Mixed Bag

I got my first order for buttons off to the derby contact, and then she wanted more. I got them all finished and then went to the clinic.
But before I got a cold, Shaun brought home this Date Coffee loaf, or maybe it's a Coffee Date loaf, from Cobs. I didn't know what to do with it. But then I channeled my inner Chopped addict and came up with what we now call "toasties". Not so creative name for a super yummy snack.
I sliced the bread super thin. Then I brushed it with melted butter and sprinkled it with sea salt.
I baked it until it was dry. I served it with cream cheese to Emily and her friend and they loved it. Weird, because neither likes coffee or dates. We've had it with brie, and cream cheese and roasted garlic. It's a keeper.
The night before my cold, we got our veggie bin. I decided to sign up again, we need some veggie inspiration. The tangelos were a huge hit. I opted for the large bin every other week.
The other new thing was the watermelon radish. Radish texture and taste, but not radish heat. We like it!
The doctor prescribed this giant bottle of cough syrup. It did the trick, the cough and snotty nose did not amount to the ear infection he said was on the verge of ruining my life. Maybe over exaggerating, but I've been sick 3 times in 4 months since I started working out in the world. Germs are not my friends.
I told Kerry to take that cupboard down, and he did. What difference!
I need to paint, but you can see sort of, how removing the cupboard opened up the kitchen/dining area.  Well, I can see it, the picture does nothing to really show you. I want to paint/remove the tiles. I hate them. I want new counter tops too, while were at it. But that will have to wait.
In the mean time, we'll eat white chocolate fudge, made with Bernard Callebaut chocolate.
I was inspired today by Donna Downey's poppy canvas album cover. So I made this canvas. It's almost 2 feet square. I think I will put it in the living room.

NaHCO3 HIITs Interval Training: +34% Time to Exhaustion, +91% Total Work & Significantly More Lean Mass With 200mg/kg Baking Soda and High Intensity Interval Training!

Image 1: It is unlikey that you would not benefit from sodium bicarbonate supplementation,... well, unless you are a tinman like The Sprinter by Jessy Meyer ;-)
"Our daily baking soda give us today", ... just in case you are now shaking your head asking yourselves, whether I have a major contract with any sodium bicarbonate manufacturer, let me get this straight: I have not! But the white powder with the salty taste (it is not 1/2, not even 1/10 as bad as sodium-chloride = table salt) is simply an amazing(-ly cheap) and way underrated ergogenic. Whether this is due to the fact that you can hardly squeeze money out of gullible customers (and non-SuppVersity readers ;-) like you can with the "next creatine" of which you have sprinkled an insignificant amount into your latest and greatest proproprietary blend, or whether it is simply the potential of gastrointestinal side effects is anyone's guess, though...

"Subjects were began the training [...]" - what?

I will also leave it up to you, whether or not you feel that the insufficient language skills of the five scientists from the Islamic Azad University in Iran, the  University of Picardie, Jules Verne in France the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, who published the results of a trial that was designed to invesitage effects 42 days on 0.2g/kg body weight sodium bicarbonate +15g dextrose (bicarbonate; note in week 3-6 the dosage was reduced to 0.1g/kg) or 16.5g plain dextrose (placebo) had on the VO2-uptake, the ventilatory threshold, and the time to fatigue of 36 "recreationally active college men" (age 22y; BMI 24.6kg/m²; 1-5h per weeks training before the intervention) after 6 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT: 5-6 bouts of 2:1 high-to-low intervals), takes away from the credibility of their data (Picardie. 2011).
Figure 1: Relative values of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2Max) and time to exhaustion before in the middle and right after 6-weeks on 200mg/kg (weeks 3-6: 100mg/kg) sodium bicarbonate + 3x per week 4-7 high intensity intervals (data calculated based on Picardie. 2011)
Assuming that you share my opinion that linguistic insufficiencies should not be an issue, when it comes to solid science, you will probably share my excitement about the rapid increase in total time to exhaustion:
  • +28% in the bicarbonate group after 3-weeks and +34% after 6 weeks;
  • +8% and +10% in the placebo group
And while the increase in time to exhaustion is not really "news", at least as far as increases in acute exercise performance from sodium bicarbonate consumption immediately before a race are concerned, it is quite intriguing to see how "granny's universal household-weapon" exponentiates the already pronounced effects of a standardized high intensity interval training with the following characteristics:
  • 3x per week high intensity interval training
  • 4-7 intervals, with a built in progression from week 1-6 (starting with 4, ending with 7)
  • 2min all-out (90-115% VO2max), 1min pedaling casually
  • conducted on an electronically braked cycle ergometer 
In this context, it is also worth mentioning that contrary to many other trials, the subjects consumed the bicarbonate supplement in 4 (200mg/kg phase in the first 3 weeks) and 2 (100mg/kg phase in the last 3 weeks) servings of which two were consumed 30min prior and immediately after the HIIT sessions. This fundamental difference could not only explain that none of the subjects complained about gastrointestinal distress, it also reflects my personal experience that taken in multiple doses across the day (and away from food, as it will interfere with digestion) sodium bicarbonate can be a very effect tool to keep your blood bicarbonate high and thusly the workout induced acidity at bay.

More endurance, more power, and... more muscle!

The latter, i.e. the (over-)acidity of the muscle does not only hamper the energy transfer and the ability of the muscles to contract, it could also explain the following for most of you probably very welcome side effect the bicarbonate supplementation had on the 18 subjects in the respective group:
[...] the present study also identified a significant change in lean body mass for the SB [sodium bicarbonate] supplementing group after three weeks, with no change in the placebo group.
Image 2: If you want to build tree-trunk legs on a spinning bike you better make sure there is enough bicarbonate in your veins, otherwise you should be glad if you are not even "spinning away"  the sticks you already have
The scientists ascribe these (unfortunately the values which were assessed using a BodPod(R) are not quantitatively specified) increases in lean mass to on the proteolytic (= increasing muscle breakdown) and effects of intramuscular acidosis (Caso. 2005), of which Balmer et al. were able to show that it also hampers the exercise induced increase in protein synthesis (Balmer. 1995).

