Sports Nutrition, Muscle, Endurance, Recovery, Sexual Health, Weight Management

Magnesium: The Muscle Mineral

What separates the average Joe six-pack (muscle, not beer) from professional body builders? Other than genetics, and lifting heavier weights, it is probably not your workout. The differences lie in the fine details; really warming up before a workout, weighing food, counting calories, planning meals and understanding muscle nutrition.

While there are many minerals that are important for muscle growth and metabolism, perhaps the most important is magnesium.* Magnesium is an electrolyte that is critical to cellular energy, vitality and membrane integrity.* Magnesium is also a cofactor in more than 300 biochemical reactions. There is a strong link between magnesium levels and the stress hormones cortisol.1

So what does magnesium do for muscles?

Magnesium plays a critical role in anaerobic and aerobic energy production. Specifically, the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) relies on magnesium dependant enzymes (ATPases). ATP is the ‘energy currency’ of the body and fuels all muscle contractions. Extra magnesium can improve athletic performance if you are below optimal levels. 2,3,4

There are studies carried out on resistant trained and physically active people that would argue against the need to supplement magnesium5,6. However, these studies assume no deficiency in serum magnesium levels. Even when the quality of food is high and the diet is balanced, athletes often struggle to meet magnesium needs so supplementing to RDI levels (400 mg) is advisable.

Sources of magnesium include halibut, whole grains, cereals, green leafy vegetables, nuts and supplements.

1. Br J Nutr 100(5):1038-45 (2008)
2. J Nutr 132:930-935 (2002)
3. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am 22:377-395 (1993)
4. Med Exerc Nutr Health 4:230-233 (1995)
5. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33: 493-498 (2001)
6. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 1:12-20 (2004)

Sleep and Exercise

By Thane Slagowski, Vice President, Product Development & Quality for Twinlab.

I am a great believer in the power of exercise to help you sleep better; the better you sleep the more energy you will have for exercise.

You can learn a lot about energy and sleep by observing nature. I have a hyperactive puppy (a French bulldog named Yoda) who loves to chew on socks and is often caught stealing flip flops. To protect my family’s shoes and socks from doggy slobber, we take him on a walk each day. After the walk, Yoda is mellow and goes out like a light. In parallel, I doubt construction workers have a hard time falling asleep. Why not apply this same principle to your sleep and exercise routines?

Sleep can be the perfect supplement to your exercise routine. Research shows that the release of growth hormones peaks during deep sleep, while at the same time blood flow to muscles increases and your metabolic rate slows. All this is the perfect formula for the repair and growth of muscle tissue. 1

From personal experience, you’ve probably seen many of the other benefits of a good sleep routine, including mood stabilization and increased learning and memory functions. Leptin, an appetite-regulating hormone, is also directly influenced by your sleep routine. You may have a bigger appetite if you don’t get enough sleep, because leptin levels drop and increase appetite.2

Suffer from insomnia? Studies indicate that exercise—especially morning exercise—will help you sleep better.3 An hour of stretching and walking daily can help relieve many sleep problems that often stem from the stresses of regular life.

Exercise at least four hours a week and remember that any exercise is better than none, regardless of the time of day. You should note, though, that exercising right before heading to bed can lead to difficulty sleeping. It is recommended that you exercise at least three hours before going to bed, to give your body enough time to cool off. A lowered body temperature is needed for sleep onset. In order to support vigorous exercise, a positive energy balance from sleep is critical.4

So remember, to help your mind and body regenerate, reduce stress, be more alert and reach your fitness goals, get at least six to seven hours of sleep each night.

1. McManus, Mark. “How to Sleep Your Way to Big Muscles.” Retrieved December 10, 2008, from http://www.musclehack.com/how-to-sleep-your-way-to-big-muscles/
2. Plotnick, Rachel. “Diet, Exercise, Sleep! The Path to a Healthier Lifestyle.” National Sleep Association. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from http://sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/diet-exercise-and-sleep
3. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2008, June 12). Moderate Exercise Can Improve Sleep Quality Of Insomnia Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 4, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611071129.htm
4. Ibid.

Basic Homemade Applesauce

The amount of time it takes apples to collapse when you cook them for applesauce depends entirely on the apples you use. McIntosh, for example, collapse into applesauce very quickly, whereas sturdier Granny Smith apples hold their shape for quite a bit longer. If you do not have any cinnamon stick on hand, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Orange-Apricot Compote

Dried fruit compotes make quick, simple fruit desserts. You can eat them warm or chilled, by themselves or with yogurt or frozen yogurt. They also make a great substitute for jam on toast or pancakes. If you prefer tart fruit, do not add the sugar until step 2, after you’ve cooked the apricots. Then add half the sugar, stir to dissolve, and taste again before adding any more sugar.

Orange-Broiled Snapper

Serve this broiled fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice-or even a splash of fat-free salad dressing.

Ripped Fuel® 5X

Ripped Fuel® 5X
Ripped Fuel® 5XRipped Fuel® 5X
$27.99

• 1X burns calories faster*
• 2X helps preserve lean muscle*
• 3X enhances nutrient absorption*
• 4X helps reduce body fat*
• 5X fuels increased energy levels*

• Metabolic accelerator*
• Increased definition for men and women*
• Vegetarian formula

How It Works: 

A super-concentrated professional-strength formula uses five distinct nutritional mechanisms to fuel your weight loss program.* Get ripped by reducing body fat while preserving lean muscle.* Research shows that these ingredients stimulate fat loss.*

Suggested Use: 

Take one tablet two times a day before a meal. For best results, use as part of a low-fat diet and exercise program. Individual results may vary.

Product Specs:
Size/Count: 40
Form: Tablet

WARNING:
Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing, if you have any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, if you have any other medical condition or if you are taking any medication. Not intended for use by persons under the age of 18. Consult your physician before use. Contains chromium picolinate, which may enhance insulin sensitivity in diabetics. Contains 99 mg of caffeine. Limit use of other caffeine containing products while taking this product, as too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and occasionally, rapid heart beat. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.



Proudly manufactured in our NSF® GMP for Sport™ registered facility.

Beef, Shiitake & Pasta Stir-Fry

If you have leftover pasta or rice on hand (you’ll need about 3 cups), use it here in place of the fresh cooked ditalini.

Ginger-Grilled Sirloin Salad with Watercress

A rainbow of colors in this salad is a sure sign that you are getting a healthy helping of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. And by using a relatively lean cut of beef, you can have a meat dish that has a modest amount of saturated fat. To get the most mileage out of the grilled steak, slice it as thin as possible.

Multi-Grain Blueberry Pancake Mix

Here's a favorite that has been given a healthy upgrade. <b>To make 8 pancakes:</b> Scoop out 1 cup of pancake mix and place it in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mix and stir in 1 egg yolk, 3/4 cup cold water, and 2 teaspoons mild olive oil. Beat 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. For each pancake, use a generous 1/3 cup of batter. (For a quicker version, you can omit the whipping of the egg whites and just stir 1 whole egg and 1 egg white into the pancake mix. The resulting pancakes will be flatter; and the yield will be about 7 pancakes.)

Cauliflower, Potato & Cheese Puree

Vegetable purees are vastly underrated side dishes. They are easy to make and have an extremely comforting texture. This mixture of cauliflower and mashed potatoes is rich with two cheeses and garlic.