Parrillo Performanceprovides the best qualitysupplements in the world.Period. We don’t cut any cor-ners when it comes to nutritional supportfor our athletes. We want you to get themost from your training, and we want you toreach your goals. We’re here to help youwin. In addition to our famous success withbodybuilders, we also work with world classendurance athletes. In this article I will de-scribe some of our best supplements for en-durance athletes, why they work and how touse them. Even if you’re not an enduranceathlete and are just looking for more energy,our approach to diet and supplementation issure to help. Finally, it’s also worth men-tioning that many of the best bodybuildersalso rely on our endurance supplementswhen they want to train longer and harder,and, more importantly, recover faster andmore completely.Ultra-endurance activities are associatedwith loss of lean body mass (1,2). Endur-ance activity causes loss of lean tissue be-cause as fat and carbohydrate fuels are ex-hausted the body draws on its own muscletissue to use as fuel (3). Amino acids can beconverted to glucose in the liver via a pro-cess known as “gluconeogenesis” (4,5). Theso-called “branched chain amino acids” (leu-cine, isoleucine and valine) seem to be espe-cially preferred as fuel substrates. In addi-tion to being converted to glucose in theliver, the amino acids are unique inthat they can also be used di-rectly as fuel by the muscles(5). These are the amino ac-ids included in our product“Muscle Amino.” MuscleAmino contains the balanceof branched chain amino ac-ids science has shown mostbeneficial.Have you ever noticedan ammonia smell in yourclothes after a hard workout?This is because your bodywas using some amino acidsas fuel but was not able toclear the waste products effi-ciently.
When this happens thecarbon skeleton of amino acids isburned, leaving ammonia as a byproduct.Ammonia is quite toxic and is converted tourea in a metabolic pathway called “the ureacycle,” which prepares it to be excreted inthe urine (4,5). The urea cycle requires cer-tain chemical compounds called “aspar-tates,” (4,5) which are included in our “MaxEndurance Formula.” We have developedthis product specifically for use during en-durance activities. It works by providingnutrients which are used by the body todetoxify the waste products of protein ca-tabolism. Max Endurance helps filter out toxicwaste products your body generates duringintense training. Eliminating these wasteproducts helps you have more energy andrecover faster. Ammonia is very toxic andwill stop energy production in the cell. Us-ing the aspartates in Max Endurance to “neu-tralize” the ammonia as soon as it forms en-ables you to have more energy and endur-ance. We suggest the product be used con-sistently everyday, not just on days of en-durance events.Perhaps the most crucial supplement forendurance athletes is our “Liver-Amino For-mula.” I cannot overemphasize the impor-tance of this product. What is enduranceactivity all about, anyway? It’s about pro-ducing energy over an extended period oftime.
Liver-Amino helps in at least three ways— by providing heme iron, protein and Bvitamins.Energy production in the human bodyrequires two things: a fuel substrate and oxy-gen (3,5). Many people build up the impor-tance of carbohydrates in endurance perfor-mance — and rightfully so. Carbs are yourbody’s best fuel source for endurance activ-ity (3,6,7). However, for those carbs to beused as fuel your muscles require a constantsupply of oxygen. Contrary to popular be-lief, it is usually the rate of oxygen deliveryto cells which limits energy production, notthe availability of glucose.As you know, it is the responsibility ofred blood cells to deliver oxygen to all theworking tissues of your body (4). What youmay not know is that endurance training ac-tually can destroy red blood cells rather thanbuilding them up — if your nutrition’s notright. Bodybuilders have long recognizedthat strength training actually breaks downmuscles and that this damage provides thestimulus for subsequent growth during therecovery period.
To build more muscle, youhave to provide the nutrients muscles aremade of. The same is true for endurancetraining, except it’s the blood system thattakes a beating. And if you want to recoverand be stronger as a result of your workout,you have to feed your body with the nutri-ents it needs to make red blood cells. Haveyou ever noticed that many endurance ath-letes are very thin and don’t have muchmuscle mass? Why is that? To understandwhy this happens, and what to do about it,you need to know a little about physiologyand how the body adapts to endurancetraining.Endurance activity causes a conditionreferred to as “sports anemia” (8-11). Thisoccurs rapidly with the onset of training (9,11). Endurance training causes an increasein mitochondrial content of the muscle tis-sue (mitochondria are the furnaces inside thecell where fuels are burned — the more en-ergy you produce the more mitochondria youneed), in myoglobin concentration (a pro-tein like hemoglobin, which is involved intransporting oxygen inside muscle cells), andin cytochrome enzymes (enzymes of the elec-tron transport chain, involved in aerobicenergy production) (12). All of these areprotein structures which are increased as anadaptive response to endurance training. Toachieve this increase, the body draws on itserythrocytes (red blood cells), hemoglobinand plasma proteins as a source of protein(10-12).
This is an example of the “plastic-ity’” of the body — the body remodeling itsown structures to adapt to changing condi-tions. In other words, what’s happening isthe body needs to build up its energy pro-ducing systems inside muscle cells to adaptto the training stimulus. These energy pro-ducing systems are made of protein. Andthe easiest place for your muscle cells to findprotein is to steal it from red blood cells andplasma protein.Couple this increased protein need withthe fact that endurance activity causesamino acids to be used as fuel substratesinstead of as proteins, and you can see whyendurance athletes are frequently borderlineanemic and why they commonly experiencemuscle wasting.Liver-Amino contains heme iron — themost bioavailable iron source (8). (Refer toour article about Liver-Amino for more in-formation.) The product contains desiccatedliver (not cooked), as cooking can destroythe heme group and decrease its incorpora-tion in red blood cells by 50% (8). Liver-Amino formula also provides 1.5 grams ofcomplete protein per tablet. Heme iron andprotein are precisely the nutrients your bodyneeds to produce red blood cells. This wayyou can build your energy producing sys-tems inside muscle cells and your blood sys-tem all at the same time, without having tosacrifice one for the other. Plus it’s a richsource of B vitamins, which are used in en-ergy production. Start taking the Liver-Amino (five to eight with each meal) whenyou’re training hard and definitely at leastsix weeks before your event, since it takesthat long to build up red blood cells.Next month we’ll examine several supple-ments that can be used in an endurance pro-gram for ultimate performance.
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