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5 Strategies For Beating The Holiday Binge


5 Strategies for Beating the Holiday Binge

Get ready folks, Thanksgiving is imminent and holiday party season is just around the corner. Cookies, finger foods, desserts, and more are waiting in ambush. Running the gauntlet of holiday meals and parties can be daunting, but if you prepare correctly, you won't wake up on January 2nd, 2016, filled with regret.

Did you know that the average person on Thanksgiving consumes approximately 4,500 calories? Given the quality of many of those calories, that’s a recipe for failure when it comes to progressing toward your physique and performance goals. Even worse, a busier schedule means less planning and more chaos, which in turn can lead to missed or skipped workouts. This article will attempt to identify some potential areas where you can get knocked off track and how to anticipate them and work around them.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

We’ve all seen it. You get to the gym between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and you’ve got the place to yourself. Where’d everybody go? Don’t be a no-show! Map your day out ahead of time and schedule in a workout time. Even if you only have 30 minutes at the gym, an intense workout targeted at one body part or even a fast-paced resistance training circuit that targets major muscle groups and utilizes compound movements will sustain growth and keep you lean.

Consistency is a key element of your workout regimen. Completed workouts keep you energized and focused on your goals. Skipped workouts lead to mental fuzziness and compromises in other areas of your life. Got an office party on your weeknight calendar? A six pm workout will put you in the right frame of mind. Big holiday meal with your in-laws this weekend? Move your cardio to Sunday morning. You’ll have added incentive to keep to the straight and narrow. Every clean meal, every successful hour in the gym, is another link in the chain of success. Don’t break the chain!

Have We Mentioned Quality Workouts?

Once you make it to the gym or get your shoes laced up, you should be amped up and ready to go. Don’t let those rest periods linger! Even if you’re circuit training with machines, use any down time in transit by adding some challenging lunges (with dumbbells), push presses or dynamic push-ups to your routine. Same thing goes for a cardio workout, obviously. We know you’re not just pounding out 30 minutes on the bike or treadmill, but make sure to bring maximum burst to short intervals with one minute at max intensity and one minute at a lighter intensity. While no one can ‘out-exercise’ a night (or several nights) of eating and drinking, sticking to your workout routine is an excellent way to make you feel better and stay focused on your long-term goals.

Go Into Damage Control Mode

Since you’ve already knocked out a workout and had a small snack, you shouldn’t have ravenous hunger. Regardless, remember that protein is your ally in a party or social dining setting. Protein is thermogenic, meaning that simply digesting it burns more calories. Protein is also more satiating, which means it will help you feel full and minimize the amount of calories you eat. And finally, protein is anabolic and helps to maintain fat-free mass. Thus, once you arrive at the party, try to start off with lean cuts of meat that are high in protein and go find the raw vegetables, cheese and hummus.

Oh, and if you do over-consume, rest assured that you won’t just "burn it off tomorrow." Don’t believe me? Then consider this: if running at 7 mph burns 16 calories per minute, you would need to run a little over an hour to burn 1,000 calories. And 1,000 calories at a party is nothing, especially if you are eating and drinking. One mixed drink and three cookies and you are already pushing 500 calories!

Employ Supplementary Countermeasures

Parties are cruel environments when it comes to the average person who is trying to lose weight. Research has shown that after drinking as little as one or two empty-calorie beverages, your intake of food goes up by 300 to 400 calories (Caton, Bate, and Hetherington 2007). And it gets worse as you drink more (no shocker there) (Caton et al. 2004).

Of course, you’re not the average person. For the serious athlete, “pre-gaming” has an entirely different meaning than it might have for the general population. Clean eating to stave off cravings is the name of the game for you. When getting ready, make a point of having a small, healthy meal consisting of some fresh fruit with some peanut butter, trail mix or combine these with a protein shake made a little thicker than usual. Protein drives satiety, and it supports muscle tissue.

Protein Is Your Best Dietary Friend

A high-quality whey protein product like NytroWhey® Ultra Elite will leave your hunger satisfied with the highest-quality protein (including absolutely NO cheap whey concentrates, sugars and other fillers). NytroWhey Ultra Elite’s ultra growth-factor-rich Cross Flow Microfiltration (CFM) Whey Protein Isolate provides maximum bioavailability and spurs elevated blood amino acid levels for hours, while its TherMAX Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate is designed to flood aminos into the bloodstream immediately upon ingestion. A third component, Leuvon™ Leucine Peptides, is an advanced technology designed to enhance digestibility and utilization of leucine, a primary biological trigger for extreme anabolism.

If you’re entering the holiday season with fat loss on your mind, you owe it to yourself to check out Vectron® by ProSource. This unique fat-loss, muscle-supporting protein matrix contains a key active ingredient, a weight management system called Prolibra®, that has been validated in independent clinical testing. Indeed, when Prolibra® was put to the test in the form of a research study that was published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, the results were phenomenal. Each study participant was instructed to reduce their caloric intake by 500 calories per day and consume either two doses of Prolibra® or two doses of placebo over a 12-week study period using a double-blind approach (Frestedt et al. 2008). Both groups lost weight as a result of restricting their calories, but the study participants who were taking Prolibra® lost significantly more fat when compared to control participants. Not only was there more fat lost, but individuals taking Prolibra® also maintained muscle mass more efficiently. For fat loss and targeted muscle support, ProSource Vectron® is an indispensable tool that should be at the top of your holiday “must have” list.

Another good option for those of you pressed for the time required to eat cleanly is an extended release protein product with plenty of micellar casein content, like ProSource’s NytroPlex-GF. NytroPlex supplies muscle tissue with a long-lasting, high-quality stream of aminos that will keep anabolism stoked while you’re going from work to holiday shopping to socializing. Micellar casein is a high-quality milk protein that is known to digest much slower than whey protein, and NytroPlex, with its tremendous 56-gram dose of protein (also including plenty of whey and egg albumin) will help you feel full.

Regardless of whether you choose lean cuts of meat, a protein supplement or a combination of the two, you know you are filling your belly with a quality nutrition that has been shown to help stimulate increases in resting energy expenditure (especially as compared to showing up at the party with an empty stomach) (Hackney, Bruenger, and Lemmer 2010). Don’t arrive hungry to the party!

Power Up With a Thermogenic

Energy crashes lead to binge eating! One of the reasons you’re even considering wolfing down that sprinkle-covered Christmas tree cookie (which you won’t enjoy anyway) is because your energy levels are flagging after a day of on-the-go activity without proper rest or nutrition. A modern-day thermogenic like BioQuest's BetaStax® Elite contains premium-grade energy factors to help increase energy expenditure, increase your vitality and focus while also keeping your appetite under control. BetaStax Elite also contains a matrix of diet-support ingredients including one, PureWay-Slim®, which has been shown in a comparison of clinical studies to achieve more weight-loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks.

Conclusion

The holidays are intended to be fun and enjoyable. As they approach, arm yourself with a proper mindset and a strategy to help minimize the empty calories you consume while maximizing the quality of your workouts. Be a diligent planner and stay ahead of the chaos, get in high-quality workouts, eat clean, and adopt a damage control mindset when tempted by tasty party treats.


Read more about NytroWhey® Ultra Elite.

Read more about ProSource Vectron®.

Read more about ProSource NytroPlex-GF.

Read more about BetaStax Elite.


Scientific References

Caton, S. J., M. Ball, A. Ahern, and M. M. Hetherington. 2004. "Dose-dependent effects of alcohol on appetite and food intake."  Physiol Behav 81 (1):51-8. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.12.017.

Caton, S. J., L. Bate, and M. M. Hetherington. 2007. "Acute effects of an alcoholic drink on food intake: aperitif versus co-ingestion."  Physiol Behav 90 (2-3):368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.09.028.

Hackney, K. J., A. J. Bruenger, and J. T. Lemmer. 2010. "Timing protein intake increases energy expenditure 24 h after resistance training."  Med Sci Sports Exerc 42 (5):998-1003. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c12976.

Leidy, H. J., and E. M. Racki. 2010. "The addition of a protein-rich breakfast and its effects on acute appetite control and food intake in 'breakfast-skipping' adolescents."  Int J Obes (Lond) 34 (7):1125-33. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.3.


Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.



4 Weeks to Ripped!


A Triple-Threat Supplemental Strategy for
Taking Your Physique to the Next Level!


Serious athletes and fitness-conscious people know that it’s a physique war out there. It’s not just the fashion models and bodybuilders, either. It seems like a bigger portion of the beach population is bringing its “A” game every year, and maybe you’re suddenly feeling a step behind. Later on, at the club, maybe you’re feeling just a little bit invisible. You’re not far from where you want to be, but you’re not THERE yet.

But you will be, and soon. At this point, all you need is a little supplemental push to vault you over the last obstacle that separates “fit” from “fantastic.” And today’s most powerful physique-enhancing supplements are more than capable of helping you make that transition. Let’s get started!

SUPPLEMENT # 1: A MULTIDIMENSIONAL FAT BURNER

BETASTAX® ELITE
Above all, the most rapid way to promote fat loss is to take a high quality fat burner. The best of the next-generation weight-loss supplements attack excess fat from a number of different physiological pathways, ramping up fat loss to a phenomenal rate. In fact, the acknowledged leader in the category has been delivering clinically documented results in as little as two weeks. So the next time you’re checking out an impossible ripped specimen on the beach, realize you’re probably spying a BetaStax Elite consumer.

Using a multi-dimensional approach, BetaStax Elite from BioQuest aids in fat loss by supporting the following mechanisms:

  • Increased satiety, A.K.A. increased feeling of fullness after a meal
  • Decreased fat and carbohydrate absorption
  • Increased appetite suppression, A.K.A. decreased your feelings of hunger
  • Lipid mobilization and utilization, A.K.A. increased fat metabolism
  • Increased metabolic rate and energy

What makes Beta Stax Elite so potent?
PureWay-Slim®: This innovative and novel bioactive fat loss agent has been impressing researchers since the day it first emerged from the labs. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study carried out at the University of Miami (Miami, FL), it was reported that taking 250 mg of PureWay-Slim® (same as contained in a dose of BetaStax Elite) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment in as little as a few weeks! Subjects not only lost fat, but also had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) after meals. This is a neuropeptide that mediates the feeling of satiety or “fullness” after a meal by binding to receptors in the brain. Having high levels of CCK while dieting makes caloric restriction a breeze and increases your chances of fat loss success!

Green Coffee Bean Extract: The next active ingredient in BetaStax Elite is a novel botanical agent that supplies a standardized dose of chlorogenic acid: an innovative compound that supports fat metabolism in the liver. Beyond fat metabolism, there is an abundance of research illustrating that chlorogenic acid may support the inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate translocase, which regulates the absorption and utilization of consumed carbohydrates. This could mean that less of the fat and carbohydrates that you eat get absorbed and stored (as fat) in the body.   

Razberi K®, Raspberry Ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one): Not enough physique ripping power for ya? BetaStax Elite also contains raspberry ketones, which have been reported to have an effect on fat accumulation in many studies, even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates. These findings are supported by animal research, which suggest that raspberry ketone’s weight loss benefits are due to support of fat metabolism and inhibition of absorption of dietary fat (by suppressing lipase activity). The raspberry ketone in BetaStax Elite is the perfect synergist for green coffee extract (containing standardized chlorogenic acid), together supporting positive outcomes for fat absorption and metabolism.

Caffeine: Caffeine is a common ingredient in most fat burners. After all it’s an effective stimulant with decades of research supporting its fat burning, appetite suppressing, and ergogenic benefits.

The multiple benefits of caffeine exist because it acts on two levels, centrally (in the brain) and peripherally (in the body). Centrally, caffeine can cross the blood-brain barrier and act as a central nervous system stimulant by blocking adenosine receptors. The end result is increased energy levels and wakefulness. Beyond increases in adrenaline levels, caffeine also supports dopamine levels in the brain, which gives you an overall sense of well-being (which increases dieting success).

In the body, caffeine inhibits an enzyme called phosphodiesterase (PDE). Inside cells, PDE normally breaks down cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). This results in increased norepinephrine (noradrenaline) release from sympathetic nerves and increased adrenaline release from the adrenal medulla (in the kidneys). The increase in noradrenaline and adrenaline in the body has significant fat burning effects as they are key regulators of fatty acid release from fat cells into the circulation to be burned for energy. Caffeine also completes the binding of adenosine in the body by binding to the same receptors on fat cells that adenosine does.  Under normal conditions, adenosine binds to fat cells and decreases the release of fatty acids; however, with caffeine on board, the inhibitory effect of adenosine on fatty acid release is down-regulated, resulting in greater fat mobilization and metabolism.

Put it all together, and you’ve got BetaStax Elite, a fat-loss powerhouse that you’ll feel working from the very first dose as your physique enhancement shifts into overdrive!

SUPPLEMENT #2: A PROTEIN POWDER DESIGNED FOR FAT LOSS

VECTRON®
One of the toughest metabolic conundrums faced by high-level athletes is how to maintain hard-earned muscle mass, while attempting to reduce body fat. That dilemma became a lot more manageable when ProSource researchers, working hand-in-hand with America’s premier protein manufacturers, formulated Vectron—the industry’s most potent protein supplement designed specifically to aid in fat loss!

What makes Vectron so potent?
ProSource Vectron is an innovative product that contains a patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra®. The protein complex in Vectron is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to help support lean mass, promote fat loss, and normalize blood glucose. These benefits are backed by a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, where subjects taking Prolibra® while undergoing a modest calorie reduced diet retained twice as much lean mass while at the same time had 28% greater fat-loss than the control group (with the same diet). Taking Vectron twice daily has been shown to reduce blood glucose after a meal and maintain muscle mass even under conditions of significant fat loss. Overall, daily Vectron supplementation helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage--all the while helping to maintain increased muscularity.  

Protein, of course, is always thermogenic, and you should always be consuming plenty of it to support your fat-loss efforts. But Vectron is protein technologically supercharged to target excess fat, making it an indispensable tool for your beach-body goals in 2015.

SUPPLEMENT #3: A CUTTING AGENT  

RAZOR RIPPED
Once you have your mass up and your body fat down, it's time to put the finishing touches on your physique. Whether you are getting ready for the beach, a photo-shoot, or a bodybuilding competition, subcutaneous water retention can make you look bloated and flabby, even when you are lean. In the past, you would have had to regulate water and sodium consumption or even use harmful diuretic drugs to overcome simple water retention. However, thanks to the researchers at BioQuest there is Razor Ripped, the potent and safe way to reduce excess water retention, naturally and gently, enabling you to reveal your polished physique in 72 hours or less.

What makes Razor Ripped so potent?
BioQuest's Razor Ripped uses a unique formula of botanical diuretics, caffeine, and green tea, which not only help to tighten your skin, but also help to support your metabolism and enhance vascularity.

The unique diuretic blend in Razor Ripped was formulated to synergize key diuretic botanicals of differing potencies, starting off with a highly potent diuretic blend comprised of celery seed extract, taurine, and parsley powder. Next, BioQuest has added dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), which has been used as a potent diuretic for over 2000 years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. To synergize with Dandelion’s diuretic properties, Razor Ripped contains Uva Ursi extract, which contains an antimicrobial and diuretic glycoside called arbutin. Finally, the mild herbal diuretic horsetail extract (from a plant called Equisetum arvense) rounds out the full spectrum of natural water-shedding botanicals in Razor Ripped.

There it is, your three-pronged, multi-pathway supplemental road to ripped. Implement it today and join the circle of the elite physiques!

Read more about BetaStax Elite.

Read more about Vectron.

Read more about Razor Ripped.


References:

Simpson K, Parker J, Plumer J, Bloom S. CCK, PYY and PP: the control of energy balance. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2012;(209):209-30.

Thom E. The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. J Int Med Res. 2007 Nov-Dec;35(6):900-8.

Flanagan J, Bily A, Rolland Y, Roller M. Lipolytic activity of Svetol®, a decaffeinated green coffee bean extract. Phytother Res. 2014 Jun;28(6):946-8.

Zheng G, Qiu Y, Zhang QF, Li D. Chlorogenic acid and caffeine in combination inhibit fat accumulation by regulating hepatic lipid metabolism-related enzymes in mice. Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep 28;112(6):1034-40.

Frestedt JL, Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA, Ward LS, Bastian ED. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Mar 27;5:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-8.

Clare BA, Conroy RS, Spelman K. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):929-34.

Yarnell E. Botanical medicines for the urinary tract. World J Urol. 2002 Nov;20(5):285-93.


Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Supplement Picks Of The Experts: Fat-Loss Catalysts


Sports Nutrition Round Table:

Supplement Experts Select the
Unrivaled 
Leaders in Key Bodybuilding Categories



Part Three: Fat-Loss Catalysts



Is there any supplement category more volatile and subject to change than the weight-loss category? The rate at which products (and manufacturers) come and go in this field seems to accelerate with each passing year.

There’s a simple reason for that, of course. Most of these short-lived products simply don’t work. They contain outdated, discredited agents or inadequate dosages of common compounds. In fact, a lot of them are mostly caffeine. And with fat-loss products, it doesn’t take long for customers (especially experienced athletes) to determine that a product is a waste of money.

This unfortunate state of affairs makes the fat-loss category unusually easy to rank. If the definition of an effective fat-loss support technology comes down to whether customers are willing to buy that product more than once, you’ve already narrowed the field to a few dozen contenders. If you're looking for truly comprehensive, multi-pathway agents of fat loss (as opposed to valuable, but necessarily narrow-focused, single ingredient supplements like CLA or green-coffee bean formulas), you’ve got even less competition. Finally, if you’re only considering fat-loss support supplements that have stood the test of time and attracted a large and enthusiastic fanbase of repeat consumers over the course of years, well, you can count those contenders on the fingers of one hand.

In fact, this week, our panel of sports nutrition experts would like to suggest you can count the best of the best on one finger.

Welcome to Part Three of our Sports Nutrition Round Table discussion of the absolute BEST products available in four key supplement categories: Premium Protein, Mass Building, Fat Loss, and Testosterone Support. We’ve already covered Premium Proteins and Mass Builders. And now, once again, we’ve gathered the experts, each a well-credentialed and respected PhD in the field of sports supplement science, to help you get the most value out of every supplement dollar you spend. As always, the statements and opinions of the experts expressed here are not meant to be construed as endorsements by the employers and universities with which each expert is associated.

Take it away, experts!

Category: Fat-Loss Catalysts
Experts Pick: BioQuest BetaStax Elite

Doug Kalman, PhD, RD, FACN: There is no standard recipe to creating a masterpiece. If there were one, everyone would be able to follow the same exact formula for masterful success all day long. The reality is that wondrous things, events and products only come along once in a rare while. Well, scientifically, medically, physiologically and in reality, BioQuest's BetaStax Elite is just that product, fully stocked with active effective ingredients and bursting with real applicable science. This should come as no surprise, by the way. BioQuest has a well-earned reputation for applying due diligence in every aspect of the research, development and manufacture of superior-quality supplements, and BetaStax Elite is another prime example of that dedication to excellence. Clinically supported dosages of raspberry ketones, chlorogenic acids, caffeine, and BetaStax Elite’s key active ingredient, PureWay-Slim, all have demonstrated real physique transformation potential. Simply stated, the science of BetaStax Elite is, well, Elite! A product designed to utilize multiple pathways in the body, to augment the efforts you put in for weight control and fat loss while helping you to maintain energy levels and a smile. In my opinion, as a research scientist and nutritionist, BetaStax Elite is a sound investment as part of a weight and fat loss program.

Andrew Jagim, PhD, CSCS, CISSN:
I was impressed with the science surrounding Beta Stax Elite's PureWay-Slim technology, which independent clinical trials have shown to facilitate significant reductions in body weight, hip and waist circumference after only two weeks of use!  It also contains a standardized dose of chlorogenic acid, which has also been shown to boost fat metabolism in the liver. Not only are the active ingredients able to significantly enhance fat loss, they can also provide a burst of energy which can help facilitate intense training sessions or provide energy for those on a lower calorie or low carbohydrate diet.  Through intensified workouts and ramped up fat metabolism throughout the day, BetaStax Elite can help you obtain that shredded physique you’ve been searching for.  

Bill Campbell, PhD, CSCS, FISSN: Exactly! An unfortunate side effect of dieting is the suppression of one’s resting metabolic rate. A decreased resting metabolic rate should be avoided so that long-term weight loss can be achieved. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can be utilized to elevate metabolic rate. The first and most effective strategy is to increase lean body mass through resistance training. Lean body mass is highly correlated with metabolic rate. The more muscle one has, the greater their metabolism.  The other strategy that has been shown to be effective in the scientific literature is targeted supplementation. BetaStax Elite contains several metabolism-igniting ingredients and therefore is an effective choice for increasing metabolic rate.

Mike Roussell, PhD: Getting back to BetaStax Elite's PureWay-Slim mechanism, it was shown in an unpublished clinical trial performed at the University of Miami to elicit an extra 3.8 pounds of weight loss after 4 weeks. The blend of ingredients in PureWay-Slim seems to elicit the enhanced weight loss by increasing satiety from a meal via increases in the hormone CCK. In addition to that, two other notable ingredients have been added to BetaStax Elite, caffeine and citrus aurantium, as well as caffeine, the well-known performance-enhancing stimulant that can also increase lipolysis (e.g. cellular fat burning). When taken before exercise, citrus aurantium has been shown to increase the calorie-burning effect of exercise by more than 150 calories. As taken as part of your fat loss diet supplement regimen, BetaStax Elite will help enhance fat loss from a two pronged effect of appetite control and enhancing the calorie burning effect of exercise.

Chad Kerksick, PhD: Packing on muscle is much more exciting when you get lean and burn fat from areas you want to highlight. Your diet and supplementation regimen needs to allow you to burn more calories, have more energy and decrease body fat. Over time, these outcomes will lean your physique and improve how you look and feel. BetaStax Elite is a weight-loss, diet-support product that has been shown to help people do just that. The formulation found within BetaStax Elite is comprised of several ingredients that are supported by a number of different published reports.  These reports clearly demonstrate their ability to positively impact all aspects of the fat breakdown process including increasing calorie burning, mental focus and appetite control.

Richard Kreider, PhD: Thermogenic supplements can help increase energy expenditure and thereby promote greater fat loss during training.  They can also help prevent weight regain after dieting. BetaStax Elite is an innovative thermogenic supplement that contains caffeine and green tea, common thermogenic nutrients, as well as chromium, raspberry Ketones, and conjugated linoleic acids.  Research has shown that each of these additional nutrients can promote fat loss while dieting and/or training.  Together, BetaStax Elite provides an essential source of nutrients that can help promote fat loss during training.   

Dwayne Jackson, PhD: BetaStax Elite has been my go-to fat burner since the day it was introduced. Why? Simply because it works so well. I was lucky enough to try BetaStax Elite when it was first developed, and coupled with a good diet and training program, I lost a significant amount of excess fat in only a few months.  The key to BetaStax Elite’s potency is its approach to fat loss. BetaStax Elite attacks fat loss from several angles with key ingredients that curb appetite, give you energy, mobilize fats, increase metabolic rate, and block carbohydrate/fat absorption. This product is so potent, that you can feel the energy rush and increase in body temperature within 30 minutes of taking it. Based on my personal experience with BetaStax, I give this product my highest approval.

Thank you again, guys.

Next week, we’ll be wrapping up our series with Part Four: Testosterone-Support Supplements.

Read more about BetaStax Elite here.

Read Expert Picks, Part One: Premium Proteins here.

Read Expert Picks, Part Two: Mass Builders here.


Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight-loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. Endorser used this product in conjunction with diet and exercise and was compensated for his appearance. Endorser’s results are not typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

From Obese To On-Stage

Yuri Diogenes Loses 100 Lbs And

Realizes His Bodybuilding Dream

 

One of the great things about coming to work every day at ProSource is you get to meet great people who have accomplished amazing things. One such person who has made a big impression on all of us here is Yuri Diogenes, a man who progressed from being seriously, morbidly obese to stepping on-stage as a ripped and rock-hard bodybuilder at an NPC-sponsored physique event in Texas.

 

When that spotlight hit Yuri and the crowd applauded, it represented the culmination of two long years of hard work and discipline in the gym and a total commitment to a new and healthier lifestyle. The man who had once despaired at the notion of keeping up with his 3-year-old daughter, who once regarded climbing a flight of stairs as a daunting challenge, strode to center stage. He struck his first pose, the light catching his impressively defined physique in sharp relief, and the crowd went crazy. Yuri Diogenes had arrived.

 

Yuri’s story could be anybody’s story. It could be your story, if you have the work ethic and determination. People will tell you it can’t be done. Yuri is here to tell you it CAN be done.

 

ProSource: Hi, Yuri. You’ve got an amazing story to tell.

 

Yuri Diogenes: I do. It’s been a long road, and I’m in a good place right now. I feel great.

 

Yuri Diogenes

ProSource: What have you been up to?

 

Yuri Diogenes: I’ve been working with trainer Jeff Dwelle, preparing for the 2015 competition season. Also, I signed a book contract with Morgan James Publishing, where I'll be co-authoring with Jodi Miller (@jodileigh), Ms. Natural Olympia title as a professional competitor in the PNBA organization in 2011 and 2012. The book was foreword by Greg McCoy (Manager of the Destination Dallas Gym in Plano, TX). The intent of the book is to explain a framework that Jodi and I put together to assist individuals to achieve their goals without compromising other areas of their life while staying in shape. The ebook version of this book should be out this summer and the paperback version should be available this fall.

 

ProSource: That’s good news! Congratulations! Now, however, we’re going to take you back to a darker place for a moment. Can you tell us how your weight and fitness problems initially began?

 

Yuri Diogenes: I started getting overweight when I was 26 years old and for 10 years I was obese. I “blame” the overweight mainly on my lack of commitment to staying in shape. In high school, I was a soccer player and was always in shape, but I lost control over my caloric intake and activity level when I start building my professional career in the technology field. I started working in many projects, including writing technical books and I stopped living a healthy lifestyle.

 

ProSource: How bad did it get?

 

Yuri Diogenes: In October 2011, I weighed 280 lbs, 36% of which was body fat. I was developing early-onset arthritis due to my obesity and I had a whole-spectrum bad blood panel (high cholesterol, etc). My doctor said I was basically killing myself. That was my wake-up call to make a real change.

 

ProSource: Sounds like bad times.

 

Yuri Diogenes: Oh yeah. I had serious knee problems. Sometimes I couldn’t even climb the stairs without having pain. That for me was the most humbling thing. My youngest daughter was three years old at the time, and I was unable to just run around with her. I couldn’t even walk faster without feeling pain. You think, am I going to be letting my family down here? It isn’t even just about you anymore. That was rock bottom.

 

ProSource: And then you began to climb. How did you begin? What were your first steps?

 

A Weight Loss Transformation

Yuri Diogenes: Everything started when I met my former trainer (Greg McCoy) at the NPC Heart of Texas competition in September 2011. A friend of mine introduced me to him and we scheduled to meet in October. From day one, I told Greg, my ultimate goal is to compete in a bodybuilding show by the time I turn 40. He embraced this challenge, we started to work together, and to my surprise, nutrition was the biggest element of this change. I changed my eating habits completely, eating six times per day (every three hours) with a total of 1800 calories a day. My macros were around 60% protein, 20% carbs and 20% fat. The first three months were painful. My body was trying to adjust to this new routine and I felt so many side effects (bad mood, cramps, lack of energy) that at one point I thought I might give up, but I’m glad I didn’t.

 

ProSource: Can you provide a general idea of your training program?

 

Yuri Diogenes: I keep it simple and direct. I have one rest day and I don’t skip workouts. Basically it’s:

 

Monday: Legs

Tuesday: Arms and Calves

Wednesday: Back and Traps

Thursday: Chest

Friday: Shoulder and Calves

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Cardio only (1 hour)

 

ProSource: What were the first changes you noticed after you started eating right and training regularly?

 

Yuri Diogenes: Learning to eat again was hard work! So was the training. However, after I settled into the program, which I will say took me one month, the main change was my energy level was significantly higher.

 

ProSource: And here you are today, an inspiring example of what it means to set a goal and attain it.

 

Yuri Diogenes: Yeah, well, there were a lot of dark days on the journey, but you have to know that it WILL get better. I lost 100 lbs in the first year of this program. I lost a lot of fat, but I was not ready to compete. I needed to gain muscles. That’s where training and supplementation come in. All of 2013 was dedicated to working on gaining muscle mass. In June 2014, I competed for the first time at the Adela Garcia Classic in Pflugerville, Texas. I didn’t place, but I was amazingly happy because my goal was to step on stage and compete, and that goal was accomplished.

 

Yuri Diogenes 6ProSource: Maintaining that muscle mass and your ripped physique continues to be a 24/7 job. Can you tell us what your supplementation regimen consists of these days?

 

Yuri Diogenes: Maintaining muscle mass and low body fat after 40 is a big challenge. I have to eat very clean and I have to supplement intelligently as well. Lately, I’ve been very impressed with the overall quality and price of ProSource brand supplements, and I’ve been using them to stay on point with my physique. NytroWhey Ultra Elite is a great protein formula that gives me the high-quality whey and extra leucine I need to maximize muscle gains after my workouts. It mixes easily with four to six ounces of water, and it really tastes sensational. I travel a lot for my work, so I can take NytroWhey with me and that ensures I’m getting my daily requirement of protein quickly and easily. I eat Quest Bars for the same reason. They taste good; they’re quick, easy, and they help me keep my macros in correct proportion.

 

When your diet is sixty percent protein, you really have to make sure you’re supplementing with a good vitamin/mineral/enzyme daily multi, and for me ProSource’s Super MegaMax does the job. It’s formulated specifically for the needs of bodybuilders and hardcore athletes, so it’s got the joint-support factors I need, plus antioxidant support, enzymes for digestion, and the whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Finally, again because I’m over 40, I’ve been thinking more about male hormonal support. I’ve had a great experience with ProSource’s AndroTest. I've tried many test boosters in the past, and the results haven’t been great. With AndroTest, I decided to watch closely two things: strength and overall energy throughout the day. I clearly felt an increase in strength, which lead me to lift heavier and I was way more focused throughout the day. My mood and endurance also improved. It’s definitely worth trying!

 

Also in the hormonal support category, I’ve started taking BioQuest’s AndroFury approximately 15 minutes before starting my workout. The fact that there is a mix of pre-workout performance maximizers and test-boosting components really intrigued me. I felt way more focus and could lift with more intensity without the side effects that some pre-workout gives to me, such as shakiness and nausea. My energy levels have been very high throughout my workouts! Again, if you’re not taking this one, you don’t know what you’re missing out on!

   

ProSource: It looks like you’ve got everything covered. What’s next for you in 2015?

 

Yuri Diogenes: As I said, I’m working with Jeff Dwelle, with the goal to competing in at least two local bodybuilding events here in Texas. My goal is always to make sure I improve every year. Bodybuilding for me is about self-improvement, always enhancing my overall physique. My current plan with Jeff is to be on stage again either in May or June; I want to be at 187 (which is seven lbs heavier than last year) and compete again in the middleweight division.

 

ProSource: What advice can you offer our readers on achieving their own fitness and physique goals?

 

Yuri Diogenes: I think the main advice is, adopt the lifestyle that will get you where you want to be. I see many people looking to do a summer diet, a New Year’s diet, etc. Seasonal changes don’t last long. If you really want to improve your physique and maintain it, you need to think long-term. Training and rest is important, but the real change comes (and stays) when you combine all those factors together in a lifestyle you can maintain indefinitely.

 

ProSource: Thanks, Yuri, for sharing your inspiring story with our readers. You can find Yuri on Twitter @yuridiogenes and on Instagram @ydiogenes


Click here to read more about NytroWhey Ultra Elite.

Click here to read more about AndroTest.

Click here to read more about Super MegaMax.

Click here to read more about AndroFury.

Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight-loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. Endorser used this product in conjunction with diet and exercise and was compensated for his appearance. Endorser’s results are not typical. A 4-week study of healthy males showed a 59.75% average increase in free testosterone compared to baseline and 59.88% average increase in total testosterone compared to baseline. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


The Time Is Now


Is there anything more exciting than the first two or three weeks of a new diet and exercise regimen? We are filled with a new sense of purpose, as we lug our gym bags through the front doors of the gym each day. Those first pounds of body fat, acquired through the dark months of October, November, December, and January (or maybe longer) seem to melt off with ease.

Eventually February turns to March, however, and suddenly some of the novelty begins to wear off. The first easy pounds are gone; the next ones, the pounds that stand between you and your lean, rock-hard Summer 2015 physique, are more stubborn and difficult to lose. As your progress slows, your energy and motivation may begin to flag. Welcome, friends, to the danger zone where the largest percentage of people looking to make significant transformations lose their way and start to back-slide.

Will you become a member of this defeated cohort? No you will not. Because your time is now, and we're here to help.

Reset, Refocus, and
Regain Momentum

If you find yourself stuck on a February plateau, rest assured that you're not alone. Many people hang in there for 8 to 10 weeks and then start to get frustrated and emotionally fatigued from making only limited progress towards their goals. This article is intended to help sharpen your focus and reset your motivation to allow you to continue to power through workouts, while keeping your diet clean and maximally supportive of your training efforts.

Let's talk for a moment about your original goals. Keep in mind that's it's important to set realistic goals based on the process and not outcomes. Too many people set goals that are not achievable (i.e. lose 30 pounds by Spring Break), which ultimately puts people on a path that will emotionally defeat them. Instead, make a goal to exercise a certain number of days per week versus losing one pound a week. Secondly, always strive to make your diet and workout better today than yesterday. Clean up little pieces of your diet each day and add a set or two each workout and/or complete another five hard minutes on the treadmill. Finally, do not let feelings of complacency set in. Do something every day, even if it is ten minutes on the treadmill. Some days you don't win, but pick your battles each day to win the war.

Protein's All-Important Role in
Maintaining Transformational Momentum

Enough mind speak, this article is really about discussing some nutritional tools that can help you tighten up your diet and trim calories in a number of areas. Physique improvement is governed by a number of things. Those things we can change include the amount, type and distribution of calories we consume across the day.

For starters, to lose fat you need to cut back the calories you consume, but if you cut back too much you may not be getting enough protein in your diet. When that happens, your body has no choice but to take the protein it needs from itself. Last time I checked, fat tissue contains very little protein, but muscle contains significant amounts of protein. In other words, bye-bye muscle!

High-quality sources of protein like those found in lean cuts of meat and superior supplemental sources like ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite and Vectron should play a critical role in your weight loss efforts. In fact, research studies indicate that in a three-week time period when average men and women dieted and exercised to create a 40% shift in energy and consumed a diet that either met the RDA for protein (0.8 g/kg/day), provided 2x (1.6 g/kg/day) or 3x (2.4 g/kg/day) the RDA for protein, this impacted how much and what type of weight was lost (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013).

The results of this study are exciting because it gives us a great deal of information about how your body loses weight. For example, which group lost the most body weight? Actually, the group that consumed the RDA for protein (0.85 g/kg/day)! This group lost approximately 8 pounds, but a whopping 58% of this weight was fat-free mass while 42% of the lost weight was fat. Fat-free mass is any tissue in your body that is not fat, thus muscle and your organs are the primary contributors to this mass.

But what happens when you consume 2x or 3x the RDA for protein? When 2x the RDA was consumed nearly 6 pounds were lost, but in this instance only 30% of this lost weight came from fat-free mass, while a staggering 70% was lost as fat! Similarly, when 3x the RDA was consumed almost 7 pounds was lost, but 36% was fat-free mass and 64% was fat.

These changes highlight several key points to successful physique transformation. First, focus on body composition changes, not just body mass changes. Second, higher protein intakes (2x to 3x the RDA) when restricting calories through diet and exercise are important to help maximize fat loss and minimize fat-free mass lost. In both higher-protein diets, the participants consumed approximately 122 to 185 grams of protein each day (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013). While this amount can easily be met with protein-containing foods, doing so while keeping overall calories down across an entire day can be challenging. This is where high-quality supplemental sources of protein Vectron and NytroWhey Ultra Elite can help.

Super-Premium Proteins For a
Higher Rate of Body Repartitioning

Choosing a premier supplemental protein source is essential to attaining your physique goals. NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains a powerful combination of three cutting-edge protein technologies. Its Provon whey isolate is an ultra-pure CFM whey isolate that yields the purest, most potent, growth-factor-rich amino acid profile and maximum bioavailability, while the TherMAX hydrolyzed whey in NytroWhey Ultra Elite is subjected to advanced micro-processing to yield extremely low-molecular-weight di and tri-peptides for immediate amino absorption and assimilation by the body. Finally, Leuvon 590 Leucine Peptides feature a unique leucine-bound leucine-peptide technology, which provides bioactive muscle-growth triggering leucine in great amounts, up to four times that found in competing proteins. This is a powerhouse complex for supporting muscle tissue and the natural thermogenic activity associated with protein intake.

ProSource's Vectron, on the other hand, is of special interest to those seeking fat loss due to its advanced weight management system, Prolibra. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle while at the same time experienced 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. While all protein is thermogenic to some extent, results like that place Vectron at the head of the class for transformational power.

Add a Complete and Comprehensive
State-Of-The-Art Thermogenic To The Mix

Cutting calories through diet and exercise and staying sharp through the day can be challenging. BetaStax Elite from BioQuest is another high-potential tool that can help drive your motivation and power you through the ups and downs of body transformation.

The ingredients found in BetaStax Elite, in particular PureWay-Slim, have been researched and associated with support for reductions in body weight as well as waist and hip circumferences. To maintain these positive changes, continual efforts in your workout program and diet are required, but adding BetaStax Elite may help to jumpstart your body-changing efforts. Indeed, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, test subjects supplementing with 250 mg of BetaStax Elite's key active ingredient PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) experienced significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences compared to test subjects receiving placebo treatment.

