Author Archives: Kyle

Elbow Pain From Lifting? Here’s a Simple Fix

Elbow pain is one of the most common joint issues when it comes to lifting weights. I’ve had it plenty of times and I’m guessing you have it or have had it too. When you think of what the cause of this may be you are probably thinking about the motion and angle of the elbow joint that is experiencing pain, right? That only makes sense. However elbow pain from lifting might coming from elsewhere.

So What Is Causing This Pain?question

The wrists. Yes the wrists. I see it all the time and I have also experienced this. What happens is that when people are performing lifts, heavy ones in particular, it can be difficult to keep the wrists straight. The wrists bend (back usually) and this creates a problem. The weight is then off balance and off center with the forearm and because of this it creates a twisting force or torque. This adds unnecessary torque to your elbow joint.

I had been experiencing elbow pain in my right elbow for years when I first started lifting. I always knew that my right wrist would bend back naturally during heavy pressing movements but I never thought that it was the problem. Upon fixing my form and keeping my wrists straight my elbow pain was gone within 2-3 weeks.

How Did I Fix This?wristwraps

You can fix this problem by simply backing off the heavy weight for a while and focusing on form. Build your wrist strength up until you can eventually go as heavy as you want to without your wrists giving way.

However, I used wrist wraps instead. All wrist wraps do is wrap around your wrist and provide pressure and support. They keep your wrists straight instantly upon wrapping. With wrist straps you don’t have to back off the heavy weight. Just start wearing wrist straps.

Give It a Try

There are many reasons why you could be experiencing elbow pain and this is just one. I’m not saying that this is the reason but I am saying I have seen it be the reason for me and many others.

The great thing is that it is such a simple fix. Just fix your form. Get a pair of wrist wraps or back off the heavy weight for a while. Keep your wrists straight in order to keep unwanted torque off the elbow joint.

If this is in fact the problem you have then you should start to see a difference within a matter of weeks of fixing your form.

Supplement Your RecoveryCissus

If you want to aid your joint recovery and accelerate it then you should look into Cissus quadrangularis. I am a strong advocate of Cissus, as it has proven helpful to me. Cissus is a plant has scientifically proven bone and joint strengthening properties. It also has been proven to accelerate recovery time in bone injuries such as fractures. It is commonly supplemented in pill or capsule form. For more information read this post on Cissus quadrangularis.

 

Do BCAA Supplements Work?

Branch Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) supplements are heavily marketed within the fitness community. They are
becoming more and more popular but is there a reason for this? Do bcaasuplementsBCAA supplements work?

Luckily there have been numerous studies on the benefits of BCAA supplementation and it is pretty conclusive that they work. They aid in reducing muscle damage during workouts and increasing the rate of recovery. BCAA supplementation is beneficial both before and after exercise.

To take a closer look at BCAA supplementation benefits, lets take a look at a recent study by Glyn Howatson et al. that was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Glyn Howatson, a neuroscientist from Northumbria University, has 120 publications to date in credible science journals such as that mentioned. The findings in this study are credible and backed by numerous other studies.

Study


Twelve male athletes were chosen for this study. All were rugby or football players that participated in resistance training on a regular basis. They were subject to a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Each subject supplemented either BCAA’s or the placebo throughout the study with a 7 day “loading” period before the tests.

Supplementation of BCAA’s

The test group’s supplementation consisted of 10 grams of BCAA’s at a Leucine:Isoleucine:Valine ratio of 2:1:1 both before and after training. The control group ingested a placebo with artificial sweetener of 10 grams before and after as well. To avoid other nutritional variables leading to inaccurate results, the test subjects had recorded their diets and kept them the same as they were before the study.

Exercise Usedboxjumpplatform

The chosen exercise was box jumps because it as been shown to significantly increase muscle damage, according to indices. Each participant performed 5 sets of 20 box jumps. The tempo was regulated to keep the exercise uniform from person to person. Each test subject completed one box jump every 10 seconds with a 2 minute break between sets. The box jumps were performed in the way of stepping off the box and jumping up immediately upon contacting the ground.

