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Food & Supplements

  • Boost Your Gains: 5 Health Benefits of Beta Alanine

    One of the most commonly added ingredients in workout supplements, beta alanine is an amino acid that is characterized by the tell-tale tingling and flushing feeling you get from taking it. Why is there such a fascination with beta alanine in the fitness supplement world? Is it just another cheap filler additive to throw on a label or is there real benefit to adding it to your pre, intra, and post-workout supplements?

     

    Let's take a look at the top 5 health benefits of beta alanine and how it can help you with performance, gains, and overall wellness.

     

    1. Boost Performance with Beta Alanine

    Regardless of fitness goals, everyone wants to improve their performance. Better performance means better workouts. Better workouts translate into more lean muscle tissue or more calories burned. If you're an athlete, performance means victory. Beta alanine has been shown across a variety of studies to promote overall performance.

     

    One study published in Amino Acids looked at a collection of studies on beta alanine, concluding that in every study, beta alanine was shown to improve the performance of the subjects taking it to varying degrees. (1)

     

    2. Beta Alanine Increases Endurance

    Continuing with the point above, no one wants to be performing a workout then run out of fuel halfway through. Missing out on your workouts may potentially mean missing out on muscle building and fat burning. This is where endurance comes in and beta alanine may be able to help boost your workout endurance.

     

    In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, beta alanine was shown to delay the onset of muscle fatigue while boosting the anaerobic threshold of the subjects. (2)

     

    Tired of wasting time looking for the perfect workout supplement? Why not create your own? Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder! Try it today!

     

    3. Beta Alanine Increases Carnosine Levels

    One of the unique benefits of beta alanine is its ability to increase levels of carnosine within the body. Carnosine is a popular anti-aging compound that is also very useful for the development of muscle mass and strength building.

     

    If carnosine is so important then why don't people just supplement directly with carnosine? It's not that simple. Carnosine is notorious for having poor digestibility in the body. Beta alanine is the way around this. Once ingested, beta alanine is converted into a usable and effective form of carnosine. (3)

     

    4. Boost Strength with Beta Alanine

    For those of you who are strength and power lifters, you know that every kilogram counts. Supplements can offer you that extra boost you need to crush your personal bests. Beta alanine is one of the most effective supplements you can take for strength.

     

    A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism demonstrated that when subjects supplemented with a blend of beta alanine and creatine, they saw dramatic improvements in body composition and overall strength gains. (4)

     

    5. Beta Alanine and Muscle Mass

    That same study mentioned above also demonstrated that when subjects supplemented with a blend of beta alanine and creatine, the amount of lean muscle mass they gained was much greater than those taking a placebo. What's more, the beta alanine and creatine users also saw an elevated level of testosterone. (4)

     

    Make Your Own Beta Alanine Supplement

    You can achieve your fitness goals with beta alanine but you'll want to make sure you are getting exactly what you need in your supplement. How can you guarantee you're getting high quality beta alanine at a proven dosage level? By making your own! With the Amino Z Supplement Builder you can create your very own beta alanine supplement! Try it today!

     

    References

    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. Saunders B, DE Salles Painelli V, DE Oliveira LF, DA Eira Silva V, DA Silva RP, Riani L, Franchi M, Gonçalves LS, Harris RC, Roschel H, Artioli GG, Sale C, Gualano B. Twenty-four Weeks of ?-Alanine Supplementation on Carnosine Content, Related Genes, and Exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017 May;49(5):896-906. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001173.

     

    1. Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J. Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug;16(4):430-46.
  • Top 3 Ingredients to Increase Joint Health

    Thanks to recent studies highlighting the importance of caring for your connective tissue, there has been a surge in interest in exercises, foods, and supplements that will support your joint health well into old age.

     

    While many supplements claim to contain the best joint health ingredients, few of these supplements are backed by science.

     

    If you want to dramatically improve the health of your joints and connective tissue, there are three scientifically proven ingredients that can help. Let's take a look at the top 3 ingredients to increase joint health and connective tissue.

     

    1. Glucosamine Sulfate

    Shortened as glucosamine, this ingredient is primarily found in the fluid within your elbows, knees, and connective tissue. When you have enough glucosamine in your system, you'll notice that your joints and limbs feel loose and limber. When glucosamine is lacking, joints may feel dry, sore, and painful.

     

    Supplementing with glucosamine has been shown in several studies to be effective at boosting the health of your joints while also providing relief from soreness and pain. For example, those with arthritis are often told by doctors to begin supplementing with glucosamine. (1-2)

     

    Most brands of glucosamine recommend taking it twice per day at 2,000 mg. per serving, usually several hours apart. Glucosamine has been found to be more effective when combined with our next ingredient: MSM.

     

    2. MSM Powder

    MSM is short for methylsulfonylmethane. Unlike glucosamine, MSM is not naturally found in the body. Rather, you ingest it by eating certain foods although the amount of MSM in these foods doesn't compare to the extract form found in supplements.

