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        What Is Protein

        What Is Protein

        If you’re working out regularly, trying to bulk up or trying to gain weight you’ve probably considered your protein intake – or at least been advised that protein can help you meet your goals. Protein is the OG supplement when it comes to muscle building and recovery. This article will explain exactly what protein is, how protein works, how much you need, and how you can increase your daily protein intake.

        What is Protein?

        Protein is one of the three macronutrients we get from food, along with carbohydrates and fat. Macronutrients contribute energy in the form of calories – fat contains 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein each contain 4 calories per gram. 

        Protein does more than just provide us with energy though, it also helps repair and grow our body’s tissues, metabolic reactions, and daily functioning of our body’s systems. 

        Proteins are chains made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. The types of amino acids within a specific protein dictate its form and function. Protein is found in both animal and plant foods, though in highest concentration in animal protein sources like meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. You can also get protein in plant-based foods like dried beans and peas, nuts, soy, and seeds. 

        What are the Benefits of Protein and How Does it Work?

        1. Growth and repair of Lean muscle tissue

        The primary benefit of protein when it comes to performance is the anabolic process of building muscle. Our muscles are always in a state of flux, breaking apart (muscle protein breakdown, or MPB) and rebuilding (or muscle protein synthesis, MPS). The balance between breakdown and synthesis dictates whether muscle tissue will be gained, lost, or balanced. 

        Resistance training pushes our muscles to the limit, creating damage in the form of small tears in the muscle tissue. These tears need to be repaired by amino acids (protein building blocks), which help lead to growth of the muscle over time. Getting protein from our diet provides the necessary building blocks for growth and repair.

         

        2. Improves body composition 

        Body composition is based on the balance between fat mass and lean mass (muscle). Not only is protein key for building lean mass, it’s also essential during periods of weight loss. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you’re eating – which makes your body burn stored energy for fuel. 

        Consuming protein to protect your muscles while still in a calorie deficit can help to target fat loss and improve body composition over time. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so another benefit of protein is that higher protein diets can also keep you feeling more satiated to help limit calorie intake if you’re trying to lose weight.

         

        3. Supports overall health

        Protein has a number of important benefits in the body including the manufacturing of hormones, enzymes, messengers and immune-system components, as well as playing the main structural process of every muscle fibre. The amino acids that make up various proteins are therefore critical for the structure and regulation of cells. 

        Protein also works to support gastrointestinal health. Protein increases Glutamine intake which is shown to develop overall gut function as well as supporting the immune system. The amino acid cysteine (typically found in high amounts in whey) will also help to promote glutathione level in turn having a positive effect on the immune system.

         

        How Much Protein Do You Need? 

        Healthy individuals need between 0.8-1.2g of protein per kg body weight per day for maintenance. If your goals are to increase mass and see other benefits, you need between 1.2 – 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight daily to encourage muscle growth.

        Women naturally have more fat mass than lean mass and require less protein overall than men. On average, women who are at a healthy weight should aim for 1.2g/kg per day and men should aim for 1.4g/kg per day.

        There are a Variety of protein shakes available to help increase your protein intake between meals. 

        Whey Protein shakes are the most widely available, and range in different levels of concentration/processing from isolate, hydrolysate, and concentrate. There are specific protein powders for those looking to Lose weight or those who want to gain, and there are also vegan options like Soy or Plant based proteins.

        Fish Oil

        Fish Oil

        Add Years to your life expectancy with fish oil

        There are so many different recommendations on how to live a healthier life. Eat your 5 a day, don’t drink sugary drinks, eat nuts, get enough sleep, avoid processed food. It’s easy to lose track.

        Luckily for you we aim to focus on one thing in particular. Omega-3.

        Last week a new study came out about the benefits of omega-3, and they proved pretty impressive. Here’s what the results have to say

        The Study

        Researchers analysed data on blood fatty acid levels in 2,200 people over the age of 65 for 11 years. The aim was to understand which fatty acids function as good predictors of mortality. The result indicated that omega-3 fulfilled this role1.

        When you hear fatty acid, your brain automatically assumes the worst, that doesn’t sound healthy, right? WRONG. The study shows that incorporating omega-3 into your diet can increase your life expectancy by almost 5 years, the same amount of time that is believed to be cut off your life if you smoke regularly. *Adds salmon to basket*

        Despite only having been conducted on Americans, the study can be seen as mostly reflective of the population as a whole. However, if you don’t believe it, there is thought to be a new study analysing the effects across a group of European origin – but you might have to wait 11 years.

        So what can you do?

