When To Use Protein Powders

Photo Credit: DianesDigitals (flickr.com)

Photo Credit: DianesDigitals (flickr.com)

 

With the world going by anything and everything that is quick, easy and convenient, it’s no surprise that even eating can be done on the run, particularly when you lead a busy lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to sit down to a proper meal.

While there is no doubt that a proper meal is the best way to lose weight effectively, choosing healthy meal replacements is a good substitute as long as you only do it once in a while. Not only should the meal replacement you choose be nutritious, it should also be able to fill you up because the last thing you want is experience hunger pangs so intense that you overeat when you are finally able to have your meal.

Among the many substitutes we consider good meal replacements include protein powders and bars. Protein powders usually come in various forms, the most common of which are whey, soy and casein protein. Protein powders also come in varying prices but depending on how much you need it, cost usually doesn’t matter especially if you’re a casual athlete who doesn’t have a specific need for it.

Protein powder supplements are usually taken both by athletes and those trying to lose weight in order to make up for the gap left behind by the calorie-restricted diets they go on. Protein as you know, are an important part of your bones, muscles and skin and they are in fact, in every living cell of your body. They help break down food for energy, build muscles and break down toxins.

In very specific situations, however, protein powders are useful as they are a quick and convenience source of protein. They are useful for growing teens because their bodies require much more protein than adults, when you’re starting a workout program and trying to build muscle and also when you’re amping your workouts. Protein powders are also useful when you’re healing from a sports injury as they repair and build the muscles that have been damaged and if you’re going to pursue a vegan lifestyle because it will fill the protein gap that will be left behind by your calorie-restricted diet.

If you need to know more about how much protein powders you should take, you need to calculate your protein intake. You also know that you’ll need protein powders because you’re feeling unusually fatigued, weak when lifting weights or doing strenuous activities that usually don’t make you tired at any other day. You will also need to ignore the usual myths you hear about taking protein powders like the one about taking them before your workout only. The truth is you need to take your protein powders before, during and after a workout because this will prep your body for the workout, sustain it during the workout and help your muscles recover after a workout.

So when do you actually have to use protein powders? Throughout the day as meal replacements but not in the immediate time period surrounding your workouts. And is their purported effectiveness? As sports nutritionists always say, the protein powder smoothie is always effective especially when coupled with a good diet and exercise regimen.

 

You might also like:

Protein Shakes: Do You Need Them? (webmd.com)

What You Need to Know About Protein Supplements (huffingtonpost.com)

 

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Weight and Fertility: Are They Connected?

Bonn, Fitnessstudio

Photo credit:   BArchBot (commons.wikimedia.org)

Being a parent and having babies is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Feeling the warmth of a new life you have brought into this world in your arms brings an unexplainable joy in our hearts. Seeing this bundle of joy grows and enjoys life with you; his parents are just a wonderful journey every parent would love to experience.

Unfortunately, not all couples are given the opportunity to have children. Some are just too busy with their work and profession making them pre-occupied with other things instead of building their family. Some couples on the other hand face health problems or risks that deprive them from getting children. Being overweight or underweight is one of the common reasons why some couples are incapable of conceiving a child.

Weight and Fertility

Is there a connection between weight and the fertility in both men and women? It definitely has. Men who are overweight experience infertility while women, whether underweight or overweight experience infertility as well. The additional weight or the lack of it causes the reproductive organs to function below or above what is normal. Weight really has a big impact in fertility.

Women are the most affected when it comes to weight and fertility issues combined. The increase or decrease in weight often affects the menstrual period. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle can really lead to infertility problems. The production of estrogen in the bodies of women is also affected by the extra fats in the body. Hormonal imbalance can also be attributed to changes in weight.

Men, on the other hand, produce low sperm counts when they have a lot of excess weight. The excess fats around their reproductive organs causing the temperature around this area increase. As the temperature increase, the quality of the sperm cells produced is lowered and some are even killed in the process. There are more related information about weight and fertility available online and in health journals.

Losing weight is really necessary and keeping the body healthy is a must before planning to have children. Here are some simple tips a couple can follow.

