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  • Achieve Your 2018 Goals with L-Arginine, Protein, and Creatine

    The New Year is approaching fast and it's right about now that resolutions and goals are being made for 2018. Losing weight and building muscle are the most popular goals each year and while the foundation of these goals is built around nutrition and exercise, supplements can dramatically increase your chances for success. Three supplement ingredients in particular, L-arginine, whey protein, and creatine, can help you achieve your fitness goals.

     

    What is L-Arginine?

    L-Arginine, a non-essential amino acid, has a variety of duties in the body, including assisting with protein production and utilization.

     

    Benefits of L-Arginine

    L-Arginine is an ideal pre-workout ingredient to use as it can support several fitness benefits including performance, weight loss, and muscle building. Studies suggest that L-arginine can support the following:

     

    • May enhance exercise performance via increased nitric oxide production
    • May promote muscle building through increased work output
    • May support post-workout recovery by reducing inflammation and alleviating soreness

     

    How Can L-Arginine Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

    Studies show that L-arginine is a potent nitric oxide booster, which may help with increasing performance. Better performance may equate to being able to achieve specific acute variables for muscle building, performance enhancement, or fat loss. What's more, L-arginine can support post-workout recovery to get you back in the gym faster.

     

    Create your very own supplement for 2018 by using the Amino Z Supplement Builder. Providing you with only scientifically proven ingredients, the Amino Z Supplement Builder lets you choose which ingredients to use and the dosage of each.

     

    What is Whey Protein?

    Whey protein has become a staple in most homes for muscle building or meal replacement. Whey protein can come in concentrate or isolate form. It provides the amino acids you need to support a variety of fitness goals.

     

    Benefits of Whey Protein

    Countless studies have been focused on whey protein and it has applicable benefits inside and outside the fitness world. Studies show that whey protein can be used for the following benefits:

     

    • May promote lean muscle growth via increasing the anabolic environment inside the body and boosting protein synthesis
    • May enhance post-workout recovery by providing muscle repairing amino acids
    • May ensure healthy weight management as a health meal replacement option

     

    How Can Whey Protein Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

    If you want to build muscle, whey protein is a necessity. It contains amino acids, which have been shown to promote anabolism and muscle growth. Whey protein is also an ideal supplement for performance athletes as it may help with recovery and gains. Those looking to lose weight can use it as a meal replacement.

     

    What is Creatine?

    Creatine has been used just as long as whey protein and it's considered one of the veterans of the industry. This amino acid by-product provides the muscle tissue with a direct form of usable energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

     

    Benefits of Creatine

    The newest forms of creatine are rapidly absorbed by the body and provide a number of scientifically validated benefits including:

     

    • Converts into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which may increase energy levels and force output
    • May be able to increase intra-workout strength levels – In turn, this may help to promote muscular hypertrophy
    • May support post-workout recovery

     

    How Can Creatine Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

    Once converted, creatine provides the preferred form of energy for muscle tissue. This can dramatically enhance your intra-workout or competition performance. It's also going to be a key factor in your recovery and how quickly you get yourself back into the gym.

     

    Make sure that 2018 if your year for fitness success. Try the Amino Z Supplement Builder today!

     

    References

    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.

     

    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. 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.
  • Top 3 Benefits of Citrulline Malate

    A non-essential amino acid that is abundant in watermelon, citrulline malate has been a hot topic in the fitness world for a variety of reported benefits such as vasodilation, increased energy, and recovery. Outside of the fitness world, citrulline malate can be useful in alleviating the constriction of the blood vessels from a common headache and in lowering your overall blood pressure.

     

    Whether you have a contest to win, new personal bests to beat, or you simply want to support your overall health, citrulline malate may be able to help. Let's take a look at the top 3 benefits of citrulline malate.

     

    Athletic Performance

    Let's jump right into the fitness-related benefits with the claims that citrulline malate may be able to increase your performance during either workouts or events such as a race or lifting competition. A study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research demonstrated that individuals who supplemented with citrulline malate experienced a significant improvement in time-trial based exercise. What's more, subjects required shorter rest breaks than their counterparts who weren't supplementing with citrulline malate.

     

    This has huge implications for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike as citrulline malate is an amino acid and is not on any banned substance list.

     

    Muscle Building

    If you want to build noticeable lean muscle mass, citrulline malate may help provide the extra edge that you need.
    Triggering muscular hypertrophy is all about achieving a specific set of acute variables. If your muscles fatigue before reaching that muscle building sweet spot, you may be losing out on what you need to see results. Citrulline malate has been shown to be an effective muscle building supplement that may increase the number of sets and repetitions you can perform.

