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Tag Archives: creatine

  • 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.

     

    Casein

    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.

     

    Creatine

    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.

     

    Conclusion

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

    Finished with wasting money on supplements that are under-dosed?

    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.

     

    Check out the Amino Z Supplement Builder now to get started!

     

    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. 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.
  • BSN Cellmass 2.0 vs MuscleTech Cell Tech

    There is no doubt that the nutrients that you put into your body immediately following a workout are going to play a huge role in the results that you see in the mirror. Post-workout nutrition has been the center of attention for supplement companies, resulting in some of the biggest brands dishing out incredibly popular products. When recovery is your goal, you need a supplement designed specifically for repair. Let’s review two of the biggest names in the industry, BSN Cellmass 2.0 vs MuscleTech Cell Tech, to see which one is worth the buy.

     

    BSN Cellmass 2.0

    Where can I buy it?BSN Cellmass 2.0

     

    Pros of BSN Cellmass 2.0

    BSN offers an impressive line-up of pre-workout, intra-workout, protein, and many other categories of supplements but what about post-workout? BSN’s response to the post-workout need is Cellmass 2.0. This amino-acid focused recovery drink is broken down into three major categories.

     

    Recovery Composite

    • Whey Protein Hydrolysate
    • L-Glutamine
    • Glutamine Peptides

     

    Myogenic Matrix

    • Creatine Monohydrate
    • Creatine HCL
    • Creatine Anhydrous

     

    Insulino Interfusion

    • Taurine
    • Banaba Extract

     

    Your body loves amino acids before, during, and especially following a workout. BSN provides you with a unique amino acid blend from whey protein and glutamine peptides. These amino acids may be able to help support recovery and lean muscle growth. Cellmass 2.0 also has three types of creatine. Creatine is an industry classic that may be able to support cellular energy levels, reduce muscle soreness, and boost performance. (1-7)

     

    Cons of BSN Cellmass 2.0

    Like many companies, BSN uses a proprietary blend. That means, you know what ingredients you’re getting but you’re not filled in on the dosage of each. This can be problematic because some ingredients only work at a specific dosage and if you’re getting less than that dosage, you may not notice any benefit.

     

    The other issue we have with Cellmass 2.0 is the lack of amino acids. Sure, you’re getting some whey protein and glutamine peptides but there is a large spectrum of amino acids that BSN could take advantage of and they don’t.

     

    MuscleTech Cell Tech

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of MuscleTech Cell Tech

    Cell Tech is an excellent post-workout supplement that has been specifically designed to be used following a workout. First up, you’re getting important vitamins along with an electrolyte blend to support recovery. More importantly, Cell Tech gives you the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine, which have been suggested in numerous studies to boost recovery, trigger protein synthesis, and support muscle building. Finally, just like with Cellmass, you’ll also be getting creatine and taurine. (1-7)

     

    Cons of MuscleTech Cell Tech

    The only issue with Cell Tech is that we would like to see the amount of essential amino acids be higher. You’re getting 2 grams of BCAAs, which isn’t bad but it could be a lot better for a recovery drink. One simple solution is to double the dose.

     

    Other than the amino acids, the only other issue is the artificial flavouring and colouring but if you’re no stranger to supplements, you know it’s easier said than done getting away from this.

     

    Conclusion

    Both of these supplements are good but for completely different reasons. Cellmass 2.0 from BSN is more of an intra-workout supplement. Sure, you can definitely benefit from it post-workout but given the formula, we’d suggest using this as an intra-workout supplement. Cell Tech from MuscleTech, on the other hand, is the perfect post-workout drink. It contains the right amino acids, electrolytes, and vitamins for recovery. MuscleTech even threw in Alpha Lipoic Acid as a way to increase fat burning and support your fitness goals.

     

    If you can, we’d suggest buying both. If you have to choose one, think about what’s more important to you: intra-workout or post-workout.

     

    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. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
  • Product Review: Platinum Labs DEFCON1

    Pre-workout supplements are one of the most popular and purchased product next to whey protein and fat burners. We all know the feeling of waking up early, battling through a long 8 to 10 hour day then coming home to be reminded that it’s Leg Day. This is where a pre-workout comes in handy. A quality pre-workout is packed with more than just a little bit of caffeine. It should contain a variety of energy boosters and nootropics so that both your mind and body are revitalized.

     

    Platinum Labs DEFCON1 is said to be one of the most popular pre-workouts in the industry. Check out its ratings around the internet and it’s a universally well liked product. Let’s take a look to see if Platinum Labs DEFCON1 can hold up to its reputation.

