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Food & Supplements

  • 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.
  • Dymatize ISO 100 vs. International Protein Amino Charged WPI

    What is Dymatize ISO 100?

    When it comes to getting the foundational needs for muscle growth, Dymatize ISO 100 is one of the best in the business. Providing you with 25 grams of pure whey protein isolate, you can rest assured that this post-workout recovery drink is going to push you towards the body you’ve always wanted.

     

    Highlights

    • 25 grams of protein from hydrolyzed isolate and whey isolate
    • Rapid digestion and assimilation
    • No fat and only 1 gram of carbohydrates
    • Barebones formula without any unnecessary ingredients

     

    Why You Should Use Dymatize ISO 100

    Dymatize ISO 100 is an incredible choice for your muscle building needs. As a protein isolate, it is able to deliver a rush of amino acids immediately to the muscle tissue. This means that it’s going to be ideal for a post-workout meal. International Protein Amino Charged WPI is also an isolate-focused protein supplement with added amino acids, which allows it to provide 35 grams of protein per serving.

     

    Protein supplementation, especially post-workout, has been shown to provide the necessary elements to protect muscle mass, support muscle growth, and trigger protein synthesis for recovery. (1-6)

     

    Things to Watch Out for with Dymatize ISO 100

    It’s extremely difficult to look at Dymatize ISO 100 and try to pinpoint something that’s wrong with it. If you are an advocate of an all-natural diet, then you may not like the added sweeteners and flavouring; however, you’ll be hard pressed to find a supplement that doesn’t contain those.

     

    What is International Protein Amino Charged WPI?

    A brand that was designed for serious weightlifters and bodybuilders, International Protein Amino Charged WPI is a whey protein isolate supplement that has one of the highest grams per serving dosage of protein in the industry. When you want to support your muscle gains and promote a faster recovery, International Protein Amino Charged WPI may be the protein you’ve always wanted.

     

    Highlights

    • 35 grams of protein per serving!
    • Contains added glutamine and arginine
    • Ideal for post-workout recovery and muscle growth
    • Straight forward formula

     

    Why You Should Use International Protein Amino Charged WPI

    International Protein Amino Charged WPI is a bodybuilder’s dream protein. It’s packed with 35 grams of protein isolate per serving. That’s above and beyond the industry standard. You can use International Protein Amino Charged WPI for more than muscle recovery post-workout. It makes an excellent meal replacement shake if you’re trying to cut or lose weight.

     

    Things to Watch Out for with International Protein Amino Charged WPI

    Although it may contain 35 grams of protein, there’s a good chance the numbers were boosted from the addition of glutamine and arginine. There’s a common industry practice called nitrogen spiking. This is where amino acids are added to a protein powder to give it a higher dosage per serving.

     

    In reality, International Protein Amino Charged WPI may only provide you with 25 to 30 grams of protein. That’s still a great dosage and much higher than most. Dymatize ISO 100 provides 25 grams of protein per serving without the use of additional amino acids.

     

    Conclusion

    When it comes to comparing two heavy hitters, it’s going to be a tough call. Both of these protein isolate supplements are top notch and industry favourites. Both are going to support your goals, despite the nitrogen spiking found with International Protein. It’s going to come down to cost and a matter of preference. One may simple taste better or you may see better results with one over the other. We’d recommend buying both and making your own judgement call. Either way, you’ll be using an incredible protein supplement.

     

    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.
  • 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.
  • Supplements: Do Women Need the Same Dosage as Men?

    When you scan your local supplement store isle, you’re going to quickly notice a trend: you’ll find a supplement that may have a version for men and a version for women. Or maybe you’ll see a supplement that has different dosage directions for men and women. This raises a good question:

     

    Do women really need a different dosage for all supplements?

     

    Let’s take a look at the idea behind why there are two different versions of a supplement for men and women and if it’s really necessary.

     

    Supplements: Men vs. Women

    The most common supplement that has a different label based on your gender is going to be a traditional multi-vitamin. If the supplement only has vitamins and minerals, is a different version really necessary? In some cases, the answer is yes.

     

    Some supplements are specifically geared toward women because of the ingredients within. Yes, we all consume vitamins and minerals but there are some additions to supplements that benefit a woman’s overall health and wellness.

     

    A great example of this is when a multi-vitamin or a supplement contains Maca. Yes, Maca can be consumed by both men and women but Maca is especially useful for post-menopausal women.

     

    On the flip side, a men’s based supplement may contain natural testosterone boosters such as Ashwagandha.

     

    It all comes down to the formula. Take a look at the label and if you find there are gender-specific ingredients then you’ll know the dosage divide is justified.

     

    Individual Ingredients and Different Dosages

    What about individual ingredients? Is it really necessary for women to have lower dosages than men? Depending on the ingredient, the lower dosage is necessary.

