|Ice cold baths are retarded. A cosy hot tub and a cup of coffee make a way better peak conditioning strategy.|
Even in the absence of additional caffeine ingestion the latter increases the amount of circulating free fatty acids by 52% (80% with caffeine) with the ~200-300mg of caffeine before the bath it almost doubles the amount of free fatty acids and increases the circulating leptin levels by 28% (vs. 5.6% w/out caffeine).
Whether the significantly more pronounced reduction in waist circumference (8.9mm vs 6.7mm) Tae-Wook Kim & Jeong-Beom Lee observed in their 9 male subjects (age ~26y; BF% 20%; no habitual caffeine consumers) is yet a result of real fat loss, remains highly questionable. However, even if that's not the case sitting in a hot tub after having a large cup of coffee would still qualify as a potentially valuable peak-conditioning technique before a contest or photo shoot - or, for the less ambitious, before the high school reunion or the a first date ;-)
Aerobic workouts for a better mood(Buscombe. 2013) You know these drill instructor classes, where the mostly female participants get their more or less over- and under-sized butts kicked ending up either severely overtrained or chit-chatting with the lady next to them? Yeah, I see - you know exactly what I am talking about ;-)
I guess Richard M. Buscombe and Helen Inskip from the University of London won't like my prelude to their study and there is in fact nothing bad about doing aerobic session like the ones in the Buscombe study, but both, the effects on body composition are about as intensity dependent as the affective changes, Buscome & Inskip measured in their study.
|Figure 1: Psychological and physiological effect of 40 min or aerobics at different intensity (Buscombe. 2013)|
"there was a positive pretest-to-posttest shift in the FS scores, irrespective of the intensity of exercise [and that this] finding supports existing literature advocating the role exercise plays in contributing to positive affective change" (Buscombe. 2013)Still, in this group of 15 women (medium age 35.08) who think of themselves that they are "fit" or "highly fit", the high intensity (complete routine performed matched to a music with a 140bpm speed) has the greatest reward effect (pre- vs. post).
|You have no idea, why I am mentioning the speed of the music here? Read up on the "Accustic Gear" post from 2011 (read more) and the corresponding research overview from April 2013 (learn more) to understand why the rhythm and tempo of the music matters.|
"[t]he participants were instructed that they could add or take away levels from their 'Step' aerobics box, as appropriate [and were allowed] alter the intensity of their session at any stage throughout the course" (Buscombe. 2013)would be the preferable way to exercise on a regular basis - also, or rather especially because it does not entail the same risk of overtraining as the "push yourself to the limits" high intensity pattern.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is the fact that not everyone is as willing and able to push him-/herself, when he or she is told that it was not necessary. For less ambitious individuals, the "self-paced" workout may thus well end up mirroring the low intensity routine, in the course of which the participants used only small body movements and minimized any lifting or propulsion actions, performing their workout in sync with a 125 bpm music.
Detrimental effects of vitamin D deficiency on the heart accumulate with time(Assalin. 2013) I know that I am already notorious for being the "anti vitamin D guy", but that is about as overgeneralized as the notion that everyone must be taking at least 4k of vitamin D per day. People who have been following the SuppVersity for some time now will be aware that I have always maintained that you go and check your vitamin D levels, supplement, if necessary and re-check after 3-4 months. After all, we all know how detrimental it is to be in a state of full-blown deficiency....
What we did not know - at least up to a couple of days ago, was how "fast" the detrimental effects of vitamin D deficiency can become potentially life-threatening. At least for rodents a recent study from the São Paulo State University in Botucatu, Brazil, fills this important knowledge gap.
- lower beta-hydroxyacyl coenzyme-A dehydrogenase activity and higher lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, as well as
- increased cytokines release, oxidative stress, apoptosis and fibrosis and
- left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and lower fractional shortening and ejection fraction
Bottom line: Given the fact that the animals in the study did not consume any vitamin D and were - due to being exposed to evanescent (non-UV) light unable to produce even minimal amounts of vitamin D, the study results confirm that you can survive without supplements for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, they underline the importance of getting your vitamin D levels checked regularly. After all, we do as of yet have no idea to predict, where you as an individual are on the 25OHD spectrum ranging from deficient to over the tops - for some it may suffice to get regular sun exposure in the summer, for others 5,000IU of D + sunlight may still not suffice to keep their levels in the normal range: Don't be cheap! Get your levels checked.
What's the best diet to induce metabolic syndrome? The SAD diet!(Pranpawit. 2013) The research design of the latest study from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at the Massey University looks like Araya Pranprawit, Frances M. Wolber, Julian A. Heyes, Abdul L. Molan and Marlena C. Kruger wanted to participate in a competition, where those researchers win whose rodents gain the maximal amount of weight in the minimal amount of time. I mean, if you put the little critter on either
- control: 23% protein, 12% fat, 55% starch, 11% sugar
- high sugar (HS): 22% protein, 18% fat, 60% sugar
- high fat (HF): 16% protein, 60% fat, 20% starch, 4% sugar
- high fat + high sugar (HFHS): 19% pro, 40% fat, 41% sugar
While the rodents in the HFHS and the HS diets consumed about the same amount of fat, those who had been randomized to the high fat (only; HF) diet obviously did not really enjoy their chow. At least weight-wise these rodents consumed significantly less food than their peers and still gained (due to the high energetic density of the chow) significantly more weight than the rodents in the "pure sugar" (HS) diet (see figure 3).
