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Slowing Muscle Protein Breakdown

Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 9/10/2018 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Slowing Muscle Protein Breakdown
A popular misconception about building lean body mass is all you to do is stimulate the pathways that turn on muscle protein synthesis. This is only half the issue. Your lean body mass is a dynamic process. At all times, we are building new muscle protein (anabolism) and simultaneously breaking it down (catabolism). The key is net protein balance. When protein synthesis is greater than protein breakdown, we have a net positive balance and we increase lean body mass. When protein breakdown exceeds protein synthesis we have a negative protein balance and we decrease lean body mass. Normally we are at balance neither increasing or decreasing lean body mass. However the goal of most endurance athletes is to increase lean body mass. Understanding the factors that cause protein breakdown help us better achieve this goal.

The Switch That Controls Lean Body Mass

Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 9/5/2018
The Switch That Controls Lean Body Mass
Most of the muscle adaptations that increase strength and endurance occur in the interval following moderate to intense exercise. Central to these adaptations is the repair and rebuilding of muscle protein. Although your muscles have multiple mechanisms to activate muscle protein synthesis the central mechanism involves a protein called mTOR. mTOR is a critical cellular switch that activates the cellular machinery responsible for repairing and building new muscle mass.

Cortisol - The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 8/30/2018 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Cortisol - The Good. The Bad. The Ugly
Most endurance athletes are familiar with cortisol, a catabolic hormone. In other words, it breaks down muscle tissue. Cortisol has a pretty bad image, especially among the endurance athletes. Yet it plays a vital role in helping athletes perform.

How Much Protein Should I Consume?

Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 8/21/2018 to Performance Tip Of The Week
How Much Protein Should I Consume?
One of the more controversial nutrition questions is the amount of protein that should be consumed daily? According to the recommended daily allowance, protein intake should be about 0.36 g/lb of body weight. That means a 150-lb person should consume 54 grams of protein per day as shown in the Table below. The problem with the government allowance is the nutritionists who developed it were using sedentary adults as their models. Furthermore, the government recommendation is based on the fact that this level would maintain zero nitrogen balance, which means you would neither gain nor lose protein.

Timing Is Everything

Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 8/13/2018 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Timing Is Everything
You cannot overestimate the critical importance that timing plays in post-exercise muscle recovery. Immediately after exercise, the cellular processes responsible for replenishing depleted glycogen stores and rebuilding and repairing muscle protein are activated.  Providing the right combination of nutrients during this period of cellular activation has a dramatic effect on the completeness of the recovery process. The graph below illustrates this fact. The data is a compilation of multiple studies in which investigators measured the impact of delay on glycogen replenishment as well as repair and rebuilding of muscle protein.

Artificial Sweeteners, Diabetes and Exercise Performance

Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 8/7/2018 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Artificial Sweeteners, Diabetes and Exercise Performance
A recent study showing that artificial sweeteners may impact diabetes has generated a great deal of media attention. Beverages sweetened with aspartame dominate the beverage category. Many people consume them because they want to reduce or eliminate their consumption of sugar. The researchers found that artificial sweeteners interfere with normal energy metabolism in a manner similar to that seen with diabetes. Laboratory animals fed artificial sweeteners, showed an increase in blood amino acid levels indicative of a greater breakdown of muscle protein for energy.

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