Search Term: " Recreaional "
Here is why cannabis oil is being used more and more in beauty products
May 08, 2019 03:52 PM
Cannabis oil is increasingly being used in health products. Political decisions have made it easier to research cannabis. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive drug that is found in the cannabis plant with only a little amount of THC, which is the ingredient that is known to make people high in marijuana. Studies have shown that CBD can actually help those dealing with acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, and dry skin due to it's ability to lessen sebum production.
"“Cannabis, which until not too long ago was taboo, has now started to emerge as a significant element in the medical and wellness sectors,” says Hugh Winters, CEO of Australian skincare company MGC Derma."
Read more: https://www.lep.co.uk/health/here-is-why-cannabis-oil-is-being-used-more-and-more-in-beauty-products-1-9719868
Study: Taking protein supplements before going to the gym can leadto improved post-workout burn
May 03, 2019 04:08 PM
Recent research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicates that taking your protein supplement before working out can help increase your body’s fat oxidation. In a study of 11 college-aged males who took either whey or casein protein supplements prior to moderate exercise, it was found that both post-exercise fat oxidation and post-exercise energy consumption improved. Casein has more of an impact in this study than whey. This strongly suggests you should take your protein supplement before exercising.
"Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the study looked at the effect of taking protein supplements before exercise on fat oxidation and energy expenditure during and after a bout of moderate-intensity exercise. Previous research has shown that pre-exercise protein consumption may promote fat oxidation, at the same time, minimize protein degradation during exercise."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-26-protein-supplements-before-gym-improve-post-workout-burn.html
Ashwagandha could be your next workout supplement
April 30, 2019 04:04 PM
The journal Nutrients has recently published a study showing 500 mg of the supplement ashwagandha when taken over the course of twelve weeks enhances upper and lower body strength thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anabolic, and antioxidant effects. The study took place with a sample size of 38 active men, which were split into an ashwagandha group and a placebo group. Those taking the ashwagandha had improvements in both squat and bench press, while experiencing less muscle soreness after workouts.
"Carried out by researchers from the Center for Applied Health Sciences and Lindenwood University, the study looked at the effects of aqueous extract of the roots and leaves of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on strength training performance – which includes muscle strength, body composition, muscle endurance, power, and recovery."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-05-ashwagandha-could-be-your-next-workout-supplement.html
5 Benefit of hemp seeds that you probably didn't know
December 15, 2018 10:22 AM
Hemp seeds tend to get a bad rep due to the stigma surrounding the recreational use of marijuana, but there are several medicinal benefits that hemp seeds can provide that you may not be aware of. For instance, hemp seed oil has been found to counteract the negative effects brought on by Rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-arthritic properties found in hemp seeds have the ability to actually attack the cells that cause the Rheumatoid arthritis, giving the patient some relief.
"Arthritis can be one of the most painful condition as it affects all the joints of the body and hinders the day to day life."
Read more: http://heraldoffashion.com/5-benefit-of-hemp-seeds-that-you-probably-didnt-know/
Where in the world is cannabis legal?
June 22, 2018 08:10 AM
Cannabis, which is a marijuana-based compound, has pronounced medicinal affects, despite also have a psychotropic effect. Cannabidiol, which is hemp-based, has many of the same medicinal affects, without the intoxicant. However, cannabis is still valued by many, who consider it to be of greater benefit than its near-neighbor, cannabidiol, in some areas.
Many parts of the world are reviewing their strictures currently allied against the legal use of cannabis. In the UK there is now debate as to whether it may indeed be time to look at legalizing the compound for medicinal purposes. However, Britain's governing bodies have said that should this happen it is not to be understood that legalization of marijuana for the purposes of recreation will follow. Uruguay was the first country to make the growing, marketing, supplying and use of marijuana completely legal. Canada is slated to become country number two.
"In Canada, the nation's politicians are working on legislation that would protect young people while allowing adults to use the drug recreationally."
Read more: https://news.sky.com/story/where-in-the-world-is-cannabis-legal-11409787
Five Ways to Get CBD Oil and Concentrates
June 03, 2018 09:16 AM
Recently, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become very popular on the alternative medicine markets. Fuego (2018) discusses its' increasing popularity in the article titled, "Five Ways to Get CBD Oil and Concentrates". According to the article, CBD oil is used for the following conditions: anxiety, pain, seizures, pain, and sleep disorders. The product comes from marijuana and hemp. It is predicted that CBD oil sales will reach about $ 1.153 billion in sales by the year 2020.
"The legality of CBD oil made from hemp depends on whom you ask, but it can still be purchased in fifty states."
