|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Creatine, Caffeine, and Carbohydrates - Supplements That Work
It would seem that everyone is looking to squeeze the most out of their training investment and as a result, the supplement industry has globally become a multi-billion dollar industry. There are however very few legal ergogenic (performance enhancing) supplements on the market whose benefits are proven and whose negative side effects are minimal. A large majority of the supplements on the market are either dangerous e.g.. Ephedrine or have absolutely no benefit at all on performance e.g. orthonine, arginine. In this article we have chosen to highlight three products, which have proven performance-enhancing properties, these include creatine, caffeine and carbohydrates.
A product that has been repeatedly shown to improve performance in power-type sports and especially those that involve interval training is creatine. Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids and is produced naturally in the body, the vast majority being stored in skeletal muscle as creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is able to maintain muscle ATP (a high energy molecule and the energy "currency" of the body) levels in muscle by "donating" its phosphate to ADP (a lower energy molecule) thus allowing for an increased reserve of instantaneous energy to be used during very high intensity exercise. For example, creatine is likely to benefit high intensity exercise such as weight/power training and repeated sprints/interval training but not single sprint events lasting shorter than 90 seconds and endurance competition. The American diet supplies about 1 gram of creatine, which is found in red meat and some fish species (mackerel), but studies have shown that supplementing with 20 grams of creatine monophosphate for six days may increase muscle creatine levels by 20%. The recommended dosage is to take a "loading" dose of approximately 20 grams (4 teaspoons) a day for 5 days; thereafter a "maintenance" dose of 5-10 grams is required.
In addition, it is recommended that the individual take the supplement dissolved in a drink of high carbohydrate content (about 2 hours before exercise) as this causes an insulin "spike" which assists in muscle creatine uptake by more than half. It is proposed however that not all individuals respond to the use of creatine equally - some respond well by being able to store the additional quantities while others do not seem able to do the same. Lastly, it is suspected that the use of creatine is relatively safe although the long-term health risks of high dose supplementation are unknown. The only drawbacks known at this time is that it may cause stomach upset if not dissolved properly and individuals with existing kidney disease should not use it. Competing athletes are encouraged to use only high quality products from an established supplier, as some manufacturers have deliberately spiked their products with illegal performance enhancing substances and steroid precursors such as nandrolone, while other products may be contaminated with toxic metals.
There is a large body of evidence to indicate that caffeine use even at levels below that allowed during Olympic competition (>12 mg/ml) produces several ergogenic effects. Studies involving cyclists performing at a fixed intensity have demonstrated an increased time to fatigue ranging from 20-50% when using the product. Also, caffeine improves performance during all-out efforts lasting 4-5 minutes and during repeated bouts of exercise such as interval training. Caffeine has also been demonstrated to increase the maximum force that can be sustained during a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of a muscle and that the duration of sustaining an isometric contraction at 50% MVC increases on the order of 28%. It is proposed that this effect is due to increased skeletal muscle recruitment by the motor cortex of the brain, and that caffeine may also decrease the perception of effort allowing for more relative work to be performed. Thus caffeine may improve performance in a strength training routine. Other proposed methods of its operation is that it reduces fatigue and increases alertness and well-being which may be helpful during events of extreme duration such as ultra marathons where staying awake plays a crucial role in performance results. Some evidence seems to indicate a glycogen sparing effect associated with the use of caffeine, however its metabolic effects has not been substantiated.
Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that caffeine does not increase urine production during exercise, but does so at rest. Popular sources of caffeine are coffee (50-100 mg/cup), cola drinks (50mg/375 ml can) and over the counter medications (100-200 mg/tablet). It is possible that the tablet source may produce more ergogenic effects on exercise as it is suspected that other chemicals found in coffee may interfere with caffeine's operation. Caffeine should not be consumed in association with creatine as there is some evidence to indicate that the former prevents the latter's absorption.
