Monday, April 28, 2008

Green tea may help your body recover quicker from weight training

I thought this was very interesting. From Another reason why drinking your daily green tea can help your recovery from hard workouts:

By Stephen Daniells

15-Apr-2008 - Antioxidant-rich green tea may counter the effects of resistance exercise by reducing the detrimental effects of oxidative stress, suggests a small trial from Brazil.

While the thought of athletes knocking back a cup of green tea after a workout may seem strange, it may signal a possibility for antioxidant-rich green tea extracts to be formulated in sports drinks, and supported by science like the new study from the May issue of the journal Nutrition.

Researchers from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, and the Center of Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Sports of Santa Catarina State University studied the effects of daily green tea consumption for seven days in athletes undertaking resistance training, which can increase the production of free radicals beyond the tissues' antioxidant defense capacity, and causing oxidative stress.

"This study suggests that green tea intake may offer a protective effect against oxidative damaged induced by resistance exercise."

Study details

Panza and co-workers recruited 14 healthy men aged between 19 and 30 to consume either water or green tea three times per day for seven days. The average polyphenol content of the tea was 771.0 micrograms per mL, while the average intake of green tea polyphenols was calculated to be 4.6 micrograms per day.

After seven days of consuming the beverages, the volunteers were required to perform a bench press exercise (four sets, 10 to 4 repetitions). The researchers analysed blood samples and calculated the total antioxidant capacity according to the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay, and levels of reduced glutathione and lipid hydroperoxide.

According to the results, consumption of green tea was associated with a 64 per cent reduction in the levels of lipid hydroperoxide after exercise, while blood levels of polyphenols were approximately 27 per cent high before and after exercise. Moreover, post-exercise levels of glutathione, a protein that is important in protecting the body from oxidative (free radical) damage, were approximately 37 per cent higher in the green tea group.

"There is evidence that supplementation with antioxidants may decrease the oxidation of blood GSH after exercise," stated the researchers. "Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that dietary strategies, such as daily GT intake, may also benefit the glutathione system of athletes by elevating blood GSH levels before and after effort."

Consumption of green tea also provided pre-exercise benefits, with the pre-exercise FRAP value about 21 per cent higher compared with the control group."

Consumption of green tea, a beverage rich in polyphenols, may offer protection against the oxidative damage caused by exercise, and dietary guidance for sports participants should be emphasised," concluded the researchers.

Panza and co-workers also noted that future studies should elucidate the time course and recovery periods associated with green tea consumption, while other studies "should corroborate our findings using other polyphenol-rich foods and beverages, thus widening the dietary strategies applied to training."

Source: Nutrition (Elsevier)May 2008, Volume 24, Issue 5, Pages 433-442"Consumption of green tea favorably affects oxidative stress markers in weight-trained men"Authors: V.S. Pereira Panza, E. Wazlawik, G.R. Schutz, L. Comin, K.C. Hecht, E.L. da Silva

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mr, a new place to get your supplements at a great price!

I'm one of those people who LOVE their supplements (mostly protein and vitamins), and I've just discovered a new place to get inexpensive whey protein in addition to a many other great items all online. The site is Mr Protein and is based on the West Coast. Here's the information from their site:

Welcome to MrProtein.Com! The West Coast's Premier online retailer where you'll find quality, selection and always the lowest prices as well as the fastest West Coast service.

Look no further because if it's not on the site now, we can get it. Its that simple. With our own warehouse we can access just about any supplement you need, regardless if you see it or not. This is YOUR home, your place for info on the hottest new Bodybuilding and Nutritional Supplements on the market as well as info on how to live that California Bodybuilding lifestyle anywhere in the United States.

Don't play the shipping game; MrProtein.Com guarantees the lowest prices on the web and is committed to customer service, getting your products to you quickly and always FREE SHIPPING!

So, if you're a supplement fan like me and know the benefit of shopping online, I highly recommend Mr Protein to meet your needs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Review of Perfect Body Diet in Toronto Star (Canada)

A friend of mine, Vivian, recently tipped me off to an excellent review of Women's Health Perfect Body Diet in the Toronto Star newspaper, a printing out of Canada (my home country). The review was very positive and if you'd like to read it, please go here.

