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Supplements--what works what doesn't?

Old 06-07-06, 01:18 AM
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Cosmoline
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Supplements--what works what doesn't?

I'm getting back into semi-serious riding (about 24-40 miles per week mostly commuting and utility rides) for the first time in ten years. I'm 36 and my only real problem areas are my knees. I've been taking cod liver oil pills, standard multivitamins, a light dose of creatine to help kick-start my old muslces and Schiff move-free plus MSM. My knees ache, but there aren't too many sharp pains and I can move OK. I've adjusted the seat to the best position it can be in.

Any suggestions on other supplements or ones I should discard?
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Old 06-07-06, 05:49 AM
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What's your diet like? You could easily dump everything you've mentioned and never notice it with 40 miles a week. Even the vitamins are likely not needed if you eat anything half decent.

You might look into a Glucosamine and Condriotin supplement for joint pain, although at 36 and just getting back into riding, it's probably bike fit. I'd get that right first since it's free and if the fit's wrong no supplement will ever cure the pain.

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Old 06-07-06, 06:51 AM
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What works for my old, worn out knees better than anything is Glucosamine. I swear by those little white pills.
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Old 06-07-06, 02:20 PM
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Move free is a G&C mix with MSM. I've been taking it for many months now. My knees still get sore, but they're functioning so I guess something must be working right.
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Old 06-08-06, 11:18 AM
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Ditch the creatine. Unless you're looking to add muscle, creatine isn't doing anything for you.

Look into otaking some Glutamine. It will help you recover faster and more efficently and reduces soreness.
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Old 06-09-06, 10:22 AM
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I started a liquid nutritional program a month and a half ago and it seems to be helping quite a bit. The circulation in my hands and feet have improved (the wife likes that one as they are not cold anymore), I am sleeping better and have more energy throughout the day. I have noticed that I am a little more hungry during the day but I have been riding more so that may be part of it. I would like to add 5-10 pounds by the end of the year anyways. Here is a link to the website. There is quite a lot of information on it's ingredients and such which are all natural and plant derived.

www.myvemma.com/unbent

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Old 06-09-06, 11:16 AM
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I se whey to recover and mega men.

thats all
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Old 06-09-06, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kingcrimbud
Ditch the creatine. Unless you're looking to add muscle, creatine isn't doing anything for you.

Look into otaking some Glutamine. It will help you recover faster and more efficently and reduces soreness.

Creatine does not add muscle. It may provide a slightly larger store of phosphocreatine (Pcr) which, in some situations may allow slightly longer efforts using the Pcr energy cycle, and MIGHT contribute to restoring the Pcr stores slightly faster, as in, 2 minutes instead of 3 minutes.

Glutamine is pointless for rides of less than 2-3 hours. You won't need the extra help from Glutamine unless you're training at least 10+ hours a week. You can easily eat enough carbs to restore your glycogen levels each day with training below these levels (unless you're training with lots of intensity for track racing).

Glutamine has nothing at all to do with decreasing muscle soreness. (try a google search on "DOMS") It merely enhances glycogen uptake under very stressful conditions and may supplement the immune system when the body's immune system is highly stressed by LOTS of training.
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Old 06-15-06, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by WarrenG
Creatine does not add muscle. It may provide a slightly larger store of phosphocreatine (Pcr) which, in some situations may allow slightly longer efforts using the Pcr energy cycle, and MIGHT contribute to restoring the Pcr stores slightly faster, as in, 2 minutes instead of 3 minutes.

Glutamine is pointless for rides of less than 2-3 hours. You won't need the extra help from Glutamine unless you're training at least 10+ hours a week. You can easily eat enough carbs to restore your glycogen levels each day with training below these levels (unless you're training with lots of intensity for track racing).

Glutamine has nothing at all to do with decreasing muscle soreness. (try a google search on "DOMS") It merely enhances glycogen uptake under very stressful conditions and may supplement the immune system when the body's immune system is highly stressed by LOTS of training.
I never said creatine adds muscle. Creatine does however allow someone to grow bigger, faster. This is due to exactly what you said, you can worked harder, longer. When you do this, you grow bigger, faster.

Glutamine is not pointless. If it was, our body wouldn't create it already. No need to look up DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness is nothing new to someone who has lifted weights seriously for 2 years now. I'm simply going by my own research (READING) and what has worked for me!

www.abcbodybuilding.com

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Old 06-15-06, 11:42 AM
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I think that at the amount of riding you're doing, you really don't need specific supplements. You might consider a recovery drink after your longer rides (Endurox or one of the others), but I think basic good nutrition will cover most of your needs.

On the subject of your knees, I have a few thoughts.

