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bcaa intra-workout with glutamine


GRAND PHYSIQUE™ INTRA-WORKOUT

 

When it comes to physical activity, carbohydrates are the dominant energy source. If you are involved in endurance exercise or long and intensive training, intake of carbohydrates will have a tremendous effect on your performance.

 

During exercise, protein is broken down in our muscles. After exercise, protein synthesis is stimulated, and protein breakdown returns to normal. However, to stimulate protein synthesis, a supply of amino acids is needed immediately after exercise or within 2 – 3 hours after exercise. Essential Amino Acids, will also assist in increasing muscle growth, decreasing muscle soreness, reducing exercise fatigue, prevention of muscle wasting and faster recovery. 

 

GRAND PHYSIQUE™ Intra-workout has both Essential Amino Acids to stimulate protein synthesis and isotonic drink to fuel your energy and rehydrate, for enhanced performance.

 

Enhance your performance by getting your Intra-workout now: health@grandphysique.com


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caffeine as a stimulant


CAFFEINE

 

Caffeine forms part of the ergogenic supplements we’ve discussed in the previous blog. If you haven’t read the blog yet, kindly do so, in order to get a brief introduction and definition of ergogenic supplements. Caffeine is widely used as a stimulant by athletes and sports men, it is also used for mental alertness by most people. Its effects have been proven by scientific research. It can be consumed as a supplement concentrate or obtained from foods such as; coffee, tea, guarana, mate and many other products in diluted/mild form.

 

Mechanism:

Stimulation of the central nervous system; heart, muscles and other blood pressure controlling centres. This will result in an increase in the release of endorphins by the brain, enhanced neuromuscular function, enhanced alertness and ease of physical or mental effort. This will result in an improved endurance exercise capacity.

 

Usage:

As a concentrated form (anhydrous powder/supplement), 3 – 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight can be consumed approximately 60 minutes before exercise. If you weight 75 kg, this would mean: 225 mg – 450 mg of caffeine, (Check dosage and quantity on supplement facts). Depending on the type of coffee you take, this could be 2.5 – 4.5 cups of coffee.

 

Larger doses of caffeine can result in negative side-effects like: nausea, anxiety, insomnia and restlessness. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, resulting in an increase in the flow of urine to a small extent.

 

Email: health@grandphysique.com for more.



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physical exercise performance enhancing supplements

ERGOGENIC SUPPLEMENTS 

Unlike dietary supplements which are mainly to improve health and wellbeing, ergogenic supplements are meant to enhance physical exercise performance. To be certain that a supplement enhances performance it should be scientifically proven, legal and must have clear instructions for using. There are many supplements on the market claiming to be ergogenic, however, they do not have any proven enhancing evidence. Be critical when opting to use ergogenic supplements.

One of the effective proven ergogenic supplement is Creatine. 

Creatine is one of the most popular sports supplement. It is widely used and has been scientifically researched for many years. Its effects are proven. Creatine loading can significantly enhance performance of repeated high-intensity exercises, including team sports. Creatine loading can also enhance the long-term effects of resistance or interval training exercises, resulting in an increase of lean muscle gains, muscular strength and power.

Mechanism:

Supplementing with creatine increases muscle creatine stores, this results in an increase in the rate of phosphocreatine re-synthesis, thereby improving the short-term, high-intensity exercise capacity and the ability to perform repeated sessions of high-intensity attempts.

Usage:

Creatine monohydrate must be loaded for a period of approximately 5 - 7 days (Loading Phase). Whereby, 20 grams will be consumed per day. After the loading phase, maintenance can be done by consuming 5 grams of creatine per day, for the duration of the supplementation period.

An important thing to note, is that after the loading phase you will experience at least 1 – 2 kg weight gain as a result of increased water retention by the body. To avoid water retention creatine HCl can be consumed instead of creatine monohydrate.

 

At GRAND PHYSIQUE™ we supply pure micronized creatine monohydrate. Get in touch by sending an email to health@grandphysique.com for more information.

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importance of vitamins and minerals _ and RDA

MICRONUTRIENTS 

Micronutrients refers to Vitamins (Organic Compounds) and Minerals (Inorganic Compounds). They are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs. However, compared to Macronutrients, your body needs micronutrients in smaller quantities, approximately 1 gram per day or just slightly more. 

Minerals have major role in bone and teeth structure, heart rhythm, muscle contraction and oxygen transport. While, Vitamins are necessary for catalytic chemical processes, energy metabolism, and for enzyme and hormone function.

