Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gain Muscle With Creatine

Creatine monohydrate is a compound made by the human body and is also a component of our everyday diets to gain muscle. The main sources are fish, meat and poultry. Creatine is found in any foods containing animal muscle.
The typical western diet contains about 1 gram of creatine per day, other then vegetarians who consume next to none. Our body doesn't receive sufficient amounts of creatine just from the food we eat. Creatine is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, and is transported to the body's muscles through the bloodstream. About 95% of our body's stores are found in the skeletal muscle, and our daily turnover adds up to around 2grams.
When Creatine is transferred to the muscle it is transformed into creatine phosphate with amounts varying from person to person. This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles main energy source, ATP. When you do heavy exercise your levels of ATP drop rapidly and creatine is responsible for restoring the levels of ATP.
Why Take It?
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements of all. It all began in 1992 Barcelona Olympics when numerous British athletes supplementing creatine said it was what made them so successful. Word of mouth is not enough to prove that creatine improves performance. A lot of research was then conducted on creatine. The studies showed the intake of high doses of creatine over a number of days, increased the levels of creatine and creatine phosphate found in muscles. Since then much more research has been completed, with the agreement being that creatine supplements increase muscle creatine, hence improving exercise captivity and performance.
What Does Creatine Supplementation Do?
Creatine is one of the more popular supplements amongst Bodybuilders. When it comes to building muscle creatine is your best mate.
1. Provides Energy For Your Muscles
ATP is the body's source of explosive energy. Your body also obtains energy from carbohydrates, but it takes a much longer period of time to become a usable energy source. So when the body is in need of energy fast it turns to it's sources of ATP. ATP can provide a huge burst of energy to your muscles fast but can last as little as 15 seconds; this is where the creatine kicks in. When ATP sources are depleted you are left with ADP, which is basically useless for exercise. The Creatine phosphate reacts with the ADP to turn it into ATP. So creatine takes a useless chemical and turns it into a useable energy (ATP).
2. Enhances Protein Synthesis
Creatine allows your body to stay in a higher anabolic state for longer, therefore allowing more rapid lean muscle growth.
3. Increases Muscle Volume
Creatine increases the water retention of muscles. In some cases during the first few weeks of supplementing with creatine, users can put on kilograms of weight, called water weight. This makes your muscles appear larger.
4. Acts As A Lactic Acid Buffer
Lactic Acid builds up in the muscles being stimulated during heavy training. New studies show that creatine can act as a buffer towards lactic acid therefore delaying the build up of lactic acid.

How To Supplement With Creatine
There are two methods of supplementing with creatine to obtain muscle saturation. There is still debate to which method is best.
1) Loading/Maintenance Method
This the most common way of commencing creatine supplementation. The first 5 days are known as the loading phase. During this period you take a dosage of 20-30grams of creatine per day, this rapidly saturates the muscles with creatine. The second phase is the "maintenance" phase. Now that the muscles are saturated with creatine all you have to do is maintain it. A dosage of 3-10grams per day is efficient.
2) Gradual Intake Method
This method skips the loading phase and allows for gradual muscle saturation. Eventually this will achieve the same result, but in a longer period of time.
More research has gone into creatine over the years and a new product has emerged, Creatine Ethyl Ester. Regular Creatine monohydrate is absorbed poorly by the body and its effectiveness is dependent upon the cells ability to absorb it. The poor absorption rate of creatine monohydrate requires the user to ingest copious dosages of creatine to achieve desired effect "Loading Phase"
Creatine monohydrate is semilipopholic. This means that it uses fat as a transport system inefficiently. The esterification of substances will increase their lipopholic abilities, therefore, esterified creatine will use fat more efficiently to penetrate the cell wall and exert its effects upon cellular function. This means, simply, that not only will dosage requirements be lower, but the absorption of esterified creatine will be increased.
Many athletes have "off periods" where they stop taking creatine altogether, although it is not necessary. Normally 6 weeks on 2 weeks off, athletes believe better results are achieved in doing so. It is recommended to go by manufacturers label recommendations.
Dangers and Side Effects
Some agencies have issued health warnings regarding creatine supplementation. However others have disputed this and blamed it on a misunderstanding of animal studies. Some mild side effects have been reported like dehydration and stomach aches, but these can be prevented by drinking enough water. There is no long term side effects reported to date and there have not been enough studies into long term side effects to indicate any damage. To date there is no evidence that creatine supplementation in healthy people will pose any problems. The important point to remember is, like any supplement, only take what you need, don't abuse it. Tripling creatine dosages will not achieve triple the results!
Other Creatine Questions and Myths:
Do creatine supplements effect hormone levels? No
Is creatine a type of steroid? No
Does creatine make you fat? No
Do I need to cycle creatine supplements? No, it's up to you.
Is creatine safe for pregnant women? Consult your doctor.
Is creatine a stable solution? No. Mix it up and drink immediately.
Are creatine supplements ok for vegetarian use? Absolutely

