Monthly Archives: April 2016

What is the benefit of daily multiVitamin

You’ve seen the headlines. One day no one needs to take vitamins, the next day, it turns out everyone needs them.

Just how important is it to take vitamins anyway and which ones are we to choose for best results?

If you’re a high performance athlete then you know you can be more vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies than the average person.

Bodybuilders and other athletes place a heavy demand on their bodies and often restrict certain nutrients/foods to get lean. But doing this can actually create a barrier between you and that muscle growth you’re striving for.

So if you’re struggling with muscle growth, energy replenishment or even positive performance outcomes then you might just have a poor micronutrient intake.

WHAT ARE MICRONUTRIENTS?

Micronutrients, which include vitamins, minerals and additional co-factors such as co-enzymes, are essential to life. Micronutrients make myriad biochemical processes happen. Pound down all the protein and carbs you want but chances are if your micros are not in the correct balance, you can forget about building quality muscle.

Frequently neglected among athletes are vitamins. There are 13 in the human body: 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E and K – stored in the body for long periods) and 9 water-soluble (8 B-vitamins and C – rapidly flushed from the body and excreted in urine).

Many feel that a complete vitamin intake can be achieved with a well-balanced diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, with an ever-growing list of environmental toxins depleting the body of essential nutrients, poor soil quality & food preparation methods, and daily stress compromising health it is unlikely that a desirable vitamin intake can be obtained through whole foods alone.

The demand is even greater for strength athletes, including bodybuilders. The collective stress of ongoing resistance training and nutrient restriction (for example, high sugar fruits pre-contest) coupled with environmental factors make a quality multi-vitamin a muscle-building mandatory.

WHY INCREASE VITAMIN INTAKE?

As of 2009 more than 2 billion people globally were affected by micronutrient deficiency.14With 50% of the general population at risk of vitamin D deficiency2 and 1 in 4 adults deficient in vitamin B12 it is clear that even in developed countries, the right nutrient balance can be very difficult to achieve.9

People with no vitamin deficiency symptoms, many believe they are getting their required vitamin intake through a well-balanced diet. But such diets are, in reality, less than optimal.

Related: Top 5 Supplements You Need to Be Taking

In fact, over time, the suboptimal intake of vitamins may result in a breakdown of the cellular metabolism required for the proper growth and functioning of bodily tissues and organs. Disease and illness may result. Physical capabilities will certainly decline.

Some people are at greater risk of vitamin deficiency. For example, aging populations are less capable of absorbing vital nutrients. In addition, athletes continue to suffer micronutrient depletion due to the rigors of intensive training.

Those vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies may simply choose to increase their intake of wholesome foods. While a well-balanced diet devoid of processed foods undoubtedly provides a solid foundation for continued good health, such an approach can still lead to subclinical vitamin deficiencies.

Caffeine That You Actually Still Believe

Coffee is the nectar of the gods.

Partially because the aroma of it is the planets best aphrodisiac and it tastes like a million angles are dancing on sunshine, but most importantly it contains caffeine.

Ok, this is probably a bit of hyperbole but coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed in the world.

In fact, the average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day and we spend approximately $40 billion on coffee each year1. That number is mind-boggling.

Caffeine has garnered a lot of attention in both the fitness world and in the research world due to a lot of the performance and health properties it can convey. Sadly, as with most health claims, many of the things you hear are like unicorns, they aren’t real.

Now since caffeine is one of the most consumed “drugs” on the planet I think we ought to set the record straight and clear up a few of the myths surrounding caffeine.

1. CAFFEINE DEHYDRATES YOU

People think that because coffee makes you pee it dehydrates you. I never really understood that logic, it is missing a lot of steps and doesn’t really make any sense when you think about it. For example, drinking water makes you pee but drinking water is how you hydrate.

The body’s fluid balance system is a lot more complicated than that. Honestly, sometimes journalists’ logic baffles me at times. This is where science is important. We can actually ask and answer the question of, “Does caffeine dehydrate you”?

Fortunately for us, several studies have looked at whether caffeine consumption actually dehydrates you. For example, one studied looked at a dose response of caffeine and diuresis (making more urine) and found that daily intakes of caffeine at 3 and 6 mg per kg per day over a span of 11 days does not have a real effect on fluid balance and hydrations status2.

Now that is great and all when considering the study was conducted with pure caffeine, but what about caffeinated beverages and all the other things that go with them? I am glad you asked. Here is a study that showed that black tea also doesn’t do squat as a diuretic and hydrates you just as well as water3.

