Fit for the Holidays: Nutrition


Eat, drink, and be merry— but not too merry. When it comes to food, celebrate—but with control. Taking these few simple steps will help make sure that your nutrition doesn’t suffer.

The average person can consume up to 4,500 calories during holiday celebrations, and it’s easy to see how that can be when everyone’s bringing over store-bought desserts instead of dishes with protein and good carbohydrates and fats. Still, we’re not here to lecture you and tell you that you need to stay away from the sweet potatoes with marshmallows or pecan pies—after all, that’s part of what’s the holidays are all about.

You can have fun and be jolly without looking like Kris Kringle himself.

Here’s how.



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5 Must-know Winter Bodybuilding Nutrition Tips


Is winter the “bulking up” season, or have you just gained fat over the holidays and thrown in the towel on staying lean? Bulking up during the winter isn’t the trend anymore. Bodybuilders are getting better educated about ongoing research on gaining lean muscle mass adequately, without inflammatory fat gains.

I tend to believe that most people would benefit from letting go of the hard diet and just taking it easy for a couple of weeks; it does the adrenals some good. But most people will train harder prior to and during the holidays to compensate foe the higher caloric intake, thus beating up the adrenals. My take would be to not see the winter season as a bulk-up phase, but a chillax phase. Without considering reserving a permanent parking space at McDonald’s, stick with the basics. This might be the best time to try out some new food.

Here are some other tips for bulking up responsibly.



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Boosting Immunity Through Herbs and Nutrition


Depending on the hemisphere you live in, you may be entering either winter or summer. Many pathogens become more prevalent in winter, with the cold and flu being common examples. Sickness can occur at any time, however, and people with a suppressed immune system, such as the elderly, the highly stressed, and even those who exercise at a high intensity on a regular basis, may be more vulnerable. There are many natural herbs and nutrients that may support immune function during these times and give your body everything it needs to stay at full capacity so you can continue your fitness journey unimpeded.

Some Notes on the Immune System

Innate versus Adaptive Immune Response

The innate immune response is the very first line of defense when an intruder makes contact with the immune system. It could be a harmful organism (bacteria or virus, for example) or a food component that gets through the gut wall as part of leaky gut. The immune system acts swiftly to remove the intruder within four days of getting infected. At the same time, the immune cells also send chemical signals to start recruiting more forces to come and help with the invasion.

The chemical signaling molecules produced during this first line of defense include histamine, bradykinin, serotonin, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins. They all produce inflammation, which is what creates redness, swelling, heat, and pain. Think of the swelling inside your nose and the increased mucous production when you get a cold or the fever you get with viral infections such as the flu. These inflammatory products are what make you feel miserable when you are sick, not the bacteria or the virus itself. Bacteria and viruses merely act as the trigger.

After about four days, the adaptive immune response kicks in. This is the second line of defense and a bit more specialized. The immune system adapts to become more specific to the pathogen intruder. Sometimes, however, things can go wrong and other cells get in the firing line when pathogens are being killed, which is how autoimmune disease can start. The adaptive immune response employs T and B lymphocytes as part of the immune system and can clone them very quickly when an infection is present. Each new cell that is produced will be exactly the same as the cell it came from and will target the exact same pathogen. So, if you get the flu, your immune system will make millions of T and B lymphocytes that will specifically kill the flu virus only.

Humoral versus Cellular Immunity

The immune system uses two adaptive mechanisms to protect from foreign invaders, namely cellular and humoral immunity. Humoral immunity is all about making antibodies, whereas cellular immunity is about destroying infected cells. Both mechanisms produce inflammation that needs to be managed. Chronic inflammation that is left uncontrolled can damage healthy cells and contribute to bigger health problems than just having an infection.

Humoral immunity occurs when the body makes antibodies against something that is outside the cells and moving around freely in bodily fluids such as blood or mucous. T-helper cells help the B cells change into more specific cells that then bind to antigens on the outside of the invader organisms and neutralize them through a process called phagocytosis, during which B cells are cloned with a memory of the particular antigen on the harmful organism. It’s like taking a mug shot or fingerprints. The memory B cells remain inactive but hang around and will instantly recognize the organism if they encounter it again, hastening the process of eliminating the threat the next time around.

Cellular immunity becomes involved when the pathogenic organisms are already inside the cells. Viruses cannot make you sick unless they get inside your cells where they can replicate. The cell-mediated response is the most effective response when it comes to removing virus-infected cells. T-helper cells release inflammatory factors that help the T cells transform into cytotoxic T cells, which can then destroy the infected cell by triggering apoptosis, or cell-suicide.

It is important to support both humoral and cellular immunity in the adaptive response so the immune system can get rid of infected cells, but at the same time you want to make sure that the adaptive responses do not go into overdrive and cause massive inflammation and cellular damage. It’s all about maintaining balance.