1. Get professional help

Ask for a professional advice from your doctor. Talk about your plans on having a baby and let him advice you on how you can safely lose weight with conceiving a baby in mind. You can also ask him about supplements that can help you achieve your ideal weight like d-fine8, protein whey, creatine and other available dietary supplements in the market.

2. Schedule working out together.

Having a “buddy”, whom you can get moral support from while working out will make your weight loss journey a fun activity. Since the both of you are working towards common goals, you will push each other to do more and really excel effort to achieve your goals.

3. Keep each other motivated.

Losing weight most of the time can be frustrating. Tell your partner about your worries and struggles during this period. Talk about the things both of you can achieve if you manage to surpass the challenges that you would be facing during the shaping up chapters in your life. Always support each other’s back.

4.  Have time for relaxation.

Do not pressure yourselves too much. Enjoy and relax from time to time. Stress is also one of the big factors that could affect your fertility so you should also try to stay away from it.

5. Plan ahead and monitor your progress.

To become really successful with your plans in losing weight, device a plan both of you can follow. Create a healthy new menu for your household, include work-out sessions in your daily schedule and try to get into a new sport. Having a plan and following this plan will also help you measure your progress.

Resource Link:

The Connection between Fertility and Weight (infertility.about.com)

Fertility and Weight Loss (doctoroz.com)

Different Forms Of Creatine Explained

Creatine is one of the most popular supplement being used by athletes and bodybuilders. It is a substance naturally found in the body so there aren’t any risks involved when supplementing with it. Because of its popularity among people who want to build muscle fast, manufacturers are selling all kinds of creatine in different forms that it’s easy to get confused which one you really need. Let me explain the different forms of creatine sold in the market and how they differentiate with each other.

Creatine Monohydrate
This is the most popular kind of creatine. It has the purest creatine formula  with 88% creatine and 12% water. Research and studies all use creatine monohydrate and it has been tried and tested for decades. It is inexpensive and is the most widely sold of its kind. However, you need to make sure that you’re getting the purest form. Some sold in the market contain impurities. You have to be careful where you’re getting it. Older forms of creatine monohydrate are hard to digest and cause intestinal discomforts like diarrhea. The newer ones are micronized to reduce incidence of stomach upset. Micronized creatine monohydrate has better absorption and is said to be purer. Bloating is also another side effect although with proper dosage and use, it can be prevented.

Creatine Ethyl Ester
This a newer kind that’s been gaining popularity among users. This one has an ester attached in its molecules. It’s main advantage over the monohydrate is that it is absorbed by the body faster with 99% absorption. Also chances of stomach side effects are highly unlikely. However, an advantage users have pointed out is the taste. It has an unpleasant taste that’s why it is better taken in capsule form which is much more expensive.

Creatine Citrate
Another form of creatine but this time molecules are bounded to citric acid. Citric acid increases  creatine absorption and it provides or helps synthesize aerobic energy to the muscle tissues. However, claims of it significantly giving users more energy and fuel are still to be proven. No issues of stomach discomforts. However, creatine citrate is not sold alone, manufacturers usually mix it with other energy formulas.

Creatine Malate
Creatine malate is attached to—you guess it—malic acid. Now you see how it goes with the naming of these creatine variations. They are just usually combined with other substances to provide better absorption with other added benefits. Creatine malate is a newer product and studies are still being conducted on its effectiveness. However, malic acid in theory works like citric acid—it helps in synthesizing energy.

Creatine Phosphate
Creating phosphate was created due to the fact that in the muscle tissues, creatine would bind with phosphate molecules so why not give it in a forms that already bonded? This would then result to faster production of ATP in the cells. ATP is the fuel needed for muscles to contract. However, there are still no studies showing that doing it this way is better than just taking straight creatine monohydrate.

Creatine Nitrate
Nitric acid will be metabolism into nitric oxide in the muscle tissues. Nitric oxide promotes vasodilation, bringing in more oxygen, resulting in better pumps and contractions.

While there are other many forms of creatine out there and others still being created, these are the few that always come up in creatine supplements. I’m sure in the future there would be other variations that claim to be better but for now, if you’re just starting out with supplements, it is better is you take the monohydrate first and then take it from there or you can try mesomorph pre workout. It is a pre workout drink that has a mixture of more than one creatine variation for more added benefits.

