Category Archives: Supplementation

Glutamine and Test Boosters: Are They Worth It?

Dymatize Xpand 2x Review

RTN Meal Replacement Review

The only meal replacement product I use and recommend to my clients!

 

Supplements

I recommend purchasing your supplements at Click here to visit www.tigerfitness.com. Some of the best prices on the web!

 

Dietary Supplements

The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is continuing to grow year after year. When looking to purchase supplements a few things need to be considered. One, supplements are not regulated by the FDA. This means there is no governing body that has to “approve” the supplement before it is marketed. Secondly, not all supplements sold on the shelves produce results. Supplement labels can be very misleading therefore it is important for the consumer to research a product before they make a purchase. Lastly, not all supplement companies are created equal. Not only should consumers do research on a specific compound but on the company as well. Sometimes it makes sense to spend a little more money on your supplements to ensure you are getting the highest quality available. Put it this way, what is the sense in saving a couple dollars when the company that made the supplement you purchased uses low quality ingredients and cannot meet label claims? Quality over quantity!

Here is a list of what I recommend to my clients when selecting supplements.

Essential supplements (For all athletes – general health/body composition)

  • Multi Vitamin – Cover all of your micronutrient bases! Its best to try and meet all of your micronutrient needs through food but having a multivitamin is a good way to ensure you are not deficient in one micronutrient. I’m not a huge advocate of the expensive “sports performance” multi vitamins. In my opinion this is one area where you can afford to be stingy. Just go to an online supplement store (like Tiger Fitness) and purchase a cheap one a day multi vitamin and call it a day. For most of you that will be more than sufficient. The only objection to that rule is an extremely hard training athlete and/or bodybuilder getting ready for a contest that will need to take into account a greater micronutrient demand. Again that can be accomplished through food or getting a higher quality multivitamin supplement. I prefer the former.

Here are a couple products to take a look at:

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/ON-Opti-Men-p/2730260.htm

2-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Dymatize-Super-Multi-120ct-p/2060099.htm

 

  • Protein Powder – Protein powder is great for meeting your daily protein requirement and should be included in your diet. Despite what you all may think there is nothing all that special about drinking protein shakes. It is just highly concentrated, highly bio available protein. The biggest benefit gained from including a protein powder in your diet is convenience. However, it should be used in conjunction with a good diet that is based on high quality whole food protein sources. I personally recommend a whey protein powder due to the high BCAA content and especially leucine for the muscle protein syntheses benefits. I recommend looking for a product that has a blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate. Both forms have their benefits. Watch my review of MTS Nutrition Whey, my protein powder of choice!

Check this product out here:

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=mtswhey

 

  • Healthy Fat – This category can be considered both a supplement and food similarly to protein powder. Everyone has heard about the benefits of mono and poly unsaturated fats and supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids. They are essential nutrients that are involved in numerous physiological processes within the body. I recommend getting a high quality omega 3 supplement as well as a healthy fat oil source such as macadamia nut oil to add some healthy fats to your diet. MCT oils also offer a lot of fat loss and energy production benefits.

            Some products to take a look at:

1-    Omega 3- http://www.tigerfitness.com/ON-Fish-Oil-p/2730281.htm

2-    Mac Nut Oil- http://www.tigerfitness.com/NOW-Foods-Macadamia-Nut-Oil-16-oz-p/1826.htm

3-    MCT Oil- http://www.tigerfitness.com/NOW-Foods-MCT-Oil-32-oz-p/2199.htm

 

 

 

Next step (Recovery and Muscle Building)

  • BCAAs – During workout nutrition, BCAAs are basically low calorie muscle food! Take 5-10g BCAAs during your workout. They help increase muscle protein synthesis as well as aid in recovery. Great overall supplement.

Some products to take a look at:  

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/USPlabs-Modern-BCAA-p/4240013.htm

2-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Xtend-30-Servings-New-Formula-p/3740060.htm

3-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Elite-Recoup-30-Servings-p/2060230.htm

 

 

  • Creatine Monohydrate– Great supplement for building strength and muscle. Take 3-5g daily, it can be all at once or split up over two doses such as pre and post workout on training days. Creatine monohydrate is the most scientifically researched and backed form of creatine available. The biggest benefit of creatine monohydrate is the fact that it is cheaper than any other form of creatine plus has been shown to be more effective. There is no better value than creatine monohydrate.

