Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Carb Blocker Rantage…Fitness Friday 40

Let me just start with a video Layne Norton posted…

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Link

First of all, LOL

Secondly, our topic at hand can be found at roughly 1:38.

So what are we talking about here?

Evolution-Slimming-Carb-Blocker1

Carb blockers.

People take them to basically “undo’ eating carbs…

Lets chat about why these are complete and utter BS!

#SaveYoMoney

We will lead our discussion with some points from Layne’s ranting.

If something is essentially blocked in your body, this means not digested and if you flushed it that would mean diarrhea…

When someone takes these, do you see them runny rapidly to the bathroom after their meal?

No.

“Thank goodness because that would be uncomfortable and, quite frankly, embarrassing.”   -Layne

Why would you have diarrhea?

Diarrhea occurs when the body pulls water into the gut and that causes a ‘dumping’ or flushing of some of the intestinal contents as overly liquid stools. For example, if your body is trying to get rid of something it doesn’t want (perhaps a bacterial infection) or is trying to rebalance a major shift (you eat something with a really high osmolality), water will come in and that will evacuate it in a more quick manner.

And you run to the bathroom.

So no diarrhea is seen from popping these pills before you eat the entire bread basket, so what happens?

Well if those carbs are not digested in the intestines, they make their way UNdigested to the colon. Due to the colon not having enzymes to break down food, your bacteria goes to town on this undigested starch and ferments it. This produces a lot of byproducts (gases, acids) including short chain fatty acids, which can be used as a source of energy by the bacteria. Thing to note is that you essentially still took in all of the calories…

So, fact number one, carb blockers =/= calories being ejected out of the body.

“There can be a “virtual blocker” per say if you block one of the main carbohydrate enzymes..”

So if it doesn’t “flush it out,’ what other way could these things work? Inhibition of the carbohydrate enzymes!

Yes, if you loose/inhibit enzymes to digest starch, than yes some or maybe even quite a bit of it may go undigested. As he explained, you really cannot cause 100% enzyme inhibition…

Either way, you end up with the same undigested starch making it’s way to the fermentation factory that is your colon and get the exact same outcome as before..

Fermentation byproducts (SCFA) –> energy to large intestine –> you still take in the calories.

So again, not what you wanted.

He mentioned, which should be noted, is that this lack of digestion may in fact blunt some of the glucose response, which could be helpful for those with poor insulin control. But we are talking the normal population in this case. 

Everyone, once again, pills are not magic. They cannot make you flush away calories in the food you are eating. They cannot make them go away.

If we didn’t have such an extreme way of doing things (i.e. restrict all carbs then eat the whole kitchen worth of carbs) maybe we wouldn’t have even a thought to come up with some crap like this.

This all leads back to a common theme from me…

Restriction leads to nothing good

Pills lead to nothing good.

I’m talking weight loss pills here..

AOJqpA

Avoid both (oh and Dr. Oz…) and perhaps you will be a lot happier and healthier.

So, although I could just end off with that and say you should trust the words of Dr. Norton (which you should really take him seriously, he knows what he’s talking about), here are some articles for your science-nerds to read up on if you want

Huntington and Shewmake (2010) No clear evidence of benefits AND OR safety hazards of many weight loss aids such as carb/nutrient blockers

Preuss (2007) this was a rat study but I used it to point out a something. So it showed that the carb blocker (CB) they used reduced the insulin response after carbohydrate intake BUT notice there was not weight change in the controls vs. the CB. The thing that Layne discussed is that although the response to the carb intake may be blunted, the absorbtion of the calories won’t really change and this can be seen with the lack of weight loss occurring in the rats.

Keep in mind, animals are not humans…

Other studies like this one suggest that once again, these carb enzyme blockers/inhibitors may act to slow the absorption down (i.e. blunt the glycemic response as stated already) like a fiber would naturally. Again, slowing down absorption DOES NOT MEAN LACK OF CALORIE ABSORPTION

So I will leave you with that.

