Tag Archives: muscle mass

  • Combination DHA And EPA Supplementation from Fish Oil may Improve Physical Performance, Study Review Finds

    The benefits of fish oil consumption have been expounded upon for years; it is now well-established to promote heart health, cognitive function and support the wellness of your joints. However, studies that demonstrate clear benefit and exercise performance have been limited, and a mixed bag to say the least.

    Researchers in Japan who conducted a review of the simultaneous consumption of EPA and DHA from fish oil have stated that they do have a possible synergistic effect on physical performance, but more studies are needed to clarify findings.

    The Review

    Researchers from Japan's Hosei University and Teikyo University reviewed studies that investigated the effects of simultaneous consumption on muscle mass and strength, as well as nerve and muscle damage amelioration.

    Their findings on the effects of supplementation on strength loss were determined to be somewhat incomplete, owing to the fact that studies have shown no noticeable difference in muscle strength decline attenuation after consuming DHA and EPA.

    The researchers indicated that previous studies had lasted durations of just 3 to 4 weeks, whereas supplementation of EPA and DHA typically require between 30 and 60 days to reduce the decline in muscle strength observed after eccentric training. This means that previous studies had ended too early, not giving enough time for effects to possibly manifest.

    Following eccentric contraction, levels of inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-A) and interleukin six (IL-6) are elevated, but supplementation of the EPA and DHA combination were able to inhibit such elevations.

    Reviewing the effects of neuromuscular damage attenuation by EPA and DHA, they were only able to find one study that included rodents as test subjects, positing the need for further investigation.

    The fish oil combination consumed over the course of eight weeks resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness, indicating the possibility of usage to manage post workout pain.

    Other reviewed studies included the effect of EPA and DHA intake on inhibiting decreases in muscle mass, which have been found to be of benefit in rodent studies, but further human studies are needed to confirm this.

    It is also found that persons between the ages of 60 and 85 that consumed a combination of EPA and DHA daily over the course of six months experienced growth of thigh muscle mass, while younger men (aged between 21 to 24) did not notice any such benefit.

    Conclusions/Caveats

    Even though a few studies have found preliminary positive results, there is still a very large gray area with respect to supplementation. For instance, it is generally agreed that the combination is very effective for improving the neuromuscular adaptation that occurs following your work out, but exact mechanisms for this are unclear.

    On another note, the exact dosage that is required to elicit the desired benefits also require further investigation. Considering that safety guidelines recommend a maximum consumption of 3 grams daily, and athletes routinely consume in excess of this amount, further variables such as training experience, age and gender to name a few need to be factored into subsequent studies in coming to positive conclusions.

    References

    Eisuke Ochi, Yosuke Tsuchiya. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaneoic Acid (DHA) in Muscle Damage and Function Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 552; doi 10.3390/nu10050552

  • Top 3 Ingredients You Must Use for Muscle Mass

    Have you been pushing yourself in the gym to gain muscle without success?

    Is your dietary program lacking in proven supplements to support muscle?

    Ready to arm yourself with three scientifically-backed ingredients for muscle mass?

     

    Successful supplementation can feel like a game of chance. When you want to build muscle mass, you need to give your body every advantage you can. That's where scientifically proven supplement ingredients can help.

     

    Let's review the top 3 ingredients you must use for muscle mass. We'll even show you how you can make your own supplement.

     

    Whey Isolate

    First and foremost, when you want to build serious muscle mass, you NEED protein. Why? Protein breaks down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Not only do amino acids help to build lean muscle tissue but they also protect the muscle you already have.

     

    Whey isolate is a unique type of protein in that it is filtered to the point where it is 99% protein. What's more, it is the most bioavailable type of protein. This is important as the higher the rate of bioavailability, the better your body can absorb and assimilate the protein. (1-4)

     

    Whey isolate is fast digesting with a bioavailability of 101 out of 100! This makes it ideal for a post-workout supplement when your muscles require immediate amino acids.

     

    Casein

    Whey isolate isn't the only protein you should consider using. While whey isolate is ideal for a post-workout meal, it is rapidly digested, meaning your body gets a giant shot of amino acids all at once and that's it.

     

    When you want to build muscle, you need to ensure that your body is in a steady state of anabolism. The way to do that is with protein-focused whole foods and a slow digesting protein supplement. The way to do this is with casein protein.

