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  • Size & Strength Uncovered

    The Size and Strength Bundle Explained

    Muscular hypertrophy, an increase in the size of muscle cells, is largely dependent on loading the muscles above their habitual level with a heavy training routine and then ensuring your muscles have the nutrients they need to cope with the ‘micro-trauma’ caused by the workout itself and can therefore repair and regrow bigger. Here we analyse the supplements within the new Size and Strength Bundle created by Myprotein to see how they can improve this entire process and ultimately increase the size and strength of your muscles.

    (Click here for the Size & Strength Bundle on the IE site)

    MP MAX® Total Gainer

    (MP MAX® Total Gainer - IE site)

    Firstly when looking to increase muscle mass, the very first thing you need to be aware of is creating a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you expend/burn.) Unless you are doing this, it’s incredibly hard (near impossible) to increase muscle mass effectively. Now most men need 3200-4000 calories to gain lean body weight, more if they're extremely active. This is 700-1,500 surplus calories more than their maintenance level which is roughly 2,500 calories (it must be noted these figures are only estimates and are very generally speaking.) Now although it is possible to get this amount of calories in your diet naturally, it’s often easier (and in many ways more efficient) to get them through a weight gain formula such as MP MAX® Total Gainer. Containing 411 calories per 100g serving, it also contains the perfect blend of complex carbohydrates to provide the body with a sustained release of energy throughout your workouts and a blend of protein help the muscles repair and regrow bigger.

    Looking more specifically at where the calories come from, MP MAX® Total Gainer contains a large serving of medium chain triglycerides, a fatty acid that’s absorbed more quickly than their chemical cousins, long-chain triglycerides, because they're shorter and more soluble in water. This makes it possible for medium chain triglycerides to pass directly from the intestines into the bloodstream (quite similar to how carbohydrates are used) unlike how most fatty acids must pass from the intestines and then into the lymphatic system before they can enter the bloodstream. It’s believed this unique quality of medium chain triglycerides is responsible for its energy boosting, performance enhancing and muscle building properties and why it acts more like a carbohydrates than a fat.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly for bodybuilders looking to solely build quality lean muscle, MCT’s have been shown to keep your body fat low (even reduce body fat) whilst still acting as a great source of fuel providing quality calories needed for muscles growth. It’s because although one gram of MCT’s provides a massive 8 calories (Bach, A.C et al 1996) because of the way they are transported directly to the liver and used for energy, only 1-2% of them are stored as fat (this is compared to carbohydrates that possess 4 calories per gram but excess consumption of them could lead to increase body fat.) Furthermore, experts believe MCT’s are less likely to be stored as fat because they boost your metabolic rate. Papamandjaris, A.A et al (2000) claims that 400 calories of MCT’s increases the metabolic rate for at least six hours after a meal to a greater extent than other types of fat. Plus according to Seaton, T.B et all (1986) in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, MCTs also increase the rate at which other fats in the diet are burned for energy. Also, because they are preferentially used as fuel for energy instead of being stored as body fat, experts believe they are also able to spare protein from being used as an energy source and, therefore, your aminos get used for muscle building. This is because some of the energy from MCT oil is converted by the liver into ketone bodies which are used as easily as glucose for fuel. Thus, these ketone bodies replace some of the amino acids used in metabolism and leave them for use in building mass.

    MP MAX® ONE Promilk and MP MAX MyBar® Deluxe

    (IE site - MP MAX® ONE Promilk & MP MAX MyBar® Deluxe)

    Next to build muscle mass you’re body needs sufficient amounts of protein to ensure the muscles can repair and regrow following the training induced micro trauma they experience during heavy weight training. So that’s why the sports scientists at Myprotein included MP MAX® ONE Promilk into the bundle, containing 38g of high quality protein Promilk’s are predominantly made from milk protein which contains a good source of the protein casein which, according to a study conducted at Maastricht University in America, is ideal to be consumed before bed since it releases amino acids to the body slowly throughout the entire night (therefore making your night time more anabolic.) And a MP MAX MyBar® Deluxe protein bar, containing 28g of whey and milk protein per bar, it’s ideal to ensure your able to maintain a positive nitrogen balance in the body that is conducive to building muscle.

    Tribulus Pro

    (Tibulus Pro - IE site)

    Very different to the other supplements in this bundle, Tribulus Terrestris has been shown 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 able to train in the gym.

