Nutrition & Health OnLine Magazine: Questions & Answers
 
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
By Davey Dunn
Q.  I thought your top ten list was great but I really thought that you should have included Vitamin E since it is so beneficial to the body. How come you did not include Vitamin E?
A.  You are right about the importance of Vitamin E to the function of the human body. It is a potent anti-oxidant that greatly improves the function of the immune system. I try to take at least 1000 IU each day and always take an additional 800 IU right after my workout to help combat the destructive effects of exercise. As far as my article Top Ten Supplements goes my conclusion to that article answers your question when I say that you should not limit yourself to just ten supplements. My purpose in writing that article was to try to simplify choices for people who are just starting to use supplements as well as highlight some of the benefits of the best supplements for everyone. Considering that most people barely take a multi-vitamin I would be thrilled if that article encourages more people to add some of the others on the list. I had no intention to imply that these ten are the best for everyone but I think you will probably agree that if you take these ten along with some others that you personally need then chances are fairly good that you will be pretty healthy.
Q.  I see products advertised that claim you can lose weight without dieting or exercising but the ones I have tried do not work. Are there any that you know of that will work without me having to diet or exercise?
A.  I think you already know the answer to this question since you have tried several products that did not work. Whenever you see products advertised that claim you can "lose weight without having to diet or exercise" you should immediately know that such a product is a scam. Some of the other phrases that will alert you to a scam are "Eat whatever you want and lose weight", "Lose Weight While You Sleep", "Eat the Foods You Love", etc.
The problem with lousy products like this marketed by sham companies is that they give the legitimate products on the market a black eye. When someone uses one of these products and it does not work then they assume that all the products on the market are the same when that is simple not true. Legitimate products marketed by companies interested in more than just making a quick buck will always advise you to use their product "in conjunction with a good diet and exercise plan" because they are meant to be used as a "supplement" (For a detailed explanation of what Supplement means read Supplement: What Does this Term Really Mean?) and not as a magic pill.
If I sound a little ticked off it is because I have seen the positive results that the right products can make and these crappy products keep so many people from using the right products in the right way. If you are serious about improving your body by losing some fat then quit buying into the quick fix garbage and start making the right lifestyle changes to accomplish your goal. You can find plenty of help right here at NHOmag about eating healthier and exercising like Weight Loss Corner: Reading Labels or Weightlifting for Weight Loss Once you have made the right changes then you can worry about finding the right product to make your transformation faster and easier. We also have plenty of articles dealing with choosing the right product like Weight Loss Products: Which Ones Work Best? 2002 Edition or How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Product
Q.  I have lifted weights for most of my life but I have been suffering through a shoulder injury that started about six months ago and has killed my workouts. I have been to a Doctor several times and he has given me different anti-inflammatory medication and had me lay off and the pain has gone away until I start lifting again. I am extremely frustrated because I have always pumped iron and now I can't. Any help will be much appreciated.
A.  Shoulder injuries are fairly common among weight lifters and the most prevalent reason is because of overuse. It is not unusual for people to bench press, incline press, shoulder press and perform dumbbell lateral raises all on the same day. Such a regimen puts way to much stress on the shoulder joint. You should never perform more than two exercises on the same day that heavily involve the shoulder. If you have been performing more than two then that is probably what started your problem. You should restructure you program so that you never perform more than two on the same day or you will never fully recover.
Your immediate problem is just getting through a workout and there is much you can do to rehab your injured shoulder. Even if you cannot use the shoulder you should still workout and perform exercises that only involve your good shoulder. I have seen this done with football players who have injured their shoulders with excellent results. The stimulation that the muscles receive in your good shoulder actually seems to transfer over to the injured shoulder and not only keeps it from atrophying but also helps it to recover faster.
If a proper warmup has not previously been part of your regimen then you should start you workouts with stretching and sport specific exercises designed to prepare your body for the weight lifting that you will perform. A proper warmup will not only prevent future injuries but may also improve the flexibility in your injured shoulder and help promote healing and reduce the pain. You can find detailed information in a Nutrition & Health OnLine article called Basics of Training 3: Warmup & Flexibility.
Once your shoulder heals to the point that you can begin using it in exercises you should begin with very light weights to help increase blood flow to the injured area which will aid in the healing process. Immediately after you finish your workout you should ice your shoulder for about 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the amount of bleeding. You can continue to apply ice and occasionally heat as a way to promote blood flow and aid in healing.
There are several supplements that you can use that will help you to heal faster and also prevent other similar injuries. Flax Oil is a natural lubricant and seems to help most people who have joint pain. Glucosamine has been shown to regenerate cartilage and is popular among people who have had similar injuries. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are recommended anyways for anyone who regularly lifts weights but you might try increasing your dose since both are excellent at stimulating the immune system.
The steps I have outlined are the most common techniques used with athletes to rehabilitate minor shoulder injuries. From the information you provided there is no way to tell the extent of your injury so if you think it may be serious you will want to see an orthopedic specialist before you begin to make sure you do not have an injury that can only be fixed with surgery. Whatever the outcomes of this present injury, try to learn from it and make changes in your workouts so that you will never be sidelined like this again.
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