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Amino Acids - a Hidden Solution to Stress

Evidence has been accumulating that amino acids have a remarkable affect on the body's ability to deal with stress and with stress related illness. Many more illnesses are connected with stress than previously thought.
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins, and proteins in turn make up the largest part of our body weight second to water. "Non-essential" amino acids can be produced by the body, and "essential" amino acids must come from an outside source such as food or supplementation. Both types of amino acids have indispensable functions within the body.
The two-dozen amino acids present in the human body are among the most potent healing substances ever discovered. Essential amino acids include: Lysine, Valine, Tryptophan, Leucine, Phenylalanine and Methionine. Some non-essential amino acids include Glutamine, Proline, Glycine and Arginine.
Research has shown that Lysine (essential) helps the body to absorb calcium more efficiently. Mild calcium deficiency can cause nerve sensitivity, muscle twitching, irritability, palpitations and insomnia. Signs of severe deficiency include abnormal heartbeat, muscle pains and cramps, numbness, stiffness and tingling of the hands and feet, and depression. Many of these symptoms are associated with the feelings of stress.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D. and Andrew Weil, M.D., both researchers and authors, have described the importance of amino acids and supplementing with these vital building blocks in relation to stress and the physical and emotional consequences of such stress.
For example: Tyrosine, because of its role in assisting the body in coping physiologically with stress and building the body's natural store of adrenaline, is sometimes called the "stress amino acid". Tyrosine helps generate thyroxin (form of thyroid hormone) and melanin (skin pigment), and with B6 works to enhance the function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland itself is vital to the proper functioning of metabolism.
Glutamine (GAM), glutamic acid (GA), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are three closely related amino acids that are intricately involved in sustaining proper brain function, mental activity and a smooth connection between the brain and the central nervous system. GABA balances Glutamic Acid and puts on the brakes that keep the brain in check. It blocks stress and anxiety-related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain. Of the three, GABA has the most therapeutic applications.
Phenylalanine (essential) works with vitamin B6 and helps the body generate Tyrosine (non-essential) which helps with depression. Depression is an emotion which is often connected with stress.
Tryptophan (essential) generates niacin and seratonin which both work to help with depression as well.
Virtually all conditions of stress require more amino acids, or links of protein because stress breaks down and uses the body's store of proteins and hence amino acids. Thus, it is important to have plenty available from both diet and nutritional supplementation.
The body is a complex machine. The physiological roots of stress disorders can be mitigated (alleviated) by the proper supplementation of not only vitamins and minerals, but the hidden factor of amino acids. Make sure your body is getting enough absorbable amino acids to deal with your personal stress-filled environment and lifestyle.

The relation between Sleep and testosterone level

It is a well known and accepted fact that sleeping keeps a person in healthy and balanced state. In other words, sleeping keeps an individual in the pink of health. The explanation behind this being sleeping plays a critical function in recharging different parts of body to deal with diverse day to day activities. One such important task is to keep testosterone level in the required level. Thus sleeping plays a vital role in producing testosterone. As per the studies, about seven to eight hours of daily sleep is necessary for males. The study pointed out that men who slept for eight to nine hours per day have high quality testosterone. Also, it was observed that men who sleep less have lower amount of testosterone.
Testosterone creates a critical hormone called androgen needed by the body for a variety of functions. It also commands development of masculine characteristics in men. Apart from this it is needed for adequate performance of secondary sexual characters and digestive organ. In addition, it is required for proper operating of male reproductive organ. Moreover, it keeps weight under control. Deficiency of this hormone results in the health related conditions such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, baldness, bone degeneration, osteoporosis, or underdeveloped bones.
Importance of sleep
While sleeping, body relaxes as it gets the required break after whole day's physical activities. Astonishingly, it is during this period that a majority of internal body functions are executed. The creation of testosterone in the body is done by male sex organ in males and through ovaries in females. But, it is the endocrine gland that releases the testosterone in the blood. After blending with the blood it extends to the different body parts and actively leads in several body processes.
How sleep Apnea affects testosterone?
Men afflicted with sleep apnea confront the possible risk of producing lower testosterone level. Men with sleep apnea, a respiratory disorder, are not able to sleep well. In fact these men wake up two to three times during the night as a result of sleep apnea. Thus, poor sleep upsets periodic testosterone production, which impacts the level of testosterone. The testosterone levels of the men afflicted with the anti snoring are observed to become importantly low.
Sleep disorders and testosterone level
It is a well recognized basic fact that a shortage of sufficient sleep adds to the stress level. A mental disturbance; particularly, a swell in stress level actuates release of the hormone cortisol in the body. This hormone is anti-testosterone which minimizes testosterone levels in your body. Also, cortisol transforms the testosterone to the dihydrotestosterone. This is another significant difference which results in lessened testosterone levels in the male body.