And just in case neither the improved (high intensity) endurance performance, nor the muscle gains or the +22% increase in total work vs. placebo during a series of standardized cycling tests should be enough to invest the few bucks into a huge bag of sodium bicarbonate, maybe one of my previous blogposts on this issue will make you pull the trigger ;-)

The last hurrah.*

Aido pinning it on the SS at MTB nationals. In elite. Awesome!
*promise you can do some state racing later this year Aido...

The Pro-Diabetic Effects of Shark Liver Oil - Plus: Can it Be Coincidence that the Omega-6-Laden Nigella Sativa Oil has Just the Opposite Effects on Blood Glucose & Triglycerides

Image 1: Even if you kill him, he will take revenge and increase your blood glucose and triglyceride levels. And if you don't die from the negative side effects of the oil from his liver the neurotoxins from his fins will take care of the rest (cf. Science Daily)
"Healthy fats"... not to long ago even the combination of these two words was an oxymoron (an intrinsic contradiction). "How on earth can fats be healthy?" Was what the blank stares were telling you, when you set out to explain how and why people should not buy the latest and greatest "no fat" products from their local grocery stores. As of late the tides have changed and even mainstream media is jumping on the "healthy fats"-bandwagon - unfortunately, in a similarly single-sided way as before, with the "healthy polyunsaturated fats" on the one side of the divide and the "unhealthy saturated fats" on the other. Now, we all know that this distinction is flawed, but are really all fats made equal? Probably not, after all the overall message in the blogosphere has been changing from "limit omega-6s and get as much fish oil as you can" over "avoid omega-6s alltogether and make sure you get enough fish oil" to "avoid all PUFAs, but make sure that you get a decently low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio from the PUFAs you cannot avoid".

Sharks vs. blackseed - round 1: Fight!

A recently published study from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Science and Technology in the Republic of Yemen does yet provide further evidence that even this may not be the answer to everything. After all, the (formerly ;-) healthy 18 subjects (age: 23-31 years) in Doa’a A. Ibraheem study did not react particularly favorable to 2 weeks on 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids from an American shark liver oil product (Vitex  Pharmaceuticals).
Figure 1: Changes in glucose and lipid metabolism in 18 healthy volunteers in response to 2-weeks on either 500mg of omega-3 rich shark liver oil or 1,200mg of omega-6 rich nigella sativa oil (data calculated based on Ibrahiim. 2011)
As you can see in figure 1, the GMP certified "healthy" fish oil variety from shark livers did exactly what people who pop tons of cod-liver or regular fish oil want to avoid: It increased the fasting blood sugar and triglyceride levels - and if Mr. Ibraheem had had the financial resources to measure their insulin levels, I would bet any money that those were elevated as well.

The "bad" Nigella Sativa Oil of which the "poor" subject ingested even 1,200mg per day for another 2 weeks (in fact this trial was done 4 weeks before the SLO trial with an appropriate wash-out period in-between), with its 13% saturated fat, 25.5% MUFA and 58.5% of the dreaded omega-6s (it has only 1% omega 3) did not only induce a significant drop in fasting blood glucose, it also left the lipid parameters untouched.

And what about fish oil?

Now, despite the fact that shark liver oil is not identical to either fish, or cod liver oil, and that some if not all the health benefits of nigella sativa could be induced by other (micro-)nutrients than , I would hope that results like this will make more people question the "revised" perspective on "healthy fats", according to which all omega-6 acids are like vampires, that must be parried with garlic... ah, pardon omega-3 ;-)

The POWERFUL role of the Jewish woman.

Our sages tell us, "A man must love his wife at least as much as himself, but honor her more than himself." "A man should eat and drink for himself, with less than his means allow him; should dress, according to his means; and should honor his wife and children ( with clothes and housing) with even more than what he can afford.” Rabbi Chelbo said, “A man should always treat his wife with respect, for blessing only enters his house on her account.”

According to the books of mysticism, the purpose why G-d created this physical world, is so that we, human beings, invite, introduce and infuse G-dliness into this material world. This is accomplished when we study G-ds wisdom in the Bible, and we fulfill G-ds wishes - Mitzvot, in the Bible.

When G-d decided the time had come to present this G-dly wisdom, the Ten Commandments to the Jewish nation, and give the world its mission, He instructed Moses to first talk to, the Women.

Women are obligated in the drinking of the four cups at the Holiday of Passover, because they too where liberated from slavery, and more so, “in the merit of the righteous women our forefathers where released from Egypt.”

The Talmud says that women are obligated in the lights of Chanukah, because not only did they personally as women, benefit from the miracle, the actual miracle came about through a woman. Yehudit, chopped off the head of the chief of war and thus the enemy was defeated.

The Holiday of Purim is coming up in another week, March 8, 2012. Here again we are told, women are obligated to hear the story of Purim, both at night and the next morning because, not only was the decree of the wicked Haman, against the women as it was against the men, the miracle for all the Jewish people was actualized through a woman, Esther.

As matter of fact, the entire story of Purim is named after a woman, the Megilah – story of Esther.

In mysticism it explains that the spiritual counterpart, the underlying energy, of the feminine gender is higher and deeper than even that of the male gender, and this explains, why the miracle of Purim happened through Esther, a woman.

One of the actual manifestations of this greater strength, is seen and expressed in the central role women, and a mother, plays on the direction of her home. In Judaism a woman is called the “main entity of the home.” She is the foundation and the path the home will take. She has the greatest influence on the home, primarily the influence on the children, which is the spiritual strength of the present generation and the foundation for the next generation.

In order to annul the decree of Haman to “annihilate all the Jews in one day”, Mordechai, the leader at that time, gathered 22,000 children to study the Torah. It was the innocence and purity in the voice and actions of the small children, that spiritually broke the negative energy of that time.

We read in the story of Passover – the Hagadah, in every generation there is a Haman. A physical Haman with a down to earth physical threat, and the negative spiritual energy of Haman, who challenges the survival of our people. This spiritual enemy is, the internal lack of enthusiasm and coldness towards living up to, and observing our duties and responsibilities as a people.

