Vitamin C

 

Vitamin C is a well-known vitamin. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that, among other things, helps to support our immune system. Our bodies cannot make Vitamin C and we must therefore get it from our diet by eating foods which are rich in Vitamin C like fresh fruit and vegetables. Sometimes it can be good to get a little extra Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has a wide range of functions in the body, including contributing to the normal function of the immune system and helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Vitamin C also contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, which means it is an antioxidant. Oxidative stress can interfere with the ability of cells to function normally.

It also contributes to normal collagen formation; collagen is part of the structure of bones, teeth, gums and skin so helping collagen form supports all these other things as well.

Benefits Of Vitamin C 

 

1) Vitamin C is Vital for Brain Health

2) Vitamin C Improves Mood

3) Vitamin C Lowers Anxiety

4) Vitamin C Helps to Combat Depression

5) Vitamin C Reduces Fatigue

6) Vitamin C May Slow Age-Related Cognitive Decline

7) Vitamin C May Improve Thyroid Activity (in low doses)

8) Vitamin C Improves Blood Pressure

9) Vitamin C is Beneficial for Blood Flow

10) Vitamin C May Combat Cancer & Ease Cancer Treatment

11) Vitamin C Protects the Lungs From Oxidative Stress

12) Vitamin C Boosts Immunity

13) Vitamin C Helps Reduce Inflammation

14) Vitamin C Lowers Histamine Levels

15) Vitamin C Protects the Gut

16) Vitamin C is Beneficial for Mitochondria

17) Vitamin C is Beneficial for Exercise & Recovery

18) Vitamin C Combats Weight Gain

19) Vitamin C is Beneficial for Diabetics

20) Vitamin C Facilitates Collagen Production

21) Vitamin C is Good for Your Bones

22) Vitamin C is Great for Your Skin

23) Vitamin C May Protect From Stroke

24) Vitamin C is Beneficial for Smokers

25) Vitamin C Increases Frequency Of Sex

26) Vitamin C Combats Sea Sickness

27) Vitamin C Reduces Toxin Burden

28) Vitamin C Improves Sperm Quality

29) Vitamin C is Beneficial During Pregnancy

30) Vitamin C is Beneficial After Surgery

31) Vitamin C and Hormones

32) Vitamin C Increases Nutrient Availability

33) Vitamin C Lowers Cortisol

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L-Glutamine – What Is It and What Does It Do?

L-Glutamine – What Is It and What Does It Do?

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in our blood and makes up approximately 60% of the amino acid pool in our muscles. It is constructed by combining an amino acid compound and glutamic acid.

Glutamine is an amino acid known for its role as a substrate for protein synthesis. This means it is used during skeletal muscle contraction when we exercise, and without its presence our gut wrenching exercise sessions may be hampered.

This amino acid is an important anabolic precursor for muscle growth following exercise. In fact it the anabolic effects of glutamine include both an increase in protein synthesis (muscle hypertrophy or increased number of muscle cells) and increases in muscle cell expansion and filling with creatine, water and carbohydrate (muscle cell volumisation or “the pump”).

Increased glutamine content in muscle allows glutamine to suppress the oxidation (breakdown) of the branched chain amino acid leucine, and enhances the disposal of leucine without release of free radicals. Remember, free radicals are atoms with an unpaired electron which react with oxygen to reek havoc and result in cell damage.

The presence of leucine is key for muscle growth as it regulates the initiation of protein synthesis, acting as a trigger for muscle tissue development. Therefore, if glutamine can prevent leucine breakdown, it can be put to better use to facilitate muscle synthesis.

The concentration of glutamine also ensures a positive nitrogen balance which is required for muscle protein synthesis. There is also evidence that glutamine can also reduce muscle tissue catabolism (breakdown) by counteracting the effects of the stress chemical cortisol. Cortisol is an adrenal stress hormone which can lead to proteolysis (protein tissue breakdown) and reduced physical performance.

Training intensely (as we all try to do) or performing exhausting exercise such as marathon running, has a profound effect on the glutamine levels in your body. In fact levels may decrease even as much as 20-30%.

