Can Coffee Enhance Recovery Post-Workout?

Coffee is one of the most widely used pre-workouts, due to caffeine’s stimulating effects on the central nervous system. I recently covered exactly why coffee can be a useful pre-workout supplement (click here to read).

What about drinking a coffee after your workout??

Not only is coffee a popular pre-workout beverage, but I know many early birds that like to have a cup of coffee after their morning gym session on the way to work. I’m willing to assume that post-workout recovery is not the reason behind the coffee, but what If I told you there is some evidence that suggests caffeine can enhance recovery after intense training?

At first thought, it may seem counter-intuitive to receive your “boost” once your workout is already over. However, there may be at least 2 distinct functions of caffeine that can serve as a post workout recovery enhancer.

  1. Caffeine increases muscle glycogen resynthesis.

Muscle glycogen is the main fuel source during training, and the degree of depletion depends on the intensity of the workout. The more intense the workout, the more glycogen is burned, the more carbohydrate we need to eat to replenish. A study from 2008 found that individuals that co-ingested caffeine with carbohydrates following intense training had 66% more glycogen resynthesis 4 hours after exercise then the group that ate carbs alone.

 

  1. Caffeine helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness

DOMS generally lasts 24-72 hours after a hard workout, and can negatively impact exercise performance and range of motion in the following days, as well as providing overall discomfort. Caffeine is known to reduce feelings of pain and exhaustion during training, but it wasn’t until this year that its effects on pain after training have been studied. A paper published a few months ago (March 2017) in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, reports that caffeine reduces feelings of perceived soreness in the days following an intense endurance cycling event.

These findings indicate that drinking coffee after your workout may be more beneficial then we initially expected!

Just a cautionary note… if you are already consuming coffee/caffeine before your workout and want to do so after as well, be mindful of how much you are having.

Stop by SST and try our highly rated Butts & Guts boot camp, and stay for a coffee and chat with one of our excellent coaches! For any sport specific training or nutritional inquires, contact me directly and we can get started with a complimentary nutritional assessment. Also, give us a follow on social media for more training & nutritional advice! @sstburlington

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com    

Is a High Protein Diet Bad For You? Part 3

Current nutritional guidelines recommend we eat 0.8g of protein per kilogram bodyweight. I weigh 64.5kg (142lbs), meaning that I should be eating about 52g of protein per day. To put into perspective how easy this is, the Walmart chicken breast I ate for lunch contains close to 50g of protein!

See where I’m going with this?

The truth is that even without supplementation, the majority of us will have no trouble meeting our daily “recommended” protein requirements with our normal 3+ meals. This begs the question, what happens if I exceed my recommended daily intake? Is too much protein bad for you?

I recently debunked 2 of the biggest myths associated with high protein diets; increased risk of developing kidney disease (click here) and deterioration of our bones (click here). A third major concern is the development of cardiovascular disease.

Where does this concern originate?

  1. Diets rich in protein are usually accompanied by high saturated fat and cholesterol intakes.
  2. Also, countries with low rates of ischemic heart disease tend to have low protein intakes.

Is there any merit to this claim?

High Protein Diet Myths Part 3: High Protein Diets Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Once again, there does not seem to be any actual strong human evidence that links increased protein intake with CVD (trials in rabbits and rats have found negative impact of high animal versus plant protein consumption). In fact, replacing carbohydrates with protein in human diets has been found to lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride concentrations and actually increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

In a prospective study of over 80,000 women, a higher protein intake was actually associated with a slight decreased risk of ischemic heart disease after a 14 year follow-up period. This data is in accordance with other research showing improved blood lipid profiles after replacing high carbohydrate diets with high protein, assuming calories are kept the same of course. In addition, studies have reported either neutral or positive effects of high protein diets on cholesterol in humans.

In summary, it does not appear that eating large amounts of protein every day in an attempt to build muscle or lose weight negatively impacts any of the following:

  1. Kidney Health
  2. Bone Health
  3. Risk of CVD

Continue on including lots of protein from a variety of sources, both animal and plant, in your diet worry-free!

If you have any inquires stop into SST today and talk with a very knowledgeable coach about healthy ways to start eating more protein without gaining weight. Also, try our amazing RESULTS ORIENTED Butts & Guts boot camp and email me directly for a complimentary nutrition assessment.

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

Is a High Protein Diet Bad For You? Part 2

Last week, I started discussing the versatile role protein plays in the human body and how high protein diets are being prescribed in both sports nutrition and weight management settings (click here to view). As a result, a growing concern exists about the negative health consequences that may arise from eating too much protein. One of those concerns is the over-stressing of the kidneys leading to renal disease and eventually renal failure. This does not seem to be the case in healthy adult populations; however, high protein diets can accelerate the progression in those who already have existing kidney disease.