Only through the commitment of mothers and women, to bring up their children with an unadulterated and pure spiritual and Jewish education, we will overcome the spiritual challenges against our people. Once we are safe spiritually, mentally and internally, we are protected and safe physically.

+25% Increased Quadriceps Weight and Profound Increases in Vascularization in Rodents From Real NO Donor! Study Shows: Nitric Oxide Works, At Least in Old Mice

Image 1: This is what NO boosters
promise, yet mostly don't deliver.
Many people believe that there is some truth to every myth. And in fact, a recently published study rom the Department of Surgery, Biological Sciences and Human Anatomy & Cell Science (quite a mouthful) at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, shows that even there may be a quantum of truth even in the "arginine" or "nitric oxide" or "pre-workout" or "however else you may want to call it" myth, which says that getting a decent pump will help you build muscle (Leiter. 2012). Now, aside from the fact that the latest generation of those pre-workout supplements boasts of having no arginine in them and relies solely on the stimulant rush the various *amines in them will produce, there is not a single study in which supplementation with X, Y, or Z amount of l-arginine (or other forms of the alpha-amino acid) had produced greater increases in skeletal muscle hypertrophy than an iso-nitrious (equal amount of nitrogen) placebo.

If arginine does not work, this does not mean that NO does not work either!

Those of you who have listened to my dissertation on amino acids, in the Amino Acids For Super Humans series on Carl Lanore's Super Human Radio, will yet probably remember that I mentioned a couple of test-tube studies, in which the incubation of intact myotubes with high amounts of l-arginine induced a profound growth response. Moreover, slightly more recent evidence from the Center of Exercise Science at the University of Florida points to the involvement of nitric oxide in the release of PGC-alpha, about the far-reaching metabolic effects (increase in mitochondrial density, effectivity and via irisin "browning of the fat cells", cf. PGC-alpha, irisin) you have read several times, already, here at the SuppVersity - and, as of late, probably even heard of in mainstream media.

Image 2: MP Assault is currently #2 in the Top 50 Best Selling Products over at BB.com,  it is yet only 1/3 purported NO-boosters in the Top 10
That those in-vitro results did not yet translate into real-world gains among the millions of consumers who have bought truckloads of NO XPlodes and SuperPumps over the past couple of years, is simple: While our bodies are capable of producing nitric oxide from arginine, simply taking in more than you need, won't increase your total and even less the nitric oxide level in your skeletal muscle tissue to a degree that would have physiological effects beyond "feeling pumped" (and I guess most of you will have noticed that especially on low carbohydrate diets, even this cosmetic effect is oftentimes absent when you consume one of the so called "NO boosters").

Isosorbide dinitrate, a real NO booster

In their study, Jeff R.S. Leiter and his colleagues did not even bother with l-arginine, but chose a pharmacological NO donor, which is usually prescribed to patients suffering from angina pectoris: Isorsorbide dinitrate, a long acting form of nitrates that is sold under the brand names Isordil, Cedocard, Sorbitrate, etc. To evaluate whether the administration of this medication could help combating the age-induced decline in satellite cell activation and subsequent loss of skeletal muscle mass, the scientists treated 18-months old female C57BL/6 mice (in human terms those mice were grannies) with either 66mg/kg isosorbide dinitrate (human equivalent: 5mg/kg) or placebo for 6 weeks. In addition to the "supplementation", half of the mice had free access to one of those tiny wheels, of which mice - contrary to the lazy human beings for whom they are used as a model - usually avail themselves voluntarily. Altogether, this leaves us with 4 groups:
  1. Control group: no wheel running, no NO donor
  2. Exercise group: access to wheel, no NO donor
  3. Treatment group: no access to wheel, 66mg/kg isosorbide dinitrate
  4. T + EX: access to wheel, 66mg/kg isosorbide dinitrate
As you can see in figure 1 the "gains" the old mice made, were far from being earth-shattering, but in view of the fact that they only ran whenever they wanted to (unfortunately there is not data on the exact time the rodents spent on the wheel) an increase in quadriceps weight of +25% over the control group and still +8% over the "exercise-only" group is certainly worth mentioning.
Figure 1: Muscle weight of skeletal muscle of exercised and/or isosorbide dinitrate treated 18-months old mice after 6-weeks (data adapted from Leiter. 2012)
That being said, the increases in muscle DNA synthesis and the VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) induced increase in vascular density are probably way more remarkable than the non-negligible increase in muscle weight, anyways.
Figure 2: DNA synthesis and vascular density in skeletal muscle of exercised and/or isosorbide dinitrate treated 18-months old mice after 6-weeks (data adapted from Leiter. 2012)
After all, the angiogenic effects of VEGF and the subsequent permanent (not cosmetic ;-) improvements in capilarization do not only facilitate an improved nutrient delivery to the muscle, the expansion of the "nutrient supply grid" is also a necessary prerequisite for future muscle growth.

Would the combination of an effective NO donor with leucine/HMB work even better?

What is yet interesting, though is that in those "old ladies" the exercise induced skeletal muscle protein synthesis obviously could not keep pace with the increase in DNA expression.
Figure 3: Mean fiber diameter and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle of exercised and/or isosorbide dinitrate treated 18-months old mice after 6-weeks (data adapted from Leiter. 2012)
The decrease in DNA/protein ratio, as well as the non-significant increase in fiber diameter (cf. figure 3) certainly raise the question, whether the additional provision of a significant amount of leucine or - in view of previous promising results in elderly populations - HMB would not result in significantly more pronounced gains in skeletal muscle mass. After all, it seems that the incorporation of protein into the hypertrophying skeletal muscle has been the rate-limiting factor in the study at hand.

Image 3: For patients with angina pectoris,
these small sublingual tablets are life-saving,
for the average physical culturist, they
pose a non-negligible health risk.
It is yet still probably not a good, let alone a healthy idea, to get yourself isosorbide dinitrate (IS) from the various online and offline gray-markets, regardless of whether or not you believe your protein synthesis can keep pace... ah, I almost forgot to mention: Those of you who pop some of those little blue pills on a daily basis - you know, those which help you "perform" - probably won't need the IS, anyways. After all, the results of a 2005 study by Hinkle et al. would suggest that Viagra (and similar phosphodiesterase inhibitors) could exert similar effects (Hinkle. 2005) - whether this is a "healthier" alternative is yet still questionable.

