Thursday, February 28, 2013

Don’t Skip Carbs

We all need energy in order to exercise and work out. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or train for a sport, everyone needs a certain amount of energy (Earle & Baechle, 2004). Carbohydrates represent the main energy source for our body. In addition, carbohydrates are necessary for complete metabolism of fatty acids, which helps prevent ketosis (a potential harmful condition). So when you see people cutting out carbs completely from their diet, they are not only depriving their body of energy to exercise (hence they are cranky), but they are also putting their body at risk for ketosis.

The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen within the liver and muscles. The muscle glycogen storage represents the largest reserve, followed by liver storage, and a small percentage in the blood (McArdle, Katch & Katch, 2010).

Role of Carbs

  1.  Energy source: Main energy source for exercise
  2.  Protein sparer: Helps preserve our body’s protein tissue by not breaking it down for energy; a lack of glycogen stores causes the body to derive glucose from our amino acids (protein), which is not what we want
  3. Prevents ketosis: parts of carbohydrate breakdown assist in fat oxidation, which ultimately helps prevent accumulation of ketone bodies (ketosis)
  4. CNS fuel: our central nervous system needs a continuous stream of carbohydrate energy for proper functioning; it solely relies on carbohydrates for energy; a lack of this energy to the CNS can impair exercise performance and if sustained, can ultimately lead to unconsciousness and brain damage

How much?

The recommended intake for physically active individuals, according to exercise physiologists, should be around 60% of daily calories. For high intensity training, it is recommended to increase that percentage to about 70% of total calories (McArdle, Katch & Katch, 2010).

Scientific evidence has proven that a carbohydrate deficient diet depletes muscle and liver glycogen at a rapid pace. In addition, it impairs performance in short anaerobic exercise and prolonged intense aerobic exercise (McArdle, Katch & Katch, 2010).

What to eat?

-          Whole Grains (pasta, cereal, bread)
-          Vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, etc)
-          Fruits (oranges, berries, pears, etc)

Moral of this blog: Eat your carbs!

Ryan Benito


McArdle, W. D., Katch , F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2010).Exercise physiology. (7th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkings.

Earle, R. W., & Baechle, T. R. (2004). Nsca's essentials of personal training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

 Myths and Facts
The egg, one of nature’s near perfect foods, has received negative attention in recent years and reductions in egg consumption have been widely recommended to lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent coronary artery disease (CHD). Taking a closer look however, many of the studies that were conducted did not find a  correlation with the cholesterol found in eggs to CHD. 
In these studies many factors were not taken into account, such as the levels of fats and saturated fats that the participants consumed on a daily basis. Let’s remember that all of these things; fats, saturated and unsaturated (along with salts and sugars), cholesterol including low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) are all essential for our bodies.  They are all used to maintain the daily functions our bodies perform. The problems come from elevated levels of many of these in an individual’s daily diet.
The egg yolk though feared, actually contains an abundance of vitamins including the 4 essential fat soluble vitamins that help your body function, healthy fatty acids, all the essential amino acids required and various minerals.  Tossing out the egg yolk, means you lose 100% of the fat soluble vitamins contained in eggs. A,D,E,K and carotenoids. You may ask yourself what the fat soluble vitamins actually do, and the truth is they do much more than you can imagine. Fat soluble vitamins boost your immune system, reduce risk of cancer, keep your bones, teeth and skin healthy, support the thyroid gland, reduce the damaging effects of diabetes, and promote healthy growth in children to list but a few.
To avoid elevations in blood cholesterol and reduce CHD risk the public has been advised to consume no more than 300mg per day of cholesterol and limit consumption of eggs, which contain about 213mg of cholesterol per egg.  However eggs contain many nutrients besides cholesterol, including unsaturated fats, essential amino acids, folate and other B vitamins. In addition, consumption of eggs instead of carbohydrate-rich foods may raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and decrease blood glycemic and insulinemic responses.
So unless you have a prior heart condition, there’s no need to dispose of the yolk, and as long as your diet is relatively clean and you stay away from processed and fast foods you have little to fear from the egg.

 Turo Gamez NSCA-CPT

were, b. f. JAMA Network | JAMA | A Prospective Study of Egg Consumptionand Risk of Cardiovascular Diseasein Men and Women. JAMA Network | JAMA | Home. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from
Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2000). Nutrition Factors in Health and Performance. Essentials of strength training and conditioning (2nd ed., pp. (.,)). Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Protein Intake: Past and Current Research

We have all seen the ads on TV and in magazines for protein powders, protein bars and other high protein drinks, advertised as essentials that everyone should add to their diet in order to have ripped abs and big muscles, but is that extra protein actually helping us out? Are our bodies utilizing all the protein we take in?

In a study performed in 2008 by Moore et al., it was found that muscle and albumin protein synthesis were maximally stimulated at a dose of 20 grams of protein following resistance exercise. Increasing doses of protein following resistance training were shown to have no further increase in mps or aps, and protein in excess of this amount was found to be lost to oxidation. In another study performed in 2009, focusing on young and elderly subjects, by Symons et al., a comparison of 30 grams of protein consumption and 90 grams was observed. In this study it was shown that the muscle protein synthesis was increased by 50% with a 30 gram does of protein and that no further increase in muscle protein synthesis was observed at higher doses. Based on the results from these two studies it has widely been accepted that no further benefit would be seen in a practical setting in which individuals were ingesting more than 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal. However, more recent studies have contradicted this widely held dogma.

While muscle protein synthesis does appear to reach its upper limits approaching 20-30 grams of protein, studies have shown that protein intake serves a larger role inside the body than just to build muscles. In a review written by Drs. Deutz and Wolfe, the two examine why this long held belief that individuals utilizing the 20-30 gram intake range per meal might be misguided. In their article, Wolfe and Deutz discuss the overall affect of protein ingestion as it relates to anabolism (the synthesis of complex molecules from simpler ones). In their article they explain that the anabolic response is measured as a function of both protein synthesis and breakdown and that projections of anabolism compared to protein intake have no maximal limit incontrast with the long held belief of ingesting at most 30 grams of protein per meal.

While these seperate indications for protein intake may be contradictory we can take away a few things from these observations. While earlier research performed by Moore et al. and Symons et al. show a maximal muscle protein synthesis at 20-30 grams of protein intake a meal, Wolfe and Deutsz suggest that this figure may not take into account a realistic view of metabolism of an individual in their daily life.

Remember that protein is not used just for muscle synthesis. It also plays vital roles in several other functions of your body. Consumption of protein has also been found to increase satiety. As with all diet changes, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.

To Your Health,
Ryan Hasapes 

1.Deutz NE, Wolfe RR. Is there a maximal anabolic response to protein intake with a meal?. Clinical Nutrition. 2012 November 27

2.Symons TB, Sheffield-Moore M, Wolfe RR, Paddon-Jones D. A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Sep;109(9):1582-6.

3.Moore DR, Robinson MJ, Fry JL, Tang JE, Glover EI, Wilkinson SB, Prior T, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):161-8.