By Steven Risley – MMAspot.net
Randy Couture was asked in a recent MMA FanHouse interview how he maintains such a good physical condition that allows him to fight twice in three months at the age of 46.
“The last couple years I’ve spent a lot of time getting my blood chemistry evaluated, taking the supplements and eating the things that my blood chemistry says I should be. That’s been the biggest thing the last couple years, age 45 and 46,” Couture replied.
So, who is evaluating Randy’s blood, and who is choosing his supplements and telling him what to eat? The answer is Dr. John Fitzgerald.
Dr. Fitzgerald has earned Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, and Doctorate of Chiropractic degrees, and he became very serious about nutrition after learning his father had been diagnosed with cancer. He attended numerous seminars and eventually connected with Dr. Harry Eidener Jr, the man who is largely responsible for refining “optimal” blood levels after conducting a multi-year study involving more than 10,000 subjects.
In 1994, Dr. Fitzgerald started treating patients with nutritional medicine. By 1998 he was the team doctor for the Carolina Hurricanes, a team in the now disbanded minor league of the NFL. Since then he has worked with college and professional athletes involved with many sports including tennis, power lifting, wrestling, and most recently mixed martial arts.
Dr. Fitzgerald, who has come to be known as Blood Doc John, works not only with Randy Couture but also other Xtreme Couture athletes such as Gray Maynard and Martin Kampmann. Along with Randy, Dr. Fitzgerald is now offering the same supplements his athletes take to the public through Xtreme Couture Athletic Pharmaceuticals, or XCAP. The partnership with Randy and Xtreme Couture all started when the doctor got a new patient named Phil Friedman, who happens to be one of Randy’s training partners.
Blood Doc John: Phil told others at Xtreme Couture the great results he got and things took off from there. What is crazy about this is that I was really burned out from seeing patients and wasn’t interested in seeing patients anymore, but this relationship has been good for us both and I have a renewed enthusiasm from the fun I have had working with athletes again.
Spot: What kind of results did Phil Friedman have?
BDJ: His energy returned, resting and recovery heart rate returned to normal, he could sleep again, and his episodes of dizziness left.
Spot: How long did it take Phil to see these results?
BDJ: Four days, the adrenal glandular works very fast.
Spot: Randy Couture not only endorses XCAP but uses various products, what kind of results has he reported?
BDJ: His recovery is much better now. A big thing to look at is how fast one can recover. This is what allows an athlete to go train again.
Spot: Why do you recommend the Paleo diet over all other eating plans?
BDJ: The Paleo diet helps provide the necessary nutrition for an athlete to perform and recover. I like the idea with the Paleo diet of burning fat for fuel rather than being a person whose body relies on burning sugar.
I am not a believer at all in this thought of putting carbs in your body making you burn sugar as fuel. The goal is to have a more sustained release of fuel which comes in the source of fats.
I encourage you to read the book “The Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain for a complete overview. In a nutshell it means eating meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts. No grains, whole or processed. Athletes that eat this way have a better hormone profile, better blood work, and are leaner.
Spot: You treated patients with nutritional medicine for years, what nutritional advice could you give those suffering from cancer?
BDJ: I won’t give much advice because if you do you are asking for trouble. Probably the most successful clinicians doing cancer work that is cutting edge and not chemo or radiation have been attacked by a government that is primarily controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.
Cancer statistics in this country are poor and the best cancer doctors and clinics are forced to go offshore by the government. I bet you didn’t know this, many researchers have speculated that if the entire population was given vitamin D, cancer rates would drop by 65 percent.
The most successful man I have ever heard of with cancer was called the greatest mind of our time by Einstein [Dr. Emanuel Revici 1896-1997]. He pioneered many approaches through his biochemistry background and for his rewards, his medical license was taken away after he saved thousands of people. I believe the book wrote about him was called “The Man who Cured Cancer.”
Spot: I know we have some diabetic readers could you give them some basic advice as well?
BDJ: Eat meat and veggies for your meals and you will see your blood sugar start to lower. Eating any grains will make you worse. Also no potatoes, there are many things in the literature that indicate benefits as well such as chromium, vanadyl sulfate, magnesium, B-vitamins, alpha lipoic acid and cinnamon etc.
However, big clause so I don’t get shut down from a pharmaceutical company, check with your doctor before doing anything or changing anything that you are currently doing.
Spot: I think it is safe to say that you feel most people need more vitamin D. What are the best methods for increasing the amount of vitamin D in the body?
BDJ: We have the best product for increasing vitamin D and that is Vita D. There is even published research about it in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 93.
Spot: What are some common nutritional mistakes you see your athletes make?
BDJ: Too many to list. Eating junk food and drinking pop is devastating to most that choose to do it.
