Feel the Post-Workout Burn -- Less
"Feeling the burn" after a workout is really your body recovering from the stress and strain of exercise. It's a process that might get a boost from a new supplement.
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Moreover, even if PrePair can elevate heat shock proteins after
fitness activities, as it claims, some experts question whether that elevation
is really key to the repair process - or just something that occurs
"The big question now is will the elevation of heat shock
proteins following stressors - using this supplement or any other means -
really reduce muscle damage or increase the recovery process," says Malachy
McHugh, PhD, director of research, Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and
Athletic Trauma in New York City.
While McHugh remains intrigued with the link between heat shock
proteins and exercise, he cautions that right now there is no science to show
that they make a difference in recovery, or if they do, if speeding up
production with a supplement has any real value.
"Ultimately, you need some measure of damage or disruption
of the cells to see if those who take the supplement fare better than those who
don't," McHugh tells WebMD.
Nutrition expert and author Shawn Talbott, PhD, agrees.
"The question that needs to be answered is whether or not impacting heat
shock proteins is going to impact the rate of injury or fatigue, or make
fitness workouts safer - and right now we have no well controlled peer reviewed
studies to tell us that," says Talbott, a professor at The University of
Utah and the author of "The Cortisol Connection."
And, in fact, there is already one animal study that shows
that, on it's own, elevated HSP may not make much of a difference at all. In
preliminary research presented at the ACSM conference in May, doctors from
Georgia State University in Atlanta used heat to increase production of HSP in
mice. While they clearly documented elevations in HSP, it did not appear to
protect the mice against exercise induced injury - or speed their recovery
Although the company who makes PrePair provided WebMD with
toxicity studies on mice showing the supplement was proven safe, and says
thousands of products sold have yielded no reports of adverse effects, Gotlin
believes this is not enough proof to offer a blanket guarantee of safety to all
fitness buffs who use it.