Review for Slap Crisp Apple


200 mg


This one’s a little more hit-and-miss than the others—as with both Slap Frost beverages, Wal-Mart is the place to go if you’d like to get your hands on Slap Crisp Apple, though it’s a little more hit-and-miss than the rest—it’s found at a lot of Wal-Mart stores, but not all of them, and even then, it’s not always there when you look.  Makes it kind of a pain unless you live in a town with more than one.


You get the same look as the others—box with the word SLAP written therein, aluminum stripe between black stripes—except the box is a nice vivid green and there are some interesting art-ish dark grey illustrations of sorts scratched within the boarders of the black stripes.  Not bad, but nothing to write home about, either.


Opening the can, I smell green apple—and tasting it, I don’t taste it at all.  It’s got that same indistinct earthy fruitiness that Monster Rehab—Green Tea possesses (which I’m guessing is the green tea).  Why you’d make an apple drink that doesn’t have an apple taste is quite beyond me, but in any case, it still tastes good—just don’t go for this if you’re an apple fanatic, it may drive you to bloodlust.


Slap energy drinks have never let me down in terms of the kick, and Slap Crisp Apple is no exception.  This is not a waste-your-time-getting-started sort of drink—this is something you can count on for fast, intense energy—not the really jittery kind, just the wake-you-right-up-like-a-bucket-of-ice-water-or-an-explosion-nearby-except-vastly-more-pleasant kind.  It just works so nicely.


This’ll give you 5+ hours of effective energy, after which I did experience sort of a crash—or maybe that was just the night before catching up with me.  Either way, it was excellent while it lasted.


For 99 cents, there is no reason why you shouldn’t forego your regular Monster or whatever and give Slap Crisp Apple a shot, at least once so as to decide what you think.  It tastes better and kicks better than hosts of other less stellar drinks on the market, and does so at a price that won’t break the bank (Red Bull drinkers take note).  Great company, great drink, great price…what more can you ask for?

KEYWORDS: Slap Crisp Apple energy drink review, bargain energy drink, green tea energy

Review for Whoopass Zero


200 mg


Same as the original—which is to say, far less common than one would expect, given how dang popular Jones Sodas are.  Best chances are to buy a case online.


A number of sugar-free energy drinks tend to come with some pretty bland packaging (see Amp Energy—Sugar Free and Amp Energy—Lightning Sugar Free), and actually lead me to feel a certain degree of apprehension as pertaining to the whole experience—bland packaging typically conjures thoughts of bland flavor, which I find terrifying.  Not so with Whoopass Zero—in white (as in this case) or black (as in the case of the original), Whoopass has got a nice, hardcore image going for it.


I’ve had a number of sugar-free/low carb/whatever drinks that nail the flavor of the original pretty well—take Rockstar and Monster for instance—but I’ve never one that mimics it so completely as does Whoopass Zero.  It is indistinguishablefrom the original—put ‘em in a double-blind test and I have serious doubts that I’d be able to tell the difference.   There are no artificial sweetener aftertastes to deal with, no lightness of flavor, nothing—just the same red sour apple/cherry goodness as the original (still got that strange apple bitterness).  If you’re counting your calories, by all means get Whoopass Sugar Free—you won’t for a second feel like you’re paying for your (semi) health conscious propensities.


In this respect, Whoopass Zero is almostindistinguishable from the original—but not quite.  It’s by no means less effective, far from it—it’s just that the energy boost seems to be more dedicated to waking you up than it is to making you jittery.  Same energy level, just a different manifestation.


You’ll get the same four hours or so of energy before you experience the same crash as with the original—which isn’t the most horrible I’ve experienced (that goes to Wired X 344), but still noteworthy.


Like Whoopass?  You’ll like Whoopass Zero.  Like Jones Sodas?  You’ll like Whoopass Zero.  Like energy drinks?  You’ll like…alright, I’m going to shut up before I get too carried away.  All you really need to know is that this is one heck of a sugar free energy drink—freak, it’s one heck of an energy drink in general.  Whatever your reasoning, whether you like energy drinks, like Jones Sodas, liked the original, you should definitely give this one a go.

KEYWORDS: Whoopass Zero energy drink review, sugar free, zero calorie, zero sugar, Jones Soda

Review for Whoopass


200 mg


Given the devoted (almost cultic) clientele that the Jones Soda Company has, I would think that Whoopass could be found in more locations—say, everywhere Jones sodas are sold—than it actually is.  Not so—coming by it is actually quite a challenge.  If you’re a Jones fanatic or are particularly desperate to get your hands on it, I’d get online and buy a case.


The Whoopass can reminds me of the Spike Hardcore Energy can in that it says quite a bit without actually saying much at all—it’s not particularly flashy or ostentatious (simply a black can with an iron cross with the name of the drink written within), but just by that, you get the impression that this is a drink that this means serious business.  Now that I’ve got that impression in my mind, let’s see if Whoopass delivers….


Whoopass is definitely unique—which is gratifying; I’d have been really pissed if the Jones Soda Company had put out an energy drink that turned out to be a Red Bull clone…it just wouldn’t have jived with the whole Jones Soda principle.  The taste was that of a sour red apple, but with a hint of cherry—at least that’s what I got out of it.  I actually fairly enjoyed the effect; my only complaint was a hint of bitterness that actually tasted that it came from that apple flavor rather than the caffeine and other energy ingredients.  Anyway, it was enough to dock half a point or so, but not enough that I am unable to say that this is a drink to please Jones Soda fanatics and energy drinkers alike—because it most definitely is.


This is an intense drink—it really does meet the expectations that the packaging sets.  It hits quick and it hits hard, delivering exceptional alertness and enough jitters to please just about anyone.


What Whoopass dishes out lasted a good while—four hours, give or take 15 minutes.  The one thing I hold against it is the crash afterwards—it’s big, like somebody’s whooped your…well, you know.


