Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An exhausted subject matter: protein and resistance training.

Dietary protein safety and resistance exercise: what do we really know?
Lonnie M Lowery, Lorena Devia
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:3 (12 January 2009)

Resistance trainers continue to receive mixed messages about the safety of purposely seeking ample dietary protein in their quest for stimulating protein synthesis, improving performance, or maintaining health. Despite protein's lay popularity and the routinely high intakes exhibited by strength athletes, liberal and purposeful protein consumption is often maligned by "experts". University textbooks, instructors, and various forms of literature from personal training groups and athletic organizations continue to use dissuasive language surrounding dietary protein. Due to the widely known health benefits of dietary protein and a growing body of evidence on its safety profile, this is unfortunate. In response, researchers have critiqued unfounded educational messages. As a recent summarizing example, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Position Stand: Protein and Exercise reviewed general literature on renal and bone health. The concluding remark that "Concerns that protein intake within this range [1.4 – 2.0 g/kg body weight per day] is unhealthy are unfounded in healthy, exercising individuals." was based largely upon data from non-athletes due to "a lack of scientific evidence". Future studies were deemed necessary. This assessment is not unique in the scientific literature. Investigators continue to cite controversy, debate, and the lack of direct evidence that allows it. This review discusses the few existing safety studies done specific to athletes and calls for protein research specific to resistance trainers. Population-specific, long term data will be necessary for effective education in dietetics textbooks and from sports governing bodies.

The Berrones Analysis:

Disputing data is what science is all about. However, when the lay person and/or the scientist fabricate lies concerning the efficacy of supplements, methodologies, etc., well then we have a problem. This article focuses on protein intake, renal function, and how all that relates to the athlete. The problem with this article, and it points it out poignantly, is that John Q. Public is often times misinformed. Thus, criticism increases ad nauseam, and it becomes the responsibility of the scientist to rectify what is true and confound what is invalid. Sadly, the concept of "guilty until proven innocent" holds true with respect to protein intake and the healthfulness of the athlete. I suppose if the sedentary population carried more of their weight--no pun intended--then the rest of us would be able to live our lives without hearing criticism from the diseased denizens of the United States. Just my .02.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Carbohydrate-Protein Drinks Do Not Enhance Recovery From Exercise-Induced Muscle Injury

Michael S. Green, Benjamin T. Corona, J. Andrew Doyle, and Christopher P. Ingalls
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2008, 18, -18

This study examined the effects of carbohydrate (CHO), carbohydrate-protein (CHO+PRO), or placebo (PLA) beverages on recovery from novel eccentric exercise. Female participants performed 30 min of downhill treadmill running (–12% grade, 8.0 mph), followed by consumption of a CHO, CHO+PRO, or PLA beverage immediately, 30, and 60 min after exercise. CHO and CHO+PRO groups (n = 6 per group) consumed 1.2 g · kg body weight–1 · hr–1 CHO, with the CHO+PRO group consuming an additional 0.3 g · kg body weight–1 · hr–1 PRO. The PLA group (n = 6) received an isovolumetric noncaloric beverage. Maximal isometric quadriceps strength (QUAD), lower extremity muscle soreness (SOR), and serum creatine kinase (CK) were assessed preinjury (PRE) and immediately and 1, 2, and 3 d postinjury to assess exercise-induced muscle injury and rate of recovery. There was no effect of treatment on recovery of QUAD (p = .21), SOR (p = .56), or CK (p = .59). In all groups, QUAD was reduced compared with
PRE by 20.6% ± 1.5%, 17.2% ± 2.3%, and 11.3% ± 2.3% immediately, 1, and 2 d postinjury, respectively (p < .05). SOR peaked at 2 d postinjury (PRE vs. 2d, 3.1 ± 1.0 vs. 54.0 ± 4.8 mm, p < .01), and serum CK peaked 1 d postinjury
(PRE vs. 1 d, 138 ± 47 vs. 757 ± 144 U/L, p < .01). In conclusion, consuming a CHO+PRO or CHO beverage immediately after novel eccentric exercise failed to enhance recovery of exercise-induced muscle injury differently than what was observed with a PLA drink.

