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Nutrition

Learn how to eat the way the body was designed to eat. Pack on dense ripped muscle and say goodbye to the belly fat forever!

The Supplement Puzzle- Part I

What is staring back at you when you walk into a supplement store? Most likely a huge wall of pills and powders that promise to blast fat, pack on dense ripped muscle and add a little boost to your performance in the bedroom. What is kept from you is all those supplements that look like they come from different companies and manufactures could actually be the same stuff from the same place re-branded with unique stickers, logos and advertising.

The right kind of supplements can improve your heart function, strengthen your immune system, reduce your beer belly and when used pre and post workout- help you recover faster. However, the wrong ones can be a complete waste of money or worse yet- potentially harmful to your health.

A recent survey found that 7 out of 10 people take supplements on a regular basis and that most of them get advice on what to take from a friend. If you have been taking supplements because someone told you to or you saw it in a muscle magazine you definitely need to read this review. With a little knowledge from someone who knows a thing or two about proper supplementation; you will waste less money, save time and reap bigger rewards.

In this 3 part series (click here for Part II and/or Part III) I’m going to outline 6 (not 16) supplements that are actually worth taking. Part I will focus on protein powders and creatine monohydrate.
 

First up: Protein Powder

 
What is it?

Powdered version of protein that mixes with water or your favorite beverage for quick energy on the go or an easy workout shake.

What does it do?

Protein is an essential component for most things in your body from skin, nails, hair, muscles, metabolism, healing, tissue repair, etc… Protein also helps to burn calories as your body uses more energy when digesting or breaking down proteins. It will therefore keep your metabolism running strong. Having protein with every meal or snack prevents over eating and keeps you full longer. This is a huge benefit to not only losing weight, but gaining muscle as most of the calories you burn will be coming from the right place- your fat stores.

Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing the release of glucose (sugar) into your blood. This will better control hunger spikes and keep the hormone insulin from rising which promotes fat burning over fat storage.

Best brands?

Ideally, the majority of your protein intake will come from whole foods. There are times when eating chicken or steak isn’t the most convenient and a high quality protein powder can come in very handy. They taste great and are easily portable.

People generally respond well to protein powders however finding the right one for you can make all the difference. It’s important to mention that some people have difficulty digesting certain forms of protein and you might have to try a few before you find the right one. Two protein powders we highly recommend are Prograde Protein® and Sun Warrior Protein®. They are both very affordable, taste great and mix well.

Having protein powder available to you for the odd morning smoothie and for post workout nutrition will help you meet your protein requirements. When selecting a protein powder, whey isolate and casein are the best. However, if those do not agree with your digestive system there are other options available in powder form like; rice and hemp.

How much to take?

Before and After a workout:

100-140 pounds: 0.5 – 0.75 scoop of protein powder
140-180 pounds: 1 scoop of protein powder
180-230+ pounds: 1.5 scoops protein powder
 

Next up: Creatine Monohydrate

 
What is it?

Creatine exists in your body naturally, is formed from amino acids (proteins) and is stored as creatine phosphate (CP). Most people have approximately 120 grams of creatine in their body at any given time. Aside from being found in you, creatine is found in many foods we eat such as; beef, salmon and tuna which all contain 2-5 grams of creatine per pound. Needless to say, you would have to eat an AWFUL lot of steak to get 5 grams of creatine and fortunately there is an easier way.

What does it do?

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the energy of life and any action we do requires us to use ATP. During short bursts of activity like sprinting or weight lifting, ATP is burned rapidly and broken down into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). As ATP depletes to ADP, creatine phosphate can be utilized by the body to recharge ADP and turn it back into ATP- providing more energy to be used.

By ingesting creatine monohydrate prior to or during your workout you have a bigger pool circulating for your body to pull from. Therefore, when sprinting fast or lifting weights- you can perform more work, which translates to faster gains (more muscle and less fat).

As if that is not cool enough- creatine is shown to prevent muscle wasting and is even touted as a “smart supplement”, increasing mental acuity. Doctors have been using creatine to combat various muscle wasting diseases for years now.

What does the research say?

