Vitamin D3 For Powerlifting
As I touched upon in a previous article concerning having your blood work done regularly, I found out in early 2016 that I was Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D plays a central role in energy levels, the immune system, and even muscle strength. If you aren’t already taking a multi-vitamin and covering your bases with proper mineral intake, it is common to eventually become Vitamin D deficient.
A lack of exposure to sunlight (which the skin absorbs Vitamin D through the UV rays) will cause such a deficiency. In my case, I work in an office all day and don’t get to spend too much time under the sun. Now, I am not going to sit here and write to you that supplementing on Vitamin D3 will boost your squat by 50 pounds in 3 months – but in terms of your overall plan for success on the platform, it never hurts to optimize anything you can do to promote faster recovery & better energy levels throughout your daily life.
Vitamin D3 Research
There are plenty of well-researched articles explaining the scientific backing of Vitamin D supplementation for athletes. So, let me cut the shit out by not pretending to be a scientific guru. Just tell you what results I’ve encountered since supplementing with Vitamin D since the start of this year.
Better energy levels after a certain amount of time. To be fair, I did also recently get a CPAP and directly address my sleep apnea. But I did start taking Vitamin D3 months prior to getting a CPAP. I was feeling a little bit more energy upon waking up. I would have to say the benefits of improved energy levels off D3 is somewhat passive and takes a month or two for any noticeable difference. Nothing will beat getting the proper hours of sleep necessary for adequate recovery – but if you are looking to make a small improvement in your overall energy levels with minimal effort, taking Vitamin D3 isn’t a bad idea.
In terms of the “muscle strengthening” effects of D3 that some articles purport. I honestly have to say that for me it wasn’t a deal-maker. Other things I adjusted (eating more carbs, going back up to the 242 lb weight class, etc.) had a much bigger impact on my strength progress this year and I can’t pinpoint anything to D3. Let’s be real, if D3 could show a strong correlation in strength gains, we would have all heard about it by now. Don’t expect any direct performance boost from Vitamin D3 for powerlifting.
The difference in immune strength is very noticeable. I’ve only been sick once this entire year – just a couple weeks ago, actually. While increasing my Vitamin D3 dose beyond what I usually took. My cold symptoms were kept mild and I did not have a miserable time being sick like others who had the same bug as me. For immune support, I found Vitamin D3 to be very good.
Recommended dosages range from 2,000 – 5,000 IU daily. Vitamin D3 supplements are very cheap and are made in gelcap form for easy consumption & absorption. I personally use the best-selling product (which I also believe is the cheapest) on Amazon:
My usual dose is 5,000 IU daily. On the days that I was sick, I increased my daily dose to 20,000 IU. It’s worth noting that you cannot overdose on Vitamin D and don’t experience any side effects. Any Vitamin D that the body does not use or absorb is simply out of your system via urine.
If you’re Vitamin D deficient, you really have to get on top of taking care of your health. Also, start taking a supplement right away to get your levels back to normal. In a sport where recovery is paramount to success in making progress. All the little things you can do to promote faster recuperation will add up. The benefit of getting over a cold & back to training sooner is alone worth taking an essential vitamin. Give this some thought and don’t overlook your mineral intake!
5 Creative High Protein Meal – Prep Dishes to Save You Time
For people who are always busy a good example being athletes, meal prepping comes in as a very important concept. The concept basically involves preparing your meals or dishes way before consuming them. It is a very imperative not only in saving time but also in its effect on the health of the individual. Preparing Meal a head of your schedule as it seems is of course a bit complicated. We therefore decide to explore this concept here in great details highlighting some of the top 5 most creative high protein meal prep dishes that can help you save time if you are a busy individual.
Why is meal prepping beneficial?
Preparing your meals in advance some great benefits touching on some aspects such as your nutrition, your lifestyle and so much more. Here are some of the most important benefits that you can be sure to rip if you consider meal prepping:
- Helps you stick to your preferred diet - When you have your meals ready, you can never be tempted to eat something that is may not be important for your health nutrition-wise.
- Controlling your diet is easier - Meal prepping does not only help in making sure that you stick to your diet but also comes in strongly in helping ensure that the diet you are consuming has the right contents in the right amounts.
- You can easily put your hunger under control - Since you already prepared your meal, there is no point why you should feel hungry since you can easily eat your meal.
- Saving time - Of course, we cannot fail to mention that meal prepping saves quite some time especially if you have little time to prepare your meals.
- Saving your costs - Have your meal already prepared saves some costs such as costs of delivery of meals, you don’t waste a lot of food and other resources.
When you start meal prepping, you tend to know exactly how much of the ingredients you will need for each of the meals that you will be preparing. This in the long run helps reduce wastage.
Related Article:: Bodybuilding Diet Myths for Beginners
Some disadvantages of meal prepping
Meal prepping lacks many disadvantages. Some of the few that can be found include:
- It can get boring for some people - Some people prefer to eat a wide variety of food. Meal prepping on the other hand in most cases will involve eating only a single variety of food. This will not favor people who like going for variety.
Prep Containers >> HERE
- May not be good for kids - Meal prepping may not work for kids because they may not like the plan.
The disadvantages of meal prepping can easily be avoided through using spices of different varieties or any other way of flavoring your food. This way, you end up avoiding the monotony.