Read more: http://www.westword.com/marijuana/cbd-oil-how-and-where-to-get-it-10329926
Exploring CBD To Treat Chronic Pain And Sports Injuries
March 21, 2018 05:18 PM
CBD is known to provide a number of benefits to a person's health, from improving symptoms of depression to increasing the appetite and more. But, can CBD be helpful to patients bothered by chronic pain such as those caused by sports injuries? You might very well be surprised to learn what research has to say about this topic and might soon find there is a new and improved way to help yourself beat these conditions!
"I believe that cannabidiol (CBD) products are not only useful, but vital for athletes."
Read more: https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/cbd-in-sports-medicine/
6 Common Myths and Controversies About High-CBD Cannabis
March 20, 2018 09:18 AM
With the recent loosening of regulations on medical and recreational cannabis, a number of new cannabis products have flooded the market. As a result, consumers are often confused about the different options out there and what they do. One of these is CBD, and there are a number of myths surrounding it. For one, many people believe that it is a pure sedative, which isn't true. Additionally, it is often thought that the source of CBD is irrelevant - also false.
"Cannabidiol (CBD) is an exciting focus of medical research, popular media, and legislation related to cannabis. Its presence is becoming ubiquitous on the shelves of health food stores and search engine results for numerous medical conditions, but don’t believe everything you hear."
Read more: https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/separating-cbd-facts-from-myths
Idaho bill would allow use of cannabis-derived CBD oil
January 29, 2018 03:59 PM
CBD oil (or cannabinoidiol oil) is a great treatment for cancer and seizures. Many lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to allow it. This would mean people would not have to move to acquire this medical wonder. The CBD is derived from hemp. It does not have psychoactive effects. It relieves pain and nausea. THC is what makes you high. The CBD oil would be low in THC. Many states currently allow it and Idaho is trying to move forward.
"The DEA defines hemp and marijuana as different parts of the same cannabis plant. Hemp refers to the stalks and sterilized seeds of the plant that is used for making industrial rope, clothing, paper and other products."
Read more: http://www.wtva.com/content/national/471443444.html?ref=444
Experts Weigh in on Safe Cannabis Consumption
January 19, 2018 07:59 AM
As cannabis legalization spreads across the US, the debate is in for what is safe consumption. While any drug should be done with limitations, those limitations, especially for amount and duration need to be developed, as well as how you should properly interact with the drug. While there is no worry about a "THC overdose" they still need to determine what the long term detrimental effects are of the drug as well as which is better for the body. Should you smoke it? Vaporize it? Ingest it? Is it better in its pure THC form or is there benefit from the plant. More studies will follow.
"For the thousands of Vermonters who choose to use recreationally, what will the equivalent of a "drink responsibly" campaign for cannabis look like?"
Read more: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/experts-weigh-in-on-safe-cannabis-consumption/Content?oid=11969442
Scientists call on feds to allow research on CBD for pets
December 10, 2017 03:59 PM
Veterinarians, researchers and pet owners are looking to loosen federal regulations on the use of marijuana products to help treat sick animals. Medical issues in dogs, such as epilepsy, arthritis, anxiety, loss of appetite and inflammation could potentially by helped by marijuana-based drugs and extracts.
Some people are already using marijuana extracts on their animals, such as those containing CBD, which is an element of marijuana that is not psychoactive. However, such extracts continue to be listed as Schedule 1 drugs by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, even when they contain little or no THC. THC is the active component in marijuana that causes intoxication.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned that marijuana products for pets sold in animal hospitals or online pet stores are illegal, since such drugs are unapproved. The FDA has suggested it will pursue legal action against those in violation of the law.
However, the policy-making body of the American Veterinary Medical Association, in conjunction with two group councils, is considering making a recommendation to the DEA for marijuana to be declassified as a Schedule 1 drug in order to enable research for both animal and human medical purposes. Declassification could also help prevent pet owners from accidentally overmedicating their animals in the absence of proper guidance from a medical professional.
In September, Republican senator Orrin Hatch of Utah introduced a bill that would facilitate research on use of marijuana-based medications, concurring that the drug is over-regulated, although he continues to oppose recreational use of the drug,.
Some veterinarians note that without sufficient evidence, it remains unsafe to use marijuana products on animals, with concerns about potential toxicity.
Yet researchers are continuing to wait for clearance to proceed on various relevant studies, such as use of marijuana for dogs with osteoarthritis, pruritis and epilepsy. Some research on use of products with CBD has been stopped until federal approval is granted. Gaining approval has been difficult due to government requirements, which continue to be an obstacle to moving forward.
