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Nutritional Support for Physical Fitness, Athletic Training, Weight Loss, and Physical Performance Enhancement
The objectives of fitness, exercise, and weight loss programs include:
This article tells you how to use nutritional supplements to achieve these goals and enhance your fitness, physical performance, and weight loss objectives. Dietary choices and nutritional supplements can significantly enhance the effects of calorie reduction and exercise for weight loss, but not substitute for them.
Weight loss requires that one expend more calories than consumed. Weight loss diets and programs that adhere to this principle succeed and those that do not fail, regardless of any other technique or gimmick used.
Many of the adverse effects of aging come from lack of exercise, and one of the reasons that individuals restrict exercise and physical activity is pain and inflammation. Inflammation can be reduced by the use of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and oral proteolytic enzymes. In addition to enhancing weight loss, specific nutritional supplements can improve muscle development and endurance. These topics are discussed below in more detail. For individuals involved in exercise programs and athletic training, Vitamin Research Products has developed special products that: meet these objectives.
Antioxidants and Essential Fatty Acids Relieve Inflammatory Injuries
A combination of essential fatty acids and antioxidants appears to be an effective treatment for the inflammatory injuries that result from atheltic activity, strenuous exercise, and physical injury. Soren Mavrogenis, a physiotherapist with Denmark’s Olympic Committee, reports that he has treated several hundred cases of recurrent inflammatory injuries with antioxidant therapy.
The nutritional supplement, used by Mavrogenis and colleagues to treat the athletes, contains omega-3 (fish oil), omega-6 as gamma linoleic acid (borage oil,) and vitamins A, B6, C, and E plus selenium and zinc. According to Mavrogenis, most patients respond positively to the treatment in a matter of 2-3 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury, but in more serious cases it may take several months. "The bad cases require the use of intensive ultrasound and certain massage techniques in addition to the antioxidants and essential fatty acids, but in the milder cases the use of nutrients alone is adequate," Mavrogenis says.
Strenuous exercise or physical injury produces an overload of free radicals that damage healthy cells by oxidizing the cell membranes. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals and limit their destructive impact. In addition, essential fatty acids strengthen the cell walls and support the body's production of beneficial type 1 and type 3 prostaglandins, those which counteract pain and inflammation.
In another study, reported at the Experimental Biology 2002 Conference in New Orleans, researchers reported that vitamin E can ease the aches and pains that result from heavy exercise. Healthy men given 1000 IU of vitamin E per day experienced less soreness and less oxidative stress after heavy exercise than the control group.
Recommendations for antioxidant intake are:
Proteolytic Enzymes, Inflammation, and Fitness Training
Proteolytic enzymes are essential regulators and modulators of the inflammatory response. They enhance immune function in several ways. They increase in the activity of macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells by 5 to 10 fold. Proteolytic enzymes also degrade pathogenic complexes that can inhibit normal immune function. While antigen-antibody complexes are a normal part of the immune response, excesses contribute to immune disorders and autoimmune diseases. The evidence is that proteolytic enzymes break up immune complexes, improve lymphatic drainage, and generally increase immune system function.
Proteolytic enzymes influence the inflammatory process by a variety of mechanisms, including reducing the swelling of mucous membranes, decreasing capillary permeability, dissolving blood clot-forming fibrin deposits and microthrombi, reducing blood viscosity and improving circulation. The general breakup of cellular debris facilitates lymphatic drainage and resolution of swelling. This relieves pain, inflammation, swelling, and discomfort.
Researchers have shown that the ability of proteolytic enzymes to reduce inflammation is equal to or superior to four powerful steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Phenylbutazone, Hydrocortisone, Indomethacin, and Acetylsalicylic Acid. Clinical studies in europe found that orally administered proteolytic enzymes reduced pain and swelling from sports injuries such as bruises, contusions, and pulled muscles.Note: For maximum effectiveness, it is important to take the oral enzymes on an empty stomach, at least one hour before meals or two hours after meals.
Creatine is a naturally-occurring amino acid manufactured by the liver and kidneys. Pyruvate is the salt of pyruvic acid which is produced from glucose. When taken separately, creatine and pyruvate have caused fluid retention, bloating, or upset stomach, but this creatine-pyruvate combination has been shown to negate those side effects. The combination has also been shown to aid the body in channeling food through the stomach, which is especially helpful for those on frequent feeding schedules. Creatine and pyruvate are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, packing more power compared to either nutrient alone.