BetaStax Elite contains other ingredients that continue to garner interest as weight loss support factors. Chlorogenic acid, a primary compound found in green coffee bean extract and a primary constituent of brewed coffee, has been reputed to help support weight loss (Vinson, Burnham et al. 2012). In addition, raspberry ketones have been linked to support for weight loss and fat oxidation. Cell culture studies demonstrate favorable changes in lipolysis and rates of fatty acid oxidation (Park 2010) while a recently published study in humans that included raspberry ketones in a greater combination of nutrients found significantly greater rates of weight loss and body composition changes (Lopez, Ziegenfuss et al. 2013).

BetaStax Elite also contains a complex of premium-grade energy factors which are just what's needed to help you re-energize and maintain focus during your spring workouts, ensuring that you get maximum production from each and every trip to the gym.

Conclusion
The time is now for you to sharpen your focus and build upon the improvements you have already made. The nutritional side of the equation is extremely important and challenging to manage each day. Nutritional tools like a high-quality source of protein similar to that found in NytroWhey Ultra Elite and/or Vectron, combined with a comprehensive thermogenic like BetaStax Elite will help you on your way to a leaner, more rock-hard physique. When warm temperatures are near and pool parties come calling, you'll be proud to show off your new and improved body.


Healthy weight management and substantial weight loss are best achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as lowering caloric intake and increasing exercise activity. When used in combination with a sensible diet and exercise program, the key ingredients in BetaStax Elite can support your weight loss program. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all label instructions before using. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


References
Duncan, M. J. and S. W. Oxford (2011). "The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure." Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association 25(1): 178-185.

Duncan, M. J. and S. W. Oxford (2012). "Acute caffeine ingestion enhances performance and dampens muscle pain following resistance exercise to failure." J Sports Med Phys Fitness 52(3): 280-285.

Goldstein, E. R., T. Ziegenfuss, D. Kalman, R. Kreider, B. Campbell, C. Wilborn, L. Taylor, D. Willoughby, J. Stout, B. S. Graves, R. Wildman, J. L. Ivy, M. Spano, A. E. Smith and J. Antonio (2010). "International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7(1): 5.

Hursel, R. and M. S. Westerterp-Plantenga (2010). "Thermogenic ingredients and body weight regulation." Int J Obes (Lond) 34(4): 659-669.

Lopez, H. L., T. N. Ziegenfuss, J. E. Hofheins, S. M. Habowski, S. M. Arent, J. P. Weir and A. A. Ferrando (2013). "Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 10(1): 22.

Park, K. S. (2010). "Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes." Planta Med 76(15): 1654-1658.

Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, L. M. Margolis, E. R. Sauter, L. D. Whigham, J. P. McClung, J. C. Rood, J. W. Carbone, G. F. Combs, Jr. and A. J. Young (2013). "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial." FASEB J.

Vinson, J. A., B. R. Burnham and M. V. Nagendran (2012). "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects." Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 5: 21-27.

PureWaySlim Supplementation: Positively Impacting Human Health. Dario Pancorbo M.D., Carlos Vazquez M.D., and Mary Ann Flecther Ph.D., University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Frestedt JL1, Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA, Ward LS, Bastian ED. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Mar 27;5:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-8.

Top 10 Supplements to BuildYour Ultimate 2015 Physique!


Ah, January. The days are short and the nights are long. If you live anywhere above Southern California or Florida, they're probably cold, too. The days of bathing suits and snug summer polos, bikinis and tank tops, seem a long way away. For many people, January is a month of winter hibernation.

But it shouldn't be. Not for you. Instead, January should be the month for laying a firm foundation for the physique you want in the spring and summer months. These are the days of making -- and keeping -- a promise to yourself that this year you're going to build your greatest physique ever. Rock-hard and ripped for the guys, fit and firm for the ladies.



The road will be long and hard.But the rewards at the end will make all that winter effort worth it. When your determination flags, think of ProSource's 2015 Transformation of the Year, Roger Romance. Every major change, every great journey, begins with a first step, and continues when you keep your eyes on the prize.

So now you've made a New Year's resolution for 2015. Or maybe you just know that a head start is a good start. Either way, you'll be logging plenty of hours in the gym. (Check out some of ProSource's terrific training articles, written by some of the foremost experts in the business.) You'll be watching what you eat. And you'll certainly be looking for some help from some of the most powerful and most effective supplements ever designed for letting lean, adding muscle, losing fat, and supporting a fit, active lifestyle.

That's where we're here to help. Provided here are the Top 10 Supplements to help you attain your ideal New Year's 2015 transformation and physique. With their assistance, you'll be drawing praise and turning heads in the months to come.

Buy BetaStax Elite
Buy Mega BCAA
BioQuest BetaStax Elite
The first few weeks of a new regimen that targets dramatic transformation are pivotal. Nothing is more discouraging than overhauling your lifestyle only to see little or no visible changes. That is why adding a powerful fat-loss/energizing agent like BetaStax Elite to your regimen is so important. The first thing you need to know about BetaStax is that its key active ingredient, PureWay-Slim, has delivered clinically validated and significant reductions in body weight, waist, and hip circumferences in as little as two weeks. Yes, two weeks. Even better, in a comparison of clinical studies, BetaStax Elite's PureWay-Slim blend achieved more weight-loss in those two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds delivered in eight weeks. That's called getting your transformation off to a high-flying start. BetaStax Elite also contains a number of other cutting-edge fat-loss agents in its formula (including a green coffee bean extract rich in chlorogenic acid content and raspberry ketones) which ensure that you're attacking body fact via every viable physiological pathway. In the first few weeks of your new program, you'll often feel fatigued and sluggish, especially if you're cutting back on caloric intake in an effort to get leaner. BetaStax Elite can help you here as well, with its unique matrix of premium-grade energy factors. These energy catalysts will help you avoid the late-afternoon slump synonymous with the early phases of dieting, while also giving you energy to burn in support of truly productive workouts.

Buy Vectron
Buy Vectron
ProSource Vectron
Protein is an ideal thermogenic super-food. It takes more energy to digest and assimilate, and it supports the muscle tissue that, in turn, burns fat for energy. Of course, not all proteins are created equal. Vectron from ProSource gives you all the fat-fighting power of protein, and does so in the contest of its key main ingredient, a weight management system called Prolibra. Prolibra is a unique fractionated protein complex that combines a specialized bioactive peptide matrix with a whey mineral complex to target both fat loss and muscle support. This is especially important for beginning dieters because your body, when faced with the twin stressors of reduced caloric intake and increased activity in the form of extensive workouts, will seek to preserve fat and cannibalize muscle tissue. To achieve your goals, you must reverse this outcome. Vectron is ideal for this, as illustrated in the results of an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical test of Prolibra, in which test subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle, while at the same time experiencing 79% fat loss compared to a control group at 51% fat loss. That's a firm foundation for real transformational progress!

Buy NytroWhey Ultra Elite
Buy NytroWhey Ultra Elite
ProSource NytroWhey Ultra Elite
Now that we understand the thermogenic impact of protein, let's address the primary purpose of this all-important nutrient, which is muscle growth. As part of your transformation, you're going to be supplementing with plenty of protein, and you need to make sure that that protein is generating maximum anabolism with every scoop you take. READ YOUR INGREDIENT LABELS. Keep an eye out for useless whey concentrates, soy, caseinates, and inert fillers. That stuff won't help, and you won't find one millogram of it in NytroWhey Ultra Elite, the gold standard of premium proteins. What you WILL find is a matrix of protein technologies designed to exponentially up-regulate protein synthesis, trigger anabolism, and drive significant growth. The ultra-premium-grade, cold-processed CFM whey protein isolate in NytroWhey Ultra Elite is loaded with critical growth catalysts primed for rapid-action muscle support. For even faster uptake, advanced whey protein hydrolysates yield extremely low-molecular-weight di- and tri-peptides for super-swift absorption into muscle tissue. Add in a state-of-the-art leucine peptide technology designed to trigger extreme anabolism, and you've got a muscle-building powerhouse of unprecedented power and productivity. If you want to make your physique goals a reality, you owe it to yourself to go first class. And that's NytroWhey Ultra Elite.


Buy AndroTest
Buy AndroTest
ProSource AndroTest
Here's one strictly for the men. If you've made physique transformation your #1 priority for 2015, then you are most likely coming to this task from a physical and mental space you'd rather not be in. You may be feeling sluggish, slow, uninspired. Your workouts are off; your endurance is down.  So many of these negative outcomes are tied to suppressed or inadequate hormone production, specifically that of testosterone.

If this is the case with you, then your timing is impeccable, because the science of natural testosterone support is advancing by leaps and bounds recently, most excitingly in the form of AndroTest, the first true clinical-grade natural test booster. AndroTest contains a key, full-spectrum, protodioscin-rich botanical super compound designed to help potentiate the release of luteinizing hormone, which in turn can help support testosterone production (into the normal range). Maximized testosterone levels mean everything to a man, as you'll discover as soon as you start taking AndroTest. Men who are taking AndroTest right now are reporting enhanced power and performance in and out of the gym and an overall improved quality of life. That's what transformation is all about.

Buy MyoZene
Buy MyoZene
BioQuest MyoZene
You want to really change and grow? Then get the maximum benefit from each and every workout you undertake. We'll consider pre-workout preparation in a moment, but for now let's focus entirely on the your bodily environment in the first hour or so after an intense workout. Your glycogen stores are wiped out, so your insulin activity is low. Your muscles are damaged and screaming for fuel to carry out critical repair and recovery. If they're not finding it in sufficient amounts they're simply going to tear down existing muscle tissue to find it. That's called catabolism. If you let that happen, you've just wasted an hour on the gym floor, because growth is impossible in this scenario.

Instead, you need to turn to a mass builder that addresses growth from every vector. BioQuest's MyoZene is your ultimate transformational tool. It contains an ultra-hydrolyzed, rapid-action whey protein that's absorbed directly into the bloodstream for immediate utilization and unsurpassed muscle synthesis. It also provides Creapure creatine monohydrate for muscle cell volumization, key anabolic aminos to fuel recovery, and the exact amount of high-glycemic carbs to potentiate insulin secretion. Finally, Leuvon 590 Leucine Peptides are at work, providing maximally bioactive leucine (up to four times the amount of this essential amino found in other mass builders) to jumpstart anabolism. Take MyoZene immediately after your workout and, by the time you hit the shower, you feel growth happening at levels you've never experienced before. Feel that? That's your transformation, right on schedule.

Buy AndroFury
Buy AndroFury
BioQuest AndroFury / BioQuest AlphaFury
Of course, you're not going to get that growth if you've just completed a lackluster workout. You want to hit that floor ready to rock, with a skin-stretching muscle pump, plus endurance and intensity to spare. For the men, some targeted testosterone support goes a long way toward achieving maximized productivity as well. Men will find all of these key performance optimizers In BioQuest AndroFury, the first ultra-potent, testosterone-charged pre-workout formula. AndroFury unleashes a perfect storm of power, strength, and aggression via its complex of sophisticated muscle-pump agents, energy catalysts, and most especially, its key ingredient – a full-spectrum, protodioscin-rich botanical super compound designed to optimize testosterone levels. To further support this activity, AndroFury also contains an advanced mechanism precision-targeted to increase androgen receptor levels, further increasing the effectiveness of circulating testosterone. If testosterone enhancement isn't your goal (hello, ladies!), BioQuest's AlphaFury offers all the endurance support, muscle pump, focus and intensity without the hormonal support.

Buy Tonalin CLA
Buy Tonalin CLA
ProSource Tonalin CLA
If you're taking some or most of the Top 6 Essential Supplements we've already discussed, your New Year's 2015 Transformation should be well on its way. The remaining products in our Top 10 are meant to complement those technologies in synergistic ways. Conjugated linoleic acid, for instance, is ideal for those who are already taking a stimulant-based thermogenic (such as BetaStax Elite) for fat loss. Non-stimulant CLA, a form of fatty acid derived from some meat and dairy sources, has the added benefit of being a true body partitioning agent, as it both supports fat loss and helps maintain muscle tissue simultaneously. Indeed, this body-toning lipid has been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny for its ability to affect repartitioning (reduction of the abdominal area while enhancing muscle tone) while also supporting good (HDL) cholesterol. When looking for a CLA supplement, always look for the world-class Tonalin brand, as found in ProSource Tonalin CLA.

Buy Green Coffee Bean
Buy Green Coffee Bean
ProSource Green Coffee Bean Extract
Here's another key supplement well-suited for providing non-stimulant diet support. It should be noted here that not all people tolerate stimulant-containing supplements well. If you're one of those people, or if you're just looking for supplemental diet support late in the day, green coffee bean extract is a good way to go. The key active ingredient in green coffee bean extract is chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to slow the release of glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, thereby helping to support the maximum utilization of fat as energy. This is an emerging technology that has shown great promise in recent years, and is well worth investigating as part of your fat-loss program. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract contains the dosage of chlorogenic acid commonly used in clinical studies and is derived from the highest-quality sources.



Buy ZMA
Buy ZMA
ProSource ZMA
Whenever people think of the elements that go into radically reshaping a physique, they think of nutrition and exercise. This makes perfect sense, but try to keep in mind, though, that the ideal strategy for achieving success in your transformation can be seen as a three-legged stool: nutrition, exercise, and proper rest. ZMA has long been associated with support of better sleep (which is why it is most often taken at night, before sleep). It is also a highly versatile supplement in that it has been linked to strength increases and muscle recovery as well. Indeed, in a landmark clinical study involving college athletes, test subjects supplementing with ZMA experienced a remarkable 11.6% average increase in strength compared to a placebo group (4.6% increase). Not only is ZMA a unique double-duty supplement, it's also one of the greatest values in sports nutrition, particularly if its SNAC Systems ZMA, the industry gold standard, as found in ProSource ZMA.



Buy DopaTech-HGH
Buy DopaTech-HGH
ProSource DopaTech-HGH
We've addressed virtually every aspect of a successful New Year's Transformation Resolution except one. Mood is the key to maintaining your progress day-to-day over the long haul. There will be days when you're tempted to backslide into bad habits, skip a workout, succumb to crashing blood-sugar levels or cratering serotonin levels, and lose ground. A good mood will get you past those "trap days." Mucuna pruriens extract, standardzed for its key L-Dopa ingredient, has been shown to support endogenous levodopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain, which will help keep you on an even keel, mentally and emotionally. A good day starts with a good outlook, and ProSource's DopaTech-HGH will put some spring in your step!

And there you have it, a perfect nutritional-supplement recipe for the attainment of the ideal physique. As always, we here at ProSource take a keen interest in the physique achievements of everyone in our extended ProSource family. If you succeed in your attaining your New Year's Resolution of a new, leaner, harder, healthier body, contact us and let us know about it. You could find yourself, like Roger Romance, featured on our website or in our catalogs. In the meantime, good luck in making 2015 your best physique year ever!

Use as directed and with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read all product labels and warnings thoroughly before use. Endorser's results are not typical. Endorser was remunerated for his appearance. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Exploring the Connections BetweenProper Rest, Fat Loss, and Muscle Building


[Editor's Note: It's always a pleasure to welcome a new writer to the fold, and this week we'd like to introduce Lauren Jacobsen. A thought leader in the world of fitness and wellness, Lauren is a certified personal trainer with a degree in biochemistry, a former top figure competitor, a sports nutrition consultant, and proprietor of the very popular SexyStrongFit.com. Her motto is "Be Fierce!" She writes extensively on fitness and supplementation issues, and now she's writing here. Take it away, Lauren!]

Rest, recovery, and recuperation -- whatever way you look at it, the bottom line is everyone needs sleep to function. And that's doubly true for athletes. Most of us don't get enough sleep; on average most people get about 1 to 2 hours less sleep than they need to function optimally. 

Lost sleep is not something you can catch up on either. Every hour of lost sleep is lost forever. Lost sleep is usually the result of our schedules; we sacrifice sleep for work, social or family obligations, and although you might not think getting sleep is important, too little starts to catch up on you very quickly. Your productivity slumps; your energy levels plummet; your workouts start to suffer, and eventually your physique and performance decline as well.
 
Yes, that's correct. Sleep can impact many physiological processes in the body and trigger hormonal cascades that can have a direct effect on your ability to burn off fat or build muscle! Maximizing your sleep is the first step to improving your body's ability to be a fat burning, muscle-building machine.

Sleep and Muscle Growth
With lost sleep comes elevated levels of cortisol during the afternoon and the evening, which can impede your muscle building efforts. Elevated cortisol shuts off growth pathways including insulin release and inhibits testosterone release. This leaves insulin unavailable to perform its job. Without its release, nutrients are left unutilized in the blood stream, and are not delivered to the muscle where they can perform their job, fueling recovery or your workout. Meanwhile, low testosterone levels can directly affect your muscle building, shutting off the androgenic pathways that stimulate growth or repair.

Lack of sleep can also impact your exercise performance. Since your body's physiological processes are impaired, you will not respond as well to the nutrients you are consuming in preparation for your workout, your energy levels will falter, and your sets will fall short.

If that weren't enough, let's not forget that during sleep our body's recovery systems are in full effect. Muscle tissue damage experienced during your workout is rebuilt and ready for your next workout. Chronic sleep loss means this process will be greatly impeded. Repeated tissue damage without repair is a first-class ticket to growth plateaus, overtraining or even injury.
 
Sleep and Your Fat Burning
When cortisol levels rise due to lack of sleep, fat burning pathways are shut down, while levels of important regulators of sleep and appetite drop including serotonin and leptin. Your metabolic rate also slows down during sleep deprivation in order to preserve energy, opening the door to excess fat storage.

When the body is out of its normal circadian rhythm (due to lack of sleep or disrupted sleep patterns), this can negatively affect metabolic rate and the fat burning processes. In one study that compared those who slept 8.5 hours per night versus those who slept 5.5 hours per night (for 2 weeks on a 1450 calorie diet) the people who slept more lost more fat than the group who slept less. More than half of the weight loss for the 8.5-hour group was fat, versus only a quarter for the 5.5-hour group. 

Need even more reason to sleep more? The test subjects who slept less lost more muscle mass -- 60% more!  Lesson learned? Sleeping less shifts metabolism out of fat burning into fat preservation and muscle catabolism!

Supplemental Strategies
for Supporting Sleep

Getting good sleep is a start, of course. Shoot for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, which will make you feel more energized, stronger and more focused in the gym, not to mention it will ensure full post-workout recovery. But there are a few other things you can do to maximize your sleep, your fat burning and your muscle building, and that includes taking a few key supplements.

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ZMA
ZMA (a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate and Vitamin B6) has been shown in clinical studies to support natural increases in free testosterone. (In the body, about 98% of testosterone is bound, so increases in free testosterone are preferred for supporting muscle-building and recovery pathways.) Zinc plays a key role in protein metabolism, tissue repair and is a key enzyme involved in hormone production. Vitamin B6 plays roles in metabolic processes in the body related to energy production, while magnesium has been linked to muscle relaxation, helping reduce stress in the body. [Editor's Note: If you want to be sure you are getting the right clinically researched dose of ZMA, always look for the gold standard in ZMA manufacturing, SNAC Systems ZMA, as found in ProSource brand ZMA. SNAC Systems ZMA is the catalyst used in landmark product-specific university testing that documented significant mass gains in college athletes.] Take it 30 minutes before bedtime and you will not only get a better night sleep, but you will also ensure your muscles have what they need to facilitate recovery!  

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CLA
If you're an athlete trying to shed fat, you know that taking stimulant-based thermogenics anywhere near bedtime is a recipe for a sleepless night. That's where a good non-stimulant fat-loss agent can really come to the rescue.

CLA (also known as Conjugated Linoleic Acid) has been suggested to help improve overall body composition, by improving the ratio of lean mass to fat in the body. Scientists have theorized that a key mechanism by which CLA works involves enhancing insulin sensitivity, allowing both fatty acids and glucose to pass through muscle cell membranes at the same time, where they can be utilized as fuel instead of being stored as fat. Studies on humans have shown that while weight loss is not always achieved while taking CLA, reduction in body fat and support of lean mass are indicated. This, of course, is an ideal end result for bodybuilders. [Editor's Note:  Serious athletes know that the preferred source of CLA for maximum results is Tonalin CLA, as found in ProSource brand CLA. ProSource's premium formula contains a full 1600 mg per serving of this highly potent and pure body-composition-enhancing catalyst, standardized for 80% Tonalin CLA, the highest quality available.]      

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Coleus Forskohlii
Another key agent of stimulant-free fat loss is Forskolin, the active ingredient in Coleus Forskohlii. This catalyst has been shown to raise levels of cyclic AMP or cAMP by activating the enzyme adenylyl cyclase. When cAMP is high, it can help elevate circulating levels of other key hormones in the body, triggering pathways that effect both muscle building and fat burning including PI3K and mTOR/Akt.  These pathways can have an effect on muscle contraction, protein synthesis or muscle building, and fat burning.

In one study, overweight men that received a dose of 250 mg at 10% forskolin for 12-weeks, experienced positive changes in body composition as well as increases in testosterone levels. Testosterone can have an effect on helping increase fat metabolism, preserve muscle tissue and stimulate muscle building!  [Editor's Note: ProSource Forslean Coleus Forskohlii is standardized and patented in a dosage equal to that used in clinical testing. Its purity, potency, and price ensure that it is your best value for your supplement dollar.]     

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Theanine
Theanine is a derivative of green tea leaves, which has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. This amino acid stimulates the brain's production of alpha wave activity, which is associated with feelings of relaxation. Theanine also helps the body produce other calming amino acids, such as dopamine, GABA and tryptophan. Supplement with a dose of 50 to 200 mg. [Editor's Note: Here as well, you can't go wrong with ProSopurce's premium-quality L-Theanine product, which is sourced 100% with industry-leading Suntheanine compound.]

Conclusion
Athletes seeking better sleep might also look into recent research involving melatonin, GABA, and 5-HTP. Regardless, proper rest is an essential (and often overlooked) element in maximized fat-loss, muscle-support, and performance. So get your Z-Z-Z's!

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Diet and Supplementation Strategies forMaintaining Long-Term Weight Loss


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Summer is over, which for many of you means less opportunity to show off those awesome abs you were sporting all season. Unfortunately, this is where you can quickly find yourself at a crossroads.

Take the high road and you'll be able to sustain and maintain your weight-loss achievement while turning your attention to loftier goals. Take the low road and you'll soon join the legions of people who slowly undo the fabulous work they have done and gain back the weight and fat you lost. It is sad, but studies indicate that a large proportion of people gain back all or a significant portion of the weight they lose within a year. Purely from a calories-in versus calories-out perspective, maintaining weight loss should be easier than losing weight, but that is obviously not the case.

Sustain and Maintain
Too many people never truly adopt their new lifestyle and instead follow an over-the-top diet approach that leads to weight loss, but cannot be maintained.Then, after you are mentally exhausted from depriving yourself of seemingly everything, you stop following your diet and go back to a good bit of the bad things you were doing before.

Make no mistake about it, losing weight is not easy. It starts by knowing how many calories you are bringing in each day and also how many calories you are burning each day. This is no easy task and many people miss their target by as much as 25-40%. The result is a disconnect in which you think you have really burned a good number of calories or had a killer diet day, when in fact it was average at best.

Take the High Road
Regardless, making improvements in your diet and working hard at your exercise program can occur each day and this should be a key goal for everyone: make today better than yesterday! Some days you will nail it; some days you won't.

From a dietary perspective, watching your overall caloric intake is critically important and at the end of the day is the most important consideration. But an excellent way to help this process along is to maximize and increase your intake of protein. A good bit of scientific evidence exists to indicate that consuming a diet which contains a higher intake of dietary protein can stimulate weight loss and ensure greater amounts of this lost weight comes from fat (Layman, Boileau et al. 2003, Arciero, Ormsbee et al. 2013).

In fact, a very recent study was published in Obesity and had study participants reduce their caloric intake by 75% (a common caloric restriction for weight loss) and consume as many as six meals per day with each meal providing either 15% or 35% protein. As seen in this study and a number of other studies, when caloric intake is restricted through dieting and a greater amount of protein is consumed, significantly greater amounts of fat loss were experienced (Arciero, Ormsbee et al. 2013).Moreover, greater rates of calorie burning were found and better improvements in fat-free mass occurred.

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A Premium-Quality Whey Protein
Is a Powerful Tool for Staying Lean

While this may sound easy, consuming six meals per day that contain 35% protein can be quite the task.Fortunately, products like ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite can be added to your diet to allow you to quickly and easily consume a high-protein meal that provides very little extra carbohydrate or fat. Indeed a top-quality whey like NytroWhey Ultra Elite is low in both carbs and fat, while providing a cuttng-edge blend of whey isolates, whey hydrolystates, and an advnaced leucine-bound leucine peptide technology that are essential to supporting the muscle that uses body fat as energy.

How Much Protein Is Enough?
How much protein is needed or how much is too much (or not enough?). Answers to these excellent questions can come directly from a study by Pasiakos where they had men and women create a 40% shift in energy balance (through a combination of diet and exercise) while feeding participants a diet that provided 1x, 2x or 3x the RDA for dietary protein.

The most weight loss occurred in the 1x the RDA group, but too much of this weight was muscle. When 2x the RDA was consumed significant amounts of weight loss occurred and an excellent proportion of this lost weight came from fat as opposed to muscle, resulting in favorable improvements in body composition after just three weeks of dieting and exercising.In this respect, study participants who ingested 3x the RDA also saw amounts of weight loss and fat loss, thus the ideal amount of protein during an aggressive short-term diet and exercise approach may be somewhere between 2 – 3x the RDA (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013).

Again, consuming a diet with this much high-quality protein can be challenging simply from the perspective of preparing and packing the food.This instance is one where an excellent product like NytroWhey Ultra Elite can help you achieve your necessary intakes of protein while minimizing the burden of following this kind of program.

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Diet Supplements to the Rescue
Optimal caloric intake and delivering enough protein to facilitate fat loss and maximize body composition changes are key considerations. In addition, carefully selecting a high-powered thermogenic and dietary aid can nicely round out and maximize your body's fat-burning ability.

Beta-Stax Elite from BioQuest is an excellent product for this consideration as it brings to the table a combination of ingredients purported to be effective for weight loss and fat loss. BetaStax Elite's key active ingredient, Pure-Way Slim, is a proprietary blend supported by previous clinical research to facilitate greater weight loss and drive greater cognitive power towards your weight loss efforts. Beta-Stax Elite also contains raspberry ketones and green coffee bean extract, two ingredients that have received support from cell culture, animal and human research as ingredients that can aid in fat burning and weight loss (Shimoda, Seki et al. 2006, Park 2010, Vinson, Burnham et al. 2012, Lopez, Ziegenfuss et al. 2013).

Finally, the non-stimulant unique group of fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), continue to be a popular choice for people looking to maintain their weight and lose fat. For years, animal research has supported the use of CLA as a fat loss agent. Human research using CLA is widespread as well and an excellent scientific review written by Whigham indicates that CLA exhibits a definite, but modest ability to stimulate weight loss, fat loss and overall improvements in body composition (Whigham, Watras et al. 2007). When choosing a CLA product, keep in mind that Tonalin CLA has long been the gold standard in this category. ProSource CLA contains 100% Tonalin-sourced CLA.

Conclusion
The end of summer brings its own challenges and one of the biggest challenges is working to build upon your successful efforts to lose weight and improve your physique. With colder temperatures, your workouts may become shorter, less intense and less frequent which means your dietary choices become more important.By increasing your protein intake, watching your calories and adding a few other ingredients into your daily regimen, you can help you to sustain your weight loss and potentially even shed a few more pounds going into the holidays.


References
Arciero, P. J., M. J. Ormsbee, C. L. Gentile, B. C. Nindl, J. R. Brestoff and M. Ruby (2013). "Increased protein intake and meal frequency reduces abdominal fat during energy balance and energy deficit." Obesity (Silver Spring) 21(7): 1357-1366.

Layman, D. K., R. A. Boileau, D. J. Erickson, J. E. Painter, H. Shiue, C. Sather and D. D. Christou (2003). "A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in adult women." J Nutr 133(2): 411-417.

Lopez, H. L., T. N. Ziegenfuss, J. E. Hofheins, S. M. Habowski, S. M. Arent, J. P. Weir and A. A. Ferrando (2013). "Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 10(1): 22.

Park, K. S. (2010). "Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes." Planta Med 76(15): 1654-1658.

Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, L. M. Margolis, E. R. Sauter, L. D. Whigham, J. P. McClung, J. C. Rood, J. W. Carbone, G. F. Combs, Jr. and A. J. Young (2013). "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial." FASEB J.

Shimoda, H., E. Seki and M. Aitani (2006). "Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice." BMC complementary and alternative medicine 6: 9.

Vinson, J. A., B. R. Burnham and M. V. Nagendran (2012). "Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects." Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 5: 21-27.

Whigham, L. D., A. C. Watras and D. A. Schoeller (2007). "Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans." The American journal of clinical nutrition 85(5): 1203-1211.

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Non-Stimulant Diet-Support SolutionsFor the Stim-Sensitive Athlete


For many of us, diet support is easy. If you have what could be described as a "normal" tolerance to stimulants, you're good to go when it comes to most "buzz worthy" thermogenic diet-support supplements. In fact, one particular thermogenic weight-loss supplement that has long been acclaimed as the category leader for its advanced and super-comprehensive matrix of transformative mechanisms of action has just been newly amplified for even more weight-loss power. But BioQuest's new BetaStax Elite is a story for another day.

Diet Support Without the Buzz
Today, we're talking non-stimulant alternatives. How do you know if you're stimulant sensitive? Well, we're not talking about that alert, amped-up feeling that many of us enjoy, particularly as we're walking out onto the gym floor in anticipation of a great workout. Symptoms for those who might be better off avoiding typical thermogenics include the onset of dizziness or nausea, heart palpitations, and difficulty sleeping (no matter how many hours have elapsed since your last thermogenic dose). Clearly, this outcome does not apply to your typical athlete. But for those of you out there who do experience these symptoms, this article is for you.

If you're sensitive to stimulants, your choices are more limited, though the best options still pack a powerful punch. This is also a good place to note that non-stimulant diet-support options are not just for the stimulant averse. Many athletes use these products in combination with thermogenics to attack excess fat via as many pathways of action as possible. A stack like this BetaStax / Tonalin CLA offering will pay real dividends for an athlete looking to get lean and rock-hard. So now, let's take a look at some noteworthy supplements that will address excess fat without the amperage.

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Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring Omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in meat and dairy products. Bodybuilders have long valued CLA for its unique capacity to help effect body repartitioning via a combination of excess fat reduction and lean-muscle support. And, just as importantly for our purposes here, it is a common non-stimulant ingredient in diet-support products.

So, just how effective is CLA at supporting body repartitioning? In one of the largest and best controlled studies of CLA, researchers from Norway examined the effects of CLA supplementation (3.4 g/day) on whole body and regional composition in overweight men and women. The study used a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled design in over 100 subjects. The study lasted 6 months during which time subjects were instructed to maintain their normal diet and exercise patterns, the only major change being to supplement with either CLA or placebo. After 6 months, the CLA group lost significantly more body fat (-3.3 pounds) compared to a gain of 1 pound in the placebo group. Further, the CLA group gained 1.3 pounds of lean body mass, whereas the placebo group had little change (+0.4 pounds). In summary, the placebo group had little change in body composition as expected, but simply taking 3.4 g/day of CLA without making any other lifestyle changes resulted in simultaneous fat loss and gain in lean body mass.1

In another study, researchers reporting in the Journal of Nutrition found that CLA supplementation to obese subjects can alter body composition in as little as 12 weeks. In this study, subjects made no other lifestyle changes other than consuming either CLA or a placebo. There were 2 groups of CLA that consumed a low dose (3.2 g/day) or high dose (6.4 g/day). Body composition measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry revealed that subjects in the high dose CLA group had a significant increase in lean body mass of one and a half pounds, and they lost about half a pound of fat. The increase in lean body mass with CLA occurred despite no changes in diet or exercise training.2

Clearly, these are exciting results. It should also be noted that of all the sources of CLA available to athletes, Tonalin CLA is far and away regarded as the industry gold standard. ProSource Tonalin CLA is a highly potent and pure premium-grade material that's standardized for an unprecedented 80% Tonalin CLA.

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Green Coffee Bean Extract
Another promising non-stimulant technology is green coffee extract, which contains high concentrations of chlorogenic acids that have been associated with diet support by way of their ability to help modulate glucose utilization and fat metabolism. Unfortunately, you can't just brew up a cup of coffee containing these beans because they're exceptionally bitter and the high temperatures used to roast coffee beans damage the chlorogenic acids. To avoid this outcome, supplement manufacturers use concentrated extracts of green coffee beans, which contain higher amounts of bioactive chlorogenic acids.

Here again, the science supporting this non-stimulant mechanism of fat loss is persuasive. A 22-week crossover study was conducted to examine the efficacy of a commercial green coffee extract in reducing weight and body mass in 16 overweight adults. Subjects received high-dose green coffee extract, low-dose GCE, or placebo in separate six-week treatment periods followed by two-week washout periods to reduce any influence of preceding treatment. Treatments were counterbalanced between subjects. Primary measurements were body weight, body mass index, and percent body fat. Significant reductions were observed in body weight (-8.04 ± 2.31 kg), body mass index (-2.92 ± 0.85 kg/m2), and percent body fat (-4.44% ± 2.00%), for the high-dose GCE subjects, all with no significant changes to diet over the course of the study. The results are consistent with human and animal studies and a meta-analysis of the efficacy of green coffee extract in weight loss.3

As always, it's worth the effort to read the ingredient label of your green coffee bean extract supplement very closely, because chlorogenic acid content and quality varies widely by brand. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract is unrivaled in power and purity, and is standardized for a potent dose of 50% chlorogenic acids (200mg).

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Raspberry Ketones
Ever think of eating more raspberries to help increase your body's ability to burn fat?  It turns out a key ingredient found in raspberries has properties that a couple of preliminary studies suggest may help to increase fat breakdown and limit fat accumulation. Scientists originally became interested in raspberry ketones because structurally they are very similar to capsaicin, another common diet-support ingredient, but without capsaicin's spicy or pungent effect.  

The first study to examine the impact of raspberry ketones on its ability to prevent weight gain provided various doses of raspberry ketones to laboratory mice and fed them a high-fat diet.  The high levels of raspberry ketones in the animals diet helped to reduce weight gain and also increased the amount of lipolysis or fat breakdown in fat cells found in the animals.4

Several years passed before another study was conducted and recently scientists exposed fat cells to raspberry ketone in an effort to examine what exactly was responsible for the perceived prevention in weight gain and increase in fat breakdown as seen in the initial study. When exposed to fat cells, raspberry ketone significantly increased the amount of lipolysis or fat breakdown in fat cells.  A follow-up analysis revealed that raspberry ketones favorably increased the expression of adiponectin, an important hormone released primarily by fat cells.

Equally important, exposing fat cells to raspberry ketone decreased the amount of fat which accumulated in the fat cells, which is a favorable change linked to reduction in overall body fat.  The authors concluded that raspberry ketone holds great promise for its ability to both reduce fat accumulation and increase fat breakdown.5 Certainly, additional research is needed to further confirm these results in humans to see if they can be used as an aid to help lose fat and control your body composition, but the early results are encouraging.

Interested in trying this emerging new technology? Your best bet is ProSource's Razberi-K supplement. ProSource's premium-grade Razberi-K product contains only the highest quality Raspberry Ketones [4- (4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one] in a 100mg dose.

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Protein And More Protein
As most athletes are well aware, simply doing your best to support muscle tissue is, in itself, a valuable diet strategy because muscle is more metabolically active and may improve calorie expenditure, thus further supporting a leaner physique. Therefore, maximizing protein intake throughout your day is essential. Of course, not all proteins are created equal when it comes to body repartitioning. One protein, in particular, ProSource's Vectron, contains an elite fractionated protein complex called Prolibra, a specialized bioactive peptide matrix along with a special whey mineral complex designed to precisely target essential mechanisms of body transformation.

How effective is it? Let's take a look at the science. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle while at the same time experiencing 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Those are results you can really get excited about. Other proteins, such as ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite, are also critical to supporting your workouts and recovery, and should form the cornerstone of your daily supplementation regimen.

And there you have it. Clearly the fitness-conscious, stimulant-sensitive athlete has plenty of options when it comes to attacking excess fat. So go out there and beat the bulge, without the buzz!

References
1 Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoivik HO, Hoye K, Syvertsen C, Nurminiemi M, Hassfeld C, Einerhand A, O'Shea M, Gudmundsen O. Six months supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid induces regional-specific fat mass decreases in overweight and obese. Br J Nutr. 2007 Mar;97(3):550-60.

2 Steck SE, Chalecki AM, Miller P, Conway J, Austin GL, Hardin JW, Albright CD, Thuillier P. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for twelve weeks increases lean body mass in obese humans. J Nutr. 2007 137: 1188-1193.

3 Joe A Vinson, Bryan R Burnham, and Mysore V Nagendran. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012; 5: 21–27.

4 Morimoto, C, Satoh, Y, Hara, M, Inoue, S, Tsujita, T, and Okuda, H. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 2005; 77(2): p. 194-204.

5 Park, KS. Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Planta Med. 2010; 76(15): p. 1654-8.

6 Frestedt JL1, Zenk JL, Kuskowski MA, Ward LS, Bastian ED. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Mar 27;5:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-5-8.


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Separating the Facts From the MythsTo Achieve Real Fat-Loss Results


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Owning and operating a gym which specializes in semi-private personal training, it will come as no surprise to you that 90% of the people who walk through the door are primarily interested in losing fat and looking better naked. I have been successful in helping many of these people get the results by implementing a multi-faceted approach stressing nutrition and efficiency.

Sadly, most trainers and coaches who deal with a fat-loss clientele simply sell workouts and empty promises. Rarely is there a nutrition component involved beyond general cookie cutter advice such as "eat more lean protein." In addition, many trainers put together "workouts" that are not structured and progressive training programs. What's more, many trainers don't apply the most efficient philosophy or principles with their clients, instead choosing to stress MORE: more steady state cardio, more volume, more days in the gym, etc.
 
