Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouse of the cell’ that convert the foods we eat to usable energy our body uses to fuel life sustaining reactions within cells, our daily activities and athletic performance 1-4. While energy production capability and muscle performance might seem to be more relevant to sports, it also equally important for achievement and maintenance of health throughout the life span. In this article I will describe how chronological aging affects our mitochondria, its implications and the ins-and-outs of a new type of supplements marketed at “exercise mimetics”.
This is the first study I’m aware of that looked specifically at female physique athletes and the effects of a higher protein intake, and comes from Dr. Bill Campbell’s lab via the University of South Florida, Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory, which I gave a talk at recently and presented at conferences. It’s interesting to note they found increased LBM with higher protein off season:
Effects of a high (2.4 g/kg) vs. low/moderate (1.2 g/kg) protein intake on body composition in aspiring female physique athletes engaging in an 8-week resistance training program
Bill I. Campbell, Danielle Aguilar, Andres Vargas, Laurin Conlin, Amey Sanders, Paola Fink-Irizarry, Layne Norton, Ross Perry, Ryley McCallum, Matthew R. Wynn, Jack Lenton.
University of South Florida, Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory, Tampa, FL, USA
Aspiring female physique athletes are often encouraged to ingest relatively high levels of dietary protein in conjunction with their resistance-training programs. However, there is little to no research investigating higher vs. lower protein intakes in this population. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of a high protein diet vs. a low protein diet in resistance trained, aspiring female physique athletes.
17 resistance-trained female subjects (21.2±2.1 years; 165.1±5.1 cm; 61±6.1 kg) participated in this investigation. At baseline and following 8-weeks of a periodized daily undulating resistance-training program (DUP), participants were assessed for body composition (body weight [BW], fat mass [FM], body fat % [BF%], and lean body mass [LBM]). After baseline testing, participants were matched according to total FM and randomized to the high protein group (HP; n = 8) or the low/moderate protein group (LP; n = 9). Participants in the high protein group were instructed to ingest at least 2.4 grams of protein/kg body mass per day and participants in the low protein group were instructed to ingest no more than 1.2 grams of protein/kg body mass. There were no restrictions or guidelines placed on dietary CHO or Fat intake during the study intervention for either group. Body composition was assessed via ultrasound (A mode, 2.5-MHz transmitter). The DUP program consisted of two lower body and two upper body workouts conducted a total of 4 times per week for 8 weeks. Data were analyzed via a 2-factor [2x2] between-subjects repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). The criterion for significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.
In Part I of Bomb Proof Coffee, I cover what’s in it and why, as well as how to make it, doses, sources, etc in video form HERE. If you’re new to Bomb Proof Coffee you’ll want to watch those videos for all the info you need to get started. This article will add some of the supporting science on the ingredients in Bomb Proof Coffee.
The obvious first ingredient to cover is the coffee. Coffee just continues to show itself to a have a wide variety of health benefits for both the brain and body. Not surprisingly, not all coffee is created and the levels of beneficial compounds depends on the type of processing and other factors. As the coffee itself is not the main focus of Bomb Proof Coffee per se, the Life Extension has a good article HERE covering the topic and offers a coffee with especially high levels of beneficial compounds found in coffee that might make a good choice for the coffee used in Bomb Proof Coffee.
Cocoa (the main ingredients in chocolate), is rich in various polyphenols (including flavonoids/flavanols) and other bio active compounds such as amines, alkaloids, tyramine, magnesium, procyanidins, phenylethylamine, and N-acylethanolamines. Cocoa has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin resistance and improved endothelial function. A meta analysis found that the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease, and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest level of intake, an that’s despite the sugar and fat content of chocolate; reduced insulin resistance and reduced serum insulin levels were associated with the chocolate consumption. There are various studies that also suggest direct cognitive benefit of cocoa ingestion as well as neruo protection. The flavanol epicatechin is believed to be the main source of benefit, but there’s a wide range of compounds in cocoa and it’s highly likely there’s synergism between epicatechin and other flavanols as well as other compounds found in cocoa, many of which are still being elucidated. As mentioned via the vids on Bomb Proof Coffee, not all cocoa is created equal and the highest levels of beneficial compounds is found in cocoa that has not been “Dutch Processed” which is exposed to alkalization. The vast majority of cocoa sold commercially has been Dutch Processed/exposed to alkalization. The exact dose for optimal effects is unclear at this time and research is ongoing, but the dose recommended in Bomb Proof Coffee – if you’re using high quality cocoa that has not been exposed to alkalization – should have you covered well. See videos for more information on that. Cocoa, similar to coffee, is a highly complex ingredient, which may have synergism when ingested together.
January 7th 2016, the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/
One would expect this to be a state-of-the art document with practical hands-on advice that will help people make better food choices and eat healthier. Not so! If you think the new Dietary Guidelines will tell you everything you need to know about what to eat and what not to eat, you will be greatly disappointed.
I would like to applaud the commentary by Dr. Katz “2015 Dietary Guidelines: A Plate Full of Politics”. Dr. Katz is the director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. His summary of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines is “a national embarrassment”.
In this article I will point our some issues that Dr. Katz raised, as well as add my own reflections based on available scientific evidence. To make up for the glaring void of food recommendations, I will end with a practical list of foods you want to eat more of and those to avoid…
“Obesogen” is a term you’ll be hearing more of in the near future as studies get done. I give a short description of this group of chemicals in the vid below, and there’s an extensive article linked below just published in The Scientist for those who want the details.
Obesogens: Low doses of environmental chemicals can make animals gain weight. Whether they do the same to humans is a thorny issue.
“I want to gain muscle and lose fat Will” is a common statement I hear or get the “how do I gain muscle and lose fat?” question, and sellers of supplements and designers of magical programs and diets are all to happy to feed into those wishes as if it was easy to do with their particular program or supplement.
Can you gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously? I answer that Q in this vid. If interested in my general approach to gaining strength and muscle mass, see the BBR program.
Basic facts #1: Losing bodyfat requires you to be in a sustained caloric deficit,
Basic fact #2: Gaining muscle mass requires you to be in a sustained caloric surplus.
One can’t serve two masters, nor defy basic physiology and laws of thermodynamics.
One can train for a power lifting meet and an ultra marathon at the same time, but they won’t be terribly successful at either for a reason…
Pick a specific goal, eat and train for it, vs attempting multiple goals that may be opposed to each other giving sub par results.
Most people are looking to lose weight, but there’s always a segment of people – usually young men but not always – who have difficulty gaining weight. This video covers what most people attempting to gain weight are doing wrong. For a full program designed to help people gain quality weight in the form of muscle while minimizing increases in bodyfat, check out the BBR Program HERE.
A key hallmark of aging is a progressive loss of muscle mass, which occurs independently of health status. Exercise and nutrition are the two main anabolic stimuli for muscle growth and its maintenance throughout the life course.[2-11]
It is clear that maintaining high physical activity and exercise levels throughout ones lifespan reduces aging related loss of muscle mass and function, compared with living a sedentary life.[12-19] However, even active older adults and master elite athletes still experience some loss of muscle and physical performance with advancing age.[8, 13, 20]
When it comes to nutrition, high protein intake [2, 3, 10, 21] and creatine supplementation [4-8, 22] are two of the best documented interventions, which together with resistance exercise training, result in greater increases muscle mass and strength in both young [21-23] and older people [2-8, 10], and prevent its loss with aging. Here I will present the relatively unknown effects of fish oil (most well-known for its cardiovascular health promoting effects) on muscle growth (anabolism) and its possible contribution to prevention of aging related loss of muscle mass and function…