High Protein Diet Myths Part 2: High Protein Diets are Bad for Bone Health

The metabolism of sulfer containing amino acids (methionine & cysteine) creates a highly acidic environment within the body, resulting in a lower blood pH. If the acidic load is too high for the kidneys to handle, the belief is that the skeleton (a major calcium storage organ) releases calcium to act as a buffer and neutralize the acidic environment. This results in decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mass. This notion is supported by findings of increased 24h-urinary calcium excretion and lower urinary pH after high protein intakes.

Not so fast!

Two of the most recent comprehensive reviews and meta-analysis (published in 2009 & 2011) examining protein intake and BMD found that dietary protein is not harmful to bone health and may actually INCREASE BMD!

The acidic load created by high protein diets are buffered by our lungs (increased ventilation) and kidneys (increased filtration) to keep our blood pH within very narrow normal limits, and the increased urinary calcium does not alter calcium balance (high protein diets usually accompanied by high phosphorus intakes, which retains calcium).

Ok, so we’ve established that high protein diets being bad for bone health is a myth, but what about the part where it might actually increase bone mass?

That’s correct; a small, positive effect of protein supplementation on increased lumbar spine BMD in randomized placebo-controlled trials supports this claim. It is important to note that more recent findings suggest that if calcium intake is inadequate, this positive effect may not be seen (dietary calcium serves as the acidic buffer from high protein diets).

How does protein improve bone health?

Several mechanisms help explain this:

  1. Increased production of insulin-like growth factor: IGF-1 increases osteoblast activity (bone formation) and may also promote bone matrix mineralization.
  2. Increases the amount of calcium absorbed by the intestines.
  3. Suppresses parathyroid hormone production – PTH causes bones to release calcium into blood and kidneys to retain calcium.
  4. Increasing muscle mass – stronger muscles allow for more effective and heavier weight-bearing, strengthening your bones.

If you would like strategies on how to effectively increase your protein intake without gaining weight, stop into SST and try out our excellent Butts & Guts bootcamp with a complimentary nutritional assessment.

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

Is a High Protein Diet Bad For You?

High protein diets are necessary for athletes needing to build or maintain muscle mass during intensive training schedules. High protein diets are also used as dietary interventions for overweight individuals that need to lose weight and body fat without losing muscle. There are millions of proteins in our bodies serving a wide variety functions, including; serving as the building blocks for muscle tissue, making enzymes necessary for metabolism, acting as anti-bodies helping to protect the body, etc.

If high protein diets are so good, then why aren’t more people doing it?

When I first started training several years ago, there was a major concern about the side-effects that high protein diets have on the body. Research has since debunked a lot of these myths, some of which I will be covering in the next upcoming blogs.

High Protein Diet Myths Part 1High Protein Diets Lead to Kidney Disease

Nitrogen is one of the bi-products of protein metabolism. In an attempt to filter out the excess nitrogen from high protein diets, the liver creates urea to serve as a carrier for nitrogen. Urea and nitrogen are filtered out and excreted by the kidneys. Logically, it makes sense that consuming large amounts of protein may lead to over-stressing the kidneys and therefore malfunction.

Higher rates of glomerular filtration rate and blood urea nitrogen are common with high protein diets. However, these quantities remain within normal physiological limits. In a study where bodybuilders consumed 2.8g/kg of protein per day, no negative changes were seen in any kidney function tests. In fact, a cross-sectional study from 2016 concluded that higher protein diets were associated with lower adiposity and HDL cholesterol and no impairment in kidney function in healthy adults! There does not seem to be any actual existing evidence that high protein consumption leads to kidney malfunction in HEALTHY adults.

However, higher protein diets may accelerate the progression of kidney failure in individuals with EXISTING kidney disease. For this reason, those with kidney disease are recommended to eat about half of the RDA of 0.8g/kg/day.

Stay tuned, next week I will debunk another myth associated with high protein diets.

If you would like strategies on how to effectively increase your protein intake without gaining weight, stop into SST and try out our excellent Butts & Guts bootcamp with a complimentary nutritional assessment.

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

chico7@sstcanada.com

Improving Speed and Vertical Jump: Nutritional Considerations

Running (Speed) and jumping (Power) are skills necessary for successful performance in sports, and must therefore be prioritized during training. We have previously covered how to increase your speed and vertical jump through training (click here). However, much like the way you look, nutrition will also impact your ability to run faster and jump higher.

An article published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research studied the effects of a 4 week energy restricted diet on sprint & jump performance, body composition, and hormone profiles in elite male track athletes… the results were amazing.

A 25% caloric restriction (750 cal/day; carbs & fats reduced, protein held at 2g/kg/day) combined with regular training resulted in:

  1. Significant reduction in body mass and fat mass. Athletes lost about 1lb a week.
  2. Maintenance of lean muscle mass.
  3. Improved 20m sprint and countermovement jump.
  4. Unaltered testosterone levels.

