Applied Bodybuilding Research - 08-13-07!

Learn more from these studies about water and how it may effect your heart, effects of Strength training on free testosterone, weight management, and Panax Ginseng - Can it get you lean?

1. The Importance Of Water

Bodybuilders know the importance of drinking plenty of water. The fact is, water is the stuff of life AND muscle because its used to power the millions of chemical reactions needed for good health, and to rid the body of harmful toxins and oxidants BEFORE they damage organs, tissues and DNA.

Generally, bodybuilders should drink at least one United States gallon every day. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it seems to work for most bodybuilders.

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Bodybuilders Should Drink
At Least One Gallon Every Day.

The issue of blood viscosity is important, because research has established that blood viscosity is a predictor of cardiovascular disease - the thicker your blood, the greater your risk for cardiovascular disease. New research into keeping the heart healthy sought to examine the effects of increasing water intake on blood thickness, and the resulting potential for lowering cardiovascular disease risk.

The question is: can something that bodybuilders do every day (drinking plenty of water) really reduce the thickness of blood and reduce cardiovascular disease risk?

To answer this question, researchers had 67 men and 27 women with cardiovascular disease risk factors, and with a daily water intake of equal to or less than 0-5 liters, randomly assigned into either a control group or one of two intervention groups. The control group had 31 participants, the first intervention group had 31 participants and the second intervention group had 31 participants.

Participants in the control group held their daily water intake constant, while participants in the first intervention group increased their daily water intake by 1 liter and participants in the second intervention group ingested 1 liter of blueberry juice daily.

How Much Water Do You Drink Per Day?

Just Soda, I Am A Water Hater.
A Few Glasses.
Half A Gallon.
One Gallon.
Two Gallons.
Three Gallons Or More.

Prior to the study, and at weeks two and four of the study, all participants had their blood viscosity and blood urine chemistries measured.

Study results show that urinary sodium, potassium and creatinine levels in decreased in the water and blueberry juice groups when compared to the control group. However, in all groups, no change was seen with respect to the viscosity of blood or with protein, liquid, glucose and insulin levels.

So, the study is clear: while drinking water is good for you, the research shows that that increasing the amount of water you drink daily won't change your blood viscosity or reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. The only clear way to reduce cardiovascular disease? Diet and plenty of exercise.


  1. Serena Tonstad, Tor Ole Klemsdal, Sverre Landaas and Aud Haieggen. No effect of increased water intake on blood viscosity and cardiovascular risk factors. British Journal of nutrition (2006), 96, 993-996.

2. Strength Training: Effects On Free Testosterone And Leptin Receptors

Since the early 1990s, scientists have studied leptin and the role it plays in regulating a healthy body weight. Since that time, scientists have discovered that leptin acts on the hypothalamus and contributes to energy storage and body fat production.

A new study aimed to examine the effects of strength training on free testosterone levels and to examine the effects of training on leptin receptor behavior.

The Power Of A Refeed And Leptin!
The power of a refeed can help improve your situation especially if you have low leptin levels and a slower metabolism. Learn more about both right here and see if you can't get your metabolism back up to speed.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The study enlisted 18 physically active male participants and randomly assigned them to two groups. Group one had 12 participants that engaged in a strength training program while group 2 had six participants as control subjects.

Prior to the study, all participants underwent body composition testing to determine lean body mass and body fat percentages. Participants also underwent testing to measure muscle performance, leptin, total testosterone and free testosterone levels. Study participants were tested again at the conclusion of the study.

Researchers found that participants from the strength training group reduced total fat mass by 1 kg while simultaneously increasing lean body mass by approximately 3%. This was accomplished while free testosterone levels declined by approximately 17% following training. During this time, serum leptin concentrations remained unchanged.

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The Strength Group Reduced Fat Mass
And Increased Lean Body Mass.

At the end of the study, the data showed that although strength training group subjects achieved a total body fat reduction of 7%, free leptin concentrations were not significantly changed by strength training. These findings are interesting, considering the apparently important role that leptin plays in body weight regulation.

Researchers have suggested one possible explanation: testosterone may play a role in regulating leptin secretion and it may be that testosterone contributed to body fat reduction. Researchers think this explains the presence of testosterone receptors in fatty tissues.

From this research, it is clear that body fat reduction can occur for a number of reasons, that many different hormones play a role and that the relationship between hormones is important and may provide insight into body weight regulation.

This study may also provide some explanation as to the underlying biochemical processes that produce the mild fat loss results seen with pure strength training programs compared to typically higher volume bodybuilding training programs.


  1. I. Ara, J. Perez-Gomez, G. Vicente-Rodriguez, J. Chavarren, C. Dorado and J. A. L. Calbet. Serum free testosterone, leptin and soluble leptin receptor changes in a 6-week strength-training programme. British Journal of Nutrition (2006), 96, 1053-105.

3. Inflammation, Obesity And Weight Management...

The obesity epidemic continues its ever expanding march with no end in sight. Despite over a decade of intense public efforts to slow or control obesity, no easy medical solutions have been discovered.

