Women, Don’t Exercise Without a Pre-Workout

When it comes to exercise, chances are you’ve struggled at one time or another with motivation, focus, or even fatigue. Whether it’s one of these, or all the above, these pitfalls can be detrimental to your workout routine. The good news is a pre-workout supplement is one way to kick-start your exercise routine and get back on track.

But when it comes to pre-workout supplements, much of the research has been centered on men. So, are there any benefits for women who use a pre-workout supplement?

Recent research, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, highlights the benefits of a multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement for women. Scientists found that women who ingested a pre-workout drink containing ingredients such as beta-alanine, taurine, beet root extract, and caffeine, experienced increased endurance, aerobic capacity, metabolism, and focus.

Study Details

In the double-blind, crossover study, a group of 15 recreationally active women completed separate exercise sessions where they consumed a placebo or pre-workout drink. Following ingestion, participants completed a vertical jump test, muscular endurance tests including bench press and back squat exercises, and maximal sprint tests.

The researchers found that, following even just a single dose, a multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement led to increased upper body muscular endurance and increased focus. Subjects also had increases in resting energy expenditure and resting metabolism, without adverse effects on heart rate. Metabolic rate increased for up to 60 minutes after ingestion of the supplement.

These findings support the use of multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements in women. Although much of the research on this subject has involved male subjects, this study shows that use of pre-workouts can be just as effective for women — improving their quality of exercise.

AMPED for Women

Isagenix offers two pre-workout products — AMPED™ Power and AMPED Nitro. Both multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements are available for female athletes looking to optimize their workouts. AMPED Power is formulated without the addition of caffeine, and AMPED Nitro contains naturally sourced caffeine for those looking for an extra boost. Both supplements contain creatine monohydrate, Nitrosigine®, and citrulline to help fuel a great workout.

The emerging research is clear – female athletes can benefit from the use of a pre-workout supplement., too.

Nitrosigine is a registered trademark of Nutrition 21, LLC and is patent protected.

Reference

Cameron M, Camic CL, Doberstein S, et al. The acute effects of a multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement on resting energy expenditure and exercise performance in recreationally active females. J Int Soc Sport Nutr. 2018 Jan 5; 15: 1.

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To Lose Body Fat, Don’t Skimp on Sleep

When your goal is to lose body fat, you’d expect to make changes to diet and exercise. But you might not think of factoring in sleep.

It’s time to wake up – or rather, go to sleep – because a lack of sleep might be the reason you’re not losing weight or ridding body fat as easily.

Even a moderate amount of sleep loss during the week is enough to prevent body fat loss. Worse yet, “catch-up” sleep on the weekend isn’t likely to completely reverse the havoc that moderate sleep loss during the week can cause your body.

In a study from Arizona State University, scientists found that when overweight individuals skimped out on sleep for just one hour for up to five nights per week, they lost less body fat during a structured weight loss program lasting eight weeks (1).

Moreover, no amount of “catch-up” sleep on their other two days was enough to reverse the effects of sleep loss throughout the week (1).

Sleep Loss Can Drastically Affect Your Physiology

In the study, the subjects who were sleep deprived lost about the same amount of total weight as compared to the control group following the same weight loss regimen. But their loss of less body fat was combined with more loss of lean body mass.

The findings suggest that sleep loss of just 60 minutes five days a week caused a shift in how the body responds to calorie restriction, including changing the balance of appetite hormones (leptin and ghrelin) as well as insulin sensitivity. The extra sleep the subjects received over the weekend didn’t have any overall effect on these differences.

Scientists have long known sleep loss can dramatically affect a person’s physiology. For example, previous studies evaluating sleep restriction found that it can alter the balance of hormones that are involved in controlling appetite, calorie intake, and metabolism (2-4).

These effects of sleep loss might also explain why observational research has shown that there’s a strong link between insufficient sleep and being overweight (1-4). Additionally, short-term studies have demonstrated that getting more sleep was positively associated with achieving success while on a weight loss regimen (1-4).

This new ASU study reported for the first time that moderate sleep restriction was enough to make an impact on body composition. Cutting back on calories is still what matters most for losing weight, but sleep may affect the overall quality of the total weight loss.