     

    It's important to get the proper dosage for MSM so that you can see the real benefits of the ingredient. Using 2,000 mg of MSM with glucosamine has been shown in several studies to be extremely effective at alleviating joint inflammation and pain within the connective tissue. Taking MSM and glucosamine together consistently will promote your joint health over the long term. (1-3)

     

    You should take MSM twice per day with glucosamine.

     

    Want to make sure that you are using a high-quality glucosamine and MSM supplement that has been dosed at scientifically proven levels? Why take the chance with a store-bought brand when you can make your own? Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. Try it today and create a supplement of your own!

     

    3. Magnesium

    Of all the minerals to highlight, you may be wondering why we chose magnesium. While calcium is essential for the health of your bones, joints, and connective tissue, magnesium also plays an essential role.

     

    Magnesium has been found to dramatically increase the absorption of calcium in the body, ensuring that you are able to properly assimilate the nutrient to support your joint and bone health. (4)

     

    Magnesium can also help you with recovery, immune boosting, and settling into a healthy sleep schedule. (4-5)

     

    100 mg is the ideal daily dosage for magnesium and you can take it all at once.

     

    Create Your Own Joint Health Supplement

    Want to create your very own joint health supplement that contains the most effective ingredients on the market? Use the Amino Z Supplement Builder today, pick your ingredients, select the dosage, and be proud of your supplement creation!

     

    References

    1. 'Glucosamine.' University of Maryland Medical Center. 22 June 2015.

     

    1. Huskisson EC. Glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis. J Int Med Res. 2008 Nov-Dec;36(6):1161-79. Review.

     

    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.

     

    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.
  • Top 3 Incredible Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

    When you hear the words green tea, you may think of a small bag with the leftovers of healthy green tea leaves. With matcha green tea, this is far from the case.

     

    Matcha is a ceremonial tea that is served throughout Asia but primarily in Japan. Matcha is so revered that an entire way of properly drinking the tea has been around for hundreds of years. Matcha green tea is NOT ordinary tea. It's extremely potent and delivers far more benefits than your average store-bought bagged green tea.

     

    Whether you're looking to boost your weight loss, fight off free radicals, or simple improve your overall health and wellness, matcha green tea can help.

     

    Let's take a look at the top 3 incredible health benefits of matcha green tea.

     

    3. Antioxidant Super Power

    Free radicals in the body cause oxidative damage to our cells and while this isn't the only variable in the aging process, it certainly is a driving factor. The way to combat free radicals in the body is by consuming whole foods and supplements that contain antioxidants. Think of antioxidants like the clean-up crew that takes out the trash made up of waste and toxins caused by free radicals. If you want to maximize your daily intake of antioxidants, matcha green tea is the answer.

     

    A study published in the Journal of Chromatography A reported that:

     

    '…the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) available from drinking matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.'

     

    EGCG is the antioxidant compound that kicks out free radicals and matcha green tea is loaded with them. (1-2)

     

    2. Weight Loss Booster

    Matcha green tea is considered one of the best and most natural ways to increase your metabolic response.  This means more calories being burned throughout the day and if your goal is weight loss, every calorie counts.

     

    A study published in the journal of Chinese Medicine demonstrated a number of health benefits of matcha green tea with weight loss support being at the top of the list. (1-2)

     

    To support a healthy weight loss, we would recommend drinking matcha green tea or adding it to your smoothies first thing in the morning and again at lunch.

     

    1. Disease Fighter

    Due to the nutritional value of matcha green tea, with an emphasis on the availability of antioxidants and epigallocatechin gallate, it has been demonstrated that the green brew may help to ward off diseases.

     

    Most notably, matcha green tea was said to dramatically lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, which is one of the biggest causes for illness and mortality in the world. Researchers suggested that daily consumption of matcha green tea would also help to stave off certain cancers and Alzheimer's. (1-2)

     

    Conclusion

    Interested in getting your hands on this powerful tea? Why not mix it with a few other key super foods to maximize the benefits? There's no need to spends hours online looking for the perfect supplement when you can create your own!

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you can create your very own supplement with the ingredients you want, at the dosages proven to be effective.

     

    References

    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. Weiss DJ, Anderton CR. Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 2003 Sep 5;1011(1-2):173-80.
  • 4 Ingredients That Will Boost Your Strength Gains

    It doesn't matter if you want to build huge muscles, lose excess body fat, or increase your performance, when it comes to strength, everyone can benefit.

     

    Building strength isn't just about being able to lift a lot of weight. It means being able to support yourself in a functional way. Building strength can happen at any point in life but the earlier you start, the better your chances of having an easier time in old age.

     

    Strength is built in the gym and in the kitchen. A healthy diet is key to recovery and growth. The role of supplements can play an equally important role when used in conjunction with a nutritious meal plan. There are four ingredients in particular that have been scientifically shown to promote strength gains.

     

    Let's take a look at the top 4 ingredients that will boost your strength.

     

    Whey Protein

    First and foremost is a fitness staple: whey protein.

