Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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

Mike Spillane1 , Ryan Schoch4 , Matt Cooke1 , Travis Harvey5 , Mike Greenwood1 , Richard Kreider3 and Darryn S Willoughby1,2
1Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Box 97313, Waco, TX 76798, USA
2Institute for Biomedical Science, Baylor University, Waco, TX 87898, USA
3Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 78743, USA
4Interdepartmental Nutrition Program, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
5Department of Physical Education, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10096, USA
author email corresponding author email
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:6doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-6
The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:
29 December 2008
19 February 2009
19 February 2009
© 2009 Spillane et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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.

I guess I'll keep my creatine monohydrate...gotta love results!

MIxed Carbohydrate Sources and Endurance Performance.

Three studies- all conducted by Jeukendrup et all - all concerning whether mixed sources of carbs (specifically glucose + fructose) will increase endurance performance.
1) Superior endurance performance with ingestion of multiple transportable carbohydrates. Feb 0840(2):275-281, February 2008.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of ingesting a glucose plus fructose drink compared with a glucose-only drink (both delivering carbohydrate at a rate of 1.8 g/min) and a water placebo on endurance performance.
Basically this study had the subjects exercise for 120 mins at 55% of Vo2 max while taking in either glucose only (G) or glucose and fructose (GF), and then complete a time trial and see which version spared more glucose. It was not clear whether the subjects were actually taking in the mixed carbs during the TT. The GF trial had the fastest time to completion on the TT and the following conclusion was reached:
Conclusion: Ingestion of GF led to an 8% improvement in cycling time-trial performance compared with ingestion of G.

2) Multiple transportable carbohydrates enhance gastric emptying and fluid delivery.
Nov 08.

This study looked at whether the mixed carbs would increase gastric emptying. This time the subjects cycled at 61% of VO2 max for 120 mins.
with the result that the GLU+FRU resulted in faster rates of gastric emptying and that GLU+FRU also attenuated the rise in heart rate that occurred in GLU and WATER and resulted in lower ratings of perceived exertion. There was a greater loss in body weight with GLU corrected for fluid intake. These data suggest that ingestion of a combined GLU+FRU solution increases GE and "fluid delivery" compared with a glucose only solution.

3) Exogenous CHO oxidation with glucose plus fructose intake during exercise.
Feb 09.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to determine whether combined ingestion of moderate amounts of glucose plus fructose would result in higher rates of exogenous CHO oxidation compared with an isocaloric amount of glucose alone.
METHODS: Seven endurance-trained male cyclists performed three experimental trials consisting of 150 min of cycling at 65% VO(2max). Subjects ingested a CHO solution providing glucose (GLU) at an average rate of 0.8 g min(-1), glucose (0.54 g min(-1)) plus fructose (0.26 g min(-1)) (GLU + FRU), or plain water (WAT) during exercise. CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that ingesting moderate amounts of glucose plus fructose does not increase exogenous CHO oxidation above that of an isocaloric amount of glucose alone.

My take on all 3 studies: What good is it to test trained cyclists at 55% and 61% of VO2 max for Gastric emptying or depletion of exogenous carbohydrates? Who in the world races at this low an intensity???!!!($*&_&%_(Q#&%_$)#Q***@%#$@!! :) Huh? Who? Tell me?
As the good Dr. Bill Eisner says, at that low an intensity I could eat pizza and probably not get an upset stomach and may indeed have fairly good rates of GE! Given that there are tales of gastric distress with fructose intake and that other studies have shown that typical rates of GE are around 60g of CHO (any kind) , don't we need to see these studies done at intensities that mimic race conditions? Even an ultradistance athlete will be going at around 75%VO2max. Let's see this study done.
Thank you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The effects of a nutritionally enriched coffee drink on repeated flying 40-yd sprint performance