Definitions

Before we get to our top five herbs for bolstering the immune system, here are a few key definitions:

  • Immunostimulatory describes something that stimulates the immune system by activating it or increasing its activity. Stimulation means more B and T lymphocytes and more immune cells, but also more inflammation.
  • Immunosuppression is something that prevents the immune system from reacting to antigens and launching an attack. Sometimes this is necessary, such as in the case of organ transplants, where you don’t want the immune system to attack the new organs.
  • Immunomodulation is modulation of the immune system, bringing it to back to normal levels where it self-regulates. Basically, something that is immunomodulatory will calm down an overactive immune system, protecting you from your own defense mechanisms without suppressing an underactive immune system. In other words, it provides balance.

5 Popular Herbs That Are Good for the Immune System

1. Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom)

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi, or lingzhi, mushroom, is a large dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture that has been called, “the mushroom of immortality,” “the 10,000-year mushroom,” and “the mushroom of spiritual potency.” It typically grows on tree stumps and the base of trees such as the maple, but only on 2-3 trees out of 10,000, making it a pretty rare find in the wild.

It is easy to understand how this mushroom has come to be used in traditional practices as it has roughly 400 bioactive compounds, with the polysaccharides and triterpenes probably the most researched of them. Reishi is known to support both the innate and adaptive immune responses. It has the potential to strengthen those first-line defenses all the way through to the adaptive responses while still managing the body’s response to stress.*

Ganoderma lucidum is found in tablet, capsule, powder, and liquid forms as a supplement, but don’t forget that it is a food. To get all the goodness for your immune system out of the mushrooms, you have to break their cell walls, which means cooking them. It’s the same for supplements. Just drying the mushrooms and powdering them to use in supplements may not have the health benefits reishi is known for. The mushroom must be processed using specific methods to ensure a high-quality supplement that actually works.

You can find many recipes online for preparing Ganoderma lucidum, so have fun experimenting.

2. Artemisia Annua (Sweet Wormwood)

Sweet Wormwood

Sweet wormwood, also known as Chinese wormwood, or qing hao, among other names, is an ancient herb that has traditional uses dating back as far as 168 B.C. It has been used for more than 2,000 years in Chinese culture. Note that not all Artemisia species have the same action. The reference here is specifically to the Artemisia annua variety.

Artemisia annua has a great reputation in modulating the immune system, meaning that it balances immune responses and prevents overstimulation and excessive inflammation. Its actions are very much directed at the adaptive immunity responses that usually kick in four days after you get an infection.*

Wormwood has a bitter flavor and is used to brew liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages.

3. Ursolic Acid

Ursolic Acid

Technically, ursolic acid is not an herb but an active compound found in apple peel and other fruit peels, rosemary, thyme, elder flower, and other herbs and plants.

Ursolic acid has been shown to enhance interferon-gamma (IFN-g) production, which features in the cellular immune response in adaptive immunity.[1]  IFN-g is an important immune factor that switches on many other genes and proteins that help the immune system function at full capacity.*

Ursolic acid seems to have a strong mechanism for controlling the inflammatory response, which may be beneficial in helping your body properly respond to stress and intense exercise.[2] You would probably have to consume a lot of the above-mentioned foods to get the amount of ursolic acid used in these studies, but still, it is food and food is good.*

4. Curcuma Longa (Turmeric Root)

Turmeric Root

Turmeric is well-known as the orange-yellow spice used in curry powder, but turmeric, or curcumin, supplements are also among the top-selling herbal supplements in the U.S. Curcumin is best known for its association with a decreased inflammatory response to exercise, with many people using it for recovery from delayed-onset muscle soreness. In the past two decades, however, research has shown that curcumin is also a powerful immunomodulator. It specifically modulates the activation of T cells, B cells, and various other immune cells, all of the regular players that you find in both innate and adaptive immune responses.[3]*

Many curcuma longa supplements on the market focus on bioavailability and absorption of turmeric by adding black pepper or changing turmeric into liposomal or nanoparticle forms; however, the benefits to the immune system may come more from how your gut bacteria and turmeric interact inside the digestive tracts as opposed to absorption into the bloodstream. One study describes turmeric as having “prebiotic-like” effects on gut bacteria without being a prebiotic because it cannot provide energy for gut bacteria.[4] In fact, it seems to have more of a modbiotic effect by changing the composition of the gut and increasing the richness of bacterial species.*

The gut wall contains 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system, and a healthy gut microbiome houses bacterial species that have a host of beneficial effects. Compounds produced by gut bacteria through the processing of turmeric and other herbs can trigger the release of signaling molecules in the bloodstream that provide systemic benefits. That’s the way a lot of herbs and foods support the immune system.*

5. Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia serrata, or Indian frankincense, is a very underrated herb. Technically speaking, it is not an herb but a resin from a large-sized branching tree of the family Burseraceae that grows in the dry mountainous regions of India. Its two main active ingredients are 11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (KBA) and acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, and it has been used traditionally in supporting healthy immune and inflammatory action, mainly as a 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) inhibitor.[5] *

But Boswellia serrata is more than just an anti-inflammatory. As part of the adaptive immune response, at lower doses it seems to enhance antibody production as part of humoral immunity and also increase B and T lymphocyte production as part of cellular immunity.[6] This is how Boswellia serrata, as an immunomodulator, can boost the immune response when it’s needed most, as well as help keep your inflammatory responses from getting out of control.*

Boswellia serrata is pretty unpleasant to take as a liquid, and it will feel like it is stuck on your palate due to its high resin content. Definitely much better in a capsule form.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References
  1. Jang, Sun-Mi, et al. (2009). Ursolic acid enhances the cellular immune system and pancreatic beta-cell function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice fed a high-fat diet. International Immunopharmacology, 9(01), 113-119.
  2. Chekcer, Rahul, et al. (2012). Potent anti-inflammatory activity of ursolic acid, a triterpenoid antioxidant, is mediated through suppression of NF-kB, AP-1 and NF-AT. Plos One, February 20.
  3. Jagetia, Ganesh Chandra, & Aggarwal, Bharat B. (2007). “Spicing Up” of the immune system by curcumin. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 27(1), 19-35.
  4. Peterson, Christine T., et al. (2018). Effects of turmeric and curcumin dietary supplementation on human gut microbiota: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 23, 2515690X18790725
  5. Gerbeth, Kathleen, et al. (2013). In vitro metabolism, permeation, and brain availability of six major boswellic acids from Boswellia serrata gum resins. Fitoterapia, 84, 99-106.
  6. Ammon, H. P. T., (2010). Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids. Phytomedicine, 11, 862-867



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Iron Intelligence Nutrition: How Pros Eat for Gains


Size and strength are not gained through lifting alone. Any true bodybuilder knows that their job is just as much about what they eat as it is about how they lift.

Few people understand this concept as well as IFBB pro bodybuilder Evan Centopani, creator of the Iron Intelligence 12-week muscle-building program in BodyFit Elite.

“Eating is as much my job as anything else,” Centopani explains. “If food is just an afterthought, your body is going to look like an afterthought.”

When building muscle is how you make your living, eating “more” and hoping for the best won’t cut it.

“People will say, ‘protein is protein,’ or ‘fats are fats,’ and really it’s just about hitting your macros,” explains Centopani. “While to some degree that’s true, I’ve always felt it’s really important to encourage people to consume quality food.”

To eat the right foods at the right time, you need a system for planning, preparing, and eating the foods that will help you build muscle.As part of his 12-week muscle-building program, Centopani put together a comprehensive meal plan with an explicitly mass-building protocol. (Don’t worry, it also goes along with some of the best and toughest workouts you’ll ever do in your life.)

“I’ve found ways to make my food palatable without using all sorts of artificial crap,” Centopani explains. “I still keep things clean, still keep things simple, and I actually improve my digestive ability.”

By eating this way, Centopani is able to crank through the sheer volume of food required to put more muscle on his frame and, amazingly, still enjoy eating—most of the time, anyway.

“A meal might be great, or it might be just OK,” he says. “You eat it, then life goes on and you move on to the next meal. A lot of times, people get too hung up on what they are eating. You’ve got to eat something, so just shut up and eat.”

Think you’re ready to intelligently build muscle? Centopani has been doing this for over 10 years without pause, and he’s giving you 12 weeks to do the same. If you bust your ass and put everything you’ve got into lifting and eating, Iron Intelligence will work for you. Download the BodyFit app and start growing!



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5 Healthy Hacks to Keep Your Nutrition on Point


If there is one thing that always seems to sabotage our healthy eating, it’s time! Yes, everything goes great when we can make nutrition our number 1 priority, but what happens when life gets in the way? Here are a few ways to save time, money and your health.

Drink 8oz. of Water Before Your Feet Hit the Ground

It is estimated that over 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Minor symptoms can include brain fog, bloating and fine lines/wrinkles. However, most of us push past thirst in the morning and go straight for our beloved coffee. Leave an 8oz. glass of water next to your bed and commit to drinking it every morning before your feet even hit the ground. You will start your day with a healthy habit and it is a small but powerful step towards better health.

Switch to Smaller Plates

Whether it is a result of the clean plate club or mindless eating, we feel very committed to our food once it hits our plate. Switch out your dinner plates for the smaller salad plate and you can reduce your total caloric intake by up to 20% without even noticing.

