Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) is a natural hormone that has a growth-promoting effect on every cell in your body, particularly skeletal muscle. A study published in the journal Amino Acids examines whether your post-workout meal can influence the levels of this hormone released.

Researchers had 6 college-aged men complete a high intensity training routine before drinking a placebo, a carbohydrate beverage or a recovery beverage containing essential amino acids and carbohydrates. Although significant hormonal changes were seen in all 3 groups, significant increases in IGF-1 were realized with the essential amino acid + carbs beverage. What are you refueling with after a demanding session in the weight room? For an interesting study on leucine and citrulline, check out today’s Breaking News post at


You’re always looking for something to take the monotony out of eating the staple bodybuilder foods. Of course, that treat can’t take anything away from your dialed-in diet. Here are a couple nuggets of useful information presented by food researchers at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego on March 25th.

According to Joe Vinson, PhD, popcorn provides more healthy polyphenols than fruits or vegetables while standing out as the only snack that’s 100% unprocessed whole grains. One serving provides 70% of the recommended daily intake for whole grains, and polyphenols have antioxidant qualities to help beat back the free radicals that can be released during intense exercise.

We don’t have to tell you about the dangers of loading this popular snack down with butter and salt, but we can recommend air-popping the kernels to cut in half the number of calories you’d get from microwaved or oil popped corn. With air-popping, you’ll also be trimming out a lot of the fat you’d typically get from oil popping or going with a pre-packaged microwave popcorn.