Dr. Greg Wells

Perform Better

Perform Better

Dr. Brynn Winegard knows what your brain needs

October, 2nd 2018

This Q&A was adapted from my podcast conversation with Dr. Brynn Winegard, an award-winning professor, speaker and world-leading expert in neuroscience and in the intersection of business and brain science. Dr. Brynn is formally educated in neuroscience, psychology, and marketing and strategy, including a BSc, MBA and PhD. In addition to her training and research, she also spent a decade in corporate marketing, working for organizations like Pfizer, Nestlé and Johnson & Johnson. While she retains several faculty positions at leading Canadian universities, Dr. Brynn has now dedicated herself to helping groups, organizations and companies learn to build better brains.

Listen to the episode here: http://bit.ly/DrBrynnPodcast

Building better brains: An overview of Dr. Brynn Winegard’s expertise and current interests

Dr. Greg Wells: Dr. Brynn, before I clicked record, you and I were talking about how you did an audit of what you love to do versus what you don’t, and that you landed on what you do, which is speaking and teaching. Can you tell us about that?

BW: I focus on business and brain science and merging the two. In the olden days, it used to be called things like “neural management,” “neuro leadership,” “neural marketing,” and those kinds of things. I consider those to be relevant, though I would say my focus is a lot broader than that. And I spend my days much like yourself, running a business, so there’s a lot of delivering that has to happen, organizing, and chasing, marketing, and some administration.

But if you think about the knowledge work I’m doing, especially this time of year, I take in a lot of disparate sciences by reading very broadly. Greg, you know this is my time to retrench myself in the literature and some of the newest science, looking at other sciences you wouldn’t necessarily think are relevant and then bringing them back to my domain or mixing them with my existing knowledge to either reproduce them in the form of video or blog content. And right now, I’m attempting write a popular press book, putting my knowledge in terms that real people and real businesses can use. You and I have that in common.

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John Foley has been to the limits of human performance

October, 2nd 2018

This Q&A was adapted from my podcast conversation with John Foley that aired September 4th, 2018. John is former lead solo pilot for the US Navy’s Blue Angels. Now a Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, John is an internationally-renowned keynote speaker in the areas of high performance for individuals and teams. He is also a gratitude guru who inspires audiences through his “glad to be here” mantra and foundation of the same name.

Listen to the entire interview here: http://bit.ly/JohnFoleyPodcast

The seeds of dreams: The origin of John Foley’s dream to be one of the best jet pilots in the world

Dr. Greg Wells: John, you have an incredible story about when you first started to dream about becoming a pilot. Take me back to when you are a kid and your relationship with jets.

John Foley: It’s really a story about my dad and jets. My dad was in the Army. I just had so much respect and love and trust for him. I wanted to grow up just like him. He showed me what integrity was by living it, not just speaking it. When I was a little kid, I would make little airplanes and put them up with thumb tacks on my ceiling. I got bunk beds, even though I was just by myself. I would sleep on the top bunk, so I could be closer to the airplanes. Every morning, that’s the first sight I saw, these fighter jets flying over my head.

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Rethinking Vacations: Why unplugging while on vacation is the best thing for you – and your team

April, 23rd 2018

When were you last on a truly relaxing, restorative, health-building vacation? I’m talking downed tools and time completely away from normal life. Before you answer, check all of the points below that apply:

  • You were entirely “unproductive” – you may have been engaged in meaningful and even challenging activities (running a 10K, learning how to scuba dive, cooking French cuisine), but you did not contribute toward your work life.
  • You didn’t feel stressed or worry about what was happening in the “real world.”
  • You didn’t check email or other work-related communications.
  • You made arrangements in advance to arrive back to an empty email inbox.
  • You returned home and to work feeling like a new you.

That’s the ideal, so you may not have covered all the bases. But I’m going to explain why you should be reaching toward that ideal. It’s not just to take proper care of yourself and your loved ones – which is highly important – but also to improve your work performance, that of your team, and the success of your business.