Although one may not think of it as a supplement in the true sense of the word, as mentioned previously in other articles and tips on this website, the use of carbohydrate during and immediately after exercise has demonstrated various ergogenic effects. Research has indicated that hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be a significant cause of fatigue and premature termination during prolonged exercise events. Consuming carbohydrates during a race will not necessarily allow an individual to perform better, but it will increase the time to fatigue should they not have enough liver glycogen (stored glucose) to maintain blood sugar levels for the duration. In a previous article on the lactate threshold/turnpoint we discussed the fact that muscle glycogen is committed to be used in its cell of storage. The liver however is capable of releasing its glycogen stores as glucose into the blood stream to maintain blood sugar levels. The liver glycogen reserves however are limited - only about 100 grams, whereas the skeletal muscle is able to store about 500 grams. It is estimated that during prolonged exercise events such as marathons, the rate of blood glucose usage is 1.0 gram per minute or 60 grams per hour. So assuming a non-carbohydrate loaded participant enters such a competition even with full liver glycogen stores, they would only be able to maintain blood sugar levels for about an hour and a three quarters before hypoglycemia would begin to set in.
Regular carbohydrate ingestion during the race will help the participant to maintain normal blood sugar levels and avoid fatigue and the early termination associated with hypoglycemia. Another associated benefit of carbohydrate ingestion during exercise is its protein sparing effect. During aerobic or endurance type exercise, as muscle and liver glycogen levels begin to fall, protein (source of amino acids) from muscle stores is increasingly broken down to help replenish blood sugar levels through gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose). With the maintenance of blood sugar from ingested carbohydrates, less protein and lean tissue mass is sacrificed. In addition it is suspected, although still questionable at this point that carbohydrate consumption may prevent central or neural fatigue by limiting the amount of free tryptophan in the blood. Tryptophan is an amino acid from which the substance serotonin (a substance which induces sleepiness and fatigue in the brain) is made. Carbohydrate ingestion in combination with protein immediately after intense exercise has been demonstrated to increase protein/muscle synthesis and increase muscle glycogen stores (glycogenesis). It is likely that the increased protein synthesis is mediated by increased quantities of a hormone known as IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1). Lastly, as mentioned earlier carbohydrate assists indirectly in the transport of creatine monophosphate into skeletal muscle, thus increasing reserves of creatine phoshphate.
In conclusion, there are some supplements that have proven ergogenic properties and are presently considered safe. It is not advisable however to consume all of these supplements together since one product may have negating effects on the other. Unfortunately, the marketing of supplements often far exceeds the potential benefits to be gained. The consumer should carefully consider the energy and metabolic demands of their sport/event or alternatively consult the services of an experienced exercise professional. This will allow the individual to choose the supplement that best suits their needs and avoid spending money on potentially useless products or risking their health or competition status.
David Petersen is a Personal Trainer/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the owner and founder of B.O.S.S. Fitness Inc. based in Oldsmar, Florida. More articles and information can be found at http://www.bossfitness.com
NOTE: You're free to republish this article on your website, in your newsletter, in your e-book or in other publications provided the article is reproduced in its entirety, including this note, author information and all LIVE website links as above.
Sen McCaskill calls for vinpocetine and picamilon supplements to be pulled ... - NutraIngredients-usa.com
Sports Nutrition and High Energy Supplements: The Global Market - Reportlinker ... - PR Newswire (press release)
Dietary and Nutritional Supplements: Know More About Supplements
At times, due to your busy and fast life, we tend to miss out on the essential nutrients such as protien, vitamins and minerals which are responsible for our good health. Good nutrition is the most important factor in achieving optimal health.
Rarely has a fruit that has been so unknown to the common man of the Western World been so studied, examined, researched, and scrutinized by science than the remarkable Mangosteen.Studt after study, research paper after research paper all extol the extraordinary benefits of the Mangosteen and its rich supply of antioxidant xanthones.