My Take:
It appears from this research that severe downhill running for at least 30 minutes will produce enough muscle damage that a protein carbohydrate drink will not enhance recovery any faster than a placebo.
This was an acute intervention of recreational women who trained 1-5hrs/wk at low to moderate intensity. I seems pretty reasonable that that type of eccentric activity would produce such muscle injury rather than microscopic damage that a protein/carbohydrate would not produce a significant enhance in recovery.
So take home message if you decide to run for an extened period of time downhill every once in a while expect to be very sore for a few days, even if you go through a whole case of accelerade.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Power Performance and Fatigue

A recent study tested 24 recreationally active male subjects on muscle endurance, power performance and rate of fatigue after supplementing with Betaine.
Subjects were tested 3 times; prior to supplementation, after 7 days of supplementation and after 14 days of supplementation. Each testing period was two days long. On day 1 vertical jump power and bench press throw was assessed to measure power performance. Additionally subjects had to do as many repetitions as possible at 75% of their one repetition max (1-RM). On the second day subjects were performing a Wingate Test to measure anaerobic power.
Results were surprising; no differences occurred in total repetitions performed to exhaustion in the bench press exercise but significant differences were observed in total number of repetitions performed in the squat exercises. In general, no significant change between supplemented and placebo group occurred in peak power, mean power, rate of fatigue and total work.
The authors concluded that Betaine ingestion can significantly improve muscle endurance in lower body workout. Improvements may be seen within one week of supplementation.

Background: Betaine supplementation in animals has shown increased growth and reduced body fat in pigs, it improved recovery in horses and has shown to protect fish moving form varying salinity waters by acting as an osmolite. In humans studies have not been as promising as in animals yet. One study tested treadmill running in heat but failed to report any ergogenic benefit of Betaine in regard to time to exhaustion. Another study tested 14 days Betaine supplementation on strength and power performeance and found no significant changes in repetitions in squat and bench press exercises (muscle endurance) but they found significant changes in the power output measurements. This study is controversial to the recent study by Jay R Hoffman mentioned above.

It is difficult to draw a conclusion of Betaine supplementation yet. More studies have to be done, studies which include maybe even a structured training along with supplementation to see more clearly the effects of Betaine on power and endurance components. So far we can assume that Betaine might have ergogenic potential after consuming it already only for a week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Improved Endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption !! Most excellent!

March 24, 09
Improved Endurance capacity following chocolate milk consumption compared with two commercially available sports drinks. Kevin Thomas, Penelope Morris and Emma Stevenson. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. Vol 34 . 2009.
This study examined the effects of 3 recovery drinks on endurance performance following glycogen depleting exercise. Nine trained male cyclists performed 3 experimental trials, in a randomized counter balanced order, consisting of a glycogen depleting trial, a 4hour recovery period and a cycle to exhaustion at 70% power at maximal oxygen uptake.. At 0 and 2 hours into the recovery period, participants consumed chocolate milk (CM), a carbohydrate replacement drink (CR), or a fluid replacement drink (FM). Participants cycled 51 and 43% longer after ingesting the CM than after the CR or FR. CR is an effective recovery aid after prolonged endurance exercise for subsequent exercise at low to moderate intensities.
My take on it:
Well, this study was done by Mars, and I am pretty sure they have a chocolate milk product for sale in the UK! I have several athletes who do use chocolate milk post exercise and swear by it. It makes sense to me that it would aid with recovery as it contains both carbs and protein which when combined together enhance both glycogen re-synthesis and muscle repair and have a synergistic response. 8oz of milk contains 200 cals and about 31g carbs and 8g protein; an almost perfect 4:1 ratio! Additionally, the milk may increase free fatty acids which may help to explain why the subsequent exercise time to failure (TTF) was longer in the CM group. I do think that the same study should be done with a higher intensity TTF trial. And in the meantime, for athletes performing ultraendurance training, I would recommend a protocol that included all 3 (CM, CR, and FR) as their calorie intake needs are higher anyway and the amount of fluid lost through sweat is no doubt higher.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Resistance training with soy vs. whey protein supplements in hyperlipidemic males

Carol A. DeNysschenHarold W. BurtonPeter J. HorvathJohn A. Leddy and Richard W. Browne 

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:8doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-8

Published:11 March 2009

Abstract (provisional)


Most individuals at risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) can reduce risk factors through diet and exercise before resorting to drug treatment. The effect of a combination of resistance training with vegetable-based (soy) versus animal-based (whey) protein supplementation on CVD risk reduction has received little study. The study's purpose is to examine the effects of 12 weeks of resistance exercise training with soy versus whey protein supplementation on strength gains, body composition and serum lipid changes in overweight, hyperlipidemic men.