Analysis Methods

The analysis was well rounded and employed 5 different methods. Plasma CK tests of blood samples were used as an index of muscle damage, a a visual analogue scale was used to determine muscle soreness, a strain gauge was used to test the maximal voluntary contraction of the subjects’ knee extensors, a  Vertec instrument was used to test their maximum vertical jump, and lastly their mid-thigh and calf were measured using a anthropometric tape measure to determine the amount of swelling.

Findings

All of the analysis methods showed significant muscle damage after exercise through the plasma CK index. However, with supplementation the BCAA test group showed much lower plasma CK levels than the placebo group, meaning less exercise induced muscle damage.

There was no difference shown between the participants of either group’s leg girth and vertical jump. One of the most noteworthy findings was that of the maximal voluntary contraction that was measured by a strain gauge. The group that supplemented BCAA’s showed less or a reduction in this force and also showed an accelerated recovery time.

Conclusion on BCAA’sThumbs_up_symbol


They work! This is just one of many studies that proves BCAA supplementation can decrease exercise induced muscle damage and it accelerates muscle recover.

BCAA supplementation will keep you going hard in the gym longer and it will help you get back in the gym sooner. There are many fitness supplements out there that you think might work, but you aren’t all that sure. Well if you get some good BCAA’s you won’t be thinking, you will be knowing that it works. BCAA’s have really aided in muscle recovery for me, and this goes a long way, helping you get bigger, faster.

For a list of some of the best BCAA products on the market >CLICK HERE<

 

Do you supplement BCAA’s and have a review? Or do you have a comment or question? Either way, comment below.

 

Source:

Glyn Howatson, Michael Hoad, Stuart Goodall, Jamie Tallent, Phillip G Bell and Duncan N French. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:20

Workout Muscle Every Day – My Personal Experience

Have you ever heard of working out the same muscle every daworkoutmuscleeverydayy to bring up and build lagging body
parts? It is a lesser known way of training that is
slowly being more and more recognized. There haven’t been any scientific studies to prove this method worthy, but I personally can vouch for this training method as it has helped me bring up both my traps and biceps.

Have you ever seen people that have extraordinary muscles just from going about a daily work (not workout) routine. If it is in someone’s line of work to push heavy wheelbarrows around everyday then chances are they have overdeveloped traps and biceps. You see examples like this all the time and don’t even realize it. Using the same muscles over and over again day after day leads to overdeveloped muscles compared to others.

My Experience


As I said earlier I have used this “everyday” method for both my traps and biceps. The reason I chose to work these two muscle groups was because they were both lagging and nothing I was trying seemed to help bring them up to size.

Trapstraps

I started out with my trap training. The length of my routine was about a month and a half. I would only spend about 15 minutes per day on on this muscle group. After my normal workout I would perform what was basically one huge dropset/superset which consisted of different shoulder shrug variations. Basically I would pick a weight that I could rep out about 30 times. I would go to failure each time. So to start I would do 30 reps, set the bar down (very briefly), do more until failure, set bar down (briefly), and repeat this until 15 minutes was up.

What I noticed with this method was this: during the month and a half that I was working my traps out every day, they always seemed to have somewhat of a pump. They were bigger in size right off the bat from the pump, but it wasn’t until after that I saw the real gains. After this period of everyday trap workouts I took over a week break from direct trap workouts (still did my usual back and shoulders which works traps, but not directly). Then I resumed back to my normal routine where I would train every muscle about once every 5 days. It was at this time that my traps really started to develop and this time it wasn’t just a pump, it was real muscle.

Since my traps had always been lagging behind and the fact that this “everyday” method was the only change in my workout routine, I can without a doubt attribute my trap muscle growth to this method.

Bicepsbicepcurls

I didn’t try this method with my biceps until a while later. Biceps I trained slightly differently than traps but got the same good results.

I performed lower reps during my “everyday” workouts for my biceps due to the range of motion. Bicep curls (any variation) have such a larger range of motion than shoulder shrugs. So you would do less repetitions for biceps to have the same time under tension as that for your shoulder shrugs.