In fact, statistics show that obesity is more prevalent than ever. In other words, we're spending billions of dollars, losing billions of dollars because of obesity, and the problem is getting worse.

Obesity: The Worldwide Epidemic. Obesity: The Worldwide Epidemic.
We can no longer single out North Americans when identifying obesity. This article will talk about worldwide obesity, eating patterns, and youth obesity.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

With the completion of the human genome project, obesity researchers have investigated the role that specific genes play in obesity onset and obesity evolution. Now, researchers have identified IL-6 as playing a role in obesity.

What Is The Human Genome Project?
In 1990 the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health began the Human Genome Project. The goals of this project were:

  • Identify all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA,
  • Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA,
  • Store this information in databases,
  • Improve tools for data analysis,
  • Transfer related technologies to the private sector, and
  • Address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.

The project was projected to take 15 years to complete. Thanks to advances in technology the project was completed in 2003, two years ahead of schedule.

IL-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.

Ultimately, by sustaining and intensifying the inflammatory cascade, IL-6 causes dramatic cortisol increases, leading to catabolism, muscle loss and fat gain.

Previous scientific research has shown that higher levels of body fat are linked to increased IL-6 levels and overall inflammation compared to people with lower body fat levels.

Now, researchers are aiming to understand the role that IL-6 plays in affecting the ability to keep weight off permanently after losing weight. This is an important question to examine for bodybuilders, as IL-6 is involved in fat loss, muscle growth and exercise recovery.

To study this question, researchers had 67 overweight Caucasian participants (45 women and 22 men) enroll in a hypocaloric weight-loss nutrition program for a total of 10 weeks.

During the study, subjects kept food records that were reviewed at various points during the study and had their body composition measured three times. Subjects were also required to submit to various DNA tests to measure the influence of genes over the course of the study.

Participants were contacted 1 year after study end to measure their success in maintaining fat loss, and researchers found that while all subjects lost fat on the program, there were not any statistically significant weight loss differences between the groups with increased IL-6 activity and those without increased IL-6 activity.

Interestingly, however, researchers established that in subjects who lost weight and kept it off, levels of pro-inflammatory IL-6 were lower than in those participants who regained the lost body mass. Researchers suggest that IL-6 can trigger weight re-gain by inducing inflammation at the adipocyte - the place where fat is stored.

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So, what does this mean for bodybuilders? It's simple: while the level of IL-6 in your body may not affect your ability to lose weight, it may play a major role in how difficult it is to keep that weight from coming back.

And, since exercise induces inflammation and increased IL-6 secretion, it's hypothetically possible that exercise puts you at risk for weight gain - especially after you've lost weight. Therefore, keeping IL-6 levels low is something that should be on the mind of every bodybuilder.


  1. Estibaliz Goyenechea, M. Dolores Parra and J. Alfredo Mart?´nez. Weight regain after slimming induced by an energy-restricted diet depends on interleukin-6 and peroxisome-proliferator-activated-receptor-g2 gene polymorphisms. British Journal of Nutrition (2006), 96, 965-972.

4. Panax Ginseng: Can It Get You Lean? Maybe...

Bodybuilders are always looking for an edge - always looking to push the envelope and to take things to the next level. To this end, constant experimentation is ongoing in the real world and everything is fair game: foods, training methods and supplementation.

The constant battle of getting or staying lean while building muscle is always front and center, but now bodybuilders may have help in the battle: panax ginseng.

While panax ginseng is certainly nothing new and has been around for many years as a supplement ingredient, new research into panax ginseng has made this supplement ingredient much more interesting.

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Panax Quinquefolius Foliage And Fruit.

English researchers recently examined two placebo-controlled, double-blind cross-over studies in which the effects of panax ginseng on blood glucose levels in young, healthy volunteers was assessed.

In the first study, 30 participants were given either placebo, or 200mg or 400mg of panax ginseng. In the second study, 27 participants were given either placebo, ginseng and saccharin, placebo-glucose or ginseng.

Clayton's Health Facts: Ginseng. Clayton's Health Facts: Ginseng.
Ginseng is a member of the Araliaceae family. It is a widespread, perennial herb. There are several variations of ginseng.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

After nine hours, blood glucose levels were measured and it was found that in the subjects who dosed with panax ginseng, blood glucose levels were significantly lowered compared to fasting blood glucose levels.

For bodybuilders, this is great news as blood-glucose levels are critically important for fat loss, especially during fasting periods in the morning (typically when many bodybuilders do cardiovascular exercise). Blood-glucose levels are also important for maintaining low insulin levels throughout the day - a proven way to rapidly lose body fat.

So, will panax ginseng help you lose body fat? Possibly, but bodybuilders should continue to train and eat right to see maximum results.

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  1. J. L. Reay, D. O. Kennedy and A. B. Scholey. The glycaemic effects of single doses of Panax ginseng in young healthy Volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition (2006), 96, 639-642.


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