Body Building

The Importance of Maintaining Energy during Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight you might be cutting down the amount of food that you would normally consume. If that means that you have eliminated the snacks that have been helping you to retain unwanted pounds, then you are doing the right thing. If, however, your reduced food consumption means that you are just eating the smallest amount of food possible during any given day, then you are harming yourself in a number of ways.

For one thing, you are letting your body go into a sort of “panic” mode that makes it consume muscle and store fat. By doing this, you are reducing your ability to lose weight effectively, and missing out on natural levels of energy.

It is incredibly important to understand that the one way to truly long-term and effective weight loss is to constantly consider your energy levels. When you are thinking about the best ways to keep yourself “charged up” for your everyday activities as well as your workouts, you will find that you are enjoying the healthiest weight loss imaginable.

How does energy translate to improved weight loss? People who consume the types of beverages and foods that give them good supplies of energy tend to also make choices that bring successful weight loss.

Here’s an example, the person who knows they are going to do a four mile run in the afternoon will be sure to drink plenty of fluids (which guarantee energy), eat ample amounts of natural carbohydrates and proteins (another way to boost energy), and avoid foods that bring only a temporary and artificial lift in energy such as unrefined sugars and caffeine. These energy booster choices will come with a nice and sustained amount of energy that will allow them to workout and lose weight without depriving their body of food and fluid so essential to good function.

Maintaining Energy Levels While Dieting

Dieting should never mean depriving your body of what it needs, but unfortunately many people do just that in order to shed pounds. For example, how many people do you know (perhaps even yourself) who have dropped weight by using the “crash diet” method? By reducing food and calorie consumption we can allow ourselves to drop weight rapidly, but we also cue our bodies to begin gobbling up muscle instead of fat. This leaves the body deprived of energy and efficiency, and also makes us prone to future weight gain.

Dieting shouldn’t “cost” the body anything, and one of the biggest tolls that dieters pay is in their energy levels. This is not necessary, and it is actually relatively easy to maintain energy levels while dieting by following a few simple guidelines.

The first is be sure that your body is fully hydrated. Whether you realize it or not, you may be feeling extremely tired because you are not pumping enough fluids into your daily diet. Naturally, plenty of decaffeinated and sugarless beverages are the best ways to get ample hydration, but you might also give yourself an added energy boost by consuming a piece of fruit that has a high water content as well. For example, a handful of grapes is going to give your body a lot of fluid, some natural energy, and a boost of fiber. These kinds of energy boosters are much better than a blast of caffeine that will leave you dehydrated and suffering from the inevitable “crash” that follows.

If you find that you just don’t have enough energy to stick to your workout routine, even when you are not crash dieting and when you are sure you are consuming ample fluids, go ahead and have that coffee. Remember, however, that the best way to drink coffee while dieting is to consume it with plenty of milk. This changes it into a high protein beverage, which is the best way to “amp up” energy.

Keeping Up Your Energy While Strength Training

People who exercise need to consider their diets carefully in order to ensure that they are not “dipping” into muscle while they go for that proverbial burn. Things get even more serious when someone is doing strength training because this is all about muscle use, and muscles need much more energy before, during and after any workout regimen.

This is one reason that people who are “muscle builders” will use energy supplements that help with everything from actual energy levels to fat burning. While some people might elect to burn fat in order to make their muscles more defined, some also opt for the fat burning formulations in order to be sure that their bodies are not heading into a pattern of fat storage due to lower calorie consumption.

Consider that the average dieter is going to reduce or heavily limit calorie consumption. If they push things a bit too far, their body will actually use muscle for energy and store fat to help with the inadequate food supplies. This leads to flabbiness for sure, but it also tends to make someone far more fatigued than they should be. This can make workouts less effective, and also force the body to use up even more muscle.

When someone is strength training, this situation is very destructive, and this is usually the reason that someone uses energy supplements that contain protein and fat burning ingredients. The energy boost might come from an herbal formulation or just plain old caffeine that has been transitioned into a “time release” version that gives someone a good steady supply of energy for several hours. This is much better than a blast of caffeine from a cup of coffee or a sugar-heavy energy drink, because there is no “crash” once the caffeine finishes its work, and the strength training is then as effective as possible.

