DIET DISTRACTIONS DURING SUMMER


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You can see how school aged children with the summer off would watch more TV than usual. A study published in the Journal of School Health confirmed that assumption while also suggesting sugar consumption increases while vegetable eating decreases during the summer months.

Researchers collected data from 6,400 American school children ranging in age from first grade through the last year of high school between 2003 and 2008. An analysis showed they watched an average of 20 minutes more TV each day and drank 3 more ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages in summertime compared to the school year.

True Strength Moment: On a positive note, most kids got in 5 more minutes of exercise during summer vacation, with high school aged subjects participating in significantly more. But getting back to diet, do you pay close attention to what you’re eating June through August?

CREATINE & BONE MINERAL DENSITY



Most active adults supplement creatine to build muscle size, strength and power. Numerous studies have shown creatine monohydrate to support these goals, and research recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercisesuggests the ingredient might also support bone mineral density in older adults.

Forty-seven older women supplemented with 0.1 gram of creatine per kg of body weight or a placebo while training with weights 3 days each week. After a year, subjects who used creatine showed a reduced rate of lost bone mineral density and greater bone bending strength compared to placebo.

In addition to improved bone health, subjects who supplemented with creatine increased bench press strength by an average of 64% compared to 34% for subjects who were given a placebo.

Carnitine Boosts Stamina


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Carnitine is synthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Many active adults use it in supplemental form, but its impact on exercise performance isn’t well understood. Research published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows how this popular ingredient works with an enzyme called carnitine acetyltransferase, or CrAT, to increase muscle stamina in mice.

Scientists created a group of mice with CrAT deficiency in skeletal muscle. Compared to normal rodents they tired of exercise earlier. Then both groups were supplemented with carnitine. As expected, there was no change in the CrAT deficient mice. But the normal mice showed an even greater tolerance for exercise.

True Strength Moment: Researchers think that carnitine works with the CrAT enzyme to optimize muscle energy metabolism in mice. How or even if this mechanism works in a similar way for humans is unknown.