Supplement Guide: Glutamine

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What is it?

  • Glutamine is an amino acid that helps with the production of muscle. Its a naturally occurring amino that’s already in your body. Not just glutamine, but all amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Its mainly known as a sport supplement to help with recovery, but has been show to improve the immune system, help with illnesses and help wit people who have gone through surgeries.

Some foods Glutamine is in include:

  • Milk
  • Beef
  • Peanuts
  • Pork
  • Cabbage
  •  Spinach
  • Soy
  • Yogurt
  • Chicken
  • Parsley
  • Egg Whites

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Using it for Sports Performance:

  • When you start training or even working out a lot, your body’s natural stores of glutamine begin to diminish. Therefor supplementation will help your replenish that amino along with aiding in recovery.  Its also been shown to help with cortisol levels, because cortisol has been known to break down muscles. So replenishing glutamine if you’re working out a lot is ideal.

How much should I take?

  • There are many types to take including pills, liquid, and powder forms. There also is usually BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and Glutamine in protein powders already, so depending on how much your working, how clean your eating and your lifestyle … the amount in their might be enough. The average recommendation is around 5 grams 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Personally I would judge it on how you feel too, if your SUPER sore, take a little extra and so on so forth.

I like to take it with every protein shake I make within the day (usually 2-3 shakes a day…and I use the powder form for this and just mix it in). I also take 3 grams at night (capsule form). When you’re sleeping or resting, its easier for your body to heal and recover.. that’s why its good to take towards the end of the day. =)

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All About Creatine

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So many of you know what creatine (also known as creatine phosphate) is, but some of you may be asking what is that?! I’m gonna give ya the details.. its kind of a process to explain so I hope I do an alright job at it hahahah! =)

What is it?

Your body naturally produces creatine (about 2 grams a day) through the pancreases, liver and kidneys. You also can get it through eating meat (mainly red meat) or through supplementation. Its an amino acid derived from arginine, glycine and methionine.

Why you may or may not need it?

Creatine has shown effectiveness for overall athletic performance, muscle growth, size and strength and just overall health benefits too. Without getting too complicated, creatine is the resynthesis of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) and ATP is used as energy for muscle contraction (mainly weight lifting exercises). When your muscles contract the molecule of the ATP split making ADP (adenosine di-phosphate). So basically you lose the one ATP and gain two ADP. . . .this is where creatine phosphate comes in! So when you supplement with creatine, it gives up, or bonds to a phosphate of ADP therefore converting it back into ATP. With that, creatine can get to the muscle faster, allowing it to regenerate faster, leaving you with higher intensity workouts, heavier lifts and a better performance throughout your workout. But your ability to store creatine is a limited time and your body will soon search for other ways of obtaining your ATP.

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Are there side effects?

YUP! just like anything basically… some include headache, upset stomach, and diarrhea (but that’s usually when the person is taking WAYYY over the limits suggested).

Also creatine is more so used by men because ..well not only does it help with muscle mass but it can also make you retain water in some ways .. so not very many women are wanting to gain weight, especially water weight. . . but also keep in mind that a lot of it is water weight that you do gain and its easy to shed too once you’ve built the structure of muscle you may be shooting for.

How much?

Depends on the person, but they recommend:

  • 3-5g a day. (maintenance phase)
  • 20g for 5 to 7 days (loading phase)
  • Be sure to cycle off creatine around every 2-3 months.

During the loading phase and why they recommend it is so that you can start gaining the benefits of the creatine in the shortest amount of time. But taking a smaller dosage has shown to be beneficial as well.

Also, when taking creatine, its best to take it 30 min before and after a workout to reap the most benefits. Its also to take with a high-glycemic carb. . . so a protein shake or sports drink with a decent amount of carbs is two of the best options.

Now obviously you cant just sit around taking supplement expecting to “gain muscle growth” because your taking creatine. Creatine (like any other sport supplement) works best when your eat a clean, healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients and you’re getting a good amount of exercise in.

