VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


2 Comments

Road to Recovery


Making the right moves after a workout is critical for growth.

After every workout there is a 45 minute window when your muscles act like a sponges and are able to suck any available nutrients in your bloodstream that will aid in your recovery. This is why one of the best times to take a supplement is right after your workout is over. Combine the right nutrients, and you can maximise muscle growth and recovery even further. The top 3 to make sure you stack are:

1) Creatine
Study after study shows that creatine can easily add 10 pounds of lean muscle to your frame and boost muscle strength by a good 10% or more. The proven compound also pulls water into muscle cells which stretches them and turns on processes that lead to long-term muscle growth.
2) Dextrose
This sugar has the exact same structure as you blood sugar (glucose). This means it requires no digestion and basically gets absorbed straight from your gut into your bloodstream. This helps to spike insulin production, opening tiny “doors” on muscle fibres that allow nutrients to rush inside.
3) Alpha Lipoic Acid
A powerful antioxidant that can aid muscle recovery, alpha lipoic acid scavenges free radicals from your bloodstream. It also provides another benefit by enhancing insulin’s action at the muscle. This makes it more potent for pushing glucose, creatine and amino acids into your muscle fibres.


2 Comments

Polyphenols in Red Wine and Green Tea Fight Prostate Cancer


Polyphenols are antioxidants that neutralise destructive free radicals that are produced naturally during metabolism. Free radical damage is implicated in premature death, DNA destruction, cell membrane breakdown, cancer, heart disease, depressed immunity and inflammation. In the laboratory, polyphenols from red wine and green tea stopped the growth of cultured prostate cancer cells by interfering with a biochemical pathway involved in their replication. In living animals, red wine and green tea polyphenols slowed prostate cancer growth in mice that were genetically altered to produce human prostate cancer cells. Antioxidants found in foods such as red wine and green tea may have widespread health benefits that prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease.


4 Comments

Free Radicals


The unstable atoms or molecules known as free radicals are produced by the body as a consequence of its normal metabolism, and as part of its natural defence against disease. Sometimes, however, the body over-produces free radicals which may cause serious damage to delicate cellular structures, resulting in inflammation and also the oxidation of blood cholesterol which is then deposited on arterial walls. This situation can be worsened by smoking, a high intake of pesticides, smog, over-exposure to ultraviolet light and even intensive exercise.

Free radicals contain at least one unpaired electron (or negative charge), making them highly reactive. As soon as they are produced, they search for molecules with which they can react, this reaction is called oxidation. Free radicals can oxidise, and so damage DNA and cell membranes, opening the way for cancers and diseases to develop. They are linked to the appearance of brown patches on the skin of elderly people. But although free radicals have been associated with aging, cancer, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and immune deficiency, their role in the development of these conditions is still being researched.

However, it is generally believed that if free radicals reach and attack the DNA in the nucleus of a cell, the cell mutation which can result may cause cancer. It has also been observed that when cholesterol is oxidised by free radicals it is more damaging to the artery that ‘native’ cholesterol, so implicating free radicals in the development of heart disease.

The body has defence mechanisms against free radicals, antioxidant enzymes and nutrients in it cells serve to ‘mop up’ free radicals and render them harmless. Protective nutrients include, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium (which help to make up protective antioxidant enzymes) as well as vitamin A, C and E. Other plant substances also provide protection against free radical damage; these include beta carotene and bioflavonoids.


4 Comments

Antioxidants


Without antioxidants, many of us would be prey to numerous infections and possibly even cancer within a few months. Although our bodies produce their own antioxidants, we also need to boost our defences by eating foods that contain them. Just how important these dietary antioxidants are is a matter of great debate. All too often claims for dietary antioxidants, particularly for supplements, have been exaggerated, but recent research suggests that they may offer protection against certain cancers and heart disease, and may also help to prevent premature ageing.

Antioxidants protect against free radicals, chemicals which are formed in the body as part of its metabolism and defence against bacteria. Certain factors, such as excessive exposure to environmental pollution or ultraviolet light, illness and cigarette smoke, can cause the body to increase its production of free radicals. Left unchecked, these unstable and potentially harmful chemicals create conditions that may precipitate heart disease and cancer. To cope with these free radicals, the body needs more antioxidants than it can produce, particulary during times of illness or when exposed to pollutants. Fortunately, many foods provide antioxidants that help to protect the body against their threat.

Vitamins E and C and beta carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, help to neutralise free radicals, as do minerals such as selenium, (found in shellfish and avocados), copper (in nuts, seeds and shellfish) and zinc (in shellfish). Bioflavonoids, found in some fruit and vegetables, including citrus fruits, and grapes, also have antioxidant properties. Artificial antioxidants are added to margarine and oils to stop them becoming rancid, and to retain the natural colourings of processed foods.

Preventing Disease

More research is needed into the role of antioxidants in disease prevention. However, it is thought that free radicals may start the damage that causes fatty cholesterol deposits in the arteries, which can eventually lead to heart disease or stroke. High levels of antioxidant vitamins and minerals may help to prevent this harmful process, as well as damage to DNA that could lead to certain cancers.

Supplements of particular antioxidant vitamins or minerals need to be taken in the correct balance and, even then, too many can be harmful. To obtain an adequate intake of antioxidants, it is safer to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Citrus fruit provides vitamin C, and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables supply beta carotene. The vitamin E found in nuts, avocados and vegetable oils may also help to protect against disease.