Archive for the ‘Workout Supplements’ Category

postheadericon 6 Best Sources of Protein

6 Best Sources of Protein

Not only is protein essential for good health and building muscle, it can help one lose weight. For this, it works in a couple of ways. First, it takes calories to process protein. For every 100 calories eaten, it takes 30 of them just to breakdown and process the food. Also because it takes longer to breakdown, it leaves you feeling fuller longer thus reducing the temptation to snack between meals on something that is most likely is unhealthy anyway.

Protein comes from two sources – either animals or plants. However, some plant sources are not complete meaning they do not contain all nine essential amino acids; usually a varied diet of protein sources will provide enough complete protein. Here are four of the best animal sources of protein along with two plant sources:


Most seafood is a great source of protein because it is generally low in fat. However, the “fatty fish” – salmon, halibut, trout and tuna – are sources of good fat, namely Omega 3 fatty acids.

Lean Meat

The white meat of poultry and pork are excellent sources of protein without all of the saturated fat as can be the case with many cuts of beef. For poultry, be sure to cut away the skin before cooking as that does have saturated fat in it.


Most dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are good sources of complete protein. They also provide a healthy serving of calcium and are usually fortified with vitamin D – necessary to break down calcium into a usable mineral the body can use.


Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. Many choose to eat just egg whites and throw the yolk away, but that is a mistake. While the whites do contain over half of the protein, the yolk supplies vitamins A, E, D, and K, along with phosphorus, zinc and thiamin. The American Heart Association approves healthy adults eating an egg per day.


Fact: one-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak. And they are loaded with healthy fiber which keeps you feeling fuller longer. This reduces the urge to snack between meals thus keeping your total daily calorie count down. Keep in mind, beans are not a complete protein by themselves and should be supplemented with one of the other protein sources in this list.


This complete heart-healthy protein should be part of any healthy diet. Fifty grams of soy protein has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 3% in test subjects. Plus, there are so many ways to use the soy products tofu, tempeh and soybeans, one would never tire of eating them.

Protein is necessary for good health. And because the body cannot create the essential amino acids, getting enough complete protein on a daily basis is optimal health-wise.



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postheadericon What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency

There is a mistaken belief that the only people who have to worry about balancing their diet are those who aren’t actively trying to eat more healthily. Unfortunately, with the best of intentions, many people can fall into the common trap of not eating enough protein. This is particularly common amongst vegetarians but also affects people who have greatly reduced their red meat intake. Protein is vital for your body to function properly, and a deficiency can have damaging effects. Let’s look at four of the big warning signs that might indicate a protein deficiency in your diet.

Sweet Cravings

Although one of the main functions of protein is to maintain your sugar levels, a deficiency in protein doesn’t always translate to standard hunger. Rather, it can manifest itself as cravings for all kinds of sweet, sugary food. While some cravings are just that, cravings, a constant craving is very likely to be caused by a deficiency of protein that is causing an imbalance in your blood sugar levels.


Balanced blood sugar levels have a much greater impact than simply affecting cravings. When your blood sugar levels are imbalanced your general energy levels can become unstable. This can lead to your mood lowering, your energy levels dropping and a general feeling of lethargy. Individuals with a protein deficiency often find themselves unproductive in the workplace and lacking any kind of energy at home.


It may seem counter-intuitive, but that same protein deficiency that is making you feel lethargic and depleted of energy won’t help you sleep. In fact, it will do the opposite. When your blood sugar levels are imbalanced, the body will crave sugar. A good night’s sleep is dependent on your body burning fat stored in the body. However, when the body is craving sugar, this doesn’t happen. In turn, people can find themselves lethargic during the day yet unable to sleep at night.

Immune System

One of the roles that protein plays in our body is to be used in the formation of various bio-compounds that help to boost our immune system. A deficiency of protein prevents this from happening, and as a result, our immune system stops functioning as well as it should be. This can lead to bad skin, weaker hair, and even a susceptibility to colds and viruses. If this sounds like you, you may need to address the level of protein in your diet.



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postheadericon Protein vs. Carbs Post Workout Snacking

Protein vs. Carbs for Post-Workout Snacking

After a workout, especially weight or resistance training, muscles are significantly lowered of glycogen. Workouts anywhere from 6 to 20 sets done over a period of 15 to 30 minutes will reduce glycogen by 30 to 40 percent. Workout lasting longer, or including high intensity training, deplete glycogen stores even farther – down 60 to 75%!

To take advantage of maximum recovery and muscle rebuilding, it is important to replenish glycogen within two hours of ending a workout by consuming fast-digesting carbs. This enables the glucose from the carbs to enter the bloodstream almost as quickly as ingested. By replacing the glycogen in the muscles, water is pulled in maximizing muscle size. Why is this important?

Muscle cell volume is required for long-term muscle growth (as is protein, but more on that later). So by getting glucose into the muscles fast, it pulls in water increasing muscle size leading to building muscle mass. Muscle growth starts with getting glucose back into the muscles fast.

Studies have shown that by delaying replenishment over two hours reduces glycogen replenishment by as much as 50%. Yes, the body will eventually replenish glycogen over the course of 24 hours, but at the expense of building muscle mass as quickly.