Related Article:
The Benefits Of Creatine Supplementation

Tired of Being the Cute and Chubby One

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Photo credit:  Alan Cleaver (flickr.com)

Sharing here an article of one of my female friends:

I really do not understand how our society sees beauty nowadays. People are tied to the idea that being skinny, fair-skinned, tall and lean is what beauty is all about. Nothing racist about this but two decades ago, being beautiful and adorable to the eyes of people meant having big curves below and above the waistline.

I could not help but feel for most of my female friends. Sometimes I really do wish to go back in time and actually make them experience how it feels like to be looked at with adoration by people. Sadly, we belong to this generation; a generation where being lean and not going beyond the 120 pounds mark for women is equivalent to being beautiful.

Come to think of it twenty years ago, no one knew that those extra curves could lead to a lot of different diseases. Kidney and liver complications, high-blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack are just some of the scary few. If being thin, skinny and lean would save me from these diseases, I guess I am left to no choice but to give up these beautiful curves of mine.

The food we eat nowadays is also way different than what we ate back then. Everything seems to contain a lot of sugar, salt and grease. We are also not getting the same amount of vitamins and minerals that we used to get from the produce that we eat because of the new methods and chemicals that are now being used in producing our food.

This made me realize that the society has already matured throughout the ages and they do not simply see lean and skinny people as aesthetically beautiful beings. Being lean and thin nowadays is almost equal to being healthy, something that is also equivalent to having a happy and a long life.

So yes, I can say that I am tired of being the cute and chubby one. I want to be healthy. Becoming beautiful to the eyes of the society will simply follow.

Losing weight is not an easy task for me to do. Eating is such an enticing hobby so breaking up with this habit is just as hard as reaching the top of Mt. Everest. Good thing I introduced my friend to fat loss supplements. Some people are still doubtful on the effects these medications may bring. In my case, I have nothing to be scared of these medications anymore. Most of the supplements we have nowadays have undergone rigorous testing and has already passed different tests and standards.

Instead of going under the knife, I see these supplements as a better, affordable and safer option when it comes to achieving the figure and body type that I want. I could also easily browse more information about fat loss supplements at NutritionWarehouse when I have questions and inquiries about the supplements that I take.

Of course, I told her to still try to include a healthy diet and plenty of exercise in her daily routine to help me achieve my target weight. But who knew that losing weight could be this easy? I should have pushed her to decide to lose weight a long time ago if I only knew that dancing and other different fun activities can help me her get the body that she want. Well, I guess she was just so busy sulking about how she look and how people sees her. Now that she values herself and her health more than she did before, I know that people will soon see the beauty that is in her.

Resource Link:

Healthy Weight Loss, Doable and Efficient (ezinearticles.com)

7 Tips to Avoid Looking like a Newbie at the Gym (acefitness.org)

 

Feeling Wimpy? Build Muscles

Image

Photo Credit: Slovakmuscleman (commons.wikimedia.org)

As a teenager, I never really experienced being part of the popular group. I was sickly, loved staying home and did not really enjoy being with people. Some people even saw me as a wimp. It was not a big deal for me but things had to change when I went to college. I have to get a job and study at the same time. Unfortunately my body did not look like I could manage to work and study at the same time.

Feelings towards the opposite sex have also started to occupy my life. I know that with true love, someone who would like me for who I am and not for what I look like. But as my first two semesters in college passed, I know I could not fool myself anymore. I had to do something to improve the way that I look, feel and probably see life.

Improving one’s self is a decision that comes into your life. It is not affected by what people say or may think of. When you start to feel the need to change and improve, you will, no ifs and buts, you just simply do. There is no turning back.

Starting is the most difficult part in changing, but once you have managed to take the leap, you find yourself having the trouble of stopping. In my case, it was easy for me to start I had friends that supported me and helped me in my journey towards change.

