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  • 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

     

    Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

     

    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.
  • Leucine, DAA, & BCAAs: Muscle Building Supplements for 2018

    Are you beginning to set your muscle building goals for 2018? How much lean muscle would you like to gain? Would you rather focus on bulking now and worry about cutting in the spring? If solid muscle is what you're after, there are a few ingredients that need to be a part of your supplement line-up to see the best results. Let's take a look at the top three muscle building ingredients for 2018.

     

    Leucine

    Arguably the most notable of the nine essential amino acids when it comes to muscle building, leucine has been the subject of numerous studies showing a dramatically positive effect on muscle building. Leucine has been shown to trigger protein synthesis, a necessary process for muscle building. What's more, it can promote an environment of anabolism, which is also critical for muscle building.

     

    You need to supplement with leucine since it is used up so rapidly during exercise, especially weight lifting. We recommend using 3,200 mg (3.2 grams) of leucine but if you are a very active individual, you can increase this to 4,000 mg (4 grams). Take leucine during your workout and an hour before bed.

     

    D-Aspartic Acid

    D-Aspartic Acid, a famous testosterone boosting supplement for men, has also been suggested to be an effective way to support muscle building goals.

     

    Theoretically, if D-Aspartic Acid can enhance levels of testosterone then it will also promote an anabolic environment, necessary for growth. Lean muscle mass thrives when growth hormones are present as these hormones promote recovery and lean tissue growth. Supplement veterans also swear by DAA as a pre-workout enhancer.

     

    It's important to take DAA on an empty stomach to see the best results. You can do this first thing in the morning or an hour before your workout if you train without eating much. Based on the famous testosterone studies, we recommend using 3,000 mg (3 grams) of DAA each day.

     

    Want to get your hands on an effective muscle building supplement? Why waste time looking for the ideal supplement when you can create your own? The Amino Z Supplement Builder allows you to use the ingredients you want at the dosages you need. Try it today!

     

    BCAAs

    Hands down, one of the best supplements to use to trigger muscle growth is branched chain amino acids, or BCAAs. The BCAAs that have been found to be most effective for muscle building are isoleucine, valine, and leucine (as mentioned above).

     

    Isoleucine

    • May enhance protein synthesis for muscle growth
    • May support lean muscle tissue growth
    • May be valuable for weight management

     

    Valine

    • May increase endurance
    • May boost sports recovery
    • May increase lean muscle mass

     

    Leucine

    • May boost protein synthesis
    • May trigger lean mass growth
    • May support recovery

     

    Build Your Own Muscle Building Supplement

    If you're serious about building lean muscle mass for 2018 then you need to arm yourself with proven muscle building ingredients. Don't waste money on a random supplement. Instead, create your own with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. Control the ingredients and the dosage to see results!

     

    References

    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. Doi M, Yamaoka I, Nakayama M, Mochizuki S, Sugahara K, Yoshizawa F. Isoleucine, a blood glucose-lowering amino acid, increases glucose uptake in rat skeletal muscle in the absence of increases in AMP-activated protein kinase activity. J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2103-8.

     

    1. Topo E, Soricelli A, D'Aniello A, Ronsini S, D'Aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct 27;7:120. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-7-120.

     

    1. Spillane M, Schwarz N, Leddy S, Correa T, Minter M, Longoria V, Willoughby DS. Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise while consuming commercially available pre- and post-workout supplements, NO-Shotgun® and NO-Synthesize® on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of protein synthesis, and clinical safety markers in males. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Nov 3;8:78. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-78.
  • Protect Cardio Health with Wheat Grass, Spirulina, and Acai

    Wheat Grass Powder

    Wheat grass powder contains a unique nutrient profile that is ideal for supporting cardiovascular health. In every serving of wheat grass powder, you'll get an impressive amount of chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

     

    Due to its high-level nutrition, wheat grass powder may be an effective way to destroy disease-causing free radicals in the body. What's more, it may be useful for dramatically reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

     

    Studies suggest that daily consumption of wheat grass powder may be a natural and effective way to support your cardiovascular health.

     

    To see maximum benefits from wheat grass powder, you'll want to take 3,000 mg per day. Consider a second serving if you're a very active person.

     

    Spirulina

    Found off the coasts of beautiful Hawaiian Islands, spirulina is microalgae that contains amino acids, gamma-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, B-vitamins, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin. Studies suggest that spirulina is an effective anti-inflammatory and this has huge implications for cardio health.

