Glutamine: What Is It, What Does It Do, and Why Should You Use It?

What Is Glutamine? Glutamine is one of the 20 naturally occurring essential amino acids found in dietary proteins. It’s found in high levels in dietary meats, eggs, and both whey and casein protein, and is also the most abundant amino acid found in human muscle tissue and plasma. Glutamine in created in the body by breaking down certain non-essential amino acids and then binds with other nitrogen containing molecules, where it then shuttles nitrogen between different tissues in the body so that the body can grow and repair. About 70 percent of the body’s own glutamine production happens in the skeletal muscle where it will then travel to the most prominent sites of glutamine usage such as the small intestine, kidneys, and white blood cells. What Does Glutamine Do? Glutamine’s key role is in regulating protein synthesis and breakdown. Although glutamine does a load of other things as well, such as water transportation, glucose formation, and healthy immune function, but its role in protein synthesis and breakdown is the reason it has been supplemented by weightlifters, bodybuilders, and a large percentage of other athletes. Our kidneys are where a majority of the glutamine in our body is used in order to maintain the body’s proper acid-base balance. As the body’s acid level in the [...]

2017-11-16T22:22:25+00:00September 25th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Glutamine: What Is It, What Does It Do, and Why Should You Use It?

Proper Caffeine Dosing for Sports Performance

What is Caffeine and How Does It Work? Caffeine is one of the most consumed natural pharmacologic agents. Whether you’re consuming it through coffee, tea, energy drinks, pre-workout supplements, or even just caffeine pills, caffeine tends to be everywhere. It’s so prevalent that 9 out of 10 men and women consume around 240mg every day. So many people consume and use caffeine that the International Olympic Committee actually removed caffeine from their banned substance list. So what is caffeine, specifically? Caffeine is a natural drug that is classified as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that can help keep us awake, alert, and keep going when you’re tired or ready to lay down. Caffeine is able to do this because it acts opposite to a CNS depressant that is found in our bodies, adenosine, and both caffeine and adenosine look very similar to each other. Adenosine promotes sleep and slows down nerve activity in our brains, and about every hour or so the levels of adenosine in the brain rise. With caffeine inhibiting adenosines ability to attach to their receptors in the brain, the pituitary gland observes this increased activity and then triggers the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine. This is why we feel more awake, and also why some people can suffer from [...]

2017-11-16T22:17:27+00:00September 25th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Proper Caffeine Dosing for Sports Performance

The Ketogenic Diet

With the whole fitness and health field booming in the last couple of years, a lot of new information has come out, which is definitely a good thing, but big words and new information come with that making it a little overwhelming for a good portion of the general public. Ketosis has recently become a new tool to use so people can reach different health and fitness related goals. Specifically, ketosis is a metabolic state where the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood, instead of being in a state of glycolysis where blood glucose provides the usual energy for us. I’ll get a bit more into detail here in a minute and break down what all of that means. Ketosis is not to be confused with ketoacidosis which is basically an extreme state of ketosis. Ketoacidosis is usually related to type 1 diabetes where the liver breaks down fats and even proteins, as well as prolonged alcoholism. What is Ketosis and what is it used for? “Ketosis is a nutritional process that is characterized by blood serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5mM, with low levels of insulin and blood glucose (Phinney, 2011).” Basically, this just means that there is an elevated level of ketones being produced in the body and [...]

2017-11-16T22:16:04+00:00September 18th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on The Ketogenic Diet

7 Sports Nutrition Facts and Myths Explained

In the world of nutrition and fitness, there are a lot of facts out there that get mistaken for myths. And even more myths that get mistaken for facts. As exercise and dietary professionals that are dedicated to helping each and every one of our clients reach their individual fitness goals, it’s important that we know the difference between sports nutrition facts and myths. And as someone interested in improving their body’s fitness and health, you owe it to yourself to know the difference as well. That’s why we’ve gathered up some of the most common sports nutrition facts and myths below. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to get fitter, healthier, and stronger even faster. 1. What is Sports Nutrition? In the most basic sense of the word, a sports nutritionist is a specialist dedicated to improving the health and performance of professional and amateur athletes as well as sports enthusiasts. They may offer meal plans, dietary advice, and even suggestions of which supplements to take, all in an effort to increase their physical fitness and boost their performance. As nutrition plays a key role in how your body heals itself from injury, they may also be instrumental in proper recovery as well. And [...]

2017-09-07T19:54:51+00:00September 7th, 2017|Strength Training|Comments Off on 7 Sports Nutrition Facts and Myths Explained

Blood-flow Restriction Training

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training is a highly effective hypertrophy training method that dates back to the 1970’s. Originally developed as a rehab technique, its applications have since broadened into the fitness community. The following will be a brief summary of the history, effects, applications and efficacy of BFR training. Brief History In 1966 Yoshiaki Sato attended a traditional buddhist ceremony that required him to remain seated in a traditional cross-legged position for an extended period of time. The pressure from his legs upon his feet caused painful blood pooling in his calves. This experience sparked the idea that lead to moder BFR training. Over the next 7 years he experimented on himself with different types of straps and at varying pressures. With years of detailed trial and error, Sato gradually developed effective protocols to safely modify blood flow in his limbs. By 1973 Sato developed the details of KAATSU as it is currently practiced. Applications Today BFR training is used not only for training, but also rehab. During certain injuries we may find ourselves unable to train certain muscle groups. BFR training may be implemented to maintain muscle mass. The blood pooling within the muscle will encourage muscle cell swelling and consequently decrease atrophy. This can be done by doing isometric contractions of [...]

