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Food & Supplements

  • Top 3 Ingredients You Must Use for Muscle Mass

    Have you been pushing yourself in the gym to gain muscle without success?

    Is your dietary program lacking in proven supplements to support muscle?

    Ready to arm yourself with three scientifically-backed ingredients for muscle mass?


    Successful supplementation can feel like a game of chance. When you want to build muscle mass, you need to give your body every advantage you can. That's where scientifically proven supplement ingredients can help.


    Let's review the top 3 ingredients you must use for muscle mass. We'll even show you how you can make your own supplement.


    Whey Isolate

    First and foremost, when you want to build serious muscle mass, you NEED protein. Why? Protein breaks down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Not only do amino acids help to build lean muscle tissue but they also protect the muscle you already have.


    Whey isolate is a unique type of protein in that it is filtered to the point where it is 99% protein. What's more, it is the most bioavailable type of protein. This is important as the higher the rate of bioavailability, the better your body can absorb and assimilate the protein. (1-4)


    Whey isolate is fast digesting with a bioavailability of 101 out of 100! This makes it ideal for a post-workout supplement when your muscles require immediate amino acids.



    Whey isolate isn't the only protein you should consider using. While whey isolate is ideal for a post-workout meal, it is rapidly digested, meaning your body gets a giant shot of amino acids all at once and that's it.


    When you want to build muscle, you need to ensure that your body is in a steady state of anabolism. The way to do that is with protein-focused whole foods and a slow digesting protein supplement. The way to do this is with casein protein.


    Casein protein is a very slow digesting protein that releases a steady stream of amino acids. One unique feature of amino acids is that they may be able to trigger protein synthesis and promote a higher level of anabolism. Due to the steady stream of amino acids, your muscles will be in an ideal environment to grow. What's more, casein protein may help protect you from protein catabolism, or breakdown.



    Last but not least, we have creatine monohydrate. Creatine has long been used in the bodybuilding world to ensure maximum muscle growth.


    Once ingested, creatine provides the muscle tissue with its preferred source of fuel in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Creatine monohydrate is known for being quick to absorb and extremely bioavailable.


    Once creatine gets to work in the body, it may be able to boost your performance during your workouts. That may mean extra repetitions and sets. This additional workload may help push your muscles into the ideal range for hypertrophy. Creatine may also be able to support your recovery post-workout.



    Tired of not being able to find a supplement that has what YOU need?

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    Why not create your own supplement?


    Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. With this revolutionary supplement builder, you control what goes into the supplement down to the dosage. If you're a beginner and you're not sure what you'd like to include, we're here to help. We have a variety of pre-made supplements that feature scientifically verifided AND dosed ingredients for your specific goal.


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    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. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. "Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation." Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.
    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. 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. Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis GA, Gijsen AP, Senden JM, VAN Loon LJ. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1560-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363.
    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
    2. 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.


    Quick Facts:

    • Considered one of the pioneers of what we now know as the supplement industry, Optimum Nutrition began in 1986. For more than 30 years, they have been providing elite quality fitness supplement products. Whether you need a premium whey protein or a way to boost your testosterone levels, Optimum Nutrition has you covered.
    • Optimum Nutrition offers a wide range of products available in powder, tablet, and ready-to-eat form. These product categories include Whey Protein, Casein Protein, Protein Bars, Mass Gainers, Pre-Workouts, Post-Workouts, Amino Acids, Creatine, Glutamine, Multi-Vitamins, Fat Burners, and Fitness Accessories.

    Top Products:

    1. Gold Standard 100% Whey
    • This combination of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey peptides has become the shining example of what real, high quality protein should be across the industry.
    1. Gold Standard Pre-Workout
    • Featuring a unique high-energy blend of ginseng, caffeine, and l-citrulline malate, this product sets the bar high for other pre-workouts.
    1. Serious Mass
    • When you want to gain size and strength, nothing comes close to the power of Serious Mass. This product is one of the best mass gainers for those in need of size in the entire industry.
    1. Micronized Creatine Powder
    • The use of creatine for athletic performance and fitness results has become commonplace thanks to O.N. This pure, pharmaceutical grade creatine helps support recovery and gains.
    1. Opti-Men
    • Not all multi-vitamins are created equal. Opti-Men was specifically formulated and designed to help a man achieve optimal health.