The different ways of prepping High Protein Meal
Meal prepping can be done in several ways most of which take care of how much time you want to spend during the process. You can always spare your weekend if you choose the best way of meal prepping. Here are the different ways that you can prep High Protein Meal:
Cooking meals in advance
This way of meal prepping simply involves cooking full meals such that the next thing when they are removed from the fridge will be eating them. The only thing that might intercept will be reheating them so that they are warm and good for consuming. The most appropriate meals that this way of High Protein Meal prepping is suitable are those meals that are particularly great for dinner.
Another way of meal prepping is batch cooking. Batch cooking involves preparing sizeable quantities of a certain recipe, which can then be divided into single portions. These portions are each frozen and are consumed for a given period of time usually of several months. Meals that are good for lunch and even dinner will be best prepped using this way of meal prepping.
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Portioned individual meals
In this way, one basically prepares meals then divides them into portions that are separate. These portions are refrigerated and can be easily grabbed and consumed afterwards. If you like quick lunches, then this way will be particularly good for you to use as you prep your meals.
Earlier ingredient preparation
Sometimes if you do not want to prepare meals in advance but still want to save some time, then you can consider preparing your ingredients earlier. This means that you are going to use minimum time as much as possible while in the kitchen.
There may be other ways that you can do your meal prepping. It totally depends on your day-to-day routine. However, the above-mentioned ways are the most common and one or two are likely to favor your routine and ensure that you are not late whether you are an athlete or any other person who is busy.
Must Read:: Best Diet Plan for Bodybuilders 2019
What to Consider Before Starting Meal Prepping
Before you start meal prepping and even before choosing your recipe, there are 3 things you need to put into consideration:
The meal you want to prepare at an appropriate time
There are meals you may want to prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is very important that you know which food will be the best at such times for you.
- The day of doing your meal preps - So that you do not interfere with your work or your workouts, find a suitable time that you can do your meal preps. People often go for Sundays and Wednesdays but it is upon you to choose the appropriate day.
- The amount you want to prepare - Deciding on the amount to prepare is also very important. This makes sure that you do not waste a lot of time and at the same time ensure that the food lasts the time intended.
The Type and Number of Meals to Prepare During High Protein Meal Prepping
Something that is very crucial when it comes to meal prepping is getting to know the type of meal as well as the number of meals to prepare. This is because Meal Prepping is all about planning a head and one cannot plan ahead without knowing what and in which amounts to prepare. To ensure that you get the right type and amount to prepare, you can follow this guide here:
- Find out the type of meal that you want depending on your preferences.
- The next thing that you will consider is the meal prepping method that will fit your day-to-day activities and lifestyle.
- After having landed the best method for you, have a quick check on your calendar and find out the number of breakfast, lunches and dinners that you will require for the specified period of time according to your method and again your lifestyle.
- Take into consideration the times you are likely to not use your meal preps for example you may have dates and so on.
- Start with recipes that are familiar to you and then slowly transit to more complex recipes.
Spending less time while High Protein Meal prepping
While it help save time in the long run, meal prepping can keep you in the kitchen if you are not well prepared. Highlighted here are some of the tips that can help ensure that you are spending less time as much as possible in the kitchen when doing your meal preps.
Have one schedule that you use
Having a single schedule for your meal preps is a good first step in ensuring that you spend the least time possible in the kitchen. Have a clear outline of when you will fetch your groceries and when you will be preparing the meals. This of course also depends on your lifestyle and how busy you are.
Know the recipes that you need for your meal preps
Having a well-known combination of recipes for a given meal preps is something else that goes a long way I ensuring that you spend as less time as much as possible. It is generally recommended that your recipes should at least require different cooking methods so that you do not end up requiring the same utensil for several kinds of meals.
A good organization in prep and cooking time is required
Different foods have different cooking times. Knowing this will help you organize how well you can ensure that you they fit into your lifestyle. Generally, start with foods that require long cooking times. As they cook, you can focus on the ones that require shorter times.
Have a shopping list
Lastly, if you are considering saving time while making your preps, always ensure that you have your shopping list. This is one area that when not properly taken into consideration will lead to a lot time being wasted. Things like getting to double check everything will waste a lot of time. Therefore, a shopping list is a great tool for you to save time while making your meal preps in the kitchen.
General types of foods suitable for meal prepping
Before looking into the 5 high protein meal prep dishes, here are some of the general types of foods that are good when it comes to meal prepping. Some of them will be a crucial part of the dishes you will want to prepare.
- Frozen vegetables - are among some of the best foods you can incorporate into your meal preps. They include broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and peas.
- Starchy vegetables - suitable for meal prepping include cassava, potato, taro and canned pumpkin.
- Stiff fresh vegetables - in this category include cabbage, carrots and radish.
- Lean protein - are also part and parcel of meal prepping. Foods in this category include eggs, shredded cheese, tofu, beef and pork.
- Whole fruits - to ensure that you balance your diet, fruits should also be part of the meal preps. Notable fruits include apples, oranges, pears and bananas.
The 5 creative high protein meal prep dishes
After having looked into various concepts of meal preps, one thing that has emerged is the need to save time. Busy athletes and other people will try to identify those dishes, which will help them save time and at the same time contain high protein, which is required considering the nature of their activities. Here are some of those dishes, which will make sure that you are spending less time in the kitchen and contain high proteins.
1 Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken
Barbecue chicken for a long time has been the best meal to be taken during dinner. Something good about it is that it can be made more easily and quickly compared to most other foods.