Become Best Friends with Your Freezer

IMHO, the freezer is the most underutilized kitchen tool. Cooking can be time consuming and, honestly, a bit of a pain.  So, if you are going to put effort into cooking you should really get multiple meals out of it. Every time you cook, make enough for at least two meals and freeze half. By the time the holiday season comes around and our motivation and time are at an all-time low you will have a freezer full of premade meals. You can also kick it up a notch and try your hand at one of these 19 Healthy Freezer bag Meals.

Make Your Smoothies Two at a Time

Smoothies will stay good in your refrigerator for up to 3 days so I like to make them two at a time. Now it is important to note that it will separate and look a little gross.  However, if you close your eyes and shake it up you won’t be able to tell the difference!  I like to use these Aquasana Water Bottles for my smoothies.

Learn How to Store Your Fruits & Veggies

The thing about healthy food is that it only works if you eat it! So, if you spend a ton of money at the store of fresh fruit and veggies only to have them go bad, you’re not doing anyone any good. Check out this great infographic from PaleoHacks for proper storage:

The opinions shared in this article are those of the contributor and not Total Gym Direct.



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Product Review: Optimum Nutrition | Gym Junkies |



Have you ever walked down the health supplements section of the grocery store only to be completely baffled at what you’re looking at?

All you want is a kind of protein powder, and yet there are a few dozen options looking back at you. There are whey proteins and pea proteins and egg white proteins and who knows what else. And this is just the protein powder section. Beyond the protein, there are fat burners and branch-chain amino acids and pre-workouts, post-workouts, and all kinds of other supplements you’ve never even heard of.

Even if you know of the supplement what do you know about the brand?

The supplement you purchase will heavily impact what you’re able to squeeze out of the workout.

Optimum Nutrition is one company that specializes in easily accessible supplements you can find at most grocery stores. Are these supplements any good and should you drop your own hard-earned cash on the products?

Here is everything you need to know about Optimum Nutrition and what to expect from the supplements the company sells.

Products Produced By Optimum Nutrition

Which Product Is Right For You?

Products Produced By Optimum Nutrition

Optimum Nutrition retails a number of products. By far the best selling is its Gold Standard 100% Whey. On its website, it is marketed as a post-workout “muscle support & recovery” product.

But, as is the case for most whey proteins, it is possible to use it prior to a workout and at any other time during the day. The Whey protein is sold in a number of sizes.

This includes the one and two-pound varieties as well as the on-the-go one-serving product that is excellent for individuals who need the product but are unable to mix it while out and about (or who want a meal replacement snack while driving or traveling).

Essential Amin.o. Energy is another popular product sold by the company. This is sometimes sold with its Amino Energy + Electrolytes Sparkling Energy Drink.

In addition, the company does sell a plant-based protein powder for when you’re looking for a protein that doesn’t include proteins derived from animals (whey proteins do contain milk and other dairy byproducts).

Optimum Nutrition also sells its Serious Mass for weight gain (which can be beneficial for anyone looking to put on weight faster, or for those with such a high metabolic rate they struggle building muscle at all). Creatine power is also one of its staple products.

Some of the newest products sold by Optimum Nutrition includes its Opti-Men multivitamin and probiotic gummy, an essential Amino Energy Advanced supplement, a pre-workout supplement, several variations of its probiotic gummy (one of which is packed with Vitamin C and another is prebiotic), plus collagen and hyaluronic acid supplement for joint and hair help, plus a supplement for joint health designed for those who are 40 and older.

Gold Standard 100% Whey

Gold Standard 100% Whey

Because Gold Standard 100% Whey is the company’s top seller let’s look further at the product. First, there are a number of size options you should consider. Beyond the individual servings of the whey drink, it is available in 1, 2, 5, and 10-pound containers. You can also pick up a six-serving sample pack as well.

This is one way to go if you’d like to avoid buying a large quantity of it before you decide whether you like the flavor or not. Flavor for whey proteins is always up to each individual. What you like another person might find chalky.

Of course, Optimum Nutrition also sells a handful of flavors as well, so you aren’t forced to drink the same flavor of protein powder every single time you down protein powder.

When you visit your local grocery store you likely will only find a handful of these flavors, but you can buy your favorite through the website, should you choose to.

The current flavors Optimum Nutrition sells include Banana Cream, Birthday Cake, Blueberry Cheese Cake, Cake Batter, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coffee, Cookies & Cream, Double Rich Chocolate, Extreme Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla Creme, Mocha Cappuccino, Rocky Road, Salted Caramel, Strawberries & Cream, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Unflavored, Vanilla Ice Cream, and White Chocolate.

The unflavored “flavor” is good if you are mixing it with other supplements. Perhaps you want to mix it with a pre-workout supplement that already has a flavor or creatine that is flavored as well. The unflavored protein powder might also work if you’re looking to use it in some baked goods and you don’t need a flavor.

Marketed Benefits Of the Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder

Each of the protein powders uses the same marketing benefits, so it does not matter which product or flavor you are considering.

