Science Agrees: BCAAs Are Awesome

FO_BCAAsport_WatermelonAs experts in the supplement industry, we are intimately familiar with concerns and questions customers and the paying public may have about products.

Do they work? (To wildly varying degrees, yes – buy the good ones.) Are they safe? (Buy from reputable vendors like Nutrishop, and they couldn’t be safer – we don’t hesitate to yank inferior products off our shelves.) What exactly do they do?

We like to turn to science and study when it comes to answering all of those questions. ln recent years, what’s come to light specifically about one certain supplement is extremely encouraging. Not only do BCAAs stand up as an excellent product for fat loss and muscle gain in non-biased, scientific review, but they routinely make regular customers’ shopping lists each time they visit us. A lot of products will come and go – only the best ones stick around when the hype wears off and results are all that’s left. And at the end of the day, BCAAs are always left standing.

What makes Branched Chain Amino Acids such an effective supplement? For starters, BCAAs are incredibly versatile.  Typically, supplements can reasonably claim to address one or two goals – strength, muscle mass, fat loss, or athletic performance. BCAAs can help with all of them. 

A randomized, double-blind study, published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, was performed to “evaluate the efficacy of consuming a supplement containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) during an eight-week resistance-training program.”  The conclusion:

Ingestion of a supplement containing BCAAs while following an 8-week resistance training program resulted in a greater decrease in percent body fat, an increase in lean mass, and 10-RM strength gains on the bench press and squat vs. ingestion of a whey supplement or a sports drink. In addition, the ingestion of a whey protein supplement resulted in greater lean mass gains than ingestion of a sports drink.

What does that mean? In short: Regular use of BCAAs as a supplement to your diet and training program make you leaner and stronger. Less fat, more muscle, more strength.

Benefits don’t stop there. In 2006, The Journal of Nutrition published a study that found BCAAs to play a role in reducing exercise fatigue – meaning that if you took BCAAs before and/or during your workouts, you could go more intensely, or longer, to get more out of your exercise. The same study found that “Branched-chain amino acids also positively influence the metabolic response of muscle to exercise.”

Translation: BCAAs slow your metabolism’s feast on your muscle tissue when you’re working out.

Even when you’re not training, though, BCAAs have the same effect. So if you’re taking a break, trying out anabolic fasting diets, going on vacation or suffering an injury that keeps you out of the gym, knocking back BCAAs regularly will help slow the muscle catabolism (your body using muscle for energy) or atrophy that would otherwise occur. That phenomenon was proven out in a study published in Nutrition Research in 2012.

It’s not snake oil, folks.

For years, the most-researched and trusted supplements in this industry were whey protein and creatine. Doubters cropped up all over the place at first, but as the scientific method consistently proved them wrong, these products clearly developed staying power. Well, it’s time to add BCAAs to that list. Study after study is showing that amino acids are not only just an emerging powerhouse supplement, but a must-have for all ranges of athletic ability – from elite athletes to first-day beginners.

Burn Fat, Build Muscle — Even With Holiday Eating!

Two things usually wreak havoc on our bodies during the holiday season, starting with Halloween and trudging forward into New Year’s Day: Delicious but unhealthy eating, and skipped workouts.

Something about this time of year brings out the sweets and we all seem to indulge, and when it’s time to spend quality time with your family, few people want to forgo that for a few sweaty hours in the gym. While willpower will play a role in fighting off the fat gain and muscle loss that’s sure to come with these two developments, we have a suggestion that can keep you from going catabolic during times of higher-than-normal inactivity.

Remember, your body wants to be as efficient as possible, and to keep on muscle is, calorically speaking, very inefficient — it costs a lot of energy (calories) to preserve muscle tissue, so to keep energy stored, the body will actually break down muscle tissue into glycogen, and possibly even store it for later — AS FAT. Obviously, this is not what you want!

The way to avoid this is with BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), and NUTRISHOP has several outstanding options from which to choose. BCAAs provide the building blocks of proteins that your body breaks down muscle to reach, giving a “buffer” between your metabolism and your muscles that will slow catabolism and help your muscles grow. How much depends on how diligent you are with your training during the holidays; if you are dedicated and stick with your workouts, your muscles will be under repair more frequently and will use BCAAs to build more, forcing your body to use fat as energy (and that, of course, is how we lose body fat!).