Any creatine monohydrate product will do, here is one with a particularly good value:

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Creatine-Monohydrate-Dymatize-p/2060013.htm

  • Pre Workout Supplement– When looking for a pre workout supplement look for a product that has stimulants such as caffeine to get you energized along with muscle builders beta alanine and creatine. If you are getting a 3-5g dose of creatine from your pre workout you do not need to supplement with extra creatine. However, most pre workout formulas do not have a substantial amount of creatine in them. Another thing to look for in a pre workout is Arginine or Arginine AKG. Arginine and N.O is what the product category was built around but there is not a lot of research to support its muscle building benefits. If a form of Arginine is included in your pre workout product of choice great but if not I wouldn’t worry about it.

Some products to look at:

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/usp-jack3d-supplement-p/4240007.htm

2-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Hemo-Rage-Black-Ultra-Concentrate-p/2710045.htm

 

Fat loss

Stimulant Fat Burner – A stimulant based fat burner works by up regulating your metabolic rate causing your body to burn more calories. They are not magic; you need to be on a calorie restricted diet along with a training plan conducive to fat loss for these to work. Look for a product that contains Caffeine, Yohimbe, Green tea, Synephrine, Cayenne Pepper among its ingredients. Even consider adding an additional yohimbe product to your fat burning stack if the thermogenic you choose does not have it or you want to take a higher dose.

Some products to look at:

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/MTS-Nutrition-Drop-Factor-p/mtsdrop.htm

2-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Yohimbine-HCl-by-EthiTech-Nutrition-p/ethiyo.htm

 

 

  • Carnitine- Carnitine is a compound that is a combination of the amino acids lysine and methionine. It works as a fat burner by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cell where it can be used for energy. Carnitine provides muscle building benefits as well and is a great overall supplement. For extreme fat loss stack a thermogenic stimulant fat burner with Carnitine.

1-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/Quadracarn-120-Tablets-p/bev-26.htm

2-    http://www.tigerfitness.com/ON-L-Carnitine-p/2730027.htm

 

Coffee and Caffeine

Coffee and Caffeine

 

Since the recent article published on Flexonline.com regarding coffee and caffeine is getting a lot of attention I figured I would write an article going over the topic in order to clear some things up.

 

Should you avoid drinking coffee if your goal is muscle building?

If you have not read the article here is the link http://www.flexonline.com/nutrition/say-no-coffee . Basically what the article is saying is caffeine has a lot of great benefits but coffee should be avoided. The reasoning is based on a study published out of Greece that showed a greater increase in cortisol when subjects drank coffee as opposed to water in the morning. Since caffeine is noted to increase cortisol it is a no brainer subjects drinking coffee as opposed to water would have higher cortisol levels. The idea of taking a caffeine supplement being alright but consuming coffee that has numerous antioxidants is confusing to me but that’s beside the point. The real question is does elevated cortisol from caffeine make a difference?

Cortisol is a stress hormone that can have negative catabolic effects on muscle. However, in order for cortisol to really cause issues on muscle mass/growth a few things need to happen. One, cortisol needs to be elevated for an extended period of time. Short term elevations in cortisol do not have negative effects on muscle building. In fact, hard training sessions that are needed to grow muscle also cause raises in cortisol. Secondly, cortisol raises need to be high enough over a prolonged period of time to make a difference. In my opinion any elevation in cortisol due to coffee intake will not be significant enough to limit muscle building efforts. So should you stop drinking coffee if you are interested in muscle building? In my opinion no, you can still drink your coffee!

 

I love coffee! Coffee is good!

Caffeine Facts

Caffeine is a stimulant that has numerous performance and physique enhancing properties.

  • Caffeine enhances alertness which is why it makes a great pre workout supplement. It takes about 45-60 minutes to reach peak levels so timing needs to be considered. It also lasts in the body around 4 hours. Caffeine can be classified as an adenosine receptor antagonist. What that means is caffeine binds to adenosine receptors which “blocks” adenosine from being able to bind to them. That is what creates the enhanced alertness.

  • Caffeine is also a great fat burner. Fat cannot be burned where it’s at; it needs to be transported into the muscle cell. Caffeine increases free fatty acid entry into the muscle thus increasing fat utilization.

 

  • Caffeine also has an effect on decreasing appetite, although not significantly.

 

  • The biggest benefit may be its performance enhancing properties during endurance training. This goes back to the point about free fatty acid release into the muscle cell. Since fat is the main fuel source during endurance activity, being able to burn fat more efficiently for fuel is a great benefit.

 

  • Too much caffeine can cause GI distress. It is important to take proper dosages. A general guideline for performance benefits would include getting in 3-6 mg/kg of body weight. For a 175lb person a general recommended does would be between 240-480mg depending on the individual.

 

  • You generally hear about people who say they do not feel the same effects from caffeine as they used to. This is because the body becomes more efficient at metabolizing caffeine with prolonged use. Generally over time it will take increasing dosages to get the same results.

