Monday, March 30, 2009

Creatine, Beta Alanine, Citrulline malate, and more b2d

Hi folks who read b2d.

Please forgive the delay in a new article. This is a placeholder just to say what i'm working on at the moment in the midst of a sea of deadlines in the real world, and that is, to look at research on what may become known as a super trio for strength work. The first is Creatine, an established supplement for strength work. The second is beta-alanine, something that a couple of years ago was being propped as "the new creatine." In this regard people weren't suggesting that BA was the same as creatine, but that it was looking to establish as consistent a testing record to help support strength work. That's the biggie: consistent, strong research results. Citruline Malate is both the newer and older kid on the supplement block, but again, the research suggests there's something interesting going on here.

Of the three, creatine has been the most studied and citruline malate the least - part of the issue with citruline malate apparently has been the cost of producing it. It's still not cheap, but it's apparently substantially cheaper than when excercise scientists were first looking at it. If you look at pubmed, for instance, you'll see the last human study is 2002, and the latest study, 2009, is in rats. So why's it worth looking at? because of who's been talking it up.

The goal of the article will be to look at the differences in each of these supplements - a bit about why they do what they (seemingly) do, and why they may just be such an awesome and safe combination not only to enhance strength work, but just to be good for us.

Fast take away: creatine really is a useful supplement for power lifting work. Beta-Alanine, seems to let one work harder longer for HIIT type work, and more hypertrophic set work; CM *seems* to be promising for general fatigue reduction in aerobic exercise. This last point is a big deal because it seems to suggest that it is keeping phosphocreatine/ATP levels up so that that energy source can be used longer before fatiguing. I'm really curious about that one.

Oh, a quickie on BA - i've been using it lately in my own HIIT work, and maybe it's psychosomatic or maybe it's that i've just gotten stronger, but i can hit higher levels for longer it seems when i've been doing BA. That's totally anecdotal folks, but i'm fascinated.

So, it will take a little while for me to get this article together for y'all due to work commitments but wanted to let you know what's on the stack.

Also, in a related note to techno that helps recovery - awhile ago i reviewed centerpointe's holosync recordings for getting brainwaves into slower sleep-related wave patterns. Well, i've recently been investigating some other approaches for well being, including some stuff around the notion of "letting go" of a feeling. It's called the Sedona Method, and the free cd actually lays out the approach. Letting go and drawing in and allowing one'self to have and other urfie flurfy terms end up being pretty grounded in rationale way-clearing to get at the actual work we might want to do towards a goal.

Will come back to that when i have more direct experience of the protocol, but in the mean time, two things to consider that i'm getting from this. First, feelings are just feelings, and they can be dropped. How does that sound to you? Say you're angry, and a voice says "could you imagine not being angry? when? how about now?"

Rather shocking, eh?

And another one: if you do say to yourself "i allow myself to be happily successful" - what feelings come up around that? doubt? fear? pride? are they related to issues around security? approval?

The idea it seems (i'm still investigating) is that, so called "positive thinking" doesn't do enough to acknowledge the stuff that comes up around such "positive thoughts" that may be blocking us from our own success. i wonder how this might operate around things like my quest to press the 24 - or to pistol it (ha!. no really. that's a toughie for me mentally). Lots of folks say "you have to believe to be able to achieve" right? But the thing here is, letting go of that desire. So "i allow myself to get to pistoling a 24" just to say "and can you let go of that?"

Now that letting go of the goal to achieve the goal seems contrary to what most of us work on whether in strength goals or any other goals, so i'm curious to see where this approach may lead. Hmm.

Oh and one more thing: if i can (they don't know it yet), i'd like to get Mikey T and Georgie Fear talking about Vitamin D here. You literally read that here first, but here's why i'd like to talk with them: they've both talked about vitamins, they're both smart folks doing their PhD's in related areas, and Vit D (and vitamins generally) are a topic of concern - especially in the context where folks feel they get their Daily Requirements from real food (Georgie, Mike, if you're reading this, i will email)

Anyway friends of b2d thanks for reading, and lots on tap.

(who has pressed a 20kg kb all of four times total now. i mean that's it. ever - not in a row, but the latest was two days in a row :))


Mike T Nelson said...

I just printed off your post and will try to give it a good read in the next few days
Rock on
Mike T Nelson

Mike T Nelson said...

I finally got around to reading the article today---yeah, I am behind on a bunch of stuff.

In short, tons of data on creatine---just use creatine monohydrate, nothing fancy.

More data on beta alanine now and it looks promising, but again the percentage is still small, but if your nutrition is on point as is your mobility work and training, I would give it a try. I've personally used it off and on for about 1.5 years now and like it, and clients report they like it too. Waiting for it to catch on the the VO2 craze, but nothing yet.

CM--still not convinced it is worth much; but I have not looked at the newer data on it. Dave Barr would be the man to ask on this one.

Vit D--yep, good stuff and it can affect strength level if you are deficient. Let me know what particular questions you had on it.

I am interested in others thoughts on all of this too.

Rock on!
Mike T Nelson


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