Vitamins and Minerals are not broken down by the body, like macronutrients. They can be lost from the body via urine, sweat, faeces, or bleeding. A healthy micronutrient status is required, especially if you are an athlete or involved in physical exercise training, to avoid getting ill and to facilitate sports related body functions. 

MICRONUTRIENT INTAKE (RISK OF DEFICIENCY) 

Not all micronutrients consumed are taken up by your body. The balance between intake and excretion determines the micronutrient status in your body. Our bodies require micronutrients for growth, adaptation, metabolism, tissue repair and maintenance. These factors are significantly higher if you are an athlete or involved in high intensity physical exercise training. A poor diet will result in deficiencies. Examples are: a diet low in energy will result in lower body weight, while an unbalanced diet can result in very low fat.

HOW MICRONUTRIENTS ARE LOST BY OUR BODIES

Sweating:

Vitamins and minerals like, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, sodium, vitamin C & B, are lost via sweating. The amount lost varies per individual and environment conditions. For example, if you are in a very humid environment which causes you to sweat more, you will lose more micronutrients.

Foot Strike Haemolysis:

This is caused by the repeated and forceful impact of feet with the ground, a known problem amongst long distance runners.

Trauma:

This is mainly blood loss, because of an accident or other incidents.

Inflammation:

Inflammation can be caused by certain high intensity exercises. Inflammation will reduce the absorption of iron by the body, resulting in low iron levels. 

Indoor Training:

Indoor training or spending most of your time indoors can result in vitamin D deficiency, because of the lack of sun exposure. 

IMPORTANT MICRONUTRIENTS & SOURCES 

Iron:

Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent deficiencies in athletes. Iron is important for general health and sport performance. Other major functions of iron include; cellular processes and oxygen transport in the blood. 

Iron can be obtained by regular balanced diet including meat, cereals and beans. Iron deficiency result in fatigue, loss of power, shortness of breath, and impaired sport performance. People with anemia are more likely to experience iron deficiency. 

Magnesium:

Magnesium is important for energy metabolism, protein synthesis, glucose metabolism and it is a calcium opponent. It can be obtained from rich green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts and fish. Daily recommended allowance (RDA) for males is 420 mg and 320 mg for females. 

High sweating, poor diet, use of medicine, alcoholism, intestinal disorders, and renal losses can result in magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are: under-performance, weakness, muscle twitches, restlessness, and low calcium levels. 

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is crucial for optimal bone health, muscle function, uptake of calcium, immune function, and protein synthesis. It can be obtained from direct sunlight and diet, including fatty fish, butter and supplements.

Deficiency of vitamin D will result in poor sport performance, bone health, immunity and muscle power. Athletes require a higher consumption or absorption of vitamin D.   

Calcium:

Calcium is required for optimal bone health and muscle function. It can be obtained from food sources like, dairy products and vegetables. 

Deficiency of calcium can result in bone fracture. Children and the elderly require more calcium (1300 mg per day) and RDA for adults is 1000 mg. 

Vitamin B

Vitamin B is important in maintaining cell health and providing energy. There are different types of vitamin B, with specific roles. Regular exercise training may increase the need for vitamin B. Deficiency will result from; diet with restricted energy and diet low in dairy or meat. High intensity exercise will be an issue if one has vitamin B deficiency.  

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Function includes, metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein. It can be obtained from food sources like; whole grains, pork, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. RDA is 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Important for electron transfer for ATP formation. Food sources include; milk and dairy products, whole gains and eggs. RDA for women is 1.1 mg and 1.3 mg for men.

Vitamin B6: Functions as a co-factor for enzymes in protein and glycogen breakdown. Food sources are, meat, fish, bananas, whole grains and nuts. RDA for adults is 1.3 mg. 

Vitamin B11 (Folic Acid): Functions include; DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and red blood cell formation. Food sources are; green leafy vegetables, nuts, liver and grains. RDA is 400 micro-grams.

Vitamin B12: Important for red blood cells formation. Food sources are; meat, fish, eggs, milk and milk products. RDA is 2.4 micro-grams. 

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MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS

 

Did you know that our muscles are renewed everyday at a speed of 1% per day? This means a new muscle is created in roughly 3 months. New muscle proteins are formed from their building blocks, amino acids.

During exercise, protein is broken down in our muscles. After exercise, protein synthesis is stimulated, and protein breakdown returns to normal. However, to stimulate protein synthesis, a supply of amino acids is needed immediately after exercise or within 2 – 3 hours after exercise.

