Protein helps rebuild muscle tissue from the breakdown of intense training. Rapidly digesting whey protein is popular post-workout to kick-start the recovery process, and slowly digesting casein can help keep the process going throughout the night while you sleep. An interesting study published in The Journal of Nutrition shows how both of these dairy proteins might help reduce caloric intake.
Researchers fed obese lab rats a high-fat control diet for 8 weeks before assigning them to an experimental diet. Some got whey protein where 26% of the calories came from whey with another 14% from egg white. Casein consuming rats got 26% of their calories from casein and another 14% from egg white. Another group got a combination where 13% of calories came from whey, 13% from casein and 14% from egg white.
Food intake decreased by 17% to 37% during the first 2 weeks of a whey or casein protein diet. Fat mass was reduced by 21% to 28% with whey and between 17% and 33% with casein. The decrease in caloric intake was 18% to 34% during the first 4 days of the whey plus casein diet, and remained 30% on the 28th day of the protein diet.
As discussed in yesterday’s post, everyone’s a little unique in terms of how the body responds to diet and exercise. For some insight into how excess body fat might impact your transformation efforts, consider this study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers fed 10 normal weight, 10 overweight and 10 obese subjects 170 grams of lean pork containing 36 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat before collecting blood and muscle biopsy samples. Normal weight subjects showed a greater muscle protein synthesis response compared to overweight and obese subjects. This might contribute to a buildup of fat mass for those who already have more then they should.
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When you’re cutting calories, you’re likely to lose weight. But some of that weight is going to come from lost muscle mass rather than body fat. A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests a tactic that can help preserve muscle mass while trying to shed body fat.
Researchers put overweight inactive women on a calorie restricted diet, enrolled them in an endurance exercise program or both protocols for just over 16 weeks. Calories were reduced by 10% to 20% and endurance exercise amounted to 7.4 hours a week for the exercise only group or 4.4 hours per week for the exercising calorie cutters.
All groups ended up losing around 7% of their original body weight, and the calorie restriction group lost about 2% muscle mass. The calorie reducing exercise group only lost around 1% muscle mass and the exercise only group didn’t lose any.
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Back in 1953, researchers discovered that London bus drivers had a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease than conductors working the same bus. It was the difference between sitting all day and moving around. A new study published in The Lancet looks into the level of exercise needed to negate the effects of driving to work and sitting at a desk 8 hours a day.
Scientists analyzed 16 studies involving more than 1 million adult subjects and grouped them by level of daily exercise. They found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day was enough to make up for the risk created by being inactive for more than 8 hours a day.
“Go heavy or go home.” Think old school bodybuilder saying is it based on real science or bro science? There’s only one way to find out. A study recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology put it to the test with 49 experienced male weight lifters
Subjects were assigned to 12 weeks of whole body resistance training. Some worked with 30% to 50% of their one rep max (1RM) banging out 20 to 25 reps per set. Others used a heavier load of 75% to 90% of 1RM for between 8 and 12 reps per set. All sets were performed to failure.
After the training period, 1RM increased for both groups with the only difference being the bench press where low reps increased 1RM by 14 kg while high reps produced only a 9 kg increase on average. There were no differences in muscle hypertrophy or the post-workout hormonal response to exercise.
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Protein and amino acid requirements are established using a method known as indicator amino acid oxidation. To find out the amount of amino acids needed to maximize whole body protein synthesis after endurance exercise, researchers applied this tool to lab rats. Findings were published in The Journal of Nutrition.
After dividing the rodents into trained and untrained groups, researchers had their 4-legged subjects run a treadmill for an hour 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Immediately after running, the optimal amino acid intake for trained rats was 26.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Inactive rats only needed 15 grams of amino acids per kg of body weight to maximize protein synthesis, and trained rats at rest could get by with 13.3 grams. Humans aren’t rats, of course. What this research suggests is exercise increases your need for amino acids.
There’s a mindset in the weight room that more is better. This generalization holds up for the most part when you’re talking about progressive resistance. But what about when you’re using bands for power training? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looks at high-load variable resistance as a part of a periodized training program.
Seven college basketball players added 30% of their one rep max (1RM) as band tension one weight room session per week. Another 7 continued their traditional periodized weight training program. Compared to the control group, subjects using bands realized significant increases in rate of power development as well as 1RM bench press, squat and deadlift. They also showed greater gains in muscle mass, 3RM clean and vertical jump height.