Q & A With Clayton South - December 2006.

This Q&A discusses issues concerning glutamine, preventing injury, a serious bone condition, protein, and more... Get some cold hard facts right here!


[ Q ] I've seen conflicting advice on glutamine. Should I take it or avoid it?

    [ A ] You should definitely take glutamine.

    It still amazes me that bodybuilders and trainers debate the importance of glutamine supplementation, despite the fact that a lot of solid research has been done showing that glutamine has beneficial effects when supplemented correctly.

    Glutamine is important, and while it is classified as a "conditionally essential" amino acid, it can be classified as an essential amino acid for hard training bodybuilders. Why? It's simple: glutamine is the most abundant and most diverse amino acid in the body. Hard training depletes glutamine levels and this can negatively impact health and virtually destroy the anabolic potential of exercise.

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    Research shows that glutamine has the following benefits:

    1. Exerts beneficial effects on muscle function and immune system function.1
    2. May prevent overtraining.2
    3. Supports optimal growth hormone levels.3
    4. Enhances exercise recovery.4

    In addition, glutamine is anti-catabolic - meaning that it can be used for glucose manufacture in times of need and can, therefore, spare lean muscle mass from being broken down into amino acids for glucose manufacture.

RELATED POLL
Do You Take Glutamine Supplements?

Yes.
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    The following dosage schedule is the most widely accepted as effective:

    1. 5 g upon waking
    2. 5 g before training
    3. 5 g after training
    4. 5 g before sleeping

    The Bottom Line Is This:

      Take glutamine if you train. Glutamine has many other benefits that were not listed here - I encourage you to study this amino acid further and use it to take advantage of its many benefits.

      View Glutamine Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


[ Q ] Hi Clayton. I'm 18, and I play football at the University of Nebraska. What can I do to prevent getting injured on the field?

    [ A ] Thanks for your question.

    In sports like yours, the most common kind of injuries are extremity injuries-specifically, injuries of the weak points of the body mainly the spine, neck, elbows, hips, ankles, wrists, knees and hands. For football, the most common kind of injury is a sprain, followed closely by minor fractures.

    These kinds of injuries are most commonly caused by blunt but high impact forces, or by twisting the body in an unnatural manner.


    Click To Enlarge.
    High Impact Forces.

    To prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, it is important to train correctly in the gym and during practice - strengthening your core muscles and developing explosive strength as well as sports specific skills - and to provide your body with the nutrients it needs by eating correctly.

    Getting enough protein every day is fundamentally important to preventing injuries. Using a high quality mineral and multivitamin supplement is also fundamentally important for injury prevention. Also, in your case, using a high quality glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin joint support formula is critical for maintaining healthy joints and repairing any joint damage that you may already have.

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      • MultiVitamin: Go!
      • Glucosamine Sulfate: Go!
      • Chondroitin: Go!
      • Joint Support: Go!

    Be sure to remember that sleep is fundamentally important for injury prevention, simply because you can eat correctly and train correctly, but if you don't rest enough, your body will not be able to repair itself from your everyday activities or you're on-field battles.

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    Make sure that you study your sport thoroughly, and pay attention to the best ways to protect yourself on the field. Never stop learning, and never stop developing your skills.

    One great resource for taking your game to the next level is www.Athletes.com.

    Athletes.com contains free, sports specific information that will help you not only prevent injuries on the field, but will also help you take your game to the next level. It is a great resource-so use it!


[ Q ] I am a 45 year old woman and osteoporosis runs in my family. I'm afraid that I will get osteoporosis. What supplements can I take to make sure that I don't end up like my mother when I get older?

    [ A ] Osteoporosis is a common condition among women - in fact, women are more than four times as likely to develop osteoporosis than men. The danger with osteoporosis is that it is a silent condition - meaning that its onset is not associated with pain or other symptoms that are typical of other diseases.

    Therefore, osteoporosis is difficult to detect, with most women noticing its effects long after its onset. It is, therefore, wise to take a proactive and preventative approach-especially in your case, given that there is a strong family history of this condition.

