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Food & Supplements

  • Amazing Benefits of AAKG: Why You Need to Use AAKG

    In the supplement world, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed. Stepping into a store or browsing online, you'll be provided with dozens of different categories and thousands of options. If you don't know what you want, then you could wind up with a lot that you don't need. This is why it's so important to look for those ingredients that have the most scientific backing. Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate is one of those tried and true supplements.

     

    More commonly abbreviated as AAKG, this L-Arginine-based ingredient can support a variety of fitness goals including performance, muscle growth, and nitric oxide production. Let's take a look at the benefits of AAKG and how it can help you achieve fitness success.

     

    Pre-Workout and Performance

    AAKG is commonly found within pre-workout supplements as it has been shown to enhance performance. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggested that AAKG may be able to significantly improve intra-workout performance by supporting creatine production, improving blood flow, and boosting nitric oxide levels in the blood.

     

    This suggests that AAKG may be able to help you extend your total fatigue time while boosting strength output.

     

    Boost Nitric Oxide Levels

    Continuing with the idea of AAKG as a nitric oxide booster, studies show that higher levels of nitric oxide during your workout result in more intense pumps, better performance, and greater strength. The classic pump feeling is when the blood is pooling in the muscle and this will help support strength and muscle gains.

     

    Build More Muscle Mass

    A better workout with higher levels of nitric oxide may help to promote greater levels of muscle mass. Building lean muscle tissue requires that you maintain a specific intensity (65% to 75% of your 1RM), repetition range (8 to 12), and rest break timing (60 seconds).

     

    The result is muscle hypertrophy. Since AAKG may support your workout performance and energy levels, you're more likely to reach the variables needed for growth. What's more, AAKG has been suggested to be a potent recovery aid, promoting the healing of lean tissue.

     

    Make Your Own AAKG Supplement

    The problem with AAKG in supplement blends lies in the fact that it is usually under-dosed. In other words, the supplement blend will not contain enough AAKG to provide the reported benefits. This is why we recommend making your own supplement. In this way, you control the ingredients AND the amount per serving that you need to see the benefits of AAKG. You can create your own AAKG supplement by using the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    Whether you only use Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate or you place it within a mix of other powerful ingredients, be sure to use between 2,000 and 2,500 mg, based on your physical activity level.

     

    Create your perfect supplement with the Amino Z Supplement Builder today!

     

    References

    1. Willoughby DS, Boucher T, Reid J, Skelton G, Clark M. Effects of 7 days of arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation on blood flow, plasma L-arginine, nitric oxide metabolites, and asymmetric dimethyl arginine after resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Aug;21(4):291-9.

     

    1. K. Hnia, J. Gayraud, G. Hugon, M. Ramonatxo, S. De La Porte, S. Matecki, et al. L-Arginine Decreases Inflammation and Modulates The Nuclear Factor-?b/Matrix Metalloproteinase Cascade In Mdx Muscle Fibers. Am J Pathol, 172 (6) (2008), pp. 1509-1519.

     

    1. B.I. Campbell, P.M. La Bounty, M. Roberts. The Ergogenic Potential of Arginine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 1 (2) (2004), pp. 35-38.
  • Super Food Benefits: Maca, Acai, Matcha, & Wheat Grass

    The term super foods has become a household name for those foods that are nutritionally above and beyond. Not all super foods are created equal and not all super food supplements provide the benefits they claim. Let's review the top 4 super foods that have been proven by science to be the best.

     

    Maca

    Exploding in popularity during the last decade, maca is a Peruvian super food that has been used for thousands of years.

     

    Ancient peoples made maca a part of their daily diet, citing it as a way to promote overall health and wellness. Today, Peruvians still love maca and science is revealing that maca has several key benefits that apply to both men and women.

     

    Maca is well known as a hormonal balance ingredient. It supports testosterone levels for men while it promotes healthy estrogen levels in women. Maca has been shown to boost libido and sex drive while increasing overall energy levels.

     

    Post-menopausal women find maca to be very helpful as a natural way to improve mood and mindset. (1)

     

    Acai

    When research was breaking about the dangers of free radicals and the importance of antioxidants, blueberries were getting all of the attention. Once researchers discovered the nutritional profile of acai berries, this little purple berry became an overnight celebrity.

     

    Acai berries contain more antioxidants than blueberries along with heart-healthy fats, amino acids, vitamins, and fiber. Aside from having an impressive list of nutrients, acai berries are natural anti-inflammatories as they contain anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and protocatechuic acid, which are all potent anti-inflammatory compounds. (2)

     

    Want to take advantage of these super foods? Not sure where to look for a high quality super food supplement? Just make your own!

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you can create your own elite quality super food supplement! Support your health today!

     

    Matcha

    The health benefits of green tea are well known but what many people don't realize is that there are a variety of different types of green tea. One of the highest quality and most nutritious types of green tea is matcha.