Keeping all of the above in mind, I thought I'd share the philosophy I use to help my fat-loss clients achieve consistently great results.

Training is NOT a Weight/Fat Loss Method
I've always felt, despite the prevailing consensus to the contrary, that training (or "exercise" as most call it) is a horrible weight loss method. The objective of a structured and progressive training program is to increase fitness and performance: strength, conditioning, work capacity, movement quality, etc.  You should evaluate the effectiveness of your training program based on its ability to drive improvements in fitness and performance, NOT on how much weight you lose or (typically) don't lose.

Expecting training/exercise, by itself, to result in significant decreases in body weight or body fat makes about as much sense as expecting adherence to any popular diet to increase your deadlift by 50 lbs. Can improved nutrition make a positive impact on your performance in the gym? Sure, a little bit, but if your numbers and strength are not moving up, and you are complying with a sound diet, are you seriously going to analyze your diet to get moving in the right direction? Probably not. Instead, you are going to look at things like frequency, volume, loading parameters, exercise selection, or training split.

It's the same with training and weight/fat loss. While training does burn calories and makes a very small contribution to creating the caloric deficit needed for fat loss, it is NOT the primary objective. If your goal is fat loss, and your weight and body composition are not improving, it's highly unlikely your training program is to blame, and if you are a regular reader of the training articles on this site from the likes of Josh Bryant, I doubt that's your problem. It's your crappy diet.

Look, I've done the math, and training (a combination of strength training and cardio) for one hour, 7 days per week, will typically result in an expenditure of about 3000 calories. That's all. The general belief (even though some have refuted it) is that there are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. So, as you can see, it's a 7-hour time investment for less than a pound's worth of calories. Trying to "exercise off" body fat is analogous to trying to drive a nail into a board with a screwdriver. If you bang away long enough, you might get the nail started. But wouldn't it be easier just to use a damned hammer?

In my opinion, this is the primary reason people discontinue a training regimen. They are expecting the training to burn up all kinds of calories and result in large-scale decreases in body weight and fat, and, when that doesn't happen, they say "screw it"and quit. The reality is, they are probably deriving a great deal of benefit from the program, but if the results don't meet their expectations, motivation dwindles. What's happened is that sensationalized, unethical fitness pros and the media have ingrained it into the typical person's head that a training/exercise program equals a weight-loss program. If more people, like the clients at my gym, were educated as to what the true benefits and objectives of training are, they would see the value in training and wouldn't discontinue it if the scale isn't moving.

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Bottom line: train to enhance fitness and performance, NOT to lose weight and fat. Let your diet or, as I like to call it, "nutristyle," dictate and drive fat and weight loss.

In the Hierarchy of Fat Loss Nutrition, Calories Sit at the Top
Piggy backing off of the principle discussed above, the best and most efficient way to create a caloric deficit necessary for fat loss is to establish and adhere to your fat loss caloric requirements. It's far easier to simply eliminate 500 calories from your diet by eating in a slight deficit vs. spending an hour on the elliptical trainer.
For the general adult who's typically carrying far too much weight, has lost lean muscle and is generally unfit, I'll set their fat loss caloric requirements at 11-12 calories/pound of their current weight. For someone already fairly lean, and who carries a bit more muscle, I usually start around 14-15 calories/pound. These ranges typically put someone in just a slight caloric deficit. If it doesn't, and the results reveal that on a bi-weekly basis, despite 90% compliance, I adjust downwards. The goal at my gym is to find how MUCH (not how little) a client can eat and still drop fat.

Calories Rule, BUT Macros Matter
Once I've established a client's fat loss calorie requirements, I then take a look at macronutrients. Can you lose fat and weight just focusing on calories? Experience has told me yes, absolutely, but, if you want OPTIMAL results, and my clients do, then the composition of those calories matter.

My general guideline, and I'm sure you've heard this before, is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. In a fat loss phase, one of the goals should be to hang onto as much lean muscle tissue as possible, and eating adequate protein is one half of achieving this goal, with strength training being the other. [Editor's Note: A premium fat-loss protein such as ProSource's Vectron, is an excellent choice here. Vectron contains a unique weight management system called Prolibra that has produced (in an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial) significant improvements in the ratio of lean muscle mass to fat for test subjects.]

The remaining calories are made up of fat and carbs, and the ratio of each is dependent upon the amount and type of activity being done. At least in the initial period of a fat loss phase, I like to keep carbs at about 1 gram per pound as well (this will typically change as time moves on). The remaining calories come from fat. For example:

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200 lb. Male Strength Training 4 Days/Week
(no structured cardio other than leisurely walks)
Fat Loss Caloric Requirement: 2400 kcals (12kcals/lb.)
Protein Requirement: 200 grams (800 calories or 33% of the diet)
Carb Requirement: 200 grams (800 calories or 33% of the diet)
Fat Requirement (what remains): about 90 grams (800 calories or about 33% of the diet)

Remember "The Zone"diet? Looks a helluva lot like that doesn't it? A fairly even distribution of the macros.

Follow Meal Plans
Could one feasibly track their calories and macros eating a wide variety of foods which differ daily? I suppose they could, but it would be a royal pain in the ass. This is particularly true when trying to get the macros correct. It's not nearly as tedious to track overall calories, but trying to get those in the correct amounts while eating different foods every day would be a nightmare. This is why I devise actual meal plans for my clients to follow. While this sometimes appears to be too regimented to them, they soon realize it simplifies the process, making it more efficient and manageable.

Yes, the down side is that you are eating the same food every day, but no one said fat loss was easy. It's going to take some sacrifice, especially if you want optimal results. People need to get it out of their head that fat loss nutrition is this made-to-order, "your way right away" process. I've found too much food variety to be totally detrimental when it comes to losing fat. Pick a handful of fat, protein, and starch sources for each and stick to them. Trying to incorporate your mom's 35 ingredient chili recipe will have you pulling your hair out, spending an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen crunching numbers. Just keep it really simple. Boring is not bad when trying to lose fat.

I won't get into food sources too much. I always find it funny when people say "I don't know what to eat." That's usually not the problem, as most functioning members of society can rattle off "healthy" foods most nutrition experts would generally agree were, in fact, "healthy." The problem isn't not knowing WHAT to eat, but, rather, knowing HOW MUCH and IN WHAT PROPORTION to eat.

I'm often asked if I subscribe to an "if it fits your macros"(IIFYM) or a "clean foods" philosophy. As with most things, I think common sense dictates that going to either extreme is probably not necessary. Look, I've fit PopTarts into a client's post workout meal (IIFYM). If it fits, it fits. But 80% to 90% of the food on my clients' meal plans are comprised of "clean foods”: chicken, bison, top sirloin, fish, sweet potatoes, oats, avocado, etc. Also, it's not uncommon for me to allow clients "discretionary" calories they can use for whatever they want. I'll get their calories and macros as close to what they need as I can and then leave them 100-300 calories (depending on their weight) to use for whatever. Ten to twenty grams of a specific macro isn't going to make or break their plan, so I don't get overly rigid.

In the Hierarchy of Fat Loss Training, Strength Training Sits at the Top
What makes muscle, keeps muscle. As stated above, a primary goal during a fat loss phase should be to hang onto as much metabolically active muscle tissue as possible. Most people don't just want to lose weight. They want to look different and better naked. The only way to look "lean," "toned," "shaped," "ripped," "athletic," or whatever term you want to use to describe it, is to strength train, which adds shape, size, contour, and, dare I say it, "tone" to your muscles. It you want "the look," you have to have developed muscle tissue and low enough body fat for that muscle to show. Lack either one of those and you won't achieve the desired look.

Also, you need to STRENGTH TRAIN. This means a portion of your workouts need to be devoted to heavily loaded multiple joint exercises for 3 to 6 reps per set. All too often, people in "fat loss mode" start doing a ridiculous amount of volume, using short rest periods and very light-moderate loads. While speeding your workouts up and doing more, more, and more may seem like it is conducive to fat loss, the reality is you need to stress higher threshold type II muscle fibers, and a consistent regimen of light, high-rep circuit or "metabolic" (FYI, I hate that term, as everything is metabolic) stuff isn't going to cut it.

A really easy way to ensure you are meeting this requirement is to start each training session with a heavily loaded multiple joint exercise for 3 to 6 sets of 3 to 6 reps. This will get into the right fibers. After that, you can progressively increase your reps per set on the remaining exercises in your workout, working up to no more than 12-15 reps. Here's an example:

  1. Deadlift 3-6 sets of 3-6 reps (2-3 min between sets)
  2. Glute Ham Raise 4 sets of 8 reps
  3. High Box Step Ups 3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg
  4. Stability Ball Leg Curls 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

In the Hierarchy of Fat Loss
Training, Cardio Sits at the Bottom

My clients look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them there is no structured cardiovascular work in their training program, outside of maybe 5 minutes of intervals at the end of a strength training session (which is typically sprinting, sled work, versa climber, air dyne or battling ropes) and leisurely walking outside of the gym. I explain to them if they are eating in a caloric deficit by following their nutrition plan and strength training 3-4 days/week, very little else is needed in the way of structured exercise.

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Cardio doesn't help to build or retain muscle tissue, can drive up stress hormones and lower anabolic hormones, and, what's more, you just become more and more efficient at it, which means you have to do more and more of it. If you eat right, you can spend your time doing something else besides plodding away on an elliptical.

For my clients, I'll program in a bit of cardio as needed, typically once they are eating a fairly low number of calories and I don't want to drop them any further, but they still have some fat to lose. This does not happen very often.

Look, if you like to jog or cycle just because you like to jog or cycle, then have at it. I personally like to ride my road bike and often times ride the two miles from my house to the gym and back 3-4 times per week with maybe 1 or 2 other longer rides simply to enjoy the fresh air and blow off steam. But none of this is necessary if you are lifting hard and eating right.

Also, if you are skeptical of the "no cardio" approach, put on a heart rate monitor while you strength train. This was an eye opener for me. My 50-60 minutes strength training sessions typically had me burning 600-700 calories with an average heart rate response of 75% of age predicted maximum, with peak heart rate often times exceeding 90%. AND it retains and builds muscle. Lifting weights may not be "aerobic," but it is certainly cardiovascular. If you think about it, strength training is nothing more than a form of interval training: work real hard for 20-60 seconds and then rest.

A Word On Supplements
[Editor's Note]
When it comes to losing fat and optimizing your workouts for great results, clearly sports nutrition supplements play a part. One of the first drawbacks you'll encounter upon cutting back on caloric intake (besides being hungry, of course) is that you'll be easily tired. You could try to bull your way through your workout anyway, but lethargic workouts generally aren't productive workouts.

To counter this kind of energy deficit, you'll want to consider supplementing with a premium-quality pre-workout product. A supplement like BioQuest's AndroFury contains a comprehensive matrix of energy and performance optimizers including clinically indicated dosages of caffeine, arginine-AKG, citrulline, niacin, beta alanine, and R-lipoic acid to get you amped, as well as glutamine, taurine, and BCAAs to support post-workout recovery. (Men will also benefit from the testosterone-supporting, protodioscin-rich, botanical super compound contained in AndroFury. For women who have no desire to support testosterone levels, BioQuest also makes an AlphaFury pre-workout that has the workout optimizing content of AndroFury, without the hormonal technology.)

And what about fat? Here again, fitness-conscious people have potent weapons at their disposal. One of the thermogenic fat-loss category's legendary supplements has recently been upgraded and amplified to achieve exactly the kind of transformation you're looking for. BioQuest's BetaStax Elite contains a super-comprehensive matrix of weight-loss factors that work synergistically to attack excess fat. In a comparison of clinical studies, BetaStax Elite's primary ingredient, PureWay-Slim, delivered more weight loss for test subjects in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks, while subjects also experienced clinically validated and significant reductions in waist and hip circumference as well.

Those of you who are sensitive to stimulants might also want to consider non-stimulant weight-loss options such as ProSource's Tonalin CLA or Razberi-K products. Tonalin CLA has been long associated with positive effects on body repartitioning (oxidation and reduction of excess body fat combined with lean muscle support), while raspberry ketones provide support for both fat oxidation and antioxidant activity.

When looking to transform yourself, you don't have to go it alone. Enlist some supplemental support on your way to your goal!


Fat Loss Finale
So, there you have, the Live Fit Fat Loss Manifesto. In summary, here are the take home points to lose fat most effectively:
  • Keep training in perspective. Remember, training is NOT a weight loss method. It's a fitness and performance enhancement method.
  • Set your calories, on average, at about 12 calories/pound (fitter people with more muscle can go a bit higher) to put yourself in fat loss caloric deficit.
  • Set your protein and carb intake (initially for carbs) at 1 gram per pound of body weight.
  • The remainder of the calories should come from fat
  • Set up meal plans which meet all of the above requirements, follow them, and don't go crazy with food variety.
  • Prioritize STRENGTH training to retain lean muscle while in a deficit.
  • Limit or eliminate cardio (assuming you are following your nutrition plan) outside of leisurely walking and maybe a bit of interval work at the end of your strength training sessions.

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Optimize Fat Loss, Muscle Support and OverallWellness with Stacks for Men and Women


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Summer is here . . . and the living is easy.

Sometimes, too easy.

We've all been there. A day in the gym turns into a day at the beach. Your typical lunch of baked chicken breast and steamed vegetables becomes pork ribs and potato salad at your friend's BBQ. A casein shake and early to bed is transformed into a night in the clubs.

It's one of life's ironies. All winter long you work hard to achieve your ideal summer beach body . . . and summer itself seems to undo your handiwork. But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, maintaining your peak physique until Labor Day just requires a little due diligence in the form of a flexible training program and ramping up supplementation to counter the inevitable dietary detours that occur in summer's social whirl.

Make Time to Train
With regard to training, no one's social calendar is so full that he or she can't get to the gym four days in a week. If you can't, then you probably don't have a physique or figure that you're trying to maintain anyway. The key in the summer is to be flexible.

If you workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening at 5pm like clockwork, that's probably not going to work over July 4th weekend. Instead, you might want to substitute in an intensive, super-focused 30-minute workout before work. Or even fifteen minutes of super-intensity exercise at lunch time. ProSource.net always has you covered for varied, versatile, productive sample workouts of every sort, from superstar trainers like Josh Bryant, Todd Bumgardner, and Patrick Striet. Got a full day of activities planned? Check out Maximum Results in Minimum Time. Got just 15 minutes? Check out Fitter in 15!

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Summer Supplement Stacking to
Burn Fat and Maintain Muscle

Guys, July may not be the month in which you're going to put on 15 pounds of rock-hard muscle. Likewise, ladies, you may not be attaining your long-sought goal weight on Labor Day. But that's not what you're trying to accomplish. What you're seeking is a smart, sensible regimen that maximizes energy, burns fat, supports muscle, and maintains the overall wellness that is the hallmark of a terrific physique or fabulous figure.

Fortunately, ProSource has you covered here as well. Our Lean and Hard Stack for Men addresses each and every vector of fat loss, muscle support, and wellness for the summer male, while our Weight-Loss and Wellness Stack for Women does the same for women. Both achieve this goal by focusing first on fat-loss with the category's most powerful thermogenic supplement, the new, amplified version of BetaStax. And, because maintaining maximum muscle mass is essential to burning fat, ProSource's Vectron helps you do just that while also shedding more fat via its unique fat-loss mechanism. Finally, we've got two superior, wide-spectrum multis to maintain the peak wellness you must manifest for a truly phenomenal physique or figure, one created specifically for men, one for women. Let's take a closer look.

Unleash a Perfect Storm of Fat-Destroying,
Workout-Energizing Thermogenic Power

Long days and nights of summer celebration will leave you weary, listless, and vulnerable to flab. If you want to avoid this fate in the summer of 2014, your timing is perfect, because there's a breakthrough evolution of a fat-loss legend newly arrived on the scene.

BetaStax Elite, a reinvention of the all-time best-selling product in its category here at ProSource, contains a super-comprehensive matrix of weight-loss factors, including a powerful new diet-support super ingredient designed to further target key mechanisms of serious metabolic enhancement and weight-loss support. Of course, BetaStax Elite also contains the key transformational mechanism that revolutionized the diet-support category -- an exclusive PureWay-Slim technology that delivers clinically validated and significant reductions in body weight, waist and hip circumferences in as little as two weeks.

Like the original, BetaStax Elite is also the category's premier energy stimulating thermogenic. With its proprietary Liquid SpeedCap technology, BetaStax Elite yields a truly awe-inspiring surge in energy and focus beginning within just minutes of a single dose. BetaStax Elite will help men and women achieve fat-loss results beyond anything previously possible, while the co-factors in these extraordinary summer fitness stacks expand the focus to include muscle maintenance as well.

World's First Clinically Validated Weight-Loss
Protein Provides Targeted Muscle Support

The bane of summer is empty calories. And the antidote to empty calories is high-quality protein. If you know you're going out later to a venue where you'll be hearing the siren song of junk calories, supplementing in advance with superior aminos is your best bet for suppressing counter-productive cravings. Make that protein an advanced sports nutrition technology that also attacks excess fat while maintaining muscle, and you've got a powerful advantage. You need muscle to burn fat, and Vectron is a powerful tool for attaining both results.

For the goal of fat reduction, no other protein supplement has been proven as effective as Vectron by ProSource. Vectron's patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to support lean muscle, while promoting fat loss. Indeed, in a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle while at the same time experiencing 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Taking Vectron twice daily before meals has been shown to reduce blood glucose after meals and maintain muscle mass even under conditions of significant fat loss. All in all, Vectron supplementation results in healthy levels of blood sugar, decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage, all the while maintaining muscle tissue that is key to burning fat.

Overall Wellness is Essential
All the calorie management and exercise in the world will have minimal effect if your basic bodily processes are breaking down. That's where a comprehensive, wide-spectrum multivitamin, mineral, and antioxidant complex plays a key role. And, because the nutritional needs of men and women can vary in several important ways, ProSource has formulated two multis, both intended to support high-intensity fitness lifestyles, one for men and one for women.

ProSource's Vital Men's contains a complete spectrum of 23 vitamins and minerals in high potencies, plus antioxidant co-factors alpha lipoic acid and citrus bioflavonoids. Along with the full complement of basic nutrients, Vital Men's also includes nutrients important for men such as Korean ginseng for focus and cognition, as well as PABA (para aminobenzoic acid) to help potentiate norepinephrine levels for energy enhancement. Odorless garlic is also added for powerful free radical scavenging and helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Sexual support components in Vital Men's formula include raw oyster for healthy sexual function, plus saw palmetto, nettle root, pumpkin seed extract and lycopene for prostate protection. The idea behind a comprehensive men's formula such as Vital Men's is twofold: provide basic nutrient needs while also helping support specific issues important to men such as prostate health, sexual support and cognition enhancement.

ProSource Vital Women's also contains the complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals, while targeting specific areas such as bone health, supporting menstrual cycles and strengthening hair and nails. Along with a full spectrum of B complex vitamins for energy support, Vital Women's approach also includes calcium, magnesium and boron to help reduce risk for osteoporosis, plus biotin to enhance nail and hair strength, growth and texture.

Potent amounts of vitamins A, C and D are added plus a comprehensive mineral blend and vitamin E in the highly bioavailable d-alpha tocopherol form. In addition, horsetail herbal extract is added to support calcium absorption, citrus bioflavonoids are included for antioxidant protection and royal jelly powder is provided for immune system enhancement. Finally, Dong quai and black currant are added for hormonal support.

And there you have it, all the supplementation you need to look and feel as good on Labor Day as you did on Memorial Day. Let the excesses of summer come calling. With the Lean and Hard Stack for Men or the Weight-Loss and Wellness Stack for Women, you've got the edge you need to stroll the beach, boardwalk or dance floor with confidence!

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A Guy's Guide for Hitting YourPhysical Peak as Summer Begins


Okay, guys, this one's for you. Summer is the season when all your hard work in the gym culminates and can be appreciated. This is especially obvious for those of you who take the time and effort to plan a proper diet and supplement regimen in the weeks leading up to summer break. With the best season of the year just around the corner, now is the time to put the finishing touches on your male physique before hitting the beach.

For those of you who want to peak and stay this way for the entire summer, you must eat like a champ, train and sleep like a champ, and think carefully about what supplements to take. In this article we have put together 5 simple supplemental steps aimed at getting you into the best shape of your life and maintaining that condition for the entire summer.

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Feel it!
Micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential to normal cellular function and nutrient absorption, giving you a greater sense of wellness and overall health. As well, they support growth and development of various tissues in the body including bones and muscle. Vitamins act as catalysts for many important internal processes and under increased metabolism from heavy training the vitamin requirements needed to catalyze cellular reaction increase. In bodybuilding, the body undergoes intense training coupled with strict dieting; creating an environment that may deplete nutrient levels and limit intake of micronutrients in the body, leading to deficit. Furthermore, strength athletes tend to have greater amounts of lean mass, making the need for vital micronutrients greater to meet their higher metabolism.

The R&D team at ProSource has developed Super Mega Max, the ultimate full range daily multiple designed exclusively for bodybuilders and hardcore athletes. The formulation is super charged with a blend of B-Power Energy factors that among other B vitamins contains an exceptionally high amount of B12 (100 times the potency compared to another leading brand) and provides superior antioxidant protection via lycopene, quercetin, N-acetyl-cysteine, calcium, and CoQ10. Its ultra-potency continues with a remarkable 20,000 IUs of beta carotene, 400 IUs of vitamin D and 200 mcg of chromium. It also has MSM and boron to help support healthy joints and an isomer blend of natural vitamin E, shown to be many times more powerful than synthetic forms.
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Build it and Keep it!
One of the toughest metabolic conundrums we face as high-level athletes is how to maintain hard earned muscle mass, while attempting to reduce body fat. Lucky for us ProSource introduced Vectron, the industry's most potent protein supplement designed specifically to support fat loss! Vectron is an innovative product that contains a patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra. The protein complex in Vectron is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to maintain lean mass, promote fat loss, and normalize blood glucose. These claims are backed by a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, where subjects taking Prolibra while undergoing a modest calorie-reduced diet retained twice as much lean muscle while at the same time experienced 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss.

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Burn it!
No physique refinement program should overlook incorporating a high quality fat burner to help get rid of those last few pounds of stubborn fat hiding your abs. Based on clinical data, the current leader in this category is BetaStax Elite from BioQuest. Using a multi-dimensional approach to fat loss, BetaStax Elite is a synergistic combination of clinically dosed ingredients that increase energy and make dieting and fat loss easier.  

Although you have likely heard that BetaStax Elite works better than any other product in the fat burner category, we would like to highlight two of the main ingredients that make this dietary catalyst stand out. First, BetaStax contains PureWaySlim, an innovative and novel bioactive matrix of fat loss agents. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was reported that taking 250 mg of PureWaySlim (same as a dose of BetaStax Elite) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment in as little as two weeks! Subjects not only lost fat, but also had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) after meals. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates the feeling of "fullness" after a meal by binding to receptors in the brain. Having high levels of CCK while dieting makes caloric restriction less onerous and increases your chances of fat loss success!

BetaStax Elite also contains a novel botanical agent that supplies a standardized dose of chlorogenic acid, an innovative compound that elevates fat metabolism in the liver and suppresses fat absorption. Beyond elevating fat metabolism, there is an abundance of research suggesting that chlorogenic acid inhibits glucose-6-phosphate translocase, which essentially blocks the absorption and utilization of consumed carbohydrates. This means that less of the fat and carbohydrates that you eat get absorbed and stored (as fat) in the body.   

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Keeping your testosterone levels high is essential to muscle building and fat loss (not to mention libido). Unfortunately, the stress of intense exercise and caloric restriction can blunt your testosterone levels, hinder maximum performance and gains, and make you a dud in the bedroom. Although some would jeopardize their health and opt for synthetic testosterone injections several times per week, this is unnecessary with today's advanced and natural testosterone boosters.   

Of all the T-boosters available, the one that stands out in terms of research and potency is AndroTest by ProSource. ProSource's R&D team is comprised of Ph.D. level scientists who use the most stringent state-of-the-art laboratory procedures and certified Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). To produce AndroTest they use only the most potent raw materials and the industry's most advanced and comprehensive multiple-extraction method. In sharp contrast to conventional extraction methods, this process reduces the involvement of solvents and high heat, which yields significantly higher purity, and reduces thermal damage to active compounds. With such stringent levels of quality control, AndroTest is the only full-spectrum protodioscin-rich botanical super compound standardized (and guaranteed) to contain a minimum of 80% total steroidal saponins, 60% total furostanol saponins, with 40% protodioscin and 28% steroidal glycopeptides. That is up to 40 times more potent than typical test-boosting products! Clinical and case studies using AndroTest have documented increases in bioavailable free-testosterone levels up to 85% over clinically normal reference values, in as little as seven days! 

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Polish it!
Once you have your mass up and your body fat down, its time to put the finishing touches on your physique. Whether you are getting ready for the beach, a photo-shoot, or a bodybuilding competition, subcutaneous water retention can make you look bloated and flabby instead of fabulous. In the past, you would have had to settle for water and sodium restriction or even harmful diuretic drugs to overcome simple water retention. However, thanks to the scientists at BioQuest, there is Razor Ripped, the most innovative way to reduce excess water retention, allowing you to naturally and gently reveal your polished physique in 72 hours or less. Razor Ripped uses a unique formula of botanical diuretics, caffeine, and green tea, which not only tighten your skin, but also turn up your metabolism and enhance vascularity.

So, there you have it, 5 easy supplemental steps to reaching a zenith this summer. Employed together with an intense training program and healthy diet, you will feel and look your best during the greatest season of the year.

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A Science-Based Approach forGetting Lean and Staying Lean


Summer is around the corner, and what better time is there to be serious about getting lean and looking your best? Regardless of where you are starting, if you start now you could be trim, lean, confident, and in the best shape of your life by summer.  However, you'll need to go beyond the overly simplistic "eat less and exercise more" advice.  That's equivalent to saying get rich by spending less and making more money.  Sure it makes sense on the surface, but you need a detailed plan that works for your financial metabolism.  The reality is, you have it within your biology to be healthy and lean, and it's not as hard as you might think.  Here's how to reprogram your body's metabolism.  

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Americans Continue To Get Fatter
First, let's take stock of the current status quo.  Obesity rates have continued to climb for the last few decades.  The latest statistics indicate that 72 percent of adult men and 64 percent of adult women are overweight, as defined as body mass index equal to or more than 25 kg/m2, and approximately one-third are obese with a BMI equal to or more than 30 kg/m2.  Besides low energy and the negative psychological aspects associated with being overweight, obesity is linked to the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and increased morbidity.  The unremitting high prevalence of obesity in the United States coupled with limited success of traditional counter-measures (i.e., eat less, exercise more) has led to considerable frustration among many individuals and healthcare professionals.

Why Exercise Alone is Not the Answer
Let's start right off dispelling one of the most common myths about the positive effects of exercise on weight loss.  The truth is exercise is a rather lousy weight loss tool, but it is a great wellness tool.  The strongest evidence showing weak effects of exercise comes from studies done in identical twins under highly controlled conditions where all food was provided and exercise carefully monitored.  In one experiment twins were fed a caloric level to maintain body weight.  Then on top of that they were required to exercise for 2 hours per day for 3 months.  This created a daily energy deficit of over 600 kcal for each person in the study.  That equals an energy deficit of more than 58,000 kcal total.  If it takes a deficit of 3500 kcal to lose one pound of fat, these subjects should have lost more than 16 pounds.  The most striking finding was the wide discrepancy in weight loss among the twins ranging from 2 to 18 pounds. Think about how disappointing it would be to lose only 2 pounds after diligently exercising for 2 hours per day.  Even more striking was the discovery that the weight loss within twin pairs was very similar.  Since identical twins share the same DNA, this study clearly shows that your genetics plays a huge role in your weight loss response to exercise.   

If Exercise is Not the Answer for Everyone, What Is?
The previous example is not meant to downplay the importance of exercise, since exercise does promote many positive health effects and resistance training is necessary to build muscle.  But it does highlight the fact that exercise has weak effects in promoting weight loss and underscores the importance of paying attention to diet composition.  Many experts will say all you need to do is eat less than you expend to lose body weight.  This is exactly the wrong way to look at the situation.  If you are trying to lose weight, what you really need to do is lose body fat.  Although you may view that fat as unhealthy and unsightly, it actually represents your body's largest fuel tank.  And that fuel can be used in a positive way.  Wouldn't it be a neat trick to mobilize that fat and convert it into a reliable and consistent form of energy your body used all day long?  That's currently not the case since access to that fuel tank is being blocked by eating the wrong foods.  The trick to unlock the flow of fat from your fat stores is to keep the hormone insulin in check.  

Keeping Insulin Low
Insulin has many functions in the body, most notably increasing blood sugar uptake into cells, but here are three additional functions of insulin that emphasize why you will benefit from keeping this storage hormone low.  

First, of all the various mediators that regulate fat breakdown, insulin is the most important.  Fat, or more specifically fatty acids, are primarily stored as triglycerides in fat cells (i.e., adipocytes).  A triglyceride is simply three fatty acids attached to a single glycerol molecule.  In order to access those fatty acids you have to release them from glycerol.  This process of fat breakdown is called lipolysis.  Insulin potently blocks lipolysis.  In other words insulin prevents fatty acids from being released from fat cells.  The relationship between insulin and fat breakdown is not linear.  Small increases in insulin cause a major inhibition of fat breakdown.  
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Thus, when you raise insulin levels by consuming fast acting forms of carbs, it puts the breaks on fat breakdown both at rest and after exercise.  

A second factor relates to oxidation (i.e., burning) of fat which occurs mainly in muscles.  More specifically, fat oxidation occurs in specialized energy-producing structures called mitochondria.  Once a fatty acid enters the mitochondria it is committed to being burned and therefore this is the rate limiting step in burning fat.  Fatty acids can only enter mitochondria by a specific transporter.  Like fat breakdown, this mitochondria transporter is under tight control by insulin.  Insulin potently inhibits this fatty acid transporter and thereby blocks fat burning.    Thus, when you spike insulin levels, it inhibits both fat breakdown and fat burning.  

Third, insulin's effects are not limited to suppressing fat breakdown and oxidation; it also promotes storage of fat.  The insulin response to a high carbohydrate meal functionally blocks access to fat for fuel and at the same time promotes conversion of carbohydrate into either glycogen or fat.  Insulin does this by increasing the activity of key enzymes that control synthesis of fat in the liver and uptake of fat into fat cells.  Therefore, over time repeatedly spiking insulin contributes to accumulation of body fat.

Bottom line, keeping insulin low is the key to shifting your body's metabolism toward burring fat as the body's primary fuel.  Finding the level of dietary restriction of sugars and fast acting starches required to enable the preferential burning of body fat is the essence of a successful weight loss program.

Diet from an Evolutionary Perspective
If restricting carbohydrates seems unbalanced or even extreme, consider the fact that as humans we are well suited to respond in a positive way to carbohydrate restriction as in high energy levels, better satiety, and enhanced ability to lose body fat and maintain health.  This stems from more than 2 million years of evolution when most of us were exposed to very little carbohydrate.  Therefore, this favorable response to low carbohydrate intake is a highly conversed trait.  Now that most of us are exposed to a lot of carbs, many of us struggle to maintain a healthy weight and show signs of metabolic dysfunction.  The ability to respond favorably to increasing amounts of carbohydrate is a trait that fewer and fewer people possess (i.e., it's a less conserved trait).  In other words, if you try a low fat/high-carbohydrate diet, there is a good chance you may not respond in a positive way, no matter how much drive and determination you put into it.  This is not your fault.  It's not a problem with you; rather it's the wrong diet for your body's metabolism.  Chances are if you have failed on a high carbohydrate diet, the right diet for you is one lower in carbohydrate.  

What if your weight loss stalls?
Many people get frustrated after losing some weight and then hitting a plateau.  Don't panic--here are four possible reasons why this may be happening.  First, it's important to understand that body weight fluctuates a lot from day to day mainly because of changes in hydration status.  Since our bodies are more than half water, any changes in water balance, even a few percent, can translate into several pounds on the scale.  Thus it's best to average your weight over several days and not get hung up on any one measurement.  Exercise can also cause muscle injury and swelling which is associated with gain in water weight. 

Another reason the scale weight may not reflect true fat loss is because fat takes up more space than an equal amount of muscle due to its lower density.  If you are adding muscle while losing body fat, your weight gain will also slow.  Thus, you should evaluate your progress by inches lost and how your clothes fit. 

It's also important to realize that like most physiologic processes weight loss is not linear.  Rather, your body tends to alternate between rapid and slow phases.  In general as you get closer to your target weight, your body starts to defend against further weight loss.  If you have 50 pounds to lose, the first 30 or 40 will tend to come off relatively easily because you're further away from your goal weight. That last 10 to 20 pounds will usually take longer, and require more discipline, as the body senses the approach of its natural weight.

Practically Speaking
The level of dietary carbohydrate restriction required to maximize fat loss varies from person to person, but most people will find they get the best results when carbohydrates are kept below 50 grams per day.  You might think this translates to an exceedingly boring diet, but the truth is just the opposite.   Consider the two example meal plans at the end of the article.  Each meal plan provides 2500 kcal and less than 50 grams carbohydrate per day.  Here's just a sampling of the many foods you can eat copious amounts of while keeping carb below 50 grams per day.  I think you'll agree this is hardly unappetizing or boring.

  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Broth
  • Butter (consider buying Irish butter)
  • Cheese (hard)
  • Cream (heavy or whipping)
  • Eggs
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring)         
  • Fruits (berries, olives, tomatoes, lemons, limes)
  • Mayonnaise (made with olive or canola oil, not soybean oil)
  • Meats (beef, chicken, pork)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils (olive, canola, coconut, high oleic safflower)
  • Pork rinds
  • Salami
  • Salmon
  • Sausage
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt (Greek, whole milk)

A Few More Helpful Pointers
It's important to get enough protein, but not too much, because excessive protein can hamper the fat burning process.  There is no need to exceed 2 grams per kilogram body weight.  Also, you need to get over any fear of fat.  When carbohydrates are low, fat becomes an important component of the diet for fuel and satisfaction.  It's important to emphasize monounsaturated and saturated fats, as they are the best fuels.  There's no need to fear any harmful effects of fat, even saturated fat.  We have shown the body preferentially uses saturated fat for energy on a low carbohydrate diet.  Thus, it doesn't accumulate in your body.  

Low Carb Friendly Supplements
ProSource's Vectron is ideal for women who are looking to cut back on carbs (and carb cravings), while also supporting the muscle tissue essential for turning stored fat into energy. Vectron contains Prolibra, a weight-management system that has been validated in independent clinical testing. Indeed, in a randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo.. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. That's an outcome that will have you well on your way to achieving your perfect figure! 

Another dietary addition to keep in mind is a good source of omega 3 fats, specifically EPA and DHA.  These fatty acids have received enormous attention over the last couple decades, owing to a myriad of health benefits associated with their intake.  Most Americans eat significantly more omega 6 fats relative to omega 3, and this imbalance may set them up for greater inflammation and health problems. 

In addition to promoting general health, omega 3 fats in combination with exercise enhance insulin sensitivity and maximize fat loss.  The minimum dose to start is 500 mg of EPA plus DHA per day, which is equivalent to about one serving of fatty fish every other day.  A more optimal dose for most people may be closer to 1 gram per day of EPA and DHA. If you are at high risk of heart disease, stroke or inflammatory condition, then 2 grams per day may result in better effects. 

ProSource Omega Fusion is a perfect solution, as it contains purified omega 3 fatty acids along with antioxidants.  This important but often neglected detail is key to achieving optimal potency because omega 3 fats are highly prone to degradation. The synergy provided by this protection translates into greater net anti-inflammatory and bioactivity per unit dose administered. ProSource's Omega-1250 and ProSource's Flax Fusion are two more great sources of healthy fatty acids.

The Time is Now
You can achieve a slim, lean body by summer and it's as easy as avoiding the foods that block your access to body fat while feeding your body with plenty of delicious low-insulin-stimulating foods and supplements that keep you in fat burning mode all day long.  I'm confident you'll enjoy the process and be so impressed with the results that you'll want to continue this lifestyle so you can feel and look good year around.

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Meal Plan #1
Breakfast (Cheese Omelet and Canadian Bacon)
Scrambled eggs 2 large +  1/4 cup Egg Beaters + 1.5 Tbsp Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1 oz
Grilled Canadian Bacon 2 oz

Snack
Oil-Roasted Almonds 1/8 cup (20 g)
Oil-Roasted Sunflower Seeds 1/4 cup (34 g)
Strawberries .6 whole (72 g)

Lunch (Cheeseburger with sautéed mushrooms and peppers)
Hamburger (70% lean/30% fat)..3 oz (85 g)
American Cheese 1 oz
Iceberg Lettuce 1/2 cup
Red Tomato 2 slices (40 g)
Red Onions 3 slices (42 g)
Sauted Sweet Bell Peppers 1/4 cup, boiled (34 g) + Boiled Mushrooms 1/4 cup (39 g) + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Snack
Celery 2 stalks  + 3 Tbsp cream cheese(43.5 g)
Hood Calorie Countdown Milk  1.5 cup

Dinner (Pork chops and Cauliflower "mashed potatoes")
Pork Chops 3 oz
String beans 1/2 cup, boiled (67.5 g) + 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
Cauliflower 1/2 cup, mashed + 1.5 Tbsp Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1/4 cup

Nutrient Breakdown:
Protein: 131 g
Carbs: 47 g , Fiber 14 g
Fat:  204g

Meal Plan #2
Breakfast (Fried eggs with cauliflower hash browns)
Fried eggs 2 large
Cauliflower, chopped 1/4 C
green pepper chopped 1/4 C
Butter 0.5T
Palm oil .1T
Turkey Bacon . 2 slices

Snack
Cheddar Cheese  2 oz
Pork Rinds 1oz

Lunch - (Tuna Salad on bed of tomato and cucumber slices)
Tuna, Light, canned in oil .3 ¼ oz
Celery .2 stalks diced
Mayo 2 T
Almonds, slivered .1/8 C
Tomato 3 slices
Cucumber sliced 1/8 C

Afternoon snack
Celery .2 stalks + Almond butter..2 T

Dinner (Buffalo Style Chicken Salad with Creamy blueberry dessert)
Roast Chicken breast 4 oz
Hot sauce  . 1 t + Butter .2 T
Blue cheese dressing 1.5 T
Romaine lettuce shredded 1.5 C
Tomato 2 slices
Almonds, slivered . 1/8 C
Dessert: cream cheese 1/3 C, heavy cream 3 T, lemon juice 1 t, frozen blueberries unsweetened 1/4 C

Nutrient Breakdown:
Protein: 128 g
Carbs: 44 g, 13 g fiber
Fat: 205 g


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Christina Cores Overcomes Adversity onHer Way to An Astounding Transformation


Sometimes the first step along the journey to losing significant weight is to set down all the emotional baggage you're carrying. That's what Christina Cores learned as she embarked on the long, hard journey from a miserable 240 lbs to a trim, vital 118 lbs. Exercise and proper diet are indispensable to an amazing transformation like Christina's, but taking a good, long, honest look at yourself and your lifestyle is usually a good place to start.

