Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Effect of hydration on exercise induced growth hormone response.

In my last blog, I discussed a study that resulted in lowered noradrenaline, heart rate, lactate, growth hormone (GH), and cortisol levels to a short-term endurance training program. The scientists believed these adaptations were due to “familiarization to exercise protocol.” These adaptations would definitely slow down your fat loss efforts.My suggestion to this problem was to change your exercises and program variables no less then every 3 weeks. Today I’m going to discuss another factor that can decrease your exercise induced GH output, your hydration status. Whenever I begin to consult a new client, I’m almost always asked the same question, and that is “what should I do first?” And my answer is always ‘hydration!”.Without being properly hydrated, you can be sure that your health, diet, exercise program will all be suboptimal, and this will make your fat loss efforts extremely difficult. GH is extremely important for fat loss. A properly designed exercise program is well known to increase GH levels. In 2001, French researchers investigated the effect of water replacement on GH response during exercise. Seven healthy males performed two submaximal endurance sessions, separated by 3 days, consisting of cycling for 40 minutes. During the first session, no water was consumed, and water loss was calculated. The total water loss was determined by the difference in body weight before and immediately after exercise. For session two, the subjects were asked to drink 4 equal parts of spring mineral water that amounted to the water lost in session one (approximately 17 ounces) at 15 and 5 minutes before the session, and at the beginning and 20 minutes after the start of the session. The results: total GH was significant lower in the no water group (approximately 30% lower). Unfortunately the French study did not look at fat oxidation in relation to the exercise and GH response, but we have known for decades now that GH is a powerful fat burner, and I plan on reviewing many more studies on this topic. In the last two blogs I have taught you that once your body familiarizes itself with an exercise program, and when you exercise in a dehydrated state, your GH output is significantly lowered. This will lower the amount of progress you make towards your fat loss efforts. Don’t make these mistakes. Change your exercises frequently and make sure your hydrated.



Today you will learn something very valuable. The information contained in this blog will be one of your most powerful weapons against body fat. I will briefly talk about aerobic exercise programming, and how to get the most from your cardiovascular exercise, and adapt in ways that will not only result in lower body fat, but also important health parameters. Enjoy

There are two main components of an effective fat loss program: proper diet and an effective exercise program consisting of resistance training and a complete cardiovascular program. You can find hundreds of books and fat loss plans in any bookstore and on the internet. You will also find dozens of books on resistance and cardiovascular training. However, very little information is available about proper exercise training; especially in regards to aerobic training. Aerobic training has taken a beating over the last decade. Many coaches and scientist now preach that aerobic exercise will actually make you fatter and will catabolize your muscle tissue. So have we been wasting our time with “aerobic’ exercise for fat loss? I wouldn’t exactly use the word “wasting’, but I do know for a fact that most people do not follow an optimally designed aerobic exercise program, and this may lead to wasted time and effort. One of the ways we get better from exercise is by adapting to the load and stress. After a certain period, the body adapts to the previous stress (exercise) positively or negatively, and at which time a change in program variables (choice of exercises, order of exercises, training loads, training volume, rest intervals) will have to take place in order for the body to adapt to the new stimulus (hopefully positively). So it isn’t so much that ‘aerobics’ are ineffective for fat loss, it has more to do with adaptation. Some of the well established beneficial adaptations to aerobic exercise include:
• Increased capillarization, which allows for an increase in oxygen and nutrient delivery• Increased hemoglobin concentration, red blood cell number, and red blood volume
• Increased maximal aerobic power (VO2 MAX)
• Increased cardiac output• Increased stroke volume
• Increased blood flow to working muscles
• Decreased submaximal respiratory rate
• Increased type 1 fiber content
• Increased oxidative enzyme capacity
• Increased mitochondrial density and size
• Increased muscular endurance capacity
• Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression
• Enhancing the speed at which muscles recover from high intensity exercise

So what happens when your body adapts to an endurance training program? In a study done in 2005, twelve male, sedentary volunteers (22.0 ± 0.7 yrs) were submitted to three weeks of a bicycle ergometer training, consisting of 45 min exercise (at 70% VO2max), 4 times in the first week and 3 times in the next 2 weeks. The present study was designed to determine how quickly the moderate exercise training program evokes the hormonal changes in previously sedentary men and if so whether these hormonal responses to exercise correlate with other training-induced early circulatory and metabolic changes. I don’t want to review the whole study in great detail; instead I will get right to the results. The study showed that within the first week, the exercise protocol caused a significant decrease in plasma noradrenalin concentrations. The next two weeks of training lead to a similar decline in noradrenaline concentrations, which was accompanied by a significant decrease in exercise and resting heart rate, a decrease in lactate accumulation in both muscles and blood during exercise, decreased exercise induced and resting growth hormone levels, and decreased exercise and post-exercise cortisol levels.

The scientists believe the reduced noradrenaline, heart rate, lactate, growth hormone, and cortisol levels are due to “familiarization to exercise protocol.” .In other words, the subjects in the study adapted to the exercise protocol, and any further positive adaptations would be difficult to obtain. The heart rate and hormonal modifications found in this study are all importing for inducing exercise adaptations, and for your specific goal, fat loss. It would take me a few pages to explain why the adaptations seen in the study can have a negative impact on your fat loss efforts, so I will explain it in future blogs. What do the results of the study mean to you? It means that if you’re not switching around your aerobic exercises frequently, along with other program variables, you may not be optimizing your fat loss efforts in the gym. Aerobic exercise is not a waste of time for losing fat, bad advice is a waste of time. Changing around your exercises and other program variables is one of the best advice I can possibly give, so put it to good use and watch the fat melt off.

If you feel that you’re not getting the results you want from your exercise program please contact Workout Solutions for consultation at