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Amino Z

  • Dedicated Unstoppable Review

    Dedicated Nutrition has just hit the our shores with their Australian début, Unstoppable. With such a bold name, it comes with little surprise that this is (yet another) pre-workout supplement in an already saturated segment of the Austrailan bodybuilding market. Ever since the banning of DMAA (and subsequently Jack3d being knocked off its perch), there hasn’t really been one definitive pre-workout to capture the majority of the market. But this new entry may just have what it takes to be a serious contender.

    There has been a lot of hype surrounding this Canadian produced product. According to the official Australian distributors (Flush Fitness), it is the number one selling pre-workout in all of Europe. So as you can imagine, we were keen to get this product in stock and put it to the test!

    So let’s get into the nitty gritty of Dedicated Unstoppable shall we?

    Taste

    For the review, we tried the mango strawberry version (however the product also comes in orange). Mango strawberry isn’t all that common amongst supplements but admittedly it was very pleasant for a pre-workout. In fact it tasted like a tropical fruit punch and was very drinkable.

    While admittedly pre-workouts are not typically consumed for their taste, this certainly has to be one of the better in the category.

    Solubility

    Possibly the biggest issue with pre-workout products are the fact that they just don’t completely dissolve. While Unstoppable is reasonably good, you can expect a few minor grains at the bottom of your shaker bottle. Overall it does mix quite nicely for a pre-workout and there are no major issues here.

    Nutritional Breakdown

    Let me just begin by highlighting the fact that I love the degree of transparency of the labelling on this tub. All too often manufacturers hide ingredient compositions by formulating “proprietary blends”. (Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine!) This most certainly is not the case for Unstoppable with every ingredient listed individually and transparently, with a corresponding amount per serving (and per 100g).

    In terms of the nutritional composition, this is where this product becomes really exciting. It is innovative and very different to anything else currently on the Australian market.

    As in almost all pre-workouts, there’s caffeine (225mg per serve, in the form of 175mg caffeine anhydrous and 50mg di-caffeine malate). There’s really not that much special about this as it is a fairly stock-standard serving amount.

    Let’s briefly run through the other core ingredients and their associated benefits:

    • Trimethylglycine Nitrate – enhances muscular volume (the pump) and aids in the decrease of fatigue
    • N-Carbamyl-Glutamate – helps boost muscle protein synthesis
    • Glycerol Monostearate – enhances water uptake into muscle tissue enhancing muscle volume
    • L-Norvaline – enhances blood flow and vascularity
    • Rhodiola Rosea extract – enhancing endurance capacity and stamina
    • Calcium/Sodium/Potassium phosphates – minerals that are beneficial for cell hydration and the performance of muscle fibres
    • Hidenamine – enhancing energy and blood flow
    • Hordenine – enhances blood flow
    • Selaginella tamariscina extract – enhances energy, blood flow and muscle contractions
    • Vitamin C – immune benefits and may improve performance
    • Astragalus & Panax Notoginseng extract – enhances nutrient absorption
    • Cocoa extract – enhances NO production and improves health

    Ultimately this is a solid mix of ingredients. There are the key stimulants in there and then a number of other ingredients to help boost nutrient uptake, muscular performance and blood flow.

    You may be surprised at the exclusion of beta alanine, which is quite a popular ingredient amongst pre-workouts. It’s an interesting decision, but may be a smart move since we have seen many people complain about that very uncomfortable tingly feeling that beta-alanine often causes.

    Worth noting, the label does suggest to take 1-2 scoops of this pre-workout prior to training. If you do take 2 scoops, that’s going to yield a BIG caffeine hit at 450mg in total. Though if you’re after something potent, then this is probably right down your alley.

    The Road Test

    After giving this product a go with 1.5 servings, I was particularly impressed. The energy and level of focus that I experienced was fantastic.

    There are some pre-workouts that you take which are predominantly just caffeine. While you get a high, that follows with a big crash thereafter. That certainly did not seem the case with this Unstoppable.

    Most notably this product really did seem to enhance both stamina and endurance. During my particular workout, a number of personal best’s were hit and I noticed that my performance in the 8-10 rep range was particularly enhanced. Of course it’s difficult to put this down to Unstoppable alone, but I do feel that it contributed greatly to an overall excellent workout.

    Worth noting, following a very intense 50 minute session, I was feeling so good that I decided to add in a couple of sets of heavy (4-6 rep max) deadlifts for good measure!

    Value for Money

    Let’s be frank; unstoppable is not a cheap product. It is most certainly one of the more expensive products on the market in this category. Per tub there are 30 serves and it sells at a similar price point to a typical 45-60 serve product currently on the market.

    But does that necessarily mean that it is not good value? I think not. When you have a product that is so innovative and unique you would expect to pay a little more, if it performs. And it does.

    Ultimately if you’re the budget conscious individual, this product won’t be for you. If however you’re after something new that really delivers, then this one ticks all the boxes.

    Conclusion

    Overall this is a great product and I can see why it is the number one seller in Europe. It’s a no-fluff pre-workout that really performs and delivers a workout “experience”. I personally have no hesitation in rating Unstoppable right up there as one of the best on the market today.

