Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

FAT BURNING: THE FACTS

At some point or other we have all wanted to burn off some body fat but what if you want fast results? Well fear not, here are my top tips to help burn off that tyre around your waist.

1. PRE-BREAKFAST MORNING CARDIO
Studies show that working out in the morning burns up to 3 times more fat compared to working out at any other time during the day. To get into the ‘fat burning zone’ a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio is required.

During the day your body’s main source of energy is the carbohydrates that you get from eating your meals. As you sleep at night for 6+ hours, your body uses up all those carbohydrates as energy for the various bodily functions that go on even while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning your body doesn’t have any carbohydrates left to use and it will look to burn body fat instead for energy.

For you to take advantage of this morning fat burning opportunity you have to exercise first, before eating breakfast. If you do have breakfast, then you’ll just give your body more carbohydrates as a source of energy instead of the body fat that you want to burn off.

Another great thing about working out first thing in the morning is that your metabolism gets revved up and then stays elevated throughout the day. An elevated metabolism means that you’ll burn more calories and lose more weight. If you exercise at night you may still burn fat while you work out but as soon as you go to sleep your metabolism will slow down and you’ll have missed out on all the extra fat burning that you could have had during the day if you’d exercised in the morning. When you sleep your metabolic rate is always at its slowest.

For advanced athletes adding an extra workout to your daily routine 4-6 hours after your morning workout will maintain your already high metabolism. Most fat calories are burned when doing cardio at moderate intensities. If you make your second workout of the day a weights workout, then you will burn mostly carbohydrates during it.

2. EAT BREAKFAST
Another way to keep your metabolism revved up all day long is to eat breakfast. Have breakfast after your morning cardio and you’ll give your body the perfect combination to jump start your metabolism. If you skip breakfast your metabolism will run slower causing you to burn less fat. Eating breakfast will help stop those cravings you may have later on in the day and along with working out in the morning, will also keep you energised throughout the day and lower your stress levels.
It is best to have 6 small meals throughout the day as this will keep your metabolism at a higher level. Every time you eat, your body uses energy to break down, digest and use the food. Eating a small meal every 2-3 hours allows the body to experience calorie burning and less calories are stored as fat. Consuming multiple meals also aids in lowering cortisol levels allowing testosterone levels to remain high. Elevated testosterone levels increase muscle growth, which in turn boosts calorie burning properties in your body.

3. CONSUME PROTEIN
It is recommended that you consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. This should be split between your 6 meals throughout the day. Following a high protein diet means you will need more calories just to maintain bodyweight levels and in turn it makes it easier for your body to burn fat. The constant stream of amino acids also means that muscle tissue is less likely to be broken down. The best forms of protein are lean cuts such as chicken and turkey breast, lean beef and low/non fat dairy.

There are also supplements available that can aid with fat burning, here is my guide to those all important supplements:

CAFFEINE
Caffeine is involved in increasing the mobilisation of fat cells into your circulation and is seen as a potent stimulant. Caffeine’s stimulant properties aid strength training if used pre-workout and can also help to reduce muscular soreness.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea contains high concentrations of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is responsible for the tea’s thermogenic effects. In addition to its fat burning qualities green tea extract is also a powerful antioxidant. EGCG is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C and more effective than vitamin E at cell protection.

FORSKOLIN
Forskolin is extracted from the roots of the coleus forskohlii which is a wild plant that grows throughout India, Thailand and Burma. Forskolin stimulates the part of the brain that synthesises epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. Together, epinephrine and norepinephrine directly increase the heart rate, triggering the release of glucose from energy stores and increasing blood flow to the skeletal muscle. It has been shown that forskolin is also beneficial for decreasing bodyfat levels and stimulating free testosterone levels.

L-TYROSINE
This naturally occurring amino acid can impact the production of neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for fat mobilisation and fat burning. This impact usually occurs when dieting so supplementing L-Tyrosine into your daily routine when in a dieting phase can help your mind stay balanced as well as aiding with fat burning.

CAPSAICIN
Capsaicin is known as the element which makes chilli peppers hot. It also helps increase your levels of norepinephrine which aids fat burning.

ACETYL-L-CARNITINE (ALCAR)
Alcar is the acetyl eater of L-Carnitine and occurs naturally in animal products such as red meat and dairy products and is vital for fat metabolism. It has been reported that using this supplement results in a great increase in muscle carnitine content and studies show that increased skeletal muscle carnitine levels result in a greater use of fats for energy during exercise.

CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA)
Cla is a fatty acid found naturally in red meat and dairy products. It is known for its fat loss properties and also helps with cellular health and muscle building. Scientific studies uphold CLA supplementation as a simultaneous fat burning, anti-catabolic and anabolic aid.

