During the last few months we’vebeen discussing the various energy produc-ing systems of the cell and how they arecalled into play during intense exercise. Toreview briefly, ATP is the molecule that di-rectly powers muscular contractions. ATPis referred to as a “high energy” molecule,because when its phosphate bonds are bro-ken a lot of energy is released. This energyis transferred to myosin, one of the proteinsin muscle fibers, and this enables the fibersto slide past one another, resulting in musclecontraction. (Next month we’ll go more intothe molecular anatomy of muscle and explainexactly how this works.)A muscle cell has only enough ATPto last for a second or two, so the supply ofATP must be continuously regenerated. Thefirst energy system to be recruited is thephosphagen system, which uses energystored in creatine phosphate (CP) to regen-erate ATP. This system can fuel maximal ex-ercise levels for around six seconds (1). Thesecond energy system called into play is theglycolytic system. In the glycolytic system,glucose from the blood stream or from storedglycogen is broken down to lactic acid. Thiscan supply energy at a maximal rate for twoor three minutes (1,2). The third and finalenergy system is the aerobic system, whichcan supply energy for hours on end. In thissystem carbohydrates, fat, and protein areoxidized (burned)to produce CO2, and the energy released isused to regenerate ATP (1,3).
The advantage of the phosphagenand glycolytic systems is that they are ableto produce enormous quantities of energyvery quickly, but they only last for a few sec-onds. The aerobic system can generate en-ergy for long periods of time, but at a lowerlevel. The first two system are known as“anaerobic” which means they don’t requireoxygen. Aerobic metabolism does requireoxygen, and produces energy at a slower ratebecause it is limited by the rate of oxygendelivery to tissues. Weight lifting is a primeexample of anaerobic exercise, and the rea-son you can carry on a heavy set for only 30seconds or so is that you run out of CP (3).Weight training then is fueled al-most exclusively by the phosphagen andglycolytic systems. Running and cyclingare fueled mainly by the aerobic system, andcan be carried on for hours.All of this is very excitingto biochemists and muscle physi-ologists, but what does it mean tobodybuilders and endurance ath-letes?
How can we use this infor-mation? To specifically designour diet and supplementationprogram to provide the energyand nutrient profile we need formaximum performance and mus-cular growth. Let me tell you how.When you wantto increase cellular en-ergy levels, the first thingto think about is CapTri.CapTri is almost a miraclewhen it comes to deliver-ing energy to cells.CapTri is a specially engineered fat whichcontains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).Regular fats and oils are made from longchain fatty acids. Fat is a great molecule forstoring energy (nine calories per gram ascompared to four calories per gram for carbsand protein) but has the disadvantage ofbeing slowly metabolized. The unique mo-lecular structure of CapTri gets around thisproblem. CapTri harnesses the energy den-sity of fat but is able to deliver that energyas rapidly as glucose (4). CapTri is not in-corporated into chylomicrons and trans-ported in the lymphatic system as is con-ventional fat, nor does it require the carnitineshuttle for entry into mitochondria. ThusCapTri skips these time consuming stepsthat slow down digestion, transport, and ab-sorption of regular fats. CapTri is absorbeddirectly into the bloodstream and goes tothe liver where it is converted into ketonebodies (4). Ketone bodies are an immediateenergy source which can be used at the sametime as carbohydrates.
This is in contrast toconventional fat and stored body fat, whichis not used as a significant source of energyfor exercise until carbohydrates are depleted.Carbohydrate metabolism produces malo-nyl-CoA, a metabolic intermediate which in-hibits the carnitine shuttle and thus preventsthe use of long chain fatty acids forenergy.Since MCFAs do not re-quire the carnitine shuttle theyare burned immediately for en-ergy, at the same time as glu-cose. This has a glucose-spar-ing effect (4) and helps glyco-gen stores last longer. Thelonger glycogen stores last,the longer you can train beforefatigue sets in. The energyfrom CapTri also spares pro-tein (4). This simplymeans that if CapTri isbeing burned for en-ergy, less proteinneeds to be burned forenergy. This effect re-duces protein catabolism. Finally, CapTridoes all this without contributing to bodyfat stores (4). Since CapTri is burned imme-diately for energy, it is not stored as fat.CapTri has a very high thermogenic effect,which means that excess calories from CapTriwhich are not used to fuel exercise will beconverted to body heat instead of beingstored as fat. This is the secret of how Parrilloathletes consume so many calories withoutgetting fat.