Just as Jones cranks out a dang good soda, they’ve cranked out a dang good energy drink.  I like the taste, I like the kick, and the only bad thing I have to say about it is that you crash pretty hard after the fact.  Don’t let that deter you, though—follow the slogan  and open a can as soon as you can get your hands on one!

KEYWORDS: Whoopass energy drink review, catechins, polyphenols, open a can, Jones Soda

The "Insulin Resistance Saga" - Part II: Jimmy has Asthma and My Daddy Eats Five Cheeseburgers and Three Large Servings of French Fries in One Sitting!

Image 1: In 2009 10% of all US children had at least a mild form of asthma. 57% of these children had had at least one asthma attack in the year before. And in the year 2007, 9 people died of an asthma attack on each of the 365 days of the year (CDC. 2007-2009)... yet our understanding of the nutrition-cleanliness-autoimmune axis is still in its infancy while millions of dollars are spent on a non-sensical "war on cholesterol", every day.
[Note: This is a direct sequel to the last installment] There she is, Mrs Youesdeay... you hated her. Her and her healthy greens: "Good morning my dear! I see your mommy is in a hurry today?... Good morning Mrs. Singleparent!" Mrs. Youesdeay was standing there, her usual half-anorexic vegan self, staring right into your eyes." It was as if she was saying: "Gimme those peanut-butter sandwiches my dear!" To escape this fate, you had made it a habit to hurry right past her and into the grey building with its unique smell. Mrs. Youesdeay always said that it was smelling of cleanliness... but how could something smell of cleanliness? You have been dwelling over this for some time now, but were not been able to come up with a solution. Jimmy started to cough. "I wonder whether his does this deliberately!" - it is the same ritual every morning. You obviously cannot know that Jimmy's asthma attacks, of which everyone keeps telling you that they are a result of the dangerous house dust - how on earth can some dust be dangerous? - are in fact triggered by the "smell of cleanliness" - or rather the toxic air-pollutants which form, when the vapor from the anti-bacterial cleaning products the cleaners are pouring over the floor by the liter every morning at 4am, right before you and your friends arrive at the kindergarten and the air fresheners Mrs. Youesdeay has placed in regular intervals all over the building mingle (Nazaroff. 2004).

"Jimmy is getting onto my nerves, really!" As usual, Jeany, your best friend, had been the first to arrive at the Kindergarten. You wonder why she does not want to tell you what her mommy did for a living, but in the end, it did not matter, anyway. You take your lunchbox out of your bag and check whether the peanut-butter sandwiches are still there. "You never know, what Mrs. Youesdeay is up to..." The sandwiches are still there and the Snickers bars, as well. Now, that your catecholamine levels are slowly returning to baseline your blood sugar is dropping back to the alarmingly low levels which made you yawn, when you got out of the car, at 7am.

Five past seven, high time for one of those Snickers bars!

Image 2: Takeru Kobayashi is only the most prominent of a new generation of media-hyped "food athletes" and questionable rolemodels for our children (img welt.de).
You grab one of the Snickers and scoff it down with two bites. This way you can make sure that Mrs. Youesdeay, who is still dealing with Jimmy's every morning asthma attack, is not going to see it. While you are waiting for the soothing and gratifying effect of the sugar rush to set in, you are heading over to the shelf with your name - the first (and only) word you can read - and take the half-finished of you, your mommy and your daddy at McDonald's... that was only half a year ago! In those days, when you were still a happy family. "My daddy can eat 5 Cheesburgers and 3 large servings of French fries!", you say. Your own personal record is 3 Happy Meals and in retrospective you were sure that you had finished the fourth one, as well, if you had not insisted on the super-size Fanta, but had stuck to those ridiculous standard sizes. One day, you would beat this tiny Japanese hot-dog eater, ...

... 69+1 hot dogs? that cannot be so difficult, right?

The regular corn syrup from the Snickers bar is doing its job pretty decently, your blood sugar rises and your thoughts stop wandering from topic to topic. Now, you are ready to go. You grab your pencil and begin to draw one of those creamy milk-shakes onto the already over-laden meal tray your mother is carrying. Meanwhile, your pancreas is pumping out insulin like crazy, but the constant influx of long-chain fatty acids from your digestive tract and the triglycerides your liver is still producing from the "corn sugar" (for those who are not aware, this is the new name for high fructose corn-syrup) that is responsible for the unbelievable sweet taste of your "healthy whole grain cereals", along with your chronically elevated cortisol levels, are tricking your body to believe that those free and glycerol-bonded fatty acids must be coming right from the adipose tissue, from which they are liberated in order to preserve your blood glucose levels from falling back into the hypoglycemic abyss and shut down the insulin-induced glucose transport into your brain and muscle cells by -50% (Thiébaud. 1982; Roden. 1996; Shulman. 2000).

"Vanilla or chocolate?"

Mrs. Youesdeay is passing out the low-fat vanilla and chocolate milk that is part of your governmentally sponsored breakfast, here at the Kindergarten. You grab one of the 100% vanilla-free yellowish brews, open the lid and avail yourself of another 10g of sugar and a whole host of artificial flavorings. "Mrs. Youesdeay?", you hear Carlson say. "Mrs. Youesdeay, that is not raw milk, is it? My daddy said that I must never drink raw milk, because it will make me sick and go to the hospital... that happens to 1000s of people every year, my daddy says!" You drop the PET bottle with your vanilla milk and stare over to Mrs. Youesdeay. "You don't have to be afraid Carlson. The USDA and our government are making sure that those scrupulous farmers are made accountable. Our milk is pasteurized and homogenized!"
Did you know that carrageenan (E407), also known as Ammonium Carrageenan, Calcium Carrageenan, Potassium Carrageenan, Sodium Carrageenan, Chondrus Extract or Irish Moss), a emulgator and stabilizer that is used whenever the fat that is giving real foods their unique texture is removed (such as in "your" no-fat vanilla or chocolate milk), is a potent pro-inflammatory agent? In a 2010 study from the University of Illinois (Bhattacharyya. 2010), it stimulated the inflammatory effects TNF-alpha in colonic epithial cells and inhibited its apoptotic (inducing programmed cell-death) effects and thusly set the stage for the development of colon cancer.
You pick the bottle back up and empty the rest of the 0.33l of milk not being aware that the mould-derived vanillin in it is only one of the 7 listed E-numbers and countless unlisted chemicals, of which you can safely assume that their addition to raw milk would solve the "problem" with bacterial contamination in no time ...