HYDROXYCITRIC ACID (HCA)
Hca is an appetite suppressant and has been shown to increase lipolysis (fat burning), boost serotonin levels and allow the body to use fats instead of carbohydrates for energy.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your fat burner:

-Drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water with each dose of fat burning product and keep hydrated throughout the rest of the day.
-Take your first dose upon waking (before your pre-breakfast cardio).
-Take a second dose 30-60 minutes before lunch and take your last dose 30 minutes before dinner.

To summarise, in order to get fast acting results you will require:

-30 minutes of steady pre-breakfast cardio.
-Six small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism high.
-Time permitting, an extra workout 4-6 hours after your cardio to keep your metabolism high.
-A fat burner from the list above to help you achieve the results you desire.
-These tips will assist you in elevating your metabolism to burn more calories and fight fat on a daily basis and ultimately help shed all that unwanted body fat.

This article appeared on the Flex UK website authored by MEHMET EDIP

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED SECRET #4 Hydration Continued

By Steven Milner (please refer to the credits at the end of the article)

DRINK YOUR WAY TO WINNING PERFORMANCES: THE SEVEN SECRETS TO HYDRATION!

If you want to perform at a high level, you need to drink. Water, that is. For each percent of body weight lost due to dehydration, your performance slips by about two percent, and a meager two-percent loss in weight can force your heart rate and body temperature to spiral upward, making strenuous exercise almost impossible to carry out. If you’re going to be exercising for 20 minutes or less, dehydration is not usually a problem, but difficulties can arise during longer exertions. For example, copiously sweating athletes can flush about 1.5 litres of fluid per hour through their sweat glands, a total of three pounds per hour. If these heavily perspiring individuals weigh 150 pounds, that’s a two-percent loss in weight after just one hour, producing a four-percent dip in performance if no fluid is taken on board. The downturn in performance would be smaller, about two percent, after 30 minutes, but that’s still enough to make a difference to serious athletes who are interested in winning. But what are the rules for fluid intake? How much do you really need and what should your drink be like? To make it easy for you, I’ve listed the seven rules of fluid intake during exercise below. If you follow these rules, you’ll keep your body water intact during exercise and perform at a much higher level.

RULE NO. 1: The rate of passage of water from your stomach into your small intestine depends on how much fluid is actually in your stomach. If there’s lots of water there, fluid flow from stomach to intestine is like a springtime flood; if there’s little water, the movement resembles a lightly dripping tap. Therefore, to increase stomach-intestinal flow (and overall absorption of water) you need to deposit a fair amount of liquid in your stomach just before you begin your exercise. In fact, 10-12 ounces of fluid is a good start. This will feel uncomfortable at first, so practice funnelling this amount of beverage into your ‘tank’ several times before an actual competition.

RULE NO. 2: To sustain a rapid movement of fluid into your small intestine during your exertions, take three to four sips of beverage every 10 minutes if possible, or five to six swallows every 15 minutes.

RULE NO. 3:  If you’re going to be exercising for less than 60 minutes, don’t worry about including carbohydrate in your drink; plain water is fine. For more prolonged efforts, however, you will want the carbohydrate.

RULE NO. 4: Years of research have suggested that the correct concentration of carbohydrate in your drink is about 5-7%. Most commercial sports drinks fall within this range, and you can make your own 6 %  drink by mixing five tablespoons of table sugar with each litre of water that you use. A bit of sodium boosts absorption, one-third teaspoon of salt per litre of water is about right. Although 5-7%  carbohydrate solutions seem to work best for most individuals, there is evidence that some endurance athletes can fare better with higher concentrations. In research carried out recently at Liverpool John Moores University, for example, cyclists who ingested a 15% maltodextrin solution improved their endurance by 30% compared to individuals who used a 5% glucose drink. The 15% drink also drained from the stomach as quickly as the 5%, though many other studies have linked such concentrated drinks with a slowdown in water movement.

RULE NO. 5:  A 6% ‘simple sugar’ drink will empty from your stomach at about the same rate as a fancy, 6% ‘glucose polymer’ beverage, so don’t fall for the idea that the latter can boost water absorption or enhance your performance more than the former, and don’t pay more for the glucose-polymer concoctions.

RULE NO 6:  Contrary to what you’ve heard, cold drinks aren’t absorbed into your body more quickly than warm ones. However, cold drinks are often more palatable than warm ones during exercise, so if coldness helps you to drink large quantities of fluid while you exert yourself, then keep your drinks cool.

