Weight loss is primarily accomplished in the kitchen and the gym. The idea is to burn more energy than you consume over a period of time. But it’s always interesting to read the latest peer-reviewed research on this topic, and a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition put two common supplements to work in cool temperatures.
To investigate the thermogenic effects of green tea catechin and caffeine, researchers determined the brown fat activity levels of 15 healthy male subjects. Brown fat is generally activated at around 66 degrees. They were given a placebo or a beverage containing 615 mg of catechin with 77 mg of caffeine twice daily for 5 weeks in this cool environment. Caffeine slightly increased energy expenditure, but the combination significantly increased calorie burning for the 9 subjects with metabolically active brown fat.
Your body’s response to a session of weight training will vary by a number of factors. Some you have control over. Others you don’t. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness suggests whole body resistance training in the morning might produce a different hormonal response compared to afternoon or evening training sessions.
On separate occasions, 10 men with weight room experience trained at 7 AM, 1 PM and 5 PM. Workouts consisted of 6 upper and 6 lower body exercises for 3 sets of 10 reps. Blood samples were collected before training, 3 minutes after finishing and 48 hours later. Hormone production increased after all workouts. Testosterone was highest before the morning training session, and only the morning workout decreased cortisol and the increased the testosterone/cortisol ratio for up to 48 hours. This might create a more favorable environment for muscle adaptation.
Some research studies use weekend warriors as subjects. They usually call them recreationally active. Other studies use subjects with significant weight room experience. They are typically referred to as trained.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research measured the validity of a classic fatigue test from the 1970s that used recreationally active men. It found that fast-twitch muscle fibers used for short bursts of strength, like sprinting and weight lifting, were associated with quicker quadriceps fatigue.
In a reexamination of this finding, 15 trained men in their early 20s performed maximum knee extensions to calculate peak torque and quadriceps fatigue after 30 and 50 reps. Peak torque in the trained men was 46% greater than the recreationally active subjects. Quad fatigue ranged from 53% to 72% with no relationship between muscle fiber type.
Intense training breaks down muscle tissue. It’s build back stronger with rest and amino acids from protein. But it might be possible to negate the damaging effects of prolonged exercise before the recovery phase. Consider the findings of a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
Fifteen elite soccer players between the ages of 15 and 18 were assessed before and after consuming cocoa, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Blood samples revealed high levels of muscle damage, which cocoa consumption decreased by 23% to 39%. Cocoa consumption also reduced oxidative damage by around 26%.
Caffeine has been shown to help with exercise performance, but its effectiveness varies depending on the type of exercise and conditions of the study. Research recently published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism investigates caffeine’s impact on running performance at 115% of capacity.
Eighteen recreational male runners in the late 20s and early 30s took a graded exercise test one hour after consuming 6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight or a placebo. Time to exhaustion for caffeine supplementing subjects was 11.3% higher compared to placebo. Running time ranged from an averaged 130.2 seconds with caffeine to 118.8% with placebo.
When you hydrolyze a protein, you break larger pieces down into smaller pieces. What might this process offer active adults who incorporate hydrolyzed whey into their supplementation strategy? A study published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition offers some interesting findings.
Researchers gave 56 men with weight training experience a 30 gram serving of whey protein concentrate or hydrolyzed whey concentrate twice daily for 8 weeks. During this time, subjects performed 2 upper body training sessions and 2 lower body training sessions each week.
After the training period, upper body one rep max (1RM) increased 4% to 7% and lower body 1RM increased 24% to 35% with no significant differences between groups. Subjects who got hydrolyzed whey concentrate lost an average of 6% body fat. Subjects who received a carbohydrate placebo gained around 4.4% body fat.
We’re all a little different in terms of physiology. That’s why some people have an easier time building muscle and losing fat compared to others. In addition to these individual differences, what we eat can have an impact on the maximal rate of fat oxidation during exercise. Consider the findings of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers used indirect calorimetry to determine the maximal fat oxidation rates of 305 healthy adult subjects. The average maximal rate of fat oxidation was 0.55 grams per minute. After analyzing dietary intake in the 4 days leading up to testing, they found carbohydrate consumption had a negative association with fat oxidation and fat consumption had a positive association. The variability was around 2.6%.