It is a common misconception that protein supplements are exclusively for body builders, yet this is far from the truth. Indeed, Body Builders and Athletes do have an increased requirement for protein, due to increased energy expenditure, protein utilisation and to help repair torn muscle fibres. However, protein demands are also increased during growth, pregnancy, illness and any physical activity that places demands on the body. Increasingly, protein is also seen as important for weight management.
According to the Institute of medicine you should get between 10-35% of your daily calories from protein. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the average individual. For athletes/Body builders protein intake can vary from 1.2 - 1.8g/kg of body weight, depending on duration and intensity of physical activity.
Protein is made up of amino acid sequences. For digestion, proteins need to be broken down into individual amino acids or chains of 2 or 3 amino acids, which are called di and tri peptides respectively. Muscle mass is mostly made up of protein (around one fifth of body weight consists of protein) so it is an important nutrient for growth, muscle maintenance and recovery. Protein has many uses and is also required for:-
Other reported uses include:
For the reasons above protein could be useful for:
When protein intake is not sufficient in the diet, supplements can act as useful options. One of the reasons for the increasing popularity of protein supplements is down to protein powders acting as a quick, easy and convenient means to ensure your daily requirements are covered. Whereas in the past getting the same amount of protein would mean consuming large quantities of foods such as milk, eggs or chicken!
How is Elite Protein Beneficial?
Elite Protein combines digestive enzymes and additional vitamins and minerals and contains the following blends to provide a quality protein supplement.
From the above it’s safe to say protein is an essential nutrient needed in our diets. The amounts vary depending on your goal or requirements yet supplementing with protein can be beneficial.
Please note if you have any existing or suspected medical conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before use of any supplements.
Ensuring you drink enough throughout the day is extremely important to prevent your body’s cells from becoming thirsty. The body is well adapted to signal when dehydration starts to occur, signs of dehydration include:
Thirst can also sometimes be mistaken by the thirst receptors as hunger (a useful tip to help weight loss). The body detects thirst and hunger via feedback mechanism which identify the concentrations of sodium in the blood. This information is then passed back to the bodies “thirst centre” located in the brain, called the hypothalamus.
Signals are then sent back from the hypothalamus which stimulates a response, the feeling of thirst. However, by the time thirst is experienced, dehydration has already started to occur. For this reason it is advised to sip water throughout the day even when you are not feeling thirsty.
Fact file: A 2% loss in hydration equals a 20% loss in performance!
Water is perfectly adequate if activity levels are low to moderate intensity physical activity lasting less than sixty minutes for example walking. When activity levels exceed to high intensity and is more than sixty minutes, water is unable to penetrate the cells rapidly.
According to research, athletes find it difficult to replace fluid at same rate it is lost during physical activity. For this reason, hydration drinks such as Elite Hydrate not only provide the essential minerals potassium, chloride and sodium however, also contains carbohydrates which help to carry water into the cells more rapidly.
There are many hydration drinks available on the market, some in powder form and others in ready-to-drink form. Ready-to-drink drinks typically contain sweeteners which hydrolyse and lose function at a greater rate compared to powder form hydration formulas. What this means is powder forms offer more stability with the steady release of sugars compared to ready-to-drink drinks which deliver a rapid release of energy after which energy level plummet.
Other factors contributing to dehydration includes drinking too many caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Alternatively, drinking de-caffeinated drinks such as herbal teas increase hydration status. Not drinking enough water can also affect your skin, leading to dry flaky skin and cracked lips. Lastly, colour of urine is an indicator used to determine hydration status. Darker, low volume urine is a sign you are not drinking enough fluids. Lighter colour urine is an indication of good hydration status.
L-Glutamine is a none-essential amino acid found naturally occurring in the body. Made in the muscles, Glutamine is sent via the bloodstream to cells in the body that require it. Glutamine can be found in foods such as; beef, pork and poultry, dairy foods and green cruciferous vegetables.
Benefits and Uses:
When is it best to take?
It is recommended to take glutamine in between meals/on an empty stomach where possible as it competes with other amino acids. It is advised to take glutamine powder with cold or room temperature water as adding to hot drinks can disrupt protein function.
Who can it benefit?
Anecdotal evidence suggests L-glutamine is particularly beneficial for those with gastrointestinal issues. This has lead to L-glutamine becoming increasingly popular supplement by those wanting to avoid side effect from conventional medicines.
If you have a medical condition, allergies or intolerances it is strongly advised to consult with your healthcare practitioner before use. Do not take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting your doctor.
