Creatine Basics

What is it?

Creatine as a supplement is a substance which converts to creatine phosphate in the body.  Creatine phosphate is a major component in ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is produced in your cells’ mitochondria and is used for muscle contraction.

With literally thousands of brands out there, and four major types of creatine you could purchase, it is important to know what to take… and what to avoid.

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The most common form seen in supplements is creatine monohydrate.  Creatine Monohydrate is known to be one of the most studied sports nutrition supplements out there.

Is it Safe?

Back in the mid- ’90s, there was a major witch hunt in which major media outlets were going after creatine for “killing high school athletes.”  From there, the fear began!

What can I say about this?  Is this stuff dangerous? Likely not.  Hell, your body produces it.  So do tasty animals.  If you’ve ever eaten a steak, you’ve taken extra creatine in.

So unless you have some underlying issues, it probably won’t kill you… But do your own research.

Does it Work?

I’d say so.  And there are plenty of independent studies out there that would agree with me.  I’m a huge fan of guinea pigging myself, though, so if you are curious, buy a bottle and try it! It’s cheap, and it will likely work!

Anyway, as with anything… Try it!  Want a 30% coupon code for some of your favorite supplements on our store (coming soon!) — sign up here.  We’ll send you your coupon and updates as we launch. You won’t be disappointed!

And sign up with us below! [NEXT POST] Protein Sources: Full Profile Cheat Sheet

 

 

Five Supplements to take Now

The following is just a quick and dirty on 5 basic supplements you should be taking.  Mass, cut, maintenance, it really doesn’t make much of a difference.

And as always, if you like to save money on your favorite supplements, click here for 30% off your favorite products when we launch our shop in December!

Creatine

Creatine is simply a compound formed during protein metabolism which helps with the supply of energy to skeletal muscle.  The source of energy that creatine helps supply to your body is called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.  The mitochondria in your cells produce ATP and use this as fuel.  You are basically just feeding yourself the fuel that your body already produces.

The idea is that your body ultimately has a higher abundance of ATP, which allows you to creatine-1work harder.

If you’ve ever taken creatine, you know it works well. Creatine monohydrate, the form most familiar to us, doesn’t need to be loaded, so don’t bother wasting your money.  Micronized, however, has been found to require loading, so you may need to get a loading phase going if you go with this version.

Our suggestion, unless you are having stomach issues, go with the monohydrate.  It’s cheaper, and pretty much just a less filtered version of the micronized.

If you have a sensitive gut, go for the micronized.  For the most part, it is monohydrate which is processed further into smaller molecules, and easier to digest.  Again, you will have to load this one.

Protein

This is an obvious one.  If you want a brief low-down on whey, click here.  For casein, click here.  Both have very different purposes – they’reprotein-1 not the same!

We suggest both.  And not only both but both separately.  Whey for your pre-, intra- and
post workout, casein for pre- (or intra-) bedtime recovery, as well as throughout the day.

Whey will process through your body much quicker (in about 3 to 4 hours on average) than casein (about 7 to 8 hours).  For sustained protein synthesis, go with the casein, for a much needed quick shot of protein post workout, whey.

Whey also has a stronger amino acid profile than casein, so keep this in mind if you’re only using casein.

Caffeine

The drug we all love.  We all know it has been used for thousands of years, and we all understand its benefits.

Between the mental clarity, physical performance, and metabolic implications, caffeine is a no-brainer.  Coffee works best for me.

What you need to know: We’re not talking about a double frappa, crappa choco latte from Starbucks.  Unless you’re trying to blow money and get fat.  If you can’t do black coffee, try a good, low-dose caffeine pill.

Just remember, fat dumb and stupid is no way to live your life.

Yohimbine-HCL

There have been many studies that have shown that yohimbine-HCL as an effective aid to fat loss.  If you aren’t sensitive to stimulants or have a strong history of anxiety, try it!  For this quick review, I am not going to go into the sexual benefits of yohimbine, but I will say that you may feel funny after taking it… Like sliding down the rope in gym class.

For fat loss, what yohimbine has shown to attack are your alpha-2 fat receptors around your problem areas.  What the hell does that mean?