Since published data with regards to diet‐induced metabolic syndrome in the SD rat model remain inconsistent, it is hypothesized that different types and amounts of diet as well as the period of time the animals are exposed to the experimental diet may significantly affect metabolic parameters in SD rats. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to compare the effects of consuming diets high in saturated fat, high in sucrose, and the combination of high saturated fat plus high sucrose, for a short time (4 weeks) and a long time (8 weeks), on selected markers related to metabolic syndrome in order to identify the optimal diet and experimental period for establishing metabolic disorder in the SD rat model (Pranpawit. 2013)
Image from NYC Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene: The words on this poster from a 2009 campaign in the NY subway must be taken literally (learn why)!
|Figure 3: Weight and fat gain, as well as changes in Homa-IR (insulin resistance) and serum cholesterol; * indicates expressed in reference to control group at 2 weeks (Pranpawit. 2013)|
Somewhat surprisingly, none of the test groups differed from CONT as far as the weights of liver, kidney, pancreas, or caecum (data not shown) are concerned. The only, yet statistically non-significant difference was a "tendency for an increase in pancreas size with body weight" (Pranpawit. 2013). Moreover, rats on fat‐containing diets had markedly heavier abdominal white adipose tissues compared to CONT and this effect was unsurprisingly greater after 8 weeks on the diet compared to 4 weeks.
"In all groups, fasting glucose, insulin concentrations (and insulin resistance (HOMA‐IR index) significantly increased between the 4 week and 8 week time points (p = 0.05; data not shown), indicating that these parameters increase with age regardless of diet. At 4 weeks, test diets had no effect on fasting glucose compared to CONT. HS, HF, and HSHF slightly elevated insulin and HOMA‐IR (Fig. 1). At 8 weeks, glucose was slightly elevated in test groups compared to CONT. HS had no measurable effect on insulin or HOMA‐IR, while HF slightly increased and HFHS strongly increased these parameters, although this did not reach statistical significance." (Pranpawit. 2013)
SAD, but true: "Human Study Shows: Three Days on "High Fat" Standard American Diet Produce Heart Healthier LDL Particle Profile Than NCEP Approved Low Fat Diet" (read more).
What's certainly interesting and an observation that flys right in the face of the generally held believe that it was the dietary fat that would precipitate to a messed up cholesterol metabolism is the fact that the rodents in the HS group showed elevated circulating cholesterol levels, as well. The often touted effect of sugar on the elevation of triglycerides, on the other hand, was absent unless the rodents received additional fat in their so that the combination of exogenous and endogenously produced (by fatty acid synthesis) fat reached a level that could not be compensated for by an increase in fat storage and/or oxidation.
|Suggested read: "Standard Am. Diet Has 'Optimal' Fatty Acid Ratio to Induce Diabesity. Plus: Doubling SFA Would Yield More Benefits Than Halving Them" (read more)|
If we had to pick a "winner" to be awarded the grand prize for the most metabolically damaging diet it would thus (without question) be the high fat + high sugar diet, which does - not much to your surprise as I would get - actually show a high resemblance to the SAD diet with a relatively high content of saturated and omega-6 fatty acids (from lard, in the case of the study at hand) and tons of simple sugar. The high fat (only) diet and the high sugar (only) diet, on the other hand lead to obesity and insulin resistance, respectively - both did thus fail to induce the key features of the metabolic syndrome, the presence both.
That's it for today and aside from the obligatory information that you can find addition real short (and I mean "short" as in few words) short news on www.facebook.com/SuppVersity, e.g.
Most nuts deliver way less energy than the label or calorie tables tell you - for almonds, for example it's ~35% less (learn more)
- The verdict on nuts: Not only are nuts not fattening, a recent meta review suggests that incorporating them into your diet may even yield reductions in BMI and more important waist circumference (read more)
- Stupid fools! "Reduced fat" labels are a signal to overeat... well, sort of at least the average customer is more likely to overeat, when the label tells him/her "this food is not as bad as the real deal" (read more)
- Assalin HB, Rafacho BP, Dos Santos PP, Ardisson LP, Roscani MG, Chiuso-Minicucci F, Barbisan LF, Fernandes AA, Azevedo PS, Minicucci MF, Zornoff LA, Rupp de Paiva SA. Impact of the Length of Vitamin D Deficiency on Cardiac Remodeling. Circ Heart Fail. 2013 May 24.
- Buscombe RM, Inskip H. Affective change as a function of exercise intensity in a group aerobics class. Journal of Exercise, Science & Fitness. 2013 [epub ahead of print]
- Pranprawit A, Wolber FM, Heyes JA, Molan AL, Kruger MC. Short-term and long-term effects of excessive consumption of saturated fats and/or sucrose on metabolic variables in Sprague Dawley rats: A pilot study. J Sci Food Agric. 2013 May 24.