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Catabolism Is image1

Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Supplement Articles
By Dwayne Jackson, PhD | Jul 8, 2014

Supplemental Solutions for Preventing Your
Body From Cannibalizing Muscle Tissue

Building a lean muscular physique requires regular heavy training, well thought out diet and supplementation, and adequate sleep. In the most basic sense this formula aims to tip your metabolic balance toward anabolism (muscle building) and away from catabolism (muscle breakdown).

Repeated bouts of heavy weight training damage and break down muscle, which provides the stress that triggers the body into a "hyper-anabolic" state. When we rest, this hyper-anabolic state promotes "super compensation" through elevated protein synthesis where the body adapts by incrementally increasing muscularity and strength. Notably, super compensation can only occur if the body has the building blocks on hand and adequate rest to do so. If we don't sleep enough, over-train, or eat too little, then we shift toward a state of catabolism, where the body breaks down muscle to provide the amino acids for repair. It is this catabolic state that limits most people's gains. In short, these are the guys who train hard every day, but year after year they look the same.

Beyond consuming adequate calories, supplementation is the best way to ensure your body remains in an anabolic state, while keeping catabolism to a minimum. In the following article we will cover key supplements that will help tip your metabolic balance toward muscle building, and protect your hard earned gains from the enemy, catabolism.

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Speed of Action Is Crucial
Once your body tips into a catabolic state, your muscle-building hopes have already left the station. When the researchers at BioQuest were first formulating their flagship mass builder, they focused obsessively on speed of action. The result was MyoZene.

After training, MyoZene's unique scientifically developed blend takes advantage of your body's ability to absorb the key nutrients necessary to promote anabolism and recovery and keep catabolism to a minimum. High quality and readily absorbed low-molecular-weight hydrolyzed whey protein provides the backbone of this formula. Specifically, the proteins in MyoZene consist of di- and tri-peptide fractions, which have been shown to enter the blood stream faster than any other protein source. Research has shown that the faster you can elevate blood amino acid levels after training, the greater the anabolic response.

Even better, a new and reformulated evolution of MyoZene has just appeared, featuring a revolutionary patent-pending peptide carrier technology designed to improve the solubility and absorption of bioactives, including branched chain amino acids. Leuvon 590 Leucine Peptides allow amino acids to remain soluble and stable, significantly increasing the bioavailability of amino acids, with better efficiency and absorption than free-form aminos. This is a breakthrough that was both a long time coming and utterly essential, as a significant portion of typical free-form aminos are damaged during digestion and go unutilized by muscle tissue. It certainly doesn't hurt that new MyoZene also has a new flavoring system, making MyoZene the true taste leader among whe hydrolysate products.

Combine all of this with the premium-quality Crepure creatine in MyoZene, and the anabolic odds are stacked on your side. After all, no other supplement has received the strength and muscle building support that creatine has. To highlight, creatine monohydrate taken after training has been shown to promote cell volumizaton in muscle cells, which not only makes your muscles look fuller, but also serves as a signal for anabolism. Creatine also promotes an increase IGF-1 release (an anabolic hormone) and a decrease in myostatin levels when taken after training. Myostatin is a limiting factor produced in skeletal muscle that puts the brakes on protein synthesis-. Thus, with less of it around, your muscles get bigger.

To increase the synergistic actions of MyoZene's formula, they have added the combination of l-carnitine and l-tartrate (LCLT). Theses substrates are noted not only for their positive effect on lipolysis, but recent research has shown that LCLT supplementation post-workout results in upregulated muscle androgen receptors, testosterone uptake, and enhanced Luteinizing Hormone (LH) secretion. We'll be looking at more ways to conserve post-workout muscle mass gains, but really, a premeir mass builder of MyoZene's status is where your efforts should start.

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How About the Long Haul?
Okay, we've leaped into the fray and prevented an emergency situation from escalating in muscle tissue. And we've created an ideal environment for growth in the one-to-two-hour window after your workout. But what about the hours that follow? Fortunately BioQuest has you covered there, as well.