Do you know how many muscles we have? We have a staggering 600 muscles and 300 pairs of muscles. Protein is the main nutrient to support muscle mass and function.

Our body continuously breaks down protein and synthesize it. To replace the protein, which is lost by breakdown, we must ingest protein via diet. Depending on your body weight, recommendations for protein requirements are different and expressed as gram of protein per body weight per day. Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein intake is 0.80 g per kg body weight per day. So, if you weigh 60 kg this would mean you require: (0.80 g x 60 kg = 48 g of protein per day). For athletes and bodybuilders or people involved in strength training, the RDA is 1.2 g per kg body weight for maintenance and up to 2.0 g per kg body weight during periods of intense training.

Optimizing Skeletal Muscle Adaptation

To optimize the benefits of protein and muscle synthesis, you must know when to consume protein, which type of protein source to consume and how much of it. 

Research indicates that consuming 15 – 25 grams of protein early after exercise is optimum for muscle protein synthesis. Ingesting higher amino acids/protein does not have an impact on muscle protein synthesis. Exercise enhances muscle protein synthesis for up to 24 hours after exercise. To take advantage of the enhancement and optimization, you must ingest 20 grams of protein every 4 – 6 hours.

High Quality Protein Sources

FOOD SOURCES: Lean meat, Dairy, Soy, Eggs and other plant-based proteins.

PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS (Convenient option): Whey Concentrate and Isolate, Whey Hydrolysate, Casein, Brach-chained Amino Acids (BCAA).

For athletes consuming 20 grams of protein before going to bed, offers a window of opportunity to enhance muscle protein synthesis. This will make sure our body has enough supply of protein when we are asleep for synthesis.

For more on protein sources check out our previous Blog on Macronutrients, to obtain high quality supplements please contact us, email: health@grandphysique.com  


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Benefits of carbohydrates during long endurance exercise


UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS AND UTILIZATION OF CARBOHYDRATES DURING EXERCISE

When it comes to physical activity, carbohydrates are the dominant energy source. If you are involved in endurance exercise or long and intensive training, intake of carbohydrates will have a tremendous effect on your performance.

Carbohydrates are stored in small amounts in our body and can run empty 60 – 90 minutes during or after exercise. Ingesting carbohydrates before or during exercise will preserve the body stores of carbohydrates and utilize the carbohydrates ingested directly for energy. This will enhance exercise performance.  

Did you know that, by just rinsing your mouth with a carbohydrate solution, your performance improves? This has been scientifically proven. The phenomenon is called: “Mouth Rinsing Effect.” It doesn’t provide real energy, but the feeling of more energy. This can be highly beneficial when on a low carbohydrate diet or when ingestion of carbohydrates is limited during exercise training or competition.

When carbohydrates are ingested, they are oxidized in your muscles as glucose. During exercise your body has a limit (ceiling) to oxidizing the amount of glucose which is ingested. Ingesting more carbohydrates will result in no extra benefits and might even cause gastrointestinal problems. The body absorption limits of carbohydrates (glucose) during exercise is 1.0 grams per minute or 60 grams per hour. Knowing this and utilizing it during exercise training or long endurance workout is crucial and beneficial for your performance.

However, there is a way scientifically proven in which you can exceed the 1.0 g/min limit. This can be done by consuming carbohydrates composed of glucose and fructose in a 2:1 ratio (60 g glucose and 30 g fructose), in multiple small ingestions. Ingesting this ratio will increase the body absorption limit to 1.5 grams per minute. This is crucial for endurance athletes and it is what they use to improve their performance during training and competition.

Carbohydrates Sources For when Exercising

  • Drinks (100 g carbs per litre)

      Carbohydrates (energy) drinks have the benefits of being quickly emptied in stomach, are directly available for oxidation, will provide fluid and additional nutrients. They are convenient.

  • Gels 

     Gels are highly concentrated and can be provided in sachets of 25 g carbs. The drawback of gels is slower emptying and delayed absorption.

  • Food

     Food is a very good source of carbohydrates, tastes nice and will provide other nutrients. However, other ingredients in food or types of food will affect the GI function, thereby,  lowering the emptying of food in stomach and limiting absorption and availability.

Timing Carbohydrates Intake when/during Exercise

  • If you are going to perform a long intense exercise (over 90 minutes), start consuming carbohydrates immediately. You can consume 90 g of carbs per hour, using the 2:1 ratio of glucose and fructose.
  • If you are going to exercise for 45 – 90 minutes, carbohydrates are less of a concern. You can consume a little to improve performance.
  • If exercise is less than 45 minutes, carbohydrates are not necessary, you can use the “Mouth Rinsing Effect”, to give a feeling of more energy. 