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April, 23rd 2018

Key points:

 1. Good nutrition is critical for your brain to function optimally.

2. Slow-digesting complex carbohydrates fuel your brain for thinking, solving problems, being creative, and instilling memories.

3. High-quality fats are used to build the structures in and around your nerves that help to speed communication between neurons.

4. Healthy proteins provide the precursors for the neurotransmitters used to communicate between nerve cells.

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Globe and Mail: How to boost your creativity and problem solving skills

January, 18th 2018

This post originally appeared on the Globe and Mail.com. Click here to access the article at the Globe.

We are living through one of the greatest revolutions in human history. Microprocessors have given us the internet, mobile phones and more recently, artificial intelligence (AI).

AI has the potential to dramatically influence and disrupt the workplace in the coming years. Self-driving cars are the obvious next disruptive technology, but AI will also impact law, banking, medicine and other industries.

With the advent of AI, creative thinking becomes ever more critical.

The stream of breakthrough ideas that will make the world a better place relies on us developing novel strategies, techniques and experiences that leverage new technologies. As Bob Moritz, chairman of professional services firm PwC, said recently at the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, “We’re still looking for creativity, because that can’t be coded. Robotics and computers and coding actually gives you a very straight and narrow path to go down a fine course. The world we’re living in today is a lot more zig zag, and people are going to be important to that equation….”

Creativity does not happen by accident. Advances in physiological research can provide us with insights about how we can spark our own agile thinking and problem solving.

A good place to start is to sleep more, not less. When we are under pressure, it can be tempting to claw back some hours in the day. If you need to solve a problem or come up with a new creative approach, reducing your sleep hours is the opposite of what your brain needs. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and had a “Eureka!” moment — a deep insight? I certainly have; it’s one reason I keep a notebook by my bed. I need to ensure that I capture the insights generated during sleep.

Creative problem solving appears to happen during the REM phase of sleep, which typically occurs more in the second half of your sleep, if you’re getting the recommended 7.5 hours. In a 2009 study at the University of California, San Diego, researchers found that REM sleep “directly enhances creative processing more than any other sleep or wake state.” So, if you need to build more creativity into your life, give yourself permission to sleep a bit more.

You can also sprinkle physical activity into your day to improve your creativity and learning. Scientists at the University of California, Irvine found thatexercise can increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and other growth factors, stimulate neurogenesis, and improve learning and mental performance. As little as 15 minutes of exerciseimproves mental performance, so why not add this to your day, before important tasks? Go for a short walk before a presentation. Have a walking meeting if you need to problem solve. Or, if you can start your day with a workout, you’ll prime your brain for excellence and begin the process of remodeling the areas of your brain that will help you think more clearly.

If you’re wondering what kind of exercise is best for creativity, research suggests that aerobic activities like walking, swimming, cycling and running are best. Exercising in nature appears to be specifically helpful for problem solving. That can be as simple as a brisk walk in a local park.

One last idea to consider is adding deliberate mindfulness practice and meditation to your daily routine, especially on days when you need to spark your creativity. Practising mindfulness and meditation has been shown to improve attentional control, problem solving, concentration and creativity. New imaging techniques — including functional magnetic resonance imaging, which shows brain activation, and diffusion tensor imaging, which shows the neural networks in the brain — demonstrate that mindfulness and meditation can improve brain function.

Think of meditation as strength training for the brain. Just as you would lift weights to build and strengthen your muscles, you can use meditation to build and strengthen your brain and then, in addition, control and sharpen your mind. Try apps like headspace.com or calm.com to get started.

As a leader in business, you’re probably pushing the limits on a daily basis. Adopting deliberate practices that improve your creativity and mental agility will allow you to perform at a higher level more easily and more consistently. Putting these ideas into practice does require a shift in mindset and a reallocation of your priorities. It will be challenging in the short term, but the long-term benefits will be powerful for you personally and for your career and business.

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Self Magazine: Do You Really Need to Taper Before a Big Race?

November, 16th 2017

By Cindy Kuzma.

