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  • 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.



    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)



    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!



    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!




    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.
  • Maxine's Burn Protein Powder vs. Horley's Sculpt Protein

    What is Maxine's Burn Protein Powder?

    Maxine's Burn Protein Powder is a unique thermogenic protein supplement that includes both an effective protein blend and several fat burning ingredients. Working together, the protein blend may help to support lean muscle tissue growth while the thermogenics may promote an enhanced rate of fat burning.



    • Over 21 grams of protein
    • Offers a protein blend of isolate, concentrate, and casein, which will provide you will amino acids for hours
    • Features 4 proven fat burning ingredients
    • Contains fibre to help curb appetite and promote proper digestion


    Why You Should Use Maxine's Burn Protein Powder

    With over 21 grams of protein from three sources, Maxine's Burn Protein Powder is an effective way to support muscle recovery and growth. What's more, if you are focusing on losing weight rather than gaining muscle, the three types of protein will help you feel fuller for longer.  Horley's Sculpt Protein falls short at 18 grams of protein but it does feature a blend from plant and animal sources.


    As a thermogenic protein powder, Maxine's strives to support an advanced rate of fat burning. This is going to be useful if you are doing everything you can to shed more fat for competition or for general weight loss. Maxine's contains green tea extract, L-carnitine, phaseolamin, choline, and inositol. All of these ingredients have been shown to boost your metabolic response.


    Things to Watch Out for With Maxine's Burn Protein Powder

    While we're happy to see the fat burning ingredients that are present within Maxine's Burn Protein Powder, we have to point out the fact that they are not appropriately dosed. For example, if you purchase a green tea extract supplement, the standard dosage is going to be around 100 mg whereas in Maxine's, the dosage is only 25 mg per serving.


    Horley's Sculpt Protein has the same issue. Some ingredients are dosed higher in Maxine's such as L-Carnitine where Horley's has more green tea extract. In this regard, the two brands are tied.



    What is Horley's Sculpt Protein?

    Horley's Sculpt Protein is a female-friendly protein that contains several thermogenic compounds to support fat loss in additional to lean muscle tissue gains.



    • Over 18 grams of protein per serving
    • Features a plant and animal blend of whey and soy
    • Contains 3 proven fat burners
    • Gluten free


    Why You Should Use Horley's Sculpt Protein

    A blend of plant and animal protein is becoming more commonplace as studies show the need for more plant-based nutrients in our diet. Plant proteins have also been shown to be as effective as whey protein for building muscle mass.


    Things to Watch Out for With Horley's Sculpt Protein

    As mentioned above, Horley's Sculpt Protein does contain thermogenic ingredients but the dosing does fall a bit short.


    The one thing we really want to focus on with Horley's is the fact that the brand uses soy protein. Yes, it's non-GMO but the presence of soy in a protein supplement can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are.


    If you are following a no-soy diet, then you'll be better off with Maxine's Burn Protein as Horley's contains both soy isolate and concentrate.


    Which Supplement Should You Choose?

    This really comes down to whether or not soy is an issue for your dietary preferences. If you would rather avoid soy as much as possible, stick with Maxine's Burn Protein Powder. Maxine's also has the higher protein percentage per serving so that's an added bonus.


    If soy isn't an issue, we would recommend trying both and deciding which brand you see better results with. As always, let us know in the comments below which brand you prefer!



    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. Hashimoto R, Sakai A, Murayama M, Ochi A, Abe T, Hirasaka K, Ohno A, Teshima-Kondo S, Yanagawa H, Yasui N, Inatsugi M, Doi D, Takeda M, Mukai R, Terao J, Nikawa T. Effects of dietary soy protein on skeletal muscle volume and strength in humans with various physical activities. J Med Invest. 2015;62(3-4):177-83. doi: 10.2152/jmi.62.177.


    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. 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.
  • Cellucor C4 Ripped vs. Cellucor C4 Mass

    What is Cellucor C4 Ripped?

    Cellucor C4 Ripped provides all of the benefits of the original C4 formula with an extra thermogenic boost for those of you who are also trying to get lean and focus on muscle definition or overall fat burning. While not the best thermogenic supplement out there, it's important to remember that C4 Ripped is a pre-workout first and a thermogenic booster second.