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Taking Comfort in Food
You'd never know it to look at her today, but the girl who now turns heads wherever she goes once had trouble climbing a flight of stairs. Looking back on her life, Christina now knows that her first steps toward the obesity that plagued her teenage years began at the tender age of seven. That was the year her parents got divorced and the aftermath of this emotional experience took a toll on her eating habits.

"For a while, I lived with my grandmother as things were settling down," Christina remembers. "She loved to cook and she could bake, too. Soon, eating became my escape, as I tried to fill the void with food. I was steadily getting bigger and bigger each year."

Then, at age 15, Christina faced three life-changing scenarios that would cause any teen with a history of emotional eating to further spiral out of control: her father passed away, she moved to a new town, and she started high school. Upon reaching 240 pounds and finding herself out of breath while walking up the stairs at school, Christina realized she needed to make a drastic change to help herself before it was too late.

"Everything about being overweight bothered me," she admits. "The way I saw it, I could not do all of the things the other kids could do, because I saw myself as being fat."

The First Steps on the Journey Back
So, Christina began her transformation by educating herself on ways to lose weight and change her lifestyle. After seeing the success of several family members who were adopting low-carb eating strategies, Christina became a convert to that methodology. She eliminated as many carbohydrates form her diet as possible for six months, switched from soda to water, limited her sodium intake, avoided processed foods and learned to read food labels. Christina then began slowly reintroducing such healthy carbs into her diet as whole wheat toast and oatmeal.

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Of course, the other half of the low-carb equation is an increase in protein intake to support the muscle growth that makes fat loss possible. Here, Christina had an important ally in two key products . "I was eating plenty of chicken, fish, and lean beef," Christina recalls, "but it's important to have healthy proteins to snack on during the day, when you're on the run, and bad carbs are calling out to you from every fast-food outlet and mini-mart. Supreme Protein bars helped me stay on track. Supplementing with a high-quality protein also helped me reduce my carb intake." A protein product that both supports existing muscle and offers unique fat-loss properties can be ideal. One such protein, ProSource's Vectron, contains Prolibra, a weight-management system that has been validated in independent clinical testing. Indeed, in a randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo.. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. Those are results worth celebrating!

The Final Piece of the Transformation Puzzle
But Christina realized that while diet alone might make her thin, it wouldn't yield the fit and toned physique she was hoping for. It was time to add exercise into her weight-loss plan. So she started a workout that combined cardio and strength-training moves. Later, a women's workout center gave Christina a regimen to follow, with variations she could swap in and out as she progressed. She then joined a gym, where she was able to broaden her training program without the limitations that at-home workouts placed on her.

"I noticed that working out turned into a fun regimen," says Christina. "I had originally thought I would be tired and fatigued, but it actually worked the opposite way! It gave me energy and strength. Watching my transformation in the mirror gave me the visual that reinforced everything I was doing."

It took Christina two years to lose the weight, but her scale has steadily read 118 pounds for five years. Now 22, Christina works at a fine dining restaurant that specializes in meals that have under 475 calories per serving. She no longer needs to fixate on her caloric breakdown each day because she knows how to listen to her body and make smart choices.

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"My diet largely consists of chicken, yogurt, oatmeal, protein shakes, nuts, multigrain, whole wheat bread, eggs, peanut butter, fruits and veggies," says Christina. "And again, I couldn't have done it without proper supplementation to help me stay full longer and satisfy my sweet cravings. They are also responsible for giving me that extra energy I need at the gym."

A Lesson Learned
While Christina feels that she's "basically" the same person she was before her transformation, she takes pride in the fact that she's armed herself with the knowledge she needs to keep herself in shape. "I can feel a strong sense of confidence as I no longer take my body for granted," she explains. "It is now clear to me that all of my hard work was for a reason.  I am glad that with my success, others are able to take tips and advice from me so that I can help them with their transformation as well."

In fact, that's the direction Christina plans to take her career over the next several years , as she's hoping to find a job in the health and fitness field so she can help others do what she's done.

 

Christina's Workout Regimen

www.christinacores.com

"LIKE" Christina on
CARDIO
Treadmill : Total of 30 Minutes
[10min] Jogging @5 .0
[10min] Run for 1 min @7 .0 / fast walk for .30sec @ 4 .0 / the next 8.8 min is split with the above format
[5min] Incline of 15 for 5min @4 .2
[5min] Jogging for 2min @ 5.0 /Run for 1 min @ 7.0 /Walk for 2min @ 3.0
Stairmaster
15min @12.0
ARMS
Free weights
Range from 5-12 pounds (3x's a week)
LEGS
Leg Extensions
100 pounds 3sets of 12 (2x's a week)
ABS
Crunch Variations
10-15 min (every workout)

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The Facts on Cardio-Related Weight Gain,Plus Strategies For Targeting Fat Loss


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We all know the type. Every gym has them. She's the woman breezing along on the elliptical trainer for what seems like hours. Or the guy trudging on the treadmill. Day in, day out, there they are, on the road to nowhere. Maybe they're even working in a little interval pacing. Fast, then slow. Fast, then slow.

Gee, you think, if cardio really helps you burn fat, then that woman (or guy) should be a cartoon stick figure by now.

But they're not. In fact, both the woman who barely looks winded after 45 minutes on the elliptical and the guy whose T-shirt is soaked with sweat after 30 minutes of jogging, always look the same. Or maybe they're getting fatter.

Usually, these thoughts occur to you when you're doing your own time in purgatory. One of your three-times-a-week 30-minute stints on the treadmill. No, you're not Leisure Time Louise over there, watching CNN and checking her phone. Or worse, Try Hard Tommy, all red in the face. But you've heard about the "skinny fat" syndrome that afflicts aerobic exercisers. You've heard about cortisol build-up and its connection to fat gain.

And the thought nags at you. Am I wasting my time on this machine?

It's a valid question. Before we address it with the help of some experts, let's set one thing straight. Aerobic exercise is important for overall wellness and cardiovascular health. Nobody wants to be that bodybuilder who gets winded walking up a flight of stairs.

General wellness and cardiovascular health are essential to you as a bodybuilder, even if they're not your primary reasons for being in the gym. You're there to build muscle and attain the kind of physique that makes people go quiet when you enter the room. But fat loss is a part of that, so let's take a closer look at the science of losing fat in the gym.

"Extended periods of aerobic exercise train the body to be small, fat and slow,"

Fat Loss and Cardio
It stands to reason, if you're expending a great deal of time and effort thumping away on a treadmill, that you should be burning at least some calories stored away as fat. And yet, if you've ever participated in, say, a charity long-distance run, you've seen a lot of people who just don't look that great. Long-distance running is going to burn muscle tissue, that's a given. But a lot of runners also complain about "skinny fat" syndrome, an outcome in which their body mass is very low and yet they still have noticeable excess fat. We asked Todd Bumgardner, co-founder of Beyond Strength Performance and a strength athlete with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science, about this seeming paradox.

"Extended periods of aerobic exercise train the body to be small, fat and slow," Todd says. "Hormones, and the associated physiological mechanisms, respond accordingly. To meet this adaptation, the body gets rid of muscle mass and stores fuel in the form of body fat, rather than storing fuel as glycogen in the muscles and in the liver. Appropriate amounts of high intensity strength training and other forms of anaerobic exercise can help you overcome this, but you really have to manage your cardio intelligently."

Josh Bryant, a renowned trainer with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science and several published books on exercise, agrees. "Excessive aerobics can decrease immune system efficiency, increase cortisol production and put a serious halt to any sort of strength or muscle gains," he says. "All of these outcomes will increase body fat and certainly won't help you progress toward your training goals."

Cortisol and Fat Loss
Josh's point about cortisol comes with some caveats. Cortisol production has been linked in the popular imagination with excess fat gain for some time now, and for a while, there were even a sizeable number of diet products which claimed to modulate cortisol levels to target fat loss. (Many of those discredited products are gone now.) The truth about the connection between cardio exercise, cortisol production, and fat gain is a little more complicated.

Chad Kerksick, a professor of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico, weighs in on the topic, suggesting, "Like many other things, elevated levels of cortisol are somewhat necessary to encourage the breakdown of things your muscles can use for fuel.  Chronically increased levels, however, which result from high amounts of exercise and less than adequate nutrition is not a good thing and over time can limit recovery and support an overall increase in inflammation throughout the body."

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Todd Bumgardner also sees the issue as a bit of a gray area. "In truth, people should be worried more about spikes in cortisol that come from extraneous life stress than cortisol that comes from exercise," he says. "It's the other stuff that typically gives people heart attacks, increases visceral fat and kills them. Constantly being in "fight or flight" mode and the accompanying increase in stress hormones (such as cortisol) limits insulin sensitivity and promotes the storage of visceral fat. This constant state of sympathetic nervous system arousal is what's truly concerning about cortisol.

When it comes to exercise, however, it depends upon intensity. Low-intensity aerobic exercise is great for decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity and improving the function of the parasympathetic nervous system, the system that reduces the stress response.

High-intensity, prolonged cardiovascular exercise, however, can elicit a strong cortisol response. If this type of exercise is predominant over strength training, and is accompanied by a stressful life, high cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance that accumulates visceral fat."

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How Much Cardio Is Too Much Cardio?
Here, at last, we arrive at the meat of the matter. If we can all agree that some cardio is necessary, both for overall wellness and as a physique enhancing tool, but too much cardio is counterproductive, then where is the sweet spot? How much time should you be spending on that treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine? Josh Bryant brings the facts:

"Studies show the ill effects of muscle hypertrophy, anabolic hormonal deficiency and decreases in strength have some commonalities," he says. "What it comes down to is that intense cardiovascular exercise for more than 30 minutes at above 75 percent max heart rate intensity, with a frequency of three times or greater per week, will be counterproductive to strength and muscle gains.  

"The best way to attack this is a couple days a week of low intensity steady state cardio. Brisk walks of 20 to 30 minutes will suffice. Very low intensity cardio like this will actually enhance your ability to recover! This coupled with a two, short, intense interval days will get the job done. If you are taking short rests between sets like circuit training or Peripheral Heart Action training, you can get away with very little extra cardio."

Todd Bumgardner prefers to address the issue by way of body type. "I know this isn't the answer that everyone wants to hear, but it depends. It really depends on somatotype. Ectomorphs, or naturally skinny people, should cut cardio completely while trying to add muscle. You need to use all their calories toward gaining mass.

"Mesomorphs can include some cardio into their mass building programs. These are the people that can put weight on, or lose it, at will. You'll want to include some low-intensity, short duration cardio into your workout programming.

"Endomorphs, those of you that are typically larger and carry more fat mass, can include a bit more cardio than mesomorphs. But if you're concerned with body composition, you'd do well to worry more about diet than cardio exercise.

"Most folks are a combination of two somatotypes rather than a distinct embodiment of a single somatotype. Experimentation, then, becomes the means to finding a balance of cardiovascular and strength training.

"The best policy, though, is to keep the goal the goal. This is a lesson from renowned strength coach Dan John. If you want to add muscle, cut out everything else and train to gain healthy muscle. Lift heavy things and eat the appropriate amount of good calories."

Three Bodybuilding Strategies for Targeting Fat Loss

 Keep It Short and Focused.
People who include cardio training in their workout programs would do best to include a short duration (ten to fifteen minutes) of low-intensity aerobic training directly after their strength training session. Heart rate should be around 120-130 and movement should be continuous. Keep total cardio training time around thirty minutes per week.  This will promote recovery without destroying the caloric surplus necessary for adding muscle.

 Add a Powerful Fat-Loss Catalyst to Your Regimen.
There are a number of highly effective, physique-enhancing thermogenics out there that will not only help you facilitate fat loss, but they'll also amp up your workout and sharpen your focus and intensity as well. One of the best, BetaStax Elite from BioQuest, works simultaneously through a multitude of biochemical pathways to fundamentally "hardwire" your metabolic processes for maximum fat-loss. In fact, in a comparison of clinical studies, BetaStax Elite's key active ingredient, PureWay-Slim, achieved more weight loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks. Try getting that kind of result on a treadmill!  

Pairing your thermogenic with a non-stimulant fat-loss catalyst for synergistic effect can pay dividends, too. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract is rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to modulate blood sugar levels, thereby helping to provide powerful non-stimulant diet support. ProSource's Tonalin CLA, Super 7-Keto, and Ultra-GTX are other non-stimulant options with peerless reputations for supporting fat loss.

When it comes to burning fat while maintaining muscle, it pays to consider a cutting-edge protein with body partitioning efficacy as well. Of particular interest in this category is ProSource's unique physique-enhancing protein Vectron. Vectron contains Prolibra, an advanced weight management system clinically proven to help improve the ratio of lean muscle to fat. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean muscle to fat while taking 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. No other protein complex has been clinically proven to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period. The Prolibra group also lost 6.1% fat. Again, you'd have to spend a lot of time on an elliptical to get that result!


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 Vary Your Attack.
Doing the same things in the same way every day is not going to get the job done. When it comes to cardio, changing things up will not only keep your body from adapting to the routine and conserving fat. It will also help you retain your sanity.

You really don't even have to run. Walking, rowing, bicycling, anything that gets your heart rate up will do the job. Recently, we here at ProSource were talking to Mark Wahlberg, an actor with one of the most well-recognized, ultra-ripped physiques in Hollywood. Mark doesn't run at all. "I don't like to run," Mark told us. "Running, treadmills, that stuff, I don't do much if I can avoid it. I play a lot of basketball. I do some boxing, rope skipping. That's how I stay lean. That's what works for me."

If it works for Mark Wahlberg, it'll work for you.

How much cardio do you do in a typical training week? Do you find it to be an effective fat-loss tool? Let us know in the comment field below!

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The Most Powerful Matrix of Natural Weight-Loss Factors Ever Created?


If you're an athlete who takes his physique and performance goals seriously (and we know you are, or you wouldn't be here), you're probably familiar with the constant blur of activity surrounding some of the most-hyped brands in the thermogenic category. Some of these products seem to be "reformulated" every few months or so. You may find yourself wondering  why they need to be re-invented so often . . .  and what, besides the package design, is really changing.

The research and development innovators at BioQuest do things differently. In 2008, they introduced their flagship weight-loss catalyst BetaStax, the product that marked the beginning of a new post-ephedra age of truly effective and transformational thermogenic weight loss. BetaStax revolutionized the diet-support category with its patented PureWay-Slim technology so far advanced beyond the pedestrian ingredients found in competing fat burners that those products (and their manufacturers) still haven't caught up. Most, in fact, are gone.

Over the ensuing years, BetaStax has earned itself devoted legions of fans among athletes seeking the ultimate physique-ripping, performance-energizing advantage. Indeed, original BetaStax is one of the best-selling weight-loss/energy supplements we've ever carried here at ProSource (only surpassed by the legendary Xenadrine RFA-1). Every day, word of mouth continues to spread, bringing enthusiastic new converts to the BetaStax brand.  

Of course, all of this unprecedented success leads to a bit of a paradox. How do you improve on perfection?

For years, BetaStax has remained true to its original formulation, a steady, dependable rock in a stormy sea of competing products forever flip-flopping about, adopting well-hyped ingredients, then dropping them once they're discredited. (Anyone remember Hoodia gordonii? How about PEA? Didn't think so.)

Meanwhile, the BioQuest research and development team has been diligently working at the vanguard of thermogenic science, investigating the most promising new technologies that will advance this supplement category to the same unparalleled degree that BetaStax changed everything in 2008. And now, at last, the culmination of those efforts has arrived in the form of new BetaStax Elite.

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A New Evolution of the
Gold Standard Fat-Loss Catalyst

Building on their unrivaled success with original BetaStax, the new Elite formula has even more clinically validated metabolic power, expanding BetaStax Elite's effectiveness far beyond that of any other fat burner to date.

Using a multi-dimensional approach to fat loss, BetaStax Elite is a synergistic combination of clinically dosed ingredients that promote:
  • Satiety, or increased feeling of fullness after a meal
  • Decreased fat and carbohydrate absorption
  • Appetite suppression, or decreased feelings of hunger
  • Lipid mobilization and utilization, or increased fat metabolism
  • Increased metabolic rate and energy
In contrast to competing fat burners, BetaStax Elite uses clinically effective dosing of its main ingredients, which is clearly indicated on the label. This comprehensive and synergistic approach makes BetaStax Elite the ultimate diet and training companion, which will help you quickly achieve the lean, defined physique you have always wanted. This is where BetaStax truly stands apart from its competitors.  Instead of spritzing in a little bit of whatever is being hyped by the media, BioQuest researchers put the power of real science backed by rock solid clinical evidence into their products.  

Upgraded with a Powerful New Diet-Support Super Ingredient
The primary ingredients in BetaStax Elite are clinically validated to directly and indirectly promote fat loss and dieting success. Key among them is an exciting new technology in the form of a advanced botanical compound that supplies a standardized high potency clinical strength dose of bio-active chlorogenic acid.

This innovative fat-loss mechanism has been shown to significantly elevate fat metabolism in the liver and suppress fat absorption. Furthermore, there is an abundance of research illustrating that chlorogenic acid inhibits glucose-6-phosphate translocase, which is involved in blocking the absorption and utilization of consumed carbohydrates. This means that less of the fat and carbohydrates that you eat get absorbed and stored (as fat) in the body.

This improvement to the BetaStax formula works along an entirely new fat-loss vector, ramping up fat burning through yet another scientifically established pathway, making BetaStax Elite clearly one of the most multi-dimensional nutritional approaches to fat-loss available today.  And to maximize this new mechanism BioQuest formulated this upgrade utilizing the most bio-active form of chlorogenic acid available.  

Non-Stimulant Fat-Loss Action Via a Powerful Natural Phenol Clinically Linked to Fat Oxidation
Recent satisfied users of the original BetaStax will remember that the BioQuest research and development team DID make a significant change to the formulation in 2012, with little fanfare but to great overall effect. BetaStax was upgraded with the addition of Razberi-K, a potent non-stimulant mechanism of transformation.

BetaStax Elite contains the most potent form of the raspberry ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one) known as Razberi-K. In several studies raspberry ketone supplementation has been reported to prevent fat accumulation, even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates.

These findings are supported by research, which has shown that most of raspberry ketone's weight loss benefits are due to augmented fat metabolism and inhibited small intestine absorption of dietary fat (by suppressing pancreatic lipase activity). The raspberry ketone in BetaStax Elite is the perfect synergist for the novel botanical extract (containing chlorogenic acid), together promoting potent decreases in fat absorption and metabolism.

The Clinically Validated PureWay-Slim Weight-Loss
Technology That Revolutionized Diet-Support Science

The breakthrough technology that forever separated original BetaStax from the competition by a wide margin, PureWay-Slim is a bioactive matrix of fat loss agents that has helped countless athletes achieve their physique goals. And, unlike so many ingredients that have been hyped to the skies by less scrupulous manufacturers, this exclusive patented matrix is supported by a firm foundation of clinical science.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to take placebo or 250 mg of PureWaySlim. Weight, waist and hip circumferences, basic metabolic profiles, blood glucose, and lipoprotein levels were measured at baseline and then at 2 and 4 weeks. It was reported that the consumption of 250 mg of PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment.

Further, clinically significant weight-loss results were apparent within the first TWO WEEKS of supplementation and continued throughout the duration of the study.  Results of that magnitude observed in such a short time is extremely rare in the world of human clinical research and is a true testament to the power and potency of this formulation.  The scientists further reported that subjects who took PureWay-Slim also had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) levels at 60 and 120 minutes post-meal. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates satiety (the feeling of "fullness" after a meal) by binding to receptors in the brain. Having high levels of CCK while dieting makes caloric restriction a breeze and increases your chances of fat loss success! Each serving of BetaStax Elite contains the exact clinical strength 250mg dose of PureWay-Slim utilized in the study.

A Unique Matrix of Premium-Grade Energy Factors
There's always been more to BetaStax than state-of-the-art diet support. Indeed, a significant portion of the athletes who regard BetaStax as an indispensable element of the daily supplement regimen have no need or desire for fat loss at all. These athletes value BetaStax (and now BetaStax Elite) for its highly synergistic complex of energy factors ideal for ramping up performance potential.

Long-time fans of BetaStax have always been enthusiastic in their praise of an energizing complex that delivers an exhilarating rush of energy, motivation, and even feelings of well-being within minutes of taking a dose thanks to its innovative LiquidSpeedCap technology. This smooth and powerful energy surge is a welcome alternative to the jitters and energy crash that accompany competing products which rely on megadoses of yohimbe and other harsh stimulants. In this way, BetaStax delivers both dramatic diet support benefits AND an amped-up infusion of energy that is guaranteed to help make your workouts a first-class effort every time.

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Feel its Surge of Thermogenic
Power Within Just Minutes

The amazing two-week results in clinical testing associated with its key weight-loss matrix are just part of a bigger, more exciting BetaStax story. BetaStax has always been distinguished by its unique capacity for generating REAL thermogenic power you can actually FEEL working and see in the mirror week by week.

New BetaStax Elite harnesses that remarkable power and takes it to an entirely new level. With its proprietary Liquid SpeedCap technology, BetaStax Elite triggers a truly awe-inspiring surge of energy and focus within minutes, even as its synergy of thermodynamic ultra-weight-loss catalysts goes to work, providing powerful metabolic support for a reshaped physique.

As you can see, the new BetaStax Elite formulation represents the most comprehensive and well thought out fat burning formula of its kind. The research team at BioQuest have once again proven to be leaders in supplement innovation with their latest addition to the fat burner supplement category.  

One brand name has always been the standard bearer for science-based innovation and clinically validated efficacy in the weight-loss category. Now, new BetaStax Elite, powered with yet another bio-active clinical strength metabolic stimulant, is poised to revolutionize the weight-loss category as completely as original BetaStax did when it took the diet supplement category by storm in 2008.


PureWaySlim Supplementation: Positively Impacting Human Health. Dario Pancorbo M.D., Carlos Vazquez M.D., and Mary Ann Flecther Ph.D., University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Vinson JA1, Burnham BR, Nagendran MV.Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S27665. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, & Okuda H (2005). Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci 77, 194-204.



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CLA Makes an Excellent Non-StimulantAlternative for Weight-Loss Support


As spring approaches and the temperatures rise, so too will your desire to shed a few pounds before you put back on the swimsuit. A long-term approach to weight loss typically involves a lifestyle change that means modifications to both your diet and exercise program. The overwhelming factor that controls your long-term ability to lose weight is the balance you maintain between the calories you consume and the calories you burn. Certainly, a number of other factors contribute to this outcome, but routinely studies come back to making sure you first have tilted the weight loss scales in your favor. 

And before you say to yourself, "everyone knows that and I'm already doing that," consider that most people underestimate the amount of calories they consume by 25% to 30% (Lichtman 1992) and alternatively people overestimate how many calories they are burning when they exercise by 20% to 25% (Buchowski 1999, Walsh 2004). This creates a situation where people do not fully understand the true magnitude of the changes they need to make to facilitate weight loss.  Having said all this, many people who go down the weight loss path consider specialized diets, drinks and various dietary supplements to help them achieve their weight loss goals.

A number of potential dietary supplements exist and some are suggested to help with weight loss by increasing the metabolic activity of your body and these are often referred to as stimulants or thermogenics. Many people are sensitive to stimulants, however, and as a result they look for non-stimulant alternatives.  In this respect, conjugated linoleic acids have been a popular non-stimulant weight and fat loss alternative for several years (Whigham 2007).

For starters, conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are a group of specialized fats that are found in the milk and meat of animals that ruminate. Rumination is a unique digestive process and cattle are the largest example of an animal that ruminates and also an animal that we consume both the milk they produce and meat.  Research on CLA has explored a number of potential areas of benefit, but the research conducted on changes in body composition is of the greatest interest.

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CLA and Animal Studies
A massive amount of research exists illustrating the impact of CLA on body composition changes in various laboratory animals. Mice are extremely responsive to CLA administration illustrating significant reductions in various fat stores (60% reductions!) found throughout their body (Park 1997, West 1998) while similar outcomes have been published using pigs and hamsters (de Deckere 1999, Dugan 2004, Simon 2005). A number of studies have been published in humans as well and a recent meta-analysis concluded that CLA administration was responsible for a modest but significant reduction in fat mass (Whigham 2007). Within this paper, a number of studies were analyzed and several general conclusions were made regarding how much CLA should be consumed per dose, how long it should be taken and what impact CLA use has on body-fat changes.

Impressive Human Research
Several large human studies over the course of several months have been published using CLA. For example, one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had 180 male and female overweight study participants complete a double-blind, placebo-controlled study over a one year period (Gaullier 2004). Study participants were assigned to one of two CLA groups and a third group was assigned to a placebo. All study participants had their body composition measured using DXA, a superior method of determining body composition changes. The CLA daily dose was 3.6 grams of CLA and when CLA was administered, body fat mass was significantly lowered by 7% to 9% when compared to the changes seen in the placebo group. These changes occurred independent of any changes in diet or exercise.

Another study was published in the Journal of Nutrition and followed 134 study participants for a total of two years. The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which CLA use facilitated weight loss and changes in body composition in addition to determining if using CLA invoked any adverse events or negative changes in markers of health (Gaullier 2005). All study participants supplemented with 3.4 grams of CLA and as reported in the previous study and many others, significant losses of body weight and body fat occurred in both CLA groups after two years, but the majority of changes occurred during the first six months of the study. Adverse events and changes in health markers were closely monitored during this study and the authors concluded that CLA use was not associated with changes in adverse events. The study found that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) was reduced (Gaullier 2005).

A third study published in the British Journal of Nutrition had a large number (118) of obese adults complete a six month double-blind, placebo-controlled study that required study participants to ingest 3.4 grams of CLA or placebo each day (Gaullier 2007). No changes were made to the diets or exercise programs of all study participants as they were instructed to keep everything the same except the addition of their assigned supplement. After three months, CLA led to a significant reduction in body fat mass and these results were even greater after six months of taking CLA. Body composition was determined using DXA and three additional findings were made that are worthy of discussion. 

First, in all study participants who consumed CLA, more fat loss was found to occur in the legs than in other parts of the study.  Second, the men and women who had the highest body mass index levels (a marker commonly used to assess obesity status) actually lost significantly more fat mass than other study participants who had lower levels of obesity.  Third, women tended to lose more fat than men did (Gaullier 2007).  Again, the study authors reported that various safety parameters all remained within normal ranges and reported adverse events did not differ across the groups.  (A quick note, it is tempting to conclude that CLA could be used to "spot reduce" or preferentially reduce fat from various parts of the body, but this is the only study using CLA to report such a finding and caution should be made when interpreting these results in that manner.)

Adding Exercise to the Mix
One question remaining from the previously discussed studies is "What happens if an exercise program is added?" Four studies have been published in this regard: one showed no effect of adding CLA (Kreider 2002) while three others showed a positive effect, but one of the three positive studies lacked necessary research control (Thom 2001) and won't be discussed. Canadian researchers had 67 subjects randomly ingest either CLA (5 grams/day) or placebo for seven weeks while completing a three-day-per-week resistance training program. A crossover approach was used and when CLA was provided greater increases in lean mass and greater losses of fat mass were found to occur when compared to the changes seen in placebo (Pinkoski 2006).

The same research group published a second study that required 69 study participants (52 men, 17 women) to ingest a combination of CLA (6 grams/day), creatine (9 grams/day) and whey protein (36 grams/day) or placebo while completing heavy resistance training. The study was conducted over a five week period and required each study participant to complete a 6 day per week resistance training program. The authors reported that when CLA was added to creatine and protein, greater increases in upper-body and lower-body strength were found in addition to greater increases in lean tissue mass. The authors concluded that the addition of CLA, creatine and placebo may be an effective combination to stimulate losses of fat mass and increases in lean mass (Cornish 2009).

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CLA Dose and Duration
This article has attempted to highlight some of the studies published using CLA in humans over the last decade. A large majority of the studies conducted only supplemented for several weeks (6 – 12 weeks), but positive changes were found to occur through one year of CLA use. In a large majority of the published studies, 3-4 grams of CLA have been used as an effective dose (Whigham 2007). Pinkoski and Cornish both supplemented with higher amounts of CLA and reported meaningful changes in fat mass and lean mass (Pinkoski 2006, Cornish 2009). In their excellent review of the literature, Whigham reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that seemingly greater effects may occur with dosages up to around 6 grams/day (Whigham 2007). While the literature reports these potential positive outcomes, each person should understand that higher doses of CLA use may not be tolerated equally by all individuals and adverse outcomes may result, even though many studies using 3.4 grams of CLA for several months to a year have no reported no changes in adverse outcomes (Whigham 2007).

Conclusion
Several animal and human studies are available to support the use of CLA as a non-stimulant weight loss and body composition aid. ProSource Tonalin CLA contains the same combination of CLA used in all of the published studies and each capsule contains 1g of CLA. ProSource CLA also contains 100% Tonalin brand CLA, which has long been the gold standard in this category, and remains the most highly purified and potent form of this key weight-loss support supplemdent.

For those looking for a way to lose weight, CLA use has been shown in a number of studies to be effective. Two published studies reported that when combined with heavy resistance training, greater improvements in strength and body composition have been reported with CLA. Clearly, if CLA were to be combined with ProSource Creatine and any member of the NytroWhey protein family, along with resistance training, greater improvements in strength and body composition could result.

Are you stimulant sensitive, but looking to lose excess fat? What supplement strategies are you employing to achieve your goal? Let us know in the comments field below!

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Defining Low-Carb IntakeFor Achieving Optimal Fat Loss


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There are a lot of opinions regarding low-carbohydrate diets in terms of what level of carb restriction is optimal, should you jump or ease into carb restriction, and are occasional carb loads helpful or harmful?  Here's my take on these issues.

Defining Low Carb
There remains a lot of confusion around this question because there are no agreed-upon definitions for "low-carbohydrate" or "carbohydrate restricted" diets.  Although specific values have been proposed for low carbohydrate diets (e.g., less than 130 grams/day) and very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets (e.g., less than 50 grams per day), these absolute thresholds do not account for the principle of individuality, that is, the level of carbohydrate tolerance will vary from person to person, and even within a person over time.  Because of inter-individual variability, it is more helpful to define a low carbohydrate diet a little differently.  From the clinical perspective, a low-carbohydrate diet might be defined as the level of carbohydrate intake below which signs and symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance occur.  From the metabolic perspective, one would operationally seek carbohydrate levels that allow nutritional ketosis (blood ketone bodies > 0.5 mM) or optimal fat burning to be achieved.   

At one end of this range, someone with early signs of metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes might permanently get rid of their metabolic problems by holding total dietary carbohydrate intake in the range of 100-125 grams per day.  At the other end of this spectrum might be a type-2 diabetic who, on a "balanced diet" providing 300 grams per day of carbohydrate, requires multiple medications to keep fasting glucose values even marginally controlled under 150 mg/dl.  For this person to achieve an optimum initial response that allows reduction (and hopefully withdrawal) of diabetic medications, clinical experience has shown that holding dietary carbohydrate at 20-to-25 grams per day is often necessary.  For many type-2 diabetics, a few weeks at this level allows them to reduce or stop both insulin and oral medication while at the same time achieving better overall glucose control.  A few months later, following substantial weight loss, some individuals might be able to increase daily carbohydrate intake above 50 grams per day and still maintain excellent glucose control, whereas others might need to remain below the 50 gram level to keep their type-2 diabetes in complete remission.

A more practical and effective way to determine how low in carbs to go is by measuring blood (not urine) ketones.  Inducing a state of nutritional ketosis and maintaining it long enough to fully adapt requires a conscientious effort to restrict carbohydrates for two or more weeks.  The level of carbohydrate restriction required to optimize fat burning and fat loss varies from person to person, but the most consistent effects will be achieved at levels of carbohydrate below 50 grams per day. But some highly insulin sensitive individuals may be able to achieve this threshold consuming 70 grams or more per day, whereas others may need to keep carbs between 25 and 40 grams per day.  You can measure blood ketones from a finger stick and see quantitative results in a matter of seconds using handheld glucometers like Precision Xtra.

In summary, how much you choose to limit your dietary carbohydrate intake should be driven by your personal experience.  As a result, the amount of carbohydrate that you decide to eat might vary considerably depending on your individual metabolic condition and the level of benefit you wish to derive.  

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[Editor's Note: Anyone who has been on a carb-restricted diet before can testify to the tiredness and lack of vitality that you can experience at certain times of the day (particularly, it seems, in the late afternoon, which is often just before your workout). Carbs play a role in fat gain, it's true. But they are also a source of energy, and cutting back on them is bound to have consequences. Athletes on carb-restrained regimens often turn to thermogenic supplements to boost their energy level, especially before their workouts. Having broached this topic, this is a terrific moment to share some exciting news with our readers.

Athletes concerned with fat-loss have long depended upon BetaStax to gain the ultimate transformational and performance edge in pursuit of their physique goals. Indeed, original BetaStax is the all-time best-selling weight-loss/energy supplement here at ProSource. Now, those long-satisfied BetaStax enthusiasts have a terrific reason to celebrate as a new, more powerful version of BetaStax, upgraded with state-of-the-art thermogenic co-factors for even more phenomenal results, makes its debut.

BetaStax Elite contains the highly synergistic complex of energy factors that made the original version essential to the pre-workout regimens of athletes looking to ramp up their performance potential. At the same time, BetaStax Elite augments that original formula with exciting new support factors, among them a remarkable thermogenic agent particularly rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to provide powerful diet support. This dramatic, amped-up infusion of energy is just what you're looking for when you're cutting back on carbs, and you'll get it from new BetaStax Elite!]


How Fast to Cut Back?
This is a great question, but the answer is not as clearly spelled out by objective research as we would like.  Some people advocate easing into carbohydrate restriction slowly by cutting back by one food category at a time (e.g., first sugars and juices, then refined carbs, then starchy vegetables, etc).  Others take the plunge all at once.  To date, no one has done a study with a large group of subjects to see which strategy yields a higher proportion making an effective transition into nutritional ketosis.  

What we do know is that it takes a couple of weeks to keto-adapt, and you don't accomplish much towards that goal until you are making substantial amounts of ketones.  The other concern with easing into a low carb diet is that once you are eating less than the 150 grams of carb needed to feed your brain with glucose, but still more than the 50 gram threshold below which ketosis is dependably operating, your brain's fuel supply becomes pretty tenuous.  If there's not enough glucose to meet the brain's 600 Calorie daily energy habit, and blood ketones remain below the 0.5 millimolar threshold where they can begin to pitch in, your body's only two options are to burn up protein or binge on carbs.  In my experience, taking the plunge is better.  That does not mean that this transition will be easy, but perhaps easier that trying to slowly slide your metabolism between two distinctly different fueling strategies.     

As to what happens when you are faithfully restricting carbs and then indulge in a high carb meal or a whole weekend of insulin-stimulating carbs, that's a topic for another article.  The take home message here is that restricting carbs needs to be more than a casual endeavor and it needs to be tailored to the individual, rather than following arbitrary guidelines designed to hit the average person, after all no one wants to be average.

Have you ever tried a serious carb-reduced diet for a significant period of time? What were your results with it? Let us know in the comments field below!

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A Targeted Supplemental ApproachTo Honing a Rock-Hard Physique in 2014


It's that time of the year again, when the cold, the reduced sunlight, and our once-again-packed work schedules conspire to undermine our dietary and training schedules. We all know that this is a recipe for some seriously unwanted fat gain, yet most of us inadvertently put on five to ten pounds over the winter.

Unfortunately there are no magic pills on the market that completely circumvent fat gain in the face of over-consumption and reduced exercise. However, there are some supplements and strategies that might help curb your indulgences, motivate you to get into the gym, and keep you looking svelte. So let's highlight some of the key supplements and show you how you can use them to keep your cravings low and your metabolism high over the winter -- all with the goal of making a fat loss resolution unnecessary in January of 2015.

Fat Burners
Any article aimed at circumventing fat gain or increasing fat loss will start with recommendations for fat burners. The most innovative supplements in this category are those that incorporate unique multidimensional formulations that suppress appetite, combat fat gain, and promote lipolysis. Most importantly, their effectiveness should be documented in the form of real science, specifically in the form of validation of fat loss results in reputable clinical trials.  

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BetaStax
BetaStax, the flagship transformational catalyst from BioQuest, has received some of the industry's best reviews in the fat burner category. The key to its success is its no-nonsense, science-backed formulation of key compounds. The most novel ingredient in BetaStax (and the key to its unrivaled effectiveness) is PureWay-Slim, a bioactive matrix of fat loss agents.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to take placebo or 250 mg of PureWay-Slim. Weight, waist and hip circumferences, basic metabolic profiles, blood glucose, and lipoprotein levels were measured at baseline and then at 2 and 4 weeks. It was reported that the consumption of 250 mg of PureWay-Slim (prior to two major meals daily) resulted in significantly greater reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences when compared to placebo treatment.