Even if you’re more inactive than normal, or if you’re drinking more than you normally do — a common occurrence around the holidays — BCAAs will help. Taken after waking up and before bedtime, they’ll help fight off catabolism before and after long periods of glycogen deficiency during sleep. And since BCAAs are metabolized in the muscles and not the liver, the heavy-duty responsibilities you’re putting on your digestive system with every egg nog won’t interfere with BCAAs’ muscle repair abilities, mitigating the damage you might be doing to your physique.

If the holidays have a way of knocking you out of your routine, we strongly recommend BCAAs to help you keep the muscle you’ve worked so hard for during the last 10 months, and not lose it because of the junk food floating around for two.

Our Summer Transformation Challenge Winners and Top-10 Runners Up!

We are pleased to announce that Jeff Walther and Veronica Post have won our Summer Transformation Challenge!

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We are thrilled to share their great results with you, so stay tuned – we’ll update you this weekend on their amazing stories. We also want to share our runners up – a lot of people challenged themselves to achieve success, and they did it! We’re proud of all of you.

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The Back to Basics Workout Plan

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With all the new technology, science and theories on fitness, getting in shape can become more complicated than it has to be. Sure, there is always room for an exercise that can provide a new challenge, and when you introduce a new movement to your workout routine, you can definitely see results.

But there will always be something to be said for a simple, basic approach to weight lifting: Pick up something heavy and move it! For function and aesthetics, few things will yield more all-around noticeable results than going heavy with basic compound movements. To that end, we’ve created the NUTRISHOP Back to Basics Plan – a 1-month program you can use to break up your routine and introduce some low-complexity training, or that you can repeat for up to 12 weeks as you gain strength and muscle.

You won’t need much for this plan when it comes to equipment: A barbell, a rack, a bench, a jump rope and some weight plates is the majority of your equipment. The idea is to simplify your workouts, using a 4-day split to provide the rest you need while creating sensible muscle group pairings. You will get stronger and likely see a noticeable difference in muscle gain should you pair this plan with a sound, lean diet.

The approach you’ll use will be somewhat mixed, but the concept will be similar throughout: You want to warm up using the exercise you’re working with, and work up to your one-rep max (1RM). Challenging yourself with a progressive load will ensure you get stronger and some early mid-to-high-range sets will promote hypertrophy.

DAY 1

Legs & Core

Back Squats: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Go deep enough that your knees are parallel with your hips – don’t cheat yourself.

 

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts/Standard Deadlift: 10 (warm-up), 10, 8, 5/3, 3, 1, 1. – Perform the first 4 sets using the stiff-legged variation, then perform a standard deadlift using heavier weight for the final 4.

Power Clean: 10 (warm-up), 6, 6, 3, 3, 1.

Planks: 3 sets of 45 seconds, followed by 1 set to failure. Focus on drawing your navel into your spine and keeping your glutes clenched hard.

Side Planks: 2 sets per side at 20 seconds each. Hold your upper arm perpendicular to your torso, with your hand pointing toward the ceiling.

DAY 2

Push & Pull

Barbell Bench Press: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Grab the bar just outside of shoulder width with a wrapped-thumb grip. Don’t bounce the weight off your chest – and, if possible get a spotter for your final three sets.

Bent-Over Barbell Rows: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Be sure to keep your back flat and shoulders drawn back, pulling the bar toward your belly and not your chest.

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Take note to keep your elbows in toward your torso, forming a 45-degree angle at the armpit – this will protect your anterior deltoids through the lift. Concentrate on the contraction – mentally, think of pulling the bar apart and putting it back together at the top of the lift.

Pull-Ups: 4 sets to failure. Use as wide of a grip as possible that will still allow the range of motion to clear the bar with your chin – for most people, this will be just outside shoulder-width. Control your descent and lower yourself completely, drawing your shoulder blades together through the movement.

Push-Ups: 4 sets to failure with weight plate on back. Concentrate on keeping your body board-stiff from neck to ankle, and use the chest, back and triceps to control your movements.

Hanging Rows: 4 sets to failure.

DAY 3

Rest Day

DAY 4

Legs & Core 2

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Front Squat

Front Squats: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Keep your elbows up and forward and your upper arms parallel to the floor – this will help protect your back. Also concentrate on keeping your knees tracking out toward your pinkie toes – avoid letting them “dip” inward.

Deadlifts: 10 (Stiff-legged), 5, 5, 3, 3, 1 (standard).