2017-11-16T22:06:19+00:00August 14th, 2017|Blog, Strength Training|Comments Off on Blood-flow Restriction Training

Effects of Alcohol on Weight Loss and Muscle Recovery

While most people think that sticking to liquor and avoiding beer and sugary mixed drinks will help keep the weight off, this is not quite the case. Research considers the standard alcoholic drink to be around 15 grams of ethyl alcohol, which can be found in 5 ounces of wine, 1 ½ ounces of 40% liquor such as whiskey or vodka, and 12 ounces of beer. With every gram of alcohol comes about 7 calories as well, and with the standard drink being 15 grams of alcohol, every drink comes to around 105 calories. Unless drinking in moderation, alcohol can quickly add up and put someone into a caloric surplus. Along with the calories, alcohol has quite an effect on the thermic and oxidative properties of the human body. Since alcohol cannot be stored like macronutrients, alcohol is quickly broken down into two different by-products that the body deems to be dangerous and wants to get rid of as quickly as possible. Because of this, the body switches from using fats and carbohydrates as its main sources of energy, and starts using alcohol instead. This causes a significant reduction in the burning process of fat, as well as an increase in the conversion of carbohydrates into fats to be stored (Siler et al, 1999). [...]

2017-11-16T22:02:32+00:00August 10th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Effects of Alcohol on Weight Loss and Muscle Recovery

10 Tips to Start Training for a Bodybuilding Competition

Whether you’re looking to enter into a bodybuilding, strong man, or bikini competition, training the right way takes more than just putting the time in at the gym. In fact, some experts say that more than 50% of your training success is due to other factors like nutrition and hydration. That’s why before you start preparing for your upcoming competition, there are a few things you need to know first. Following the ten bodybuilding tips below will ensure your body is in peak condition come competition time. 1. Make A Plan and Stick to It First and foremost, you need to have a plan. Preparing for an actual bodybuilding, strong man, or bikini competition isn’t something that can be done simply by “winging it.” And if you do, you won’t be taken seriously. Simple as that. That’s why you need to enter into your training with a carefully constructed plan that’s both catered to your unique body and designed to challenge you. Focus on multi-joint exercises that promote growth. Use heavy weights with low reps. Incorporate new exercises into your routine to maximize gains. And equally importantly, you have to stick to your plan. Especially when it gets tough. 2. Recruit a Lifting Partner There are some things you just can’t accomplish when you [...]

2017-08-15T01:02:39+00:00July 30th, 2017|Strength Training|Comments Off on 10 Tips to Start Training for a Bodybuilding Competition

How Personal Training Can Improve Your Health and Life

Going to the gym to workout can leave you feeling clueless. It takes someone with a good breadth of knowledge to know what each piece of equipment is used for in order to maximize on the gym’s offerings. Hiring a personal trainer can seem like a luxury, but it’s a great way receive every benefit from your gym membership. So How Can a Personal Fitness Trainers Actually Improve your Health and Lifestyle? Can Assist in Creating SMART Goals Forget most of the advice you receive from books, friends and the internet. Personal trainers actually help you create an executable plan. With all the fitness advice floating around, it can be hard to tell what works and what doesn’t. A trainer will work with you create SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for a system of goal setting. S – Specific (identifying specific weight loss or body composition goals) M – Measurable (creating a process for documenting and measuring progress) A – Actionable (every goal needs to be acted upon – these will include the exercises and diet) R – Reasonable (your trainer will help you determine reasonable fitness goals) T – Time bound (identifying benchmark dates to achieve goals) Plan a Personalized Workout “Despite the [...]

2017-06-12T19:41:07+00:00June 12th, 2017|Strength Training|Comments Off on How Personal Training Can Improve Your Health and Life

Bigger and Stronger: The Science Behind Muscle Growth and Strength

"You will train always for a hundred terrific reasons. Quit and it will be for no good reason at all." ~Dave Draper, former Mr. America and Mr. Universe Do you want to know the secret to gaining mass and power from your workout regimen? Here it is - there is NO secret - it's SCIENCE. Many "old-school" - or worse, ill-informed - fitness trainers believe in an erroneous dichotomy. They teach that you train for strength one way, and you train for size another way. With this mindset, the two goals are mutually incompatible. But science teaches us something different - it is possible to maximize your success and get both BIGGER and STRONGER at the same time. Let's take a closer look. HYPERTROPHY - THE RESPONSE TO AN INTENSE WORKOUT "It was not easy. I trained brutal all my life. It was like an explosion and I was growing like a balloon. Boom, boom, boom, like crazy." -Sergio Oliva three-time Mr. Olympia There are at least 320 identical pairs of bilateral muscles found in the human body, resulting in upwards of 640 skeletal muscles. One of the goals of a proper training regimen is symmetrical muscle growth on both sides of the body. Muscle growth - properly called hypertrophy - typically refers to an increase in the volume of myofibrils, the long proteins that [...]

2017-06-08T00:11:05+00:00November 23rd, 2016|Strength Training|0 Comments
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