Are you lacking energy? Is your gym routine suffering because you are “too tired”?
Experts say that taking the antioxidant resveratrol, found in red wine, grapes & berries, may help boost endurance, prevent weight gain and improve energy. Further new research suggests that combined with vitamin D it packs an even more powerful punch when it comes to weight management.
Much of the initial excitement about the supplement revolved around its potential to expand longevity and its capacity to lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a variety of cancers and age-related problems like cataracts and bone-loss.
Fitness experts started to take notice of resveratrol back in 2006 when the journal Cell reported that mice given the antioxidant ran nearly twice as far on a treadmill as un-supplemented critters. The treatment “significantly increases the animals resistance to muscle fatigue” researches concluded. Put simply – more energy and less muscle exhaustion led to a better workout. It’s as if you could put the benefits of healthy diet and exercise in a pill.
How does resveratrol work?
Resveratrol works by stimulating enzymes called sirtuin, which control important functions throughout the body, including DNA repair, cell life, aging and fat production. Sirtuins may also increase mitochondria, the powerhouses inside cells where nutrients and oxygen combine to make energy. In the study, mice on resveratrol had bigger and denser mitochondria, so their charged muscles were better able to use oxygen. In theory, this means that resveratrol may be able to help you work out longer or harder or both before your muscles become too fatigued to perform. These more intense workouts will then condition muscles for even greater effort the next time you lace up, for a continuous cycle of improved fitness.
However research outside the laboratory has been limited. In one of the few completed human trials, 90 sedentary men and women were given resveratrol or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12 weeks all the participants were tested on a treadmill. The results showed that while all the participants were running at the same intensity; the resveratrol group exerted less effort while exercising. They also had significantly lower heart rates during exercise; the equivalent of three months training – apparently from just taking a daily supplement.
When it comes to weight-loss, advocates of resveratrol suggest that it works in part by interacting with blood sugar. Some studies have shown that resveratrol boosts our muscles ability to absorb glucose from food. This means that more calories go into muscles and fewer go into fat cells. One such study using mice fed with high-fat diet with resveratrol weighed almost the same as those served a non-fat diet without the supplement. But because, for some, resveratrol appears to increase the ability to exercise more frequently and intensely, it is hard to pin down the real source of weight maintenance.
Resveratrol is not the only supplement that has shown some real benefits in weight management and fitness. Omega-3 fatty acids have been reported to increase metabolism and provide a faster recovery time which means less muscle soreness. While vitamin D is said to enhance your fitness goal by aiding strength and endurance.
New research, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, August 2011, has discovered the effect of resveratrol on lipid metabolism, and demonstrates that supplementation in combination with vitamin D and quercetin (found in green tea) synergistically decreases the formation of new fat cells in the body. This finding is significant because it may provide a critical metabolic aid to people that suffer the health-damaging effects of obesity.
Scientists studying metabolism in aging adults have found that stem cells differentiate in favour of fat cells and to the exclusion of the cells necessary for the formation of new bone. This means that as we age our body has evolved to store fat as an aid to our survival. As metabolism slows, we continue to eat the same number of calories that helps to fill the newly acquired fat cells.
Development of new fat cells has evolved as a protective mechanism; although the vast majority of older adults really don’t need this genetic advantage. Researchers found that the supplements; resveratrol, vitamin D and quercetin work together to regulate our genes and down-regulate the production of fat cells. Naturally it is important to practice calorie restriction as we age. Many aging adults will be able to utilise this phytonutrient trio to prevent excess weight gain.
To aid you in your battle with the bulge, or help support your fitness levels you can add Res-V Plus or Res-V Ultimate which both contain resveratrol and green tea, and Lester’s Oil which contains vitamin D and a double dose of purified fish oil.