Walking Lunges: 4 sets x 100 feet. You will need some space to work – if you can find a 20-foot hallway and can traverse it 5 times total, that’s fine. Alternate your lead foot, keeping your upper body upright and your hands on your hips (to avoid resting them on bent knees).

Planks: 3 sets of 45 seconds, followed by 1 set to failure.

DAY 5

Push & Pull 2

Pull-Ups: 4 sets to failure.

Seated Military Dumbbell Press: 8, 8, 6, 6, 4.

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1.

One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4×8 (per arm).

Diamond Push-Ups: 20, 15, 10, 5. If you cannot perform the prescribed reps, go to failure (diamond push-ups are much more difficult, especially for novices.)

Reverse-Grip Chin-Ups: 4x failure. With a close, reversed grip (palms facing your body), lower yourself to full elbow extension slowly on the descent. Contract your shoulder blades before lifting yourself, concentrating on using your back to begin momentum and your biceps as assistance.

60 Pounds Down, Many More to Go – Keep up With Jake’s Body Transformation


Note from Nutrishop: Jake Edlund has gone through an amazing weight loss journey, with a little help from us and a lot of motivation and discipline. We were so interested by his success that we decided to keep following up with him as he continues his transformation. This is the first of a series of blogs by Jake, who is continuing to check in with the Nutrishop CDA store and use Nutrishop products to aid his journey.
Week 9: September 22, 2015
CaptureThis week we are going to be starting a new program that is provided through Bodyspace. The program that I will be starting is Kris Gethin’s 12 Week Daily Trainer. The main goal with it is going to be to cut fat through building as much muscle as possible. For the past year or so I have been in a constant mode of cutting with a fairly strict diet, and to be honest the diet, along with the cut, gets very strenuous on your body. For this program my goal is to eat an even amount of protein and carbs, along with a healthy fat intake. The ratio I am looking at is a 40-40-20, protein carbs fats. I am doing this to build more muscle with a steady fat burn. Along with weights I will be shooting for around an hour and 45 minutes of cardio a week. At the end of the build I plan on going back into a cut for summer. My goal is to have a lean healthy body on graduation day. Let’s get it! Also going to be posting a video of my progress and updates every week on the YouTube channel so look out for that!
Video: Jake’s Meal Preparation

Week 9: September 15, 2015
Jake 9-15This week is going to be a big week. As classes get harder the intensity of the workouts are going to increase. With the increased work load there is going to be more stress on my body so I am going to focus this week on mitigating stress through tackling one day at a time. I plan on getting all of my workouts and meals in the best that I can. One big topic that I am going to be focusing on this week is sustainability. I am going to make things work the best that I can with what I have. When you are on a fitness journey with strict goals and a strict regimen, it is hard to always get everything right every time. You cannot let the little failures of missing a meal or a workout get to you, and lead to one big failure. You have to work through the journey one day at a time and make it all work out. This is true with fitness as much as it is true with life. The real transformation of a fitness journey not only happens with the body but also with the mind. It forms a sense of mental vigor, with an increasing sense of vitality to achieve goals, and ultimately form you into an amazing human.
Week 7: September 8, 2015
In my last video, The Ultimate Disclaimer, I told you all what I have been up to for the past couple weeks and the struggles I have been having. Go check out the video for more details! This week will be focused on building back some of my lost strength along with promoting an increased metabolism. I’m going to pull out of the last two weeks of funk and sickness and have some sort of a kickstart for my fitness again. I’ve found that this happens to me once in awhile but the best thing to do is just pick up and keep going and re develop a sense of symmetry and oneness in your life. When you have a goal and are working towards it at a steady rate, all of the smaller parts of your life start to fall into place.
Week 6: September 5, 2015
Jake checks in on his weekly video log with an update on his results.

Week 5: August 31, 2015
This week I plan on getting back on track with the full fitness regimen. The past two weeks of being sick have left me feeling weak and unhealthy. I plan on getting everything back together by getting my meal timing and prep down to a science. After 10 days of not getting in the gym I can finally get back to it this week. This sickness has really knocked me back but when it comes to fitness persistence is key and staying committed to the end goal is what matters.