     

    PROS OF PLATINUM LABS DEFCON1

     

    As soon as you turn the bottle around to face the label, you can already see the decent sized list that Platinum Labs DEFCON1 offers in the way of ingredients. As you scroll down, you’ll see that all of the ingredients found within are popular and proven. Right away, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 has a great formula. At the top, it features Beta Alanine at 2 grams, L-Taurine at 1 gram, and Agmatine Sulfate at 750 mg per serving. These three ingredients are an excellent addition to any pre-workout formula. What’s more, these are the ideal dosages for these ingredients.

     

    Studies suggest that those three ingredients may be able to promote the following benefits:

    • May help to boost energy
    • May support intra-workout strength increases
    • May help to reduce muscle fatigue
    • May promote lean muscle mass gains (1-3)

     

    Naturally, as a pre-workout, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 contains caffeine; however, it doesn’t contain an obnoxious amount such as a supplement like Pro Supps’ Mr. Hyde does, for example. (Click here to read more about and buy Mr. Hyde from Pro Supps) At 180 mg of caffeine per serving, that’s a nice middle ground for those who are caffeine sensitive and for those who double up their pre-workout servings.

     

    CONS OF PLATINUM LABS DEFCON1

     

    While some ingredients have an ideal dosage per serving, others are lacking a bit. Creatine HCl for example is only provided at 750 mg per serving. While this may be a pre-workout, creatine is a vital part of the energy conversion process, supplying your muscles with ATP for fuel. (4) 750 mg isn’t terrible but it’s not even close to the standard 5 gram dosage. This same issue can be seen with Betaine Anhydrous and Choline Bitartrate. Again, we’re happy they are in there but disappointed at the low dose.

     

    With that said, these are the only ingredients that have a lower than normal dose. Everything else is great. An easy remedy would be to supplement with creatine in addition to DEFCON1. As a side note to Platinum Labs, the addition of Alpha GPC would make this a perfect pre-workout supplement.

     

    The only other issue that may be a problem for some is the fact that Platinum Labs DEFCON1 contains artificial sweeteners and colouring. If you aren’t too concerned about that, then you have nothing else to worry about.

     

    SHOULD YOU BUY PLATINUM LABS DEFCON1?

     

    Platinum Labs DEFCON1 is a very worthwhile buy and it’s no surprise why it’s a fan favourite. It contains a variety of well-chosen energy boosters, thermogenics, and nootropics, most of which have been provided to you at their ideal dosage per serving. Taken as a part of any disciplined training program, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 may be able to give you the energy you need to succeed. Click here to buy Platinum Labs DEFCON1.

     

    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. 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. Ryan P Lowery, Jordan M Joy, Joshua E Dudeck, Eduardo Oliveira de Souza, Sean A McCleary, Shawn Wells, Robert Wildman, and Jacob M Wilson. Effects of 8 weeks of Xpand® 2X pre workout supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, lean body mass, and strength in resistance trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 44. Published online 2013 Oct 9. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-44.

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
  • Want Muscle Size? Why You Need to Pair Creatine with Glutamine

    Supplementation is no longer considered a luxury option. Chances are that anyone you chat with in the gym is supplementing with something. When it comes to gaining muscle size, everyone knows that having a protein supplement is a requirement.

     

    What if you really want to ensure maximum size gains?

    What can you do that doesn’t require breaking the law or endangering your body?

    The solution is simple, you pair up the two biggest names in the supplement industry to see real gains.

     

    Let’s take a look at the benefits of creatine and glutamine and why they make the perfect supplement pair.

     

    Benefits of Creatine

     

    Your body naturally makes creatine but it’s limited to about one gram per day. Creatine plays an important role in providing energy to muscle tissue. Stored within this tissue, it’s released during high energy demands such as exercise. It’s then converted to ATP and used as fuel to complete whatever energy demanding task you’re doing.

     

    Creatine is also used for muscle recovery. Recent studies show that creatine was successful in reducing inflammation and muscle tissue damage post-workout. (1)

     

    Benefits of Glutamine

     

    The primary reason that glutamine is such a popular supplement is due to its ability to support muscle recovery, especially after intense workouts. Taken on a regular basis, subjects saw a decrease in post-workout inflammation and muscle damage. This benefit is extended on a hormonal level as glutamine is also used to prevent catabolic breakdown of protein in the body. In other words, it’s a muscle sparing supplement. (2, 3)

     

    Why You Should Pair Them

     

    The name of the game is performance and recovery. You need to perform well if you want to achieve your fitness goals. This is especially true during high intensity workouts. If you’re a bodybuilder, what good is it to throw in the towel halfway through your workout?

     

    More important than performing well is recovering well. Over training will put a stop to any fitness goal faster than you can imagine. The combination of providing your muscles with the fuel they need and the ability to reduce inflammation and support recovery is why these two industry giants need to be taken together.

     

    The Proper Way to Take Them

     

    Despite huge advancements in supplement technology, it’s still recommended to perform a loading phase with creatine. The idea behind this is to completely saturate your muscles with 20 grams of creatine per day for 7 to 14 days. You could do 5 grams per day but that will take at least a full month to see the same results. It’s best to take creatine following a workout when your body is primed to absorb it all.