Jon-Kyle Davis*, Matt Green, Matt Laurent, Nick Bacon and Whitney Thomas
A double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized trial was performed to evaluate the effects of a nutritionally enriched coffee (NEC) drink compared to decaffeinated coffee (DC) on repeated flying 40-yard sprint performance.
Physically active male and female volunteers (n = 13) completed 24 × 50 yard sprints following NEC and DC (counterbalanced). Sprints were completed in 2 halves(12 sprints per half) with 2 minutes recovery between each sprint and a 10-minute recovery period between halves. Acute-RPE (A-RPE) (0–10 omni scale) was recorded after every sprint and Session RPE (S-RPE) was recorded 20 min after completing each trial. Blood lactate ([LA]) was recorded at baseline and following sprints, 6, 12, 18, and 24. Additionally, a fatigue index (FI) was calculated as a percentage difference between mean sprint time and fastest sprint time.
A 2 (trial) × 2 (treatment) repeated measures ANOVA revealed significantly (p = 0.03) faster (main effect) sprint time for NEC. Post-hoc analyses revealed significantly faster times (p ≤ 0.05) for sprints 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 17, while approaching significance at sprints 10 (p = 0.07) and 15 (p = 0.08). No main effect for A-RPE (p = 0.28) or [LA] (p = 0.15) was found. Results from a paired t-test revealed a significantly improved FI (p = 0.04) with NEC but no significant impact on S-RPE (p = 0.72).
Results indicate that caffeine administered in a NEC drink can enhance repeated bouts of acute sprint performance possibly through delayed fatigue as evidenced in a dampened perceived exertion response (faster sprints with similar RPE).

My Take:
The findings of this study appear to give a reason for physically active males and females to consume nutritionally enriched coffee before any repeated bouts of sprints to enhance their performance by blunting their perception of fatigue. I don’t feel that regular gym goers who workout in the afternoon would be crazy about performance enhancing through coffee. However, this coffee could be beneficial for the morning rush gym rats. After reading this abstract I had a few questions. First would be could these results translate to elite athletes, I know for a fact that at Penn State when the football players come back from summer break they must run 15 40 yard dash all within .2 seconds of their best. If this nutritionally enhanced coffee could dull their perception of fatigue they might be able to pass this test easily. Also I am assuming that the participants consumed JavaFit coffee, how much coffee did the subjects consume? And how many mg of caffeine? Other than these questions it appears that this enhanced coffee may be very beneficial especially to gym goers early in the morning, one to offset fatigue and two psychologically ( I know I can’t function until I have my cup of coffee.)

Minerals and Sport Performance an overview

Minerals are very important for every athlete. They are part of muscle contraction, oxygen transport, help in nerve impulse conduction and acid-base balance of the blood, support a healthy immune system, have antioxidative properties…Which minerals are from outmost importance, which minerals have an ergogenic effect and does it make sense to supplement with minerals?
An athlete generally should try to achieve adequate mineral intake through their daily diet without extra supplementation in the first attempt. If an athlete is deficient in a mineral, supplementation might improve bodily function and therefore performance. The two most deficiencies in athletes are known to be calcium and iron.


Calcium is stored in the skeletal system and helps in muscular contraction. Calcium need is increased in athletes, especially with high intensity training. Insufficient calcium intake will lead to decreased bone density. (Females more likely to develop calcium deficiency) Additional calcium intake if athlete is not deficient does not enhance performance.

Phosphorus helps in energy metabolism. Phosphate salt supplementation resulted in equivocal results in different study. Some studies reported a lower RPE and therefore a beneficial psychological effect of Phosphate supplementation before exercise.

Magnesium regulates muscle contraction, oxygen delivery and helps in protein synthesis. Studies have not shown improvements in performance with supplementation.

Iron is important for oxygen transport. Iron supplementation should improve performance in deficient individuals but will not have an effect in people with no deficiency. Iron losses include sweat losses, menstrual, gastrointestinal losses or myoglobin leakage. Iron supplementation has also proved to be beneficial for athletes training in altitude to stimulate EPO production.