Knees are the weak link of the leg system, and therefore any issues elsewhere show up in the knees. Seat position, foot issues, cleat placement issues, or muscle imbalance or lack of flexibility can all show up in your knees.

I'm not sure what level of ache you're experiencing. If it's more a tightness than an ache, then it's probably not an issue. If it affects what you could do the next day - ie it would hurt to run up stairs, or you have to modify your normal activities in other ways, it's something to look at.

What sort of gearing are you running? Maintaining around 90 RPM is a knee-friendly thing to do. You may have been able to push bigger gears when you were younger (26 year old knees can take a lot more than 36 year old knees...), but it's something to consider now.

You don't say what sort of pedals you use, but they can have an effect. If you are using platform pedals (feet not attached to the bike), you may be pushing pretty hard. Shoes with cleats that hook into the pedals may help (though they need to be aligned right).

Stretching for your knees and hamstrings and other muscles can help. For me, if I don't squat down to stretch my knees every day or so, they start getting tight.

Finally, if none of that seems to help and you still have pain, I'd look for a fit specialist. Many bike shops do fit, but if you're getting pain it's better to go to a physical therapist who does bike fits, as they can address both the bike set up and any issues you have. They are also covered under some insurance plans.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-15-06, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kingcrimbud
Glutamine is not pointless. If it was, our body wouldn't create it already. No need to look up DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness is nothing new to someone who has lifted weights seriously for 2 years now. I'm simply going by my own research (READING) and what has worked for me!

www.abcbodybuilding.com

=)
We were discussing SUPPLEMENTING glutamine. Supplementing glutamine does not have anything to do with DOMS, nor does it help you recover faster unless your immune system is severely stressed, or you are riding a lot, like 12+ hours a week. Do some GOOD research at Pubmed about the effects and mechanisms of glutamine in the body and its effects, and reasons to supplement your body's natural production of glutamine. (go to pubmed.com and search on "glutamine exercise") And no, reading about glutamine at websites that sell it doesn't count as good research.

Please provide links to the studies that show decreased DOMS with glutamine suppplementation.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WarrenG
We were discussing SUPPLEMENTING glutamine. Supplementing glutamine does not have anything to do with DOMS, nor does it help you recover faster unless your immune system is severely stressed, or you are riding a lot, like 12+ hours a week. Do some GOOD research at Pubmed about the effects and mechanisms of glutamine in the body and its effects, and reasons to supplement your body's natural production of glutamine. (go to pubmed.com and search on "glutamine exercise") And no, reading about glutamine at websites that sell it doesn't count as good research.

Please provide links to the studies that show decreased DOMS with glutamine suppplementation.
So because a website that sells something can not have a valid opinion on that item? What a ridiculous statement.

http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/glutamine.php

There's my research right there. With 145 quotations from scientific journals, articles and research findings, i would assume it to be quite legitimate....

EDIT for people who don't want to click the article:

Practical Applications

A multitude of benefits have been laid out for you concerning glutamine supplementation. Now all that’s left is to instruct you about is how to take it—let’s get to it.

Post-Workout

Post workout is the most essential time for glutamine supplementation. As displayed above, this will enhance glycogen storage, reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress, strengthen the immune system, promote myofibril hydration and protein synthesis, and decrease protein degradation, among other benefits. At this time of the day, such factors as hydration are absolutely vital to your success.

Pre-Sleep

The goal here is to try to sustain as high a plasma glutamine level as possible. Fasting for several hours at night puts your body in a highly catabolic state, and glutamine levels are quickly depleted. By supplementing with GLN here, you will promote its preservation, and proper immune function. I would recommend you utilize OldSchool’s sleep stack (which includes glutamine) for maximum results. See Enter The Z Factor.

Post-Sleep

If you were to have a massive carbohydrate meal before sleep, your glycogen stores would still be diminished, and catabolism prevalent after fasting for several hours at night. This is why breakfast is one of the most vital meals of the day. The same applies to glutamine. Even if you supplement the night before, your stores will still be diminished in the morning. Several studies have displayed glutamine concentrations are severely reduced (around 500 to 750 mumol/L) after a night of sleeping [65, 143]. As such, I recommend taking glutamine in the morning as well, to get your body back into a state of anabolism.

Pre-Workout

Another logical time to supplement with glutamine would be pre-workout. Due to its gluconeogenic effects, you would help spare muscle mass during a training session. Additionally, maintaining high GLN concentrations would promote glutathione preservation, enhancing your body’s defense against oxidative stress, among immune benefits. Moreover, in theory you would help maintain a stable pH, which is raised during exercise due to lactic acid.

Sick

Any time you are sick you should increase your glutamine supplementation, as it plays an absolutely vital role in this area.

