According to reports, a 21-year-old bodybuilder from Tamil Nadu choked to death after the bread slice he ate during a workout break got stuck in his throat. The deceased, who was preparing for a state-level bodybuilding championship in Cuddalore to compete in the under 70 kgs category, fainted after he could not breathe. He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors declared him dead. The incident took place at around 8 pm on Sunday.
The incident has once again brought focus to the impact of pre, during, and post-workout nutrition and the important things that need to be kept in mind.
Dr Pankaj Ramesh Batra (Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre) said that the incident could have occurred owing to two possibilities — food went to the windpipe instead of the food pipe, or due to HOCM or Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy — which is one of the most common underlying disorders that occur during heavy workouts in young people.
“In HOCM, the heart muscle becomes thickened, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. This and can cause sudden death,” said Dr Batra. While an autopsy might be still awaited in the case, the likely cause seems to be HOCM, he added.
Eating too close to a workout or in the middle can cause discomfort, cramping, and even nausea. “As such, it is recommended to eat a meal or snack at least 30 minutes to an hour before working out,” said Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.
Dr Anurag Saxena, HOD- internal medicine, Primus Super Speciality Hospital agreed and said that it may occur owing to the throat losing moisture while working out or running due to evaporation. “A lack of saliva contributes to difficulty in swallowing hard solid foods. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating foods that are hard to chew and swallow as they may lodge in the throat and lead to choking. Another thing to note is that one should be mindful of the morsel size and not eat hastily. People with conditions such as dysphagia should especially be cautious about consuming large bites of solid foods,” Dr Saxena told indianexpress.com.
According to the experts, nutrition-packed smoothies or other liquids, based on the recommendation of one’s fitness trainer or dietician work better.
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