Creatine: Pre or Post Workout ?

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

Nutrient Timing: When we consume certain nutrients or supplements is equally as important as to which supplement and how much to promote the most favorable response.

One of the most common nutrient timing debates surrounds the supplement creatine. While it is true that creatine has conclusively shown to increase total intramuscular creatine, phosphocreatine, lean muscle mass and muscle fiber size along with significant increases in strength and power.  The question of when is the best time to consume creatine either pre workout, during or post workout to optimize the positive effects has been debated.

A recent study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sport Nutrition confirms what I have always purported… that post exercise is the optimum time to consume creatine.

“The results from this study suggest that consuming creatine monohydrate post exercise may be superior to consuming it pre exercise with regards to improving body composition (i.e. gains in FFM, loss of FM). This is the first investigation to demonstrate that the timing of creatine intake affects the adaptive response to exercise. When subjects were pooled together, the gains in fat-free mass and muscular strength in the current investigation were similar to others. Rugby union football players who supplemented daily with creatine monohydrate over an 8-week period decreased fat mass (−1.9 kg) and increased lean tissue (+1.2 kg). They also performed better in bench and leg press tests [15]. Older men (71 yrs) who consumed creatine increased lean tissue mass (+3.3 kg) and improved lower body strength as measured using a 1-RM [32]. Using a single-limb training model, men and women who supplemented with creatine after training of the arms increased their muscle thickness. Interestingly, males had a greater increase in lean tissue mass with creatine supplementation than females [4]. In elite male handball players, creatine supplementation for 32 days resulted in an increase in 1-RM bench press (8.30 vs. 5.29 kg; creatine versus control) [33]. These and other investigations indeed show that creatine supplementation in general has a significant anabolic and performance-enhancing effect [34,35] which is in agreement with the current investigation. Mechanistically, creatine supplementation has been shown to increase muscle fiber size, enhance myosin heavy chain protein synthesis, activate satellite cells as well as increase the concentrations of intramuscular ATP and PCr [6,7,12,36,37].

….

Our investigation did not involve the use of protein, carbohydrate or amino acids. Whether creatine uptake is truly sensitive to timed intake is not entirely known despite the superior gains in the POST-SUPP group…

In conclusion, post workout supplementation with creatine for a period of 4 weeks in recreational bodybuilders may produce superior gains in FFM and strength in comparison to pre workout supplementation.”

 

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved


@grantrobertsfit

 

 

FDA Considering Ban of Trans Fat

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its preliminary determination that artificial trans fat does not meet the minimum requirement of the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) moniker.

Artificial trans fat are found in packaged foods such as baked goods, margarine spreads, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, deserts, coffee creamers etc. yet consumers remain generally unaware because of loopholes in labeling laws. Inexplicably if a “serving” contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving the USDA and FDA allow the manufacturer to state the product is trans fat free, and since manufacturers are furthermore not bound by standard serving sizes, they may instead of removing the trans fat simply reduce the serving size on the Nutrition Facts label to misinform consumers.

The product to the right is Safeway brand Tapioca Pudding Snack just one of many products found at my local grocery store that contains trans fat – but front of packaging label states: “0 grams Trans Fat PER SERVING” 

According to the FDA removing man-made trans fat would potentially reduce 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths annually. Couple that with the FDA’s statement that the only safe level of artificial trans fat to consume is zero and you might expect that all foods containing artificial trans fat would be ordered to be removed off shelves immediately and destroyed.

Not so. Despite “One of the FDA’s core regulatory functions is ensuring that food, including all substances added to food, is safe,” according to Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner, in yet another example of profitability over individual health the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg further acknowledged of the danger of trans fat saying “ The FDA’s action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the dangers of trans fat.” However, instead of ordering the removal of artificial trans fat and potentially saving thousands of lives, the FDA instead opened a 60-day comment period so as not to disrupt business as usual and request information from manufacturers about time needed to reformulate products while they would be allowed to sell of remaining stock.

What I find particularly egregious is a company like Hostess who recently reemerged on store shelves following the 8-month bankruptcy.  The new owners brought back the Twinkies, DingDongs, HoHos and CupCakes, spending millions of dollars on marketing and even reformulation to extend shelf life to 45 days including partially hydrogenated trans fats in the new recipe instead of removing it.

As consumers must dictate to manufacturers, vote with our wallets and influence industry since the FDA is slow to act. The only safe amount of man-made trans fat is zero. If you are unsure if the packaged food you are considering contains trans fat look directly to the ingredient list NOT the Nutrition Facts. The FDA allows manufactures to state the product is trans fat free if it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving and the product may in fact not be trans fat free. The only sure method is to review the ingredient list, if you see the term hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated anywhere in the list – the product contains artificial trans fat … put it back on the shelf and find a comparable responsibly manufactured product that truly is trans fat free.

If you would like to submit a comment to the FDA the docket will be open for comment for 60 days.

To submit comments by mail, send to the FDA at:

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)

Food and Drug Administration

5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061

Rockville, MD 20852

 

All submissions must include the agency name and docket number.