     

    Used in traditional tea ceremonies in Japan, matcha green tea is held to the highest standard throughout Asia. The frothy and thick green tea contains an incredible number of antioxidants and nutrients that support weight management, disease prevention, and overall wellness. (3)

     

    Wheat Grass

    Last but not least, we have wheat grass. Trendy super foods all started with wheat grass when a wave of stories was published about the amazing nutrient profile of wheat grass. Not only does it contain high levels of chlorophyll but wheat grass is packed with flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins.

     

    Wheat grass powder captures the same nutritional benefits and it has been shown to destroy disease-causing free radicals while promoting cardiovascular health. (4)

     

    Make Your Own Super Food Supplement

    You could go out and try to find the perfect super food supplement containing the best levels of the four ingredients listed above or you can make your own.

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, it's never been easier to create your own super food supplement. You control the ingredients and the dosage. Try it today!

     

     

    References

    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. Greger, Michael. 'The Science on Açaí Berries.' NutritionFacts.org, 22 Aug. 2013, nutritionfacts.org/2013/08/22/the-science-on-acai-berries/.

     

    1. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chinese Medicine. 2010;5:13. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-13.

     

    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.
  • You Need to Use These 3 Electrolytes During Your Workout

    To say that electrolytes are important would be an understatement. You can go weeks without eating but without electrolytes, you have a few days in the best-case scenario. Electrolytes help to produce electrical charges throughout the body once consumed and they play vital roles in everything you do. Your heart needs proper electrical charges to beat normally. Your muscles need electrolytes to simply contract.

     

    When you exercise, you are sweating and as you sweat, you lose electrolytes. If you sweat out too many electrolytes, you may feel fatigue or become weaker during some movements. This is why electrolyte-loaded drinks are so popular. The problem is that those drinks are also packed with sugar and artificial preservatives. The solution is to make your own electrolyte supplement.

     

    Let's take a look at three of the best electrolytes to include in your supplement. We'll even tell you how you can make your own electrolyte supplement.

     

    Calcium

    You may already know the important role of calcium in maintaining proper bone health. What you may not know is that calcium is an important electrolyte that hosts a variety of benefits. Aside from helping to maintain ideal electrolyte levels, calcium can also help with post-workout recovery.

     

    What's more, resistance training with calcium supplements may help to support healthy bone mass and growth. (1-2)

     

    Proper Dosage:

    • Standard dosage: 500 mg
    • Very active dosage: 1,000 (two 500 mg servings)

     

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is considered by many as a super mineral as it plays over 300 important roles in the human body, one of which is its duty as an electrolyte.

     

    Magnesium is quick to be used up, even outside of physical fitness so it's very important that if you supplement with any electrolyte, it's this one. Aside from maintaining proper electrolyte levels, magnesium is also essential for promoting lean tissue growth and recovery, supporting healthy sleep cycles, and increasing your immune response. (3-4)

     

    Proper Dosage:

    • Standard dosage: 100 mg
    • Very active dosage: same as above

     

    Coconut Water Powder

    It's hard to miss the coconut craze that's sweeping the globe. The benefits of the coconut are growing by the week as more and more studies reveal what's been hidden inside its hard shell. Coconut water is packed with key vitamins, minerals, fiber, and most importantly, electrolytes.

     

    Coconut water contains five important electrolytes: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. Not only is it essential for replacing electrolyte levels but coconut water powder is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to removal waste toxins and free radicals. (5-6)

     

    Proper Dosage:

    • Standard dosage: 5 grams
    • Very active dosage: 10 grams (split between two servings)

     

    Make Your Own Electrolyte Supplement

    Why go searching for the perfect electrolyte supplement when you can create your own in the comfort of your home? With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you can create your very own electrolyte supplement. Feel free to use this article as a guide or you can add in more ingredients from the long list that we provide. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

     

    References

    1. Reinwald S, Weaver CM, Kester JJ. The health benefits of calcium citrate malate: a review of the supporting science. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2008;54:219-346. doi: 10.1016/S1043-4526(07)00006-X.

     

    1. Sunyecz JA. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 2008;4(4):827-836.

     

    1. Abraham GE, Grewal H. A total dietary program emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium. Effect on the mineral density of calcaneous bone in postmenopausal women on hormonal therapy. J Reprod Med. 1990 May;35(5):503-7.

     

    1. Nichols, Helen. '15 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Magnesium' Well-Being Secrets. 24 Jan. 2017.

     

    1. Ismail I, Singh R, Sirisinghe RG. Rehydration with sodium-enriched coconut water after exercise-induced dehydration. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2007 Jul;38(4):769-85.