Twenty-eight overweight, male subjects (BMI 25-30) with serum cholesterol >200 mg/dl were randomly divided into 3 groups (placebo (n=9), and soy (n=9) or whey (n=10) supplementation) and participated in supervised resistance training for 12 weeks. Supplements were provided in a double blind fashion.


All 3 groups had significant gains in strength, averaging 47% in all major muscle groups and significant increases in fat free mass (2.6%), with no difference among groups. Percent body fat and waist-to-hip ratio decreased significantly in all 3 groups an average of 8% and 2%, respectively, with no difference among groups. Total serum cholesterol decreased significantly, again with no difference among groups.


Participation in a 12 week resistance exercise training program significantly increased strength and improved both body composition and serum cholesterol in overweight, hypercholesterolemic men with no added benefit from protein supplementation.


This paper seems to be pretty basic. It does conclusively show what we all know to be true: resistance training will significantly improve body composition and health markers especially in those that are untrained and overweight. It specifically looked at the additional benefits of protein supplementation of whey vs. soy.  Its understandable that there would be no difference between soy and whey in these men but what was remarkable to me is that the no protein supplementation group had the same benefits.  This could be due to the fact that the benefits seen from weight training are going to be huge no matter what because they are so untrained and overweight that you wouldn't be able to see the significantly additional benefits from protein supplementation until they are no longer novices.  It would be interesting to me to see a long term study of soy vs. whey vs. none, such as a 1-2 year study that examined the differences in body comp and serum cholesterol.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dietary supplement increases plasma norepinephrine, lipolysis, and metabolic rate in resistance trained men

Richard J Bloomer, Kelsey H Fisher-Wellman, Kelley G Hammond, Brian K Schilling, Adrianna A Weber and Bradford J Cole

Background: Dietary supplements targeting fat loss and increased thermogenesis are prevalent within the sport nutrition/weight loss market. While some isolated ingredients have been reported to be efficacious when used at high dosages, in particular in animal models and/or via intravenous delivery, little objective evidence is available pertaining to the efficacy of a finished product taken by human subjects in oral form. Moreover, many ingredients function as stimulants, leading to increased hemodynamic responses. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of a finished dietary supplement on plasma catecholamine concentration, markers of lipolysis, metabolic rate, and hemodynamics. Methods: Ten resistance trained men (age = 27 ± 4 yrs; BMI = 25 ± 3 kg· m-2; body fat = 9 ± 3%; mean ± SD) ingested a dietary supplement (Meltdown®, Vital Pharmaceuticals) or a placebo, in a random order, double blind cross-over design, with one week separating conditions. Fasting blood samples were collected before, and at 30, 60, and 90 minutes post ingestion and were assayed for epinephrine (EPI), norepinephrine (NE), glycerol, and free fatty acids (FFA). Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for all variables. Gas samples were collected from 30–60 minutes post ingestion for measurement of metabolic rate. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded at all blood collection times. Results: AUC was greater for the dietary supplement compared to the placebo for NE (1332 ± 128 pg·mL-1·90 min-1 vs. 1003 ± 133 pg·mL-1·90 min-1; p = 0.03), glycerol (44 ± 3 ìg·mL-1·90 min-1 vs. 26 ± 2 ìg·mL-1·90 min-1; p< p =" 0.0003)."> 0.05). For all variables, values were highest at 90 minutes post ingestion. Total kilocalorie expenditure during the 30 minute collection period was 29.6% greater (p = 0.02) for the dietary supplement (35 ± 3 kcal) compared to placebo (27 ± 2 kcal). A condition main effect was noted for systolic blood pressure (p = 0.04), with values increasing from 117 ± 2 mmHg to 123 ± 2 mmHg with the dietary supplement, while remaining unchanged for placebo. No other hemodynamic changes were noted (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The dietary supplement results in an acute increase in plasma NE and markers of lipolysis, as well as metabolic rate. This occurs without altering hemodynamic variables in a clinically significant manner. Intervention studies to determine the impact of this dietary supplement on weight/fat loss are warranted.

