Nutrition as a means to improve physical performance and recovery is nothing new. Scientific research is constantly enabling us to positively affect the performance athletes have in training and competition. Getting the most out of training sessions is by far the best method to improve performance. Better methods of fueling can dramatically improve available energy and recovery, thus allowing a constant improvement in training focus and intensity. Especially for athletes who train multiple times in one day or those who train at night and then again early the next morning, superior recovery is crucial. The ability to come back later in the day and attack the training session with the greatest intensity possible can make or break the results. Essentially, this is what victories are made of.
It is critical to have the appropriate energy available for proper performance of training. Low glycogen levels have been associated with poor performance, focus, and intensity during athletic endeavors [1-11]. Having sufficient stores of glycogen can lead to a decrease in the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and increased endurance, even without typical carbohydrate loading . These findings are not just limited to endurance activities however. They are very much relevant to strength training and other activities that last as little as 30-minutes [2,6,7,8,13]. The ability to maintain training intensity, due to a variety of reasons, can be significantly diminished if glucose availability is hindered.
Perhaps the best method to increase glucose availability during exercise is consuming a carbohydrate solution immediately prior to and during exercise. This works especially well if prior meals consisted of relatively low carbohydrate levels. The circulating nutrients go beyond just giving energy for performance.
Low levels of muscle glycogen lead to a greater degradation of muscle protein [14,15]. Some of the amino acids are used directly as utilizable fuels. Others are converted to alanine, via glutamate. Alanine, pyruvate, and lactate are used for gluconeogenesis to fill the void for glucose created by insufficient dietary consumption. If the void is great enough, amino acids can account for up to 10% of the total energy metabolism during exercise . The direct use of leucine and other amino acids for fuel puts a carbon strain on the TCA-cycle, which is used to maintain the increased energy demands of exercise. In return for increased muscle protein catabolism, performance is severely limited and losses of excess muscle protein will occur, thus increasing the recovery period.
To take advantage of the protein sparing effects from glucose availability, the ingredients in Vendetta by Xtreme Formulations should be consumed immediately prior to and/or during training . The moderate and fast acting carbohydrates allow for relatively quick availability and use. High levels of slow digesting carbohydrates can have a negative impact upon performance. Large amounts of fiber and sugars, such as lactose and fructose, can create a strain on the metabolic system. These have very slow times to digestion and ultimately for utilization. While in the stomach and small intestine, they compete with the exercising body for water, blood flow, and energy. The end result is an upset stomach and poor performance.
There is no need to worry about the possible negative impact of consuming carbohydrates in the upper half of the glycemic index. None of the nutrients will have the opportunity to be stored as fat, which is generally the main concern. Once entering circulation, the glucose will be taken up by the working cells and used for fuel. In turn there is shift in the source for energy to replenish ATP and creatine-phosphate levels.
During the initial stages of exercise, muscle glycogen is the primary source of energy to replenish the immediate energy systems. But as stored levels begin to deplete, a greater emphasis is placed upon blood glucose. This can have major implications to resistance training. As many individuals now consume lower carbohydrate diets, stored glycogen levels can be much below the 15g/kg upper range. This can create a significant deficit during training due to cumulative effects of physical activity. Short-term bouts of high intensity training with very short or active rest periods will elicit a significant level of muscle glycogenolysis. There appears to be a linear relationship between muscle glycogenolysis, external work performed, and exercising intensity . In fact, levels of muscle glycogenolysis during resistance exercise has been reported to be similar to those obtained during high intensity cycling, illustrating the benefits of this nutritional regimen [17-19]. As a result, training intensity can severely drop off once short-term energy stores are depleted.
By consuming energy immediately before and during training, can create a metabolic switch earlier in training. Because of the available blood glucose, the active muscle cells will not use as stored glycogen during training. In turn, the there will be a prolonging effect upon performance as well as an early jumpstart upon recovery.
Using this method to improve performance has many proven benefits, but many still are overly concerned with another possible repercussions. Rebound hypoglycemia is often associated with ingesting high glycemic carbohydrates around exercise. The lore surrounding this metabolic state is largely overrated. Even in instances when researchers were able to create this environment in subjects, it most often had little to no impact upon performance . The availability of nutrients had a more dramatic positive impact. If individuals find themselves ultra sensitive, a greater proportion of the drink should be consumed during the exercise session.
