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Supplements I Should Be Taking, and Why

April 30, 2018

You need your body at 100%, if you want to burn fat!  Recovery and proper nutrition is important.  You cant live a party lifestyle, eat less throughout the week and expect to burn fat…you’ll be “skinny fat” instead.  Things that affect fat burning…inflammation of the body/organs/muscles, the proper amount of carbs and protein ingested, cortisol levels, sleep, quality of the foods you are eating, proper hydration.

 

That’s why people are seeing ridiculous things happen on this diet challenge…bringing their body back to balance with all of these things. Those that aren’t doing that stuff, aren’t seeing the results everyone else is.  Its pretty fuckin simple.  

You cannot outtrain a bad diet.

You cannot out-supplement a bad diet.

Food, 100%, is going to be the MOST important way to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.

 

However, there are a few supplements that I recommend, based on my own experience with training to be a Regionals athlete, and with having a coach for 3 years, going through Adrenal Fatigue and all of that stuff!

 

BCAAs - Branched Chain Amino Acids

First of all…BCAAs naturally occur in meat too, but you’ll see a lot of us drinking a colored water, that’s usually bcaas in our water. It also helps me get in my half gallon of water per day because it gives me a bit of flavor throughout the day.  

 

What do they do…They convert amino acids into energy during intense exertion or exercise and they make up about 35% of all muscle tissue. The more bcaas that are present in the muscles, the more they will be used for energy, slowing the breakdown of muscle cells and prevent muscle loss.  

They help your body recover and make more muscle by blocking the “muscle wasting effects” that happen after heavy and intense exercise…so in turn, backs helps prevent the breakdown of muscle.  That’s why we drink bcaas and protein during work outs and after...it helps prevent muscle soreness.  

Studies also have shown that backs helps reduce fat in the belly area and support hormone balance, which definitely plays a role in our ability to respond better daily to the work outs and intense training we do at the gym.    Studies have shown that athletes who supplemented with bcaas had higher testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels when supplementing daily with a bcaa supplement.  When I was going through my adrenal fatigue, I traded out the Monster energy cans for bcaas and water.  

 

Fish Oil

It all comes down to Omega-6/3 balance. You can’t talk about fish oil without getting into Omega-3 fatty acids, and discussing Omega-3 fatty acids is useless without understanding their relation to the Omega-6s. We want a 1:1 Omega-6:Omega-3 dietary ratio helps keep dangerous inflammation in check. Seeing as how most Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in “vegetable” oils (soybean, corn, peanut, sunflower – to only name a few), fake butter products, grain-fed animal fat, and other modern foods we consume.  In fact, a lot of the fat we consume is an Omega 6…and much of our daily activity in life promotes inflammation and stress on the body so naturally our Omega 3/6 balance is off.

 

Fish oil is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids — substances your body needs for many functions, from muscle activity to cell growth.

Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from food. They can't be manufactured in the body. Fish oil contains two omega-3s called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Dietary sources of DHA and EPA are fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and trout, and shellfish, such as mussels, oysters and crabs. Some nuts, seeds and vegetable oils contain another omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

 

Fish oil supplements come in liquid, capsule and pill form.

People take fish oil to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, to treat high triglycerides and high blood pressure, and to improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Research on the use of fish oil for specific conditions shows:

1.  Heart disease.

Research shows that eating dietary sources of fish oil — such as tuna or salmon — twice a week is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease. Taking fish oil supplements for at least six months has been shown to reduce the risk of heart-related events (such as heart attack) and death in people who are at high risk of heart disease. Research also suggests that the risk of congestive heart failure is lower in older adults who have higher levels of EPA fatty acids.

2.  High blood pressure.

Multiple studies report modest reductions in blood pressure in people who take fish oil supplements. There's some evidence that this effect is greater for people with moderate to severe hypertension than those with mild hypertension.

3.  High triglycerides and cholesterol.

There's strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. There also appears to be a slight improvement in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good") cholesterol, although an increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol also was observed.

4.  Rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies suggest fish oil supplements might help reduce pain, improve morning stiffness and relieve joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. While relief is often modest, it might be enough to reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medications.

 

Caffeine

Speaking with Dale from UR and my OPEX coach Robin, they both said the same thing…Best pre-work out is….Coffee or caffeine!

Here's why...

Pre-workouts are not good for CrossFit or any performance based training or athlete. They diminish or actually hurt Performance. None of them are formulated to produce muscle energy, they’re only formulated to overstimulate your adrenal system with excessive amounts of caffeine and also excessive amounts of beta alanine because they figure that the bodybuilder types who do curls for the girls simply want a pump. Beta alanine makes your skin feel like it is on fire breaking into a cold sweat and heart palpitations. It’s honestly dangerous for people who do CrossFit and CrossTrain. Probably even more so for your average or below average CrossFit or who doesn’t have the conditioning to back up and elevated heart rate. Why does anybody want to start a workout with an elevated heart rate when the workout itself is going to severely elevate your heart rate?

 

Why coffee!?...

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that drinking a couple cups of coffee before a workout can actually make it feel more enjoyable.

The study evaluated the differences that 14 total participants experienced when they took caffeine  (equal to two 8-ounce cups of coffee or 4 cups of black tea) and worked out on a stationary bike vs. no caffeine and a workout on a stationary bike. The findings? When caffeinated, the participants reported the ride as way easier than it was without the stimulant.

Health Magazine reported on another study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, that found coffee enhanced fat-burning in exercise participants. Researchers concluded that “trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15 percent more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who ingested a placebo.

And still, one more study found that coffee before a workout increases an athlete’s ability to draw extra energy and enhance their performance, particularly during endurance workouts.

