Beta-alanine and Whey Protein as Part of a Mens’ Supplement Regimen

By Kevin Duerr136147555_Small

As a supplement educator at Natur-Tyme, I often have male fitness enthusiasts ask me what they can do to increase power, strength, energy, endurance, and focus through their supplement reigmen. I will be devoting three blogs to this subject. In the first blog I discuss Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC. In the second blog, I discuss Creatine, and in the third blog, I discuss Beta-alanine and Whey Protein.

Beta-alanine is a unique version of the amino acid alanine. Beta-alanine supplements are taken to help increase intracellular levels of carnosine. Carnosine is a dipeptide that consists of the amino acids histidine and alanine. Increasing intracellular levels of carnosine helps protect your body against uncontrolled oxidation and glycation. Carnosine is also a powerful intracellular buffer that reduces acidity. This fact is of interest to athletes. During exercise, your muscles produce a pH-lowering byproduct known as lactic acid. Lactic acid interferes with muscular contraction due to its high concentration of hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions that are released from lactic acid cause a painful chemical burn within your muscle tissue. Carnosine reduces the acidity and keeps your muscle pH up by absorbing these hydrogen ions. The net result of increased carnosine levels is an increase in your ability to extend a set of given exercises beyond normal limits. You can train harder, run longer, and obtain better results. Preformed carnosine is available in supplement form, but it can be pricey and difficult to absorb intact. A better strategy is supplement with beta-alanine. Beta-alanine increases intracellular carnosine levels better than taking oral carnosine supplements. If you desire to push yourself to your absolute limit; beta-alanine supplements are crucial.

Whey protein is a superior form of protein due to its ideal aminoacid content and its high bioavailability. The body better utilizes and retains the amino acids from whey protein when compared and contrasted to other protein sources. Whey protein is rich in the amino acids valine, leucine, and Isoleucine. These amino acids comprise roughly one third of your skeletal muscle structure. Supplementing your diet with whey protein provides your body with the building blocks to recover from intense workouts. Whey protein is also high in the amino acid cysteine. This amino acid helps boost immunity by boosting glutathione levels. Whey protein is also very low in fat so you can use it while dieting as well. If your mission is to build a better body, you better be training hard and supplementing with whey protein.

Creatine as Part of a Mens’ Supplement Regimen

By Kevin Duerr136147555_Small

As a supplement educator at Natur-Tyme, I often have male fitness enthusiasts ask me what they can do to increase power, strength, energy, endurance, and focus through their supplement reigmen. I will be devoting three blogs to this subject. In the first blog I discuss Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC. In the second blog, I discuss Creatine, and in the third blog, I discuss Beta-alanine and Whey Protein.

Creatine is a tripeptide that can be biosynthesized from the amino acids methionine, glycine, and arginine. In other words, your body can make creatine as long as the appropriate building blocks are available. If you are deficient in any of the three aforementioned amino acids, your body’s ability to synthesize creatine will suffer. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely solely on those amino acid building blocks to form creatine. Preformed, supplemental creatine is available. Once in the body, creatine is phosphorylated (forming creatine phosphate) and is ready to be used by skeletal muscles, cardiac tissue, and the brain. Creatine phosphate increases strength by regenerating ADP into ATP (It does this simply by donating it’s phoshate to ADP). ATP is the universal energy molecule that allows for muscular contraction. The heart, brain, and skeletal muscles demand a constant supply of ATP. Numerous studies have clearly indicated that supplemental creatine boosts strength and athletic performance. Creatine keeps your muscle cells in a hydrated state, creating an anabolic environment. It has also been shown to act as an antioxidant and to decrease mental fatigue. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied form of creatine. Creapure is a trademarked form of micronized creatine monohydrate. The particle size of this micronized version of creatine is substantially smaller than the traditional monohydrate form. Creapure is also devoid of contaminants and is the purest form of creatine available. Creatine is clearly conducive to muscular gains, greater energy levels, and increased strength.

Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC as Part of a Mens’ Supplement Regimen

By Kevin Duerr136147555_Small

As a supplement educator at Natur-Tyme, I often have male fitness enthusiasts ask me what they can do to increase power, strength, energy, endurance, and focus through their supplement reigmen. I will be devoting three blogs to this subject. In the first blog I discuss Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC. In the second blog, I discuss Creatine, and in the third blog, I discuss Beta-alanine and Whey Protein.

Acetyl L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is readily absorbed and has been shown to cross the highly selective blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain tissue, it has demonstrated the ability to increase acetlycholine levels. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is paramount for cognition, mental acuity, memory, and muscular contraction. Acetyl L-Carnitine also boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine and the hormone testosterone. This indicates that you should feel more energetic and stronger while taking this supplement. Acetyl L-Carnitine also enhances fatty acid oxidation. So not only does this supplement boost brain health, energy, and male hormonal output, it also can result in a marked reduction of body fat. Acetyl L-Carnitine is a potent antioxidant, protecting the brain from free-radical attack. In addition, it guards the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. Protecting the mitochondria is vital because it is the site of ATP (energy) synthesis. Taking Acetyl L-Carnitine should help you: think clearer, have greater energy, and get leaner.

Alpha-GPC is a naturally-occurring, water-soluble phospholipid. It absorbs extremely well and readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Alpha-GPC supplies a highly-bioavailable form of choline to the brain. Alpha-GPC is a potent precursor to the neurotranmitter acetylcholine. It has been shown to increase cognitive function, alertness, memory, attention, and even faster reflexes. Alpha-GPC increases human growth hormone levels (HGH) as well. It does so by potentiating the effects of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH). HGH is the hormone of youth that helps maintain a youthful appearance and a strong, lean body. Through a hormonal cascade, maintaining optimal growth hormone levels will help maintain healthy testosterone levels as well. Lastly, Alpha-GPC increases strength and muscular power through its effect on cholinergic transmission. Bottom line—You should think faster and feel stronger when taking Alpha-GPC.

Celebrate Spring

By Carol Blair BS, DiHom, CNC

GardeningAs spring appears, we think of flowers, green lawns, cleaning up the winter debris, gardening, and maybe composting?

This is an excellent time to start a compost pile if you haven’t already.  By returning nutrients to the earth, you improve your garden by producing healthier soil with more minerals.  Like a healthy body that requires fewer prescriptions, healthy soil nourishes the plants so they require fewer pesticides.

If you don’t have a garden, this is a good time to think about growing a few vegetables or fruits.  If you don’t want a full-fledged garden, containers can house tomatoes, green or red peppers, or even a few strawberries.  This is a wonderful way to get the kids to eat healthier as they are always so proud of food they grow themselves!  It’s also nice to be able to share a couple of fresh, organic tomatoes with a favorite neighbor or perhaps even get a few neighbors to try growing different varieties.  Then you can share to see which tomatoes you like best. You might even like the results of getting to know your neighbors better.

And what’s nicer than having a few fresh herbs like chives and parsley growing on your deck? Have you ever thought about planting a fruit?  With the prices of food rising so dramatically and no relief in sight, this might be the time.  There are many dwarf varieties available as well. Get some advice as some might need a “partner” tree for pollination.

It’s spring, one of my favorite times of the years, so let’s start composting, growing, and developing a sense of community.

Why Exercise?

By Laurel Sterling Prisco, MA, RD, CN

RunningIn order to age gracefully, we need to move our bodies regularly! Now I’m not just talking about daily activities such as: up and down the stairs with laundry, gardening, or walking to your car. I am referring to a bit more intensive body movement. Of course, this definitely depends on your current health status. If you are limited in specific ways or have certain conditions, be sure to consult with your practitioner first who may recommend you to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist. Just do the best you can with what you’ve got. Also, if you have not been working out in quite some time, start small and slowly build your way up.

