Another Dr. Oz Miracle? Not Quite

The famous TV doctor, Dr. Oz, is at it again, with yet another “exciting” “miracle” fat-burner known as Garcinia Cambogia Extract. One of its most popular claims is that it will help you lose weight while doing nothing. He went so far as to call it the “holy grail” of weight loss. Let’s take a second and breathe before we lose our minds over a fruit extract.

This, of course, sounds like bunk to us — we firmly believe that diet and exercise are two pillars of body fat loss. We are not doubting the efficacy of a product without looking into it (which we will here shortly), but it serves as a good reminder: There are no miracles, and there are no shortcuts! That said, let’s take a look at Garcinia Cambogia, what it is and what it does.

First, Garcinia Cambogia is a fancy name for a type of tamarind — in this case, a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit usually native to Indonesia. As an herbal remedy, the extract of it has indeed been used as a weight-loss product, but there are two key caveats to this. One, its biggest attribute to that end is that it is an appetite suppressant, meaning that it itself doesn’t cause you to directly lose body fat — you just cease to be hungry when it’s consumed. This is not to be confused for satiety! It is one thing to feel full after a high-protein, high-fiber meal, because you have provided the body with nutrients it needs; the chemical reaction produced with appetite suppressants, naturally occurring or not, is entirely different and can cause health problems. In fact, the World Journal of Gastroenterology published a review of Garcinia Cambogia that linked it to hepatotoxicity — chemical-driven liver damage.

The second is that it is far from proven, and in some cases, disproved, as a weight-loss supplement. The active ingredient, supposedly, in tamarind is hydroxycitric acid; studies of it as an anti-obesity product were far from conclusive and, to a degree, found that it does nothing to fight fat: The Journal of the American Medical Association surmised that “Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo” after surveying 135 test subjects. Source

Remember: There are no miracles, and there are no shortcuts!

4 Fat Loss Diet Strategy Tips

Today we want to focus on losing body fat. This isn’t necessarily just for those who have 20 pounds to lose, either – even if you just want your muscles to be a little more well-defined or tone up your midsection a little, these tips are for you, too.  Used in conjunction with a fat loss-specific workout, these pointers should help you burn the unwanted fat in no time.

Mostly, this is stuff you’ve probably even heard already, but it’s worth repeating.

1. Try to limit refined sugars and carbohydrates. White flour, white rice, white potatoes — throw them in this category, too. These starchy foods are all equivalent of snacking on a Snickers bar, metabolically speaking. When you eat them, you’re telling your body there is some reason to save all this sugar for energy later, and it will do so — in the form of slow-burning, sustainable fat. Simply put, the fewer sugars and fast-burning carbs you eat, the less fat you’ll store.

2. You are When you eat. You read that right. The times you eat play a huge role in determining what that food gets used for, as do the times between meals. A banana and protein shake right after an intense workout will get used for replenishing broken-down muscle tissue. The exact same meal right before bed has a more adverse effect — the sugar from the banana has no purpose, no reason to shuttle protein or nutrients to a healing muscle. Into the fat stores it goes. Generally speaking, you want to taper your calories down as the day progresses, and try to cut off carb intake the closer you get to bed time.

3. Understanding glycemic weight. This can get tricky, so we’ll give you a shortcut to think of instead. Dense, whole foods like yams, meats, whole grain breads, nuts, vegetables, etc., are generally “heavier,” but on the Glycemic Index, they’re actually lower. The high-glycemic foods, the ones to avoid, are ones that you might associate as light — crackers, chips, white bread, French fries, sweets. The feeling of fullness is a good way to tell the difference, really. The latter group is more likely to actually make you more hungry. Generally, the more a food is processed or the more sugar it contains naturally, the higher it’s likely to be on the Glycemic Index, giving it a higher glycemic weight (GW). You can lower the GW of your meals by adding lower-weight foods. For instance, a nectarine is a much healthier option as a snack when combined with a few slices of Swiss cheese, some nuts or some deli meat. If you’re trying to lose fat, skip the sugar and the fruit entirely.