Leave the carb blockers on the shelf.

Eat some fiber.

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Fiber can help slow the digestion of carbohydrates leading to longer satiety and perhaps control feeding. 

-Chelsea

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Citrulline Malate…Fitness Friday 38

My friends! It’s March can you believe it? Seems like it was just New Years and now we are three months in already and Spring is in close reaching distance. Guess that is what the internship/Masters application process does to you…makes time fly.

Sidenote: I saw robins yesterday! I was partially excited (cuz spring sign!) but more so concerned because this was after a full on 20-25 degree reduction in temperature in one day. Please don’t be baby-makin yet birdies!

fat-robin

I’d be making that face too if it was 16 one day then I woke up to -10.In fact, I probably did look like that yesterday…

So coming back to another active ingredient in pre-workouts and also BCAA’s, I have always really wondered what this guy was good for. I mean, my coach said it was a good thing and it provided benefits, but apparently I was too busy to think about educating myself on why. I don’t like that….

I always stand for the whole ‘know what and why you are putting something into your body” philosophy and I obviously didn’t follow through with that on this one.

Time to take a scientific looky at it to settle my conscience.

Citrulline Malate

What is it?

Citrulline malate is the quite simply the combination of citrulline and malate. Pretty obvious eh? Citrulline is an important component of the urea cycle, which is where urea is formed from ammonia in the liver. This conversion is important because ammonia is actually toxic in the body if it builds up, while urea is a bit less harmful. Malate, on the other hand, is an intermediate in the  Kreb’s cycle, which is the cycle that releases energy from our macronutrients through oxidizing acetyl CoA.

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What does it do?

It has been used in the past as an aid to decrease muscle fatigue and increase functionality. Many studies have shown these effects, whether human or animal (I will present some of the human ones below), in addition to speculating other benefits such as higher clearance of ammonia from the blood post exercise, a possible role in lactate metabolism and some effect on acid-base balance. The mechanism behind all of this remains unknown at this point however.

So, although it has shown benefits for athletic performance, particularly with respect to a more efficiently functioning muscle , we don’t have a strong conclusions as to how it is doing it.

So, below I will highlight a few studies and provide their findings, conclusions and hypotheses regarding a potential mode of action.

Bendahan et al (2002). “CM ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production.” Their conclusion? The mechanism of CM’s action that reduces weakness and fatigue could be that it increases aerobic ATP production through providing more of the intermediates to replenish those that were lost more quickly than if you weren’t supplementing. [6g CM used]

Perez-Guisado et al (2010). Their study found that males athletes supplemented with CM saw more than 50% increases in the number of repetitions for barbell bench and a significant decrease in muscle fatigue 24 and 48 hours following the study’s training regime in a double blind, within subject study. In their research, they stated that studies have begin to speculate a role of ammonia in in “blocking cellular energy processes” and causing earlier fatigue. It has also been seen that it plays a role in NO reactions, which has been associated with recovery. Overall they concluded that the results from their study showed that one dose of CM helped with recovery and performance in high-intensity anaerobic activities with short rest times. [8g CM used]

Sureda et al (2010). They took subjects and had them cycle for ~137km with one difficult hill. All were given the same amount of food and fluid. They measured all variables (amino acids and all important exercise related metabolites) 3 hours prior to the race, 15 minutes following and 3 hours following. Overall, they found that the CM group showed a significant decease in the amount of the branched chain amino acids post race, which they said was due to the BCAAs being more effectively used for energy, than the control and higher arginine concentrations, which would contribute to many arginine derived metabolites such as nitrite, urea, creatinine and hormones like growth hormone that are beneficial for muscle growth and function. Finally, they also saw greater nitrogen availability in the CM group, which they stated could increase protein synthesis and protein concentrations in the muscle during exercise leading to better use of the amino acids (particularly the BCAAs). [6g CM used]

Overall, although I only highlighted a few interesting studies I found, I will say that the vast majority of studies I saw (which, I couldn’t have seen them all obviously…) showed significant improvements with its usage, so I have some confidence that it could provide a benefit to those who are looking (and can afford) to get a supplement that may actually do something useful and perhaps give a slight edge with recovery. Is it required to be a better athlete? Well no. Like all supplements, its not a magic powder that will give you huge energy bursts or make your recovery happen in 5 seconds. It is simply supplementing your routine and could provide some little bits of assistance and/or performance enhancements.

