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Serious Supplement Muscle Science!

In this issue we discuss many of the latest supplement and nutrition studies, and what they mean to you.
In this issue we discuss many of the latest supplement and nutrition studies, and what they mean to you.

The Glycemic Index

Evidence strongly suggests that choosing between high and low glycemic foods or even supplements, and especially without serious dedicated training, could mean the difference between having a somatype of Baby Huey or Samson.

The glycemic index of foods is an area of great and novel research with immense application. Recently a study was done on rats where the rodents were given the same number of calories but the caloric energy differed in 3 ways.

One group got a low glycemic diet (LG means that the foods break down to glucose slowly) that consisted of carbs (45%), fats (35%) and 20% protein. Another got a high glycemic diet but in the same nutrient ratio as the low glycemic diet. A third group got a high fat diet consisting of 20% carbs, 59% fat and 21% protein.

The diets and study lasted 7 weeks. In the end the high GI diet rats had greater fat mass than the low GI group even though they ended up weighing the same. Now bear in mind the caloric energy administered was the same.

The high GI and high fat diets also promoted greater increases in insulin and glucose tolerance was impaired in the high fat group.

The Bottom Line:
It appears in this respect that a calorie is just not as calorie. It's best to avoid high glycemic foods due to the greater chance of fat deposition from excess insulin production. Low GI foods/supplements are the way to go.

    Pawlak D.B., et al. High glycemic index starch promotes hypersecretion of insulin and higher body fat in rats without affecting insulin sensitivity. J Nutr. 2001 Jan. 131(1): 99-104.

If You Use Whey, You Better Add Glutamine & BCAA's!

Most whey is an excellent protein source, but whey can be made better. Douglas Kalman, M.S., R.D. fed 16 healthy athletic adult men (avg. age 33 yr) either whey protein (40 g/d) or whey protein (40 g/d) combined with 5 grams of glutamine and 3 grams of branched-chain amino acids (leucine - 1.5 g, valine - 0.75 g, isoleucine - 0.75 g).

Each subject consumed 1.6 grams of protein per kg body weight and follow a strict bodybuilding program. After the 10-week training period, researchers found that the whey-glutamine-BCAA group experienced a 4-lb increase in fat-free and the "just-whey" group increased 1.1 lbs.

Though this difference was not statistically significant, it does suggest a trend that, in the long haul, spiking whey with glutamine and BCAAs might promote further gains in lean body mass with training. The whey-glutamine-BCAA group experienced a 33-36% increase in the bench press and leg press performance while the whey group improved 23%.

The Bottom Line:
Spike your whey with glutamine and BCAAs for better results.

    Colker CM et al. "Effects of supplementation protein on body composition and muscular strength in healthy athletic male adults." Curr Ther Res 2000, 61(1):19-28.

Can The Sugar L-Arabinose Inhibit Fat?

Ribose, glucose, fructose, and sucrose are sugars. So is L-arabinose. It is a 5-carbon sugar with a unique property; it inhibits sucrase activity in the intestine. Sucrase is an enzyme that breaks down sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose. If you inhibit sucrase, this should inhibit the breakdown and absorption of sucrose.

In another rat study, the little critters were fed up to 30 grams of sucrose per 100 grams of feed. Researchers added anywhere from 0 to 1.0 grams of L-arabinose per 100 grams feed. The rats ate this sugar brew for 10 days.

The researchers found that lipogenic enzymes (enzymes that build fat) and triglyceride concentrations in the liver went up when the rats consumed sucrose. When arabinose was consumed, these changes did not occur. Arabinose feeding reduced fat weights, plasma insulin and triglycerides.

The Bottom Line:
Arabinose consumption inhibits sucrase activity, reduces sucrose utilization, decreases lipogenesis, and decreases plasma insulin and triglycerides.

    Osaki S. "L-arabinose feeding prevents increases due to dietary sucrose in lipogenic enzymes and triacylglycerol levels in rats." Journal of Nutrition 2001, 131: 796-799.

Galactose? A Non-Insulinogenic & Performance-Enhancer?

Galactose, a sugar produced from the breakdown of lactose (lactose = glucose + galactose molecule), may be the sugar of choice for athletic performance. In a study from Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, 5 well-trained cyclists performed exercise tests in which they consumed 1 liter of a test beverage prior to a cycling test to exhaustion.

The test beverages were sucrose/glucose, fructose/glucose, galactose, or a galactose polymer. Time to exhaustion was longest in the galactose group (72.75 minutes), the galactose polymer group (70.55 min), followed by the sucrose/glucose group (68.3 min) and last and least, the fructose/glucose group (54.3 min).

The Bottom Line:
Galactose probably should be considered for sports drinks. Until then Galactose can be found in ivy berries, figs, in grains, many vegetables, dry coffee and in the highest quantities in milk and dairy products. People who are lactose intolerant can consume galactose.

    King, R et al. "The use of galactose in sports drinks before exercise." FASEB journal. 2001, vol. 15: abstract #756.4

Once Again... Does CLA Help Burn Fat With Exercise?

The CLA controversy remains. Six men (27-56 yr.) followed a weight-reducing diet and exercise plan (3-4 times per week) while taking CLA (750 mg. taken three times daily; total daily dose = 2.25 g.) daily for six weeks. Results demonstrated a significant drop in body weight, body fat, waist circumference, plasma cholesterol and triglycerides.

According to these investigators, "...short-term CLA supplementation, in conjunction with diet and exercise, is a safe and effective way to promote healthy glucose and lipid profiles while enhancing body composition changes."

The Bottom Line:
Well maybe conjugated linoleic acid may work as shown in this study; but hey, where's their control and placebo group and six people of 27-56 do not a good study make? But, maybe CLA is worth a shot.

    Rockway, S.W. and C. Tangney. "Dietary conjugated linoleic acid alters body composition and lowers cholesterol and triglycerides in healthy men." FASEB journal. 2001, vol. 15: Abstract #LB311.

Be sure to check out Will Brink's
A Unified Theory Of Nutrition!