Supplements that increase the effects of resistance exercise identified

March 18, 2003 (Bethesda, MD) Those who seek a well-chiseled body can start clearing out their medicine cabinets. A new study has identified supplements that increase the benefits of resistance exercise, an essential component in a culture where image is everything.

This activity, also called strength training, increases muscle strength and mass, bone strength and the body's metabolism. The final result of effective resistance training is weight loss, better body image, improved muscle tone and strength, as well as enhanced self-esteem.

This body-improvement effort includes the use of free weights, weight machines and calisthenics. When using free weights, dumbbells and bars stacked with weight plates, users are responsible for both lifting the weight and determining and controlling their body position through the range of motion. Weight machines, on the other hand, dictate the body's movement. Calisthenics, such as chin-ups, push-ups and sit-ups, incorporate the body as the source of resistance. In recent years, resistance tubing, involving the use of an elastic band for resistance to active muscles, has become popular.

Consuming additional nutrients may be necessary during intense resistance exercise to allow for maximal "expression" of muscle and strength gains may seem logical. Television commercials in the off-hours show that the use of general and specific dietary supplementation appears to be widespread among both serious and casual athletes with a multitude of specific formulas offered. Scientific support for specific "hyper" nutrition to aid muscle growth has been periodically claimed; however, any support for the use of these nutrients is usually nonquantitative and often unsystematic, and conclusions are often open to subjectivity. This has led to confusion in the literature on what specific and general nutrition is of value for numerous conditions, including augmentation of the effects of exercise on muscle mass and strengt

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

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