Overtrained

As stated earlier, being overtrained can oftentimes be a sign of depleted glutamine stores. Moreover, your immune system is always torn down when in a stressful state such as overtraining. This would further help boost your leukocytes and speed recovery.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:45 AM
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Lots of stuff there that is contrary to what the studies show about glutamine WRT to athletes. You, just like your retailer's suggestions, take a bit of information at face value and choose to apply it inappropriately. They do this because people will pay them money and most of those people like the placebo effect.

For example, even though glutamine levels are lower after very stressful exercise (are you even doing enough exercise to lower your glutamine levels significantly?) your body responds by producing more glutamine to restore the normal levels, without supplementation. Do your "studies" show that? At Pubmed you can find some that prove this and explain it.

They real key is to ensure that glutamine levels are not CHRONICALLY low, and you won't get to this point with training only 8 hours a week unless you're a track racer with lots and lots of intensity, week after week with lots of racing. Show me the link to a real study that shows YOUR amount of exercise is near the point that would cause chronically low levels of glutamine.

I wonder, if you supplement glutamine beyond your actual needs do you inhibit the body's natural production of it, like with some other supplemented substances?
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Old 06-16-06, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by kingcrimbud
So because a website that sells something can not have a valid opinion on that item? What a ridiculous statement. With 145 quotations from scientific journals, articles and research findings, i would assume it to be quite legitimate....
You should look more closely at what the website says, does not say, and the self-serving conclusions they draw from the published research. Here is the most relevant example for cyclists...

Originally Posted by kingcrimbud
http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/glutamine.php

Glycogen Storage

Several studies have been composed to test the effect of glutamine on post-exercise glycogen re-synthesis [70]. For example, Varnier M et al. sampled six subjects who cycled for 90 min at a high intensity to deplete glycogen stores [124]. They then fed them either alanine+glycine, NaCl, or glutamine. The glutamine group showed a much greater increase in muscle glycogen storage.
Of course! There was no glucose given to the subjects. This study is irrelevant for an athlete because athletes know there should be some glucose sources included in post-exercise meals to help restore glycogen. They compared completely irrelevant substances, like NaCl, which is salt, or alanine and glycine to glutamine for restoring glycogen. They may as well have compared glutamine to plain water. It is deceptive for the retailer to use information like this, in this way.

So, then your retailer goes on to mention a study that did include post-exercise glucose...

Originally Posted by kingcrimbud
Glutamine with carbohydrates has additionally been shown to enhance total body carbohydrate storage [59].
The study "(59)" your glutamine retailer uses to support that self-serving opinion about glycogen storage is this one...

J. L. Bowtell, K. Gelly, M. L. Jackman, A. Patel, M. Simeoni, and M. J. Rennie Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise J Appl Physiol 86: 1770-1777, 1999; Vol. 86, Issue 6, 1770-1777, June 1999

As shown at Pubmed, the study conclusion was this... After completing some exercise that EXHAUSTED glycogen stores (something like 3+ hours of cycling with no sports drink during the exercise, inadequate ingestion of sugars during the exercise, etc. that leads to "bonking" and complete exhaustion...) (Is this what you do during your training?) the subjects were then given 8 grams of glutamine along with glucose solutions at high rates for 2 hours after the exercise.

And after all of that the study conclusion says, "Ingestion of glutamine and glucose polymer together promoted the storage of carbohydrate OUTSIDE of skeletal muscle, the most feasible site being the liver." Gee, that doesn't sound much like what your retailer was claiming about glutamine, does it? Aren't you interested in MUSCLE glycogen levels? The study your retailer used said the glutamine DID NOT enhance muscle glycogen storage.

As an aside, if you are concerned about rapidly restoring glycogen levels in your liver you probably want to use fructose since it works better for that than the glucose used in the study.

There is so much more junk at that website but it's really not worth my time to wade through it, but I do like all the studies they rely on to support their opinions and suggestions was to why you should give them money. Like where rats are deprived of glutamine and lo, and behold, when the rats are given some glutamine their immune systems and exercise performance increases, or post-surgery patients with severe protein stress are given glutamine to help them recover. Fortunately, most of us don't live under these extreme conditions and we have ample glutamine in our systems to function normally.
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Old 06-17-06, 03:09 PM
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Well thanks for the input. I'm sticking to what I've got. The Creatine is to help kick-start my muscles and speed recovery time. I'm on a pretty light dose, but it does seem to improve muscle growth. I'll be off of it in another month. I have to admit since I started the basic supplements of CLO, C and a few others I haven't gotten sick. Formerly I would get sick with every season change. So something must be helping.
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Old 06-22-06, 05:51 AM
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Just use whey protein because glutamine is probably the single most overhyped amino acid of all time.
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