For a long time, animal sourced protein supplements have been seen as superior to plant based ones. With an increased focused on health, plant proteins are getting a second look. There is plenty of research showing the health benefits of replacing animal proteins with plant options. Even so, many are worried about the possibility plant proteins decrease performance.
Cycling creatine on and off is unnecessary. There is no good research indicating that long term creatine use has any negative effects. The ISSN’s stance states that use of up to 30 grams per day for periods as long as 5 years is safe. Most research indicates as little as 3-5 grams per day is enough to see benefits.
Soy protein is both praised and loathed for its supposed health benefits and risks. Some claim it protects against various cancers while others say it upends hormonal balance. Is soy a superfood or does it create more issues than it solves?
In the previous article, we learned the evidence paints a mixed, but positive picture on whether creatine decreases muscle damage. The next question is, if creatine has a moderate ability to decrease muscle damage, can it also speed up the post exercise recovery period?
There are quite a few supplements which claim to reduce muscle damage; creatine is one of them. The implications of this claim is quicker recovery, reduced soreness, and increased performance gains. There has been plenty of research conducted on whether or not creatine supplementation reduces muscle damage.
As consumers, we expect supplements to speed up recovery, burn fat, build muscle, and increase testosterone. The industry has seized on these high expectations and routinely make promises they are unable to keep. They have plenty of ways to market ineffective products to consumers seeking quick solutions. One of their favorite tricks: proprietary blends.
Few foods evoke greater emotion than soy. It elicits fears of decreased testosterone, less optimal strength, and feminization of masculine features. There's plenty of misinformation about soy. The truth is there are plenty of health and performance benefits to consuming soy protein with plenty of research to back it up.
It's fairly clear that creatine monohydrate causes weight gain. For many, this is a benefit. Unfortunately, some of this quick weight gain comes from water and reverses once supplementation stops. Does creatine actually increase muscle mass or is it all just temporary body weight?
The research on creatine and cardio was at best, mixed. While cardio is long and low or moderate intensity, sprints are typically shorter and done at a much higher intensity. What we know about creatine means that it should be a perfect match for this short but high intensity type of exercise.
For longer exercise bouts, the body uses an aerobic energy pathway; this requires oxygen. This pathway creates a lot more ATP, but requires more time. This pathway is ideal for long endurance activities such as running, swimming, rowing, biking, or less intensive sports. The question is whether creatine plays a significant role in this energy pathway.