I think everyone, from a stay at home mom, weekend warrior to elite athletes can benefit from supplementing with creatine. According to my friend and one of the world’s leading sports nutritionist, Michael Colgan, Ph.D., there have been no studies ever done regarding creatine that showed a negative effect. That means using creatine works!
This is why I use creatine in the heat of the Nevada desert while I’m training and even on recovery days to enhance my recovery.
Nowadays, up to 74 percent of athletes are reportedly using creatine because of its well-researched benefits on performance. However, some athletes have concerns about using the supplement in hot or humid environments, as creatine could have a negative effect on hydration. However, new research suggests that creatine could help with thermoregulation and actually support hydration status. Here’s why:
1. Creatine Attracts Water
As an osmotically active substance, creatine attracts water. Because creatine is stored primarily in muscle tissue, supplementation often increases the amount of water muscle
Chris: Hello and welcome to the Nourish Balance Thrive podcast. I’m delighted today to be joined by Dominic D’agostino, PhD. Dominic is an assistant professor in University of South Florida. Dominic’s laboratory develops and tests nutritional and metabolic therapies including ketogenic diets and ketogenic agents for central nervous system, oxygen toxicity, epilepsy, metabolic disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, muscle wasting, and cancer. Hi, Dominic. Thank you so much for coming on today.
Dominic: Thanks for having me, Chris. I appreciate it.
Chris: This is great. I wanted to start by trying to better understand how ketones are produced in the body. So I think most people listening will understand that ketones are an alternative source of fuel. How the heck do they get produced?
Have you felt the signs of aging and lost much of your performance? Want to stave off the loss of muscle and lung capacity but would like to still do some fun athletic events? Climbing stairs painful and you can’t catch your breath? If you reached the grand age of 50 or more you’ve experienced a loss of muscle and lung capacity and gained extra pounds around your waist. If so you are not alone.
Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
Let’s explore what’s probably happening as you age (or if you’re young what you might expect). Then let’s see what can be done using three exercise variables that anyone can do; from athlete, weekend warrior or someone who just wants to keep fit and active.
Aging Facts (face the truth)
Skin loses its elasticity and becomes drier as oil glands slow their production.
Fingernails grow more slowly.
Hair thins, and there’s more gray hair as pigment cells are reduced.
Compression of joints, including spinal discs, causes a loss of height. By age 80, the loss of 2 inches is common.
Somewhere around age 55, high-frequency sounds start becoming harder to hear.
By age 50, most people need reading glasses as the eyes’ lenses become less flexible, impairing the ability to focus on anything close up.
Changes occur in the menstrual cycle before it ceases.
Sleep time typically becomes shorter, and the quality of sleep decreases. Waking often during the night is common.
Bone minerals are lost, resulting in more fragility.
The basic metabolic rate slows down, often resulting in weight gain— mostly fat
(List from Joe Friel; Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life)
Aging Athletes (its the same for non-athletes too)
The symptoms of aging that concern athletes and non-athletes include:
Aerobic capacity (VO2max) declines.
Maximal heart rate is reduced.
The volume of blood pumped with each heartbeat decreases.
Muscle fibers are lost, resulting in decreased muscle mass and less strength.
Aerobic enzymes in the muscles become less effective and abundant.
Blood volume is reduced.
(List from Joe Friel; Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life)
What Can You Do to Slow Down Aging
Obviously volumes are written about the science of aging. I know because I’ve read a ton about it. I finished my first Ironman triathlon at age 50. Thankfully I’ve completed a total of 15 but the last 4 were not pretty, walking the complete marathon. Currently at age 59 I want to continue racing for a long time. In 2014 I suffered a substantial decline in my performance even though I trained longer than at any time in my career. That year marked the first year of a series of injuries that put the brakes on me in 2015 with the surgery of a torn meniscus and then a major bike crash ending in another surgery.
I’ll be writing more blogs on what to do to overcome your rapid decline in aging and if you’re an athlete, how to increase performance or at least maintain competitiveness in the future years.
This is post is dedicated to understanding three exercises that are a must for anyone with the desire to improve their health past age 50. My decline in my race performances were because I quit doing these because they always lead to injury. Now I understand why.
Science confirms that as you age your aerobic capacity (VO2max) declines. What’s that and why is it important for you to slow down its’ decline? Aerobic capacity is simple. You deal with it as you exert any harder effort. It’s the amount (volume) of oxygen that your body can carry to a working muscle over a given amount of time. You see the decline and explanation with this example. Ever see a young person bound up stairs and not hardly be breathing hard at the top and someone older had to labor up them slowly and have to stop and catch their breath at the top? A younger person simply can supply more oxygen to the working muscle.
