Supplements or No Supplements? That is the Question.

When going to the gym, it is easy to run into two types of people. Some take supplements to improve their performance, and some do not take them as they feel they are a waste of money or do not work as intended. While both people argue about this, anyone who wants to know the truth must do some research. Here is a quick guide to understand that supplements do, in fact, help a person.

Protein

First and foremost, a smart bodybuilder will take supplements with protein. This is almost guaranteed. Whether someone is a vegetarian, vegan or meat-eater, they will find a way to get more protein. When ingesting higher amounts of protein, one can build their muscles faster as they will repair easily. Of course, most do not want to eat a lot of meat or other proteins, so they opt for a shake. Without a doubt, whether one wants to gain a lot of muscle or get in shape, they must take a protein supplement.

Make Up For a Poor Diet

In modern times, it is hard to have a perfect diet. Even when one eats at healthy places and reads labels, they will not get everything they need. This is hard to combat without taking the right vitamins and supplements. Luckily, there are so many available that an individual can make up for any deficiency in his or her diet.

Energy

When working out, many do not have the energy to finish. This is unfortunate as it is wise to work out as hard as possible. Now, with legal and widely available supplements, one can enjoy a lot of energy throughout the workout. This is more important than people realize as it is hard to get into shape when one has no energy.

Electrolytes

It is easy to suffer from dehydration. This is certainly true when one lifts weights or does a cardiovascular exercise such as cycling or jogging. To prevent this, most opt to drink copious amounts of water. Sadly, this only goes so far and many end up missing out on a complete workout. To combat this problem, one should drink supplements with electrolytes. With this, they will not get dehydrated during at the gym.

Without a doubt, supplements help a person get in better shape. With that in mind, it is wise to buy high quality products as they will work well when combined with a solid workout routine.

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Do Fat Burners Help or Harm Muscle Growth?

Supplement fat burners seem to fill the aisles of every health and fitness nutrition store in recent years. While many of these supplements are well known to stimulate weight loss, body builders and other athletes need to weigh the benefits of weight loss against potential harm to muscle growth. There is no clear-cut answer as to whether these supplements help or harm muscle growth since each supplement works in a unique way.

Thermogenic reactions are some of the most common ways that weight-loss supplements work. A thermogenic reaction causes the body temperature to rise by approximately one degree, resulting in a higher metabolism. These supplements must be used in combination with a regular exercise regimen if significant fat loss and muscle growth is to be achieved. While thermogenic reactions are not proven to assist muscle growth, there is no evidence that they harm muscle growth.

Not all fat burners work through thermogenic reactions. Many simply work by inhibiting the appetite and boosting energy, making it easier to make healthy choices and have a productive workout. While increased energy is not directly related to boosting muscle growth, these fat burners can give you the extra boost you need to have a more intense workout and increase your progress. However, these substances may also have the opposite effect if they lead you to strain your muscles by overworking them because you feel like you have more energy than you really do. Muscle growth occurs when the body is fully rested, so any substance that causes over-stimulation can run the risk of harming muscle growth. Generally, whether energy-boosting fat burners help or harm muscle growth depends on your individual reaction to the substance.

Dosage

Another major consideration when examining the effects of fat burners on muscle growth is dosage. While some fat burners can lead to workout habits that are conducive to muscle growth, taking more than the recommended dose can have negative consequences. One of those consequences is reduced muscle growth or even muscle damage. It is important not to exceed the recommended dosage for any fat burner product in order to make sure that the substance is effective and not harmful to your particular body chemistry.

Overall, fat burners can be a great way to supplement your diet, but they should not be used in place of a regular muscle-building routine. There is no solid evidence that these supplements promote or hinder muscle growth one way or another.

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Can Creatine Cause Kidney Stones?

Creatine has rapidly become one the most used and most liked workout supplements. This supplement works well with protein powders. Protein enables you to build more muscle. And creatine enables you to work much harder while you workout. So what you get is a powerful combination that can help you build strength and muscle mass in a quick and efficient manner. Over 80 percent of users report increases in strength after using creatine.