Headaches always seem to strike at the worst of times, leaving you tired and making it harder to carry out every day duties. Over 10 million people in the UK suffer with headaches making it one of the most common symptoms in the Country. So how then can you help to prevent them?
One of the factors greatly influencing headaches is dehydration. During the day many of us are exposed to natural and un-natural elements that leach away water from the body. One of those factors is air conditioning and heating systems. During the summer months most people tend to be more aware of the need to keep hydrated, yet regardless of the weather conditions, it is recommended to drink little and often. As the body is comprised of up to 90% water, ensuring hydration therefore helps maintain healthy joints, skin, mind and body. Hydration drinks such as Elite Hydrate can help to maintain hydration throughout the day.
Don’t skip meals
It is also important to avoid skipping meals which can lead to headaches. Carbohydrates are the main fuel for the brain; the body converts carbohydrates to glucose which is an energy source for the body and especially for the brain. When the brain does not receive sufficient blood glucose symptoms such as headaches, nausea, faintness and confusion can be triggered. However, protein also plays a role in maintaining blood glucose levels and can increase satiety levels (keeps you fuller for longer). Protein bars and protein shakes such as Elite Protein and Lean Whey Meal Replacement+ can beneficial for anyone wanting to lose weight or trying to incorporate healthier snacks in between meals.
Avoid too much caffeine
Regular intake of caffeine can lead to dependence on caffeine, removal of which can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches. It is thought the headaches are triggered due to constriction of blood vessels in the brain. Too much caffeine can also disturb the body’s natural sleep cycle, indirectly affecting sleep deprivation induced headaches as discussed below.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common causes of headaches. Studies have displayed a direct correlation between Insomnia and chronic headaches. Conversely, too much sleep has also been linked to frequent reports of headaches due to abnormal fluctuations in neurotransmitters involved in the sleep cycle mainly serotonin, with most notable changes taking place during the weekend. If you are one of the many that have sleep problems, the use of Multivitamins which contain B complex, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Calcium are involved maintenance of the nervous system promoting relaxation and sleep. There is also research to suggest that EPA and DHA from Fish Oil can also help to promote better sleep quality and improve cognitive function. Research studies have also exhibited that Fish Oil can help with lubrication in relation to dry eye conditions such as blepharitis, reducing related headaches.
Control sugar in your diet
Too much Sugar can also contribute to headaches. Sugar affects blood glucose levels and as described earlier, when blood sugar levels fluctuate abnormally this can result in headaches as experienced by many.
Other factors that can trigger headaches include; perfume and strong fragrances, lack of fresh air and clenching teeth in your sleep can also contribute to the sensation of pain.
Post Workout Restore and Replenish
During times where your physical activity levels are high, protein supplementation can help to increase rates of muscle recovery and maintain muscle mass. Muscle recovery can be affected by many factors such as; lack of sleep, compromised immune system, pre and post workout nutrition and stress.
Taking a closer look at nutrition, it is important to ensure you choose a post workout formula to replenish your nutrients after exercise. The Elite Series Post Workout formula contains the nutrition your muscles desire. This includes; a Phase release carbohydrate blend, vital flex-blend (Collagen, Glucosamine and Vitamin C), glutamine complex, Creatine complex and BCAA blend.
Elite Series Post Workout is primarily based on a Van Loon et.al study, which observed that protein can potentially elevate insulin levels. The significance of this is, usually carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin levels, and insulin plays an anabolic role in the body (this means it builds muscle!). However, protein also causes spikes in insulin, making building muscle achievable without the additional calories you would gain from the ingestion of carbohydrates.
Secondly, when the muscles are stimulated through exercise it is thought the muscle fibres become torn and inflamed, this process is believed to be part of the muscle growth process and considered necessary in order to achieve muscle gains. However, this reaction can cause sore painful muscles and lead to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS); this is when muscle pain stiffness or soreness is experienced 24-48 hours post exercise. Taking a post workout Protein supplement has been observed to help reduce the time of the dreaded DOMS caused by the body’s inflammatory response.
Nutrient uptake (especially glucose from carbohydrates and amino acids from proteins) is highest thirty minutes after a workout. What this means is the rate of absorption nutrients increases after exercise due to the body’s nutrient transport and storage systems working at their peak. At this point, carbohydrates are also required to spike insulin secretion, reduce levels of the stress chemical cortisol and replenish muscle glycogen stores (glycogen the form energy is stored as).
According to research, muscle recovery is increased with protein and carbohydrate supplementation. It is recommended to consume protein immediately after exercise, as this is deemed the most metabolically active period. Generally, the next meal should be consumed 1-2 hours after exercise.