Thanks to Vivian, here's the take away at the end:

EXPERT VERDICT: "This is a well-rounded, nutritionally sound diet plan that is definitely geared to women, especially those who have some nutrition and fitness knowledge. Since the diet is lower in calories and lower in carbohydrates, most people will lose weight."

OUR VERDICT: Best for those who are familiar with the nutrition and fitness world and who have less than 25 pounds to lose. This will take some dedication to fruits and veggies and requires regular dates with the treadmill!

To get your own copy of PBD, you can visit your local bookstore, go online, OR, my mother in Canada told me it's also at Costco! :)

Then, to get your own supply of the purest, most convienient glucomannan, to help you stay full and stick with your diet plan, visit

Thanks Vivian!

Monday, April 21, 2008

GREAT NEWS! Life Update

Back in January, I went through the semi-stressful process of applying for a dietetic internship. This including writing a 2-page essay about why I want to be a dietitian, collecting references from 4 major advisors, filling out a form explaining my strengths and weaknesses, tallying my GPA from undergraduate (and I've been in school now for 11 years....) with a new calculation, and giving all my past dietetic work experiences.

This information was submitted February 15th of this year and today I just found out the results. I was PLACED at UMass Amherst to do my dietetic internship!!! This was fabulous news as the placements are very limited and VERY competitive. Many students I competed against didn't get a placement and now have to figure out what they're going to do with their Bachelor education. I feel that I was easily placed because I've done MANY years of school, have 5+ years of dietetic work experience and have worked in dietetic research for 6 years now. I've known that I've wanted to be a dietitian for many years now (since my undergraduate dietetic days), and have in turn collected as much experience to make my application for this day very strong -- and it paid off :)

So, starting the week after my wedding in Mid-August (yes, I'm getting married August 2nd... another stressor to add to the stress pile I've got on my plate), I'll start my internship rotation for the next 11 months. It's all free-labor (no payment at all), but it will give me the experience necessary to be qualified as a Registered Dietitian.

Another interesting thing going on with me (other than planning a wedding and doing and PhD and counselling clients and trying to work on another book and taking care of a fiance and three dogs... [you get the picture]) is that I'm taking my "Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist" (CSCS) examination this Sunday April 27th. I've JUST started studying for this yesterday and I've got 26 chapters of a textbook to get through, two videos of exercise techniques and two practice examinations. I paid money to take this exam so I do hope I pass the first time around. After 11 years of school I've gotten pretty good at studying, so I should possibly pass, but if I don't I know I'll just have to put more effort in considering that some people study for months for this...[I'll let you know how I do next week].

One last thing: one person commented last week on the Zero Impact Protein Bars and said that according to the Vitamin Shoppe website, they do have maltitol in them. However, the bar that I've got in my hand right now does not have maltitol in it (which is actually just a harmless sugar, unless you have too much of it), so I'll check with the company and find out why there is this discrepancy. Thanks!

Wish me luck on my CSCS exam! I'm getting nervous!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Interview by Mike Robertson

While I was travelling this weekend, I completed an interview for Mike Robertson, CSCS of Robertson Training Systems.

To read the interview and learn more about Mike Robertson, click HERE.

Happy Humpday :) !

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Information about NMS Low Carb Conference

My good friend Jimmy Moore of Livin' La Vida Low Carb has also just posted his summary of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society Nutrition and Wellness conference. To read his excellent summary and learn more about the events of the conference, please click here.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Big Fat Diet

No, this isn't a new diet craze hitting the shelves, but rather, My Big Fat Diet is a documentary demonstrating the use and safety of a low carb diet within an entire Canadian Native community. I encourage you to click on the link and see just how effective a low carb diet can be, especially when it's applied to a population who traditionally existed on high fat, moderate protein, very low carb dietary intakes. (more below).

This weekend I've been Phoenix Arizona for the Nutrition and Metabolism Society's second annual conference. It was held in conjunction with the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (those who treat obesity and it's associated disorders).

The NMS was started in 2004 by some of the best low-carb thinkers in the world (my supervisor, Jeff Volek, being one of them) and today has grown to an excellent organization who helps disseminate credible nutrition information. Here's some information from their website:

The Metabolism Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit health organization providing research, information and education in the application of fundamental science to nutrition. The Society is particularly dedicated to the incorporation of biochemical metabolism to problems of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

During the conference this weekend, some excellent information was shared to these Bariatric Physicians, such as the application of low carb diets for successful treatment of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. I was somewhat suprised that some of the physicians had no idea this data existed, but saw that they were happy to see it as they had so many struggles in their current practice with these types of cases.

