Performance and Muscle Enhancement

Blended excerpts from various sections of Potential Within A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment Authored by Franco Cavaleri ISBN 0-9731701-0-7

Original post: September 21, 2010



This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts.


Human Race of Lifetime


Since muscles use their glycogen stores as fuel quite efficiently, maintaining these stockpiles is essential to performance potential whether you’re a cyclist, runner, swimmer, bodybuilder, power lifter, soccer participant, or football player.


This includes anyone who makes a living performing a physically demanding job.


Research shows that the most effective means for replenishment of glycogen is the consumption of the carbohydrate source immediately after physical work is completed as opposed to several hours later. This is the same period when processed, high-glycemic-index food is better tolerated and can be safely eaten without major impact or strain on insulin efficiency(7).


Studies also demonstrate that protein in that same post-work meal further enhances glycogen restoration as well as muscle protein synthesis and tissue repair.


These strategies boost the potential of the subsequent work or workout session, as well, since the body has been fully reloaded for action once more (8).


Glycogen is the muscles primary energy source and maintaining healthy concentration is critical for maximum performance but liver glycogen is also a crucial factor in detoxification and general metabolic balance. Understanding how foods influence glycogen stores is important when it comes to health and fitness.


UNDERSTANDING THE INDEX


Processed foods, being refined and devoid of fiber, tend to be higher in glycemic value (9, 10, 11). These foods should be avoided as much as possible and consumed only to help restore glycogen and tissue in the post-work opportunity or post-workout window. Eat these refined foods regularly and you’re bound to accelerate the development of the insulin- resistant state, Type II diabetes, cholesterol problems, and serum-fat accumulation (12, 13). The low-glycemic-index diet is research-documented to reduce insulin secretions and induces a therapeutic effect on the condition of glucose intolerance/insulin resistance (14).


Exercise, even a daily brisk walk, plays a significant part in blood-sugar control. Not only does regular exercise stimulate blood-sugar clearance through the glycogen-synthase system, it actually promotes incorporation of glucose-transport sites in cell membranes. Studies show that the working body accommodates for its incremental energy requirement by recruiting more GLUT4 (one type of glucose transporter) within the cell membranes of the skeletal and heart muscles (15, 16). This actually means that glucose-transport systems are upgraded to a functional state by this process.


Maltodextrin supplementation is definitely not conducive to healthy weight management, nor is it appropriate if chronic disease is a factor. The only time maltodextrin is recommended is immediately after intense physical exercise to help restore and build glycogen stores and muscle mass. When you apply these simple strategies, you’ll quickly notice easier fat loss and lean muscle tone enhancement without working any harder than you did before.


Carbohydrates should be avoided as much as 90 minutes prior to a workout in order to allow your body to burn fat during the exercise period. Contrary to what many people advocate, the carbohydrates eaten just before or after exercise aren’t used as efficiently to fuel muscles the way

stored glycogen is (43). Your body will replenish glycogen, both in the liver and muscles, as soon as it gets a supply of dietary carbohydrates. The sooner after work the better. Keep in mind that liver glycogen is essential for maximum health of this organ. If liver glycogen is depleted and this state persists, the organ’s function can be severely compromised. This means impaired body detoxification, amino-acid synthesis, gluconeogenesis, hormone regulation, and an increased risk of disease (44, 45).


Glutamine, as we’ve seen, acts as a significant cortisol blocker, and the gluconeogenic alanine promotes glucose production from the liver and delivers a small glucose spike. Alanine is also the second most abundant amino acid of the skeletal muscle mass and is required abundantly for complete tissue recovery.


Finally the high concentration of glutamine (greater than in the common glutamine

tripeptide described in previous chapters) feeds the immune system more completely.


This dipeptide strategy can be used to block cortisol in the absence of a dietary

carbohydrate in the post-workout meal to advance the more intense thermogenesis

that a workout can initiate. You’ll read more about this fat-burning trick in an

upcoming chapter.

Regular activity, especially that of weight training even twice weekly, helps preserve lean-muscle tissue, but only if all of the required nutrients are available for restoration of spent tissue. Most restrictive dieting endeavors are coupled with exercise to facilitate calorie expenditure and promote faster weight loss. Nutrient restriction amid increased physical work presents an obvious problem. Muscle is metabolically active. The loss of this tissue is inevitable if nutrient deprivation accompanies excess calorie expenditure.


This reduction in active tissue makes fat loss more difficult, and if you play sports of any kind, the stripping away of lean muscle is certain to compromise your game. Dietary protein is an important factor for muscle maintenance and growth from training. Whey protein isolate supplementation that’s next to zero percent lactose and fat is my preferred choice of lean-muscle and immune-system building blocks.


GPC is a formidable source of choline. Research shows it improves acetylcholine production in the neural synapse to heighten memory, and even physical performance.


GPC is also shown to improve growth hormone secretion. It appears to be a tremendous youth preservation molecule. My regimen is a hybrid of the Active and the Bodybuilding/Power Program displayed in the next goal-specific discussion. I’ve also incorporated a more aggressive anti-aging nutraceutical component. You might

require the development of your own hybrid program to fit your unique metabolic

demands and personal goals. Although the calories seem low for my level of activity, the

actual bioavailable calorie total of the daily intake is even lower than the calculated values indicate due to the higher-than- average fiber content of the meals.


If you’re a proponent of conventional endurance nutrition, which involves inadvertent megaloads of dietary carbohydrates with no consideration for protein and vitamin and mineral co-factors, then you haven’t yet reached your full potential in sport. Higher dietary protein intakes will better support lean-muscle-mass recovery from physical work and, therefore, recovery potential from your training.


And if you think muscle strength isn’t conducive to endurance sport, you’ll lose out to someone who does. Note, however, that these extreme macronutrient strategies are designed for athletes training a maximum of one and a half to two hours daily.


Individuals who work over the two-hour mark have atypical training habits and will need

atypical carbohydrate consumption. They’re also vulnerable to overtraining and compromised health. Again, you’ll have to find your personal nutritional requirement based on your distinct metabolism and personal activity level. Dietary intake needs to fulfill the demand created by the exercise program. Results depend on this delicate co-dependent balance.


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