     

    1. Voller J, Zatloukal M, Lenobel R, Dolezal K, Béres T, Krystof V, Spíchal L, Niemann P, Dzubák P, Hajdúch M, Strnad M. Anticancer activity of natural cytokinins: a structure-activity relationship study. Phytochemistry. 2010 Aug;71(11-12):1350-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2010.04.018. Epub 2010 Jun 1.
  • Create a Pre-Workout: Top 5 Energy Boosting Ingredients

     

    Are you unhappy with your current pre-workout brand? Is it falling short on providing you with the energy you need to crush your workouts and achieve your fitness goals? Why not create your own?

     

    Thanks to revolutionary supplement technology, you're now able to create your very own pre-workout supplement. You control which ingredients go in and the dosage of each individual ingredient per serving. If you're ready to make your masterpiece, let's take a look at the top 5 energy boosting ingredients to put in your pre-workout supplement.

     

    L-Tyrosine

    Let's kick off the list with L-Tyrosine. This up-and-coming amino acid has been shown in several studies to be a powerful way to boost cognitive function, improve focus, and support your workout performance.

     

    As a cognitive booster, L-Tyrosine is considered a nootropic. It's ideal for supporting the learning process and working memory. It also helps to boost your mood and alleviate symptoms from depression. Best of all, it puts your focus in the zone during workouts. (1-3)

     

    Dosage to Use Per Serving:

    • Standard dose: 500 mg
    • Very active individuals: 700 mg

     

    Beta Alanine

    If you've ever used a high-quality pre-workout supplement before then you know exactly when Beta Alanine kicks in because it has that tell-tale tingling and flushed feeling that runs down your neck. Beta Alaine is also an amino acid and it's widely used due to its performance-enhancing benefits.

     

    Studies show that Beta Alanine supplementation can support your performance during your workouts especially in the area of endurance. It also kickstarts your way to recovery and muscle growth. (4-6)

     

    Dosage to Use Per Serving:

    • Standard dose: 1,200 mg
    • Very active individuals: 2,000 mg

     

    Guarana Extract

    This herbal extract has been used for hundreds of years to support overall wellness but researchers discovered that it had many other practical benefits including skyrocketing your energy levels. The nice thing about guarana is that it delivers the energy boosting and focus enhancing benefits of caffeine without the jitters or anxiety.

     

    If you're looking for a natural way to boost your workout performance and promote cognitive function such as focus and alertness, guarana needs to be in your pre-workout supplement. (7-8)

     

    Want to know how to create your very own supplement? You can use the Amino Z Supplement Builder to do just that! Try it today and create your ideal pre-workout supplement.

     

    Dosage to Use Per Serving:

    • Standard dose: 500 mg
    • Very active individuals: 1,000 mg

     

    Agmatine Sulfate

    While Agmatine may not directly support energy levels like guarana, it does significantly help your workout performance as a nitric oxide booster. Higher levels of nitric oxide in the blood during your workout may equate to that pumped up feeling that many weight lifters strive to experience. Agmatine is also helpful for recovery as it alleviates inflammation and soreness. (9-11)

     

    Dosage to Use Per Serving:

    • Standard dose: 700 mg
    • Very active individuals: 1,000 mg

     

    Caffeine Anhydrous

    Last but certainly not least, no pre-workout supplement is complete without some help from caffeine. If you drink coffee every morning, you know exactly what caffeine can do for you. It spikes your energy levels, ignites your focus, and boosts your overall performance. This isn't just hearsay, there are plenty of studies out there confirming that caffeine is one of the best natural energy boosters you can get your hands on. (12-14)

     

    Dosage to Use Per Serving:

    • Standard dose: 150 mg
    • Very active individuals: 300 mg

     

    Conclusion

    Looking for an effective pre-workout supplement? Why not make your own? Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. Use our guide above to make an incredible potent pre-workout. You can even experiment and try other ingredients that suit your body and fitness goals. Try it today!

     

    References

    1. Colzato LS, Jongkees BJ, Sellaro R, Hommel B. Working Memory Reloaded: Tyrosine Repletes Updating in the N-Back Task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2013;7:200. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00200.

     

    1. Reinstein DK, Lehnert H, Scott NA, Wurtman RJ. Tyrosine prevents behavioral and neurochemical correlates of an acute stress in rats. Life Sci. 1984 Jun 4;34(23):2225-31.

     

    1. Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D., Candace J. Gibson, Ph.D. Tyrosine for the Treatment of Depression. Nutrition and Health. 3:3, 163-173. July 1, 1984.

     

    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

     

    1. Artioli GG, Gualano B, Smith A, Stout J, Lancha AH Jr. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1162-73. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c74e38.

     

    1. Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J. (2006) Effect of Creatine and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Performance and Endocrine Responses in Strength/Power Athletes. IJSNEM, 16(4).

     

    1. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11.

