Increasing vascularity, a common sense approach
Several routes to one end
Let me start by saying this: There will be little talk of nitric oxide boosting supplements in this discussion. Why? The body cannot store nitric oxide, not even a little bit. NO is in a constant flux in the body. It's just as much a biological signaler as it is a vasodilator.
Also, there's very little hard proof that the perfusion of muscles results in a more favorable anabolic state.
All mainstream NO supplements contain what? CAFFEINE! Well. folks, caffeine's vasodilating window is very short lived. Once it reaches it's half life, it becomes a vasoconstrictor!
Oh, your supplement company never told you that? Surprise, they aren't even held to any standards at all regarding their ingredients and potency. They can say ANYTHING, provided they do not claim to "treat, diagnose cure or prevent any disease".
The upcoming discussions will center around adenosine triphosphate-- both naturally produced and supplemented, the only good source of arginine to use for NOS. Also, training guidelines using static contraction, isometric and isotonic exercises as wll as bodyfat requirements and food items.
If I want to boost my vasodilation, I do several things:
1) I change the way I perform my exercises.
By leaving tension on a muscle or muscle group we don't allow the same circulation to take place as it normally would. This increase anaerobic respiration within the cells. With that increase comes heightened lactic acid production (this is the burning sensation you feel). The body has just one goal at this point- allow more blood into the muscle, remove this lactic acid, then buffer it to use as new fuel. This influx of blood is what weight lifters call "the pump". Drop sets and deep tissue stimulation will also be discussed.
More on putting this into place in the next capsules.
2) The use of creatine and Peak ATP (adenosine triphosphate-5 disodium. Peak ATP is the only orally administered ATP known to survive the trip through the gut. More info? Eli Rapaport has pioneered studies regarding ATP, and was the man who discovered Peak ATP.
3) Supplement a good stable creatine. We'll discuss why stability is such a big issue here, too.
4) Keep my bodyfat low, and remain well hydrated. Dehydration will decrease blood volume!
Food items to aid ATP & vasodilation pt I
Yep, some athletes still get much of their nutrition from good foods. Some foods that I'll discuss in this capsule either aid in the production of , are precursors to. or augment the effectiveness of adenosne triphosphate (ATP). A brief overview first, though:
Many studies indicate that ATP has a smooth muscle (not striated muscle) action. Consider your blood vessels smooth muscle, because that's what they are. One such study traced ATP;s vasodilating action all the way to cardiac muscles. This was exercise induced ATP synthesis and metabolism. With that as a primer, it's time to dealve into how this helps we athletes, as further description of how these physiological mechanisms work. We'lll also have a look at the Krebs Cycle, as understanding it will bring about a better understanding of how to feed the machine.
First, we'll look at malate. I believe t was Muscle Tech who first held a patent on any supplement bound to malate. Muscle Tech as a company has very deep pockets. They're quite often the highest bidder when the studies com forth. They'd offered Creatine malate in Cell Mass. MT's latest conquest was alpha ketoisocaprioc acid. I WILL talk about this in the future, especially where muscle protein synthesis is concerned.
Okay, dude, you were talking about food! Sure, malate occurs in some foods that seem quite unlikely bedfellows in th strength and bodybuilding quest.
Apples- apples are loaded with malate. Apples are a good source of soluble fiber, potassium (both having positive heart health implications), and vitamin C.
I'd like to first point out that no fruit, nor fruit juice should EVER be mixed with creatine-- I don't care what the village idiot at your local health food store says-- nothing containing fructose (fruct=fruit, ose=abounding in sugar). Fructose, as well as many acids found in fruit cause the degradation of creatine to creatinine. Creatinine is a metabolite that doesn't really do us any good at all. The body sees it as a toxin, thus removing it from our system. Athletes consuming a lot of protein are already giving the liver and kidneys a run-- so knowing the metabolic implications of the foods, supplements, and medications is key. Further discussion of malate and the amino acids etc. that it should accompany will be described further down, in capsules relatiing to such. Just know that malate has a synergistic effect to creatine, thus ATP.
How does creatine relate to ATP?
Surprisingly, many people that use creatine have absolutely no idea why they're doing so. Supplemental creatine (monohydrate, gluconate, malate are most common) cannot be stored in it's original form. Phosphorus is needed to metabolize creatine into phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is the human body's stockpile of creatine. Creatine is useless (as far as today's science has found) to us unless it undergoes this change.
An ATP molecule consists of adenosine and three (tri) inorganic phosphate groups. When a molecule of ATP is combined with water (a process called hydrolysis), the last phosphate group splits away and releases energy. The molecule of adenosine triphosphate now becomes adenosine diphosphate or ADP.
Foods- slight return
Not that I'm a grass munching tree hugger, putting all sorts of weird crap in my body, but some of what those "gurus" have to say is worth listening to. Some of those sciences are two thousand years old. Though I have an enormous background in Chinese herbology, very few Chinese herbs show great promise for us here. Schizandra is one, but more research is really needed before I start blowing it's horn.
Tu chung is one herb that has potential here, though. Tu chung is the bark from a rubber tree plant, and considered one of the most important herbs in Chinese medicine. Agai, much more research is needed, but pharmaceutical companies have had their eyes on tu chung for some time now-- showing promise as a blood pressure medicine.
Some herbs have already got plenty of solid data to support their efficacy. One such medicinal plant tastes pretty damn good on pizza-- garlic. Without getting into garlic's antibiotic/antimicrobial activity, where much of modern science sees the greatest promise- garlic contains one ingredient that's just steps away from ATP-- adenosine. Garlic is fairly rich in adenosine, but I've not found any research into it surviving the trip through the gut. But hey, garlic tastes good as Hell, and it's rich in selenium. Selenium has a very close synergistic relationship with vitamin E, boosting it's antioxidant activity. ALL athletes should concern themselves with antioxidants! Much of what we do as far as exercise to "stay fit", much less train hard for peak conditioning causes free radical damage. Free radicals can be thought of as lone rogue O atoms. It's also important to know, we humans need VERY little selenum. It's a trace mineral. That said, if you eat a lot of fresh garlic, do not supplement selenium. It has a very high potential for toxiciity.
magnesium puts yet another plus in the column of its beneficial cardiovascular effects. Magnesium is Nature's own calcium channel blocker. Essentially, this is a biochemical reaction causing vasodilation.
This is a relatively good article explaining a bit better, I must admit, this one ain't my forte.
More by this Author
How to improve your deadlift
NSAIDS and other pain relievers shouldn't be used for DOMS
As a long time heavy drinker, and someone well educated in how the body works, I feel qualified to give this advice. None of this is intended to replace your health care practitioner's advice, though. Start at the...