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Here is how you can prepare your barbecue chicken as a meal prep:
- You will first make a tex-mex salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, black beans, Monterey jack cheese and crushed tortilla chips about a handful.
- This is followed by topping over a thin-crust whole-wheat pizza dough and then sprinkling with mozzarella.
- After that, you will top over medium baked sweet potato.
- Then make a quesadilla with high protein tortillas, Monterey jack cheese, beans and diced tomatoes.
- Finally, roll into a high protein tortilla full of lettuce, tomato, onion and Colby-jack cheese.
2. Beef Stir - Fry With Asian Peanut Sauce
This another great dish that falls in our category of creative high protein meal preps, you can quickly prepare this dish through following the simple steps below.
- Chop the beef and add it to brown rice and beans or a chili if available.
Beef Stir >> HERE
- You can then cube, reheat and then add to a soup that is broth-based and which has sliced vegetables, a good example being carrots.
- The next thing that you do is making a Panini sandwich using thin slices of pork and some cheese.
- Next, you serve over wild rice with sautéed cauliflower or even kale on the side.
- Finally, slice and then add whole grain pasta with vegetables.
3. Rosemary - Mustered Pork Tenderloin
Next on our list of the top 5 creative high protein meal prep dishes is the rosemary- mustered pork tenderloin. Here is how you can prepare your dish.
- Chop the pork tenderloin and add it to brown rice and beans or even a chili.
- Proceed to add to a broth-based soup with sliced vegetables after having cubed and reheated.
- Follow this by making a Panini sandwich with thin slices of pork and cheese.
- Serve over wild rice with sautéed cauliflower or kales if available on the side.
- You can then slice and add to whole grain pasta with vegetables.
4. Baked Salmon With Citrus Herbs
This dish is for those who like fish. A delicious dish can be prepared as described here below.
- Baked salmon can be enjoyed over some green salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese and sunflower seeds.
- It can be served with quinoa or sometimes faro and some side vegetable be it cauliflower or broccoli.
- The leftover salmon can diced and used in a frittata or an omelet.
- You can then chop and make into salmon cakes.
- This can be used in fish tacos with black beans, shredded cheese dice avocado.
5. Teriyaki Tofu
Although it can generally be said that tofu lacks the flavor, it is a far way good dish that can quickly be prepared and also contains high proteins. Besides, you can easily infuse ginger, garlic, onions or any other flavors to suit your flavors.
- Teriyaki tofu can be served over brown rice or even sorghum.
- Toss it into leftover chili.
- You can then create a Buddha bowl with sautéed greens and lentils.
- Finally serve with baked sweet potato fries and broccoli.
Storage of the Meal Preps
After having prepared your meals, the next thing that you will consider is storage so that they remain fresh for the period that you specified. The most important thing that is highlighted here is the medium of storage. Getting the right storage contain will go a long way into ensuring that you get the best result ever. Storage containers can be:
Airtight containers can be used to keep ingredients, which are ready to cook. They should be washable and include silicone baggies and stainless steel containers, which are reusable.
BPA-Free Microwavable Containers
BPA-microwavable containers have the advantage in the sense they are very convenient and are not harmful to your health. Example of these containers include Pyrex glassware and collapsible silicone containers.
Freezer safe containers come in strongly in helping maintain the quality of your food. This because they have this effect of limiting freezer burn as well as nutrient losses. The container of choice in this category include the wide-mouthed mason jars with a space of about 1 inch left to allow space for the expansion of food when it freezes.
Compartmentalized Containers That Are Leak-Proof
Finally, some very good containers that you may consider using for storage of your meal prep dishes are the compartmentalized leak-proof containers. Particularly if it comes to those meal prep dishes intended for lunch or those dishes that usually require their ingredients to be mixed at the end.
Food Safety When Carrying Out Prepping
Meal prepping can result to some health problems if enough care is not taken into consideration. One such health problem is food poisoning, which affects millions each year. So what guidelines can be used to ensure that food poisoning as well as other health effects related to meal prepping are not experienced?
You refrigerator or freezer should always be at proper temperatures. The recommended refrigerator temperatures are about 5 degrees Celsius or below while for the freezer should be -18 degrees Celsius or below
Refrigerating Fresh Foods
Fresh foods should always be refrigerated as early as within 2 hours of purchase and after cooking. To ensure that they cool quickly, you can simply spread those foods, which have been cooked into containers, which are a bit shallow. This is followed immediately by transferring them into your refrigerator.
Storage times for certain foods is important. For instance, such foods like fresh meat or even fish should be cooked within about 2 days after purchasing them. Others like red meat can stay a bit longer but not more than 5 days after purchasing them. Within the storage times, it is recommended that they foods be kept in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Cooking temperatures should be the right for the right type of food. This is because bacteria in different foods are killed at different temperatures. For example, meats heated to temperatures of at least 75 degrees Celsius will ensure that most of the bacteria are killed.
Thawing food should also be done safely and the best way to this is by using your refrigerator instead of instead of the countertop like some people do. So that this process is done faster, you can submerge the food in cold water and change the water after every 30 minutes.
Reheating the food
Reheating the food is another thing that will ensure that your food is well and safe. This should be done at the right temperature as well as just once. The recommended temperature of reheating the food is usually about 75 degrees Celsius. It is generally considered that the more times you heat your food the more you increase the chances of food poisoning. It is therefore in the best interest that you heat your food only once.