This article appeared on Self Magazine here.

You stay up late cramming for exams (or you did, when you were in school). Big presentation or performance? Be honest—you’ve rehearsed over and over, sometimes until the second you take the podium or stage. But when it comes to preparing for a marathon or other race, the best strategy is exactly the opposite, exercise scientists and coaches say.

Tapering—dialing back your training right before a big competition—can give you an edge on race day, exercise physiologist Greg Wells, Ph.D., author of Superbodies: Peak Performance Secrets from the World’s Best Athletes, tells SELF. “It’s counterintuitive, because a lot of people want to train right up until the last minute, get in that one last workout,” he says. “But the research and evidence suggest that that’s probably the last thing you actually should be doing.”

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Globe and Mail: How to get ready for your next big speech or meeting – according to science

October, 3rd 2017

This article originally appeared on The Globe and Mail.com. Click here to access the article.

Physiologist and exercise medicine researcher at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, assistant professor at the University of Toronto, author of Superbodies and The Ripple Effect.

The skill of communication in the era of social media, leading without a title and brand awareness has never been more important. Steve Jobs knew how important a speech can be. He practised for days before presentations. More recently, Elon Musk has delivered presentations for Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity initiatives. These talks have led to the exponential growth of his companies and, possibly, a different future for humanity.

Despite the importance of communication (or maybe because of it), public speaking remains one of our greatest fears. Jerry Seinfeld said once that an average person at a funeral prefers to be in the casket than give the eulogy.

I don’t think it has to be that way. If you apply the science of human performance, you can improve your ability to deliver powerful messages, and improve your mental and physical health at the same time. Here are a few tips to get you started.

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3 ways leaders can inspire peak performance in their teams

August, 13th 2017

In the spotlight: Dr. Greg WellsAuthor, “The Ripple Effect: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think Better”


One of the biggest challenges corporate leaders face every day is balancing what’s good for the team with what works best for individual employees.

After all, not everyone thinks the same way—even top performers. Their motivations differ, as do their work processes. Some are collaborators, others work best alone. Some are procrastinators, others thrive on a deadline. Some love a bustling work environment, others put on headphones to block out the buzz.

But leaders can make it a goal to help all those diverse personalities find the “highest-performing version” of themselves, says Dr. Greg Wells, author of The Ripple Effect: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think Better.

“There are general changes you can enact in the workplace that can speak to the very specific needs of every member of your team,” says Wells, a scientist who specializes in extreme human physiology and has spent 15 years working with Olympic athletes. He suggests:

Encourage breaks

This isn’t about running out for a quick cigarette. Quite the opposite. Wells says office breaks can have a healthy bent—anything from providing an hour of tai chi instruction to offering a tranquil garden setting for quiet reflection. “Make sure you take some time to break the stress cycle and allow people to rest, recover and regenerate,” he says. “Doing this not only will help them perform better in the moment, but it also recharges the body and brain to stay healthy over the long-term.”

Walking is especially powerful as it has been shown to improve creativity. Exercise in nature, such as going for a walk in the park has been shown to improve problem solving. Creativity and problem solving are essential for success in today’s work environment so moving breaks can be very helpful for you and your teams.

Remove distractions

Being mindful is key to success in any discipline, be it music, sports, drama, or business. “Yet we live in the age of distraction,” Wells says. Emails, social media, text messages and YouTube compete for our attention, not to mention the job we’re supposed to be doing. “Athletes who are able to stay on task despite pressure and distractions perform to their potential,” he says. “Those who fail to ignore the distractions make mistakes or don’t perform to expectations.”

Your team can start by turning off the electronic noise for an hour at a time. Or try “single-tasking”: Ask them to choose their most important task to work on first and to perform that task as exclusively as possible. Wells says he’s a huge fan of Robin Sharma’s 90 : 90: 1 principle—for 90 days, take the first 90 minutes of each day to work on your life’s most important work. Try that tactic out and you’ll be amazed and the exponential gains you make in your life and career, he says.