Look at a woman closest to you.  Actually STARE at her awkwardly.

Keep looking… Okay, look away!

Good.

Did you notice that she may be carrying a little more fat around her hips, buttock, and thighs than you?  And regardless of how thin she was, she still has fat in those areas?  There is an obvious, evolutionary reason for this – childbearing!

Now give the same awkward stare to a male nearest to you… That fat is around his abdomen, back and love handles.

If you have ever achieved a 10% to 15% body fat percentage, you know where your hard to reach fat areas are.  And likely they are within these areas.  Yohimbine-HCL has been shown to reduce fat in these areas in particular.

What you need to know: This is not conclusive.  So try it, see if it works for you.  With the best effects, subjects were in a fasted state, and caffeine was also introduced.

So with Yohimbine HCL, grab a cup of black coffee, and try it in a fasted state.

Pro-Hormones

Ever visit a third-world country?  I would suggest you do it, just once.  Just to say you did, and learn how about 80% of the rest of the human population lives day-to-day.

I would also suggest you research and try ONE cycle of prohormones. They’re legal, you won’t die, and you may see some good results.  Both girls and guys can typically take them, and you
There is a YYYUGE stigma against prohormones, and often they’re confused with hardcore steroids.  We’re not talking about steroids, we’re talking about your body’s natural tendency to reduce growth hormone output after around the age of 30… Actually, it begins to reduce in your late teens/early 20’s.

Just be why can't I lose weight, fat loss, weight lifting, bodybuilding, soda, drinking soda, pop, mountain dew, cancersure that you are paying attention to your supplementation.  Be sure that you can dedicate yourself to the cycle properly, and you are cycling a good post-cycle therapy  (PCT) product afterward.

As with everything, this is just my opinion on the matter…  Some people have a really strong opinion on prohormones, yet will guzzle coffee (drug), sugar (drug), and booze (drug) daily or weekly.  But I’m just here sipping on my tea not saying anything about that…

 

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5 Ways to Get Organized Right Now

Okay, GYW Nation, what in the hell does this have to do with health and fitness.  Ask any fat body why they are so fat… Ask yourself even, why am I SO FAT?? 

The most likely answer? I don’t have time!

It’s not only that you’re eating crap, you’re very likely not optimizing your free time either!

Take this quick read, if you can make habits out of the following, chances are in a very short time, you will be thinking of ways to fill your time!

First thing’s first… Get a small notebook.

Write down all of the “time wasters” you believe you have throughout the day.  Watching TV, hitting the snooze button, etc.  Think about your morning routine… or if you even have a routine.

notebook

I prefer these neat little all-weather notebooks.  These worked wonders during my time in the US Army… The sheets are water resistant, and you could use pretty much any type of pen.  Any surplus store or Amazon may have them.

You need to get int he habit of writing and recording.  For our topic at hand, create a list of all of your daily time wasters.  Think about details!

  • Do you hit the snooze button?
  • Do you find yourself procrastinating on important tasks?
  • Do you watch TV? How often and for how long?   When are you often watching TV?

1. Re-Consider Time Itself

Life has gotten busy, but time has not changed.  You have 168 hours per week. 40 to 50 Hours of that are work = 118. 2 to 3 hours of that are travel – 15 hours for a 5-day week. 56 hours of that (1/3 of your time!) are sleep – 47 hours remaining. 47 hours, about 30% of your entire waking hours, are free time!

 

To Do:

If you watch TV, record when and how often you watch TV for a week– and shut it off… Or just shut it off.

If you waste time on your phone or computer, download a phone restricting app – Time Out by Dejal, Freedom, Focus Booster, Stay Focused, Self-Control.

2. Sleep More, Sleep Better

We all know what prolonged sleep deprivation does to the body – less recovery, higher cortisol levels, higher risk of heart attack, lower HGH production, and just generally being in a pissy mood. Sleep should be as high of a priority as working. 

Smoking & Dipping: Want to sleep better? Quit Tobacco, you’ll likely need less sleep per night.

To Do:

Shut down at the same time each night (or day if you’re on a night shift)

Stay away from blue-light emitting devices (anything with a monitor (you can also download an app called f.lux, great little tool!)

