In Bulletin #93 I discussed some of the most basic and important supplements for athletes: vitamins, minerals, and protein. This month I want to continue with some other core supplements: Pro-Carb™ and CapTri®. These two supplements are excel-lent energy sources for bodybuilders and endurance athletes alike. They also provide a good source of clean calories for anyone trying to gain weight.Pro-Carb™Pro-Carb™ is primarily a carbohy-drate supplement, with a small amount of protein added to slow digestion. Each serving of Pro-Carb™ provides 33 grams of carbohydrate and 6 grams of protein. The carbohydrate supplied by Pro-Carb™ is low DE maltodextrin, a medium-chain carbohydrate. Maltodextrin is a much more desirable carbohydrate source than sugar because it elicits a much lower insulin re-sponse. Therefore it will sustain a more uniform energy level than the highs and lows associated with simple sugars.Pro-Carb™ is an ideal energy source for endurance athletes, or for bodybuilders who want to maintain a high energy level throughout long workouts. Carbohydrate is the preferred energy source of intensely exercising muscles. Carbohydrate is stored in muscles and liver in the form of glyco-gen . When glycogen stores are depleted, exercise performance is severely curtailed.
This is referred to as “hitting the wall” by marathon runners, or “bonking” by cyclists. This is because fat cannot be metabolized rapidly enough to sustain maximum exercise performance. Stored body fat contains many thousands of calories, but those calories are relatively slowly metabolized. Body fat can sustain activities like walking nearly indefinitely, but does not supply energy fast enough to fuel running or intense cycling. Furthermore, fat is not an effective energy source for weight lifting. Weight lifting is probably the most intense exercise, requir-ing short bursts of maximal effort. Muscles must have carbohydrate to generate peak contractile force. Once muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores are depleted, weight lifting performance declines dramatically.Muscle glycogen is also important in obtaining a pump, and in having that round, full look you want your muscles to have. Before competition bodybuilders usually undergo a protocol called “carb loading,” to maximize muscle glycogen stores. This helps their muscles look bigger and fuller.
Endurance athletes also do this before a competition, not so much to make their mus-cles bigger, as to store as much “on board” energy as possible. Carb loading has been shown to improve endurance performance as well as increase muscle size and density. To perform carb loading, the athlete begins about six days or so before the competition by decreasing carbohydrate intake while continuing to train . This depletes stored muscle glycogen. After three days of gly-cogen depletion, the athlete increases carbo-hydrate intake beyond normal levels, while decreasing training activity. This causes the muscles to super-compensate, and store more glycogen than they normally would. After three days of loading, the muscles have reached their maximum storage capacity for glycogen. This gives bodybuilders big, hard muscles, and endurance athletes a topped off gas tank. Refer to the Parrillo Performance Nutrition Manual™ for detailed carb loading protocols, including directions on how much carbohydrate to consume when depleting and the loading .Pro-Carb™ is an ideal carbohydrate supplement for both bodybuilders and en-durance athletes.
To maximize daily training performance use two scoops of Pro-Carb™ about 20-30 minutes prior to training. If you engage in particularly long workouts, you might derive more benefit from increasing this to two scoops two or three times a day. Pro-Carb™ also works very well during carb loading. Here you generally would use one to two scoops three times a day, depending on your size and your carbohydrate intake from conventional food.Pro-Carb™ works very well for so called “hard gainers,” as a source of calories to support weight gain. Most people who have a hard time gaining weight simply don’t eat enough calories. Usually they feel full, and can’t eat enough food to put on any weight. These people are naturally thin, and often do well on a carbohydrate supplement. Of course, they also need to pay strict at-tention to protein intake, to ensure they are getting enough protein to support an increase in muscle mass .CapTri®CapTri® is another energy supple-ment, but is entirely different from Pro-Carb™. CapTri® is a medium-chain triglyc-eride (MCT) supplement – the most pure and highly refined on the market. MCT’s are a special kind of fat, which are metabolized very differently than conventional fats.