Furthermore, dramatic results were apparent within the first two weeks of supplementation and continued throughout the duration of the study.  The scientists reported that subjects who took PureWaySlim had remarkable elevations in plasma Cholecystokinin (CCK) levels at 60 and 120 minutes post-meal. CCK is a neuropeptide that mediates satiety (the feeling of "fullness" after a meal) by binding to receptors in the brain.

BetaStax also contains a highly bioactive matrix of energy factors that provide a revitalizing rush of energy and motivation ideal for getting you out onto the gym floor physically and mentally prepared for a productive workout. Elite athletes everywhere benefit enormously from the smooth and powerful energy surge BetaStax triggers, while enjoying a reprieve from the jitters and energy crash that accompany standard stimulant products. In this way, BetaStax delivers both dramatic diet support benefits and an amped up infusion of energy to beat the winter blahs.

Zycor
Also from BioQuest comes Zycor, a fat burner that takes on a completely new angle for fat loss. They key ingredient here is Meratrim, which was recently investigated in two randomized and double blinded placebo controlled clinical trials. In these studies, the formula was shown to significantly decrease adipogenesis (fat accumulation) and increase lipolysis (fat burning). More specifically, subjects, who were put on a modest 2000-calorie diet and walked 30 minutes per day, were given either Meratrim or a placebo. After only two weeks, those subjects who received the supplement lost 4.5 lbs -- and after 8 weeks they lost 11.5 pounds. Compared to those who received the placebo, this translated to 2.7-fold greater weight loss at 2 weeks and 3.5-fold greater weight loss at 8 weeks.

As well, those who took Meratrim had a 4.7" reduction in waist and 2.5" reduction in hip circumferences. The main effect of this supplement seems to be due to its unique ability to increase blood adiponectin levels -- suggesting enhanced fat metabolism. As well, those who took Meratrim had significant reductions in blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol and LDL/HDL ratio.

BioQuest's R&D team has also added green coffee extract that has been standardized to chlorogenic acids, which have been linked to the modulation of the utilization and/or absorption of consumed carbohydrates, as well as a number of other potent fat-loss and focus-enhancing catalysts. Like BetaStax, Zycor has earned itself a considerable amount of industry praise and consumer loyalty in recent years.

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Non-Thermogenic Fat-Loss
If you're already taking a thermogenic, you may want to consider stacking that diet product with a technology that works via a non-stimulant pathway. Athletes have long valued CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a versatile and popular body-toning lipid that has been the subject of a significant amount of scientific research focused on its ability to help support repartitioning (reduction of the abdominal area while enhancing muscle tone).

In fact, a study conducted in Sweden reported that CLA supplementation in humans increased fatty acid metabolism and decreased body fat levels with no effect on body weight. Due to the fact that there was fat loss but no change in body weight, it follows that CLA supplementation also increased lean mass in this study. In support, another study that looked at CLA for fat/weight loss and subsequent lean mass gain reported that subjects who took CLA had increased resting metabolic rate, as a result of increased lean mass, as well as decreased body fat. Although there have been a few mechanisms proposed for CLA's effects, recent evidence has shown that these fatty acids can mediate increased insulin release and sensitivity, which helps to regulate blood glucose and muscle growth. In addition, it is postulated that CLA works by blocking enzymes associated with fat storage.

The Tonalin brand of CLA has long been the gold standard in this category, and ProSource Tonalin CLA contains a full 1600 mg per serving of highly potent and pure material standardized for 80% Tonalin CLA, the highest quality available.

Further fat burning support can be provided via raspberry ketone, a powerful antioxidant botanical. Raspberry ketone (4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one) supplementation has been shown to prevent fat accumulation even with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates. This is supported by animal research, which has shown that most of raspberry ketone's weight loss benefits are due to augmented fat metabolism and inhibited small intestine absorption of dietary fat (by suppressing pancreatic lipase activity). ProSource's RaxBeri-K product contains the highest-quality raspberry ketones in a 100mg serving.

A protein supplement for fat loss?
The importance of protein supplementation in the management of body fat cannot be overstated. In fact, research has unequivocally established a dose-response relationship between protein intake, metabolism, and body-weight regulation.

Vectron
For the goal of fat reduction, no other protein supplement has been proven as effective as Vectron by ProSource. Vectron is an innovative product that contains a patented fractionated protein formula called Prolibra. The protein complex in Vectron is formed from partially hydrolyzed whey and is fortified with a state-of-the-art blend of minerals that work synergistically to support lean mass, promote fat loss, and normalize blood glucose.

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These claims are backed by a 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, where subjects taking Prolibra while undergoing a modest calorie reduced diet retained lean mass while at the same time had 28% greater fat-loss than the control group (with the same diet). Taking Vectron twice daily before meals has been shown to to reduce blood glucose after meals and maintain muscle mass even under conditions of significant fat loss. All in all, Vectron supplementation results in healthy levels of blood sugar, decreased appetite, and decreased fat storage, all the while maintaining muscularity.

Now that we've identified some key players in the winter war on fat gain, let's put them together in a plan of attack, shall we?

The simple 3-step winter fat-loss stack
So, now you may be asking--how do I use these supplements to overcome winter holiday fat gain?

  • STEP 1: Take one dose (1 or 2 capsules) of BetaStax or ZyCor 30 minutes before breakfast and another dose 30 minutes before dinner

  • STEP 2: Mix one scoop of Vectron in 8oz of cold water and drink 20 minutes before breakfast and have another shake 20 minutes before dinner

  • STEP 3: Enjoy a lean muscular physique all winter long

Is your physique ready for the beach in 2014? What's your strategy for staying rock-hard and fit as the summer months approach? Let us know in the comments field below!

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The Facts on Cardio-Related Weight Gain,Plus Strategies For Targeting Fat Loss


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Every gym has that guy. You know the one. Day in, day out, slogging along on the treadmill or the elliptical trainer. Maybe they're even working a little interval pacing in. Fast, then slow. Fast, then slow.

Man, you think, if cardio really helps you burn fat, then that guy should be a cartoon stick figure by now.

But he's not. Every day, he's working it like crazy, his T-shirt soaked with sweat, red in the face. But he always looks the same. In fact, he could be getting fatter.

Usually, these thoughts occur to you when you're doing your own time in purgatory. One of your three-times-a-week 30-minute stints on the treadmill. No, you're not Leisure Time Larry over there, watching CNN while he jogs to nowhere. But you've heard about the "skinny fat" syndrome that afflicts aerobic exercisers. You've heard about cortisol build-up and its connection to fat gain.

And the thought nags at you. Am I wasting my time on this machine?

It's a valid question. Before we address it with the help of some experts, let's set one thing straight. Aerobic exercise is important for overall wellness and cardiovascular health. Nobody wants to be that bodybuilder who gets winded walking up a flight of stairs.

General wellness and cardiovascular health are essential to you as a bodybuilder, even if they're not your primary reasons for being in the gym. You're there to build muscle and attain the kind of physique that makes people go quiet when you enter the room. But fat loss is a part of that, so let's take a closer look at the science of losing fat in the gym.

Fat Loss and Cardio
It stands to reason, if you're expending a great deal of time and effort thumping away on a treadmill, that you should be burning at least some calories stored away as fat. And yet, if you've ever participated in, say, a charity long-distance run, you've seen a lot of people who just don't look that great. Long-distance running is going to burn muscle tissue, that's a given. But a lot of runners also complain about "skinny fat" syndrome, an outcome in which their body mass is very low and yet they still have noticeable excess fat. We asked Todd Bumgardner, co-founder of Beyond Strength Performance and a strength athlete with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science, about this seeming paradox.

"Extended periods of aerobic exercise train the body to be small, fat and slow," Todd says. "Hormones, and the associated physiological mechanisms, respond accordingly. To meet this adaptation, the body gets rid of muscle mass and stores fuel in the form of body fat, rather than storing fuel as glycogen in the muscles and in the liver. Appropriate amounts of high intensity strength training and other forms of anaerobic exercise can help you overcome this, but you really have to manage your cardio intelligently."

Josh Bryant, a world-record-holding powerlifter with a Masters of Science in Exercise Science and several published books on training, agrees. "Excessive aerobics can decrease testosterone production, decrease immune system efficiency, increase cortisol production and put a serious halt to any sort of strength or muscle gains," he says. "All of these outcomes will increase body fat and certainly won't help you progress toward your training goals."

Cortisol and Fat Loss
Josh's point about cortisol comes with some caveats. Cortisol production has been linked in the popular imagination with excess fat gain for some time now, and for a while, there were even a sizeable number of diet products which claimed to modulate cortisol levels to target fat loss. (Many of those discredited products are gone now.) The truth about the connection between cardio exercise, cortisol production, and fat gain is a little more complicated.

Chad Kerksick, a professor of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico, weighs in on the topic, suggesting, "Like many other things, elevated levels of cortisol are somewhat necessary to encourage the breakdown of things your muscles can use for fuel.  Chronically increased levels, however, which result from high amounts of exercise and less than adequate nutrition is not a good thing and over time can limit recovery and support an overall increase in inflammation throughout the body."

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Todd Bumgardner also sees the issue as a bit of a gray area. "In truth, people should be worried more about spikes in cortisol that come from extraneous life stress than cortisol that comes from exercise," he says. "It's the other stuff that typically gives people heart attacks, increases visceral fat and kills them. Constantly being in "fight or flight" mode and the accompanying increase in stress hormones (such as cortisol) limits insulin sensitivity and promotes the storage of visceral fat. This constant state of sympathetic nervous system arousal is what's truly concerning about cortisol.

When it comes to exercise, however, it depends upon intensity. Low-intensity aerobic exercise is great for decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity and improving the function of the parasympathetic nervous system, the system that reduces the stress response.

High-intensity, prolonged cardiovascular exercise, however, can elicit a strong cortisol response. If this type of exercise is predominant over strength training, and is accompanied by a stressful life, high cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance that accumulates visceral fat."

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How Much Cardio Is Too Much Cardio?
Here, at last, we arrive at the meat of the matter. If we can all agree that some cardio is necessary, both for overall wellness and as a physique enhancing tool, but too much cardio is counterproductive, then where is the sweet spot? How much time should you be spending on that treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine? Josh Bryant bring the facts:

"Studies show the ill effects of muscle hypertrophy, anabolic hormonal deficiency and decreases in strength have some commonalities," he says. "What it comes down to is that intense cardiovascular exercise for more than 30 minutes at above 75 percent max heart rate intensity, with a frequency of three times or greater per week, will be counterproductive to strength and muscle gains.  

"The best way to attack this is a couple days a week of low intensity steady state cardio. Brisk walks of 20 to 30 minutes will suffice. Very low intensity cardio like this will actually enhance your ability to recover! This coupled with a two, short, intense interval days will get the job done. If you are taking short rests between sets like circuit training or Peripheral Heart Action training, you can get away with very little extra cardio."

Todd Bumgardner prefers to address the issue by way of body type. "I know this isn't the answer that everyone wants to hear, but it depends. It really depends on somatotype. Ectomorphs, or skinny hard-gainers, should cut cardio completely while trying to gain muscle. They need to use all their calories toward gaining mass.

"Mesomorphs can include some cardio into their mass building programs. These are the guys that can put mass on, or lose it, at will. When envisioning them, think linebacker. These fellows can include some low-intensity, short duration cardio into their mass programming.

"Endomorphs, those that are typically larger and carry more fat mass, can include a bit more cardio than mesomorphs. But if they are concerned with body composition, they'd do well to worry more about diet than cardio exercise.

"Most folks are a combination of two somatotypes rather than a distinct embodiment of a single somatotype. Experimentation, then, becomes the means to finding a balance of cardiovascular and strength training for building mass.

"The best policy, though, is to keep the goal the goal. This is a lesson from renowned strength coach Dan John. If you want to gain mass, cut out everything else and train to gain mass. Lift heavy things and eat the appropriate amount of good calories."

Three Bodybuilding Strategies for Targeting Fat Loss

 Keep It Short and Focused.
Bodybuilders who include cardio training in their mass programs would do best to include a short duration (ten to fifteen minutes) of low-intensity aerobic training directly after their strength training session. Heart rate should be around 120-130 and movement should be continuous. Keep total cardio training time around thirty minutes per week.  This will promote recovery without destroying the caloric surplus necessary for muscular hypertrophy.

 Add a Powerful Fat-Loss Catalyst to Your Regimen.
There are a number of highly effective, physique-enhancing thermogenics out there that will not only help you facilitate fat loss, but they'll also amp up your workout and sharpen your focus and intensity as well. One of the best, Zycor from BioQuest, works simultaneously through a multitude of biochemical pathways to fundamentally "hardwire" your metabolic processes for maximum fat-loss. In fact, its key active ingredient, Meratrim, has been shown to generate significant results in as little as two weeks. In the combined results of two preliminary, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies on Meratrim, Zycor's ultra-potent main ingredient, subjects lost an average of 4.5 lbs in a mere 14 days. Subjects also achieved significant reductions in waist and hip size, which further underscores the fact that this formula is specifically attacking body fat. Try getting that kind of result on a treadmill!  

Pairing your thermogenic with a non-stimulant fat-loss catalyst for synergistic effect can pay dividends, too. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract is rich in chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been shown to modulate blood sugar levels, thereby helping to provide powerful non-stimulant diet support. ProSource's Tonalin CLA, Super 7-Keto, and Ultra-GTX are other non-stimulant options with peerless reputations for supporting fat loss.

When it comes to burning fat while maintaining muscle mass, it pays to consider a cutting-edge protein with body partitioning efficacy as well. Of particular interest in this category is ProSource's unique physique-enhancing protein Vectron. Vectron contains Prolibra, an advanced weight management system clinically proven to help improve the ratio of lean mass to fat. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. No other protein complex has been clinically proven to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period. The Prolibra group also lost 6.1% fat. Again, you'd have to spend a lot of time on an elliptical to get that result!


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 Vary Your Attack.
Doing the same things in the same way every day is not going to get the job done. When it comes to cardio, changing things up will not only keep your body from adapting to the routine and conserving fat. It will also help you retain your sanity.

You really don't even have to run. Walking, rowing, bicycling, anything that gets your heart rate up will do the job. Recently, we here at ProSource were talking to Mark Wahlberg, an actor with one of the most well-recognized, ultra-ripped physiques in Hollywood. Mark doesn't run at all. "I don't like to run," Mark told us. "Running, treadmills, that stuff, I don't do much if I can avoid it. I play a lot of basketball. I do some boxing, rope skipping. That's how I stay lean. That's what works for me."

If it works for Mark Wahlberg, it'll work for you.

How much cardio do you do in a typical training week? Do you find it to be an effective fat-loss tool? Let us know in the comment field below!

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Can Green Coffee Bean HelpYou Shed Those Extra Pounds?

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If you're looking to lose unwanted extra fat, good news may be arriving in the shape of the humble green coffee bean.

Green coffee extract is obtained from ripe coffee beans before they undergo the roasting process. Research continues to point to major health effects of both green coffee extract and its major phenolic compound chlorogenic acid. As is the case with many plant extracts, experimental support is often generated first in animal experiments and then progresses to human studies if results are promising. In the case of green coffee extract, studies in mice first revealed that green coffee extract reduced body weight and body fat, primarily by decreasing absorption of fat as well as increasing fat metabolizing enzymes.

Clinical Studies Show Promising Weight-Loss Results
The mice studies led to several human studies that were recently summarized in a meta-analysis review. The results of this analysis in a total of 162 individuals indicated that compared to a placebo group, the average weight loss was 5 and half pounds greater with use of green tea extract at a daily dose of 200 mg/day.

An even more recent study not included in the meta-analysis provides further evidence in support of an effect on weight loss. Overweight men and women were supplemented with placebo, low dose (700 mg/day), and high dose (1050 mg/day) green coffee extract. Each subject received all three treatments for 6 weeks with a two week washout in between for a total duration of 22 weeks. Subjects gained 0.7 pounds during placebo, but lost 3.4 pounds of body weight during low dose, and 4.5 pounds during high dose green coffee extract treatment. No significant side effects were reported in this study, or in any of the other human trials.

The Key Active Ingredient
Looking a little deeper, the effects of green coffee extract appear to be due largely to the presence of chlorogenic acid, and possibly other polyphenolic compounds. Chlorogenic acid is known to activate a spectrum of antioxidant genes that protect against oxidative stress. Coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid results in a significant decrease in blood pressure and has even been shown to produce decreases in glucose absorption in humans. This latter effect may be due to inhibition of carbohydrate digesting enzymes in the gut. Chlorogenic acid is metabolized to ferulic acid in the liver. Ferulic acid has been shown in independent studies to be an effective treatment for high blood pressure. Ferulic acid also potentiates the action of nitric oxide and improves dilation of blood vessels.

Recent studies have tested whether green coffee extract raises levels of chlorogenic and ferulic acid in people. French researchers studied the pharmacokinetic profile after ingestion of green coffee extract in healthy men and women. Subjects consumed 2 capsules (400 mg) of decaffeinated green coffee extract containing 170 mg of chlorogenic acids. Blood samples were measured sequentially for 8 hours and urine samples collected to estimate bioavailabilty of various compounds in green coffee extract. The total bioavailability varied from person to person from as little as 7.8% to as high as 72% with an average of 33%. Several different chlorogenic acids were detected in blood after ingestion including caffeoylquinic, ferulic, caffeic, and isoferulic acids. The significant increase in ferulic acid is interesting because it has been shown to stimulate nitric oxide bioavailability and have a positive effect on vascular dilation and blood pressure. Thus the major compounds in green coffee extract are highly absorbed and metabolized in humans.

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Effective Chlorogenic Acid Supplementation
Chlorogenic acid is naturally present in coffee, but the amount is significantly reduced as part of the roasting process. Nonetheless studies are continually being published demonstrating positive associations between moderate coffee consumption and key health indicators. This may be due to the naturally present chlorogenic acid and/or other bioactive nutrients in coffee.

A more effective method of raising blood levels of chlorogenic acid is to consume capsules of green coffee extract. As is the case with any compound or supplement, the degree of quality offered by manufacturers ranges from poor to premium. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract contains 400mg per dose of green coffee extract with an ultra-potent, standardized dose of 50% chlorogenic acids. The exact dose to maximize health effects likely depends on absorption, which varies considerably from person to person. General recommendations are to consume 400 mg of green coffee extract (at least 45% chlorogenic acid) two to three times per day.

Green coffee bean extract makes an excellent non-stimulant weight-loss option, perfect in synergy with a stimulant thermogenic or on its own for those who are sensitive to stimulants.

Are you trying to lose weight? How much would you like to lose? Have you tried a new supplement that has been helpful? Let us know in the comments field below!

References
Mubarak A, Bondonno CP, Liu AH, Considine MJ, Rich L, Mas E, Croft KD, Hodgson JM. Acute effects of chlorogenic acid on nitric oxide status, endothelial function, and blood pressure in healthy volunteers: a randomized trial. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 12;60(36):9130-6.

Shimoda, H., Seki, E. & Aitani, M. Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. (2006); 6:9.

Vinson JA, Burnham BR, Nagendran MV. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S27665. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Onakpoya I, Terry R, Ernst E. The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011.

E. Thom, “The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people, Journal of International Medical Research, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 900–908, 2007.

O. Dellalibera, B. Lemaire, and S. Lafay, “Svetol_, green coffee extract, induces weight loss and increases the lean to fat mass ratio in volunteers with overweight problem,” Phytotherapie, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 194–197, 2006.

Farah A, Monteiro M, Donangelo CM, Lafay S. Chlorogenic Acids from Green Coffee Extract are Highly Bioavailable in Humans. J Nutr. 2008 Dec;138(12):2309-2315.


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Want to Rip Up?Ramp Up Your Protein Intake


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Here's some good news for people who want to lose some weight, put on some muscle and generally look and feel better. Research tells us that the best strategy to accomplish these goals is to combine some form of diet with a regular exercise program. Debates ensue over how much of what type of exercise, but at the end of the day you need to consistently follow an exercise program each week. Along with this tenet comes the understanding that you must be working at a pace that is challenging. Dare we even recommend, the exercise intensity you follow should make it feel difficult (don't do so without checking with your physician first). In other words, just because you are at the gym for two hours, does not mean you will accomplish your goals.

On the diet side, restricting your energy or calorie intake is a must. You can't get around it and there are very few tricks or secrets, as even crazy diets like the Lemonade diet or Peanut Butter diet are based upon the premise of restricting your energy intake. But there is a catch. Restricting your calories to a significant degree can wreak havoc on your muscle mass and eventually negatively impact your metabolic rate as well as your ability to recover from the stress of the exercise program you are following.

The Dietary Implications of Muscle Loss
Research studies routinely indicate that 25% or more of the total weight loss during some form of energy restriction comes from muscle mass (Weinheimer, Sands et al. 2010). As highlighted above, this loss of muscle has been shown to negatively impact further weight loss (you plateau with your weight loss) and can compromise your efforts to maintain your weight after you stop following the diet regimen.

Much attention and focus has been directed towards the difficulty this creates for an obese person trying to lose some weight, but the problems which result from restricting calories and losing muscle while you are following this kind of program are equally concerning for an active, exercising person such as an athlete or bodybuilder. Not only will losing muscle as a result of restricting your energy intake leave you tired, but the inevitable loss of muscle will limit the gains you make as a result of training and can decrease performance and increase susceptibility to injury (Johnson, Friedl et al. 1994; Tharion, Lieberman et al. 2005; Artioli, Gualano et al. 2010). Call this an unhappy triad of outcomes due to energy restriction for performance-minded folks.

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Protein to the Rescue
The RDA for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass each day and several studies indicate that higher intakes of protein can be helpful to limit the loss of fat-free mass. But researchers, nutritionists, dietitians and health care practitioners all debate over how much protein is needed. For starters, many research studies have reported that nearly doubling the RDA for protein intake at a dose of 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day was effective at limiting the loss of muscle while dieting. For a man weighing 170 – 200 pounds, this equates to 116 – 137 grams of protein each day. If you break that up across four to five meals each day, each meal should contain somewhere around 25 - 32 grams of protein. This dose is practical as well as it equates to approximately three eggs, one scoop of a high-quality whey protein isolate like ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite, one scoop of ProSource's Vectron with added leucine, or a 4 oz. piece of lean chicken, pork, or beef.

While we're on the subject of protein supplements, it should be noted that not all protein sources are created equal. Of particular interest in this category is ProSource's unique physique-enhancing protein Vectron. Vectron contains Prolibra, an advanced weight management system clinically proven to help improve the ratio of lean mass to fat. That's an ambitious claim, so I'll let the science speak for itself. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo. The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat-loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss. No other protein complex has been clinically proven to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period. The Prolibra group also lost 6.1% fat.

NytroWhey Ultra Elite, with it's advanced Ultra Anabolic Protein Matrix composed of a premium-grade CFM whey isolate, as well as a rapid-action whey protein isolate, would also be a good choice for increasing your protein intake. NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains a unique leucine-bound leucine peptide complex (LBLP) designed to switch on anabolism when ingested. NytroWhey Ultra Elite boasts up to 4 times the leucine content of other premium whey protein products.

A Landmark Study Points the Way to
Emphasizing fat Loss Over Muscle Loss

Thus, it seems that diets with a higher protein intake do seem to do a better job of minimizing muscle loss while also stimulating just as much weight loss as other diet groups. Less information, however, is available to tell us more about how our muscle tissue responds to a situation where energy intake is restricted but more protein is delivered in the diet. A recent study published in FASEB Journal (The Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) sought to determine some of these changes and they used 39 healthy military professionals as participants in their study (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013).

The study itself lasted around four weeks and the first seven days were considered a weight maintenance period. During the remaining 21 days, all participants were assigned to consumed a diet that provided the same amount of protein required by the RDA (0.8 grams per kg body mass), another group ingested two times the RDA (1.6 grams per kg body mass) and a third and final group ingested three times the RDA (2.4 grams per kg body mass). With their protein intake controlled at different levels, all participants were required to ingest approximately 30% less calories than their estimated daily needs. In other words, active, healthy, military personnel followed diet that restricted their calorie needs by 30% and ingested either 1x, 2x or 3x the RDA for protein intake.

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In addition, all participants further increased their energy deficit by 10% through an increase in the exercise they completed, which means through a combination of diet and exercise they created a 40% deficit in their daily energy needs. As a result, all participants lost weight, approximately 7 pounds during the three week diet and exercise period. The most interesting aspect of the study, however, was not that they lost weight, but rather that the groups who ingested two or three times the RDA for protein lost significantly more fat and less muscle. These changes led to much greater improvements in their overall body composition.

To compare the weight loss results side by side you can see that when greater protein was ingested, more fat and less muscle was lost as a result of dieting, exercise and energy restriction. Remember all groups lost around seven pounds, but the following changes happened (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013):

  • 1x RDA: 58% of the weight lost was from fat-free mass, 42% from fat
  • 2x RDA: 30% of the weight lost was from fat-free mass, 70% from fat
  • 3x RDA: 36% of the weight lost was from fat-free mass, 64% from fat

A few additional points should be made. For starters, the amount of fat lost was NOT different between the 2x and 3x the RDA groups, but they BOTH lost significantly greater fat when compared to 1x RDA. Put another way, elevated protein intake to 2x the RDA appears to be important, but little to no additional improvements are seen when protein intake is further increased to 3x the RDA.

Protein is Your Dietary Best Friend When It Comes to Losing Fat and Supporting Muscle
The walk-away message from this is important. First, losing fat without losing muscle is very difficult. To lose weight, energy must be restricted from the body, but these losses oftentimes consist of a combination of both fat and muscle tissue. Second, increasing protein intake to a level where it doubles the RDA appears to be the most effective at stimulating losses of both fat and muscle. Certainly, food should be at the center of these dietary changes, but adding high-quality protein supplements like NytroWhey Ultra Elite and Vectron to deliver added amounts of leucine can work as well.

References

Artioli, G. G., B. Gualano, et al. (2010). "Prevalence, magnitude, and methods of rapid weight loss among judo competitors." Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(3): 436-442.
Johnson, M. J., K. E. Friedl, et al. (1994). "Loss of muscle mass is poorly reflected in grip strength performance in healthy young men." Med Sci Sports Exerc 26(2): 235-240.
Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, et al. (2013). "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial." FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Tharion, W. J., H. R. Lieberman, et al. (2005). "Energy requirements of military personnel." Appetite 44(1): 47-65.
Weinheimer, E. M., L. P. Sands, et al. (2010). "A systematic review of the separate and combined effects of energy restriction and exercise on fat-free mass in middle-aged and older adults: implications for sarcopenic obesity." Nutr Rev 68(7): 375-388.


What's the worst physical impact you experience when dieting? Lack of energy? Decreased focus and attention span? Inability to convert workout efforts into muscle gain? Something else? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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So Close and Yet So Far: Here'sHow to Re-Ignite Your Metabolism


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It wasn't supposed to be like this. When you first embarked on your fat-loss quest, you figured starting would be the most difficult part. Instead, you probably discovered the dirty little secret of the weight-loss game: At the beginning, it's easy. Change your diet and get serious about exercising regularly, and fat melts away, kinda like the butter on those toasty hot dinner rolls you now pass on at the restaurant. Depending on how much excess weight you need to shed, you can drop 10 to 15 pounds in mere weeks.

But after a few months with all systems clicking -- never missing workouts, eating clean, supplementing like a champ -- all that progress tends to stop cold in one big, fat, frustrating sticking point.

Blame it on genetics. More specifically, your metabolism. That's because, when you lose 10 percent of your total bodyweight, it tends to . . . well, get a little scared. Your inner caveman wonders if you're slowly starving to death.

To protect you from that untimely fate, your metabolism slows to a crawl, trying to save those last bastions of energy stored all over your frame. In other words, you start hoarding body fat, and seemingly no amount of further exercise and dieting can budge the scale further downward.

Once you've reached this point, it's time to reassess the situation. You need to determine whether you need to manipulate your diet, your training, or both, to appease your metabolism and coax it back into fat-burning mode. Here are 5 ways -- two training related, three diet focused -- to do just that.

Increase your cardio intensity to
burn more calories in less time.

When your workouts are done, are you sweaty? No, we mean it -- are you dripping, going back to the towel rack for seconds, and dreaming of a shower as soon as you step out of the cardio room?

Real aerobic training doesn't involve watching television, or reading magazines, or daydreaming through a workout. Think about it: You wouldn't be leisurely flipping through a Sports Illustrated while doing a set of squats. So why would you dial down the intensity and expect maximum results out of your cardio session?

From here on out, crank up the workload. Set some tough goals to go further and faster on the treadmill or rower or stair climber, whatever it may be, every time out. Ditch the long, slow, plodding runs and try interval training, which mixes bursts of all-out sprints with short recovery-speed exercise. For instance, over the course of 25 minutes on the elliptical, do 30 seconds of pedal-to-the-metal sprints rotated with 30 seconds of a steady (but not slow) "jog speed."

Tabata training may be in order too. In a study headed up by Michele Olson, Ph.D., principal researcher at the Auburn University at Montgomery Kinesiology Laboratory, subjects doing Tabata-style interval training -- specifically squat jumps for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second break for 10 total rounds — burned 13.5 calories a minute, a torrid pace. In the research, presented this past May at the American College of Sports Medicine 60th Annual Conference, Tabata was shown to double the participants' metabolic rate for up to 30 minutes after the workout was complete.

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Find a more advanced workout
partner to hit the gym with.

"It's not you, it's me." Yes, it may be time to practice your break-up lines, because you might just need to say adios to your current training partner. It's not his fault -- in fact, he may be at the same exact fitness and strength levels as you. But that's the problem.

To make progress, you need to be challenged. You need to learn new things. And to do that, you need a role model, someone who's been in the iron trenches for longer, and has picked up lots of useful knowledge along the way.

And it's not simply intuition that can tell you this, it's research. One study published in The Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology followed eight women who regularly watched videos of computer-generated models. Strange enough, we know, but here's the thing: Those virtual people demonstrated good weight-loss habits, including shopping for lower-calorie foods, making smart portion-control choices when eating, and exercising.

After four weeks, the women admitted their virtual "role model" had helped them change behaviors, and the group averaged a four-pound weight loss in that timeframe. If that's what a computer-generated model can do, imagine what a real-life flesh-and-blood fitness fanatic can inspire?

Cut the carbs after 7 p.m.
A calorie is a calorie, right? Well, yes and no. Certainly, a gram of carbohydrate or protein provides four calories, and one fat gram is nine calories no matter when you ingest it. But it's what your body is more apt to do with that calorie when it takes it in that makes a huge difference in your results.

The premise is simple: When you eat in the a.m., you have all day to burn those calories off. You want to tilt your food intake more toward the front end of your day, never skipping breakfast -- since you want to "break the fast" you've put your body through overnight, and stop it from burning valuable muscle tissue for fuel -- and eating less as you approach bedtime, when activity comes to a halt.

A good rule of thumb for serious dieters is to cut out carbs altogether three hours before bedtime, provided you're not weight-training during that span, and finish up the night with a 20-plus-gram high-quality casein protein shake as you hit the hay. A super-premium micellar casein like BioQuest's Ultimate Casein contains a superior amino acid profile with added BCAAs and will set the stage for a powerful anti-catabolic, muscle support. That's added muscle tissue to turn that stubborn fat into fuel.

Portion control is key too, of course. Keep your meals small and frequent -- like every three hours frequent -- and you'll keep your metabolism elevated throughout your waking hours, versus eating two to three huge meals interspersed with periods of fasting, which sends your metabolic rate on a white-knuckle ride of spikes and valleys.

Spice up your menu.
If you're choking down bland, low-calorie fare, thinking you have to suffer at mealtime to reap the rewards of a leaner physique, this news is for you. According to research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in July, spices not only improve your dining experience, it might actually help you love your low-fat meals more than the full-fat versions of old.

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Here's the scoop: In the University of Colorado study, 150 people were fed three versions of a meatloaf and vegetable dish — standard full-fat, reduced fat, and reduced fat flavored with herbs and spices. The result? Subjects rated the spicy low-fat dish as the most delicious of the three.

The benefits of switching out fat for spices is obvious, but spicy cooking has another bonus: Spices like cayenne pepper, garlic, cinnamon and turmeric have been shown to have fat-fighting properties too.

Supplement your way to success.
If you're weight training, doing cardio and eating a clean diet, well-designed supplements can give you an incredible edge. Think of it like a nitric oxide boost in a street racer. The car may have plenty of power under the hood, but flip the switch and "bam!" -- it's hurtling toward the finish line as if it suddenly found an extra gear.

If your progress is plateaued and you're not taking supps, you'll want to add some to your daily regimen. If you have been taking some, it may be a smart time to switch it up.

As for which, you'll want a protein powder, preworkout booster, a wide-spectrum, premium multivitamin, a quality fish oil, and a thermogenic formula. And two very popular products at ProSource.net right now could be just the secret weapons you need.

The first is BioQuest's Zycor, which hardwires your body's metabolic processes to maximize your fat loss while providing a high-intensity energy surge. It accomplishes this feat by working simultaneously through numerous biochemical pathways, thanks to the thermodynamic compound at the heart of Zycor, called Meratrim.

Two preliminary, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies revealed the benefits of Meratrim. Presented during the 29th Annual Scientific Obesity Meeting in Orlando, Florida, the two eight-week studies showed subjects lost an average of 4.5 pounds in just 14 days, and went on to lose an average of 11.5 pounds over the two months. In a sign Zycor attacks body fat, those taking Meratrim saw a 4.7-inch waist circumference reduction over the course of the studies.

ProSource's Vectron, meanwhile, is a protein powder scientifically engineered to preserve lean muscle during weight-loss programs. Its core ingredient is an elite fractionated protein complex called Prolibra, a specialized bioactive peptide matrix along with a special whey mineral complex designed to precisely target essential mechanisms of body transformation.

Like Zycor, the research on Vectron makes a powerful statement to its effectiveness. In an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects taking 24.4 grams per day of Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle while seeing fat loss of 79 percent compared to the 51 percent loss among the control group. No other protein complex has ever been clinically shown to achieve this type of body composition improvement in a 12-week period.

If you're on your own quest to drop those last 10 pounds, and you decide to give Zycor and Vectron a try, let us know your results! Post your experience (and photos too) at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/prosource.net.

How close are you to your goal weight? What are you doing to get there? Let us know in the comment field below!

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Stay Lean, Hard, and Amped All SummerLong With These Crucial Compounds


We're already deep into summer, once again. It's time to reveal more skin in the summer heat and show off how hard you've trained year-round. Your dedication and determination in the gym along with your diligent meal-planning are key to achieving a perfectly toned physique. Thanks to breakthrough science and research, however, there are dietary supplements that can help you achieve weight loss faster for summertime and continue to keep it off in the winter months. The following supplements made the list of essential ingredients and proprietary blends that will complement your summer workouts and weight-loss goals.


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Coleus forskohlii is a plant native to India with a long history of medicinal use since ancient times. Coleus forskohlii acts directly on a specific enzyme that activates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a compound in the body which promotes the breakdown of fat (specifically from adipose tissue) for energy utilization. The activation of cAMP induces a thermogenic response to food with a simultaneous increase in metabolism. Research has shown that twelve weeks of forskolin (the bioactive component of coleus forskohlii) intake provided favorable effects on the body composition of men, while women taking forskolin have also exhibited positive effects, with regard to weight regain. There is evidence to suggest Coleus forskohlii provides weight loss without sacrificing the integrity of lean muscle mass, making it an ideal supplement to shed fat and promote the ultimate summer physique. When shopping for Coleus forskohlii, make sure you search out the gold standard for this compound, ForsLean, as found in ProSource's Forslean Coleus Forskohlii.



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New BetaStax Elite has proven to be a runaway sales sensation here at ProSource, as customers new and long-established have embraced this reinvention of the perennial category leader. BetaStax Elite's powerful new ingredient is an advanced botanical compound that has been shown in studies to help elevate metabolism by helping to reduce the effects of glucose among other key diet support benefits to ultimately help deliver significant reductions in excessive weight. BetaStax Elite also contains the technology that revolutionized the diet-support category, in the form of an exclusive PureWay-Slim mechanism that delivers clinically validated and significant reductions in body weight, waist and hip circumferences in as little as two weeks. In fact, in a comparison of clinical studies, BetaStax' PureWay-Slim  blend achieved more weight-loss in two weeks than other leading weight-loss compounds achieved in eight weeks. Little wonder then, that this new higher potency "amplified" version of BetaStax has emerged as summer's "secret weapon" for physique transformation. New BetaStax Elite represents the most complete and comprehensive, multi-pathway offensive ever launched against excess body fat.



Buy Green Coffee Bean Extract on Sale
Buy Green Coffee Bean Extract on Sale

Green coffee bean (coffea canephora robusta) has received recent attention in the media and with good reason. The name of this coffee fruit bean simply refers to its raw state. The caffeine in green coffee bean provides a number of health benefits, including a thermogenic response that increases metabolism and fat breakdown, translating to weight-loss support and weight maintenance. The weight-loss promotion of coffee, however, may be further attributed by chlorogenic acid. Due to the raw state of green coffee beans, its chlorogenic acid content is much higher than that of roasted coffee. The chlorogenic acid of green coffee beans also have a higher bioavailability, meaning it's absorbed and used more efficiently in the human body. Research has shown that chlorogenic acid may support weight-loss, promote fat use for energy, modulate hormones related to obesity and aid in glucose metabolism. Green coffee bean extract is also a potent antioxidant, making it a unique weight-loss supplement that may combat oxidative stress, optimizing your body's immune defenses. ProSource's Green Coffee Bean Extract contains an ultra-potent, standardized dose of 50% chlorogenic acids (200 mg).