In order to work out how much carbohydrate and protein your body requires daily the following calculations can be applied:
Protein intake =
= Weight (Kg) x Protein per day (g)*
*(0.8-1.5/2g depending on activity levels, 0.8 = sedentary individual, 2 = extremely active).
Carbohydrate intake =
Weight (Kg) x Carbs (g)*
*the intake of carbs varies much more than protein intake, typically intake is in between 5-7g/day however can increase with exercise to 10g)
What Is ‘Good Nutrition’ Post Workout?
Fitness adaptations take place post training, therefore ensuring you provide your body with the correct nutrition is extremely important. The following pieces of advice can help maximise recovery rates and improve performance:-
BCAAs are amino acids metabolised in muscle making them important for growth and repair of muscles. It is also believed BCAA’s are used as a fuel for muscles; this is particularly beneficial for endurance athletes as BCAAs can help to preserve muscle glycogen.
Vitamin C the anti-oxidant action can help to reduce free radical damage and toxins produced following exercise, resulting in cellular damage and inflammation. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in collagen production and maintaining structural integrity of blood vessels and muscle fibres.
ZMA is a highly bioavailable form of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6. It is thought ZMA can help increase muscle growth, tone, recovery, assist in normal functioning of the nervous system and help prevent muscle cramp.
Whey and Casein Protein are considered to be the ideal supplements during the training period. Whey is one of the most bioavailable proteins available. With a fast absorption rate whey has the best track record as the ideal recovery drink during the precious thirty minute window of nutrient uptake post workout. Casein protein although a slow digesting protein, is the perfect bedtime supplement and works to repair muscles overnight.
Glutamine is thought to help promote the anabolic state to buffer lactic acid build-up and benefit digestion.
Please note if you have any existing or suspected medical conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before use of any supplements.
Fish Oil Capsules
Creatine is one of the most controversial of sports supplements, causing confusion and worry amongst uses. So what is Creatine and is there really a need to fear Creatine? Continue reading to find out…
Creatine is a substance we all have naturally occurring in our bodies and can also be found in foods like fish and meat. Creatine is synthesised in the liver, pancreas and kidneys and is created from three amino acids Arginine, Methionine and Glycine. After Creatine is formed, it is transported via the bloodstream to the body’s tissues including, the heart, brain, skeletal muscle. Once in the tissues, Creatine is then combined with a phosphate molecule to make a substance called Phosphocreatine (PCr). This then is ready to provide rapid, short term energy during high intensity exercise.
What all the above means is Creatine provides you with rapid short term energy!
Creatine is most suitable for those who are engaged in short, rapid bursts of high intensity activity such as:
When the body is put thorough high intensity physical activity Creatine is used as the main energy source. Creatine Monohydrate is the most common form of Creatine used and the form which most the scientific literature is based upon. ‘Monohydrate’ refers to the addition of a water molecule, this increases stability.
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Creatine as it is not classed as an essential nutrient. However, the general guidelines are stated below:
Loading phase: 3-5 days taking approx. 20-30g daily (split into 5 doses a day)
Maintenance Phase: 5g daily to maintain saturation
POPULAR CREATINE MYTHS
Creatine causes Kidney and Liver damage:
There is in fact no evidence to support the above statement. Indeed, Creatine is not suitable for anyone with a pre-existing liver or kidney condition, or if you suspect you may have any undiagnosed problems relating to the liver or kidneys.
Creatine causes water retention:
This is false. Creatine monohydrate relies on insulin to carry it into the muscle cells to perform; if insulin is absent then it will sit outside the cell leaving a bloated puffy appearance/feeling. This is usually why some Creatine supplements will have some carbohydrates added.
Creatine causes cramping:
This is not a side effect of Creatine use however, if due to dehydration. Anyone supplementing with Creatine should ensure they consume three litres of water a day. Creatine causes muscle fibre to retain water, an effect known as “volumising”. This triggers the muscles to grow and gives a fuller appearance.
There is not truth in this, Creatine is not a steroid.
Indeed, Creatine is found in foods such as meats and fish however, you would need to consume vast quantities in order to obtain anywhere close to the levels consumed via supplementation.
Creatine causes weight gain:
When taking creating monohydrate weight gain is likely during the loading, and it is often the desired effect for some. However, for those not wanting the weight gain, regular use at 5g per day would prevent any dramatic weight gain.
Please note if you have any existing or suspected medical conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before use of any supplements. Not suitable during pregnancy and lactation.
Creatine Ethyl Ester Tablets
Creatine 1000mg tables
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