Applied Bodybuilding Research - 04-07-09!

Learn more from these studies about exercise and depression, prednisolone, injury detection and more. Check them out.

Article Summary:
  • Training-related depression can be treated with endurance cardio.
  • Prednisolone benefits may not be worth the costs.
  • A test for alpha-actin can determine if an injury is muscle related.

  • Exercise And Depression...

    It seems that more people are depressed today than ever before. With the state of the world and the pace of modern life, it's no wonder. And, for bodybuilders there is an additional depression risk: training itself. Because bodybuilders train hard day in and day out, the risk of overtraining and the depression it brings is a real and constant threat.

    For Bodybuilders Training Is An Additional Depression Risk.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    For Bodybuilders Training Is
    An Additional Depression Risk.

    Thankfully, most bodybuilding-related depression occurs because of stresses placed upon the central nervous system by lifting heavy and hard - and scientists have now found a cure to depression that has, for so many, meant taking time off altogether from the gym. The answer? Endurance cardio training.

    Scientists evaluated the effects of a long-distance cardio endurance program on 38 study participants and found that after simply doing endurance cardio, one session per day for 10 days, depression was lifted significantly over participants in a control group who did no exercise.

    Bodybuilding Can Help You Beat Depression!
    There are several steps you can take to fight back against mild forms of depression. Luckily, weightlifting is one of them.
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    So, if you find that you're depressed and suspect that it's training-related, consider ditching the weights for two weeks, or lightening up your workload, and doing cardio instead. It will give your body a needed break, allow you to maintain or improve your overall conditioning and recharge your mind.


    1. K Knubben, et al. A randomised, controlled study on the effects of a short-term endurance training programme in patients with major depression. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:29-33.

    Prednisolone: Does It Alter Endurance And Metabolism?

    Prednisolone is a popular drug among athletes - it's a glucocorticoid (GC) that most trainers and experts agree dramatically enhances performance. Not surprisingly, it is banned by almost all athletic federations, but athletes can still obtain it.

    Bodybuilders have been known to use Prednisolone because of its effects on endurance, allowing for greater work volume, greater working intensity and overall better growth.

    How To Deal With Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports?
    See what some forum members would do if they were in control. Do you agree and what would your stand be?
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    A new study aimed to look at the effects of this drug on endurance, metabolism and hormone levels during sub-maximum exercise. Researchers had 14 male athletes complete two cycling trials at 70% and 75% after ingesting Prednisolone three hours prior.

    Scientists collected blood samples from the test subjects immediately after they completed the exercise test, and then again at 10, 20 and 30 minutes post-exercise to measure growth hormone, DHEA, ACTH, prolactin, insulin, blood glucose, lactate and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

    What Is ACTH?
    Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH or corticotropin) is a polypeptide tropic hormone produced and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It is an important component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and is often produced in response to biological stress (along with corticotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus). Its principal effects are increased production of androgens and, as its name suggests, cortisol from the adrenal cortex.

    What Is Prolactin?
    Prolactin (PRL) or Luteotropic hormone (LTH) is a peptide hormone primarily associated with lactation. In breastfeeding, the act of an infant suckling the nipple stimulates the production of prolactin, which fills the breast with milk via a process called lactogenesis, in preparation for the next feed. Oxytocin, another hormone, is also released, which triggers milk let-down.

    What Is Lactate?
    Lactate is a by-product of anaerobic metabolism that is produced during exercise, when lactate acid is produced.

    What Is Interleukin-6?
    Interleukin-6 is an important hormone that plays a role in obesity regulation. Interleukin-6 is a pro-inflammatory hormone that promotes and sustains the inflammatory cascade - the same inflammatory cascade that's triggered by the acidosis caused by exercise.

    Researchers found that while prednisolone did not significantly enhance endurance when exercising at sub-maximum levels, blood glucose levels remained high in the GC group, and DHEA and ACTH levels were decreased along with levels of IL-6.

    So, a word to the wise: prednisolone seems to work only when going all-out, and its effects come with a price - your DHEA and ACTH levels take a nosedive. Naturally, these results call into question the efficacy of using this drug year-round, and show that it is best used in a limited fashion in specific situations that call for all-out performance.


    1. A Arlettaz, et al. Effects of acute prednisolone administration on exercise endurance and metabolism. Br. J. Sports Med. 2008;42;250-254.

    Glutamine: More Evidence...

    Despite the research that's been done in the past on glutamine, and despite the fact that it's an essential amino acid for hard-training athletes, there are still some detractors that claim glutamine to be of little or no value for bodybuilders. Well, another study can be added to the mountain of evidence that shows just how wrong and ignorant these critics are.

    Related Glutamine Articles:

    A study by scientists in Brazil had 30 European Football players assigned to one of two groups, and one group completed an interval exercise activity and the other a continuous exercise activity. Group one was given a glutamine solution, and group two was given an alanine solution, to be consumed prior to exercise.

    Immediately following exercise, researchers measured ammonia, creatinine, urate and urea levels, and found that levels were elevated in both groups, but the glutamine group had lower levels of ammonia following exercise, and researchers confirmed that this effect was also noted with continued supplementation long-term.

    Ammonia Smell.
    [ Click To Join The Thread. ]
    Ammonia Smell.
    I've read various things about why someone might start smelling ammonia. Often times it seems it is because of a low carb diet.
    Started By:

    Ammonia is a waste product, and bodybuilders should use glutamine not only for its host of other benefits, but also for its ability to lower exercise-induced ammonia increases.


    1. A Bassini-Cameron, et al. Glutamine protects against increases in blood ammonia in football players in an exercise intensity dependent way. Br. J. Sports Med. 2008;42;260-266.

    Injury Detection... New Tools From The Front Line...

    Sports medicine is a constantly evolving field of knowledge that draws on expertise from other fields and contributes its own new knowledge so that experts and the athletes that train them can maximize efficiency and performance in ways previously only imagined.

    Drawing on biochemistry and genetics, sports scientists from the University Of Grenada obtained blood samples from 20 people with confirmed sports-induced muscular injuries and blood samples from 48 people without muscle injuries. Researchers performed various tests on the blood samples, and scanned for alpha-actin - a protein.

    Researchers found that while almost all other variables were the same between the two groups of injured and non-injured, blood samples from injured participants contained roughly three times the level of alpha-actin.

    Blood Samples From Injured Participants Contained Roughly Three Times The Level Of Alpha-Actin.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Blood Samples From Injured Participants Contained
    Roughly Three Times The Level Of Alpha-Actin.

    This led researchers to conclude that alpha-actin is a reliable marker for muscle injury and testing for elevated alpha-actin levels can allow for better diagnosis of injury and, hopefully, better treatment.


    1. Antonio Martinez Amat, et al. Role of a-actin in muscle damage of injured athletes in comparison with traditional markers. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:442-446.


    The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behaviour based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers. Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications.

    Copyright © Clayton South, 2008 All rights reserved.

    Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.