"The concern our membership has is worry about people extrapolating their own dosages, looking to medicate their pets outside the realm of the medical professional"
Read more: https://www.aspentimes.com/news/scientists-call-on-feds-to-allow-research-on-cbd-for-pets/
Can you get high off hemp? We'll help clear the fog about marijuana's 'kissing cousin'
December 01, 2017 03:59 PM
You can not get high of off hemp. Though many people are confused about the difference between hemp and marijuana in general. Hemp is actually really great as a super food. It has protein and Omega 3. It's great for the health of the body. And even though hemp is really healthy, its sister marijuana also has benefits. Even though scientists are just coming around to the medical benefits for people who smoked it illegally and thankfully legally today they have found that it helps with many ailments. Headache relief is one benefit.
"What hemp does offer is powerful cannabidiol oil, better known as CBD, extracted from the flower of the plant."
Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2017/11/30/can-hemp-get-you-high-like-marijuana/804364001/
Cannabis Terpene Cocktails—Healthy and . . . Herbal
August 27, 2017 04:14 PM
Instead of chilling you out, this Cannabis Terpene Cocktail is meant to act as a mood lifter. As terpenes are legal in all states (not just the ones that have legalized recreational cannabis use) this cocktail can be served anywhere. The mixologists who make this even claim that imbibing could have potential health benefits. It can help with inflammation and work as a muscle relaxer and sleep aid. The terpene derived from cannabis has many positive uses and the mixologists who use it are looking to incorporate it into society in a positive and intelligent way.
"Terpenes from cannabis have some of the strongest anti-inflammatory properties of any plant, according to proponents, and a good number of doctors are now studying their effects and benefits in replacing opioids."
Read more: http://www.vogue.com/article/cannabis-terpene-cocktails-health-benefits
Advantages And Disadvantages Of CBD Oil
July 25, 2017 12:14 PM
There are some advantages and disadvantages of CBD oil. CBD oil is a derivative of cannabis. The origin of this oil is the marijuana plant. It does not intoxicate anyone that uses it. There have been several controversies that have emerged because its parent plant is used for recreational use. But, there are many indications of the health benefits it offers. Marijuana consists of some quantity of CBD. One of the benefits of CBD oil is decreased anxiety.
"CBD oil can help in managing anxiety attacks by changing the response produced by brain receptors towards serotonin."
Read more: http://reportshealthcare.com/advantages-disadvantages-cbd-oil/
Why CBD Derived Medical Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere
July 21, 2017 09:14 AM
Many states across the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical use, and many for recreational use as well. It is about time, say many advocates of the herb who know firsthand how amazing the results of the plant can be for patients suffering from a variety of health ailments. Because it helps so many people with such a vast array of health problems, it should be legal everywhere in the U.S. It does so much for so many people.
"The cold facts have been proven time and again: Properly applied, marijuana fixes the root of many problems that Big Pharma drugs only mask and cover."
Read more: http://mmjreporter.com/why-cbd-derived-medical-marijuana-should-be-legal-everywhere-30602.html
CBD Could Treat These Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
June 24, 2017 09:14 AM
Bowel problems affect many of us. They are unpleasant at best and painful and embarrassing at worst. There are many medications for them but not everyone can handle them. Many medications have side effects which some people can't handle. Another option is this chemical which can be found in medical marijuana products. It helps with some bowel issues. It is not the same as THC which is what people get with recreational marijuana. It does not affect the body the same way.
"CBD oil, as well as cannabis, do not have a high risk. Furthermore, the benefits of weed surpass any negative consequences."
Read more: https://www.greenrushdaily.com/cbd-treat-inflammatory-bowel-diseases/
Learning the Health Benefits of Cannabis
June 03, 2017 04:14 PM
The cannabis debate continues to rage. Many feel it should be legalized because it can do a lot of good for the body. It is already being used medicinally in many areas. It's legal in some and illegal in others. This discusses some of the health benefits people are seeing when they use cannabis in its many forms. If you have never considered it you should check this out and you should also consider the different forms like oil, vapor and more.
"Most medical marijuana states stipulate the product has to be grown and produced and sold and consumed within that state."
Read more: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/28/learning-the-health-benefits-of-cannabis/
Dr. Sanjay Gupta presents: Weed, Weed 2 and Weed 3
May 23, 2017 04:44 AM
Throughout all the times people have been exposed to and experimenting with weed, marijuana, there are times now where the plant has been legalized in a couple states, as opposed to the full legalization of the plant in some countries, the medical use was prepared for however when it comes to recreational use there are all types of worries. Thinking about the fact that the plant is used medically, it does lead to question the recreational purposed of the plant because of the existence of it medically.
"Actually, I really believe I can be cancer free for a long time."
Legal Pot States Expanding? Vermont House Approves Recreational Marijuana Bill
May 09, 2017 06:44 PM
By a narrow margin, Vermont voted to allow recreational cannibas use in a vote on Tuesday. It will be legal for adults over 21 to possess one ounce of marijuana as well as allowing a limited amount of plants that can be grown at home. Vermont has been varied it it's attitude towards marijuana, expanding medical marijuana use as well as pardoning prisoners convicted of crimes related to marijuana. The governor believes it is something the state should consider, but not at this time.