As the “World’s best-selling whey protein” (those exact numbers are especially difficult to back up as not all companies release the same sales numbers or how many ounces of powder are sold), each serving of the protein powder offers 24 grams per servicing, 5.5 grams of branch-chain amino acids, the powders are gluten-free, don’t include any artificial growth hormones, and all have been banned substance tested.

While you likely don’t need to worry about any banned substances being within your protein powder, it is beneficial to know the product has been tested against known banned substances in athletic competitions. You don’t want to be disqualified due to something found in one of your supplements.

Nutrition Facts

Some of the nutrition elements of Optimum Nutrition’s protein will vary slightly based on the flavor you opt for. Protein and carbs will not shift between the flavors. You’re going to net 24 grams of protein per serving and 3 grams of carbs (including 1 gram of sugar and under 1 gram of fiber).

However, the biggest difference you’ll find will be the sodium levels.

Some flavors will have higher levels of sodium than others in order to make up the flavor difference. Double Rich Chocolate, for example, contains 50mg of sodium (as well as 35mg of cholesterol). Delicious Strawberry contains the same amount of carbs, but it has two grams of sugar (instead of one), and cholesterol is 40mg. The unflavored version comes in at 110 calories (instead of 120), has just 2 grams of carbs, 50mg of sodium, and 30mg of cholesterol.

As you can see, there are slight differences in some of the basic nutrition facts found in the different flavors, but in terms of protein, you are going to net 24 grams per serving. One other thing you might want to keep in mind.

Because the unflavored version doesn’t include as man carbs or other nutrition elements you actually receive more servings per container.

A single 2-pound container will container 30 servings of the unflavored version, but you’ll receive 28 or 29 servings depending on the flavor you opt for. It isn’t a big difference, but it is something you should keep in mind if you’re looking for ways to squeeze every penny out of your protein powder purchase.

Comparing To Store Brands

Comparing To Store Brands

So the big question is are the specifics and nutrition facts all that different from what you might find with other products out there?

Well, let’s compare what the Optimum Nutrition nutrition facts are compared with a popular store brand.

Equate is Walmart’s nutrition store brand, so if you find yourself at Walmart checking protein powders you might see Optimum Nutrition sitting next to Equate. Equate’s chocolate-flavored whey protein powder is 170 calories, 80mg of cholesterol, 6 grams of carbs, 135mg of sodium, and 30 grams of protein.

With Optimum Nutrition, each gram of protein is five calories.

On the other hand, every gram of Equate protein is about 5.7 calories. On the surface that doesn’t sound like that big of a difference, but it means per 24 grams of protein you’re going to be downing around 15 extra calories when you use the store brand. If you have three servings a day, that’s 45 calories a day. Day by day, that can begin to add up. It’s not a ton, but it is something.

Probably the biggest difference here is the carbs and sodium. With Equate you’re getting 2 grams of carbs per 10 grams of protein, while with Optimum Nutrition you’re getting 1 to 1.5 per 12 grams of protein.

So, if you’re looking to get the most out of your protein and want better control of where your calories are coming from, Optimum Nutrition is the way to go.

And as for sodium, this is the main difference. Optimum Nutrition contains 50mg of sodium per 24 grams. Equate contains 135mg per 30. This means 4.5mg of sodium per gram of protein in Equate, versus less than 2.1mg of sodium per gram of protein.

It’s always a good idea to try and limit your sodium intake as best you can. Especially if you’re consuming several servings of powder every day. This makes Optimum Nutrition by far the healthiest option to consider.

Is It Worth Your Money?

Is It Worth Your Money?

There are all kinds of protein powders out there, so you really need to do your research when looking at them. The best way to do this is to simply turn the containers over and read through the nutrition facts. This will instantly begin to separate the good products from those you should avoid.

Yes, products like Equate might offer some okay protein numbers per serving, but once you dive into the sodium numbers you’ll find it is chock-full of salt and other less than desirable byproducts. This makes Optimum Nutrition’s whey powder one of the better buys for the process.

The Shake Test

The Shake Test

One of the biggest questions you should have about protein powder, at least if you’ve been using protein powder for some time, is how well it mixes into water or milk (whatever you’re mixing it with). There are some protein powders out there that just don’t mix well and end up giving you the consistency of cottage cheese. That is a terrible thing to try and swallow.

However, Optimum Nutrition doesn’t have this kind of problem. Because there are some milk byproducts within the powder it helps it break down easier.

Now, you still need to do your part and mix it. The best way to do that is with a protein mixer (one of those cups that comes with a metal ball inside), or use a closed-off jar you can shake.

Optimum Nutrition is an excellent product for mixing. You should still add it into a mixing jar or something of that nature but you won’t need to worry about chunks, just so long as you mix it properly.