    MP MAX® Recovery Evo

    (MP MAX® Recovery Evo - IE site)

    Research shows after weight training you have what is called a ‘post workout nutrient window,’ this is when your muscles are starved and possess a ‘sponge like’ property that experts believe is responsible for your body’s ability to absorb a lot more protein and carbohydrates than any other time of the day (R.R. Wolfe et al, 1995.) That is why straight after the gym you need a protein shake formula that contains everything your body needs to shift the balance from catabolic to anabolic (since following a workout there are many biological reactions going on inside the body such as depleted muscle glycogen levels, rising cortisol levels..etc.) That’s why the sports scientists included MP MAX® Recovery Evo into the bundle, since it contains the perfect ratio of protein: carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores and trigger protein synthesis as quickly as possible. Furthermore it also contains the amino acid glutamine has been shown to greatly aid the recovery of muscles following a workout and help the body as a whole cope with the immune system crash that occurs following a heavy training session. In fact one study conducted at the Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research at the University College of Dublin found its repairing qualities were so impressive it’s used to treat patients with inflammatory conditions such as infection and injury

    MP MAX Creapure®

    (MP MAX Creapure® - IE site)

    Next no Strength and Size bundle would be complete without a good quality creatine supplement. Used by bodybuilders and strength athletes the world over, the success of creatine as a strength supplement can be directly attributed to its ability to boost 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.

    Omega 3

    (Omega 3 - IE site)

    Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA) and is made up of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are both long chain fatty acids that have been shown to provide a number of health benefits ranging from aiding cardiovascular health to improving depression. But what few people know is how EFA’s help regulate the traffic of substances in and out of our cells via protein channels, pumps, and other mechanisms which in turn can help to increase muscle size and strength. For instance EFA’s have been shown to regulate oxygen use, electron transport and energy production cells, without this you simply wouldn’t be able to lift weights effectively in the gym in the first place to build any sort of muscle. Secondly they have been shown to assist electric charges that produce the bio-electric currents important for nerve, muscle, and cell membrane functions, and the transmission of messages along neural pathways: Muscular coordination and the firing of as many muscle fibres as possible (during a set) are important in the gym as is muscle relaxation out of the gym. Lastly (and quite often cited as the most important job of omega 3 for muscle building) it keeps juice-producing (exocrine) and hormone-producing (endocrine) glands active: Exocrine glands secrete chemicals into a duct which carries the chemical to the target tissue or organ (Gall bladder and sweat glands are two). The manufacturing of bile in the gall bladder is important as bile breaks down cholesterol, which is then taken to the liver for removal. Sweat gland function assists the expulsion of toxins from the body and ensures that the body does not overheat during training. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into extra-cellular space, which then diffuse into the bloodstream (ductless glands: pancreas, thyroid, pituitary and gonads are the main ones). The pancreas assists blood sugar stability. The thyroid helps to govern protein synthesis, fat metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, heart rate and ventilation rate and the actions of the nervous system. The pituitary gland controls many of the body’s hormonal processes and the gonads store and disperse testosterone. 

    The new Size and Strength 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 SIZE 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:

    S. Nissen, R. Sharp, M. Ray, J. A. Rathmacher, D. Rice, J. C. Fuller Jr., A. S. Connelly and N. Abumrad (1995) ‘Effect of leucine metabolite β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate on muscle metabolism during resistance-exercise training’ Journal of Applied Physiology
    Rieu, Isabelle (2006) ‘Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia.’ Journal of Physiology 2006; 575; 305-15.

    C. G. Van Zyl, E. V. Lambert, J. A. Hawley, T. D. Noakes, S. C. Dennis (1996) 'Effects of medium-chain triglyceride ingestion on fuel metabolism and cycling performance’ The American Physiological Society

    Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Robert Ross, William D. Parsons and Peter J.H. Jones (2003) ‘Medium-Chain Triglycerides Increase Energy Expenditure and Decrease Adiposity in Overweight Men’ Obesity Research (2003) 11, 395–402

    N Baba, EF Bracco and SA Hashim (1982) ‘Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with diet containing medium chain triglyceride’ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 35, 678-682

    Ron J Maughan (2005) ‘Role of micronutrients in sport and physical activity’ Department of Biomedical Sciences, University Medical School, Foresterhill, Aberdeen

    Theodore B. Van Itallie, M.D. Leonardo Sinisterra, M.D. Fredrick J. Stare, M.D. (1997) ‘Nutrition and Athletic Performance’ The Journal of the American Medical Association

    Ron J Maughan (2007) ‘The athlete’s diet: nutritional goals and dietary strategies’ Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

    Blixt, G (1965) A Study on the relation between total calories and single nutrients for athletes’ Sociologica et Medica Upsallieusis

    Bach, A.C., Ingenbleek, Y., & Frey, A. (1996). The usefulness of dietary medium-chain triglycerides in body weight control: fact or fancy? Journal of Lipid Research, 37, 708-726

    Papamandjaris, A.A., White, M.D., Raeini-Sarjaz, M., & Jones, P.J. (2000). Endogenous fat oxidation during medium chain versus long chain triglyceride feeding in healthy women. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 24, 1158-1166

    Seaton, T.B., Welle, S.L., Warenko, M.K., & Campbell, R.G. (1986). Thermic effect of medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides in man. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 44, 630-634

    Discuss on the MP Forum.

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