     

    1. Moustakas D, Mezzio M, Rodriguez BR, Constable MA, Mulligan ME, Voura EB. Guarana Provides Additional Stimulation over Caffeine Alone in the Planarian Model. Holscher C, ed. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(4):e0123310. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123310.

     

    1. Gilad GM, Gilad VH. Long-term (5 years), high daily dosage of dietary agmatine--evidence of safety: a case report. J Med Food. 2014 Nov;17(11):1256-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0026. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

     

    1. Aggarwal S, Shavalian B, Kim E, Rawls SM. Agmatine enhances cannabinoid action in the hot-plate assay of thermal nociception. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Oct;93(4):426-32. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jun 16.

     

    1. Galea, E et al. 'Inhibition of Mammalian Nitric Oxide Synthases by Agmatine, an Endogenous Polyamine Formed by Decarboxylation of Arginine.' Biochemical Journal 316.Pt 1 (1996): 247–249. Print.

     

    1. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97.

     

    1. Daniel Borota, Elizabeth Murray, Gizem Keceli, Allen Chang, Joseph M Watabe, Maria Ly, John P Toscano, & Michael A Yassa. Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature Neuroscience 17, 201–203 (2014) doi:10.1038/nn.3623.

     

    1. David Furman, Junlei Chang, Lydia Lartigue, et al. Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states. Nature Medicine 23, 174–184 (2017) doi:10.1038/nm.4267.
  • Boost Nitric Oxide, Build Muscle: Benefits of Agmatine

    Amino acids have become commonplace in the world of fitness supplements and with good reason: science has been revealing incredible benefits that positively impact life at home and in the gym.

     

    Agmatine sulfate is one such supplement. It is derived from the amino acid, L-Arginine, and it can be found in a variety of fitness supplements that support everything from your workout performance to your post-workout recovery.

     

    If you haven't started using agmatine sulfate to support your workout goals, now is the time to start. Let's take a look at the benefits of agmatine sulfate and how it can help you achieve your muscle building, weight loss, and performance driven goals.

     

    Agmatine Sulfate and Nitric Oxide

    Have you ever been working out, pushing your muscles past the point of fatigue, and you feel the muscle pumping up? This tight expanding feeling where you swear you can feel the blood pooling into the muscle is amplified when you have higher levels of nitric oxide in the body. When your goals are building bigger muscles or increasing muscular endurance, this pumped up feeling is what you strive for time and time again.

     

    Studies suggest that agmatine sulfate may be able to support nitric oxide production in the body. While it's strong on its own, agmatine sulfate is far more effective when combined with other nitric oxide boosters including beta alanine and L-arginine. (1-3)

     

    Looking for an effective nitric oxide boosting supplement? Why not make your own? Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    Inflammation and Agmatine Sulfate

    If you've ever woke up sore after a workout, you know all too well about inflammation. This post-workout inflammation and accompanying soreness can limit your range of motion while keeping you from performing at your peak level. Aside from moving through a series of active stretches, you can also help to alleviate this inflammation by supplementing with agmatine sulfate.

     

    A review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food demonstrated that not only is agmatine sulfate safe but it may also be an effective way to reduce inflammation and the pain related to it. (1-3)

     

    Soreness, Pain, and Agmatine Sulfate

    Continuing with the idea above, inflammation can trigger varying levels of pain and soreness throughout the body. If you're suffering from inflammation that's not related to exercise, agmatine sulfate may be able to help.

     

    Studies suggest that agmatine sulfate can provide a degree of relief from common pain episodes such as with the lower back. What's more, agmatine sulfate has been suggested to be a useful anti-stimulant, providing a feel of calm in response to environmental stressors such as pain. (1-3)

     

    How Much Agmatine Should You Use?

    Since many supplements containing agmatine sulfate provide less than the recommended dosage per serving, we want to make sure you know exactly what to look for when purchasing agmatine sulfate.

     

    It's recommended to use 700 mg of agmatine sulfate to maximize the benefits mentioned above; however, if you're a very active person then you'll want to increase this dosage to 1 gram (1,000 mg).

     

    Looking for a high quality agmatine sulfate supplement? Why not create your own at the dosage level you need with the Amino Z Supplement Builder? Create your supplement masterpiece today and reach success faster!

     

    References

    1. Gilad GM, Gilad VH. Long-term (5 years), high daily dosage of dietary agmatine--evidence of safety: a case report. J Med Food. 2014 Nov;17(11):1256-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0026. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

     

    1. Aggarwal S, Shavalian B, Kim E, Rawls SM. Agmatine enhances cannabinoid action in the hot-plate assay of thermal nociception. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Oct;93(4):426-32. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jun 16.

     

    1. Galea, E et al. 'Inhibition of Mammalian Nitric Oxide Synthases by Agmatine, an Endogenous Polyamine Formed by Decarboxylation of Arginine.' Biochemical Journal 316.Pt 1 (1996): 247–249. Print.
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