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Muscle Catabolism(12 posts)

Muscle CatabolismPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 11, 2002 2:22 PM
When protein in the muscle fibers is used as an energy source how much of it is put back when having protein after a ride/workout?

re: Muscle Catabolismbrider
Nov 11, 2002 3:03 PM
Nick, if you want to get an education in muscle biology, I'd suggest going over to Testosterone ( and doing some digging. These guys know a hellua lot more than most about such matters. Search on catabolism and hypertrophy.
re: Muscle CatabolismJon Billheimer
Nov 11, 2002 3:23 PM
A summary of the recent research on the subject indicates that carb/pro cocktails in a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio taken following workouts have a pronounced effect on protein metabolism, decreasing the rate of protein degradation in muscles and increasing whole-body protein synthesis. The effect of the carbohydrate is to increase insulin levels which reduces the rate of protein catabolism as well as selectively driving certain amino acids into the cells. As well, the ingestion of protein itself promotes positive nitrogen balance which enhances net rates of protein synthesis.

Nick, since you're working as a personal trainer why don't you take the prerequisite courses to obtain a Cdn. Soc. of Ex. Phys. Personal Trainer Certification? This entails taking some anatomy and physiology, ex. physiology, biomechanics, and program development and implementation courses. This certification will give you the proper academic and professional qualifications to effectively train people, as well as answer most of the questions you're coming up with. Most personal trainer certification programs aren't worth the paper they're written on, but the CSEP one is. You can get appropriate info. from U. of C. or Mount Royal College in Calgary.
Nov 11, 2002 5:10 PM
Thanks Jon I'll look into it. I'm AFLCA (Alberta Fitness Leader Certification Association) certified but its basically the don't course. Don't supplement protein, don't do squats any deeper than 90 degrees, don't even think of putting your knee over your toes, don't... don't... don't. Which is a great start and to keep the average person safe with fairly limited training on behalf of the fitness instructor/personal trainer but once you get into advanced stuff EVERYTHING is contradicted.

ThanksJon Billheimer
Nov 11, 2002 6:26 PM
Hey Nick,

The AFLCA course is basically a job creation program for AFLCA staffers:)- That may upset some people, but there's "more truth than poetry" there! Mount Royal puts on all the Personal Trainer Cert courses, after which you have to do the AFLCA thing (which you've done), then take the certification exams. The whole thing takes two years on a full-time basis. But that, plus your competitive training, will really inform you. It's the next best thing to a degree in exercise science.
Hope you're not taking that stuff as gospelbrider
Nov 12, 2002 8:46 AM
There's some misinformation, and some downright falsehoods just in what you listed here.

"Don't supplement protein." I'd have to ask why?

"Don't do squats deeper then 90 degrees." Abjectly false. In reality, it places more stress on the knees to stop the motion at 90 degrees than to take it ass-to-calves. It's the bounce at the bottom that hurts the knees, not taking it deep.

"Don't even think of putting your knees over your toes." I hope you meant "don't put your knees PAST your toes," which is still only half-true. Ever try front squats? Or any Oly lifting? No can do without knees past the toes. Some people can't handle it, most can, but the current "fearful" approach to training will prevent most people from even trying.

My advice -- go ahead and get the certificates to get you respect in the biz, but then go out there and get your real education and apply it.
Don't worry I don't...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 12, 2002 2:00 PM
Practically all my training conflicts with what the basic fitness training teaches. However, its a 20 hour course so they can't teach you the don't do this... UNLESS. So for the general population on average its good allowing fitness instructors like myself to have guidelines to use.

re: Muscle CatabolismLizzzardme
Nov 12, 2002 12:32 AM
Howdy. O.k. First, how do you know that muscle tissue is being accessed? The biggest clue is the change in the way you smell. It's that nasty ammonia smell that is the dead give away that your body has started the process of "gluconeogenesis" which is when the liver has started the process of amino acid (muscle) break down. What has caused it? The release of cortisol into your system. Cortisol is a strong catabolic hormone that is responsible for breaking down muscle tissue for use by the body during times of stress (physical or emotional/mental). It also inhibits insulin (an anabolic hormone)from escorting glucose into your muscle cells - we all know this is bad for us endurance types.

