Is HMB Useful for Building Muscle?

Is HMB Useful for Building Muscle?

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) is a chemical that is produced when the amino acid leucine is broken down by the body. It has a few different names depending on the specific version of the molecule. Other names include beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid, beta-hydroxy and beta-methylbutyrate. The human body naturally produces it, but typically only produces around 0.3g per day on average. When people supplement it, standard dosages are usually 3-6g per day. Interest in HMB supplementation started in the early 2000s when a few studies showed significant gains in muscle and strength in comparison to placebo. There have even been two later studies…
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Carbohydrate Periodisation: Train Low & How To Do It

Carbohydrate Periodisation: Train Low & How To Do It

Traditional approaches to managing nutrition for endurance training have previously placed an emphasis on high carbohydrate availability. This often means having a carb-rich meal or snack before training, carbohydrates during longer training sessions and followed up by a carb-rich post-training meal. So what is this new train low concept? We have relatively small carbohydrate stores of around 300-900 grams in the muscle and 20-100 grams in the liver. The storage form of carbohydrates is called glycogen.  How much carbohydrates you store (your carbohydrate availability) depends on your diet. A higher carb diet will result in greater carb storage while a low…
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Sodium Bicarbonate As A Sports Supplement? How To Use It

Sodium Bicarbonate As A Sports Supplement? How To Use It

You probably think of sodium bicarbonate or bicarb soda as that ingredient you have stashed at the back of your cupboard waiting for you to bake some muffins. But bicarb isn’t just an ingredient for tasty baked goods, it is also a substance that can be used to improve athletic performance and is even produced by our own bodies. Bicarbonate has an important role in preventing the buildup of acid.  One of the largest producers of bicarbonate in the human body is actually the stomach. When we eat, our body rushes to produce as much stomach acid and digestive juice…
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Do You Need To Replace Sodium Losses During Exercise?

Do You Need To Replace Sodium Losses During Exercise?

When you sweat, you are losing much more than water. You are also losing electrolytes. Sodium and chloride are the most abundant electrolytes in sweat with potassium, magnesium, and calcium present in lower amounts. The typical understanding amongst athletes, particularly in the endurance space, is that you need to replace electrolytes (specifically sodium) during exercise alongside fluids to maintain performance.  However, the research done in this space is sorely lacking. Currently, there is only one randomized control trial from 2018 that shows an increase in performance with sodium replacement during exercise. But these results have not been replicated since. Despite…
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Pre-Workout Nutrition: Everything You Need to Know

Pre-Workout Nutrition: Everything You Need to Know

What you eat before a training session can help you get the most out of your session. Having consistently great training sessions can also potentially carry over to having better long-term outcomes. Main Meal 2-3 Hours Before Your Session On average, most people seem to perform best if they have a meal 2-3 hours before training. This meal typically should be high in carbohydrates and relatively easy to digest. Aiming for lower fibre and lower fat choices can also help a lot of people since doing this will make it digest more quickly. Additionally, it can also be beneficial to…
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Why Do Sports Drinks Have Fructose in Them?

Why Do Sports Drinks Have Fructose in Them?

A question you might wonder if you read the label on sports drinks is “why do they contain fructose?” Is it because of taste? Partly, in some cases. But the main reason is there are legitimately performance-related reasons for this addition. This post discusses what those are and why sports drinks contain fructose. Carbohydrates as a Fuel Source Fat and carbohydrate are our two major fuel sources during exercise. The energy we can obtain from fat is pretty much endless during exercise, even for lean individuals. Carbohydrates on the other hand are relatively limited. We store far less glycogen in…
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Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice for Athletes: Everything You Need to KNow

Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice for Athletes: Everything You Need to KNow

Tart cherry juice is not exactly a front-line option athletes think of when it comes to improving their recovery and performance, but it does have some potential benefits that should not be overlooked. At a minimum, it is a nutrient-rich option, which is always a good thing. But it can actually provide meaningful benefits that could be relevant and worth considering. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMs) The most clear-cut benefit of tart cherry juice is that it seems to reduce muscle soreness after exercise. If you train/compete hard, this improved recovery can be pretty appealing. The mechanism for this appears…
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Nutrition for Tendinopathy: Everything You Need to Know

Nutrition for Tendinopathy: Everything You Need to Know

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have had pretty much every tendinopathy (also another form of saying tendinitis or tendinosis) under the sun. The biggest hurdle I had was patellar tendinopathy that caused pain for multiple years and legitimately should have had me questioning whether or not I would ever be able to play basketball again without pain, and whether this would also impact my training for powerlifting forever. One of the best things I think that helped me though was that I have a stupid level of positivity and self-confidence. Even two…
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Nutrition for Reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: Everything You Need to Know

Nutrition for Reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: Everything You Need to Know

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) is something that comes hand-in-hand with training hard. If you plan on training hard, no matter how you go about it, you are going to experience DOMs at some stage. There is variety in how it presents. For some people, the soreness might peak 24 hours after the session. For others, it might be 48 hours later. Either way, most people would ideally like to reduce the impact of it. At a minimum, it is just burdensome and annoying, but beyond that, it could also impact performance as well. Training If you train a muscle…
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Nutrition for Cramps in Athletes

Nutrition for Cramps in Athletes

As somebody who has gone deep down the rabbit hole of nutrition for cramps in sport, in a bid to help give my clients an edge over their competition, I can confirm that cramps can be a complex topic. There is a lot that is not known. There is a lot that does not work. And there are also a lot of people who try to simplify it down to one thing as if one specific strategy will solve cramps for all athletes. It is clear that cramps are multifactorial. And I would wager that in the coming decades, we…
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