The Supplement Puzzle- Part III

Beer Belly Greens

I’m back this week with the final installment of the supplement puzzle. In case you missed either of the first two you can check them out here: The Supplement Puzzle- Part I and Part II where I outlined the importance of protein powder, creatine, omega 3 oils and multi vitamins.

Today I will introduce you to 2 more supplements I have found to be very useful over the years. Let’s get right to it:
 

First up: Green Powders

 
Health thrives in a neutral or slightly basic environment within the body. The problem is the average diet contains a lot of acid forming foods. As a result people carry an excessive acid load or low pH level (for all you chemists) in their bodies and digestive tracts.

The body has plenty of mechanisms in place to buffer this acid load and bring it back to balance but it comes at a cost. Calcium from bones and amino acids from muscles are used to buffer (bring back to normal or neutralize) the acidic environment.

The easiest way to counter balance an acidic environment is to eat high alkaline producing (basic) foods such as fruits and vegetables. This way you provide a buffer from the foods you eat and you do not rob your body of precious elements.

Your mom has likely told you a thousand times before to, “Eat your vegetables!” and it is no secret that green foods (vegetables) are really good for you. Understandably it is not always practical to steam up broccoli or carry around a bag of spinach when you need it. Having greens available in powder form can come in handy and help improve your overall health as they are ranked among the highest alkaline forming foods.

What are they and what do they do?

Green powders that you might come across in various health food stores are basically ground up green vegetables, roots, seaweeds and digestive enzymes that are aimed at helping to control the acid base balance in your body. Eating the high quality proteins we suggest in the 3BG System offers many benefits but at the same time can come with an increased acid load to your system.

Fruits, greens and vegetables, all help to stabilize your acid base balance because of their alkaline (basic) nature and in doing so promote a healthier body environment.

Best sources of alkaline foods in your diet:

Spinach, Broccoli, Cucumber, Garlic, Onions, Green beans, Apple, Avocado, Dried fruits, Lemon, Lime, Berries (except for Blueberries), Cherries, Apricot, Peppers, Mushrooms, Lettuce.

The list could go on and on but those are some of the main alkaline producing foods in a North American Diet.

The take away message here is simple- include alkaline producing foods in your diet to buffer the acidic environment created from eating chicken, beef, fish, legumes, oils and dairy.

Of course when convenience is an issue you can always add a green supplement to your diet. We like Greens+ and Sun Warrior Ormus Supergreens.
 

Next up: Branched-Chain Amino Acids

 
When you eat a complete protein source (beef, chicken, fish, protein powder, dairy, etc…) you get ALL 20 amino acids (fancy word for the building blocks that make up protein). This is a good thing because when your body is synthesizing new tissues, as in growing hair or nails, it is impossible for us to know which specific amino acids it needs to do so. It is therefore smart to supply your body with all 20 of the amino acids for the various reactions that take place. A protein source is considered incomplete if it does not provide all 20 amino acids.

Now, 9 of those 20 amino acids are essential- meaning, we must get them from our diet. And 3 of those essential amino acids are called branched-chain amino acids. These 3 are preferred by your body when building muscle and serve 2 very important purposes:

1. While trying to put on lean body weight (muscle) they help speed up the process.

2. While trying to lose weight they help preserve muscle and ensure your weight loss is all fat.

Depending on your body weight your dose will differ:

100-150 pounds 2-4 grams per serving (pre workout)
150-200 pounds 4-5 grams
200-250 pounds 5-7 grams
250-+ pounds 6-8 grams

The boys at Prograde have a great BCAA supplement.

Branched-chain amino acids have even been used by some as a snack between meals on workout days to ensure lean muscle growth. A mid morning or afternoon snack could include an apple and 4-5 grams of branched chain amino acids. The protein will help stabilize blood sugar levels, prevent energy crash and supply muscles with the right amino acids and building blocks.

Anytime you are trying burn fat and maintain lean muscle mass this can be a very useful component to the formula.

In risk of sounding like a broken record, supplements are in no way, shape or form a substitute for a poor diet. They should be used as an ally to help meet all your daily needs and requirements.

Stay Strong,

Drew

PS. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to shoot me an email or talk to us over on our Facebook fanpage. We love hearing your feedback, frustrations, successes and stories.

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