My Take:
It appears that during this study Meltdown was successful at increasing plasma Norephinrine (NE) levels which coincided with the increase of glycerol. NE is a key factor in the breakdown of triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol (lipolysis). It appears from this study that these effects take 90 minutes to begin working. I am sure that on the bottle of the product it recommends that you ingest 90 minutes prior to exercise to maximize your body's utilization of those liberated fatty acids. The authors also noted in their conclusion that this product increase
in metabolic rate despite a minimal increase in heart rate and systolic blood pressure. This may be beneficial to some people who avoid taking supplements because of the rapid heart rate and inc. in blood pressure that gives them headaches. However I caution that this study was designed using resistance trained males, so females keep that in mind.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Call for submissions on new audio web site

Hello All,
I'm posting to let ISSN blog readers know that the new "audio library" web site I've started with some colleagues is calling for self-recorded audio submissions (300-500 word compositions read into a microphone, similar to what one hears on National Public Radio). Details can be found on the site (www.IronRadio.org). Editorials will be considered for any sports nutrition and resistance training topic.

Those here who would like to be a guest on the site's flagship podcast (of the same name) may also email Lonman7@hotmail.com. The podcast includes a discussion about the guest and his/ her recent projects and also includes a topic of the week (typically relevant to the guest's expertise) and live emails or call-ins.

The purpose of the site and the show is to be a bit more "academic" than most of the existing power sport / sports nutriton podcasts. The site itself (which is bigger than the main podcast, per se) already has a collection of saved audio from the early days of podcasting. Hopefully it can become a free reference site for those who need answers - or would like to provide some of their own.

Very best,

Green Tea, Energy Expenditure, and Fat Oxidation

Background: Current interest in the role of functional foods in
weight control has focused on plant ingredients capable of interfering
with the sympathoadrenal system.
Objective: We investigated whether a green tea extract, by
virtue of its high content of caffeine and catechin polyphenols,
could increase 24-h energy expenditure (EE) and fat oxidation
in humans.
Design: Twenty-four–hour EE, the respiratory quotient (RQ), and
the urinary excretion of nitrogen and catecholamines were measured
in a respiratory chamber in 10 healthy men. On 3 separate
occasions, subjects were randomly assigned among 3 treatments:
green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg epigallocatechin gallate),
caffeine (50 mg), and placebo, which they ingested at
breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Results: Relative to placebo, treatment with the green tea extract
resulted in a significant increase in 24-h EE (4%; P < 0.01) and
a significant decrease in 24-h RQ (from 0.88 to 0.85; P < 0.001)
without any change in urinary nitrogen. Twenty-four–hour urinary
norepinephrine excretion was higher during treatment with
the green tea extract than with the placebo (40%, P < 0.05).
Treatment with caffeine in amounts equivalent to those found in
the green tea extract had no effect on EE and RQ nor on urinary
nitrogen or catecholamines.
Conclusions: Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes
fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content
per se. The green tea extract may play a role in the control of
body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis,
fat oxidation, or both. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:1040–5.

Dulloo, A. G., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., & Chantre, P. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70, 1040–1045.

My Take
This one of four studies listed on the Hydroxcut website to support their product. This study was done six years prior to the study I reported on previously (Berube-Patent et al., 2005), and was very similar. It was suggested that interfering with the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and its neurotransmitter norepinephrine would help in weight loss because thermogenesis and fat oxidation are under the control of the SNS. Certain plants are thought to have a thermogenic effect by interfering with catecholamine release and activity.