Week 4: August 24, 2015
Today is the first day of fall semester and I’m ready to kick it into high gear! I have classes along with my lifting schedule, diet and work. Retrospectively, the last month has been amazing! I have been making small, consistent gains in my lifting and fat loss with help from Nutrishop. I am down to around 24.5 percent body fat and feeling good. My losses have slowed but consistency and determination are key! I have been dealing with being sick for the last week or so and have been maintaining as well as possible. My goals for the week are to figure out the best times to get my lifts in and to manage my new hectic lifestyle while doing school. Time management is going to be key in doing this and I am ready to rise to the challenge! New video should be up on Friday of this week along with uploads to my Instagram! Go big or go home!
Week 3: Jake followed his diet well, but some distractions slowed his gym progress mentally.

Week 3: Jake followed his diet well, but some distractions slowed his gym progress mentally.

Week 3: August 17, 2015

This week has been one of slow progression and consistent effort. Weeks like this keep me reminded of what the ultimate goal is with my weight loss, and that dedication and consistency are the keys to success in losing weight overall. I have been eating all the meals that I need to this week; that being said, my macros seem to fall a little short every day. Other than that, the goals that I set for myself last week have stuck and I have been progressing and keeping up the consistency.
My work in the gym, however, has been a tough mental game this week. Normally I have the unique ability to turn my brain off and just power through workouts without directly thinking about all the negative thoughts that can be involved with the workout. However, this week it seemed to be the direct opposite and some negative thoughts found their way into my head when I was in my workouts. This was somewhat impacting on my workout but I did not let it ruin my entire workout. This is a new week and a fresh start and it’s time to kick it up another notch! This week’s goals are going to start with setting strength marks and spending the next two weeks after to try to break through and build those marks higher. As always, go big or go home!
Video: Jake’s Daily Supplements
Check out the NUTRISHOP products Jake prefers to take as he moves toward his goals:

Week 2: August 10, 2015
CaptureThis week has been a very hectic week when it comes to fitness. I have been in the transition process of moving back to college and have been going through constant transition. The diet has been off this week due to the constant transition. I have been trying to track my calorie intake the best I can, but can honestly say that I have not been hitting my macros this week.
When it comes to getting in the gym I have been getting in the gym every other day and been doing high volume and short rest times to get my heart rate up and burn fat. As far as supplementation goes, I have been cutting back – I have been using creatine, Vasocor preworkout, and glutamine. I follow that up with a daily regimen of fish oil, daily multivitamin, and HYPERCOR.
This is the last week and what’s been happening. Main goals for next week are eat all my meals, eat all my macros, and do one thing daily to improve my overall health. Go big or go home.
Introduction: August 5, 2015
jake1My name is Jake and I am native to the Northwest. Currently I weigh 270lbs and have the current fitness goal of cutting that weight down to around the 225- to 235-pound range
by October 1st. While doing this cut I want to make sure that it is comprised completely of fat and that I am not losing any of the lean muscle mass that I have built. I want to
ensure that I keep my strength up and continue to progress in becoming stronger and having more and more endurance with my strength training. This comprises my current
fitness goal sheet.
image2I got started with fitness when I was around 17-18 years old. When I started I was extremely overweight and felt little to no self-confidence. I decided that it was time to do something
about it one day when I looked down at the big number of 338.6lbs on the scale staring back at me. I got a gym membership and began doing cardio and a light lifting regimen. This persisted
for around 6 months or so until I lost motivation and “fell off the wagon”. I went through a period of off-and-on workouts and dieting for the next two years. Right after my 20th birthday is when the
biggest change in my life really happened. This is when the life journey of sustainable fitness started for me. I began to go to the gym regularly and began to diet with a fierce intensity. I went from
330 pounds down to 300 within the first month and a half of this schedule that I had set for myself and have not stopped since. Mind you, it has not been an easy journey, with many high and low periods.
image3The lightest that I have ever been is 256.4 pounds, but due to some complications and worldwide travel that number has gone back up to 270. Regardless, this has been my self taught, journey with sustainable
weight loss so far.
The main motivation that got me into fitness was purely health. I wanted to be fit and happy and not have to worry about diseases that could have been caused by my size. As I progressed
in fitness, my goals began to shift to building muscle and being bigger in a better way. When people ask me what motivates me I tell them, “If I am going to be a big dude, it should be in the
good way,” so for this reason I have continued to cut weight and build more muscle while chasing my goals. For future motivation I have focused on becoming more and more fit and envision
the physique of greatness that I see under my residual fat when I look in the mirror.
Nutrishop has been a huge help in me attaining my goals of sustainable weight loss and physical fitness overall. I have become more knowledgeable from the tips from the staff in the shop along
with being provided a valuable resource for supplementation to my diet. Diet is 80 percent of weight loss, and with the help of the staff at the shop I have developed a sustainable diet for me to
cut a large portion of fat off of my body, with continued support and easy access to information on changes or challenges that might occur. Nutrishop in CDA Idaho is one of the best stores out
there that will personally help you reach any fitness goal that you are aiming to achieve, and have the knowledge and power to help make it happen.
Check out Jake’s intro video here:

 

More Natural, Vegan-Friendly: Trailhead Modern Source Protein is Here!