Exercise has numerous benefits to our body in addition to assisting in the anti-aging process. It is important to include in your regime some cardiovascular, strength training, and stretching. Below is a list of benefits from these:

  • Increases endurance, muscle tone, strength, and flexibility
    • Decreases joint problems
    • Aids building bones
  • Brings blood, nutrients, and oxygen to every cell in the body
    • Cellular wastes are moved for better elimination through kidneys, bowels, and skin
      • Bowel regularity
      • Increases disease resistance
    • Improves digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food
      • Lowers total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, while increasing HDLs
      • Lowers blood sugar levels
      • Makes insulin more effective for muscle and fat cells
    • Increased oxygen intake aids the brain and complexion
      • Aids in alleviating irritability, anxiety, and depression
        • Endorphins, natural mood elevators, are released. A feeling of centeredness is often felt from those who regularly exercise.
      • Increases energy
      • Enhances a more restful sleep
    • Arteries become more resilient, lungs and heart become stronger
      • Lowers blood pressure
  • Weight loss
    • Appetite control

Try the following tips to make your journey towards more movement in your life a more enjoyable one:

  • Approach your regime realistically
  • Find activities you would like to do and that you will maintain
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you are exercising
  • Vary your intensity
  • Focus on being consistent and regular to make it a lifelong habit

Below are a just few studies cited that support some of the anti-aging benefits of exercise noted above:

  1. It’s never too late to start! Individuals in their 70s substantially increase strength and endurance with exercise. Behavioral Medicine 1999;24:157-168
  2. An analysis of 37 studies including 720 adults aged 46 to 90. Improvements were seen in less than four months and then maintained. No difference was found in fitness between people who walked, jogged, or cycled. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
  3. Moderately active rats have healthier DNA and more robust brain cells with less oxidative damage than those who are less active. The DNA for the more active rats, after two years, looked a lot like their younger counterparts of only six months of age. EurekAlert November 12, 2005

Danay’s Weight Loss Progess – October 2011

By Laurel Sterling Prisco, MA, RD

Danay has been facing many struggles along her weight loss journey. She is finding out about herself more and more, and finding out how to deal with situations that come up appropriately. I am so proud of her and her success, and each time we meet I encourage her to not undermine her small successes! I reminded her that even though her weight loss has slowed down, she still is losing weight.

This is the progress Danay has made in her own words:

Have you ever felt like you walking through the ice? After losing about seven pounds per week during the first couple months, I have slowed down to the point where I’m losing two to three pounds per a month, I have got discouraged, yes, and sometimes I think I’m never going to reach my goal weight.

I found out that I was relying on the wrong motives. Even though I know it is not only about losing weight, but also about being healthy, the reality is that I want to get to my goal weight. The closer I get, the farther away it seems. This was hard for me to accept, but I found myself eating out of emotion if I got sad, discouraged, or sometimes even excited. No matter which way my emotions went, I was trying to fulfill something with food. The emptiness I was trying to fill with food was still there after I ate, and I felt even worse. I could not deal with this until I accepted that I eat based on my emotions.

This month more than anything I have been trying to deal with this. I have to ask myself, am I hungry? If the answer is no, I find something else to do like, praying, listening to music, or reading a good book. Have I been 100% successful? No. But, it’s getting better and the most important thing is that I recognized what I was doing and I’m dealing with it. This month has been what I consider to be the hardest month of my journey so far. I have been faced with hard decisions and received bad news. There is lack of compliments about my weight lose, because people get use to the change and the small changes seem to be ignored. I have to change my mindset and realize I am doing this for me, and not anybody else.

I have a new saying, I refuse to rely on compliments or ignore the small changes and above all, I refuse to give up. I’m determined to lose the weight I need to lose and keep it off. I will say to those that are struggling with the same things, it is important to have some kind of support. For me it is my faith in God. He is the one that give me the strength to keep going. And, Laurel, she is amazing and helps me to keep on track. I always learn something about healthy foods from her and she gives me enormous encouragement. In other words, keep yourself plugged into the right sources, it is crucial in any journey.