Read more: Legal Pot States Expanding? Vermont House Approves Recreational Marijuana Bill
CBD and MS: Can Marijuana Treat Multiple Sclerosis?
April 26, 2017 03:59 PM
Although cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, more states have been passing laws to make this miracle plant available to those in medical need (and some even recreational). Cannabis has been shown to greatly help people who are suffering with MS by treating some of the symptoms (inflammation, pain, sleep deprivation, and even depression). It has also been noticed to have a preventive factor when it comes to protecting the eyesight of the patient.
"As the many benefits of marijuana continue to be discovered across the country, more and more states are deciding to legalize the plant for both recreational and medicinal use. One of the disorders that is considered treatable by medical marijuana is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)."
Read more: http://www.marijuanaresources.com/cbd-and-ms-can-marijuana-treat-multiple-sclerosis/
Opium-like painkiller alternative can be found growing in your backyard
April 15, 2017 01:29 PM
If you suffer from pain, it is a good idea to look for alternatives to taking painkillers. They are addictive, and often mask the underlying instead of effectively dealing with it. There are many herbs and spices out there that can address the inflammation that causes pain and some of these herbs grow in your backyard. Wild lettuce is a plant found in yards all over the country and has been used for a long time in treating pain. Read this article for more details into the effectiveness of wild lettuce for pain.
"Also known as Lactuca Virosa, opium lettuce, or bitter lettuce, this medicinal plant has long been used in folk medicine as a substitute to opium, hence its name opium lettuce."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-09-opium-like-painkiller-alternative-can-be-found-growing-in-your-backyard.html
13 Ways Marijuana Impacts Males And Females Differently
March 25, 2017 08:44 AM
As legalization becomes more widespread in the United States, our understanding of the complexity of the effect of cannabinoid use is improving. A British pharmacology journal published a study in 2010 that examined sex related differences among marijuana users. For example, men tended to use more frequently, more heavily, and experience more often the binge food craving effect of weed. Women it seems may feel many of the physical effects more acutely then men. Genetics and hormones play a role in our health and behavior, and it appears they impact the effects of marijuana as well.
"Regardless of how you feel about its use as a recreational substance, evidence is strong that marijuana has significant medical benefits for a wide array of conditions."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-marijuana-impacts-males-and-females/
Will medical marijuana be covered by insurance companies?
March 22, 2017 02:44 PM
Medically prescribed cannabis is being proven to be a good substitute for the standard opiods that are often prescribed to people in pain. Opiods are known to cause dependency whereas medical marijuana does not have that effect on it's users. Studies even find that there are a lot of opiod-related deaths, but this wouldn't be an issue if doctors were more likely to prescribe medical marijuana in these instances. The hope of many medical marijuana users is that it will be removed from the list of banned substances, so that the costs of medical marijuana will soon be covered by health insurance providers. With the new presidency, they hope this will soon be the case.
"While recreational consumption remains against federal law, some hope the Trump administration will remove marijuana from the Schedule I list of banned substances."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-17-will-medical-marijuana-be-covered-by-insurance-companies.html
7 Reasons You Need CBD Oil in Your Kitchen (and Medicine Cabinet)
February 17, 2017 10:59 AM
With marijuana now legal in 26 states and the District of Columbia, the cry for more research on cannabis oil has spread. Many are pushing for the use of cannabis oil, which is a potent form of the plant, to treat cancer and seizures. Though the use of the oil to treat symptoms of diseases is not currently supported by the FDA, some cases have shown success in relieving pain, preventing seizures, and slowing down cancer tumors. It’s important to get use a trustworthy source and start with small doses until you know how you will react.
"Nausea is one of the most common reasons people turn to medical marijuana; synthetic THC has been administered to battle nausea in the UK since the early 80s, and many cancer patients choose to smoke marijuana to battle the effects of chemotherapy treatments."
Change likely to make CDB oil accessible
January 25, 2017 10:59 AM
Due to the efforts of one parent with a child that suffered from seizures, cannabis treatment for the disorder may be likely in the future. Sally Schaeffer helped pass Lydia’s Law in 2014, which hopes to allow research on the use of the drug. However, wording in the law has forced doctors to apply for an FDA investigational license. An alteration to the law next week is hoping to change that. The bill will hopefully at least allow people in Wisconsin to legally own the oil. The government is trying to get it legalized at a national level as well.
"After two years of a stalemate in the state government, a bill legalizing the use of cannabidiol as seizure treatment may finally become useful."