As the nutrition and supplementation industries continue to evolve, more and more fitness enthusiasts are considering vegetarian or vegan diets. While there are some interesting points to consider about making such a change, one thing is obvious: Traditionally produced whey protein products — key staples in the diets of bodybuilders, lifters and protein-conscious dieters — don’t fit the vegan lifestyle. Whey, obviously, counts as an animal byproduct.

This is why we’re happy to announce that we’re now carrying a great-tasting vegan protein with no artificial sweeteners, no gluten, no GMOs, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors and no allergens! Let us introduce Trailhead Nutrition Modern Source Protein.

This is a huge win for us, and for anyone who wants to go in a more “natural” direction with their diet. If you have been taking expensive veggie proteins like RAW, than you need to try this! It comes in Vanilla and Chocolate, and actually tastes good!

Here is the rundown from Trailhead:

MODERN SOURCE PROTEIN by Trailhead Nutrition offers a great alternate for consumers who are willing to give Rice and Pea Protein Isolates a try and see for themselves.

Comprised of not only these new isolates, but with the addition of two other proteins (Potato and Cranberry), this protein is sure to have consumers trading up or adding to their current protein regiment. MODERN SOURCE PROTEIN is a great alternative or addition to your current protein regiment.
Do not be fooled by inferior vegan protein supplements that utilize Pea Protein Concentrate or Rice Protein Concentrate as their sources of protein

Until recently, Whey and other Dairy based protein powders have been the preferred choice as far as protein supplements go, and one of the only options in the industry for helping athletes and fitness minded individuals get the extra protein they need.
This was true because for many years, one of the only other readily available alternatives to dairy based protein has been Soy, and with some of the more recent studies deterring consumers who may have soy allergies or are trying to eliminate soy from their diet, many have not had much of a choice.
Now, while these are still a great source of protein, and are without a doubt the most popular to date, they are not the only ones being used by consumers today. Two of the newest proteins to hit the market in recent years have been Rice Protein Isolate and Pea Protein Isolate. Some of the studies behind the combination of these two proteins have in many cases shown results similar to those who consume Whey and Dairy based protein powders. Plus, it is a great option for consumers who want to take a break every now and then from their current proteins to get away from any issues that may be experienced by those with dairy allergies. Modern Source Protein is made with NO artificial flavors, NO artificial sweeteners, NO artificial colors, and is Gluten free, Allergen free and NON-GMO.

BETABOL Stacking Options

unnamedOne of the best things about BETABOL is that it is a “one-size-fits-all” supplement — it can be taken with virtually ANY supplement stack!

The most important key to success with BETABOL is a high-protein diet. Also, research shows that HMB combined with creatine-based supplements produces greater results than either HMB or creatine alone. HMB should be taken in combination with a balanced diet containing a daily protein intake of about a gram per pound of body weight, especially if you are actively exercising. If your diet isn’t balanced or your protein intake is low, then HMB should be combined with the appropriate vitamin, mineral, protein or energy supplement to balance your diet.

Remember, HMB is also produced naturally from within as your body breaks down the amino acid leucine. You can bolster the production of this muscle-building compound, then, by taking in more leucine — in the form of BCAAs and additional protein, which contains a full spectrum of specific-ratio aminos. Additionally, a creatine supplement taken pre-workout will boost strength and size, supplementing the gains you’d get from BETABOL alone.

Recommended Protein Supplements: PRO7EIN SYNTHESIS, FORZA PRO, PRO 5, PRO5 HERS, MASS COMPLEX, PROTEIN SYNTHESIS GAINER or PRO MRP.

Recommended Creatine Supplements: HEMOVEX, N’SANE, VASOCOR, PREWORK, FUZION K-AKG3, N’FUZE or KRE-ALKALYN COMPLEX.