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Muscle Talk

Jaime Filer

Jaime Filer graduated with a kinesiology degree from York University, where she was a varsity athlete. She’s also a former competitive bodybuilder who competed in drug-tested events throughout North America. If something new is trending in fitness, chances are Jaime’s already tried it!

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Supplement Tidbits

A new way to measure kidney function in bodybuilders

Creatine has been studied over and over and over again. One thing that comes up repeatedly is its effect on the kidneys. Traditionally, researchers have measured kidney function through the speed in which creatinine, the waste product of creatine, disappears from the blood. However, people taking creatine automatically have more creatinine in their blood, so bodybuilders need another way to measure kidney health. Enter cystatin C. The more cystatin C found in the blood, the better the kidneys are functioning. In one study, the concentration of cystatin C in people taking 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight daily for three months was significantly lower than the placebo group. Creatine actually helped kidney function!

Red Bull gives your brain wings

Tons of people around the world are familiar with the effects of Red Bull—increased energy, mental alertness, focus, etc. We’ve experienced it ourselves, but has it ever been studied in a lab? You bet! Researchers in Vienna gave 10 students a can of Red Bull (containing one gram of taurine, 80 milligrams of caffeine and 600 milligrams of glucuronolactone) at 9:30 p.m. An hour later, the students took a psychological test that measured their mental performance under stress. The students who drank Red Bull instead of a placebo answered more questions with fewer mistakes and claimed the drink made them feel a little more balanced that late at night. So if you’re cramming, grab a can!

Mo’ Vit D, Mo’ Muscle

Everyone knows vitamin D as calcium’s little helper, but the truth is, it does much more than just enhance the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Researchers in Thailand found that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood had lower body fat percentages and more muscle mass! There are two possible reasons: First, in lab studies where muscle cells were exposed to vitamin D, the muscle cells produced less myostatin (the protein that puts a limit on how much muscle we gain), which means more growth. And second, it’s been shown that muscles cells that get too little vitamin D break down muscle proteins faster. All this means you should take a vitamin D supplement for more muscle!