The second you suspect this catabolic state, you can give your system something else to "feed" on by ingesting easily accessed protiens. However, you can't "put back" muscle tissue simply by eating. Stop further wasting? Yes. Rebuild by eating? Not really. Rebuilding takes place for the most part during rest although you do need the nutrients circulating in order for the rebuilding to happen. It is not the same process as occurs in endurance guys "filling up their legs" by replenishing glycogen stores after a long race. However, you can "jump start" the process by what and when you eat.

Interestingly, if you find yourself craving garbage foods that are high in simple carbs, you probably have elevated cortisol levels.

The body will use what is easiest to fuel itself. Usually in the order of glycogen, fat and then protien. However, if you are getting near to hitting the wall, your cortisol levels are too high you have probably already wasted your glycogen stores. Normally fat would be next, but the raised cortisol has bypassed the fat burning process (if there was any there to start with in endurance athletes), and moved right on to muscle tissues.

Now, what can you do about all this?? Some thoughts:
The morning of a big ride I take 1000mg Vitamin C along with about 2g (1 level teaspoon) of L-Glutamine with the objective being to control cortisol levels at the start. This is just made with water or a low glycemic drink so as not to spike insulin levels.

Then immediately after the event or ride I drink a drink containing a sugary simple carb (gatoraid, etc.) that I've added more L-Glutamine powder to (3g or so). The insulin jolt produced by the sugary drink will help speed the glutamine to your muscle cells. Once there, the glutamine acts as a very strong anabolic - meaning it shuts down the catabolic state induced by the cortisol surging through your system.

Also, L-leucine has been proven to jump start the protien utilization process as well and is also effective at stopping cortisol production. So, if my ride ends at home, my ideal drink is a shake made with 30g of a high quality, vanilla flavored whey protien (whey is about 25% L-leucine) with a ripe banana (contains 13g sugar), a squeeze of chocolate syrup (more sugar)and slightly rounded teaspoon of L-glutamine. I'm a girl, so most guys could adjust these amount up a bit.

If I'm not home - IMMEDIATELY upon the onset of catabolic breakdown (even in the middle of a ride), I take a gram of L-leucine and drink in the carbs and then follow up as above once I get home.

Two caveats... First, I wouldn't do any of this for the first time on the day of a race. You never know for sure how you'll react and you don't want to find out at such an important time. Second, this is what has worked for ME and you are on your own to research and make your own decisions. NOW... after all that, see if you can help me with my groupo dilema above ~_~ -Lizzz
re: Muscle CatabolismJon Billheimer
Nov 12, 2002 7:34 AM

Good answer. Of interest also is the fact that the carb ingestion post-workout suppresses an enzyme which breaks down muscle protein, thus sparing total intramuscular proteins. The research that Owen Anderson reported on in Peak Performance Online (my source for the above post) also recommended taking in certain amino acids prior to workouts or sessions. Timing, as Anderson said, is everything.
re: Muscle CatabolismTrekFurthur
Nov 12, 2002 12:00 PM
Just started reading this article in the paper version--very interesting.
Nov 12, 2002 10:08 PM
Will you marry me?

Nov 14, 2002 7:39 PM
Well... I guess I couldn't ask for a better compliment than that! However, I'm already riding tandem - so to speak :) Not to poor it on, but the lucky Mr. Lizzz will be getting a nice surprise in about 2 days when his new Vortex arrives! I can't wait to see his expression!! We're moving to spain in about 2 weeks and I just couldn't see him paying to ship his old bike over there. It definately helps to have the same interests - if not (unfortunately) the same frame size! -Lizzz