It has been shown that a significant reduction (24%) in plasma glutamine concentration was caused by day 3 following an intense eccentric strengthening session for the biceps, triceps, hamstrings and quadriceps which lasted until at least day 9 following the session.

Another study demonstrated that two hours following 40 repetitions of a leg press at 80% 1 rep max, glutamine levels in the quadriceps had been reduced by 34% in the type I muscle fibres, and 29% in the type II fibres.

Natural glutamine reduced = limited muscle growth!

As such if glutamine homeostasis is altered, it is likely that the aim for muscle growth during these exercises will be limited! The resulting effect on performance will be reduced strength, reduced power, reduced endurance and longer time to recovery.

It is postulated that the reduction in glutamine levels is a result of increased glutamine removal by the liver and increased use of glutamine by the kidneys and the immune system. It is also thought that such reductions of glutamine may contribute to a susceptibility to infection. The effect of over-training has also shown that this susceptibility may continue after several weeks of rest.

What Are The Benefits Of Glutamine To Me?

We have established the role of glutamine in our muscles, and discussed the risk of glutamine depletion following intense exercise.

Now we need to ask- can this be rectified with increasing glutamine intake and if so what are the specific benefits I can expect?

Below I outline these potential benefits.

✓ More gains!
In combination with protein (casein or whey) glutamine assists an increase of muscle protein synthesis by 8.3% (compared to protein alone, or protein with other essential amino acids).

✓ Quicker Recovery!
Reduces time to full muscle recovery of strength following exercise and protects against the negative effects of oxidative stress chemicals following intense exercise, therefore improving the beneficial effects of high intensity training on muscle protein synthesis.

✓ Less Muscle Wastage!
When part of an amino acid stack glutamine contributes to the suppression of the loss of muscle following periods of extended rest (e.g. post injury or surgery).

✓ Feel less tired!
Glutamine reduces the perception of fatigue in football players (in combination with l-carnitine and carbohydrate).

✓ More lean muscle!
In combination with intense training glutamine can assist increases in body mass and, more importantly to us all, lean body mass.

✓ Improved Power!
Improvements in initial rate of power production as demonstrated by an improved vertical jump performance compared to a placebo supplement.

✓ Better Endurance!
Increases running performance by increasing the time until muscular exhaustion.

✓ Less DOMS!
Diminishes post work out soreness.

✓ Better Immunity!
Reduces the incidence of infection in trauma and surgical patients and reduces the length of time spent in hospital.Also, improves intestinal function and reduces susceptibility to infection in athletes during the post training period; and assists restoration of key immune system markers (e.g. T cell counts, immunoglobulin A serum) following heavy load resistance training reducing risk of infection post training.

✓ Quicker reactions!
Improves reaction time following exhaustive endurance exercise.

✓ A Stronger heart!
Enhances cardiac hormone levels to assist better management of heart function and blood pressure.

✓ Improved Power!
Improvements in initial rate of power production as demonstrated by an improved vertical jump performance compared to a placebo supplement.

Obviously there are dietary sources of glutamine, which include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, dairy products, cabbage, spinach and beets. However, many of us may also like to supplement glutamine in powder or tablet forms, as consuming sufficient food stuffs may be impractical immediately following exercise- during the window when our glutamine is depleted the most.

 

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Casein Protein – Benefits and when it should be used

Casein Protein

This type of protein is known for its slow digestion, anti-catabolic effect and high amino acid content.

Slow Digestion Protein

Slow digestion means slow release. In fact this protein is released slowly in your body after consumption. It might take up to 6/7 hours, this is not always a bad thing because it depends when you take it.

As a pre-workout or post-workout supplement it’s not going to give you much benefit. That’s when you should take whey protein because your body requires proteins available immediately.

But between meals or before bedtime you don’t have to provide immediate nutrients to your body, so casein protein is more indicated before bedtime or between meals.

Anti-Catabolic Effect

Catabolism happens when you don’t provide the necessary nutrients to your body after workout to build and rebuild muscle.

Let me ask you this: what is that time of the day when your body is not provided food and proteins for a long time?

The answer is…at night.

If you sleep at least 8 hours, as you should, you are basically fasting for all that time. And for a bodybuilder it can be too much to stay 8 hours without consuming any protein.

