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Food & Supplements

  • MuscleTech Performance Series Nitro Tech Ripped vs. BSN Isoburn

    One of the newest crazes to hit the supplement market is thermogenic protein. Just like the name implies, thermogenic protein has a foundation of muscle building protein, which is supported by fat burning ingredients such as L-Carnitine and Yohimbe. Two of the biggest giants in the industry have grabbed on to the new protein craze: MuscleTech Performance series Nitro Tech Ripped vs. BSN Isoburn. Let’s review the pros and cons of both of these brands to see which one has a better thermogenic protein product.

     

    MuscleTech Performance Series Nitro Tech Ripped

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of MuscleTech Performance Series Nitro Tech Ripped

    MuscleTech isn’t messing around when it comes to this thermogenic protein. Right out of the gate, you’re getting 30 grams of protein from a unique blend of Whey Peptides, Whey Protein Isolate, and Whey Protein Isolate. This means that MuscleTech is going to be ideal for a post-workout treat. The fast-acting amino acids may help to support recovery, trigger protein synthesis, and promote lean muscle tissue growth. (1-7)

     

    MuscleTech also features a great line-up of some proven fat burning thermogenics. Some of these ingredients have been shown to promote fat loss while boosting your metabolic rate. (8-10) Here’s the full list:

     

    • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
    • CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
    • canephora robusta extract (bean) (Robusta Coffee)
    • Green Tea Extract (as Camellia sinensis) (leaf)
    • Rose Hip Extract (as Rosa canina) (fruit)
    • Kelp

     

    Cons of MuscleTech Performance Series Nitro Tech Ripped

    The only issue we have with MuscleTech Performance Series Nitro Tech Ripped is the dosage of some of the thermogenic ingredients is under-dosed. If you look at the study samples and how big of a dose they used to get those results, MuscleTech cuts it a bit short. With that said, this is a protein supplement first and foremost and a weight loss support second. It’s like a protein shake with a little boost of fat burning but it's still a protein shake.

     

    BSN Isoburn

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of BSN Isoburn

    Just like MuscleTech, Isoburn from BSN focuses on fast digesting proteins. That means it’s going to be ideal after your workout or first thing upon waking. Remember, as we mentioned above, those amino acids from the isolate may help to boost muscle building and recovery.

     

    As to its thermogenic formula, it features a decent line-up of thermogenic compounds:

     

    • Green Coffee Extract
    • Blue-Green Algae Extract
    • Beta-Carotene
    • Pomegranate Extract
    • L-Carnitine Tartrate
    • Choline Bitartrate
    • Banaba Extract

     

    Just like MuscleTech, it’s offering plenty of protein for muscle building goals and a select line of thermogenic compounds that may support weight loss.

     

    Cons of BSN Isoburn

    First, BSN doesn’t compare with MuscleTech in the gram for gram category. MuscleTech provides 30 grams of protein while BSN is only giving 20 grams.

     

    The bigger problem is the thermogenic formula. Since BSN uses proprietary blends, you have no idea how much of each ingredient you’re getting. Considering the blend is only 1 gram, you can rest assured that it won’t be much. One way to remedy this would be to double the dose. That would effectively give you twice the protein and fat burning agents but it would also burn through your wallet twice as fast.

     

    Conclusion

    Both brands are great examples of a real thermogenic protein but it’s easy to see why we would go with MuscleTech Performance Series Nitro Tech Ripped. It has more protein and more fat burning ingredients than BSN. With that said, BSN Isoburn is still a decent protein that would be a good choice, especially if it was on sale. For a post-workout protein that supports fat burning, try one of these great thermogenic proteins.

     

    References

    1. Phillips SM1, Van Loon LJ. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.619204.
    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. Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, Jeukendrup AE. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84.
    1. Brandsch C, Eder K. Effect of L-carnitine on weight loss and body composition of rats fed a hypocaloric diet. Ann Nutr Metab. 2002;46(5):205-10.
    1. Igho Onakpoya, Rohini Terry, and Edzard Ernst. The Use of Green Coffee Extract as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011; 2011: 382852.
  • 4 Reasons You Need to Be Pairing Up Calcium with Your Vitamin D Supplement

    Are you a weight lifter who is using Vitamin D supplements to help with recovery and hormone levels?

