About this Episode
On the newest episode of the WholisticMatters Podcast Series, professional endurance athlete discusses with host John Troup, PhD, the idea of pushing the limits of human potential, for this is what O’Brady did to become the first person in history to traverse the continent of Antarctica from the tip of the Ronne Ice Shelf to the tip of the Ross Ice Shelf, via the South Pole – unsupported and unaided. O’Brady talks about why he uses social media to reach and inspire people and about how important it was to receive the proper nutrition to achieve the impossible in Antarctica. He also describes the mantra that kept him going throughout his journey, happy and calm or tired and discourged: “This too will change.”
In preparation for O’Brady’s adventure, the Standard Process team of integrative and functional clinicians, nutritionists, and scientists developed a comprehensive program plan. Taking a systems approach to better understand the underlying issues and needs of O’Brady’s body, the team designed a personal nutrition program for him. Not only did this call for a complete nutrition program for the last eight months of O’Brady’s preparation phase, it also provided his main nutritional support during the 54 days of his journey.
For O’Brady, special attention was placed on making sure his digestive system was sound and stable and that it had sufficient ability to protect his barrier system and enough support for healthy modulation of the immune response. Additionally, to help manage the stress of both daily training and the day-to-day challenges of the trek itself, nutritional support for his metabolic response, resolution pathways of inflammation, and metabolic cofactors were also provided as part of his nutrition plan.
The biggest challenge was to make sure that while he would be burning anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 calories every day, his nutrient intake would need to be balanced. But that was only half the story – the right balance of macronutrients for him with prolonged and sustainable energy use was also required and developed as part of special nutrient bars – dubbed ‘Colin Bars’ by the team. Additional whole food phytoactives supporting his systems and helping to avoid inflammatory responses were also included. Following his record-setting world first achievement in 54 days, the team completed a clinical assessment and reported less than a 1% change in body fat with no loss of muscle mass – an incredible testament to the importance and impact that functional whole food nutrition provides.