Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BCAA's Are No Fad...

The bodybuilding World is strange: fads and gimmicks come and go and things go in and out of style. While some things should never become popular in the first place, other things should never go out of popularity. BCAA’s are a case in point.

While research over the years has proven the need for BCAA’s by showing that they increase protein synthesis, muscle growth and speed exercise recovery, they have mysteriously fallen into and out of favour with bodybuilders. Now, there’s yet another study showing that BCAA’s need to stay in the arsenal of every serious bodybuilder.

A recent study examined the effects of BCAA shortage on overall growth patterns and brain function, and found that BCAA shortage leads to stunted growth levels and poor brain function – sometimes even brain diseases.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: BCAA’s are critical for your results. Use them, and be generous. Shortages will turn your physique from treasure into trash, and can lead to the onset of a whole host of disease states.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Malcolm Watford. 2007 International Life Sciences Institute. April 2007: 167–172.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Old School Energy...

Many bodybuilders need an extra blast of energy prior to hitting the gym for a hard training session. While energy drinks are now popular with athletes from all sport, the old stand-by – coffee – hasn’t gone away and a lot of bodybuilders drink a cup – or three – before a workout to get the energy and motivation they need to pound out rep after rep of heavy iron.

Now, scientists are stating that because coffee induces a thermogenic effect, it may also protect against type II diabetes – the kind of diabetes that’s so prevalent, especially amongst overweight and obese people.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: While energy drinks may be popular, a lot of them contain sugar, and there’s no evidence that they offer any thermogenic benefit. But coffee is a thermogenic and it’s sugar free – meaning all of the energy, plus diabetes protection, with none of the calories and fat gain from extra sugar. So next time you need some energy to pound out set after heavy set, consider drinking a cup – or three – of coffee. It’s old school, but it’ll do the trick like nothing else.

Source: Hannia Campos, PhD, and Ana Baylin, MD, DrPH. Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease. 2007 International Life Sciences Institute. April 2007: 173–179.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The TRUTH about probiotics...

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the benefits of probiotics – special bacteria present in your intestinal track that aide in food digestion and overall health. Not surprisingly, new foods have appeared that are “enhanced” and “fortified” with probiotics, and even new supplements have debuted, with marketers claiming that bodybuilders need more probiotics because of the amount and frequency of our meals. These marketers claim that bodybuilders need more probiotics than the average person and that extra probiotics will speed digestion, increase nutrient absorption and lead to overall better health.

But there’s only one problem with these claims: They’re not true!

The truth is that most orally ingested probiotics are destroyed in stomach acid before they produce any benefit and, even if they do survive your stomach, they may not produce any benefit once in your body – unless your intestinal bacteria balance is already out of balance.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Probiotics may be great for people with digestive problems, but they don’t do anything for bodybuilders. So save your money and skip the “enhanced” and “fortified” yogurts and other food items that show up on store shelves. Instead, stick to the basics and build muscle by getting high quality proteins. It’s the only way to go.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: L. Miles. Are probiotics beneficial for health? British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin,32, 2–5.2007.