I would usually pick a weight I could do about 15 to 20 reps with and workout with it for 15 minutes just as  I did with my  trap work.

The results were virtually the same. After my week or so break I resumed my normal workout routine and saw gains shortly thereafter.

Tips for “Everyday” Training


Because this method can be quite taxing on the particular area you are training, I would suggest using fairly light weight. As you see from my example I chose a weight I could do 30 reps with for my trap workouts and 15-20 reps for my bicep workouts.

Focus more on a pump rather than strength, and forget about form. Train “piston” style. Train how you have to in order to pump as much blood into your muscles as possible.

Using a light weigh and focusing more on a pump will beat your muscles down day after day, but it won’t be overly hard on your joints.

Try it for Yourself


Its really not as bad as you think. Just throw it in at the end of your normal workouts. You can count it as cardio if you want because its going to leave you out of breath.

Try it for any muscle you want. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work other muscles other than the ones I have tried.

Remember the basic structure is this: Workout same muscle everyday (I would suggest at least a month and a half as I did), take a break from directly working out this muscle (a week or so), then resume your normal training routine and watch your gains happen.

The evidence of this method working is all around you from people that are not even trying to build up their muscles. If you specifically try to build your muscles like this you will make gains as I did. So give this method a try if you are stuck at a plateau or you just want to bring up some muscles.

 

If you have any questions or comments about this method comment below.

 

 

 

 

Aminogen Supplements – To Better Absorb Protein

Aminogen is a patented blend of the digestive proteases, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. It helps your body break down protein into its individual amino acids to be absorbed more easily. For more information on Aminogen >click here<

Aminogen is added to high quality protein supplements to benefit you in building muscle. It can also be bought and supplemented separately. Below is a list of high quality protein supplements with Aminogen as an ingredient along with Aminogen only supplements. Note: cheap proteins do not include Aminogen; you get what you pay for.

Protein Supplements with Aminogen


 1. Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard, Double Rich Chocolate (5 Pound)optimumnutritionwheylabeloptimumnutritionwhey

Servings – 74

Protein/serving – 24 grams

Aminogen? – Yes

Price – $57.99 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: In my opinion protein doesn’t get much better than this. Optimum Nutrition is always bringing quality supplements to the market. This whey protein is more than just that. It also comes with 5.5g amino acids, 4g glutamine & glutamic acid, and of course Aminogen. If you favor the chocolate flavor then this should suite you well. Its called “double rich chocolate” for a reason. Its very chocolaty but in my opinion not too chocolaty.

Not a chocolate fan? Maybe try this ON Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla then.

 

2. Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein, Chocolate (4 Pound)ONcaseinlabelOPcaseinprotein

Servings – 53

Protein/serving – 24 grams

Aminogen? – Yes

Price – $48.95 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: Casein protein is excellent in different ways than whey protein. It takes longer to absorb, which you would think is a negative trait, however it is beneficial if you take it before fasting, such as sleeping. That way protein is provided for recovery slowly over a longer period of time. Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein is well, optimum. Its formula is enhanced with an added 9+ grams of essential amino acids and the one and only Aminogen for better absorption. This also comes in 12 different flavors.

 

3.GNC Pro Performance AMP Gold 100 Percent Whey Protein Advanced gncwheylabelcloseupPowder Double Rich Chocolate (2.05 Pound)gncwheylabel

Servings – 30

Protein/serving – 24 grams

Aminogen? – Yes

Price – $36.89 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: You already know of GNC. Its a trustworthy brand that brings quality products such as this. This protein also provides you with 5.5g of BCAA’s and 4g of glutamine. The digestive enzymes included are 100mg of Aminogen and Lactase for easier nutrient breakdown and absorption. The double rich chocolate flavor here is perfection. You will enjoy and look forward to drinking your protein shake.

