When you exercise with intensity, lactate builds up in your bloodstream. This occurs at different rates depending on the individual and their level of fitness, and a new study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine suggests that rate of lactate accumulation can vary between sets depending on whether you’re working upper body or lower body muscle groups.
On separate occasions, 10 healthy male subjects performed 3 sets of curls using one or both arms, and 3 sets of leg extensions using one or both feet. Levels of blood lactate decreased during the third set of curls, and also during the second and third set when leg training, before increasing again during recovery.
True Strength Moment: To explain why the rise in blood lactate wasn’t steady, scientists theorized that in addition to lactate being metabolized by muscle fibers, the short duration decrease might be explained by shifts in blood volume or other factors. Whatever the cause, the effect may help determined athletes push through those last few reps.
It’s been said that a glass of chocolate milk is the perfect recovery drink, and that might be true for endurance athletes who need the carbs. But if protein’s your priority, a study published in the Nutrition Journal suggests 20 grams of whey protein enhanced with 3 grams of the Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Leucine does a better job of triggering protein synthesis compared to milk.
Researchers gave healthy older adults a 150 calorie shake containing whey and leucine or milk protein amounting to the same amount of calories after weight training. The rate of muscle protein synthesis was significantly higher for 4 hours after the workout in subjects who drank whey.
True Strength Moment: A glass of milk might make a good substitute for promoting recovery when you finally reach the bottom of that tub of whey protein, but if you want a higher dose of pure protein and BCAAs, whey’s the better option. Especially if you’re trying to avoid extra calories, carbs, sugar and fat.
We’re well enough along into diet season for even the most dedicated adults to really be missing a few forbidden foods. Because bread is one of the most common items to be sliced from any diet, a study published in the journal Clinical Nutritionoffers timely research for those who’ve chosen this path or are thinking about eliminating bread for their meal plans.
Researchers put half a group of 122 women in their 30s and 40s on a low-calorie diet that allowed bread. The other half was placed on a diet identical except for the exclusion of bread. Over the next 16 weeks, nutrition and physical activity were monitored, and 104 of the subjects completed the intervention. Most of the drop-outs came from the no bread group.
True Strength Moment: Allowing yourself to indulge in a cheat meal every so often, even if it’s just a taste of a favorite food, can help you get past rough patches. Give yourself something to look forward to, but don’t get carried away when it comes time to reward yourself.
There are more than a few grams per pound and grams per kilogram protein recommendations out there for you to calculate. But an easier to hit target was presented in an education session at SupplySide West.
According to the research, the average daily protein recommendation of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight works out to around 50 grams a day for normal size adults. Because this represents the minimum amount of protein needed, it was recommended that less active adults get at least 90 grams of protein per day and very active adults aim for a total of 120 grams of protein per day.
True Strength Moment: Since we’re all a little different physiologically speaking, this generalized protein benchmark won’t likely produce the same results for everyone. It might be a good starting point for figuring out the best daily amount of protein for your needs. Try it out for a month or two, and adjust as needed to support 2014 goals.
Harvard Medical School weighed in with tips for maintaining a healthy immune system. Today we offer supplemental assistance in the form of L-Glutamine.Glutamine accounts for about 60% of the amino acids present in skeletal muscle, so its role in during workout muscle contractions and post-workout muscle rebuilding is obvious. Glutamine also helps support your immune system.
The white blood cells that fight bacteria and participate in other immune response functions contain very high levels of glutamine. When glutamine levels are reduced through physical exertion or stress, these cells can become less efficient at doing their job. Supplemental glutamine may offer some assistance to hard-training athletes, especially with so many germs present in the gym.
The Bigger Picture: To get the biggest returns from supplementing with sports nutrition products, you have to eat a healthy balanced diet of whole foods, get plenty of sleep and give your muscles enough time to completely recover from the rigors of training. Those same healthy living suggestions can also help support immune system health.
Elite athletes start preparing for competition long before opening day of their sport’s training camp. If you want to play at the top of your game, consider the findings of a study recently published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research before mapping out a pre-season resistance training program.
Twenty first year Division I college football players were assigned to a prioritized hypertrophy-based resistance training program to build muscle. The program designed for 20 second year players focused on strength, and another 20 third year players took part in a lifting program to develop power. All of these workouts were performed four days on, one day off, for 10 weeks.
First and second year players showed significant improvements in one rep max (1RM) on bench press, squats and power cleans while third year players only increased 1RM for the power clean. Year one players did not increase body weight as expected, and none of these groups improved countermovement jump performance.
True Strength Moment: Younger players realized the greatest improvements in strength for the same reason weight room newbies realize greater gains. Their relative inexperience leaves plenty of room for improvement. To avoid weak spots in your performance, go with a nonlinear periodized strength training program offering the freedom to work on hypertrophy and power production. You might also want to include a plyometric routine to increase countermovement jump height.
Glucose and fructose are both rapidly digesting carbohydrates used by endurance athletes to refuel during extended duration training and competition. Does it make a difference which one you choose? If maintaining hydration is a consideration, the answer is yes according to a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Researchers had 10 healthy young subjects consume a little more than 10 ounces of water or a solution containing 75 grams of glucose or fructose after sitting in 82 degree heat and before dangling their legs in 107 degree water. During these events, insulin levels rose to a greater degree with glucose compared to fructose, but sweat rate was significantly higher with fructose. Glucose intake produced a sweat rate similar to water.
True Strength Moment: Whether exercise produces the same results is unknown, but because fluid loss amounting to just 2% of your body weight can impair athletic performance, this study might offer a potential competitive edge to cyclists, marathoners and other endurance athletes. Test a switch in carbs while training to see if it elevates your game.