Zinc deficiency is seen in individuals with a high carb, low protein diet. Constant fatigue, loss of body weight and decreased endurance performance are among symptoms of zinc deficiency. General supplementation is not recommended.

Chromium, an insulin cofactor, might have an ergogenic effect by facilitating BCAA transport into the muscle. In general studies have failed to show effects on sport performance with chromium supplementation.

Vanadium also helps to enhance insulin activity whereas the limited data available does not support an anabolic effect if individual is healthy.

Selenium supplementation has shown in some studies to enhance gluthatione peroxidase status in aerobic exercise. Whereas the studies failed to show improvements in performance.


After reviewing minerals, there is no effidence of any mineral to enhance performance. If an athlete has a well balanced diet, he should be able to meet almost all of his mineral needs. Athletes who are deficient of a mineral might improve performance and bodily function with supplementation. As a female runner, I have constantly problems to keep my iron levels up. Supplementation has helped me to improve performance. But negatively, constant supplementation might have adverse effects. Therefore an athlete should research what foods contain the mineral he is in need of.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Resistance training with soy vs whey protein supplements in hyperlipidemic males

Carol A DeNysschen1 , Harold W Burton2 , Peter J Horvath2 , John J Leddy3 and Richard W Browne: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:8doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-8.


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 was 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.

The Berrones Analysis:

Although both types of protein, whey and soy, did not significantly affect strength or size gains, the importance of the study should not be negated. That is, resistance training is a beneficial mode of exercise that alters body composition, independent of protein supplementation. However, many studies have shown the enhanced effects of protein supplementation, namely the mixture of essential amino acids and simple sugars, on various parameters of fitness including size and strength. Thus, if one is overweight, high-lipidemic, and male, then step right up to the squat rack without your 5 lb bucket of whey, because sooner than later the cheeseburger in your arteries will plug up fifty years of healthy living.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Funny Business- Hydroxycut


Aim: The efficacy of optimal doses of highly bioavailable (–)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) alone and in combination with niacin-bound chromium (NBC) and a standardized Gymnema sylvestre extract (GSE) on weight loss in moderately obese subjects was evaluated by monitoring changes in body weight, body mass index (BMI), appetite, lipid profiles, serum leptin and excretion of urinary fat metabolites. HCA-SX has been shown to reduce appetite, inhibit fat synthesis and decrease body weight without stimulating the central nervous system. NBC has demonstrated its ability to maintain healthy insulin levels, while GSE has been shown to regulate weight loss and blood sugar levels.
Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human study was conducted in Elluru, India for 8 weeks in 60 moderately obese subjects (ages 21–50, BMI >26 kg/m2). Subjects were randomly divided into three groups. Group A was administered HCA-SX 4667 mg, group B was administered a combination of HCA-SX 4667 mg, NBC 4 mg and GSE 400 mg, while group C was given placebo daily in three equally divided doses 30–60 min before meals. All subjects received a 2000 kcal diet/day and participated in supervised walking.
Results: At the end of 8 weeks, body weight and BMI decreased by 5–6% in both groups A and B. Food intake, total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, triglycerides and serum leptin levels were significantly reduced in both groups, while high-density lipoprotein levels and excretion of urinary fat metabolites increased in both groups. A marginal or non-significant effect was observed in all parameters in group C.
Conclusion: The present study shows that optimal doses of HCA-SX and, to a greater degree, the combination of HCA-SX, NBC and GSE can serve as an effective and safe weight-loss formula that can facilitate a reduction in excess body weight and BMI, while promoting healthy blood lipid levels.


Preuss, H.G., Bagchi, D., Bagchi, M., Sanyasi Rao, C.V., & Satyanarayana, S. (2004). Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, 6, 171-180.

