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Bulletin #125 – The Whey and Creatine Blast!

July 21, 2009
Bulletin #125 – The Whey and Creatine Blast!
Parrillo Performance

Two “heavy hitter” supplements prov-en scientifically to enhance lean muscle when combined with an intense weight training program are whey protein and creatine monohydrate. You may be tak-ing one or the other, or you may be using both.

Parrillo Performance

If you are using both, then you are harnessing the supplement synergy of this combination and that means a potentially greater increase in muscle mass, according to recent research published in the Inter-national Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism . In this six-week study of 36 weight-training men, those who took whey protein and creatine daily (in the amount of 1 gram of each per 2.2 pounds of body weight) increased their muscle mass significant-ly, plus increased their bench pressing strength. Control groups who took whey alone had some increase in mass but not as much as when creatine was added to the mix. Those who took a pure carbohydrate placebo showed very little gain. This study suggests that part of your supplement pro-gram for gaining leaning mass and build-ing strength should involve taking whey and creatine. Both have individual benefits, but appear to be synergistic when taken in combo. (1)How Whey Works For background, whey is a compo-nent of milk that is separated from milk to make cheese and other dairy products.

It is a chief ingredient of some protein powders and drinks formulated specifically for athletes and exercisers. At Parrillo Per-formance, we have an entire line of prod-ucts formulated with whey, including our Optimized Whey™ Formula (100% whey protein isolate), our Hi Protein™ Powder which is whey protein isolate and calcium caseinate and our 50-50 Plus™ Formula (formulated with whey protein isolate, cal-cium caseinate, milk protein isolates, and maltodextrin), to be used in conjunction with our Nutrition Program.  Whey protein is significantly high in the branch chain amino acid, leucine, and this is significant. Leucine plays an im-portant role in protein metabolism and has a signaling function in the body which basically means that it stimulates protein synthesis in skeletal muscle, although this function is not yet well understood. Leu-cine has been shown in research to trigger significant and preferential losses of vis-ceral body fat.

Located in the deeper layers of the body under the subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is often the hardest fat to lose and doesn’t respond well to dieting, particularly in women. This high leucine com-ponent may possibly be responsible for the potential fat-burning effect observed with whey protein. (2) Our whey protein supplements are also high in the mineral calcium. Known best for its job as a bone-builder, calcium also controls fat-burning mechanisms in the body by turning on switches that activate fat metabolism. (3) Whey protein is also a proven re-covery nutrient. In one study of athletes, supplementing with a whey protein drink immediately after exercise and then one and two hours later accelerated the rate of glycogen resynthesis. (4) This means, essentially, that you rebuild your muscle energy supplies much more efficiently so that you can continue to work out more intensely which leads to greater gains. So the bottom line is that whey protein, with its certain constituent parts, naturally enhances anabolic processes in the body.How Creatine Monohydrate Works Named after the Greek word for flesh (kreas), creatine was first discovered in meat in 1832 .

Creatine is produced natural-ly in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas at a rate of about 2 grams a day from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methio-nine. Most of your body’s creatine is deliv-ered to the muscles, heart, and other body cells. Inside muscle cells, creatine helps produce and circulate adenosine triphos-phate (ATP), the molecular fuel that pow-ers muscular contractions . Supplementing with creatine provides numerous benefits. (5,6,7) Creatine increases levels of a high-en-ergy compound called creatine phosphate, which also allows more rapid production of ATP. The more ATP that is available to muscle cells, the longer, harder, and more powerfully you can work out. Thus, cre-atine can indirectly help you lose body fat, since longer, more intense workouts help incinerate fat and build lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at using energy and burning fat. Creatine helps your body manufacture contractile proteins within muscle fibers. When you build muscle through exercise, diet, and assistance from creatine, you’re essentially increasing the amount of con-tractile proteins in your muscle fibers. This makes the muscle fibers expand in diam-eter, get stronger, and generate more force when they contract. Creatine promotes muscular gains in body mass, averaging up to 6 pounds or more, usually within several weeks of use. Some of the weight gain experienced by creatine users is due partly to water.

Creatine attracts water into the muscle cell, and this action inflates muscles so that they look fuller. Body composition testing of creatine users, however, has verified that much of the weight gain is lean muscle. Creatine postpones exercise fatigue. Creatine depletion in muscle cells is a ma-jor cause of fatigue. In one study, research-ers looked at creatine levels in sprinters and found that their muscle supply fell markedly according to the length of the sprints. After 100 meters, creatine levels dropped by 50 percent; after 200 me-ters, 59 percent; and after 400 meters, 90 percent. When creatine stores were fully drained, complete fatigue set in. Creatine improves the force and power with which you train. This has been proven repeatedly in studies of athletes who per-form short-burst movements in their sports. At the Kingston University in the United Kingdom, researchers tested the effects of creatine on exercise performance in elite athletes. Athletes took 20 grams of creatine a day in divided doses for five days; another group took a placebo. The athletes engaged in three maximal kayak ergometer tests.

(The tests simulated the sport of kayaking, which is very demand-ing, particularly on upper body strength.) Those taking the creatine were able to perform significantly more work than those taking the placebo. The results of this study indicate that creatine can help you sustain more powerful contractions when working out. (8) In another recent study, women ex-ercisers took 20 grams a day of creatine for four days, then followed a mainte-nance dose of 5 grams a day for a total of 10 weeks. Another group took a placebo. Those women taking the creatine were able to complete more repetitions with signifi-cantly higher poundages than those taking the placebo. (9)The Whey Creatine Blast Here’s how to take these two supple-ments . To use creatine in your supplement program I recommend taking four 5-gram doses a day for five to 10 days. This is known as the “loading phase.” From there, two to 5 gram doses once a day about half a teaspoon will keep your muscles saturated with enough extra creatine. This period is called the “maintenance phase.” Then I recommend that you take cre-atine with one of our whey protein pow-ders. Try this for several weeks, but be sure to monitor and record your gains using our BodyStat measuring system . Diet is critical too . To support muscle growth, creatine works best if you fol-low the Parrillo Nutrition Program, which supplies ample calories from the proper categories of proteins and carbohydrates.


(1) Burke, D.G. 2001. The effect of whey protein supplement with and with-out creatine monohydrate combined with resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscle strength . International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 11: 349-364 .

(2) Ha, E., et al. 2003. Functional properties of whey, whey components, and essential amino acids: mechanisms un-derlying health benefits for active people. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 14: 251-258 .

(3) Ha, E., et al. 2003. Functional properties of whey, whey components, and essential amino acids: mechanisms un-derlying health benefits for active people. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 14: 251-258 .

(4) Van Hall, G., et al. 2000. The ef-fect of free glutamine and peptide ingestion on the rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis in man . International Journal of Sports Medicine 21: 25-30 .

(5) Clarkson, P.M. 1996. Nutrition for improved sports performance. Sports Medicine 6: 393-401 .

(6) Andersen-Parrado, P. 1997. High-intensity activity + creatine supplementa-tion = muscle power. Better Nutrition, November, 16-17.

(7) Volek, J.S., Kraemer, W.J., Bush, J.A., et al. 1997. Creatine supplementa-tion enhances muscular performance dur-ing high-intensity exercise. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 97: 765-770.

(8) McNaughton, L.R., et al. 1998. The effects of creatine supplemen-tation on high-intensity exercise perfor-mance in elite athletes . European Journal of Applied Physiology 78: 236-240 .

(9) Vandenberghe, K., et al. 1997. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training . Journal of Applied Physiology 83: 2055-1063 .

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