Here is a little background paraphrased from the paper…

Green tea is made from unfermented Camellia sinensis leaves and contains polyphenol, which is a chemical that occurs naturally in some plants. A type of polyphenol is flavonoids, which is thought to have a health benefit due to containing catechins. Green tea contains the highest amount of catechins of all the teas because of how it is processed. Four polyphenol catechins in green tea are: gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin (EC), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In a given cup of tea, there can be between 80 to 100 mg of polyphenols. In addition, Green tea also contains about 50 mg of caffeine per cup.

Caffeine inhibits the phosphodiesterase-induced breakdown of cyclic AMP (cAMP), meaning that there is more cAMP. cAMP is an intracellular mediator for the actions of catecholamines on thermogenesis. Caffeine also helps to decreases adenosine leading to reduced central nervous system fatigue, this in turn causes an increased norepiephrine release. An enzyme called COMT breaks down norepinephrine at the synaptic junctions, this along with phosphodiesterases, adenosine, and certain prostaglandins help to regulate the amount of norepinephrine and its interactions with adrenoceptors. However, COMT can be inhibited by tea polyphenols which would prolonged the effect of norepiephrine on thermogenesis and fat metabolism. This was seen in the study by increased norepiephrine in the urine in the Green Tea group due to less breakdown of norepiphrine and an increased amount in the circulation. The researcher’s proposed mechanism for the results was that the catechins inhibited COMT, which increased the life of norepinephrine. Also, caffeine inhibited phosphodiesterases and increased the life of cAMP which overall increased norepiephrine’s effect on thermogenesis.

Overall this paper proves that Green Tea Extract increases fat metabolism, thermogenesis, and can aid in body composition changes, as well as provides mechanisms to explain these finding; however, I think it is important to see if it actually is applicable to the brand Hydroxcut. In the study subjects received one of three treatments, 1) green tea extract containing 50 mg of caffeine and 90 mg of ECGC, 2) 50 mg of caffeine, or 3) a placebo. All three treatments were taken three times per day for totals of: 1) 150 mg caffeine and 270 mg of ECGC, 2) 150 mg caffeine, no ECGC and 3) no caffeine or ECGC. Hydroxycut is also meant to be taken three times per day, and contains the following: at least 600 mg of caffeine/day and at least 351 mg of ECGC per day. More of both are included, but it is hard to quantify the exact amount due to how the ingredients are listed on the label, see http://www.hydroxycut.com/products/hydroxycut/hydroxycut_faqs.shtml. Comparing the researched amount, and the amount included in the product, it is seen that the product includes more than what was need to increase energy expenditure 4% in the study, therefore I would think there is a possibility the product can increase energy expenditure even more. On the other hand, in the study it was shown that the increased energy expenditure was not accompanied by an increase in heart rate, but that was at a dose lower than what is seen in the product, so this can possibly be a concern. It is interesting that after 10 years on the market, Hydroxcut has no listed scientific reviewed studies on the website or indexed in PubMed looking at the combination of ingredients in their product, instead they sight research (that is 10 years old) on key ingredients as their proof that it works. Perhaps, the company does not want consumers to know how the ingredients actually interact and work together. In conclusion, I think that Green Tea Extract has beneficial effects on weight loss, and while Hydroxcut may too; more research needs to be done.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Arnold Experience: More Than You Can Imagine

This weekend was my first time at The Arnold - a show that combines bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitions with an Expo hall that resembles New Years on Times Square and the educational sessions of the Strength Summit sponsored by StrengthPro. From Irish Dancing to Table Tennis to the Strong Man Competition, there is certainly something for everyone and thousands upon thousands of people descended upon the Convention Center in Columbus, OH for the show.

What astounded me the most was the plethora of people who were waiting in long lines to get samples of protein powders, bars, fat burners or other supplements. People from every walk of life and and of every age - from young teens to the elderly. One thing is clear about all of them - they are clearly interested in improving their health and physique. And, this got me thinking more about the term bodybuilder and my conversations with Kris Gethin. Kris has always emphasized that a bodybuilder isn't just an IFBB pro. But, a bodybuilder is anyone who works on their body, takes the right supplements and attempts to eat a good diet is a bodybuilder. See more at: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbmindupdate.php?day=7

Another very interesting thing about the show was how incredibly nice and personable all of the fitness and figure models and bodybuilders were. People like Mike Brown and Anthony Presciano not only took their time to say hello and smile to everyone but also take pictures with dozens of people every day.

