Browsing: Supplements

Why Vitamin Supplementation Is Important For Overall Health

If you are confused about whether you need vitamin supplementation for good health, you are not alone. It looks like every other week there is a new study either saying it is necessary, or that it does nothing to promote good health. The most likely answer is that the truth lies somewhere in between. If you are wondering if you should supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals the answer is that though there may not be absolute clear cut evidence that it helps, there is rarely any that it will hurt.

The body is a machine like any other machine. It was designed to work when given the proper materials to do so. Those materials are nutrients that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, in our hurried lives, and prepackaged meal society, it is easy to not get all the things that our bodies need to perform optimally. When you do not supply your body with the nutrients that it needs, it will not have the resources it needs to defend itself from those things looking to invade.

The immune system works by wiping off the many things in the environment that are looking to find its way into your body. When your immune system does not have what it needs to function, you are leaving your body unprotected. Even if you only eat the things that are healthy for you, it is possible to have shortcomings. The best way to combat those shortcomings is by taking supplements. Disease and illness were not originally in the design of the body. They only come about as a product of not caring for the body the way that it needs to be cared for.

If you are looking for the best way to supplement your body, finding a good multi-vitamin is the best way to get all the nutrients that you need. Giving you just the daily recommended values, there is no way that you will be overdosing yourself, or taking more of something than you need. It is important to know that even too much of a good thing will affect you negatively. Vitamins and supplements are not inconsequential, they are still things that you are ingesting, so thinking that the more you take, the more benefit you will gain, is not always true.

Be careful also of those supplements and vitamins that make outlandish claims about what they do for you. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is too good to be true. Using supplements that are the latest fad is also not suggested. Without a vitamin or mineral has a long standing use, it is best to stay away. There are some things that the body is not supposed to ingest because they have potencies that can be harmful to many. In some cases, it is also important to make sure that if you are on any medications that you check with your physician before taking supplements. There are those that will interfere, enhance, or interact with prescription medications.

By: Eyo Asanga

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The Scoop on Supplements: Pre-Workout

I get a lot of questions about what supplements I take, which brands, how much etc. I went years without taking anything. And in terms of supplements, I still prefer to keep it to a minimum. Your most effective supplement is and always should be the foods you eat. That being said, what I take, I really love, and I think it helps me tremendously, as I work out and in recovery.

Pre-Workout: WHY and WHAT?

Pre-workout is great for helping me focus, and making sure that I can put out a maximum effort when I need to. I'll be honest, I do not ALWAYS feel like working out. (I know, it's shocking) Sometimes, I'm not really in the mood. I feel sleepy, sluggish, and just not excited about moving. Pre-workout helps me dial it in, so I can do work even on days when I'd rather nap and eat ice cream … which, if I'm honest, might be every day. On the other hand, a six-pack is pretty cool, too …

I find a pre-workout to be the most helpful for when I am lifting, as opposed to conditioning. My workouts are generally structured with a strength / lifting element at the beginning for about an hour, then I will condition. So, drinking a pre-workout before and as I lift works really well for me. I feel like my system has processed it well enough by the time I get to conditioning. One of the most effective, and near universal ingredients in pre-workout formulas is caffeine. My two favorite formulas have a lot of it. Nutrabio's Pre Extreme has 270 mg of caffeine. Black Market Adre.n.olyn Cuts has even more, with 300 mg. For reference, a typical 8 oz. cup of coffee has about 95 mg, give or take depending on the roast.

Caffeine has been shown to increase focus, and athletic performance. It also increases heart rate. In CrossFit, high-intensity is a given. It is not difficult to reach maximum aerobic capacity very quickly, and I'm sure I get up into anaerobic range on the daily. There's nothing wrong with that for brief periods, but if my heart rate is already elevated, I hit that wall even faster, which means more rest, and less work. I'm sensitive to caffeine, so I take precautions with this stuff. If you're new to pre-workout, here are a few things I recommend:

– Build up to a full serving. I took several weeks, starting with a 1/4 serving, and eventually got to a full serving as I felt it would be effective.

– Know what you're getting, and how much of it. Read labels, and do your research on what these ingredients do, then measure carefully, with a food scale. Caffeine is not the only powerful chemical in these supplements. Just as an example, Nutrabio's Pre Extreme contains creatine. It's known to be an effective athletic supplement in building lean muscle. It can also be toxic if over-used. Be smart, it absolutely is possible to get too much of a good thing!

– Sip, do not chug. This one depends on personal preference, but I find that if I drink all of my pre-workout at once, I get the jitters (again, that's caffeine, but there are other common ingredients that can cause this reaction). Manufacturers generally recommend drinking pre-workout 30-45 minutes before you workout. I like to drink half my pre-workout about 30 minutes prior, then sip as I lift.

– Keep an eye on the clock. Do not use pre-workout later in the day. As I mentioned, I'm on the sensitive side, and I have to get to bed early because I've got a 4 am alarm coming no matter what. I try to make sure I finish my pre-workout before 2:00 pm. If I workout in the morning, this is not an issue, but most days I workout in the afternoon (1: 00-3: 00, for example). Nutrabio also carries a stimulant-free pre-workout, which I keep on hand for the rare evening workout. I find it helps, but not as much as the Pre Extreme, so sometimes I'll just go without.