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved


@grantrobertsfit

Drinking Like A Fish Just Might Protect Your Brain?

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

If you have ever heard the saying that someone drinks like a fish, they are generally referring to excessive alcohol intake.  While I am certainly not recommending that anyone should start drinking copious amounts of alcohol – a recent study shows that Omega 3 fatty acid intake, specifically DHA (docsahexaenoic acid) may protect the brain from inflammation and cell death resultant from high levels of alcohol, that would otherwise increase the risk of dementia.

The University of Chicago conducted the study on rats and found that the omega 3 fatty acid protected brain tissue from alcohol damage.

Neuroinflammation and neuronal brain cell death was reduced as much as 90% when the brain cells were exposed to DHA and alcohol compared to alcohol alone.

Before you run off to buy a bottle of tequila and an omega 3 fish oil chaser – be aware that like all things the correct answer is about balance.  A moderate amount of alcohol stresses brain cells and can actually strengthen them – through a process known as hormesis – the introduction of a mild stressor that results in stronger cells. It is never a good idea to overwhelm your body or brain with alcohol, but it is good to know that the powerful anti-inflammatory quality of DHA found in omega 3 fatty acids like fish oil may save those precious brain cells.

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved


@grantrobertsfit

Bacteria Found in School Lunches

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

Finally, something good to report about the US school lunch program… well at least in 4 of the 50 States.

The USDA has agreed to test Greek yogurt in select States school lunch program.


If you follow my blogs, you likely know that I am not a big fan of the dairy industry, but yogurt is an exception.  

 

Ten reasons why yogurt is superior to milk?

 (click link below to continue reading) 

$380,000.00 Burger? (not including fries & drink)

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

The world’s most expensive burger; a five-ounce patty costing in excess of $380,000.00 will be served to a privately selected audience on Monday August 5th in London. The protein based lab experiment is the creation of Dutch scientist Mark Post who began experimenting with meat culture in October 2011 not on a farm…but in a lab.

Ironically after creating petri dish beef costing more than $1 million per pound Mr. Post was quoted to say:  “(We) are going to need alternatives. If we don’t do anything meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive.”

To make your own burger patty from stem cell to grill in just six weeks; just follow this simple four-step technique:

1)   Harvest stem cells stripped from bovine (cow) muscle tissue

2)   Incubate in a nutrient rich broth encouraging the tissue to multiply

3)   Stress and stretch the tissue (the equivalent of exercise)

4)   Collect 20,000 strands of lab-grown meat and mince together it with 10-20% of lab grown fat (for flavor)… form into a patty, and place on the grill and… voila

       Despite the fact the in-vitro… or what can “technically” be called meat is expensive to create, grey in color, slimy and has a texture and consistency similar to squid, Post believes that lab made meat is more efficient than conventional farming, requiring only 20% of the nutrients to produce the equivalent yield from farm fed animals.

Interesting fact: The animal activist group PETA supports test tube synthetic steak; spokesperson Ben Williamson said “We support lab-grown meat if it means fewer animals are eaten.” PETA is even offering a $ 1 million prize to the person or organization who invents artificial chicken meat.       

As it pertains to sustainability, Post claims the feedlot beef industry is inefficient  ”Right now, we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock.” Alternatively I have long supported, promoted and praised natural grass fed beef that I further suggest is healthy and sustainable if we simply got rid of the cornfields. You want to fatten any mammal ( yes I am talking to you) feed them grains, cows are not designed to eat grains – they are designed to eat grass providing a lean, healthy and most importantly balanced in omega 3 and 6 fatty acid beef product. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog about the great Canadian advance on the topic.

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved

@grantrobertsfit

Can’t sleep? Depressed? Want to Lose Excess Fat? Consider 5-HTP

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

5-HTP is a safe and effective supplement that can be found in your local health food / supplement store that promotes restful sleep, enhances mood and is an effective appetite suppressant that can improve body composition / reduce fat because depression, low moods and lack of sleep often result in binge eating.

Case and point, cravings associated with carbohydrate binging are often a result of low serotonin levels. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for mood, hunger and sleep. This is where 5-HTP  (5-hydroxy-tryptophan) comes in, 5-HTP is a naturally occurring precursor to the neurotransmitters serotonin, melatonin and tryptophan. 5-HTP is created by the body, crosses the blood brain barrier to regulate serotonin levels in the brain.

Long story short, I am a big fan of 5-HTP supplementation. 5-HTP occurs naturally in the body but it is not found in food. The amino acid tryptophan that the body uses to make 5-HTP is found in turkey, chicken, milk, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnips and seaweed however tryptophan can not cross the blood brain barrier.  The supplement form of 5-HTP is commonly derived from the African tree Griffonia Simplicifolia. Health care professionals generally recommend 50mg – 3 times daily before meals for adults, however it is always recommended that you discuss the appropriate consumption of any supplement with your physician to insure no contraindications exist with any pre existing condition or conflicting interaction with any prescription drugs you may be taking.

