Fish Oil!

Posted: 26th March 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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Hey everyone!

Today, we are going to talk about fish oil.  Now many of you may be thinking why I am not saving Anabolic Steroids for my last blog post.  The simple answer, they are illegal.  Sure, you can find “legal steroids” that don’t need a prescription online, but they are only legal for now.  They are legal because of loopholes in the law and are not regulated.  Therefore, many of these so called “legal steroids” carry serious risk to those who use them.  If you want to build muscle quickly, illegally, have mood swings, acne, and extreme loss of muscle mass when cycling off, then go ahead, take your steroids.  However, if you want to build muscle naturally, safely and keep the results of all your hard work, stay away from steroids. 

I apologize for ranting, but let us turn our direction back to the wonderful scientific development of using fish oil as a supplement.  Fish in general are known to be very rich in the important oil known as omega-3 fatty acids.  You can obtain these omega-3’s by eating fish, or by taking a fish oil supplement.  Fish oil has many different uses, but it is often used to help protect the heart and keep a healthy blood pressure.  This supplement has been found to help lower blood pressure as well as triglycerides that are associated with high cholesterol.  When taken in suggested amounts, fish oil has been proven to reduce the change of heart attacks and strokes, but higher doses are often found to increase the change of stroke.  This is one reason why taking the recommended amounts as located on the bottle of supplements is extremely important. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are actually not produced by the human body and they work by reducing pain and swelling as well as preventing blood from clotting.  This is why there are so many reasons for taking fish oil.  For example, those with dry eyes, glaucoma, diabetes, as well as women with painful periods or breast pain often take some form of fish oil supplement to manage and reduce these symptoms. 

Although fish oil is safe for most individuals, it is suggested that one sees their physician before taking a fish oil supplement.  Fish oil has been known to interact with certain medications such as contraceptive drugs, high blood pressure medicine, some weight loss supplements, and medication that slows blood clotting.  As with all supplements, it is important for the individual to seek their physician to see if certain supplementation is safe.

As always, there are a few possible side effects when taking fish oil.  The first and most common side effects that people get are the fish burps.  This followed with bad breath, nausea, loose stools and nose bleeds are also possible.  Of course, if you have a seafood allergy, do not take fish oil.  Fish oil might increase depression among some individuals, may increase the risk of bleeding in those with liver disease, as well as lower the immune system in those whom have HIV/AIDS.  

For most individuals, fish oil supplementation is a safe way to keep healthy overall and help keep a strong heart and low blood pressure.  I would recommend adding a fish oil supplement to you every day routine, much like you take your everyday vitamin.  Overall, fish oil is becoming an extremely important supplement for all individuals, not just athletes or bodybuilders and should be included with a physician’s approval. 

Well, if I am not mistaken, I believe this will conclude my blog on weightlifting supplementation.  For those of you who have stuck around, I hope my blogs have been informative to you and have given you not only the knowledge, but the motivation to get out there and keep a healthy and active lifestyle.  I hope you will continue in your weightlifting endeavors and continue to progress in your overall goals.  Thank you for reading, and good luck!

Creatine and DMAA!

Posted: 19th March 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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Hey everyone!

 

I’m glad to see you back here eager to learn more about supplements!  Today’s topic will cover both Creatine and DMAA.  Now these are two very different types of supplements, but they are being included together in this blog because you will often find them used together, especially in the top selling pre-workout supplement Jack3d.

Creatine is a supplement you have probably heard much about now that you are getting more involved in the weightlifting scene, and I would not be surprised if you saw it on the shelves at your local supplement store.  Whether you heard good or bad things about it, let’s first look at what it really is.  Creatine is a compound that is part of the skeletal muscle and is found naturally in the body.  It is required to maintain muscle activity, and it is ingested and converted into creatine phosphate and is stored in the muscles.  The average person gets sufficient amounts of creatine from their diet, but you are not the average person.  Bodybuilders often find that taking a creatine supplement can help enhance the performance of the muscle as well as aid in recovery, and reduce fatigue, resulting in increased endurance and strength.  Creatine also absorbs a lot of water in the body, which is why drinking a gallon or more of water a day is extremely important when taking this supplement to prevent dehydration.  All of this works together to help increase muscle mass and the development of the muscles because creatine increases the phosphocreatine levels in the muscles 15-40 percent, allowing the individual to gain muscle faster.

