Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HMB - Does Age Matter?

There seems to be a line of reasoning among bodybuilders that goes like this: the older you get, the less muscle you can build, the more fat you gain, and the less effective supplements become at giving you mind-blowing results.

While it's clear that building muscle is harder as you age because of declining hormones, and that gaining fat is easier because of metabolic slowdown, it's not so clear that supplements work less as you age – and when it comes to HMB, a new study challenges the conventional wisdom.

Researchers gave HMB to young, middle-aged and older bodybuilders and found that, regardless of age, HMB “may inhibit the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway responsible for the specific degradation of intracellular proteins. HMB may also directly stimulate protein synthesis, through an mTOR dependent mechanism.”

Here is your FUSION FACTOID: Despite some of the conflicting evidence on HMB, and the notion that supplements work less as you age, this study on HMB, at least, shows that there are always exceptions to the rule. HMB works for everyone – so take it! You can lose fat, gain muscle and get awesome results.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Gabriel J Wilson, Jacob M Wilson and Anssi H Manninen. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: A review. Nutrition & Metabolism 2008, 5:1.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lower Test = Less Life...

Bodybuilders need high testosterone levels to lift heavy, workout hard and grow massive. Testosterone is, simply, the lifeblood of muscle building. But there's only one problem: stress, pollution and ageing all cause testosterone levels to sink, and if you're 30 or over, the situation gets worse because your testosterone levels naturally decline after this age.

A new study examining the effects of lower testosterone levels – total and free testosterone – has found that lower testosterone levels may shorten your life – increasing your chances of dying early by 33% compared to people with high or normal testosterone levels.

But low testosterone doesn't just increase your risk of an early demise, it also makes it very difficult to be motivated and to train with the blinding intensity you need to force muscle growth.

So here's your FUSION FACTOID: Get your testosterone levels high by avoiding stress, eating right and training hard – giving it your all every time you enter the gym. While not mandatory, it can also be good to supplement with a natural test booster, just to make sure that you're maxing out your test levels and getting the best and fastest gains possible. So get your test levels high – and get HUGE! It may even make you live longer.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Study presented at the Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, June 5, 2007.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ditch the NSAIDS...

We've already reported on the effects of ibuprofen – that it cripples protein synthesis and muscle growth. But what of the other over-the-counter Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Inhibitor drugs? What about drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol), Celebrex, Naproxen (Aleev) and opiates that are frequently used to reduce inflammation and pain after a hard workout?

The story is pretty much the same – and it's not good.

New research shows clearly that while acetaminophen (Tylenol) did not slow growth, protein synthesis and the healing of tendons from a hard workout, drugs like Celebrex, Naproxen and various opiates did delay the healing of tendons and, taken one step further, actually decreased the overall collagen count of these tissues – making joints less functional.

So here's your FUSION FACTOID: If you're going to use a painkiller after a killer workout that's full of gut-busting pain, choose the least of all evils: acetaminophen. And, if at all possible, use enzymes that help control inflammation from spiraling out of control.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: American Journal Sports Medicine, published online April 23, 2007.