Casein pre-workout proves more effective for fat oxidation than whey protein, carbohydrate or fasted workouts alone.
Controversy abounds about the optimal amount of single-meal protein for lean tissue-building. It has been proposed that muscle protein synthesis is maximized in young adults with an intake of 20g–25g; anything above this amount is believed to be oxidized for energy or transaminated to form urea and other organic acids. However, these findings are specific to the provision of fast-digesting proteins without the addition of other macronutrients. Consumption of slower-acting protein sources, particularly when consumed in combination with other macronutrients, would delay absorption and thus conceivably enhance the utilization of the constituent amino acids.
Supersets (the completion of two exercises consecutively followed by a recovery period) and trisets (the completion of three exercises consecutively followed by a recovery period) may be an efficient use of time while producing results. But a recent study shows that with efficiency, also comes changes in muscle damage and in-session lactate concentrations.
We are all at the mercy of time and are ageing as we read this. Ageing often results in the degenerative loss of significant muscle mass and strength starting as early as the fourth or fifth decade of life. If you combine this with the fact that 45% of women and 33% of men do not meet the current physical activity guidelines, it is no wonder why we see such a loss in muscle mass and strength. The good news is that exercise is an effective stimulus for increasing muscle mass, losing weight, and maintaining cardiometabolic health, irrespective of age.
Glutamine is an amino acid that plays an important role in the function of the immune system. Many athletes take glutamine to prevent upper respiratory infections and flu. It is the most abundant amino acid in the body but can be depleted during trauma, serious illness, or intense training. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid important in protein and DNA synthesis, preservation of the immune system, acid–base balance, and fuel for the central nervous system. Masamitsu Konno and co-workers from Osaka University in Japan found that glutamine metabolism was vital for preventing colon cancer. Reduced glutamine levels trigger cancer cell growth. Glutamine supplements may promote wound healing and recovery from serious illnesses, injury, trauma, and burns. Several studies found a relationship between depressed immune function and low levels of glutamine. Good sources of glutamine include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, wheat, cabbage, beets, beans, spinach, and parsley.
We’re programmed to wake up and eat breakfast. Those waffles, bacon and slices of toast make up the most important meal of the day, right? It depends on who you ask. According to the British Medical Journal, in a review of 13 trials that compared metabolic effects of eating breakfast versus omitting it, those Lucky Charms may not be so “lucky.” According to the research, it appears that breakfast is unlikely to jumpstart your metabolism and help you lose pounds. The bottom line? Avoid eating when you’re not hungry. If you know you will not have lunch until later, bring a snack instead of loading up with a big breakfast when you could do without.
The human body contains small amounts of a calorie burning tissue called brown fat (brown adipose tissue, BAT) that converts food energy directly into heat. White fat does the opposite— it stores energy. BAT is an important heat generating tissue in hibernating animals. It promotes non-shivering thermogenesis, which generates heat and helps animals and humans adapt to the cold. Individual differences in BAT content and activity plays an important role in human obesity. BAT is turned on by the sympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s fight-or-flight system for coping with stress and emergencies. However, a recent study by Piryank Motiani from Turku University in Finland and colleagues found that exercise, an important activator of the sympathetic nervous system, was not a significant stimulus for brown fat activation in middle-aged men. Increasing brown fat activation helps people expend more calories and burn more fat. Cold exposure and key nutrients, such as L-arginine, L-citrulline, and L-glutamate can increase brown fat activity, which increases caloric expenditure and promotes fat burning.
Want to improve your fitness quickly, but don’t have a ton of time to spend in the gym? You may want to consider high intensity interval training. This intense but effective method involves repeated bouts of maximal exercise followed by rest. Athletes have practiced HIIT for more than 100 years, and active fitness enthusiasts are finding that it produces results quickly. Many studies have found that HIIT can result in impressive increases in maximal oxygen uptake, endurance, glycogen storage, and aerobic enzymes. What normally would take six months or more can be done with just a few weeks of training! A review of literature by Martin Gabala and John Hawley concluded that HIIT is especially effective for improving health and wellness. High intensity training enhances the capacity of cells in the mitochondria (powerhouses of the cells), which are critical for longevity in good health. This is a terrific training method for people who want to build fitness quickly without spending too much time working out. The method is intense but effective.
A review of literature by Arturo Figueroa from Florida State University and colleagues concluded that L-citrulline and watermelon reduces resting blood pressure, and chronic use may increase endurance. Citrulline is an important amino acid involved in the formation of urea. It is a popular component in athletic food supplements because it participates in key amino acid reactions and influences blood flow by increasing nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important chemical secreted by the inner lining of the blood vessels that controls blood flow throughout the body. NO is vital for muscle blood flow, sexual function, fuel and hormone delivery to muscles, tissue oxygenation, and general energy levels. Other studies found that citrulline increases brown fat activity, which increases caloric expenditure and promotes fat burning. Citrulline increased levels of hormone-sensitive lipase by 150 percent, which promoted fat mobilization and use. Citrulline is an underappreciated supplement that improves fat burning and muscle blood flow and protects the gut from injury during exercise.
Over two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. While excess fat accumulates in the abdomen and around the hips, it can also build up in the liver, which is the body's most important center for metabolic regulation. Fat buildup in the liver cells, which impedes the function of the cell nuclei (cell gene centers), triggers liver cell inflammation, and eventually leads to scarring. This is an extremely serious condition that can result in a liver transplant or death. Contributing factors include unhealthy diets, elevated levels of VLDL (the principal triglyceride carrier), and insulin resistance. As with most poor health conditions, the solution is regular exercise, healthy diet, and preventing obesity. How people lose weight could be important. A study on rats led by Yuka Kurosaki from Wayo Women's University in Chiba, Japan found that following a high protein-fat diet led to fatty liver disease. This popular weight loss diet can have severe metabolic consequences that could eventually be life threatening.