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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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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Not Eating Enough Fibre


Fibre is probably the least thought of nutrient in bodybuilding, yet it is extremely helpful and beneficial to you as a dieting bodybuilder to keep things moving along smoothly and to help your body digest all that extra protein in your diet. This ensures that you get the proper absorption of nutrients from all the food when you are eating six to eight meals a day. If sufficient fibre is not consumed, your body can become toxic and in some extreme cases you can have impactment, which would require medical attention. The best way to get adequate fibre is a combination of fibre supplements along with fibrous vegetables. Fibre also helps to keep you more satiated.


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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.