Strength Research – Weekly Update
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to experiment with writing about interesting strength-related studies I’ve found online. I will try to summarize them the best that I can, but please remember that before taking action on any of these findings, it’s important that you do supplementary research yourself and ask your doctor their thoughts regarding the safety and efficacy of the subject matter I’m discussing. I’m neither doctor nor scientist, but I love learning new things and sharing what I find with others. What you do with this information is on you — Mr. & Mrs. Readers!
FENUGREEK (Fenugreek supplementation appears that it may have the ability to improve strength) Two such studies supporting this are listed below:
1. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:34 — “The effects of a commercially available botanical supplement on strength, body composition, power output, and hormonal profiles in resistance-trained males“ by: C. Poole, B. Bushey, C. Foster, B. Campbell, D. Willoughby, R. Kreider, L. Taylor, C. Wilber – http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1550-2783-7-34.pdf
That’s a long freaking experiment title with a long list of authors, but it’s interesting nonetheless. It effectively concludes that 500mg of the Fenugreek extract used in the study had a significant impact on upper- and lower- body strength, and improved body composition when compared to the placebo group. One of the strength metrics considered for comparison was the leg press one rep max (1RM). Fenugreek supplementation does show an impressive improvement in leg press 1RM vs. placebo (84.6 kg vs. 48 kg) but it’s important to note that these figures were provided with a +/-…The +/- range is large enough that the fenugreek and the placebo group do have some instances of overlap (i.e., the strength gains were the same or worse than the placebo group in some instances). With this in mind, this still appears to be a very impressive gap in average strength gains (fenugreek vs. not using fenugreek). (Note: This is my summary — do your own research too!)
2. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine — “Effects of Combined Creatine Plus Fenugreek Extract vs. Creatine Plus Carbohydrate Supplementation on Resistance Training Adaptations“ by: L. Taylor, C. Poole, E. Pena, M. Lewing, R. Kreider, C. Foster, C. Wilborn
Hey I remember some of those names! Looks like some folks from the first study just couldn’t get enough fenugreek! The other’uns are over it! This study seems pretty interesting too. It compares creatine plus dextrose vs. creatine plus fenugreek supplementation for weight resistance trained individuals. It basically shows that both supplementation methods improve strength gain, but from what I can see, the dextrose is slightly more effective. The study shows creatine can be pretty badass in improving strength gains, and that can be improved even more if you take it with small amounts of dextrose. Fenugreek works too, but just not quite as well — this I suppose could be important for those on a low carb diet, etc. (Note: This is my summary — do your own research too!)
I also did some additional research on the side effects of Fenugreek on WebMD, which you should definitely check out before taking it!
During this research I found other interesting things about the plant:
1. Fenugreek is going to make you smell like maple syrup…probably…The smell usually shows up in your urine or your armpits!
2. Fenugreek is used a flavoring agent in imitation maple syrup, some drinks and foods, and some TOBACCO!
3. Fenugreek grows predominantly in the Middle East and India. Another name for the plant is Greek Hay
Want to buy some? Amazon sells it, and it’s actually pretty cheap — but remember, do your own research and check with your doctor before you put anything into your system! I’m a dude who runs a blog, and likes finding out cool stuff from doing research…I’m not a doctor or a scientist.