VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


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Garlic Goodness


Garlic provides numerous health and physique benefits. Not only does it enhance heart health, but research shows that it aids fat burning, can help to lower the catabolic hormone cortisol, and concomitantly raise testosterone levels. Recent research suggests that garlic can actually boost nitric oxide levels (NO).

Researchers from the university of Adelaide (Australia) gave 50 patients with treated but uncontrolled high blood pressure wither a garlic supplement containing 960 milligrams of aged garlic or a placebo everyday for 12 weeks. They measured the subjects’ blood pressure at the start and every four weeks thereafter. The researchers reported in a 2010 issue of the journal Maturitas that the group supplementing with the garlic had a drop in pressure which was on average 10mm hg (pressure units) lower than in the placebo group. The scientists concluded that this was likely to be due to garlic’s ability to boost NO levels, which relaxes blood vessels and causes a reduction in blood pressure. This relaxation in the blood vessels also increases blood flow to the muscles, which is critical for energy and for producing a muscle pump during workouts, as well as aiding recovery and muscle growth.

The researchers suggested that cooked garlic would not be as effective as a garlic supplement because heat destroys the active ingredient, allicin. So go with garlic supplements and take about 200-1000mg with your pre-workout shake. To maintain higher NO levels throughout the day, also consider taking a dose in the morning and late at night.


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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.