Labeling your food and including the date on which they should be consumed also helps ensure that your dishes stay safe as much as possible.
Eat food at the right time
Lastly, eat the food within the stipulated time. This will ensure that the food does not go and give you food poisoning.
Meal prepping can be a great way to help you save cooking time if you are a busy athlete. This article has highlighted some important concepts regarding meal prepping as well as giving you some of the top 5 creative high protein meal preps that can be very helpful.
Best Creatine Pills vs. Powder – Pros and Cons of Both Forms
Creatine is one common supplement that you can use to achieve several benefits in your body if you are an athlete. It has been in use for a long time and as such, it exists in different forms that have evolved with time throughout its history. Creatine Pills & Powder are one most studied supplements used by athletes and that’s why there is sufficient information on it.
The two common forms that creatine supplement exists are the pills and powder forms. These have often led to problems as people are not sure which form is the best for use. Since both forms exist in practically equal measures, this article highlights some important information on both forms with a stress on the pros and cons of both forms.
Creatine in details
In the body, creatine is a compound, which naturally produced from amino acids. It also acquires from other sources other than the body’s amino acids for example the proteins of animal food. The creatine referred to in this article however is the supplemented form that can be bought from different stores.
Dietary-supplemented creatine that is bought ensures that you get as much creatine as much as possible and not only the minute amounts produced naturally in the body. Used this way, it has an impact on the performance of an athlete and also on the general health of the user. Just like many other dietary supplements, there have risen concerns about their use since it generally interferes with several physiological functions of the body.
Generally, for athletes, creatine is very important in ensuring increased strength, increase muscle mass, and performance as mentioned above. It is the most commonly used supplement because it is among the few supplements that prove to bring about the intended results.
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Benefits of using creatine as a supplement
Creatine has a wide range of benefits, some of which we describe here:
1. Creatine increases your energy levels
Creatine has the effect of increasing the available energy. This means that when it comes to your workouts, you will work harder than ever before. Working out harder also leads to muscle hypertrophy. The reason behind the increase in energy is that creatine increases anabolic responses as a result of increased hormones responsible for such activities in the muscle. A good example of such a hormone is insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1).
Must Read:: Best Supplements for Energy Levels
2. Reduction of protein breakdown
Creatine has a great impact on reducing the breakdown of proteins in the body. This is advantageous to bodybuilders since it means that they will retain a lot of proteins some of which are a crucial part of the muscles.
Creatine increases water concentration in muscles. This water is responsible for making your muscles stronger and bigger.
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4. Improving brain function
Aside from muscles and bodybuilding, creatine has been known to improve the functioning of the brain. The supplement when taken leads to increased brain creatine which may improve the function of the brain. The brain functions that have been noticed to improve include short-term memory and reasoning.
5. Growth signaling
Creatine is also important in growth signaling. The growth signals are meant to improve muscle hypertrophy through the action of satellite cells, which are responsible for sending the signals. The signals mainly stimulate muscle repair and growth, particularly after your workouts and training sessions.
6. Reducing the levels of inhibitors
The major inhibitor for muscle growth is myostatin. When it is held back, muscle growth proceeds at a faster rate. Creatine is a very good inhibitor of this compound, and the overall result is an increase in muscle mass at a faster rate.
Besides its use by bodybuilders, creatine has other applications, especially for medical purposes. It has for instance been considered to be helpful in heart diseases, some forms of cancer, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson's disease among others.
Drawbacks of Creatine
Creatine has been referred to as the safest supplement to be taken. This implies that it has very few if any drawbacks. Many researchers have looked into this area and have concluded the same way. The most important thing that needs the right dosage. As long as one is taking the right dosage, one can be sure to stay safe when using the supplements, unlike other common supplements. There are however a few concerns that a few people have noticed when using creatine. These concerns include:
Cramps and dehydration
A few people who have used creatine supplements have complained of cramps and dehydration. This has not been proved, and there exists no scientific explanation for it. It has actually been shown that creatine actually does the opposite of these health effects.
Bloating is perhaps the most reported problem associated with taking creatine supplements. Also, Bloating results in discomfort, especially when one is just beginning to take the supplements, a period called the creatine loading phase. Bloating comes as a result of increased water in the muscles leading to weight gain. The bloating seems to affect only a section of the people who can still avoid it by restricting themselves to a certain amount of the dosage.
There are no problems that are caused by creatine in the kidney. People have associated creatine with kidney problems because increased creatine also leads to increase creatinine levels and creatinine levels are used as kidney markers. However, this may prove challenging if there already exists a kidney problem. People with such problems are advised not to use creatine before seeking advice from a medical specialist.
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Types of creatine supplements
It comes in different forms, some of which are highlighted here.
Creatine monohydrate is the form of creatine that is commonly used in different studies. It is sometimes considered the standard creatine over which all the other forms are compared. It is also the most potent form.
Creatine pyruvate has a significant effect on increasing the blood levels of creatine. This, however, does not seem to have an influence over the performance.
This form is more water-soluble than the others and can help avoid clumping in the water.
Creatine magnesium chelate
When this form of creatine is used as a supplement, it tends to prevent the gain of water, especially at low doses.
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Buffered creatine and creatine hydrochloride
These 2 forms are best known for their conversion back into their basic form by stomach acid.
There are many other forms, including:
- Micronized creatine monohydrate.
- Creatine ethyl ester.