Happy Friday Friends!

-Chelsea


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Betaine For Gains? Fitness Friday 36

Everyone is always looking for some kind of pill to improve their exercise performance or get bigger. This is why articles like this one

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…Get all the youngin’s running out the door to buy all of the supplements listed because 1. they apparently make you huge and 2. Brian DeCosta is a god sent and who wouldn’t want to look like him. 😉

Sorry you had to be a part of this post Brian, but I just had to chat more on this article and, well, you aren’t too bad to look at for the cover shot.

So what was one supplement on their list that is supposed to make you jacked faster?

Betaine

betaine

So what is it?

It is a derivative of glycine (an amino acid) and due to having 3 methyl groups, it acts as a donor of a methyl group in a reaction that ends up producing creatine in the skeletal muscle. It also has been suggested to have cardiovascular protectant factors due to reducing plasma levels of homocysteine (which is a risk factor for CVD) and inflammation. Due to its role in increasing creatine, it was hypothesized that supplementing with it can have growth enhancing effects and increasing power and strength performance.

Due to these suggestions, this began finding its way into pre-workouts and even as a stand alone addition to any bodybuilders stack.

…the thing is though….

Does it actually make you grow?

Lets start with what the article stated:

Betaine seems to work by increasing the release of growth hormone and IGF-1 while blunting the exercise-induced release of catabolic hormones like cortisol. The overall effect is to increase muscle growth and decrease muscle breakdown following exercise.[2] Since betaine works much like creatine monohydrate, researchers suspect that it, too, might stimulate muscle growth over the long term.

Hmmm interesting. Well cortisol definitely has some support backed behind it…

So now, what does the research actually say?

Well, its all over the place. There doesn’t appear to be concrete conclusions about it.

Hoffman et al (2009) –> 15 days supplementation in active college males to test muscle strength, power and endurance across 3 time points. Study found no significant differences in number of reps to exhaustion (endurance) or on number of reps at 90% power OR power assessments. They did find that squat reps at 90% power increased significantly in the BET group at time 2.

Apicella et al (2012). This was once of the studies cited in the article and it did in fact show significantly lower cortisol levels post training in the BET while also showing significantly higher growth hormone.

Pryer et al (2012). BET supplementation in bike sprinters found a significant increase in sprinting power. The supplementation was only for a week however.

Hoffman et al (2011)–> 15 day supplementation with Betaine, once again, in active males (within subject study, so they each ran through a BET and non-BET treatment period==> better design) found no increase in peak concentric or eccentric force OR overall fatigue. They did, however, find a significant reduction in fatigue when compared workout 5 and 1 (was that a training adaption effect?)

So some studies say YAY and some studies say NAY so its safe to say that there is not a concrete answer on this product. If it does truly work like creatine (which has mass amounts of supporting research) than perhaps there is some merit to this guy. As of right now though, I wouldn’t be running to pick up a bottle of the stuff unless I’m not concerned about the money and I’m looking to do my own trial.

Happy Fitness Friday friends. 

PS it apparently has some gut health benefits too…hmm may need to research those for meeeseelf. betaine

-Chelsea


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Powers Of Vitamin C…Fitness Friday 29

My friends! I’m so sorry about last week, but I was in the middle of studying for my hardest exam (clinical) and I just couldn’t get up anything for Friday. Many apologies. I will say that I still, and always, get my fitness on and I hope that for all of you doing exams that you don’t skimp out on the gym. Time is limited yes, but instead of scrolling through social media, take that hour and sweat out some endorphins. Your body and mind will thank you.