        Unfortunately, our bodies don’t make omega-3 fatty acids on their own. Which means we need to find a source in our diet. Bad news for any vegans, but any oily, fatty fishes, like salmon and sardines, are an excellent source of omega-3. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating oily fish twice a week. However, this is not the only option, chia seeds, kidney beans and edamame are also full of omega-3.

        Alternatively, if you would rather not alter your diet, or your budget can’t stretch to endless salmon – we know ours can’t, then omega-3 supplements can be very helpful. An average portion of salmon contains 730 milligrams of omega 3, and one supplement can contain 1000 milligrams. According to Health line the recommended daily intake of omega-3 is 1,000 mg for women and 1,600 for men. Sounds like supplements might be the most cost-effective answer!

        Our most popular Fish oil is pharma nord a whopping 1000mg a capsule 

         

        Natural ways to boost Testosterone

        Natural ways to boost Testosterone

        Testosterone is a hormone. It’s produced in the sex organs – in the testicles in men and in small amounts in women’s ovaries. Testosterone production ramps up during puberty and begins to decrease in mid to later life. The hormone testosterone is also linked to bone and muscle health, fat storage, and red blood cell health. 

        Increasing your testosterone levels can increase libido and energy levels and help treat sexual dysfunction. If your levels of testosterone are low, increasing them may also support changes in body mass – leading to the use of testosterone boosters for ergogenic purposes.

        Testosterone & Muscle Mass

        When it comes to building muscle, testosterone is a key factor. The powerful hormone is the signal for your body to grow and enlarge your muscles, which is the goal which most of us fitness fanatics strive for. Whilst generally you’re stuck with the levels of testosterone your body naturally produces, there are some things you can do naturally to increase your levels of testosterone and thus increase your gains.

         

        Eat Fats

        One of the key ways to naturally increase your testosterone levels is by increasing your intake of dietary fats. With that being said, you do need to choose the types of fats you eat wisely. 

        Fats such as trans fats are unnatural and should be avoided where you can. 

        There are certain foods you should turn to as a source of healthy saturated and unsaturated fats. For example, for saturated fats, you should aim to eat foods such as red meats, eggs and coconut oil , and for unsaturated fats you should aim to eat foods such as nuts almonds etc.), avocado, and oils such as olive oil. 

        There have been several different studies that suggest eating more fat can lead to an increase in testosterone levels. 

        It’s important to keep track of how much you are eating though, as an increase in fat intake will lead to an increase in cholesterol intake, and thus could lead to related diseases. If your cholesterol levels are already high, then you should consult your doctor before you decide to up your fat intake. 

        Cut Down On Body Fat

        Another key way of boosting your testosterone levels is to cut some body fat. There have been many studies which show that higher levels of body fat can lead to lower testosterone levels. This means it will be easier for you to build muscle at lower body fat percentages. 

        However, keep in mind that, in order to reduce your body fat, you will need to eat in a caloric deficit, which could lead to losing some muscle. If you’re trying to increase your testosterone levels with the goal of improving your gains, then going on a long cut in a caloric deficit could be counterproductive. 

        Lift Weights

        Lifting weights is a key way of increasing your testosterone levels. Studies have shown that the levels are at their highest 48 hours after weight lifting. The harder you train and the more frequently you train, the higher your testosterone levels will be. 

        Cut Down On The Booze
        You may not want to hear this news, but drinking alcohol can reduce your testosterone levels. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can reduce them for up to 24 hours. It can also increase your levels of cortisol and reduce your levels of HGH (human growth hormone).

        Whilst the occasional drink won’t really do you much harm, drinking regularly can have negative effects on your testosterone levels and your overall health. Alcohol also contains a lot of calories (depending on your drink of choice) and if you’re trying to cut these additional calories won’t be helpful.

        Get More Sleep

        One study has shown that, for people with low testosterone levels, the most important factor in replenishing them could be getting more sleep.

        A lack of sleep can affect your hormones in a variety of ways, which in turn affects your body’s level of testosterone. A healthy level of sleep often ranges from 7 to 8 hours. 

        Sleep should be prioritised, along with your diet and training, and has many other positive effects on your health. Your body also produces HGH (human growth hormone) when you sleep, which will further help you to build more muscle.

        Creatine

        Studies have shown that consuming creatine can lead to an increase in testosterone from 20-25%. Creatine can be found in red meats, as well as being available in supplement form. The recommended supplement dosage is between 5 and 10g. 

        Which supplements help to boost your testosterone levels?