4. Get efficiently full. In other words, eat the smallest amount of food possible that fills your stomach the fastest. This will happen inevitably with a high-protein and -fiber diet. Imagine a meal of a moderate-sized chicken breast, a side of broccoli and a half of a yam, with a large glass of water. Without a doubt, a meal like this would leave you full! Now, consider how huge of a portion of white pasta you’d have to knock out to get that same feeling — it’d be much more food in general, with more calories, faster-burning carbs and less nutrients that actually help. In short, make the most of each calorie.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Importance of Post-Workout Supplementation

protein powder, pro7, muscle gain, fat loss

All three phases of your workout supplementation regimen are important, so it’s critical to make sure you know how to properly help fuel, perform and recover. We’ve seen this week which supplements you should take before your workout, and also how BCAAs can promote significant  muscle growth and fat loss as you exercise.

Last but not least, it’s time to recover. You’ve just left the gym, you’re feeling good, and now it’s time to put the finishing touches on your workout. What products should you go with?

For starters, you want to address muscle recovery and protein synthesis right away. The 20-minute window following your last rep is a crucial period for nutrient uptake, as your body is scouring the system for any kind of recovery support. Immediately post-workout, chug a serving of  BCAAs — yes, that’s before, during and after, if you’re keeping score. This will help flood the recovering muscle area with amino acids essential for muscle growth without catabolizing your already-existing muscle fibers.

You’ve probably heard a good whey shake right after is the best way to go, and we certainly wouldn’t say somebody drinking one is “wrong.” But the major difference between BCAAs and protein is timing: BCAAs metabolize in the muscles within 5 minutes of consumption, whereas even the fastest forms of protein can take at least 30 minutes to absorb.

So which should you pick? Our answer, simply, is both.

Immediately following your workout, you can instantly help your muscles recover with a serving of BCAA and a fast-absorbing creatine product. Creatine helps boost workout performance and strength, to be sure, but it also plays a big role in muscle-building — this is why we’d recommend proper dosage before AND after your workout.

Then, here’s the key: 30 minutes after taking creatine and BCAAs, THEN you have a solid protein shake, making sure that your protein is a complete blend that also includes hydrolyzed protein (the fastest-absorbing possible). On top of this, a carbohydrate source that will absorb quickly but burn slowly is critical as well. A spike in blood sugar will release insulin, a natural anabolic hormone that will promote muscle growth and shuttle key nutrients to the muscles for recovery quickly. This combination will ensure you get both an immediate, fast-response uptake of protein as well as a sustained delivery of amino acids, keeping you anabolic through the recovery period until your next healthy meal. Additionally, those trying to add muscle mass might opt to swap in a complex weight gainer instead of a low-calorie protein shake. Quality calories are key for rapid muscle growth.

Our best BCAAs: ForzaOne’s BCAA SPORTKatalyst’s Instantized BCAAVitasport’s BCAA GT-AKG.

Our best creatine: CellShock’s N’FUZE.

Our best fast-uptake proteins: ForzaOne’s FORZAPRO, VitaSport’s PRO7EIN SYNTHESIS.

Our best mass-building weight gainers: VitaSport’s GAINER7,  NuTek’s MASS COMPLEX

Our best carbohydrate complex: VitaSport’s MASS FUZION

Get HUGE With the Right GAINER7 Plan

If you’re looking into putting on the size and muscle that a solid plan and supplementation with Vitasport’s GAINER7 can offer, you’ll soon find that there is a lot of work to do in order to add enough weight without putting on fat.

Why not get the most out of GAINER7 while you’re at it? There are several stacking options that can maximize its benefits and promote muscle growth. The road to bulking is notoriously difficult and requires discipline, but smart supplementation can boost the effects you’ll see and feel.

A few supplements to consider adding into your GAINER7 regimen, and why:

Creatine: One of the most researched, tried-and-true supplements out there, there are now newer forms of it that are even more effective than the old monohydrate. Creatine is renowned for its numerous benefits, including lean muscle mass increase, significant strength gains, advances in muscle cell energy (ATP) and even improved muscular endurance. Very few mass-building programs don’t include at least a gainer and a creatine supplement; these two starting points are some of the best available.