How can this be explained?

Increased power-to-weight ratio. Reducing body weight while preserving muscle allows you to still produce the same amount of force but now you have less weight to move around, resulting in faster, more explosive movements!

Taken together, this research further supports what we focus on at SST: getting athletes leaner and stronger to improve their speed and power.

Are you in need of some speed training, or getting ready for your season and feel like you need that extra help….SST will be holding a two week Training camp for speed/power and strength

Please contact me asap as I can only take 10 players for this exclusive camp

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

A Glass of Wine a Day… Enhances Fat Loss?!?!

We’ve all heard the saying that a glass of wine a day is good for our health. After all, low-moderate alcohol intake (~1 glass) has been found to reduce the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, and fatty liver disease. What about fat loss? Can a daily glass help you lose weight?

This cannot be true. Wine is a source of calories and don’t you have to reduce your calories in order to lose weight? Yes, while this is part of the equation it’s not the only way. Increasing energy expenditure will allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. If you recall, we recently covered a 2 part series on brown fat vs white fat (click here to view). Whereas white fat promotes fat storage, brown fat is highly thermogenic, meaning that it burns many calories in order to produce heat.

Why am I referencing brown fat?

A recent study uncovered that daily low-moderate alcohol consumption increases the “browning” of white adipose cells in mice. In two separate studies, mice were fed a moderate amount of alcohol (8% alc) every day for 1 month and 4 months. Despite a higher total caloric intake, mice gained significantly less weight then their non-alcohol control, which was attributed to higher energy expenditure. In fact, after 4 months of daily alcohol consumption the following was observed;

  1. Reduced white adipose mass and cell size.
  2. Increased activity of brown adipose genes.
  3. Reduced blood glucose, triglyceride, fatty acids.

The take home message is that a single glass of wine a day may yield some very beneficial health outcomes. These benefits quickly disappear with excessive alcohol consumption, and become harmful to your health.

For the latest up to date research on sport specific training and nutrition, please follow SST on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SSTCanada-Sports-Specific-Training-124642447546329/) and Instagram (@sstburlington).

Also, stop by and try our RESULTS Only Butts & Guts boot camp. We will show you how to combine your training with proper nutrition to get you the results you want.

 

Please email me directly to receive your complimentary nutritional session

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

Chico7@sstcanada.com

Does Vitamin D Affect Strength?

Last week I wrote a blog highlighting the importance of strength training for young soccer players, using results from a study conducted on an English Premiere League teams 1st, 21-U, and 18-U clubs. (If you missed it, click here).

This week, I want to share an interesting finding involving Vitamin D deficiency in elite Danish swimmers.

Most people with a basic understanding of nutrition know that Vitamin D is very important for bone health and metabolism. However, the discovery of Vitamin D receptors in muscle cells may indicate that it may also play a role in muscle contraction and athletic performance.

Recently, a study conducted on elite Danish swimmers reported an association between Vitamin D status and muscular strength. The main finding was that muscular strength as assessed by hand grip, was significantly higher in swimmers with sufficient Vitamin D status.

Now the most common way to get Vitamin D is through direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, the rest having to come through diet and supplementation. Now I find this interesting, because it’s not uncommon for the sun to take a vacation for a while during Canadian winters. In addition, with swimmers training indoors for hours a day, they might find it especially difficult to meet their daily requirements during the winter months.

 

I hope you found this read intriguing and thought provoking. If you would like to know more about sport specific training or exercise nutrition, stop into SST and try out our excellent Butts & Guts Boot camp.

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Coach, SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

chico7@sstcanada.com

 

The ONE Supplement I Recommend to ALL My Clients

As somebody who has spent many years studying exercise nutrition and human physiology, there are only a handful of supplements I would actually recommend to my clients, regardless of whether they’re elite athletes or not.

Recently, I covered how intermittent fasting can be a very healthy and safe method to accelerate your fat loss, and how BCAA’s can be taken while training in a fasted state to limit muscle protein breakdown. To read, click here.

In my personal opinion, I believe that Omega-3 fatty acids should be a staple in everybody’s diet. In fact, Omega-3’s are among the only supplements endorsed by the American Heart Association because of their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack!

Omega-3’s, or α-linoleic acid, are a class of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are largely present in fish oils. The body is unable to synthesize it on its own, so it must be consumed from the diet. Now unless you are eating 6-8oz of fish every day, you are likely not meeting your daily requirements. The 2 fatty acids of interest within Omega-3’s are EPA and DHA, which are the driving force behind many of the health benefits of Omega-3’s.

Why do I vouch for Omega-3’s 100% of the time?