Forms Of Creatine Supplements
Creatine supplements can come in form of pills, powders, or capsules. Capsules contain powder, and therefore there are two major forms in which creatine can acquire, that is, the powder forms and pills forms. Each of these two forms has its own advantages and disadvantages, which are highlighted here below. Generally, people say that they are minor, if any, differences between the two forms. The most important thing to note here is that whether they are pills are powder, the content of creatine is the same. Differences, therefore, come in in other aspects other than the content of creatine taken in.
Creatine pills are usually taken together with fluids such as water orally. Taking creatine this way is the best way to increase the creatine levels in your body. Take creatine together with multivitamins without any problems.
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Pros of Creatine Pills
- Transportation - Transportation of pills is much easier instead of powders. This is because they are not likely to spill.
- Less wastage - When taking pills or tablets, you expect little wastage since tablets are not likely to be spilled while being consumed.
- Dosage - When it comes to dosage, pills ensure you get the exact dosage as specified. Pills have that specific amount of monohydrate; hence every pill will be the best for you.
Cons of Creatine Pills
- High Cost - Purchasing pills can be troublesome for some people because they have a higher purchase cost than powder forms of creatine. This will be particularly felt during the loading phase when you need more pills.
- Absorption is slower - Compared to powder, pills have a slow effect after you take them. Attributed to their compact form, which means that they must first be digested before they take the effect on your body. To help minimize the problem, they are taken earlier so they can be absorbed.
- Combining with other supplements is harder - Creatine can be a good companion when combined with complementary supplements. The common supplements which are best combined include carbohydrates and proteins. With pills, however, it might be difficult to combine and only powder form can be useful.
Creatine powder is perhaps the most common form of creatine consumed, at least by bodybuilders and other people who like working out.
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Pros of Powder
- Cost effective - One can easily afford creatine powder as compared to pills.
- Absorbed More Readily - The form of powder as compared to the tablets s readily absorbed because there is no need of digestion.
- Combining with other supplements is easier - Creatine combines more easily with other supplements like mentioned above. The powder form will make it easier to combine unlike their counterparts the pills.
These pros have made many people like the powder as compared to pills. The fact that they are cost effective means that one will spend less on them and also the fact that they can be combined easily with other supplements means that one will get maximum benefits.
Cons of Powder
- Not easy to transport - Spills are common with powdered forms of creatine when transporting and this leads usually to great losses.
- Wastage - Apart from wastage due to transportation problems, powdered creatine is more likely to waste through other forms also. They may for example get stack around the corners of the containers.
- Incorrect dosage - One is more likely to get incorrect dosage when using powdered form of creation as compared to pills. This aspect also closely links to wastage because when the powder sticks on the vessel of taking the powder. Incorrect dosage may even lead to side effects being experience more often.
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Effectiveness Of Creatine
Whether in powder or pills form, creatine affects several physiological functions of the body and therefore leading to some effects. How effective creatine can be depends on several goals that one intends to achieve after having used creatine. Here is a clear overview of how effective the supplement can be in the line of what one needs to achieve.
Creatine has effects on the muscles and several athletes and bodybuilders have been using it to gain muscle mass. With muscle mass, creatine is more effective compared to any other supplement known including the proteins. This will particularly be more pronounced if it is used in during resistance training. All of these arguments are a result of intense training in the area.
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You can increase Strength of the muscles through several processes by different supplements. There are those supplements that improve strength through water retention. For creatine however, it has its own way of improving the strength in the muscles. This is through increasing the energy of in the muscles, which means that the muscle cells have the energy needed for their actions. This is much way better than water retention and this makes creatine among the best supplement ever to bring about strength.
For performance, creatine is good in increasing performance especially when it comes to short burst exercises. It is ability to stimulate production of ATP in sufficient amounts in the muscles is the one responsible for increasing the performance. Creatine does not seem to extend this effectiveness to such activities that require long endurance.
It is very clear that creatine is a perfect supplement that you can count on to help get the best effect ever as seen above. All the information on creatine has been supported by great research and there is therefore no doubt about its effectiveness.
How to take Creatine supplements?
Creatine is an orally taken supplement. Different ages can take in creatine as follows depending on their needs and goals.
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Children and teenagers
Creatine supplements are not good for children. Sometimes however, they may take them for medical purposes although it is very rare. Requires advice from medical specialist.
Doses for adults vary from person to person and with the intended effects. For example, the loading dosage requires in exercise performance take 5 g of creatine monohydrate 4 times in a single day for a period of not more than 5 days. One can also take 2 g of the creatine monohydrate each day as part of the maintenance dosage in exercise performance. Something that has been researched and found to be good when taking in creatine is combining it with carbohydrates. The carbohydrate make absorption better.
The Right Time to Take Creatine
Whether you are taking the powder or pills, creatine needs to be taken at the right time. This will depend on which activity you are engaging in during the day. Basically, take creatine during the day when one plans on Exercising.
On the day when you plan to carry out your exercises, you can take creatine in three different way according to how you may like it.
Shortly before exercising
You can take 5g about 30 minutes before you start your exercises. This means that you are going to supply your muscles with creatine instantly and will increase your performance.
Shortly After Exercising
Take creatine Within 30 minutes after your exercises in which you should take just 5g of the creatine. Creatine is good when it comes to muscles recovery therefore people who take creatine after exercises usually have this in mind.