You can guess why anyone who is aging would want to increase their aerobic capacity. It will allow for better body function and produce more output of activity with less effort because you’ll be able to supply more oxygen to the working muscle.
The aerobic capacity decline is influenced by the other five symptoms of aging athletes and non-athletes.
The 3 Exercise Types to Improve Aerobic Capacity
Anyone, athletes and non-athletes, would benefit from improving their aerobic capacity. You may be a mom who doesn’t work out but would like to get rid of some excess fat and be more active. If you’re a serious athlete you want to improve your VO2Max (aerobic capacity) so you can race faster.
There are many research studies that confirm that as athletes (or non-athletes) age they quit doing as much high-intensity interval training(HIIT) and lose aerobic capacity. Yet in other studies of older high competitive athletes they continued to perform HIIT as a regular part of their training and maintained their higher VO2Max.
The most accurate way to determine your VO2Max is going to a lab and having a test done. A simple way to estimate your VO2Max is by the following formula:
For me: my most recent maximum heart rate running was 170. My lowest resting heart rate is 55. Therefore my VO2Max is 15 x (170 / 55) = 46.3.
You can see I have the aerobic capacity of 30-39 year old non-athletes, effectively making me 20 years younger than an average person. The test is a way to determine if you are actually improving with your fitness program.
1. What is a HIIT workout for an athlete?
According to Joe Friel, “When you perform intervals, the absolute intensity, the duration of the repetitions, the number of repetitions, and the duration of recovery between intervals must be only slightly more challengingthan your estimated current capacity for physical stress.”
If you’ve not done these in a while you have to take a cautious approach as you begin this type of training. They are stressful and can cause injury. It’s best to start with no more than 3 intervals of 3 minutes each going hard as described in the subsequent paragraph. The rest period in between intervals is no shorter than 90 seconds (1/2 the interval length) and not longer than 3 minutes (the length of the interval) to receive the maximum benefit.
They need to be done after a sufficient warm up period of not less than 15 minutes but better after 30 minutes. At the conclusion of the workout it’s wise to have a good cool down and stretch period.
Then depending on your fitness level you may need a week or longer recovery period before doing them again.
If you’re a runner then you’d run hard slightly less than at a pace that you could only sustain for 5 minutes. Never start out to hard and have to ease up at the end. It’s better to be able to go slightly harder at the end. You do the interval in your sport. For me as a triathlete I do them in each discipline; swimming, biking and running.
What is HIIT for a non-athlete?
It would be the same personal intensity, i.e., an effort slightly less than what you could maintain for 5 minutes. Yet for you, especially if you’re just starting out after a long layoff but feel your personal fitness would allow you to go this hard, the length of the interval might only be 30 sec to 1 minute instead of the 3 minutes mentioned above. Your recovery time would be the same amount of time as the interval. Only do three to start. As you begin to gain aerobic fitness you’ll be able to increase the duration of the interval with less recovery in between. In time you’d be able to increase the number of intervals.
Like with athletes, rest and recovery in between these kind of sessions is a must.
A typical HIIT for a non-athlete my be a step aerobic class, body pump or strenuous water weights in a pool. Anything that would elevate your heart rate to those levels mentioned.
2. Lactate Threshold Exercise
Okay I know these terms may be foreign to a non-athlete but it really describes the exercise well. Lactate is what the body burns during exercise. The harder the exercise the more it burns. It is mixed with oxygen to provide the muscle energy to contract and do it’s job. At a certain point though, the toxic waste by product of the lactate that was used as fuel is so great the body can’t remove it and you get a burning and stinging muscle. Ouch! The pain is because the lactate is acidic. Lungs hurt too. That is your lactate threshold. It’s easy to determine because of how you feel although testing in a lab is more accurate. For most non-athletes that simply is not needed.
Lactate threshold exercise is the intensity at about 95% of your threshold pace; that which you’d begin to feel a burning sensation in your muscles and lungs. The intervals here are way shorter. In fact, even if you are an athlete you may only want to go 5 minutes cumulative at this intensity. It may be 10 x 30 sec intervals with a full 30 sec rest in between or perhaps 5 x 1 minute intervals with a full minute in between.