Being healthy and looking better physically is the first thing I had in mind. Being a geek myself, it was very easy for me to check on the latest innovations and medical help I can get to achieve the built that I want to have. I immediately bought protein powder online to include the supplement in my diet. Within two months, I saw the changes. My muscles started to get bigger, my weight started to improve and the most important thing is that I felt better about myself. I still go over Nutrition Warehouse’s website to read information and see testimonials of people who are experiencing the same thing like I do. Now I can say that I feel better towards myself and I have already started meeting friends.

The wimp in me is still there, I still sometimes feel inferior over the people that I meet at school and at work, but my confidence is slowly getting up there, and one day, I see myself as a happy, confident and a real man.

Resource Links:

How to Build Muscle Mass for Hard Gainers (buildingmuscle.org)

How to Build Muscle – The Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle (acaloriecounter.com)

Pre-workout Habits you Should Follow (ezinearticles.com)

The Truth About Acai Berries

Photo Credit: Breno Peck (flickr.com)

Access to the internet is one of the best things that happened to the masses. You can get any information you want for free, shop using just a few clicks, and even communicate with loved ones overseas. However, it is a double-edged sword. The free information you get is often laden with fiction, and this has led people to develop trust issues. One such case in point is the acai berry, which has become a subject of controversy a few years ago, and has recently resurfaced.

What is the acai berry?

Acai berries are fruits of acai palm, a species of palm tree found in South America. These berries are popularly turned into drinks, and are considered to be a good antioxidant.

While the acai berry powder has legitimate benefits, a few people from half a decade ago decided to blow these benefits out of proportion. Blogs popped up describing acai berries as the new miracle food that helps in losing weight. Stories arose where acai berries became a super food, having a wide range of benefits including but not limited to penile enlargement and cancer prevention. Theoretically, if acai berry was rich in vitamin A, which improves eye health, advertisers would claim that acai berry cures cataracts.

Acai product manufacturers even went so far as to use popular celebrities such as Oprah as supposedly endorsing their product. The problem is that most celebrities did not know or agree to any of these. These celebrities eventually found out and sued these manufacturers for false advertising in 2009. The FDA also cracked down on acai berry manufacturers for the same grounds.

So what really is the acai berry?

The biggest lie about acai berries is that they promote weight loss. While they are popular in South America as a beverage, they were never advertised as a weight loss supplement. Does this mean that the acai berry is void of the benefits? No.

Acai berries have benefits the same way protein shakes are beneficial in muscle building. As you may already know, protein powder gives bodybuilders a boost in protein. This protein gives them more energy for more intense workouts. It doesn’t magically give them massive biceps. This is the same way with acai berries. These products are rich in fiber, which means a healthier digestive system. They are also good antioxidants, which keeps your immune system functioning properly. There’s really nothing magical about acai berries, and it’s refreshing to see it on the shelves sans the wild claims that came with it several years ago.

Related Links:

Fake News Sites Link To Acai Berry Diet Scam, Say Feds (huffingtonpost.com)

Acai Berries and Acai Berry Juice — What Are the Health Benefits? (webmd.com)

The Importance of Pre-Workout Techniques and Routines

stretch

 Photo Credit: SteelCityHobbies (commons.wikimedia.org)

Exercise and sports are indeed one of the best activities to engage with if an individual would like to lose weight, achieve a certain body type, or is currently preparing for an athletic event. To prepare our heart and muscles to the sudden movements and pressure involved in exercise routines, pre-workout techniques and routines should be necessarily executed.

Pre-Workout Routines are Important

Preparation is important in everything we do even in exercise and in working out. Here are the top reasons why.