Spend a few bucks on your bedding… Some things you just don’t go cheap on.

Adjust how you sleep – I found that sleeping without a pillow altogether has completely halted all neck and shoulder pains I had.

Your life is 24 hours, does it make sense for you to adjust for your wake up and sleep cycle?

Going to bed late? See what works best for you – Does a 9am to 1am schedule work for you? Does a 3am wake up and a 7pm bedtime work for you? At this point, you have no clue. So try!  I am at my best if I wake up around 4am and go to bed around 8:30 pm.  I am golden if I get around 7 ½ hours of sleep per night.

Consistency is key – if you get up at 4:30am Monday through Friday, then wake up around the same time Saturday and Sunday.

“You’re fricken crazy,” you say?

  • What are you doing at that time most weekends? A
  • Dropping one weekend of boozing it up… average 4 drinks at $8 per…
    • $1,536 per year…

3. Pre-prepare your Meals and Supplements

This, I will admit, was, and still is somewhat a pain in the ass.  But… If you can discipline yourself to do it once per week (preferably on your off days), then I promise you that you will save HOURS upon HOURS of time during the week.

At the same time, we love to do it! You can save a ton of time and money doing this, and measuring out our life and tasks are the very soul of our business! (www.getyourwhey.com)

Fix:

  • Purchase your food containers – cheap off Amazon, this is what we use:

Paksh Novelty Lunch Box Sets

  • Get a Costco or Sams Club account
    1. If it is more than just you in the house, go for it, you’ll save money! (with just the two of us in the house, we saved about $30 per week)
  • If you’re not measuring your meals, try it!
    1. We began using food templates at http://renaissanceperiodization.com — It takes a couple tries to get quick at it, but now we’ve got a process down, and knock it out quickly.
    2. NOTE: This is something that takes practice – Reps, Reps, Reps – it will get faster
  • Pack your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Don’t Wait for the Weekend to Getting Tasky Stuff Done!

If you’re anything like I was years ago, I used to do all my laundry and cleaning on the weekends.  Again, you’re wasting your most precious time!  Use periods of free time during the week to get this done.

Combine your chores into compound movements after your work/school day:

  • Get home, drop a load of laundry in the wash, eat a meal, toss in the dryer, DONE.
  • Clean your tub while taking a shower… Yup, sounds weird… Try it!
  • Keep a towel by your sink, wipe it all down after every use – 2 minutes of wiping will save you from 1 hour of cleaning on the weekend.
  • … Don’t clean your toilet while using it… That’s gross.

Fix:

Write down all of your tasks that you need to get done during the week, and split them up either when you wake up in the morning, or immediately after work.

4. Be an intermittent nomad

Do you find yourself wasting time going from home to a coffee shop, to work, back to home to change, then to the gym, just to get back to home?  You can literally add on 3 to five hours per day in just travel!

Fix:

Invest in a good duffel bag

Invest in a good lunch container

Invest in your own small gym equipment

Invest in some good shaker cups

Invest in good meal containers, bring your breakfast, lunch and dinner with you. This will also help you work yourself into an intermittent fasting schedule – post coming soon!

You’re going to make up for the investment in not only time but money by saving on groceries!

5. Let others do your chores for you – DELEGATE YOUR LIFE!

What in the world?

Look, your time is money, whether you are the janitor or the executive, your time is valuable.   I would really take some time and do a full cost analysis on this one.  This could be a huge positive in your life, or somewhat of a slippery slope.  Just think about if the tasks that you need to do are quick and annoying, or actual time wasters.

In other words, work to replace productivity with tasky work rather than laziness with tasky work 

Try Upwork or Odesk: Both companies are an online workplace where clients work on projects with freelance Assistants.  Pretty simple, post a job based on what you need to be done, hire the right person for the job, communicate your expectations and pay them for their work.

Again, you’re trading money for time, so make sure that the time you are saving is worth more than the amount that you are paying.

