The Complete Guide to Creatine

The Complete Guide to Creatine

Sports
Creatine is one of cheapest and most widely used gym supplements by casual gym goes and athletes alike - but there is also a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding it’s usage, safety, efficacy, and effects on body composition. Here we are going to break down everything you need to know about creatine so you can find out if it might be something you want to use, or if you already are – how to use it most effectively! What is it? Creatine is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid that is found in muscle tissue, most commonly in red meat and seafood. It started to rise in popularity in supplement form in the 1990’s. In the human body creatine is combined with a high energy phosphate group to form…
Read More
Pros and Cons of Protein Powder

Pros and Cons of Protein Powder

Body Composition
Protein powder is one of the most commonly utilised sports supplements. While it has a wide range of potential applications, it’s typically used by people aiming to improve their body composition through increasing muscle mass and/or decreasing body fat. It isn’t necessary, but it can have some utility if used well. Pros Convenience In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain the optimal amount of protein through food. Protein powder can be a tool to help reach this target. It also can be useful for times when you want to consume protein, but it would be inconvenient due to schedule or appetite. For example, if you are on the go, a protein shake is going to be more convenient than a meal. Or if you have just finished a…
Read More
Beta-Alanine: A Dietitian’s Guide

Beta-Alanine: A Dietitian’s Guide

Sports
Beta-alanine has slowly become one of the few supplements that have developed a good reputation for consistently producing positive outcomes for performance, up there with the likes of creatine and caffeine. It is used as a performance aid mostly because of its ability to improve muscular endurance. What is Beta-Alanine? Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is not used in the production of protein. It is naturally produced by the liver. The benefits from beta-alanine supplementation mostly don’t come from the Beta-alanine directly; they come from the increase in muscle carnosine that occurs. When beta-alanine is consumed it is converted into carnosine by joining histidine. How Does Carnosine Work? The main function of interest for carnosine is that it helps to maintain the acid-base equilibrium. It helps prevent pH from…
Read More
Supplements for PCOS: A Dietitian’s Guide

Supplements for PCOS: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
When it comes to PCOS, there are quite a few supplements that can help. Prioritising your overall nutrition will help far more than what any individual supplement can do, but supplements can certainly provide some value. When it comes to supplements, often they are only beneficial whenever there is a deficiency or inadequate intake. Adding the supplement in addition to an already optimal intake likely won’t provide any additional benefit. So, keep that in mind since a lot of these needs can be met through food as well. Supplements are just the icing on the cake. If you would like to learn more about nutrition in general for PCOS, I recommend reading this post. PCOS can't technically be cured but these might help reduce symptoms related to menstruation, ovulation, fertility,…
Read More
Iron Deficiency – Are You at Risk?

Iron Deficiency – Are You at Risk?

Health
Nutrient deficiencies are not often thought to be big issues in developed countries such as Australia, with access to fresh food and water it can be easy for us to get adequate nutrients from a balanced diet. However, Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the world, affecting more than 25% of people worldwide. Young women are at particular risk, with higher requirements for iron during childbearing age. Iron is a mineral required for a number of functions within the body including making red blood cells and transporting oxygen around the body. It is also important for producing energy, optimal immune function and storing oxygen in our muscles. Iron is an essential mineral meaning you must get it from food. The symptoms of iron deficiency include general…
Read More
Do Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Your Risk of Fractures?

Do Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Your Risk of Fractures?

Health
To follow up on my previous post on calcium supplementation, this post will be on the effect that vitamin D supplementation has on fractures risk. The majority of our vitamin D comes from the sun and a small amount comes from our diet. Surprisingly, even though Australia is known for its sunny weather, approximately one-third of Australians are deficient in vitamin D. With the knowledge that vitamin D increases the effect of calcium, it is common sense to assume that it would reduce the risk of fractures. To make the assumption even stronger, vitamin D supplementation also leads to an increase in bone mineral density. Although in theory vitamin D supplementation should reduce fractures risk, after going through every study in the past 20 years on the subject, the conclusion I…
Read More
Do Calcium Supplements Reduce the Risk of Fractures?

Do Calcium Supplements Reduce the Risk of Fractures?

Health
Recently I asked myself a question about whether there were any topics of nutrition that I could write about that very few people in the nutrition world were already providing. The conclusion that I came to was the findings of my systematic review that I did in my final year at university, on the topic of whether calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of fractures in people above fifty years of age. I chose this subject because there had been no clear answer in the research, so I figured that it’s something that I could share that nobody else could. It never made sense to me why there was no clear result in the research. Calcium has always been strongly linked to increases or maintenance of bone mineral…
Read More