Danay’s Weight Loss Progress August 2011

By Laurel Sterling Prisco, MA, RD

Well, it has been a little over two months since Danay started working with me, and she has lost a total of 26 lbs. She has made huge strides and has been very successful with all of her lifestyle changes. She very rarely eats her traditional native dishes anymore, which consist mainly of white rice and plantains. If she feels she needs a snack, she honors her hunger and goes for something like strawberries and almonds. She is trying to focus on eating “live” foods….foods with life. She feels this helps her to choose foods that will not just fill her, but nourish her and give her energy as well.

This is the progress Danay has made in her own words:

“I’m happy to say that I keep making progress in my journey of getting healthier and losing weight, although the process has slowed down. I’m not losing as much as I was losing in the beginning. I got a little discouraged when I saw I was losing less weekly than I used to lose. When I met with Laurel, I explained to her my concern. After talking to her and hearing the facts, I became encouraged again. My nutrition habits are a lot different; now, I eat whole grain bread and enjoy it so much because it keeps me full and I know it is healthy. I used to eat (white) rice every day and I was not willing to give it up; now, it is not a priority and I eat it only once in a while.”

“I love my sessions with Laurel and shopping for healthy foods at Natur-Tyme. I don’t have to worry about being tempted by unhealthy foods, because they have good choices! I can walk confidently into the store without preoccupation! I believe the best part about this journey is that I  no longer miss my old habits and although I have had some slips, I get back on track and it is not as difficult as it used to be.”

“I’m so thankful for Laurel; she has been a huge support on my journey. I have to be honest that this last week I have had more than one slip and I have to say that it is important to keep the sources of good nutrition on hand. For example, I ran out of my protein bars and protein shake mix and didn’t have a chance to go buy it, so I chose unhealthy lunch options out of convenience. I got discouraged again, but now realize that this is needed to learn the lesson that my nutrition is a priority and I cannot let myself run out of healthy choices. Like Laurel told me, slips are not too bad if you learn from them. I’m looking forward to reaching a healthy life and to be in excellent shape. I’m not giving up!”

Danay’s Weight-Loss Progress

Mid-June 2011 through July 2011
By Laurel Sterling Prisco, MA, RD

I am a Registered Dietician and Wellness Educator at Natur-Tyme. At Natur-Tyme, we offer free nutritional consultations with professionals like me. This is the beginning of one customer’s weight-loss journey. Enjoy!

Danay is an extraordinary young woman. She’s a counselor. When I first met her, she was sitting in on a session with a client of hers. Later, she said she would like to make an appointment for herself. She explained her situation to me that she wanted to get healthier and lose weight. She told me she had been struggling with weight issues for at least 10 years. She had tried many diets and lost weight, but she could not maintain the extreme changes so the weight crept back on. We chatted for a while about her lifestyle, job, stressors, exercise plan, and eating habits, and from there I gave her a few small changes to make for the first two weeks. I let her know that the key is: small consistent changes that you can maintain for a lifetime. I am excited to see her through this journey. She has decided to train for a late October half-marathon. We will document her journey once a month through her BIG race day!

Here is Danay’s journal of her progress from mid-June through the end of July.

When I came to Laurel, I weighed 203 pounds and I was pretty hopeless about losing weight. I had tried several diets and while some helped a little bit, it wouldn’t take long for me to regain the weight and more! The diets were so hard and out of balance that I was always hungry. I felt miserable because I had to eat things I did not like all the time.

Laurel’s two initial tips were for me to not eat late at night and eat a healthy breakfast. It was hard for me to follow these small steps consistently, but sill, I lost three pounds in two weeks.

I did not want to go back to Laurel because I was so used to people telling me I had no willpower. I decided to go back to her though and she appreciated my tiny progress and encouraged me to keep going. I told her that I did not like the protein powder she recommended for breakfast, so she found me a strawberry-flavored alternative, which I love so much and I drink it every morning!