Shifting our focus from creatine, let’s talk about DMAA.  I was first introduced to DMAA about a year ago when my buddy spoke about the supplement Jack3d.  Not only was this a creatine supplement, but also it included caffeine and DMAA.  DMAA, also known as Methylhexanamine, or 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is an organic compound and is considered a performance-enhancing drug.  When it was first discovered, it was originally used as a nasal decongestant, but now is considered to have no medical uses.  It is more commonly used as a stimulant, and is usually accompanied by caffeine.  There is a lot of controversy with this supplement, but I will tell you my experience.  When I took this, I don’t know if it was the high levels of accompanying caffeine, or the DMAA, but I felt this rush of power and clarity.  I felt like I could lift the gym itself!  My workouts had increased reps as well as putting in a fourth set.  I noticed extreme gains in strength, size, and just felt all around great.

Now we will jump into the controversy.  Most professional and amateur sports have banned DMAA as a performance-enhancing drug and have suspended athletes for using it.  In February 2012, two U.S. soldiers collapsed and died during physical training and upon military investigation, DMAA was found in their systems.  They were using the supplement Jack3d, and they expect findings in March 2012.  From my experience, I would have to say they collapsed due to extreme dehydration, caused not by DMAA, but rather creatine and the lack of consumption of sufficient water.  I am not a doctor, and I am impatiently waiting for the results.

If you plan to compete, or are just uneasy about the taking of DMAA, don’t worry.  Just because I said I saw good results from taking a supplement that included DMAA, doesn’t mean it’s the only way to gain muscles and size and strength.  I am currently not using the supplement now, mainly due to the fact that it can be a bit pricey.  DMAA is not a necessity, but I would definitely try creatine, if and only if you are not a heavy drinker of alcoholic beverages and if you keep strict in drinking at least a gallon of water a day.  Creatine and alcohol do not go well together, because one absorbs water while the other takes it away.  Do the math.

Overall, these two supplements are widely used today, with the exception of DMAA, which is still a fairly new stimulant.  Keep in mind that this blog is only advice and is in no way telling you supplements to take or giving you medical advice.  Before taking any supplement, you should always consult your physician.  Anyways, I hope you have learned more about these interesting supplements and perhaps will give them a shot.  If not the DMAA, I hope you will at least further investigate and try creatine in the future.  I hope you are reaching your fitness goals, and as always, stay motivated.

 

Nitric Oxide (NO)!

Posted: 28th February 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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Hey everyone!

So you are back and wanting to build some muscle?  Good!  Today we are going to talk about Nitric Oxide.  I’m sure you’ve all seen it on the shelves.  Nitric Oxide, or commonly referred to as (NO) products are considered a pre workout supplement and claim to help increase your pump at the gym as well as help you recover from a tough workout.

It is not a myth how it works, nor is it a fairly complicated supplement.  Nitric Oxide products contain the protein amino acid L-Arginine, which essentially helps produce extra Nitric Oxide air and expands your veins.  This vasodilation allows for the delivery of more blood flow to your muscles and organs and has been known to help lower blood pressure.  During this vasodilation, what is actually happening is that tiny muscles located in the arteries and larger veins become very relaxed.  This allows for increased blood flow, and what bodybuilders call the pump.  The pump is when your muscle appears swollen at the gym after working it out and the sensation you feel in that specific muscle.

Okay, great!  Increased blood flow due to vasodilation, increased pump, recovery, and even a chance to reduce blood pressure?  Sounds great!  However, before you go and add a Nitric Oxide to your growing list of supplements, read back over what nitric oxide does.  Does it say anything about gaining muscle?  Do it say anything about strength gains?  Sadly, it does not.  If you are interested in building muscle and not going broke from supplements, please stay away from Nitric Oxide.

