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  • Ingredient Explained: Carnitine

    Step 1: What is it?

    Acetyl L-Carnitine is an amino acid. It is commonly found in red meat, and supplements (usually referred to as ALCAR, LCLT or L-Carnitine). 

    Step 2: What does it do?

    Acetyl L-Carnitine assists in the production of energy. In particular, it helps your body transports fatty acids from stored body fat into the mitochondria of muscle cells, where it can be used for energy. 

    Although the body naturally produces L-Carnitine, dietary supplementation can increase the concentration levels of carnitine in the body. This means that supplementation might be beneficial for people deficient in carnitine.

    There are 3 main types of carnitine. All types act in the same way in terms of transporting fatty acids from stored body fat into the mitochondria of muscle cells to be used as energy. However, each different type has unique side effects which may render helpful.

    • Acetyl L Carnitine (ALCAR or ALCA): This form of carnitine converts to acetylcholine, positively affecting mood and concentration.
    • L-Carnitine Tartrate (LCLT): This form of carnitine is more commonly used in research. That is because this form has a more rapid absorption rate when compared to the other forms of carnitine.
    • Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine: May improve high-blood pressure via enhanced nitric oxide production when taken in high dosages (+5g per day).

    Step 3: How do I take it?

    • Dosage

    500mg - 1500mg per day

    • Timing

    30-60 minutes before exercise

    • Frequency

    Everyday

    Step 4: What are the top products?

    We recommend that you find the best value for money carnitine/acetyl l carnitine product i.e. look for a cost-effective price point! Just be sure to check the product's ingredient profile to ensure that it's 100% carnitine

  • Ingredient Explained: Glutamine

    Step 1: What is it?

    Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid. Glutamine is a building block for making proteins in the body. It's also needed to make other amino acids and glucose.

    Step 2: What does it do?

    Glutamine assists in recovery following physical stress, such as weight training, for example. Glutamine notably has anti muscle wasting, immune-supporting and digestive system benefits.

    Step 3: How do I take it?

     

    • Dosage

     

    To maximise glutamine’s holistic effects of muscle-sparing, digestion aid and immunity support, Amino Z recommends that you take 3g per day unless directed otherwise.

     

    • Timing

     

    Amino Z recommends taking 3g in a fasted state - 30-60 minutes before consuming a meal.

     

    • Frequency

     

    Every day - 3g. 

    Step 4: What are the top products?

    We recommend that you try to find the best value for money glutamine product i.e. look for a cost-effective price point! Just be sure to check the ingredient profile of the product to ensure that it’s 100% glutamine.

  • Ingredient Explained: Creatine Monohydrate

    Step 1: What is it?

    Creatine is a compound derived from amino acids. Your muscles utilise creatine to produce energy during heavy lifting or quick bursts of intense activity.

    Step 2: What does it do?

    Creatine converts into a compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the body’s main energy source for the phosphate energy system. The phosphate energy system is recruited when conducting short, sharp muscle contractions such as sprinting or lifting a heavy weight.

    By increasing your bodies creatine levels through supplementation, you’re effectively improving the ability of your muscles to contract with more power and for more repetitions. Thereby, creatine can allow you to train harder, with heavier loads and more volume, which ultimately leads to muscle growth over time.

    Step 3: How do I take it?

    • Dosage

    5g per day. The will allow for peak creatine saturation levels in approximately 2 weeks.

    • Timing

    It doesn’t matter what time creatine is consumed. However, we recommend consuming it around the same time every day. 

    • Frequency

    Every day - 5g. No need to cycle off.

    Step 4: What are the top products?

    We recommend that you find the best value for money creatine monohydrate product, i.e. look for a cost-effective price point! Just be sure to check the product's ingredient profile to ensure that it’s 100% creatine monohydrate and nothing else!

  • Chocolate Chip Protein Brownie Recipe (less than 90 calories per brownie).

    These are hands down one of our most popular recipes. (for good reason!). They are ridiculously chocolately and hold super well, and when refrigerated have an amazing, fudgy texture. 

    Unlike traditional brownies, these contain no butter, sugar, or excessive flour. However, they do include one crucial ingredient that makes gym-goers happy - A protein boost! Thanks to some protein powder (Amino Z Whey Protein Isolate)

  • Whey Protein vs. Plant Protein: Which is Better for Muscle?

    What is Whey Protein?

    Whey protein is a milk-based product. Milk protein is made up of 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein. Companies isolate the whey protein content of milk protein to give you the muscle building supplement that you're familiar with.

     

    Types of Whey Protein

    Whey protein can further be broken down depending on the filtration process. There are three types of whey protein that are widely available in the supplement industry:

     

    Whey Protein Concentrate

    • Used in most protein supplements. Whey concentrate normally contains between 40% and 89% actual whey. The rest is nutrient filler such as simple carbohydrates and fatty acids.

     

    Whey Protein Isolate

    • Whey isolate is a highly filtered version of whey protein. It contains over 90% of pure whey protein and it's most known for its fast digestion speeds.

     

    Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

    • Hydrolyzed whey protein is the most filtered version of whey protein containing well over 90% of pure whey protein. Like isolate, it is highly bioavailable and quick to digest.

     

    Benefits of Whey Protein

    Muscle Building

    • Whey protein supplementation has been shown to promote muscle growth through protein synthesis and an anabolic environment triggered by amino acids in the body.

     

    Protects from Muscle Loss

    • Whey protein supplementation has been shown to be an effective way to protect the muscle you already have gained by preventing catabolism or muscle breakdown.

     

    Recovery

    • The amino acids in whey protein will help to promote effective muscle healing and less soreness post-workout.

     

    What is Plant Protein

    Plant protein comes from plant extracts that are notably high in protein. Plant proteins usually have to be combined to form what are known as complete proteins, or proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids. There are a few exceptions including pumpkin seeds and soy.

     

    Types of Plant Protein

    Pea

    • Pea protein isolate contains an impressive amount of protein but it is incomplete. It must be combined with another plant-based source to ensure the body gets all of the essential amino acids.

     

    Brown Rice

    • Brown rice protein is highly bioavailable but it's also incomplete so it must be combined with a plant-based source like pea protein.

     

    Pumpkin Seed

    • Packed with protein, minerals, and fatty acids, pumpkin seed is one of the best plant-based protein sources. Best of all, it is a complete protein.

     

    Soy

    • Soy is another complete protein that also promotes cardiovascular health.

     

    Benefits of Plant Protein

    Muscle Building

    • Just like whey protein, plant protein supplements have been proven to promote muscle growth, protein synthesis, and an anabolic environment for results. Plant protein can also help to protect from catabolism.

     

    Recovery

    • Although you may need to combine two different plant protein sources, the amino acids found within complete plant protein can boost recovery after a workout.

     

    Which Protein is Better for Muscle?

    Despite popular belief, studies have shown that whey and plant protein are equally effective at triggering muscle growth, protein synthesis, recovery, and anti-catabolic actions. In fact, it is recommended that you use both a whey and a plant-based protein source to maximize benefits.

     

    Make your own whey or plant protein supplement with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. You can combine the ingredients you want at the dosages you need to maximize your muscle building gains.

     

    References

    1. Tipton KD, Elliott TA, Cree MG, Aarsland AA, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR. Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jan;292(1):E71-6. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

     

    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. 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. 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. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. "Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation." Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.
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