Mornings And Evenings
Take your creatine some few hours before or after the exercise. This is not however justified and may not be good. Using creatine this way produces the least effects as compared to the other two ways. When not on your exercises, you can still supplement your creatine without any bad health effects. This is mainly to ensure that you have high levels of creatine in your muscles all the time. Just ensure that your doses are a little less as compared to when you are going to exercises.
Interactions of Creatine with Other Compounds in the Body
Creatine interacts with several compounds that may also ingeste. These are particularly drugs and therefore when one is taking certain medication, they should be careful not to include creatine as well because it may lead to some unwanted health effects. Some of the drugs that interact with creatine in the body include:
Caffeine interacts with creatine in the body and results may not be good to the user. First, caffeine has the effect of reducing the effect of creatine in the body. It also possess the risk of dehydration. When used together with ephedra, the effect may be disastrous since there is the risk of developing stroke.
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Diuretics or what some people call water pills, also interact with creatine leading to harmful effects on the body. Like caffeine, they also lead to dehydration in addition to increasing the chances of kidney damage.
Probenecid is a drug used to treat a condition called gout. It interacts with creatine leading to increased chances of kidney damage.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs interact with creatine and also usually increases the risk of kidney damage. They are some of the most used pain relieving drugs and so one is likely to use them and still use creatine. Great care should therefore take a while.
Creatine loading is another good aspect that directly or indirectly relate to whether one uses the creatine powder or pills. It is a phase where one tries to maximize as much as possible the available creatine in their muscles. It basically involves taking in more creatine at the shortest time possible so that the muscles saturate faster.
Necessity Of Creatine Loading Phase
Creatine loading serves to immediately boost your creatine levels at once so that your main task after the phase is to maintain the levels. However, it is not purely necessary that one undergo this phase. This is because even taking smaller doses can eventually bring the levels up and only time makes the difference here.
How Can Creatine Loading Be Beneficial?
Creatine loading is all about maximizing the muscular creatine levels at the shortest time possible and this can be beneficial. Some of the crucial benefits include the following:
- Accelerate Muscle Gain.
- Strength and power also increases up to as much as 5 to 25 %.
- Performance too increases during high intensity exercises.
- Creatine loading is also important in preventing injury such as strains, muscle tightness and other types of injuries common in sporting activities.
Generally, creatine loading is safe and can be used over both long and short-term periods without many issues. However, it has its own side effects:
Gastrointestinal related issues
Gastrointestinal issues are sometimes experienced, but it is very rare for one to experience them. These problems include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Weight Gain And Bloating
Generally, creatine is associates with weight gain and bloating. With creatine loading, this seems to be accelerated.
Whether you want to use pills or the powder is up to you. It all gets down to what you do every now and then. For example, if you are a person who likes moving from place to place, then you will probably have to settle for pills to avoid losses. Just keep in mind that powders and pills contain the same substance which is equally beneficial and only minor differences come in.
Should A Growing Teen Pay Attention To Nutrient Timing Or Just Eat?
When it comes to teens, nutrition becomes a very essential thing of their life. This is because it is during these times that they are experiencing a lot of changes especially physically but also mentally and functionally. During Nutrient Timing that most people engage in sporting activities. Therefore, when looking into the aspect of nutrition for the teens, it is also important to consider whether such a teen actively involves in sporting or may working activities or not.
What is nutrient timing?
What now is nutrient timing? Nutrient timing involves having specified times of taking foods so that you end up with certain body properties that you need. Nutrient timing therefore seems a strategic way of getting certain outcomes for the teens. The question therefore remains, is it necessary? Considering teens in sporting activities as well as bodybuilding, nutrient timing seems to be a great idea since its sole purpose includes:
- Aiding in muscles growth.
- Improving sports performance.
- Accelerating fat loss.
Evolution of Nutrient Timing
Nutrient timing has been around for a while. For almost 50 years, Nutrient timing has formed a very crucial part of bodybuilders and several researchers have done serious work to find its many benefits. The benefits are not well brought out mainly of some few limitations. These include:
- The use of short-term blood makers meaning that the long time benefits are left out.
- The use of ultra-endurance athletes during the study.
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The Concept of Anabolic Window
Something very controversial about nutrient timing is the anabolic window. It is sometimes referred to as the window of opportunity and is a period of about 30 minutes after workouts during which it is assumed that the body can absorb nutrients perfectly. This is a concept that is still debatable, with some people arguing that it a fact while still others believe that it is a myth.
How Does the Concept Seem To Work?
The theory of anabolic window assumes to work based on two important aspects.
1. Carb Replenishment Principle
This aspect is supported by abundant research, with carbs especially glycogen being replenished within about 30 minutes to an hour. This is usually after workouts and hence the need for immediate replenishment. This of course serves to increase performance and recovery.
However, there seems to be a problem. Despite the fact that the concept is well in line with the theory, this will only imply that timing is only going to be of essence if you have a teen who is dedicated to training several times a day. It therefore becomes irrelevant to people who train once are not into training at all.
Another thing that seems not in line is the finding that training will be even better with lower amounts of glycogen in the muscles. This largely applies to teens who are actively involved in fat burning and fitness programs. Immediate replenishment has in fact been shown to reduce the benefits that should be coming out of the respective programs. It is therefore important to note that this aspect does not necessarily apply to most people making the theory of anabolic window almost a myth.