Caffeine for Muscle Power

Caffeine isn’t for everyone – particularly people who have heart disease or hypertension. On the other hand, the stimulant power of caffeinated beverages may have some positive benefits for athletes. According to a new study, high doses of caffeine boost muscle power and increases endurance during sustained exercise.

The benefits of caffeine on sports performance have long been recognized. Caffeine is most beneficial for increasing endurance in athletes who engage in endurance sports such as running longer distance and cycling – and offers no benefits for athletes who do high intensity, short duration exercises such as sprinting and weight lifting. Not only does it decrease fatigue in distance runners and cyclists, it also sharpens mental focus.

In a new study presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Prague, researchers tested varying doses of caffeine on muscle power in mice when their muscles were worked at near maximal capacity as well as at a lower level of intensity.

They found that high doses of caffeine, around 70 uM, increased muscle power by six percent when the mice performed either low or high intensity exercise. This means that, at least in mice, high doses of caffeine improves muscle performance – at high and low levels of exercise.

Most previous studies looking at caffeine and sports performance have focused on the effects caffeine has on the brain. By acting as a stimulant, it sharpens focus and reduces fatigue during exercise. This study shows that high doses of caffeine may also boost muscle power by another mechanism – by acting directly on skeletal muscle tissue.

Even though caffeine increased muscle power during both low and high intensity exercise, it only increased endurance for lower intensity exercises such as long distance running, jogging, cycling, and walking. It actually decreased stamina and endurance during high intensity exercise such as sprinting and weight lifting. This is consistent with previous studies.

Before guzzling caffeinated beverages prior to your next workout, keep in mind that 70 uM of caffeine is a hefty dose  of caffeine – although the researchers in this study pointed out that some heavy coffee drinkers have blood caffeine concentrations as high as 50 uM. This dose of caffeine could only be easily achieved using a concentrated liquid or tablet – and this could be dangerous for people with heart or blood pressure problems. It’s not clear whether lower levels of caffeine have the same muscle boosting effects as these ultra high doses.

The bottom line? High doses of caffeine boosts muscle performance during exercise of any type, but the risks aren’t worth it unless you’re an athlete using caffeine under medical supervision.

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References:

Medical News Today. “High Doses Of Caffeine Directly Increase Muscle Power And Endurance During Relatively Low-Intensity Activity”

Cut the Sugar After Your Workout

Every good athlete or bodybuilder knows that what you eat after a workout is incredibly important. What you decide to put into your body after exercise (even up to two hours later) can have a huge impact on the health benefits you can get from it. However, there’s one ingredient that you may be overlooking when it comes to your post-exercise snack: sugar.

While a simple booster and a sweet tooth satisfier, sugar can actually negatively impact your insulin sensitivity as well as your production of human growth hormone (HGH). Plus, it’s found in a ton of protein shakes, energy drinks, protein bars, and other so-called healthy snacks.

According to a recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that eating a low-carbohydrate meal after aerobic exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity, which can help reduce  your risk of type 2 diabetes.  In addition, it has also been found that consuming fructose, including that from fruit juices, can severely reduce your body’s ability to produce HGH post workout, which means much smaller or even non-existent gains.

During that two hour window of time after a workout, avoid sugary foods. Instead, look to ingest foods high in protein and low in sugar, like Greek yogurt. The health effects are much more powerful than you realize.

Five Things Glutamine Can Do For You

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If you’re a bodybuilder or even if you’re just big into sports nutrition, you’ve probably heard of glutamine powder or l-glutamine powder. Both of these supplements are great products to have on hand when you’re trying to get fit, but if you’re still not sold on the benefit, just take a look at five things l-glutamine can do (according to research):

1.) Glutamine can help boost levels of HGH in your blood by stimulating the pituitary gland. This can help you build more muscle.

2.) L-Glutamine has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery after a hardcore workout.

3.) Glutamine is an essential amino acid that helps with protein synthesis in your body. It also boosts other functions, such as providing cellular energy.

4.) L-Glutamine has also been shown to improve your body’s natural healing abilities, which means faster muscle repair after an intense workout.

5.) Glutamine is currently being investigated for its properties as a natural cleanser and digestive aid.