– Reduce other caffeine consumption (coffee, tea, energy drinks) until you know how your body reacts.

Now, after all those precautions, I really do like to use pre-workout, and I have two that I keep on hand. Nutrabio's Pre Extreme is available at nutrabio.com for $ 43.99 / 20 servings in Watermelon and Raspberry Lemonade flavors. This is my favorite go-to for pre-workout. Occidentally, I'll take a break and use AdreNOlyn Cuts, which is available from blackmarketlabs.com for $ 59.99, or I pick it up at my local Good Earth. I like Blue Razz or Poison Apple flavors. AdreNOlyn Cuts is better tasting, and it tastes like CANDY. You've been forewarned.

Last, but not least, I mix in a dose of branched chain amino amino acids (or BCAAs) with my pre-workout. BCAAs include Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Supplementing BCAAs can assist in muscle growth / repair, and are supposedly to prevent muscle fatigue. This, you really can not overdose, and for me, it's one of those, “why not?” supplements.

My fave is BSN's Amino X. This one is also available for pick up at Good Earth, but I like to order mine from Amazon.com for $ 39.99 for 70 servings (2.23 pounds). The watermelon flavor goes well with either of my favorite pre-workout formulas.

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The Long-Lasting Effect of Male Enhancement Supplements

The concept of dietary supplements finds inspiration from the noun “supplementation”. To supplement means to make an addition to an existing entity in order to extremely augment its value. This is the way even dietary supplements function.

Supplements are intricately associated with constancy. Their recommended dosages are generally spread over an elongated time period. With constant supplementation, nutraceutical products add nutrients to the biological system over time to enrich its efficacy.

Male enhancement supplements work in an identical fashion. Variance in the productivity of each of these supplements depends with their relative qualities. This is why supplements conduct the intensive role of carefully deciding on each ingredient and their required amount.

The best impact on vigor can be initiated only when supplements contain the best ingredients in the best quantities. Enhancing male vigor makes significant contribution in reducing the number of infertility cases.

Fertilization can be successful when a sperm cell encounters the ovum. This entire process can be said to resignation in the brain. On receiving stimulation, brain generates chemical signals that cumulate in blood vessels present in the male genitals. This enables blood to rush to these destined vessels.

This is followed by a pressure development, and blood gets entrapped. Here, erection is caused. Sperm is now able to travel to the female genitals in order to perpetuate the process of fertilization.

Failure in erection, or erectile dysfunction, is a major hindrance in fertility. Testosterone and nitric oxide are the two most important factors involved in generating anection. The male sex hormone is responsible for the arousal and NO helps produce chemicals that allow the blood flow.

With age, it is only natural for testosterone and NO to deplete. This is why male infertility gets common with escalating years. There exist 6 nutrients that work best toward enhancing male fertility.

1. L-arginine

This nutrient dedicates its entire focus on erectile dysfunction. L-arginine's primary role is that of a precursor to the synthesis of nitric oxide. It is also a precursor to testosterone synthesis. This means it actively participates in the chemical reactions involved in the synthesis of these chemicals.

2. Tribulus terrestris

Beside ED, libido is another major factor responsible for male fertility. By generating sex drive in males, testosterone supports libido. It also increases the release of nitric oxide.

3. Gingko biloba

Clinical trials of Gingko biloba for ED have proven successful. It helps strengthen libido, arousal and orgasm in males by helping in vascular dilation and reducing platelet stickiness. This advances blood flow to the genitals.

4. Mucuna pruriens

If fertilization is made possible through the penetration of a sperm cell, every factor associated with sperm health needs care. Mucuna pruriens helps in male fertility by increasing sperm count and motility.

5. Yohimbe bark extracts

Yohimbe helps in orgasm by increasing blood flow to genitals.

6. Zinc

Zn enhances overall male fertility by increasing both testosterone levels and seminal volume.

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Are You Eating As Healthy As You Think You Are?

Many of us are fully aware that vegetables and fruit are most important to our diet and health; are we getting all the goodness we think we are? There seems some great variation, depending where you live and at what market you are purchasing the fruit and veggies. According to research and tests fruits and veggies can have at least 80% less vitamins than they had three or four decades ago.

For instance, broccoli in 1975 contained 50% more calcium than it does today. The same applies to apples which at the same time contained 41% more vitamin A than they do today. The reality is, when it comes to eating right every day, even the healthiest diet can lack adequate amounts of the vital nutrients required to keep in good health. This could have some of the answers to some of the questions when people are not getting results fast enough after going on a specific diet, yet others say they do.

Depletion of Soil

There is no question about it: Depletion of soil robs our vegetables and fruit from many of the essential vitamins and minerals. This is the outcome of modern intensive agricultural farming methods of today. More and more nutrients being stripped from the soil in which our food is grown in.

Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables being sprayed with pesticides to help protect the plants from insects, mold and fungus. However, this is the reason that these plants contain fewer antioxidants than organically grown foods. Plus these foods often contain toxic pesticides that can harm our health. This just demonstrates that not all vegetables and fruits are as safe as we think they are. That means, the average vegetables and fruits can contain different pesticides and some of them can potentially disrupt our hormones.

