Athletic Performance (Endurance)

Adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP)

Studies have shown increases in muscular strength among athletes supplementing ATP. These effects are thought to be because of the increase in blood flow brought about by extracellular ATP, which allows more nutrients to accumulate near the exercising muscle, supplementing it with the oxygen, glucose and other essential nutrients it needs to keep working. The stimulation of blood flow also enhances the removal of waste products such as lactic acid and ammonia from the muscles. This speeds recovery, which may enable athletes to train harder. In one trial, the effects of oral ATP administration on 27 male bodybuilders aged 18-45 was assessed. Men who took a high dose (225 mg} of the supplement daily for two weeks were able to do 18.5% more reps than before they started the supplementation and total lifting volume increased by 704kg compared to an increase of 429kg in the placebo group.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQIO)

Strenuous physical activity lowers blood levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQIO). Studies show that supplementation with CoQIO improves workout capacity and oxygen transport in sedentary individuals. One study tested sedentary young men supplementing with 60 mg CoQIO daily and found improvements of 3-12% after 4 weeks. The addition of CoQIO to any sports programme would be additionally warranted, due to the fact that aerobic exercise accelerates free radical damage.

Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (gPLC)

In endurance exercise muscles, use both glycogen {stored blood sugar) and fatty acids as sources of fuel. ATP turnover in exercise happens at a high rate, making fatty acids the ideal fuel source because of their high yield of ATP. With training, athletes become more efficient at using fatty acids, in lieu of glycogen, although glycogen usage is always the rate-limiting factor determining ultimate energy production (i.e. once the glycogen stores run out, no more fatty acids can be used, even if they are available). Improving the efficiency of fatty acid metabolism is a major goal of the endurance athlete, and to this end gPLC would appear to be an appropriate recommendation. gPLC has a special affinity for the peripheral muscles. The combination of gPLC with CoQIO would be especially warranted for improving energy metabolism during exercise.

L-Glutamine

Glutamine has been shown to improve nitrogen balance, increase protein synthesis, and decrease muscle catabolism. Research also suggests that glutamine may elevate human growth hormone secretion. Since glutamine also plays a role in the integrity of the immune system by acting as a key substrate for both lymphocytes and macrophages, supplementing with glutamine may help keep the immune system strong and decrease the risk of infection during frequent, intense, or lengthy training sessions. Preliminary studies also indicate that glutamine may stimulate the accumulation of muscle glycogen, which could provide an added advantage for the endurance athlete, who relies heavily on glycogen stores for energy.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola has been shown to increase essential energy metabolites, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and creatine phosphate in the muscle and brain mitochondria. Several studies indicate benefits in endurance exercise as well as increased physical work capacity and dramatically shortened recovery time between bouts of highintensity exercise. In one study men given one dose of Rhodiola increased their work capacity on a cycle ergometer by 9% compared to a control group given a placebo.

Recovery in the Rhodiola group was also quicker than in controls. Rhodiola’s adaptogenic properties also make it especially relevant for athletes during intense training periods.

Athletic Endurance Summary

Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range

ATP (1)

Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (gPLC) (2)

L-Glutamlne (3)

Rhodiola rosea (4)

CoQIO (5)

1 25-300mg per day

500 – 2000mg per day (empty stomach)

500 – 5000mg per day (empty stomach)

250-lOOOmgperday

60 – 200mg per day

Reduce/avoid Increase

Saturated fats

Trans/hydrogenated fats

Refined/processed foods

Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages

Pesticide exposure

Artificial additives/preservatives

Complex carbohydrates

High quality proteins

Vegetables

Fruit

Nuts and seeds

Oily fish

Water

Lifestyle Factors

Build adequate rest time in training programme – avoid over-training

Ensure adequate sleep to aid recovery from intense training

Build up training slowly to allow for physical and physiological changes to keep up with exercise intensity

Ensure sufficient calorie intake to cover energy needs

Minimise impact of stress (Cortisol slows tissue repair, suppresses the immune system and promotes muscle protein breakdown)

Footnotes

1.. Use under medical supervision if taking Warfarin.

2. Concurrent use with prescription medication only under medical supervision.

3. High dosages of glutamine may affect anticonvulsant medication. Avoid if sensitive to monosodium glutamate or suffering kidney or liver problems

4. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation. Concurrent use with anti-depressant medication under medical supervision only.

5. Use under medical supervision if taking Warfarin as CoQIO reduces the effectiveness of Warfarin. Concurrent use with heart medication only under medical supervision.

Athletic Performance Overview

Nutrient/Herb

L-Arginine1 (1)

Typical intake range

10OP – 4000mg per day (empty stomach)

BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, valine) (2) 500 – 10OOmg of each per day

L-Glutamine (3) 500 – 5000mg per day (empty stomach)

Creatine (4) 1000-5000mg per day

L-Ornithine (5) 500 – 2000mg per day (empty stomach)

Phosphatidylserine (PS) 100 – 400mg per day (empty stomach)

Reduce/avoid

Saturated fats

Trans/hydrogen a ted fats

Refined/processed foods

Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages

Pesticide exposure

Artificial additives/preservatives

Increase

Complex carbohydrates

High quality proteins

Vegetables

Fruit

Nuts and seeds

Oily fish

Water

Lifestyle Factors

Build adequate rest time in training programme – avoid over-training

Ensure adequate sleep to aid recovery from intense training

Build up training slowly to allow for physical and physiological changes to keep up with exercise intensity

Ensure sufficient calorie “intake to cover energy needs

Minimise impact of stress (Cortisol slows tissue repair, suppresses the immune system and promotes muscle protein breakdown)

Footnotes

1. Arginine is not advised with NSAIDs, platelet inhibitors, alendronate, theophylline products, oral or injectable corticosteroids. Caution should he exercised with potassium sparing diuretics and ACE inhibitors. May increase absorption of Ibuprofen, may potentiate effect of impotence drugs.

Not to be taken by schizophrenics, pregnant or nursing women and those suffering renal or hepatic failure.

2. May interfere with levodopa and other anti-Parkinsons medications. Theoretically very high doses of BCAAs could interfere with the uptake of 1-phenylalanine and 1-ryrosinc into the brain.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid BCAA supplementation.

3. High dosages of glutamine may affect anticonvulsant medication. Avoid if sensitive to monosodium glutamatc or suffering kidney or liver problems

4. Individuals with kidney disease should not use creatine unless under medical supervision.

5. Do not use if taking prescribed anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin without the consent of a qualified medical health practitioner.