 

4. Myotein by XPI, Chocolate (2.2 pounds)     myoteinlabelmyotein

Servings – 27

Protein/serving – 26 grams

Aminogen? – Yes

Price – $42.70 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: The great part of Myotein that stands out from other proteins is its protein blend. It includes a mixture of 5 different types of protein, including whey protein hydrolosate, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, micellar casein, L-glutamine, and colostrum. All of these proteins have slightly different absorption rates which means the protein will be absorbed over a longer time range, leading to more absorption. On top of that it includes the patented digestive protease Aminogen, which will increase protein absorption even more. Theres no doubt this protein powder blend is high quality and will do the job its supposed to. Its flavors include chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate/vanilla.

 

5. MCT Lean Vegan Protein Blend, Natural Vanilla (1.23 pounds)veganproteinlabelveganprotein

Servings – 14

Protein/serving – 20 grams

Aminogen? – Yes

Price – $19.00 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: I couldn’t leave out the vegans. This protein features a blend of plant proteins which include pea protein isolate and rice protein concentrate. It includes no soy, dairy, gluten, or lactose. Also, it is a non-GMO. A bonus of this vegan protein blend is that it has 4g of fiber per serving. That right there will help you get more out of what you are consuming. Added to that is Aminogen, which will increase your protein absorption. This products is flavored using natural vanilla.

 

Aminogen Supplements


 

 1. Herbalife Aminogen (60 Tablets)                    herbalifeaminogenherbalifeaminogen1

Servings – 60

Aminogen/serving – 250 mg

Price – $17.75 & Free Shipping

Where to Buy – Amazon

Comments: This supplement’s main ingredient is Aminogen. Its serving size of Aminogen is 250mg, which is an adequate dose.

 

Comment below if you have any questions or if you would like to review any of these supplements..

Body Not Absorbing Protein? Try This and Get More Out of Your Protein

When people think ofproteinabsorption building more muscle they often overlook protein absorption. In order to build muscle your
body needs to synthesize more protein in the muscles than it breaks down; so your body not absorbing protein in the first place is detrimental. The body must have enough protein available to synthesize for optimal gains.

But did you know that your body may be absorbing a substantailly lesser amount than you are consuming? Due to the inhibibion of endogenous digestive enzymes from over-processing of proteins and a short intestine transit time, you could only be absorbing 15g of protein for every 50g consumed (1). Thats only 30% absorption!

The processing that happens during the manufacturing of protein powders, such as pressurized microfiltration

increase chart

  Protein Absorption

and dry spraying, make it more difficult for the body to break down the protein into its individual amino acids. Protein must be broken down into these individual amino acids in order to be absorbed. So the processes used can actually hinder your body’s ability to absorb and make use of the protein consumed.

This is where Aminogen® comes into play. Aminogen® is a mixture of the digestive proteases (enzymes), Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. These two enzymes have the ability to break down proteins into their individual amino acids. This leads to easier and more absorption. Some high quality protein powders actually have Aminogen® added to them for better results.

Study of Aminogen®’s Power to Increase Protein Absorption


In a modern study of Aminogen®, Julius Oben et al. conducted a study which was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The study tested the absorption of whey protein concentrate (commonly used) with and without the supplementation of Aminogen®.

How it Was Conducted

In the study two groups of healthy male test subjects, aging 19 – 35 years old, were used. To begin each test subject consumed 50g of whey protein concentrate first thing in the morning without any Aminogen®. Following the 9 days each group then consumed 50g of whey protein concentrate first thing in the morning with 2.5 to 5 grams of Aminogen®. Each person acted as their own control and test subject. So there could not be any error due to different body’s digestion abilities.

During each part of the study the subjects’ blood was tested for amino acid (AA) and CRP (C-reactive protein) analyses at 0 hr, 0.5 hr, 1 hr, 2 hr, 3 hr, 3.5 hr and 4 hr. Eighteen amino acids were measured including alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine.

Urine samples were tested every 24 hours to measure N2 levels. N2 excretion is used to determine the amount of protein eliminated by the body.

With the measurement of N2 levels and the measurement of serum levels of the listed amino acids, the amount of protein absorption was able to be determined.