     

    Different dosages are based on the metabolic make-up of men compared to women. In general, men may require more of a particular ingredient to fully experience benefits. What’s more, there are different safety recommendations for men and women. ZMA, for example, is made up of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6, which are barebones vitamins and minerals. However, it’s still recommended for women to take two capsules as opposed to three capsules for men because of the potency of the formula.

     

    Common Ingredients & Dosages for Women

    Let’s review the most common ingredients that require a different dosage for women:

     

    Whey Protein Concentrate / Isolate

    • Popular as a muscle builder and meal replacement, women don’t need as much protein as men do. Although the average recommended dosage for whey protein is 30 grams per serving, women may only need 20 grams of whey protein per serving.

     

    Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

    • A cold season staple and overall health and wellness vitamin, Ascorbic Acid, better known as Vitamin C, is essential but in different amounts for men and women. While men need 90 mg per day, women only need 75 mg per day.

     

    Magnesium

    • This super mineral has the ability to boost your immune system, support recovery, and boost your brain power. While it’s necessary for both men and women, 320 mg is all a woman needs per day while men require 420 mg.

     

    Want to create your own fitness supplement with the exact dosage that you need? Check out the Amino Z Supplement Builder and create your own supplement masterpiece.

     

    References

    “Vitamin C Directory: Find News, Features, and Pictures Related to Vitamin C.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/vitamin-c-directory.

     

    “Magnesium.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium#1.

  • Musashi Bulk Mass Gain vs. Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    What is Musashi Bulk Mass Gain?

    Musashi Bulk Mass Gain is the ideal lean mass gaining supplement. Packed with 26 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 223 calories per serving, Musashi Bulk Mass Gain is ready to help you pack on lean muscle mass without the fat gain.

     

    Highlights

    • Features a whey protein blend with concentrate and isolate
    • Provides a middle-ground for carb content, making it an ideal post-workout shake
    • Offers a complete vitamin and mineral spectrum
    • Ideal for lean mass gain (more on that below)

     

    Why You Should Use Musashi Bulk Mass Gain

    Musashi Bulk Mass Gain is a unique protein supplement in that it promotes bulk but not the type of bulk you’d expect. With only 223 calories and 26 grams of protein per serving, Musashi Bulk Mass Gain isn’t your typical maltodextrin-loaded gainer. It’s built to promote muscle gains while minimizing fat gains. If you’re trying to put on as much weight as possible with no regard for how much weight comes from body fat, then Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer may be what you’re looking for.

     

    We recommend using it right after a workout as it has a high protein content and enough carbohydrates to keep cortisol in check. (1-7)

     

    Things to Watch Out for with Musashi Bulk Mass Gain

    A couple of things to note: Musashi Bulk Mass Gain features a vitamin and mineral blend so if you’re already taking a multi-vitamin, you may need to put that aside until you finish with Musashi Bulk Mass Gain.

     

    As mentioned above, Musashi Bulk Mass Gain is a bulking supplement but it’s not on the same level as Pro Gainer in terms of overall calories and carbohydrate content. This may be a good or bad thing depending on what you’re after. Want to avoid fat gain while building muscle? Musashi Bulk Mass Gain is what you need.

     

     

    What is Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer?

    When size is all that matters, Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer may become your new favourite supplement. Featuring 650 calories per serving, Pro Gainer is going to be an effective way to get those extra calories you need for recovery and growth.

     

    Highlights

    • Protein blend includes Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate, Egg Albumin, Hydrolysed Whey Peptides, and Glutamine Peptides
    • Offers 60 grams of protein
    • Provides 85 grams of carbohydrates, making it an ideal post-workout supplement
    • Ideal for size gains, regardless of muscle-to-fat ratio

     

    Why You Should Use Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    When used as directed, Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer may boost muscle recovery and protein synthesis while promoting muscle mass growth. (1-6) Pro Gainer is a big-name brand that provides you with a huge amount of calories. This is exactly what you need when you’re chasing after size; however, you have to question what type of size you want.

     

    Do you want to get huge no matter how much extra fat mass you pack on? Or do you want a leaner physique that emphasizes lean mass with as little fat as possible? If you want the former, go with Pro Gainer. Want the latter? Go with Musashi Bulk Mass Gain.

     

    Things to Watch Out for with Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    Just like with Musashi Bulk Mass Gain, Pro Gainer has a vitamin and mineral blend. If you are taking a multi-vitamin, then you may want to quit using it until after you’re finished with Pro Gainer.

     

    Also, Pro Gainer contains a lot of maltodextrin. This simple carbohydrate may spike blood sugar levels so the ideal time to use Pro Gainer is immediately after a workout or as soon as you wake up.

     

    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. St-Onge MP, Bosarge A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):621-6.
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