuel different durations of events.  I also like the discussion about the studies that have used a mouth rinse with a sugary beverage (rather than actually consuming it) and found a performance benefit similar to actually drinking the beverage.  These studies indicate that there is some yet unknown censor in the mouth that relays information to the brain about carbohydrate intake.  In turn these findings indirectly support the Central Governor Theory discussed above.  


A Step Towards Personalized Sports Nutrition: Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise