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  • Lean Muscle Uncovered

    The Lean Muscle Bundle Explained

    (Click here for Lean Muscle Bundle on the IE site)

    Increasing muscle mass whilst keeping your body fat low is undoubtedly one of the hardest things to achieve in the gym since it requires a well-designed training regime, a strict diet and unwavering commitment. But research shows there are supplements that could help. Here we take a look at the supplements within Myprotein’s Lean Muscle Bundle and the studies surrounding them to see how they can help you increase muscle mass whilst reducing (or maintaining a low) body fat.

    MP MAX® Elle True Diet

    (MP MAX® Elle True Diet - IE site)

    Firstly it’s important to understand that protein as a macronutrient requires a lot more calories to digest (known as the ‘thermic effect of feeding’) compared to carbohydrates. That as well as its ability to increase muscle mass is one of the main reasons it’s an absolute staple in people’s diets who want to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. More specifically looking at the type of protein which is best for losing fat, research conducted in Switzerland and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared whey protein, soya protein and casein protein and their thermic effect (the amount of calories it takes to digest the protein) The results seemed to support the general school of thought surrounding whey protein stating the thermic effect and cumulative fat oxidisation was higher in whey protein compared to soya and casein. For this reason MP MAX® Elle True Diet was chosen to be the primary source of protein in the Lean Muscle Bundle since it’s made from a protein blend containing high quality whey concentrate as well as other ingredients designed to help fat loss. Including green tea extract which contains a certain catechin (a type of flavonoid) called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to help in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, reduce the risk of cancer and, more importantly for those looking to lose fat, increase the amount of energy your body uses and by making it easier for your body to use excess body fat as a source of energy.


    (CLA - IE site)

    Out of all the other fat loss supplements on the market, from thermogenics, appetite suppressants and thyroid stimulators, there is no other ingredients that’s been proven to effectively lower body fat and increase muscle mass at the same time as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid.) Essentially it’s a naturally occurring fatty acid and whilst it can be obtained through your diet by eating beef, cheese and certain dairy products it’s only present in these foods in very low doses. So it would be pretty hard to get the recommended 4.2 grams per day as suggested by A. Smedman et al (2001) who, in a study conducted at Uppsala University in Sweden, discovered that supplementing 4.2 grams of CLA per day in 53 normal healthy individuals led to a significant decrease (3.8%) in body fat compared with individuals not taking CLA. It’s believed CLA lowers your body fat in 3 ways; firstly in a study conducted in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of País Vasco it was discovered CLA interferes with a substance in your body called lipoprotein lipase, which is partly responsible for helping store fat in your body. Secondly the same study also concluded that CLA helps your body use its existing fat for energy. Therefore studies show CLA not only inhibits the storing of fat it also enhances the burning of fat. Thirdly, and perhaps most important for those wanting to increase lean muscle mass whilst keeping their body fat low at the same time, CLA has been show to increase muscle mass which in turn can increase your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn at rest. This of course has the added benefit of not actually making you lose weight, but rather changing (and improving) your body composition. Mostly recently a 1 year human study showed a 9% reduction in body fat and 2% increase in muscle mass (Gaullier, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79(6): 1118–1125 (2004.) Whilst the previously mentioned study at Uppsala University in Sweden also showed a slight net increase in body weight, but a net decrease in body fat.


    (Caffeine - IE site)

    In many studies caffeine has been shown to increase the rate at which your body can burn fat and enhance performance (basically increasing the amount of weight you can lift in the gym and there the amount of muscle you can gain.) But whilst experts are in agreement regarding its favourable results, scientists still aren’t entirely sure as to how it helps the body achieve this. Some studies show that caffeine helps prolong your glycogen stores by encouraging your body to burn stored fat as fuel, saving the glycogen for later. This all takes place early in the exercise, according to Dr. Mark Jenkins of SportsMed Web, you may use as much as 50% less glycogen during the first 15 minutes. But this leaves larger stores intact for the rest of the training session, delaying the point of exhaustion. Therefore not only will you be burning more fat, but you will also have sufficient energy to maintain a high intensity right the way through your weights workout. Also researchers at Yale University found that caffeine actually helped increase your resistance to fatigue by stimulating the production of the neuro transmitter beta-endorphin, which studies show can reduce pain and perceived fatigue, therefore not only do your muscles have more energy to resist fatigue, but your brain doesn’t feel the fatigue meaning again your able to train at a higher intensity for longer (and again build more muscle.) Lastly (and supporting both the studies above) sports scientist Graham T.E stated in his sports journal ‘the mechanism(s) by which caffeine elicits its ergogenic effects are unknown…. but it’s likely that caffeine may work, in part, by creating a more favourable intracellular ionic environment in active muscle.’

    MP MAX® ONE Promilk

    (MP MAX® ONE Promilk - IE site)

    In the aforementioned study conducted in Switzerland and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, not only was the thermic effect of soya, whey and casein protein tested but also the extent to which it kept you fuller for longer as well. Interestingly whilst whey protein came out on top in its ability to burn fat, it was casein that was found to keep subjects satiated (the feeling of being ‘full’) for longer as they reported feelings of being full for up to 5.5 hours after ingestion. For this reason MP MAX® ONE Promilk has been included in the Lean Muscle Bundle since it contains 38g of milk protein (per 330ml carton) which is a great source of casein protein. Therefore not only do you get the thermic benefits of whey protein but also the casein will make you feel fuller for longer ensuring you don’t snack on any foods that are bad for you.

    Tribulus Pro

    (Tribulus Pro - IE site)

    When looking to increase muscle mass, most people will rely on creating a calorie surplus to ‘bulk up.’ And whilst this is undoubtedly the best way to increase muscle mass, it also comes with an increase in unwanted body fat. That’s why Tribulus Terrestris has been included in the Lean Muscle Bundle, since it’s been shown to increase growth compound levels and therefore enhance muscle mass but without the need for excess calories. Instead it relies on favourably changing the biochemistry within the body, in fact in clinical studies in Bulgaria to increase the sex hormones LH (luteinizing hormone) level by 72% and the body's own free testosterone level by 41% in healthy adult males in only five days. LH regulates the testosterone production in the testes and high levels of LH coincide with high testosterone levels, which in turn means you are better train in the gym.

    MP MAX® Creapure Micronized Creatine

    (MP MAX® Creapure Micronized Creatine - IE site)

    Very similar to Tribulus Terrestris, creatine monohydrate has been shown to increase muscle mass by favourably altering the chemistry within the muscles themselves (which doesn’t increase unwanted body fat.) It effectively boosts the body’s production of a substance called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP.) ATP is the source of energy that ensures your muscles are able to contract effectively. It does this by undergoing a series of chemical reactions that break down Adenosine Triphosphate into Adenosine Diphosphate and it’s during this process that energy is released for exercise. However your body only has a limited supply of ATP so you can only work at your maximum intensity for 5-7 seconds (whether sprinting or during a lift.) However when you supplement your diet with creatine, creatine enters the bloodstream and travels to our muscles to be stored as a substance called creatine phosphate, this is then used to replenish ATP stores and turn ADP back into ATP for it to be used to fuel intense bursts of activity therefore enabling you to work at a high intensity for 10-12 seconds. Put simply this means you can get that extra repetition in the gym or add that extra 2.5kg-5kg to your squat, bench or any compound exercise. Furthermore it must be noted that MP MAX Creapure Micronized Creatine is made from Creapure®, world-renowned to be the purest and best quality micronized Creatine Monohydrate available. This ensures you have no unwanted water retention (that can occur with lesser creatine monohydrates.)

    Stinging Nettle Root Extract

    (Stinging Nettle Root Extract - IE site)

    Lastly those who are training to lower their body fat and increase muscle mass at the same time usually undergo a higher volume of training (usually a combination of weight training, lower intensity cardio, High Intensity Interval Training) than those who are perhaps solely training to increase muscle mass (sometimes solely weight training.) As a result it’s important to take care of your joints, that’s why stinging nettle root extract has been included in the bundle since it’s been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory properties which helps to treat painful muscles and joints which can result from a high volume of training.

    The new Lean Muscle Bundle is now HALF PRICE for a limited time only!

    Visit Myprotein.com to get 8 products for only £49.99! (This includes the 7 supplements mentioned above as well as a MP Max SmartShake™) Add the bundle to your basket and use code LEAN at checkout. Offer valid until 09 April or while promo stocks last.

    Click here for IE! Get 8 products for only €62.20!

    Further Reading and References:

    Mougios V, Matsakas A, Petridou A, Ring S, Sagredos A, Melissopoulou A,Tsigilis N, Nikolaidis M. Effect of supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid on human serum lipids and body fat. J NutrBiochem 2001;12:585-94

    Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H,Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O.Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J.Nutr. 130:2943-2948 (2000).

    Roche HM, Noone E, Nugent A, Gibney MJ. Conjugated linoleic acid: a novel therapeutic nutrient? Nutr. Res. Rev. 187 (2001).

    Smedman A,Vessby B.Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans - Metabolic effects. Lipids 36:773-781 (2001).

    Lowery L.M., Appicelli P.A. and Lemon P.W.R. (1998). Conjugated linoleic acid enhances muscle size and strength gains in novice bodybuilders. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30.182.

    Kreider RB, Ferreira MP,Greenwood M, Wilson M, Almada AL. Effects of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation during resistance-training on body composition. Bone density, strength, and selected hematological markers. J Strength Cond Res 2002; 3:325-34.

    Berven G, Bye A, Hals O, Blankson H, Fagertun H, Thom E,Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. Safety of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in overweight or obese human volunteers. European J. Lipid Sci.Technol. 102:455;462 (2000).

    Thom E,Wadstein J, Gudmundson O. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat in healthy exercising humans. J Int Med Res 2001;29:392-6.

    Kamphuis MMJW, Lejeune MPGM, Saris WHM, Westerterp-Plantinga MS. The effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation after weight loss on body weight regain, body composition, and resting metabolic rate in overweight subjects. Int J Obesity 2003; 27: 840-847.

    Gaullier Jm, Hasle J,Hoye K., Kristiansen K., Berven G., Blankson H and Gudmonson O. Effects of CLA in moderate overweights during one year supplementation. 94th AOCS annual meeting and Expo, Kansas,May 2003

    A. Zabala et al (2006) ‘Trans-10,cis-12 Conjugated linoleic acid inhibits lipoprotein lipase but increases the activity of lipogenic enzymes in adipose tissue from hamsters fed an atherogenic diet.’ Br J Nutr. 2006 Jun;95(6):1112-9.

    Kevin J Acheson, Anny Blondel-Lubrano, Sylviane Oguey-Araymon, Maurice Beaumont, Shahram Emady-Azar, Corinne Ammon-Zufferey, Irina Monnard, Stéphane Pinaud, Corine Nielsen-Moennoz and Lionel Bovetto (2011) ‘Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism’ 2011 American Society for Nutrition

    Onizawa K, Watanabe H, Yamaguchi T, Osaki N, Harada U, Tokimitsu I, Shimasaki H, Itakura H. Effect of tea catechins on the oxidation of dietary lipids in rats. J Oleo Sci. 2001;50:657–62.

    Osaki N, Harada U, Watanabe H, Onizawa K, Yamaguchi T, Tokimitsu I, Shimasaki H, Itakura H. Effect of tea catechins on energy metabolism in rats. J Oleo Sci. 2001;50:677282.

    Wolfram S, Wang Y, Thielecke F. Anti-obesity effects of green tea: from bedside to bench. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006;50:176–87.

    Ito Y, Ichikawa T, Morohoshi Y, Nakamura T, Saegusa Y, Ishihara K. Effect of tea catechins on body fat accumulation in rats fed a normal diet. Biomed Res. 2008;29:27–32.

    Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro S, Hase T, Tanaka Y, Tokimitsu I. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men.AmJ Clin Nutr. 2005;81:122–9.

    Discuss on the MP Forum.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. mattwe11s's Avatar
      Hi My Protein

      Congrats on your service, i think you do a really great job.

      I am very taken with the Lean Muscle Bundle, however are you able to give some insight into the doses and the best time to take them?



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