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Razor Ripped by BioQuest is your optimal, quick-fix solution for shedding excess water retention for those last-minute pool party invites. Razor Ripped contains all-natural ingredients that eliminate extra water weight in just three days or less while boosting energy levels and metabolism. Research has shown the natural diuretic effects of the dandelion in Razor Ripped, while green tea, a potent thermogenic and antioxidant, has a long history of use, dating back generations in China and other Asian countries, as a diuretic. The green tea extract in Razor Ripped works synergistically with caffeine to further promote weight loss (in the form of fat) while further promoting diuresis. Razor Ripped contains additional, natural diuretic sources like vitamin B6, magnesium, uva ursi, parsley powder, and celery seed powder to enhance the diuresis of key ingredients, dandelion, caffeine and green tea extract. Whether you're stepping out on the stage or making it a beach day, Razor Ripped can ensure water retention does not get in the way of showing off the details of your musculature and ripped physique.
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Buy Raspberry ketones on Sale



Raspberry Ketone is a major, phenolic compound of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) with a structure similar to other popular thermogenic compounds, synephrine and capsaicin. Research has demonstrated the ability of raspberry ketone to increase the breakdown of fat from adipose tissue for energy. Therefore, raspberry ketone intake may reduce body weight by decreasing fat stores, allowing your muscles and figure to shine brightly. Raspberry ketone separates itself from other thermogenics by also improving antioxidant capacity. Optimizing your body's antioxidant defenses is ideal for those long, active summer days and exposure to sun. ProSource's Razberi-K supplement contains only the highest-quality Raspberry Ketones in a 100 mg serving.


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Buy Green Tea on Sale

Green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages and has been well-examined in scientific literature. Renowned for its many health benefits, the popularity of green tea dates back to the times of ancient China. One of the primary components of green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol with powerful thermogenic properties that increases caloric expenditure and the use of fat for energy. An abundance of research exemplifies the ability of EGCG to optimize health profiles. Long-term consumption of green tea and green tea extract, individually, has shown to have a positive effect on body weight and enhance body composition. Green tea also provides a significant antioxidant benefit. The antioxidant capacity of green tea is particularly important with regard to combating oxidative stress that can result in increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in adipose tissue. Centuries of green tea consumption for better health are now backed by an abundance of clinical research studies. Prosource's Ultra-GTX has long been an industry standard bearer in this important weight-loss category. Include green tea extract in your regular supplement regimen and open a new front in the battle against excess fat.


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Buy Tonalin CLA on Sale

Tonalin CLA is the highest-quality form of conjugated linoleic acid. Tonalin CLA is a staple supplement for those looking to lose weight and keep it off in the long run. Conjugated linoleic acid is a natural component of fats that are commonly consumed in our daily diets (found in meat and dairy products). CLA intake has exhibited a number of health benefits in scientific literature, including positive effects on heart health, the immune system and protection against cancer. Perhaps its most noteworthy benefit in the supplement industry is its effects on body composition. Studies have shown that the long-term consumption of CLA (within the dose range of 3.2 grams per day) elicits substantial body fat reduction in human subjects. CLA intake may also stave off the potential for weight gain among individuals who are susceptible to packing on the pounds in the off-season/winter. Tonalin CLA is a must-have in your supplement regimen to have a summer body year-round.


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Buy ZMA on Sale

ZMA (Zinc magnesium aspartate) is the ultimate complement to maintaining the beach body you've worked so hard for. ZMA is a formulation that contains zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. Zinc is an essential trace element that is required for biochemical processes. Zinc promotes healthy increases in testosterone levels, a hormone that is vital for lean muscle mass and good quality sleep. Magnesium is an element involved in cellular reactions (i.e. energy metabolism). Magnesium has demonstrated anti-catabolic effects, protecting the integrity of lean muscle mass and strength gains, by decreasing cortisol levels during exercise. Zinc and magnesium deficiencies are common among athletes and physically active people and may hinder immune defenses, performance measures and training adaptations (i.e. strength, muscle mass). Supporting research has shown ZMA supplementation to significantly promote anabolic hormones, testosterone and IGF-1, with increases in muscle strength among football players. Additional research has shown 8-weeks of daily ZMA (30 mg) intake to reduce markers of catabolism when undergoing a weight training program. By promoting good quality of sleep, recovery from workouts and an overall anabolic environment in your body, ZMA will ensure your physique reflects the hours of training you put in. As we've said, many times here at ProSource, when buying a ZMA supplement, always look for SNAC Systems ZMA, the industry gold standard, as found in ProSource ZMA.


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Buy Mega BCAA on Sale

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)
are the three key essential amino acids of protein (leucine, isoleucine and valine). BCAA consumption provides an array of benefits for avid-exercisers, including: promotion of muscle mass gains and strength, reduction of muscle damage incurred from exercise (speeding up recovery from workouts and lessening soreness), immune system protection and endurance performance enhancement. Achieving a summer body means training hard in the gym without letting your hard work go to waste. Resistance training induces a dramatic increase in the activation of p70S6 kinase, a significant signaling pathway responsible for muscle protein synthesis (the building of muscle tissue). When BCAAs are consumed during a weightlifting session, the activation of p70S6 kinase increases even further, optimizing the hypertrophic effects you work hard for in the gym. Research has demonstrated the effects of BCAA intake (before, during and after exercise) to decrease exercise-induced muscle damage while promoting muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs are also beneficial as a readily available source of energy, with research demonstrating their ability to prolong moderate exercise performance in the heat for both men and women. The leucine component of BCAAs functions to promote anabolism while maintaining stable blood sugar levels and energy expenditure when training under a low-carb regimen and/or caloric restriction. BCAAs are an essential asset to everyone's nutrient-timing, providing valuable benefits on exercise performance while optimizing your personal aesthetics. BCAAs provided in a 2-1-1 leucine/isoleucine/valine ratio, in clinically indicated dosages (as found in ProSource's Mega BCAA) are your best bet.


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Buy Beta-Alanine on Sale

Is your energy lagging? Beta Alanine will give you the performance boost you need. Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid responsible for carnosine synthesis in muscle cells. Carnosine is a dipeptide amino acid, consisting of histidine and beta-alanine, found primarily in type II fast-twitch muscle fibers. Type II fibers are known for efficiently undertaking high intensity/short duration tasks (i.e. sprinting, weightlifting) and, subsequently, experience immense drops in pH from lactic acid accumulation as a result of sustaining these activities. Research has shown beta-alanine supplementation to significantly increase carnosine stores, which results in lactic acid buffering, allowing you to work out at higher intensities for a longer period of time. This means extra sprinting time or extra reps in the weight room. Research has also demonstrated significant gains in strength and muscle mass with decreases in body fat resultant of beta-alanine intake. In the end, enhancing your workouts with beta-alanine translates to favorable effects on body composition. When the days get long and the nights even longer, you need to support endurance with a top-quality product like ProSource's Beta Alanine.

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A Science-Based Approach forGetting Lean and Staying Lean


Summer is around the corner, and what better time to be serious about getting lean.  Regardless of where you are starting, if you start now you could be in the best shape of your life by summer.  However, you'll need to go beyond the overly simplistic "eat less and exercise more" advice.  That's equivalent to saying get rich by spending less and making more money.  Sure it makes sense on the surface, but you need a detailed plan that works for your financial metabolism. 
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The reality is, you have it within your biology to be healthy and lean, and it's not as hard as you might think.  Here's how to reprogram your body's metabolism.  

Americans Continue To Get Fatter
First, let's take stock of the current status quo.  Obesity rates have continued to climb for the last few decades.  The latest statistics indicate that 72 percent of adult men and 64 percent of adult women are overweight, as defined as body mass index equal to or more than 25 kg/m2, and approximately one-third are obese with a BMI equal to or more than 30 kg/m2.  Besides low energy and the negative psychological aspects associated with being overweight, obesity is linked to the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and increased morbidity.  The unremitting high prevalence of obesity in the United States coupled with limited success of traditional counter-measures (i.e., eat less, exercise more) has led to considerable frustration among many individuals and healthcare professionals.

Why Exercise Alone is Not the Answer
Let's start right off dispelling one of the most common myths about the positive effects of exercise on weight loss.  The truth is exercise is a rather lousy weight loss tool, but it is a great wellness tool.  The strongest evidence showing weak effects of exercise comes from studies done in identical twins under highly controlled conditions where all food was provided and exercise carefully monitored.  In one experiment twins were fed a caloric level to maintain body weight.  Then on top of that they were required to exercise for 2 hours per day for 3 months.  This created a daily energy deficit of over 600 kcal for each person in the study.  That equals an energy deficit of more than 58,000 kcal total.  If it takes a deficit of 3500 kcal to lose one pound of fat, these subjects should have lost more than 16 pounds.  The most striking finding was the wide discrepancy in weight loss among the twins ranging from 2 to 18 pounds. Think about how disappointing it would be to lose only 2 pounds after diligently exercising for 2 hours per day.  Even more striking was the discovery that the weight loss within twin pairs was very similar.  Since identical twins share the same DNA, this study clearly shows that your genetics plays a huge role in your weight loss response to exercise.   

If Exercise is Not the Answer for Everyone, What Is?
The previous example is not meant to downplay the importance of exercise, since exercise does promote many positive health effects and resistance training is necessary to build muscle.  But it does highlight the fact that exercise has weak effects in promoting weight loss and underscores the importance of paying attention to diet composition.  Many experts will say all you need to do is eat less than you expend to lose body weight.  This is exactly the wrong way to look at the situation.  If you are trying to lose weight, what you really need to do is lose body fat.  Although you may view that fat as unhealthy and unsightly, it actually represents your body's largest fuel tank.  And that fuel can be used in a positive way.  Wouldn't it be a neat trick to mobilize that fat and convert it into a reliable and consistent form of energy your body used all day long?  That's currently not the case since access to that fuel tank is being blocked by eating the wrong foods.  The trick to unlock the flow of fat from your fat stores is to keep the hormone insulin in check.  

Keeping Insulin Low
Insulin has many functions in the body, most notably increasing blood sugar uptake into cells, but here are three additional functions of insulin that emphasize why you will benefit from keeping this storage hormone low.  

First, of all the various mediators that regulate fat breakdown, insulin is the most important.  Fat, or more specifically fatty acids, are primarily stored as triglycerides in fat cells (i.e., adipocytes).  A triglyceride is simply three fatty acids attached to a single glycerol molecule.  In order to access those fatty acids you have to release them from glycerol.  This process of fat breakdown is called lipolysis.  Insulin potently blocks lipolysis.  In other words insulin prevents fatty acids from being released from fat cells.  The relationship between insulin and fat breakdown is not linear.  Small increases in insulin cause a major inhibition of fat breakdown.  
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Thus, when you raise insulin levels by consuming fast acting forms of carbs, it puts the breaks on fat breakdown both at rest and after exercise.  

A second factor relates to oxidation (i.e., burning) of fat which occurs mainly in muscles.  More specifically, fat oxidation occurs in specialized energy-producing structures called mitochondria.  Once a fatty acid enters the mitochondria it is committed to being burned and therefore this is the rate limiting step in burning fat.  Fatty acids can only enter mitochondria by a specific transporter.  Like fat breakdown, this mitochondria transporter is under tight control by insulin.  Insulin potently inhibits this fatty acid transporter and thereby blocks fat burning.    Thus, when you spike insulin levels, it inhibits both fat breakdown and fat burning.  

Third, insulin's effects are not limited to suppressing fat breakdown and oxidation; it also promotes storage of fat.  The insulin response to a high carbohydrate meal functionally blocks access to fat for fuel and at the same time promotes conversion of carbohydrate into either glycogen or fat.  Insulin does this by increasing the activity of key enzymes that control synthesis of fat in the liver and uptake of fat into fat cells.  Therefore, over time repeatedly spiking insulin contributes to accumulation of body fat.

Bottom line, keeping insulin low is the key to shifting your body's metabolism toward burring fat as the body's primary fuel.  Finding the level of dietary restriction of sugars and fast acting starches required to enable the preferential burning of body fat is the essence of a successful weight loss program.

Diet from an Evolutionary Perspective
If restricting carbohydrates seems unbalanced or even extreme, consider the fact that as humans we are well suited to respond in a positive way to carbohydrate restriction as in high energy levels, better satiety, and enhanced ability to lose body fat and maintain health.  This stems from more than 2 million years of evolution when most of us were exposed to very little carbohydrate.  Therefore, this favorable response to low carbohydrate intake is a highly conversed trait.  Now that most of us are exposed to a lot of carbs, many of us struggle to maintain a healthy weight and show signs of metabolic dysfunction.  The ability to respond favorably to increasing amounts of carbohydrate is a trait that fewer and fewer people possess (i.e., it's a less conserved trait).  In other words, if you try a low fat/high-carbohydrate diet, there is a good chance you may not respond in a positive way, no matter how much drive and determination you put into it.  This is not your fault.  It's not a problem with you; rather it's the wrong diet for your body's metabolism.  Chances are if you have failed on a high carbohydrate diet, the right diet for you is one lower in carbohydrate.  

What if your weight loss stalls?
Many people get frustrated after losing some weight and then hitting a plateau.  Don't panic--here are four possible reasons why this may be happening.  First, it's important to understand that body weight fluctuates a lot from day to day mainly because of changes in hydration status.  Since our bodies are more than half water, any changes in water balance, even a few percent, can translate into several pounds on the scale.  Thus it's best to average your weight over several days and not get hung up on any one measurement.  Exercise can also cause muscle injury and swelling which is associated with gain in water weight. 

Another reason the scale weight may not reflect true fat loss is because fat takes up more space than an equal amount of muscle due to its lower density.  If you are adding muscle while losing body fat, your weight gain will also slow.  Thus, you should evaluate your progress by inches lost and how your clothes fit. 

It's also important to realize that like most physiologic processes weight loss is not linear.  Rather, your body tends to alternate between rapid and slow phases.  In general as you get closer to your target weight, your body starts to defend against further weight loss.  If you have 50 pounds to lose, the first 30 or 40 will tend to come off relatively easily because you're further away from your goal weight. That last 10 to 20 pounds will usually take longer, and require more discipline, as the body senses the approach of its natural weight.

Practically Speaking
The level of dietary carbohydrate restriction required to maximize fat loss varies from person to person, but most people will find they get the best results when carbohydrates are kept below 50 grams per day.  You might think this translates to an exceedingly boring diet, but the truth is just the opposite.   Consider the two example meal plans at the end of the article.  Each meal plan provides 2500 kcal and less than 50 grams carbohydrate per day.  Here's just a sampling of the many foods you can eat copious amounts of while keeping carb below 50 grams per day.  I think you'll agree this is hardly unappetizing or boring.

  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Broth
  • Butter (consider buying Irish butter)
  • Cheese (hard)
  • Cream (heavy or whipping)
  • Eggs
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring)         
  • Fruits (berries, olives, tomatoes, lemons, limes)
  • Mayonnaise (made with olive or canola oil, not soybean oil)
  • Meats (beef, chicken, pork)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils (olive, canola, coconut, high oleic safflower)
  • Pork rinds
  • Salami
  • Salmon
  • Sausage
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt (Greek, whole milk)

A Few More Helpful Pointers
It's important to get enough protein, but not too much, because excessive protein can hamper the fat burning process.  There is no need to exceed 2 grams per kilogram body weight.  Also, you need to get over any fear of fat.  When carbohydrates are low, fat becomes an important component of the diet for fuel and satisfaction.  It's important to emphasize monounsaturated and saturated fats, as they are the best fuels.  There's no need to fear any harmful effects of fat, even saturated fat.  We have shown the body preferentially uses saturated fat for energy on a low carbohydrate diet.  Thus, it doesn't accumulate in your body.  

Low Carb Friendly Supplements
NytroWhey Ultra Elite is specifically designed to achieve maximal delivery of amino acids to muscle to ensure a positive protein balance.  Its state-of-the-art hydrolyzed whey is particularly rich in branched chain amino acids, making it a unique anabolic delivery system.  In addition, its advanced leucine-bound leucine peptide (LBLP) content is optimized for enhanced bioavailability. NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains up to 4 times the leucine content of other premium whey protein products, which is important because leucine is primarily involved in "switching on" anabolism when it is injested. Taken before and after exercise NytroWhey Ultra Elite will ensure the muscle is primed to grow.  

[Editor's Note: While we're on the subject of advanced proteins, ProSource offers a unique and highly efficacious leaning-out stack that has become an indispensable element in the supplemental regimen of both competitive bodybuilders and people looking to achieve their summer hard body. The ProSource Ultra Ripped Stack offers a comprehensive, multifaceted attack on excess body fat that involving fat loss, appetite control, diuretics, and proper protein supplementation. It starts with ProSource's Vectron, the first clinically validated fat-loss protein, 
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which contains a unique proprietary bioactive peptide matrix, plus whey mineral complex called Prolibra that was shown in a 12-week clinical trial to help provide significant improvements in the ratio of lean to fat mass. Vectron is unique to the protein category in its capacity for helping you decrease excess fat, while maintaining muscle mass.

The Ultra Ripped Stack then adds the advanced fat-loss catalyst Zycor, which provides both clinically validated weight-loss power and premium-grade energy factors for productive workouts. Finally, for when you're ready to hit the beach, the Ultra Ripped Stack provides BioQuest's Razor Ripped, a cutting-edge formula containing key electrolytes, vitamins and a compendium of powerful botanical agents designed to support water-weight loss from your body faster than any other product of its kind. These three supplements, in tandem, provide a remarkable synergy of physique-ripping power.]


Another dietary addition to keep in mind is a good source of omega 3 fats, specifically EPA and DHA.  These fatty acids have received enormous attention over the last couple decades, owing to a myriad of health benefits associated with their intake.  Most Americans eat significantly more omega 6 fats relative to omega 3, and this imbalance may set them up for greater inflammation and health problems. 

In addition to promoting general health, omega 3 fats in combination with exercise enhance insulin sensitivity and maximize fat loss.  The minimum dose to start is 500 mg of EPA plus DHA per day, which is equivalent to about one serving of fatty fish every other day.  A more optimal dose for most people may be closer to 1 gram per day of EPA and DHA. If you are at high risk of heart disease, stroke or inflammatory condition, then 2 grams per day may result in better effects. 

ProSource Omega Fusion is a perfect solution, as it contains purified omega 3 fatty acids along with antioxidants.  This important but often neglected detail is key to achieving optimal potency because omega 3 fats are highly prone to degradation. The synergy provided by this protection translates into greater net anti-inflammatory and bioactivity per unit dose administered. ProSource's Flax Fusion is another great source of healthy fatty acids.

The Time is Now
You can achieve a slim, lean body by summer and it's as easy as avoiding the foods that block your access to body fat while feeding your body with plenty of delicious low-insulin-stimulating foods and supplements that keep you in fat burning mode all day long.  I'm confident you'll enjoy the process and be so impressed with the results that you'll want to continue this lifestyle so you can feel and look good year around.


Meal Plan #1

Breakfast (Cheese Omelet and Canadian Bacon)
Scrambled eggs 2 large +  1/4 cup Egg Beaters + 1.5 Tbsp Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1 oz
Grilled Canadian Bacon 2 oz

Snack
Oil-Roasted Almonds 1/8 cup (20 g)
Oil-Roasted Sunflower Seeds 1/4 cup (34 g)
Strawberries .6 whole (72 g)

Lunch (Cheeseburger with sautéed mushrooms and peppers)
Hamburger (70% lean/30% fat)..3 oz (85 g)
American Cheese 1 oz
Iceberg Lettuce 1/2 cup
Red Tomato 2 slices (40 g)
Red Onions 3 slices (42 g)
Sauted Sweet Bell Peppers 1/4 cup, boiled (34 g) + Boiled Mushrooms 1/4 cup (39 g) + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Snack
Celery 2 stalks  + 3 Tbsp cream cheese(43.5 g)
Hood Calorie Countdown Milk  1.5 cup

Dinner (Pork chops and Cauliflower "mashed potatoes")
Pork Chops 3 oz
String beans 1/2 cup, boiled (67.5 g) + 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
Cauliflower 1/2 cup, mashed + 1.5 Tbsp Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 1/4 cup

Nutrient Breakdown:
Protein: 131 g
Carbs: 47 g , Fiber 14 g
Fat:  204g


Meal Plan #2
 
Breakfast (Fried eggs with cauliflower hash browns)
Fried eggs 2 large
Cauliflower, chopped 1/4 C
green pepper chopped 1/4 C
Butter 0.5T
Palm oil .1T
Turkey Bacon . 2 slices

Snack
Cheddar Cheese  2 oz
Pork Rinds 1oz

Lunch - (Tuna Salad on bed of tomato and cucumber slices)
Tuna, Light, canned in oil .3 ¼ oz
Celery .2 stalks diced
Mayo 2 T
Almonds, slivered .1/8 C
Tomato 3 slices
Cucumber sliced 1/8 C

Afternoon snack
Celery .2 stalks + Almond butter..2 T

Dinner (Buffalo Style Chicken Salad with Creamy blueberry dessert)
Roast Chicken breast 4 oz
Hot sauce  . 1 t + Butter .2 T
Blue cheese dressing 1.5 T
Romaine lettuce shredded 1.5 C
Tomato 2 slices
Almonds, slivered . 1/8 C
Dessert: cream cheese 1/3 C, heavy cream 3 T, lemon juice 1 t, frozen blueberries unsweetened 1/4 C


Nutrient Breakdown:
Protein: 128 g
Carbs: 44 g, 13 g fiber
Fat: 205 g

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Diet, Exercise, Supplementation andRest, All Working in Perfect Synergy

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You have to know what perfection looks like if you are going to shoot for it. Visualization is a key practice for success, but visualizing your head on the body of pro builders will only get you so far - execution is essential. Most people wake up and go through their days without any idea if what they are doing is right, wrong, or what optimal even is. Start visualizing yourself executing your perfect muscle building day. I always talk with clients about picturing and imagining the perfect day. While the perfect day doesn't happen every day, you can always strive for it. Here's what a perfect muscle building day looks like, including a sample diet plan of 3500 calories.

7:00am: Wake Up

 
8:00-8:30am: Breakfast
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 slices turkey bacon
Supplements: Multi-vitamin, 2000 IU Vitamin D, 2-3 grams EPA/DHA, 2 grams Beta-alanine, 600mg Resveratrol, 2 capsules AndroCept

Notes: The multivitamin will help you cover all your nutritional bases that your diet might be missing. Supplemental vitamin D helps to ensure that your vitamin D levels are within the normal range as low vitamin D has been associated with low testosterone. The fish oil helps with muscle growth and fighting the excessive inflammation created due to intense training. Beta-alanine is one of the building blocks of carnosine, a powerful pH buffer in your muscles. The beta-alanine dose is separated throughout the day to minimize the tingling side effects that many people feel after they take it. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that is famous for its potential anti-aging effects but it can also help with blood sugar control. AndroCept contains L-Carnitine/L-Tartrate which has been shown to increase androgen receptors on your muscle cells as well as decrease micromuscular damage associated with intense training.
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10:00-11:30am: Back and Biceps
Pre-Workout Nutrition (30 minutes pre): 10 grams BCAAs, 2 grams Beta-alanine, 6 grams citrillune malate,

Notes: The BCAAs will increase protein synthesis while training. They also provide an alternative fuel source for your working muscles. Beta-alanine and citrulline malate are your two fatigue blockers working to increase blood flow to your muscles (citrulline via its conversion to arginine), buffer decreases in pH (beta-alanine), and drive the clearance of ammonia (citrulline) so that you can squeeze out as many extra reps as possible.
A1) Snatch Grip Rack Pull (bar at knees): 4 x 6

A2) Lat Pull Downs (use lifting straps): 4 x 6
 
B1) Supinated Grip Inverted Row: 4 x 6 (1 second squeeze at top)

B2) Prone Trap Raise: 3 x 10-12
 
C1) Straight Bar Curls: 4 x 6
 
D1) Zottman Curls: 3 x 12

D2) Alternating Seated Incline Curls: 3 x 12 each
 
*90 sec rest between A1) and A2), 45 sec rest all other complexes

During/Post-Workout Nutrition: 4 Scoops MyoZene

Notes: BioQuest's MyoZene is a highly insulinogenic post workout supplement that contains a blend of sugars which research shows increases your body's ability to burn them as fuel while you train. It also contains hydrolyzed whey and additional amino acids. This give you readily absorbable available amino acids that will be driven into your muscles to fuel their needs and maximize protein synthesis. The addition of creatine to MyoZene is strategic because this is your most insulinogenic 'meal' of the day. Insulin increases creatine transport into your muscles. By adding creatine (or using a product like MyoZene that already contains creatine) you will be maximizing creatine uptake.

12:00-12:30pm: Lunch
  • 8oz 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (cooked measure)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
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Supplements: 2 capsules AndroCept, 2 grams beta-alanine

1:00-2:30pm: Nap
According to Harvard researchers this is the perfect time to take a nap during the day and making sure your nap is 90 minutes long means that you will reap the benefits of each phase of the sleep cycle including deep sleep, which is physically restorative sleep and also when tissue repair occurs.

3:00-3:30pm: Shake
  • 3 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate NytroWhey
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3-4 ice cubes
7:00-7:30pm: Dinner
  • 8oz Salmon
  • 8 spears asparagus
  • 6oz spinach (sauteed with beans and olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup great northern beans
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10:00pm: Go to Sleep
Sleep Supplements: 1 Serving ZMA, 40 grams casein

Notes: Going to sleep at 10:00pm and waking up at 7:00am will give you 9 quality hours of sleep. 40 grams of casein has been shown to increase protein synthesis throughout the night. The zinc and magnesium found in ZMA are readily depleted as a result of hard training. Magnesium is also a relaxant so it will help you get the best night sleep possible.

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Lean Out With A Fat-Loss Protein,Cardio and Strength Training

The alarm clock rings at 6:45am and you're in your office by 8am. You've got forty-five minutes to gather your thoughts and take perspective on your day before your first meeting starts. And that's just the start of another crazy day. You're not getting out of the office by five today--but that doesn't mean you can't accomplish your fat loss goals.

We're all running on limited resources--we only have so much time and so much energy to expend in twenty-four hours. After a busy day, you still want to train, but you're not sure what is most productive for reaching your fat loss goals. One guru tells you to focus on cardiovascular and energy systems training. You hear from another source to skip the cardio and hoist the iron. Who's right? Well, both of them.
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Keeping the Strength


Building strength builds muscle. And muscle, it just so happens, is the most metabolic tissue in the body. I'm not sure that you need a crash course in metabolism, but the more efficient it works the easier it is to burn fat.

While training to lose fat, you're probably also restricting calories--your body is going to draw from wherever it can to meet its energy needs. That means potentially your muscles. Strength training in the three to five rep-range gives your body the stimuli to keep muscle on your frame. Otherwise, it's going to ditch it.

Besides keeping the muscle you've painstakingly built, cardio alone will only produce a smaller, more flaccid version of your current self. That's the last thing any lifter wants.

Maintain Muscle Tissue While Attacking the Fat

Fortunately, supplement science has you covered when it comes to the difficult task of shoring up muscle mass while peeling away the fat. An advanced fat-loss protein called Prolibra, manufactured by the experts in the field at Glanbia Nutritionals, has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for enhancing body composition in clinical testing. Indeed, in an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day (compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo). The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss.

Now I know what you're saying. Where can I get some of this Prolibra? Turns out, ProSource's Vectron is your ideal source for this highly advanced fat-loss protein matrix. Vectron is a terrific physique enhancement tool for people with busy lifestyles and high standards for protein supplementation.

Metabolic Stimulus

And now back to strength. I'm big on strength, so I'd love to tell you that it's all you need to lose fat--but I'm not here to lie to you. At times it takes a big metabolic disturbance to boost fat loss. Extended cardiovascular and conditioning focused workouts are great for meeting this end--but you don't have that kind of time. Since time is our most valuable resource, we've got to be strategic with our strength and conditioning blend.

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A Blended Strategy

We know need to keep the strength training so the muscle doesn't say farewell and to promote metabolism. At the same time you need a training stimulus that sets your metabolism on fire and turns you into a fat scorching furnace. I've already mentioned Vectron in this capacity, but I'd like to suggest that a fat-loss catalyst like BioQuest's Zycor makes an excellent synergistic addition to Vectron and your targeted exercise regimen. Zycor has been amazing athletes with its combination of weight-loss power and powerful energy-boosting performance enhancement. These two potent mechanisms of transformational action work in perfect tandem to help you experience productive workouts while ripping your physique down to a hard, chiseled core. It's well worth checking out.

So we've got a philosophy in place and also some supplementation. Now things get tricky. We have to blend the elements.

Strength Work: To keep already gained muscle we'll include three to five sets of three to five reps of a large, compound movement (i.e. squats, bench presses, deadlift variations). The rest periods during this part of the workout will be ninety to one-hundred twenty seconds and filled with a mobility exercise.

Assistance Work/Metabolic Training: Now we'll combine three to four assistance exercises into a circuit. We'll choose two upper-body and two lower-body; research shows that full-body training splits elicit greater fat loss than upper- and lower-body training splits. We'll complete the circuit three to four times and each exercise will be done for eight to twelve reps. Rest periods during this part of the workout are most important. You'll rest for fifteen to thirty seconds between each exercise, and subsequently rest for two minutes between circuits. Rest periods between circuits are filled with mobility exercises.

Finisher: We'll finish each training day with a short, powerful conditioning finisher. It will last for no longer than five minutes--keeping time conscious--but will elevate your metabolism for hours.

Below I've outlined a sample training day that follows this format.

Exercise

Sets/Reps

Rest

A1) Snatch-grip Deadlift 4 x 5 90 sec – 120 sec
A2) Thoracic Spine Mobility Drill 4 x 5 During deadlift rest periods
B1) Romanian Deadlift 3 x 8 30 sec
B2) Dumbbell Bench Press 3 x 8 30 sec
B3) Dumbbell Split Squat 3 x 8 30 sec
B4) 1 Arm Dumbbell Row 3 x 12 30 sec
B5) Assorted Mobility Drills Sets of 5 Done at end of circuit before beginning next circuit
C1) Finisher: Airdyne Bike Tabata Sprints 1 x 1 End of workout


Additional Notes

As appealing as it seems, don't skip the mobility work between circuits. Not only will this work keep you healthy, but continuing to move during your rest periods keeps your body using free fatty acids.

Staunchly adhere to the rest periods--they are the bread and butter of the whole workout. Make them too long and you'll miss out on a dramatic, and productive, hormonal response. Shorten them a bit too much and your workout will lose necessary intensity.

Skip the finisher if you're on empty after the assistance training. If you can't work intensely during the finisher, it's not useful to meeting your fat loss end. Worse, you could wind up hurting yourself. If you're raring to go--get after it. But if you've morphed into a sweat-drenched, end-of-workout zombie, bag it.

Conclusion

You can meet your fat loss goals on a busy schedule. All it takes is a little extra planning and some trimming of the fat (pun intended). Take our above strategy and run with it--a busy day at the office is no excuse for not getting the body you want.

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Your Motivating Morning Routine:Hydrate, Activate, Detox, Energize!

Throughout my football career coaches often talked about setting the tone at the beginning of the game. And like football, life is about starting off strong.

Almost every morning I hear my college defensive coordinator's voice bellow through my mind.

"We have to go out there and set the tone early. Smack them in the mouth and let them know you mean business!"

Now that my football career has passed, I apply coach's tone-setting mantra to daily life. Each day we have an opportunity to win or lose--to make our lives better or stagnate and eventually slide backward. We can either smack or be smacked--there is no in between.

To start strong, and prime to attack your day, you need a system that rallies your inner troops and sets the tone for achievement. You need a motivating morning routine.

The Routine

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Chug and Roll
Every night before you go to bed, fill a large glass with water and place it on your night stand. Leave it there for the morning. After you get up--and walk across the room to turn off your alarm clock--chug the glass of water. In doing so, you'll give your metabolism a nice start and stay on the upside of the hydration curve.

On the same night stand where you keep your water you'll store your golf ball. As soon as you finish chugging, put the golf ball on the floor and roll each foot hard and fast for a minute. Be sure to give tender spots extra attention.

Our feet carry us through life--we have to take care of them. Plus there are around 150 nerve endings in the bottom of our feet. Rolling our plantar fascia first thing in the morning is fantastic for rousing the nervous system.

Take a Stroll
There's no coincidence that morning and movement are alliterative--each morning must be filled with movement. Once you've finished rolling your feet, lace up your shoes and get outside for a walk--moving at a brisk pace for five to ten minutes. Research has shown that movement soon after waking sets the metabolic tone for the rest of the day.

Early morning locomotion builds upon plantar rolling's effect on the nervous system. You'll feel yourself start to wake up as your feet start moving. This is the perfect time to collect your thoughts and take perspective on the day ahead. When the feet start moving, the brain starts working.

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Detox
The morning is your body's natural detox time--it purges your system of all the nasty toxins our environment, and our habits, expose us to. Although detoxification is a natural function, there's nothing wrong with giving the body a little help.

Start by drinking a glass of warm lemon water. Take half the juice of a lemon--fresh squeezed, of course, and add it to warm water. If you need sweetener, add stevia or a small amount of honey. Lemons, and all sour fruits, contain the compound d-limonene--a natural liver tonic. Good liver function promotes the solid function of all other human systems.

Take your detox to the next level by supplementing with ProSource's Super Detox. It contains herbal compounds that support endocrine function, scavenge free-radicals and, like d-limonene, support the liver.

You're A-game requires optimal functioning. If you're carrying around excess toxin baggage, optimal is unattainable.

Breakfast
Recently, there's been a surprising and counter-intuitive fad regarding breakfast. Articles in some muscle-building mags have been suggesting a morning fast instead, claiming breakfast is detrimental to mental acuity and physique goals. This is pure poppycock. Breakfast is still a good thing.

More than simple common sense, breakfast is about solidifying good habits and endorsing healthy routine. It's about taking the time to nourish your body before exposing it to the rigors that fill each day.

Think of breakfast as your pre-game meal. I know that my coaches never would have sent our team on to the field without sustenance. You shouldn't attack your day without it.

Keep breakfast filled with lean protein and healthy fat sources and you'll start your day sharp and satisfied.

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Stoke the Fire
At this point in the morning you'll have a furnace burning in your belly. It's time to throw two more logs on the fire.

Some coaches abhor stimulants. I disagree with these coaches--stimulants are productive and, for the most part, safe ergogenic aids. B ioQuest's new Zycor fat-loss/energy catalyst has been getting raves from within the bodybuilding community, and there's good reason for that. Zycor's ultra-bioactive, premium-grade energy factors are just the thing to get your day started. (And it's fat-loss mechanism comes in handy, too.) Likewise, ProSource's Extreme Caffeine is a great for ramping your furnace into a five alarm blaze. Caffeine coupled with ProSource's L-Tyrosine promotes intense and extended focus. You'll need it to mount your attack.

After you sharpen your gaze with caffeine and L-Tyrosine, take a few minutes to ingest a motivating quote. Peruse one of the many quote sites on the web or find one in one of your favorite books. Hold this quote in your mind for the rest of the day; and when it seems like the chips are down, conjure it to the forefront of your mind and fight off the weariness.


Conclusion
In lieu of a long conclusion, I'll defer to a profound quote from Mother Teresa. 

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.
Today is all we have. Let us begin."

 Go set the tone and make today incredible.

3 Support Factors That Are Crucialto Your Physique Development

Developing your physique is a matter of consistent, intense, training with proper nutrition, right? It would seem like that is the answer, but often times hard training and eating right do not deliver the gains you might expect. That is because, unfortunately, you may be overlooking some important intangibles. Here are 3 factors that play a crucial role in your physique development and how you can optimize them.

Digestion
Your ability to build muscle and develop your physique directly relates to your body's ability to breakdown, digest, and process the foods that you eat. This makes optimizing digestion a vital piece of the puzzle. Many protein powders on the market today contain digestive enzymes to accelerate the digestion of the protein in the shakes.
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[Editor's Note: For overall nutritional purposes, ProSource's Super Enzymes product contains a comprehensive blend of the most effective digestive enzymes available, including betaine, pancreatin, papain, cellulose, bromelain, and papaya.]


Repopulating your gut with healthy bacteria will help you better extract all the possible nutrients from the foods you eat. Certain beneficial bacteria can counteract the anti-nutrient factors found in foods like beans and certain grains. Here are more ways to get more healthy bacteria in your diet.

Supplement with probiotics
Taking a supplement that contains a blend of beneficial bacteria is the easiest way to repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria. The key is to be consistent with your supplementation as bacteria have a quick turnover. In addition, you will want to keep your supplement in the refrigerator at all times because these are live organisms.

Eat foods with live cultures
Yogurt, cottage cheese, and fermented dairy products like kefir are all excellent ways to get both protein and probiotics.
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Fermented non--dairy foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are two more ways to get beneficial probiotics in your diet. Sauerkraut and kimchi both have another unique benefit as they are fermented cruciferous vegetables (sauerkraut being cabbage and kimchi being Napa cabbage). Cruciferous vegetables contain indole--3--carbinol which is a bioactive compound known for the binding and excretion of estrogens in addition to interfering with the synthesis of estrogen receptors. The side benefit of regularly eating these foods may be a lower impact of estrogen on your muscle building efforts.

Eat a high antioxidant diet
Antioxidants like anthocyanins found in red grapes, pomegranates, and blueberries are poorly absorbed by our digestive tract, but that does not mean that our bodies do not use them. Instead, they serve as rocket fuel for the good bacteria in our gut. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is a little known why to optimize your gut and digestion. [Editor's Note: ProSource's AX-12 is a potent, wide--spectrum antioxidant designed with the needs of advanced athletes in mind. Its comprehensive formulation contains green tea, milk thistle, quercetin, curcumin, grape seed, and pine bark extract, all standardized for the highest recommended potency.]

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Sleep
Sleep is where a bulk of your growth and recovery happens. I've written extensively about sleep in the past (click here to read Dream Big). But there are several key components to optimizing sleep that are worth reemphasizing.

1. Get Enough
Getting enough sleep is a make or break strategy when it comes to getting big and staying lean. Ample sleep optimizes leptin levels which regulate your metabolic rate. Sleep = growth,  so why skimp on it? You could probably get away with 7 hours a night, but 9 is much better. Researchers from Stanford found that increasing the amount of time you sleep by about 1 1/2 hours led to significant increases in performance (including sprint times) and focus, in college basketball players. Although this study was carried out with basketball players, it has direct application to physique athletes. If you are more explosive and focused in the gym, you'll lift more weight, and get bigger. Increasing sleep duration and quality is a really simple way to kick start muscle growth while improving nutrient partitioning.