Results

The results of the experiment showed that the protein absorption was significantly higher with the supplementation of Aminogen®. This is able to be seen by looking at the amount of N2 excretion, which is the amount of protein being eliminated by the body. This study showed a significant decrease in average N2 excretion in the test subjects who supplemented with Aminogen®  of 7.3 g compared to a much higher 10.18 g in the test subjects who only took whey protein concentrate.  This is equivalent to approximately 44.6 g and 63.6 g of protein waste, respectively (1). So as you see the group who supplemented Aminogen® had nearly 20g less protein eliminated from the body. In theory that means they had about 20g more protein absorbed by the body.

Besides measuring N2 levels there were also several other analysis techniques used to support this finding.

Don’t Buy Cheap Protein Supplements


If you are buying cheap protein supplements, chances are the processing techniques used to manufacture the protein is inhibiting your body’s ability to absorb and make use of the protein. You might be better off buying a quality protein, that has Aminogen® added to it, and using less of it than you would a cheap protein supplement.

Whats the point of buying cheap protein if your body isn’t going to use a large portion of it? Answer: There is no point. Protein supplements are not created equal. You often get what you pay for.

 

Comments? Questions? Write in the comment section below.

 

Sources

(1)Julius Oben, Shil C Kothari, and Mark L Anderson. An open label study to determine the effects of an oral proteolytic enzyme system on whey protein concentrate metabolism in healthy malesJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:10

Click Here to See Study

Knees Hurt After Squats – Importance of Depth

So your knees hurt after squats? If this is you then you may want to consider the range of motion you use when squatsquatting. How low do you go? This is important due to the amount of pressure that is put on the knee throughout the movement.

The old belief was that going below parallel was much harder on the knees and could lead to all sorts of pain and problems, however this has changed due to much more recent studies. Squatting deeply was studied by the University of Texas’ Dr. Karl Klein in 1961 in which he found that deep squats (below parallel) had detrimental effects on the knees (1).  After this “proof” the American Medical Association positioned with Dr. Klein on deep squats being damaging to knee ligaments. This led to a very widespread belief, Doctors began to recommend squatting above parallel as well as athletic coaches.

Later, after the belief had already made its impact, flaws in the test published in 1961 were brought to light. One of Dr. Klein’s test subjects, Bill Starr NFL strength and conditioning coach, outlined basic flaws in the test that would have lead to inaccuracy in the results. Also, no other researchers were able to duplicate Klein’s results.

New Study Brings Change

In 2013 a study was performed to see whether deep squats lead to increased injury in the knees and lumbar spine. It was conducted by Hagen Hartmann, et. al. from the Department of Human Movement Science and Athletic Training, Institute of Sports Sciences at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Judging from biomechanical calculations and measurements made on cadaver knee joints, the scientists found that the highest retropatellar compressive forces and stresses on the knees are at 90 degrees, or parallel. Increased flexion (deeper squats) leads to the wrapping effect which means that the load (weight) is distributed more evenly and there is force transfered with lower retropatellar compressive forces (2).

Claims that deep squats lead to chondromalacia, osteoarthritis, and osteochondritis were unproven.

In fact, quite the opposite was found. When working with the same load configuration in squats with less range of motion, such as half/quarter squats, supra-maximal weight loads actually increase likelihood of  degenerative knee changes and vertibre long term (2).

So Go DEEP

Squats are probably the most under-ranged exercise there is. What I mean is that this is usually the exercise where people avoid full range of motion like a plague. It could be due to the large increase in difficulty when going below parallel or just that it is difficult to judge how far you are actually going down when you cannot see for yourself.

Try your best not to cheat yourself. Going deeper is deeper leads to more muscle activation which means more muscle gains and of course healthier knees.

If you have knee problems try giving deeper squats a try for a month or two and see if there is any positive changes.

 

Comment below if you have questions or just anything to add.

 

 

Sources

(1) Klein K. The deep squat exercise as utilized in weight training for athletes and its effects on the ligaments of the knee. J Assoc Phys Ment Rehabil 15: 6–11, 1961.

