In the final moments leading up to a big game, important fight or race day your body enters a rare stage. You get hyped and at the start everything seems perfect. Your energy is through the roof and you’re producing power and explosiveness that’s usually reserved for those elite athletes that can get “into the zone”.
Then it happens…
The adrenaline dump…
Your legs feel like concrete…
Your arms get heavy and seem to take forever to even lift..
Your heart rate and breathing picks up…
The adrenaline dump has hit you hard.
Well what can we do to prevent or minimize that adrenaline dump?
Adrenaline is a hormone and a brain neurotransmitter that increases heart rate, constricts blood vessels, dilates air passages and plays a role in the fight or flight response. It is produced in the adrenal glands from a mixture of the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine.
So what options exist to counteract this adrenaline spike and drop after a big energy outburst?
NOTE:You need to put in the physical work. This should go without saying but it needs to be repeated. Put in the work for your cardio and strength programs. More actually is better to a point. Now once you hit a wall with the adrenaline dump no amount of training can counteract it but you must make sure your body is in the best shape it can be leading up to that point.
When your about to hit the wall your body will signal your brain to release a neurotransmitter called acetycholine. This is done to slow down your heart rate as your body senses a problem. We want to delay that slowing down and that is achieved by increasing natural levels of acetycholine in the brain. These supplements can greatly increase your chances of slowing down and minimizing a energy dump.
In no specific order
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine: This amino acid increases acetycholine because it acts as a “donor” for the Acetyl compound. Once the choline in your body receives the “acetyl” from the carnitine it can produce the raw materials for more acetycholine.
- Increase your choline. How? Well first of all you should eat more whole eggs. The yolk of the egg is very high in choline. You can also supplement with additional choline as well.
- Use some taurine. Another amino acid that increases the levels of acetycholine in the brain. Taurine also increases hydration by pulling water closer to the muscle cell. Better leverage, improved hydration and healthier joints.
- Supplement with the hormone DHEA. A widely available and legal hormone that releases acetycholine in the hippocampus.
- Consider adding DMAE into your diet. By slowing the breakdown of choline, you can delay the energy dump. Since you reduce the breakdown more choline can be recycled into acetylcholine to further increase the duration of the energy spike.
- B vitamin also provide the raw materials for making acetycholine. Stress from training will quickly deplete these powerful B vitamins especially B1,B5 and B12. If your going to use a B12 supplement I suggest this one.
Targeted nutrition is your only way of minimizing and reducing an energy dump during a big event. Grab a few of the supplements from the links provided and start slowly rotating them into your diet 8 weeks before a big event. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results…
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