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  • 3 Supplement Ingredients for Women's Health

    When you visit a local supplement store, it can be hard to imagine that the majority of products are based for anyone but men. From muscle building mass gainers to extreme pre-workouts, is there a market for women’s health supplements?

     

    The answer is, “Of course.” Although the marketing is heavy towards the guys, women’s health is a primary concern for many supplement brands. Several companies have taken the all-natural approach to supporting a woman’s health, promoting the use of oils or herbal remedies that have been proven by science. Let’s take a look at the 3 supplement ingredients that are ideal to support a woman’s health.

     

    1. Cinnamon

    While it may seem strange, cinnamon is an excellent way to support your health. In particular, using the bark of cinnamon has been shown to contain a variety of important nutrients that effectively support a woman’s health.

     

    Cinnamon has been shown to alleviate symptoms that are associated with the premenstrual period including bloating, odd cold spells, and indigestion. (1)

     

    While you could place the cinnamon bark in your water, the easiest way to capture the benefits of cinnamon is to take cinnamon bark extract in a natural supplement form. Click here to buy an elite quality cinnamon bark supplement.

     

    1. Maca Extract

    Maca is a Peruvian ingredient that has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for overall well-being. In particular, it was used by men to boost libido. These same benefits have transcended time and science is now showing just how useful this ingredient can be for your health.

     

    First, maca supports hormone health. For example, it is present in many testosterone boosters and estrogen balance supplements.

     

    When it comes to women’s health, maca may be of great use to alleviate the fatigue and psychological symptoms associated with PMS. It may help to restore energy including libido for both men and women. (2)

     

    Click here to buy maca extract.

     

    1. Primrose Oil

    This last ingredient that is great for a woman’s health is primrose oil. This healthy oil contains a high level of fatty acids. In particular, primrose oil contains a significant amount of gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. It is from these fatty acids that primrose oil gets its benefits.

     

    Studies suggest that using primrose oil may help to alleviate the worst symptoms from PMS. Studies and user reports claim that women were able to alleviate or eliminate headaches, breast pain, body aches, irritability, water retention, and acne.

     

    Looking for a high-quality primrose oil? Click here to buy primrose oil.

     

    Conclusion

    Although it can be intimidating to buy supplements, there is something out there for everyone. When it comes to women’s health, three of the most beneficial ingredients are cinnamon bark, maca root, and primrose oil. Adding these to your daily program may help to improve health and reduce symptoms associated with PMS.

     

    References

    1. Kort DH, Lobo RA. Preliminary evidence that cinnamon improves menstrual cyclicity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Nov;211(5):487.e1-6.
    1. Schäfer L, Kragballe K. Supplementation with evening primrose oil in atopic dermatitis: effect on fatty acids in neutrophils and epidermis. Lipids. 1991 Jul;26(7):557-60.
    1. Gustavo F. Gonzales. Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 193496.
  • Vitamin A & Exercise: 3 Ways More Vitamin A Can Boost Results

    You know the term “vitamins” because it’s used everywhere: in fitness magazines, on your moisturizer, and, of course, on nutrition labels. Did you know that there are two types of vitamins? Water soluble vitamins, which you’ll commonly find in mega doses such as Vitamin C during the cold season. There are also fat soluble vitamins, which, as the name suggests, rely on dietary and body fat to be transported and stored. If you are a very active person, you may be burning through more fat than you realize. This sets up a possibility of becoming deficient in fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A. Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons you should consider a Vitamin A supplement to support your fitness goals.