7 Reasons You Need CBD Oil in Your Kitchen (and Medicine Cabinet)
January 23, 2017 10:59 AM
As Marijuana becomes more and more legal across the states, its plant leaves are becoming more popular tool. Oil from the leaves ,CBD oil, also has many great properties. It an affect the way you sleep helping you get a better nights rest. It also been known to change our mood and relieve your pain without any psychoactive properties. One of the most noteworthy reason to incoroporate this oil into daily life because it can help with cancer. It inhibits cell growth and manage seizures. The oil can be found all over as it is legal.
"First off, don’t confuse CBD oil with hemp oil — a nutritional oil more properly known as hempseed oil. Made from crushing hempseed or hemp hearts, hemp oil is very rich in linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids and antioxidants, and it has an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids."
Always Stick with name brand CBD like Leaf Therapeutics
Stop inflammation in its tracks with Curamin
August 20, 2010 11:15 AM
Curamin - Herbal Combination that fights Inflammation Pain
Are you suffering from severe inflammation and pain? Is this problem disturbing your daily regular and recreational activities, then not to worry. Curamin is the ultimate solution for all your problems. It is the best fast acting pain reliever and an effective anti inflammatory that is 10 times stronger than other natural products. It is a mix of finely developed traditional medical knowledge with modern technology. Its amazing action show results from the day one.
Curamin contains the best natural ingredient called BCM-95, which is formulated around a special, proprietary extract of curcumin. According to scientific studies, BCM-95 is 7-10 times absorbed than any other regular curumin. It is powerful and clinically proven to be very effective against pain and inflammation, since it has been formulated and manufactured after years of research and development, under the supervision of experienced and skilled doctors, whose mission it to provide the best viable and a natural solution for reducing pain and inflammation.
It is well known for its ability to enhance the body’s natural inflammatory response by maximizing the effects of endorphins and encephalin, which are our own body’s natural pain killers. Many users have commented with great satisfaction that it provides consistent and long lasting effects. Besides relieving from pain and inflammation, it also delivers significant benefits to heart, liver, brain and immune system.
Curamin is very cost effective and is available in all leading health food stores and pharmacies. Modern medicines have lots of side effects, which may cause kidney or liver damage. To cure one problem in our body they create ten more problems. By using potent natural plant based curamin, you can get rid of these side effects and also the problems you are suffering from very effectively.
It is very safe to use. Many people use curamin regularly to get rid of pain and inflammation. Many believe in curamin as it has helped them overcome sufferings and still continue to. It has given great satisfaction to them for a very long time. Curamin doesn’t have to be taken every four or six hours like any other medicine. Depending on the level of pain and inflammation, a capsule three times a day in more than enough to get active results. Give curamin a try today.
D-Ribose Powder Benefits!
April 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Supports normal heart function*
A significant amount of in vitro, animal and human research suggests benefits of ribose on heart function.* Studies have shown that ribose supplementation can enhance cardiac energy levels and support cardiovascular metabolism.* Ribose has been shown in clinical trials to enhance the recovery of heart muscle ATP levels and improve myocardial function following exercise.
Studies suggest that ribose supplementation can increase the tolerability of the cardiovascular system to exercise-induced fatigue.1 In one study, twenty men underwent treadmill exercise tests on two consecutive days to confirm the onset of fatigue secondary to exercise. The participants were then randomized to the treatment group or a placebo group. The groups received either four doses of 15 grams of D-ribose (60 grams/day total) or the same amount of placebo each day. After three days of treatment, another treadmill test was performed. The time it took to reach the specified level of fatigue was significantly greater in the ribose group than in the placebo group.
Another study investigated the ability of ribose to support healthy heart function and quality of life.2 In a randomized, crossover design study, fifteen individuals were given 5 grams three times a day of either D-ribose or placebo. Each treatment period lasted three weeks. In patients receiving ribose, echocardiography demonstrated enhancement of heart function, reflecting a “more efficient relaxation phase of the heart”. Participants also had a significant improvement in their subjective quality of life scores compared to placebo.
