Dr. Dwayne Jackson

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Body Shop: Milk Your Inflammation!

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Body Shop: Milk Your Inflammation!

By Dwayne N. Jackson, PhD



Milk your inflammation!


Chugging a protein shake right after training floods the body with essential amino acids, augmenting recovery and promoting increased muscle building. Milk proteins, like whey and casein, contain a robust and broad spectrum of amino acids, with a high level of the branched chain amino acids— leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Milk protein’s unmatched bioavailability and amino acid compliment provide all the necessary building blocks for muscular growth and amino acids needed to boost anabolism.


But there seems to be more to it!


Recent work published in Amino Acids suggests that the enhanced recovery noted with postworkout milk protein supplementation may be due to more than simply providing ‘building blocks’ for muscle recovery and growth. In fact, the latest data suggest that milk protein taken immediately postworkout modifies the immune/inflammatory response from a bout of heavy resistance training.


Using a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over design, 10 resistance trained men completed a lower body workout immediately followed by drinking either a milk protein shake (containing 20g of amino acids) or a placebo. Subjects performed 10–12 repetitions at 70% of their 1 rep max (1RM), with a 1-min rest between sets. The protocol consisted of six sets of squats, and four sets of leg press, hamstring curls, leg extensions, and seated calf raises. During each trial, participants were spotted and encouraged to complete all repetitions for each set. As expected, in all subjects there was a similar postworkout rise in the plasma inflammatory cytokine,  Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα)—indicating a robust postworkout inflammatory response. Ingestion of the protein supplement attenuated plasma TNFα concentrations 30-min postworkout. Additionally, the postworkout protein supplement attenuated TNFr1 receptor expression on monocytes (i.e., immune cells) at 1 and 2-h postworkout. Together these data illustrate that postworkout milk protein supplementation can decrease inflammation associated with resistance training, thus enabling you to train harder, for longer, with less time needed for recovery.

ACTION POINT: As always, we suggest using a milk protein supplement (consisting of 20-40 grams of whey, casein, or milk protein blend) 30 minutes to an hour before and immediately after training.



Wells AJ, Jajtner AR, Varanoske AN, Church DD, Gonzalez AM4, Townsend JR, Boone CH, Baker KM, Beyer KS, Mangine GT, Oliveira LP, Fukuda DH, Stout JR, Hoffman JR. Post-resistance exercise ingestion of milk protein attenuates plasma TNFα and TNFr1 expression on monocyte subpopulations. Amino Acids. 2017 Aug;49(8):1415-1426.


Burn through your workouts with capsaicin!


Capsaicin is a naturally occurring compound that makes chili peppers hot. In chemical terms, it is known as 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide. Capsaicin ingestion leads to a cascade of biochemical events that lead to an increase in sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. When the SNS is activated it releases substances called catecholamines into the blood stream. Catecholamines, like noradrenaline, decrease appetite and increase mobilization of fats from fat cells, to be burned as energy. So when you take capsaicin you get the benefits of appetite suppression and increased fat burning!


A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research investigated the short-term effect of preworkout capsaicin supplementation on exercise performance, ratings of perceived exertion, and blood lactate levels. Ten resistance trained men completed 2 radomized and double blinded trials, where they performed four sets of squats at 70% of 1 rep max (1RM) to failure, with 90 seconds rest between sets. In those who took preworkout capsaicin (12 mg), total work completed (total # of reps x weight lifted) during sessions was more than 23% greater and ratings of perceived exertion were 6% less vs placebo.  However, despite increases in performance, blood lactate increased similarly between conditions and was unchanged by capsaicin supplementation.


ACTION POINT: Taken together, preworkout capsaicin supplementation is not only great for burning fat, but it also seems to augment weight training performance. Although this study used only 12 mg of capsaicin, we suggest taking products that contain at least 30 mg of Capsimax 3x daily— 30-60 minutes prior to breakfast, dinner, and preworkout. Capsimax is a patented form of capsaicin, which has a controlled-release coating, delivering effective levels of capsaicinoids without burning your mouth or causing stomach upset.



Conrado de Freitas M, Cholewa JM, Freire RV, Carmo BA, Bottan J, Bratfich M, Della Bandeira MP, Gonçalves DC, Caperuto EC, Lira FS, Rossi FE. Acute capsaicin supplementation improves resistance training performance in trained men. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Jul 3.

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