bodybuilding_proteinBeing leery is a great attribute in this case, as protein is not necessarily the most important food source for muscle building. Actually, when bodybuilding, your primary consideration should be taking in adequate energy, or enough calories. Research has shown that consuming an additional 2270 to 3630 calories a week (approximately 500 extra calories a day), along with appropriate weight training, will result in one pound of muscle gain.

Muscles rely on glycogen (the energy they use for fuel) to perform work. When bodybuilders replace carbohydrate with protein in their diet, they have lower muscle stores of glycogen. For that reason, a high protein/low carbohydrate diet cannot provide enough glycogen for our muscles, so they may feel weak, tired, and fatigue quickly.  In addition, our bodies need to convert any excess protein we eat in order to burn it as energy or to store it as fat. Protein conversion helps us get rid of the nitrogen contained in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), which we eliminate through urination; however, it can also contribute to dehydration, muscle cramping, and excess stress on liver and kidneys.

As a result, it’s important for a bodybuilder to take in enough carbohydrates. Carbs are used to fuel the muscles you’ll use to help build lean body mass. Lots of extra protein by itself will not add muscular bulk — carbohydrates actually spare protein so that it can be used to repair muscle tissue, which is how we build muscular strength and size.

How much protein do bodybuilders need? First figure out how many calories you need. If you’re not taking in enough calories, you can’t build muscle tissue efficiently. That’s because your body will be burning most of your calories, not using them to repair muscle tissue. For example, take a 180 pound guy — if he’s moderately active, he probably needs about 2700 calories a day (plus or minus a few) to maintain his weight. Besides his moderate daily activity level, he could burn about 500 calories during an hour of heavy weightlifting. If he wants to add one pound of muscle weight per week, he needs approximately 500 extra calories per day plus about 500 more to make up for the energy deficit from intense weightlifting. This makes his grand total to be around 3700 calories a day.

So how can we translate this number to his protein needs? The RDA for protein has been established at 0.8 grams/kg of body weight for adults. This is not enough to build muscle mass for intense athletes. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific number because you have to take into account many variables, research has determined an acceptable range: even at the very high end, the top protein intake needs to be 1.5 – 2.0 g/kg of body weight. For our 180 lb. (divided by 2.2 = 82 kg) lifter, this would be 122 – 164 grams of protein per day. Since protein has 4 calories per gram, then this amount of protein would comprise 13 – 18 percent of his daily caloric intake of 3700 calories; the usual recommendation is about 12 – 15 percent. It’s easy to get enough protein from food — and quite easy for many people to overdo it. If too much high-fat protein is taken in, and not used, gains may be seen in fat tissue rather than in muscle tissue. Hopefully you now have a better idea about the healthiest way to build muscle.

natural immunityThis naturally occurring amino acid is found in the skeletal muscle, brain, liver, lungs, and stomach tissue. The skeletal muscle contains over 60 percent of the body’s total glutamine stores. Certain foods, such as meat, fish, and dairy products, contain l-glutamine too. It’s essential to take l-glutamine supplements and eat foods containing this substance in order to meet the daily recommended intake.

L-glutamine has multiple functions in your body, including:
– Regulation of acid-base balance in the kidney
– Protein synthesis
– Digestion
– Brain function
– Muscle growth
– Fat metabolism
– DNA synthesis

Glutamine levels are depleted in the body during intense training. This may result in decreased strength and stamina. It could take up to one week for glutamine levels to return to normal. This amino acid plays a major role in protein synthesis, which is why it’s an essential nutrient for bodybuilders and active individuals. Glutamine prevents catabolism, regulates protein synthesis, boosts the immune system, and stimulates the production of HGH (human growth hormone). This substance is also the primary fuel for the cells lining your small intestine.

Under certain circumstances, your body needs more glutamine than the amount supplied by diet. Anyone involved in high intensity training programs should take L-glutamine supplements. This natural compound improves athletic performance and helps maintain muscle mass. Athletes and bodybuilders who overtrain have low levels of glutamine in the body. Supplementation may help reduce the negative effects of overtraining.
L-Glutamine in Bodybuilding

Glutamine is essential for the muscle building process. Not only it supports protein synthesis, but also delivers nitrogen atoms to enzymes to create other amino acids. This process plays a key role in muscle growth. Bodybuilders and athletes need a constant supply of nitrogen to stimulate muscle growth and maintain a positive nitrogen balance.

