Nutrition News March 2018
For Muscles, Use Whole Eggs
A new study has determined that whole eggs are superior to egg whites when it comes to building muscle. During the study, ten men participated in a resistance training workout and then were given a choice of either egg whites or whole eggs to eat. Even though the amount of protein consumed was equal, at 18 grams, the men who chose whole eggs experienced greater stimulation of myofibrillar protein synthesis. This means that the whole eggs were better at helping the men build muscle after their workout. Yolks are commonly discarded in order to avoid high cholesterol and fat, but as the study discovered, doing so may not be necessary. Researchers gave the study participants infusions of isotope-labeled leucine and phenylalanine, which are both amino acids, so that they could keep track of the amino acids in the subjects’ blood after eating. Through careful study of both muscle tissue and blood samples, the researchers were able to determine that eating foods which are nutrient-dense, as well as full of protein, stimulates muscle anabolism. This is in comparison to eating foods which are merely full of protein and fail to be nutrient-dense, such as egg whites. The importance of this is the understanding that other nutrients may be synergistic with the egg protein when it comes to increasing protein synthesis. In other words, the protein alone is important, but when combined with other nutrients, it becomes even greater than its individual parts. So, the next time you eat eggs, go with whole eggs. Your body will be able to utilize the nutrients and protein far better than it would with just egg whites!
More Spice is Nice
As long as you can handle it, more spice on your plate may be the best thing you can do for your blood pressure due to the fact that spices reduce the desire for salt. A French study has also linked a desire for spicy foods to higher levels of testosterone, although more research is needed to fully understand this correlation. Another study, this one out of China, followed 606 Chinese adults and discovered that those who regularly enjoyed spicy foods also ate fewer salty foods. To test this further, the research team compared brain scans of humans and mice after they ate both salt and capsaicin, the chemical which makes peppers hot. The information found on the brain scans suggests that eating spicy foods might confuse the brain into thinking that spice is actually salt. This is very important for people who are on salt-restricted diets, but it’s also good news in general for anyone who is looking to reduce the amount of salt in their diet. Too much salt can lead to hypertension. Many people live with silent hypertension and slowly rising blood pressure problems, too, so swapping your salt shaker for some red pepper flakes could do you a world of good. Unfortunately, there is no direct link between eating spicy foods and lowering your blood pressure, but capsaicin has been shown to have beneficial qualities on its own, and a diet low in salt is good for keeping your blood pressure down – so it’s worth a try!
Vitamin E Buffers Against Stress
Cortisol and norepinephrine are released during periods of severe stress, especially during periods of “fight or flight” responses, regardless of whether the stress is physical or psychological. These hormones suppress testosterone, which, if you are an athlete or someone who is training intensely, could have severe consequences. It could become very difficult for your body to adapt to the natural changes necessary for muscle building. However, during a study on rats by researchers in Pakistan, vitamin E was found to work as a sort of buffer against these negative influences. Administering vitamin E, but not vitamin C, prevented stress-induced decreases in testosterone, which suggests that antioxidants can promote fitness adaptations to intense exercise. Other recent studies have shown that high antioxidant intake can actually harm strength gains from training, so it’s important to understand what the antioxidants are doing. Antioxidants buffer the effects of free radicals, and because some stimulation by free radicals is necessary for muscular growth, it’s essentially a case of trying not to have too much of a good thing.
What’s in Store for Next Week from Fitness Pulse
Next week, we’re back to training news! The sun is starting to come out again and we know you’re pumped to hit the gym and the track, so check out some of these tips we’ve got in store for you while you wait for the weather to cooperate:
- Squats and sled pushing both activate similar muscles.
- Athletic performance best with high-rep, maximum intended velocity.
- What’s up with the back squat?
Thanks again for stopping by. And remember, ISO XP is your best choice for sports nutrition. Made from grass-fed New Zealand whey, it’s jam-packed with amino acids and probiotics to ensure you will meet your fitness goals faster and without any bloat or discomfort. It’s even great for non-athletes, as it provides tons of low-calorie, high-nutrition protein with minimal effort and maximum taste.