My Take

The most interesting thing about this paper is that the same research team published it in two different journals in the same year, using a slightly different title and subject group, which changed the stats but still produced the same results. This paper shows that HCA, NBC, and GSE together have the greatest effect on weight loss, more so than just taking the HCA alone. I looked up the amounts of these components in Hydroxycut and compared them to the amounts in the study. I found that it is very hard to tell exactly how much of each is actually in the product because it is not clearly listed on the label. It seems that the amounts in the product are almost equal to those researched. However, although positive gains were seen, studies still need to be done on Hydroxycut as a whole to claim that it works.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Efficacy and safety of a popular thermogenic drink after 28 days of ingestion.

Roberts, M. D., Dalbo, V. J., Hassell, S. E., Stout, J. R., & Kerksick, C. M. Efficacy and safety of a popular thermogenic drink after 28 days of ingestion. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:19

Background: We have recently demonstrated that consuming a thermogenic drink (TD) acutely
increases energy expenditure and serum markers of lipolysis in healthy, college-aged individuals. The purpose of this study was to determine if consuming TD over 28 days affects its acute thermogenic and lipolytic effects as well as body composition and clinical chemistry safety markers.

Methods: Sixty healthy, males (mean ± SE; 23 ± 1 years, 177 ± 2 cm, 81.7 ± 2.1 kg, 22.8 ± 1.4%
body fat; n = 30) and females (23 ± 1 years, 166 ± 2 cm, 62.1 ± 1.8 kg, 28.3 ± 1.4% body fat; n =
30) reported to the laboratory on day 0 (T1) for determination of body composition, resting
energy expenditure (REE) as well as glycerol and free fatty acid (FFA) levels before and after
ingesting either 336 ml of TD or a non-caloric, non-caffeinated placebo (PLA) drink. Following day 0, participants supplemented daily with 336 ml·day-1 of either TD or PLA and repeated identical testing procedures on day 28 (T2). Day 28 area under the curve (AUC) values were calculated for REE, FFA, and glycerol. Day 28 acute data and prolonged AUC comparisons between groups were analyzed using ANOVAs with repeated measures.

Results: Percent body fat (p = 0.02) and fat mass (p = 0.01) decreased in the TD group compared to the PLA group after 28 days. Day 28 FFA AUC values (p = 0.048) were greater in the TD group compared to the PLA group. There was no significant difference in day 28 REE AUC values (p = 0.30) or glycerol AUC values (p = 0.21), although a significant increase in REE values in the PLA group may have confounded these findings. There were no differences between groups concerning blood and clinical safety markers.

Conclusion: Within-group elevations in FFA and REE values in the TD group were still evident
following a 28-day supplementation period which may contribute to the observed decrements in
%BF. Further, prolonged TD supplementation did not alter the assessed clinical safety markers.
Future studies should examine the synergistic and independent effects of the active ingredients in addition to effects of longer ingestion periods of TD ingestion with or without exercise at
promoting and sustaining changes in body composition.

When I read articles with results like this two things come to my mind. 1) "Awesome, you can actually lose weight and look better with out doing much work!" 2) "Crap, now my clients are going to see this and think that this is all they have to do!" Which in turn leads to less money for me and the economy is bad enough man.

What concerns me the most here is that just like the article referenced these findings should be carefully considered as the present study only spanned 28 days and did not invoke dietary or exercise intervention. So we have no way of knowing if the TD did the work or if their diets and exercise manipulated the body's metabolism in order to get the results. Of course there are arguments against this by comparing pre post RBC's triglycerides etc, etc, but in essence we still don't know the external factors.

Another thing is that the media centers so much attention around aesthetics of a person's body and society has bought into it so hard that no body wants to exercise to be "more healthy" they all exercise to get that "perfect body." With these results you are telling people that they can throw out exercising ans still lose fat mass! These implications could possibly cause a huge catastrophic morbididty rate to increase over the years because if you simply lose fat mass without exercising you may not see the physiological benefits that result from consistent exercise such as increaesed RBC's, stronger cardiovascular system (heart), increased bone mineral density, muscle hypertrophy, etc, etc. This means that your body's ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles, pump blood easily, and prevent osteoporosis has not been improved. So can someone tell me why we would not want to exercise? I have the answer, because it is easier just to take a magic pill (drink) and see results. Its sad that we have been brainwashed into caring more about how we look now instead of the longevity of our health down the road. I wish it were easier for people to understand but just because you don't see or feel anything happening does not mean that your body is not getting healthier!!

