Beet Root and Muscle Gain

Beet Root and Muscle Gain

Question:

Will taking beet root help me gain muscle? How does it work?

Answer:

The evidence for beetroot supplementation is slowly gaining ground. Some studies show that it may be helpful for intermittent, high-intensity workouts as well as endurance training. Surprisingly, as a newer ergogenic aid, beetroot juice (BJ) has already met the Australian Institute of Sport’s highest evidence classification for effectiveness – joining beta-alanine, caffeine, creatine, glycerol, and bicarbonate – at threshold doses for certain situations in sport.

Beetroot, like several green leafy vegetables, has very high nitrate levels. According to a laboratory assay, about 100 ml (~3.5 fl oz) of beetroot juice provides between 48-150 mg nitrate and 10 grams of beetroot powder provides 165 mg nitrate, whereas studies generally used 300-600 mg of nitrate.

Beetroot juice’s effect may come from nitrate’s role as a precursor to nitric oxide, a vasodilator which can enhance oxygen delivery to muscle tissue. A review of 9 studies concluded that “the improvements observed were attributed to faster phosphocreatine resynthesis which could delay its depletion during repetitive exercise efforts. In addition, [BJ] supplementation could improve muscle power output via a mechanism involving a faster muscle shortening velocity.”

As with all ergogenic aids, the theory is that by enabling stronger/longer workouts, the increased output will promote muscle growth. Currently, the magnitude of research supports beetroot juice’s impact on performance, not body composition. So keep working out!

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Fitness vs. Nutrition Trivia Showdown – Podcast Ep. 26

Fitness vs. Nutrition Trivia Showdown – Podcast Ep. 26


Welcome to the 26th episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

On this **SPECIAL EDITION** of Living Healthy, it’s a fitness vs. nutrition showdown with guest experts Debbie James, RDN and LA Fitness Master Trainer, Geoff Fox. Who will be crowned the winner on this episode’s battle of the brains? Listen and find out!

And play along with us and let us know how you did! 🙂

How Are We Doing? 


Special Shout-out

Thanks to our listeners who have sent in emails letting us know what you think of the show! Special shout out to Juliana M. who recently wrote in and said: 

“I just wanted to say thank you because your podcasts are helping me transition into a healthier lifestyle especially after listening to episode 20 on fast food […] maybe one of your future podcast should be about vegetarian and vegan [options] talking about if it’s healthy or if we actually need meat. I’m on the crossroads.”  

Well, Juliana, we heard you and we think that’s a great idea, so keep an eye out for our upcoming episode on The Plant-Based Diet: What You Need to Know.  

This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


Timecard Markers – Fitness vs Nutrition Trivia Showdown – Podcast Ep. 26   

Intro    

Begins at 0:01     

Introduction of LAF Registered Dietitian, Debbie James, and LA Fitness Master Trainer, Geoff Fox 

0:52 

Rules Announced  

1:30 

Round 1 – The Fitness Round – Begins!  

2:26 

Round 2 – The Nutrition Round – Begins!  

7:50 

Round 3 – The LA Fitness Trivia Round – Begins!  

16:00 

The Winner is Announced!  

27:00 

Special Member Shout-out 

and Outro

27:39 


Recommended Podcast Episodes 

Member Spotlight | A Father and Daughter Unstoppable Duo

Member Spotlight | A Father and Daughter Unstoppable Duo

“My basic goal is to keep fit and above ground as long as possible so I can enjoy Wednesday spin classes with my daughter! Exercise and good nutrition are the keys for a long and healthy life.” 

Peter B.

LAF Member

Current Fitness Goals

Kathryn B.: Now that I’m retired from the world of professional cycling, I still continue to keep fit on a regular basis but with a lot less intensity & racing! I ride 3 days a week, do yoga 3 days a week, and I always leave the door open to mix it up and go hiking, swimming, running, lifting, etc.

Every Wednesday, my dad and I meet for Cycle Zone spin class at LA Fitness in Tucson (East). We call it Spin n’ Din… we work out then grab dinner. It’s a highlight of my week to do spin class with my dad, who is 82. Our instructor Lainna is great and we’ve become friends with “the regulars” in the class.