Saying Good Night to Hunger

Because hunger itself is a factor in interfering with sleep during a weight loss program, the study raises questions about the need for managing appetite during a weight loss period. Sleep restriction can also exacerbate the relevance of hunger and cravings.

The sleep-deprived subjects might’ve been inclined to eat more food beyond what they received as prepared lunches and dinners. The study also didn’t account for meal timing, which may itself have effects on metabolism.

Among the several strategies for managing hunger during a weight loss program is to adopt meal-timing strategies, such as the pacing of protein intake over the course of the day. Smart snacking and consuming protein at bedtime could also be important for improving the quality of sleep.

References

  1. Wang X, Sparks JR, Bowyer KP, Youngstedt SD. Influence of sleep restriction on weight loss outcomes associated with caloric restriction. Sleep [Internet]. 2018;1–11. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/sleep/advance-article/doi/10.1093/sleep/zsy027/4846324
  2. St-Onge MP. Sleep-obesity relation: underlying mechanisms and consequences for treatment. Obes Rev. 2017;18 (Suppl 1):34–39.
  3. Hibi M, et al. Effect of shortened sleep on energy expend- iture, core body temperature, and appetite: a human ran- domised crossover trial. Sci Rep. 2017;7:39640.
  4. Wang X, et al. Short-term moderate sleep restriction decreases insulin sensitivity in young healthy adults. Sleep Health.

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Strength Training Benefits Don’t Just Come from the Gym

When people think about exercising for health, the first thing that comes to mind is typically cardio exercises and lifting heavy weights at the gym.

However, as research is emerging on the benefits of strength training, new findings suggest that the advantages that come with strength training can happen outside a gym, using body weight exercises, for example.

Reductions in blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood glucose are all benefits of regular strength training (1). There’s evidence that the improvements seen are at least as significant as aerobic exercise. Yet, while the recommendations are to engage in at least two strength training episodes per week, researchers estimate only 9 percent of adults meet the recommendations (2).

Emerging Research

In a recent study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers followed up with more than 80 thousand adults, recruited over 30 years (3). The average length of follow-up was nine years. Researchers were interested in strength training exercise and how often, if at all, individuals participated in strength or resistance training exercises. They then calculated the risk of death according to how much and how often they exercised.

As it turns out, it doesn’t matter if strength training exercises are completed in a gym or in another setting so long as strength and resistance exercises were completed through the week. Adults who worked out in a gym averaged 60 minutes per week, while those working at home using body weight exercises averaged 50 minutes per week. Those who usually completed their training sessions in a gym reported using free weights or weight machines while those who worked out in other locations, their home or a park for example, primarily used body weight exercises. Not all participants met the guidelines for aerobic activity, but it turns out that had little effect on the overall results.

Participation in any form of strength training exercise was associated with a 31 percent lower risk of cancer mortality and a 23 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality – independent of whether the person met aerobic guidelines as well – versus adults who did not regularly participate in any form of strength training.

The results of this study are very encouraging for anyone who wants to work out at home or forego lifting the traditional weights and use the machines at the gym. Just incorporating an hour of strength training through the week is enough to promote health benefits.

PRISE Protocol

A good way to incorporate an hour of resistance training each week is by using the PRISE protocol developed by Paul Arciero, Ph.D. Strength training is part of Dr. Arciero’s recommended program, as the “R” stands for resistance training. Sessions should be approximately an hour long and consist of a dynamic warmup, footwork and agility exercises, lower and upper body resistance exercises, and core exercises. Exercises should cause muscular fatigue in 10-15 repetitions for 2-3 sets. Participants should take a 30-second rest between sets and a 60-second rest between different exercises.

References

  1. Westcott WL. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health. Curr Sport Med Rep. 2012 Jul/Aug; 11(4): 209-216. doi: 1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8.
  2. Kraschnewski JL, Sciamanna CN, Poger JM, et al. Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15 year cohort study of US older adults. Prev Med. 2016 Jun; 87: 121-127. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.02.038.
  3. Stamatakis E, Lee I, Bennie J, et al. Does strength promoting exercise confer unique health benefits? A pooled analysis of eleven population cohorts with all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality endpoints. Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Oct 31. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx345.

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