    Are you a sprinter who uses Calcium to support bone health?

    Maybe you’re someone who is on the fence about which is better: Calcium or Vitamin D?

     

    Whether you want to support your overall health or push yourself closer to a fitness goal, you don’t have to choose between Vitamin D or Calcium. Taken together, these two supplement can support a number of health and fitness goals. Let’s take a look at the top 4 reasons why you should be pairing Vitamin D with Calcium.

     

    1. Better Absorption

    First and foremost, Vitamin D and Calcium need one another to maximize absorption. As an athlete, if you have a diet that’s high in protein and sodium, you may be at risk for Calcium deficiency. Protein and sodium negatively impact Calcium retention. The more protein and sodium that you eat, the more Calcium is excreted through the kidneys. While you may not be able to cut out protein from your diet, especially if you’re a muscle-focused athlete, you can boost absorption through Vitamin D. Studies show that Vitamin D helps to boost and maintain Calcium levels. (1)

     

    1. Stronger Bones

    Those who are at risk for osteoporosis typically have very low levels of Calcium in their body. When your body is able to efficiently absorb Calcium, thanks to Vitamin D, you will be directly supporting the health and strength of your bones. Calcium is one of the best ways to boost your bone health. What’s more, the hormonal support of Vitamin D will also help to preserve bone strength. Combine these supplements with resistance training or plyometrics and watch your bone strength soar. (2)

     

    1. Beat Back Inflammation

    Inflammation is a popular topic in health news. Experts have connected inflammation in the body to dozens of ailments including diabetes and cancer. This recent discovery has prompted a search for ways to reduce inflammation. Aside from eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and super foods, supplementing with Calcium and Vitamin D may also be able to help. Recent studies are suggesting that taking the two together or on the same day at different times may help reduce inflammation markers. (3, 4)

     

    1. Boost Metabolic Health

    Every time you visit your doctor for a check-up, you are taken through a panel of necessary tests including heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. As we get older, or as our lifestyle choices tend to slip, these numbers can prompt a lecture from your doctor. Aside from a healthy diet and exercise, one way to support your cardiovascular health is to supplement with Vitamin D and Calcium. Studies suggest that when taken as a part of a healthy diet, these two supplements may have to improve metabolic health. (5)

     

    Conclusion

    If you want stronger bones, better cardiovascular health, and less inflammation, it’s time you started adding the powerful combination of Vitamin D and Calcium to your diet. Looking for a great brand? Click here to check out our collection of Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.

     

    References

    1. The National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases. "Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 May 2015. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.
    1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2004.
    1. Meg Mangin, Rebecca Sinha, and Kelly Fincher. Inflammation and vitamin D: the infection connection. Inflamm Res. 2014; 63(10): 803–819.
    1. Bussière FI, Gueux E, Rock E, Mazur A, Rayssiguier Y. Protective effect of calcium deficiency on the inflammatory response in magnesium-deficient rats. Eur J Nutr. 2002 Oct;41(5):197-202.
    1. Asemi Z, Karamali M, Esmaillzadeh A. Effects of calcium-vitamin D co-supplementation on glycaemic control, inflammation and oxidative stress in gestational diabetes: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Diabetologia. 2014 Sep;57(9):1798-806. doi: 10.1007/s00125-014-3293-x. Epub 2014 Jun 25.
  • BSN Cellmass 2.0 vs MuscleTech Cell Tech

    There is no doubt that the nutrients that you put into your body immediately following a workout are going to play a huge role in the results that you see in the mirror. Post-workout nutrition has been the center of attention for supplement companies, resulting in some of the biggest brands dishing out incredibly popular products. When recovery is your goal, you need a supplement designed specifically for repair. Let’s review two of the biggest names in the industry, BSN Cellmass 2.0 vs MuscleTech Cell Tech, to see which one is worth the buy.

     

    BSN Cellmass 2.0

    Where can I buy it?BSN Cellmass 2.0

     

    Pros of BSN Cellmass 2.0

    BSN offers an impressive line-up of pre-workout, intra-workout, protein, and many other categories of supplements but what about post-workout? BSN’s response to the post-workout need is Cellmass 2.0. This amino-acid focused recovery drink is broken down into three major categories.