Scientists suggest that suboptimal heart function is a result of the heart requiring more energy to function properly. Ribose supports the heart’s enhanced energy requirements, promoting optimal heart function. It does so by enhancing the stores of high-energy phosphates in heart tissue. These intermediates are necessary for the production and resynthesis of ATP. A double-blind crossover study in which 12 individuals were randomized to receive either ribose or dextrose (both administered as 5 grams three times daily for three weeks, followed by a 1-week washout period and crossover of treatments for three additional weeks) suggested significant enhancements in normal cardiac function during the period of ribose supplementation.3
Perhaps one of the more useful illustrations of the potential for ribose to support heart function comes from a study in which 20 rats received a continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours (control rats received an infusion of saline). The hearts were then explanted (as they would be for heart transplants) and placed in preservation solution that was enriched with ribose for 4 hours. ATP levels were measured from tissue biopsies and revealed that 10 of the ribose-treated hearts had ATP levels higher than 12.3 micromoles per gram whereas saline-treated hearts (controls) had lower ATP levels, with 20% showing levels below 10 micromoles per gram of tissue. This provides support for the hypothesis that ribose may enhance the preservation of ATP levels in cardiac tissue, promoting normal heart function.4
Further animal studies have shown that ribose significantly enhances heart function after experimentally induced cardiac depression. Rats were injected with isoproterenol (a drug that stimulates sympathetic nervous system function) and had their abdominal aorta constricted to induce depression of heart function and reduce cardiac ATP levels. The decrease in ATP was primarily responsible for the depression of heart function. Continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours replenished ATP concentrations to normal levels and normalized heart function in these animals.5
Ribose may strengthen and support the body’s crucial antioxidant defenses*
Ribose may support the body’s innate antioxidant mechanisms while promoting an antioxidant effect of its own. Intense exercise and other strenuous activity can induce the production of free radicals. Preliminary studies suggest that ribose can attenuate some of the effects of oxidation seen after performance of intensive exercise.
One small human study indicated that ribose administered at a dose of seven grams before and after a bout of cycling exercise may reduce free radical production.6 Seven volunteers ingested either ribose or placebo both before and after intense exercise. Markers of lipid peroxidation, including malondialdehyde, significantly decreased in the ribose-supplemented group, while increasing in the control group. The results of this study indicate a possible effect of ribose in supporting antioxidant activity.
Supports healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue*
After bouts of intense exercise, ATP levels have been shown to decrease by an average of 15 to 20%.7 The amount of ATP stored in the muscle is limited and so the body must have the potential to rebuild ATP stores. ATP is the fuel necessary for the integrity and function of a cell. In addition, several studies have found correlations between ATP content and heart function.1 Research that was also alluded to above suggests that ribose stimulates ATP synthesis and supports heart and muscle function by enhancing ATP levels in cardiac and muscle tissue. D-ribose is an essential building block for the synthesis of ATP through the pentose phosphate pathway.
The results of ribose supplementation enhancing ATP levels in muscle are evidenced by studies suggesting beneficial effects on anaerobic performance. In a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study assessing the effects of acute ribose supplementation, participants receiving the ribose supplement had increases in mean power (a measure of average overall muscular strength output during the sprint) and peak power (a measure of the highest muscular strength output during the sprint) when undergoing a series of cycle sprints.8 While this effect was not noted in all of the six short cycling sprints that the participants underwent, the study does illustrate the potential benefits of ribose on ATP production and, secondarily, on enhancing exercise performance.
A second placebo-controlled trial investigated the effects of four weeks of ribose-supplementation (10 grams /day) on male bodybuilders. Of the 20 participants who were recruited, twelve completed the study. Each subject participated in a heavy-resistance training program designed to increase skeletal muscle mass. The effects of ribose on body composition (body weight, body fat, lean body mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content) were also assessed. The results suggested that ribose increased total work capacity and bench press strength compared to placebo, without altering body composition.9
Supports energy recovery after exercise*
Animal studies have suggested that the administration of ribose after exercise increases the rate of adenine salvage by five to seven-fold in muscle tissue7, supporting energy recovery after exercise. When ATP is utilized by muscle tissue, the degradation products include adenine nucleotides (Adenine is one of two purine bases that is a component of DNA). Adenine is recycled to synthesize DNA, and the salvage of adenine within the muscle tissue is crucial to energy recovery. Studies have shown that the presence of adequate ribose concentrations is the rate-limiting step in the purine salvage pathway. Therefore, increased adenine salvage could potentially help in the recovery and regeneration of ATP after intense bouts of activity.
A study investigated the effect of oral intake of ribose on the synthesis of AMP, a precursor to ATP.10 Participants performed intense cycle training for seven days. They then received either ribose (at a concentration of 200 mg/kg body weight, which is equivalent to 14 grams per day for an average 70 kilogram male) or placebo three times a day for the following three days. Exercise tests were performed again on day 4. Muscle biopsy samples were taken before the first training session, immediately after, and again five hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours after the last training session. No differences were seen in exercise performance between the groups. The intense exercise caused the ATP levels in muscle to decrease in both groups. However, at 72 hours post-exercise, the ribose group exhibited a much higher ATP level than the placebo group. The muscle levels of critical building blocks for ATP, including total adenine nucleotides (TAN) and inosine 5’-monophosphate (IMP), were also significantly higher in the ribose group compared to the placebo group at 24 hours after exercise. Ribose-supplementation was shown to enhance the resynthesis of ATP after intense exercise.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Caution: Insulin-dependent diabetics and pregnant women should consult their physician before use.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 1 or 2 scoops mixed in water, juice or other beverage two times per day. May be taken with or without food.