If you can’t drink the product it really doesn’t matter what kind of nutritional elements it has. Other products you’ll find you can’t mix well and then you’ll be gulping down chunks. That isn’t a problem with Optimum Nutrition, which is just another reason why you need to give it a chance.

Final Verdict

It’s easy to find, the price is right, it isn’t chock-full of sodium, and you can easily mix it. All of this means it is well worth the price and an excellent protein powder to check out.

Optimum Nutrition is one of the best selling nutrition supplement manufacturers out there. You can find it at nearly any grocery store that has a supplement and personal fitness section.

You don’t always want to skip around between different supplement manufacturers as it can cause discomfort in your stomach. Optimum Nutrition is gentle on the stomach and, as it is widely available, it is also affordable.

Vegetarian diet bodybuilder

In Conclusion

So, no matter what kind of fitness regimen you are on if you want a quality product that doesn’t break the bank you will want to check out Optimum Nutrition. Whether you order it directly through Optimum Nutrition or pick it up during your next grocery store visit, you’ll quickly discover just how solid of a product it is and how it can benefit your diet.

-Terry Asher

Terry Asher

After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!

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Summary

Product Review: Optimum Nutrition

Article Name

Product Review: Optimum Nutrition

Description

Looking for a protein powder? Optimum Nutrition is one company that specializes in easily accessible supplements you can find at most grocery stores.

Author

Terry Asher

Publisher Name

Gym Junkies

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Nutrition For Beautiful Hair | FitnessRX for Women



We all know how important exercise and good nutrition are to our fitness goals, but both are also a critical component of our beauty regimen. Not only does the food we eat help keep our skin gorgeous, it also helps us to grow healthy, stunning hair.

Nutrition For Beautiful Hair - Eat to grow lovely locks“Exercise increases the blood supply to your muscles as well as your hair, which stimulates growth,” says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “And, the food we eat for muscle also promote hair health.”

Nutrition For Beautiful Hair - Eat to grow lovely locksSo, as the adage says, beauty truly starts on the inside. So today, I would like to share a few nutrition tips to help you grow healthy, shiny locks that you love:

PROTEIN. This macronutrient has the power to build and restore, both of which are important for healthy hair. Make sure to consume good quality of proteins like lean meats, fish, low fat cheese, eggs, etc.

IRON. Sufficient iron is necessary to grow healthy hair. Many women are iron deficient, so make sure you are consuming foods rich in iron like lean red meat, turkey and whole grains, to mention a few.

ZINC. This mineral can have effects on androgens and hormones, both of which have an important role in hair and skin health. You can find zinc such foods as almonds, walnuts and beef.

OMEGA-3s. Omega-3s have infinite benefits, including bolstering you scalp and hair health. Rich sources of omega-3s include salmon, flaxseed oil and tuna. You can also use an omega-3 supplement to get your daily dose of this key nutrient.

WATER. “Hair is one-quarter water,” says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. So, make sure to drink at least 8 cups of filtered water a day to stay hydrated and grow healthy hair.

VITAMIN C. This vitamin helps the body to absorb iron, a critical nutrient for hair health. To increase your vitamin c, simply add more fruits and veggies into your diet. A few great options include tangerines, oranges and strawberries.

VITAMIN E. This vitamin stimulates the circulation in the scalp, which helps with hair growth.

BIOTIN. Biotin helps to prevent hair loss, increase hair growth and strengthen strands. Biotin sources include lentils, some nuts and brown rice.

Also, I want to recommend a few other things to help you grow strong, healthy hair:

Make sure your hormones are balanced. Hormones regulate all of your body functions, including hair growth.
Use a nourishing shampoo. Get a good organic shampoo with aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamins to nourish your strands.
Keep exercising. Exercise helps blood flow, which is important for hair growth.
Live healthy. Manage stress, sleep 7-9 hours a night and do not smoke





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The Next Generation Nutrition Bar


How Was That Possible?!

Working at T Nation headquarters in Colorado has a lot of advantages. First, I get to use the private T Nation gym. Pretty sweet. Second, I get to work from the same building as our sister company, Biotest Labs.

A while back, Biotest received a big delivery of product – a huge pallet of Finibars in unmarked white wrappers. In case you don’t know, good supplements companies do what are called “pilot runs” of their products to test for things like flavor and texture and make sure everything is up to snuff before they produce millions of them.

The pilot run turned out great and production was cranked up. But that big pallet of Finibars, cases of them left over from testing, was just sitting there… right outside my office.

Naturally, I started to grab one here and there. Then I grabbed another couple. And maybe a couple more. Sometimes I’d stack a dark chocolate crunch bar with a peanut butter crunch bar, stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds, and eat them like giant, high-performance Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Now, if you’re a fan of Finibars, then you’re probably saying, “Um, hey Chris, those bar are designed to be eaten before hard workouts and athletic competitions. They aren’t snacks!”