     

    Recovery Composite

    • Whey Protein Hydrolysate
    • L-Glutamine
    • Glutamine Peptides

     

    Myogenic Matrix

    • Creatine Monohydrate
    • Creatine HCL
    • Creatine Anhydrous

     

    Insulino Interfusion

    • Taurine
    • Banaba Extract

     

    Your body loves amino acids before, during, and especially following a workout. BSN provides you with a unique amino acid blend from whey protein and glutamine peptides. These amino acids may be able to help support recovery and lean muscle growth. Cellmass 2.0 also has three types of creatine. Creatine is an industry classic that may be able to support cellular energy levels, reduce muscle soreness, and boost performance. (1-7)

     

    Cons of BSN Cellmass 2.0

    Like many companies, BSN uses a proprietary blend. That means, you know what ingredients you’re getting but you’re not filled in on the dosage of each. This can be problematic because some ingredients only work at a specific dosage and if you’re getting less than that dosage, you may not notice any benefit.

     

    The other issue we have with Cellmass 2.0 is the lack of amino acids. Sure, you’re getting some whey protein and glutamine peptides but there is a large spectrum of amino acids that BSN could take advantage of and they don’t.

     

    MuscleTech Cell Tech

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of MuscleTech Cell Tech

    Cell Tech is an excellent post-workout supplement that has been specifically designed to be used following a workout. First up, you’re getting important vitamins along with an electrolyte blend to support recovery. More importantly, Cell Tech gives you the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine, which have been suggested in numerous studies to boost recovery, trigger protein synthesis, and support muscle building. Finally, just like with Cellmass, you’ll also be getting creatine and taurine. (1-7)

     

    Cons of MuscleTech Cell Tech

    The only issue with Cell Tech is that we would like to see the amount of essential amino acids be higher. You’re getting 2 grams of BCAAs, which isn’t bad but it could be a lot better for a recovery drink. One simple solution is to double the dose.

     

    Other than the amino acids, the only other issue is the artificial flavouring and colouring but if you’re no stranger to supplements, you know it’s easier said than done getting away from this.

     

    Conclusion

    Both of these supplements are good but for completely different reasons. Cellmass 2.0 from BSN is more of an intra-workout supplement. Sure, you can definitely benefit from it post-workout but given the formula, we’d suggest using this as an intra-workout supplement. Cell Tech from MuscleTech, on the other hand, is the perfect post-workout drink. It contains the right amino acids, electrolytes, and vitamins for recovery. MuscleTech even threw in Alpha Lipoic Acid as a way to increase fat burning and support your fitness goals.

     

    If you can, we’d suggest buying both. If you have to choose one, think about what’s more important to you: intra-workout or post-workout.

     

    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. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
  • Weightlifter? 4 Reasons Why You Need Joint Supplements

    If you’re a gym rat, this article is for you.

     

    Weight lifting is one of the most popular ways to stay fit and achieve the body you want. Every physical activity takes a toll on the body and weight lifting may place quite a high demand. From heavy weight to improper technique, the risk for injuring joints and connective tissue via weight training is high. One of the best ways you can protect your body is to supplement with joint support. Let’s take a look at 4 reasons why joint supplements need to be right next to your whey protein.

     

    1. Compound Movements Take a Toll

    The classic bodybuilding movements (squat, deadlift, and bench press) are, without a doubt the most effective exercises in the industry. The problem is that these same exercises are also the ones that cause the most injuries. Sure, that may be the fault of the user sometimes as when someone tries to show off but many other times, it’s not. The classic moves are triggering the greatest number of muscle groups at the same time. Add to that a great deal of weight and you are putting quite the strain on joints and connective tissue.

     

    Connective tissue takes three times as long as muscle tissue to recover. Considering joints and connective tissue make all of your exercises possible, it becomes a necessity to look after them properly. This is where joint supplements come into play.

     

    1. Reduce Soreness

    How many times have you had to go lighter on sets or skip the gym entirely due to muscle soreness?

