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Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


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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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Quercetin To Boost Muscle Endurance


Researchers found that this powerful antioxidant flavonoid increases muscle cell mitochondria (which covert nutrients into energy). Mice given quercetin supplements not only had higher levels mitochondria in their muscle cells, but they were able to run significantly longer before exhaustion than mice given a placebo.

Take about 500 milligrams of quercetin twice a day with meals to get more reps with a given weight and go longer with your cardio.


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Powerful Cancer Protection


Exercise and caffeine both have anti-cancer properties. Scientists at Rutgers University conducted research on animals exposed to UVB radiation and found caffeine and exercise combined increased the animals’ ability to destroy skin-cancer cells by up to four times. Researchers suspect caffeine inhibits the genetic pathway ATR-1, preventing damaged cells from self-destructing. Caffeine and exercise both decrease tissue fat, helping cells deconstruct. Monique Ryan, author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, recommends drinking a cup of strong coffee an hour before training. The caffeine will also help delay fatigue and increase endurance for a better workout.


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Alpha-Lipoic Acid Promotes Caloric Expenditure


Lipoic acid supplements increase the size and number of mitochondria, according to a study from the China Agricultural University in Beijing. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells that provide the body’s energy needs, determine endurance exercise capacity, and greatly influence lifespan. Lipoic acid protects the mitochondria from highly reactive free radicals produced naturally from during metabolism. It also helps to stabilise blood sugar metabolism. Supplementing lipoic acid in aging mice improved energy metabolism and increased cell mitochondria production. It also improved body composition, blood sugar regulation, and increased energy expenditure and fat-free weight (lean mass). Lipoic acid, also known as alpha-lipoic acid, might be an effective anit-aging supplement that promotes metabolic health.


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Caffeine Increases Muscle Strength and Endurance


Athletes take caffeine to increase energy levels, boost strength and power and speed metabolism to promote weight loss. It is among the most popular performance enhancing drugs in the world. A study conducted by Gordon Warren in the Medicine Science Sports Exercise, found that caffeine improves muscle endurance and strength. Most studies found that caffeine increased performance in team sport movements, power-base sports and weight training. Side effects include anxiety, hyperactivity, cardiac arrhythmias and insomnia. Many bodybuilders find that consuming small amounts of caffeine before workouts increase training intensity.