     

    Another study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research showed that subjects using citrulline malate performed 50% more repetitions compared to those individuals who weren't using it.

     

    Overall Health and Wellness

    It's okay if you're not trying to build huge muscles or prepare for an endurance-based activity, citrulline malate may be able to improve your day to day life.

     

    If you suffer from chronic headaches, citrulline malate may be an excellent natural alternative to over the counter medicine that damages the stomach lining. It expands blood vessel, alleviating the pressure that is causing the headache.

     

    Studies show that taken consistently, citrulline malate is also great for supporting blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health.

     

    Create Your Own Citrulline Malate Supplement

    Ready to start using citrulline malate? Why take a chance on a brand you don't know when you can make your own?

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you can create your very own citrulline malate supplement mixed with the ingredients you choose!

     

    We recommend the standard dosage of 1,500 mg (1.5 grams) but if you're extremely active, you may want to increase that dosage to 2,000 mg (2 grams).

     

    Try the Amino Z Supplement Builder today!

     

     

    References

    1. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0.

     

    1. Suzuki T, Morita M, Kobayashi Y, Kamimura A. Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2016;13:6. doi:10.1186/s12970-016-0117-z.

     

    1. Figueroa A, Wong A, Jaime SJ, Gonzales JU. Influence of L-citrulline and watermelon supplementation on vascular function and exercise performance. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 Jan;20(1):92-98.

     

    1. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0.
  • Whey Concentrate vs. Whey Isolate: Why Use Both?

    Whey protein has been a household term for well over a decade. Even if you aren't into the fitness scene, there's a good chance you use a whey protein supplement to support your overall health. There are two primary types of whey protein: concentrate and isolate. Is one better than the other? Which one should you be using to support your fitness goals?

     

    Concentrate vs. Isolate: What's the Difference?

    Both whey concentrate and whey isolate are byproducts of cheese-making. They are both high in protein but the difference lies in the refining and hydrolyzing processes. In other words, the degree to which a protein is filtered will determine whether it is a concentrate or an isolate.

     

    Preliminary filtration results in a product that is around 80% protein on average. This would qualify as a whey concentrate. Whey concentrate may also contain some fat, cholesterol, and natural carbohydrates.

     

    When extra filtration and hydrolyzation is completed, you get a purer protein of at least 90%. This would be a whey isolate. Whey isolate is almost completely protein with minimal, if any, cholesterol and carbohydrates.

     

    Benefits of Whey Concentrate

    You may hear 'purer protein' and immediately think that whey concentration is the inferior option. Don't be so quick to jump to that conclusion.

     

    Whey concentrate is considered one of the best forms of protein on the market. It's easy to digest, provides an abundant amount of amino acids over the course of a few hours, and it's been shown to support muscle, bone, and cardiovascular health.

     

    With its medium digestion speed, whey concentration is ideal for meal replacement and pre-workout shakes.

     

    Benefits of Whey Isolate

    Whey isolate may supply a higher percentage of protein but it does so at an extremely rapid rate. This makes it ideal as a post-workout supplement since this is the optimal time to maximize amino acid delivery. With that said, whey isolate is not always the best choice throughout the day because the body makes quick use of it.

     

    You can use it to break a fast, after a workout to kickstart recovery, and before bed as a fast digesting protein-focused snack. It's clean, effective, and has a lower calorie count. For all other reasons, use a whey concentrate.

     

    Concentrate vs. Isolate: Do You Need to Use Both?

    Absolutely! Both whey concentrate and whey isolate have their individual strengths. When you're trying to gain muscle mass, build strength and power, and increase performance, protein timing is key.

     

    You would want to supply your muscles with a whey concentrate during the day, such as before a workout. The slower digesting amino acids will stay in the body longer, triggering an environment of growth while protecting from catabolism.

     

    Whey isolate, on the other hand, is a rapid digesting protein. This makes it perfect to encourage recovery as it is delivering the actual building blocks of muscle tissue directly into the body when they are needed most.

     

    Whey Protein Dosage & Schedule

    If you are going to use both whey concentrate and whey isolate, here are the ideal times to take each. Fit them into your schedule as needed.

     

    Morning:

    • 30 grams of whey concentrate

     

    Pre-Workout:

    • 30 grams of whey concentrate

     

    Post-Workout

    • 30 grams of whey isolate

     

    Night (1-2 hours before bed)

    • 30 grams of whey isolate

     

    References

    1. Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 23;94(26):14930-5.

     

    1. Paddon-Jones D, Rasmussen BB. Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 Jan;12(1):86-90. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831cef8b.

     

    1. Veldhorst MA, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Westerterp KR. Gluconeogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):519-26. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27834. Epub 2009 Jul 29.
  • 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.
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