I appreciate this article though because maybe by combining the drink WITH exercise and proper nutrition we as exercise physiologists and strength coaches can continue to promote longevity while our clients/athletes still SEE results and therefore will still be doing our part in making the world and its inhabitants a healthier place to live.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

International Society of Sports Nutrition 6th Annual Conference and Expo

Register now! Go to for more information!

GPLC improves performance!

An interesting study which shows that Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine produces enhanced anaerobic work capacity with reduced lactate accumulation in resistance trained males.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The effect of glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate on the progression of knee osteoarthritis

Sawitzke AD, Shi H, Finco MF, Dunlop DD, Bingham CO 3rd, Harris CL, Singer NG, Bradley JD, Silver D, Jackson CG, Lane NE, Oddis CV, Wolfe F, Lisse J, Furst DE, Reda DJ, Moskowitz RW, Williams HJ, Clegg DO.

University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee causes significant morbidity and current medical treatment is limited to symptom relief, while therapies able to slow structural damage remain elusive. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (CS), alone or in combination, as well as celecoxib and placebo on progressive loss of joint space width (JSW) in patients with knee OA. METHODS: A 24-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted at 9 sites in the United States as part of the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), enrolled 572 patients with knee OA who satisfied radiographic criteria (Kellgren/Lawrence [K/L] grade 2 or grade 3 changes and JSW of at least 2 mm at baseline). Patients with primarily lateral compartment narrowing at any time point were excluded. Patients who had been randomized to 1 of the 5 groups in the GAIT continued to receive glucosamine 500 mg 3 times daily, CS 400 mg 3 times daily, the combination of glucosamine and CS, celecoxib 200 mg daily, or placebo over 24 months. The minimum medial tibiofemoral JSW was measured at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. The primary outcome measure was the mean change in JSW from baseline. RESULTS: The mean JSW loss at 2 years in knees with OA in the placebo group, adjusted for design and clinical factors, was 0.166 mm. No statistically significant difference in mean JSW loss was observed in any treatment group compared with the placebo group. Treatment effects on K/L grade 2 knees, but not on K/L grade 3 knees, showed a trend toward improvement relative to the placebo group. The power of the study was diminished by the limited sample size, variance of JSW measurement, and a smaller than expected loss in JSW. CONCLUSION: At 2 years, no treatment achieved a predefined threshold of clinically important difference in JSW loss as compared with placebo. However, knees with K/L grade 2 radiographic OA appeared to have the greatest potential for modification by these treatments.


I have been using a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement on & off now for a few years. It seems like whenever I am on it, I have no pains in my joints at all. But when I am on it for a while and begin to think I don't need it anymore, I stop consumption, and soon enough, joint pains arise. So I am unsure whether or not it is by chance that I get joint injuries when I am off joint supplements. I have done a lot of research on this subject matter, and all of the research data is equivocal. But there are a few recent studies I noticed saying that joint supplementation is ineffective, like the article posted above. So maybe they should conduct a study testing for different markers than previously used. In conclusion, I will most likely continue to use my joint supplements at low dose, simply because of its sulfur content, as sulfur seems to have quite a few health benefits.

Posted by Kevin L. Jones

Monday, April 13, 2009

The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc.

School of Physical Education and Sports, Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey.

OBJECTIVES: The present study aims to investigate how exhaustion exercise affects thyroid hormones and testosterone levels in elite athletes who are supplemented with oral zinc sulfate for 4 weeks. 

METHODS: The study included 10 male wrestlers, who had been licensed wrestlers for at least 6 years. Mean age of the wrestlers who volunteered in the study was 18.70 +/- 2.4 years. All subjects were supplemented with oral zinc sulfate (3 mg/kg/day) for 4 weeks in addition to their normal diet. Thyroid hormone and testosterone levels of all subjects were determined as resting and exhaustion before and after zinc supplementation. 