Laurel’s recommendation to take B vitamins instead of coffee has helped increase my energy level, which definitely helps with motivation. Laurel also showed me some protein bars to eat when I’m on the run so I always have a healthy option with me. I was surprised at the variety of choices and how good they taste.

Laurel encouraged me to keep a food journal that she reviews when we meet. It helps her to advise me which foods are a good idea to continue eating and foods that serve as road blocks toward reaching my goal. She never uses the statement “Do not” and has the amazing ability to teach you how to eat healthfully without making you feel deprived. I have lost 23 pounds so far and I’m not going to quit! This is not a diet; this is my brand new life. I now always look forward to my meetings with Laurel and I love Natur-Tyme’s healthy food options and great environment. To think I have made this much progress in less than two months makes me so happy!

Look for our future blogs about Danay so you can follow her progress!

Anti-aging: Fitness Recommendations

By Laurel Sterling Prisco, MS, RD, CDN

Part 5 of 5

Aging gracefully…that is what we all would like, right? A healthy eating and exercise plan should be at our foundation for staving off the effects of the natural aging process. Exercise, working out, fitness, physical activity, or whatever you want to call it is crucial. We need to move our bodies regularly! Now I’m not just talking daily activities such as: up and down the stairs with laundry, gardening, or walking to your car. I am referring to a bit more intensive body movement. If you are limited in specific ways or have certain conditions, then be sure to consult with your practitioner first, who may recommend you to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist. Just do the best you can with what you’ve got. Also remember if you have not been working out in quite some time, start small and slowly build your way up.

Because we used to have to run and forage long distances to get our food, humans used to move a lot more in day-to-day living. Now, our food is just a pizza delivery away! We also have more sedentary jobs behind computer screens. In other words, we are nearly “forced” to get in some physical activity. Try these tips to make your journey towards more movement in your life an enjoyable one:

• Approach your regime realistically

• Find activities you would like to do and that will be easy for you to maintain

• Gradually increase the amount of time you are exercising

• Vary your intensity

• Focus on being consistent and regular to make it a lifelong habit

Exercise has numerous benefits to our body in addition to assisting in the anti-aging process. It is important to include in your regime some cardiovascular, strength training, and stretching. If you need some motivation, take a glimpse at all of the benefits you can reap from exercising!

• You can increase endurance, muscle tone, strength, and flexibility, resulting in fewer joint problems and a greater ability to build bones.

• You will bring blood, nutrients, and oxygen to every cell in the body, which means that:

1. Cellular wastes are moved for better elimination through kidneys, bowels, and skin, which will result in bowel regularity and increased disease resistance

2. There will be improvement in digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food, which can help to lower total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides (while increasing HDL), lower blood-sugar levels, and make insulin more effective for muscle and fat cells

3. The increased oxygen intake aids the brain and complexion, which can help:

a. Alleviate irritability, anxiety, and depression
b. Create a feeling of centeredness due to the release of natural mood elevators (endorphins)
c. Increase energy
d. Relieve tiredness
e. Enhance a more restful sleep

4. Arteries become more resilient and the lungs and heart become stronger, which can help to lower blood pressure

• You can lose weight not only due to burning calories, but also because exercise helps with appetite control.

Considering all of these reasons…let’s get movin’!!

Sore Muscle Remedy

By Yu-Lee Izyk, Licensed Cosmetologist

Did you step up your workout this summer? Or do you just need to simply relax? I have the most relaxing treatment for sore muscles or for anyone who wants to feel tranquil. Ease, soothe, and relax with Plantlife Sore Muscle Aromatherapy Massage Oil. Infused with calendula, matricaria, and chamomile flowers, this oil gives you a full-body sensation of wellbeing. The oils penetrate deeply into the skin and helps the muscles heal; inhaling the vapors enhances emotion and physical relaxation! We also have supplements to help heal and relax the muscles too. Turmeric, rosemary, and oregano have been shown to help relax the muscles and you can find those herbs all in one supplement by New Chapter Organics called Zyflamend.

Visit Natur-Tyme.com

Twitter Updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,882 other followers