     

    1. Supports Bone Health

    Although Vitamin D and Calcium get all of the attention when it comes to your bones, not many people realize that Vitamin A also plays an important role in your bone health. Why does bone health matter during exercise? Weak bones are more prone to breaks. As you age, this can become extremely problematic as broken bones may never fully recover. You can support your bone health by engaging in weight bearing exercise and supplementing with Vitamin A. Weight bearing exercises help to increase bone mineral density while Vitamin A protects and supports overall bone health. (1)

     

    1. Alleviates Post-Workout Inflammation

    If you’ve ever exercised before, then you’re familiar with the post-workout inflammation and soreness that follows you into the next day. This soreness is a form of inflammation caused by harmless microtears in the muscle tissue. From here, the muscle tissue will heal and recover stronger than before. Soreness doesn’t need to pester you every time you work out. By supplementing with Vitamin A, you may be able to reduce post-workout inflammation, allowing you to jump back into the gym sooner without the trouble of soreness. (2)

     

    1. Boosts Immunity & Recovery

    Your immune system is always busy, protecting you and your body from harmful invaders. It also has to deal with the daily stresses of life. Over time, your immune system may weaken to the point where bacteria or viruses are able to sneak in and set up shop. No one likes being sick, especially when it keeps you from working out. Supplementing with Vitamin A may help to improve your body’s immune response. This will keep you in tip top shape, allowing you to recovery efficiently and stay true to your gym schedule. (3)

     

    Conclusion

    There are plenty of vitamins and minerals that get attention when it comes to boosting your fitness life. Surprisingly, you don’t hear much about Vitamin A. Studies show that supplementing safely with Vitamin A may help to boost your fitness experience. You may be able to avoid soreness, recover faster, support your bone health, and improve your health overall.

     

    Looking for a high-quality Vitamin A supplement? Check out all of your options with the complete Amino Z Vitamin A supplement collection.

     

    References

    1. "Vitamin A and Bone Health." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.
    1. L. M. O. Caram, R. A. F. Amaral, R. Ferrari, et al., “Serum Vitamin A and Inflammatory Markers in Individuals with and without Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” Mediators of Inflammation, vol. 2015, Article ID 862086, 6 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/862086

    3. J. Rodrigo Mora, Makoto Iwata, and Ulrich H. von Andrian. Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Sep; 8(9): 685–698.

  • BSN Syntha 6 vs. BSN Syntha 6 Edge

    For the last decade, BSN has been considered one of the top supplement brands. Whether you need a protein, a pre-workout, or a post-workout supplement, BSN has you covered. Syntha 6 is one of the best-selling products from BSN, proving itself to be an elite brand of protein powder. Not long after the monumental success of Syntha 6, BSN released Syntha 6 Edge, claiming that while the original was still an incredible product, Syntha 6 Edge was the upgrade. Let’s take a look at both Syntha 6 and Syntha 6 Edge to see which one is truly worth the buy.

     

    BSN Syntha 6

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of BSN Syntha 6

    If you’ve been taking supplements for a while, then you’re no stranger to BSN Syntha 6. It features a unique blend of protein including Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumin, And Glutamine Peptides. Notice the three protein types that have been highlighted as that will come into play in the next section.

     

    These protein types offer a range of immediate and extended release amino acids. When used as a part of a well-planned training program, these amino acids may support protein synthesis, protect muscle from breakdown, and promote new growth. (1-6)

     

    Cons of BSN Syntha 6

    Overall, Syntha 6 is your textbook example of a great protein blend to support a range of goals; however, due to the calorie and fat content and depending on what your goals are, Syntha 6 may not be your ideal option.

     

    At 150 calories per serving, Syntha 6 also provides 3.5 grams of fat. Now this isn’t a big deal if your goals are muscle building or bulking but if you are being extremely conscious of the calories you are ingesting, then these extra calories (when compared to an isolate, for example) may put you over your caloric limit.

     

    The only other issue that we see with Syntha 6 is the addition of artificial sweeteners but you’d be hard pressed to find a product that doesn’t have those.

     

    BSN Syntha 6 Edge

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of BSN Syntha 6 Edge

    Glancing over the label for Edge, you can already see the improvements when compared to the original Syntha 6. It offers more protein per serving at 24 grams and you’re getting less fat and cholesterol. BSN also changed up the protein blend. Edge provides you with Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, and Milk Protein Concentrate. The highlighted protein types are new additions in the blend.