GRAND PHYSIQUE™ Intra-workout has isotonic drink and added carbohydrates to fuel your energy and rehydrate, for enhanced performance. Email: health@grandphysique.com for more information. 


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fat burning strategies blog


STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE FAT OXIDATION

Fat oxidation means; the ability of your body to burn fat or utilise fat as energy source instead of carbohydrates. The benefits for this are, weight loss, reduction in body fat and increase in lean mass. But how can you achieve this?

There are many supplements on the market which claim to increase fat oxidation. These include: Caffeine, Carnitine, Green tea, Guarana, Asian ginseng and many more. But do they work? There is scientific research on most of these supplements indicating the ones which have an effect and those which don’t. Many of these claims don’t have scientific backing. To find out about which ones have an effect, email: health@grandphysique.com 

Exercise Training for Fat Oxidation

Exercise training improves capacity of muscle to oxidise fat. After training your body will rely more on fat oxidation. During exercise, the intensity of the training will determine the rate of fat oxidation. Scientific studies have indicated that moderate high intensity exercise is optimal intensity for fat oxidation. This is 62% – 65% of VO2max for well-trained athletes and around 50% VO2max for less trained individuals. Moderate high intensity exercise means: your breathing rapidly increases, but you’re not running out of breath, you start sweating at 8 – 10 minutes, you can carry on a conversation, but you cannot sing at this rate. For effective fat loss, I would suggest a moderate high intensity exercise for a duration of 30 minutes. 

Diet for Fat Oxidation

Another important factor for maximising fat oxidation is diet. A diet high in carbohydrates, will reduce the ability of your body to burn fat. A diet low in carbohydrates will increase fat oxidation. This is a so called; High-fat-low-carb diet. When consuming a high-fat-low-carb diet, your body will rely more on fat oxidation as energy source, because your carbohydrates are low. This, however, takes 7 – 10 days for your body to adapt to the new diet. When you are on a high-fat-low-carb diet it will become challenging for you to do a high intensity aerobic exercise, because your immediate fuel source (carbohydrates are low), your performance will be reduced. Therefore, it is advised to stick to low intensity exercise if you are on a high-fat-low-fat diet.

Another factor which can aid in increasing fat oxidation is training in the morning with an empty stomach. This will cause your body to utilise stored fat as energy source, which will result in weight loss, reduced body fat and increase in lean mass.  


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Nutrition for your body and wellbeing


MACRONUTRIENTS


The term Macronutrients or Macros is frequently used in losing or gaining weight, building muscles or just living healthy. If you are new to eating healthy and achieving body goals, you might have come across the term. But what does it mean? What do you need to know about it? How can it help you reach your body goals? What are the benefits?  

To begin with the definition: Macronutrients are nutrient/food sources your body requires in large amounts for daily functions like; energy, muscle/tissue and cell building and recovery, and many other internal functions. Macronutrients are CARBOHYDTARES, PROTEIN AND FATS. Each have their functions and mechanism. I will describe each Macronutrient in detail below and give examples, benefits, as well as recommendations to assist you in achieving your body goals and overall wellbeing.

 

PROTEIN

Protein is an essential macronutrient for your body. It makes up the building block for major organs, muscles, skin and hormones. Your muscles need protein to repair and grow. Protein has many other benefits like:  

  •  Reduction of appetite and hunger levels.
  •  Increase in muscle mass and strength.
  • Enhances metabolism
  •   Enhances fat burning.
  • Good for bones.
 

Your body also uses more energy to breakdown/digest protein, which assists in burning fat.

The following are great sources of protein:

  •   Lean meat and poultry: (Chicken fillet/breast, Beef, Turkey, Fish, Egg whites, Game meat, etc.)
  •  Supplements: (Whey concentrate and isolate protein powder, Casein protein powder, Plant based protein powder, Branched chained amino acids (BCAAs).
  •   Some grains and beans are also good sources of protein; however, they also contain carbohydrates, therefore, you must be careful with overall portion size. These are: lentils, black beans, red kidney beans, quinoa and more.

For simplicity, please focus on the top two sources of protein (Lean mean, poultry and supplements.

In general, and as a rule of thumb always make sure you consume at least 20 g of protein with every meal of your day (breakfast, lunch and supper). With supplements it will be easier to measure 20 g, but with meat u can use the palm of your hand to estimate portion size, with eggs you can consume 2 whole eggs and 3 egg whites. So, make sure there is a source of protein in all the meals you consume.

