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Dr. Barry Sears CrossFit Presentation, Part 7 by Dr. Barry Sears - CrossFit Journal

In Nutrition, Videos

October 10, 2009

Video Article

Many athletes will do almost anything for elite performance, but some of those same athletes don’t realize the quest to gain an advantage over other competitors doesn’t have to include steroids and a giant mountain of supplements.

According to Dr. Barry Sears, diet is the real key to improving athletic performance, winning competitions and setting new PRs.

In Part 7 of Dr. Sears’ presentation held Aug. 8, 2009, in Orange County, Calif., the creator of the Zone Diet talks about the finer points of his program: how much protein you really need, when athletes should up their fat intake, how to determine the quality of the fish oil you should be taking, and how much fish oil you really need to improve performance.

With a carefully planned diet, smart training and the right amount of fish oil, athletes can improve reaction time, reduce body fat and inflammation, and improve moods—all leading to high performance.

“When you’re trying to give elite athletes an unfair but legal advantage, diet becomes the key factor,” Dr. Sears concludes.

13min 48sec

Additional audio: Diet Secrets of the Tupperware Man by Greg Amundson, published Dec. 28, 2008.

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17 Comments on “Dr. Barry Sears CrossFit Presentation, Part 7”


wrote …

In nature the ratio of Dha to epa is 5 to 1...shouldn't this be considered in buying a Fish oil or does it matter...


wrote …

I'm still gonna eat my egg yolks doc! You can't stop me!


replied to comment from Craig dawson

A top quality fish oil will have the EPA and DHA ratios in the proper amounts. A great fish oil is from Usana.


wrote …

What 'regular' brands of fish oil pass the 'toothpick test'? I don't really have the money to invest in pharma-grade stuff at this time, but don't want to stop taking my fish oil in the morning and at night.

Why the hell isn't this stuff labeled?!?!?! I'm so annoyed right now :oP


Ned Ferguson wrote …

I have been buying the members mark fish oil from Sam's Club (triple strength - 900mg omega 3 per capsule). I know it will pass the toothpick test because I store mine in the freezer and each capsule has a little air bubble in it that moves freely even after a week (looks like a level vial). I think it is about 20 bucks for 150. I take 17 per day. I am thinking about trying Dr. Sears' stuff though. I don't think it costs that much more.


wrote …

"Members Mark" I'll keep that in mind. Thanks! I'm testing the 365 brand from Whole Foods Market right now. I'll post something at 9 o'clock or so :o)

Which particular Dr. Sears brand were you thinking about trying?


wrote …

Dr Sears misleads the audience with his interpretation of the POMS results in his presentation (approx 13minutes in). The ideas around statistiscal significance are simple. He probably understands them well. While certain features of the POMS did show statistical improvement, name vigour and anger. Others components, such as depression and confusion, do NOT, yet he claims that the benefit of Omega-3s extends to these areas. This is bad research. Peer reviewed journals may not be the best way to prove anything (especially if all your peers disagree with you) but simple things like this would be thrown out, as it disregards the rules. (This is why homeopathy is garbage, they lack statistical significance in major studies.)

For those that don't understand, the little dashed line on each bar of the bar graph represents the confidence interval. Each dashed line, goes a bit above and a bit below the mean (which is what the bar is drawn as). The research is confident that 95% of his results fall within this interval. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether your results are actually at the top, bottom, middle or anywhere else in that confidence interval. If those bars overlap, as they obviously do for depression and confusion, you declare the change during your experiment as NOT statistically significant. (Anxiety and fatigue seem to be statistically significant by a small amount.)

I drink the CrossFit Kool Aid. I do the WODs, I follow the zone diet and I take fish oil regularly. But if you can't slide this past me, why would a 'non-believer' listen? Maybe the zone plus fish oil has benefits, but they will get overshadowed by the flaws in the work.


wrote …

is Carlson's fish oil legit? I take the liquid form, don't if i could do the feezer test .


wrote …

So, the 365 Brand from Whole Foods market passes the 'toothpick test,' or the fork test in my case, but doesn't pass the smell test. It smells like fish. Should I stop eating it?


wrote …

Eggs and saturated fat: I buy whole foods brand high omega 3 eggs which have only 4 grams of total fat (1 gm saturated fat) per egg and 225 mg omega 3 (in the form of ALA) including 75 mg DHA per egg (which would seem to offset the AA in the egg yolk to some extent, at least that's my story). I have always been puzzled by Sears' position on eggs. I don't have his background in biochemistry, but it is hard to grasp the "pro inflammatory" effect of the egg yolk, if an egg yolk is the chemical building block of a chicken.

Regarding fish oil purity, here is a link to one of the main testing sites.
Under the ultra refined category, you see all of the Zone Labs products, all very pure and high potency (just $$).

Aside from purity, the issue with fish oils is not the total amount of fish oil or even total omega-3 per serving. It is the amount of DHA/EPA per serving. After reading user posts in the crossfit forum, I tried the Carlson liquid fish oil which has 800 mg of DHA and 500 mg of EPA per teaspoon. Tastes great--absolutely zero fish taste and NO fish oil burps (hate that). On sale right now at Vitamin Shoppe. (says web only special, but they honored the price at my local VS).


wrote …

Got my EPA / DHA amounts reversed on the description of the Carlson fish oil. High potency either way.


Ned Ferguson wrote …

I tried to find as much info on the Sma's Club stuff online as I could. Information seems to be lacking, but the description for "Member's Mark" actually uses the word "Kirkland" at many of the places where it is sold online. I wonder if the same company makes Kirkland and Member's Mark?

In any event, a close look at the bottle does engender confidence. These are enteric coated for delayed absorption in the small intestine, though I do still get occasional fish oil burps. I think this is more due to the large quantity I take than any deficiency in the brand.

Does not contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives. "State of the art molecular distillation process removes mercury, PCBs and dioxins, which guarantees purity."

1400 mg fish oil
647mg EPA
253mg DHA
900 mg total Omega-3

I'm feeling pretty good about it and it is one of the best buys out there. 150 gels for under 20 bucks.


replied to comment from Ned Ferguson

Burping up fish oil could also indicate a sluggish gallbaldder...beat juice helps thin the bile...


wrote …

Robb Wolf recommends the Kirkland Brand from Costo in his nutrition cert. 400 gels for under ten bucks. They only have 300 mg of DHA/EPA but he was impressed with the lab they use and he says you can't beat the price. I have been taking it for three months (24 caps a day) and have been very impressed. I take 8 each time I eat and have no complaints.


wrote …

An interesting study on Fish-Oil and its effects on Bronchoconstriction in Elite Athletes if anyone is interested.


replied to comment from Jeremy Brownlee


Are the caps standard-size (1.25 g/cap)?


replied to comment from Ned Ferguson


Where did you find Member's Mark or Kirklands with 1400mg fish oil and 647/253 of EPA/DHA? The only thing I could find from either brand was 1000mg gelcaps with a total of 300mg EPA/DHA.


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