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Perhaps it may have to be shorter, or you may miss one of your normal sessions, but trust me when I say that often when someone says they don’t have time, they are wasting some of it with media… #TrueSpeak

Cold and Flu Season Is Upon Us.

And so what better time than to highlight ….

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An important vitamin, as they all are, but this guy ain’t just for cold and flus.

Yes, this water soluble vitamin does wonders for your immune system, but we are talking about fitness here, so what can it do for your athletic self to help with performance?

….okay we will start with immune function because obviously that can affect training…

Exercise Puts You At Risk For Infection?

It appears so. This article spoke of an altered immune system following intense exercise. Specifically, the body appears to release many inflammatory cytokines similar to a trauma or sepsis response for a short time following strenuous training. This response than sets you up to be more immunocompromised and open to getting sick. Although much of this was referring to research in endurance athletes, I don’t believe it would be crazy to say the same for strength based athletes, as you’re also causing trauma to the body and placing it under enough stress to cause cortisol release.

So where does Vitamin C fall into this equation? One study looking at ultra marathon runners found that high doses of Vitamin C (1500mg, but not 500mg) daily for a week prior to their race (and the day of their race) reduced their levels of circulating cytokines. So for athletes who cannot drop their training intensity, extra Vitamin C may be able to aid in decreasing their risk of potential illness.

The immune benefits of extra supplementation for athletes still needs further research but some of the early studies have shown promising findings towards a YAY for a protective benefit of a lil boost.

Role in Synthesis of Important Players for Physical Performance

This article presents a large list of the roles of vitamin C that definitely play a role in allowing your body to perform. Some of interest include:

~Synthesis of carnitine –> required to move fatty acids into the mitochondria. They can then be oxidized and used for energy.

~Synthesis of catecholamines  –> These include epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are released during times of stress to create the ‘fight or flight’ response. This includes the mobilizing of glucose and an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and vessel dilation to get the nutrients to the muscle to allow them to keep performing.

Their role in synthesis is through being a reducing agent in their biosynthesis reactions

Preventing Oxidative Stress

Exercise is a stress. As a result, it is actually an oxidant and can lead to damage to your cells. Vitamin C has been studied for its role as a powerful antioxidant. In a review looking at oxidative stress in the formation of atherosclerosis, it was discussed that vitamin C reduced many oxidative mechanisms that contributed to atherosclerosis. These included:

~LDL oxidation –> via interacting with the free radicals that would oxidize LDL 

~Reduction of the pro-oxidant, radical (oxidized) form of Vitamin E to a safe (reduced) and anti-oxidant version (α-tocopherol).

~Inhibiting leukocytes (immune factors) from binding to epithelial tissues. Adhesion is found to be related to athersclerosis. 

Reducing DOMS?

This one is up in the air right now. This study presented both sides of the argument, but than did their own study to see if DOMS was reduced following eccentric exercises (which have been shown to cause trauma to the fibres and stress). They found that high doses (3g/d) of vitamin C taken 2 weeks prior and 4 days following the exercises decreased their levels of DOM and oxidized glutathione levels in the plasma, which is an indicator of oxidative stress.

So, from all of the research addressed here, there is some support for the use of higher doses of Vitamin C to protect from the negative effects of exercise and thus allow for continued intensity. This is all fine and dandy, but of course there are always going to be studies that show the opposite. This study, for example, presented an argument against taking supplements of vitamin C as it apparently was found to decrease training efficiency due to to allowing for training-stimulated biological adaptations.

So take this with your usual suspicion, but I personally do take it for the proposed antioxidant effects, as I train very intensely and there has been research showing that athletes become depleted due to Vitamin C being used up more quickly.

It is also used up in times of other stress as well, mental and physical. 

Do you take Vitamin C supplements?