NUTRISHOP Recommendation: CellShock N’Fuze KreAlkalyn. A buffered version of creatine, you get nearly 100 percent of the product without it getting converted to useless (or even toxic) creatinine in the body.

L-Glutamine: Muscle recovery is among the most important aspects of the bulking phase you’ll encounter, mostly because you’re going to want to up the intensity of your workouts. When you do that, you’re increasing the damage you do, only in hopes of bringing them back stronger. Glutamine is an amino acid that serves multiple purposes in the body, but the main ones you care about are its ability to repair muscle fiber and improve immune function. Remember, you gain while you rest, not while you lift.

NUTRISHOP Recommendation: Katalyst Glutacor. It’s a mega-dose of the amino acid supplement, including patented GlycoCarn, which increases muscle recovery time by helping to eliminate metabolic waste. Glutacor is designed to restore muscles and reduce muscle fatigue, so you can get right back to your workouts and mass gain.

There are several other outstanding products that will help an athlete looking to gain lean weight besides just these, so be sure to stop in by NUTRISHOP and find out which ones can help you most.

Pack on Muscle with GAINER7!

It seems like in the nutrition and exercise industries, one buzz phrase that has the longest shelf life and most popularity is “fat loss.” And NUTRISHOP is the first to promote it, where it’s needed most.

However, there is a surprisingly large amount of people who are worried about just the opposite — being too small. Tall skinny guys, or even people looking to just add on muscle for any reason (speeding up the metabolism, becoming stronger, etc) will always have trouble putting on good weight without too much fat.

The simple answer might seem easy: Eat more calories. But it’s tougher than that. Hard-gainers can’t simply turn to eating 5,000 calories a day and get it all out of food without sacrificing nutritional “profile.” Too many calories in a diet like that are bound to come from saturated fats, simple sugars and other empty calories. And from a practical standpoint, few have the time to eat that much whole food in a day.

Look, half the equation is actually correct — you do need to take in more calories to gain weight, plain and simple. But by maintaining the proper types of calories you eat, particularly with slow-digesting carbs and a good supply of protein, you can control just what your body looks like even as you add weight to it. And that’s the goal, right?

We’ve seen with Vitasport’s Pro7ein Synthesis how proper supplementation with protein powder can turn around any diet plan. GAINER7, also made by Vitasport, is a protein blend with the same outstanding protein properties of Pro7ein Synthesis, but with nearly double the protein per serving and a 2-1 carb-protein ratio that studies have shown to be critical when it comes to post-workout replenishment.

GAINER7 is one of the cleanest gainer products available, offering more than 700 calories per serving without weighing you down the bad way — with fat and sugar. The carb blend in GAINER7 is primarily derived from whole wheat, maltodextrin and dextrose, for a staggered release of blood sugar and anabolic insulin, without the vicious spike and crash you’d get from cheaper, faster-burning sugars.

And, like Pro7ein Synthesis, GAINER7 contains Aminogen, which naturally boosts the nitrogen in the system to help keep you anabolic. With the amino acids protein provide to help you build muscle and recover, the 54-gram serving of protein is an ideal ratio for anybody looking to put on size; the different absorption rates of the seven protein types ensures that the maximum amount of protein will reach your recovering muscles without being wasted.

GAINER7 is among NUTRISHOP’s best supplements from Vitasport and a great example of the success an effective gainer can bring — without those super-sweet fillers and additives you might get in “other” gainers. Be sure to ask any certified NUTRISHOP employee about GAINER7 if you’re interested in packing on muscle without the unnecessary fat that can come with it.

More on DIUCOR for Looking Lean and Losing Excess Water

There are other herbal diuretics available, but none of them can compare to DIUCOR, the strongest, most complete Advanced Definition Formula available utilizing Synergistic Diuretic Technology combined with superior delivery nutrients to ensure an effective, no frills, no “fluff” natural diuretic.

DIUCOR’S Natural Diuretic Complex  is loaded with a unique blend of Taraxasterols, Uva Ursi extracts, Nettle Root, Parsley and Yerba Mate extracts. Designed to help lean athletes achieve ultimate muscle definition, DIUCOR is a high-performance catalyst to eliminate undesired subcutaneous excess water weight in 72 hours or less. It provides a safe and natural way to give your physique that extra-lean, defined appearance when looking your absolute best is your objective — whether you’re planning a trip to the beach or a bodybuilding competition.

