Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Muscle-Building Effect Of Protein Beverages For Athletes Investigated By Researchers

Physical activity requires strong, healthy muscles. Fortunately, when people exercise on a regular basis, their muscles experience a continuous cycle of muscle breakdown (during exercise) and compensatory remodeling and growth (especially with weightlifting). Athletes have long experimented with methods to augment these physiologic responses to enhance muscle growth. One such ergogenic aid that has gained recent popularity is the use of high-quality, high-protein beverages during and after exercise, with dairy-based drinks enriched with whey proteins often taking front stage. Many studies have documented a beneficial effect of their consumption. Of particular interest is the effect of the essential amino acid leucine contained in these products. Two papers, published in the September 2011 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, report the results of 2 independent studies conducted to understand better how amino acids influence protein synthesis in recreational athletes.

According to ASN Spokesperson Shelley McGuire, PhD: "These studies, and others like them, help us understand and apply something we all inherently know: the human body works in a complex, yet completely logical way! It makes good sense that consuming a food containing high-quality protein (like milk) during and/or immediately following exercise would help muscles get stronger. Muscle strength doesn't just happen on its own - our muscles need to be both encouraged (as happens via exercise) and nourished (as happens when we eat well). Now we have even more scientific proof for this common-sense concept."

In the first study, researchers led by Stuart Phillips (McMaster University) investigated whether postexercise muscle protein synthesis is different when a large, single dose of whey protein (25 g) is consumed immediately after activity compared with when smaller doses (2.5 g) are consumed 10 times over an extended period. The idea with the small "protein shots" was to mimic how another milk protein, casein, is digested. Participants (8 men; mean age: 22 y) performed 8 sets of 8 repetitions on a leg-extension machine; each subject participated in both dietary treatment regimens. In the second study led by Stefan Pasiakos from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, active-duty military personnel (7 men and 1 woman; mean age: 24 y) consumed a high-protein beverage (10 g protein as essential amino acids) containing 1.87 or 3.5 g leucine while exercising on a stationary bicycle. In both studies, postexercise muscle protein synthesis was evaluated.

Consuming the large bolus of whey protein immediately after exercise increased muscle protein synthesis more than when periodic smaller doses of protein were consumed. In the second study, muscle protein synthesis was 33% greater after consumption of the leucine-enriched protein beverage than after the lower-leucine drink.

The researchers concluded that muscle metabolism after exercise can be manipulated via dietary means. In terms of the most beneficial timing of protein intake, immediate postexercise consumption appears to be best. Furthermore, leucine may play an especially important role in stimulating muscle growth in the postactivity recovery period.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Youth Athletes: Overscheduling is a Risk Factor!

This is a great article that relates to sports injuries and the lack of recovery from "over-scheduling" I see this everyday with parents and youth athletes having way to much on their plate to professionals with way to many projects and commitments and this can lead to fatigue and that can lead to injury.

Sports-Related Injuries in Youth Athletes: Is Overscheduling a Risk Factor?

Objective: To examine the association between “overscheduling” and sports-related overuse and acute injuries in young athletes and to identify other potential contributing factors to create a working definition for “overscheduling injury.”

Design: Survey. Setting: Six university-based sports medicine clinics in North America. Participants: Athletes aged 6 to 18 years (13.8 ± 2.6) and their parents and pediatric sports medicine-trained physicians. Interventions: Questionnaires developed from literature review and expert consensus to investigate overscheduling and sports-related injuries were completed over a 3-month period.

Main Outcome Measures: Physician's clinical diagnosis and injury categorization: acute not fatigue related (AI), overuse not fatigue related (OI), acute fatigue related (AFI), or overuse fatigue related (OFI). Results: Overall, 360 questionnaires were completed (84% response rate). Overuse not fatigue-related injuries were encountered most often (44.7%), compared with AI (41.9%) and OFI (9.7%). Number of practices within 48 hours before injury was higher (1.7 ± 1.5) for athletes with OI versus those with AI (1.3 ± 1.4; P = 0.025). Athlete or parent perception of excessive play/training without adequate rest in the days before the injury was related to overuse (P = 0.016) and fatigue-related injuries (P = 0.010). Fatigue-related injuries were related to sleeping ≤6 hours the night before the injury (P = 0.028).

Conclusions: When scheduling youth sporting events, potential activity volume and intensity over any 48-hour period, recovery time between all training and competition bouts, and potential between-day sleep time (≥ 7 hours) should be considered to optimize safety. An overscheduling injury can be defined as an injury related to excessive planned physical activity without adequate time for rest and recovery, including between training sessions/competitions and consecutive days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment in Chronic Achilles injury yet another Negative study

This is the third negative study I have seen in recent months and the evidence is starting to build against PRP.

One-Year Follow-up of Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment in Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

Background: Achilles tendinopathy is a common disease among both athletes and in the general population in which the use of platelet-rich plasma has recently been increasing. Good evidence for the use of this autologous product in tendinopathy is limited, and data on longer-term results are lacking.

Purpose: To study the effects of a platelet-rich plasma injection in patients with chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy at 1-year follow-up.

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.

Methods: Fifty-four patients, aged 18 to 70 years, with chronic tendinopathy 2 to 7 cm proximal to the Achilles tendon insertion were randomized to receive either a blinded injection containing platelet-rich plasma or saline (placebo group) in addition to an eccentric training program. The main outcome was the validated Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment–Achilles score. Patient satisfaction was recorded and ultrasound examination performed at baseline and follow-up.