A strategic mixture of carbohydrates will help improve the metabolic response both during and after exercise. Adding small amounts of fructose bound to glucose, as in the form of sucrose, will do the trick. Care needs to be taken though because large amounts of fructose will swing the results in the negative direction. Impaired fructose absorption has appeared at levels above 20-50 grams causing upset stomachs . Co-consumption of fructose with glucose raises the level needed at which stomach distress appears, partly do to an increased rate of absorption . The somewhat delayed metabolic response to the oligosaccharide, sucrose has a glycemic index of about 60, helps to prolong the metabolic process slightly, but not enough to cause problems. In a blend with additional glucose (dextrose), optimal results can be had.
Because the liver is very efficient at phosphorylating fructose, almost none enters systemic circulation. Rather the fructose is converted to glucose in the liver and used primarily to replenish local glycogen stores. In turn, there is a lasting effect upon energy levels as well as preparing the body for post exercise recovery.
Vendetta contains a strategic mixture of carbohydrates. One half of the carbohydrate energy blend is sucrose and the remaining half is dextrose. This equates to only 25% of the total ultimately being free fructose. So for one serving, only 7.5 grams will ultimately be fructose. Sucrose also happens to be a powerful osmolyte. At these lower concentrations, sucrose actually helps maintain adequate rates of enzymatic reactions. One enzyme in particular, creatine-kinase, is protected from guanidine denaturation. This will ultimately lead to improved performance and enhanced recovery capabilities, but Vendetta goes much further.
The Essential Factor
Amino acids are critical to growth and recovery, a fact well known. Some will argue that adding amino acids to workout drinks is of little value, as their inclusion, except for some instances, appears to make only minor immediate performance improvements. The point missed is the advanced jump upon recovery, growth, and maximizing the improved the utilization rate of the nutrients. An increase in insulin and carbohydrates without the presence of amino acids has only a modest affect upon muscle protein synthesis. In regards to protein synthesis, insulin primarily only activates the translation pathway. Making amino acids available improves the metabolic response. Leucine, for example, is essential to, and even amplifies muscle protein synthesis [24,25].
The choice of protein used in sports drink is crucial for multiple reasons though. Protein powders such as micelar casein, calcium caseinate, and milk protein isolate take far too long to digest, and ultimately be utilized. As is the case with using slow digesting carbohydrates, slow digesting proteins will leave a very uncomfortable feeling in the stomach while exercising. Ingesting these proteins creates an intestinal environment that competes with the active muscles for energy and fluids. The competition for blood supply can reduce flow to working muscles by as much as 20%. Not exactly a positive result when the goal is to increase nutrient delivery and waste removal through maximized blood flow.
Whey protein concentrate, an inexpensive and often used protein source, is a poor choice, for among other reasons, the higher levels of lactose present. Many individuals have experienced problems associated with whey protein concentrate consumption even when not exercising. Whey protein isolates or hydrolyzed whey proteins would then seem like the next logical choice, but they are far from the best in creating ultimate anabolic environment.
A blend of 8 essential amino acids (EAA) is the most potent nutritional method to increase muscle protein anabolism. Tryptophan should not be included due to related sedative affects. The many benefits of these 8 other EAA is in part due to their side chain structure. Side chains determine the special metabolic pathways of each individual amino acid.
The chain structures of the nine EAA are not able to undergo transamination to any appreciable extent and must be consumed in sufficient amounts, thus the term nutritionally essential. In response to the circulating EAA, cells quickly upregulate protein translation ultimately leading to greater levels of anabolism. In fact, the response to orally ingested EAA is so great, non-essential amino acids (NEAA) are not needed to stimulate the translation process [25,26].
A single six-gram serving of EAA is more than twice as effective as two, six-gram servings of mixed amino acids [25,26]. So in return, half the amount of protein netted twice the results. This comparison was also done using only free form amino acids rather than anything peptide bonded.
Also, the free form status in addition to using only the essential amino acids creates an anabolic stimulating super hyperaminoacidemic environment. Essential amino acids are the fastest absorbed of all the amino acids . Large hydrogen mass of the side chains and neutral status increases affinity to the transporters. Of all the amino acids, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the fastest absorbing of all. Exercising muscles will not have to compete with the stomach and digestive tract for valuable resources to digest the nutrients. In return, nutrients will be made available rather quickly to the cells while creating only positive benefits, such as increased nitrogen balance (NB) and growth, not the typical muscle protein degradation.