Generally speaking, creatine is viewed as safe to use. However, there is much speculation that it has an adverse effect on kidneys. For those contemplating taking creatine as a workout supplement, it’s important to look at both studies and personal anecdotes.

What Have the Studies Shown about Creatine and Kidney Stones?

Can creatine cause kidney stones? Well, up until now, there is no conclusive evidence that it does. Some recent studies have even strongly refuted the notion that the supplements cause this condition. Even more studies have stated that the oral intake of five to 20 grams daily does not carry any negative side effects. Creatine has been researched very heavily over the last 10 years, but still more studies should be done to be 100 percent sure it does not cause kidney stones. Most experts, though, confidently agree that creatine is likely safe.

Overusing creatine over an extended period of time does have some consequences and could lead to kidney failure. Hence, it is important to take creatine in low to moderate doses as instructed. UCLA studies have found that creatine intake over a lengthy period of time can cause added stress on the kidney; however, this does not have an impact on those with healthy kidneys. If you suffer from kidney disease, it is highly recommended to take something else.

Why are People Concerned that Creatine Causes Kidney Stones?

One thing that has concerned users is that research has shown that creatine increases urinary concentration. Kidney stones are the formation of small urine crystals into a hard mass. Some people worry that higher urine concentration increases the chances of developing these stones. That, though, may not be as true as thought.

Many users and nutritionists also often advise those just beginning to use creatine to drink lots of water. This is because creatine is thought to cause dehydration, which has not been proven and has even been refuted by some experts. Doctors also tell those who have developed kidney stones to drink lots of water. Some of the creatine users who happen to have kidney stones may think the advice to drink water is because creatine causes kidney stones. This has not been proven at all. Nevertheless, as a person into health and fitness, it’s vital that you drink enough water.

Considerations Before Taking Creatine

Consult with a doctor before you start using this supplement. Make sure you are not allergic to creatine. Also, if you suffer from kidney disease, liver disease, or severe asthma, it is not a good idea to take this workout supplement. Again, do not exceed normal limits as this can increase chances of actual kidney damage. Creatine, if taken correctly by healthy people, does not have any negative impact.

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Are Biceps Just For Show?

Let’s face it: Our culture jealously praises men that can erect it in extra-large sizes. You can just look at a guy and tell! It’s sometimes hard to say who is more obsessed with its size, men or women. I am of course talking about the venerable biceps. How can it be that such a small muscle group commands such an outsized influence on our appreciation of the human form? Do the guns actually perform a vital task that no other muscle can lay claim to? Or is the bicep all for show?

The Ancients were Fixated Too!

The bicep is such an iconic feature of the human anatomy that that the word muscle itself is derived from the mighty guns. In Latin, musculus (or “little mouse”) alludes to the shape of the flexed biceps resembling the backside of a mouse. That’s right: The mighty biceps actually reminded the Romans of a little screeching mouse! So go ahead and flex ’em to see for yourself if they really do live up to their much-hyped furry name!

Superficial or Vital?

To understand its function, we must first understand its anatomy. The biceps are actually made up of two muscular bundles, hence the name. Both of these bundles link the elbow to different areas of the shoulder blade. By contracting (or flexing) the links together, we can bring the elbow closer to the upper arm.

Culturally, all red-blooded able-bodied men aspire to cultivate it. Fortunately, it is a rather easy muscle to work out. Being so small relative to the other muscle groups, not much exertion is required. Well known exercises, like the bicep curls and the pull-ups, are all that is require to condition it to its maximum form.

Unfortunately, this small size also comes at a disadvantage: Despite it prominence, it actually plays only a minor role in punching, lifting, pulling and other physically demanding moves. The quads that make up the upper legs, the deltoids that form the shoulders and the back muscles are far more deeply involved in these exercises. In fact, the triceps, located just behind the biceps, play a far more prominent role in activities that require the backing of the upper arm.

