Protein the Ideal Sport Supplement
|Used to be that it was mostly the bodybuilders
or extreme athletes that used protein supplements, but
not any more. Many of us are realizing that we do not
eat a well enough balanced diet to ensure we are getting
enough nutrition all around. Protein supplements are an
easy and convenient source to ensure we are going to have
enough energy to get through our day.
The benefits to protein supplements are to restore and
repair all tissue structures, build up muscles, and are
the key to such bodily functions as the production of
cells and hormones.
There are many different types of proteins, whey protein is the most common and of the highest quality. Protein
supplements help supply amino acids to our body and are
often used to help repair and build muscle after a workout.
Sources rich with proteins include meats, soy products,
vegetable and dairy.
In a nutshell, the benefit to protein supplements is convenience. It is easier to drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar than it is to prepare food all day. Yes all day, as a body builder you need to be eating small frequent meals of protein every three hours in order to keep your body constantly in positive nitrogen balance.
It is almost impossible to eat this often for us normal hard working people. If you are a body builder looking to build extra muscle then you should consume a minimum of 1 - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight. Let us say that your lean body weight is 200 lbs. Therefore, you would need to eat around 300 grams of protein (200 x 1.5 = 300) per day. To obtain that much protein you would need to eat 3 - 4 oz. chicken breast, 2 - 4 oz. steaks, 1 - 6 oz. can of tuna, and 15 hard boiled eggs everyday. That is a lot of food and would cost a lot of money to eat this much.
Body builders who are highly active in physical activity are breaking down muscle at a much higher rate than a sedentary person and need to consume much more protein in order to maintain and to build new muscle.
What is creatine and what can it do for me?
|Creatine is a natural substance that is
essential for activities that involve high intensity muscle
contractions. It is produced naturally in the kidneys,
liver, and pancreas but can also be obtained through the
consumption of foods rich in creatine, such as red meats
and fish, particularly herring and mackerel. The body
requires, on average, two grams of creatine per day. Typically
only one gram of creatine is obtained through our dietary
intake with the deficit being made up by the body.
Creatine plays a significant role in the production of
energy for activities that involve sudden bursts of high
intensity. Creatine, which binds with phosphate to produce
creatine phosphate, is used by the phosphagen system to
increase the availability of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP),
which provides energy for the active muscles. The phosphagen
system is one of three energy systems that the body uses
to generate energy for activity and is the first to be
used during athletic activities.
To generate energy the phosphagen system breaks down adenosine
tri-phosphate (ATP) into adenosine di-phosphate (ADP). Because
there is a limited supply of ATP stored in the muscles, the
phosphagen system can only provide energy for high intensity
exercises for a short duration, approximately 10 seconds.
During periods of intense activity the body uses the phosphate
from creatine phosphate to convert ADP back into ATP. The
increased availability of ATP to the active muscles allows
the body to sustain a high level of power output without experiencing
fatigue or a decline in performance. The purpose of taking
creatine supplements is to increase the availability of creatine
phosphate for the regeneration of ADP into ATP, and thus provide
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 2000) has adopted
the following statement on the use of creatine as an ergogenic
aid. Creatine supplements can be used to enhance exercise
performance on tasks that involve short periods of extremely
powerful anaerobic activity. Creatine supplementation can
also enhance strength gains during strength training programs.
The ACSM panel also states that, over time, daily doses of
3 grams of creatine are as effective as doses of 20 grams
for increasing the amount of creatine phosphate stored in
the muscles. The panel found no consistent or definitive evidence
to support claims that creatine supplementation caused muscle
cramping, or gastrointestinal and/or renal complications.
The panel, however, suggested that children or adolescents
should not take creatine supplements.
The Power of Glutamine!
|A benefit of glutamine is to promote anabolic conditions
in muscle cells and increase the rate of protein synthesis.
Although it was thought that glutamine was indirectly
responsible for this anabolic state. It now seems that
glutamine promotes growth by increasing the hydration
state of muscle cells.
When cells are swollen with water, this inhibits the breakdown
of protein, glycogen, and glucose. It stimulates protein
and glycogen synthesis as well. If a cell becomes dehydrated,
it shrinks and goes into a catabolic state that breaks
down the muscle’s vital proteins.
When glutamine levels are high in muscle cells, this stimulates
the entry of other amino acids into the cell. Amino acids
must be carried in by a special transport system because
they cannot directly enter the cells.
When a person trains intensely they will start depleting their muscle glutamine stores before they have fully recovered from their previous workout. The result is that each day the amount of muscle glutamine gets a little lower.
The more a person trains, the more glutamine they use and the greater the catabolic response. People suffering from over training are also more susceptible to disease and infection because of lowered immunity. This may be due to the role of glutamine as a primary source of fuel for the immune system.
Why and How Should I Take Glutamine?
It makes sense to take a glutamine supplement that provides the free form of this amino prior to exercise. After exercise, a high quality protein supplement should be taken within 30 minutes to aid in recovery. As the amino acids are transported into the cells, they will promote water uptake to keep the muscles hydrated.
This hydrated state will prevent a catabolic state and promote anabolic growth. Therefore, keep in mind that glutamine is one of the most important amino acids in the body and may be the most important amino acid supplement for the bodybuilder.
Written by: Peter Hyc
Glutamine the Forgotten