Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stimulants: An Athletes Asset or Crutch? You decide.

The purpose of today’s blog is to bring about awareness of stimulants, particularly in conjunction with athletes. I welcome your tactful feedback, and opinion on the subject.

Stimulants have been around for a long, long, time. Their use has, for the most part, become very much accepted as a ‘natural’ way of life (outside of illegal drugs). Stimulants are widely used both by layman and athlete, receptionist and homemaker, mechanic and doctor. In fact, studies by the National Coffee Association have shown as much as 54% of the U.S. population consumes coffee on a daily basis. This is coffee alone, tack on sports drinks, energy drinks, supplements, soft drinks, energy ‘shots’, tea, medications, and over-the-counter products, and you have a whole lot more. However, it’s estimated that at least 75% of caffeine use comes from coffee drinkers.


Stimulants have a profound effect on your central nervous system. As soon as caffeine, or any other stimulant, is ingested, it blocks adenosine (a calming neurotransmitter), and stimulates the adrenals to go into ‘Fight or Flight’ mode. Fight or Flight mode is the body’s way of preparing for a fight, or to take flight, it’s an emergency response, and as such, sends the body into a type of rush mode. So every time a stimulant is taken in, it creates ‘stress’ within the body, which eventually, the adrenals, and the body, pay the price for.


Does it, really? I would say in some ways yes, in the long run on your body, no. Yes, studies have shown athletes who ingest caffeine or other ‘natural’,(?) stimulants do better than athletes who have not, particularly in endurance events, consumed caffeine. In fact, caffeine is so good at what it does, the International Olympic Committee placed a ban leading to disqualification for an athlete with urinary limits exceeding 12 mg/ml. Roughly 600 to 800mg of caffeine, or 4 to 7 cups of coffee, consumed over a 30-minute period would be enough to exceed this level and cause disqualification. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has a similar limit, set at 15 mg/ml.

I’d love to see the Olympics with everyone completely clean and the outcome of it. Think how much sports would change, across the board. Who would be the top players in each category? Viewers might actually understand sport commentators, as well, since they wouldn’t be talking 200 m.p.h.


What do you think? Chances are, you use caffeine or another stimulant yourself. I don’t know that I consider an athlete a true athlete if they’re pumped up on a stimulant, even if it’s considered ‘natural’, because stimulants are not part of our genetic make-up, it’s foreign to the human body. It neither builds nor nourishes, it does the opposite, it depletes.

It creates a condition which allows the individual to go ‘’hyper’ mode, and push themselves further then they normally would. Is this a bad thing? You be the judge. I think it’s bittersweet. Of course, every athlete would love to push harder if they could, and the truth is, it’s usually energy, which determines output. Even if that energy comes from an outside source, it does help ‘push’ an athlete further.

The downside is, there’s also a fall, a crash of energy, which leaves the individual feeling fatigued, less than focused, and even weak, hours later. Combine this with the ‘internal stress’ of stimulants on the nervous system, and you must decide which means the greater to you, short-lived energy boost so you can push yourself day by day, or the long-term drain on your central nervous system.


I don’t see a problem with using a stimulant from time to time. Various situations can truly benefit from a boost, such as: a long drive which requires you to stay on the road, or something similar.

It’s the daily use of stimulants that concerns me. When a person can’t function, literally, without their cup of coffee, thermogenic, energy drink, etc., that I start to wonder if it’s really helping or hurting.

I have clients who have come to me consuming anywhere from 75 mg.  of caffeine, to over 1,000 mg. of caffeine alone, daily. The higher end personality isn’t easy to deal with, they’re typically wired, or like rubber, anxious, have trouble focusing their thoughts, concentrating, and sleeping. They tell me this over and over, and over again. Trying to go off the stimulants is like a nightmare to them. The headaches alone, are so overwhelming to most, they prefer to stay on the stimulants, even though they feel miserable.

I attended a certification recently, which required participants engage in an intense workout. The staff had two large containers of coffee brought in by Starbucks. Almost everyone had at least one cup of coffee. It’s come to be accepted as the norm, “If you want to make it through the workout, better get the hype on”. Imagine your workout without it, day after day, after day. What kind of athlete would you be?

I believe if a person is feeling run-down, the best way to handle it is with rest, sleep, proper diet, healthy relationships, etc. I don’t believe using a stimulant to the point it becomes addictive, is in one’s best interest. Have I used caffeine, oh have I. I used to take medication that was nothing but an isolated constituent of caffeine, for a medical condition, for years. It sucked. I never slept more than 3½ hours a night, except when I was completely exhausted, then I’d sleep five. My hands shook, it was hard to concentrate, and I was a very irritable person. It took years to get off the stuff, and my nervous system is still paying the price.



Do you consider an athlete a true athlete when using stimulants and other products, on a daily basis?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

End of the Month Assessment 7 and 8 of 12!