2. Do Deep
While sleep duration is important the quality of the sleep you get is also very important devices like the Fitbit, Lark, and Zeo Sleep Manager allow you to easily quantify your sleep quality so you can see how you are doing. I like to use this simple 3 pronged approach for maximizing sleep quality and deep sleep. First -- Take ZMA before you go to bed. These minerals are often depleted during hard training and underdosed in multivitamins. More importantly magnesium can act as a relaxant helping you get to sleep faster. [Editor's Note: As we've said many times here at ProSource, the industry's gold standard for ZMA comes from SNAC Systems, who pioneered ZMA research and development in the 1990s. ProSource ZMA contains 100% ZMA sourced from SNAC Systems.] Second -- Supplement with tryptophan. Tryptophan has been shown to increase the amount of deep sleep that you get -- allowing you to maximize muscle growth. Finally, keep your room cool. When you move into deep sleep your body stops regulating its body temperature. By keeping your room cool and at a consistent temperature you will not experience temperature changes that can interrupt this important muscle restoring stage of sleep.

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Stress Management
Muscle building is a 24 hour a day endeavor and we are beginning to understand more and more how the effects of chronic stress can put the brakes on this. It is important to differentiate between the stress of a training session and the accumulation of life stressors. The former is good and a requirement for growth. The latter is bad and will inhibit your growth and physique development. When looking at stress and how it impacts muscle growth it is important to realize that all kinds of stress play a role -- work stress, stress from not getting enough sleep, physical stress, emotional stress, etc. All these factors have hormonal repercussions. In the short term your body is equipped to handle stress through hormones like epinephrine but epinephrine cannot be a long term solution for your body. A study from the University of Texas showed that students who reported the highest level of "life event stress and perceived stress" also exhibited the poorest ability to recovery from a lower body weight training session. Other research shows that people undergoing stressful events in their lives do not experience similar improvement in bench pressing compared to people with lower stress lives. Chronic stress impacts normal hormonal processes like testosterone production and potentially even insulin sensitivity. [Editor's Note: One good option for managing stress is L-Theanine, a stress-reducing neuro-nutrient that has the ability to help increase certain neurotransmitters that decrease nervous agitation. ProSource L-Theanine is formulated from Suntheanine, the highest quality source of L-Theanine available.]

The importance of proper sleep was covered above and it plays a significant role in your body's ability to manage and cope with stress. Other relaxation and attention focusing techniques like mindfulness meditation have been shown to reduce psychological stress and cortisol in just minutes per day.

If you find that your efforts in and out of the gym aren't delivering you the body you should have look at optimizing each of these areas and watch your process and muscle growth begin to accelerate again.

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Using Protein Timing to Fight Cravings for Junk Calories

There is nothing worse than irresistible cravings for foods you shouldn't be eating while you're trying to get and stay lean. What makes these cravings more difficult is deciphering the genesis of those cravings. But with the dietary protein tricks I'm going to show you, you will be able to hack your brain and biochemistry to reap time dependent benefits of protein.

Hunger 101

There are two different reasons why we eat. While trying to achieve fat loss, it is very easy to get them confused, but knowing the difference is essential.

Physiological Eating
This is eating because your body actually needs fuel, this is real hunger. When trying to "lean out" you're going to feel the hunger drive derived from physiological eating. Unfortunately this is part of the game. I'm going to show you some different tips and tricks to buffer these feelings but getting lean means that you will be a little hungry.

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Reward-Driven Eating
Reward-driven eating feels the same, you still want to eat, but the driving force behind those stomach rumblings are not physiological in origin. Instead they are driven by sight, smell, stress, thoughts, and memories. A classic example of this is mindless eating in front of the TV. Or impulse buying of junk carbs like a candy bar or French fries. Succumbing to reward-driven eating is the fastest way to get derailed from your diet. On the other hand, eating clean is paramount.

Most Important Meal of the Day

It is often been debated which is the most important meal of the day. Some say that it is your post-workout meal while others say that it is breakfast. While there may be no definitive answer to this debate if we are going to look specifically at controlling both physiological and reward-driven eating -- Breakfast is the champion and protein is the key.

Protein at Breakfast Decreases Reward-Driven Eating

Breakfast is traditionally a meal where carbohydrates are given a priority but protein is the shining star when it comes to reprogramming your brain to decrease your reward-driven eating sensations. A 2011 study published in Obesity showed that when people were given a high protein breakfast (~50 grams of protein) compared to skipping breakfast or eating a lower protein breakfast (~18 grams of protein) functional MRIs of their brains revealed responses unique to the high protein breakfast. Specifically what they found was that the areas of the brain associated with reward-driven eating were decreased or turned off for several hours following the high protein breakfast.  

Protein at Breakfast Decreases Physiologically Driven Eating

Protein has several characteristics that drive its satiating effects. These two main driving forces are the hormones glucagon and cholecystokinin (CCK). Glucagon is a hormone released from your pancreas in response to amino acids. It has the job of initiation the remove of energy from your liver (unlike insulin which is a fuel storage hormone). Glucagon released in response to a high protein meal can help ensure stable blood sugar levels yielding steady energy.

CCK is released from your small intestines in response to the presence of either protein or fat. CCK initiates the release of digestive enzymes but it also has a neurological effect and interacts with your central nervous system by sending satiety signals.

Research from Purdue University shows that the hunger dampening effects of protein are best sensed by the body at breakfast compared to other meals through the day. This study also reported that these effects were only seen in the men that were on a diet and not the ones eating a maintenance level of calories. This further stresses the importance and benefit of consuming ample protein while dieting or eating clean, especially at breakfast.

[Editor's Note: If getting lean while maintaining muscle mass is a priority (and we're sure it is, if you're reading this), then adding Vectron to your supplementation regimen is an ideal choice. Vectron contains an elite fractionated protein complex called Prolibra, a specialized bioactive peptide matrix along with a special whey mineral complex designed to precisely target essential mechanisms of body transformation. That protein complex has been validated in an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, in which subjects taking Prolibra showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat as compared to a placebo group. Vectron , combined with Dr. Mike's timing strategies, make a powerful one-two punch in the war against excess fat.]

The Wrap Up

I don't have to convince you that protein is important but paying a little extra attention to where you are portioning the protein in your diet is. Make sure that breakfast is a high protein meal and this will help combat both physiological and reward driven urges to make poor eating choices making it easier for you to stick to your diet and hit your fat loss targets.

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First Class Fiber Can Be the Secret Ingredient to a Better Physique

As an athlete dedicated to your diet, physique and exercise regimen, you certainly have spent a great deal of time and energy counting carbohydrates and protein.  Amazing amounts of helpful information have come from science labs and athletes across the country telling us how much of these nutrients to eat.  Every bodybuilder or physique athlete knows that consuming a diet which facilitates fat burning and increasing levels of leanness requires more than just the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.  One of these nutrients that can help you achieve those nutritional goals, while ripping up your physique, is dietary fiber.  While dietary fiber is best known for its health effects (which are too great to pass over), the inclusion of high quality fiber throughout your diet can help your body to burn more fat and control your appetite as well as manage glucose and insulin levels.

Just so we're clear, we're not talking your grandma's fiber supplement, we're talking about a unique, high-end blend of fiber along with added protein.  Dietary fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble (Anderson, Baird et al. 2009).  The soluble form dissolves in water and can bind to fat, which goes on to improve cholesterol and blood glucose levels while also removing fat from the digestive system.  The insoluble form is not readily digested and as a result primarily adds bulk to the stool in your colon.  If research holds true, you likely aren't consuming enough fiber.  The USDA recommends you to consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume in your diet; the average American male should strive to consume around 36 grams of fiber each day (USDA 2005).

How Can Fiber Improve My Physique?

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The amount of data which says increased fiber in your diet reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancers, stroke, diabetes, any number of gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhoids and obesity is beyond large.  We're talking studies with hundreds of thousands of people all across the world.  Additionally, just as much research says increased fiber can also improve your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, glucose and immune function. Optimal fiber intake strongly reduces your risk for disease and improves your health (Anderson, Baird et al. 2009).

We understand, however, that these aren't your only questions.  Better health is great, but how can it improve my physique?  Can it help me lose weight and fat?  Can it leave me with less body fat and improved body composition?  Yes, yes, and yes!  A number of studies have shown that increasing fiber can reduce the amount of calories, how hungry you feel and similarly your feelings of fullness (Anderson 2008).  All of these things combine together to give you greater control over your diet and you know well that if this happens, fat will burn and muscles will shine!  In fact, when these studies compared weight loss between those people taking a placebo and diets with increased fiber, weight loss was significantly greater with increased fiber after 4 weeks and continued at this greater rate for up to 12 weeks (Anderson 2008).  Moreover, some studies even suggest that favored hormonal levels of "appetite or gut hormones" occur after increased fiber intake (Anderson 2008).

Increasing Fiber From a Legendary Athlete's Perspective


As you can clearly see, increased dietary fiber equals more fat burning and a shredded physique. One man who has long known the many bodybuilding benefits of increased dietary fiber is Kurt Angle. Fourteen-time world champion in the biggest promotions in wrestling, including the WWE, WCW and now TNA, Kurt Angle has dedicated great effort in recent years to seeking out and marketing premium nutrition to athletes through his BarnDad Nutrition enterprise. One of the flagship products of the new company is Ultra Fiber DX, a 100% natural, time release, soluble and insoluble fiber matrix designed to help athletes reduce visceral fat around the waistline, improve digestion of all those other nutrients you supplement with each day, and support satiety.

Kurt Angle Ultra Fiber DX "I was really impressed with Ultra Fiber DX," Angle says. "When you're an athlete, digestion and managing appetite are really important. You're taking protein formulas, you're eating a lot of lean meats, and, unfortunately, you're probably not getting enough fiber. And that negatively impacts digestion and the utilization of all that nutrition you're spending time and money consuming.

"I've been mixing Ultra Fiber DX into my ProSource NytroWhey Ultra Elite protein shake every morning. It has helped me curb my appetite and feel fuller longer. My digestion is much more efficient. I've lost significant visceral fat and two inches off my waistline. Simply put, I've never felt better."

Ultra Fiber DX is a terrific way to add necessary dietary fiber to your regimen, as is additional intake of whole grains, high fiber cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables (Anderson, Baird et al. 2009). When it comes to improving physique and performance, it's not all about proteins and carbs. It turns out that your Mom and Grandma were right, too. "Eat more fiber!"


References
(USDA 2005). US Department of Agriculture (USDA).  US Department of Health and Human Services.  Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC.

Anderson, J. (2008). Dietary fiber and associated phytochemicals in prevention and reversal of diabetes. Nutraceuticals, Glycemic Health and Type 2 Diabetes. A. J. Pasupuleti VK. Ames, Iowa, Blackwell Publishing Professional: 111-142.

Anderson, J. W., P. Baird, et al. (2009). "Health benefits of dietary fiber." Nutrition reviews67(4): 188-205.


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New Zycor Torches the Competition, Emerges as #1 Selling Fat Burner
[Editor's Note: Although we were aware that the new weight-loss product from BioQuest was primed to make a huge impact in its category, nothing could have prepared us for the remarkable customer response we've seen for Zycor. From the very first day it was made available exclusively on the ProSource.net site, it has been our #1 seller among weight-loss products, by an enormous margin. Most significantly, we've seen an astounding percentage of re-orders, as the initial wave of first-time buyers have registered their overwhelming satisfaction by stocking up on Zycor at the first opportunity.

Clearly this is a level of enthusiastic consumer engagement with a product that we haven't seen since the heady early days of the rollout of Xenadrine RFA-1 over a decade ago. Each day, we're receiving new reports from our customers, sharing accounts of phenomenal week-by-week results and newly intense workouts driven by Zycor. (In our continuing reporting on Zycor, we'll be bringing you many of those athlete's stories as we reach out to those who have communicated with us.) With regard to Zycor's transformational power, we'd seen the science, seen the results of clinical testing, and now we're seeing those results replicated out in the real world. It's an inspiring thing.

Below, we have a new and very extensive overview of all the levels of research and testing behind Zycor, written by supplement expert Chad Kerksick, PhD. It's a lot of new material that anyone interested in fat-loss generally and Zycor specifically will want to read. Be sure to keep an eye on ProSource.net in the coming weeks, as our reporting on the Zycor phenomenon continues.]
The New Year has come and gone and already it's spring. How much closer are you to those physique goals you set for yourself during the holidays? Hopefully, you're on your way. If you're not, you still have time before the beaches open and the summer is upon us. Which brings us to the subject of today's update on one of the more promising developments in the weight-loss category, Zycor from BioQuest.

Zycor & Meratrim -- The Boost You Were Looking For


For many, adding a thermogenic supplement of some kind helps to provide a boost of energy and sustains both greater mental sharpness and focus to better stick to your program, push through hard periods and of course burn more calories, which in the end should lead to greater weight loss. Of course, a disciplined diet and regular exercise program are also needed ... that goes without saying!

Recently, BioQuest launched Zycor, a new thermogenic supplement which arrived accompanied by a considerable amount of buzz in scientific circles. The excitement derived from a key component of Zycor called Meratrim. Preliminary research using Meratrim was presented at the 29th Annual Conference of the Obesity Society in Orlando, FL, one of the largest international gatherings of scientific researchers, clinicians and consumers interested in obesity. While preliminary in nature, the presentation highlighted a series of three studies that summarized a well-constructed approach to researching the impact of Meratrim on weight loss, fat loss, and a number of important markers found in the blood (Lau 2011).

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Phase 1 Research: Off To A Good Start

The first phase of research involved in vitro work in fat cells extracted from laboratory rats. In vitro work is usually very specific and technical research performed on a small number of specific cells from tissues of interest, thus it makes sense why fat cells were used. In this study, the Meratrim extract was found to significantly reduce the growth of fat cells and increased the rate of fat cell breakdown. This research also provided evidence that Meratrim works by favorably impacting the formation of fat droplets, the uptake of fatty acids into fat tissue as well as fat metabolism overall (Lau 2011). In other words, the first phase was deemed a glowing success!

Phase 2 Research: We May Have Something Here!

The researchers then took the next logical step and moved on to in vivo work in laboratory animals. In this 2nd phase of research, Meratrim prevented weight gain by more than 8-fold in animals eating a high-fat diet over an eight week period compared to animals fed an identical high-fat diet but were not given Meratrim. The researchers also performed a toxicity study where they determined that even extremely high doses of the extract in the animals were not responsible for significant adverse outcomes (Lau 2011). At this point, it was time to get excited as the 2nd phase results showed a powerful effect to prevent weight gain when eating a diet which should promote weight gain.

Phase 3: Where Can I Buy That Stuff?

The 3rd and final phase of research was equally rigorous, but more convincing because it consisted of not one, but two preliminary randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies using Meratrim over an 8 week period. Close to half (n=49) of the subjects ingested 400 mg of Meratrim 30 minutes before both breakfast and dinner each day while the other group (n=46) consumed a blinded placebo. All subjects consumed a 2,000 calorie per day diet, which contained 61% carbohydrate, 14% protein and 25% fat and walked five days per week. All participants were measured for changes in body weight and hip and waist circumference as well as key markers of health.

RELATED: Read here for ZYCOR: AN EXCITING NEW ERA OF FAT-LOSS POWER IS AT HAND


When Meratrim was ingested, body weight was reduced by 11.5 pounds after eight weeks versus three pounds lost when the placebo was taken, a 3.5-fold greater weight loss than placebo (p<0.0001). Similarly, waist circumference was reduced by an impressive 4.7 inches and hip circumference was reduced by 2.5 inches, significant reductions in this group from the beginning of the study. Finally, favorable changes in several markers of health were also reported when Meratrim was ingested. In this respect, adiponectin, glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels were all improved to a greater extent when compared to placebo; collectively, these changes can be viewed as general improvements in health (Lau 2011).

While a number of thermogenic products are available, the three-phase research approach surrounding Meratrim is both comprehensive and impressive. BioQuest and ProSource have entered an exclusive partnership to bring this exciting technology to you in the form of Zycor. While the preliminary research is exciting and convincing, more research is ongoing to further confirm the value of Meratrim as a weight loss ingredient. Remember, products like Meratrim and Zycor are best used in conjunction with a restricted calorie diet and regular exercise program. To get similar results as the human participants in the Meratrim studies you need to be doing these things as well, but if you do and do it well the results should speak for themselves.


References
Lau, FC, Golakoti, T, Krishnaraju, AV and Sengupta, K (2011). Efficacy of a novel herbal formulation for weight management: A randomized double-blind placebo controlled clincal study. 29th Annual Obesity Socity Conference. Orlando, FL.



Are you Carbohydrate Intolerant?

The Science of Turning Carbs Into Energy Rather Than Fat

Carbohydrates are a staple in most people's diet, especially athletes. Official dietary guidelines encourage Americans to consume more than half their energy from carbohydrates.  So carbs must be good for us right?  After all, the government is a trustworthy source of information.  You are probably thinking it depends on how much, what type, and when they are consumed.  Yes these are all important variables to consider.  But one often ignored fact is that people vary widely in their ability to metabolize dietary carbohydrate.   This is important because identifying whether or not you are one of the people who struggle with dietary carbohydrate can help you choose a more effective diet to enhance health and performance.     


What Does Carbohydrate Intolerant Mean?

Let's first go over a little physiology by reviewing what happens (or what should happen) when you consume a meal with carbohydrate. Most dietary carbohydrate is digested and absorbed as glucose.  You only have about 1-2 teaspoons of glucose in your bloodstream and a typical meal may have 10 times that amount.  Your body therefore has to process the incoming surge of glucose quickly by shuttling it into cells.  If you are good at managing dietary carbs most of the glucose will be taken up by skeletal muscle. Once inside muscle the glucose is converted to glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate in the body, or some of it is burned as fuel.  This is considered a healthy disposal of carbs in someone who is carbohydrate tolerant. 

In many people, however, a significant portion of blood glucose is diverted away from muscle and taken up instead by the liver where it is converted to fat.  The metabolic term used to describe this process of turning carbohydrate into fat is de novo lipogenesis or DNL.

As you might guess DNL, shunting dietary carbs into fat, is not healthy.  This is a form of carbohydrate intolerance.  Over time, this stealth-like conversion of carbs to fat leads to increased levels of triglycerides (fat) in the blood, liver and other tissues and puts a person on the fast track to developing fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.  


Insulin Resistance = Carbohydrate Intolerance


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Rather than use the term carbohydrate intolerance, clinicians and researchers refer to the problem as insulin resistance.  When you consume carbohydrate, blood glucose levels increase.  In an effort to bring the blood glucose level back down to normal, your body releases the hormone insulin from the pancreas.  Insulin opens the doors on muscle and other cells that allow glucose to enter.  However, if you have insulin resistance, insulin only partially opens the door or in more advanced insulin resistance it may only crack the door open.  This is because insulin resistance is a result of impaired insulin action in cells.  Muscle is unresponsive to insulin.  It's not doing its job efficiently.  Thus, blood glucose gets backed up and the result is high levels of sugar in the blood.  In the early stages of insulin resistance, the pancreas compensates by working harder to release greater amounts of insulin in response to consumption of carbohydrates. This may allow the doors on muscle cells to remain open, but it is at the expense of making the pancreas work harder by elevating insulin levels.  High insulin has many drawbacks; in particular it significantly impairs your ability to burn body fat since insulin is a potent fat blocker.

Simply put if you have insulin resistance and you consume dietary carbohydrate, your body will struggle to metabolize it in muscle.  Instead much of the blood glucose ends up getting processed in the liver where it is converted to fat.  When viewed from this perspective, it is clear that insulin resistance, the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, manifests functionally as carbohydrate intolerance.

A recently published study highlights this point.  Lean insulin-resistant men were studied on two occasions after consumption of a high carbohydrate meal (1). On one occasion they remained sedentary throughout, and on the other they exercised for 45 min before consuming the meal.  Detailed measures of how they processed the carbohydrate load were carried out for several hours after the meal.  In the resting state, these insulin resistant men converted a significant amount of dietary carbohydrate to fat.  However, when exercise was performed the conversion of carbohydrate to fat was reduced by 30% in the liver, and muscle glycogen synthesis was increased 3-fold.  These results indicate that insulin resistance manifests as carbohydrate intolerance and that exercise can partially overcome the mismanagement of dietary carbohydrates by improving muscle insulin sensitivity.  

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A staggering 2 out of every 3 adults in the US are overweight and most of these people have some level of insulin resistance.  One in three adults has metabolic syndrome, also called pre-diabetes, and about 1 in 4 have impaired fasting glucose.  You don't have to be overweight to have insulin resistance, as was shown in the above study in normal-weight men (1). Some thin people, and even some high level athletes, have insulin resistance and signs of carbohydrate intolerance.  Thus, carbohydrate intolerance is not a trivial problem. It affects tens of millions of people in the US.  Even if you are carbohydrate tolerant now, it does not mean that will always be the case as aging is associated with insulin resistance.


How Do You Know if Your Body Is Metabolizing Carbs Efficiently?


This can be a little tricky because there is no easily performed perfect test to determine if you are carbohydrate intolerant.  There are several clues that signal your body may be mismanaging dietary carbohydrates.

  • Do you have a family history of diabetes?  Insulin resistance is partially inherited so if other members of your family have it, you have a greater chance.

  • Are you overweight? Being overweight is associated with insulin resistance.

  • Do you carry extra fat in the mid-section? Central obesity (apple vs pear shape) is highly associated with insulin resistance.

  • Do you bloat easily when you consume a lot of carbohydrates? 

  • Do you have trouble losing weight on a low fat/high carbohydrate diet?

  • Do you lack energy and are unmotivated to exercise on a low fat/high carbohydrate diet?

  • Do you have wide swings in energy throughout the day?  This is a sign your blood glucose levels are unstable which occurs in people with insulin resistance.

  • Do you get tired after consuming carbohydrate-rich meals? This is a sign you are over-stimulating insulin in response to being insulin resistant resulting in low blood sugar.

  • Do you have strong cravings or intrusive thoughts for carbohydrate-rich foods?

  • Do you have high levels of blood glucose (>100 mg/dL)

  • Do you have high levels of blood triglycerides (>150 mg/dL)

What Can You Do About It?

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If you have carbohydrate intolerance, there is a solution and hope.   The answer may not surprise you.  Similar to other food intolerances like lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance, the most logical approach is to limit the offending substance.  In this case, restricting dietary carbohydrate to a level you can manage is priority number one.  

Wait a minute you say -- athletes need carbs for energy, and having more glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate in muscle, is tightly linked to performance -- right?   The truth is it's not quite that straightforward. Trumpeting carbs as an ideal fuel source is often taught in academic institutions and reinforced by the billion dollar sports and energy drink market, but there is another perspective based on maximizing fat metabolism (more on this in future articles).  For now let's continue the discussion of insulin resistance as it relates to glycogen.


Glycogen and Insulin Resistance (Carbohydrate Intolerance)

Glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate in muscle, has garnered a special place in the hearts of exercise scientists and active individuals for over four decades. This began shortly after the advent of the biopsy needle in the mid 1960s, which allowed histological and biochemical studies of human muscle before, during and after exercise. Subsequent work detailing the importance of muscle glycogen as a fuel for active muscle during prolonged exercise, and the role of glycogen depletion with fatigue, dawned the age of high-carbohydrate diets as the optimal sports nutrition diet. Carbohydrate loading strategies were developed that super-saturate muscles glycogen levels, delay glycogen depletion, and prolong the onset of fatigue, thereby improving performance (2). Carbohydrate loading regimens have been modified (3) but remain popular today. This research led to the fundamental understanding of glycogen as purely an important energy substrate for contracting skeletal muscle.

The evidence showing that glycogen availability exerts a regulatory role on a range of metabolic processes has been less appreciated (4).  In particular is the role of glycogen on insulin resistance and the cellular mechanisms that regulate transport of glucose into cells.  As previously noted, insulin resistance is defined as a reduced ability of peripheral tissues to respond properly to insulin. In the case of skeletal muscle, there is a defect in insulin signaling that leads to decreased translocation of intracellular GLUT-4 to the plasma membrane and subsequent transport of glucose into the cell. Exercise has "insulin-like" effects in the sense that it causes an increase in glucose transport for some time after exercise. Although unclear, the signals that regulate glucose transport by exercise are different than those utilized by insulin (5).

Results from several experiments over the last two decades have shown that muscle glycogen levels exert an important influence on insulin-mediated and contraction (exercise)-mediated glucose uptake, as well as basal (unstimulated) glucose entry into cells. Glucose uptake is higher in glycogen-depleted muscle and there is an inverse relation between glycogen and glucose uptake across a broad range of glycogen levels (6,7). The majority of this work has utilized rats that are exercised to deplete muscle glycogen, and then fasted or fed diets of varying nutrient composition. At some time after exercise, muscles are dissected out or a surgical procedure is performed for isolated hindquarter perfusion followed by measurements of glucose transport activity and related metabolic and cellular regulators.

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Numerous reports have confirmed that exercise induces an increase in skeletal muscle GLUT-4 and a proportional increase in glucose transport capacity. When carbohydrates are fed after exercise there is an increase glucose entry into cells that is diverted to glycogen formation. As glucose enters into cells and glycogen levels increase, there is inhibition of contraction- and insulin-mediated glucose transport that is associated with a return of GLUT-4 to pre-exercise levels. Notable, prevention of glycogen synthesis, by fasting or feeding a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet, results in a persistence of an increase in contraction- and insulin-mediated glucose transport that lasts as long as long as carbohydrates are not consumed. Simply put, low glycogen promotes increased insulin action, whereas high glycogen promotes insulin resistance.

In one study, rats were exercised to deplete muscle glycogen and were then either fasted or provided with normal chow or a carbohydrate-free diet for up to 66 hr after exercise before being sacrificed (8). Active muscles were dissected for determination of insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity, glycogen, and GLUT-4 protein. Insulin-stimulated glucose transport and GLUT-4 protein were two-fold higher in muscles of exercised rats compared to sedentary animals. These effects were completely reversed in rats fed the high-carbohydrate diet after 42 hr, but in animals fed the carbohydrate-free diet the increased glucose transport and GLUT-4 persisted at 66 hr after exercise. These effects were closely tied to glycogen levels, which remained depleted in carbohydrate-free fed rats. The results indicate that prevention of glycogen synthesis after exercise results in a sustained increase in glucose transport capacity, presumably mediated by a prolongation of the exercise-induced increase in GLUT-4.  

Similar experiments have shown that resting and contraction-mediated glucose transport capacity and cell surface GLUT-4 content 18-24 hr after exercise are significantly increased in rats fasted (9) or fed lard (7) versus a high-carbohydrate diet. These studies show the decreased contraction-mediated glucose transport capacity in glycogen-packed muscle cells is due to a proportionally smaller increase in GLUT-4 at the cell surface.

Although very low-carbohydrate studies in humans are few in the area of glucose metabolism, the existing data are mainly consistent with animal work. Insulin stimulates glucose uptake after exercise in relation to the amount of glycogen used (10). Low-carbohydrate diets are often likened to starvation in terms of lipid metabolism (11), but in respect to glucose metabolism there are distinct differences. In humans, starvation reduces insulin-mediated glucose uptake and does not increase nonoxidative glucose disposal (12), whereas very low-carbohydrate diets do not inhibit glucose uptake and augment nonoxidative glucose disposal (i.e., formation of glycogen) (13,14). Insulin-stimulated increases in glycogen synthase activity are greater after a very low-carbohydrate diet (14).

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It seems obvious that the elegant work detailing the role of glycogen on metabolic and cellular control in muscle relating to glucose metabolism would have a place in determining and justifying nutritional guidelines, specifically for athletes, and individuals with glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and Type II diabetes. Sadly, this has not been the case and it may be limiting your responsiveness to exercise.  


Summary

Based on your genetics, you may have a certain level of insulin resistance (aka, carbohydrate intolerance).  If you are over-consuming carbs and have a full glycogen tank, this may also elicit a form of carbohydrate intolerance.  In either case, the logical solution would be to restrict carbohydrates which induce a partially glycogen reduced state (15) and widespread improvements in the way your body processes energy. The implications of your body composition, health and performance may be dramatic.

Limiting carb intake can be difficult, but one tried and true way to achieve this goal is to increase the amount of protein you consume in relation to carbs. Because not everyone has the opportunity to broil chicken or fish throughout the day, an easy way to upregulate protein intake is to supplement your daily regimen with a high-quality premium protein shake once or twice a day. Of course, as always, quality is key, so be sure to add a protein formula high in superior whey isolate and hydrolyzed aminos, such as ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite of BioQuest's MyoZene.

A little preparation can do wonders in the war against accumulated fat.
References
  1. Rabol R, Petersen KF, Dufour S, Flannery C, Shulman GI.  Reversal of muscle insulin resistance with exercise reduces postprandial hepatic de novo lipogenesis in insulin resistant individuals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 16;108(33):13705-9.
  2. Bergstrom J, Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B. Diet, muscle glycogen and physical performance. Acta Physiol Scand. 1967 Oct-Nov;71(2):140-50.
  3. Sherman WM, Costill DL, Fink WJ, Miller JM. Effect of exercise-diet manipulation on muscle glycogen and its subsequent utilization during performance. Int J Sports Med. 1981 May;2(2):114-8.
  4. Hargreaves M. Muscle glycogen and metabolic regulation. Proc Nutr Soc. 2004 May;63(2):217-20.
  5. Richter EA, Derave W, Wojtaszewski JF. Glucose, exercise and insulin: emerging concepts. J Physiol. 2001 Sep 1;535(Pt 2):313-22.
  6. Hespel P, Richter EA. Glucose uptake and transport in contracting, perfused rat muscle with different pre-contraction glycogen concentrations. J Physiol. 1990 Aug;427:347-59.
  7.  Derave W, Lund S, Holman GD, Wojtaszewski J, Pedersen O, Richter EA. Contraction-stimulated muscle glucose transport and GLUT-4 surface content are dependent on glycogen content. Am J Physiol. 1999 Dec;277(6 Pt 1):E1103-10.
  8. Garcia-Roves PM, Han DH, Song Z, Jones TE, Hucker KA, Holloszy JO. Prevention of glycogen supercompensation prolongs the increase in muscle GLUT4 after exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Oct;285(4):E729-36. Epub 2003 Jun 10.
  9. Kawanaka K, Nolte LA, Han DH, Hansen PA, Holloszy JO. Mechanisms underlying impaired GLUT-4 translocation in glycogen-supercompensated muscles of exercised rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Dec;279(6):E1311-8.
  10. Richter EA, Derave W, Wojtaszewski JF. Glucose, exercise and insulin: emerging concepts. J Physiol. 2001 Sep 1;535(Pt 2):313-22.
  11. Klein S, Wolfe RR. Carbohydrate restriction regulates the adaptive response to fasting. Am J Physiol. 1992 May;262(5 Pt 1):E631-6.
  12. Mansell PI, Macdonald IA. The effect of starvation on insulin-induced glucose disposal and thermogenesis in humans. Metabolism. 1990 May;39(5):502-10.
  13. Bisschop PH, de Metz J, Ackermans MT, Endert E, Pijl H, Kuipers F, Meijer AJ, Sauerwein HP, Romijn JA. Dietary fat content alters insulin-mediated glucose metabolism in healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):554-9.
  14. Cutler DL, Gray CG, Park SW, Hickman MG, Bell JM, Kolterman OG. Low-carbohydrate diet alters intracellular glucose metabolism but not overall glucose disposal in exercise-trained subjects. Metabolism. 1995 Oct;44(10):1264-70.
  15. Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Evans WJ, Gervino E, Blackburn GL. The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: preservation of submaximal exercise capability with reduced carbohydrate oxidation. Metabolism. 1983 Aug;32(8):769-76.

An Exciting New Era of Fat-Loss Power is at Hand!

Zycor: An in-depth investigation

BioQuest is known for innovating some of the most efficacious and respected supplements in the fitness field. This is no surprise, since they have worked with some of the industry's best scientists from many disciplines to advise on the latest and most promising compounds to formulate their products. Zycor is the latest, and some would argue, the most impressive product from BioQuest and it serves as testament to the company's mission to provide the new and innovative products that have been substantiated by scientific evidence. In fact, Zycor takes on a completely new angle for fat loss. In this article we present the scientific rationale that make this the most well thought out product of its kind on the market today.

For at least the last six months or so, the excitement has been building among supplement science experts and elite bodybuilders as the sheer scope and extent of BioQuest's breakthrough achievement has become increasingly apparent. In no uncertain terms, Zycor represents the future of fat-loss science as it relates to dietary supplements. Its ultra-bioactive thermodynamic ingredient matrix is based upon a radical new understanding of the processes of fat mobilization and fat burning and how to redirect and up-regulate those metabolic mechanisms for maximum physique-ripping results. An early and compelling wave of ecstatic testimonials to Zycor's transformative power and efficacy have been making the rounds from the first days that test samples of it were made available to elite bodybuilders. And now, validation of those experiences has arrived in the form of two different clinical studies on its core ingredient.
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Significant results in just two weeks: The Fat-Loss Power of Meratrim

A landmark report, recently presented during the 29th Annual Scientific Obesity Meeting in Orlando, Florida, documented the combined results of not one, but two preliminary, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies using the primary thermodynamic super compound in Zycor, called Meratrim. In these two, eight-week studies, subjects lost an average of 4.5 pounds-- in a mere 14 days! This result alone signals unprecedented efficacy.

These same test subjects using Meratrim went on to lose an average of a remarkable 11.5 pounds by the end of the 8-week studies, while also achieving truly amazing reductions of 4.7 inches in waist circumference and 2.5 inches in hip circumference. These latter two sets of data suggest strongly that the active ingredient in Zycor is helping to specifically attack body fat. Needless to say, this groundbreaking report is certain to create enormous buzz among bodybuilders nationwide.

State-of-the-art thermogenic also delivers a powerful and long-lasting energy boost

The innovators at BioQuest have already demonstrated their expertise in the energy and endurance boosting category with BetaStax, the long-established sales leader in this category here at ProSource, so it should come as no surprise that they have once again set a lofty new standard for excellence with their new Zycor extreme performance product.

Even as bodybuilders have raved over the transformational power of Zycor in recent months, they have been particularly emphatic in praising the advanced formulation's capacity for generating a dynamic and long-lasting upsurge of energy. Indeed, even already lean athletes who have little interest in fat loss have given Zycor only the most positive reviews. Overall, athletes are crediting Zycor for substantial increases in stamina and work output, resulting in the most productive and intense workouts they've ever experienced.

The importance of Zycor's unique mechanism of action, the test results associated with it, and the revolutionary nature of the technology that generated them cannot be overstated. The BioQuest R&D team has revitalized the category of fat loss from the ground up, providing athletes with a transformational tool unrivaled since the era of ephedrine-based thermogenics over a decade ago. Distributed exclusively by ProSource, Zycor is an ingenious weight-loss marvel that has raised the bar to an entirely new realm.

Scientific Reference: Stern, et al (2012). Manuscript in preparation.
"Meratrim brand proprietary blend of two natural plant extracts."
"Meratrim is exclusively distributed by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, Inc.
"

Eating Round the Clock

Significant Gains Accrue Like Clockwork
With These Nutrient Timing Strategies


"What to Eat?" and "How Much to Eat?" are always two major concerns in the minds of people who want to get bigger and for those who also want to get smaller.  Meanwhile, the last five years of research have also brought forward a new question to ask: "When to Eat?"

Scientists have reported on a number of occasions that "when" you eat can hold great importance with regard to how your body responds and recovers.  Different athletes eat different things.  For example, highly trained endurance athletes are known for eating boatloads of carbohydrates while strength and power athletes are known for eating boatloads of well...everything, but for the most part their diets are fairly heavy on protein.  Many discussions occur about timing, but many of these discussions focus solely on after exercise, while timing considerations across the entire day are important as well.  The purpose of this article is to break down according to research an ideal day regarding the timing of nutrients.  We're going to assume you work a typical 8-to-4 job (or 9-to-5) and exercise every day after work.  Also, we're not going to get into prescribing exact dietary amounts according to body size, composition, etc. as they would take away from the point of the article, which is to simply discuss timing.

A good day starts with what takes place the night before.  If you are an exercising athlete, the start of a good day has to begin with a good night's sleep.  Most people recognize the importance of sleep for feeling rested and promoting recovery, etc. But more and more scientific data show that lack of sleep can negatively impact blood pressure and development of characteristics associated with diabetes [1].  Upon waking, you must view your night's sleep as a fast and overall a period in which the body is utilizing resources for repair and recovery, while no such resources are being made available to the body.

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The importance of the essential amino acids cannot be overstated and a dose that provides around 6 to 12 grams of the essential amino acids has regularly been shown in research to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis throughout all parts of the day [2-4].  How you go about getting these amino acids is up to you, but there is really no sense in waiting once you wake up.  Any animal source of protein is considered to be a complete protein source or one that provides all of the necessary essential amino acids, so morning foods like cereal (milk is dairy) or eggs are great considerations.  Combine this with a cup of yogurt, some fresh fruit and a whole-wheat bagel or oatmeal and you are off and running.  If you are in a hurry or wake up too late and need something fast, a high quality whey protein isolate shake like NytroWhey Ultra Elite is a great start, along with a bagel and/or a protein bar.  If even this is too much planning, then have a high-quality amino acid like ProSource's Mega BCAA in your gym bag (you packed your gym bag, right?) which will provide a balanced delivery of all of the essential amino acids.  While an emphasis on amino acids often takes center stage, delivering a good dose of carbohydrates in the form of bagels, toast, English muffins, etc. must be considered to help ensure your muscles have enough glycogen to power you through your workout.