    Why You Should Use Cellucor C4 Ripped

    C4 Ripped is a solid pre-workout featuring a unique energy blend. It provides you with caffeine anhydrous, velvet bean, and N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. It does not feature TeaCor, a special form of caffeine found in the original formula, and this is surprising considering the energy and thermogenic benefits of the ingredient. C4 Mass does feature this ingredient. With that said, C4 Ripped still captures the energy boosting benefits of the original formula.


    If your goal is energy first and fat burning second, then C4 Ripped is going to be an excellent choice. It contains a fat burning blend featuring scientifically proven ingredients that can promote a higher level of fat burning. Green tea extract, l-carnitine, and capsicum are the stars of this list, being found to promote a higher metabolic rate that supports fat burning.


    Things to Watch Out for With Cellucor C4 Ripped

    Despite having a thermogenic formula that contains some hard-hitting fat burners, it's important to note the dosage of C4 Ripped. There just isn't enough of the fat burning ingredients to be as effective as if you were taking those ingredients on their own at the proper dosage level. Sure, you'll be supporting your metabolic rate but not nearly at the level you would if you were taking 1 gram of capsicum on its own, for example.


    As mentioned above, C4 Ripped is a pre-workout first and a fat burner second. It should be looked at as a way to increase performance and be a complement to a fat burning diet. If you're expecting C4 Ripped to be some magic bullet, you are going to be disappointed.


    What is Cellucor C4 Mass?

    Cellucor C4 Mass is the brand's attempt to cater a pre-workout to the mass building crowd. Cellucor has added a carbohydrate blend to the mix as those who are going through a bulking phase will have a much higher carbohydrate consumption each day. Used as directed, Cellucor C4 Mass can become a helpful tool to complement your bulking diet and training program.


    Why You Should Use Cellucor C4 Mass

    If you are serious about trying to add mass, then C4 Mass may be a great pre-workout to utilize. It's important to remember that it is a pre-workout, not a mass gainer. Rather, it is a form of mass building support but it is NOT a mass gainer.


    With its carbohydrate blend and addition of two forms of creatine, this is a pre-workout that is geared towards complementing your current mass building diet and workout program.


    In terms of energy boosting, one of the ways in which C4 Mass may be superior to C4 Ripped is the inclusion of TeaCor. This is a form of caffeine that provides all of the energy boosting effective of caffeine without the caffeine-related jitters. When paired with caffeine anhydrous, TeaCor is even more effective, boosting your energy levels while taming any fight-or-flight anxiousness. However, this really comes down to preference as some people may respond really well to TeaCor while others get more energy from a combination of energy boosters and thermogenics like you find with C4 Ripped.


    Things to Watch Out for With Cellucor C4 Mass

    Cellucor C4 Mass contains polydextrose, which is considered fibre; however, there is a clear difference between a fibre-rich food and a chemical additive. Unfortunately, the FDA does not differentiate one fibre from another. While polydextrose may be useful for a bulking diet, it's important that you understand this is not going to count towards your daily recommended fibre intake. You should focus on fibre-rich whole foods and not depend on a pre-workout supplement as your source of fibre for the day.


    Which Supplement Should You Choose?

    C4 Ripped and C4 Mass are both pre-workouts but they are geared towards two completely different crowds. Both are powerful energy boosters so in that regard they are equally useful. If you follow a bulking and cutting cycle during the appropriate seasons, then we would recommend getting both as you can use C4 Mass while bulking up and you can use C4 Ripped when you want to focus on leaning out.



    1. Spradley BD, Crowley KR, Tai C-Y, et al. Ingesting a pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, B-vitamins, amino acids, creatine, and beta-alanine before exercise delays fatigue while improving reaction time and muscular endurance. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2012;9:28. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-28.


    1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.


    1. F. L. Dodd, D. O. Kennedy, L. M. Riby, and C. F. Haskell-Ramsay. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology. 2015; 232(14): 2563–2576. Published online 2015 Mar 13.


    1. Kuhman, Daniel J., Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. 'Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women.' Nutrients 7.11 (2015): 9618–9632. PMC. Web. 2 Aug. 2017.


    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. Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Effect of capsaicin on substrate oxidation and weight maintenance after modest body-weight loss in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2003 Sep;90(3):651-59.
  • 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)



    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.



    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.
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