BioQuest's Ultimate Casein is formulated to be the purest, most potent casein supplement available industry-wide. It is processed using an advanced microfiltration technology that yields the most undenatured form of micellar casein with the highest amounts of bioactive peptides and other growth factors.

A micelle is a large colloidal particle and micellar casein is the purest form of casein protein. Its unique ability to form a gel in the stomach makes it a very efficient supplier of nutrients over an extended period of time. Like whey protein isolate, micellar casein is isolated using microfiltration and is therefore undenatured and retains its native structural properties. Casein is most noted for its anti-catabolic properties and its slow release of amino acids into blood circulation (for up to seven hours). Due to casein's ability to keep blood amino acids elevated, it has been shown to blunt catabolism by over 30%. Notably, micellar casein promotes large increases in blood leucine levels, which leads to sustained increases anabolism.

Although micellar casein has been primarily marketed as a bedtime protein supplement, there are several advantages to using Ultimate Casein throughout the day. First, it is a great product for those on a budget or just starting out. Using Ultimate Casein as a stand-alone protein powder is cheaper than using numerous different products throughout the day. For beginners, this takes the guesswork out of supplementation. Second, with its robust amino acid profile and sustained action, Ultimate Casein gives an ideal protein boost for those who don't have the time or opportunity to eat every 2-3 hours. Ultimate Casein is also great for competitive athletes doing two-a-day training sessions or tournaments, as it works to keep blood amino acids elevated all day to avoid catabolism and help recovery.

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Get to Know Your BCAAs
The essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine share a unique branched chain structure and thus are transported and metabolized by common means. Hence, this triad of players in muscular development are called branched chain amino acids (BCAA). Although BCAAs make up a great proportion of the total amino acid content in skeletal muscle, they're also readily broken down (catabolized) during exercise. The status of BCAA breakdown is dependent on the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDH) activity, which is relatively dormant under resting conditions and becomes activated with exercise.

During exercise stress, BCAAs are reduced to their basic components and are eventually used as fuel (unlike other amino acids). Based on this fact alone, it's obvious why BCAA supplementation may benefit those undergoing a heavy exercise regimen: They're being used for energy purposes, so you better have enough of them hanging around. Either you supply them by taking BCAAs as supplements or your body will find them on its own. And by that route it will strip them off protein chains that could have instead been used for building muscle.

BCAA supplementation provides different anabolic and anti-catabolic effects depending on the status of skeletal muscle. In muscles undergoing moderate exercise, BCAAs work as a potent anabolic aid, whereas muscles that are undergoing heavy training with little rest are spared by the anti-catabolic properties of BCAA supplementation. Molecular level support for BCAAs as anabolic activators comes from data illustrating their ability to "turn-on” anabolic signaling pathways in human muscle in the recovery period after exercise. All told, it's apparent that BCAAs are not only food for muscles, but when supplied in adequate amounts, are important "molecular switches” for turning on anabolism, blunting catabolism and enhancing recovery.

Studies show that BCAAs must be supplied with at least twice as much leucine as isoleucine and valine to be most effective. Mega BCAA from ProSource contains a precise 2:1:1 of leucine:isoleucine:valine, derived from superior amino sources, making it the ideal anti-catabolic/anabolic BCAA supplement.

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The Most Essential of Conditionally
Essential Amino Acids

Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids within skeletal muscle and is the most prevalent amino acid in the circulation. It is naturally occurring in the human body but is also found in abundance in foods such as, beef, chicken, milk products, eggs, spinach, cabbage, and beets. It is considered a conditionally essential amino acid, as endogenous supply may not meet demands under conditions of heavy metabolic stress like that experienced in those engaged in rigorous training and/or dieting. Glutamine is also depleted in many clinical conditions (e.g., stress and injury states).

Glutamine depletion should be a concern for competitive bodybuilders, as they commit their bodies to daily heavy physical stress that is often in the face of caloric restriction. Skeletal muscle serves as the major storage pool for glutamine and, as such, it is the major source for a number of processes and to areas of the body that require it for normal function. The production of several peptides, proteins, nucleotides, and even glucose rely on glutamine. Of relevance, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is produced through deamination of glutamine. Alpha-ketogluterate is produced from the conversion of glutamine and has been implicated in the production of NADPH, a crucial cofactor in steroid biosynthesis. The gastrointestinal tract is an area that uses glutamine for energy production and has been noted as a major consumer. Other glutamine-hungry areas include the brain and the immune system. In fact, lymphocytes, macrophages, and fibroblasts all use glutamine in energy production.