Fun Fact. Yes the Orange is often the ‘vitamin C mascot’ but did you know that peppers are actually the highest in this vitamin? Others higher than your oranges are dark greens, broccoli, berries (strawberries) and kiwi. So maybe throw some orange segments in your next spinach salad for a double boost. 

-Chelsea


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Shots, Shots, Shots…Fitness Friday 23

But not of alcohol…

We touched that last week

This type of shot is great for your body but may burn a bit going down if you’re not like me and actually can stand drinking this stuff straight.

So what am I recommending you take shots of you ask?

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Before you turn your noses up at the thought of taking a shot of straight acid vinegar, hear me out. Take a look at all the great benefits:

amazing-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar

While we are at it, here’s some studies to check out to back up some of these claims:

Weight loss. Take this one with caution, it is inconclusive as of yet. There is suggestion that it delays gastric emptying, which than may play a contributing role to eating less because of increased duration of satiety.

Blood lipids and Cholesterol. This study found that after 8 weeks of taking ACV, there were significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol. Furthermore, there was a trend towards increased levels of HDL

Glycemic Control. Some studies have found antiglycemic responses (controlling glucose levels in the blood) when taking even small doses of ACV with a meal.

This review also provides insight into studies looking into cancer, cholesterol, inflammation and antioxidant effects.

Ones that I can personally attest to..

Allergies and Sinuses. I told my Mom to start taking it in the morning and it immediately cleared her sinuses. This has helped to a degree for her migraines, which can be triggered by the pressure associated with mucus build up in the sinuses.

Digestion. My coach has me taking a shot of this before all my main meals (that or lemon juice) and boy does it help! You body uses hydrochloric acid to break down food that you ingest, so by incorporating other natural acids along with meal, you can help aid in digestion. This has really helped me with digestion of higher fats as they are more difficult for the body to break down and used to upset my stomach a lot more. Bloating and heartburn be gone!

Less Yeast. Sorry, TMI for some, but us females tend to be prone to yeast and potential candida infections, so by taking ACV or other natural acids, you can help your body rid itself of these lil nasties. This is because ACV acts as a prebiotic which then leads to growth of healthy flora in the gut to combat invaders. Also, as shown in this study, ACV also acts as an anti fungal. 

So I know the last question you will have is how the hell do you get that stuff down?

Well, if you’re like me, you can just shoot it back straight. If not, you can dilute it with a bit of water OR add a bit of honey if that helps.

It’s only a few tsp (don’t go nuts mmmkay?) so plug your nose and just get’er back, I mean why not? Do it for 2 weeks and see what you notice.

Oh and one final note

You need to buy the raw, unpasteurized one WITH THE MOTHER…

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The mother is where all the good stuff is! It contains the living enzymes and nutrients! Cheaper, processed ones are stripped of this vital part so you have to fork out a bit more for these benefits. Heres a lil something quoted from the Bragg’s webpage:

The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain due to overprocessing, filtration and overheating. [Source]

So if anyone is brave enough to try it out for all these benefits, comment back to me and tell me what you thought or your experiences!

Happy Friday! 

-Chelsea


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Burn Baby Burn..All Da Fat. Fitness Friday 7

My friends,

What do you think one annoying thing about our generation is?

For me I think it’s the lack of respect and general politeness. No, this isn’t mean to say that I think EVERYONE my age is disrespectful and has no manners but it is a trend I see more and more and it’s…annoying.

The other day for instance, I held the door open for this guy walking behind me (maybe the same age or slightly older then me). Well, not only did he basically schmooze his way through the door, but he didn’t say a word and didn’t even grab the door!

Like no worries bud, I’m just here to hold the door for you and make sure your Royal Highness behind gets through the door unscathed.

Geesh.

holding door

Sorry rant over. That’s just one huge pet peeve of mine.

Anyways, onto the main topic which is…

Fitness Friday! 

This weeks topic is something I’m not sure many people would dabble with but if you are like me and watch da ‘Tube, you have probably heard quite a lot of people in prep use them.

