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ITRC: Essential Body Builders

Essential fatty acids have been shown to promote growth hormone release, strengthen the cardiovascular system, enhance bodyfat metabolism and promote hormone stability.

It’s a conspiracy! Okay, maybe it’s just misinformation that only looks suspicious, but no matter how you label it, your health and workout results are suffering because of some seriously twisted facts. That misinformation is no doubt causing you to miss out on the single biggest factor in ensuring your well-being and perhaps even your sanity. The truth is, that thing you’ve been brainwashed to avoid can actually prevent many diseases, help you get leaner, improve your skin and hair, improve sex drive and even help cure or minimize depression. The substance in question sounds like a controversial drug or some type of radical hormone therapy, but it’s a simple macronutrient, the much maligned F-word’fat. No, not the kind that builds jelly bellies but the good fats, the ones that keep your hormonal systems revved and your health in high gear. You may think the term good fat is an oxymoron thanks to all the bad publicity fat has gotten during the past decade, but believe it or not, there are a number of good fats. We’re talking essential fatty acids here, and they can do wonders for people whose diets are deficient in them’which includes just about everyone (can you say ‘lowfat diet overload’?).

There are a number of good fats in the omega family, and scientists are now discovering why they’re so essential to your health and well-being. For example, one good fat, conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is on the rise as a supersupplement. In an article on that antifat fat in the December ’00 IRONMAN Jerry Brainum mentions a number of facts that should get your attention and help undo some of the brainwashing regarding the f-word:

‘Omega-3 fats have both lean-tissue-building and fat-reducing effects.

‘Various animal studies have shown that CLA thwarts cancer progress and can inhibit the proliferation of malignant melanomas.

‘Animals getting CLA had an average of 50 percent less fat deposition than control subjects coupled with increased body protein stores.

‘Studies show that CLA is especially protective against breast cancer in rats.

‘Studies also show that CLA reduces bodyfat accumulation in mice regardless of whether they’re getting a high- or lowfat diet.

‘Scientists believe that CLA limits the size of fat cells after a diet.

The good fats, like the ones discussed in Brainum’s CLA article, have sent many supplement manufacturers scrambling to put some good fat in their meal-replacement powders. Of course, some were smart enough to include them from the get-go to boost the health quotient. In fact, one of the goals in the development of Muscle-Link’s Muscle Meals meal replacements was to provide a convenient, healthy, balanced meal’not just lots of protein. Here are some of the ingredients that have it quickly moving to the top of everyone’s supplement list.

Glutamine peptides. Peptide-bonded glutamine is the most potent form of that key amino acid. It’s up to 10 times more effective than L-glutamine supplements due to better absorption. That’s what the peptide bond does’helps more glutamine get through the harsh digestion process and into the bloodstream where it can work its magic. Why do you need extra glutamine? Well, it is the most prevalent amino acid in lean tissue, but it’s also been shown to boost the immune system and improve recovery from stress. From work to kids to workouts to traffic, stress is an almost hourly occurance in today’s world, so combating it in a number of ways can only make life better, not to mention improve your results in the gym. It’s also been linked to growth hormone release, and GH is one of the best fat burners around.

Calcium and magnesium. A balance of those two minerals ensures strong bones and teeth and proper digestion and elimination. Calcium is also key in nerve development, which plays a role in muscle contraction. You may be familiar with most of those benefits, but the latest research suggests something that will really grab your attention: Calcium has shown strong signs of being able to turn off fat cells.

That’s right. New research finds that milk and other dairy products, due to calcium content, can reduce your fat cells’ tendency to store calories. In other words, it can supercharge your fat-loss diet.

Michael Zemel, chairman of the nutrition department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, is one of the leading researchers delving into the phenomenon. In one study he put 32 people who needed to lose weight on reduced-calorie diets, but some of the diets included three to four servings a day of dairy. Six months later all the subjects had lost weight, but those who were eating dairy lost 70 percent more’about 19 pounds of fat compared with only 11 pounds in the subjects who didn’t eat dairy. Zemel says the reason is that when there’s plenty of calcium in the blood, fat cells get the message to quit storing fat and start burning it. On the other hand, when calcium levels are low, the cells hoard fat.