From my experience and research, Nitric Oxide is a waste of money if you are looking to build muscle.  Don’t believe the hype.  You will find sites that claim their Nitric Oxide supplement will increase your mass and strength over a period of time.  Guess what?  So will lifting weights.  The moment you stop lifting weights at the gym while taking Nitric Oxide, that pump you have that makes your arms look bigger will fade and return to normal size.  If you want a pre workout supplement that actually is worth the money, take a supplement that contains Creatine, Caffeine, and possibly DMAA if you are looking for some actual results.  Don’t know what Creatine and DMAA are?  That’s okay.  I’ll be back here next week to discuss those.  In the end, unless you are a runner where actual data has proven that Nitric Oxide may help decrease muscle fatigue, just stay away from it.

I hope you aren’t too disappointed with this blog post.  I know many people who swear by Nitric Oxide, but when you look at the facts, it’s just a waste of money.  You will gain just as much muscle and strength off the stuff.  If you still don’t believe me and want to take it, by all means.  I only wish to give advice to those looking to build muscle, stay in shape, and save some money while stocking up on the essential supplements.  I hope to see you back here next week where we will discuss Creatine and DMAA.  You’ll want to be back here for that one!

BCAA’s!

Posted: 20th February 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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Hey everyone!

 

Welcome back!  Today, we are going to talk about BCAA’s.  What are BCAA’s you ask?  They are none other than Branched Chain Amino Acids!  BCAA’s are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine.  The combination of these three amino acids make up for roughly one third of the skeletal muscle in the human body and play an significant part in the synthesis of protein.  Protein synthesis is just the production of proteins in the cells in the body from amino acids.  And as you now know from reading my blog on proteins, proteins are made up of amino acids.

BCAA’s are extremely important for those individuals looking to build muscle.  To understand how they work, let’s look at something called the metabolic pathway.  The metabolic pathway is a chain of chemical reactions that take place, in this case, in a muscle tissue cell.  When BCAA’s are taken in appropriate levels, preferably 10-20 grams, they create their own metabolic pathway in the muscle, thus increasing increased protein production and muscle tissue.

The amino acids found in BCAA’s, isoleucine, leucine and valine are what we like to call essential amino acids.  They are essential because the body cannot make them.  On the other hand, the body can make non-essential amino acids.  Now, the fact that they are called non-essential does not mean that you don’t need them; all amino acids are important for the body in terms of metabolism.

Armed with this information, the next time you walk into the supplement store, you will walk up to the BCAA’s, usually located near the protein section, and walk away empty handed.  You will not buy them.  But wait, I said BCAA’s and muscle building in the same sentence, this obviously means I need to supplement it right?  Wrong!  Buying BCAA’s are a complete waste of your money and let me tell you why.  You only need 10-20 grams of this stuff a day if you are working out intensely, and if you are following my advice by taking whey protein and are eating a balanced, protein rich diet, you are already ingesting more than enough BCAA’s.  Whey protein has the best BCAA content with one scoop providing anywhere from 5-10 grams or more, depending on which brand you bought.  If you haven’t already done so, shame on you if you haven’t, take a moment and read your whey container.  Your diet should cover the rest if it is as balanced as I hope it is.

So there it is.  I have saved you money.  You now know the importance of BCAA’s in your diet and the role they play in the body.  More importantly, you now know that supplementing them is a waste of time and money because you are already taking adequate amounts.  This just goes to show that a lot of supplements out there are pointless, and unless you familiarize yourself with your body and how it functions with intense weightlifting, you could be throwing your money down the toilet, along with all the supplements that did not get digested properly if you catch my drift.

Anyway!  I hope your goals of staying healthy and gaining muscle are going well and I hope to see you back here next time!  Who knows, you may even save some money.

 

Multivitamins!

Posted: 13th February 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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Hey everyone!