The research supports that creatine monohydrate increases muscle mass while decreasing fat mass. It is a safe and effective supplement. When taken in low doses there is no danger to the kidneys in a healthy adult, although some sources do recommend taking time off allowing the system a chance to reset. Minimal effects in muscle gain are seen in endurance athletes such as runners and swimmers but recovery time has improved.

How much to take?

Pre workout: 3-5 grams
Post Workout: 3-5 grams

Click here for an excellent creatine product that is very affordable.

Stay tuned next week for part II where I outline the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids and whether or not you really need a multivitamin.

Stay Strong,

Drew

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Pre Workout Fuel & Post Workout Nutrition

Whether you are looking to lose fat or build muscle… if you don’t give your body the right nutrients (pre & post workout), it won’t happen fast enough.

There is a misconception out there that to lose fat it is best to workout on an empty stomach. The idea behind this is that by not eating before a workout your body will be forced to burn energy in the form of fat, ie. from your beer gut, love handles or back. It then becomes easy to convince yourself that eating before a workout isn’t worth it if you want to tap into your fat stores.

So if you eat something before a workout you would be wasting your time right?

Not quite.

Let’s take a closer look. When you break it down, our bodies number one priority is survival. Because of this, we need to give it a good reason to lose fat, and this only happens when we keep our metabolism high by constantly providing it nutrients (this is where quality counts and NOT quantity).

Going into a workout with an empty stomach, tells your body that it doesn’t know when or where the next feeding will come from. At this point you risk entering starvation mode and not only will your body fat become more stubborn and harder to burn off, you will also run the risk of breaking down your hard earned muscle. Exactly what you do not want!

The easiest way around this is to have a little protein prior to exercise. This will provide easy to use energy and stabilize blood sugar levels without breaking down muscle because there will plenty of protein shuttling around for your body to pull from.

If your goal is fat loss, use the following protocol:

10-15 minutes before a workout:

100-140 pounds: 0.5 – 0.75 scoop of protein powder
140-180 pounds: 1 scoop of protein powder
180-230+ pounds: 1.5 scoops protein powder

 
 
Note: You want to ensure that your protein powder contains little to no fat. Without going into too much detail, directly before and directly after your workout is the one time of day you do not want to consume any fat. The best choices for protein are whey isolate, casein, and rice.

Our favorite choice for whey protein is Prograde Protein

And for those of that might be sensitive to whey we found an awesome rice protein you should check out called Sun Warrior Protein

Now we’ll tackle what to eat following an intense workout.

Research tells us that the hour immediately following a workout is a window for nutrient timing that we must not miss.

Consuming protein and carbohydrates right after or during a workout will assist in recovery, muscle building and allow you to keep the intensity high during future training sessions.

 

 

 

Aim to consume the following 5-60 minutes after a workout:

100-140 pounds: 0.5 – 0.75 scoop of protein powder + carbohydrate
140-180 pounds: 1 scoop of protein powder + carbohydrate
180-230+ pounds: 1.5 scoops protein powder + carbohydrate

Carbohydrate options:

- Dried fruit (raisins – handful, apricots – handful, dates 2-4 regular sized)

- Banana (1/2 to full)

- 12- 16 oz low fat chocolate or skim milk (note: since milk contains protein you have to adjust your powder down if you choose this option)

- 1-1.5 cups of your favorite breakfast cereal (note: we don’t suggest eating the typical breakfast cereals as part of your daily diet, however, during the post workout window they are highly effective and easy to bring with you wherever you train)

- Blend ice, water, protein powder and mixed berries or a banana for an awesome post workout shake. Be creative.

- Just eat something – if you don’t have access to any of the above options, consuming something is better than nothing!

 

Whatever time of day you workout begin to implement proper pre and post workout nutrition. If you feel you have hit a wall when it comes to fat loss this is likely the jump start your metabolism needs.

On the other hand, if you are struggling to put on lean muscle mass, consuming extra calories around your workout will ensure they end up in the right place- your muscles and not your gut.

Whatever your goals- remember, no more cardio sessions at 6 am on a empty stomach!

Stay Strong,

Drew

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