Focus on “micro-improvements”

Wells says one of the best approaches he’s seen for turning good into great is focusing on “1 percent gains.” “What sets elite athletes apart from the pack is a commitment to being just a little bit better each day,” he says. “A 1 percent change might not seem like much, but small improvements in the way you live each day will amplify your life.”

One percent of your day is 15 minutes, and 15 minutes of exercise can reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer from 24-40 percent. The micro changes add up over time and can have a powerful effect on your health and performance.

Of course, workers are notoriously averse to change—whether they’re in an office, a factory or behind the counter at a fast-food restaurant. But with positivity and patience, Wells’ believes his suggestions should be an easy sell.

“Each employee will benefit in his or her own way,” he says. “But the end result will be a more engaged and more productive group.”

Greg WellsDr. Greg Wells is an authority on high performance and human physiology. Dr. Wells is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto where he studies elite sport performance. He also serves as an Associate Scientist of Translational Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children, where he leads the Exercise Medicine Research Program.

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12 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels

August, 4th 2017

If you, like many others, are struggling with your energy levels, here are twelve things you need to know to better understand and improve your energy levels.

1. Sleep restores energy.

While you’re asleep, a lot is going on in your body to recover, restore, and rebuild it. Sleep is a highly active metabolic process that helps optimize our brain structure, repair damaged cells in the body, and restore energy levels.

2. Increase body temperature to increase energy.

If you want to increase your alertness and concentration at a time of the day when you normally feel sluggish, increase your body temperature by doing five to ten minutes of light cardiorespiratory exercise, such as a brisk walk.

3. Take it outside for a few.

Walking in nature improves measures of revitalization, self-esteem, energy, and pleasure, and it decreases frustration, worry, confusion, depression, tension, and tiredness far more than light activity indoors does. So take your walk outside.

4. Add some exercise.

When you exercise at an intensity that is high enough to cause your body some physiological stress, the body will adapt and improve. You will get stronger, faster, and fitter. You’ll also get smarter and happier. You will have more energy.

5. Eat high-fiber foods.

High fiber foods take longer to digest, provoke less of an insulin response, and leave us feeling satiated with nice, even energy levels. Go for complex, slow-digesting carbohydrates packed full of nutrients and fiber to ensure a consistent supply of mental energy.

6. Stay hydrated.

No water, no energy. You know that sluggish feeling you get in the afternoon? For most people, the afternoon crash is caused by dehydration. So do yourself a favor. Give yourself more energy by drinking some water. Tired? Drink some water.

7. Eat protein at every meal.

It’s a good idea to eat protein at every meal. High-protein foods can help you maintain your attention and focus.

8. Practice yoga or tai chi.

Yoga and tai chi decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina—needed in stressful times—and improve the quality of your sleep.

9. Trying single-tasking.

The concept behind single-tasking is that you start with the most important task—not the most urgent one—and work on it exclusively until it is either complete or you are out of time. By managing how you spend your mental energy, you help ensure that you excel at whatever you do.

10. Low energy levels are usually between 1 and 4 p.m.

This three-hour span is the time of day most people have their afternoon crash, and their energy levels are the lowest.

11. Keep a log to learn more.

When are you at your best mentally? When do you feel most energetic or lethargic? To figure this out, keep a daily log, and note your energy levels each hour throughout the day.

12. Design your day around your energy levels.

Once you know when you have the least and most amounts of energy, you can craft your ideal day. Align your tasks and schedule to take advantage of your high mental and physical energy times. You’ll perform better, and you’ll also be much healthier.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of my new book The Ripple Effect you can get it here!

If you found this information interesting and helpful please consider signing up for our monthly newsletter with health and performance tips, articles, videos and other insights.

I’m on twitter, Linked In and Facebook.

Also please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes!

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Canadian Running Magazine: Five pieces of recovery wisdom to allow runners over-40 to bounce back faster

July, 12th 2017

This article originally appeared in Canadian Running Magazine at www.runningmagazine.ca.