    If you're interested in trying this product out for yourself, visit the Dedicated Unstoppable product page in our store!

  • Plant vs Whey- Based Protein

    Are plant-based proteins just as good for you? Are they enough to fuel your body and muscles? We explore the use of plant-based protein supplements!

     

    It’s true that all proteins are not equal! Depending on the source, proteins will have unique profiles of amino acids and ratings of usability. This is true for both animal-based and plant-based foods. The good news is that for those who are vegan or vegetarian (or not), protein can be found in many plant foods, and can contribute towards a healthy, balanced diet.

     

    There are enough vegan triathletes, bodybuilders and professional athletes in various sport domains who are performing at the top of their peers. They perform at an elite level without consuming animal products. No one says it is easy, but it can be done! Their high performance makes a strong case for the effectiveness of plant-based proteins. While most high level athletes reach for the “purest and most effective” protein supplement, whey protein, other athletes appear to be doing just fine without it!

    Differences you can expect

    One of the most obvious differences between plant-based and whey-based protein is the taste. There is some small amount of fat in whey proteins, making it taste slightly better. When plant-based protein is extracted and processed, the end product is rich in various amino acids, however, there is no fat, and the taste is dry and bland. Expect a chalky texture!

    Next, is the cost. Plant- based supplements are far more expensive. There is more processing involved, and the market value of these are simply higher as they are less common to come by. To balance the cost off, most plant-based supplements come in smaller serving sizes.

    If you experience bloating, headache or other minor symptoms to dairy or other animal-based protein supplements, it could be signs of an intolerance. Plant-based proteins rarely elicit these effects in users, and could be a good option for sensitive stomachs.

    Needless to say, most people don’t accidentally purchase veg proteins!

    Our favourite plant-based protein supplements

    There are many plant-based proteins which are highly effective. Grains, nuts and beans all have protein. By mixing sources and having a wide variety of these foods, you can ensure that you are getting enough of all the essential and non-essential amino acids.

     

    -          Hemp protein

    This is one of the most effective and usable forms of protein. Its protein structure is very similar to the human protein structure. It also contains healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

    -          Pea protein

    This is a relatively new option and is often blended with brown rice protein to offer a more complete nutrition and amino acid profile per serving.

    -          Raw sprouted brown rice protein

    This uses a specific process which maintains high quality structure in all 9 essential amino acids and several non-essential amino acids. It can be found on it’s own and blended with other proteins, including pea protein.

    -          Chlorella and spirulina proteins

    This is completely usable by the body, with virtually no waste. They can be found in tablet and powder form. They are blends of land and ocean plants, have high quantities of minerals and are great for detoxifying.

     

    Plant based proteins are a good option for everyone!

  • Natural VS Normal Peanut Butter

     

    What is the difference between peanut butter and “natural” peanut butter? Is one better for you? Should you be choosing one over the other?! We have answers!

    http://youtu.be/MY6DOwzqhko

    We’ve seen a trend over the last few years to move away from processed food and towards natural foods. These include the simple “natural” part of what we typically feel are whole foods. Natural peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, macadamia nut butter and many others are flying off the health and organic food shelves. Why not? We all want to be healthy!

    Since I get a lot of questions about the difference and benefits of natural peanut butter- one of the most loved of all the spreads- I decided to do a closer examination and share the results with you!

    Ingredients

    Natural peanut butter ingredients:

    -          Roasted peanuts

    Normal peanut butter ingredients:

    -          Peanuts

    -          Soybean oil

    -          Corn maltodextrin

    -          Sugar

    -          Hydrogenated vegetable oil

    -          Salt

    -          Mono- and di-glycerides

    Notes to make here… Please be aware of the difference between “Natural” and “Organic”. Organic refers to the growth practices of the ingredients. The term natural can refer to anything the company wants. It gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling, and makes us feel good about buying it. As though, by being “natural” it is automatically “good”. This is not the case… arsenic, for example, is a natural product… that certainly does not make it “good” for us!

    Nutrient profile

    Total Calories:

    Natural PB = 100

    Normal PB = 90

    Total Carb (fiber + sugar)

    Natural PB = 2.5 g/ tbsp

    Normal PB = 2 g / tbsp

    Fats (saturated)

    Natural PB = 0.8g / tbsp

    Normal PB = 1 g / tbsp

    Protein

    Natural PB = 4 g /tbsp

    Normal PB = 3.5g / tbsp

    Sodium

    Natural PB = 0

    Normal PB = 60mg / tbsp

     

    Taste / flavour 

    Natural peanut butter, in my opinion, is richer in flavour than the generic brand. It is processed less and contains fewer supplementary ingredients such as sugar, which mask the taste! You might notice that you need less of it to get your usual peanut butter fix!

     

    Overall, there wasn’t much difference between the natural and normal peanut butter labels. However, we do know that a high sugar diet is dangerous. The health benefit of changing to a whole food or more natural food is not always easily expressed on the nutrition label. For example, corn maltodextrin is listed 3rd on the label and it is a dangerous form of sugar.

    We recommend that you try to avoid unhealthy additives whenever possible!