Many sports enthusiasts take glutamine because it removes ammonia from their bodies. Ammonia is a toxic substance that affects muscle cells. Glutamine supplementation also increases HGH production in the body. Human Growth Hormone supports muscle growth and improves fat metabolism. Here are some of the main benefits of glutamine for bodybuilding:

Stimulates HGH production
Promotes anabolism
Prevents catabolism
Speeds up the recovery process
Increases glycogen stores
Increases nitrogen retention
Improves the body’s ability to burn fat
Preserves muscle tissue
Strengthens the immune system
Improves gastrointestinal health
Enhances strength and stamina
Boosts energy levels
Aids in recovery from all types of injuries
Increases cell volume
Stimulates skeletal muscle hypertrophy

Bodybuilders need at least five grams of l-glutamine daily. Overdosing doesn’t pose major risks or benefits. The excess will be excreted by the kidneys. If you take glutamine regularly, your body will be able to recover faster after strenuous exercise. This allows you to get back to the gym sooner and get the most out of your workouts. Researchers have found that glutamine supplements can hydrate muscle cells and increase glycogen storage. This miracle substance supports brain wellness, enhances milk production in lactating women, and eliminates alcohol cravings. It also boosts the production of glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body. Studies suggest that glutathione enhances the immune system and fights free radical damage.

Glutamine supplementation allows athletes and sports enthusiasts to remain healthy and train more intensively. This substance is often recommended to those who suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and stomach ulcers. It’s also used for anxiety and depression, irritability, and insomnia. Doctors prescribe glutamine for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), muscle wasting and even cancer. This substance can work as an appetite suppressant in those who are obese.

This amino acid has many health benefits. It improves well-being in people with traumatic injuries, reduces swelling, and alleviates pain. Recent studies suggest that glutamine reduces sugar cravings and regulates your appetite. It may also be beneficial to cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy. If you suffer from liver disease, epilepsy, or mania, consult your doctor before taking glutamine supplements. This natural compound can be found in various foods, including soy, yogurt, egg whites, poultry, cottage cheese, beef, barley, and milk. To increase your glutamine intake, eat cabbage raw spinach, corn, beans, and fish. Protein-rich foods usually contain significant amounts of glutamine. Whether you are cutting or bulking, glutamine is an excellent supplement. If you’re looking for a way to boost your workout results, you’ll benefit from using this product.

BodybuildingOn the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and make your immune system stronger? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.

But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Quite a number of researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, herbal supplements, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. Although interesting results are emerging, thus far they can only be considered preliminary. That’s because researchers are still trying to understand how the immune system works and how to interpret measurements of immune function. The following sections summarize some of the most active areas of research into these topics. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand. Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes. Attempting to boost the cells of the immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what kinds of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.

Scientists do know more about the low end of the scale. When the number of T cells in an HIV/AIDS patient drops below a certain level, the patient gets sick because the immune system doesn’t have enough T cells to fight off infection. So there is a bottom number below which the immune system can’t do its job. But how many T cells is comfortably enough, and beyond that point, is more better? We don’t know. Many researchers are trying to explore the effects of a variety of factors — from foods and herbal supplements to exercise and stress — on immunity. Some take measures of certain blood components like lymphocytes or cytokines. But thus far, no one really knows what these measurements mean in terms of your body’s ability to fight disease. They provide a way of detecting whether something is going on, but science isn’t yet sufficiently advanced to understand how this translates into success in warding off disease.

A different scientific approach looks at the effect of certain lifestyle modifications on the incidence of disease. If a study shows significantly less disease, researchers consider whether the immune system is being strengthened in some way. Based on these studies, there is now evidence that even though we may not be able to prove a direct link between a certain lifestyle and an improved immune response, we can at least show that some links are likely.

Effect of Estradiol

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Hormones, Immune system
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estradiolEstradiol (E2 or 17β-estradiol) (also oestradiol) is a sex hormone. Mislabelled the “female” hormone, it is also present in males; it represents the major estrogen in humans. Estradiol has not only a critical impact on reproductive and sexual functioning, but also affects other organs including the bones.