Hi Team:

As you can see, I'm combining both July and August assessments into one blog, due to the fact I've been so busy these last few months, I didn't have time to write for July. I was busy getting things ready for the first TIGHT BODY 30 DAY CHALLENGE which began August 1st.

So, how are you? How are you doing with your goals for the year? Are you reaching that one goal that's kept you sidetracked for far too long? Perhaps, you've already reached it? Are you making baby steps? Or are you plain struggling?

If you haven't committed to a TIGHT BODY 30 DAY CHALLENGE yet, then NOW'S THE TIME! This CHALLENGE is set up to help you succeed, and discover much about yourself along the way. Do it!


1. If you've reached your goal(s), I'm sure you're well on your way to mastering several others in your life. You see, as you overcome that one issue that's kept you from so much in your life (as it has kept you from progressing in every area of your life), doors begin to open, people come into your life, and opportunities arrive in bundles. Your eyes have been 'opened' to the many possibilities in your life. There's nothing to hold you back.

2. If you're making progress, well, progress is progress. You're on the right track. Stop expecting perfection of yourself and accept the fact you're human. Recognize your accomplishments and keep pressing forward. Eliminate doubt, eliminate the crutches in your life, and stand tall. Face yourself with every ounce of energy you have, it's well worth it. Keep plugging along. If you sense you're dragging your feet, procrastinating, or know you could be doing better, THEN DO IT! No excuses. You must live with yourself, so do so with peace of mind.

3. If you're still struggling, have you considered getting professional help? Someone who can perhaps help you understand your thoughts, feelings, and actions? Objective  opinions and insights can prove valuable, because too many times, people get 'locked' into their own thoughts, own ideals, own perceptions, which are quite frequently false, hurtful, harmful, and keep you from seeing the truth. 

Books can be helpful, as well, however, keep in mind these people and resources are there to guide you, they cannot do for you, what you must do for yourself.

I highly encourage you to keep pressing forward. Never settle for where you're at. Look ahead. Prepare. Plan. Execute. Sure, stop to smell the roses, enjoy the moments, and make a record of your progress, but then pick-up and head out. Look around you, opportunity abounds. Believe in yourself.


Get out. Get away. Go someplace you've never been before. Dress completely different. Act different if you want to. Sometimes, people get so 'ingrained' in their environments, the environment itself can become an obstacle. 

For instance, say you always watch the same show, the same night, in the same chair, and eat the same junk, every night. After a while, this becomes autopilot! You automatically turn on the t.v., go to the fridge, etc., and repeat the same behavior over, and over, and over again. This type of situation must be stopped, as it's a very real, and dangerous place to be. You're no longer even thinking about your actions! Ditto if you feel you can't go a night without the episode, or sit in the same chair, watch the program, and NOT have the junk. Do you understand where I'm coming from. 


What type of habits do you have? Write them all down, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Start with the good, give yourself a pat on the back! Go to the ugly and bad, and understand these habits are keeping you from reaching your full potential! Do something about them! 

Hence, the TIGHT BODY 30 DAY CHALLENGE! Eliminate them one at a time, month by month, and replace them with something better, healthy, etc. Replace the t.v. show with a brisk walk, or run. Replace the junk with a refreshing glass of water, some fresh veggies, and a few nuts. 


I always think, 

"Damn, I don't want to be laying in a coffin someday, and not ever know what my life would have been like if I took action." 

Don't take ANY day for granted. Get off your ass and do something about the things in your life you can't stand, as no one else is going to do it for you. 

Onto month nine! 


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hi Team!

It's been awhile since I've blogged due to the TIGHT BODY 30 DAY CHALLENGE! and my schedule. I hope all is well with you, and yours. I hope you're working hard, and getting sufficient rest/recovery in. Let me know what questions you have on supplements, workouts, meal plans etc., I'd rather address them in an anonymous way on my blog than personally the majority of time, because if you have a question, many times others are wondering the same thing. Feel free to contact me via e-mail with personal items, as well, no problem. jillstightbody@earthlink.net

Today begins Round 2 of the TIGHT BODY 30 DAY CHALLENGE! so jump on board and let's do it!
All the information you need can be found on the TIGHT BODY 30 DAY CHALLENGE blogspot:


I'll be posting again here more regularly. 


I've been asked to do a television show, and I'm in the process of writing the first of many books!

This is very fun, and exciting! I'll be sure to keep you all posted on the progress.

Be Strong. Stay Strong. Live from the inside-out. Be true to who you are, never underestimate yourself. Believe in your abilities. Let go of doubt and fear. Stand up. Stand tall. Become who you are to become, and be proud of it, not in a boastful way, rather in a way which allows you to share your success with others, and enrich one anothers lives. 

Have a super day!

Health always,