(2) Hartmann H, Wirth K, Klusemann M. Analysis of the load on the knee joint and vertebral column with changes in squatting depth and weight load. Sports Med. 43(10):993-1008, 2013.

Creatine Monohydrate vs Creatine HCl

Creatine is one of the most studied and proven beneficial supplements of the fitness world. How does it benefit you? To summarize very briefly, it donates phosphate groups for the synthesis of ATP. ATP is what provides your body with energy. So more ATP = more muscle cell energy = more muscular strength and growth

The importance of the form in which creatine is binded is its ability to be absorbed into the body. A creatine that is easily absorbed will be more beneficial to improving muscle mass and strength gains. When comparing creatine monohydrate vs creatine HCl it is difficult due to lack of studies. There are literally hundreds of studies for creatine monohydrate yet those for HCl are lacking. Anyone who has taken creatine HCl can attest to it being as effective as monohydrate in much smaller doses. However, there only one scientific study on creatine HCl and this study was perfomed by ProMera Health, which sells the popular “Concret” creatine HCl. So you can see the conflict of interest here.

Is There a Difference in the Stomach Breakdown

The claim that creatine HCl breaks down easier and is absorbed better by the body than creatine monohydrate does not seem likely. Why? Because both forms of creatine dissociate in the stomach fluid and you are left with free creatine.

Creatine HCl Claims

As I stated before, ProMera Health claims to have conducted studies on creatine HCl and its absorption benefits. However, these studies have not been published. It is claimed that laboratory studies have shown creatine HCl to be 40 times more water soluble than creatine monohydrate. Also, for humans studies, it has shown much greater absorption. During a research study when two different groups consumed the same amount of creatine, one creatine monohydrate and other creatine HCl. The results showed that the absorption in the test subject’s intestines was 60% greater for creatine HCl.

But once again. These studies have not been published, nor have any been conducted by an independent party to prove its effectiveness.

Creatine Monohydrate StudiesScientist

The number of creatine monohydrate studies is in the hundreds. The effects of this form of creatine are undisputable. To measure the absorption of creatine by the body the creatine plasma level is measured. The standard dosage of creatine monohydrate is 5-10g depending on body mass. Most tests conclude that 0.1g of creatine per kg of body mass is optimal (3). This amount increases the bioavailability of creatine to roughly 99% (2 & 3). It doesn’t get any better than that.

Which Is Better? Final Answer

The key characteristic that makes one form of creatine better than another is its ability to be absorbed by the body. Creatine monohydrate is proven to absorb fairly well by the body. By taking 0.1g of creatine per kg of body mass you can reach your body’s optimal bioavailability of creatine (200lb person = 9.07g creatine).

However, if you take creatine HCl your body absorbs 60% more creatine than it would creatine in the monohydrate form, ALLEGEDLY. Than means the optimal dose would be about 60% less than that of creatine mono.

Since there is no concrete evidence it really comes down to you testing it out for yourself and seeing if you notice a difference. I have used both forms for months at a time and I do truly believe that creatine HCl is absorbed better than creatine monohydrate due to the results I saw from taking much smaller doses. However, I recommend sticking with the good old monohydrate due to the considerable amount of positive evidence proven from scientific studies, its cheap availability, and its tastelessness.

I don’t really care that I have to take a little more to get the same effect. It is still cheaper to take it. As far as the taste goes, its great. Why? Because it doesn’t have a taste (if you buy pure), unlike creatine HCl which has a sour flavor to it.

If you are interested in finding some of the best creatine monohydrate products out there then I suggest you look into Creapure brand creatine. It is guaranteed 99.95% pure and it is affordable. If you are interested in creatine HCl then you I suggest Con-cret by Promera Sports, the original creatine HCl.

 

Studies:

 1. Ralf Jäger, Martin Purpura, Andrew Shao, Toshitada Inoue, and Richard B. Kreider. Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine. Amino Acids. 2011 May; 40(5): 1369–1383.