Creatine works with ATP to influence activities like sprinting, exercises lasting under one minute, and weight lifting. ATP is short-lived within the muscle, with stores depleted after only 10 to 20 seconds of muscular contractions. Plus, the anaerobic ATP-generation process takes its time getting started after exercise begins, so it’s critical to establish a high level of ATP’s precursor, creatine phosphate, in order to prepare for intense anaerobic workouts. Several studies indicate that 70% of the population may see substantial benefits from creatine supplementation. In other studies, creatine is shown to significantly improve strength, power, and sprint performance, work performed during sets of maximal effort contractions, recovery from repetitive sprinting, and maximal exercise capacity. In college football players, many of these benefits were evident with a consistent low dose of five grams a day during 10 weeks of weight training.
Creatine also increases protein synthesis and muscle growth. In a recent study, researchers reported that after 12-weeks of weight training, creatine supplementation produced a significantly greater increase in body mass, muscle mass, and strength in comparison to subjects ingesting a placebo.
Ingesting creatine with carbohydrates after exercise enhances glycogen resynthesis. Glycogen is a polysaccharide occurring predominately in the liver and muscle where it is stored as a sugar-supply reserve, capable of complete conversion into glucose when needed. Creatine phosphate binds to the cell membrane, protecting it and decreasing muscle stiffness.
Recently, studies indicated that creatine administration (20 grams of creatine monohydrate) significantly improved the performance of athletes in 300-meter and 1000 meter races compared to races run prior to creatine administration. In addition, creatine has been shown to generate faster recovery times after exercise, allowing athletes shorter rest periods between sets.
Glucose is the exclusive fuel for the nervous system and the preferred fuel for the muscles, especially when quick energy is needed. Research has shown that pyruvate supplementation can increase glucose extraction from the blood and thereby increase muscle endurance and promote fat loss since the glucose gets burned rather than stored as fat. Research has shown that pyruvate can increase glucose extraction after one hour of exercise by almost 300%, muscle glycogen by 50%, arm endurance by 150%, and leg endurance by 60%.
Pyruvate also increases metabolic rate and fat utilization. When obese female subjects were given pyruvate for three weeks, they lost 37% more weight and 48% more fat than the group given a carbohydrate in place of pyruvate. This translated into losing nearly an extra pound of body fat a week.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in human muscle and blood plasma. Glutamine concentrations affect the wear and tear on muscle and other body proteins. It also affects the synthesis of new proteins and fatty acid and glycogen metabolism. Glutamine also supports several components of the immune system decreasing the risk of infections.
Your body requires additional Glutamine to cope with physiological and pathological stress, including trauma, injury, burns, major surgery, and infections. Strenuous exercise may increase the need for glutamine beyond the level ordinarily made in the liver by as much as 45 percent in anaerobic exercise and 50 percent in aerobic exercise.
Glutamine supplementation as small as two grams is shown to increase plasma growth hormone levels, shift the fuel for muscle from glucose to fatty acids, and accelerate fat burning compared to a placebo. Glutamine is also a precursor for the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione protects the liver from toxins and oxidative stress.
Supplemental glutamine has shielded the body from stress by deflecting cortisol damage and has prevented the muscle wasting associated with cortisol treatments. It also has assisted in manufacturing more muscle protein and acts as a buffer against excess levels of acids generated during strenuous anaerobic exercise. This buffering may reduce or prevent the lactic-acid-caused muscle soreness and stiffness generated during high-intensity workouts.
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Taurine increases muscle cell volume, enhances the strength of heart muscle, facilitates body fat metabolism, and regulates the excitation of certain central nervous system tissues.
Inulin and Xylitol
Both inulin and xylitol release energy relatively slowly and do not increase blood glucose levels. This provides the body with a slow release source of carbohydrates without depleting glycogen stores or raising glucose levels.
Potassium phosphate is a salt of phosphoric acid. This salt acts as a blood-buffer reducing lactic-acid buildup in muscles and delaying muscle fatigue. Phosphate supplements speed the release of oxygen from hemoglobin to muscles and help turn creatine into creatine phosphate, an essential nutrient for muscle contractions. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of phosphate and blood buffer supplements on improving athletic performance. One study demonstrated a 10% increase in maximal oxygen uptake and a 9% increase in power output at anaerobic threshold after the administration of phosphate.
Fitness Nutrition References
References pertaining to this article can be found Here .