A very high percentage of corn, soy, canola and sugar products being produced as genetically modified. GMOs are still adulterating our food, regardless of strong prove effecting our health. Furthermore, there is no set standard for what food producers are allowed to label “natural”. Food manufacturers seem to have a free hand when it comes to mislabeling foods containing dangerous ingredients and harmful chemicals as healthy natural options. Shoppers being fooled, thinking to buy so-called “natural” foods. As per misleading labeling, making us believe they are free of genetically modified organisms, artificial ingredients, colors, chemicals and pesticides; it simply is not true. This is why some European countries and as well others have followed suit after having done their own research and banned genetically modified products.

Organic

Organic is the safest and best option, although even there it is still questionable when it says “organic”. The important question is: How much organic? The word “organic” unfortunately is often used as a sales pitch and marketing tool. Food labels are not always telling everything the way they should. If the content is only seventy or even eighty percent organic it is still classed as chunk food and you will not get the full benefit from it.

The only way to produce organic foods is by using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods. The meaning of organic, which is food made from using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods on organic farms. Organic farming produces food that is a direct connection with our health and wellbeing. Organic farming means, that artificial fertilizers are not allowed. Farmers make fertile soil by rotating crops, using manure and compost. As well the welfare of animals is that they are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow, guaranteeing a free range of life.

Food Is Our Healer

Regardless of some of the negatives, food is still the only solution to our health. Medical research has confirmed this many times. There are literally thousands of healing nutrients in food. Clinical research studies at leading universities have documented the healing results case histories of remarkable healing powers in nature's medicine “Food”. One type of phytonutrient found in vegetables is most powerful in lowering cancer by 45 percent; These powerful nutrients are glucosinolates. The real cancer fighting agent becomes active when the vegetables being chewed and digested. This has even stopped the most aggressive bladder cancer.

To Overcome That Shortfall

There is a way of being safe and overcome these nutritional hurdles and shortfalls. The number one priority is always natural organic food. As this is not one hundred percent possible every day, it is advisable to take a multi vitamin supplement to help prevent deficiencies. Clinical studies have found taking the right high-quality multivitamin supplement is the cheapest health insurance a person will ever buy. The only good multivitamin is the one formulated scientifically and not just any of the grocery shelf-vitamins will do. Vitamins and minerals are the building blocks of an all multivitamin formula.

Therefore, a truly effective daily supplement should also contain extra antioxidants, phytonutrients and come in a liquid or gel form for quick and total absorption into the blood stream.

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Why Are You Constantly Tired? Maybe It’s From All That Stress

Are you the kind of person who consistently has high standards for yourself? You can not stand the idea of ​​failure and you try your best to always impress yourself and those around you? Or maybe life is taking a major dip right now and nothing seems to be going in the right direction. Or maybe a few incidences from the past are starting to add up and mess with your head. Or maybe it's all of the above.

And as a result, you often find yourself feeling anxious, nervous, stressed out, upset, sad, and most importantly, tired as hell.

Yeah. You and more than half of Americans feel the same way.
If you constantly feel tired, sluggish and just worn out, then it's time to re-evaluate your life and see whether you've been dealing with anxiety. Anxiety is tricky because even when it looks to go away, it still always sit there at the back of your mind waiting to jump back up. And the worst part about it is that it's so painfully overwhelming and tiring.

Remember that when your brain is sick, your body starts wanting to fix it and because of that, you get physiological reactions. Think of anxiety as a cold, but in your brain. When you get a regular cold, your body tries to handle it and for that reason you start to get physical symptoms like a sore throat, coughing, runny nose, etc. And so when this 'cold' is in your brain, your body also stops functioning the way it used to. This would lead to shortness of breath, trouble sleeping and yes you guessed it, tiredness and fatigue.

So take a breath and think about whether or not you've been dealing with high levels of stress for the past days, weeks, months or even years. If the answer is yes, then keep reading to find out a few simple techniques that can help you relax and regain that energy.

3. Exercise more!
I know that you're probably sick and tired of hearing this all the time but getting more exercise really does help with both anxiety and low energy levels. Exercise gets the blood flowing, making you feel more refreshed and instantly energized. It also releases endorphins in your brain, which increase feelings of pleasure and help to improve mood.

2. Start to practice breathing techniques at a daily basis.
Breathe in deep and breathe out slowly. Deep breathing – although it's not everyone's cup of tea – is the quickest fix for anxiety. Start the day with at least 30 seconds to a minute of deep breathing and you will see how much more relaxed you'll feel.

1. Take energy-boosting supplements.
If none of the above-mentioned tips sounded appealing then go with the most effective, hassle-free option: start taking the best energy supplement. We would recommend a supplement that contains both a stimulant to increase energy, and a relaxant – to decrease stress. The best combo would be caffeine + L-Theanine, which can be found in our favorite product VPX Bang. Caffeine will make you more alert and let you gain that kick back in your step, while L-Theaninewill calm your body and ensure that you do not get any jitters.