[to be continued...]

Review for Rip It--A'tomic Pom


200 mg


Rip It A’tomic Pom isn’t found at every bargain/dollar store that the original is, but isn’t by any means uncommon—more a matter of making a stop at a second store than active hunting.


I still can’t say I’m wowed by the overall layout, but the extensive use of dark red leads A’tomic Pom to be far less bland the can of Rip It—Power.  I do have one complaint, which if I don’t address here I won’t be able to—the apostrophe in A’tomic Pom—why is it there?  ‘Atomic Pom’ works just fine, why not just leave it at that?  I don’t mean to nitpick, neither do I mean to unnecessarily draw out the ‘appearance/presentation’ section, but there’s no ‘grammar’ section in my review, and this really bugs me—it just looks ridiculous.


Pomegranate is one of those tastes that’s really tough to nail—any attempt at it will typically either tank or excel, with very little room in between.  A’tomic Pom is a rare exception to this rule—the result is average.  On one hand, I can actually taste pomegranate, which I like.  On the other, it is also somewhat of an artificial soda-esque quality to it, which kind of mars the experience.  My advice?  If you’d like a pomegranate energy drink, see if you can get your hands on a 50% juice formulation of Rockstar Juiced—Pomegranate.


The kick is what I’d call on the high end of average.  It’ll wake you up, it’ll give you a good case of the jitters, etc.


I got about 3½ hours of efficacy out of this.  Not bad, but nothing I’m terribly excited to report.


So…Rip It—A’tomic Pom isn’t bad, but other than the fact that it actually something like pomegranate I found it to be effective but terribly unexciting.  If you must, I suppose there’s nothing to be lost in trying it.  Just make sure you eat really well for the rest of the day—the quantity of high fructose corn syrup in the stuff kinda made me cringe.

KEYWORDS: Rip It A’tomic Pom energy drink review, bargain energy drink, pomegranate flavor

Creatine for Type II Diabetics? 5g/Day Augment Exercise Induced Improvements in Glucose Disposal and Reduce Hb1Ac Levels by Increasing AMPK and GLUT-4 Expression

Image 1: A reasonable carb intake, regular exercise and, interestingly, creatine will help you not to become insulin resistant in the first place.
I don't know if you remember my rant against statins being promoted as unproblematic and healthy, when, at the same time, mainstream media portray creatine as a "dangerous gateway drug to steroids" (cf. "Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by >50%"). Today's blogpost is sort of an unintended follow-up on the former. After all the "dangerous gateway drug" just turned out to be useful in the treatment of the side-effects of the allegedly life-saving HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (=statins).

A teaspoon of creatine a day keeps metformin away!

In the latest issue of the journal Amino Acids Christiano Robles Rodrigues Alves and his colleagues from the School of Physical Education and Sports at the University of Sao Paulo in (guess where ;-) Sao Paulo, Brazil, present the results of a double-blind randomized controlled trial involving "25 non-vegetarian type 2 diabetic patients", who received either 5g/day creatine monohydrate or placebo for 12 weeks. In addition, the obese (BMI: 32.5kg/m²) men and women had to take part in a twice-weekly exercise regimen, of which I assume that it revolved around relatively light cardiovascular type of exercises, because otherwise the scientists would probably have provided some more details on what exactly the subjects did.
Figure 1: Macronutrient composition (in g) of the (ad-libitum) diets of the study participants at the beginning and end of the 12-week creatine/placebo + exercise intervention (data adapted from Alves. 2012)
As you can see in figure 1 the nutrient intake (in g) at baseline and after the study was comparable. With respect to the carbohydrate intake, which has as of yet still not been officially accepted as a contributing factor to the progressio, not resolution, of diabetes, it should yet be said that the -15% reduction in carbohydrate intake in the placebo group alone could have made a slight, yet probably not statistically significant difference in terms of the reductions in H1bAc levels (obviously not wrt to the total levels, since the reduced carbohydrate intake in the placebo group just "leveled the playing field", meaning that during the treatment period subjects in both groups consumed roughly 180g of carbohydrates per day).
Figure 2: Changes in AMPK-alpha expression (left) and changes in Hb1Ac expressed as a function of changes in AMPK-alpha in the creatine group (right; data adapted from Alves. 2012)
It is thusly all the more remarkable that there was still a pretty obvious correlation between the elevated intra-muscular AMPK-alpha levels (p = 0.06, the low statistical significance is mainly a results of the small number of subjects, where the one outlier in the creatine group (cf. figure 2, right) can make all the difference), which were measured based on biopsies from the vastus lateralis that were taken from 10 of the subjevts (5 men and 5 women) 72h after the last training and after an 8h fast (cf. figure 2, left) and the changes in H1bAc levels, an - at least in carboholics - pretty adequate measure of long-term blood sugar control (high levels indicate that the red blood cells have already been clogged with the glucose from the sugar water that flows through the veins of the ever-increasing number of (pre-)diabetics).

Hah? Doesn't creatine increase energy stores? How come it does increase AMPK, then?