     

    The reason whey protein is so popular in the fitness arena is because of its proven benefits. It has been shown to boost recovery, protect muscle from breakdown, support lean tissue growth, and promote strength gains.

     

    Whey protein is able to enhance your strength because it contains the very building blocks of muscle tissue: amino acids. Amino acids are quick to repair and rebuild. The end result is more muscle and more strength. (1-5)

     

    Creatine

    Creatine Monohydrate is our second choice for ideal strength boosting ingredients. Once ingested, creatine is broken down into a usable form of energy known as adenosine triphosphate; more commonly referred to as ATP. This is the preferred source of fuel for your muscles during a workout. When you supplement with creatine on a daily basis, you may be able to increase your workout performance and intra-workout strength, especially during lifts. (6-7)

     

    BCAAs

    Branched Chain Amino Acids are the end product of protein digestion. Why would you want to use whey protein AND amino acids?

     

    Whey protein is an ideal strength builder that you can take throughout the day, especially following your workout. BCAAs are equally as effective but they can be taken at different intervals. BCAAs are ideal as an intra-workout supplement to boost strength. Can you imagine trying to work out while drinking a full protein shake? BCAAs are an ideal low calorie, high octane option.

     

    What's more, BCAAs also allow you to follow an intermittent fasting regiment without the worry of protein breakdown. Just like protein, BCAAs support anabolism, recovery, and strength. (1-5)

     

    Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)

    One of the major things that could be stopping you from achieving the amount of strength that you want is inflammation. After a workout, you're sore and unable to perform at the same intensity as the day before. Sure, this is a sign of doing great work in the weight room but it is also limiting you.

     

    Medium Chain Triglycerides, more commonly called MCT, can help to alleviate inflammation so you're able to get yourself back in the gym sooner. (8)

     

    Make Your Own Strength Supplement

    You know exactly what ingredients you need to enhance your strength so why bother looking through hundreds of supplements when you can make your own?

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you're able to hand select the ingredients you want at the dosages you want. No more struggling to find the perfect supplement. Make your own supplement today with the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    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. 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.

     

    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.

     

    1. Mercola, Dr. Joseph. 'The Anti-Cancer, Fat-Burning Ingredient That's Even More Powerful than Coconut Oil.' Mercola.com. 22 Aug. 2016.
  • 5 Reasons You Need to Start Taking Taurine

    If you're consuming a modern-day energy drink, there's a good chance that you've been drinking more than just caffeine. Found in energy drinks and fitness supplements, Taurine has become a popular additive due to its potential benefits in energy, endurance, and muscle building. That's just the fitness side of things.

     

    Taurine, as a supplement, has a lot to offer outside of the gym. Let's take a look at the top 5 benefits of taurine and why you need to start making it a part of your supplement program today.

     

    5. Muscle Tissue

    First, let's talk about Taurine and your lean muscle mass. As an amino acid, Taurine may be able to help prevent catabolism from taking place in the tissue. Catabolism, or protein breakdown, can rob you of those hard-earned gains. Adding Taurine to your supplement routine may help protect your muscle. (1)

     

    4. Intra-Workout Energy

    Ever wonder why they add Taurine to energy drinks? As we'll talk about more below, Taurine is an important nutrient for neurological processes. Considered a nootropic ingredient, Taurine may be able to support your focus and alertness during a workout. (1, 3)

     

    3. Performance Levels

    Continuing with the idea above, Taurine may be an effective and safe way to improve athletic performance. As a nootropic, Taurine may be able to boost your reaction time, which is going to come in handy during sports. The increased focus levels may provide a more intense workout as well. (1, 3)

     

    2. Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

    One of the most interesting benefits of Taurine is how it may be able to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. A study published in Experimental & Clinical Cardiology suggests that daily supplementation of Taurine may be able to reduce your risk of developing common cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease. (2)

     

    1. Mood, Anxiety, & Depression

    Although it's only an amino acid, Taurine plays an important role as a pre-cursor to certain neurotransmitters. Anxiety and depression are thought to be fueled by a lack of certain neurotransmitters such as GABA or serotonin. Supplementing with Taurine has been suggested in studies to alleviate anxiety and support a healthy mood and mindset. (3)

     

    Want to make your own Taurine supplement packed with other helpful ingredients? Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder!

     

    You get full control of the ingredients and dosage levels. Not sure where to start? Amino Z has pre-made ingredients for you dosed at scientifically proven levels. Get started today with the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    References

    1. Yatabe Y, Miyakawa S, Ohmori H, Mishima H, Adachi T. Effects of taurine administration on exercise. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:245-52.

     

    1. Xu Y-J, Arneja AS, Tappia PS, Dhalla NS. The potential health benefits of taurine in cardiovascular disease. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. 2008;13(2):57-65.

     

    1. El Idrissi A, Boukarrou L, Heany W, Malliaros G, Sangdee C, Neuwirth L. Effects of taurine on anxiety-like and locomotor behavior of mice. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:207-15.
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