Results: The mean Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment–Achilles score improved in both the platelet-rich plasma group and the placebo group after 1 year. There was no significant difference in increase between both groups (adjusted between-group difference, 5.5; 95% confidence interval, –4.9 to 15.8, P = .292). In both groups, 59% of the patients were satisfied with the received treatment. Ultrasonographic tendon structure improved significantly in both groups but was not significantly different between groups (adjusted between-group difference, 1.2%; 95% confidence interval, –4.1 to 6.6, P = .647).

Conclusion: This randomized controlled trial showed no clinical and ultrasonographic superiority of platelet-rich plasma injection over a placebo injection in chronic Achilles tendinopathy at 1 year combined with an eccentric training program.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Deer Antler Spray, The Ultimate Spray and IGF-1 now banned by MLB

What is IGF-1, Deer Antler Spray, Ultimate Spray and why is MLB warning players against using it? First let look at some of the backround on what it is and how it is used.

IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) is a naturally-occurring polypeptide protein hormone, similar to insulin, that is primarily produced by the liver. IGF-1 plays an important role in stimulating growth during childhood and helps build and repair muscle tissue in adults.
During the 1990's, researchers began studying the benefits of IGF-1 supplementation, which reportedly included improvements in muscle hypertrophy, tissue repair and recovery times, among others. Soon, a variety of manufacturers were marketing products containing IGF-1 and labeled as nutrition supplements.

IGF-1 is considered a performance enhancing drug and is included on the 'Banned Substance Lists' of the majority of organized and professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency and now Major league Baseball association

Deer Antler Spray and IGF-1

Deer antler spray, which contains IGF-1, made media headlines in 2011 after reports surfaced that Ray Lewis, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, was connected with the product.
The Ultimate Spray and IGF-1

Another spray that contains IGF-1, called "The Ultimate Spray," has also made headlines for being used by several NFL players as an alternative to steroids.
These products are unregulated, and neither their safety nor effectiveness is known. In addition, taking IGF-1 in sufficient quantities carries many known risks, including cardiac, neuromuscular, and endocrine/metabolic problems.

What are are the items on the NFL's banned substance list? The world Anti Doping Association for 2011. Take a look.

You can also download the App for WADA banned substance for 2011 in Apples App store.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flavonoids, Antioxidants, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Post-Exercise Oxidative Stress

I love it when I am right! Here is anthor article that supports the ideas I have been using with my athletes for over 15 years. That you can enhance recovery with the use of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory approach to supplements instead of performance enhancement directly. My athelets know that I am always looking to find new ways to enhance recovery from each workout and its nice when we get another study confirming my approach. Take a look!

Flavonoids, Antioxidants, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Post-Exercise Oxidative Stress

Keywords:OXIDATIVE STRESS, INFLAMMATION - Flavonoids, Antioxidants, Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Reference:"Effect of Mixed Flavonoids, n-3 Fatty Acids, and Vitamin C on Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Capacity Before and After Intense Cycling," McAnulty SR, Nieman DC, et al, Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2011 Aug; 21(4): 328-37. (Address: Dept. of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA).
Summary:In a randomized study involving 39 athletes, supplementation with flavonoids, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids taken for 2 weeks prior to and 3 days during cycling at 57% Wmax for 3 hours, was found to be associated with reductions in the immediate post-exercise increase in F2-isoprostane. Subjects received supplementation with one of the following interventions: 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C; 1,000 mg quercetin + 1,000 mg vitamin C + 400 mg isoquercetin, 30 mg epigallocatechin gallate, and 400 mg omega-3 fatty acids; or, placebo, daily for 2 weeks before and during 3 days of cycling. Subjects in both treatment groups were found to be protected against the significant increase in F2-isoprostanes post-exercise, as found in the placebo group. This effect was found to be independent of changes in plasma antioxidant capacity. These results suggest that supplementation with flavonoids, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids may benefit athletes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hormonal and Inflammatory Responses to Different Types of Sprint Interval Training

Meckel, Y, Nemet, D, Bar-Sela, S, Radom-Aizik, S, Cooper, DM, Sagiv, M, and Eliakim, A. Hormonal and inflammatory responses to different types of sprint interval training. J Strength Cond Res 25(8): 2161-2169, 2011—

We evaluated the effect of different types of sprint interval sessions on the balance between anabolic and catabolic hormones and circulating inflammatory cytokines.

Twelve healthy elite junior handball players (17-25 years) participated in the study. Exercise consisted of increasing distance (100 m, 200 m, 300 m, 400 m) and decreasing distance (400 m, 300 m, 200 m, 100 m) sprint interval runs on a treadmill (at random order), at a constant work rate of 80% of the personal maximal speed (calculated from the maximal speed of a 100 m run). The total rest period between the runs in the different interval sessions were similar.

Blood samples were collected before, after each run, and after 1-hour recovery. Both types of sprint interval trainings led to a significant (p < 0.05) increase in lactate and the anabolic factors growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and testosterone levels. Both types of sprint interval sessions led to a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the circulating pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators IL-1, IL-6, and IL1ra. IL-6 remained elevated in both sessions after 1-hour recovery. Area under the curve was significantly greater (p < 0.05) for lactate and growth hormone (GH) in the decreasing distance session. In contrast, rate of perceived exertion was higher in the increasing distance session, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.07). Changes in anabolic-catabolic hormones and inflammatory mediators can be used to gauge the training intensity of anaerobic-type exercise. Changes in the GH-IGF-I axis and testosterone level suggest exercise-related anabolic adaptations. Increases in inflammatory mediators may indicate their important role in muscle tissue repair after anaerobic exercise.

The decreasing distance interval was associated with a greater metabolic (lactate) and anabolic (GH) response but not with a higher rate of perceived exertion. Coaches and athletes should be aware of these differences, and as a result, of a need for specific recovery adaptations after different interval training protocols.