Spot: In your experience what are the most common deficiencies in athletes?
BDJ: Mineral deficiencies are very common. Soil is depleted of minerals from farming methods, so the food we eat is typically depleted in minerals. Athletes make the problem worse by losing minerals in sweat and not replacing them. I generally have athletes take 4 Natural Mins (XCAP) after each workout and have them take Zinc Clutch every meal until they can taste it, which means they can take less Zinc Clutch.
Spot: After a long practice, or even in the middle on one, many athletes reach for a product like Gatorade to re-energize themselves. Is this a wise practice, could it be improved upon?
BDJ: The question really becomes what is a “long” practice. If you’re talking MMA, football or wrestling, the athlete is better off to make a recovery drink with protein and greens like we recommend on the XCAP website.
If you really want to do it right, do this. Make a shake with one cup ice cubes. 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, two scoops Whey Isolate, one scoop 4Ever Greens. You have just made yourself a very potent anti-aging cocktail for breakfast.
Spot: What can an athlete do with nutrition and supplements to eliminate or lessen the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness?
BDJ: Take six to ten Xtra Enzymes on an empty stomach immediately after exercise and do it again before bed.
Spot: Could you explain to me the difference between acidic and alkaline blood, and how they relate to athletic performance?
BDJ: You produce acid when you exercise. Your body must buffer this acid. If your body is acidic, the buffer system is low and this will hurt your endurance. You can help build the buffer system back up with Natural Mins (These major minerals are alkaline), 4Ever Greens and Adrenal Balance helps also.
Spot: Are there any food or drinks that an athlete should stay away from in terms of acidity?
BDJ: Sodas are not good at all and should be avoided.
Spot: Soda has came up twice as a substance to stay away from, what’s so bad about these drinks?
BDJ: Acidic, high fructose corn syrup the worst type of sugar there is. The “diet” really isn’t any better. The artificial sweeteners mess you up as much as the sugar.
Spot: Would moderate and reasonable consumption of alcohol undermine an athlete’s performance?
BDJ: I am not big at all on drinking alcohol if you are an athlete. A lot of this stuff goes into how far you want to take it. The best athletes I know rarely drink.
Spot: Speaking of endurance, there is one product on your website, O2 Plus+, which is labeled specifically for endurance. Could you explain what O2 Plus+ is, and what it does for athletic performance?
BDJ: It is tablets made from vegetable cultures that are full of methyl donors… yeah, i know…what the hell does that mean? Read about it on the website because it goes way deep into explanation, but basically it allows for use of another energy pathway.
Spot: Now, B12 Nitro is for an energy boost, how does this differ from the effects of O2 Plus+?
BDJ: O2 Plus+ is much more noticeable immediately and more effective, unless the person is deficient in B12 which happens to be a lot more common than you would think. That is a perfect example of why we do blood work.
Spot: How much does the blood testing usually cost for a new patient and how long does it take to get the results?
BDJ: Some athletes bring me blood work and others I set up appointments for them to get their blood drawn. They pay for the lab work with cash or insurance and then pay me $300 per hour to help them. Some athletes want me for one hour and then another 30 minutes every now and then, while others ask for substantially more time.
So the cost really depends on them and what they want. Some blood work I get back in two days and some takes two weeks depending on what tests are ordered.
Spot: We’ve talked about how supplements and nutrition can effect recovery and endurance, are there strategies for increasing speed or strength?
BDJ: Yes there are. That is why we do blood work and hormone testing. There are many nutritional deficiencies that cause glandular hypofunction which lowers hormone levels. We check these and then address the cause.
Spot: Could you go into some detail about the 4Ever Greens product and why you recommend it over other green drinks?
BDJ: It is 100% greens. Most products are only 20% greens and the rest is filler. It is organic so it is not full of pesticides. Pesticides produce estrogen – It contains strong anti-estrogen ingredients from broccoli sprouts. It comes from heirloom seeds rather than genetically modified vegetables. It contains high levels of anti-oxidants to reduce free radical damage. Heavy exercise produces lots of free radicals. This happens to be a product that we can talk about all day because it has so many far reaching benefits. I haven’t even gotten into the anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits but I will stop here for time.
Spot: In a blog posted November 4th you say, “Joint Flex works better than Ibuprofen.” How is that possible and does Joint Flex just take away pain or help rebuild cartilage?
BDJ: It does both. There is a bunch of research on the ingredients. I like to post stuff on the blog that is informative. The goal of XCAP.tv is to become an information center.
Spot: Is Joint Flex something an athlete should consider taking if they are not currently experiencing any joint pain?