    Who Uses Optimum Nutrition?

    • Optimum Nutrition is a brand that is accessible and available to all types of fitness enthusiasts. Whether you only see the gym once in a while or you practically live there, Optimum Nutrition has a product for you. In particular, Optimum Nutrition is very popular with those looking to build muscle, burn fat, boost recovery, and improve strength levels. It has a unique line of supplements that apply to every type of fitness goal.
    • Bodybuilders
    • Weight lifters
    • Athletes
    • Power lifters
    • Wanting to lose weight
    • Looking to improve overall health

    Fitness Goals & Which Supplement to Use?

    1. Muscle Building

    When you want to increase lean muscle mass or if you simply want to maintain your current levels, two of the best products in the entire industry come from Optimum Nutrition. Using an elite quality whey will provide you with muscle building amino acids. Using a creatine product before and after your workout will help supply energy to muscle tissue.

    • Gold Standard 100% Whey
    • Micronized Creatine Powder
    1. Fat Loss

    Nutrition and exercise are key when you want to burn fat; however, everyone can benefit from extra help. Thermogenic supplements help to promote weight loss by triggering a metabolic response and directly supporting fat burning. O.N. has one of the most user-friendly thermogenic fat burners in the industry.

    • Platinum Pre-
    1. Energy

    We all know the feeling of coming home from a long day and STILL needing to get to the gym on top of everything else. When you're in need of a serious pick-me-up that won't leave you with a crash, O.N. has you covered. O.N. produces an industry-shattering pre-workout that contains scientifically proven ingredients. Best of all, there's no crash! Get your energy with O.N.

    • Gold Standard Pre-Workout
  • 4 Ways L-Carnitine Can Support Goals of Muscle, Strength, and Fat Loss

    Everyone is looking for that extra edge when it comes to their health and fitness goals. This doesn't just apply to athletes. Think about it: How would you like to burn more body fat? How about recovering quicker after a tough workout? With goals like this, it's no wonder the supplement industry has become the giant it is.


    While there are plenty of 'all talk' supplements, L-Carnitine has the scientific backing to warrant a closer look. Let's take a look at the 4 ways L-Carnitine may be able to boost muscle, strength, and fat loss.


    1. Amplifies Fat Burning

    Fat burning is L-Carnitine's most popular benefit, which is the reason you find it in so many supplements. Taken at an appropriate dose, L-Carnitine may be able to seriously amplify fat burning in your body. How's that possible?


    L-Carnitine, an amino acid, directly supports the transport of fat into the mitochondria of cells. Once inside the mitochondria, the fat is used for energy.


    1. Give Yourself a Brain Boost

    One of the less well known benefits of L-Carnitine is its ability to enhance cognitive function including perceived energy levels, mood, and cognitive performance. How's that possible?


    First, studies suggest that L-Carnitine is able to promote the removal of toxins that have built up over time in the body. Second, L-Carnitine may support the release of the brain chemicals noradrenaline and serotonin.


    Noradrenaline, more commonly referred to as norepinephrine, stimulates the central nervous system and raises blood pressure. The result is a big boost in focus and alertness.


    Serotonin is that 'feel good' chemical in the brain that alleviates symptoms of depress and anxiety.


    1. Enhance Recovery

    Who enjoys being so sore the day after a workout that they can't walk? Not many people.


    When you want to boost your recovery post-workout, L-Carnitine may be able to help you do it. Studies suggest that supplementing with L-Carnitine may help promote the anabolic environment needed for heightened recovery. This is especially true for muscle building and strength gains.


    1. Target Belly Fat

    The 'pooch' or 'beer belly' may be a punchline but its health consequences are anything but funny.