     

    Casein protein is a very slow digesting protein that releases a steady stream of amino acids. One unique feature of amino acids is that they may be able to trigger protein synthesis and promote a higher level of anabolism. Due to the steady stream of amino acids, your muscles will be in an ideal environment to grow. What's more, casein protein may help protect you from protein catabolism, or breakdown.

     

    Creatine

    Last but not least, we have creatine monohydrate. Creatine has long been used in the bodybuilding world to ensure maximum muscle growth.

     

    Once ingested, creatine provides the muscle tissue with its preferred source of fuel in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Creatine monohydrate is known for being quick to absorb and extremely bioavailable.

     

    Once creatine gets to work in the body, it may be able to boost your performance during your workouts. That may mean extra repetitions and sets. This additional workload may help push your muscles into the ideal range for hypertrophy. Creatine may also be able to support your recovery post-workout.

     

    Conclusion

    Tired of not being able to find a supplement that has what YOU need?

    Finished with wasting money on supplements that are under-dosed?

    Why not create your own supplement?

     

    Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. With this revolutionary supplement builder, you control what goes into the supplement down to the dosage. If you're a beginner and you're not sure what you'd like to include, we're here to help. We have a variety of pre-made supplements that feature scientifically verifided AND dosed ingredients for your specific goal.

     

    Check out the Amino Z Supplement Builder now to get started!

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.
    1. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. "Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation." Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan; 136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis GA, Gijsen AP, Senden JM, VAN Loon LJ. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1560-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363.
    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
    2. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi:  10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.
  • Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer vs. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer

    For anyone who has a hard time putting on weight, there's nothing like an elite quality mass gainer. Loaded with the protein for muscle building and excess calories for mass, these supplements can make a huge difference for hard gainers.

     

    Let's take a look at two of the best mass gainers in the industry, Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Gainer and Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer to see which one is worth the buy.

     

     

    Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    Pro Gainer has been a fan favourite for years and it's not hard to see why. At 650 calories per serving, this is one supplement that is serious about helping you gain the mass you want.

     

    Every serving of Pro Gainer delivers 60 grams of protein along with 85 grams of carbohydrates, making it ideal as a muscle building supplement post-workout. We were really impressed by the protein blend that Optimum Nutrition uses which includes Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate, Egg Albumin, Hydrolyzed Whey Peptides, and Glutamine Peptides. With the varying rates of digestion for each type of protein, you can rest assured you'll have plenty of muscle building amino acids for hours.

     

    When used as directed, Pro Gainer may support muscle recovery, promote muscle growth, and trigger protein synthesis. (1-6)

     

    Cons of Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    Two concerns we have with Pro Gainer:

     

    First is with the vitamin and mineral blend. If you are taking a multi-vitamin, then you may want to take half of the dose since Pro Gainer delivers up to 50% of what you'll need on a daily basis.

     

    Second is with the maltodextrin as the front and centre ingredient. Maltodextrin is a simple carbohydrate source used in many mass gainers. Since it's a simple carbohydrate, it may spike insulin levels like a quick carb food would. With that said, it's best to use this product first thing in the morning or immediately following a workout.

     

     

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer

    The Gold Standard series of supplements from Optimum Nutrition has been one of the best in the industry. From the pre-workout to the protein, Gold Standard has set itself high above other supplement brands. The Gold Standard Gainer is no different. Packed with 760 calories from quality ingredients per serving, Gold Standard Gainer is ready to help you accomplish your size goals.

     

    Gold Standard Gainer gives you 55 grams of protein and 110 grams of carbohydrates. The amazing thing about the carbohydrate blend is that it is primarily from oat, pea and potato. Yes, you'll find maltodextrin in there as well but the bulk is coming from a complex carb source.

     

    The one area where Gold Standard surpasses its ON relative is with its unique fat blend including 11 grams of healthy fats from flaxseed, chia, and MCTs. Healthy fats are extremely important for overall health. When it comes to bulking up, healthy fats like MCT oil can actually keep the amount of fat you gain in check. This is critical when your goal is muscle, not fat mass. (7)

     

    Cons of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer

    Aside from the usual use of artificial sweeteners and flavouring, there isn't much you can argue against when it comes to Gold Standard Gainer. The only 'issue' is that the protein blend is primarily made of Whey Isolate, which means fast digesting amino acids. You can use it during any point in the day but especially following a workout.

     

    Which One Should You Buy?

    What you have here is two great mass gaining products. There is no denying that Gold Standard Gainer has the superior quality of the two products; however, it also has the bigger price tag. We would say that the extra money is well worth it but if you need to watch your spending this month, Pro Gainer is an excellent mass gaining choice.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.