RESULTS: Resting TT3, TT4, FT3, FT4 and TSH levels of subjects were higher than the parameters measured after exhaustion exercise before zinc supplementation (p<0.05).>

CONCLUSION: Findings of our study demonstrate that exhaustion exercise led to a significant inhibition of both thyroid hormones and testosterone concentrations, but that 4-week zinc supplementation prevented this inhibition in wrestlers. In conclusion, physiological doses of zinc administration may benefit performance.

MY TAKE:  This is a two year old study but I was interested in researching Zinc because it is believed to be important is many things from preventing premature aging of the skin, helping the healing processes, reducing duration and severity of cold symptoms, to prostate function.  ZMA is commonly taken in hopes of increasing testosterone and sleep but this study used only 3g/day of zinc sulfate and showed that it improved thyroid hormones and testosterone concentrations which are important to all people but especially athletes and those who train.

Plant based dietary supplement increases urinary pH

John M Berardi1Alan C Logan2 and A Venket Rao3

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:20doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-20



Research has demonstrated that the net acid load of the typical Western diet has the potential to influence many aspects of human health, including osteoporosis risk/progression; obesity; cardiovascular disease risk/progression; and overall well-being. As urinary pH provides a reliable surrogate measure for dietary acid load, this study examined whether a plant-based dietary supplement, one marketed to increase alkalinity, impacts urinary pH as advertised.


Using pH test strips, the urinary pH of 34 healthy men and women (33.9 +/- 1.57 y, 79.3 +/- 3.1 kg) was measured for seven days to establish a baseline urinary pH without supplementation. After this initial baseline period, urinary pH was measured for an additional 14 days while participants ingested the plant-based nutritional supplement. At the end of the investigation, pH values at baseline and during the treatment period were compared to determine the efficacy of the supplement.


Mean urinary pH statistically increased (p = 0.03) with the plant-based dietary supplement. Mean urinary pH was 6.07 +/- 0.04 during the baseline period and increased to 6.21 +/- 0.03 during the first week of treatment and to 6.27 +/- 0.06 during the second week of treatment.


Supplementation with a plant-based dietary product for at least seven days increases urinary pH, potentially increasing the alkalinity of the body.

MY TAKE:  Acidosis can not only destroy bone integrity and other health aspects but it can worsen your recovery and performance from exercise (which produces a metabolic acidosis).  Maintaining a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruit can improve body composition and performance.  So even while strongmen and heavy weight powerlifters scoff at fruits and veggies because they need extra calories, they could actually be hurting themselves in doing so.  And they might actually need way more because they eat so much.  A plant-based supplement could be an easy alternative to consuming Fs & Vs all day long to enhancing gains in athletes and normal active people alike.  Although, it should not be their sole form and can not necessarily be substituted for whole fresh veggies and fruits.

Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine produces enhanced anaerobic work capacity with reduced lactate accumulation in resistance trained males

Patrick L Jacobs , Erica R Goldstein , Will Blackburn , Ishan Orem  and John J Hughes

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:9doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-9

Abstract (provisional)


Recent research has indicated that short term administration of glycine propionyl-L-carnitine (GPLC) significantly elevates levels of nitric oxide metabolites at rest and in response to reactive hyperaemia. However, no scientific evidence exists that suggests such supplementation enhances exercise performance in healthy, trained individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of GPLC on the performance of repeated high intensity stationary cycle sprints with limited recovery periods in resistance trained male subjects.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design, twenty-four male resistance trained subjects (25.2 +/- 3.6 years) participated in two test sessions separated by one week. Testing was performed 90 minutes following oral ingestion of either 4.5 grams GPLC or 4.5 grams cellulose (PL), in randomized order. The exercise testing protocol consisted of five 10-second Wingate cycle sprints separated by 1-minute active recovery periods. Peak (PP) and mean values (MP) of sprint power output and percent decrement of power (DEC) were determined per bout and standardized relative to body mass. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (LAC) were measured prior to, during and following the five sprint bouts.