Conventional fats are combined with carrier proteins in the intestine to form particles called chylomicrons. The proteins help make the fatty acids more soluble, like the way detergent makes oil more soluble in water. The chylomicrons are then released into the lymphatic system, and enter the blood-stream via the thoracic duct. This results in conventional fats entering the bloodstream without first passing through the liver. Most of the fatty acids are then taken up by fat cells (adipocytes) for storage. When fat is consumed along with carbohydrate, the carbohydrate causes the pancreas to release insulin, which in turn stimulates fat cells to absorb fatty acids from the bloodstream and store them. Furthermore, carbohydrate metabolism generates an intermediate called malonyl-CoA which blocks the use of fat as energy. Conventional fats, but not CapTri®, require the action of the carnitine shuttle to transport them inside mitochondria, the structures inside cells where food molecules are burned to produce energy. Malonyl-CoA shuts down the carnitine shuttle, so as long as adequate carbohydrate energy is avail-able, little fat will be burned.CapTri® acts very differently in the body. It is not incorporated into chylo-microns and released into the lymphatic system. Instead, it enters the bloodstream directly from the intestines and is trans-ported to the liver by the portal vein, like carbohydrate is.
There, it is metabolized immediately to produce energy . The medium chain fatty acids are broken down to form ketone bodies, which are then released into the bloodstream and transported to muscles. There they are used immediately for energy. To summarize some of the most important differences between CapTri® and conven-tional fat: 1. Conventional fat bypasses the liver and goes directly to fat cells for storage. 2. CapTri® is broken down immediately in the liver and transported to muscles cells where it is used for energy. 3. CapTri® is not taken up and stored in fat cells, because it is metabolized in the liver. Therefore, CapTri® does not contribute to stored body fat, as does conventional fat. 4. CapTri® does not require the carnitine shuttle to be oxidized, therefore it is used as fuel at the same time as carbohydrate.That CapTri® can be used as fuel by muscle at the same time as carbohydrate has important implications for endurance athletes as well as bodybuilders.
This means it has a “carbohydrate-sparing” effect, help-ing muscle glycogen stores last longer before being exhausted. CapTri® is metabolized as a fuel source as rapidly as glucose (blood sugar), and at the same time as glucose, which is very different from conventional fats. This makes it an ideal energy source for bodybuilders and endurance athletes alike.CapTri® is a very efficient source of calories to help support weight gain, particularly lean mass. Adding CapTri® to your diet provides extra calories, supplying energy to support weight gain. However, since CapTri® is metabolized in the liver to produce energy, it does not contribute to body fat stores. CapTri® is not converted into muscle tissue, but it does spare the oxidation of amino acids and glucose, al-lowing these nutrients to be retained as muscle mass and glycogen, respectively. CapTri® is rather unique among caloric supplements in that it provides calories in a way that cannot be stored as body fat. To use CapTri® to support weight gain, add one-half to one tablespoon to each meal. CapTri® is an oil, and works well in salad dressings or on vegetables. Each tablespoon supplies 114 calories .Unlike carbohydrate, CapTri® also works well as a supplement to help with fat loss.
To use CapTri® to facilitate fat loss, use it in place of carbohydrate. For example, at each meal decrease carbohydrate content by 100 calories and replace this with 100 calo-ries of CapTri®. This will decrease insulin levels, promoting the use of stored body fat as energy. Many people trying to lose weight simply cut calories. This works for a while, but backfires in the end, because your body will slow down its metabolic rate to match the new, decreased, level of caloric intake. Using CapTri® will allow you to maintain energy levels and metabolic rate, but by pro-viding a nutrient array less prone to be stored as fat, and more prone to promote oxidation of stored body fat. Detailed instructions on the ways to use CapTri® are provided in the CapTri® User’s Manual, supplied with each bottle of CapTri®. Also, the Parrillo Performance Nutrition Manual explains this in more detail .Don’t take CapTri® by itself on an empty stomach, because it can cause cramps. It is best mixed with food or a drink. A combination of two scoops of Pro-Carb™ and one-half tablespoon CapTri® makes a very effective pre-workout drink. You may experience the highest workout energy levels ever. Increase your intake of Cap-Tri® slowly, allowing your stomach to get used to it. Start with one-half tablespoon mixed with food, and gradually increase by one-half tablespoon increments until you achieve the desired intake.
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