CATEGORIES-FAT-BURNERS

I honestly see no use in them. Waste of money in my opinion and here is why I say that. Let me break it down mmmmkay?

What are they supposed to do?

Quoted from a paper done by Jeukendrup and Randell (2011):

The term ‘fat burner’ is used to describe nutrition supplements that are claimed to acutely increase fat metabolism or energy expenditure, impair fat absorption, increase weight loss, increase fat oxidation during exercise, or somehow cause long-term adaptations that promote fat metabolism.

Basically, many are advertised to “melt” the fat from the body. Need a quick fix get rid of that stubborn fat? Take a fat burner.

Who takes them?

Often, as I mentioned, you tend to see them a lot in bodybuilding competition preps. In fact, out of the list of supplements that bodybuilders tend to use, during a cutting phase (weight/fat loss phase) fat burners were found to be up to 20% of the total money spent on supplements and females were much more likely to have them in their ‘stack’ (Brill and Keane, 1994). In fact, it was found that up to 66% of females (vs. 45% of males) were using them during a cut in a study done by Brill and Keane (1994). Although this study was older, I would be quite shocked if the numbers went down. Instead, it wouldn’t surprise me if the numbers went up as that push for the leanest physique possible has not reduced in any way.

So if they are taken mostly by those in prep, why write out it for the public?

Well because we are very influenced by who we watch. Also, image is becoming more and more of a health hazard these days and it seems that this drive for thinness leads to many ‘everyday’ individuals taking extreme measures to try to gain an edge.

I want to debunk the notion that fat burners will lead you to achieving your leanest self and also show you that they can actually be harmful.

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Jeukendrup and Randell (2011) –> Mechanisms of fat burners. 

So now that I have basically said that they are crap…let me present you with some more research because I can’t just be all talk right?

Jeukendrup and Randell (2011)

They did a review on some of the common fat burners on the market and here’s what they had to say:

~Caffeine: Has been shown to increase fat oxidation, resting metabolic rate and thermogenesis in studies. Although this has been found, they noted that the effects of this substance alone may not be potent enough to cause any major increase in weight loss. Instead, it appears that weight loss may only occur if other stimulants were added to the mix (they noted a study introducing ephedrine to the caffeine group).

This caffeine-ephedrine mix is something I have seen used before, please do not. They are both stimulants and can stress the heart. 

~L-Carnitine: This is something that your body makes naturally and helps to shuttle fatty acids to where they need to go to be oxidized (or broken down). The thought is that if you take more, you will burn more fat. This has not been supported in research. The muscles do not increase in their concentration after taking a supplemental form and therefore have no increased effect on oxidation rates.

~Green Tea Extract: Hello Dr. Oz….Anywho studies are very mixed here. If there are increases in the oxidation rates, they may be confounded with other things likes caffiene intake. Also, another issue with studying the effects of green tea extract is the active ingredient concentrations may vary and that may also have an effect. Specially mentioned was the interest in the levels of EGCG, or a specific type of catechin polyphenol. Studies found that when levels of this particular active ingredient were higher, oxidation rates at rest were higher. The issue is the amounts were quite large in most of these studies and they are not sure if caffeine was needed or not to show this effect.

~CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): This appears to be a new favourite on the market. It is an isomer of the Omega-6 family of fatty acids and is said to have an increased effect on lipolysis, fatty acid oxidation, decrease lipogenesis, etc. Animal studies have shown promise but it is really not the same story in humans. Of the few studies that have been done on humans, the best is a modest change in body composition (specifically this study listed 0.05kg loss/week and is that really only from the CLA?), so really, is it worth your money?

Bondi (2009) took a look into athletes and had a few things to say about the supplement industry…

~Athletes who need to lose weight may want to use fat burners to expedite the weight loss. The majority of these products are useless; however, some may be harmful, such as ephedra, which is a central nervous system stimulant.

~Caffeine was not found to be a thermogenic and green tea extracts are often compounds of both phytonutrients (EGCG) + caffeine and still their effectiveness is extremely limited.