     

    Muscle soreness is just a natural part of exercise but it can get to the point where you’re not able to perform at your normal level and that’s an issue. Joint supplements that contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM have been suggested in a number of studies to be very beneficial for recovery by alleviating soreness. (1, 2)

     

    1. Alleviate Inflammation

    In the case of muscle tissue, inflammation is the actual soreness that you’re feeling in the muscle itself. When it comes to joints and connective tissue, the inflammation you feel in these areas can be uncomfortable to downright painful. Ever do too much with the barbell squat to find your knee clicking and hurting the following day? Inflammation is the body’s way of signaling healing but too much inflammation can be problematic. Joint supplements, especially those with MSM, have been suggested to be powerful anti-inflammatory agents. This will provide you with a natural alternative to over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, which can cause stomach issues. (1, 2)

     

    1. Proper Lubrication

    It’s not something you think about but your joints and connective tissue need to be properly lubricated in order to function at maximum effort.

     

    Think of your elbows and knees like the internal mechanisms in a car. If you didn’t place oil into your car, there would be no lubrication for the engine to work from. The result would be a gnashing and grinding of gears until the engine exploded.

     

    Your joints need proper lubrication for function AND protection. This is to ensure that cartilage doesn’t start grinding against cartilage. The best way to support proper lubrication of joints? Supplements that are heavy in glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Studies suggest that these three ingredients, working together, can promote better lubrication, thereby alleviating the symptoms mentioned above while protecting the tissue. (1, 2)

     

    If you’re ready to start supporting your joints, click here to take a look at one of our top sellers.

     

    References

    1. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. The NIH Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT). J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2008;22(1):39-43.

     

    1. Usha PR, Naidu MU. Randomised, Double-Blind, Parallel, Placebo-Controlled Study of Oral Glucosamine, Methylsulfonylmethane and their Combination in Osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Investig. 2004;24(6):353-63.
  • Can Multi-Vitamins Help You Recover Faster?

    Whether you are a weekend weight lifter or a serious competitive athlete, we all know that feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS. This soreness comes from microtears in the muscle following intense physical activity. These tears are nothing to worry about but the soreness that comes from them can be annoying and sometimes restrictive. This is especially true if you are too sore to get back into the gym.

     

    We know that nutrition is the way to recovery but do multi-vitamins play a part in this? Can a multi-vitamin help to increase recovery? Let’s take a look at the facts about multi-vitamins to find out.

     

    What is a Multi-Vitamin?

    Multi-vitamins are comprised of all the essential vitamins and minerals deemed necessary by government recommendations. The idea behind a multi-vitamin is that one needs to fill the gaps left behind by the lack of nutrients in a diet. Theoretically, everyone should be able to get in the recommended amount of nutrients without a supplement but the reality is that most people do not.

     

    The Case for the Multi-Vitamin

    The average person simply does not eat enough of the right foods to acquire the vitamins and minerals needed to satisfy government recommendations. What’s more, those who are extremely active require MORE nutrients than the average person. Again, this may be difficult to achieve with only a whole food-based diet.

     

    Muscles have been shown to respond to several key nutrients such as Vitamin D and B6 in regards to recovery and energy production. If someone is lacking in a whole food diet or is over training, the risk for a deficiency increase. This is why a multi-vitamin may be of great use to most people.

     

    If you are a very active person, even if you have a great diet, consider a multi-vitamin to boost your recovery. This may help reduce soreness, promote results, and get you back in the gym.

     

    If you would prefer to take only a few individual vitamins as opposed to a complete broad spectrum vitamin, here are a few key nutrients to focus on for recovery:

     

    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin B6
    • Vitamin D
    • Magnesium
    • Zinc

     

    Word of Caution

    Too much of a good thing can be toxic in the case of multi-vitamins. You must not exceed the recommended dosage prescribed on your specific brand. You do not want to exceed upper limits of specific minerals and vitamins as the side effects can be dangerous.

     

    What’s more, it’s worth noting that whole food-based multi-vitamins are far more bioavailable than those created with synthetic compounds. Consider investing in a liquid multi-vitamin. If you prefer capsules, again, make sure you find yourself one that has predominantly whole food-based ingredients.

     

    Lastly, the best form of nutrients is in real food. A multi-vitamin is a supplement to your diet, meaning it should just be the side help and not the primary focus. Never replace whole foods for supplements.

     

    Ready to buy your multi-vitamin? Click here to select from one of our top sellers.

     

    References

    1. Melvin H Williams. Dietary Supplements and Sports Performance: Introduction and Vitamins. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004; 1(2): 1–6. Published online 2004 Dec 31. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-1.
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