RULE NO. 7:  Downing drinks during exercise does not increase your risk of digestive-system problems. In actuality, most gut disorders that arise during exercise are caused by dehydration, not from taking in fluid. Dehydration induces nausea and discomfort by reducing blood flow to the digestive system, so by all means keep drinking

Source: The Maintenance of Fluid Balance during Exercise’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol..15(3), pp. 122-125,1994, and ‘The Effect of Different Forms of Fluid Provision on Exercise Performance’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 14, p. 298,1993

BODY BUILDING SECRETS REVEALED #3 Hydration Pt 1

By Steve Milner

Have you heard the one about drinking 2 litres of water a day to stay optimally hydrated?

You are not “optimally” hydrated if you drink water to the extent that you start to “shed” water. Don’t get me wrong moving water in and out and even around the different tissues of your body is remarkably easy to do, but tricky to get just right. If you’re dialling down for a comp and you’ve never done it before DON’T experiment with anything. When you are “optimally” hydrated any length of time without water will have an immediate effect on your muscular performance so you have to keep replacing it all the time. We take more water from our food than you might think, in fact foods like melon, cucumber, carrots etc., contain as much as ninety percent water. Now, listen carefully, you have 22 ½ foot of small intestine then 5 foot of large intestine that absorb the water from the food as it passes through your body over the next 24 to 72 hours. Healthy non processed foods are key to bodybuilders not least because of the nutrient quality but also because of the slow release water content. If you’re a woman you should see the miracle effects food hydration has on your skin! I know how proper hydration can make you look years younger. Read on?

BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED SECRET #2 Body fat

By: Steve Milner

What is fat? Among other things fat is an energy source three times richer than carbohydrate and protein and it’s also where you’re body stores some of its toxic waste. Surprisingly our fat cell count is the same whether we are fat or thin, so when we get fat, we don’t get more fat cells, we get bigger fat cells. Fat is mainly water and the fatter you are the more water you carry (hey, camel boy…); you can read more about Hydration in my other articles. Different fat compositions are deposited in different places around your body for different reasons. For instance, fat is an insulator it stops us cooling down too fast, it serves as padding both around and inside all of our major organs, it cushions and supports our joints and just for a laugh it helps you float, which is why when you go to the baths (active rest) you will see fat people gliding slowly and effortlessly up and down the pool all day long, which is nice for them. Here’s the secret bit, good bodybuilders know and accept that body fat is crucial to maximum effort, hydration, joint support, anabolic growth and recovery to name but a few. Through diet and exercise we can decide when and to what extent we use our essential fat deposits to our advantage and when to grow them and when to reduce them. When body building becomes an integral yet distinct part of your nature, being fat doesn’t happen to you anymore unless you want it to.

GREATEST BODYBUILDING SECRETS REVEALED SECRET #1 How to grow a muscle.

Do you want to know how to gain fat free mass fast? Check out these articles.

By: Steve Milner

Do you want to know how to gain fat free mass fast, gain 30 pounds on your bench, get massive guns, wheels of steel, (you mean legs), how about those rock hard abs, heard all this before? Well there’s good reason, literally millions of people all over the world doing it every day, successfully.

I’m going to try to explain things in plain English and I’ll try to keep the science simple as well, most medical references are dead easy to work out anyway, a “strap muscle” looks like a strap, a pennant muscle looks like a pennant (like a triangular golf flag) and guess what a “ball and socket joint” looks like a ball and socket!

SECRET #1 How muscles grow

In order to understand muscle growth it helps to know a little about how muscles contract. So imagine for me if you will a river, on the river are thousands of row boats, like the ones in the Thames boat race, long, thin, lots of oarsmen and most important lots of oars. Okay? Now notice how half the boats are facing up the river and half down the river, and they fill the river across from bank to bank. This is our muscle and if you look inside muscle cells you find the moving parts (the sarcomeres), look a lot like row boats, like the ones in the Thames boat race, long, thin, lots of oarsmen and lots of oars. Now when you shout “row” most of the oarsmen start rowing as hard as they can and the oars lock together and pull the boats toward each other, and as more start to join in they slide over and around each other. The “bunched” up boats don’t stretch up and down the river as far now as they did and they push up against the river banks making them bulge slightly!

So we know how a muscle contracts but how does it grow?

Most muscles, with some exceptions like the heart and the tongue, are attached to something in more than one place, biceps = twice, triceps = thrice. The attachment where a muscle starts is called the origin and attachments where a muscles end are called insertions and insertions move towards origins when muscles contract. When you curl a very heavy dumbbell you “attach” resistance to one end of the muscle and when it contracts those little boats row and they row so hard the oars snap off and kill all the oarsmen, and it hurts like hell. Oh dear, what a shame, never mind. You see if you eat and sleep and rest properly more boats will be built to replace the ones that were lost, and get this,  extra row boats will be built just in case you go curling very heavy dumbbells again. Wow, your muscle is now growing, question is how do you keep it growing and stay healthy, not easy mate, not easy at all. Read on.