Endurance Training Programs
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate (HMB) is a by-product of metabolism of the amino acid leucine. Studies have indicated that resistance training combined with HMB supplementation increases muscle strength and lean-muscle mass, and decreases muscle damage and breakdown compared to resistance training alone. In addition, lean-muscle gain was shown to be correlated directly with increasing dosages of HMB.27 Some studies have suggested that this effect is more pronounced in individuals who have not undergone prior endurance training.28,29 In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients with HIV-related muscle wasting were supplemented with a combination of HMB, glutamine, and arginine for eight weeks. At eight weeks, the subjects consuming the treatment mixture gained body weight predominantly as lean body mass compared with the placebo-supplemented subjects who lost lean mass.30 A typical dosage of HMB is 3 g per day, in divided doses.
Because of this uncertainty, some researchers speculate that the glutamine hypothesis explains immune function decline in relation to stressful conditions adequately, but low plasma levels following exercise do not entirely explain postexercise immunodeficiency.13 Despite these findings, the literature is full of evidence that supports the need for exogenous glutamine supplementation in maintaining immune function in very ill patients and the utility of this amino acid in supporting muscle protein mass. When given to endurance athletes, glutamine was able to reduce the incidence of self-reported illness significantly.14 Immune function itself is a very broad term and, thus, simply stating that glutamine benefits the immune system is a very nonspecific claim. More research points to neutrophils as possible immune-system beneficiaries specific to glutamine supplementation.15 The majority of studies using glutamine for immunodeficient conditions used doses ranging from 3 to 6 g per day...
Creatine supplementation is believed to allow quicker renewal of ATP, improving high-intensity short-duration activity.24 Creatine also improves the nitrogen balance, which indicates that the body has sufficient protein for muscle growth. Skeletal muscle has a saturation limit for creatine. Patients are often given an initial high loading dose for five to seven days, which is then followed by a maintenance dosage schedule. Muscle mass gain resulting from creatine supplementation is believed to be caused by an increase in water retention. Studies show that creatine increases intracellular water, which is hypothesized to signal cells to increase protein synthesis.25 Studies also indicate that creatine plus endurance training increases lean-body mass. Creatine levels return to baseline levels after four weeks upon discontinuation of supplementation.26 Creatine is metabolized to creatinine and excreted by the kidneys. Caution is advised when considering creatine use in individuals with...
Supplementation increases strength and lean-muscle mass in individuals who are deficient in GH. However, studies are conflicting regarding the effects of supplementation for individuals with normal growth hormone levels. A study on endurance-trained adult males showed that GH supplementation caused a 50 decrease in leucine oxidation with exercise, which demonstrated the effects of GH on skeletal muscle.59 In addition, studies on elderly men show that GH injections increase lean-muscle mass and decrease fat mass more than strength training alone.60 Siberian ginseng Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is believed to stimulate protein building as well as stimulating the pituitary-adrenocortical axis.72 However, studies have not found supplementation to improve endurance or athletic performance in endurance-trained individuals.73
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