Estradiol, like other steroids, is derived from cholesterol. After side chain cleavage and utilizing the delta-5 pathway or the delta-4 pathway androstenedione is the key intermediary. A fraction of the androstenedione is converted to testosterone, which in turn undergoes conversion to estradiol by an enzyme called aromatase. Alternatively, androstenedione is “aromatized” to estrone, which is subsequently converted to estradiol.

During the reproductive years, most estradiol in women is produced by the granulosa cells of the ovaries by the aromatization of androstenedione (produced in the theca folliculi cells) to estrone, followed by conversion of estrone to estradiol by 17β-hydroxysteroid reductase. Smaller amounts of estradiol are also produced by the adrenal cortex, and (in men), by the testes.
Estradiol is not only produced in the gonads: in both sexes, precursor hormones, specifically testosterone, are converted by aromatization to estradiol. In particular, fat cells are active to convert precursors to estradiol, and will continue to do so even after menopause. Estradiol is also produced in the brain and in arterial walls.

Estradiol enters cells freely and interacts with a cytoplasmic target cell receptor. When the estrogen receptor has bound its ligand it can enter the nucleus of the target cell, and regulate gene transcription which leads to formation of messenger RNA. The mRNA interacts with ribosomes to produce specific proteins that express the effect of estradiol upon the target cell.
Estradiol binds well to both estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ, in contrast to certain other estrogens, notably medications that preferentially act on one of these receptors. These medications are called selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs.
Estradiol is the most potent naturally-occurring estrogen.

In plasma, estradiol is largely bound to sex hormone binding globulin, also to albumin, -only a fraction is free and biologically active. Deactivation includes conversion to less active estrogens such as estrone and estriol. Estriol is the major urinary metabolite. Estradiol is conjugated in the liver by sulfate and glucuronide formation and as such excreted via the kidneys. Some of the watersoluble conjugates are excreted via the bile duct, and partly reabsorbed after hydrolysis from the intestinal tract. This enterohepatic circulation contributes to maintaining estradiol levels.

Serum estradiol measurement in women reflects primarily the activity of the ovaries. As such they are useful in the detection of baseline estrogen in women with amenorrhea or menstrual dysfunction and to detect the state of hypoestrogenicity and menopause. Furthermore, estrogen monitoring during fertility therapy assesses follicular growth and is useful in monitoring the treatment. Estrogen-producing tumors will demonstrate persistent high levels of estradiol and other estrogens. In precocious puberty estradiol levels are inappropriately increased.
Estradiol levels (blue line) during the menstrual cycle:
In the normal menstrual cycle estradiol levels measure typically <50 ng/ml at menstruation, rise with follicular development, drop briefly at ovulation, and rise again during the luteal phase for a second peak. At the end of the luteal phase estradiol levels drop to their menstrual levels unless there is a pregnancy.
During pregnancy estrogen levels including estradiol rise steadily towards term. The source of these estrogens is the placenta that aromatizes prohormones produced in the fetal adrenal gland.
In the female, estradiol acts as a growth hormone for tissue of the reproductive organs, supporting the lining of the vagina, the cervical glands, the endometrium and the lining of the fallopian tubes. It enhances growth of the myometrium. Estradiol appears necessary to maintain oocytes in the ovary. During the menstrual cycle, estradiol that is produced by the growing follicle triggers, via a positive feedback system, the hypothalamic-pituitary events that lead to the luteinizing hormone surge, inducing ovulation. In the luteal phase estradiol, in conjunction with progesterone, prepares the endometrium for implantation. During pregnancy estradiol increases due to placental production. In baboons, blocking of estrogen production leads to pregnancy loss suggesting that estradiol has a role in the maintenance of pregnancy. Research is investigating the role of estrogens in the process of initiation of labor.

