Light Weights Can Build Muscle
The old bodybuilding adage “You’ve got to lift big to get big” has been around for decades. And although there’s been plenty of scientific and empirical evidence to support the effects of resistance training under heavy loads, many also believe that using lighter weights and training to muscular failure is just as effective at stimulating muscle growth – and now science is weighing in on it. A recent meta-analysis compiled the data from 10 different studies to analyze the muscle and strength building effects of training under both heavy and lighter loads. Controlled analysis of the data revealed that although it was less effective, training under lighter loads to muscular failure does in fact promote muscle growth and strength gain. The data revealed that while training under heavier loads (greater than 65% 1RM) stimulated significantly greater strength gains, the muscle gained from training under lighter loads was relatively similar.
No Difference Between Fed and Fasted Cardio
The question of whether fed, steady state cardio is more effective for fat loss than the increasingly popular high intensity interval (HIIT) style cardio has been tossed around for decades. Proponents of both camps seem to be vehemently split over which method is best for dialing in contest condition. And according to a new study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition – the debate is now over. Researchers conducted a four week study in which participants underwent a strict dietary protocol that had them eat in a 500 k/cal per day caloric deficit while performing either fed or fasted cardio. The participants in the study were college aged, non-obese women, most of whom had normal or slightly below average body fat levels. At the conclusion of the four week period researches determined that there was no significant difference in body fat reduction or weight loss between the two groups. However, researchers do note that the span of the trial was four weeks long, and that longer duration could have a possible impact on the results.
Beetroot Juice Dilates Arterial Blood Vessels
Beetroot juice has grown to become a wildly popular supplement in preworkout concoctions over the past few years. The interest in beetroot’s ability to impact performance arose from studies that found its high concentration of dietary nitrate, which increase levels of nitric oxide in the blood. Now a new study conducted by researchers at Penn State University has discovered that beetroot’s vasodilation properties may extend far beyond what has previously been discovered. In the study the researchers have participants a beetroot extract and found much to their surprise, once ingested the nitrate in beetroot becomes converted into nitrite, which is a precursor of nitric oxide. Researchers noticed a direct correlation between levels of nitrite present in the blood, and lowered blood pressure due to relaxation of arterial blood vessels. This suggests that beetroot juice has a significant, yet temporary, ability to cause a safe and natural reduction in blood pressure without the need for pharmaceutical drugs. The team is now planning a follow up study to test the ability of a beetroot/nitrate combo to determine if there are even more pronounced effects on adults who suffer from impaired vascular function. Athletes looking to take advantage of beetroot’s health and performance boosting properties should consider using NITROLYZE or NITROLYZE-S from Species Nutrition, which contains a potent dose of beetroot as a part of its exclusive formula.
Compound In Red Grapes Boosts Fat Burning
If you’ve been scratching your head, trying to come up with a justification for why you polished off two bottles of red wine last weekend before having an imaginary posedown in your kitchen, you may be in luck. A new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry has identified a compound in red grapes that improves the body’s fat burning capabilities. For the study researchers spilt mice into two groups. Group one received regular mouse with an additional grape extract identified as ellagic acid, while group two received a high-fat mouse chow along the ellagic acid extract. At the conclusion of the ten week trial researchers found, as expected, that the group that received the high fat chow had gained significantly more weight than the regular chow group. However, the high-fat group showed improved signs of sugar and fat metabolism in the liver, in addition to having normal blood sugars similar to those in the regular group. Researchers found that the ellagic acid extract stimulated a protein in the liver known as PPAR-alpha that signals the body to burn stored fat for fuel. The results suggest a drug-free alternative could available to those seeking a natural remedy for blood glucose regulation and improved liver function.
Glucosamine Extends Lifespan in Mice
For years athletes have been using glucosamine supplements as a way of combating the toll that heavy training takes on the joints. And while glucosamine doesn’t rebuild cartilage or connective tissue, it does slow the degradation process and could be a valuable tool when used correctly to help maintain joint health over time. But according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, glucosamine may also have the ability to help extend lifespan as well. Researchers found that when they gave elderly mice supplemental glucosamine it extended their lifespan by up to 10% longer compared to another group of mice who served as the control. They found that glucosamine actually prompted the body to break down amino acids, mimicking the state of a low carbohydrate diet despite the fact that dietary carbohydrate content was not altered. These findings corroborate two recent epidemiological studies in humans that found those who supplement with glucosamine appear to live longer than their counterparts, and also appear to confirm the results of older data that found glucosamine supplementation to potentially cause insulin resistance by interfering with carbohydrate metabolism.