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Dietary Supplements – Know The Risks And Benefits

A major of supplements on the market are safe and have real health benefits, but you can not play blind to the fact that there can be risks involved when taking some of them. The dietary supplements augment daily intakes of nutrients Mainly minerals and vitamins and the ingredients are selected in accordance to what the supplement is intended for. Apart from the minerals and vitamins, you can also get probiotics, enzymes, oils, essential fatty acids, amino acids and herbal ingredients included in the supplements.

Supplement benefits

The greatest benefit of taking dietary supplements is providing additional nutrients that you do not get adequately from your diet. There are health conditions that can cause deficiency or insufficiency and in such cases the supplements come in handy.

Typically, the dietary supplements provide your body with basic micronutrients that are important and helpful to it. The multiple vitamins are safe to use because they have small amounts of every nutrient that is included. You can however get specific supplements that have large amounts of a specific vitamin and mineral depending on the usage.

Dietary supplements help in treating deficiencies like iron deficiency and they can also be used for the therapeutic purposes to deal with risk factors and health conditions. For instance, folic acid can be used to reduce spina bifida, which is a birth defect, whereas niacin can be used to improve the levels of good cholesterol in the body.

Supplement risks

It should be noted that dietary supplements are not as strictly regulated as drugs are and it means that not every supplement available in the market has been proven for effective and safe use. Suppliers are of course prohibited from selling unsafe products, but they still find their way into the market and you there before need to be careful with the supplement choices you make so you can get true value for the money you spend on your supplements.

Apart from getting your hands on supplements that have not health benefit at all and probably contain unsafe ingredients, there is risk if you do not follow the instructions of use. Most people think that taking large doses of the supplements propels them to their health goals faster, but this could not be further from the truth. Such large doses can have strong effects on the body and you should never take supplements in large doses unless it is what you are advised to do.

Some of the ingredients that should be taken with care when it comes to dietary supplements include fat soluble Vitamins D and A that can build up to levels that are toxic. Iron and selenium supplements should also be taken with care because large amounts can turn toxic to your body.

Another risk you face when taking a dietary supplement is possible interaction with prescription medications or over the counter ones. If you are taking more than one supplement they could also end up interacting and it might also not be wise to take them before surgeries. To reduce the risks, always make sure you consult your doctor.

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Vitamin D: How to Meet Your Needs

80% of adults lack vitamin D. However, this deficiency does not accompany with specific clinical signs and is not associated with an identified risk.

More annoying, 5% of people are considered sever deficiency, corresponding to a proven risk of bone disease.

All skins produce the same amount of vitamin D?

No. The clear skin, skin type from I to III produce three to five times more than dark skin, skin type from IV to VI. These contain more melanin, a pigment that acts as a barrier to UVB.

Age also plays an important role in producing vitamin D. As we get older, the amount of the substance that allows the synthesis of vitamin D decreases.

What is vitamin D?

The vitamin D regulates the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, thus contributing to the mineralization of bone, cartilage and teeth.

It also plays a role in hormone production and modulates immunity.

A link with autoimmune diseases: a low amount of vitamin D is associated with a higher risk of type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D has a protective effect to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, particularly colorectal and breast.

How long should we sunbathe?

No expert has previously responded appropriately because there are too many parameters are involved. In addition to the age and skin type, account must be taken of the amount of UVB which reaches the ground. However, this depends on many factors.

Season: there are five times more UVB in summer and winter on average.

Altitude: UV index indeed increases about 10% every 1000 meters in altitude.

Latitude: when it increases, the amount of UVB decreases. Also, the amount of UVB involves the presence of clouds and the thickness of the stratospheric ozone layer

Another factor: grass, soil, and water reflect on average 10% of UV radiation, 15% sand, and fresh snow … 80%.

For people with fair skin: 5-10 minutes, two to three times a week if the day is sunny; for those who have dark skin or on cloudy days, 30 minutes.

And if you put a UV cream?

Studies have shown that from index 8, a cream applied to the skin generously (2 mg / cm2) can prevent the synthesis of vitamin D. Then, you should not apply sun cream while exposing under the sun.

What are our needs for vitamin D?

The National Health Security Agency believes that our needs are covered by sun exposure for 50 to 70%. And from that fact, recommendations for nutrient intakes should be 200 International Units or IU (5 micrograms or mcg) per day for children from 4 years and adults, and 400 IU (10 mcg) for children from 1 to 3 years, the elderly and pregnant and lactating women.

According to the Academy of Medicine, the amount of vitamin D should be multiplied by 2.5 in pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy to prevent a possible disorder of bone mineralization in the unborn child, and by 4.5 between 10 and 18 years, a period when vitamin D is important for building bone mass.

How to cover its needs vitamin D to the diet?

Types of food with high amount of vitamin D:

• Cod liver oil (1 tbsp .rings in about 600 IU or 15 mg)

• Fatty fish (100 g, salmon contains about 10 micrograms or 400 IU, 350 IU pickled herring or 8.75 mcg, sardines oil is 285 IU or 7.13 mg)

• Calf's liver (100 IU or 2.5 mg per 100 g)

• Egg yolk (about 0.38 micrograms or 15 IU unit).

Also include foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk (30 IU or 0.75 mg per 100 ml), cottage cheese (50 IU or 160 IU to 1.25 mg or 4 mg per 100 g) and oils (1 tbsp. = 2.5 micrograms or 100 IU).

