IM NUTRITION Don’t Fear P.M. Protein Slamming a casein protein shake before bed is an old bodybuilding strategy when you’re trying to add muscle. New evidence suggests it won’t hurt you when you’re trying to lean out either. In a study published in the journal Nutrients, two groups of overweight subjects consumed a beverage 30 minutes before bed. One group consumed a zero-calorie drink while the other had 30 grams of casein protein. Scientists measured the glucose con- centration in the fat cells and verified that the casein did not blunt overnight lipolysis (break- down of fats) compared to the zero-calorie beverage group. Since muscle preservation is a big part of optimizing metabolic rate, that 30 grams of nightly casein might ultimately be helping you burn more fat, especially if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet. Train Hard, Stay Healthy Protein And Probiotics Forget chicken and rice or coconut oil and coffee, the latest fitness nutrition pairing seems to be protein and probiotics. Researchers from the University of Tampa in Florida put 29 young trained men through a bru- tal lower-body workout on two separate occasions. For two weeks before one workout, the men took 20 grams of casein. Before the other workout, they took the casein supplement plus one billion colony form- ing units of the probiotic bacteria Bacillus coagulans. When the subjects included the probiotics they re- ported less muscle soreness and were able to gener- ate more power after the workout. The probiotics also blunted levels of creatine kinase in the blood, which suggests that the bacteria reduced muscle break- down. Previous research of Bacillus coagulans showed that it also improves immune response and digestion. 40 APRIL 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com Methylsulfonylmethane, better known as MSM, has long been used by athletes for its ability to promote joint health. A new study, published in the Journal Of Sports Medicine, shows that supplementing with MSM can quench post-workout inflammation that might otherwise keep you out of the gym. In the study, trained subjects were given three grams of Op- tiMSM, a patented form of MSM, for four weeks. They then performed 100 eccentric knee extensions in order to get a massive inflammation response. After testing the blood for markers of inflammation, scientists found that the group who supplement- ed with OptiMSM had a significantly dampened inflammation response compared to the group who took a placebo. The authors of the study sug- gest that this indicates a reduction in post-training suppression of the im- mune system that comes with intense training, leaving the user less likely to get sick and with more cellular resources to train hard on consecutive day.