  1. Oxygen needs to be delivered in the body during exercise. A pre-workout warming up helps in breaking down oxygen and hemoglobin our bodies, thus promoting the efficient delivery of oxygen in the body. Deficiency in oxygen during exercise can sometimes lead to premature exhaustion and sometimes dizziness. This also helps in increasing the blood flow in the body that fuels it during activity.
  2. During pre-workout routines, the temperature also increases. An increase in the temperature in our bodies reduces and eliminates the possibility of getting muscle injuries and connective tissues injuries. The sweat that we produce during the pre-work out stage also decreases the amount if heat stored in our body.
  3. Pre-workout exercises and supplements also prepare the heart and the muscles for the upcoming strenuous activity. Jacked 3d is one of the most popular and trusted pre-workout supplements being used by athletes and health enthusiasts. A decrease in the viscosity of the muscle is increased which enhances the efficiency of the movements of the muscles. This and more can be achieved if we add supplements in our pre-workout routines. To know more about these supplements, you can check out jacked 3d at NutritionWarehouse site.
  4. We become more alert and the speed of our impulses is enhanced when we do warming up and stretching before a complete total workout. The blood flow to our heart is carefully adjusted to eliminate the potential cardiac abnormalities and problems that may arise from the abrupt flow of blood in our heart.
  5. We can really focus on the exercise routine we need to do if we are properly warmed up and stretch. It would be easier for us to do movements and sustain these movements because our bodies have already managed to adjust.

Warming up and stretching is really necessary prior to exercise. A complete and sufficient repetition of the basic warming up routines backed up with supplements will give you the strength you need to complete your exercise and weight-lifting routines. Cooling down is equally important. If we follow a constant pre-work out and after workout routine, the possibilities of getting injured, feeling exhausted and possible health deficiencies can be avoided.

Resource Links:

Beginner Program (fullfitness.net)

Getting Started with Workout Routines (workoutroutines.org)

Protein Shakes are Effective – Fact or Fiction?


Photo Credit: rbbaird (flickr.com)

History tends to repeat itself. Decades ago, steroids were the forefront of bodybuilding. Every bodybuilder used it, even Governor Arnold admitted to using it at some point. When it became illegal to carry or use steroids without a prescription, people started looking for other ways to building muscle quickly.

This came in the form of protein powders, which indirectly influences bodybuilding through repairing and developing muscles at a rapid rate, allowing the bodybuilder to put more work into building mass. To put it simply, it provides a benefit in physical activity. Today, protein powders have little to no side effects when used correctly and carefully, but it is still under fire from critics who believe it as the second coming of steroids.

There are a lot of factors why this is so. First, protein powders aren’t tested by the FDA. This leaves the protein product manufacturers freedom to put whatever they want on the label, whether they’re accurate or not. They can also freely make claims to the effectiveness of their product.

This misinformation is often the root of anti-protein stances. But if you really look at it, most of the anti-protein powder people receive their information from hearsays and secondhand stories. Not that it’s any different for the pro-protein stance.

For instance, a lot of bodybuilders who use protein powders attribute their results to the products. What they usually fail to mention is that they know exactly what protein powders are capable and incapable of. They also know how to use it to maximize effectiveness.

If you’ve seen protein supplements that advertise themselves as “100% protein” or something similar, these bodybuilders themselves actually careful enough to not believe the hype. If you ask them why, they’ll tell you to look at the label and you’ll see that there are a lot of other ingredients to make the protein powder. Simply put, it’s not 100% protein at the slightest. Manufacturers simply tend to exaggerate their adverts to boost sales.

A similar, yet more serious, topic that reflects this back-and-forth debate is the legalization of marijuana. Anti-weed factions often say it is a gateway drug, but then you see a lot of stoners who have not used any other drug.

This stalemate will go on for a long time. But is the effectiveness of protein shakes fact or fiction? The fiction is in the marketing strategies. Protein shakes are rarely what they’re advertised to be. The fact is that it is effective, but only if coupled with exercise and a healthy diet.

Related Links:

Weighty Medicine: Pumping Iron Comes of Age (huffingtonpost.com)

When the Gym Isn’t Enough (nytimes.com)

Why You Need to Be Careful When Choosing Fat Burners

Photo Credit: ultimatefatburnerreview.com

 

We’ve all heard it before: you’ll never have to exercise, never have to watch what you’re eating as long as you take this little pill. Unfortunately, there isn’t such a thing as magic pills and you will not magically lose weight just by taking one, not unless you couple it with some hard work and a lot of sweat and determination.

It is also unfortunate that there is no scientific proof that these pills exist. In fact, they are categorized as dietary supplements by the FDA and it also means that nobody has to prove that they work. Studies done on these supplements also show how limited they are as far as effectiveness in helping you lose weight is concerned, despite the fact that they supposedly contain ingredients that can burn fat.