    Visceral fat, or belly fat, is a sign of a larger health problem waiting to happen. Those with excess belly fat have been shown to have more cardiovascular health problems than those without.


    Lucky for you, L-Carnitine is here to help. Studies suggest that L-Carnitine supplementation may be able to support belly fat loss. Sure, this will improve your physique but, more importantly, it will improve your cardiovascular health.



    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. Malek Mahdavi A, Mahdavi R, Kolahi S. Effects of l-Carnitine Supplementation on Serum Inflammatory Factors and Matrix Metalloproteinase Enzymes in Females with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Sep-Oct;35(7):597-603. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


    1. Smeland OB, Meisingset TW, Borges K, Sonnewald U. Chronic acetyl-L-carnitine alters brain energy metabolism and increases noradrenaline and serotonin content in healthy mice. Neurochem Int. 2012 Jul;61(1):100-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 Apr 23.


    1. Kang JS, Lee WK, Lee CW, Yoon WK, Kim N, Park SK, Lee HS, Park HK, Han SB, Yun J, Lee K, Lee KH, Park SK, Kim HM. Improvement of high-fat diet-induced obesity by a mixture of red grape extract, soy isoflavone and L-carnitine: implications in cardiovascular and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Sep;49(9):2453-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.06.071. Epub 2011 Jul 2.
  • Get a Brain Boost: 4 Ingredients You Need to Improve Cognitive Ability

    Have you ever wished there was a way to focus better when you're learning a new skill or subject?

    What about boosting your memory so you retain more information?

    Need to ditch those pre-test jitters and ensure you're able to set your sights on getting a great grade?


    The world of cognitive enhancing has come a long way since science turned its attention to naturally boosting our brain's ability with simple ingredients. Nootropics are a category of supplements that are used to enhance cognitive capability. Not all nootropics can produce results though.


    Let's take a look at the top 4 ingredients you need to use to improve your brain power.


    1. Ginseng

    Ginseng has been a part of traditional Eastern medicine for thousands of years. Native to eastern Asia with an emphasis on China and Korea, this root is still immensely popular and is a big part of the culture and lifestyle. Ginseng is prescribed by natural and holistic doctors for ailments such as high stress, loss of libido, and overall wellbeing. Ginseng is also recommended as a cognitive booster. Studies suggest that ginseng is able to improve memory. (1)


    Check out our complete collection of Ginseng here.


    1. Taurine

    If you're a fan of Red Bull or other popular energy drinks, then there's a good chance you are familiar with Taurine.


    Taurine is an amino acid that is found primarily in energy focused drinks and supplements. For example, Taurine is most often found within pre-workout supplements as studies suggest it may support athletic performance.


    Taurine is also a popular nootropic as it was found to positively impact attention, focus, and cognitive ability. These effects were increased when Taurine was taken along with caffeine. (2)


    Here's our complete collection of Taurine supplements.


    1. Phenibut

    Like Taurine, Phenibut can also be found in a number of workout supplements but its benefits lie in that it's used as a way to alleviate anxiety and paranoia. This is a common night time supplement as it helps you relax. Phenibut is a useful nootropic as it may help you calm down before a big event or test. It's also suggested to support memory and information retention. (3)


    Click here to check out our number one Phenibut supplement.


    1. Huperzine A

    The most trusted nootropic ingredient on the market is Huperzine A. This compound was the subject of a number of cognitive boosting studies, revealing it to be a powerful way to improve memory and brain power. Studies suggest that using Huperzine A may increase memory, focus, and information re-call. You'll find Huperzine A as a standalone supplement or used in conjunction with other nootropic ingredients (such as the ones on this list).


    Want a high-quality supplement with Huperzine A? Click here to check out our best sellers featuring Huperzine A.