1) Pliml, W., von Arnim, T., Stablein, A., Hofmann, H., Zimmer, H., Erdmann, E. Effects of ribose on exercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease. The Lancet. 1992;340:507-510.
2) Omran, H., Illien, S., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A., Luderitz, B. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. The European Journal of Heart Failure. 2003;5:615-619.
3) Illien, S., Omran, H., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A. Ribose improves myocardial function in congestive heart failure. FASEB Journal 2001;15(5): A1142
4) Muller C., Zimmer H., Gross M., Gresser U., Brotsack I., Wehling M., Pliml W. Effect of ribose on cardiac adenine nucleotides in a donor model for heart transplantation. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Dec 16;3(12):554-8.
5) Zimmer H.G. Normalization of depressed heart function in rats by ribose. Science. 1983 Apr 1;220(4592):81-2.
6) Seifert, J.G., Subudhi, A., Fu, M., Riska, J.J. The effects of ribose ingestion on indices of free radical production during hypoxic exercise. Free Rad Biol Med 2002; 33(Suppl 1) S269.
7) Zarzeczny, R., Brault, J.J., Abraham, K.A., Hancock, C.R., Terjung, R. Influence of ribose on adenine salvage after intense muscle contractions. J Applied Physiology. 2001;91:1775-1781.
8) Berardi J.M., Ziegenfuss T.N. Effects of ribose supplementation on repeated sprint performance in men. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):47-52.
9) Van Gammeren, D.V., Falk, D., Antonio, J. The effects of four weeks of ribose supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in healthy, young, male recreational bodybuilders: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Current Ther Research. 2002;63(8):486-495.
10) Hellsten, Y., Skadhauge, L., Bangsbo, J. Effect of ribose supplementation on resynthesis of adenine nucleotides after intense intermittent training in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2004;286:R182-R188.
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Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004
From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.
And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.
Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.
And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.
Your Heart Disease Chances
Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.
While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.
The most important factors you can do something about include:
* Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells
* Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries
* Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries
* Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process
* High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure
* Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems
Heart Attack Signs
Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.
"The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.
Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.
"Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."
However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.
Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."
Signs of a possible heart attack include:
* Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.
* Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.
* Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.
A Woman's Sleep Signs
If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)
They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.
More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).
"Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.
Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.
Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.
"Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.
Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.
"Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."
Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.
The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).
"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.
Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).
In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.
"Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."
Free Radical Blues
Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.
In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.
In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.
Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.
But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.
This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).
This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.
Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.
In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).
The Female Version of Heart Disease
For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.
The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.
Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).
"This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.
Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.
Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).
As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).
"The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.
Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.
In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.
Exercise Is Essential
"Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.
"This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.
According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.
Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).
In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.
"We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.
"It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."
On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."
Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.
June 11, 2005 05:04 PM
Power Protein by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, August 4, 1999
Chances are, if you've been trying to lose weight, build muscle, or increase your energy levels, then you've been hearing about protein. This essential nutrient has stolen the spotlight of the health industry as the alleged key to vitality and a solid physique.
With books like Protein Power (Bantam) and Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution (Avon) firmly implanted on The New York Times bestseller list, and protein bars and shakes growing in popularity, more people than ever are seeking to tap into the power of protein.
But before you go on an all-out protein-blitz, how can you decide what's best for you?
The Purpose of Protein
No doubt about it, protein performs a variety of roles. First and foremost, it is used to manufacture and repair all of the body's cells and tissues, and forms muscles, skin, bones and hair. Protein makes up the connective tissue that forms the matrix of bones; keratin is a type of protein used to make hair and nails.
It is essential to all metabolic processes; digestive enzymes and metabolism-regulating hormones (such as insulin, which influences blood sugar levels) are all made of protein. This nutrient also intricately takes part in transport functions: Without sufficient protein the body cannot produce adequate hemoglobin, which carries nutrients through the blood. Lipo-proteins are fat-carrying proteins which transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Protein helps regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, maintaining proper blood volume. Immunoglobulins and antibodies that ward off diseases are also comprised of protein.
Any protein that you eat that is not utilized for these purposes is stored as fat, although some may be broken down, converted to glucose and burned for energy. This can occur during intensive workouts, or when the body runs out of carbohydrates from the diet or glycogen from its muscle and liver stores.
"Even though the body can depend on the fat it has stored, it still uses muscle protein, unless it is fed protein as food," explain Daniel Gastelu, MS, MFS, and Fred Hatfield, PhD, in their book Dynamic Nutrition for Maximum Performance (Avery). "When dietary circumstances cause the body to use amino acids as a source of energy, it cannot also use these amino acids for building muscle tissue or for performing their other metabolic functions."
One can see why it is so important to eat a sufficient amount of protein daily in food, shakes or bars. Without it, bone tends to break down, the immune system can become impaired, and muscle strength drops as the body uses up muscle protein for energy.