In fact, experts have repeatedly warned against purchasing these fat burners as there were some to be found containing illegal and potentially deadly chemicals like 2,4-Dinitrophenol or DNP which has been linked to a number of deaths in various parts of the world. What is even more worrisome is the fact that there are manufacturers who disguise the fact that their products contain DNP with labels like “100% caffeine,” “burns fat” or “boosts muscle growth.”

This is just one reason why experts warn bodybuilders and non-bodybuilders alike to be vigilant about purchasing their fat burners. Purchasing the wrong kind can lead to health complications like fever, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches and irregular heartbeats depending on how long you’ve been taking them.

Fat burners are usually a combination of herb-derived stimulants, essential fatty acids, chromium picolinate, pyruvate and/or hydroxycitric acid. Herb-derived stimulants will usually contain caffeine and ephedrine and stacked together in one weight loss product to supposedly help you increase your energy and increase your metabolism.

Essential fatty acids on the other hand, combined with flax seed oil and garlic are supposed to increase muscle mass and burn fat and have actually shown some significant results in controlling fat and weight gain, as well as taking care of the adverse effects that people experience when they are on a diet. Chromium picolinate and pyruvate have not so far shown any promising results but hydroxycitric acid or HCA supposedly stimulates the breakdown of fat, but again, no real results have been produced despite repeated testing so far.

Which is why, when you choose your fat burners, make sure you don’t choose based on hype or because it was recommended by friends. Fat burners need to be able to address your specific weight loss issue in order for them to really work for you but at the same time you also need to do thorough research on fat burner information, like the ingredients they contain and their safety as well.

And lastly, fat burners can be quite expensive, costing as much as $50 to several hundred dollars a pop. You don’t want to be spending your hard-earned cash on something that won’t really work for you and will only delay you from achieving your fitness goals. Never believe as well that taking only fat burners is fine because nothing beats taking them along with a good exercise regimen and eating a balanced, low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates.

 

You might also like:

Fat Burner Buyer’s Guide Q&A (mensfitness.com)

The Top 10 Weight Loss Supplements  (huffingtonpost.com)

 

 

Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know

dietpills

image courtesy of Lynn Gardner (flickr.com)

The world has become accustomed to food feasts. We love what is served on our table, as long as they are visually appealing and taste great – never mind what it does to our body. Many times, we know those burgers don’t come close to giving us health benefits as much as they satisfy, but we take a bite anyway. Needless to say, we try to embrace a balanced diet but, try as they might, still end up gobbling up the same less nutritious, more delectable food that keep satisfying our appetite.

 We are fixated on the idea that we can replenish our body with the nutrients found in pills and supplements. We have this belief that if we do not have a balanced diet, nutritional supplements can fill this gap. These nutritional products are known to give us our health an extra boost and can strengthen our immunity against diseases. While this may be true, it is important to pay attention to getting those nutrients the right way.

 When you select and use your supplements, be sure to do your research. There are countless dietary products out there, and it pays to be able to get the specific type of nutrient you need. Know more about the calcium tablet, vitamin pill, iron soft gel or protein powder that is deemed fit for your nutritional deficiency.

 Check the product label. Read through each of the information provided in the supplement’s package. Find out the ingredients and the amount of nutrients that correspond to each recommended serving. This is important because you can’t get the ideal results unless you take the necessary limits for you. Generally, you should not take supplements in megadoses.

Remember that your multivitamins can lose their potency over time, so take note of expiration dates. When they are expired, throw them away. Also, pay attention to storage requirements. Avoid storing them in places that are too cold or too humid. Otherwise, the product will lose its effectiveness.

dietpills2

image courtesy of Auntie P (flickr.com)

If you think your supplements can take the place of good old nutrition through food intake, think again. These dietary products are intended to aid your body in absorbing the specific nutrients you lack. However, you still need to eat well, and never take whole grain, meat, fruits, vegetables and water for granted.

Do not be too confident about getting the same dietary product. Health regulations keep certain supplements under constant review or further study, particularly those that have been found to be less effective or offer adverse effects. Stay informed by checking out supplement updates from government-regulated websites or by talking to your health provider.