BDJ: Probably not. However, many girls take it because it helps their hair and nails grow healthy and strong. I know, now you want to know all about that also.
Spot: You’ve talked a little about Adrenal Glandular, but there is another similarly named product called Adrenal Balance. One is labeled as being for “stress response” while the other is “stress adaptation,” could you compare and contrast these two products?
BDJ: Most of these questions you are asking me can have very long answers so I am keeping this short and to the point. When I get too complicated, people’s eyes tend to gloss over. Adrenal Glandular is a specific product used to help rebuild adrenal glandular function typically from athletic burnout and over training. Adrenal Balance is used for many more things. It includes adaptogenic herbs that helps your body adapt to mental and physical stress.
I suggest reading about these in depth on the XCAP website. I also have a whole section on the adrenal glands under the “Learning Center” on the website.
Spot: Are there any warning signs of having low levels of vitamin D or B?
BDJ: That question requires too long of an answer. Every B vitamin has different warning signs and vitamin D also has a list. If you get to the point of being that low, you are really deficient. I want to pick up the levels when they are not optimal, which is a big difference from being at the point of developing an end stage sign.
Spot: What about zinc?
BDJ: It has so many functions in the body. But in general you can associate it with a weak immune system, finger nail problems, and scarring. Realize low zinc can make your hormone levels low including slowing your thyroid and lowering testosterone. Low zinc levels are very common and that is why we have the product Zinc Clutch.
Spot: There are literally thousands of whey supplements out there, even in a Walmart there are often ten or more different options. What is it that makes your Whey Isolate stand out?
BDJ: There are different grades and purities. Whey Isolate from XCAP is at the top. It is a medical grade un-denatured isolate. Those others are a substantially lower grade and substantially cheaper in quality and what they will do for you.
Spot: Looking over the professional fighter supplement schedule on XCAP.tv, I saw Randy Couture takes AA Resveratrol Blast, which is said to be for anti-aging. Would you give a summary of what this product does and how it works?
BDJ: This also is a product that has way too many benefits for me to cover here. Go to the products page on the website. Look up AA Resveratrol. As you scroll down you will see “Why our AA Resveratrol and not others” read it. Then read Resveratrol Citations. Here is the PDF. https://www.xcap.tv/Resveratrol%20citations.pdf You will find 50 peer reviewed research articles on benefits of resveratrol. You will be amazed when you read it.
You probably don’t know what this means but two of those citations are catching the anti-aging community and research community by storm. They are “Prolongs life of cells via Sirtuin 1 gene” and “Promotes DNA repair via Sirtuin 1 gene” These are two big reasons why Randy Couture takes this product.
Spot: Should a generally healthy athlete, with no intention of turning pro, concern themselves with blood work and properly matching the needed supplements – or would the more general products such as 4Ever Greens and Whey Isolate be all that’s needed?
BDJ: I would also add Max EFA’s, Natural Mins and Vita D. These together will pretty much cover you. If you are not feeling as good as you should, then we should do the blood work.
Spot: Are the XCAP products vegetarian friendly?
BDJ: A lot of that is determined by how strict of a vegetarian you are. Max EFA’s contain fish oil, Adrenal Glandular has adrenal tissue (porcine), whey protein offends some vegetarians etc. Interestingly enough, XCAP products are commonly made from patented processes using vegetable cultures. Two of our premier products, O2 Plus and 4Ever Greens are made from vegetables.
Spot: You have fifteen core products listed on your site – do any of these supplements negatively interact?
BDJ: These products do not negatively interact with each other.
Spot: With supplementation being an unregulated industry how can a person protect themselves from taking a product which may contain mostly filler or worse, be harmful to their health?
BDJ: This is very hard to do unless you really limit what company you are buying from. People are always thinking I am overly cautious because I only recommend XCAP and Biotics Research made products for pro athletes. I do this because they have a pharmaceutical license and are therefore strictly regulated. Other nutrition companies are not regulated like this.
Look at the blog I just posted on the XCAP website about the FDA testing 31 products from Bodybuilding.com and 26 of them tested positive for one steroid. I think if you just go and buy these unregulated products, you are likely to have some sort of issue. That is not smart, buy the highest quality government regulated products which are available at www.XCAP.tv
Spot: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me Dr. Fitzgerald, I am all out of questions. Is there anything you would like to add?
BDJ: Make sure you check out the website because I am putting up a blog about the advanced tests we did on Randy Couture before this training camp. Very interesting because we even did telomere testing, which was related to the 2009 Nobel Prize discoveries in cellular aging.
I would like fighters reading this to know that XCAP just started a fighter sponsorship program and to contact XCAP for details. This is an innovative program to really help the fighter rather than to just put their name on a label. If you really want help and good advice, this is for you.