Train Loco readers, it’s that time of the month again! We have an awesome and informative interview with the founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Dr. Jose Antonio. We have been a part of the ISSN for 4 years now and have nothing but great things to say about the organization and Dr. Antonio. Not to mention the yearly conferences are nothing less than awesome! Jose is a true expert in the field, a very down to earth guy, and someone we have a ton of respect for and look up to as a mentor. Without further ado, let us introduce to you Dr. Jose Antonio.
-Eric and Chris
DDT: Could you give us a little background info on who Dr. Jose Antonio is?
I was born a poor brown child…just kidding. I was born in Manila Philippines. My family came to the USA when I was a wee little lad of 3 years. So I’m as American as apple pie. I do a lot of different things. Teach, write, do research, run the ISSN, take long walks, smell flowers…haha…had you going there. Ok. Most of that is true. I shouldn’t really smell the flowers; my allergies. I currently teach at Nova Southeastern University in Davie FL and spearhead the growth of the ISSN. I also run the ISSN Scoop (our e-magazine), www.theissnscoop.com. To top it off, my wife and I are the General Manager/Head Coach of a 14U travel softball team, the Deerfield Beach Sharks, www.dbsharks.com my twin daughters have played softball since the age of 6. They probably train harder than most adults. I shit you not. J
DDT: What got you started or inspired to get into the (Health, Fit, Athletic) Lifestyle?
My uncle was into bodybuilding and the martial arts when I was kid. I actually practiced the martial arts (mainly karate and tae kwon do) for several years. I’m still a huge fan of it. I love MMA. Bruce Lee was perhaps another figure during my childhood that I found inspiring. People should realize that it was his brain (i.e. his philosophies) not his physical abilities that revolutionized the way we view the martial arts. Heck, he was all about MMA before the acronym even existed! The dude was smart! If you want to change the world, be smart. Your brain has a longer shelf-life than your biceps.
DDT: How did the ISSN get formed and why?
Great question! Put it this way. I never planned on starting ISSN (nor did my colleagues). That smart Greek dude Plato was on the money when he said “necessity is the mother of invention.” It really evolved from the fact that other organizations did such a poor job at promoting the scientific aspects of the sports nutrition/supplement category. In fact, I remember giving a talk with Dr. Jeff Stout at an ACSM conference many years ago and the bizarre and unexpected response we received from the audience. Half of them loved the talk, the other half hated it. The implication being (from the half that hated it) that all supplements are ‘snake oil’ and that there’s no science behind any of it. To that I say, bullsh@#. The fact of the matter is that there will always be folks against the use of dietary supplements. These are folks who have no business calling themselves scientists (applied or otherwise). Their dogmatic approach to sports nutrition is nothing short of idiotic. It’s ironic that if you consume omega-3 fatty acids added to foods (such as milk) it’s considered ok. But the minute it appears in a gel cap, oh my god, it now falls under the evil category of supplements. When you eat fish, you are consuming creatine. But god-forbid you put creatine powder in a glass of grape juice and give it to a teenage wrestler or football player. Egads! Call your local Congressman. We need to keep kids away from this stuff. LOL. You can tell I have no patience for morons. I think I got that from my DadJ. Anyhow, the primary goal of ISSN is to promote the SCIENCE and application of the sports nutrition and supplement category. We now have the top-notch scientific journal (JISSN – Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition), the best sports nutrition conference in the world, and some of the best and brightest minds on our Advisory Board. We are open to all ideas and we do not reject anyone who wants to be a member. Unless of course they’re dogmatic fools who drink too much Kool-Aid.
DDT: What is the biggest change in the sports nutrition category since formulating the ISSN?
The biggest change is that there is much more science now than a decade ago. Heck, when I was an undergrad, there was virtually ZERO science in the sports nutrition category. Score one for the eggheads. And to top it off, it is now acceptable to do research in this area. When I was a grad student, many folks in academics frowned upon sports nutrition as an area of study. Now you can go to most major universities and they now offer courses in sports nutrition and/or supplements. We have definitely come a long way and I believe that the ISSN played a huge role in the acceptance and growth of the category.
