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Muscle Up With Creatine


Remove limits to muscle growth.

If there is one supplement that you use consistently, it should be creatine. Study after study confirms that it works to increase muscle size, strength, power and endurance. New research continues to pile in which shows it has many benefits.

Researchers from the Arak University (Iran) reported in a 2010 issue of the Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology that subjects taking creatine while on a eight-week weight lifting program had significantly lower myostatin levels than those taking a placebo. Myostatin is a protein that limits muscle growth. The Iranian researchers concluded that since myostatin levels were lower in the subjects taking creatine, one way that creatine may work to increase muscle size and strength is by reducing myostatin levels. That, in turn would reduce the limitation that this protein places on the muscle growth.

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Plasma Protein for Recovery


You are familiar with whey and casein, as well as soya, and probably other vegetable protein powders, such as rice and pea protein. But plasma protein powders are fairly new to the market.

Plasma (also known as serum) protein starts with blood, typically from cows. The red blood cells are removed and the remaining liquid is plasma, or serum if the blood-clotting factors are removed. This liquid is spray-dried and ground into a fine powder that is more than 90% powder. Most of that is from albumin, which is the major protein in blood and is responsible for carrying certain hormones and maintaining blood volume, and from immunoglobulins or antibodies, which fight off foreign invaders in the body. Taking plasma protein can boost your immune system, which can help prevent you getting sick or help you recover quicker from an illness. In fact, University of Barcelona researchers reported that rats infected with the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium, that were given plasma protein powder, produced more anti-inflammatory and fewer inflammatory agents than rats given regular milk proteins, and thus had a better capacity to recover from the infection.

To prevent illness from derailing your training, especially during the flu season, choose plasma (or serum) protein that supplies at least 40% immuniglobulins and add about 10 grams to your pre-workout and post-workout protein shakes. Also add 10 grams to other shakes you have throughout the day.


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Creatine Monohydrate (CM)


Next to whey protein, no supplement has received as much scientific support as creatine monohydrate. In fact, there’s over 15 years of unquestionable support from peer-reviewed research and athletes. Studies demonstrate that creatine increases strength, power, lean body mass and muscularity. Its mass-promoting effects are achieved by several mechanisms that upregulate when creatine monohydrate ingestion is combined with resistance training. Most current research shows creatine ingestion and exercise significantly blunt myostatin levels better than exercise alone. Myostatin is a recently discovered catabolic regulator of muscle mass and consequently acts on skeletal muscle as a growth inhibitor. In addition, recent studies indicate that creatine augments highly anabolic IGF-1 levels in skeletal muscle, providing a potent signal for sustained muscular growth. Finally, creatine ingestion results in increased muscle cell volume by driving water into cells. Not only does this action make your muscles look bigger, but it also provides another stimulus for anabolism.

Before your workout mix 5-10 grams of creatine monohydrate with your pre-workout whey protein isolate drink.

After your workout, mix 5-10 grams of creatine monohydrate with your post-workout whey protein isolate shake.


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Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)


High quality whey protein isolate should be the top priority supplement for everyone at all levels of training. WPI is ideal for bodybuilders because it is low in fat and carbohydrates and has a very high amino acid content. Supporting research has accumulated over the past 20 years showing that ingestion of whey protein isolate ensures a sustained steady stream of amino acids that enter the blood quickly. The resulting rush of branched-chain amino acids and glutamine make WPI a potent anabolic activator and powerful anti-catabolic agent. Research has unequivocally illustrated that ingesting whey protein isolate before training and immediately post-workout results in more rapid increases in strength and muscularity. After training, WPI has shown to increase growth hormone release as well as augment insulin sensitivity and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) secretion, all of which create the perfect anabolic environment for growth and recovery.

Before your workout drink one shake contacting 30-40 grams of WPI 30 minutes before training.

After your workout drink an additional shake containing 30-40 grams of WPI immediately after training.


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Glutamine Basics


What Is It?
A free-form amino acid that is abundant in the body, especially in skeletal muscle, and in most protein-rich foods. The body’s glutamine level is depleted with exercise and dietary stress.

What Does It Do?
When ingested as a free-form amino acid, glutamine supports the immune system stops muscle wasting and increases protein synthesis. It also acts a potent inhibitor of myostatin hyperactivity.

When Should It Be Taken?
30 minutes to 1 hour before and immediately after weight training.

How Much?
Take 5-10 grams per dose, starting with the lowest dose and working your way up according to individual tolerance.