A Little Sugar (But Not Too Much) Can Improve Your Workouts

While many believe using carbohydrates in the form of sugar is better served for longer-termed endurance exercise, new evidence is showing that enjoying a bit of the sweet stuff can also benefit both short- and long- duration exercise like your average gym workout. Short exercise durations, in theory, shouldn't require large amounts of carbohydrates, whereas long duration exercise, is fueled mostly by fat. So why should you consume sugar at all? The reason is that simple carbohydrates can

Is Barefoot Running Safe and Effective?

Is there scientific evidence in favor of barefoot running? To answer this question, researchers assessed data from more than 500 runners and published their findings in the Journal of Sport and Health Science (1). The researchers led by Dr. Hryvniak found that barefoot running often changes a person’s biomechanics, or the way a person runs, compared to running with shoes. Dr. Hryvniak and investigators also confirmed that barefoot running could decrease running-related injuries. The majority

Vitamin D is Crucial for Athletic Performance

The proper type of Vitamin D supplementation is important By Michael Colgan, Ph.D. Vitamin D has become very sparse in the U.S. food chain. So the only good sources of supply of this very ancient essential nutrient are the manufacture of vitamin D in the body by skin exposure to sunlight and vitamin D supplements. Canada and other high latitude countries have insufficient sunlight, and a very high incidence of vitamin D deficiency (1-6). So, supplementation is the only answer. One other

How Much Muscle Can You Build?

We often hear some bold claims about how much muscle people are able to build in a short period of time. Those who are new to weight training are often confused about what to expect in terms of building muscle. The amount of muscle someone can build is determined by many factors including weight, age, gender, and overall fitness goals. It is important for athletes and gym goers to understand that building muscle takes time and is a process that needs constant attention. People often confuse

Weight Training Best Paired with Bedtime Protein

Wondering how you can increase muscle gains from hard work in the gym? Have a shake and go to bed. This is what researchers from the Netherlands found after investigating protein consumption and sleep. They found that a 28-gram protein shake before bed substantially increased muscle and strength in comparison to a placebo drink (1). Sleep is a time most people don’t think of as the window to take advantage of recovery and rebuilding from hard training. In fact, during sleep protein synthesis

Is There a Best Time of Day to Work Out?

  Exercise performance can fluctuate throughout the day. Generally, morning performance is lower while those who work out in the afternoon experience maximum values for high-intensity exercise (1). Depending on the time of day, performance variations in muscle power, muscle strength, and sprinting have been found to vary from three to 21 percent, depending on the population tested, the muscle groups, and the design (2). Differences in sport performance can be caused by issues like

How Long Should You Rest Before Your Next Workout?

How often should you be working out, and how long should we rest? Adapting to training is all about the balance between recovering and training. As discussed in our previous article, “Why Your Muscles Are Sore After Exercise,” how sore you are may not be the best indicator of recovery. One very useful marker to determine if you've recovered is a decrease in muscle strength and endurance that lingers for a day or more after a workout (1; 2). Historically, exercise scientists thought

Runners, Make Sure Part of Your Cardio Training is High Intensity

While keeping your cardio training at a steady heart rate is key to training for events like a marathon, there are other training benefits to be gained from high intensity interval training or simply “HIIT.” Here are some reasons why you should be including it in your training regime: 1. HIIT Keeps Your Metabolism BLAZING As long as you aren’t doing excessive amounts every day, HIIT will increase metabolism and keep it elevated far more than standard cardio. In one study, metabolism

Athletes, How Do You Sleep At Night?

The two questions all athletes should ask themselves are, “How well and how long do I sleep every night?” Optimal performance and body composition may depend on it. Consistently missing just one hour of sleep can alter insulin sensitivity, body weight, and other important hormones involved in recovery (1-3). "Mild sleep restriction" is what scientists call missing just one hour out of a regular seven- to eight-hour sleep every night (1). In a study from the Department of Human Biology,

Why Your Muscles Are Sore After Exercise

Muscle soreness is a fact of life for any athlete. But through a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms for why it happens, a little knowledge promises to help mitigate (if not fully eliminate) some of the suffering. As evidenced by the scientific research, some of that can be achieved through movement and nutrition strategies. All forms of exercise, if done at an intense enough level, can become painful. This can be particularly true immediately and 24 to 72 hours after exercise