Instacart, Peapod, AmazonFresh: These are perhaps some of the best services for productivity.  Grocery shopping is a HUGE time waster. Order your groceries, set a pick-up time – done and done!  If you get the wrong item or feel that your bell pepper is the wrong shade of green, let them know and typically they will refund you the money.  So ridiculously simple.

 

The Curious Case of Casein

An Abbreviated Review of Casein… The Good, the Bad, the Unexplained.

So, what is this Goopy Mess in my Sippy Cup?

As you may know, consuming casein gives you a feeling of fullness much quicker and for a significantly longer period of time than most other protein products.  That is because casein gels in the stomach during digestion.  There are some obvious benefits to this, including a slower release of amino acids into the bloodstream, as well as a feeling of satiation satiety for long periods of time due to casein coagulating due to precipitation by the stomach’s digestive juices.[1]

These levels may cause serum amino acid levels to be increased for upwards of eight hours.  One major benefit to this, when compared to other types of protein, is that it helps suppress protein breakdown in skeletal muscle.

Though this type of protein will help reduce prolonged muscle catabolism, it also has its drawbacks.  Unlike its cousin Whey, Casein is not as plentiful in BCAAs and supports protein synthesis significantly less.

Calcium Caseinate … The Crap

Calcium Caseinate is produced using the insoluble portion of milk protein and pushing it through a chemical filtration system which produces casein protein.  This is the crappier stuff, and therefore, most of the time will be much cheaper, it is heavily processed, more so than micellar casein. The cheapest stuff you can buy when it comes to casein.

Micellar Casein

Micellar Casein goes through a non-chemical filtration process by separating whey from the insoluble casein in milk.  Both will have the same result, and both have the same anti-catabolic effects more so than whey.  It all depends on whether you care about the chemical vs non-chemical process of filtration.

Casein Hydrolysate

Hydrolysis is a method of refinement which breaks casein down into smaller peptides than that which are contained in calcium Caseinate and micellar casein.  Casein Hydrolysate is so refined that it acts more like whey during digestion, and is most beneficial immediately after a workout.  It is also closest to whey protein when it comes to BCAA content at around 20% of its makeup.

Casein Pudding, Casein Creamer, Casein Gumbo…

Since casein gels and binds, it is used as an emulsifier, assisting fats with maintaining suspension in water-based products.  This means that casein could be used for much cooler stuff than whey –

Think about it… protein puddings, coffee creamers, protein ice cream… unflavored casein could also be used to bind together processed meats!  Yes, you too can grind your meat into a pulp, shape it into a dinosaur, and make a tasty, high protein meatloaf out of it.

So, what’s better?

If you are looking for sustained digestion of protein while sleeping or just a good protein, micellar casein is just fine.  Casein hydrolysate has similar properties to whey; however, you will pay the price for it.

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Lots of garbage out there… Lots of idiots out there. My rule of thumb: If somebody is “believing in” something nutrition or fitness based… RUN. They’re crazy. Listen to your body… Nothing or nobody else.

Here’s a common-sense suggestion – Use both.  You will find LOTS of choices to meet your goals in mid-December by clicking here.  Sign up at our store for 30% off your first order, no obligation, no spam, just discounts!

I prefer whey as an intra- and post-workout supplement, and casein either during the day or at night.  I do feel much fuller with casein than whey, and taking straight whey does fly right through me.  I am typically on an intermittent fasting cycle, so my casein is taken at the end of my feeding window, which keeps me going until the next day.

Using a combination of both in your supplementation will not only provide you with a quick shot of insulin post workout as well as a flood of BCAAs (with whey), you will also be able to consistently promote protein synthesis throughout the day and at night (with casein), which will better inhibit protein catabolism.

A good carbohydrate supplement coupled with your whey provides an outstanding intra-workout drink.  Peri-workout nutrition is simply the concept of strategically consuming nutrition before, during and/or after your workout.  Many believe that peri-workout nutrition is a legit concept, some believe that it is complete bullshit.

The key here is the word believe.  You must learn what works for your body, and the only way to do that is to test and track.  If you don’t know where to start, contact us and follow us!  We are all about tracking, measuring and simplifying life!

The China Study Rocked the Boat… and Perhaps Tipped It.