Glutamine has been used by bodybuilders for many years with great success, and rightfully so, as its use is bolstered by several direct and indirect performance boosting benefits. The physical demand of repetitive resistance-training sessions can deplete glutamine stores and lead to a number of problems in both general health and in muscular development. Glutamine supplementation has been shown to enhance cell volumization and serves as a potent anti-catabolic factor and muscle-building aid during heavy training. One of its major effects on muscular growth results from increasing leucine concentration and maintaining positive nitrogen balance in skeletal muscle. It has been shown to support growth hormone production and is integral in the production of steroid hormones. These benefits are especially advantageous for competitive bodybuilders, a significant portion of which have been supplementing with ProSource's superior Glutamine products for years with great success. For convenience, ProSource markets three different versions of this versatile amino, including Glutamine Powder, Mega Glutamine Caps, and Ultra Glutamine.

An Anti-Catabolic Legend
Lifers in the bodybuilding game may remember Cytodyne AAC from Cytodyne Technologies, one of the true breakthroughs in the 90s-era rise of bodybuilding supplementation. Aminodrol from ProSource is the direct decendent of that legendary and innovative product.

First, it contains a research-backed dose of L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT), a compound made from stable forms of carnitine and tartrate. L-carnitine promotes fatty acid oxidation by carrying fatty acids from the cytosol to the mitochondria where they are used to produce ATP (energy). L-tartrate is the salt of tartaric acid and acts as an antioxidant in the body. The blend of L-carnitine and L-tartrate produces a highly stable and bioavailable form of carnitine.  In a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study researchers from the University of Connecticut concluded that 21-days of LCLT supplementation upregulated androgen (testosterone) receptor content in skeletal muscle and augmented luteinizing hormone secretion (a signaling hormone for testosterone production) in resistance-trained men. A complimentary study showed that LCLT supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle tissue damage after squatting exercise.

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Additional muscle building support in Aminodrol comes from a dose of l-glutamine (see above) and the same BCAAs found in Mega BCAA (see above). On top of that Aminodrol contains beta alanine, which is one of today's most studied and supported performance enhancing supplements. Beta alanine works by increasing muscle carnosine levels. Carnosine is produced in skeletal muscle from beta-alanine and histidine, where beta-alanine is the rate limiting factor; thus, when beta-alanine is available in surplus (i.e., supplemented) it significantly elevates the body's muscle carnosine levels.

In fact, it has been shown that dietary supplementation of beta-alanine for only 4 weeks can increase muscle carnosine levels by more than 60%. The main mechanism by which high muscle carnosine levels aid in muscle function and performance is through its ability to potently buffer skeletal muscle pH (acidity) during high intensity/fatiguing exercise. Since one of the primary causes of fatigue during exercise is metabolically mediated decreases in pH (or acidosis), then it follows that increased intramuscular carnosine levels would be beneficial to bodybuilders and strength athletes. It must also be mentioned that muscle carnosine also acts as a potent antioxidant and metal chelator. As such, through its effects on free radical scavenging, many scientists hypothesize that high carnosine levels prolong neuromuscular excitation-contraction coupling.

Finally, Aminodrol has phosphatidylserine, tyrosine, and inositol for added protection from our body's most catabolic hormone: cortisol. Phosphatidylserine is a specialized fat that resides in nervous tissue and, when taken regularly, can significantly reduce blood cortisol levels which spike after intense training. Tyrosine and inositol may have indirect effects on cortisol levels by improving mood and brain neurochemical balance.

Do you feel like you're working hard for very meager results? If you do, then you're most likely leaving potential muscle strength and size gains on the gym floor even as you're hitting the showers. Try one of the supplemental solutions suggested here and get the results you deserve!

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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.

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