Muscle Pharm Black Label Combat Gainer
COMBAT BLACK WEIGHT GAINER is a potent muscle-builder/ weight-gain formula that delivers 55 grams of protein per serving, along with 150 grams of carbohydrate (but only a paltry 13 grams of sugar) and 30 grams of fat. Collectively, these macronutrients supply the user with 1100 calories to fuel muscle growth, overall body strength, and recovery. Each serving also contains 5 grams of glutamine, 2 grams of creatine monohydrate, and a nice dose of medium-chain triglycerides and assorted electrolytes (e.g., calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride). This formula is designed for “hard gainers” who struggle to gain weight and/or been skinny their whole life. Scientists refer to this body type as an “ectomorph”, and although they tend to have very cut/defined muscles, they typically don’t carry a lot of lean mass. And when it comes to gaining weight, the simple truth is that calorie intake must exceed calorie expenditure. For those with small appetites, or if packing on some lean mass is on your list of priorities, chugging a COMBAT BLACK WEIGHT GAINER shake before bed could be the answer.
WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE (WPC) is a fastacting protein that contains a high concentration of the branched chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine, and valine. When WPC is cold micro-filtered and contains at least 80% protein by weight, it retains very important fractions from milk that other proteins (like whey protein isolate) sometimes leave out. These native fractions (e.g., alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, various immunoglobulins, glycomacropeptide, etc) have immune-enhancing properties and help regulate over 200 different genes within our body. One study that compared WPC to whey protein isolate reported greater improvements in peak power, work capacity and decreased body fat in the WPC group. Other studies have shown improved antioxidant status in subjects ingesting WPC. This shows that a high quality WPC has very powerful recovery effects.
WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE (WPI) – Whey protein is the water-soluble portion of milk. Unlike whole milk, WPI has no lactose, cholesterol or fat, and this is the reason it is preferred by many consumers who are lactose intolerant and/or have problems with digesting protein powders. WPI is typically very high in protein content (i.e. usually 90% or greater) in comparison to other forms of protein that can range from only 10-50%. WPI is high in L-cysteine, all nine essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine), and all three branched chain amino acids (BCAA = leucine, isoleucine and valine). L-cysteine helps regulate blood sugar, decreases blood vessel inflammation and reduces exercise-induced oxidative stress. The BCAAs are useful for helping reduce muscle soreness and speeding muscle recovery from intense training. Leucine is probably the most important amino acid of all as it can increase muscle protein synthesis all by itself. This “leucine trigger” has been well documented and requires a dose of at least 2.5 grams per food or drink serving to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. In other words, make sure your protein powder (WPI or otherwise) has a minimum of 2.5 grams of leucine in it.
WPI is considered a “fast” protein because it is absorbed and digested very quickly and causes sharp increases in blood levels of amino acids that lasts for about 60-90 minutes. This is particularly useful for breakfast, and during the post-workout period, where a rapid delivery of amino acids to muscle can quickly reverse the catabolic effects of resistance exercise (in other words, WPI is a very effective stimulator of muscle recovery after training). WPI is also quite versatile in that its digestion and absorption can be slowed down by co-consuming it with heart healthy fats and/or foods high in fibre or even simply mixing it with cow’s milk (which contains 80% casein by weight – a “slow” protein).
In addition to being an effective muscle builder, there are other good reasons to use whey protein. These include improved satiety (feeling of fullness), regulation of blood pressure, increased highdensity lipoprotein (HDL-cholesterol), and lowering of triglycerides. These effects can be variable however, and depend on the individual’s background health status as well as their overall dietary and physical activity habits. Gram per gram, WPI is one of the highest quality muscle building proteins on the market today. Although there may be times to use other proteins, or even a blend of proteins, WPI is currently the “king” of single source proteins.
CREATINE MONOHYDRATE has been the subject of hundreds of research studies in humans since 1992. In general, men and women who ingest 3-5 grams of creatine per day for 6-8 weeks gain an average of 2.8-3.2 kg of lean mass, which corresponds to a 20-40% increase in the creatine content held in muscle. Although the initial gains in body weight during the first few days of supplementation appear to be due to some water retention, this effect is actually an important effect that triggers long-term muscle growth by a variety of mechanisms: 1) increases in muscle fibre protein content, an effect which results in a doubling of muscle fibre size compared to resistance training without creatine supplementation; 2) increases in several myogenic regulatory factors (i.e. proteins that activate gene expression in muscle); 3) increases the number of “satellite cells” (i.e. immature or baby muscle fibres that can eventually mature into muscle cells); and 4) increases in intramuscular IGF-1 content (a potent growth factor in muscle). More recent data also demonstrate that creatine supplementation can enhance glycogen storage in muscle by upregulating the production of GLUT4 (glucose transporter 4), thus providing indirect evidence that it may be of benefit to endurance athletes under certain circumstances.
In addition to the above benefits, scores of research studies have also dispelled many unsubstantiated myths of responsible creatine use, including: muscle cramps, muscle strains, dehydration, liver and/or kidney stress, etc. The fact is, NO study to date using a placebo- controlled double blind design (considered to be the gold standard in clinical research) has found an increased incidence of these side effects in subjects consuming creatine monohydrate. Media reports that claim otherwise usually involve case studies from uninformed athletic trainers, coaches and physicians.
GLUTAMINE is a “conditionally essential” amino acid that makes up about 50% of the total amino acid pools in our body. It plays critical roles as a fuel for intestinal and immune cells, is a precursor to the powerful antioxidant molecule glutathione, stimulates the production citrulline (which has anti-fatigue and nitric oxide producing properties), regulates acid-base balance, acts as a carrier of nitrogen between various tissues, and is a precursor of many other important compounds within the body. This superstar amino acid has been the darling of the supplement industry for decades, and has leagues of devoted and convinced followers despite a clear lack of evidence supporting its anabolic or anticatabolic effects in healthy humans. What is clear though, is that glutamine is extremely beneficial for gastro-intestinal health, prevention of upper respiratory tract infections, and in anyone who has a low dietary intake. In short, supplemental glutamine may or may not help your muscle building efforts, but it certainly won’t hurt either.