The Arnold is certainly a show that offers something for everyone. If you missed it, check out the videos from bodybuilding.com or vpx.com or log on to facebook and check out the ISSN page for pictures.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sesamin, a sesame lignan, is a potent inducer of hepatic fatty acid oxidation in the rat.

Ashakumary L, Rouyer I, Takahashi Y, Ide T, Fukuda N, Aoyama T, Hashimoto T, Mizugaki M, Sugano M.

Laboratory of Nutrition Biochemistry, National Food Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tsukuba, Japan.

The effects of sesamin, one of the most abundant lignans in sesame seed, on hepatic fatty acid oxidation were examined in rats that were fed experimental diets containing various amounts (0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.5%) of sesamin (a 1:1 mixture of sesamin and episesamin) for 15 days. Dietary sesamin dose-dependently increased both mitochondrial and peroxisomal palmitoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) oxidation rates. Mitochondrial activity almost doubled in rats on the 0.5% sesamin diet. Peroxisomal activity increased more than 10-fold in rats fed a 0.5% sesamin diet in relation to rats on the sesamin-free diet. Dietary sesamin greatly increased the hepatic activity of fatty acid oxidation enzymes, including carnitine palmitoyltransferase, acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, acyl-CoA oxidase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, enoyl-CoA hydratase, and 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase. Dietary sesamin also increased the activity of 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase and delta3,delta2-enoyl-CoA isomerase, enzymes involved in the auxiliary pathway for beta-oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids dose-dependently. Examination of hepatic mRNA levels using specific cDNA probes showed a sesamin-induced increase in the gene expression of mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation enzymes. Among these various enzymes, peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase and bifunctional enzyme gene expression were affected most by dietary sesamin (15- and 50-fold increase by the 0.5% dietary level). Sesamin-induced alterations in the activity and gene expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I and acyl-CoA oxidase were in parallel with changes in the mitochondrial and peroxisomal palmitoyl-CoA oxidation rate, respectively. In contrast, dietary sesamin decreased the hepatic activity and mRNA abundance of fatty acid synthase and pyruvate kinase, the lipogenic enzymes. However, this lignan increased the activity and gene expression of malic enzyme, another lipogenic enzyme. An alteration in hepatic fatty acid metabolism may therefore account for the serum lipid-lowering effect of sesamin in the rat.

>>>> Posted by Kevin L Jones

Someone told me about Sesamin recently, and I'd never heard of it, so I did some research on it. There are multiple studies confirming that Sesamin increases hepatic lipid oxidation. It also increases overall lipid oxidation, helping to burn more fat as a fuel source rather than CHO. The thing I liked about it most is that it helps rid the liver of fat build-up. CLA, another supplement that helps increases FFA mobilization, has been shown to increase FA build-up in the liver. But taken along with Sesamin, I think that not only will you now have two compounds working together to increase lipid oxidation, but now you can prevent the build-up of fats in the liver.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More About Hydroxycut...


Berube-Patent, S., Pelletier, C., Core, J., & Tremblay, A. (2005). Effects of encapsulated green tea and Guarana extracts containing a mixture of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and caffeine on 24h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in men. British Journal of Nutrition, 94, 432-436.