Final Thoughts

Sure, the biceps are not any more important that the other muscle groups. Yet size-obsessed men and women continue their love affair with this little muscle. So, if it is praise you are after, remember: The biceps still maketh the man!

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Can What You Wear to the Gym Affect Your Workout?

Many individuals hoping to get in shape wonder if what you wear to the gym can actually affect your workout. The answer to that question is yes, what you wear to the gym can affect your workout. There are several different reasons what you wear affects your workout.

State Of Mind

Your state of mind while working out is one of the most important aspects of working out. Lack of motivation leads to poor performance and poor results. Getting in the right state of mind to workout happens before you get to the gym. It is important to be properly rested, eat a good meal and be properly dressed. If you are in the right state of mind to workout, odds are you are going to have a good workout.

Comfort Level

What you wear to the gym affects every bit of your comfort level. If you are not comfortable while working out, you are not going to be concentrating on working out. Apparel comfort during your workout includes everything from shirt and pants to socks and shoes. Properly fitting apparel (meaning not too loose, but not too tight) is important so that skin does not become irritated during the workout. Clothing that is too loose will cause irritation and clothing that is too tight will restrict movement.

Proper Footwear

Depending on what kind of exercises you are participating in will decide what type of footwear is your best option. Some workouts require minimal footwork, while other workouts require rigorous footwork. There are athletic shoes specifically designed for each different type of workout. Proper support and stability is imperative to perform at your best.

Proper Clothing Materials for Temperature

The type of material clothing is made out of affects workouts in different temperatures. Wearing a 100 percent dark colored cotton shirt and shorts during the middle of a humid summer can cause internal body temperature to rise to extremes and cause overheating. During extremely cold months, if layers are not worn, the body can become too cold and go into shock.

What you wear to the gym can affect every aspect of your workout. To get a good workout in, it is suggested to plan ahead and have comfortable gym attire. You get the best out of your workout if you are in the proper mindset for a good workout and properly clothed.

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How to Stay Fit When You Travel A Lot

Whether it’s jetting off for a business trip or a weeklong family vacation, you probably already know it’s going to throw off your regular fitness routine. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just sit back, relax and ignore your health.

 To make sure you stay as fit as possible when you’re on the road, here are some tips to keep in mind:

 Pack Your Workout

 If you have the room in your luggage, consider packing a jump rope, resistance band and heart rate monitor. These simple items can help you burn the fat if used effectively. If you’re unsure of what exercise you should take advantage of, consider downloading some free fitness apps on your smartphone.

 Hit the Store

 Before you arrive at your hotel, stop by the closet grocery store to stock up on some healthy items. Just like at home, fill the refrigerator will vegetables, fruits and other easy-to-eat snacks. With some easy planning, it’s easy to grab a healthy treat when you’re hungry or heading out the door.

 Explore the Town

 If you’re in a town you’re not familiar with, start exploring the town by foot. If you’re unsure on where to go, consider asking the front desk about local attractions or use your favorite travel app. Walking the town is a great way to explore local shopping districts, parks, neighborhoods and have fun at the same time.

 The Fitness Center

 Just about every hotel you plan on staying at is going to have some sort of fitness center. If you work out at a gym at home, just replace the fitness center with your gym schedule. Most of the time, these fitness centers will have the basic equipment that you need to satisfy your workout needs.

 Drink Water

 When you’re traveling by plane and when lounging in your hotel room, avoid the alcoholic and sugary drinks. These drinks are just going to dehydrate you and make you feel worse. As a habit, stock your refrigerator with a refreshing pack of water.

 Relax

 Traveling is already stressful as it is. If you stress out about the traveling and accomplishing your workout routine, you’re going to drive yourself up a wall. Just keep in mind that you’re probably not going to be able to work out like you do at home. As long as you try your hardest, there’s no reason you won’t come home in the same condition you left.

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How do Amino Acids Help Me Build Muscle?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. A complete protein contains all 20 of the essential, conditionally essential and non-essential amino acids. Amino acids help your body build lean muscle by repairing the damage to skeletal muscle caused by physical stress, i.e. weight training exercises.