2. Ralf Jäger, Roger C Harris, Martin Purpura, and Marc Francaux. Comparison of new forms of creatine in raising plasma creatine levels. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012, 9:33 doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.

3. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012, 9:33 doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.

 

Foods with Leucine – The Best of Them

Leucine is an essential branch chain amino acid (BCAA). It is very important if you are looking to build muscle due to its capability to increase protein synthesis. To read more about leucine’s importance visit this post on leucine: http://naturalmusclegains.com/increase-protein-synthesis-naturally-presenting-leucine 

If you want to save some money and increase your leucine intake without buying supplements then you need to incorporate these foods with leucine in high amounts. Note: there are many more foods with leucine out there. These are just some of the more common foods with high leucine content.

1. Eggs (raw)Usda_eggs

  • 1.086g leucine per 100g
  • 1 large egg (about 60.95g) = 0.66g leucine

 

 

 

 

2. Tuna (canned)tuna2

  • 2.64g leucine per 6oz (170g) canned tuna

 

 

 

 

 

3. Cottage Cheese (low fat)Cottage_Cheese

  • 0.4g leucine per 1oz (~28g) portion
  • 1 cup serving = 3.23g leucine

 

 

 

 

 

4. Parmesan Cheeseparmesan-cheese

  • 0.97g leucine per 1oz (~28g) cheese
  • 1 cup = 7.76g leucine

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Beef (95% lean)beef

  • 2.9g leucine per 6oz (170g) of steak
  • 3 0z serving = 1.45g leucine

 

 

 

 

6. Chicken Breastchicken-breast

  • 2.9g leucine per 6oz (170g) of chicken breast
  • 3 0z serving = 1.45g leucine

 

 

 

7. Tilapiatilapia-fish-1398846

  • 1.8g leucine per 100g tilapia
  • 4oz fillet (common) = 2.016g leucine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporate these common foods into your diet to boost your leucine intake.

I, myself, am a spirulina advocate and this happens to contain a great deal of leucine. So you may want to consider this. Although not a common food, it contains 1.51g leucine per ounce which is more than any of the above foods.

 

What Foam Roller to Buy ? Consider the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

So you’re searching online and don’t know what foam roller to buy? You don’t want just any roller. You want one that lasts. I understand that because I did a good bit of research before I bought mine. I purchased the TriggerPoint Grid foam roller about a year ago and am very pleased with its quality and effectiveness. With that said I want to give you a brief review of this product so you can see if you think its the right one for you.

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Rollertriggerpoint-foam-roller

Price – $27 – $40 (depending on color)

Cheapest Place to Buy – Amazon

Colors – Orange, Black, Lime, Pink, Camo

Customer Rating – 4.7/5 (with 2,700 reviews!)

 

 

Product Overview

This roller’s design is patented. It features a grid-like multi-density EVA foam design on the outside. The inside is composed of a strong and rigid plastic that keeps its shape round shape. The foam exterior along with its strong plastic hollow core can support up to 500lbs.

Benefitsfoam-roller

Rollers can loosen up the muscles, improving flexibility, and blood circulation and decreasing muscle and bone pains. These improvements can even to better balance and even smoother movements, such as the someone’s manner of walking.

This roller’s grid foam design helps better knead the muscles, relieving tension and pain.

My Thoughts (summary=it works)

I have used many other rollers in the past, but the TriggerPoint Grid foam roller is the first one I purchased myself. The difference between this one and others, such as solid foam roller or rollers that have a smooth surface, is big.

I’ve seen how solid foam rollers get worn out all too fast. They tend to get worn out faster and lose their round shape. The hollow design of the TriggerPoint roller helps keep this from happening and it does a good job. I’ve had mine for about a year now and its shape is round as round can be.

The other thing I love about this product compared to some others is its grid-like foam design. It may not make a huge difference but it does make a difference in the ability to loosen up the muscles. It does a better job at massaging the muscles than the smooth surface rollers that are out there.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a great quality foam roller that is extremely effective in relieving muscle tension and giving your body a nice massage then you should at the very least consider the TriggerPoint Grid foam roller. Its available at what I would say is a decent price on Amazon.com for $27 to $40. The price ranges depending on the color you choose.