Omega-3’s are among the strongest dietary sources of anti-inflammatory’s, which if you recall from my previous blog inflammation comes from a variety of daily sources and can impair performance. Perhaps even more importantly, strong evidence indicates that Omega-3 plays a vital role in improving cognition, and may prevent the accumulation of Beta-Amyloid proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease! This shouldn’t be surprising considering a large part of our brain matter contains fatty fish oils.

Those two benefits alone should be reason enough to prioritize Omega-3’s into your daily diet. However, it’s the anabolic properties that really seal the deal for me as my “go-to” supplement of choice (I strongly dislike seafood so my dietary intake is minimal).

Studies show that Omega-3 supplementation combined with protein post workout increases the anabolic response (protein synthesis rates) in both middle and older age adults.

In addition, Omega-3 can aid in the post-workout recovery process by directly limiting the amount of inflammation that occurs after a hard training session.

Lastly, Omega-3 also has fat burning properties which can help improve body composition. By regulating hormones like insulin and leptin, Omega-3’s will keep your metabolism highly efficient, promoting fat use versus fat storage.

Stop by SST today and give our Nutrition + Butts & Guts boot camp package a try! 

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Coach, SST Burlington

MSc candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

chico7@sstcanada.com

A MUST READ for Young Soccer Players!

A Must Read for Young Soccer Players!

One of our fundamental values at SST is increasing strength and power. A stronger athlete will be able to produce more force than their weaker opponent. Also, strength training along with proper nutrition are vital for improving body composition by increasing lean mass and reducing fat mass. In the case of a soccer player, the result is a faster and  stronger player on the ball with a more powerful kick.

Don’t believe me?

A recent study examined regional & whole body fat & lean mass distribution on an unnamed English Premier League Soccer team, including all players on the 1st team, 21U, and 18U squads. Researchers found that players on the 1st team had significantly lower body fat percentage than the other squads, despite no significant differences in total fat mass between the squads! Interesting!                                            

The differences in body fat % were attributed to less overall lean mass in the 18U squad!

From a practical standpoint, this means that young soccer players who want to play at an elite level should be focusing on increasing their lean muscle mass by strength training and eating more protein, rather than training for fat loss by endurance exercise and calorie restricted diets.  

Come into SST today and find out how combining an individualized training program with proper nutrition can help you achieve your goals of playing at higher levels, regardless of the sport!

For more information or any general inquires, feel free to contact me at chico7@sstcanada.com

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach, SST Burlington

MSc candidate Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

 

The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Part 2)

The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Part 2)

Intermittent Fasting is a great way to improve your body composition, as it’s proven to safely and effectively promote fat loss while providing additional major health benefits.

For a reminder on the health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, please click here for part 1

IF to increase fat loss is also enhanced by adding training into the mix!

TRAINING WHILE FASTING ACCELERATES FAT LOSS!

After a typical 8-10 hour overnight fast, our glycogen stores become depleted and we are better able to mobilize and burn body fat for energy.

Combine this with an intense early morning training session before breakfast and you can really tap into those fat stores!

After scanning the literature, I’ve derived two possible explanations as to why combining exercise and IF may be more beneficial than either on their own.

  1. Increased lipolysis (breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation (using fatty acids for energy).

Male participants consuming 0.8g/kg bodyweight of carbohydrate an hour before cycling had significantly less fat oxidation during the session. Researchers attributed this to the blunting of lipolysis that was caused by the insulin release. From a practical standpoint, this could mean having breakfast after your morning workout.

  1. Increased blood flow to abdominal region during fasting.

In a 2007 study, participants had a 50% increase in abdominal blood flow after a 72 hour fast. This blood flow was suggestive of increased lipolysis of abdominal adipose tissue (belly fat)!

However, if you’re looking to achieve optimal fat loss from training while intermittent fasting, you are more susceptible to muscle loss. This is because training itself is catabolic, meaning that rep after rep set after set you are continuously tearing away at your muscles. If not careful, you can actually start breaking down muscle to be used as an energy source!

This problem can be avoided by supplementing with BCAA’s during/ right before your workout. Leucine (the most widely studied BCAA) is well known to stimulate protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown.

Because BCAA’s are already in their simplest amino acid form, they bypass the liver and enter the bloodstream directly. This means they can be utilized within minutes after ingestion, unlike other forms of protein like whey and casein.

For this reason, BCAA’s offer muscle sparing and protein synthesis benefits before, during, and after training!

If you are looking for an opportunity to put this theory to the test, stop by SST for any one of our many weekly Butts & Gutt’s boot camps (several early morning options!)

 

Chris Anderi

Head Strength Performance Coach, SST Burlington

MSc Candidate, Physiology & Nutrition

CSEP-CEP

chico7@sstcanada.com