Yeah, I know. And I still worked my way up to eating five of them every day: one before training and four more spread throughout the day or as a lunch replacement.

I fully expected to gain some body fat. But, weirdly, I didn’t. The only thing I noticed was having the best workouts of my life and muscular pumps so tight they were almost painful.

So I decided to take a closer look at the ingredients of Finibars and figure out what was going on.

Protein and Functional Carbs

Aside from 16 grams of protein – a blend of high-quality whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate, not cheap soy like most food bars – Finibars contain 39 to 40 grams of carbohydrate. That’s what initially had me worried. I was a low-carb guy at one time. I’m not anymore, but those carbs scared me a little, given the number of bars I was scarfing down.

Turns out, instead of being primarily made out of syrup and cheap sugars like most “energy” bars, Finibars contain isomaltulose as the primary carbohydrate. It’s truly a “functional” carb, and not just because it can do squats while standing on an exercise ball.

Isomaltulose is derived from beets, but the molecules have been enzymatically rearranged to create a carbohydrate that’s fully digested and fully absorbed — but much, much slower than regular, non-functional carbs. That’s how Finibars sustain your energy for competition or long/intense workouts.

Also, isomaltulose induces a very low blood sugar response. As such, the body releases a very small amount of insulin, which prompts the body to burn stored fat for energy production. Yes, that means these bars actually promote fat burning and improve metabolism.

That explains how I was able to eat so many of them and stay lean. Isomaltulose is a functional carb source that causes the body to oxidize fat at a greater rate, which is one of the ways it improves endurance and athletic performance.

What’s more, studies – randomized, double-blind, controlled cross-over studies – show that cyclists were able to improve their time trial tests by over a minute when using isomaltulose – the difference between winning gold and going home with just the free T-shirt (1).

Fuel for the Finish

Finibars weren’t made because Biotest wanted a piece of the nutrition bar market. No, it happened organically. An Olympic cyclist we were working with said she needed a bar that fueled her competitions and helped her stay hydrated without upsetting her stomach.

Finibars were designed just for her and not sold to the general pubic at first. Later they were tested with every type of athlete, from ultra-marathoners to pro bodybuilders and NFL football players (who would eat them before games and during halftime).

Actor Bradley Cooper would eat them before and after his brutal workouts to prepare for his role in American Sniper.

Finibars also provide anti-catabolic protection (very important for natural lifters and athletes) and something called “superhydration.” They help pull water into muscle – when consumed with fluids of course – for a superhydration effect, which is critical for supporting and sustaining high-level performance.

And unlike a grocery store “energy bar,” which can upset your stomach during training and sports, Finibars soothe the digestive tract. As a bonus, they’re wheat free and gluten free.

Who Should Use Finibars?

  • Lifters and bodybuilders who train intensively (and love a good pump)

  • Combat-sport athletes and fighters

  • Runners and obstacle racers

  • CrossFit athletes

  • Military personal

  • Hikers

  • Anyone who trains their butt off

And while you won’t find this on the label or on the store page, I think Finibars make a great anytime snack or meal replacement. Hey, life is a competition. Fuel up and win it.

Buy Finibars

To Sum Up, Finibar…

  • Fuels the toughest workouts and competitions

  • Provides sustained high-level energy

  • Protects against muscle loss (catabolism)

  • Improves metabolism

  • Promotes fat burning

  • Supports a muscular pump

  • Soothes the digestive system

  • Tastes damn good

Related:
Get Finibars Here

Related:
Use This Carb to Win Big

Reference

  1. Konig, Zdzieblk, Holz, Theis, and Gollhofer, “Substrate Utilization and Cycling Performance Following Palatinose Ingestion: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial,” Nutrients 2016, 8, 390;10.3390/nu8070390



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Ensuring optimum nutrition for your kids while they learn from home – Webcast


Ensuring adequate nutrition for kids is a challenge, especially when their taste buds are addicted to fast food. However, taste and health are not mutually exclusive. Chef Amrita Raichand joins us for a workshop on how you can create healthy meals for your child while they attend classes from home without compromising on their taste.

About PC Paathshala

As e-learning becomes the new normal, Intel in India has collaborated with the Times of India (TOI) to launch PC Paathshala, a unique industry-wide initiative aimed at enabling India to adapt to teaching and learning online. PC Paathshala will bring user-friendly and easy-to-consume content, developed and curated by industry experts, to teachers, students and parents across India.





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Top Six Nutrition Rich Juice Recipes



Top Six Nutrition Rich Juice Recipes : You may like to drink fresh juice or want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, you can try this recipe for the juice. For this, you will need some vegetables you may not like them like carrots or beets. During breakfast usually, people don’t like vegetables much.

American Clinical Nutrition says people who take herbs lived three years more than those who don’t take veggies. Just remember: As juice can’t provide you protein or fat for a long time, take peanut butter or toast for breakfast. For afternoon snacks, you can try string cheese.