 

So you are back for more?  Good!  Today, we will shift gears from building and repairing muscle to the necessity of taking a multivitamin.  We’ve all taken them at some point in our lives.  When I was a kid, I was always told to take my Flintstone vitamin before I went to school.  If you do not take them, continue reading and you will soon understand it’s importance in staying healthy.

Whether you are a bodybuilder, athlete, or just an individual who leads an active lifestyle, multivitamins are essential.  When most people think about supplements, they tend to think whey, creatine, and nitric oxide, but multivitamins are much more important.  For the body to function at its highest potential, it must process several different types of vitamins and minerals.  Without such, these vitamin and mineral levels can be depleted which can cause in a drop in metabolic reactions.  Keeping an active and consistent metabolism is all apart of keeping a healthy lifestyle.

All vitamins are organic and are much more complex than minerals.  Vitamins help control the break down and conversion of food to energy and tissue.  C and B vitamins are water soluble while A D E and K are fat soluble.  Vitamin A’s function is to help vision, skin, mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth, and help the immune system.  B complex vitamins are important for nerve function, energy, vision and skin, and the digestive system.  C vitamins help the immune system and helps protect cells in the body.  D vitamins help absorb and use calcium.  E vitamins are powerful antioxidants.  K vitamins help promote bone, teeth and cartilage health.  Zinc helps immune system health.

All minerals are inorganic and are much simpler than vitamins.  There are two different types of minerals; major/macro and trace/micro.  The major minerals require at least 100mg a day while trace minerals only need a “trace” amount to allow the body to function properly.  Because there are so many different minerals, I will list a few with their basic functions.  Calcium helps promote strong and healthy bones.  Iron helps carries oxygen within protein hemoglobin.  Potassium is used by the Autonomic Nervous System that helps the heart and brain function.  Molybdenum helps support normal liver and kidney health.

One last neat thing about multivitamins are that men and women need different kinds.  Men’s multivitamins may contain DHEA, which helps support testosterone levels or saw palmetto, which helps keep a healthy prostate.  Women may have multivitamins that help promote healthy skin, nails, and hair and those that focus on pre-natal.

Hopefully you have survived the lecture on multivitamins and have learned that they should be the first and most important supplement you take during the day to help meet your full potential at being healthy.  Now below are a few sites that allow you find the exact multivitamin that will help you meet your goals.  Good luck and I’ll meet you back here soon with another, hopefully much more exciting, but not more important topic on staying healthy.

 

 

 

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/multi.html

http://www.gnc.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=4005864

 

Proteins!

Posted: 8th February 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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Hey everyone!

I’m back to start off this weightlifting blog with one of the first supplements you will encounter on your journey to a better and bigger you.  Protein!  By weight, the human body consists of roughly 61.8 percent water by weight, followed by 14.9 percent protein.  It is the second most common molecule found in the human body, and performs many different functions.  Proteins are the major structural support for the body and are especially important in muscle growth.

The body uses protein to help build and repair muscle.  When you go to the gym and work out, you are essentially tearing muscle fibers apart and using up amino acids.  Amino acids combine to form protein in the body.  With this loss of amino acids, and without proper nutrition, the body cannot recover.  But how much protein do you really need?  A good rule of thumb to keep in mind regarding protein intake is to try and reach 1 gram per pound of body weight of protein into your diet.  For example, if I weigh 160 lbs, I should be eating 160 grams of protein a day.  For most people, consuming that much protein through whole foods from their daily meals can be quite difficult.  That’s where protein powders come in.

So you are on your way to becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger now!  Right?  You know the body needs protein, so you go to your nearest vitamin supplier and are completely stumped.  There are a vast amount of brands that all have their own special type or blend of protein that they claim is the best.  How do you choose?  Well first, let’s go over a bit of the basics.  There are several different types of protein, and each serve a different function according to what specific need you want to meet.