When should we supply vitamin D?

The recommendation for the supplement of vitamin D is determined by a blood test, less than 15 nanograms / ml. It should be extended to all pregnant women, or who have a diet low in vitamin D, which is very common among teens, people are more than 60-year-old to prevent the risk of osteoporosis and patients with renal failure, often deficient in vitamin D.

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The Fresher’s Guide To Creatine

One of the first supplements that you will hear about when starting to get into fitness is creatine. It is now becoming one of the 'must' supplements for making gains, along with protein shakes and pre-workouts.

But honestly, I do not think half of us actually have any clue as to what it is, the function it provides, how essential it is, if it has any side-effects etc .. So I've done my research and tried to simplify it down for you guys.

What is Creatine?

“Creatine is a compound formed in protein metabolism and present in much living tissue.” It is involved in the supply of energy for muscular contraction ”

Essentially, creatine helps supply energy to your muscles for lifting, therefore taking additional creatine will increase these supplies further – this should help you increase the work done in the gym.

How does creatine affect my performance in the gym?

Studies tend to suggest that a 20g / day dose of creatine for 5-7 days increases:

– your maximum power / strength (1 Rep-Max) by 5 to 15%

– work performed for maximum effort contracts (reps till failure) by 5 to 15%

– single-effort sprint performances by 1 to 5%

– work done during repetitive sprint performances by 5 to 15%

So as you can see creatine does increase your athletic performance in the gym, which may be a useful tool to burst through plateaus and hit new 1 Rep Maxes.

So will creatine help me build muscle more quickly?

Well, potentially, as you are able to apply greater stress on your muscles.

Think about it this way: if you are able to perform more work in the gym, you will be able to push your body further than normal, and there before you can put your muscles under more stress which may trigger a greater response for them to grow .

Now no one knows for sure the amount of muscle that creatine will help add, and you will not just gain muscle by taking in creatine.

Assuming you are already training and eating appropriately, creatine may help to push yourself that little bit further which could help with building muscle.

What type of creatine should I be taking?

Creatine is sold in many different ways (candy bars, liquid creatine, creatine gum etc.), although no data suggests that it provides better creatine uptake to the muscle better than creatine monohydrate. Mixing it in water, juice, protein shakes etc. is fine, but do not mix it with a citrus drink! (breaks it down making it useless.)

How much creatine should I be taking?

Typical doses range from 2-25g a day and that only about 5g of creatine should be taken at once – otherwise it just gets peed out.

A dose of creatine is usually taken before and / or after a workout in 5g doses (while your body is in a primed state for muscle building); This tenders to be up to personal preference, and depending on what phase you're in. The remaining amount can be taken at regular space intervals throughout the day.

Generally, there tend to be a loading phase, maintenance phase, and a wash-out phase:

-The loading phase is where you fill up your muscular creatine stores over a few days to maximize the stores in the muscles – here you should take 0.3g / kg of bodyweight, and do not consume this amount for more than five days (the excess amount is not needed anymore)

-The maintenance phase is when your creatine capacity has been maximized, and you only need to maintain this amount – here you only need to take 0.03g / kg of bodyweight, and stay in this phase for no longer than a month.

-The washout phase is when you stop taking creatine for a while to let your body recover, and just to be on the safe side if there are side-effects – a washout period of 1 month is advised.

Are there any side effects?

According to WebMD, creatine is reasonably safe when taken by mouth appropriate for up to 5 years.

It is potentially unsafe if it is taken in high dosages, and that it could harm the kidney, liver, or heart function – although a connection between high does and these negative effects has not been proved.

However creatine may also cause stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea, and muscle cramping.

Also, creatine draws water from the rest of the body, so make sure you are drinking enough water to account for this.

You will gain weight fairly quickly at the start, and this is due to increased water weight in your muscles, giving your muscles a more 'puffier' look – hey it makes you look bigger! Good right? But this is probably not muscle mass … just water.

Is it worth the money?

According to bodybuilding.com, a typical 400g tub of creatine monohydrate will set you back about £ 10 pounds. So that is about 80 5g servings. This is about 13p a serving.

So yeah, I have no complaints about the price of it, but if I were you I would not go buy it just yet …

My Opinion

If you're starting out, I would not bother, and for good reason:

Basically you will build muscle and get stronger doing basically anything when you start off in the gym. Personally I will save creatine for a time when I am really struggling to make gains, or have hit a seriously big plateau.

This is my take on most supplements really; I do not like to rely on them, because when I really hit a brick wall, there is nothing to help me over it.

At the moment I'm getting bigger and stronger, and I have not reached a stage where I am mentally and physically struggling to progress in the gym, and I'm deadlifting 200kg – do not blame the lack of creatine as an excuse if you're just starting out.

Always look at the fundamentals first if you are not making progress – your diet and exercise. Experiment with that first, and if that really does not work, then yeah hop on some creatine and see how it goes!

NOW LET'S MAKE SOME UNIGAINS!

-Mike

If you have any questions, ask me @unigains or mike@unigains.com !