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2. Protein Intake Principle
The protein intake principle works on the basis of using proteins to stimulate the synthesis of proteins in the muscles. Protein synthesis in the muscles is very crucial because it facilitates their growth and also aids in recovery. However, is it necessary that one replenish the proteins right after working out? Well, research has spelt out clearly that it is not necessary and that what is important is actually the total daily protein intake. By taking high quality proteins during each meal, the concept of anabolic window becomes useless and more or less a waste of time and energy.
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The Concept of Pre-Workout Window
Another very important concept that is important in nutrition timing and which therefore also determines whether teens should pay attention to nutrition timing or not is the concept of the pre-workout window. Unlike the anabolic window, this concept to some extend tends to agree more with researchers and experts in the field. This is because keeping the correct time for the pre-workout has been shown to greatly aid performance. This is to mean that there is a timing for teens who wish to burn the fat in their body and there is timing for the teens who wish to enhance their performance in such things as sports.
Carbs are very essential in this window. They provide the energy you need and therefore should never be skipped. A common mistake that people make is eating immediately before the actual workout. This ensures that there is minimal competition between the stomach and the muscles and therefore lets the muscles concentrate on the performance. An allowance of 1 to about 4 hours will generally be perfect.
Another thing to include to your pre-workout nutrition will be sufficient water. This is very essential and drinking about 430 ml of water before a workout will most likely boost the performance.
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It is advised that vitamins should not be taken during this phase. This is because of their negative influence on performance and serving to minimize the benefits of the workout. Thus, in as much nutrition timing as a whole is more of a false myth, some concepts like this pre-workout window is important. The main benefits of adhering to this include:
- Help maximize the performance of the teen.
- Improve the body structure and composition.
- Fat loss acceleration.
Relationship between Nutrient Timing and Breakfast
So what should your teen eat for breakfast or should he or she even it at all? It is a very debatable concept with some expert advising that it may not be necessary to even eat breakfast while others advising certain types of meals with specific nutrients. For those who recommend breakfast, they argue that it should contain very low amounts of carb and high amounts of fat. Such a breakfast will of course help raise the energy levels, maintain higher mental function and accelerate fat burning from the body.
There is no enough evidence to support this though and everything is currently in grey areas. Anything is possible and some even propose that proteins during this time will be great. Therefore, for teens as well as any other person who is looking into the issue of nutrition timing, breakfast timings are not well researched. Ones preferences and also what one wants to achieve should be the driver.
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Relationship between Nutrient Timing and Night
Almost every concept for nutrient timing seems to be a false myth and this one seems to be yet another one. It is generally believed that reducing carbohydrates at night will definitely lead to weight loss. It is a false myth that has been spread across the globe to the extent that people are actually into it. In truth however, when you reduce the carbs, the calories are also going to be reduced. The calorie-deficit that is the result of this will ensure that there is weight loss. It is therefore not a matter of timing but a matter of reduction of one thing, which then affects another.
Reducing carbs at night might in fact be the opposite of what is expected. This is because some experts have proved that carbs at night might help improve sleep quality. For teens therefore, nutrient timing at nigh seems to be out of question and not a suggestion at all.
Nutrient Timing Vs. Just Eating
Despite the fact that nutrient timing has been around for several decades now, more and more research is slowly disapproving it and making it obsolete. What remains is for the teens therefore is simply eating without the stress that comes along with nutrient timing. However, there must be order behind just eating as we are going to see next.
When talking about nutrition and teens, it is important to consider this concept of physical activity. This is because teens who are physically active have unique nutrient requirements, which we will consider here.
Teen Nutrition Composition
For teenagers, their food should contain certain components that help sustain them through this period. They should be able to get the right balanced nutrients with more calories and most basic nutrients such as proteins.
A teen’s diet should comprise more or less of the following:
- Fruits and vegetables that contributes to about 2000 calories every day.
- Calcium about 1300 mg per day. The calcium should be fat-free or with less fat. The common sources milk and yogurt.
- Proteins which are much needed to help build muscles and as well as other rapidly growing muscles. Popular sources of proteins include lean meat and poultry.
- Foods, which are rich in iron. Iron is essential in both girls and boys but will be particularly useful in girls who lose a lot of blood through menstruation.
- Whole grains. Whole grains are very good sources of the much needed energy during the teen phase of life among other important roles.
- For teenagers, fat should be limited as much as possible. Fat of about 2 to about 30 percent of the total calories will be a good amount for the teens.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals should be part and parcel for teen nutritional diet. There are several vitamins and minerals all of which serve different functions in the body. Calcium and iron are particularly important for those teens who are physically active because they bring about strong bones as well as sufficient supply of blood to the muscles respectively. Iron is abundant in many types of foods such as the fish and most green leafy vegetables and many more others. Calcium on the other hand is rich in such foods as milk and milk products.
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Many vitamins are also very important and can easily be acquired from different types of foods especially fruits and vegetables. Having a balanced diet is sure to give the best result in terms of getting the required vitamins as well as mineral salts.
Of course, when one thinks about energy sources, the first thing that comes to mind is carbohydrates. This have been proved beyond doubt to be a very nice source of energy and are therefore a very crucial part of teen nutrition. Teens should never think of cutting back on carbs and especially when they are active in sports, it may cost them a lot in terms of performance.