Proteins are built of chains of amino acids, and 20 different kinds of these building blocks are necessary for protein synthesis within the body. Eleven of them can be manufactured by the body through a process called de novo synthesis; these are referred to as non-essential amino acids. The other nine, which must be obtained from the diet, are known as essential amino acids. (Although some amino acids are called "non-essential," in actuality they are vital: The body needs all 20 amino acids to function properly.)
Some of the more familiar non-essential amino acids include: n Carnitine helps remove fat from the bloodstream n Arginine helps burn sugar Essential amino acids include: n L-tryptophan, a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, helps create calm moods and sleep patterns n L-lysine, required for the metabolism of fats n L-methionine a component of SAM-e (a supplement intended to relieve depression and arthritis, see p. 45)
The body forms and destroys protein from amino acids in a constant cycle of synthesis and degradation. You must consume protein regularly to replace the lost amino acids that are oxidized when protein is broken down and used for fuel. The amount of amino acids lost each day depends on what you eat and how much exercise you do.
Athletes vs. Weekend Warriors
Protein intake in the general population is still adequate, notes Gail Butterfield, PhD, RD, director of Sports Nutrition at Stanford University Medical School. "But we're learning that what is true for the general population may not be true for the athletic population," she says. "With heavy training there is greater protein degradation and you need to increase your intake. Thus, protein requirements are higher for athletes than regular people."
Also, if you diet or restrict your eating in any way, you may also not be getting enough protein.
Certainly, if you work out, eating protein is important. Providing four calories of energy per gram, protein keeps blood sugar steady during exercise. After exercise, it helps replenish and maintain stores of glycogen (stored muscle fuel) and decreases the loss of amino acids, as recent research has shown (J Appl Physiol 81 (5), Nov. 1996: 2095-2104). Lab studies in animals show that protein consumed after you run, lift weights, bike, etc..., helps stimulate muscle growth (Jrnl of Nut 127 , June 1997: 1156-1159)
High-protein diets are frequently touted to promote weight loss and increased energy. One of the most influential: the so-called 40-30-30 formula, developed by Barry Sears in his book The Zone: A Dietary Roadmap (HarperCollins), which describes a diet whose calories are 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. The rationale: when you eat too many carbohydrates, your body uses these starches for energy instead of burning body fat. A high protein diet is supposed to keep your blood sugar balanced and stimulate hormones that burn body fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
Other fitness experts such as Sherri Kwasnicki, IDEA International Personal Trainer of the Year of 1998, say that while protein is a necessary component of any diet, extreme high-protein plans aren't necessary for recreational fitness buffs. However, she notes that maintaining muscle mass is the key to aging gracefully, and getting enough protein is critical for that.
Many people today won't eat meat and dairy for ethical reasons, or to avoid the antibiotics and other chemicals in the raising of poultry and cattle. But that doesn't have to prohibit adequate protein intake. All soybean products, including tofu and soymilk, provide complete proteins, which supply ample quantities of all the essential amino acids.
In the past vegetarians were told to combine particular foods to make sure they consumed all the essential amino acids at each meal. (For example, beans with either brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds or wheat forms "complete" protein.) Today, diet experts aren't so picky. Eating a variety of plant-based foods throughout the day is just as effective as combining them at one meal.
Vegans who avoid all animal products should eat two servings at sometime during the day of plant-based protein sources, such as tofu, soy products, legumes, seeds and nuts.
The newest sources of protein are bars and shakes, which are growing steadily in popularity. Protein bars now constitute about 12% of the so-called energy bar market, with sales increasing about 38% per year. These bars generally provide at least 20 grams of protein, including soy and whey protein and calcium caseinate (milk protein). The benefits: bars supply protein along with carbohydrates for energy; protein powders, on the other hand, provide quickly digested, easily absorbed amino acids.
Edmund Burke, PhD, author of Optimal Muscle Recovery (Avery), suggests "If you need extra protein, you may benefit from the convenience of a mixed carbohydrate-protein supplement... choose a supplement that's healthy and low in fat."
Amino acid supplements are also growing in popularity, reported to build muscle and burn fat, or improve mood by boosting brain neurotransmitters. The amino acids glutamine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and 5-HTP (a form of tryptophan) are all used to boost spirits and enhance brain function.
And if you still ponder the merits of those high protein diets, do keep in mind that protein may be better at controlling hunger than carbohydrates or fat since it steadies blood sugar, so it may help you stick to a reduced-calorie plan. But excess protein can't be stored as protein in the body: It is either burned for energy or converted to fat. And carbs are still the body's top energy source, so forgoing too many can leave you tired and sluggish.
Still, with so many vital functions-and a variety of sources to choose from-you can't afford to not explore the benefits of protein.