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Top 6 Promising Uses and Benefits of Indian Gooseberry

Oriental mythology recalls the fruit, Indian gooseberry , to be born out of the nectar of immortality that spilled on earth during the mighty war between Good and Evil. Other than this religious belief, there exist characteristics true to its nature, which have led to it being named as the “wonder fruit”.

Indian gooseberry, or Amla, is the owner of multitudinous health benefits , each of which collectively justifies its wonder. Amla's positive effect on almost every disease makes it equivalent to an extender of life expectancy. In this article, I will enumerate the top 6 health benefits held by this oriental herb.

1. A blessing for diabetics

The active ingredient present in Amla is β-Glucogallin. It has a high ORAC value, which is to say that Amla is a great antioxidant. It works by inhibiting the production of toxic compounds that cause diabetes-associated health problems .

This factor has been verified by several publications. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food argues that Amla extracts have shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic rats. Further, the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition published a study that has shown this wonder fruit to lower sugar levels in humans.

Being a blessing for those suffering from diabetes, Amla also helps prevent diabetes-associated bone and eye ailments. Other studies also enjoin it to help prevent diabetic neuropathy and diabetes-induced heart disorders.

2. Vitamin C benefits

Other than β-Glucogallin, Amla is also extremely rich in vitamin C. It is almost fifteen times superior than orange juice. Amla contains large quantities of tannins, thereby acting as one of the best vitamin C supplements. It offers protection against degraded immune system, cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems, cancer, and so on. Its large spectrum of health benefits makes Amla an overall preserver of health.

3. Youthful-looking skin

Amla extracts are rich in Vitamin A, which is essential in collagen production. Collagen is that substance that is responsible for maintaining skin elasticity. Therefore, Amla helps delay the signs of aging by preserving collagen levels.

4. Protection from ulcers

Amla also offers protection against gastrointestinal disorders. It advances and helps cure stomach from ulcers. Further, it helps keep GIT clean by helping in healthy bowel movements.

5. Increased vigour

The iron content in Amla helps strengthen vigor and vitality in men. The wonder fruit has proven benefits in oligospermia, which helps prevent cases involving infertility.

6. Cure in sore throat

Amla has been traditionally used as a home remedy for curing sore throat during cough. Its prowess in treating throttle inflammation is well-known.

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Fat Is Good for You! Revealing the Facts and Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

We've heard so much about healthy fat that we're often left wondering, 'Okay, so how do I get this into my system?' and more importantly, 'Why is this stuff good for me?' We're here to help you understand just how vital and powerful omega-3 fatty acid is, which is a healthy fat available in plant sources like seeds and nuts, and marine sources like salmon and hoki (blue grenadier).

The driving factor that makes omega-3 fatty acid so passionately touted by health professionals and nutritionists, is what it does for the body. Without it, a series of health problems ensue because this life force is not a need, but a necessity. Omega-3 fatty acid is made up of EPA, DHA, and APA. The first two kinds are non-vegetative sources and an absolute requirement for development, neurological function, and coordination. APA is a vegetarian source that converts into DHA in the body, but at an inefficient conversion rate. DHA is the potent fatty acid that so many of us do not get enough of.

DHA is available in fish oil which is extracted from marine life, but can be toxic , and therefore, dangerous for consumption. Since industries dump waste in various sources of water, lead and mercury find their way into fish, so, contaminating them. While vegetarian sources like soybeans, rapeseed, flaxseed, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and walnuts are easily available and non-toxic in nature, APA does not strictly work as hard as DHA.

  • It is a common misconception that fish produce DHA, when it is actually what they consume that contains this precious fatty chain acid. Since fish feed on algae, extracting it from a toxin-free source that is also vegetarian in nature, makes it a one-of-a-kind product.
  • If you're asking yourself why you need omega-3 fatty acid, these benefits will quell any doubt you ever had about its efficiency.
  • It can lower triglyceride levels, which is fat present in the blood that increases one's risk of heart disease.
  • It improves memories, learning skills, and even behavior (hostility, suicidal tendencies, anger) in children.
  • It can boost the effects of antidepressants and help curb the symptoms of depression.
  • It helps in the neurological and visual development of the foam and in infants.
  • It can protect the brain from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
  • A combination of DHA and EPA can boost the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs and ease joint pain and stiffness.
  • It helps strengnthens and protect vision and overall brain health.
  • It provides protection against certain kinds of cancer, especially of the breast and prostrate.
  • It can reduce the severity of eczema.

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are both significant and critical in various developmental stages of the body for adults and children.

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Senior Edition: Energy Boosters For The Elderly

It is often painful to watch our once-vibrant parents or grandsparents slowly showing a fade in energy levels as the years pass. Considering the amount of caffeine and sugar that's packed into pretty much every single energy supplement available in the market, it's no shock that they would not suit the need of older folks who have heart or blood pressure related concerns.

This does not, however, mark the end of the road. There is certainly still hope for those of you who are older and are looking for the best energy supplements, and others who are looking for natural ways for their loved ones to gain an increase in both physical and mental energy.

Here are 3 of the best energy supplements to aid seniors which energy levels are dropping, as well as 3 tips to help boost overall daily vigor:

Best Energy Supplements for seniors:

Rhodiolarosea

R. rosea is a root that has been shown to reduce fatigue and help lift energy levels. You can use rhodiolarosea as a daily energy supplement to ensure low levels of anxiety and of course, plenty of energy for the day.