~Other products with claims to burn fat (but don’t) are Chitosan (13), L-carnitine (21), and Chromium (22).

 You said they were possibly harmful?

Krishna (2011) –> described a case of liver failure in a young women with no liver issues previously due to severe hepatotoxicity, with a particular focus on Usnic acid. Many feel that more ‘natural’ products can’t cause harm, but they can in fact show some adverse consequences if taken irresponsibly or mixed with other supplements. Green tea extracts have even shown adverse liver effects in when in capsule forms.

Bonci (2009) –> Listed the potential harmful effects of too much caffeine including more mild ones like irritability, jitters, etc to more severe such as tachycardia, tremors, and so forth.

So, what do you think? Some of these things may have some limiting effects long term, but most are so understudied that we have no idea what they do. From the studies we do have, they don’t show much (and are the things involved?) and if they did the doses are high. The other issue is that higher doses can cause toxicity issues and unfortunately I see these types of products as things that would be abused by people.

My take. Don’t waste you money, and quite frankly, avoid.

Thoughts?


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Friday Fitness Questions #3

Hey Friends!

Okay so this week I wanted to share a lil fun thing with you all and not have it be so long and research-y if that is okay. Give your minds a bit of a break. I will give you a bit of information but I will keep it short because, instead, the main focus will be these guys…

So what are these cute, seedy teddy’s you ask?

These are Strawberry-Orange glutamine infused gummy bears. This particular recipe was from the North Coast Natural’s website, which produces fermented L-Glutamine powder, and I was quite excited to find it as this idea of turning my glutamine powder into gummies has been something I have wanted to do for a quite some time now.

So a bit on L-Glutamine

L-Glutamine is an amino acid (the most naturally abundant actually) that helps in the body’s ability to repair tissues. If you have heard of it, you have probably associated it’s usage with bodybuilders and athletes to help reduce muscle soreness but it’s benefits have been found to go beyond that. Check out the facts page on the North Coast Natural’s website (link) for all of it’s benefits, but to mention a few:

~It has been found to help heal the gut. For anyone with IBS or other inflammatory bowel diseases, glutamine can be used as an aid to help rebuild some of those damaged tissues and alleviate some symptoms of those gut disorders. Many studies (such as this one) have also shown that it maintains the integrity of the gut lining in post-operative patients, which may prove beneficial in their recovery process.

~Because glutamine is also a major fuel source for the cells of your immune system (lymphocytes, neutraphils, macrophages, etc), it has been shown to be beneficial for illness prevention. This may be especially helpful in athletes where the incidence of illness may increase due to greater stress on the body. (Link Link2).

~There is mixed evidence on whether soreness post-workout is alleviated in all athletes, but many articles support its usage in sparing protein for the rebuilding of tissues and possibly increasing lean muscle mass (see link).

So there’s just a few of the other great benefits of glutamine, but if you want to learn more just check out the first link I posted!

So do you need to supplement with it to gain it’s benefits?

Generally no. Perhaps supplementation would be required in those needing/wanting higher doses (post-illness/intense training for repair and/or gut problems) but for a general dose there are other natural forms of this amino acid.

Like Gelatine!

Vegans may be cringing right now, so if you are vegan you will have to find another source. Apparently red cabbage is the highest of the veggies, with fermentation helping to increase bioavailability. Overall, like all things it seems though, your best sources are animal based (link).

I digress…

So going way back to the gummies….

If you’re not using a supplement form of glutamine, like in the first recipe, then you can still make the gummies! Never fear! Try out this easy recipe for blueberry gummies.

As stated in the recipe, you can take out the maple syrup for a sugar-free version, as I’m sure the frozen fruit you add will be sweet enough and provide a good flavour.

I hope you found this post interesting and let me know if any of you have tried making something like this or working with gelatine.

So tell me…

Have you ever tried helping your gut with Glutamine?

All my athletes out there, do you find it helps with muscle soreness?

-Chelsea