     

    1. St-Onge MP, Bosarge A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):621-6.
  • The 5 Most Beneficial Movements for Gaining Muscle Mass

    When looking for, or designing, an exercise program, you should always have a few 'golden rules' you should incorporate, especially when the goal is gaining muscle mass. An example of this would be having more pulling movements than pushing movements, to help trainees get into proper spine position.

    When it comes to designing routines with the focus on building muscle mass, you should always find a way to incorporate some variation of a few movements that provide the biggest 'bang for your buck.' Without these, you are limiting progress on yourself or your trainee.

    Chances are this probably won't be shocking news to you. That isn't the intent of this article. Instead, we hope to educate or remind you that these movements should be included in your routine AT ALL TIMES if your goal is to gain muscle.

    Now, with that out of the way, let's take a look at what the best exercises are, and why they have earned their way on to this list:

    The Barbell Squat

    While many fitness professionals will undoubtedly argue about the best exercises, this one is #1 on probably all of the lists.

    Why? Because this movement requires so much effort from your entire body, and it can be easy to build up to heavy loads. Of course, with the heavier the load is, the more stress you are placing on the muscles. Because of the ability to load high amounts of weight onto the body, this exercise is always going to claim the top spot.

    Deadlift

    Believe it or not, this one is actually widely debated.

    You see, you often here the deadlift coined as the 'king of all exercises.' This is because it is, like the squat, a common movement pattern we use every day. At some point during the day, everyone has to drop down and pick something up. Now, it may not be heavy, but the deadlift teaches you how to properly brace your body and set up so that you can protect your body when lifting heavy things off the ground. Pretty important, right?

    Well, the deadlift doesn't incorporate an eccentric movement at any point during the lift, which is a problem when trying to build size. It also offers very little time under tension, which is key in producing size gains.

    So why is it on this list? Well, simply put, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

    The deadlift fights for the top spot when it comes to building strength. Much like the squat, it is a full body movement that is excellent at recruiting many muscle fibres, and is also a movement that many can use with relatively heavy weight. Size gains come as a by-product of strength gains, and the deadlift is among the best at producing strength. With the results it has given to countless numbers of individuals, it is easy to see why you fill also find this movement among many coaches' lists.

    Bench Press

    I almost put dumbbell chest press here.

    But I didn't. I stuck with the barbell bench press because you won't find anyone who can bench press 225 pounds with a small chest. It's just not possible. It is also an excellent exercise at building overall strength as well, and is among the most respected of the lifts today.

    But the dumbbell chest press does at least deserve to be discussed. This is because it requires more stabilization, and is more isolated, thus putting a larger emphasis on the chest. But, it is important to remember that the dumbbell chest press is just a variation of a chest pressing movement, so they both serve the same goal.

    Standing Military Press

    To close out the 'Big 4' movements comes the military press, another staple in almost any training program. It is another movement that challenges your body to stabilize, and really hits the shoulders hard, as well as a few other areas.

    This full body exercise will be more a challenge to your ego than any of the others previously mentioned. Your weight isn't going to be as high, and it is far more challenging as the weights increase. But once you can press a good amount of weight over your head, there is no doubt that your physique will show proof of that.

    Pull Ups

    After the big 4 exercises, choosing the 5th becomes a bit more difficult. This one was a toss-up between a few other exercises, such as straight legged deadlifts (which I didn't choose, as they are a variation of the deadlift), and push-ups.

    But pull ups earn their way on to this list because they are difficult to do for so many people, and yet they are so important! Not only that, but they also target the muscles differently depending on your grip, allowing you to focus on the weaker areas of your body just by a slight change in grip style.

    But, regardless of which grip you choose, this exercise will build your back. It is a challenge for almost anyone to even hit 7-8 repetitions with full range of motion, and a startling amount of individuals can't even perform one pull up.

    When choosing your next exercise routine to pack on some serious lean muscle, you need to make sure that it includes these five movements. By doing so, you are guaranteeing that you are placing great amounts of stress on the body, and leaving yourself the opportunity for fantastic gains in muscle. It also helps that these movements are very functional, and all of them will help you in your day to day life.

  • Older people who diet without exercising lose muscle mass

    In a world where people seek the most convenient of solutions, new research indicates that losing weight through dieting without adding exercise to the equation can cause loss of valuable muscle mass.
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