Casein come very handy here, because with its slow release we can constantly feed proteins to our body while we sleep.

This avoids us to go into a catabolic state.

Casein and Amino Acids

The great amino acid content in casein protein is one of its best advantages.

Amino acids help the recovery of our body after intense workout and help avoid the catabolic state.

Casein provides a high quantity of BCAA that is essential for the recovery of the muscle tissues.

Other Casein Benefits 

  • Fat loss: One 12-week training study found the average fat loss among people taking the supplement was three times greater than in a placebo group.
  • Antibacterial and immune benefits: Some cell studies suggest it may provide antibacterial and immune benefits and reduce high blood pressure .
  • Triglyceride levels: One study in 10 overweight individuals found that it reduced triglyceride levels after a meal by 22%.
  • Reduction in free radicals: Some of the peptides in casein protein powder may have antioxidant effects and fight the buildup of harmful free radicals.

Conclusion: Whey vs Casein

There is not much to add, I am sure you have figured it out by now.

Whey is a fast release protein that acts immediately while casein is a slow digestion protein. They should be taken at different times.

The best is to take them both at different times during the day to supplement your diet.

Let me just summarize what we just discussed here today:

Pre-workout: Whey

Post-workout: Whey

Between meals: Casein

Before bedtime: Casein

 

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What Is Creatine?

What is Creatine?

Creatine is in our Top 5 Products we recommend to our customers for the best results; see why below.

Athletes use a creatine supplement because it enhances sports performance. Although available in organ meats, it’s hard to get enough in a dietary form to stimulate a noticeable improvement in performance. While the supplemental form of creatine is new, creatine itself was first discovered by Michel Eugène Chevreun  as far back as 1832.

This nitrogenous organic acid supplies energy to all cells when Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) replenishes depleted energy reserves. The highest concentration of creatine is in the blood, brain, muscles, and testes.

A Boost to Athletic Performance

Creatine has acquired an almost mythical status among athletes because of the many performance-enhancing benefits it delivers when taken in the right way through a proper loading cycle.

If you are a strength athlete, you will build more muscle mass because of increased intensity. You will also feel almost tireless and lift more than you could before. As a result of these benefits, you will be able to improve your workouts, adding more sets, reps, or weights. Your muscles will look bigger because creatine inflates muscle cells, and this inflation stimulates better protein synthesis and increases body weight.

If you take part in a team sport that requires a stop-and-go type of activity, you will feel less tired because your improved muscular contraction enhanced your performance. And, if you are a track and field athlete, you’ll sprint faster because of improved stamina and increased anaerobic capacity.

Besides improving performance, creatine also plays a significant role in recovery, too. Athletes recover much faster from their game or workout because creatine reduces inflammation and muscle cell damage.

Who Should Take a Creatine Supplement?

The following population will benefit from taking a creatine supplement:

  • People who enjoy sports, particularly strength athletes, like bodybuilders and power lifters.
  • People who are aging.
  • People suffering from a neurodegenerative disease.
  • People with low creatine in their diet, like vegans and vegetarians

Is it Safe?

Recent research shows that creatine is safe. It does not cause any cellular damage, nor does it adversely affect the liver, kidneys, heart, or muscles.

When creatine received bad press, it was only because of the side-effects from taking too much. It occurred when athletes exceeded the recommended dosage on the label because they believed that if a little was good, more must be better.

This excessive consumption resulted in side effects. Although not dangerous, these side effects were highly uncomfortable. They included stomach pain, nausea, muscle cramping, and diarrhea.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Anyone who is healthy can use creatine. But don’t use it if you have kidney or blood sugar problems. It is especially beneficial for you if you’re an athlete. It can increase fat-free mass, muscle fiber size, myosin, and muscle mass. It will improve your strength, power, and sprint performance. What’s more, creatine makes it easier to recover from faster from any sport, and even enhances bone regeneration.

We have an amazing range on our website of different Creatines,  BPI`s Best Creatine & Best Creatine Defined (With Drying Agents, for a leaner, dryer look) contain six advanced forms of creatine for increased strength, muscle gains, and recovery, we use these products ourselves and recommend them to our customers.

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