DIUCOR’s formula is designed to provide maximum results without sacrificing muscle fullness or cramping. In addition to its powerful diuretic action, DIUCOR takes its effectiveness one step further with a specific combination of potent extracts of Green Tea, Yerba Mate and Capsicum Annuum to fuel thermogenesis, pushing your metabolism into high gear to enhance calorie burning while maximizing muscle definition — you worked hard for the muscle you’ve got, so why hide it with bloating or excess water? This combination of diuretic and thermogenic factors, coupled with proper delivery, is how DIUCOR separates itself from the competition.

Check out what KATALYST has to say on this product, which not only provides the diuretic effect necessary to achieve maximum leanness and definition but also prevents the unwanted side effects that usually come with many diuretics:

When taking many of today’s current diuretic formulas and seeking the end result of ultimate muscle definition, one major issue that arises is the depletion of vital minerals. This can leave you with fatigue, muscle weakness, improper muscle firing and cramping. DIUCOR has ensured proper replenishment of these essential minerals by adding Potassium, Chloride, Magnesium and a proprietary 72 Trace Mineral Complex in order to address the body’s need during fluid loss. DIUCOR was designed to naturally replenish your body’s lost nutrients that help conduct electrical energy and balance fluid absorption and pressure throughout the body so you feel recharged.

Plus, with the inclusion of natural ingredients like Methylsulfonylmethane, Niacinamide and Ascorbic Acid,  DIUCOR features a rapid and more effective absorption formula. That blend helps deliver the herbs and minerals into your body for increased effectiveness and ultimate desired results. Finally, DIUCOR also has the ingredient Cracked Cell Chlorella, an extremely effective natural detoxifying agent that is known for boosting immunity, improving digestion and being rich in antioxidants.

Ridding the Body of Toxic/Excess Water

Water retention can be an uncomfortable experience, and, largely, it is tied to easily addressed issues. If your body is holding water, it can cause inflammation, aching, dry mouth and, in some cases, even dizziness or nausea. Oddly enough, these symptoms that are indicative of the body holding on to water are usually indicators that it’s actually not getting enough of it.

Next to simply not drinking enough water consistently, dehydration is most often caused by too much sodium in our diets — the American Heart Association estimates that 97 PERCENT of Americans consume too much salt, every day. Not only is it responsible for dehydration, but it is linked with significant heart issues as well (Source). By limiting how much salt you add to your food and paying attention to nutrition labels, you can fight dehydration and the other maladies that come with excessive sodium intake. And, you might find that you don’t even miss it when you leave it out of your food.

You may also find that fluid retention can occur in the subcutaneous layer of the skin, causing a “puffy” look that also comes with dehydration. Health-wise, the lack of water itself is the biggest problem, but aesthetically, this can also present an issue if you are trying to look your leanest (for example, you’re a few days away from a bodybuilding or bikini competition, where leanness, muscle definition and detail are of utmost importance). In that case, not only do you need to drop your salt levels dramatically, but herbal diuretics as a temporary solution may help, too.

For example, check out DIUCOR at NUTRISHOP. It features a unique blend of Taraxasterols, Uva Ursi extracts, Nettle Root, Parsley and Yerba Mate extracts, designed for anyone looking to achieve ultimate muscle definition and eliminate undesired subcutaneous excess water weight in 72 hours or less. It’s a safe and natural way to give your physique that extra lean, defined appearance when looking your absolute best is your objective. And, DIUCOR takes diuretic induced muscle definition one step further by including natural ingredients of Methylsulfonylmethane, Niacinamide and Ascorbic Acid to create a rapid and more effective formula. DIUCOR drives the herbs and minerals into your body for increased effectiveness and ultimate desired results. And finally, to top off what is already the most effective diuretic and muscle definition formula available, DIUCOR added Cracked Cell Chlorella, an extremely effective natural detoxifying agent that is known for boosting immunity, improving digestion and being rich in antioxidants.