Two forms that you will come across often are whey protein and casein protein.  Both are two proteins that come from milk, but they act differently.  Whey protein is created from the by-product of cheese production, and is a fast acting protein.  By fast acting I mean that it enters the body very quickly and targets the muscles for immediate repair.  Whey protein is best taken 30 minutes after your workout.  Now, whey protein is not found in any food, but it is the most pure protein available.  There are two types of whey protein, whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.  Whey protein concentrate is roughly 75% pure protein, while whey protein isolate is processed to remove fact and lactose to make it roughly 90% pure protein by weight.

Casein, or micellar casein, is the most abundant protein found in milk and is separated through ultra filtration without the use of harsh chemicals.  Casein, unlike whey, is a slow acting, slow digesting protein.  What this means is that long after whey protein has left your stomach and fed your muscles, casein will still be feeding your muscles over time.  It is often called the “night time” protein because it is best taken right before you go to bed so your body will constantly be repairing your muscles.  This is especially important because most of the repairing of the muscle and its growth takes place while you sleep.  While whey protein only gets absorbed within 45 minutes, casein can take up to 7 hours to be fully absorbed by the muscles.

The last type of protein-powdered supplement I will discuss will be protein blends.  Protein blends tend to consists of fast acting proteins such as whey, slow acting such as casein, as well as egg white protein (albumen) which is a medium digesting protein that has a lot of amino acids.  Soy protein can also be found and can help reduce heart disease, but it is in no way better for gaining muscle than the three previous proteins.  These protein blends are often marketed as a meal replacement and incorporate several different vitamins as well and should be taken throughout the day in between regular meals.

So there you have it, a quick and dirty lowdown on the basics of protein.  If you are still wondering which kind of protein you need for your specific active lifestyle, let’s recap.  If you are interested in gaining weight and muscle, I’d go for all of the above.  Each protein supplement listed above are excellent ways to include the amount of protein needed for bodybuilders.  If you are a runner, protein blends during the day and whey protein post workout are enough.  However, if you are still uncertain about protein supplements, a safe way to start is with whey.  If you only are able to take a single protein supplement, my advice is to stick with the whey protein.  As always though, these are supplements and should not be taken in place of an actual meal, but rather to supplement between them for added nutrient intake.

Now get out there and start meeting your goals!

 

 

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/dean2.htm

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/supplements/ingredients/whey-protein.html#1

http://www.nutritionexpress.com/protein/multi+protein+blends

http://www.nutritionexpress.com/showarticle.aspx?articleid=787

 

All About Supplements

Posted: 27th January 2012 by Travis Adamson in Uncategorized
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If you are interested in gaining muscle, getting big, or just staying healthy, you are in the right place.  Whether you are the advanced bodybuilder, just starting, or just looking to get in shape, I’m sure you all have heard and perhaps even tried some form of supplement.  Sure, we have all had our Flintstone vitamin’s growing up, and perhaps still taking some form of morning vitamin, but what about all the others out there that claim to help weight management through powdered meal replacements, and the like?  With the growing number of supplement stores out there today, it is not uncommon to want to be more knowledgeable in what exactly all these different types of supplements do.  Do they work?  Should you take them?  What should you take?  What do they do?  What are their side effects?  All of these are perfectly valid questions if you are truly interested in the use of supplementation to help keep a healthy body.

The last thing I want to do with these blogs is to bore the reader, (you), with boring, meaningless facts about supplements.  You are here to learn about supplements and how they can, or can’t, help your goals of staying healthy, and learning about the nutrients and chemical makeup’s of the supplements and how they affect the body can seem a bit daunting at first.  I will of course do my best to help keep it interesting and not discourage you from experimenting with these supplements and reaching the goals you want.

Of course I am sure there are those of you out there who are thinking, “you don’t need supplements to get healthy or grow muscle or to get big, people have done it for years”.  I do not deny this and I will not argue that you can’t.  The role of supplements is indeed that, to supplement nutrients into the body that may be missing from a diet or are just not being consumed in sufficient amounts.  Going to the gym and working out requires more nutrients to be taken into the body to help it recover and grow, which can be hard to do without the use of supplements, but in no way impossible.

I look forward to writing my first blog for you, and I hope you will find it entertaining, informative, and helpful as you start, or continue your goal of staying healthy.