Caffeine and creatine are two of the most extensively researched ingredients in sports nutrition. Some gym myths caution ambitious lifters against combining them, but a new study published in theEuropean Journal of Sports Science suggests there’s a potential for greater workout performance in the mix.
Although a single 6 mg per kg of body weight dose of caffeine increased endurance output on a stationary bike, subjects who’s been supplementing with 0.3 grams of creatine monohydrate per kg of body weight per day for 5 days increased performance to a greater degree than when creatine was used without caffeine.
For this study, a 175 pound guy would have consumed 23.7 grams of creatine per day. A general recommendation for creatine loading is to take 5 gram (one teaspoon) doses at each of your 3 main meals and before bed. That 20 gram amount is roughly similar to what this study suggests. On the other hand, 474 mg of caffeine may be outside your comfort zone. Caffeine tolerance is best assessed with a much smaller dose.
Burning body fat is one of the most intensely pursued goals in any gym. One popular strategy for fueling your workouts with fat involves early morning cardio on an empty stomach. A study published in The FASEB Journal looks at whether you can set your body clock for fat burning.
Researchers fed lab mice one of four diets for 18 weeks: high-fat fixed schedule, low-fat fixed schedule, high-fat no schedule and low-fat no schedule. All of the rodents gained weight, and the ones with unrestricted access to fatty foods gained the most. The surprise comes with the scheduled high-fat dieters gaining the least amount of weight, even though their caloric intake equaled what the mice on an unscheduled low-fat diet received.
True Strength Moment: By consuming fatty foods at the same time of day for the same duration, mice on a high-fat diet were able to convert more of that fat to energy than mice that adhered to a low-fat diet. This might be a good tip for timing your cheat meals.
L-Carnitine is an important amino acid that can help transport fat to the muscle to be burned as energy. In promoting better utilization of body fat, it may aid in weight loss and improve athletic performance.
BEYOND THE BASICS
- 500 mg of Pure L-Carnitine
- Single-Tablet Serving Size
- Provides Essential Calcium and Phosphorous
Amino acids from protein are the building blocks of muscle. After training, they help rebuild muscles bigger and stronger over a period of up to 48 hours. A protein is said to be ‘complete’ when it contains all of the Essential Amino Acids, and within this group are the Branched Chain Amino Acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.
How can you tell which protein sources are best for building muscle? A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism suggests choosing the one with the highest concentration of Leucine. Researchers determined this by comparing the protein synthesis stimulating effects of wheat (6.8% leucine), soy (8% leucine), egg (8.8% leucine) and whey (8.9% leucine).
True Strength Moment: Whey is the post-workout protein shake of choice because of its rapid rate of digestion. The fact that it includes such a high concentration of Leucine should not be a surprise to those who have experienced results from regular use of this popular complete protein source.
One of the biggest misconceptions about fitness is the belief that more is better. Many people believe they can speed up the process of getting in shape if they work out for hours at a time every day of the week. This “overkill” approach usually has the opposite effect, erasing the enthusiasm that they had headed into the gym on day one.
Rest days are good for both the body and mind. Training every day eventually starts to wear your body down. Even if you plan out your training program so you’re working different muscle groups each day, your body needs a rest day every so often. Exercise places a strain on the nervous system. It’s a form of stress, so taking a full day of rest several times a week is what the body needs to recuperate and grow.
The mind also needs a break from the intense stress of physical activity. You should always be excited about going to work out. Of course, we all have days when our enthusiasm isn’t always there. But when that attitude persists for several days in a row, you may need a couple days off to rest up and get it together.
The joints, tendons and ligaments of the body also need recuperation. Resistance training tends to put stress on these connective tissues so you have to be careful on how often and how heavy you train. Cardiovascular training can also be stressful on tendons and joints. Many runners who engage in long distance running every day eventually have ligament and tendon issues from insufficient recovery.
When you’re planning out your weekly training program, schedule one or two of rest days into your week. Space out your weight training and cardio workouts and don’t feel guilty about relaxing several days a week. Your body will thank you for it!
It’s been said that losing as little as 2% of your body weight in fluids can decrease performance by as much as 10%. Staying hydrated requires drinking, but does the temperature of the drink matter? A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests it depends on the type of exercise.
A total of 45 physically fit men in their early 30s were given either cold (39 degree) or room temperature (72 degree) water during an hour-long exercise session. In tests conducted afterward, subjects who drank cold water delayed an increase in their core body temperature by 30 minutes. This allowed them to perform better on a broad jump test and cycle for longer until exhaustion.
On the other hand, cold water didn’t help these subjects bench press more reps to failure. In fact, the cold water slightly decreased bench press performance. So go with a cold performance beverageon cardio day, and mix up a pre-workout powder in room temperature water before weight room conquest.
Try our ABB’s Diet Turbo Tea as a cold energizing beverage when you hit your training:
An Energizing Tea To Give You That Additional Kick!
ABB’S BETTER BUILT FORMULA
- 90 mg of Caffeine
- Ginseng & Guarana
- No Carbs, Calories, or Sugar