You can see how school aged children with the summer off would watch more TV than usual. A study published in the Journal of School Health confirmed that assumption while also suggesting sugar consumption increases while vegetable eating decreases during the summer months.
Researchers collected data from 6,400 American school children ranging in age from first grade through the last year of high school between 2003 and 2008. An analysis showed they watched an average of 20 minutes more TV each day and drank 3 more ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages in summertime compared to the school year.
True Strength Moment: On a positive note, most kids got in 5 more minutes of exercise during summer vacation, with high school aged subjects participating in significantly more. But getting back to diet, do you pay close attention to what you’re eating June through August?
Most active adults supplement creatine to build muscle size, strength and power. Numerous studies have shown creatine monohydrate to support these goals, and research recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercisesuggests the ingredient might also support bone mineral density in older adults.
Forty-seven older women supplemented with 0.1 gram of creatine per kg of body weight or a placebo while training with weights 3 days each week. After a year, subjects who used creatine showed a reduced rate of lost bone mineral density and greater bone bending strength compared to placebo.
In addition to improved bone health, subjects who supplemented with creatine increased bench press strength by an average of 64% compared to 34% for subjects who were given a placebo.
Carnitine is synthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Many active adults use it in supplemental form, but its impact on exercise performance isn’t well understood. Research published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows how this popular ingredient works with an enzyme called carnitine acetyltransferase, or CrAT, to increase muscle stamina in mice.
Scientists created a group of mice with CrAT deficiency in skeletal muscle. Compared to normal rodents they tired of exercise earlier. Then both groups were supplemented with carnitine. As expected, there was no change in the CrAT deficient mice. But the normal mice showed an even greater tolerance for exercise.
True Strength Moment: Researchers think that carnitine works with the CrAT enzyme to optimize muscle energy metabolism in mice. How or even if this mechanism works in a similar way for humans is unknown.
Many people supplement their diet with Omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish. Whether or not you like seafood or supplement with Omega-3s, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition should be of interest to any active adult chasing a physical performance or physique goals.
Thirty male athletes in their mid-20s who trained an average of 17 hours a week supplemented their diet with 5 ml of seal oil containing 375 mg of EPA and 510 mg of DHA, or an olive oil placebo, for 21 days. Before and after this period, subjects were assessed with a time trial race and maximum voluntary contractions. Omega-3 supplementation increased maximal isometric contractions while decreasing the reduction of powder during Wingate test performance.
True Strength Moment: Many dieters make the mistake of avoiding all fats when trying to lose weight. Because your body uses dietary fat for numerous metabolic functions, cutting this macronutrient completely out of your diet probably isn’t a realistic long-term solution. Instead trade saturated fats for unsaturated fats like Omega-3s.
For all the good that exercise does, these benefits are balanced by muscle breakdown and oxidative stress. During recovery, muscles are rebuilt bigger and stronger with the help of amino acids from protein, and nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet can also counter the potentially damaging effects of free radicals. A study published in the journal Redox Report shows how creatine supplementation can suppress oxidation.
Researchers supplemented the diets of 32 lab rats with creatine monohydrate. Another 32 consumed their regular diet. All of the rodents performed weighted vertical jumps in water as their anaerobic exercise. Creatine supplementation inhibited the increase in blood markers of oxidation.
True Strength Moment: Regulars in the weight room typically supplement with creatine to help increase muscle size, strength and power. Whether this popular sports nutrition product’s antioxidant qualities carry over to humans is unknown.