RELATED: Read here for START STRONG WITH THESE 5 BEGINNER DIET TIPS

Once you are off and running, regular feeding and delivery of amino acids and carbohydrates are the key consideration.  Research shows that blood amino acid levels stay elevated for around two to three hours after consuming around ten grams of essential amino acids [5].  This is a key factor, particularly for people who want muscle hypertrophy.  A number of factors have to be aligned for this process to occur and it all starts with having available nutrients.  When it comes time for lunch, my best advice is to pack your own.  I know some people say they are too busy, but this is a shoddy excuse.  Get out a notepad to plan your meals and go to the grocery store and get the foods.  Then pack your meals two days at a time.  This is important, particularly when it comes to lunch time.   You'll save money, but more importantly you will know exactly what is going into your body.

And for those of you who think you have fast food or commercial restaurants and their menus all figured out, think again, as most folks are off by around 30% when it comes to predicting their caloric intake [6].  Lunch should contain lean cuts of animal protein or skimmed dairy along with healthy oils, whole grains and some fruits or vegetables.  As afternoon approaches and you start to get excited for your workout, make sure to top off your fuel stores by sipping on a small drink to provide valuable carbohydrates and/or protein, but don't do take in too much so your stomach gets upset.  If you are an endurance athlete or any athlete exercising outside in the heat, optimal fluid should be a concern.  Regular sipping of water or sports drink is recommended and you need to monitor how much your body weight changes before and after each workout.  For every pound lost, consume two cups of fluid [7-9].  For resistance athletes, sipping on a pre-workout drink has become extremely popular as they often provide valuable nutrients such as caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine and amino acids, all ingredients shown to improve many aspects of performance [10] One terrific new entry in the pre-workout performance maximization category is BioQuest's Alpha Fury. This thermodynamic muscle pump catalyst offers beta alanine for enhanced stamina, waxy maize carbs for fuel, and other key co-factors for antioxidant support.

RELATED: Read here for THE ULTIMATE BODYBUILDING PROTEIN FOR YOUR EXTREME TRANSFORMATION SOLUTION

Upon completing your workout, a combination of carbohydrates and amino acids needs to be consumed as soon as possible after a workout and preferably within an hour after the workout [11]. Immediately after your workout is an excellent time to consider a post-workout mass builder like BioQuest's MyoZene, which will shut down catabolism and kickstart the recovery and growth process. These nutrients help to start the recovery process inside your stressed muscle fibers and to replace the valuable glycogen that was burned inside your muscles to fuel your workout.  As you are on your way home, you should be thinking about dinner and again a lean source of protein, whole grains, vegetables and healthy oils should all be considerations to help with recovery, provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals and control inflammation.  Finally, many people reserve their casein protein for a nighttime snack and literature supports different digestion rates of casein and whey protein and this may be a prudent recommendation as well [12, 13]. An extended-delivery protein like ProSource's NytroPlex-GF is an ideal source of time-released micellar casein, whey isolate, and egg albumin.

In summary, nutrient timing is about much more than eating right after your workout.  To effectively optimize your bodily environment for growth, you need to constantly be thinking ahead to your next meal and what the day has in store for you.  The more active you are, the more important it becomes.  Certainly, this takes effort and planning, but with a few essentials such as a lunch box, plastic containers and a devoted mind and spirit, you too can make nutrient timing work for you and your exercise goals.


References

1.    Knutson, K.L. and E. Van Cauter, Associations between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2008. 1129: p. 287-304.
2.    Borsheim, E., K.D. Tipton, S.E. Wolf, and R.R. Wolfe, Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2002. 283(4): p. E648-57.
3.    Rasmussen, B.B., K.D. Tipton, S.L. Miller, S.E. Wolf, and R.R. Wolfe, An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol, 2000. 88(2): p. 386-92.
4.    Tipton, K.D., A.A. Ferrando, S.M. Phillips, D. Doyle, Jr., and R.R. Wolfe, Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol, 1999. 276(4 Pt 1): p. E628-34.
5.    Bohe, J., J.F. Low, R.R. Wolfe, and M.J. Rennie, Latency and duration of stimulation of human muscle protein synthesis during continuous infusion of amino acids. J Physiol, 2001. 532(Pt 2): p. 575-9.
6.    Wright, R.A., Nutritional assessment. JAMA, 1980. 244(6): p. 559-60.
7.    Burke, L.M., Nutritional needs for exercise in the heat. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol, 2001. 128(4): p. 735-48.
8.    Casa, D.J., L.E. Armstrong, S.K. Hillman, S.J. Montain, R.V. Reiff, B.S. Rich, W.O. Roberts, and J.A. Stone, National athletic trainers' association position statement: fluid replacement for athletes. Journal of athletic training, 2000. 35(2): p. 212-24.
9.    Sawka, M.N., L.M. Burke, E.R. Eichner, R.J. Maughan, S.J. Montain, and N.S. Stachenfeld, American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 2007. 39(2): p. 377-90.
10.    Shelmadine, B., M. Cooke, T. Buford, G. Hudson, L. Redd, B. Leutholtz, and D.S. Willoughby, Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise and consuming a commercially available pre-workout supplement, NO-Shotgun(R), on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of satellite cell activation, and clinical safety markers in males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2009. 6: p. 16.
11.    Kerksick, C., T. Harvey, J. Stout, B. Campbell, C. Wilborn, R. Kreider, D. Kalman, T. Ziegenfuss, H. Lopez, J. Landis, J.L. Ivy, and J. Antonio, International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2008. 5: p. 17.
12.    Boirie, Y., M. Dangin, P. Gachon, M.P. Vasson, J.L. Maubois, and B. Beaufrere, Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 1997. 94(26): p. 14930-5.
13.    Dangin, M., Y. Boirie, C. Garcia-Rodenas, P. Gachon, J. Fauquant, P. Callier, O. Ballevre, and B. Beaufrere, The digestion rate of protein is an independent regulating factor of postprandial protein retention. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2001. 280(2): p. E340-8.





Non-Stimulant Diet Support

L-carnitine Emerges as a Promising
Alternative for Transformational Results

[ Editor's Note: Athletes who are sensitive to stimulants have long had few alternatives when it comes to diet support supplements, which are typically beefed up with caffeine, synephrine, and yohimbine, all potent stimulant compounds. Below, noted supplement science expert Dwayne Jackson takes a look at recent scientific developments regarding Acetyl-L-Carnitine and and L-Carnitine L-Tatrate (LCLT). ProSource, of course, offers the industry's purest and most potent formulation of ALC available. Investigation is ongoing, but current findings are highly promising for those who are considering using ALC alone or stacking it with a stimulant-based thermogenic.]


Most diet supplements use specialized formulas containing central nervous system stimulants. These constituents increase norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline) levels to increase fat mobilization and diet support. Unfortunately, the over use of stimulants can cause a combination of undesirable side effects like adrenal fatigue, headaches, insomnia, irritability and anxiety. In addition, some people must avoid stimulants due to sensitivities or medical conditions, thus limiting options for these supplements.

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Interestingly, recent research has been investigating stimulant-free substances that produce diet-supportive effects. One such compound that has received significant scientific accolades in this department is L-carnitine. L-carnitine is essential as it is responsible for transporting fatty acids to the mitochodria to be oxidized. It is found naturally in animal products, with red meat and dairy products being the most abundant sources. In the world of L-carnitine supplements, the most notable and highly bioavailable forms are acetyl L-carnitine (ALCAR) and L-carnitine L-tatrate (LCLT). Scientists developed ALCAR and LCLT to be readily digested, which boosts L-carnitine bioavailability and absorption in skeletal muscle.


Past research has repeatedly shown that under exercise conditions, where glycolytic flux is high, there is a consistent decline in muscle carnitine content, which directly correlates with decreases in fat oxidation (van Loon et al., 2001;Roepstorff et al., 2005). In support, there is definitive evidence illustrating that when muscle carnitine levels fall, exercise induced fat mobilization is blunted (Stephens et al., 2006). A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism indicated that an acute increase in skeletal muscle total carnitine content (as noted with ALCAR or LCLT ingestion) results in greater use of body fat for an energy source, even under conditions of high carbohydrate availability (Stephens et al., 2006).

Additional support for L-carnitine comes from a study published in Metabolism involving slightly overweight males. The researchers concluded that L-carnitine supplementation resulted in increased fatty acid oxidation that was not accompanied by increases in protein catabolism (Wutzke & Lorenz, 2004). In a most recent article published in the prestigious Journal of Physiology, scientists from the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands) have conclusively shown that chronic ingestion of L-carnitine (2.0 g of LCLT two times per day) with 80 g of carbohydrates boosts skeletal muscle carnitine levels by 21% compared to baseline levels. Most intriguingly the researchers observed improvements in exercise performance and measured a substantive switchover to favor fat metabolism and glycogen sparing during low intensity and high intensity exercise.

Taken together, it seems that using an L-carnitine supplement like ALCAR or LCLT may prove beneficial for anyone who is concerned with physique improvement while preserving muscle mass. Based on the current scientific evidence, ALCAR and LCLT may augment the fat utilization effects of your workouts regardless of intensity.

References
Roepstorff C, Halberg N, Hillig T, Saha AK, Ruderman NB, Wojtaszewski JF, Richter EA, & Kiens B (2005). Malonyl-CoA and carnitine in regulation of fat oxidation in human skeletal muscle during exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 288, E133-E142.

Stephens FB, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Laithwaite D, Simpson EJ, & Greenhaff PL (2006). An acute increase in skeletal muscle carnitine content alters fuel metabolism in resting human skeletal muscle. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.

van Loon LJ, Greenhaff PL, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Saris WH, & Wagenmakers AJ (2001). The effects of increasing exercise intensity on muscle fuel utilisation in humans. J Physiol 536, 295-304.

Wall BT, Stephens FB, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Marimuthu K, Macdonald IA, Greenhaff PL. Chronic oral ingestion of L-carnitine and carbohydrate increases muscle carnitine content and alters muscle fuel metabolism during exercise in humans: the dual role of muscle carnitine in exercise metabolism. J Physiol. 2011 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Wutzke KD & Lorenz H (2004). The effect of l-carnitine on fat oxidation, protein turnover, and body composition in slightly overweight subjects. Metabolism 53, 1002-1006 .

Old and New Paradigms in Carbohydrate Nutrition: Slow and Fast Carbs

For decades, carbohydrates (aka carbs) have been the mainstay of what sport nutritionists consider an optimal diet.  Many athletes view carbs as an obligate nutrient that should be consumed before, during and after exercise in order to prevent fatigue, enhance performance, and speed recovery. While there is an empiric basis for strategically using carbohydrate, many of these paradigms are outdated. There is widespread confusion and a lot of misinformation about carbs. Thus, I'm writing the first article in a series that will discuss cutting edge carbohydrate nutrition for athletes, dispel myths, and provide you with a better understanding of how to choose and use carbs to achieve your goals. In this first article, I'll cover the controversial topic of digestion rate and address the pros and cons of fast versus slow carbs.

Carbohydrate Basics
There are different ways to classify carbs. Chemically, they can be mono, di-, or poly-saccharides.  Monosaccharides consist of a single sugar molecule. There are 3 we get in our diet - glucose, fructose, and galactose. Disaccharides are combinations of these single sugars and include sucrose (1 glucose + 1 fructose), lactose (1 glucose + 1 galactose), and maltose (1 glucose + 1 glucose). Collectively, these are also referred to as 'simple sugars'. Starches are polysaccharides that consist of several glucose molecules. They are therefore considered complex carbs.

It's interesting to point out that the carbohydrate source in nearly all sports and energy drinks commercially available is simple sugar. Check out the label on any of the popular brands and you'll likely see one or more of the following simple sugars: glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and dextrose.  With the exception of fructose (more on this in subsequent articles), simple sugars are digested and absorbed quickly. Many formulations now use maltodextrin, which is technically a complex carbohydrate or "glucose polymer" consisting of anywhere from about 3 to 20 glucose units loosely bound together to form one molecule. Maltodextrin allows for provision of more carbohydrate with less osmolality (more on this later), but it behaves much like glucose in terms of its rate of absorption into the blood. In the last few years there has been another form of carbohydrate introduced into sports drinks that is truly a complex carb - it's called waxy maize. Waxy maize is a starch derived from corn with a high content of a particle starch called amylopectin. It's essentially a very long string of glucose molecules bound together in a branching pattern. Sort of like glycogen for plants. In some cases these are huge molecules with molecular weights greater than 500,000 g/mol. Compare that to glucose at 180 g/mol.

Digestion Rate and Glycemic Index
Glycemic index (GI) is a method to rate carbohydrate containing food based on their acute glycemic impact. A standard amount of carbohydrate is fed to a group of people, and serial blood draws are obtained over a 2 hour period. The blood glucose area under the curve is calculated and compared to a standard (usually white bread or glucose). A food with a high GI increases blood glucose fast whereas a low GI results in a muted blood glucose response. The main determinant of the GI is the rate of digestion and movement through the gastrointestinal tract. You might think that simple carbs are digested fast and complex ones slow. However, it's not that straight forward. Several complex carb (eg, potatoes) actually have a very high GI and simple carbs (eg, fructose) have a low GI. For the purposes of sports drinks, most contain fast acting carbs with a high GI. It's hard to predict the GI of many of the new waxy maize products because of the different preparation methods that have a significant impact on how the starch is digested and absorbed.  Some are marketed as fast-acting and probably do have a fast absorption (high GI) whereas other clearly have a low GI.

Fast Versus Slow Carbs Before Exercise
When it comes to selecting a sports drink for pre-exercise use, a key practical question is whether you should look for a fast or slow acting carb source. As I have said, the majority of sports drinks contain fast acting carbs. The rationale is to provide a quick hitting source of glucose for fast energy. But what does the research show? Studies comparing low to high GI carbs before exercise have found that low GI carbs consistently impact metabolism during exercise including attenuated glucose and insulin responses, increased circulating fatty acids and glycerol, increased fat oxidation, decreased reliance on carbohydrate fuel sources, muscle and liver glycogen sparing, and increased hepatic glucose production late in exercise as athletes approach fatigue. Several studies have also noted that low GI carbs result in significant increases in exercise performance (1-5).

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How do the new waxy maize products perform? Although new sugar-free products consisting of waxy maize starch have some advantages over simple sugar, their impact on preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes and preventing insulin-induced down regulation of fat burning remains unclear for the majority of products. Most are advertised to provide rapid digestion, but the speed of absorption is what is important for affecting blood glucose levels. Several reputable and high-quality brands include Muscle Maize by BioQuest, Waximaze by IDS, and Glycomaize by Optimum.

Man and Machine
In examining the physiology of slow release carbs for sport performance, the automotive metaphor is hard to resist. Think about gas for your car. You wouldn't want to empty the entire gas tank into the engine all at once. Bad news for performance. But that's what happens if you ingest a fast acting carbohydrate before or during exercise. There are only about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in your blood and often times sports drinks can contain 5-10 times this amount of carbohydrate. So if that carbohydrate gets absorbed quickly into the blood it's like dumping your entire gas tank into the combustion chamber - its overkill. You might say but what's wrong with having extra glucose in the blood, especially if it will end up being used by the muscle eventually?  The principle concern with rapidly elevating glucose is that it stimulates insulin secretion. Insulin does many things in the body, but one of its most potent effects (well within the physiologic range of insulin values) is that it potently inhibits fat breakdown and fat oxidation. Fat represents the largest reservoir of energy for an athlete since they can only store a limited amount of glycogen. Since show release carbs do not increase insulin to the same extent, they allows for a larger percentage of fuel to come from fat while still maintaining glucose levels and likely sparing muscle glycogen. Circling back to the automotive analogy, taking a slow release carb is like a hybrid car that can run on electricity (fat), but has gas (glucose) as a fuel source as well.

Summary
Most sports and energy drinks consist of simple sugars designed to provide rapid increases in glucose. Research however points to lower glycemic impact carbs as having a metabolic and performance edge. It may be worthwhile to rethink the paradigm that a spike in blood glucose and insulin is necessary or even desired before exercise. The same logic may apply to consuming carbs during and recovery after exercise, but more on that in future articles.



Works Cited
  1. Thomas et al. Carbohydrate feeding before exercise: effect of glycemic index. Int J Sports Med. 1991 Apr;12(2):180-6.
  2. DeMarco et al. Pre-exercise carbohydrate meals: application of glycemic index. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Jan;31(1):164-70.
  3. Kirwan et al. Effects of moderate and high glycemic index meals on metabolism and exercise performance. Metabolism. 2001 Jul;50(7):849-55.
  4. Wu et al. A low glycemic index meal before exercise improves endurance running capacity in men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Oct;16(5):510-27.
  5. Chen et al. Effect of preexercise meals with different glycemic indices and loads on metabolic responses and endurance running. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008 Jun;18(3):281-300.



Leucine and Nytro Whey Ultra Elite: Turning On The Light Switch to a Leaner, Bigger YOU

The New Year is approaching and like most every other year, the most common resolutions will be those associated with something related to your body or exercise: lose weight, stop eating junk food, start exercising, etc.  For those wanting to pack on some muscle, lose fat and improve body composition, a few things are paramount for success to occur.  First, be positive and be consistent.  Life throws curve-balls at us all the time and it's perfectly normal if you miss a workout or blow a meal.  The biggest thing here is to not let one missed workout turn into two, then three, then four.  Another key factor is to be realistic.  Weight loss and changes to your body take time.  A consistent and committed effort to a regular exercise program must be happening.

The power of exercise on the human body is a great thing and when applied in the right amounts over time, positive changes are very likely to occur.  You can also believe in the power of combining a consistent exercise program with a good diet that provides high amounts of key nutrients.  One nutrient worth discussing is leucine.  Briefly, leucine is one of the twenty amino acids our body needs to build proteins [1].  However, only the essential amino acids are needed to stimulate muscle growth [2, 3] and getting them in optimal doses and at the right time are two critical factors for this physiological activity.  Because the essential amino acids are exclusively used to build muscle, it's extremely important that you know what food sources provide appropriate amounts of the essential amino acids.

The body can't produce essential amino acids so they must be consumed as part of a person's diet.  A number of approaches can be taken by people to get the necessary and hopefully optimal amounts of protein and amino acid levels in their diet.  In the simplest of senses, all sources of protein that come from an animal are complete protein sources.  So things like beef, poultry, milk, eggs, etc. all come from animals and are known to be complete protein sources.  Complete protein sources are best because they contain all nine of the essential amino acids.  When it comes to supplementation, the most reasonable approach is one that combines good high quality food choices as the mainstay of your meals each day, with added supplementation as needed. Indeed, during the times in which quick delivery of key nutrients is needed, supplementation becomes critically important.  A number of high quality protein sources are available and recently, ProSource released Nytro Whey Ultra Elite.  The NytroWhey brand has been a juggernaut of a product line for years and for great reason.  It contains a high quality source of whey protein, contains low amounts of sugar and fat and comes in a variety of great-tasting flavors.  What makes NytroWhey Ultra Elite, "Elite"???  The answer here lies in the inclusion of a proprietary extraction method for leucine itself which results in a more bioavailable dose of leucine.  While a number of high quality protein products are out there, the inclusion of the leucine extract is one certain reason to choose Nytro Whey Ultra Elite over others.

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Why is leucine so important?  Researchers have found that its sole inclusion triggers the building of muscle proteins [4].  How much is needed?  Well research studies have repeatedly shown that 6 to 12 grams of essential amino acids are what is needed to maximize muscle protein synthesis [5-7]; roughly the same amount provided in one 25 gram scoop of NytroWhey Ultra Elite.  Need further proof that this amount is enough?  Research has found that muscle protein synthesis significantly increases to greater amounts when 5, 10 and 20 grams of protein are ingested, but no further increase occurs when a 40 gram dose is ingested [8].  Take home messages from these studies reveal it is likely more effective for a person to avoid ingesting single doses of protein much greater than 20 grams.

Interestingly, research has begun to illustrate the fact that leucine by itself can act as a powerful trigger to turn on the building of muscle proteins.  In addition to building more muscle, leucine is also implicated in helping to maintain more favorable levels of glucose and insulin, two key factors which bring your muscles in and out of an anabolic and catabolic state.  In operating truly like a light switch, a dose of 2 to 3 grams of leucine appears necessary to turn on these processes and once they are turned on they're on.  In other words, a minimum 2 gram threshold for leucine appears to exists.  If smaller doses (i.e. 1 gram) are given, the processes aren't turned on and similarly if five grams are given the processes are turned on but to the same extent as when 2 to 3 grams were given.  In other words, "some leucine is better than none" and "more is better" need not apply as a dosage of 2 to 3 grams appears to be the necessary amount to trigger or "turn on" protein translation [4, 9, 10].

The nutrition side of changing your body is critically important.  Building muscles requires a sound exercise program, consistent effort and a seemingly constant supply of the essential amino acids.  Several different approaches can be taken to deliver these key nutrients.  Certainly, planning your meals to provide a 6-to-12 gram dose of the essential amino acids every 2 to 3 hours is possible, but it takes a lot of work.  Adding a high quality whey protein supplement like NytroWhey Ultra Elite helps fills these important gaps and does an excellent job of conveniently providing not only optimal levels of essential amino acids, but also optimal levels of leucine.  As to how you go about it, your muscles don't care, but only giving them optimal leucine after two or three meals a day will not cut it.  If you want to pave the way to pack on some muscle and improve your body composition, adding a high quality whey protein supplement like NytroWhey Ultra Elite may be the difference between turning on the lights for muscle growth throughout the day or just when you find time to grab a meal.  You know what to do.


REFERENCES
1.    Antonio, J., et al., eds. Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements. 2008, Humana Press: New York, NY.
2.    Tipton, K.D., et al., Nonessential amino acids are not necessary to stimulate net muscle protein synthesis in healthy volunteers. J Nutr Biochem, 1999. 10(2): p. 89-95.
3.    Volpi, E., et al., Essential amino acids are primarily responsible for the amino acid stimulation of muscle protein anabolism in healthy elderly adults. Am J Clin Nutr, 2003. 78(2): p. 250-8.
4.    Suryawan, A., et al., Leucine acts as a nutrient signal to stimulate protein synthesis in neonatal pigs. J Anim Sci, 2010.
5.    Borsheim, E., et al., Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2002. 283(4): p. E648-57.
6.    Tipton, K.D. and A.A. Ferrando, Improving muscle mass: response of muscle metabolism to exercise, nutrition and anabolic agents. Essays Biochem, 2008. 44: p. 85-98.
7.    Tipton, K.D., et al., Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2001. 281(2): p. E197-206.
8.    Moore, D.R., et al., Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr, 2009. 89(1): p. 161-8.
9.    Norton, L.E., et al., The leucine content of a complete meal directs peak activation but not duration of skeletal muscle protein synthesis and mammalian target of rapamycin signaling in rats. J Nutr, 2009. 139(6): p. 1103-9.
10.    Norton, L.E. and D.K. Layman, Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr, 2006. 136(2): p. 533S-537S.



Healthy fats play a critical role in maintaining peak physique and performance

As bodybuilders we receive all kinds of dietary advice from others, some good and some not so good. One of the most common suggestions is to keep all fats to a minimum to avoid consuming too many calories. From a basic perspective this ideology makes sense since each gram of fat packs 9 calories, whereas one gram of protein or carbohydrates only has 4 calories. However, this thinking assumes that all fats are created equal and have no clear benefit beyond significantly boosting calories---this is not the case. In fact, essential fats are one of the most underestimated and overlooked macronutrients/supplements in bodybuilding and research has clearly shown that they are fundamentally important for bodybuilders and strength athletes.

There are four main types of fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans fat; the former 2 promote healthy events in the body and the last two are considered unhealthy even when consumed in low amounts. Of the healthy ones, polyunsaturated fats have received an abundance of research support for their health and performance benefits. Polyunsaturated fats can be subcategorized into the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6), which are not manufactured in the body and thus must be consumed in the diet. Our North American diet is heavy in omega-6 fatty acids, as they are prevalent in many food sources like poultry, eggs, nuts, and whole grain breads. As well, omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in canola oil, safflower oil, and corn oil. In contrast, our diet is relatively lacking in omega-3 fatty acids which are contained in high concentration in fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, halibut, swordfish, etc), grass fed beef, flax fed poultry, flax seeds, and walnuts. As a result, the average North American diet contains anywhere from 10 to 25 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fats, which is not ideal or healthy. In fact, research suggests that we should be getting nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in our daily diet. This is easily achieved by moderating the amount of omega-6 fatty acids taken in the diet, while bolstering the amount of omega-3's through supplementation. The best supplements for this are fish oil or flax based.

Scientific research has shown that maintaining an adequate balance of polyunsaturated fatty acids through diet and supplementation can improve health and provide an internal environment for fat loss, recovery, greater muscular growth and increased strength. Below we give you a brief overview of the research-backed benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for bodybuilders.

Supporting fat loss and improved body composition
Many studies have shown that fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid) supplements increase fat loss and decrease overall fat accumulation (especially in the abdominal region) by significantly increasing lipolytic (fat burning) enzymes and decreasing lipogenic (fat accumulating) enzymes. As well, a recent study has shown that 6 weeks of fish oil supplementation can increase lean mass and decrease fat mass in healthy adults. In the same study, researchers illustrated that those who took fish oil had decreased cortisol (catabolic hormone) levels, which likely led to their observed increases in lean mass. Overall, the well-established impact of omega-3 fatty acids on decreased fat mass, increased lean mass, and decreased catabolic cortisol levels clearly demonstrate the importance of omega-3 supplements in bodybuilding.

Enhancing insulin sensitivity
It has been shown in numerous studies that omega-3 fatty acid supplements increase insulin sensitivity and can even reverse insulin resistance. The majority of studies show that this occurs mainly in skeletal muscle. This is of great benefit to bodybuilders, after all, because insulin drives sugars into muscle (as glycogen) and is also one of the most anabolic hormones. This effect of omega-3's on insulin sensitivity not only ensures adequate glycogen storage and anabolism, but also decreases the chance that sugars will be converted and stored as fat.

Increasing muscle blood flow
It has been shown in animals and humans that omega-3 supplements increase blood flow responses to exercise, an effect that occurs due to increased vasodilation. In a recent study, after only 6 weeks of fish oil supplementation, researchers observed a 34% increase in forearm vasodilation during rhythmic handgrip exercise compared to those who were given a placebo. Increased blood flow to working muscles ensures adequate nutrient delivery and metabolite clearance, which has been associated with decreased recovery time and increased strength/muscular gains.
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Reducing inflammation and pain

Several lines of evidence have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and pain associated with heavy training. In fact, studies have shown that omega-3's significantly reduce inflammatory cytokine production, resulting in anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects comparable to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For bodybuilders, this equates to tougher workouts with shorter recovery times--- leading to greater muscular gains in the long run.

In addition to the above benefits, omega-3 supplements have also been unequivocally shown to protect and repair the cardiovascular system, maintain/correct blood cholesterol and healthy blood lipids. Thus, if you aren't already incorporating these healthy fats into your regimen, there is no better time to start than now.

Elite-quality omega-3 formulations

As always, quality is paramount when supplementing with omega-3s or any essential bodybuilding nutrient. The R&D team at ProSource has recently released the best omega-3 formulations on the market: Omega 3 Fusion and Flax Fusion. As with all their products, they are of highest quality and have been optimized for taste and potency. Being forward thinking, they have combined their omega-3s with powerful antioxidants to prolong potency (something that is overlooked by most other formulas). This is imperative because omega-3 fatty acids are highly vulnerable to oxidation, which results in degradation and complete loss of effectiveness. Gain the many physique and performance benefits unique to omega-3 supplementation with premium-quality ProSource omega-3 products.


References
Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79

Simopoulos AP. Human requirement for N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Poult Sci. 2000 Jul;79(7):961-70

Martín de Santa Olalla L, Sánchez Muniz FJ, Vaquero MP. N-3 fatty acids in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Nutr Hosp. 2009 Mar-Apr;24(2):113-27.

Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PR. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1267-74.

Maroon JC, Bost JW. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol. 2006 Apr;65(4):326-31.

Tartibian B, Maleki BH, Abbasi A. The effects of ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids on perceived pain and external symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness in untrained men. Clin J Sport Med. 2009 Mar;19(2):115-9.

Noreen EE, Sass MJ, Crowe ML, Pabon VA, Brandauer J, Averill LK.
Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Oct 8;7:31.

Hao W, Wong OY, Liu X, Lee P, Chen Y, Wong KK. ω-3 fatty acids suppress inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages and hepatocytes. J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Dec;45(12):2412-8.

Stebbins CL, Hammel LE, Marshal BJ, Spangenberg EE, Musch TI. Effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty acids on the skeletal-muscle blood-flow response to exercise in rats. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010 Dec;20(6):475-86.

Walser B, Giordano RM, Stebbins CL. Supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augments brachial artery dilation and blood flow during forearm contraction. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Jun;97(3):347-54. Epub 2006 Apr 25.


The Lowdown on Low Carbohydrate Dieting for Bodybuilders

The most effective dietary approach for shedding body fat is to restrict carbohydrates. Most bodybuilders figure this out intuitively or they have been given advice by fellow weight lifters. As a scientist who has studied the effects of low carbohydrate diets for over 10 years and is a former competitive power lifter, I can tell you that a low carbohydrate diet is indeed a powerful weapon for blasting fat. However, there are many ways to go about a low carbohydrate diet and the results can vary tremendously. In fact some forms of carbohydrate restriction may be counter-productive if you do not pay attention to some important details. Here are some of the common mistakes people make and how you can maximize the effectiveness of a low carbohydrate diet.

How Low to Go
The level of carbohydrate restriction required to maximize fat loss varies from person to person but most people need to consume below 50 grams per day to achieve a maximum level of fat burning and ketosis. Ketosis is a perfectly natural process that occurs when fat breakdown is accelerated and the fatty acids get converted to ketones in the liver. The ketones serve as a vital fuel source for the brain and muscles. When carbohydrates are restricted to less than 50 grams per day, over a period of about 2-3 weeks a process called keto-adaption occurs where your body becomes very efficient at breaking down and burning prodigious amounts of fat. And if calories are restricted, much of that fuel comes from stored body fat.

Protein
Protein is important and getting more than the recommended dietary allowance (0.8 gram per kilogram body weight) is definitely needed. But most bodybuilders already get plenty of protein, and when carbs are restricted there is a tendency to pile in even more because many of the common foods that are low in carbohydrate contain protein. It's important not to overdo protein on a low carbohydrate diet. First of all, consuming protein beyond 2 grams per kilogram body weight has no additional benefit on protein synthesis. Second, consuming excessive amounts of protein can interfere with keto-adaptation. That's because some of the amino acids can be converted to glucose in the body and this negatively impacts fat burning.

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Importance of Fat
It's no surprise that a majority of Americans are fat-a-phobic since the dietary guidelines have been promoting a low fat diet for the last four decades. Most bodybuilders probably don't pay attention to what others are doing, but in case you happen to have a fear of fat, it's important to get rid of it. Fat is your friend when you're consuming a low carbohydrate diet. It serves as fuel and adds flavor to the diet and it does not interfere with the keto-adaption. Based on the extensive work I have conducted, the extra fat does not cause health problems, in fact the diet results in broad spectrum improvements in risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.  

The Right Types of Fat
Since carbs are low and protein is capped, the majority of calories on a low carbohydrate diet come from fat. Thus, you want to choose types of fat that the body likes to burn as fuel. Those are the saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (SFA and MUFA, respectively), as opposed to the polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Most animal fats are primarily SFA and MUFA and thus are good sources of fat. Use olive oil, canola oil or high oleic safflower oil because they are rich in MUFA. Stay away from the typical oils rich in PUFA (corn, soybean, safflower) used in most commercial products. Meats, eggs, olives, avocados, heavy cream, nuts and seeds, cheese, oils (olive and canola), and butter are all good sources of fat. Won't all that saturated fat have adverse health effects? Not according to our research. We have shown on a low carbohydrate diet that saturated fat levels actually decrease in the body even though dietary intake is high. How can that be? When carbs are low, the body burns the dietary saturated fat.

Sodium
Salt is a critically important micronutrient, especially on a low carbohydrate diet. When carbohydrates are restricted the body starts to discard water and salt. It's not uncommon for people to lose 4-5 pounds of water weight during the first week of a low carbohydrate diet. If that salt is not replaced the body responds by trying to retain more salt. This primarily happens in the kidneys. As a result, the kidneys start to waste potassium leading to a negative potassium balance. What does all this mean? The loss of water and salt can reduce plasma volume and make you feel sluggish and compromise your ability to perform in the weight room. Some people get headaches and feel faint. The loss of potassium can have a negative impact on muscle mass since most of the potassium is found within skeletal muscle. The easy solution, take in an extra 1-2 grams of sodium per day. The easiest way to ensure you get enough is to consume 2 bouillon cubes per day. On days you exercise be sure to take one cube 30 minutes before your workout.

Supplements
There are some great low carbohydrate supplements that make low carb dieting easier and more effective. NytroWhey Ultra Elite is specifically designed to achieve maximal delivery of amino acids to muscle to ensure a positive protein balance.  The state of the art peptides particularly rich in branched chain amino acids with extra leucine make it a unique anabolic delivery system.  Taken before and after exercise NytroWhey Ultra Elite will ensure the muscle is primed to grow. Supreme Protein bars are also a superb option on a low carbohydrate diet. Besides being delicious, the bars also contain a high quality whey protein that can be used around your workout.

Glory Days Again

Former High School Athlete Recovers His Rock-Hard Physique

Call it "Former Athlete Physique Syndrome."

You see it at every level, from high school to the pros. Athletes live a highly active lifestyle. They work hard, play hard ... and eat a lot. Then comes the day when the uniform comes off. Suddenly, the practice sessions in the hot sun are over, time spent in the weight room declines dramatically. But the former player still eats like an athlete at the training table.

The result? Yesterday's rock-hard athlete is today's soft couch potato. Just ask Anthony Varano.

"In high school I played baseball through my junior year," Anthony remembers. "After that my level of fitness and my health were in a downward spiral. I was working 50-60 hours a week, I had no time for exercise and I was eating fast food every day. My weight skyrocketed up to 235 pounds at my heaviest. My waist grew to a 38 (and getting snug). The gym was the last thing on my mind.

"I was really embarrassed to take my shirt off.  In fact, the 'before' picture I sent is the only one I could find with my shirt off. I would avoid going to the beach or pool with my friends so I wouldn't have to take my shirt off. The other thing that really bothered me was how my clothes were fitting; I had to buy everything big so you couldn't see my stomach bulging out.

"It wasn't until a doctor visit when my blood pressure was extremely high that I knew it was time for a change. My family has a history of being overweight, with all of the high blood pressure and diabetes problems that go along with that. And I was right on track to getting the hat trick."

Anthony knew something had to change. Fortunately, he found himself in an environment conducive to altering the bad habits he had picked up.

"My first year in college is when the change started," he says. "I had to take a fitness class which forced me to be in the weight room a few times a week. This is where I really found out how out of shape I was. During a strength test I could only do 2 pull ups. So I decided to give it my all. I would do a circuit on the machines then move to the treadmill or bike for 20 minutes. After a short period of time I began to notice real results. Before I knew it, I had lost 20 pounds and my BMI had dropped from nearly 30 to 17. Needless to say I was excited and being in shape again was in my sights. I got a membership at my local YMCA and continued focusing mainly on cardio and circuit training. Soon after, I had lost 60 pounds in 5 months and I thought it was time to start working on my muscle mass."

Of course, Anthony's diet needed a major overhaul as well. "I completely revamped my diet," Anthony recalls. "Fast food and pizza were out; fruits, vegetables, grilled chicken, salad, and tuna were in. When I was really craving something sweet I grabbed a  Supreme Protein bar, something I still do daily. They taste just like a candy bar, but I don't have to feel guilty about it because they are loaded with protein and low in sugar and carbs, which is perfect for me. My diet was low in carbs and fats and high in protein. I tried to eat 3 meals a day along with snacks in between.  For my snacks I always found myself reaching for fresh fruit or a 15-gram-protein  Supreme Protein bar ."








Anthony then provided the finishing touches to his radical transformation with his first foray into sports supplementation. "A lot of people were talking about supplements at the gym and I had no idea what any of it was. So I began to search the Internet and read magazines. One thing I saw that was consistent was Jack3d as an intense pre workout supplement. It really jumpstarts my workout.

"I usually stick to  ProSource brands for Creatine , BCAA's, glutamine , and  protein. You can't beat ProSource for quality of ingredients and price. For preworkout supplements , I like to mix it up.  I have tried N.O. Xplode , Super Pump 250, Jack3d, and Xpand Xtreme pump.  By far my favorite supplements have been Jack3d, the ProSource supplements, and   Supreme Protein bar . I use these products daily, some of them I do a 6-months-on, one-off cycle such as the creatine and Jack3d.

Today, Anthony weighs 177 pounds and is a self-described fitness fanatic. He has his old athlete's physique back and he's never been happier.

"I am now one of the people at the gym that the beginners and even veterans come to with questions," Anthony says. "I get noticed much more by everyone, and my confidence has gone from the gutter to through the roof.  I try to motivate everyone I come in contact with, and tell them that if I did it, so can they. It is just as much mental as physical. Even if one person is inspired by my story it would be worth all of my hard work, because I have been there and know how it feels.

I am working on getting my personal training certification as of now.  When I do get it, I hope to be able to inspire even more people to get into the best shape possible. Because this is my passion and I want to share it with as many people as I can."

Friend Anthony on facebook and follow his workout and nutritional regimen at
Anthony Varano

[ Editor's Note:   Do you have an inspiring success story related to bodybuilding, fitness, sports performance or an amazing physical transformation? Tell us about it and send some pictures here. You could be the next ProSource.net Featured Athlete!]


Anthony's Workout Regimen:

     Day
  Exercise  Sets   Reps
 

    
    Chest
  Bench press   4   6 to 12
  Incline press   4   6 to 12
  decline      
  4
  6 to 12
  flies   4   6 to 12
  weighted dips   4   6 to 12



    
   

     Back
  Bent over rows