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Posts Tagged ‘Sports Suppliment’

What is creatine?

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Hi All

This time we are going to be looking at creatine, this is one of the most widely used supplements in gyms and has a wealth of research behind it.

Creatine is a protein that is produced within the body, but can also be eaten in meat and fish or taken as a supplement.  As a supplement it is found as a single product or as part of a pre/post workout product.

Creatine is used as a backup fuel source for our bodies, and allows us to have a source of phosphate to keep up with energy demands.  Its use is ideal in training where you are taking par in short periods of all out effort with minimal recovery periods.

Its use is also associated with minimization of post exercise muscle breakdown.  For the above reasons it has become a very popular supplement with gym goers, especially those involved in high intensity exercise, especially resistance based.  There is limited evidence of creatine’s effectiveness in endurance sports.

Many people targeting hypertrophy (muscular size) also use creatine as it draws water into the muscle giving the appearance of a larger amount of muscle tissue.

An average person takes in 1g of creatine a day from the food they eat and produces another 1g within the body.  This makes enough to keep our creatine stores around 40% full.   The best way to top these stores up is via supplementation of around 3g per day (any more that 5g will be excreted).  The ideal time to take creatine is post workout, as it draws water into your digestive system taking it prior to exercise can impede performance.

A key point is to ensure that you fully dissolve all the creatine in a liquid before drinking, there should be no visible signs of the power when drinking.


What is taurine?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Hi All

This time we are going to be looking at taurine.

Taurine is a non-essential amino acid produced naturally within the body. It is often found in various energy drinks, but it’s also found in fish, meat, eggs, and milk, as well as many creatine and protein products.

This supplement is normally used as an energy aid (due to its effect on nervous and brain function), with producers claiming it helps to improve energy levels.  When this is looked at in terms of energy drinks, the greatest part of the drink that aids performance is he caffeine rather than the taurine.

It is also used as part of protein based products to help to reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue and to aid recovery.  This has had limited research to support its claims.


What is nitric oxide?

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Hi All,

This time we are looking at nitric oxide supplementation.  The main ingredient in these products are L-arginine.  This is an non-essential amino acid made in the body.

Nitric oxide is involved in increasing blood flow through the body to the muscles (vasodilation), allowing delivery of more nutrients and oxygen to working/recovering muscles.  This increased blood supply is associated with a better pump, improved muscle growth and faster recovery.

Currently there is very little clinical evidence that supports the use of these supplements.


What is Glutamine?

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Hi All,

This week I am going to look at Glutamine, which is a non-essential amino acid that the body produces itself.  It is predominantly found in the muscles and the blood.   Glutamine is needed for cellular growth and as a key fuel for immune function.  When we are training hard or at time of extreme stress the bodies natural levels of glutamine tend to fall below the desired amount, leaving us open to an increased risk of infection.

The evidence suggests that keeping your glutamine levels high post exercise can help to prevent infection
or illness.  There is however very little evidence that it will improve actual performance, with a small number of studies suggesting that glutamine supplementation post event will prevent muscle breakdown and speed recovery.  This was based on doses or around 100mg per kg spread over the 2 hours post exercise.

Please comment below.


What is HMB (Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate)?

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Hi All,

Following on from my last post on CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which proved to be a very popular one I thought I would look at HMB or to give it it’s full title…Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (wow, that is a mouth full)!

HMB is produced in the body from branch chain amino acids (more commonly known as BCAAs) and is believed to be involved in repair of the body at a cellular level.  HMB is marketed on the premise that it helps to increase muscle mass and strength in those that use it.  Common sources can be catfish, grapefruit or supplementation.

It has also been noted in a smaller number of studies that use of HMB can help to reduce muscle breakdown during a resistance training session and also accelerates repair post workout.

There are a lack of long terms studies into the use of HMB, this means that results are pretty likely in the first two months or training, after this period the effectiveness of HMB is less clear.

As usual any questions please post below.