Naturopathic Medicine for Athletic Performance
Naturopathic therapies can help you perform at your best! Performing well in sports is more than just physical training, but entails an optimal diet, supplemental regimen, sleep hygiene, and even optimal mental/cognitive health. Comprehensive lab testing can help us investigate areas of nutrient deficiencies that can be perfected, as well as, a naturopathic approach to supplementation & lifestyle to ensure you recover faster and better after each training session.
While I’m by no means a strong competitor (I’ll stick to medicine!), I initially became interested in supporting athletes due to my interest in powerlifting. Through personal experience, I’ve had to work through optimizing my nutrition, supplementation, sleep, etc to perform at my best and work through injuries so I can continue to lift heavy things!
If you’ve been training most or your life or just getting into athletic training, I’m sure you know nutrition is integral to your success just as much as the vigor you bring to each workout. Not only can I help you optimize your nutrition but I can help test for any underlying nutrient deficiencies, as well as, ensure your gastrointestinal health is at its best. Not only do you need to eat well, but you also need to be able to absorb and assimilate all that good food too! There is such a thing as an ‘athletic gut’ and science is showing that optimal ‘good bacteria’ shows an athletic advantage. Bacteria can play a direct role in minimizing inflammation, balancing hormones, and even impacting your mental health which helps you focus and persevere during challenges.
Mindset, Power of the Mind
As discussed above, your gut impacts your mental functioning. But I bring this up because it plays a huge role in athletic success- mindset! Most big sports teams have mindset coaching for their players to help them maintain focus and calculated forward thought/optimism so they play their best (that is really cool!). I can help you with this naturopathically by offering therapies like neurofeedback, supplementation, dietary intervention, and other resources to ensure the relationship between your physical body and mind are working together and optimally.
If you are not sleeping well, you are not recovering well. I’m sure you know that on days you’ve had poor sleep you do not perform at your best. If you have any issues with insomnia, interrupted sleep, or poor sleep quality I can help! First step is determining the root cause of the sleep issues and addressing it.
You want to be able to train hard but also recover well so you can train just as hard the next day. Right? That’s where naturopathic medicine shines. One of my favorite modalites in naturopathic medicine is botanical medicine. Plants! Just like drugs have active constituents that work in the body, so do plants. For example, you may be familiar with ibuprofen which acts an inflammation modulator. I can use herbs to help naturally reduce inflammation without the harmful side effects of thinning your GI lining or predisposing you to ulcers (yes, chronic use of ibuprofen can do this!). Herbs can also be used to support increased endurance, stamina, and energy levels during training.
Every athlete is prone to different types of stressors on the body or prone to aggravating old injuries. Golfer’s are prone to “golfer’s elbow”, powerlifters must maintain good joint and ligament health, and runners must be mindful of the repetitive impact of running. Just to name a few! All of these issues can be mitigated with coaching, body work, and supported through offering appropriate nutrition and building blocks to good muscle, tendon, and ligament formation. Regular visits and physical assessments at the earliest signs of injury can ensure we get you moving the right way, healing, and returning to training as fast as possible.
Whether you’re a male or female athlete, having appropriate hormonal balance is needed to be functioning at your peak. I can test your hormone levels- both your sex hormones, as well as, thyroid and adrenal health to ensure your entire hormonal production is working well. Overtraining can lead to dysfunction in your HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) which will negatively affect your sleep, training, and overall health. I help you keep a close eye on different biomarkers to ensure optimal hormone levels for peak activity and how to modulate any imbalances.
And, there is SO MUCH more! Would love to help you function at your best so you can continue doing what you love.