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved

Follow me on twitter @ grantrobertsfit

Does a Full Moon Affect Sleep?

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

Common folklore suggests that the moon influences tides, menstrual cycles and even werewolves… although admittedly I can’t always distinguish the difference between the last two :)

Even the word lunatic is derived from lunar mythology, and it remains widely believed that a full moon can cause a rise in aggression, deviant behavior and contributes to emergency room visits. Extensive studies on the subject show that it is simply not true that a full moons inciting bad behavior is just an unfounded myth.

However an interesting study published today reported that subjects observed in a sleep lab slept approximately 20 minutes less during a full moon than other stages of the lunar cycle. The study further noted that NREM (non-rapid eye movement) an indicator of deep sleep decreased by 30% and the time to fall asleep increased by 5 minutes on average. The study further suggested the subjects experienced a decrease in quality of sleep and reduction of melatonin.

Upon my review of the study I noted the participation was very small in numbers (total of 30 subjects, men and women of various ages) and the findings might not hold up in a larger study.

 

If any truth exists that a new moon adversely affects sleep I considered how or why this might be.  It is a fact the moon influences ocean tides, the moons gravitational pull upon the Earth while very week is however strong enough to sway the Planet’s unbounded bodies of water… However I doubt this applies to us humans, despite the fact that we are largely comprised of water, we are a closed system bound by skin so the moon’s gravitational pull would likely have no impact.

 

Stay tuned for my next blog where I will talk about a supplement that can not only improve sleep, but also improve mood and shed excess fat.

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved

Follow me on twitter @ grantrobertsfit

Walk Your Dog Everyday… Even If You Don’t Have One

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

Walking is an accessible form of exercise that just about everybody can do.  If you are more than one year of age, chances are you likely know how to do it… so the question is; why aren’t you doing more of it?

Regular brisk walking is an effective form of cardiovascular exercise that can improve heart health with the potential to burn a little excess fat and a very low probability of injury. The greatest risk is likely automobile traffic so be sure to wear bright colors or reflective materials so motorists can see you.

 

Walkability equals profitability. With rising gas and parking prices walking is cost effective and urban planners are discovering that a walkable city is where ergonomics meets economics. A well-planned built environment contributes to higher real estate values, reduced health care costs and of course less air pollution.

 

Cities are seeing a direct correlation with profitability and pedestrian malls and ample sidewalks. In Japan it’s called demotorization. The cheapest way to move people efficiently is walking.  A particularly interesting observation is the idea that cars don’t like other cars, traffic congestion contributes to lost productivity, however the reverse appears to true – walkers like areas where other walkers are abundant. Like many things of the past, we had it right and basically screwed it up. The communities of 1950’s and 60’s were designed with green spaces and ample sidewalks where children generally walked or rode bicycles to school. Be it healthy eating, participating in laborious chores, exercise and outdoor activities by the 1980’s we adopted the ridiculously problematic low fat diet, we became sedentary and by in large living and eating out of boxes.

 

To make room for dense populations, cities are better off to consider the economic benefits of planning for less cars and more people enjoying the great outdoors. Put something of interest in the pathways, window displays, street vendors, art and architecture and people will walk longer and spend more on goods, less on gas and be healthier for it.

© 2013 – Copyrights Grant Roberts, All Rights Reserved

Support Your Bones – They Do It For You Everyday

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

A friend recently sent me her final Masters submission regarding the prevention of Osteoporosis in women through a built environment which was the inspiration for this blog.Osteoporotic fractures are indeed on the rise largely due to sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition however the built environment (the infrastructure of sidewalks, roads, green spaces etc.) plays a significant role in promoting active transportation (walking, jogging etc.), which help to improve bone density.

An adult human skeleton is a comprised of 206 bones that serve a number of functions – providing a protective cage or casing for our brain, heart, lungs, other organs, the female uterus and our marrow.  Marrow is a critical ingredient of human health that is often overlooked.

This innermost layer of our bones is where stem cells are abundant. Did you know that thanks to stem cells most of the red and white blood cells in your body were created inside of your bones?

(Click on the link below to continue reading)

Eat, Drink and be Wary… The New USDA Guidelines Are Coming !

Written by Grant Roberts. Posted in Unified News

Happy Independence Day!

Below is my submission to the newly appointed panel that will be advising the USDA / HHS before publishing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The panel will be reviewing submissions based on the best available science over the next eighteen months that will in turn be submitted to the USDA to deliberate and release the 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Please join the ranks in the war against obesity and submit your comments.

The Guidelines is an important document that has historically been heavily influenced by Industry which tends to be more concerned with profitability that public health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the cornerstone of Federal nutrition policy and nutrition education activities so the ramifications beside the award of billions of dollars in lucrative contracts of federal spending for food service contracts and assistance programs, it has historically as I submit (see my full submission of recommendations below) actually been a leading cause of the obesity epidemic resultant of duplicity of the  USDA’s pledge to industry profitability, oversimplification of the complex nature of combating obesity and general lack of credible science based recommendations.

Enjoy! ( click link to continue reading )

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