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    While osteoporosis is usually thought of as a thinning of the bones due to calcium loss and bone density, the word osteoporosis literally means "holes in the bone."

    Osteoporosis is a concern simply because its onset weakens the strength and health of your bones. When your bones weaken and become considerably weaker over time, you are more likely to break fragile bones like the bones in your hands, wrists, spine and hips.

    To prevent the onset of osteoporosis, or to reduce its chances of onset, it is important to use high-quality dietary supplements.

    Here are several that have a proven track record in the prevention and management of this condition:

    1. Calcium
    2. Zinc
    3. Boron
    4. Phosphorus
    5. Magnesium
    6. Horsetail
    7. Vitamin C
    8. Vitamin D3
    9. Vitamin B1
    10. Vitamin K1

    These supplements are necessary for proper bone health. Talk with your doctor about these supplements, and do some research on them to determine if they are appropriate for you.

    One Final Word:

      When it comes to using a calcium supplement, I recommend that you search for a calcium supplement that contains microcrystalline hydroxyapatite. This form of calcium is most readily absorbed and is identical to the calcium that is found in your bones.

      And, when it comes your nutrition, don't buy into the hype that you need to eat massive amounts of protein to be healthy, or almost no protein at all. The key to living a healthy life is to eat with balance. If you need the help of a professional and constructing a suitable nutrition plan that is tailored around your health concerns, contact me and we can discuss this further.

      Good luck, and stay healthy!


[ Q ] I've been reading articles online and in magazines, and I think I know a bit about supplementation. After reading some articles on protein, I definitely think that protein is something to consider.

I work in an office and I work long hours, so I've been eating at fast food returaunts that have chicken and healthy sandwiches for the past several weeks, just to get my protein intake up. I just don't have time to cook. The problem is, eating out all the time is expensive, and I'm not so sure it's too good for me.

Any suggestions?

    [ A ] Your situation is common - life today is more hectic and stressful than it has ever been, and people have less free time than they used to. Unfortunately, while fast food was once considered a luxury item where parents took their kids to get hamburgers and French fries once a week as a reward for good behavior, fast food has become a dietary mainstay for the majority of working people. It's quick, it tastes great and while it is expensive, it doesn't do that much damage to your pocketbook.

THE TRUTH ABOUT FAST FOOD
Click On Your Favorite Restaurant To Learn The Truth!
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    Your waist is another story.

    Fortunately, you have several options that make getting great nutrition easy, fast, inexpensive and healthy.

    To get your nutrition when you need it you can use:

    1. Protein bars
    2. Meal Replacement Shakes
    3. RTD's

    1. Protein Bars:

    Protein Bar

      While protein bars are good some of the time, it is still difficult in today's marketplace to find a good protein bar that tastes good, is good for you and isn't loaded with a ton of artificial sweeteners or glycerol.

      The sad fact is that today most of the protein bars that taste great are nothing more than candy bars with protein added in to them. Not only that, but they can melt and break, making a mess.

    2. Meal Replacement Shakes:

    MRP

      Meal replacement shakes are another option to consider. They are convenient and inexpensive, but the downside is that they must be mixed in a shaker cup and this takes some time and effort on your part.

      First, you must open the package and empty it into the shaker cup. Secondly you must seal the shaker cup by screwing on the lid, then you must find water or milk until the shaker cup.

      Shaker

      And, finally, you must mix the meal replacement shake by shaking it vigorously.

      The trick here is that you had better make sure that the shaker cup lid is on tight and that the shaker cup does not leak protein all over the place.

      After you're done drinking your meal replacement shake, you must clean out the shaker cup or else the proteins will putrify and produce a very unpleasant odor.

    3. RTD's:

    RTD

      Your final option is to use an RTD - ready to drink. Essentially, RTD's are the best option of the three options because they are inexpensive, highly nutritious, you do not have to mix them and when you are done you can throw away the packaging. Best of all, if you use an RTD that has aseptic packaging (the kind of packaging used to make boxed juice), you won't have to refrigerate it, so it is ultra convenient.