The resultant rise NB is in direct result from an increase in muscle protein anabolism, not just a decrease in protein degradation [25-28]. This is a crucial advancement. You now can go beyond simply suppressing endogenous muscle breakdown and stimulate the muscles to recover and grow. This recovery growth is also in addition to the body’s normal physiologic rate . Although these benefits will be had in response to intake at almost any time, the timing can make a crucial difference in amplifying the results.
The scientific blend of free form amino acids in Vendetta creates the most potent anabolic environment of all protein supplements. With Vendetta you are not only able to improve performance, but you are also able to recover and grow at some of the fastest rates possible.
Drink. Train. Grow.
Physical activity elicits a multitude of responses throughout the entire body. Besides the necessary function of delivering oxygen and removing waste products, increased circulation to active cells makes available vital nutrients. Active cells essentially upregulate receptors looking for the nutrients they are going to need. The sympathetic nervous system extrinsically regulates blood distribution by increasing vasoconstriction in areas less in need for blood supply. Blood flow is thus directed to appropriate active cells.
Circulation to the active muscles is dramatically increased exponentially during exercise. Flow is often raised to levels 1,000% greater than during rest to over 8,000 ml per minute during conditioning. Resistance exercise creates an environment in excess of 300% more blood flow to active muscles. During intense exercise, about 60% of cardiac output is directed to active muscle cells. This also highlights the necessity of consuming nutrients that will not compromise the tremendous opportunity by staging in the digestive tract.
Increased circulation, coupled with unregulated plasma level transporters, creates a tremendously open window to direct nutrients into the cells that need it most. Typically, insulin secretion is required for insertion of GLUT 4 transporters into the plasma membrane of muscle cells, but it is also stimulated by repeated muscle contraction. So in combination with moderately increased insulin levels and muscular contraction, the greatest level of transporter saturation can be achieved. [Note: the primary role of including carbohydrates is to spare protein and increase energy availability.]
Consuming the proper nutrients prior to training also appears to even further increase the level of blood flow directed to working muscles. When examining resistance training, proper pre-training nutrient consumption significantly increases blood flow even further, over 50% more in fact, both during both and after training than when the same nutrients are consumed post training . Increased circulation further raises the level of hyper-essential-aminoacidemia, a trigger for muscle protein synthesis [25-33]. Nutrient deliver to the working muscles is roughly 260% greater during training following nutrients as compared to no nutrient consumption. It is the 650% greater nutrient delivery during resistance exercise that allows us to create an anabolic environment directed towards the cells we ultimately want to respond.
Even more fascinating is that pre-training ingestion even outperforms the post-training meal in the hours immediately after training. As the response from post training consumption starts to decline one-hour after consumption, metabolic responses to pre-training ingestion are sustained and still active. The active muscle cells not only absorb more nutrients, but a greater overall percentage gets used for protein synthesis. The greater overall response to pre-training intake leads to over 400% greater muscle protein synthesis during the recovery period as compared to consuming the same nutrients immediately post training .
Vendetta would be a great post training meal as well, but as you can plainly see, consuming Vendetta immediately prior to and/or during training will reap the greatest benefits.
Clinical research has shown that the greatest nutritional method to increase muscle protein synthesis within the training window is a carbohydrate and EAA blend consumed immediately before training. The numbers surrounding research as to the best amounts of each is less clear. What has found though is a somewhat linear relationship regarding the EAA and the quantities consumed orally. Simply stated, the more consumed, the better the results. There obviously is a limit though, but exactly where the ceiling level is currently is unclear. What we can do is make some general guidelines to help direct proper intake.
Carbohydrates: 50/50 blend of glucose and sucrose (note: sucrose is a disaccharide comprised of 50% glucose and 50% fructose) 0.3 – 0.4 g/kg immediately before training (Remember there is approximately 2.2kg per pound)
Essential Amino Acids: A blend of 8 essential amino acids with an emphasis placed upon Leucine, about 30-35% of the entire EAA blend, or at least 4-5 grams. 0.15 – 0.2 g/kg immediately before training.