The amount of coffee is 100% dependent on the client since we all can handle caffeine differently.  Now if you RELY on coffee or caffeine to keep you going and awake, you could have hormone and adrenal imbalances like I did.  My coach made me get rid of coffee for A LONG time before reintroducing it back in to my diet.  If you use a cup or 2 to wake you up and feel energized, no big deal.  Like anything else, you have to use it intelligently. I didn’t have coffee for 2 weeks before Regionals and had it the day of, and I was lit through my mind!  I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest, and ironically, that was the worst work out of the weekend.  I didn’t have any coffee after that.  I guess that was what Dale was talking about elevated and unsafe heart rate!

 

I use coffee but from 6am until 11am I drink 2 cups…yes it takes me that long to drink my coffee.  Slow and steady buzz!  I drink a bit before my morning work out from 7am until 9am…finish the other cup from 10am until 1130am and work out again at 1pm and I do just fine after waking up at 4:30am.

 

Vitamin D

If you want to enhance your athletic performance and your recovery, you need to get some exposure to the sun! For me, recovery days was always a walk outside, unplugged/without music, to reflect and have some “me” peaceful time to de-stress.

Sunlight can help regulate our sleep cycle and promote deeper recovery. Another important benefit that comes with sensible sun exposure is Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthen your bones, which can prevent bone fractures and chronic muscle pain. It also strengthens your muscle fibers.

If you spend most of your days inside, try spending some time outside. Specifically you want to be spending time outside, when the sun has reached its peak position and intensity between 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Pro sports teams are now wise to the athletic benefits of Vitamin D too. A 2015 study of the Pittsburgh Steelers published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in players with at least one bone fracture. Players who were released during the preseason due to injury or poor performance also had significantly lower Vitamin D levels than those who made the team.

Another study conducted on the Chicago Blackhawks proved that consistent sun exposure strengthened fast-twitch muscle fibers, stopped inflammation, and reduced the chances of contracting a respiratory infection.

 

Glutamine

Glutamine is one of 20 naturally occurring amino acids in dietary protein. In fact, L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and makes up 30–35 percent of the amino acid nitrogen in your blood. It’s actually known as a conditionally essential amino acid because your body uses it in large amounts.

What does ‘conditionally essential amino acid’ mean? It refers to the amino acid becoming essential when the individual faces disease or specifically muscle wasting, which can happen in the course of certain diseases or even physical trauma. It also becomes a conditionally essential nutrient during certain catabolic states, including after bone marrow transplantation.

Found in both animal and plant proteins, it’s also available in supplement form and is widely popular in the fitness community and beyond. It’s found in high levels in both casein and whey protein. 

It’s important to know that the majority of people don’t get enough L-glutamine from their food alone. That’s why supplementing your diet with L-glutamine is an excellent way to boost your immune system and improve your ability to fight infection and diseases. In fact, it’s become a common supplement for critically ill patients.

Amazingly, around 60 percent of your skeletal muscle is made up of glutamine

 

1. Improves gastrointestinal health

L-glutamine benefits your health if you have any type of digestive issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, leaky gut or any of the issues associated with leaky gut (like joint pain, rosacea or any type of autoimmune response). Because it’s a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair, you need this amino acid in your diet on a regular basis.

2. Helps leaky gut and ulcers

3. Boosts brain health

4. Helps Promote Colon Health

Glutamine helps improve IBS and diarrhea by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements. 

When paired with casein protein powder is that it helps promote colon health. In a study performed out of Australia, researchers investigated the health benefits of various proteins and found that dairy proteins promote colon health better than meat and soy.  This proves to be yet another reason why you should strongly consider adding casein protein to your daily intake.

5. Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting

Whether your goal is to increase athletic performance, boost metabolism, improve recovery or even build muscle, research shows that L-glutamine can significantly aid your efforts. During an intense workout, your body becomes stressed and your muscles and tendons require more glutamine than the amount supplied by a normal diet.

So, after an intense workout, the levels of cellular glutamine can drop by 50 percent and plasma levels by 30 percent!  Supplementing with L-glutamine allows your muscles to fight and push a bit further, which boosts your strength and helps repair your skeletal muscles. A study found that glutamine supplementation makes it possible to recover quicker from intense weight training sessions because it improves muscle hydration. This aids the recovery process and why glutamine supplementation is not only common for bodybuilders in the bodybuilding industry, but in nearly every athletic pursuit these days.

Which is why Dale puts it into his RECOVERY powders, so you don’t have to take another supplement on top of your protein powder.

You have to take it on a regular basis though to keep stores built up, and its best used when coupled with BCAAs.  Again, another reason why Dale puts in his protein powder. 

There are study after study done that have shown that bcaas, glutamine and whey protein improve muscle recovery and restore the body’s energy stores.

6. Improves athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise

One of L-glutamine’s main roles in the body is to support detoxification by cleansing the body from high levels of ammonia.

Doing approximately one hour of exercise can cause a 40 percent reduction of glutamine in the body. It can also cause suppressed immune function. This has a negative impact on your resistance training and may lead to overtraining. 

7. Burns fat and improves diabetes 

L-glutamine also burns fat and builds lean muscle mass by helping suppress insulin levels and stabilize blood glucose. This enables the body to use up less muscle mass to maintain blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in the cells. 

 

Protein Powders

Whey and Casein

UR has BCAAs in their Whey protein so by drinking URs Recovery, you are getting the best and most beneficial combo of producing the greatest increases in muscle with training, as well as recovery.  Drinking a protein and bcaas, you are going to have less fatigue during your work outs, accelerate recovery, reduce muscle soreness and improve the use of fat for energy.  That’s why in your macro charts I tell you to drink a protein/bcaas/carb supplement during/after your work out.  

 

That's it guys!  Real food is #1 and these are #2!

 

 

 

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