2. CAFFEINE IS A GOOD FAT BURNER

Caffeine is marketed as a fat burner pretty heavily. The thing about it is that it can be a fat burner. . . but it likely doesn’t work the way you think it does.

The old version of caffeine being a fat burner goes something like this: caffeine causes fat cells to release fatty acids which is then burned for energy. This is kind of true but not really. The data is a little more complex than that.

When you really get down to the nitty gritty, it looks like caffeine increases lipid mobilization by a significant amount but most of that fat isn’t actually burned, about 75% of it is actually recycled, meaning it’s “released” from fat cells and then stored again without being used4.

Related: Coconut Coffee Cardio – Early Morning Strategy to Get Shredded

So caffeine probably won’t directly increase fat loss but it may increase your training capacity, making increased fat-loss a byproduct.

In addition to the fact that most of the “mobilized” fat is simply recycled, caffeine loses its efficacy over time. Much like alcohol or drugs, your body habituates to caffeine and eventually it loses its ability to be stimulated by caffeine. At some point it becomes a “return to normal function” supplement.

If you take a second to think about this you realize how true it is. Think about the first time you had a cup of coffee in the morning and how alert and ready to go you felt. Now fast forward 15 years and think about how you feel like one of those zombies in The Walking Dead until that first cup of coffee kicks in and you feel a little more human.

If you abuse coffee/caffeine as much as I do it might take the whole pot to get you back to normal. . . I should probably take a caffeine break sometime soon.

Supplement good for your health

The phytochemical capsaicin is the substance found in chili peppers that contributes to the hot and spicy flavor of the chili pepper.

This miraculous compound has the unique capacity to promote a wide range of positive effects on human health, including reduced body fat, powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and improved cardiovascular health.

In fact, a recent epidemiological study investigating almost half a million people showed that the habitual consumption of chili-rich foods, loaded with capsaicin, reduced the likelihood of death from certain chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, relative to those who did not consume chili-rich, spicy foods.1

In addition to capsaicin activating the TRPV1 receptor in certain neurons found within the gastrointestinal tract, triggering a process known as thermogenesis that burns body fat, capsaicin also produces many additional health benefits by activating the same TRPV1 receptor, yet in other tissues throughout the body.

One of the more influential TRPV1-dependent effects from capsaicin intake is the activation of TRPV1-expressing neurons within the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract, which ultimately increases the amount of energy expenditure in brown adipose tissue (BAT) by a process known as thermogenesis.2

Although the mechanism of action is not completely understood, some of the details include capsaicin activation of the TRPV1 receptor within the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract, which triggers the release of noradrenaline.

The release of noradrenaline then stimulates the process of thermogenic fatty acid oxidation within BAT, which has the unique capacity of uncoupling the normally linked process of fatty acid oxidation with cellular energy production in the form of ATP. Consequently, the energy is instead directly converted into heat, which effectively increases energy expenditure.

Related: Which Diet is the Best for Fat Loss? There May Be More Than One

Several studies looking at the impact of capsaicin on metabolic rate have shown that capsaicin does enhance energy expenditure while boosting fat oxidation, promoting significant weight loss.3,4

It has also been shown that the positive influence of capsaicin on thermogenesis is greatest in those people with the most BAT5, and there is some evidence indicating that sustained intake of capsaicin can increase BAT levels in humans6 — meaning that long-term capsaicin intake could boost BAT levels, improving the capacity to thermogenically burn body fat.

CURB YOUR APPETITE

The consumption of capsaicin can also reduce appetite and food intake2, further supporting the ability to lose weight— and, perhaps more importantly, keep it off for good. Although the appetite-suppressing effect of capsaicin has been observed in several trials, it is not entirely understood how capsaicin reduces appetite.

That said, some details have been uncovered with the release of noradrenaline triggered by capsaicin, as previously mentioned, appearing to contribute to the reduction in appetite— as the stimulation of the noradrenaline receptors in the brain has been shown to produce feelings of satiety.7

Related: Why Am I Always Hungry? The Foods That Keep You Full Longer

In addition, capsaicin intake has also been shown to cause an increase in the gut-derived hormone GLP-1, which turns on regions of the brain that diminish food intake by reducing hunger.8

Moreover, this effect appears to be TRPV1-dependent, as the hunger-reducing impact of capsaicin was absent in mice that were genetically altered so they could not produce the TRPV1 receptor in gastrointestinal cells.

Overall, studies have shown that the consumption of capsaicin does decrease hunger3, as capsaicin-treated subjects typically report a reduced desire to eat while also achieving greater satiety after meals.