The following is a guest post by Logan Gelbrich — Coach, Athlete, Small Business Owner of Original Nutritionals, and Specialist on Performance & Nutrition.
Much of my work today is just an accumulation of my life experiences. Like many American boys, I set out on a mission at the age of 7 or 8 to play professional baseball. With scope of how audacious my goal was, I actually took on the lifestyle and routines required to accomplish the feat. Along the way I was very lucky and got good enough to make that dream come true.
After graduating from local Saint Monica High School as an All-State player with top-of-the-class type marks in school, I took on the biggest challenge of my life at the University of San Diego. USD offered me the smallest of my various scholarship opportunities, and I had an All-American catcher to beat out to see time on the field. Immediately, I began to learn my attraction to adversity. I managed to beat the odds, and in 2008 I was drafted by the San Diego Padres, where I played two seasons.
Life now isn’t much different than before. The only difference is that I’ve shifted the aim of my work capacity to a broader spectrum – human performance. The purpose of my work was to answer the question, “What does optimal living look like?”
At the basis of this question are a few general foundations, in my opinion. There’s a physical component, or fitness, an intellectual component, and there’s a spiritual component. In my endeavors in defining fitness and finding ways to foster it, I fell in love with performance and nutrition.
I’ll never forget my first professional off-season. It was the first time I looked at nutrition as a tool to improve performance and it changed my life forever. I had a meal plan put together by an assistant college strength coach and Olympian in the sport of weightlifting, Natalie Burgener. From there I educated myself and tinkered with real food as my only fuel.
Eating with purpose was a paradigm shift that I am forever grateful for. Not only is nutrition the foundation for human performance, athletic or otherwise, it’s a dashboard of control for us in a world where health and wellness feels like it’s out of our control.
Pain and most modern conditions are rooted in inflammation. Now, I’m no witch doctor, but I know full well that we all can feel and perform much better by taking nutrition seriously. That being said, nearly all Americans suffer from some sort of chronic low-level inflammation, which we can attribute largely to the modern food supply.
I’ll quickly explain. Each of our cells contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, amongst other things. In general, we can attribute Omega 6 to the role of the inflammatory response, much like the one we experience when you twist your ankle. Omega 3, then, has become a buzzword as an anti-inflammatory tool. As long as these fatty acids are performing correctly, we actually need both. Ideally, the levels of each would maintain a 1:1, or 2:1 relationship. A combination of Omega 6 rich foods (i.e. processed foods, dairy products, grains, etc.) and a lack of Omega 3 rich foods (i.e. wild caught fish, grass fed beef, etc.) have yielded pandemic issues of inflammation in our culture. Many Americans are walking around right now with Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios of 10:1, 15:1, and even as high as 20:1, for example.
This is manifested in many ways, from chronic pain to more serious ailments like auto-immunity (arthritis, celiac, etc). Seems pretty dismal, right? Well, we can help our own cause, whether you’re struggling with chronic pain, autism, asthma, or just want to perform better as an athlete by curbing systemic inflammation.
There are simple two ways to get our ratio back in line:
- Decrease Omega 6 levels
- Increase Omega 3 levels
Simple enough, right? Decreasing Omega 6 is best accomplished by taking on an anti-inflammatory nutritional strategy. Remove all grains (rice, flour, wheat, corn, etc.) and remove all dairy (milk, cheese, cream, etc.). It’s important to eat real foods, too. Avoid the aisles of the grocery store. Anything that comes in a box or bag has given up some nutritional integrity along the way. And, one can increase his/her Omega 3 consumption through pasture-raised meats and wild-caught fish.
I am a firm believer in the power of eating real food, even for elite athletes. The only supplement I can really support other than maybe some Vitamin D is Omega 3. Omega 3 comes in many forms but one of the most bioavailable places to find Omega 3 is in fish oil.
For that very reason I got into business in Omega 3 for athletes. My company, ORIGINAL Nutritionals, is the safe place for athletes to go to honor the very worldview I’ve just described. You don’t have to take our fish oil, however, but here are some things to look for in an Omega 3 product:
- Liquid form: Capsules are a great place to hide poor quality, rancid fish oil.
- High EPA/DHA: I’d recommend 3+ grams per day of EPA/DHA.
- Triglyceride (TG) format: It out performs its Ethyl Ester (EE) counterpart.
If you’re interested in seeing just how much work you need to do, ORIGINAL Nutritionals has an easy take home test kit to discover the details of your Omega 6 to Omega 3 levels. We’ve all got work to do in the area of nutrition, and it’s our own responsibility. From quality nutrition we can help ourselves, help our doctors, and help our teams.
You can contact Logan Gelbrich at [email protected] | 310-850-3040