The best fast-digesting carbs is pure dextrose. Some candies are mostly dextrose such as gummy bears or pixie sticks. Some bodybuilders eat fruit immediately after a workout, but the natural sugar in fruit is fructose, which is a much slower digesting-type of sugar, so it must first travel to the liver where it is turned into glucose, sent to the bloodstream and then onto the cells. Much of this happens outside the two-hour window.


When we workout, muscle tissue is damaged at the cellular level. The damaged protein must be broken down and eliminated and new protein created, called protein breakdown and protein synthesis respectively; together the process is called protein turnover. Don’t confuse this protein process with the macro-nutrient protein that we get from food.

This is where eating protein post-workout comes in. It aids in protein synthesis which helps develop muscle mass. It can take as little as 20 grams of protein to stimulate protein synthesis.

So to answer the question which is better post-workout? Alone, neither. You need both post-workout glucose from carbs and protein in the cells of the muscle to gain muscle mass. One without the other is ineffective.


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postheadericon Nutrition Plan for Building Muscle

Nutrition Plan for Building Muscle


There is an actual science in learning how to build muscle mass correctly. This is
why you need a good nutrition plan for building muscle. Experts say that the
process of building muscle involves your diet 80% of the time and 20% is
dedicated to lifting weights. This shows you just how important nutrition and diet
is to building muscle.

This is not to say that you should start eating huge amounts of food. Yes you will
need to eat protein and healthy carbs, but you don’t want to overload your
system with any one food group. Doing this will only lead to health problems in
the future, just look what happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger after eating huge
amounts of protein for years!

When adding protein to your diet meals you want to give yourself a 6oz portion,
add to this whole wheat pasta, potatoes and brown rice. Then fill up on fresh
vegetables, broccoli and carrots are great choices here. Also be sure to drink milk
as this helps in building muscle fast. Chocolate milk works really well here and
tastes good to boot.

You will want to be eating at least 3,000 calories for muscle growth to work
efficiently. Some weight lifters will eat up to 5,000 calories depending upon your
starting weight and body size.

You should aim to eat 3 good meals per day along with 2-3 snacks. Try to plan
your meals so that you are eating roughly every three hours. One great tip here
to keep your nutrition plan for building muscle on track, is to stock your
cupboards with food. Along with this you can actually create a menu plan for the
entire week. This way you know exactly what you are going to eat at each meal
and it will be easy to just grab the ingredients and prepare them.

When it comes to snacking eating a handful of nuts is a good choice. Almonds are
great and full of nutritional value. Other snack ideas for building muscle include
having a banana along with a glass of milk. Fruit always makes a good option and
berries, melons, oranges and apples are all good picks for building muscle. If you
happen to be a vegetarian use tofu instead of meat and use nuts more in your
nutrition plan.

To build muscle correctly you have to take care of your body in all areas. This
means getting enough sleep, 8 hours is recommended. When building muscle it is
crucial to take days off. This allows your muscles to recover properly and is a great
stress reliever too.

There is a definite method to gain muscle mass correctly. Having a good nutrition
plan for building muscle is a great start. Fuelling your body correctly will allow you
to have the energy to do an intense workout session and achieve the results you
so desire.

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postheadericon How Healthy Is Your Protein Supplement

How Healthy Is Your Protein Supplement

It can be hard to go into a store these days without being confronted by a vast collection of protein supplements that all claim to be packed full of goodness and nutrients. Sure enough, protein supplements have become the norm in kitchens and fitness centres around the world. Although some people use protein supplements when they probably don’t need to, there is a core base of users that need a supplement that offers them a high-quality source of protein. However, are all protein supplements made the same? Is your protein supplement as healthy as it can be?

Choosing a protein supplement is something that you should spend time on. As with most retail products, not all protein supplements are made equally, and not all of them are as good for you as they claim to be. The regulations over protein supplements can best be described as loose, so it is worthwhile knowing what to watch out for.


The addition of sweeteners to your protein supplement may make it taste a little better, but it utterly defeats the purpose of taking the supplement. Protein supplements are a way of boosting your protein intake without changing your diet – if your supplement has sugars or artificial sweeteners in it, then it is changing your diet! Sugars also tend to trigger our cravings, and while protein acts to stabilise our blood sugar levels, it can only do that efficiently when extra sugar is not being introduced at the same time! Protein is a health supplement, not a snack. Avoid the sugar.

Denatured Protein

The process by which protein supplements are made can vary greatly. However, one such process should be avoided entirely, and that is denaturation. When protein is exposed to great heat, it can become denatured. In essence, this is the breaking down of the protein before you consume it. Protein is no good to our body in this state, and all of the benefits that you hoped to gain from the supplement are lost. Denatured protein should always be avoided.

Soy Protein Isolate

There are different types of proteins, isolates and concentrates, and while both have value, soy protein isolate should specifically be avoided. This is a highly processed form of soy that has been manipulated to form a protein, but the reality is that this protein is far from the type of high-quality protein you find in a whey protein supplement. If you are going to buy a protein supplement, invest in quality, and avoid soy protein isolate.


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