ALCAR (Acetyl L-Carnitine)

ALCAR is one of our favorites because it mostly works by reducing fatigue and helping you feel more alert. ALCAR is arguably a nootropic, meaning it may provide cognitive enhancing benefits to the brain. ALCAR users have reported feeling higher levels of clarity and focus – perfect for older folks who need a little boost of mental energy.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps or Chinese fungus helps to boost mental and physical energy, reduce fatigue and even increase sex drive. Cordyceps should be taken once to twice a day to reduce weakness and promote vitality.

Tips to Boost Physical & Mental Energy:

Fruits and veggies are not just for the kids!

Making sure that your diet continues to be rich in vitamins and nutrients is the ultimate way of not only maintaining overall health but also ensuring good levels of mental and physical energy. Vibrant colored fruits and veggies are rich in fiber, which is a great source of energy.

Keep it social.

You may not still be in contact with your old pals' way back from high school, but that does not mean you can not keep socializing with new groups of friends. Socializing will not only stimulate your brain and reduce anxiety levels, but spending time with people who give off positive energy will also lead to higher energy levels.

Stay active with aquatic exercises.

So jogging is not really an option anymore ever since that knee got really sore. But there are certainly ways for you to stay active without overworking the body. One option is to do calm exercises in the pool to stimulate blood flow around the body and have a little bit of fun. This will unduly kick start your energy levels for the day and make you feel more refreshed.

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The Health Benefits of Dietary Supplements

The role of a healthy diet is to supply lots of vitamins and minerals to your body. If you want to fight diseases and stay in good shape, you may want to stick to a healthy balanced diet. While eating fresh fruits and veggies is a good idea to meet your nutritional needs, dietary supplements can also help you with this goal. Let's find out what dietary supplements can do for you.

As said earlier, eating a balanced diet is a good idea to get the required amount of vitamins and minerals, combining your routine diet with some dietary supplements that can ensure your body gets what it needs to stay healthy. What dietary supplements should you go for? Well, not all supplements are recommended to eat.

To be on the safe side, you may want to go for dietary supplements that are regulated by an authority, such as the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements that are not regulated by any authority are usually marketed as a simple solution to deal with multiple disorders or give your body the nutrients it is unable to get from your regular diet.

So, the million-dollar question is how can you get all the benefits of dietary supplements? Well, the safest way is to consult your doctor before you go for any supplement. This will help you avoid any negative side effects of the product. Let's now find out what dietary supplements can do for you.

Proper Metabolism

After you have eaten a meal, what your body does is breaking down the proteins, carbohydrates and fats while absorbing other nutrients. The absorption of these nutrients depends on several vitamins (Vitamin B) that you have to consume on a daily basis.

What do the B vitamins do for you? The role of B vitamins is to help your body prevent the effects of lack of other vitamins, such as joint pain, ski disorders, anemia and nerve damage, just to name a few, says researchers at the Colorado State University.

Tissue Maintenance and Repair

They also help your body with tissue repair, which is a process that continues as long as you are alive. As a result of your routine activities, your tissues go through a lot of stress. Specialized cells in your body continue the production of proteins that create new tissue that replace the damaged one. Your are prone to diseases when the tissue does not get repaired due to one reason or the other. To strengthen your bone and develop tissue growth, you can go for vitamin D and calcium.

Prevents Disease

Some dietary supplements help you prevent certain types of cancer. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, C and E work as antioxidant and neutralize chemicals known as free radicals. These chemicals trigger oxidative damage in the cells putting at your highest risk of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

So these are some great benefits that you can get by combining supplements with your regular diet. Again, just make sure you consult your doctor before using any supplements.

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What Are the Benefits of Fat Burners for Weight Loss?

Fat burners can help achieve a targeted weight loss goal if used properly. The benefits of fat burners can be wide-ranging and include increasing the body's metabolism, giving extra energy, and decreasing appetite. A combination of these benefits leads to more muscle definition and faster weight loss.

While it is possible to increase the ability to lose weight with these supplements, it is important to take them as part of a healthy diet and total body workout.

What Are The Benefits?

Most of the fat burners on the market include several active ingredients and nutrients to help lose weight. The most effective supplements take an all-round approach to weight control and provide multiple functions. Typically, these products are designed to give multiple benefits like putting someone in a better mood, increasing stamina and strength, giving more energy, and boosting the metabolism. Used as a solo weight loss remedy, fat burners are not able to help in cases of extreme weight loss. But, they are a lot more effective when used in combination with a regular exercise plan and healthy diet.

What do fat burners contain?

A standard function of these supplements is to increase the body's ability to produce lipolysis, which is appreciated for its ability to burn fat and convert it into energy. Active ingredients to help lose weight include lipolytic agents like forskolin, yohimbine, and hydroxycitric acid.

A calorie controlled diet can lead to hunger and a craving for unhealthy snacks. But, this is easily avoided using the products that include an appetite suppressant. To make the diet easier to follow, it may benefit to look for fat burners with active ingredients like phenylethylamine, glucomannan, and simmondsin.