DDT: How much has the ISSN grown in the past 11 years?
Just think, 11 years ago the ISSN was an idea conjured up by a few of us drinking beer and eating sushi. Now, we literally have a global reach. We have folks certified (CISSN) in over 20 countries. We now have an ISSN Diploma course (www.issndiploma.com) that allows folks to get educated by the best sports nutrition scientists in the world. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Arizona or Abu Dhabi, we can teach you sports nutrition science.
DDT: Who are the key individuals doing the research today?
Sports nutrition as an area of study is fairly new. But we do have some awesome scientists. Many of them regularly attend/present at the ISSN. A Who’s Who list that includes: (sorry if I missed anyone!)
- Bill Campbell PhD FISSN
- Paul Cribb PhD FISSN
- Arny Ferrando PhD
- Cassandra Forsythe PhD RD
- Mike Greenwood PhD FISSN
- Roger Harris PhD FISSN
- Jay Hoffman PhD FISSN
- Douglas Kalman PhD RD FISSN
- Susan Kleiner PhD RD FISSN
- Richard Kreider PhD FISSN
- Jordan Moon PhD
- Layne Norton PhD
- Mike Ormsbee PhD FISSN
- Stu Phillips PhD
- Mike Roberts PhD
- Craig Sale PhD
- Brad Schoenfeld PhD
- Abbie Smith-Ryan PhD FISSN
- Jeff Stout PhD FISSN
- Lem Taylor PhD FISSN
- Kevin Tipton PhD
- Jeff Volek PhD RD
- Colin Wilborn PhD FISSN
- Rob Wildman PhD FISSN
- Darryn Willougbhy PhD FISSN
- Jacob Wilson PhD FISSN
- Robert Wolfe PhD
- Tim Ziegenfuss PhD FISSN
BTW, we need more WOMEN in the sports nutrition sciences. Not just practitioners, but as scientists.
DDT: Where do you see the ISSN in the next decade?
With a little help from up-and-coming folks like you, the ISSN’s footprint globally will be even deeper. Many of the students graduating from college realize how dogmatic other organizations are vis a vis sports nutrition (or even nutrition in general). The ISSN is a place where we have a free and open exchange of ideas. Let the best ideas rise to the top. That’s what makes us different than the rest. And besides, our conference is a lot more fun than those stodgy ones where the most exciting thing is waking up from a boring lecture and remembering there’s a pool you can sit next to and surf the web while ordering a cocktail.
DDT: I know we’ve asked you this before but any idea if the ISSN will ever be expanded here on the west coast with some of us sports nutrition enthusiasts?
WE NEED more of a presence on the left coast for sure! We are doing that slowly but surely. But for now, it seems that the epicenter of sports nutrition in the USA is primarily in two states: The Sunshine State (Florida) and Don’t Mess With Texas.
DDT: Favorite food and adult water beverage? 😉
Coffee, beer, coffee, beer, water, coke…repeat as needed.
DDT: What is your favorite form of exercise?
Well, keeping this PG-13, I’d have to say paddling. Paddling is NOT to be confused with kayaking or rowing. It is outrigger canoe paddling. Like you see on Hawaii 5-0
DDT: What does Dr. Antonio like to do for fun? Don’t be shy now 😉
I am actually a bit of a homebody. I read a LOT. Mostly novels. The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child is my all-time favorite.
DDT: Where can our readers and supporters follow you and find more of your work?
On the ISSN site, www.theissn.org
Also, on the ISSN magazine site, www.theissnscoop.com
DDT: Where can our readers and supporters find out more information on this year’s ISSN conference?
Come to Clearwater Beach FL! It is a science party like no other! https://www.sportsnutritionsociety.org/ConferencesDetails.php?IDconf=28
Thanks for taking the time to let us interview you Dr. Antonio.