|Weights are better than pills, but in some cases, they can also work synergistically.|
- Tart cherry powder as anti-oxidant immuno-protector - Scientists from the Texas A&M University reported at the Eleventh International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference and Expo that the provision of tart cherries, not as whole fruits, but in 480 mg capsules that contained a freeze dried powder (one capsule daily), for 10 days leading up to a half-marathon, the 27 endurance trained or triathlete (21.8±3.9 yr, 15.0±6.0%
body fat, 67.4±11.8 kg) men (n=18) and women (n=9) completed in less than one hour lead to a significant reduction of the immune response to exercise. In particular, the statistical analyses of the data revealed a...
"[...] significant group x time quadratic effect [...] for WBC [white blood cell count] (p=0.034) [and] a trend toward a significant delta value based on group assignment for WBC (p=0.09)" (Goodenough. 2014).In spite of the fact that the mitigated immune response following exercise did, as Goodenough et al. point out "correlate with the decreased catabolic response indicated by BUN/Cr ratio and cortisol levels reported in a companion abstract", and notwithstanding the results of a similar study which found that
"acute supplementation with powdered tart cherries over the 7 days leading up to, during, and 2 days after intense resistance exercise helps to minimize post-training perceptions of pain in the most biomechanically loaded regions of the quadriceps muscle group associated with the back squat compared to a placebo" (Levers. 2014),the overall benefits are probably negligible for normal trainees. For training junkies and professional athletes, though, the ameliorated stress and immune response, as well as a minor decrease in pain may yet be good reasons to give tart cherry supplements a try.
|Homebrew blackberry "supplement" inhibits lipid oxidation.|
- Ursolic acid or leucine, what's more anabolic on paper? Yes, there is a good reason I underlined the words "on paper". Why? Well, the experiment David Church, Neil Schwarz, Mike Spillane, Sarah McKinley, Tom Andre and Darryn S Willoughby conducted may employ a randomized, cross-over design, but still investigated only the acute effects of 3g leucine (LEU), ursolic acid (UA) or placebo on IGF-1 (a serum regulator of MPS) and the Akt/mTOR pathway.
The 9 apparently healthy, resistance-trained [regular, consistent resistance training (i.e. thrice weekly) for at least 1 year prior to the onset of the study] men between the ages of 18-30 who had volunteered to participate in this study consumed the supplements immediately afer a lower-body resistance exercise that involved 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions at 75-80% 1-RM on the angled leg press and knee extension exercises. A venous blood sample was obtained before, and 0.5, 2, and 6 hr post-exercise, whereas a vastus lateralis muscle biopsy was obtained before and 2 and 6 hr post-exercise.
Figure 1: the results of the ursolic acid vs. leucine comparison are not exactly exciting (Church. 2014).
The only significant difference the researchers observed was a significant increase in phosphorylated mTOR in response to the 3g of leucine compared to UA and PLC (p = 0.001).
- Ursolic acid: Different study different outcome - In the defense of ursolic acid it should yet be mentioned that Hyun Seok Bang et al. recently found that the chronic supplementation with 3x450mg/day of ursolic acid lead to concomittant increases in serum irisin and muscle strength, as well as impressive reductions in bod fat in twenty-four Korean men with over 3 years of resistance training experience.
Figure 2: Changes in body composition (left) and IGF-1 & irisin levels (right) in response to 8 weeks of resistance training + placebo or resistance training + 3x450mg/day of ursolic acid (Bang. 2014).
- Bang, Hyun Seok, et al. "Ursolic Acid-Induced Elevation of Serum Irisin Augments Muscle Strength During Resistance Training in Men." The Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology 18.5 (2014): 441-446.
- Church, David, et al. "A comparison of the effects of ursolic acid and l-leucine supplementation on IGF-1 receptor and AKT-mTOR signaling in response to resistance exercise in trained men." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11.Suppl 1 (2014): P19.
- Goodenough, C., et al. "Powdered tart cherry supplementation mitigates the post-exercise immune response with reduction in total antioxidant status and serum triglyceride levels following an acute bout of intense endurance exercise." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11.Suppl 1 (2014): P34.
- Levers, K., et al. "Powdered tart cherry supplementation demonstrates benefit on markers of catabolism and muscle soreness following an acute bout of intense lower body resistance exercise." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11.Suppl 1 (2014): P31.
- Niloofari, A., Et Al. "Responses Of Oxidative Stress Indices To Resistance Exercise After Blackberry Extract Supplementation." IJBPAS 3.12 (2014): 2798-2810.