 

CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates are complex, they are simply sugars and starches found in fruits, vegetables and grains. For simplicity we will separate carbohydrates into good ones and bad ones. This is based on the glycemic index (GI) ranking of the carbohydrates. It is a relative ranking used for carbohydrates, on how they affect your blood glucose/sugar levels. Low GI carbohydrates (<55>55) carbohydrates are the opposite of low GI carbohydrates.  

Don’t be frightened by the technical terms, I will simplify it to basic terms everyone is familiar with.

The following are sources of carbohydrates:

Good Carbohydrates

Wholefoods (whole-wheat, bran, rye), brown rice, oats, sweet potatoes (yam), green leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, peas etc.). As well as all fruits in moderation (1 fruit a day is enough).

Bad Carbohydrates

Highly processed foods: white bread, baked goods (cake and biscuits), sweets, chocolates (except for dark chocolate in moderation), pizza, white pasta, high sugar cereals. 

In general, and as a rule of thumb consume 30 – 40 g of good carbohydrates with all your meals. For example, this means 2 slices of whole wheat or rye bread, 1 medium sized sweet potato, half a cup of oats or brown rice.

ESSENTIAL/GOOD FAT

Yes, fat is essential. Like carbohydrates, there are good and bad fats. Without going into the technicalities, I will just give examples of good and bad fat.

Good Fat

Good fats are called unsaturated fats in scientific terms. They are liquid at room temperature and have the following benefits:

  •   Improve blood cholesterol levels.
  •  Decrease inflammation.
  •   Stabilize heart rhythm.

These can be found in foods like nuts (almond, pecan, hazel, peanut), avocado, oils (canola, olive), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, chai, flax) and fish.

Bad Fat

Bad fats are called saturated fats in scientific terms. They are found in all animal foods and few plant foods like palm kernel and palm oil.

Bad fats can be found in the following foods: Animal products (sausages, bacon, hamburgers, salami, pork, beef), cookies and desserts (baked goods), pizza and cheese, fried chicken, butter and dairy products.

It is always best to consume good fats, however, we cannot avoid consuming bad fats completely (unless one becomes vegan), as we consume them in meat and dairy products, which is why you must make sure you eat lean meat (which has less bad fat) and avoid deep fried foods, desserts and snacks.

In general, and as a rule of thumb make sure you consume 10 – 20 g of fat with every meal you consume. This is 10 – 15 almond nuts, half an avocado, handful seeds, or 2 whole eggs.


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balanced diet, specific nutrition and supplements


Nutrition plays a significant role on your Fitness and Performance. This pyramid is the ultimate guide to taking care of your Nutrition and Well-being. It is Scientifically proven, and it is what top athletes and sportsmen always use to stay on top of the game. I strongly recommend it for you as well, it will elevate your well-being significantly.

 

The most important part on the Pyramid is the BALANCED DIET, this is the foundation of Wellness and Performance. It supports healthy and active lifestyle, will provide enough energy for all needs, adequate Macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates & Fat), fluids and Micronutrients (Vitamins & Minerals). Make sure your Balanced Diet is varied.

 

The second most important is SPECIFIC NUTRITION. These are food products which provide immediate and direct macronutrients (Convenience). For example: Protein bars, Shakes, Energy gels & bars etc. These will help in optimising Performance & Recovery, will provide macronutrients and fluid. They will also assist in meeting your training goals. The key here is CONVENIENCE. Timing of nutrient intake is Crucial, especially when Training or Competing.  

 

The last one is SUPPLEMENTS. These are mainly to supplement your existing Balanced Diet. They should not be your main focus if already having a varied Balanced Diet. Supplements will give you the FINAL WINNING EDGE, it’s like icing on the cake! If you going to take Supplements, be Critical, Supplements should be backed-up by Science. Always, remember; when it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t true.

 

Send us an email or WhatsApp text to find out more about BALANCED DIET, SPECIFIC NUTRITION & SUPPLEMENTS, we would like to assist and hear from you.


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Did you know that your body uses different energy systems to metabolize energy during training or sports?

The energy system your body uses, depends on the type of exercise/training you are doing or the type of athlete you are. For example, if you are a weightlifter you perform a lot of power movements, therefore, your body will use immediate phosphagen system to metabolize energy. If you are an endurance athlete, you perform based on the cardiovascular & respiratory system, therefore your body will use long-term aerobic system.

Knowing which system your body mostly uses, based on your training can assist you in determining the right supplements to improve your performance. Find out which system your body uses by sending us an email on our contacts.