Benefits of Hexarelin

Posted: August 5, 2014 in Hormones
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HexarelinAlthough relatively new, Hexarelin is becoming a popular choice as a performance enhancement drug. Hexarelin is currently available from several research companies.
Due to Hexarelin ability to increase secretion of natural Growth Hormone, most of its effects are similar to those of synthetic GH, although to a slightly lesser extent. Effects of its use include: increase in strength, growth of new muscle fibers, increase in the size of already existing muscle fibers, neural protection, joint rejuvenation, protection and healing. Also, the GH receptors in adipose (fat) tissue allow for potential fat reduction with Hexarelin use. The increase of circulating GH through Hexarelin use causes levels of Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) to rise in the liver. IGF-1 is the prime cause of muscle growth in response to GH stimulation.
There is no appetite boost with Hexarelin use (as opposed to GHRP-6’s extreme appetite increase) due to its inability to drastically increase Ghrelin levels that are responsible for added hunger and quicker gastric emptying.
In studies where Hexarelin was injected subcutaneously, Growth Hormone, measured through plasma concentrations, increased significantly and within thirty minutes of injection. GH levels decreased back to normal around four hours post injection. The GH increase, has been found to be effective up to 2mg/kg, any further increase in dose was found to be ineffective in causing a GH response.
Results showed that Hexarelin’s effect on GH stimulation tapered between weeks 4 through 16. Separating cycles by 4 week off periods, avoided the negative feedback loop and the next cycle of Hexarelin produced the same level of results as the first cycle.
Hexarelin (Hexarelin Acetate) is a synthetic hexapeptide in the growth factor family which stimulates the release of growth hormone (GH) and does not interfere with the body’s ability to produce its own GH. Structurally, Hexarelin (Hexarelin Acetate) is similar in structure to GHRP-6 but without the appetite increase because of its inability to drastically increase Ghrelin levels which is responsible for the increased appetite and quicker gastric emptying. Hexarelin is a synthetic growth hormone secretagogue made from six amino acids. It contains powerful growth hormone releasing properties in the human body. Hexarelin in studies over a certain period has shown that it reduces visceral fat. Hexarelin (Hexarelin Acetate) like other Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides is most effective synergistically when administered with GHRH such as Sermorelin or Modified GRF 1-29.

The increase of circulating GH through Hexarelin use causes levels of Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1) to rise in the liver. IGF-1 is the prime cause of muscle growth in response to GH stimulation. Users of IGF-1 typically experience increased strength and muscle mass, as well as a very pronounced fat loss. In animals, Hexarelin has been administered for longer periods. In six old beagle dogs, cella and colleagues demonstrated a decrease in Hexarelin-stimulated GH release during twice-daily sc Hexarelin therapy given for periods of 7 weeks, 4 weeks and 1 week, with no change in serum IGF-I. If the GH response to hexarelin in humans becomes appreciably attenuated after long-term administration, then this will seriously limit the potential therapeutic use of Hexarelin and similar agents. There are no data available on the GH releasing capacity of Hexarelin after long-term administration or on the effect of hexarelin-stimulated GH release on serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels in normal adult subjects. Furthermore, there are few data on the GH response to Hexarelin after a period off treatment. We have, therefore, assessed the effect of 16 weeks of twice-daily sc Hexarelin therapy on the GH response to a single injection of Hexarelin and also the GH response 4 weeks after cessation of Hexarelin therapy.

bodybuildingA study was recently performed by a team of researchers from the Southern Cross University (SCU) in Australia. It revealed anabolic steroids to have a negative effect on the immune system. It increased risk for viral infections and cancer. The study involved multi-national volunteers who were divided into two groups. One group received testosterone enanthate while the other group received placebo. Both researchers and scientists were not aware which among the two groups received placebo and which received anabolic steroids. The volunteers then underwent a training regime for six weeks.
Results showed a decrease of 20% on natural killer cells, a type of lymphocyte that helps reject tumors and cells infected by viruses. The cells kill by releasing a type of protein that causes the target cell to self-destruct. Several personality changes were noted like mood swings and a diminished sense of responsibility. The person becomes less empathic and more compliant.

This is perhaps the first instance that a test on humans has been performed, linking anabolic steroids to weakening of the immune system. Bodybuilders and athletes are more susceptible to infection since they have the tendency to overstress their bodies during vigorous trainings. In the sporting arena of today, no one wants to see the same things over and over again. Every one wants to see a record being broken and likes to see aggressiveness of a player beyond thought. No one wants to see an average athlete do something that has been done before. Dead rubber matches are a thing of the past; everyone is fond of excitement today in the world of sports. And, no one among us is an exception by any standards.