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Benefits of Bee Pollen

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So you may be thinking… bee pollen? Like from bees? That they use to pollenate flowers? ? ? ,,, YES! That!

Why its good for you:

One of the main reasons I like it and use it its because its an energy booster! Whoo go natural energy! There is a reason they call them “busy bees” and why they are always buzzing around lol. Bee pollen contains protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins that help fight off fatigue and keeps you going!

Another one is that it helps aid digestion. So besides minerals, protein vitamins and a good source of energy, it contains a good amount of enzymes that help your body get the correct nutrients its thriving for. Its also rich in antioxidants so it helps boost immunity and protects your body from sickness and diseases. Also since it gives you more energy there are studies out there that it will help with weight loss as well since your metabolism will be sped up.

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It reduces inflammatory not only in side the body, but it also helps with irritated skin issues too (like psoriasis or eczema). It aids the regeneration of cells by the amino acids and vitamins that are in it. Virtually protecting the skin.

Known to help with allergies, asthma and sinus problems.

Now obviously if your allergic to bees, don’t eat it… common I feel like I shouldn’t even have to state that fact..

What to use bee pollen for:

  • I like mixing it into my oatmeal the best.
  • Put it in a protein shake
  • Bake with it
  • Put it in salad dressings
  • Put in yogurt and cereal
  • Put it in a smoothie
  • Eat with granola
  • Sprinkle it on top of your salads.

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Protein Powder! (How to Pick the Best One)

protein 3  So.. Protein powders are everywhere. Its most commonly known to be a building block for building long, lean muscles but they have all different kinds out there. Ones made specially for men and women, ones geared toward building muscle, meal replacements, nutrition, and ones for people with food intolerances. So how do you know which one to buy? Realistically to build muscle or even loose body fat you need to ideally keep protein intake high. Whether your consuming foods that are naturally high in protein (i.e. meats, dairy, eggs and even things like potatoes and rice) or your getting a lot of your protein from powders the good thing is that your getting a good amount and from a good source. Here are some things to look for when purchasing protein powders:

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  • Is it a “Protein Powder” or is it a “Mass Grainer” – a Mass Grainer is a protein powder that also contains carbs, fats and protein. Whereas, Protein Powders are just strictly protein. And even though you want those nutrients in your diet, if you’re just shooting for more protein than the powders are the way to go that way you avoid unwanted calories and any weight gain. If your looking for more of a meal replacement or to add weight…the Mass Grainer is a way to go.

When picking out a powder look for:

  • High Protein (around 20-30 or more grams)
  • Low Carb – (no more than 5 grams)
  • Low Fat – (No more than 5 grams)
  • Shoot for the lowest sugar you can find.
  • Look for Quality- Always look at the label when picking out a protein and look for ones with the fewest amount of ingredients (this ideally goes for any food too)  Also look for ones with natural ingredients too. . . if you cant pronounce it… its probably not the best bet… just saying.
  • Don’t get suckered in – Don’t believe everything it says on the bottle. Do your own research. Just because one says “Build maximum Muscle with this!” doesn’t mean its the one to choose. Companies like to put things on products so you buy them (this also goes for foods). Look at the brand, its it one that’s popular? What are they known for ? How reliable are they? Have you had success with any of their other products? Compare ingredients to another Protein powder. And look at the companies track record, how long have they been in business? Do they have good reviews?
  • Concentrate, Isolate or casein. – Concentrate is absorbed at a slower pace. This type is good to have in between meals. Isolate- Whey)  Is pretty much absorbed right away, good for right after a workout. Casein – takes longer to digest and has a constant flow of amino acids.

Some of the most popular include:

Syntha- 6

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Myotein

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Sunwarrior (Vegan)

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Gold Standard Whey

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Vega Protein (Vegan)

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Zero Carb Isopure

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Jay Robb ( I like the egg white kind- but he has a whey one too)

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BSN True-Mass

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Plant Fusion (Vegan)

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* If ya’ll find another good one, feel free to add on comments below. =)

Start your day off with Protein!