The way you manage day-to-day stress impacts your recovery…

July 10, 2017 | By Sinead Mulhern

When the weather is nice, many runners are motivated to kick it into high gear. There’s no shortage of physical activities to enjoy in the summer sunshine (think trail running, hiking, kayaking, swimming…). Beautiful days beg for runners to lace up and run their city or town’s best routes. But keeping a schedule full of vigorous activity only works if runners give equal thought to active recovery. If you’re somewhere in the 40-plus age group, recovery is even more important. If those aches and pains– or perhaps even an injury– have been getting you down, we have a wise guide that’ll have you bouncing back in no time. Take this advice from our experts and age will no longer be a limiting factor.

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Canadian Running Magazine: Tips to nail your training even if you think your fastest days are history

July, 12th 2017

This article originally appeared in Canadian Running Magazine at www.runningmagazine.ca.

This summer, follow these four key concepts from experts to increase your chances at reaching your goals

June 13, 2017 | By Tim Huebsch

If you listen to your body and take the right approach, you can certainly run fast over 40. Whether that means hitting new paces in your next race or just getting to the next fitness point, that’s up to your own discretion.

We spoke with Megan Kuikman, a registered dietitian, sports nutritionist and a 2:47 marathon runner to get some ideas for over-40 athletes on how to enhance the benefits of your next training block. We paired her advice with that of Dr. Greg Wells–scientist, broadcaster, author, coach and athlete. Kevin O’Connor, one of Canada’s top masters runners, also chats about how he resets after a big race in the story’s featured video below. Need some advice? We walk you through it.

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Dr. Greg's Blog: How Healthy Is Your Thought Life?

June, 28th 2017

It’s really hard to live a high-performance life when high stress is a daily reality. Chronic stress damages your body, threatens your mental health, puts strain on relationships, and takes the joy out of life.

Your thoughts have strong influence over stress levels. What you choose to think about, or not think about, dictates how your body and mind react to everyday life.

So how can we reduce the ongoing flow of damaging stress—and even find peace in our thought life? The key is to break up stressful times with periods of rest, recovery, and regeneration. The good news is that anyone can learn techniques that can counter the damage of the stress response.

Make sure that each day you take some time to break the stress cycle and rest, recover, and regenerate. Doing this not only helps you find peace in the moment but also recharges your body and brain to stay healthy over the long term.

Here are 7 proven techniques that can help you have a healthy thought life and recover from chronic stress:

1. Move your body
Rhythmic, repeated motion is particularly soothing to the mind and body. A long walk, cycling, swimming, or running will all work, but any kind of movement will relieve tension, improve circulation, and clear your mind.

2. Get into nature
Go outside! Head to the garden, the park, or the woods to lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, reduce tension and depression, and boost your mood. It’s stunning how good it is for your health to be in nature. Leave the cell phone and earbuds at home.

3. Practice yoga or Tai Chi
Like nature therapy, yoga and Tai Chi decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina—needed in stressful times—and improve the quality of your sleep.

4. Have perspective
Don’t be so quick to conclude that you “can’t handle” a stressful situation. This is truly a mind-over-matter opportunity. Believing that you are strong and resourceful actually makes you stronger and more resourceful. Don’t give in to negative self-talk about not having what it takes to manage life.

5. Change the nature of your response
Research indicates that taking an active, problem-solving approach to life’s challenges relieves stress and can transform it into something positive. If you withdraw, deny the problem, or spend all your time venting, you’ll feel helpless. Instead, be determined to make a change, put effort into it, and plan for better results.

6. Practice slow, deep breathing
Start applying the power of deep breathing each day. It will make a huge difference. Start small by taking three deep breaths each time you sit down at your desk—in the morning, after breaks, after lunch, and so on. It will help you become more patient, calm, and relaxed.

7. Block time for single-tasking.
Each day this week, schedule time in your calendar for focusing exclusively on one task. This task should be something that is very important to you. Doing several things at once might make it seem as if you are working hard, but it’s an illusion. Your body and mind are not designed to work that way and it causes extra stress.