Weight or athletic strength training damages muscles causing breakdown at the cellular level. The subsequent repair and recovery of the muscle fibers results in greater strength, increased lean muscle mass and increased basal metabolic rate (i.e. more capacity to burn calories). Without an adequate supply of amino acids, the body cannot repair, recover, grow and positively adapt to progressive resistance. As a result athletic performance does not improve, may plateau or even may regress, i.e. overtraining. Continue reading

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Five Rules Every Workout Plan Should Have

Regular exercise is important. It will not only keep you in shape, but it will also help reduce your chances of developing numerous chronic health conditions. However, in order to get the most out of your workout plan, you will have to follow certain guidelines. Below are five important fitness rules that every fitness plan should include:

Combine Cardio and Weight Training

 You may have heard that cardio training is best for helping promote weight loss. However, recent studies have shown that the people who get the best results are the ones who combine resistance with cardio training. You will burn more calories when you are doing cardiovascular exercise, but weight training helps you burn more calories when you are at rest.

Listen to Your Body

 You have probably heard of “no pain, no gain.” While it is normal to experience some discomfort when you are exercising, you should not be in pain. It is important for you to listen to your body and stop if you begin to experience pain. You should also stop exercising if you experience dizziness, weakness, unexplained fatigue or chest heaviness.

Progress Slowly

 There is nothing wrong with setting the bar high for your fitness goals. However, if you set your goals too high, then you may end up getting frustrated. That is why you should set small goals and progress slowly. For example, if you have set a long-term goal to run 10 miles, then you can start off by running two miles every day and then increasing your distance by a mile each week.

Always Warm Up and Cool Down

 Many people skip the warm up and get right into their workout, but this is something that you should avoid doing. If you skip warming up you are much more likely to get injured while you are exercising. You should spend at least five minutes warming up before you start exercising. You should also spend five minutes cooling down after you have completed your workout.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

 When you workout, your body loses a lot of sweat. This can put you at risk for becoming dehydrated. That is why you should drink water before, during and after exercise.

 In order to get the most out of your exercise, you will need to combine cardio with weight training in canadian casinos. You will also need to listen to your body, keep yourself hydrated, progress slowly and include a warm up and cool down after your workout.

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Tips on Turning Your New Year’s Resolution Into a Reality

When setting a resolution, many end up failing as they do not try hard enough or do not define their goals. One of the most popular resolutions many have is to get back into shape. However, this is hard to accomplish for a person who has a lot of bad habits. With this in mind, here are four tips on turning your New Year’s resolution into a reality.

Don’t Put It Off

 All too often, an individual will devise a plan, sign up for a gym and get excited. Then, they will not go to the gym or do any of the other activities because it is a holiday or they are “too busy”. In fact, a person who wants to shed pounds or get back into shape should sign up for a membership and head to the gym the day after New Year’s Day. With this, one will go a long way in developing a solid routine and feeling amazing again.

Buddy System

 It is easy to go to the gym and workout when going with a friend. Luckily, most people probably already know someone who also wants to get into the gym. Ideally, when planning this, a person should select another gym goer who is in the same shape as it will be easier to improve together.

A Well-Defined Goal

 One reason that people fail is they forget to come up with a solid and attainable goal. This can be something simple like losing 15 pounds or being able to bench-press 150 pounds. Either way, with a well-defined goal, it will be easier for a person to get into shape, as he or she will have something to strive for.

Don’t Try Too Hard

 While it is wise to hit the ground running and work hard, it is also smart to take time off to recover. In fact, a person should try to avoid serious exercise two days in a row. This is especially true when a person lifts weights or plays extremely competitive sports. One must remember that a day on the couch resting is just as important as the days in the gym as the body needs time to regenerate.

 When starting out on the right foot, joining up with a friend and having a well-defined strategy, a person can get back into shape with ease. Remember, there is no reason that a person, despite their age or current condition, cannot regain their former body.

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