As a diligent student of the SuppVersity you will have read about the creatine-induced increases in AMPK-alpha expression before (cf. "A Glimpse on Other AMPK Modulators"). Some of you may also have read the Bernado's question, how creatine, a supplement that is marketed for its ability to raise intra-cellular energy stores decreases AMPK, when the latter is the energy sensor of the cell. And in fact, this does sound somewhat counterintuitive at first, but if you think about "how" exactly creatine works, it makes perfect sense.
Note: It is somewhat unfortunate that the scientists did control which of the two AMPK-alpha isoforms (alpha-1 or alpha-2, cf. "AMPK Isoforms") were elevated in response to the creatine (+ "exercise") intervention. In view of the fact that the alpha-2 isoform appears to prevail in skeletal muscle, we may yet assume that those elevations in AMPK did probably not exert any direct negative effects on mTOR and subsequently the protein synthetic response to exercise - the fact that both AKT and MAPK expression were identical in both groups would support this notion.
Supplemental creatine (as monohydrate or whatever other form) has to be "phosphorylated" (bound to a phosphor molecule) by the creatine kinase enzyme to form the rapidly mobilizable energy reserve, of which you all know that it can help you to lift heavier and think faster (don't disregard the importance of creatine for bain health, cf. "Creatine for Brain Health")! The energy that is necessary to convert the unphosphorylated supplemental creatine molecules, as well as the phosphates that are necessary to "recycle" the used PCr (now likewise unphosphorylated creatine molecules) is derived from intramuscular ATP. This leaves us with a bunch of newly "energized" phosphocreatine (PCr) molecules and a similar amount of adenosine-di-phospate (ADP) molecules, the presence of which in the muscle has been identified as the main factor, which protects AMPK from dephosphorylation (= being active) and thusly facilitates all the beneficial down-stream effects on glucose uptake (most prominently an increased expression and translocation of the GLUT-4 glucose transporters on the cell membrane), the medical orthodoxy still believes to be an exclusive prerogative of biguanide based diabetes drugs such as metformin (Glucophage).

Wait! Does creatine hamper my gains then?

With AMPK being the opponent of the "muscle-building" mTOR complex, these results could suggest that taking creatine may actually blunt protein synthesis. Now, while that may be the case, if you let your muscles starve for glucose, the opposite will be the case when, there is enough muscle glycogen to replenish both, the ATP as well as the PCr stores, since more PCr will translate into increased workloads and those will in turn provide a more pronounced growth stimulus, which will then result in creatine's well-established multiplicative effects of creatine on exercise-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy (Hespel. 2007).

Biggest Winners Lose Their Weight "Slowly" - Losing 6kg of Body Weight in 15 instead of 5 Weeks is 4x More Effective and Ensures that it is Fat You Are Losing, Not Muscle!

Image 1: "How did I let this happen again?", asks Oprah in her own magazine (as a German I am shocked there even is such a thing as an "Oprah Magazine" ;-) - the answer is simple, Oprah! Your "diet" programmed the YoYo effect! It happened not after, but right while you were starving... ah, pardon "dieting"!
From time to time, I am using the Blogspot stats to check where you, my dear readers, are coming from. Aside from the usual suspects, there are sometimes certain posts, which attract a hell lot of visitors from single threads on any of the major or minor bulletin boards. To cut a long story short, about 2 weeks ago, I hit on a forum where one of you (thank you by the way) cited the SuppVersity as a good source of information for all things related to nutrition and exercise... now, the reason I mention this, is not that without comments like this and people spreading the word, the work I put into this blog on a daily basis would hardly be worthwhile, but rather the feedback the person got from the other "residents" of the board: feedback along the lines of "Pah! I am not into looking and half-naked musclemen!" ...

Obviously the lady who posted that, must have followed the link on a Thursday - in fact one of those Thursday's, where Adelfo was raving about how "disgusting" he wants his muscle to look on the day of his competition. And yes, it may be true that - especially the ladies - probably have slightly different concerns than muscles, which do not look disgusting enough, but the results of a recently published study that was conducted by scientists from the University of Sherbrooke in Québec, Canada, show that even the fair sex could learn a lot from the way Adelfo plans and tweaks his contest prep diet - first and foremost that slow and steady and not rapid and abrupt is the way to go, when you want to make sure that you don't just lose weight, but also see the gratifying results in the mirror, as well.

If you want to get lean and stay lean, you better diet down slowly

What is particularly interesting about the trial, the results of which M. Sénéchal et al. describe in their paper (Sénéchal. 2012) is that they have amazing practical value. After all, the only advice the scientists gave the 23 obese women, who participated in the trial, were ...
  • reduce the initial body weight by at least 5% and, unfortunately,
  • eat a "healthy" diet containing 55%, 30% and 15% of the caloric intake from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, respectively.
While I would agree that the macronutrient ratio may not be exactly optimal, it is still the way most people try to get rid of their superfluous body weight. What is yet even more important that the subjects were free to chose how exactly they would achieve this ends (at least this is how I understand the detailed description of the dietary protocol). The result was that some of the participants lost their ~6kg of body weight within 5-weeks (n = 5), while others took their time and "dieted" for 15 weeks (n = 5) until the 6kg of had fallen off their ribcage, buttocks and who knows whichever other problem areas the ladies had (with 5 women in the rapid and 5 women in the slow weight loss group, this obviously leaves 13 women who were excluded from the analysis, because they did not fit in any of these groups).

Rapid vs. slow - biggest loser vs. leanest winner?

I guess if this study had been part of the Biggest Loser TV show, the ladies in the "slow" weight loss group would already have been voted out before they had made it to the -5% body weight weight-loss limit. After all "fast", "rapid" and "immediate" are what everyone is looking for these days and "slow" and "steady" is for the real, not the "biggest losers" - right?
Figure 1: Prescribed macronutrient composition, identical for all subjects (left), and average caloric deficit (in kcal /day) in the rapid weight loss and slow weight loss groups (right, data based on Sénéchal. 2012)
Well, if you take a closer look at figure 1, this assumption begins to totter. After all, the ladies in the "slow" group had a caloric deficit of only -465kcal/day. Their counterparts in the rapid weight loss group, whose average caloric deficit was -1,338kcal/day, on the other hand, must have literally been starving for 5 weeks straight to achieve their goal - after all, the level of voluntary physical activity remained stable. Exercising the food away, which is a major part of the (idiotic) Biggest Loser regimen, was thusly not part of the equation, the body weight / composition specific results of which I have summarized in figure 2:
Figure 2: Reductions in weight, waist circumference, total and compartmental fat mass expressed relative to daily kcal deficit in the rapid and slow weight loss groups; relative difference in effect sizes slow vs. rapid (in %) are indicated right above the individual bars (data calculated based on Sénéchal. 2012)
As you can see, the negative side effects of the "quick fix"-mentality which gets so many people into a situation, where they have to shed weight, in the first place (fast food, coffee to keep going, sweet treats to get over the day, etc.) are similarly detrimental as the original ones. While you cannot debate that the women in the "rapid" weight loss group lost more than two pounds of body weight per week, this success came at the expense of a highly relevant -2.6kg loss in lean muscle mass (60% less loss in lean mass per calorie by which the subjects reduced their caloric intake compared to baseline) - "metabolic currency", as my friend Carl Lanore likes to say that would not only help them to keep the weight off in the future, but is also a indispensable prerequisite for mobility and health up until the old age. With the data in figure 2 being expressed on a "per kcal-deficit" basis, it becomes even more obvious how wasteful this starvation approach to weight loss actually is - not only in terms of losses in lean mass, but also in "what you get" for the effort (hunger) you invest: more than + 200% more weight loss and reduction in waist circumference per kcal and more than + 400% greater reductions in total, trunk and appendicular (inter-organ) fat speak for themselves - don't they?