Other studies verify those findings. In the mid-’90s Connie Weaver and Dorothy Teegarden conducted a study at Purdue University. They observed the bone health of women between the ages of 18 and 31, but they noticed something interesting: Women who ate a diet that included milk, cheese or yogurt lost or maintained their weight, while those who didn’t put on pounds. The study was another fat-fighting feather in calcium’s hat. You’ll want to get some in your diet every day, and Muscle Meals has loads of it’550 milligrams per serving.

Whey and micellar casein protein. You get 40 grams of that quality protein combination in each packet. Why is the combo so important? Whey is a fast protein that gets into your bloodstream in minutes. Casein, on the other hand, takes longer to digest, so it stays in your stomach for an extended period. That means your blood sugar stays stable for many hours, your appetite remains in check, and you don’t feel the need to binge (low blood sugar is the big reason people get cravings). Oh, and the potent protein combination will also keep your results from your weight workouts shifted into overdrive.

ALLEssential fatty acids. Research has discovered that people need a combination of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, especially active folks, as those fats have been shown to promote growth hormone release, strengthen the cardiovascular system, enhance bodyfat metabolism and promote hormone stability. Nuts and fish are good sources of EFAs, but most people don’t eat enough. In fact, the average American diet is too saturated with saturated fat, which is tied to heart disease, with little emphasis on good fat. If you make a conscious effort to reduce your saturated fat intake and lean more on the good fats, however, you can prevent and even reverse cardiovascular damage. The bottom line: Don’t deprive your body of the good fats. Why do you think they call them essential fatty acids?

Meal-replacement powders like Muscle Meals can help you crank up your good-fat intake, but you should also add some good fats at a few other meals. That’s where Omega Stak gel caps come in.

Muscle-Link’s Omega Stak contains a perfect balance of the essential fats to help boost health and well-being’as well as fat burning. Its EFAs are derived from sources like flaxseed oil, among others, and it has the perfect balance of EFAs that your body craves. Take two to four capsules with food three times a day, and you’ll be giving your body a potent punch for optimal performance and health on a grand scale. Essential Savings

Using Omega Stak along with Muscle Meals will give your body the things it needs to keep it healthy and running like a well-oiled lean machine: whey-and-micellar casein protein; essential vitamins and minerals, like calcium and magnesium; and the all-important good fats. Both supplements are available at select health food stores, but the IRONMAN Research Team wants to make it easier and more cost effective for you to try this phenomenal combination by offering the IM Research Team Essential Body Builder Special. Here’s what you get:

‘Omega Stak, two 270-capsule bottles, a $90 value.

‘Muscle Meals meal replacement, two 20-packet boxes, a $120 value (Muscle Meals comes in Dutch Chocolate, Creamy Vanilla or new Creamy Orange flavors, and almost everyone agrees that it’s the best-tasting meal replacement around).

Add it up and it comes to more than $200, but if you call 1-800-447-0008 and ask for the IRONMAN Research Team’s Essential Body Builder Special, you can get all of the above for only $99.95, a savings of more than $100. Call now and take advantage of this half-price offer. Once you give your body the essential nutrients it needs, you’ll feel and see the difference almost immediately’in the gym, on the go or just sitting at your desk. Editor’s note: For more information on Muscle-Link, visit


Boirie, Y. (1997). Dietary protein quality influences postprandial protein utilization. Reprod Nutr Dev. 37:337.

Rennie, M.J. (1996). Responses of glutamine transport in cultured rat skeletal muscle to osmotically induced changes in cell volume. J Physiol (Lond). 492:887.

Klesges, R.C. (1996). Changes in bone mineral content in male athletes. Mechanisms of action and intervention effects. JAMA. 276:226.

Brilla, L.R. (1992). Effects of magnesium supplementation on strength training in humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 11:326. IM

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