My mentor Jeff Volek presented some of the data from our research lab (research that I had a big part in and have co-authored a paper on), and my PhD advisor Dr Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, presented even more of our data combined with some of his own. The overall message from these talks were that a LC diet is a excellent treatment for all the conditions associated with diabetes and heart disease.

Dr Bruce German had an excellent talk on the usefullness of saturated fats in our diet. He basically showed us that saturated fats are NOT evil and they are actually a very important fuel source. If nature deamed them to be toxic, they would have been eliminated from our diets many, many years ago. But they are not, so they still exist and should not be feared.

Dr Jay Wortman from the University of British Columbia, Canada (my home province) had an excellent documentary to share with everyone. The documentary showed how he encouraged a Native community off the coast of Vancouver Island in BC Canada to give up the refined carbohydrates that have caused them diabetes and obesity and return to their traditional ancestrial diet of good fats, local proteins and vegetable carbohydrates. Overall he recruited 100 people from a small village and had them follow the diet for a year. The average weight loss over this time was a whopping 22 lbs with many of them regaining their health and their confidence - things that had been destroyed by modern man's potato chips, refined cereals, and soda pop. These people to this day have now converted the grocery supply in their entire village to focus on good fats, local proteins and non-starchy veggies (cauliflower was a favorite), and almost eliminated the sales of chips and candy.

If it wasn't for Dr W stepping in and showing them that their ancestors had it right, these people would still be dying from avoidable problems.

To learn more about this amazing study, please visit

You can also purchase a copy of the documentary from the company who made the film - just send them an email and you will gain a valuable addition to your video library.

Love the Low Carb!

Now, this all made me want to get my butt back to CT to finish studying the results of my low carb project, but first, I've got to get a little more Vitamin D in my body! Sunshine here I come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Glucomannan Mustard Dressing

One of my friends who uses glucomannan daily, as part of her Perfect Body Diet plan has come up with a tasty, almost calorie-free glucomannan dressing. You can use this on salads, veggies, or to marinate fish or chicken.

I'm not sure what the official name of this dressing is, but for now we'll call it Yummy Mustard Dressing:

2 Tbsp. hearty grain mustard
1 Tbsp. low-sodium tamari sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 g glucomannan
1 Tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour immediately over salad, or wait 2-3 to spoon it onto meat, fish or veggies.

If anyone else has any new Glucomannan recipes, please feel free to pass them along.

Yumm :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My favorite protein bar for busy days.

It's been another super hectic couple of weeks in my research lab. Along with the guidance of Dr Bill Kraemer (the Resistance Exercise Research King) and Dr Volek, our lab has just started a new diet and training study that involves comparing the effects of whey protein with soy protein or carbohydrate supplementation in 9 months of resistance training in untrained young men and women.

Our outcome markers are antioxidant status, protein synthesis, inflammation, growth markers (like GH and IGF-1), strength, recovery and many other things.

We need to run 60 people through each supplement, which means we have to investigate at least 180 people!

Now, not only is this a huge undertaking, but it takes a TON of time to perform these kinds of research studies. Right now we're starting with 40 people so far, and it requires the researchers to be in the lab as early as 4:00 am and stay until 9:00 pm at night. When we have more subjects, it's going to be even earlier and later.... :(

That's right folks: For all of you who read these research papers in a few minutes and come to a quick conclusion with the results, just think for more than a minute how long it actually took to perform, assay and write up the study. This one its going to take at least 3 years to complete, and others take even longer.

It's insane, but that's research - and that's what I do everyday. Yay me.

So, for this week, since I have to basically live in the lab for the next 4 days, I packed a few grocery bags of food so that I don't have to miss meals or pay too much money to buy food out of the food court.

One of my favorite things that I've brought with me (aside from ground turkey... ;) ) is VPX Zero Impact High Protein Meal Bars.

Since there's not enough fridge space for me to pack all meat-based meals for the next four days, I rely on these bars to help me make wise food choices, but not end up with an upset stomach from fake sugars, alcohol sugars or cheap protein (and you're hearing this from the Queen of upset stomachs).