To learn more about the metabo-lism and biochemistry of MCFAs call andask for our technical bulletins on CapTri. Forenergy, nothing can touch CapTri.Next we need to talk about a goodcarbohydrate source. ProCarb was devel-oped specifically to fit the carbohydrateneeds of athletes. It contains maltodextrin,a partially digested glucose polymer. ProCarbhas a low glycemic index, around 22-29. Thismeans it is slowly released into the blood-stream for a uniform energy level and agradual insulin release. This carbohydratehas proven optimal for replenishing glyco-gen stores (5) and the insulin profile is perfect for building muscle without storing fat.As you know, if insulin levels rise too highthis acts as a trigger for fat storage. ProCarbis an extremely clean burning energy sourcewhich is easily digested and absorbed, with-out bloating, gas, or bowel residue. Thismakes it ideal for use during endurance ac-tivities, as well as before weight training andfor carb loading.No doubt you’re aware that long,hard training sessions can actually be cata-bolic to muscle tissue protein stores. Aftercarbohydrate stores are depleted and fat me-tabolism is at full pace, muscle tissue is bro-ken down to release amino acids which areburned for energy. This is the worst thingthat can happen to an athlete. Can you imag-ine busting your butt in the gym for twohours a day and losing muscle? It can hap-pen very easily if your nutrient intake is notadequate to match your training level. Onestudy found that during a 10 mile run as muchas 57 grams of protein were burned for en-ergy (6).
That amounts to about half a poundof muscle! The most important thing youcan do to prevent muscle catabolism is tomake sure you have plenty of other energysources available. CapTri and ProCarb bothhave a protein-sparing effect and are prefer-entially used as energy sources before pro-tein. These are first line defenses againstprotein catabolism. You may also want toconsider Muscle Amino, Parrillo’s exclusivebranched-chain amino acid (BCAA) formula.BCAAs are the most abundant amino acidsin muscle fiber proteins, and during catabolicstates muscle fibers are degraded and theBCAAs are used as fuel. The big problem isthat the BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, andvaline ) are essential amino acids. Thismeans they cannot be made by the body, soit is essential that they be obtained in ad-equate amounts from the diet. ParrilloMuscle Amino contains BCAAs in theproper ratio required to optimize musculargrowth. Having an abundant pool of freeBCAAs in muscle ensures that the buildingblocks are in place when its time to buildmuscle. Muscle Amino also provides aminoacids that can be used as fuel so that exist-ing muscle tissue won’t be broken downduring catabolic states.Intense training produces a lot ofmetabolic waste products, most notablyammonia, which are toxic to cells and needto be eliminated. Parrillo Max EnduranceFormula was designed to do just that.
Itprovides aspartate, which is an intermediateconsumed in the urea cycle, the metabolicpathway responsible for eliminating ammo-nia. This is of special concern to enduranceathletes, who generate a lot of toxic wasteproducts during long training sessions.The Parrillo BAR is one of the bestenergy sources available for athletes. It con-tains CapTri, to provide immediate energy.It provides carbohydrates as glucose poly-mers to help maintain blood glucose levelsduring prolonged exercise. It includes a highefficiency protein source with plenty ofBCAAs. All of these ingredients are de-signed for rapid digestion and cellular up-take, and help prevent muscle protein ca-tabolism.This supplementation programcombined with the Parrillo diet will result ismaximal energy delivery to cells to fuel exer-cise performance and muscular growth. Ifyou’re seeking a natural advantage, give it atry. You’ll be amazed what your body is ca-pable of if you supercharge it with the rightnutrients. Before your next workout mix ascoop of ProCarb and a tablespoon ofCapTri in a quart of water. Drink half beforethe workout and half during the workout.Before your next bike race take 10 MuscleAminos and 10 Max Endurance along withthe drink above, and pack along a BAR forduring the race. Call us and let us knowwhat happens – maybe you’ll be featured inthe next Parrillo Performance Press!
1. McArdle WD, Katch FI, and Katch VL.Exercise Physiology – Energy, Nutrition, andHuman Performance. Lea & Febiger, Malvern,PA, 1991.
2. Hatfield FC. Hardcore Bodybuilding – AScientific Approach. Contemporary Books,Inc., Chicago, 1991.
3. Wilmore JH and Costill DL. Physiology ofSport and Exercise. Human Kinetics Publish-ers,Champaign, IL, 1994.
4. Bach and Babayan, Medium chain triglyc-erides: an update. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 36: 950-962 (1982).
5. Lamb DR, Snyder AC, and Baur TS.Muscle glycogen loading with a liquid car-bohydrate supplement. Int. J. Sport Nutr. 1:52-60, 1991.
6. Dohm GL, Williams RT, Kasperek GJ, andVan Rij AM. Increased excretion of urea andN-methylhistidine by rats and humans aftera bout of exercise. J Appl Physiol: RespiratEnviron Exercise Physiol 52: 27, 1982.