     

    Inflammation has been shown to be at the center of many diseases and illnesses. Spirulina may help to fight off that inflammation, thereby supporting your cardiovascular health.

     

    Spirulina is also a powerful anti-oxidant, like wheat grass, and it fights off disease-causing free radicals.

     

    3,000 mg per day is the ideal serving size to take if you want to experience maximum benefit from spirulina. Just like with wheat grass, feel free to take a second serving if you are an active person.

     

    Acai Berry

    When it comes to impressively high levels of antioxidants, heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber, nothing comes close to competing with acai berry.

     

    Acai berry may be able to support your cardio health in a few ways. First, it contains amino acids, the very building blocks of muscle, which may support the recovery of cells and tissue.

     

    Remember how inflammation is a major cause of disease, especially with cardiovascular disease? Acai berry powder delivers three unique compounds: anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and protocatechuic acid. All three of these compounds are effective anti-inflammatory nutrients, which may reduce your cardiovascular risk factors while improving your cardio health.

     

    To see maximum benefits, we recommend 10,000 mg (10 grams) of acai berry powder each day. You can split this dosage into two 5,000 mg servings throughout the day.

     

    Make Your Own Cardio Health Supplement

    Ready to support your cardiovascular health? Want to ensure you're getting the best ingredients with the proper dosages? Create your own cardio health supplement with the Amino Z Supplement Builder!

     

    Convenient and easy to use, the Amino Z Supplement Builder allows you to control the ingredients and dosages you put in your product. Protect your health with your own supplement masterpiece!

     

    References

    1. Bar-Sela G, Cohen M, Ben-Arye E, Epelbaum R. The Medical Use of Wheatgrass: Review of the Gap Between Basic and Clinical Applications. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2015;15(12):1002-10.

     

    1. Deng R, Chow T-J. Hypolipidemic, Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular therapeutics. 2010;28(4):e33-e45. doi:10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.x.

     

    1. Greger, Michael. 'The Science on Açaí Berries.' NutritionFacts.org, 22 Aug. 2013, nutritionfacts.org/2013/08/22/the-science-on-acai-berries/.
  • Protect Your Prostate with Flaxseed, Maca, and Pumpkin Seed

    While popular fitness blogs are packed with articles on muscle building and burning fat, the importance of prostate health is rarely a front-page topic. It's not the most glamorous health topic but it's certainly a necessary thing to begin considering.

     

    While prostate issues are rare in men under 50, it's never too early to start caring for your prostate health. Aside from a healthy diet and exercise program, one of the best ways to protect your prostate is with natural supplements. Let's review the top 3 supplements for prostate health.

     

    Benefits of Flaxseed

    Flaxseed has been a popular super food for the last decade due to its proven benefits of supporting healthy cholesterol levels and weight management. Packed with soluble and insoluble fibre, healthy fatty acids, and key micronutrients, this tiny seed may be able to help support prostate health.

     

    A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention suggests that flaxseed may help protect men from prostate cancer while improving the condition of men who already have the cancer. This may be due to the phytoestrogen content within the seeds but researchers are still looking to find the link between flaxseed and a lower risk of prostate cancer. (1-3)

     

    We recommend supplementing with 10 grams of flaxseed powder per day as this seems to be the ideal serving for most people, regardless of current goals and bodyweight.

     

    Benefits of Maca

    Maca, a famous Peruvian super food, has been used for thousands of years as a libido booster and overall health aid. Recent studies have shed light on the mechanisms behind maca and the true benefits they provide.

     

    Aside from increasing libido, maca may also play a helpful role in protecting the prostate. Maca and red maca in particular, was shown to have a positive effect on prostate health. In an animal study with rats, those who were given maca saw alleviated symptoms from an enlarged prostate. (4)

     

    The ideal serving size for maca is 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day and it should be taken consistently to see the greatest benefits.

     

    Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Powder

    Pumpkin seed is a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet that is packed with protein, healthy fats, and zinc. For men, pumpkin seeds play a very important role in supporting natural testosterone levels and protecting the prostate.

     

    In a recent study published in Urologia Internationalis, men who had an enlarged prostate were given pumpkin seeds or a placebo over a 12-month period. At the conclusion of the study, the men who had been given pumpkin seeds just dramatic improvements in their condition and prostate health. One of the easiest ways to consume this incredible food is with pumpkin seed powder. (5)

     

    Make Your Own Prostate Protection Supplement

    Ready to protect your prostate? If you're already eating a great diet and engaging in a proper fitness program, all you need is a high-quality prostate supplement. Why chance using a low grade and useless supplement when you can create your own? With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you can make your own supplement using the suggested ingredients and dosages above.