Losing slow = losing steady = losing healthy = winning in the long run

If we also take into consideration that the "slow losers" experienced greater reductions in blood pressure and a 4x higher reduction in triglycerides (probably a way better marker of overall health than the likewise reduced levels of total cholesterol), it stands to reason that "starving the fat away" is no viable option, regardless of whether you are obese and trying to get down to a healthier weight, or whether you are a competitive bodybuilder who wants his muscle to shine in all their "disgusting" glory.

Image 2: Regardless of whether you want six-pack abs, like Adelfo or just a "flat tummy" like one of the Shape cover models; starving yourself won't get you there. The tummy wants to be filled appropriately, otherwise it will advice your brain to make sure that the fat under skin and even around the organs won't disappear.
On a related note, I don't think that it is incidental that this is yet another trial where the "magic no." (although I don't think you should focus too much on that) is ~400-500kcal/day and thusly by no means more than ~30% of the regular total caloric intake, which would be necessary to remain at a stable weight. Anything beyond that, may produce impressive results on the scale... but it will neither result in a continuous nor sustainable reduction in body fat levels and will program you to the ravenousness, about the negative psychological consequences of which Adelfo has written quite extensively in his latest blogpost And though, the scientific understanding of the gut-brain-axis and the physiological reality of a sensation we experience as hunger has not yet been fully elucidated, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the "hunger and satiety hormones" like GLP-1, CCK, PYY & co exert profound regulatory effects which go way beyond making us raid the fridge: They also make our bodies sacrifice energy consuming muscle tissue and fight for each individual fat-molecule it has stored away over the years... keep that in mind, before you rejoice over another 2lbs lost within the last 2 weeks!


These guys are drinking in a pub and having a good time. They start getting into a conversation whether there is drinking up in heaven or not. One guy says, if there is no drinking, it can’t be heaven. The other guy says, heaven is drinking here with your friends, and this goes on for a while. Finally one of them says, “the first one to die, has to promise he will come back and tell us, what really goes on up there.”

Some time passed, and one late night, one of the guys drank too much and passed away. OK, the other buddies said, “Let’s see if he keeps his word.” One night, another night, and they all meet at the pub wondering what’s going on. To whom will he come? Will it be before the thirty days, or after the thirty days? And then, he appears to Bill, in a dream, looking all worn out, black and charred, with a message, “Don’t drink Vodka, Don’t drink Vodka.”

Bill says, “Look at you what happened?” And the fellow says; “let me tell you what happened. After I passed away, I came before G-d, and my entire life, every detail, was played out for me. (That is what actually happens) I didn’t know where to put my self. The embarrassment, humiliation, disgrace was too much to bear.

The judges asked me, why I wasted my time on trivial and trifling matters. “Is this why you where granted life? To eat chips and drink, they asked.” “Before you bought a car you looked into it seriously, which model what make, you did think of the consequences of your choice. Before you bought a house, you got it inspected you looked into it, not to waste your money, and you considered the consequences of your choices. Even before spending small money, you considered whether it was a waste or worthwhile, why didn’t you do the same regarding your life? Why didn’t you make some serious inquiries, investigations, and research, into your life and after life choices, and their consequences?”

I told them you have the wrong guy. I never thought of later, and/or consequences. I was impulsive and always thought of the moment, never of the future. So this one judge asks me, “Did you drink wine?” I said, not only did I drink wine, I enjoyed every good wine I could put my hands on. And he continued to ask me, “Did you drink vodka?” I said to the guy, Give me a break. And how, I drank vodka. Like there was no tomorrow. That’s what got me up here. And he says to me, “but Vodka is bitter it doesn’t taste good.” And I said to him, listen Charlie, you must not know what it means to drink Vodka.

True it doesn’t taste good, and it is bitter, but the feeling one gets afterwards, the feeling of relaxation, makes it all worthwhile. And that’s when I got my foot in my mouth. So he says to me. “AHA. So, when it came to Vodka, you did think of the consequences of your immediate bitter choice, and decided the harsh sour taste, was worth the reward that came afterwards. So why didn’t you do the same regarding other choices in life? It’s only that with the other serious issues you didn’t have enough of an interest, and you didn’t care about it, while with drinking which YOU wanted, YOU decided to forego the temporary discomfort for the perceived rewards afterwards.” And that’s how got my self into real trouble.

Therefore; if you don’t want to get into trouble, DON’T DRINK VODKA.”

This cute little story demonstrates how some people will interpret life according to their preconceived attitudes. While someone else might learn from the admonition of the Judge, to apply discernment in all matters of life, this fellow took a lesson not to drink anymore.

This story exemplifies how, many times we don’t even realize the double standards we ourselves maintain. Happy people are happy because they know why they are here in this world, and they make every effort to consistently make choices in line with their purpose and goals. They see every day as a gift, which gives them more opportunities, to fulfill and reach their unique purpose. This becomes an intense sense of satisfaction and gratitude to G-d, for all the opportunities granted.