A good thing about this carbs is that they are readily available in most foods and hence there deficiency is rare. Sources include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. However, there is some selectivity when it comes to eating the carbohydrates. For instance, processed grains are not generally recommended while whole grains such as brown rice are more appropriate in the sense that they provide extra nutrients that may not be in processed grains. Also, carbohydrates that have a lot of sugar should be avoided as much as possible. Such carbs when taken especially before the game tend to gives people a quick burst of energy within a short time and then leave them without anything shortly afterwards.
For proteins, it will depend on whether the teen is physically active or not. Physically active teens will definitely need more proteins as compared to their less active peers. Proteins are easily acquired from the common foods that teens eat now and then every day. While it is generally assumed that eating lots of proteins leads to gain of large quantities of muscles, it is not very true and such muscles can only be acquired from training and abundant working out. In fact, those teens who take large quantities of proteins in the name of gaining large and strong muscles end up with some side effects that include
- Occurrence of dehydration.
- Loss of considerable amounts of calcium from the body.
- Occurrence of kidney abnormalities.
Protein sources include fish, lean meat and peanut butter.
Should teens take fats or burn them? Well, technically speaking, excess fats are not recommended. However, a little fat is very necessary and teens should purpose on having them in their diet. Fats are important for long lasting energy. Carbs get used up fast and therefore fats come in a little while later after the carbs are done.
Fats also differ in types and teens are advised to take certain types and avoid other types. The main types are unsaturated and saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are considered healthier for teens and can be found in such foods like vegetable oils and some types of fish. The unsaturated fats can further be grouped into trans and cis fats. Again, cis fats are the best for teens as well as any other person. Some of these fats are particularly abundant in meat and other high fat dairy products.
For fats, timing can be of essence. It is not good for example to consume fats a short time before and after exercise for physically active teens. This is based on the fact that fats tend to make digestion slow.
Are supplements essential for teens?
For supplements, it is really good if teens know the consequences that using certain supplements will bring. There are certain supplements that can be used without actually doing any harm while there are others that come with extreme negative effects.
- Anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are among the most commonly abused supplements nowadays especially for teens in sports as well as bodybuilders. For teens, these should be supplements that they should try as much as possible shun. This is because most anabolic steroids are derivatives of hormones or hormones and will definitely have adverse side effects.
Anything that interrupts with the normal hormonal composition will also interfere with the normal functioning of the body. Common side effects of using anabolic steroids include:
- Male pattern of hair loss on the forehead.
- Shrinkage of the testicles.
- Growth of facial hair in girls.
- Depression and mood swings.
Salt tablets are common supplements to reduce dehydration. However, the belief seems to be a false one since salt tablets demonstrate to actually be the reason behind dehydration in teens and people who use them. The salts also, especially when taken in large quantities tend to have side effects such as:
- Causing nausea and vomiting.
- Brings about painful cramps.
- Causes diarrhea.
- Damage to the stomach mucosa.
Proteins and energy bars
There are some supplements in form of proteins and energy bars. These are some of the supplements which are not 100% important and at the same time not 100% useless. They have not been implicated in doing lots of harm to the body and therefore can safely be used occasionally.
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Dehydration and teen Nutrient Timing
Water is also another very important composition of teen nutrition that is very essential. Teens should always ensure that they avoid dehydration as much as possible. This is especially when it comes to teens involved in sporting activities. A lot of water is lost during exercises and this might be a great contributor to dehydration. Dehydration is related to such conditions as the feeling of overheated and some form of headaches. Teens in hot and humid conditions are likely to get dehydrated.
Dehydration will definitely lead to reduced performance and that is why people not only teens should strive to remain as dehydrated as much as possible. Different people require different amounts of water daily. This will depend largely on the size of the person, their age, how much they are involved in physical activities as well as the surrounding environmental conditions.
Highly physically active teems should at least drink water just before and after exercise as well as during the exercise every about 15 minutes. It is not necessary that one feel thirst before drinking water. Thirst in fact simply implies that you begin dehydrate a long time ago. At the same time, it is not necessary that you force yourself to drink water.
Some sports provide specific nutrient added water. The water is usually important in case of long periods of training but water is no different either. Carbonated water and drinks are not preferred during the exercises due to their probability to cause stomachache. Also don't drink energy drinks. In fact, avoid the energy drinks at all costs because they have caffeine as well as other components, which have the stimulant effect of caffeine.
Caffeine and Physically Active Teens
Teens who are in sports sometimes are tempted to use supplements with caffeine such as the energy drinks that we have talked about above. Caffeine has many effects in the body but importantly here is that it is a diuretic. Diuretics are substances that basically cause formation of more urine by the kidneys. It might be one of the causes of dehydration but the concept needs more research. Due to its diuretic effects, it cause an increase in the heart rate as well as leading to hypertension. It also leads to reduced quality of sleep and also having an effect of making someone abnormally anxious. The effects when combined will lead to a reduction in performance.
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Despite the fact that some experts have found small benefits of caffeine especially in those endurance sports, it is best to keep away from it. Its benefits seem to be way below the side effects.
Teen nutrition can be very confusing. While there are times when nutrient timing is good, sometimes just eating will be a really good option. Nutrient timing has come a long way and while it is being seen as a false myth, there are some concepts that actually hold true and should be good for teenagers and there complicated nutritional needs. During teenage time is also a time when most people involves in sporting activity. They need to eat certain foods and avoid certain supplements. Weighing the two concepts, it is just good that teens just eat instead of chaining themselves with a theory that lacks full scientific evidence.
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