The never-ending expectations of audience and the desire to enjoy an invincible winning streak have allured many sportsmen to take steroids. Things are fine as long as the truth is behind the wall but moods tend to take a swing once the truth no longer can remain hidden. If one talks about athletes using steroids, one has to remember that the deed of one is often regulated by expectation of another, knowingly or unknowingly. So, it is unjustified for members of the audience or sports fraternity to blame sportsmen alone for steroids. They are themselves are to be blamed and the blame game does not end with the concerned athlete. There is so much pressure on modern day sportsmen to be invincible that they almost do not have an option before them. They are subjected to limits everyday and are almost forced to take the hard decision to accept steroids.

An average athlete does not stand with any chance to be or remain in the spotlight by being “clean”. But, every problem has a solution. Every one has to accept that times are changing and everything comes for a price these days. The best way to eliminate all unfair advantages in sports is nothing but to legalize steroids in all forms of sports. This is because there may be times when a “clean” sportsman gets a beating by his peer who makes use of steroids for gaining an advantage. This may sound absurd to some but a truth is a plain truth; one can hide from it but not for too long. Allowing steroids in sports can actually lead to fair sporting practices by acting as a level-playing field for all. If taken under proper medical guidance, steroids can help an athlete get more of his efforts. Since they are helpful in enhancing muscle mass and levels of endurance to a considerable, athletes can attain expected results without putting too many efforts. A right combination of steroids along with protein-rich diet and a good sleep can do wonders for even a lean built athlete in a short span of time. It is important for an athlete.

steroidsSteroids are synthetic drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that your body produces naturally. Steroids work by decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system. They are used to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases and conditions. steroids can be given topically (cream or ointment), by mouth (orally) or by injection. When injected, they can be given into a vein or muscle, directly into a joint or bursa (lubricating sac between certain tendons and the bones beneath them) or around tendons and other soft tissue areas.

Steroids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of the immune system. Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect the body against infection and foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses. In certain diseases, however, the body’s defense system (immune system) doesn’t function properly and is overactive. This may cause inflammation to work against the body’s own tissues and cause tissue damage. Inflammation is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling and pain.

Steroids are used to treat a variety of conditions in which the body’s defense system malfunctions and causes tissue damage. Steroids are used as the main treatment for certain inflammatory conditions, such as systemic vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels) and myositis (inflammation of muscle).  When inflammation threatens to damage critical body organs, steroids can be organ saving and, in many instances, life-saving. For example, they may help prevent the progression of kidney inflammation, which can lead to kidney failure in people who have lupus or vasculitis. For these people, steroid therapy may eliminate the need for kidney dialysis or transplant.

Low doses of steroids may provide significant relief from pain and stiffness for people with conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. Temporary use of higher doses of steroids may help a person recover from a severe flare-up of arthritis. Injecting steroids into one or two areas of inflammation allows doctors to deliver a high dose of the drug directly to the problem area. When doctors give steroids by mouth or IV, they cannot be sure an adequate amount will eventually reach the problem area. In addition, the risk of side effects is much higher with oral or IV steroids.  Steroids often are injected directly into joints to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or other inflammatory diseases. They also can be injected into an inflamed bursa or around tendons near most joints in the body.

Some people report relief from osteoarthritis when steroids are injected directly into swollen or painful joints.  Steroid injections into a specific area are generally well tolerated and are less likely than other forms of steroid drugs to produce serious side effects. Also, the injections may help avoid the need for oral steroids or increased doses of oral steroids, which could have greater side effects. Steroid injections can be added to a treatment program that may already include anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs), physical therapy, occupational therapy, or supportive devices such as canes and braces. Whether one or more of these treatment methods are used depends on the nature of the problem. For example, in an otherwise healthy person, tendinitis may be adequately treated with only a steroid injection into the inflamed area. However, in a person with rheumatoid arthritis, injections are generally a small part of a multifaceted treatment approach.