     

    You can even add more ingredients to boost antioxidants, fat burning, or muscle mass. You make all the calls with the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    References

    1. Hongyu Wu, An Pan, Zhijie Yu, et al. Lifestyle Counseling and Supplementation with Flaxseed or Walnuts Influence the Management of Metabolic Syndrome. J. Nutr. November 1, 2010 vol. 140 no. 11 1937-1942.

     

    1. Salas-Salvado J, Fernandez-Ballart J, Ros E, Martinez-Gonzalez M-A, Fito M, Estruch R, Corella D, Fiol M, Gomez-Gracia E, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts on metabolic syndrome status: one-year results of the PREDIMED randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:2449–58.

     

    1. Demark-Wahnefried W, Polascik TJ, George SL, et al. Flaxseed Supplementation (not Dietary Fat Restriction) Reduces Prostate Cancer Proliferation Rates in Men Presurgery. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention?: a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2008;17(12):3577-3587. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0008.

     

    1. Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM. 2012;2012:193496. doi:10.1155/2012/193496.

     

    1. Vahlensieck W, Theurer C, Pfitzer E, Patz B, Banik N, Engelmann U. Effects of pumpkin seed in men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia in the one-year, randomized, placebo-controlled GRANU study. Urol Int. 2015;94(3):286-95. doi: 10.1159/000362903. Epub 2014 Sep 5.
  • Fat Loss, Muscle Mass: Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

    How long have you been trying to lose those last 10 pounds? Does your body need that extra push in order to achieve the fat burning you want? The supplement Conjugated Linoleic Acid may be able to help. More commonly known as CLA, this thermogenic compound can play an important role in a successful weight loss. Let's take a look at how CLA can help you achieve a higher level of fat burning without putting your muscle mass at risk.

     

    What are the Benefits of CLA?

     

    CLA Increases Fat Burning

    The most famous benefit of CLA is its ability to promote a higher level of fat burning. CLA is commonly found in fat burning products as several studies have demonstrated incredible results from consistent usage of the supplement. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that subjects who had supplemented with CLA showed a significant decrease in body fat mass when compared to their placebo counterparts. (1-4)

     

    Weight Loss Without Muscle Loss

    One of the dangers with using high powered thermogenics or fat burners is that your muscle mass may be at risk. There are certain fat burners on the market that are overkill as they spike your metabolic rate to burn fat and muscle protein. The result is less fat AND a loss in lean muscle tissue. This is the opposite of what you want if your goals are to lose fat and build up lean muscle.

     

    CLA has been shown to be a muscle sparing fat burner. Studies show that while subjects experienced a decrease in body fat mass, their lean tissue mass remained the same. Some subjects even saw an increase in muscle mass but this was probably due to a resistance program and not CLA.

     

    Safe Long-Term Weight Loss

    Another concern with fat burners is the long-term effects if used consistently for longer than a cycle of around 4 weeks. Strong thermogenics may be too much to supplement with each day over the course of months or years. CLA, on the other hand, has been shown to be a safe and effective supplement for fat burning that can be used on a long-term basis.

     

    With that said, you should discontinue the use of CLA if you have any upcoming surgeries or medical procedures. Talk to you doctor about when you can resume the use of CLA based on your procedure.

     

    Make Your Own CLA Supplement

    Ready to begin amplifying your fat loss? Want to support long term weight loss to achieve your ideal physique? Why chance buying an ineffective brand?

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you can create your very own conjugated linoleic acid supplement mixed with the ingredients you choose at the dosage you want.

     

    Studies show that the ideal dosage for CLA supplements is 3,000 mg (3 grams) per day. Studies also show that taking more than this will not increase the benefits.

     

    Take control of your weight loss and create your supplement masterpiece with the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

     

     

    References

    1. Whigham LD, Watras AC, Schoeller DA. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1203-11.

     

    1. Vaughan RA, Garcia-Smith R, Bisoffi M, Conn CA, Trujillo KA. Conjugated linoleic acid or omega 3 fatty acids increase mitochondrial biosynthesis and metabolism in skeletal muscle cells. Lipids Health Dis. 2012;11:142.

     

    1. DeLany, James P., et al. (1999). Conjugated linoleic acid rapidly reduces body fat content in mice without affecting energy intake. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology276, 4, R1172-R1179.

     

    1. Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J Nutr. 2000 Dec;130(12):2943-8.
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