     

     

     

  • 13 Things you should NEVER do at the gym!

    Here are a list of 13 things you Must Avoid doing at the gym!

    http://youtu.be/m9wxdYoq0Xo

     1. Breathe excessively!

    Quiet down over there! Some of us are trying to enjoy our time working out, and we needn’t listen to you making more noise than a woman giving birth!

     2. Stop breathing

    Looks like you might pass out before you get the bar onto the rack! Don’t forget to keep breathing, no matter how heavy the load!

     3. Hyperextend your back when pressing overhead

    I’ve seen it a few too many times! If you think you might look like you’re about to fall over backwards, the weight is too heavy! Keep the bar over your heels and your back straight, strong and tight throughout an overhead press!

     4. Leave weights on the rack/ bar/ machine

    So. Rude.

     5. Be a hog…

    Stop collecting all that equipment and be open to sharing with everyone! Do you really need to guard all those weights or can you move around to them while sharing with your peers?

     6. Correct women’s technique to start a conversation…

    Seriously? Get some better game than this! Don’t feel entitled, as a dude, to walk up to women to discuss what they are doing wrong at the gym or how they could improve. Lame. Seen it before. Women do not come to the gym to be “helped”.

     7. Continuously flex at yourself in the mirror

    It just looks sad and desperate. If you aren’t sure if the right muscles are working, you are lying and you have bigger problems. By doing a movement the correct way and paying attention to how your body is moving, you’ll surely be using the right muscles. Anyways, do you think no one has caught you staring at yourself?

     8. Copy the biggest dude in the room

    Just don’t.

    9. Take your shirt off to take pics or just for attention

    Maybe it doesn’t happen everyday, but it definitely happens! Please resist the temptation...

     10. Forget your towel

    Would you want to lie in other peoples sweat? Neither do they! Use a towel. Yes, even for those who think that sweat is a badge of honour, or for those who think that they don’t sweat at all. Use a towel and save everyone else from feeling “ewwy”.

     11. Drop weights unnecessarily

    It wasn’t that heavy, was it? Unless you’re lifting using bumpers, and the weights are well over bodyweight, it is hard to justify all that noise. As long as it isn’t for attention, I think most people would understand.

     12. Spend more time chatting than lifting your overloaded bar

    Gaggles of gossiping men is highly unattractive to those who are trying to exercise and improve physical performance. Out of the way, bro!

     13. Not wash your gym clothes…

    Last but certainly the biggest of all gym taboos! Wash clothes after every use!! The vast number of people who do not do this boggles my mind! Please wash your clothes after each use! This goes for your towel and wraps as well. Even if you “don’t sweat”, “don’t smell”, or “use perfume”, you still have to wash gym clothing after using!

     

     

    I hope this summary has been useful! Happy training!

     

     

    Feresh

  • BCAA vs Protein supplements

    What is the difference between taking a bcaa supplement and a protein supplement? Should they be stacked together or is it best to choose one over the other? We’ll discuss how to easily discern between a good protein and a good bcaa supplement and whether or not you need it!

    http://youtu.be/ZQghL7Xzqto

    BCAAs or branched-chain-amino-acids include 3 specific amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Amino acids are what make up proteins, and thus all protein supplements have some variation of amino acids. However, supplement companies are not required to list the amino acid profile on their labels as the industry is not highly regulated. As a result, you never really know what you’re going to get unless the information is explicitly written!

     

    Do you really need BCAAs?

    These essential amino acids include valine, leucine, and isoleucine. They are a part of the “essential” family of amino acids because they are not produced by the body (as non-essential amino acids are) and must be absorbed through good nutrition. A healthy diet rich in animal products helps with getting all of your amino acids, including the BCAAs.

    All people, even those who are inactive, need bcaas for muscle to maintain its structure. People who exercise and who do a lot of resistance training need a lot of BCAAs as well as a wide spectrum of amino acids to help repair and restore muscle and other connective tissue.

    Supplements for BCAAs are ideal for a quick shot of pre-digested proteins. Being in the most basic form of the nutrient, they are very rapidly absorbed and delivered to muscles. For those who are looking for a little extra shot post-workout, a BCAA supplement is ideal.

     

    Do you need other protein?

    While the BCAAs are essential for muscle growth, protein in general is essential for all body reparation and healing.

    There are so many different types of protein supplements which all add value to something or another. For example, we always recommend a solid whey concentrate, isolate or blend post workout. These help with the immediate needs of the muscle. Something with a fair amount of carbs to help with glycogen replenishment in the muscle is also recommended. This is an ideal “in between” type of supplement for between healthy meals. Adding in a little extra BCAA goes a long way here as well!

     

    For the evenings, we would recommend a casein protein which is a slow releasing protein and helps with recovery while you sleep. Most muscle memory and long-term recovery occurs during sleep. Since we cannot feed our bodies through the night and protein degeneration is common, this supplement helps to keep muscles going!

    There are more examples of wide-spectrum protein supplements being ideal. However, having both a protein and bcaa supplement on-hand helps those of us with busier schedules who cannot always eat the ideal full course meal!

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