Significant main effects (p < p =" 0.09)">


These findings indicate that short-term oral supplementation of GPLC can enhance peak power production in resistance trained males with significantly less LAC accumulation.

MY TAKE:   GPLC was originally developed for heart patients but it seems now that it can be beneficial to anaerobic athletes.  With all those so-call "NO" products out there that don't really work its exciting to see this new supplement and the promise it shows.  Having participated in this study myself, even though I didn't know what when I was taking GPLC or the placebo I could feel the effects and new it when I took the GPLC. After the study I began to use the product during weight lifting session and got tremendous pumps especially in my arms and for some reason my lats. My recovery time seemed to be much better as well.  But this study was done using repeated wingate's of 10 sec and I am not a cyclist but it obviously was able to be applied to the weight room.  This supplement could be a nice alternate to illegal and unhealthy drugs for bodybuilding such as insulin, which is very dangerous to use, as well as enhancing athletic performance.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Milk: the new sports drink? A Review

Roy, B. Milk: the new sports drink? A Review.
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:15

There has been growing interest in the potential use of bovine milk as an exercise beverage, especially during recovery from resistance training and endurance sports. Based on the limited research, milk appears to be an effective post-resistance exercise beverage that results in favourable acute alterations in protein metabolism. Milk consumption acutely increases muscle protein synthesis, leading to an improved net muscle protein balance. Furthermore, when post-exercise milk consumption is combined with resistance training (12 weeks minimum), greater increases in muscle hypertrophy and lean mass have been observed. Although research with milk is limited, there is some evidence to suggest that milk may be an effective post-exercise beverage for endurance activities. Low-fat milk has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than commercially available sports drinks as a rehydration beverage. Milk represents a more nutrient dense beverage choice for individuals who partake in strength and endurance activities, compared to traditional sports drinks. Bovine low-fat fluid milk is a safe and effective post exercise beverage for most individuals, except for those who are lactose intolerant. Further research is warranted to better delineate the possible applications and efficacy of bovine milk in the field of sports nutrition.

I've often snickered at all the advertised sports drinks that are available in all the different flavors and claims that they are the superior recovery drink. Consumers often pay close to $2-3 dollars for a 20 oz sport drink and then gawk at when prices for dairy products shoot through the roof. The most often justification I hear for buying the pricey sports drinks is that they are designed to enhance recovery so the consumer needs to drink it in order to get better at their sport. In high school, our coach always told us to drink a glass of chocolate milk after the workout and a lot of us players didn't believe too much in what he said but knowing what I know now I wish I had taken his words into consideration because in the long run I could've saved a lot of money up till now.

Elliot et al. investigated the influence of consuming differing
milk beverages on the protein metabolic response following
an acute bout of resistance exercise this study did
not determine what contributed to the change in net balance
(change in synthesis, change in breakdown, or both),
however, the evidence did show that protein metabolism
was enhanced with a single bolus intake of milk after the
resistance exercise. (Roy)

Given the amount of studies that have been recently conducted on the effectiveness of increased muscle protein synthesis it should have been obvious for years that milk would most likely be one of the best recovery shakes especially when mixed with a sweetener such as chocolate, and who doesn't enjoy a tall glass of chocolate milk? (Don't answer if you don't) I was told once that the estimated breakdown of whey protein is about 4 hours and casein 8 hours therefore if you were to take a cup of chocolate milk (or just regular milk) it would help prevent your body from going into catabolism as quickly as it would and then if you take some more after the work out and get a meal in you with in an hour then you basically have set yourself up to stop catabolism in its tracks. Of course this is all theoretical, and has not been proven with out a doubt at least this up to this point.