 

Conclusion

There are a lot of good qualities in coffee and caffeine. I know I am not going to let a study talking about cortisol levels keep me away from my morning cup of java!

“One Dream, One Reality”

Kyle Hunt

Hunt Fitness

Brief Overview of Ergogenic Aids / Supplements

Brief overview of Ergogenic Aids / Supplements

What is an Ergogenic aid?

In the fitness industry the most popular form of ergogenic aids are in the form of supplements. However, ergogenic aids are not only just supplements. By definition an ergogenic aid is any substance that enhances performance. It can be physiological, biomechanical, psychological, pharmacological, or nutritional.

                                                           Ergo = work

                                                           Genic = to generate

For this article we are going to focus on supplements which are classified as Nutritional Ergogenic Aids.

 

Dietary Supplements

The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is continuing to grow year after year. When looking to purchase supplements a few things need to be considered. One, supplements are not regulated by the FDA. This means there is no governing body that has to “approve” the supplement before it is marketed. Secondly, not all supplements sold on the shelves produce results. Supplement labels can be very misleading therefore it is important for the consumer to research a product before they make a purchase. Lastly, not all supplement companies are created equal. Not only should consumers do research on a specific compound but on the company as well. Sometimes it makes sense to spend a little more money on your supplements to ensure you are getting the highest quality available. Put it this way, what is the sense in saving a couple dollars when the company that made the supplement you purchased uses low quality ingredients and cannot meet label claims? Quality over quantity!

Here is a list of what I typically recommend to my athletes when selecting supplements.

 

*Here is your personal Hunt Fitness Supplement Guide

 

–          Essential supplements (For all athletes  – general health/body composition)

 

  • Multi Vitamin – Cover all of your micronutrient bases! Its best to try and meet all of your micronutrient needs through food but having a multivitamin is a good way to ensure you are not deficient in one micronutrient. I’m not a huge advocate of the expensive “sports performance” multi vitamins. In my opinion this is one area where you can afford to be stingy. Just go to Wall-Mart or an online supplement store and get a cheap one a day multi vitamin and call it a day. For most of you that will be more than sufficient. The only objection to that is an extremely hard training athlete and/or bodybuilder getting ready for a contest that will need to take into account a greater micronutrient demand. Again that can be accomplished through food or getting a higher quality multivitamin supplement. I prefer the former.
  • Protein Powder – Protein powder is great for meeting your daily protein requirement and should be included in your diet. Despite what you all may think there is nothing all that special about drinking protein shakes. It is just highly concentrated, highly bio available protein. The biggest benefit gained from including a protein powder in your diet is convenience. However, it should be used in conjunction with a good diet that is based on high quality whole food protein sources. I personally recommend a whey protein powder due to the high BCAA content and especially leucine for the muscle protein syntheses benefits. I recommend looking for a product that has a blend of whey concentrate, isolate and hydroslate. All three forms have their benefits. Most high quality protein powders on the market have a blend of all three forms of whey.
  • Healthy Fat – This category can be considered both a supplement and food similarly to protein powder. Everyone has heard about the benefits of mono and poly unsaturated fats and supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids. They are essential nutrients that are involved in numerous physiological processes within the body. I recommend getting a high quality omega 3 supplement as well as a healthy fat oil source such as macadamia nut oil to add some healthy fats to your diet.

 

 

–          Next step (Recovery and Muscle Building)

  • BCAAs – During workout nutrition, BCAAs are basically low calorie muscle food! Take 5-10g BCAAs during your workout. They help increase muscle protein synthesis as well as aid in recovery. Great overall supplement.
  • Creatine Monohydrate– Great supplement for building strength and muscle. Take 3-5g daily, it can be all at once or split up over two doses such as pre and post workout on training days. Creatine monohydrate is the most scientifically researched and backed form of creatine available. The biggest benefit of creatine monohydrate is the fact that it is cheaper than any other form of creatine plus has been shown to be more effective. There is no better value than creatine monohydrate.
  • Pre Workout Supplement– When looking for a pre workout supplement look for a product that has stimulants such as caffeine to get you energized along with muscle builders beta alanine and creatine. If you are getting a 3-5g dose of creatine from your pre workout you do not need to supplement with extra creatine. However, most pre workout formulas do not have a substantial amount of creatine in them. Another thing to look for in a pre workout is Arginine or Arginine AKG. Arginine and N.O is what the product category was built around but there is not a lot of research to support its muscle building benefits. If a form of Arginine is included in your pre workout product of choice great but if not I wouldn’t worry about it.