I hope this article was helpful!

If you’re interested in getting a copy of my new book The Ripple Effect you can get it here!

If you found this information interesting and helpful please consider signing up for our monthly newsletter with health and performance tips, articles, videos and other insights.

I’m on twitter, Linked In and Facebook.

Also please subscribe to my podcast in iTunes!

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How to Feel More Alert

June, 15th 2017

Decreased alertness is a huge hindrance to thinking and, ultimately, performing at a high level. There are many factors that can help you feel more (or less) alert. These six ways to feel more alert are changes you can easily make to your life, starting today!

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Canadian Running: Six training hacks for masters athletes to crush spring workouts

May, 30th 2017

This article originally appeared in Canadian Running Magazine

Don’t let your age work against you. Here are some tips for the over-40 runner.

May 26, 2017 | By Sinead Mulhern

Kevin Smith remembers the moment when he realized that his training needed to change. His story is similar to many. He’s a lifelong runner, but right around his fortieth birthday, he realized that the nagging injuries he had been experiencing more and more into his late thirties weren’t going to go away if he didn’t adjust his training. “I used to be a high level runner in my twenties,” Smith explains. “Once in my thirties and through my thirties, the injuries came more often and they were more severe.” He had an epiphany. Smith realized he needed to be strategic not just about the window spent training, but also during the hours away from workouts.

Currently, Smith is the head coach of Marathon Dynamics running club in Toronto. As such, he regularly works with masters athletes. We consulted with him and well-respected physiologist Dr. Greg Wells to find out how runners over 40 can make real improvements during their sweat sessions. If you’re in this age category, take any of these tips to make a real break-through in your training.

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The Globe and Mail: Greg Wells on how ‘microchanges’ can make a major difference

April, 4th 2017

Toronto physiologist Greg Wells’s new book, The Ripple Effect, makes lofty promises, pledging that we can Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better. A superachiever himself (Ironman, PhD, researcher at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids and professor at the University of Toronto), Wells nevertheless tempers those assertions by sticking to a simple message in the book, in stores April 4. It’s okay to dream big, but start small. Peppered with “1 per cent tips,” Wells advocates staying focused on micro-improvements (using spices, not sauces, to cut calories; walking 15 minutes a day to potentially lower risk of breast and colon cancer 24 to 40 per cent). “Microchanges are sustainable forever,” he says. “When they add up over time, it’s like compound interest for your body and mind.”

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CTV The Social: How simple lifestyle changes can transform your health for life

April, 4th 2017

You know those days when you don’t get enough sleep, so you decide to skip the gym and then you end up eating nothing but garbage for the rest of the day? We’ve all been there. Greg Wells, author of The Ripple Effect, says there are ways we can make small changes to our sleeping, eating, exercising and thinking habits that can transform our health for life.

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CBC.ca: What you should know about the drug that cost Usain Bolt an Olympic gold

January, 28th 2017

This article originally appeared at CBC.ca. Click here to access the article.

Jamaican teammate Nesta Carter tested positive for methylhexaneamine

By Wendy-Ann Clarke, CBC Sports Posted: Jan 26, 2017 1:19 PM ET

Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance, but Usain Bolt is taking the biggest hit.

News broke Wednesday that the Jamaican 4×100-metre relay team that won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is being stripped of its medal after a re-analysis of Carter’s sample turned up the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.

The failed test by Carter, who ran the opening leg of the relay, spoiled Bolt’s perfect “triple-triple” record — he won gold in each of his three events at three consecutive Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, the ruling by the International Olympic Committee has raised several questions, including: What is methylhexaneamine? How much might Carter’s use of the drug have affected the results of the race? And is there a chance for a successful appeal?

We went to the experts for some answers.

How does methylhexaneamine work?

Blue Jays star Marcus Stroman, former Jay Chris Colabello, boxer Brandon Rios and South African discus thrower Victor Hogan are among the athletes who have been disciplined for methylhexaneamine use in recent years.