Overall it seems as though mom has been right all these years after all. Maybe we should stop being led by the hand to believe that all these magical drinks and supplements are going to lead us to vicotry when in fact some of the best nutrients have been in our fridge for all our lives.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Caffeine and marathon running

Sports Med. 1985 May-Jun;2(3):165-74.Links
Caffeine and endurance performance.

Powers SK, Dodd S.
The belief among athletes that caffeine is an ergogenic aid is common, and several governing bodies of sport have barred use of the drug during competition. At the cellular level, caffeine has been implicated to affect the translocation of calcium in muscle, promote an increase in cellular levels of cyclic AMP and cause a blockade of adenosine receptors in the central nervous system. The general systemic effect of caffeine is to cause central nervous system arousal, mobilisation of free fatty acids and other metabolites, and possibly enhance the contractile status of muscle. At present, the scientific community remains divided as to whether caffeine ingestion will indeed produce an ergogenic effect upon sport performance. Some evidence suggests that caffeine may improve performance in events relying upon strength and power; however, the lack of in vivo research in humans makes it difficult to form firm conclusions. In addition, reports concerning caffeine's effect on VO2max and performance during incremental exercise are not in agreement. On the other hand, recent studies suggest that caffeine might indeed have ergogenic potential in endurance events (e.g. marathon running). It is hypothesised that the mechanism behind these findings is related to the increased availability of free fatty acids for muscle metabolism which has a glycogen-sparing effect.

The Berrones Analysis:

In the FAU laboratory about a week ago, particularly that of Room 408, there was a photo shoot with the winner of the A1A marathon. The woman is going to be on the cover of Inside Triathlete, apparently a premier magazine for athletes of this kind. I asked her if she supplemented with caffeine; then I asked her what her best marathon time was. She told me 3:15:00 and no.

I thought the data was clearly in about caffeine and its effects on improving aerobic performance. The article that I posted here was investigated nearly 25 years ago. The authors list that there is contradictory evidence surrounding the efficacy of caffeine and its effects on aerobic performance. I think looking at an article of this kind, and then comparing it to what we have figured out in the interim is an interesting exercise. Numerous studies have listed the benefits, i.e., increased time to exhaustion, decrease RPE, glycogen-sparing due to FFA mobilization, etc. Needless to say, the woman said she would "look into it"... Hopefully she doesn't look for "it" in a magazine.

Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of highly trained athletes.

O'Connor DM, Crowe MJ.

Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, James Cook University, Australia.

AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 6 wks oral supplementation of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and a mixture of HMB and creatine monohydrate (HMBCr) on aerobic and anaerobic capacity in highly trained athletes. It was hypothesised that HMB and HMBCr would have positive effects on aerobic and anaerobic power. METHODS: A prospective study involving a repeated measures design was utilised where subjects underwent testing prior to, and immediately after, a 6 wks supplementation period. Elite, male rugby league players (n=27) were divided into 3 groups, a control group (n=6), a HMB group (3 g/d; n=10) and a HMBCr group (3 g/d HMB + 3 g/d Cr; n=11). Testing involved a multistage fitness test to determine aerobic power and a 60 sec maximal cycle test to determine anaerobic capacity. Peak power, total work and peak lactate levels were measured in the anaerobic cycle test. RESULTS: Two-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed no effect of HMB or HMBCr on any of the measured parameters in comparison to the control group. CONCLUSION: Aerobic and anaerobic ability of highly trained male athletes is unaffected by 6 wks oral supplementation with HMB or a combination of HMB and creatine monohydrate.

My thoughts... The key phrase in this study is "highly trained athletes". I recently did a ton of research on the effects of creatine on highly trained athletes, and it seems that they do not benefit as much as recreational athletes would. For most studies, researchers use "weekend athletes", and an occasional collegiate athlete, but never any professional athletes (or as far as i know, I've never seen a study done on pro sports players). So my guess is that maybe the body can become more efficient in using its energy systems, such as the phosphocreatine system, and over time, be able to use them to their maximum potential without having to introduce exogenous supplementation.