Once again caution is warranted. Only attempt these if you feel fit enough to go this hard. If you feel any stress or unusual pain, stop immediately and seek help. Also, recovery is a must to overcome the tremendous stress your body is under.
What these do is increase your body’s tolerance to lactate and these will also improve aerobic capacity.
3. Weight Training
“Ugggg” you might have sighed if you’re a non-athlete. As you age you simply lose muscle mass. When this happens over time that leads to less hormone capacity and function and that leads to a loss of metabolism and fat gain, mostly around the mid-section.
Weight training needs to be done under the watchful eye of a professional if you’ve never done it before.
There are three types of weight training. First you lift in sets (2 or 3) with reps between 8-15 with less weight. The second kind is lifting in sets (2) with reps between 4-6 with more weight.
Weight training needs rest and recovery in between sessions. That is where the muscle is repaired and in grows. Many people need weight training to keep what muscle mass they have. The more lean muscle you have the more fat you burn because of improve metabolism and hormone function.
A third type of weight training is called functional strength training. It’s usually done with no weight or very little weight other than your body mass. It’s like sit ups and push ups. Or even one legged routines. Pilates and Yoga fall under this category.
Big Big Caution
I’ve not gone into any detail about the risks associated with HIIT or weight training. The risks are primarily with the greater chance of injury. If you’ve had a history of heart problems, these three, while beneficial, needs to be under the care of a medical or exercise professional.
The reason many aging athletes and non-athletes stop these activities is due to many factors; too hard, not enough time and even a belief that it is not needed. But the fact remains, they are needed to stay youthful, to increase and maintain aerobic capacity, lean muscle and reduced fat. I believe, looking back now, because I quit doing these as much as I needed and stuck with low intensity and high volume, I became injured running hard intervals. I quit doing any weight training because it was boring. My aerobic capacity I can see now from my training logs has been in decline.
I highly recommend you seek the advice of an exercise professional, coach or your doctor before doing any of these three types.
Would you rather pay for protein and have it 13.5% utilized or 81%? How about getting results in the gym that would blow you away? What’s the Net Protein Utilization of your protein source? What would happen to your lean muscle if you could make your protein 600% more effective?
Protein is something all of us need.
According to IsagenixHealth.net leading nutrition researchers have outlined how protein improves appetite, manages a healthy body weight, reduces cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, and increases dietary compliance in a recent review paper (1).
In this overview of the literature, scientists from the U.S., Australia, and Denmark explored how diets based on properly dosed, high-quality protein sources improve health.
Here’s what they found:
Metabolic and Appetite Advantage
Management of Healthy Weight
Higher-protein diets based around quality and sound nutrition work on multiple levels. I have been recommending a daily protein intake between 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kilogram per pound of body weight (0.55 to 0.75 grams per pound) and about 20 to 40 grams per meal (depending on the individual) in conjunction with high-powered nutrition since inception. The amount of high-quality protein per meal found in Isagenix products is meant for sustained and real lasting results. Indeed, over the long term, higher-protein diets don’t just help with losing weight; they improve health and prevent unwanted weight regain (1).
Not All Protein is the Same
In order to establish the amount of protein that is actually used in the body lets understand net protein utilization.
According to Wikipedia, the net protein utilization, or NPU, is the ratio of amino acid converted to proteins to the ratio of amino acids supplied. This figure is somewhat affected by the salvage of essential amino acids within the body, but is profoundly affected by the level of limiting amino acids within a foodstuff. Nitrogen is a fundamental component of amino acids, which are the molecular building blocks of protein. Therefore, measuring nitrogen inputs and losses can be used to study protein metabolism.
All protein is not the same. There are factors that reduce the quality of all food including protein. According to Jones and Erdmann “Unfortunately, in the real world countless factors are working to prevent our bodies from receiving a full and balanced supply of these all-important substances. Among these factors are the pollution caused by burning fossil-fuels, the hormones fed to cattle, the intensive use of fertilizers in agriculture, and even habits such as smoking and drinking, all of which can prevent our bodies from fully using what we eat. Worse still is the amount of nutrition that is lost from our food through processing before we actually get to eat it…By providing the body with optimal nutrition, amino acids help to replace what is lost and, in doing so, promote well-being and vitality.(4)”
Essential Amino Acids
Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in the food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body’s proteins—muscle and so forth—to obtain the one amino acid that is needed. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use—the amino acids must be in the food every day.