My dad is too humble to admit it, but he inspires a lot of people in the class. They’re motivated that someone in their 80s is there working out with them. I’m inspired too. It brings a smile to us all when he calls out “whoop! whoop!” and sings along with the hip-hop workout music. It makes me laugh every time he sings along!

It’s also such a great message that his presence imparts on us – it doesn’t matter how old you are or how fast or slow you go. Fitness is all about showing up, pushing your personal limits on your own terms and doing what you can. My dad proves that by being there. Being able to work out with my dad absolutely makes my day. 


Peter B.: My basic goal is to keep fit and above ground as long as possible, so I can enjoy Wednesday spin classes with my daughter! Exercise and good nutrition are the keys for a long and healthy life. Less stress will also help one along the way.

How has personal training impacted or changed your fitness routine?

Kathryn B.: Now retired from two decades as a pro athlete – triathlon & cycling – I no longer use a personal trainer, but I do keep tabs on the latest fitness advances. The personal trainers at LA Fitness are always engaged, upbeat & knowledgeable. It’s great to see them working with clients of all ages and abilities.


Peter B.: I have not utilized personal trainers but would recommend one to those initially embarking on an exercise program. I have observed the trainers at LA Fitness and note their high qualifications as well as attentiveness to clients. For those seeking competitive training, I would encourage them to look into The Leukemia Society’s Team in Training program. They train you over four months to participate in an endurance event of your choice, providing excellent training schedules, advice and group/team support along the way. One’s competition is oneself, to maintain training and discipline and to go the distance. It is open to anyone of any fitness level and with a charitable purpose as well. I benefited from and greatly enjoyed this program for many years, beginning in my youth (age 66).

 

If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be?

Kathryn B.: When it comes to fitness and workouts, my advice is to try everything once so you know what’s out there! Whether it’s spin class or Zumba® [class] or pick-up basketball or swimming, I encourage you to step outside [your] comfort zone and try everything once! If you’re used to going to the gym alone, try a class. If you always take classes, try a one-on-one personal training session or use a cardio machine that you’ve never touched before. I think it’s really healthy to mix things up and try something new.


Peter B.: I would direct my comments to those who have heart issues or wish to avoid them. Had I not been very fit ten years ago when I barely escaped cardiac arrest after a buggy (virus) ate at my heart, I wouldn’t be here now. Had I not engaged upon a regular and moderate exercise regimen during my recovery, I wouldn’t be doing so now. My advice: get off the couch and get the heart pumping each day mixing strength and aerobic training. Personally, I prefer the Erg (rowing – gets 70% of body muscle and is very aerobic), swimming and cycling; all smooth and easy on old bones.

Also recommended for all is a book entitled “Younger Next Year” which provides great motivation and understandable medical/physiological information on how and why exercise and nutrition act positively on one’s body, right down to the cells. It explains how ten years can be added to one’s life. Again, get off the couch and go for it!

Social Handles:

  • Twitter/Facebook: @kathrynbertine & @pbertinesr  
  • Instagram: @Kathryn_Bertine

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Recommended Nutrition Apps from an Expert

Recommended Nutrition Apps from an Expert

Question:

What nutrition tracking apps do you recommend? There are so many and I want to know more than just calories.

Answer:

I’m glad you want to see how your present intake meets nutritional goals! The most comprehensive way is to use a diet analysis program with an extensive database, preferably based on the USDA’s Food Composition Database. Finding an app that can do what computer software or a website can do may be a challenge, but you can get close since the database is public domain and can be accessed by app developers for free.1

Track by Nutritionix is comprehensive, boasting the largest verified food database.2 Consider MyFitnessPal, one of the top dietitian-recommended apps.3 If at goal weight, you may want to focus on nutrients not calories, like Foodility does.4 Calorie Counter by FatSecret offers the ability to see your average for the month, giving you an overall picture.5 Which app you choose may also depend on cost, ease of use, user reviews, and other factors tracked or calculated. Yazio includes an extensive exercise list6 while MyPlate Calorie Counter also helps you keep track of water intake.7

Don’t forget that to get an accurate assessment or your diet, tracking several days is best. Enter everything you eat and drink, the amounts, the actual method of preparation, and all condiments for at least 3 days. The more detailed and specific you are in entering what you ate, the more accurate the report will be. Technology is improving, and the ease is tempting, but don’t exclusively rely on photographic or scanned UPC label inputs.

Though assessing your diet can be an impetus for change, there is no need to constantly analyze what you’re eating every week. What you do with the information gleaned is more important than religiously recording intake. We could all stand to replace smartphone minutes with activity anyway!

Disclaimer: Author and Fitness International, LLC does not endorse or promote any particular nutrition app. Those mentioned are for reference and comparison only.

References:

  1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/doc/index
  2. https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/amazon-alexa-adds-nutritionix-food-tracking/
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/best-calorie-counting-apps-lose-weight-2019-3
  4. https://foodandnutrition.org/from-the-magazine/foodility-ios-version-1-1-9/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-best-calorie-counters#section3
  6. https://www.trustedreviews.com/opinion/best-calorie-counter-apps-5-best-food-diaries-for-android-and-ios-2943730
  7. https://wa-health.kaiserpermanente.org/best-diet-apps/

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Recommended Reading - Q+A

Flat Ab Summer Foods

Flat Ab Summer Foods

Lying back on that beach towel feeling the sun’s warmth and seeing the pool or waves in the distance over your toes is one of the best feelings of the summer season. Don’t let your belly get in the way of that view! Of course, no food targets one specific body part, but these six types are helpful to combat the deposit of intra-abdominal visceral fat (see picture) that wreaks havoc on your ab definition.

Broccoli and other nutrient-rich non-starchy vegetables like green beans, cabbage, and peppers. 

Consuming more vegetables equates to having less belly fat and keeping it off. For a group of 175 overweight Latino youth, such vegetable consumption corresponded to 17% less visceral fatty tissue.(1) Danish women that consumed more vegetables and fruit had less gains in waist circumference over a 5-year period.(2)

Beans and other high soluble fiber foods like sweet potatoes, oats, apples, and carrots.

Over a five year period among over 300 African-American and Hispanic-American adults, greater intakes of dietary soluble fiber corresponded with less increase in visceral fatty tissue.(3) A smaller study showed that abdominal skinfold thickness was lower for men with higher fiber intakes.(4)

Lettuce and other lower carbohydrate/ketogenic-acceptable whole foods like nuts, avocado, and eggs.

In a small study over a two-year period, people who followed a very low-calorie ketogenic diet had a greater reduction in waist circumference and visceral fat compared with those on a low-calorie diet.(5) A more modest carbohydrate reduction (43% of calories vs. 55%) still proved effective to lose more intra-abdominal fat for 69 overweight American men & women over two months.(6)

Take heart if you don’t respond to a low carbohydrate diet! Whether low carb intake is beneficial for belly fat loss may depend on your genetics.(7) That’s right – your DNA could determine whether a high-carbohydrate diet (55-65% of calories) might suit you better.

Pork tenderloin and other unprocessed high protein foods such as eye-of-round beef, poultry breast, and fish fillets.

A small study of obese middle-aged Americans showed that a high protein diet (>30% calories) consumed over 6 meals per day resulted in lower abdominal fat after a full year, compared to a heart-healthy diet (15% protein; 3 meals).(8)  For Danish adults, higher intakes of red meat were associated with a smaller increase in waist size over a five-year period.(2) However, higher consumption of processed meat and poultry in women was associated with larger increases in waist circumference.(2)

Sardines and other calcium & vitamin D rich foods such as cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and fortified juices and cereal.

Over a year-long period, the more calcium women consumed the less visceral fat they gained.(9) For Danish women, consumption of high-fat dairy related to smaller increases in waist circumference.(2) Among Canadian women, higher intakes of vitamin D were associated with lower abdominal fat.(10)

Coconut oil, and other sources of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) such as palm kernel oil, dry coconut meat, and raw coconut meat.

MCTs may reduce visceral fat and waist circumference by increasing energy expenditure, satiety, and fat oxidation.(11) They are rapidly metabolized compared to long-chain fatty acids, having less chance to be stored as fat.(11) A review of six studies involving MCT that measured visceral fat showed that all six resulted in more abdominal fat loss than controls.(11)

Ready, set, go! Start NOW eating these six belly-flattening types of food to get your six pack abs in time for summer. Hit the gym, too — then you can feel comfortable kicking off your shoes and hitting the water (or lying next to it).

 


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