Thence sleeping well is highly crucial for keeping the bodies fit and healthy. Sleeping for approx seven to eight hours permits the testes to make the adequate amount of the testosterone in the body. In the day time, a man's sex organ cannot make adequate testosterone. But, at the night, while a person is sleeping, body goes on a rested state. During this time, male reproductive organ grows testosterone. To summarize, sleeping should not be neglected. Sufficient sleep is needed to keep the body fit and running. Specially, generation of testosterone level multiplies when one is asleep.

Testosterone For Women

One of the accepted yardsticks for good health among adults is good sex so much so that an increasing number of women whose activity in bed has considerably diminished are becoming receptive to products offering enhancers female libido benefits. Unlike before when sex enhancement products were an exclusive domain for men a wide selection of solutions to waning or lost interest in sex is now also available to women.
Low female libido can result from a lot of factors that can vary form certain physical problems to psychological issues. Though there are no prescribed medications that can help boost your libido there are some natural female libido pills that can be a big help.
As an effective alternative to breast forms or plastic surgery the use of concentrated herbs is a viable and affordable approach to male breast enlargement. The right formulation of herbs can help anyone in their transformation from male to female the natural way with the least amount of harmful side effects.
If you just don't feel that 'into it' ... if you find yourself trying to talk yourself into enjoying sex... if you see sex as a chore and get little joy from it... then read on..

Many women dream of developing firmer breasts naturally. Today there are various supplements pills and creams that are believed to be effective in this regard. These products are widely available from stores as well as online retailers.
Here we may going to look at Supplements to increase libido that work for both men and women. They can help increase libido and also increase sexual satisfaction as well as giving your overall wellness a lift so let's check them out.
Lack of sex drive or libido is not just a female problem. A large number of men also lose their sexual appetite as a result of various lifestyle and other issues.
Female sexual desire can fall for many reasons but the good news is if you are generally in good health you can increase libido naturally with some time tested pills. Let's look at how and why they work...

Low Testosterone: It Stinks, but You Can Fix It

Well, it can be pretty embarrassing for some men to admit. It may even seem that simply ignoring the whole topic will be the best option, but why? Why should you not be living at your full potential? (I certainly did not mean to make a pun here!)
Low testosterone can drag you down mentally, physically and emotionally. You get tired, depressed, lose your drive, muscle tone, strength and of course we all know that sexual appetite seems to just crash. Ugh! That part in itself can be depressing!
Well, after surviving cancer at a young age (and as a young adult), I later had problems myself with being tired, fatigued, not sleeping well, depression and just an overall feeling that something was missing...and it was! My testosterone levels were as low as dirt! What really got me though, was that none of my doctors had even considered checking my testosterone levels. After all of my extensive therapy and health history, not one doctor even suggested that I might be suffering from low testosterone.
After seeking out an endocrinologist and running a few simple blood tests, we quickly learned that my testosterone was not exactly at an optimal level. So, I guess what I'm getting at is that you always need to be your own best advocate for your health. You may not be a doctor, but you know your symptoms and you know your body better than anyone.
Let's say you have confirmed that you have low testosterone with a blood test. What should you do? Well, as I said earlier, I am not a doctor (duh!), but I certainly haven't forgotten what I've been through. The decision on what you do next is totally up to you. There are of course the testosterone gels that can be prescribed for you, but in my opinion, these are a total and complete waste of time and money! The cost of the gel is absurd, you must apply it everyday and it doesn't work nearly as well as a prescribed injectable that is a fraction of the price and administered weekly at the most. Now, these options are only if you decide to go the prescription route. Keep in mind, there is a totally natural route that you can take.

When I say natural, I'm not talking about cheap products and snake oils. I'm talking about herbs, ingredients and products backed by research. Some key natural ingredients you might want to look for are several types of amino acids. These include L-Arginine, L-Lysine, L-Glutamine and others. There are also other natural herbs that work wonders like, "Muira Puama" which means, "potency wood". It has been used for years by South Americans to treat impotency and scientific studies support it's use as an aphrodisiac and treatment for impotence. There are a ton of other herbs like Ginko Biloba that is pretty popular; Acai Fruit, Ginseng, etc. The best option in my opinion is going to be to find a quality product that is a mix of several of these key ingredients. However, always consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement and remember to consider things like diet, exercise and cholesterol levels as they can be greatly impacted by testosterone levels.