My Take:
This study is listed on the Hydroxycut website as supporting evidence that their product works, due to two of its key ingredients: 1) Guarana, which contains caffeine and 2) Green Tea, which contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and caffeine. Green tea contains catechins which have antioxidant properties, such as aiding in the fight against cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and most recently obesity; EGCG is the most abundant catechin in green tea. In addition, 3-5% of Green Tea’s dry weight is caffeine.
Right away being on their website, I wonder what came first: the money to support the study via Hydroxcut’s company, or the study that happens to support the product. Either way, the study seems legitimate. The main research question was: What is the best combination of caffeine and EGCG to produce a significant increase in energy expenditure and fat oxidation without producing negative cardio-stimulatory side effects (increases in blood pressure and heart rate).
Details of study design and specific outcomes can be found in the paper, however generally the 14 male subjects sent 5 separate 24 hour occasions in a metabolic chamber in order to determine the effects of various mixtures of caffeine and EGCG. The EGCG content was determined by using 45% the dry weight of Green Tea, while the caffeine content was determined from Guarana. This is a limitation to the study design considering that both Green Tea and Guarana had other unknowns in them, including additions catechins and caffeine. Three measured values were determined to be significantly different: 24 hour energy expenditure, 24 hour diastolic blood pressure, and carbohydrate oxidation. 24 hour energy expenditure was significantly different that the placebo, proving that these ingredient can aid in weight loss.
In addition, key findings were that beyond a certain threshold, the EGCG content of a compound only produces a small, non-significant additional increase in 24 hour energy expenditure, so it in not clinically beneficial to increase the EGCG content at the expense of also increasing the negative cardio-stimulatory effects. Negative cardio-stimulatory side effects include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, two things regular exercise has been shown to reduce; therefore exercise, in addition to the supplement, will help fight the negative side effects. Next, a known effect of weight loss is a decrease in resting energy expenditure (RMR), another benefit of EGCG-caffeine mixtures is that it may keep the RMR elevated (how much as weight loss increases needs to be determined). Finally, it was concluded that EGCG-caffeine mixtures have a place in weight loss interventions, along with diet and exercise, not in place of.

Creatine vs. Creatine: Heavywight Bout of The Century!!

The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy
resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and
muscle creatine levels

Mike Spillane1, Ryan Schoch4, Matt Cooke1, Travis Harvey5, Mike Greenwood1, Richard
Kreider3, Darryn S. Willoughby1,2,ξ

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:6


Numerous creatine formulations have been developed primarily to maximize creatine
absorption. Creatine ethyl ester is alleged to increase creatine bio-availability. This study
examined how a seven-week supplementation regimen combined with resistance training
affected body composition, muscle mass, muscle strength and power, serum and muscle
creatine levels, and serum creatinine levels in 30 non-resistance-trained males. In a
double-blind manner, participants were randomly assigned to a maltodextrose placebo
(PLA), creatine monohydrate (CRT), or creatine ethyl ester (CEE) group. The
supplements were orally ingested at a dose of 0.30 g/kg fat-free body mass
(approximately 20 g/day) for five days followed by ingestion at 0.075 g/kg fat free mass
(approximately 5 g/day) for 42 days. Results showed significantly higher serum creatine
concentrations in PLA (p = 0.007) and CRT (p = 0.005) compared to CEE. Serum
creatinine was greater in CEE compared to the PLA (p = 0.001) and CRT (p = 0.001) and
increased at days 6, 27, and 48. Total muscle creatine content was significantly higher in
CRT (p = 0.026) and CEE (p = 0.041) compared to PLA, with no differences between
CRT and CEE. Significant changes over time were observed for body composition, body
water, muscle strength and power variables, but no significant differences were observed
between groups. In conclusion, when compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester was not as effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power. Therefore, the improvements in these variables can most likely be attributed to the training protocol itself, rather than the
supplementation regimen.

This was a really convenient and interesting article for myself because I have had countless conversation with colleagues on the effectiveness of CpR mono and CpR ethyl ester, almost all of which end in an agree to disagree solution. I was excited to read this article and the conclusion when it ended in my favor. Not to say that this is THE WORD on CpR however it helps to support my long time arguements that supplements are a great thing for athletes whose coaches do not know how to apply theory into practice to maximize the athlete's athletic potential. Many fellow Ex Sci affiliates I have spoken with can ramble off many things about what SHOULD happen to the body and how this effects that but, it seems that they can't put that into practice. Its evident when you review a program they write and ask for the goals they are attempting to achieve with this program, over half the programs don't correlate with the goals set in the appropriate timing!!! Another thing that this article shows is that all those fitness guru's in the GNC's and the Vitamin Shop's are pushing you towards overpriced and over advertised products because they supposedly have more pump or can creatine higher levels of creatine in your system. This article makes all these claims very debatable. It appears that sticking to the "cheap stuff" does just as well, who would have figured that? Its a good thing that some of us actually use real sources and our degree in order to make educated, and not ignorant choices.