    1. Hye-Bin Yeo, Ho-Kyoung Yoon, Heon-Jeong Lee, Seung-Gul Kang, Ki-Young Jung, and Leen Kim. Effects of Korean Red Ginseng on Cognitive and Motor Function: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial. J Ginseng Res. 2012 Apr; 36(2): 190–197. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2012.36.2.190.
    1. Seidl R, Peyrl A, Nicham R, Hauser E. A taurine and caffeine-containing drink stimulates cognitive performance and well-being. Amino Acids. 2000;19(3-4):635-42.
    1. Lapin I. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug. CNS Drug Rev. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81.
    1. Sun QQ1, Xu SS, Pan JL, Guo HM, Cao WQ. Huperzine-A capsules enhance memory and learning performance in 34 pairs of matched adolescent students. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999 Jul;20(7):601-3.
  • Nitric Oxide Supplements: Everything You Need to Know

    Think about the supplements you commonly use. There's a really good chance you have protein and a pre-workout sitting on the shelf in your kitchen. What about a nitric oxide booster? Have you even heard of this type of supplement?


    Nitric oxide boosters are primarily used by experienced lifters with a specific goal in mind. Bodybuilders, for example, may use nitric oxide boosters to achieve a better 'pump' and vascular gains. However, nitric oxide boosters may be appropriate for a number of health and fitness goals. Let's review what nitric oxide supplements are and how they may be able to help you achieve your ideal physique.


    What is Nitric Oxide?

    As soon as you see the term 'nitric oxide,' you may immediately think of the gas given to you at the dentist's office. Sure, that's one example but in this case of fitness, we are talking about a compound found within the body that may promote a number of different processes.


    In the case of exercise, the compound nitric oxide may support blood flow and oxygen delivery to skeletal muscle. Elevated levels of nitric oxide may also play a part in reducing inflammation, boosting recovery, and removing lactic acid build-up post-workout.


    How Do You Increase Nitric Oxide Levels?

    Exercise is hands-down the best way to naturally boost the body's nitric oxide levels; however, supplements are now being used to help as well. Nitric Oxide supplements contain proven ingredients that may trigger a spike in nitric oxide levels, thereby promoting a series of fitness-related benefits as mentioned above.


    What is a Nitric Oxide Supplement?

    A nitric oxide supplement, often referred to as an N.O. Booster, is made up of several compounds that may be able to naturally boost nitric oxide levels in the blood, if only for a short while.


    This temporary boost will help to support a number of benefits including the following:


    The Classic 'Pump'

    • Those using a quality N.O. Booster always report an increased 'pump' during exercise. This is when the blood swells in the working muscle, promoting a pumped-up feeling that may be accompanied by increased vascularity.


    Strength and Recovery

    • Some studies report that a quality nitric oxide booster may be able to boost blood flow and oxygen delivery to skeletal muscle. As a result, this may help promote more strength intra-workout followed by increased recovery post-workout.


    Lactic Acid and Inflammation

    • When using an N.O. Booster, you may experience less soreness. This is because increased levels of nitric oxide may support an enhanced removal of lactic acid, thereby, decreasing inflammation and soreness. (1-2)


    What are the Best Nitric Oxide Boosting Ingredients?

    There are hundreds of supplements but not all of them contain the proven ingredients that have been the subject of study and trials. The most popular and used N.O. boosting ingredients are the following:


    • L-Arginine
    • AAKG (Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate)
    • L-Citrulline
    • L-Norvaline


    What are Some of the Best Brands of N.O. Boosters?

    Some of the bestselling and most widely used brands of N.O. Boosters include the following:


    • Primaforce AAKG
    • GAT JetFuse NOX
    • MAX's Lab Series Creobol


    Check out the full collection of nitric oxide supplements here.



    1. Bescós R, Sureda A, Tur JA, Pons A. The effect of nitric-oxide-related supplements on human performance. Sports Med. 2012 Feb 1;42(2):99-117.
    1. Álvares TS, Meirelles CM, Bhambhani YN, Paschoalin VM, Gomes PS. L-Arginine as a potential ergogenic aid in healthy subjects. Sports Med. 2011 Mar 1;41(3):233-48.
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