According to Dr. Greg Wells, a kinesiology professor at the University of Toronto, the stimulant is similar in composition to drugs like ephedrine which can be found in a number of over-the-counter medications, as well as in athletic supplements that don’t always list every ingredient on their packaging.

The physiological effects of the drug can be compared to those of a non-drowsy cold formula.

“It feels like you have a bit of adrenaline surging through your body,” says Wells. “The effects of that type of stimulant become especially significant in a sport like track and field where hundredths of a second can make a difference.”

While not to be confused with an anabolic steroid, which causes significant structural changes inside the body, Wells says the stimulant can be dangerous, and can put athletes at an advantage because of its ability to:

open airways in the lungs, making it easier to take in oxygen
narrow blood vessels, which increases blood pressure, helping push oxygen to body tissue cause water to be expelled from the body, which can lead to weight loss

Although stimulants like methylhexaneamine can cause an instantaneous boost, Wells says if the drug was in a supplement Carter was using on a regular basis, “he would incur a consistent advantage in training, meaning he could work harder, more often, more easily, which may be a significant benefit.”

Why did it take so long to catch Carter?

Methylhexaneamine was not specifically named on the banned substance list back in 2008, but being caught using it is still considered a doping infraction because the properties are associated with other substances in the stimulant class.

Paul Melia, president and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, says the creators of designer drugs are always one step ahead of drug detection labs, making the ability to test athletes retroactively very important.

“Designer drugs are created in clandestine labs that have the ability to make changes to the molecular makeup of a drug,” Melia says. “The drug-test laboratories need to know the molecular structure of a banned substance in order to detect it.

“Fortunately, now the IOC is storing samples for up to 10 years, giving we in the lab time to identify these new substances that are coming onto the market. Since 2008, the lab has identified this stimulant, giving us the analytical techniques to detect it.”

Can Carter appeal?

Carter could face a ban of at least two years, which may be a crushing blow to the career of the 31-year-old sprinter.

Melia says that if it can be proven that a drug was deliberately and intentionally used to enhance performance, the sanction can increase to as much as four years. But if Carter can demonstrate that he took the drug unknowingly, his punishment can be argued down to as little as a warning.

As far as Carter’s (and Bolt’s) relay medal goes, Melia says that although Carter will have the opportunity for a hearing to presumably try to reduce his sentencing, it won’t have any impact on the decision to strip the gold from his relay team.

“I think it’s a really powerful deterrent for athletes who might be thinking about using designer drugs that can’t be detected today,” Melia says. “It’s not going to give them much comfort when they hear a story like this that goes right back to 2008.”

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Entrepreneur.com: Are You Single-Tasking Yet?

October, 31st 2016

This article originally appeared at this link on Entrepreneur.com.

You sure should be. Focusing on one, important item at a time will make you more competent and productive.

What are you doing while you read this? Are you dipping into your email while texting, reading tweets and partly listening at a meeting? Do you have your mobile phone, a desk phone, a tablet and a laptop all on the go at once?

Probably. We all tend to do it, some more often than others. After all, multitasking is the sign of a highly effective and efficient mind — right?


It’s time for a reminder about the power of singletasking.

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Rio 2016: The Science of Michael Phelps

August, 10th 2016

This information first appeared in my book Superbodies: Peak Performance Secrets from the World’s Best Athletes.

Michael Phelps is obviously an incredible athlete, but the adaptations of his body may be even more amazing than his performance. His arm span is 2.03 metres wide, longer than average, giving him a greater distance per stroke. This means he has to take fewer strokes than his competitors, which increases his efficiency and saves energy during races. Height and arm length (unlike waist size) are characteristics that are largely determined by genes, but Michael’s commitment to training has had a powerful long-term effect on his body that is not genetic. Most swimmers at the international level will have a lung capacity that can be as much as two times the amount of a normal person’s lungs. No one has published lung-testing data from Michael Phelps yet, but I’d be willing to bet that his lung capacity is beyond limits even for swimmers. So is Michael a product of genetic talent or consistent training over an extended period of time?

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