English: Breakfast porridge: rolled oats cooke...

English: Breakfast porridge: rolled oats cooked with water and soy milk, strawberries, blueberries, nuts, seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So in America we’ve grown accustom to having desert for breakfast, I don’t know why, but we have. Think about it, all the muffins, pancakes with syrups, doughnuts and Danishes… its kind of ridiculous.

So I’m going to tell you about the BEST way to start off your mornings ( and no, its NOT skipping breakfast!!! – If your skipping breakfast were going to be having a bigger problem..) and possibly give you a few ideas of some different recipes too!! =) YUM

So a little bit about protein, you can get it from many things but the most popular through meat and eggs. Protein is a major building block for your muscles and cells and helps your feel fuller longer. Protein can help set the mood  for your day  and set you up with the energy you need to start your day off right!

And honestly, do you really think a 300 calorie doughnut will help start your day off right? With all that sugar, sure you’ll be bouncing off the walls for a few hours, but then sooner or later the crash will come leaving you feeling lethargic and tiered. No fun!

A few options that are high in protein for the mornings include:

  • Eggs or Egg Whites.

Lately eggs have gotten this bad rep since they are high in fats, but they are slowly starting to come back and people are realizing that those “fats” are good fats. So either make a couple eggs and a side of turkey bacon, scramble up a couple, make a yummy veggie omelet, or even hard boil a few so its an easier “on the go” kind of breakfast!

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  • Protein Shakes and Smoothies.

This is my go to every morning because its just super easy and it fills me up like no other. Whether you just use the protein powder and some almond milk or if you add different fruits and yogurts into it you’re getting an adequate amount of protein for breakfast (probably why its super easy, takes all the thinking out of it). So next time your making a smoothie, add some protein powder into it! It will fill you up faster and keep you fuller longer! Double Whammy!  (other good things to add, veggies, flax and coconut oils, chia, carbohydrate mix, BCAA (branch chain amino acids), Glutamine (helps with muscle repair), berries, OJ, Granola… the list could go on forever!)

Side note, I made protein pancakes the other day and I’ll make sure to post that soon, it was pretty good!

  • Nuts and seeds! – In Oatmeal!

OO love oatmeal haha, used to hate it when I was little (ok, ok didn’t hate it, but never really looked forward to oatmeal) But now its like a “go to” for me! I love coming up with different things to put in my oatmeal too! Usually nuts, seeds, dried fruits, flax seeds, chia seeds, and a dash of honey! Yummm … Nuts and seeds are easy to add into some yogurt (try to stick to plain Greek yogurt and make it taste better with the stuff you put into it, that way you skip those sugar laden syrups.) Or I’ve even had a bowl of quinoa for breakfast too, kinds like a bowl of oatmeal, but adding more veggies to it instead =) …Or even a handful of almonds would work too when your in a hurry!

 

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  • Cottage cheese

So ever since I figured out I have a dairy intolerance, I seriously miss cottage cheese! (So if anyone finds a good recipe or even a substitute in the market, Let me know!!) but besides the point, cottage cheese is a good source of protein and an awesome breakfast food. Add some dried cranberries to it, or maybe have it inside a half of a cantaloupe. Yum. I also liked to add it to my salads and take up that place of adding a “Dressing” to my salad, sounds weird but actually pretty good.

  • Peanut and almond butters.

Even around 2 tbsp. of peanut butter had 8g of protein, spread it on a piece of 100% whole wheat toast, add it into your smoothie, or oatmeal and your adding more protein to your breakfast! Bam! Just be sure to try to get all natural butters with low sugar! p.s the oil on the top is usually a good thing.

 

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Here are some good recipes/ links that would work too:

Any of my smoothies would work if you add some protein powder to them..
BEST Green Vanilla Smoothie!  – this one already has the powder in it.
Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich
Oatmeal 101
Egg, Spinach, Tomato and Guacamole breakfast sandwich