Ready to try L-glutamine powder? Get your supply today at BodyEnergyShop.com.

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Build Muscle from the Inside Out

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...
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If  you’re thinking of bulking up, you can’t just rely on a workout alone to get results. In fact, exercise isn’t going to do much good for you – unless you have the right nutritional base behind it. Nutrients are the building blocks of muscles, specifically protein. Foods that come packed with lean protein are absolute must-haves when you want to start building lean, hard muscle. So how can you get more protein? BodyEnergyShop.com has these tips:

  1. Sneak more protein into breakfast by having a protein shake. Just add a scoop of protein powder to a blend of fresh fruits, ice, and fat-free yogurt and start blending. You’ll have a delicious shake that’s packed with muscle building protein in no time.
  2. Make sure breakfast is full of protein by eating eggs. Not only do eggs contain lots of healthy protein, but they also have essential fatty acids and vitamins that are vital for building and maintaining strong bones and healthy joints, which you’ll need with more muscle.
  3. Having a bagel or toast with breakfast? Instead of butter, jam, or cream cheese, try spreading on some natural peanut butter for more protein.
  4. Instead of indulging in sugary snacks, reach for a protein bar or protein shake instead. You can find tons of protein bars and shakes out there  in a variety of flavors to satisfy any craving. You can also reach for Greek yogurt or nuts, which are perfect for snacking on while getting a good dose of protein.
  5. At mealtimes, reach for foods like chicken, turkey, bison, buffalo, lean beef, fish, or seafood to get essential nutrients as well as a ton of lean protein.
  6. Make it a habit to follow up your workout with some protein so that you can repair muscle. Try having a protein bar or shake, or even a bagel with some peanut butter on it to pump up your body’s intake of this valuable nutrient.
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Which Burns More Calories?

weights

For dieters everywhere, the method of exercise can make all the difference. However, when it comes down to which exercise is better for losing weight, you’ll find differing viewpoints. On one hand, cardio has been regarded as the foundation of a weight loss plan. Cardio exercise helps you boost your metabolism which in turn helps you kick start your ability to burn calories. However, on the other hand, there’s a new research study that’s been released by the University of Southern Maine which suggests that weight training may offer more calorie-burning potential than cardio exercise.

In most cases, many people believe that strength training results only in bulking up, but this new study shows that participants who did 30 minutes of weight training vs. a 30 minute run at a fast pace ended up burning more calories. Factor in strength training’s ability to boost metabolism for up to 36 hours after the workout and you’ve got a great form of exercise that’s ideal for helping you slim down for swimsuit season.

A Whey Protein Recipe You’ll Love

In our last post, we talked about how important it is to up your intake of whey protein if you seriously want to gain muscle. But besides just mixing up some powder with some water and drinking it, there are other ways for you to actually get your daily dose of whey protein and enjoy it. Take for instant protein pancakes.

To make whey protein pancakes, all you need are a few simple ingredients, a blender, and a heated griddle. Start out by blending together a cup of oatmeal, a cup of fat free cottage cheese, one cup of egg whites, and a scoop or two of whey protein powder. From there, you can feel free to add fruit or even some chocolate if you like. Then, blend until creamy. If it gets too thick, add some water. Next, pour your batter onto a heated griddle and cook as you would normal pancakes. When done, remove from griddle and serve with your favorite sugar-free syrup, fresh fruit, fat-free whipped cream, or other topping.

That’s it – it’s a simple start to your day that’s packed full of protein!

Whey Protein: An Essential Nutrient

Everyone knows that whey protein is the foundation for muscle building in exercise or in athletics. If you’re someone who wants to build lean, hard muscle, then it’s important to be including whey protein in your diet.

So what makes whey protein different? Well, for starters, whey protein is derived from dairy products and comes packed with amino acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help you:

  • Build lean, hard muscle
  • Repair muscle tissue and recover after exercise
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer
  • Improve your overall level of wellness

If you’re ready to get serious about being healthy and building muscle, be sure to add more whey protein to your diet. At BodyEnergyShop.com, we carry a great selection of whey protein powders and products so you can find the one that’s right for you.

Start nourishing your body to build muscle. Let BodyEnergyShop.com help you get started with whey protein.