        1. D-Aspartic Acid

        D-Aspartic Acid is an amino acid that’s involved in the synthesis of many different proteins. Research has shown that it is linked to the creation and release of testosterone, leading to the thought that it might be useful to increase testosterone levels.

         

        2. Tribulus Terrestris

        Tribulus Terrestris is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment for many health conditions. Known as puncture vine, this fruit producing plant has been shown to play a role in manage the many symptoms of low testosterone levels.

        3. Ginseng 

        Ginseng is a popular herbal supplement used for both mental and physical performance. Research studies have supported the use of Ginseng as an aphrodisiac and effective at treating symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

         

        4. Vitamin D

        Vitamin D, in addition to being crucial for bone health, glucose metabolism, and cell growth, also acts as a signaling molecule for many other processes in the body. Vitamin D has been found to be linked to the synthesis of both estrogen and testosterone, with supporting research that it is crucial for healthy testosterone levels.

         

        5. ZMA

        Zinc is a mineral that is used by the body to metabolize many nutrients that are crucial for cell function. Low levels of zinc have been linked to testosterone deficiency, making ZMA a good option to keep your zinc levels optimized

         

         

        Creatine - What Is It?

        Creatine Monohydrate

        So, we’ve all had our fair share of protein shakes and chances are you’ve relied on a pre-workout to survive that deathly weights session. But, what’s the deal with creatine monohydrate?

        This popular yet elusive supplement is a bit of a mystery to many of us. What does it actually do? How do you take it? And, is it really worth adding into your arsenal of supplements? We’ve done some digging: here are the benefits of creatine and why it may be worth picking up a tub or two on your next supplement spree.

        SO, WHAT IS CREATINE?

        As one of the most widely studied supplements on the market, it’s surprising that so many of us are unaware of what creatine monohydrate actually is and it’s list of benefits. Creatine is a molecule that is naturally produced in the body and also found in various foods. It’s produced in the body from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine.

        From enhancing strength and promoting recovery to helping build lean muscle mass, creatine is a must for those looking to maximise their high-intensity exercise performance.

        HOW TO TAKE CREATINE

        Creatine usually comes in powder form, but capsules also exist for those who prefer consuming it this way. In powder form, creatine is pretty easy to use though – simply add to water or into BCAAs or protein shakes if you prefer.

        WHEN SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE?

        You can take creatine before or after exercise, or anytime during the day. There is no evidence to suggest that taking creatine before or after a workout is best. You can take creatine with water or scoop it into protein shakes and BCAAs. When product stacking, always check whether the product is suitable to be consumed with creatine.

        DOES CREATINE WORK?

        As with most supplements, different people will react to creatine differently. Healthline states that several studies have shown that the consumption of carbs with creatine increases the impact it has on the muscles. There are a number of benefits to taking creatine; it can help your muscle cells produce more energy, can speed up muscle growth and can also benefit high-intensity workouts, supporting muscle endurance and energy during exercise

         IS CREATINE SAFE TO USE?

        Creatine monohydrate is easy and safe to use however, it is recommended that you read all ingredients and side effects before taking any supplement.

         

        WHAT DOES CREATINE MONOHYDRATE DO?

        IT HELPS MUSCLE CELLS PRODUCE MORE ENERGY

        Taking creatine can help increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores. Phosphocreatine helps your body to form ATP, the key molecule your cells use for energy. This will mean you’ll have more energy to support those high-intensity workouts, whether you’re lifting weights or thrashing it out on the treadmill.

        IT CAN HELP SPEED UP MUSCLE GROWTH

        Creatine has been proven to increase lean body weight and help build muscle size. The initial cause of this is increased water content in your muscles. Adding creatine to your supp collection can also aid muscle fibre growth, which in turn will boost performance and help you achieve your goals.

        IT CAN BENEFIT YOUR HIGH-INTENSITY WORKOUTS

        Due to it’s direct link to ATP production, creatine is great to boost your high-intensity workouts, supporting muscle endurance, energy during exercise and also helping improve recovery rate.

        IT’S SO EASY TO USE

        To top it off, creatine is super easy to use. Most powdered creatine supplements are unflavoured too, making it great for product stacking, so you needn’t worry about how you’re going to squeeze it into your diet.

        HOW MUCH CREATINE SHOULD I TAKE PER DAY?

        When first starting to take Creatine powder, it is recommended that you take one serving (one level 5g scoop) with your morning, afternoon, and evening meals and before bed for 4-5 days to help saturate your muscles with creatine. After this, take one serving per day – this could be with a meal, after training in a post-workout protein shake, or during your session in your BCAA.

        https://positivehealthandnutrition.com/collections/creatine