Get the Most from Exercise

Get the Most from Exercise

Exercise is important to health. According to, some of exercise's benefits include helping us lose weight, supporting a better mood, reducing risk of heart disease, helping us better manage blood sugar and insulin, strengthen bones and muscles, reduce the risk of some cancers, and more. In these studies, nutrients like ubiquinol, whey and curcumin showed promise in supporting optimum exercise.


reduces muscle damage and fatigue in runners

The body makes ubiquinol, a natural chemical compound that stimulates cells to produce energy. Recent studies have found doses of 200 to 300 mg of ubiquinol prevent oxidative muscle damage in athletes. In this study, 16 male distance runners took a placebo or 300 mg of ubiquinol-10 per day for 12 days during a summer training program. On days seven and nine, runners completed a 15.5-mile and 24.8-mile run, respectively.

On day six, one day before the series of runs began, those taking ubiquinol had elevated circulating levels of CoQ10 and lower activity levels of inflammatory enzymes that indicate muscle damage. On day 10, after the two runs, men in the placebo group reported significantly more fatigue than the ubiquinol group.

Reviewing the results, doctors said ubiquinol at doses of 300 mg per day can reduce muscle damage and fatigue in long-distance runners.

Reference: International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research; January, 2020, a000627, Published Online

Whey Protein

rebuilds muscle after illness

Older adults lose muscle mass from inactivity and illness. In this study, 16 men and 15 women, aged 65 to 80, took 30 grams of whey protein, or 30 grams of collagen peptides, per day, for five weeks. Whey is a complete protein, rich in leucine and all essential amino acids, while collagen peptides are lower in these nutrients.

For two weeks during the five-week study, participants limited daily walking to 750 steps and reduced food by 500 calories per day. The diet added 725 mg of protein per pound of body weight. After this, participants returned to normal activity for one week. Both groups lost muscle mass, but the whey group recovered more skeletal muscle mass after resuming normal muscle-building activities.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; October, 2018, nqy193; Published Online

GABA plus whey build lean muscle

In the first study to combine gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) with whey, 21 healthy men took 10 grams of whey protein with or without 100 mg of GABA per day, along with supervised resistance training twice per week. At four and eight weeks, resting growth hormone levels were higher in the whey/GABA group, but only slightly elevated at eight weeks for whey alone. After 12 weeks, the whey/GABA group saw a greater increase in whole-body fat-free mass compared to whey alone. Doctors noted a relatively low dose of whey, when combined with GABA, produced the lean-muscle benefit.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Medicine Research; 2019, Vol. 11, No. 6, 428-34

whey protein for older women

As the body ages, muscles naturally lose strength and mass. In this study, 70 older women took a placebo or 35 grams of whey protein before or after three resistance training sessions per week for 12 weeks. Prior to the study, the women had practiced resistance training to pre-condition their bodies.

Compared to placebo, women who had taken whey protein either before or after resistance training saw increases in skeletal muscle mass, lower limb lean soft tissue, muscular strength, and functional capacity.

Commenting on the results, doctors said taking whey protein before or after resistance training may prevent loss of muscle mass and strength, and improve physical functioning in older adult women.

Reference: Nutrients; May, 2018, Vol. 10, No. 5, 563


reduces post-exercise pain

In this study, 29 healthy men, aged 18 to 35, with experience in strength training, drank a placebo beverage or one with 450 mg of curcumin extract before, and immediately after, an exercise routine. The routine consisted of a warm-up stretch, then leg presses and lower-limb resistance exercises to exhaustion.

Compared to placebo, the curcumin group had delayed muscle soreness and reported less pain 48 hours post-exercise. Also, the curcumin group had less accumulation of lactate—a factor in fatigue—which doctors believe was why they maintained higher power in the third set of leg presses.

Discussing the findings, doctors said curcumin appeared to increase sustained power during strenuous exercise, reduce lactate build-up, and permit athletes to return to exercise training sooner than they would without curcumin.

Reference: Journal of Dietary Supplements; July, 2020, 17968857

BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before trying a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing, or if you take prescription or over-the-counter medications. For example, these supplements may also thin blood.

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Article copyright 2020 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels


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