Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 2019

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26 INSIDER March/April 2019 For sports nutrition consumers, managing energy is about balancing fuel and fatigue. The heart of energy production is in the mitochondria, the inner part of body cells. Here, enzymatic and oxidative reactions create the "energy molecule" adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which releases energy as its bonds are broken. Increasing ATP production is one part of the energy balance; the other is limiting fatigue. Various molecules can trigger fatigue signals, which are processed in the brain, and blocking these signals or situations that trigger them is a popular approach to promoting continued energy for workouts and competition. Mitochondrial Energy Production Nutrition drives ATP production. In the earliest stages of intense activity—up to about 10 or so seconds—the body draws quick energy from stored ATP and quick re-synthesis. In this phosphagen system, phosphate can be added to spent ATP—breaking the bonds cleaves off phosphate(s) and leaves either adenosine diphosphate (ADP) or adenosine monophosphate (AMP)—to quickly restore this energy molecule. To do this, the body taps into muscle stores of phosphocreatine. A popular method of maximizing phosphocreatine stores is to supplement with creatine. Creatine monohydrate and hydrochloride were the main forms for many years, but recent innovations include buffered creatine and creatine nitrate, which are marketed for various improvements such as safety, stability, absorption and bioavailability. Another way to boost ATP stores is to supplement with ATP itself. TSI Inc. offers an ATP disodium ingredient called PEAK ATP ® . ATP supplementation increases energy production within the cell and promotes increased blood fl ow outside of the cell. 1 In the ATP molecule, adenosine and the three phosphates are joined in the middle to a sugar compound called ribose. Supplemental ribose is marketed to improve ATP production. Ribose is a rate-limiting compound in the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines, which are crucial to synthesis of important body components like DNA and RNA, as well as certain vitamins, according to Bioenergy Ribose. The company noted ribose is made in the body from glucose, but the process is slow, making supplementation a touted complement. Glucose is the primary nutrient feeding the process of ATP production for higher intensity activities as the phosphagen system depletes. Mainly sourced and stored from carbohydrates, glucose undergoes a breakdown process called glycolysis to drive ATP production. Early or "fast" glycolysis starts to increase as the phosphagen system wanes and works in anaerobic conditions until the oxygen from increased breathing makes its way to the cells. This only produces a small number of ATP molecules (per glucose molecule), so the system only sustains for about 30 seconds, give or take. Everything in anaerobic glycolysis happens quickly. The process creates ATP and the byproducts NADH+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide plus hydrogen ions) and pyruvate. When oxygen presence is lacking, the pyruvate quickly turns into lactate, which further breaks down enzymatically into lactic acid and hydrogen ions. Contrary to long-held theories, lactic acid does not promote fatigue but instead can either remain in the cell for energy or be shuttled to the muscles for use as fuel. 2 The fatiguing culprit is the hydrogen ion. As these ions accumulate in the muscles, they increase acidity and contribute to muscle fatigue—the research community is still searching for the exact mechanisms of muscle fatigue from unsustainable workloads, including the buildup of other metabolites such as chloride and potassium. Carnosine is a dipeptide in the muscles that helps buffer metabolites including hydrogen ions. Carnosine is comprised of the amino acids L-histidine and beta- alanine. Supplementing with beta-alanine has become a popular method of addressing muscle fatigue for improved workout and performance. Once oxygen hits the cells, aerobic slow glycolysis kicks in; it takes longer to produce ATP, but more is produced than in fast glycolysis. Slow glycolysis can sustain for up to the two-minute mark of moderate to intense activity. With oxygen now present, the byproduct pyruvate oxidizes into acetyl coenzyme A that can combine with oxaloacetate to form citric acid and feed the krebs cycle; also known as the citric acid cycle, this process features a series of reduction and oxidation reactions to produce ATP and various byproducts such as carbon monoxide. Pyruvate from glycolysis, or glucose, is just one way to feed the krebs cycle. Fat and protein can also contribute to the krebs cycle and ATP production. When carb and fat supplies are insuffi cient, amino acids can be oxidized into pyruvate, coenzyme A or oxaloacetate to enter the krebs cycle. This is not the primary method of energy production, so supplemental proteins and amino acids tend to be marketed for their other sports nutrition benefi ts, including building muscle. Fats are a preferred source of nutrition for energy production, especially in lower intensity and endurance activities. Fatty acids stored as triglycerides can be oxidized into coenzyme A for use it the krebs cycle. "Fatty acid oxidation [FAox] occurs during submaximal exercise intensities, but is also complimentary to carbohydrate oxidation (CHOox)," reported researchers The balance between energy and fatigue is key to powering exercise and can be managed via intake of nutrients and related natural compounds. The body is driven by a multi-phase cellular energy production that occurs in the mitochondria and involves macro and micronutrients. Caffeine is the world's most popular fatigue blocker, but its often synthetic and habit-forming so consumers demand natural alternatives. Improved Energy for Improved Exercise by Steve Myers INSIDER's Take Sports Nutrition: Energy

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