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Food & Supplements

  • Protein Supplements for Women

    There are many women's supplements available to purchase. Though are women's supplements, such as women's protein powders, necessary for females to consume?
  • Do You Need Bodybuilding Supplements to Build Muscle?

    Perform a search on the internet and you'll find almost every supplement store and supplement manufacturer expressing the necessity for supplement consumption to gain muscle mass.

    Albeit yes, we do have a supplement store ourselves, however our blog is not designed to sell products, but rather to provide an informed decision based on articles written by professionals.

    So, do you need bodybuilding supplements to build muscle?

    The simple answer is no. However, if you have been reading through the articles contained within this blog, you'll know that there is more to this discussion than that.

    Supplementation is a growing market, simply because there are many high quality supplements available to assist in accomplishing muscle gaining goals. There is plenty of science to back up the effectiveness of many supplements readily available and many people find great value in utilising supplements to their advantage.

    This is not to say that supplements are necessary. In order to gain muscle, you require several critical elements, two of particular importance include:

    1. An appropriate overload on the muscle (eg. exercise can provide the necessary stimulus to induce muscle growth).
    2. Effective nutrition in order to supply the appropriate nutrients to your body so it has the "raw ingredients" available to synthesise new muscle tissue.

    Supplementation falls under the latter point, nutrition.

    With good nutrition from food alone, you can obtain high quality nutrients, such as proteins (from eggs, meat, dairy, poultry, seafood), carbohydrates (from many varieties of plant foods) and fats (from oils, nuts, fish, seeds) that are necessary to gain muscle tissue.

    Using wholefood alone, you will be able to gain notable amounts of muscle. However, supplementation has the ability to enhance your muscle building progress significantly.

    In effect, supplementation is not a necessity to gain muscle - it is an advantage.

    ...and a significant one at that.

    The advantage lies in the ability to get more "bang for your buck" from each workout. With wholefood alone, your body may only be able to synthesise a fraction of the muscle tissue it would otherwise be able to build with an effective supplementation approach.

    Supplementing with bodybuilding supplements can have several advantages relative to consuming wholefoods. Let's get more specific:

    1. Speed of absorption.Supplements are much more highly refined than natural foods. As a consequence, our body's are able to digest many much faster than a whole food. For example, while the proteins found in milk may take many hours to absorb, whey proteins from bodybuilding supplements (derived from milk) may take less than an hour. Similarly, while the sugars from a fruit may take 2-3 hous for absorption, the sugars from dextrose may take less than one hour.

    This is particularly important immediately before and after your workout when your body is effectively a "nutrient sponge". For optimal results, you need a fast-acting nutrient source to deliver the necessary amino acids and carbohyrates needed for muscle growth.

    2. Quality of macronutrients. With respect to proteins, they are evaluated by quality with the use of a scale known as their "Biological Value", or "BV". Egg has a BV of 100, while milk is slightly lower and fish/poultry/meat is lower still. Vegetable proteins fall even lower on the scale. The scale measures how effectively our body's are able to utilise the proteins contained in the food source.

    Many good quality protein powders actually have a BV in excess of 100, indicating a much greater protein utilisation within the body. This is important when aiming to build muscle, as good quality protein is a vital ingredient for quality muscle growth.

    In money terms, supplementation allows you to obtain a greater return on the investment you make with your training sessions. If you're strapped for cash or just aiming to develop a routine, then you may choose to put off the supplementation as you would still gain advantages from exercise and good quality food alone. However, if you're serious about muscle building goals, bodybuilding supplements can assist you greatly in your endeavours.

  • Creatine Facts, Benefits, Uses & Functions

    Creatine (amino acid) benefits, functions, uses, applications and purchasing information.
  • How to Reduce Trans Fats in Your Diet

    There are "good" fats and "bad" fats. Trans fats fall into the "bad" category and should generally not be consumed in large amounts. We discuss how to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Healthy Eating on Holidays, When Losing Weight or Dieting

    Here's the scenario: You're trying to lose weight and you're doing a pretty good job at it. But then a holiday, work trip, or even just a long weekend comes along and interferes with your weight loss efforts. How do you stay on track with your weight loss, without adhering to a strict dietary regime while away?

    As a trainer, I see this situation occur time and time again. Holidays (or any real interruption to your day-to-day routine) are often the enemy of weight loss. After all, when you're away from your typical environment, it's difficult to stick to a regimen. Convenience foods (most of which aren't the healthiest choices) are often chosen preferentially, because it's just easier.

    Though obvious, it's important to understand and first-handedly appreciate that your body does not take a break from weight fluctuations just because you're away. Possibly the most common form of rationalisation is something along the lines of "I'll get back on my healthy diet when I get home". But there is one major flaw in this approach:

    Once you get back home and realise all the weight you have gained, you're likely going to feel extremely discouraged and demotivated!

    Plus, you're going to be completely out of the routine that you worked so hard to get into. I have seen this happen time and time (and time) again - it is probably the worst thing you could do, that will negatively impact your long-term weight loss results.

    I completely understand the desire to take a break from weight loss when you're going away. After all, it's a holiday and you've earned the right to completely relax. Alternatively, it may be a business trip and you're too busy to worry about yourself due to a busy schedule.

    But what about the bigger picture - the reason driving you to achieve this weight loss? Whatever your motivation (self-esteem, body image, confidence, health, happiness etc.), are you going to allow this temporary interruption jepordise what you've always wanted out of life?

    Weight loss is all about consistency. You need to consistently apply yourself with good nutrition and exercise for optimal results. Consistency helps to develop a routine. After a suitable period of time, exhibiting consistent behavior that is a necessarily function of a lighter bodyweight will become second nature. This is the goal with healthy lifestyle habits - to become second nature - just like brushing your teeth in the morning, or buckling up your seat belt when you get in the car. After all, you don't take a break from these habits when you're away, do you?

    It cannot be stressed enough - taking a break from eating in a healthy manner is not a good idea because it interrupts this very important pattern. A trip may be a tempting short-term reason to deviate from your weight loss efforts - but is it worth the long-term expense?

    But is dieting when you're on holidays to lose weight realistic?

    Having read through this article, you may be thinking how unrealistic this approach is. Am I completely out of my mind? Who in the world would want to stick to a strict diet if you are away on a holiday? You're on holidays - so you've earned the right to sip on a few cocktails, put your feet up and indulge in a meal or two.

    You know what - you are exactly right. If you're planning on a trip and your current diet would ruin your entire experience, I whole-heartedly agree. However if this is the case, then you have one major problem - the diet itself.

    I highly recommend that you read through the other articles pertaining to nutrition and mindset within this website. If you're dieting and drawing upon excessive amounts of willpower to get you through the day, then you're setting yourself up for failure. No wonder you need a holiday!

    This approach to weight loss is clearly unsustainable - willpower can only stretch so far. Although rapid weight loss in the short-term may be tempting, it is not a long-term solution. So you will need to consider a more realistic approach to your nutritional requirements. If your nutrition is going to become second nature like brushing your teeth, or buckling up your seat belt, then it has to be as realistic as either of those two tasks. Losing weight does not have to be a chore - so long as you maintain a healthy balance in your diet, you can lose weight (while still having the occasional indulgence!).

    The key take-home message is that nothing should interrupt your weight loss endeavours. Although a holiday may be a tempting excuse for a break, remind yourself that losing weight is a lifestyle and something that must be committed to in the long-term.

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