Also, focus on veggie items. Dr. Katz suggests the ratio of 1 part fruit to 2 part vegetables and continues sugar checking. Here are six perfect recipes for good vegetables and fruits.

  1. Best Juice Recipe to Hold Aging

    Because of lack of sleep or exercise, free-radicals, and stress, your actual age can be visible. The certified author and chef Patty James suggest taking antioxidant-packed veggies and fruits while juicing.

    • What You Need

      • One or two cup liquid as you like (aloe vera, milk or water)
      • One to two cup strawberries
      • 1 to two medium beets
      • One cup blueberries
      • One large kale leaf (remove thick stem)
    • How To Make

      Now wash all washable ingredients. Then put all parts in the juicer like your twin gear juicer or blender. Also, blend that smooth and well, serve the juice immediately.

  2. Best Juice Recipe for Sex Life

    Chocolate and oyster are delicious, and it helps your partner and you to put in a good mood. But it is not appealing. Thankfully, foods of libido-boosting are tasty as the liquid. Moreover, James says that celery has an ingredient which increases pheromones in men’s body.

    Also, it sends the signal to women that “I’m here.” Besides, watermelon helps for relaxing blood vessels that raise sex drive. However, avocados have vitamin B, which increases men’s hormone production. Less sex drive is not a sign of the disorder of the body.

    • What You Need

      • One handful basil
      • One or two avocado
      • 1 small ginger
      • One or two banana
      • Two stalks celery
      • Two cups of aloe Vera gel or coconut water
    • How To Make

      Now wash all washable ingredients. Then put all ingredients in the juicer or blender. Also, blend that smooth and well, serve the juice immediately.

  3. Best Juice for Boosting Energy

    Furthermore, drink the green juice instead of taking coffee. Judita Wignall says that the chlorophyll helps to increase physical energy and brain function, oxygenate your blood with green pigment.

    • What You Need

      • One inch ginger piece
      • One-fourth lemon
      • 1 fist parsley
      • One handful spinach
      • One fist kale
      • Eight stalks celery
      • One large cucumber
    • How To Make

      Now wash all washable ingredients. Then put all ingredients in the juicer or blender. Also, blend that smooth and well, serve the juice immediately.

  4. Best Juice Recipe for Mellow Cravings

    The celery juice keeps the balance of sweetness of the juice while giving alkalizing and electrolytes minerals. Besides, for reducing sugar cravings, it helps.

    Moreover, cinnamon provides compounds that help to maintain blood sugar and weight loss also. Adjusted blood sugar is equal to low sugar cravings; this is the equation of juicing for your health.

    • What You Need

      • One dash cinnamon
      • Eight stalks celery
      • Two apples
    • How To Make

      Now wash all washable ingredients. Then put all ingredients in the juicer or blender. Also, blend that smooth and well, serve the juice immediately.

  5. Best Juice Recipe for the Immune System

    Broccoli contains vitamin C, and it raises the fighting white cells of the blood of the body. Garlic has sulfur compounds that boost the immune system.

    • What You Need

      • Two cloves garlic
      • One stalk broccoli
      • Eight stalks celery
      • Three carrots
      • One small beet
    • How To Make

      Now wash all washable ingredients. Then put all ingredients in the juicer or blender. Also, blend that smooth and well, serve the juice immediately.

  6. Best Hydration Juice

    However, you may want to drink juice but don’t want to invest in the juicer. Then you can drink coconut water. Also, it keeps balancing your blood.

    Doctors suggest coconut water for dehydrating diseases like influenza, dysentery, cholera, and many more. Moreover, you can get it in many restaurants or stores.

Conclusion

After making juice, you can keep this in refrigerate for a week. Whenever you feel like drinking the juice, then just go for it. The green juice, which doesn’t taste much good you can add pineapple, cucumber, green apple also.

But if you plan to add the juice for your diet, you need to invest in the juicer. However, the juicer can be much expensive. If so, then you can take a standard one who can make the juice properly. So, make a budget for the juicer and balance it with the other kitchen stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

Related Videos about Nutrition Rich Juice Recipes :

5 HEALTHY JUICE recipes (for weight loss, glowing skin, hair, detox, and cleanse)

 

3 Juices for Healthy Body | Delicious & Easy to make Juices | Breakfast Juices | Detox juices

 

12 Healthy Smoothies

 

3 Healthy Juice Recipes That Taste Great!

 

My 5 favorite juicer recipes for ENERGY | Green Juice, Fruit Juice, & Vegetable Juice

 

Top Six Nutrition Rich Juice Recipes

Juicer recipes for weight loss, Juicing recipes for energy, Green juice recipe, Juice cleanse recipes, Healthy juices to drink, Fruit juice combinations, Fruit juice Recipes blender, Juice recipes for kids,



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