     

    Glutamine can be taken at its normal 5 gram serving but if you are a serious bodybuilder or power lifter then you may want to consider 10 grams. It’s best to take Glutamine on an empty stomach so do it as soon as you wake up.

     

    Creatine:

    • 20 grams for 14 days
    • 5 grams after that
    • Take post-workout

     

    Glutamine

    • 5 to 10 grams based on intensity
    • Take in the morning on an empty stomach

     

    Conclusion

     

    Creatine and glutamine have been stand alone supplements for decades. There’s a reason that they are still around and still the most purchased supplements on the market. They’ve been proven time and time again to be an effective way to fuel your muscles while aiding in recovery. If you want to see serious results, then you need to be adding these effective and inexpensive supplements to your diet program.

     

    References

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

     

    1. Piattoly, Tavis. L-glutamine supplementation: effects on recovery from Exercise. Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (4 – 9) August 2005.

     

    1. Calder PC, Yaqoob P. Glutamine and the immune system. Amino Acids. 1999;17(3):227-41.
  • Creatine Types: Everything You Need to Know

    When supplementation first started to see a dramatic rise in popularity decades ago, your options were limited. Now, you can literally spend days going over all of your options. One of the classic supplements has evolved over time as well. Creatine has become a staple to every type of fitness enthusiast from the athlete to the weekend warrior.  The difference is that you have more to choose from than just Creatine Monohydrate.

     

    Let’s take a look at the different types of creatine, their differences, and which one will serve you best.

     

    Proven Benefits of Creatine

     

    Before we discuss the differences between each form of creatine, let’s quickly review the benefits that have been shown by science.

     

    Many studies have confirmed that creatine is an effective means of supplementation when it comes to supporting athletic performance. Creatine is used during high energy demands such as exercise. 5 grams of creatine a day has been shown to support these energy demands, improving intra-workout performance.

     

    Creatine is famously used by bodybuilders as a means to support lean muscle mass. Creatine does NOT directly increase muscle size. What it does is improve performance. Through better performance, your strength and power levels will increase. From this, you’ll see better results in terms of muscle size. (1, 2)

     

    Now that we have our benefits laid out, let’s take a look at the highlights between each type.

     

    Monohydrate

     

    This is the classic form of Creatine. Through leaps and bounds in supplementation technology, we now have a monohydrate without the bloating side effects that were commonly reported years ago. This is the subject of most studies so you can’t go wrong with Monohydrate as it’s extremely effective and inexpensive.

     

    Micronized Creatine

     

    Micronized is famous for having a smaller particle size. You’re still getting Creatine Monohydrate but you’ll need less of a dose. You’ll notice the serving sizes are very small. It offers the same benefits as Monohydrate and it’s been reported by companies to have a better absorption rate but this has never been proven in an official study. It’s usually a bit more expensive than Monohydrate.

     

    Ethyl Ester

     

    This is Creatine Monohydrate that has an organic compound known as an Ester attached to it. Does this mean it’s better for you? No. Creatine Ethyl Ester has been shown to be less effective than Monohydrate. It’s reported to have a higher absorption rate but again, this has never been shown. Price wise, it’s usually much more expensive than Monohydrate.

     

    Tri-Creatine Malate

     

    As the name suggests, Malate is made up of three Creatine Monohydrate molecules and they are combined by one molecule of malic acid. So what does this mean for you? Although studies have yet to prove this, it’s been reported that the molecule of malic acid greatly increases absorption and assimilation resulting in better recovery, energy, and performance.

     

    Buffered Creatine

     

    You don’t see Buffered Creatine as much but those few companies swear that it’s superior to Monohydrate. It’s claimed to be fully absorbed by the body without resulting wasting of the creatine product. One popular study proved this to be untrue. It was tested against the classic Monohydrate. The results showed Buffered Creatine was inferior to the bodybuilding original. (3)

     

    Liquid Creatine

     

    Finally, we have Liquid Creatine. You’d think being in liquid form would be beneficial for absorption and effectiveness but this isn’t the case. Creatine is faster to breakdown in its liquid form, making it less effective.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Despite the big claims made by supplement companies, Creatine Monohydrate is still king. With Monohydrate you know what to expect because all of the studies have been based on it. It’s proven and it’s inexpensive so what more could you ask for? If I had to pick one more type of creatine to buy, it would be Tri-Creatine Malate but only if it’s on sale.

     

    REFERENCES

     

    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. Andrew R Jagim, Jonathan M Oliver, Adam Sanchez, Elfego Galvan, James Fluckey, Steven Riechman, Michael Greenwood, Katherine Kelly, Cynthia Meininger, Christopher Rasmussen, and Richard B Kreider. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 43. Published online 2012 Sep 13. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-43.
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