Other positives include the ability to improve the mental wellbeing and lift the mood. Some of the common ingredients to achieve this benefit include phenylethylamine, vinpocetine, and tyrosine.

Hormones take on the responsibility of controlling the function of the metabolism. The thyroid gland helps to produce these hormones which are needed to determine the rate the body is able to process food. A slow metabolic rate makes it more difficult to effectively lose weight. So, to increase the metabolism, it helps to look for a fat burner with ingredients like bacopa monniera and forskolin.

A standard ingredient in these supplements is caffeine, which is useful for its ability to make someone feel happy and alert. Plus, this stimulant is also great for giving short-term energy and decreasing the appetite. Alternatives to stimulants like caffeine include conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), green tea extract, and L-Carnitine.

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The King of All Whey Protein Supplements

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different Whey Protein powders and supplements on the market today. Many people think that the only differences are in the added ingredients such as sugars, flavors, vitamins, minerals and other blended together supplements.

But there are also different types of Whey Protein which have different effects on the body, which need to be taken into consideration when selecting the right Whey Protein for your needs. This article will show you some of the different types of Whey Proteins used, plus the pros and cons of each and what I consider to be the king of them all.

Whey Protein Concentrate

The most common one used in supplement powders is Whey Protein Concentrate.

This concentrated supplement is the cheapest of them all and is also the most popular on the market today. Let us weigh up some of the pros and cons.

Pros

• It is the cheapest on the market and easy to buy.

Cons

• Most people find it really hard to digest and end up feeling bloated and having really bad gas.

• Bottle shakers used to mix this protein will start to smell bad if not washed adequately.

Casein

The next form of Whey Protein that's on the market is known as Casein.

Casein is different from Whey Concentrate as it is a slow releasing form of protein and is more suited to be taken before bed instead of after a workout.

Pros

• Can be used during the day to help people feel full and curve hunger cravings.

Cons

• It is not as good to take for post workouts as it does not absorb fast enough enough to get the body in time for repair.

Whey Protein Isolates

This is one of the quickest absorbing on the market.

Pros

• It is a better option than the Whey Concentrate for post workout recovery as it absorbs faster and can also be used as a pre-workout too.

Cons

• More expensive than Casein and Concentrates plus it is harder to find in stores.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

This is what I consider to be the king of all of them. I recommend that you get a supplement that uses a Hydrolysate form as the base ingredient. Here are the pros and cons so you can see why I label this one as the king.

Pros

• Highest quality available.
• Highest absorption rate of all that's available.
• Much better on the digestive system compared to other forms such as Concentrates.
• Can be used both pre and post workout.

Cons

• Most expensive source of protein you will find.
• Comes with a really bitter taste.

These are the four most common Whey Proteins on the market. Depending on what your goals are will depend on which one you choose to supplement with. I always choose a Whey Protein Hydrolysate as it does not give me gas nor leaves me feeling bloated and I can use it before and after workouts for performance and recovery.

I always recommend that you do your own diligent research first before buying any supplement.

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7 Health Benefits of Cyanidin 3-Glucoside

Cyanidin 3-glucoside (C3G) is a water-soluble plant compound that is part of the anthocyanins category. It plays an active role in producing the dark color pigments in a variety of fruits and flowers. This natural substance is primarily sourced from fruits and vegetables with dark skins such as purple potatoes, blueberries, plums, blackcurrants, and black rice.

Most people already get a certain amount of cyanidin 3-glucoside in their diet, but this is usually at a negligible amount. It is possible to increase the intake of this substance by making a change in the diet or taking it in supplement form.

Here are seven of the potential health benefits for increasing the intake of cyanidin 3-glucoside:

Antioxidant

The rich antioxidant content of this compound helps the body neutralize the build up of free radicals. Free radicals develop when oxygen is able to interact with specific molecules. By neutralizing the free radical damage, it is possible to minimize the risk of serious disease such as certain cancers (skin, prostate, lung, and colon) and heart disease.

Atherosclerosis

The risk of atherosclerosis is lowered with an increased intake of cyanidin 3-glucoside. Atherosclerosis is a condition that relates to the build up of plaque on the artery wall which follows the proper blood flow through the system. If the artery walls are restricted too much because of the hard plaque this can increase the risk of suffering from a heart attack.

Diabetes

It has the ability to help sufferers of type-2 diabetes because of its ability to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose levels.

Anti-inflammatory

Foods rich in cyanidin 3-glucoside can help to increase the body's ability to fight-off infection, which has the negative effect of causing serious health conditions.

Eye health

This plant compound has the ability to regenerate rhodopsin, which is essential to let the retina absorb light. A benefit of this is the ability to improve night vision. Plus, the rich antioxidant content is believed to have a positive effect of slowing the development of age related eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

Tissues

The powerful antioxidant properties in cyanidin 3-glucoside make it useful to tissues by slowing the aging process, fighting off DNA damage, and preventing the formation of cancerous cells by encouraging apoptosis, which is the programmed death of diseased cells.

Fat loss

For the bodybuilder there is the potential to increase muscle gain and reduce fat gain because this compound has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity, which is useful for providing more carbohydrate calories and protein to muscle cells.

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