Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Exercise Enhancement

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for premature death worldwide.
Accordingly, evidence linking better cardiorespiratory fitness to improved health and longevity is overwhelming.
In fact, maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness reduces risk of chronic diseases and death more than any pharmaceutical drug.
In addition, exercise and physical fitness training is one of the most powerful anti-aging strategies there is. Exercise powerfully activates a major longevity factor called AMPK—a key regulator of energy metabolism linked to longevity.
Emerging research now shows that targeted natural interventions such as creatinecarnitinebranched chain amino acidsglutamine, and vitamin D can help maximize the health and longevity benefits of exercise.

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

The most recent report of the United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or an equivalent combination
  • Strength or resistance training at least twice per week.
It is important to engage in more than one type of exercise. Unless physical capacity is a limiting factor, everyone should engage in aerobic exercises (eg, brisk walking or cycling), strength exercises (eg, lifting weights), flexibility training, and balance exercises.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an approach to training that relies on short bursts of very high intensity training. While there is compelling evidence that HIIT conveys substantial fitness and health benefits, it may be too extreme for people with pre-existing health conditions. Inexperienced exercisers should consult a trainer or healthcare provider before starting a HIIT program.

Integrative Strategies for Enhancing Exercise

  • Hormone Restoration for Men and Women: Studies in healthy older men have shown that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases exercise capacity and muscle strength. Post-menopausal women using conventional HRT had significantly greater improvements in exercise-induced insulin sensitivity than post-menopausal women not using HRT.
  • Dietary Considerations: Consuming a carbohydrate-containing meal 4 to 6 hours before exercise ensures adequate reserves of glycogen (stored carbohydrate energy) in muscle and liver. The International Society for Sports Nutrition recommends protein and carbohydrate consumption within three hours after exercise.
  • Caffeine: Studies suggest caffeine ingested before or during exercise enhances endurance exercise performance. For example, competitively trained males who ingested 5 mg/kg body weight, equivalent to 2–4 cups of coffee for a 170-pound individual, were able to lift more total weight on the chest press and generate greater anaerobic power.
  • Creatine: In older adults, creatine supplementation, with or without resistance exercise, has enhanced muscle strength and mass, increased bone strength, and slowed the rate of loss of muscle mass and strength. Creatine doses used in studies typically ranged from 5–21 grams per day for a 150-pound individual.
  • L-carnitine: Studies have demonstrated that supplementation with 2 grams L-carnitine can improve exercise performance and recovery.
  • Branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine): In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, branched chain amino acid supplementation for three days increased resistance to fatigue and enhanced fat burning for fuel during exhaustive endurance exercise.
  • Vitamin D: Sufficient blood levels of vitamin D are important for musculoskeletal injury prevention and recovery, and are associated with reduced inflammation and pain, stronger muscles, and better athletic performance.
  • Glutamine: In a controlled two-week trial in male college-aged martial arts athletes, supplementation with 3 grams glutamine daily for two weeks reduced muscle damage and prevented decline of immune function, including during a strenuous training period.
  • https://www.pipingrock.com/?rwcode=DAS342

Preventing Catabolic Muscle Wasting - Cachexia and Sarcopenia

Loss of muscle and fat tissue due to illness is called cachexia. The general loss of muscle mass that occurs with advancing age is called sarcopenia. In both cachexia and sarcopenia, muscle loss can lead to frailty and declining quality of life, as well as increased risk of death, infection, and falls; slower wound healing; and reduced exercise capacity. The term “catabolic wasting” encompasses both cachexia and sarcopenia.
A number of nutritional interventions may be useful to prevent and treat catabolic wasting, including whey proteincreatine, and the amino acids glutamine, arginine, and HMB (hydroxy-methylbutyrate) amino acid ( leucine derivative).

Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Weakness, fatigue, and difficulties in daily living
  • May be difficult to distinguish between cachexia and sarcopenia; aging individuals may experience both simultaneously.
  • Moderate-to-severe cachexia or sarcopenia can be diagnosed by observing loss of muscle mass, strength, and tone.
Some researchers have proposed that cachexia and sarcopenia should be diagnosed by calculating lean and fat body mass by imaging techniques such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Risk Factors

  • Chronic diseases, such as cancer, AIDS, heart failure, chronic lung disease, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Aging
  • Malnutrition
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heart and/or kidney failure
  • Type 2 diabetes

Conventional Treatment

  • Encourage food and fluid intake and drug treatment, including DHEA, growth hormone releases, and cannabinoids.
  • It is important to receive proper treatment for the underlying cause of the cachexia.
  • A number of studies have reported that testosterone treatment has been useful in promoting lean weight gain for people with AIDS- or COPD-related cachexia, and can improve protein synthesis and muscle mass in men and women.
Note: Aging individuals who notice their muscle mass begin to decline should have their hormones tested at least once a year. More information is available in the Male and Female Hormone Restoration protocols.

Novel and Emerging Treatments

  • A double-blind study in healthy postmenopausal women reported that a single dose of an experimental drug that inhibits myostatin activity (a protein that limits muscle growth) produced a 5.1% increase in thigh muscle volume compared with a 0.2% reduction with placebo.
  • Beta-adrenergic drugs like formoterol, selective androgen receptors modulators (SARMs) like the investigational drug enobosarm, and the investigational anti-cancer drug selumetinib also increase lean muscle mass.
  • A number of human studies have reported that treatment with ghrelin, a hormone produced in the gut that functions in the central nervous system, is associated with increased appetite, muscle and fat mass, and functional status in people with sarcopenia, cancer, COPD, and end stage renal disease.

Dietary and Lifestyle Considerations

  • Exercise, especially resistance training (eg, lifting weights), is critical for maintaining muscle mass in those with cachexia and sarcopenia, and is most effective when coupled with proper nutrition.
  • Consume adequate protein and amino acids.
  • Avoid smoking.

Integrative Interventions

  • Whey protein: Whey provides has an excellent amino acid profile; it is a rich source of many amino acids vital for muscle building, including the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
  • Creatine: Daily supplementation with creatine has been shown to increase muscle strength and endurance in the elderly while performing daily activities.
  • Amino acids: Leucine’s derivative HMB, along with the amino acids glutamine and arginine, play key roles in treating muscle wasting.
  • L-carnitine: Several published studies have reported that many patients with cancer-related cachexia are often low in carnitine, and daily supplementation is associated with reduced fatigue and increased lean body mass.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: A British study of older adults reported that consuming higher levels of fatty fish was associated with greater handgrip strength, which is a marker of muscle function.
  • https://www.pipingrock.com/?rwcode=DAS342

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Can Ginger Help with Exercise Recovery?

Can Ginger Help with Exercise Recovery?

What Science Says about Ginger as an anti-oxidant
Supplements that are supposed to help with recovery and exercise are numerous…and confusing.
You’ve probably seen all kinds of claims about herbs and supplements and how they can enhance your health, your body, and muscle recovery.
One that is often touted as great for improving recovery after working out is ginger, the spicy, tasty root that comes in forms ranging from fresh to candied to powdered, and even in tea.
The problem is that research doesn’t always back up the claims the sellers of such supplements make. They sometimes use trick wording, like:

"Ginger MAY help with exercise recovery."   

What does that really mean? Will it or will it not help?
It has long been known that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and people have been using fresh and prepared ginger root for centuries to treat all kinds of maladies:
  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle soreness
But what does modern research say about ginger and exercise recovery?
Can ginger really relieve sore muscles after a workout? If so, how well does it work? What type of ginger works best? And in what amounts?
To answer these questions, and others, let’s take a look at what the science says about ginger.

Ginger, Exercise, and Oxidative Stress

Ginger, Exercise and Oxidative Stress.
Exercise can produce oxidative stress in the body, an imbalance between harmful free radicals and natural antioxidants. Athletes turn to natural antioxidants, like ginger, to reduce the imbalance and to correct oxidative stress.
A study from 20141 set out to discover whether ginger can really help combat post-workout oxidative stress. Researchers divided 32 obese male participants into four groups:
  1. The control group,
  2. A group that took a ginger supplement,
  3. A group that participated in progressive resistance training (PRT),
  4. And a group that did PRT and took a ginger supplement.
The results of this study showed that ten weeks of either ginger supplementation OR resistance training protects against oxidative stress in obese participants.
But what was really interesting was that the group that took ginger and did resistance training did not get a benefit. It was as if the exercise and ginger canceled each other out.
The oxidative damage was only reduced when resistance training was performed separately; not when combined with ginger supplementation. This was a small study, though, which means it has limitations.
Although this study found no benefit in combining resistance training with ginger supplementation, another study found that eating blueberries combined with training induces an increase in the antioxidant potential of the blood.2
The authors of the ginger study were unable to explain the results but speculated that some negative feedback mechanism occurred. It seemed as if natural antioxidant production was inhibited when dietary antioxidants were introduced.
As this study shows, obese men can expect reduced oxidative stress simply because of their training routine. Therefore, caution should be applied using supplementation during exercise training as a "therapeutic" nutritional. Discount Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements

Ginger: Dry, Raw, or Heated?