     

    Cons of BSN Syntha 6 Edge

    Depending on how you feel about specific protein types, you may argue that the formula for Edge is lacking. It removed Glutamine Peptides, Egg Albumin and Milk Protein Isolate (the protein types highlighted in the first section). We think it was a great decision to ditch the Glutamine Peptides and replacing Milk Protein Isolate with Hydrolyzed Whey Protein is definitely the better move. With that said, getting rid of Egg Albumin is a hit or miss move, especially when it’s been replaced by Milk Protein Concentrate. Egg Albumin is a much higher grade protein. Despite the change, this is still an excellent blend and one that is as worthy, if not more so, as its predecessor.

     

    Conclusion

    Both of these protein types are above and beyond. We think the way to choose which one to buy lies in your fitness goals. If you don’t have caloric restrictions or if you are striving for a caloric surplus, definitely choose the original Syntha 6. If you want something closer to that of an isolate, then go with Syntha 6 Edge.

     

    You can also purchase both, using Syntha 6 as breakfast or before a workout and then use Syntha 6 Edge post-workout. Regardless of the few changes that BSN has made, you still have two fantastic protein powders on your hands.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
  • Optimum Nutrition Casein vs Dymatize Casein

    Although whey protein is still the most popular and purchased supplement on the market, casein protein has received a lot of attention in the recent years. As a muscle builder, casein protein is an essential part of any resistance training workout. Studies show that the amino acids found in casein protein help to support muscle building and recovery, especially when taken before bed. (1-7) Let’s take a look at two of the best brands in the business to see which one is worth the buy.

     

    Optimum Nutrition Casein

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Optimum Nutrition Casein

    Optimum Nutrition keeps it simple with its casein protein. Right away you’ll notice on the label that the first ingredient is Micellar Casein. Companies wanted to create an effective and affordable substitute to native casein, which is the best casein protein in the industry. The result was micellar casein protein. It’s able to be ingested and once in the stomach, it is slowly digested, providing a steady stream of amino acids over the course of hours.

     

    Optimum Nutrition delivers 24 grams of micellar casein and that is an excellent dosage per serving as most studies have subjects using serving size of 20 to 30 grams of protein. These amino acids may be able to help support your fitness goals in regards to muscle building and recovery time. (1-7)

     

    Optimum Nutrition also provides you with Aminogen, which may allow protein to be broken down and utilized more efficiently.

     

    Cons of Optimum Nutrition Casein

    There isn’t much that you can say against Optimum Nutrition’s Casein. Yes, it does contain artificial sweeteners and there is a bit of soy lecithin but at the price point you’re getting it, you can’t go wrong.

     

    Optimum Nutrition also contains polydextrose, which is a fiber substitute. Depending on your lifestyle and how you feel regarding this filler, Optimum Nutrition Casein may not be your first choice.

     

    Dymatize Casein

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Dymatize Casein

    Dymatize Casein has nearly the same formula as Optimum Nutrition with the exception of the Aminogen, which may support protein digestibility. You’re getting 25 grams of casein protein with each serving and as we mentioned above, this is the sweet spot for study-based dosages. Although Dymatize Casein doesn’t have the trademarked Aminogen, it does contain three digestive enzymes to promote the proper digestion of the protein.

     

    The one area where Dymatize really sets itself apart from Optimum Nutrition is in taste. User reviews show that all of the flavours in the Casein line-up are fantastic and fan favourites.

     

    Cons of Dymatize Casein

     Like Optimum Nutrition, Dymatize has several artificial sweeteners and fillers. Again, this is more of a dietary and lifestyle restriction than it is a hit against the product.

     

    Instead of polydextrose, Dymatize Casein contains maltodextrin, which is touted as a carbohydrate substitute. Again, this is going to be a preference thing on what you will allow yourself to consume.

