Introduction: A protein is any one of a large number of organic compounds that make up living organisms and are essential to their functioning. First discovered in 1838, proteins are now recognized as predominant ingredients of cells, making up more than 50 percent of the dry weight of animals. The word protein is coined from the Greek proteios, or "primary."
Introduction: Electrolytes, the mineral salts that conduct the electrical energy of the body, perform a cellular balancing act by allowing nutrients into the cell, while helping to remove waste products. Certain elements, sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium and potassium, play a primary role in cellular respiration -- that of muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission. It is at the cell membrane where these electrolytes conduct electrical currents similar to nerve impulses. Hydration is the medium which aids electrolyte transport and is crucial for both the health and performance of the cell. Your hydration state is mostly dependent upon water intake or loss thru sweat but is also heavily influenced by electrolyte status.
Caffeine continues to be one of the most studied ergogenic ingredients. Researchers are constantly re-designing studies to get a clear indication how caffeine improves performance. In 2004-2005 over a dozen studies have been published on the effects of caffeine as an ergogenic aid. This newsletter reviews five of those studies.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body accounting for greater than 60 percent of the total intramuscular free amino acid pool. Practically every cell in the body uses this non-essential amino acid. Glutamine is synthesized in both skeletal muscle and in adipose tissue in addition to the lungs, liver and brain.
What is cortisol? Cortisol, known as the regulator of immune response, is a hormone controlled by the adrenal cortex. This powerful hormone is also known as an adrenalcorticol hormone, a glucocorticoid and hydrocortisone or simply cortisone. Cortisol has a catabolic (muscle breakdown) effect on tissue and is associated with a decrease in anabolic (muscle growth) hormones like IGF-1 and GH. Thus reducing levels of cortisol is ideal for an athlete to achieve tissue growth and positive adaptations to exercise training.
Energy for endurance exercise is fueled by fats and carbohydrates, with carbohydrate utilization increasing as the intensity of the exercise increases. Thus, carbohydrates are crucial to competitive endurance exercise performance. In addition to food based carbohydrates, there are many different energy supplements marketed for sport, which are available in a variety of forms. These carbohydrate supplements are available as a result of demand based upon experiential and research based evidence, but understanding when your body needs each carb in which amount depends on three key areas: capacity, conversion and type.
Every athlete probably knows of antioxidants for their health benefits, but can antioxidants make an athlete faster? How do antioxidants fit into an athlete's regimen for performance and recovery? What exactly is an antioxidant? Tending to look first at products for performance and then at recovery systems, athletes often overlook antioxidants. Crucial not only for the health of the cardiovascular system, they can also aid in performance and recovery. For many years scientists as well as consumers have known of the antioxidant powers of vitamins E & C and selenium. Today, this category has expanded to include oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), Alpha Lipoic Acid, grape skin, grape seed, beta-carotene, lutein, tocopherols, tocotrienols and various other compounds. It can certainly be confusing since so many supplements, both traditional and newly introduced, can be classified as antioxidants.