 

 

–          Fat loss

  • Stimulant Fat Burner – A stimulant based fat burner works by up regulating your metabolic rate causing your body to burn more calories. They are not magic; you need to be on a calorie restricted diet along with a training plan conducive to fat loss for these to work. Look for a product that contains caffeine, yohimbe, green tea, or even small doses of ephedrine.
  • Carnitine- Carnitine is a compound that is a combination of the amino acids lysine and methionine. It works as a fat burner by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cell where it can be used for energy. Carnitine provides muscle building benefits as well and is a great overall supplement. For extreme fat loss stack a thermogenic stimulant fat burner with Carnitine.

(Not Recommended) Fat Blockers- Fat blockers such as Chitosan work by binding to fat in the digestive track and not allowing them to be digested. In theory it allows one to consume high fat foods without them being absorbed into the body. I am not a proponent of this for a couple of different reasons. For one, I would rather just monitor my fat intake and provide my body with the healthy fat it needs and when it’s time for a cheat meal just eat a cheat meal and not worry about it. Secondly, there are some nasty side effects associated with these products such as anal leakage…need I say more.

Honorable mention

–          Vitamin C, Vitamin D, MCTs

Conclusion

The take home message when it comes to supplementation is to do your homework! Supplement companies want to try and sell you so it is your job to know what works!

Until next time

“One Dream, One Reality”

Kyle Hunt

Hunt Fitness

My Top Five RTN Supplements

Here is a list of my top five Revolutionary Technology Nutrition products!

1. Bionic Edge Whey – This product is 100 percent whey protein with a mix of whey isolate, concentrate and hydrolyzed whey peptides. It comes in a bunch of different flavors including banana, butterscotch, chocolate Peanut butter, cookies and cream, pina colada, watermelon and the traditional chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. The best part is it contains all natural ingredients! What separates this protein powder apart from the rest is the addition of stevizyme which improves the immune system and most importantly aids in protein digestion. With all of the different whey protein powders out there this one is in an entirely different class!

2. Creatine plus BCAA – Two great products in one! This product contains the best source of creatine available called creapure which is a creatine monohydrate free from any impurities. Creatine monohydrate is the most scientifically proven form of creatine. The added BCAAs complete a perfect supplement for pre and post workout use. The BCAAs contain a 2:1 ratio of leucine to valine and isoleucine which is ideal for muscle growth and repair.

3. Glutamine – Glutamine is a great product to stack with creatine plus bcaa to create the perfect workout nutrition. Glutamine has a number of benefits including increasing protein synthesis, boosting immune system, elevating growth hormone and preventing catabolism.

4. Somatonin Extreme – This product is great for anyone looking to burn body fat and increase energy. This is a maximum strength fat burner! It contains Green Tea, Gurana extract, Tyrosine and a host of other proven ingredients. Perfect to take before workouts on days you are tired and need an extra boost.

5. Bionic Edge Mass Builder – This is by far the best mass gainer I have found. This is perfect for anyone who wants to gain muscle without adding fat. The protein source is from a straight whey blend similar to the bionic edge whey. The carbohydrates are from the best possible low glycimic sources such as brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Unlike most other mass gainers on the market there is no maltodextrin and no fillers!

Go to www.revolutionarynutrition.com to buy RTN products.

Use the coupon code “hunt” to get 10% off all products on the website!

My top bodybuilding supplement picks

1. Protein powder- The staple in every bodybuilders supplement bag. Very versitile can be taken anytime during the day. I reccommed a whey isolate/ hydroslate blend around workout times such as Beverly International’s Muscle Provider. This is a protein powder that is fast acting and tastes great! At other times of the day such as between meals and before bed a protein powder with a mix of whey and casein is best. I use Beverly’s Ultimate Muscle Protein at those times.

2. Glutamine and BCAAs- How can you go wrong, two supplements in one. The combination of amino acids glutamine, leucine, valine and isolucine make a potent cocktail that can be consumed before, durning or after training. Helps speed up the recovery process.

3. Creatine- This supplement speaks for itself. Increase strength, increased muscle force, delay of muscle fatigue, the benefits are endless. Still the most scientifically proven form is creatine monohydrate.

4. Pre workout- Nothing helps you get through a tough workout like a good pre workout supplement. The combination of caffine and N.O stimulating supplements is a perfect pre workout combination. Be carfull of the “fillers” and “propetary blends” that supplement companies use to make there products at a cheper rate.

5. Multivitamin- You can’t lift heavy in the gym if your sick. Cover all of your micronutrient needs with a good sports complete multivitamin.

Honorable mention: Carnitine and Omega 3