     

    Conclusion

    With nearly identical labels, user reviews, and testimonials, Optimum Nutrition Casein and Dymatize Casein are understandably two of the best in the industry. We thoroughly recommend both brands but since neither is superior to the other one, the decision to buy may simply come down to price. If one is one sale, grab it then wait for the other brand to fall in price. Both brands will satisfy your protein needs and help you achieve success.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
    1. Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis GA, Gijsen AP, Senden JM, VAN Loon LJ. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1560-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363.

     

  • Scivation Xtend vs BSN Amino X

    Amino acids are no longer a luxury supplement. If you look around the gym, most people will be drinking a brightly coloured powder that is more likely than not an amino acid-based supplement. The benefits of amino acids during your workout are numerous. When taken as directed, amino acids may be able to boost your recovery, trigger protein synthesis, and protect muscle from breakdown. Not every amino acid supplement is created equal. We reviewed two of the biggest amino acid supplement brands in the industry to determine which one was worth the buy.

     

    Scivation Xtend

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Scivation Xtend:

    Scivation Xtend gives you 7 grams of essential amino acids at a 2:1:1 ratio. That means you’re getting the following breakdown:

     

    • L-Leucine 3,500mg
    • L-Isoleucine 1,750mg
    • L-Valine 1,750mg

     

    They even throw in 2,500mg of L-Glutamine, which is half the recommended dose but still a nice addition to a BCAA supplement. L-Glutamine may help to support fitness goals through enhanced recovery.

     

    The 2:1:1 ratio you have with Xtend is the ideal dose as demonstrated in multiple studies. Taken as directed, these amino acids may help to protect muscle mass, boost protein synthesis, and support recovery. (1-6)

     

    Last but not least, Xtend throws in Citrulline Malate, which may help to boost your energy on a ceullar level, thereby promoting fat burning.

     

    Cons of Scivation Xtend:

     There isn’t much that could be considered a problem with Xtend. Sure, it has artificial flavours and colouring but so do 99% of the supplements out there. The only other potential issue is a lack of broad spectrum amino acids; however, keep in mind that Xtend specifically offers the essential amino acids. If you want a more broad spectrum amino acid supplement, you’re better off taking a shot of protein.

     

    BSN Amino X

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of BSN Amino X:

    BSN Amino X offers 10 grams of BCAAs per serving. That’s 10 TOTAL grams of the following:

     

    • L-Leucine
    • L-Valine
    • L-Isoleucine
    • L-Alanine
    • Micronized Taurine
    • Micronized L-Citrulline

     

    As we mentioned above, those essential amino acids are going to play a helping role in boosting your ability to build muscle and protect current levels of muscle mass. They will also help with recovery, ensuring you can get back into the gym faster. The addition of Vitamin D makes Amino X a very competitive and forward-thinking supplement, especially when it comes to giving the muscles what they need to recover and grow.

     

    Cons of BSN Amino X:

    Our biggest issue with Amino X is that it is a proprietary blend. Sure, you’re getting 10 grams of amino acids but you don’t know the exact amount. This is important information as most studies are based on a very specific 2:1:1 ratio of the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine.

    With that said, seeing as how you’re getting 10 grams worth of amino acids and the three most important ones are at the top of blend list, we would say it’s safe to assume you’re getting that ideal dosage.

     

    Conclusion

    It’s nearly impossible to choose between these two amazing brands. With price aside, if we had to pick one, we would go with Amino X from BSN.

    Sure, Amino X may use a proprietary blend but if you look at the amino acids listed, there is a really good chance that you’re getting the ideal dosage. We also like the addition of the other aminos along with Vitamin D as this makes for a better recovery supplement.

    Again, Xtend from Scivation isn’t a bad supplement. In fact, it’s a terrific supplement. If you can, buy both and see which one you see the better results with.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
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