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Old 04-12-2006, 07:32 AM   #2
Jason Billows
Member Jason Billows is offline
 
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa  Ontario
Posts: 384
John,

You should download and listen to the Crossfit Live episode on nutrition. It was one of the first few episodes I believe.

In it, Rob Wolfe talked about artificial sweeteners. As I recall, artificial sweeteners have similar effects on your body as sugar. While you don't necessarily have the calories, your body reacts in a similar way and can affect hormone levels which will ultimately have a negative effect on your fitness gains. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

Rob didn't go into detail, but I expect some of those reactions are due to compensatory changes. Think of compensatory changes this way... let's say that every morning you drink a cup of coffee. The caffine in the coffee raises your heart rate. Every day you drink this coffee and over time your body comes to anticipate the phsyological effect of your heart rate increase and associates it with the smell and taste. Now, one day someone switches your regular coffee for a decaf and you don't notice. When you drink it your heart rate will still rise despite the adsence of caffine. This is beacuse your body associates the taste and smell with the "usual" effect on your heart. It is called compensatory changes. Over time this effect would lessen more and more if you kept drinking decaf, but the effects can be quite strong initially.

Similarly, our body knows how it usually reacts to sugar which it associates to a sweet taste. Artificial sweeteners taste sweet and so our body reacts the same way, in part because of compensatory changes.

Regarding the Zone bars, they are not great. They have the proper ratio of protein/fat/carbs, but they're highly processed. Try to stick with whole foods as much as you can and only use the bars when you're really stuck for time and available food sources.

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