In 2005, The China Study, a compilation of research by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell was published.  Basically, a 417-page book based on over 15 years of research.  In the book, 367 different variables were analyzed within 65 counties in China, studying over 6,500 adults.  The results yielded over 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease.

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I love Oreos…

One primary point of the book was that animal protein, to include dairy protein caused cancer in humans, and ultimately if you’re not only eating plants, you’re going to die.

Fortunately for us carnivores, there were many problems with the study that still allows us to eat our weekly… daily… Frito pies and steak burritos.  The assumption was, that based on the book’s conclusion that casein caused cancer in humans, all animal proteins must cause cancer.  As a matter of fact, an entire chapter in the book was based on the evils of casein.  The study was shown to leave out many details, and overlook several important parts that would allow for a strong conclusion.  Pasteurization, low-temperature dehydration, high-temperature spray-drying and fermentation were all
overlooked as factors that could contribute to cancer from the consumption of processed casein.  Additionally, the same low-casein diet that protected the rats against aflatoxin-induced cancer dramatically increased the vulnerability of these rats to the acute toxicity of aflatoxin, or that the high-casein diets provided the rats with dramatic protection against cancer when they were fed before or during the aflatoxin dosing rather than after.

There are more articles, blogs and YouTube videos out there on The China Study, probably books sold.  Maybe not – but the point is, is that there is A LOT of information
out there post-China Study since 2005.

Resources

[1] Hall, W. L., D. J. Millward, S. J. Long, and L. M. Morgan. “Casein and Whey Exert Different Effects on Plasma Amino Acid Profiles, Gastrointestinal Hormone Secretion and Appetite.” British Journal of Nutrition 89.02 (2003): 239. Web.

 

The Most Important Fitness Math You’ll Ever Need [PART I]

Okay folks, below are just a few of the most important nutrition and fitness calculations that you will ever need to get started on your own training programming and meal planning, all in under 500 words!

This is going to be a two-part series.  There is simply a lot of math that is going to be valuable on your journey, and I’ll get into it deeper and deeper as we go.

Figure out how many macro grams you need based on a total gram serving:

(macro grams / total grams per serving) = macro grams per total serving gram * desired total grams

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Your Dyamtize Chocolate provides 26 grams of protein for every 30 grams of product. Say I
want to consume 50 grams per serving, my calculation would be as follows:

26 grams of protein / 30 grams of total product = .867 * 50 grams of product that I want….

Which gives me 43.33 grams of protein per 50-gram serving

Figure out how many total grams you will need based on the desired macro, you would calculate:

(total grams / macro grams) = total grams needed per macro gram * desired macro gram

Dry to cooked grams to grams

This one could be a little tricky, but once you get the idea, it’s easy.  Especially once you do it a few times, and you aren’t trying to get perfectly exact.

Products such as basmati rice are almost exactly double the weight in grams but always measure first.

(total grams / macro grams) = total grams needed per macro gram

  • Start by measuring the total amount of product dry.
    1. Say you need 100 grams of dry rice for 4 days
    2. Measure 100g of dry rice
    3. Cook 100g of dry rice
    4. Measure rice again. Let’s say cooked rice measures 250 grams
    5. Divide 250 grams / 100 grams to find how many grams of cooked rice to dry rice
    6. This number will allow you to convert your dry rice numbers to your wet rice numbers

Resting Metabolic Rate and Basal Metabolic Rate

  1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body expends simply to stay alive. It is slightly different from BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) as BMR is based on your body as it functions in a fasted state (at least 12 hours).  Both are accurately based off a breath test (yup, kind of like your standard Saturday night breath test with the local authorities).
  2. BMR and RMR can be used in establishing a base caloric intake. Get this number as your foundation, determine your deficit (or surplus), then determine your macro requirement based off this.
  3. The calculation is as follows:

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Determine Caloric Intake

The Harris Benedict Equation is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an activity factor to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). It’s a great tool for skinny Indian types or your typical fatty, but for the extremely mutant-like Arnolds of the world, there will be some inaccuracies.

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As I always preach, none of this stuff is gospel – always use your best estimate and honest determination.


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