      As always, however, taste is a huge issue. It's gotta taste good or you wont drink it. I like a lot of different RTD's. They taste great, go down easily and leave me feeling satisfied.

      As for the fast food places, while I do like some fast-food, both are fairly heavy on the calories. These high calorie foods can pack on the blubber instead of the muscle - and that's not something you want.

      For convenience and nutrition on the go, RTD's are the way to go.


[ Q ] I'm 17, 5'8 and I weigh 140lbs. I started lifting last year and since then I've gained 10lbs of solid muscle. I'm a lot stronger too. I read the magazines and I try to follow the advice, but nothing seems to work. I read online about prohormones and one looked really good - Superdrol. It seems like I'm a hard-gainer and so I'm thinking about taking it.

Will it get me huge?

    [ A ] No. That's the short answer.

    Here's the long answer that includes the why.

    First, go see your doctor. You're a minor and should be careful to receive regular medical care to avoid any problems. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to use supplements, then do so. Don't take my advice until then. I'm not responsible for your actions or the consequences resulting from them.

    Now that the niceties are out of the way, my area of expertise is performance nutrition - that is, the enhancement of the look and performance of the body through nutritional means.

    While it is my view that supplements are a necessary adjunct to healthy eating, they're not substitutes for intelligent scientific application and they're certainly not "magic pills." If you abuse them or make wrong choices, you can end up in some trouble - especially at your age.

Personally, having tried the various M1T's, 1-AD, 4-AD etc, I would recommend that you stay away from them. There is little in the research known about the testosterone analogues, and from a safety point of view this is highly concerning. It's well known that hormones disrupt natural hormone function, and this is concern enough. It's what we don't know that may be the most concerning of all.

By contrast, natural supplements like vitamins, minerals, protein, creatine, arginine, etc, are well researched and much is known about how they work, what dosages are efficacious etc. I suggest you stick with these time-proven size gainers..

Time Proven Size-Gainers:

    When it comes to creatine, I recommend CEE. For a nitric oxide booster, I recommend AEE. Make sure that you're getting enough B-vitamins, dosed several times per day, and also L-carnitine, CoQ10, and antioxidants.

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    Secondly, I recommend that you begin to use protein, carbs and fats in functional ways. Create a new awareness around your food - apply skillful intelligence with protein and the other nutrients - because they're not all created equal and each has different benefits.

    As a standard, I recommend having two protein powders: a WPI for fast release post-workout, and a protein blend supplement for the rest of the day and for right before bed time. The two that I use are Optimum 100% Whey (I'm using the rocky road flavor now) and ProV60 - I use the vanilla and add some fresh fruit to it, or even yogurt should I feel for it.

100% ProV60
Optimum 100% Whey & Labrada Pro V60.

    The benefit of using two protein types is that the amino acids are released over longer time periods. Maintaining your nitrogen balance is key to keeping your strength and energy.

    I would also recommend that you incorporate an immune system supporting supplement like glutamine that is also anti-catabolic.

    At your age your natural hormone levels are sky high - don't mess them up because the consequences can be disastrous and may not show up for years.

    And make no mistake: food is the best drug out there. You can take Superdrol and all of the androgens you want, but you won't get any results (only side effects) if your nutrition plan isn't perfect. Get into the routine of using natural non-hormone supplements correctly first before you dive into something as deep as hormone based supplements.

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Scientific References:

  1. 1. Antonio J, Street C. Glutamine: a potentially useful supplement for athletes. Can J Appl Physiol 1999;24:1-14 [review].
  2. 2. Rowbottom DG, Keast D, Morton AR. The emerging role of glutamine as an indicator of exercise stress and overtraining. Sports Med 1996;21:80-97 [review].
  3. 3. Welbourne TC. Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:1058-61.
  4. 4. Varnier M, Leese GP, Thompson J, et al. Stimulatory effect of glutamine on glycogen accumulation in human skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol 1995;269:E309-15.

Come back next month to see your questions answered! From steroids to supplements to sexuality, workouts to weight loss and more, the answers you want are here!

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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 behavior 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.

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