The 10 amino acids that we can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, so if the diet is deficient in phenylalanine, tyrosine will be required as well. The essential amino acids are arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids are required in the diet. Plants, of course, must be able to make all the amino acids. Humans, on the other hand, do not have all the the enzymes required for the biosynthesis of all of the amino acids.
From the chart below you see how different proteins are compared. Pay attention to Net Protein Utilization.
Understanding the Amount of Amino Acids that Promote Body Protein Synthesis (BPS)
Lets follow whey protein through the process. Once you consume it the dietary protein is digestible, when it is enzymatically hydrolyzed during the digestive tract thus releasing its constituent amino acids in the first 100 cm of the small intestine, where they are absorbed. Then, those amino acids can follow either the anabolic or the catabolic pathway. The percentage of digestible protein is Net Protein Utilization (NPU) which for whey protein is 92%.
Once in the small intestine it is either used to promote BPS, their primary function, or removed as toxic waste. The portion that follows the anabolic pathway can be used for BPS. The portion that follows the catabolic pathway can not provide BPS. The ratio of amino acids that can provide BPS is called Net Nitrogen Utilization (NNU).
Whey protein generally has an NNU of about 15%, i.e., 15% follows the anabolic pathway and 85% follows the catabolic pathway. If the NNU increased the BPS would also increase. That would be highly desirable.
The method to increase the shake’s NNU was tested by Dr. Marco Ruggiero (see bio below). He discovered with the use of hydrolysis and an electron microscope that using the Isagenix Isalean Shake with the method described in the video could increase the NNU from 15% to 90%!!!!! According to Dr. Ruggiero, the Isagenix IsaLean shake as formulated by John Anderson’s patented process is the best he has ever tested. He indicated that Mr. Anderson’s method of preparing the New Zealand whey protein preserves its natural enzymes in a way no other formulator has ever been able to duplicate. He indicated that this method shown in the video will probably not come close to yielding the following results with any other whey protein shake on the market other than the Isagenix’s IsaLean Shake.
Before the discovery:
Net protein utilization (NPU) (90%) X Net NNU (15%) = 13.5%
Leidy HJ, Clifton PM, Astrup A et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015;ajcn084038.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tome D, Soenen S, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annual Review of Nutrition 2009;29:21-41.
Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004;23:373-85.
Erdmann, R. & Jones , M., (1987) The Amino Revolution, First Fireside Edition, p2.
Dr. Marco Ruggiero Bio
Dr. Marco Ruggiero is a rare talent; with credentials as both a PHD in Molecular Biology and a certified Medical Doctor, specializing in Clinical Radiology. He is undoubtedly in the top echelon in both fields and he somehow manages to split time between developing cutting edge research in the lab, while maintaining the highest level of treating, caring for and diagnosing patients at the bedside. Ruggiero has always felt it was equally important to not only develop medical advancements and miraculous, scientific breakthroughs in the lab, but to also see them come to fruition at the bedside. Formulating the work he does behind the scenes is just as important to Dr. Ruggiero as seeing the improvements in his patient’s quality of life. Dr. Marco Ruggiero is truly a gift to humanity.
Dr. Ruggiero graduated in 1980 from The University of Firenze in Italy and earned his MD status. Soon after graduation, he joined the Military and with his high intelligence, he cut his teeth on atomic, biological and chemical warfare. Truly, these were not subjects for the faint of heart. He began traveling in 1982 and landed in Houston Texas where he was fortunate to study under Nobel Prize winning scientists in Physiology and Medicine. One of the Nobel Prize winning scientists that Dr. Ruggiero studied under, Sir. John Vane took notice of some of the research Ruggiero was compiling and offered to sponsor his first paper for publication. This was the beginning of a thirty plus year career for Dr. Ruggiero as one of the leading authorities in the scientific and medical world. One of his first major revelations focused on the past failures as to how viruses were being fought. Dr. Ruggiero was a major catalyst in changing the scientific community’s focus away from the virus and instead addressing the immune system first and foremost.
In his 30-year career, Dr. Ruggiero’s work has not gone unnoticed. He has had over 150 papers published in the world’s most prestigious, peer reviewed scientific journals. As of December, 22nd 2015, Dr. Ruggiero now has two published, peer reviewed papers that reside in the top 5% of all scientific papers ever published. Dr. Marco Ruggiero currently resides in Chandler Arizona with his wife, Stefania Pacini, MD. They continue to turn the scientific and medical communities upside down with their cutting edge research and development of nutritional technologies, which help facilitate natural healing within the body.
For more information on Dr. Ruggiero’s latest project, visit Bravousa.com