Ginger: Dry, Raw or Heated
Gingerol is one of the active compounds in ginger that is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some people believe that dried ginger has concentrated amounts of gingerol and is, therefore, a better supplement than fresh or raw ginger.
There are also differing opinions on whether the ginger should be cooked or raw.3 Some sources say cooked ginger is better than raw ginger for antioxidant effects.
Whether these statements are true or not hasn't been completely answered, but one study did compare raw and cooked ginger. The study, from 2009, worked with 74 students who performed eccentric exercises every day for eleven days while also taking a ginger supplement. Discount Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements
The students were split into three groups: One group took raw ginger, another ate cooked ginger, and the third group consumed a placebo and acted as the control. The researchers found that both raw and heated ginger impacted post-workout muscle pain equally:
They both reduced muscle pain by 23 to 25 percent. 
Not a bad result, but the next question is, how long do you need to supplement with ginger to get this effect?

Is There a Ginger Time Limit?

Is there a Ginger Time Limit?
While there is some evidence that ginger can reduce post-workout muscle pain, we still need to know how long it needs to be used as a supplement to have an effect.
In one study of 28 high-level endurance runners, the researchers found that prolonged, intense training significantly elevated inflammatory cytokines in the blood plasma, which was expected. They also found that these high levels of inflammation were reversed in the group that was given ginger.
The study investigators determined that the runners needed to take ginger for six weeks before they saw positive results. Based on their findings, they recommended that high-performing athletes begin a six-week course of ginger supplementation prior to important competitions to properly prepare them for optimal performance and recovery.  

Other Food-Based Supplements

Other Food Based Supplement to reduce pain or inflammation
There are various supplements that are reputed to reduce pain or inflammation, in addition to ginger:
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Bromelain (found in pineapple)
As with ginger, it can be hard to know if these really work, or if as some studies with ginger found, if they may actually counteract the effect of natural antioxidant production.
In fact, there is some evidence that two supplements may counteract each other.
For example, in a study of 60 female Taekwondo athletes, they were given one of four supplements:
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger and Cinnamon
  • A placebo
Results showed that while ginger or cinnamon alone offered a positive, post-workout effect as compared to the placebo group, those women taking the combination fared no better than those who received the placebo.6

Should You Try Ginger Supplementation?

This is a tricky question to answer, as the results of many of the studies contradict each other. There is also no clear answer on dosage or form of ginger to use. For instance, you can try capsules, eat fresh ginger root, or drink ginger tea.
The research we’ve presented for you here is interesting and may be useful in helping you decide if you want to try ginger for exercise recovery. The good news is that ginger is largely considered safe. It is a food, so there are no real risks or potential side effects, although a few individuals may find it causes stomach upset.
Knowledge is power, so we encourage all our readers to take the information and to continue their own research. Discount Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements

Monday, March 26, 2018

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a natural amino acid stored in muscle tissue. It supports energized, peak-performing muscles, making it popular among athletes and bodybuilders.** Creatine is also known to:

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid found in muscle that works on the cellular level to aid in the transfer of energy. Discovered in the 1800s, creatine and its relationship with muscle was investigated during the early 20th century. By the mid-1990s, it had become a popular sports nutrition supplement with athletes and weightlifters, both professionals and amateurs, due to its media exposure during the 1992 Olympics. It remains one of the most popular and evidence-backed sports nutrition supplements on the market.**
Researched extensively in recent years, creatine is associated with optimal muscle mass and peak athletic performance. A 2003 scientific review found that supplementation in combination with resistance training led to an increase in muscle strength more significantly than resistance training alone. One study also revealed that creatine supplements were particularly beneficial to helping develop lean muscle mass in vegetarians, since those who don't eat meat tend to have lower amounts of the nutrient stored in their muscles.**
Studies have shown that creatine is particularly effective when used prior to high-intensity athletic endeavors that involve energy expenditure followed by periods of rest, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Investigations have shown that supplementation encourages creatine storage in muscle and promotes faster regeneration of energy between these intense bouts of physical activity, working on cellular and sub-cellular levels.**
Creatine works by regenerating ATP, which is the molecule that generates all energy in the body. As you work out and expend energy, phosphate molecules from ATP pop off, and ATP is degraded to ADP – which is the equivalent of a dead battery. Creatine, however, holds an extra phosphate molecule at the ready. Creatine donates its phosphate back to the spent ADP molecule, which quickly “recharges the battery” – restoring it back to ATP so it can "fire" and generate energy over and over again. This has led to creatine’s reputation of a powerful athletic energizer that enables “one more rep” in weightlifting.**
In addition to boosting muscular endurance, some research shows creatine may promote muscle growth by increasing myogenic stem cells’ activity. These are the muscle-building cells that allow for the repair and rebuilding of muscle tissue.**
Readily absorbed by the body, creatine also has other notable health benefits. Researchers have found that the nutrient may encourage cognitive function, particularly in vegetarians and those who have issues related to energy metabolism or mood imbalance. It may also support cardiovascular wellness, including optimal blood glucose and blood lipid levels.**
While creatine is found in dietary meat and fish, the elevated amounts needed for promoting muscle mass and exercise performance are often only achieved through supplementation. It is important to maintain healthy eating habits while taking the nutrient. Its benefits are best realized when combined with weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and other regular physical activity.**

Creatine Supplements

Capsules and powders are the primary forms of creatine supplement products. Many supplements are made synthetically, with some powders micronized into tiny particles for optimal bioavailability. Some creatine supplements are vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten-free.**

Creatine Directions for Use

Consult with your health care provider before beginning any type of supplementation. There is no standard creatine dosage, but the nutrient is often available in capsules that supply between 700 mg and 1,200 mg. It is often recommended that creatine supplementation include an initial “loading” phase of 20 g per day for the first five days, followed by a daily maintenance dose of at least 2 g thereafter.**

Glutamine and Why You Need It As A Athlete

  • Helps maintain cell volume and hydration, speeding up wound and burn healing and recovery.
  • Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients for your intestines. It has the ability to ‘repair a leaky gut’ by maintaining the structural integrity of the bowels.
  • Has been linked to protein synthesis. It prevents your muscle from being catabolized (eaten up) in order to provide Glutamine for other cells in the body.
  • Replenishes declining Glutamine levels during intense workouts.
  • Research has shown Glutamine can help you produce growth hormone levels and may serve to boost your immune system. For bodybuilders, this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels.
  • A nonessential amino acid that plays a major role in protein synthesis, L-glutamine is instrumental in a diverse range of bodily functions.** L-glutamine supports neurotransmitter function and helps to optimize the entire nervous system.** It plays an important role in supporting healthy immune function, and is used in the synthesis of the immune system’s white blood cells.** 
    L-glutamine is most famous, however, as a sports nutrition supplement. As the most abundant amino acid in the body, it is most concentrated in the muscles – hinting at its importance to athletes and bodybuilders.**
  • This amino acid occurs naturally in several food sources, such as cabbage, spinach, cheese, red meat, and poultry. However, because of the speed in which the human body can use L-glutamine, especially following injury or during high-intensity exercise, it can be helpful to take supplements. L-glutamine supplements are available in capsule or tablet form, but are also often found as a powder that can be taken mixed with water or another beverage.
  • Before you begin any nutritional supplement plan, make sure to consult with your Fitness Trainer or Sports Nutritionist.. When taken in a powdered form that’s dissolved in a beverage, L-glutamine dosage can be anywhere from 2 g to 5 g. Levels of 500 mg to 100 mg in tablet or capsule form are also common.
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body, comprising more than 60% of the free amino acid pool in skeletal muscle and greater than 20% of total circulating amino acids. Prolonged high-intensity exercise has been shown to decrease L-Glutamine levels, which may result in glutamine deficiency. Supplemental L-Glutamine may help reduce muscle soreness and rebuild muscle tissue. There is also evidence that L-Glutamine may promote GI & immune health as well as support healthy nerve function.
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