Oh and also there are a couple different sizes available. The one I have is the 13in original but there is also:

 

If you have any questions/comments or have a review of your own let me know by commenting below.

The Vegetable With the Most Protein, is Bad?

I present to you SOYBEANS. Soybeans has many benefits, but is it overall beneficial? Or do its negative aspects outweigh the benefits? Lets first take a look at

Lynn Betts / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service., via Wikimedia Commons
Lynn Betts / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service., via Wikimedia Commons

The Goods

For those of you who do not know, yes soybeans are a great source of protein. Soybeans’ protein content according to the USDA is as follows:

  • boiled – 29 grams protein per cup (172g) = 17% protein 
  • raw – 68 grams protein per cup (186g) = 37% protein
  • roasted – 61 grams protein per cup (172g) = 35% protein
  • steamed (sprouted soybeans) – 8 grams of protein per cup (94g) = 9% protein

As you can see the protein content varies greatly depending on how and if the soybeans are cooked. This mostly has to do with the amount of water used in the process. As you can see the boiled soybeans have much less protein content than the roasted (not counting the steamed soybeans because they are sprouted). This is because protein from the soybeans has leached into the water during the process.

Besides the ProteinHealth_pictogram


Besides the protein soybeans have other benefits. In fact soybeans are the only vegetable to contain all eight essential amino acids.

They also are comprised of about 19% fat, mostly unsaturated. Of the fat 63% is polyunsaturated, 23% is monounsaturated, and 14% is saturated. The polyunsaturated fat provides omega-3 fatty acid which is rare in plant foods. Omega-3 fatty acid will reduce your chances of cancer and heart disease.

Fiber is also a great benefit of soybean consumption. One cup of raw soybeans (100g) will give you about 9g of fiber. As you may know fiber can help with digestion and nutrient absorption.

Other nutrients obtained from soybeans are niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of cooked (boiled) soybeans will provide you with approximately 2.7mg of niacin, 0.4mg of vitamin B6, 94ug of folic acid, 172mg of calcium, 8.84mg of iron, and 148mg of magnesium.

The Bads


The percentage of soybeans that are genetically modified is astronomically high. Its thought to be around 99%.  Also, contamination from the extensive use of pesticides is common. There are also many negatives that have to do with the nature of the soybean itself.

 Phytic Acid Content

Phytic acid has been the subject of an incredibly lot of studies and the conclusion is agreed upon; phytic acid blocks minerals from being absorbed into the body during digestion. Calcium, magnesium, and zinc in particular are affected by this. The overused grain and legume diets of third world countries are a common cause of mineral deficiencies.

Anti-Trypsin Activity

According to the American Nutrition Association soybeans are an anti-coagulant. This means that they can reduce the ability of blood to clot. It is thought that the reason is because of soybeans having anti-trypsin activity. Trypsine is an enzyme that assists in digesting protein and is active in the assimilation of vitamin B-12. This reduced activity of trypsine can decrease the synthesis of proteins and lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Phytoestrogens

Yes you see it in the name “estrogens”. Phytoestrogens are similar to the estrogen hormone on a chemical level. You may think of estrogen as the female hormone because of its importance in feminine qualities. It plays a big rule in pregnancy and childbirth. It helps to create gene expression, making females and males different.

Isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens, activate estrogen receptors in the body.  These isoflavones are not nearly as strong as the body’s natural estrogen and only weakly activate the receptors. However, they do have an effect.

There are many stories of people that experienced severe negative effects from extensive soy product consumption, from emotional changes and physical changes. With eating too much soy you could find yourself crying more easily or even developing gynecomastia.

Final Thoughts

Be smart. You can eat soy but do so in moderation, as you should with everything. If you are looking for a protein powder go with whey or casein before you go with soy. Protein synthesis isn’t as high with soy protein as it is with the others.

 

Comments are welcome below :)