Biological oxidation involves transferring electrons from one oxygen molecule to another. Sometimes an electron escapes.
The Vitamin Breakdown
Vitamins are organic compounds that the human body cannot produce and therefore must acquire through the diet. To help maintain good health, humans need 13 different vitamins.
Improve Your Mental Cognitive Abilities
The Connection Between Brain Inflammation, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's DiseaseThe evidence is overwhelming that sustained inflammation is the driving force of many degenerative diseases. Chronic inflammation is centrally implicated in heart disease, cancer and chronic viral conditioning such as Alzheimer's.
Mineral Supplements - Reasons For Taking
Mineral Supplement - be healthy.Why is mineral supplement so important? Minerals are key to maintaining a good health.
Vitamin Supplements and Your Child
In a perfect world, your children would eat a balanced diet with the right amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by nutritional standards. However, we all know that rarely happens.
At the rate it's going, Saw Palmetto will soon be known as the "Robert DeNiro of supplements."It can play almost any role.
Know Your Bodybuilding Supplement - L-Carnitine
L-carnitine is synthesized in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine but it can also be found in nutritional sources such as red meats, dairy products and avocados. Its main role in the body is to help metabolize food into energy.
Should I Be Taking Vitamin Supplements?
Most people believe that they are reasonably healthy. Exercise, having a solid diet, and keeping stress to a minimum is a great way to live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
How To Choose A Good Quality Vitamin Supplement For You And Your Family Without Getting Ripped Off
As you may have already experienced, figuring out how to choose a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement can be a confusing and time consuming task.The purpose of this article is to look at several important factors that you should consider when looking for a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement and to provide you with resources where you can learn more.
Natural Supplements - Help Your Body
Vitamins and mineral supplements are a good way to supply your body with nutrients that you might not be getting from your diet. Go down any vitamin aisle in a drugstore, market, or health food store.
Vitamins: How To Keep Your Body Healthy By Using Vitamins Safely
Vitamins are an important part of a health diet. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, vitamins do not directly provide building blocks or energy for your body; vitamins function as assistants to your body in creating and breakdown down building blocks and storing and releasing energy.
The Secret to a Longer, Healthier, Happy Life is a Strong Immune System!
How can I improve my health and lifestyle beyond diet and exercise?Imagine all your worries about what your health quality of life will be in like retirement melting away!At the age of 39, I shamefully looked back on years of over-eating and under-exercising. Years of putting my health second to my desires to enjoy the "simple pleasures" of life.
New Health Miracle -- Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil
"High-dose pharmaceutical-grade fish oil is as close to a medical miracle as we will see in the 21st century." - Dr.
Why Is Thiamin So Important?
What Is Thiamin?Known as Vitamin B1, thiamin was the very first B-Vitamin discovered. As an integral part of the B-complex spectrum of vitamins, thiamin is primarily involved in energy metabolism - turning foods into a useable energy source for the body, known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Omega 3 Fish Oil EPA and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Since the release of a book called" beat chronic fatigue the natural" many people are turning to the natural substance omega 3, and in particular pure ethyl epa to help treat the debilitating condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome.WHAT IS CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME?We all get tired.
Antioxidants May Prevent Childhood Asthma
A source suggests that there may be a new way to help children who are subjected to the dangers of second hand tobacco smoke.It has become apparent that childhood asthma could be prevented with the help of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and Selenium.
What L Glutamine Powder Can Do For You
L glutamine is an amino acid occurring abundantly within the human body. This acid L glutamine is important for overall well-being and bodily health.
Coenzyme Q10 - Learn All the Wonderful Properties of this Vitamin-Like Nutrient
Sometimes I ask myself why this wonderful antioxidant supplement was given such a technical name, many people feel intimidated by the name alone, thus refusing to take CoQ10. But the truth is that this nutrient is one of the most effective antioxidants and it has been proven to help many serious diseases.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © BoxingScene.com LLC. All rights reserved.