To quote the material on these bars:

  • Each Zero Impact High Protein MRB contains 30 grams un-denatured quality proteins, low glycemic carbohydrates, fiber, and naturally occurring essential fats from nuts, seeds, grains; CLA and Sesamin.
  • ZERO Impact MRB's contain no soy, maltitol, hydrogenated oils or trans fats; artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors. Every effort has been made to make sure the sugars contained in Zero Impact MRB's™ are low DE (dextrose equivalent), and therefore have significantly less impact on blood sugar levels and glycemic index.
  • Zero Impact MRB's contain no maltitol or other sugar alcohols that are known to illicit a laxative effect or cause gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, you can enjoy an entire Zero Impact MRB without worry that shortly after consuming you'll suffer with stomach upset, bloating, intestinal cramping and/or diarrhea.
  • Zero Impact MRB's are setting a new standard for what "clean" high protein supplemental nutrition should be: 30 grams high quality protein; nothing artificial; stable blood sugar levels; healthy fats, fiber, and low glycemic carbohydrates!

If you're looking for a good bar to get you through long days and nights, these are definitely my top recommendation.

For the ladies: these bars may seem like they're high in total calories, which they are, but you don't have to eat a whole one at one time. Just go with half or three quarters and you'll feel full and get good, quality nutrients into your body.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fruit could be key to natural sports recovery products

By Lorraine Heller

31-Mar-2008 - Fruit extracts could soon be used to develop novel ingredients for sports recovery products following a first round of positive scientific findings, say researchers in New Zealand.

Hort Research, a fruit breeding research organization, said that it has identified properties of fruit that may counter the effects of overtraining by promoting immune function, preventing inflammation, and reducing risk of infection.

The findings could form the basis for the development of a new category of functional beverages for sports recovery, said the organization."While fruit has already successfully entered the health, wellness and functional food markets, fruit is underexploited in the sports performance and recovery nutrition market segment," it said. "Given accelerating food megatrends around tasty, sustainable and exotic, there is tremendous opportunity for natural fruit products within the rapidly growing sports and nutrition market.

Fruits for sport
Sports and performance is one of the three major fruit research areas that Hort Research focuses on - the others being: gut health, immunity & inflammation; and mental state & performance.

Although the organization has been looking into fruit for sports performance for several years, the researchers are only now getting to the stage where they are starting to understand the mechanism behind how fruit can influence sports recovery, said Hort Research's Karl Crawford.

The main fruits that the researchers have been testing are those grown in New Zealand, including kiwi fruit, apples and berries (blueberries, blackcurrants and boysenberries).

The group has already conducted in vitro and ex vivo studies to understand the benefits of fruit for promoting immunity and muscle recovery. Human clinical trials are also planned.

"Scientific evidence already suggests that complex carbohydrates, antioxidants and vitamins are of significant benefit during intense exercise," said Hort Research's Dr Kieran Elborough, speaking to attendees at Expo West earlier this month.

"Fruit and fruit-based ingredients can deliver these performance factors in their most natural forms. We are conducting clinical trials of fruit extracts in elite athletes, measuring markers of oxidative stress, and have so far identified three strong hits as we continue to screen for more."

Crawford explained that there is no one particular component in fruit that is responsible for the sports recovery benefits Hort Research is examining.

"Antioxidants are part of it but we can't single out one thing that brings the benefits - everything is connected and interlinked," he said.

From fruit to ingredients
Hort Research said the potential ingredients it envisages would not involve isolating a particular component of fruit, but would be more in the form of fruit concentrate or puree.

"All active compounds in fruit work synergistically for maximum benefit, so delivering them all in a puree or extract would be the best approach," said Crawford.

In terms of levels, Hort Research said it is basing it tests on "realistic portions". "We're generally trying to work with what you'd get from a normal portion of fruit. "However, because all science conducted by the organization relates to its own breeds or fruit cultivars, the benefits examined may not necessarily be transferable to other varieties of the same fruit.

Hort Research said it is "actively seeking" industry partners for the development of functional ingredients and sports recovery products.

Leatherhead International valued the total global market value for performance foods and drinks at US$19.37 billion last year, representing 50 percent growth in the past five years.

According to Hort Research, "there really is a market out there for more natural fruit-based sports nutrition products".

[and I completely agree - Cassandra]