Whats the big hype with Tongkat Ali, And being promoted by so many big influencers?
Tongkat Ali (i.e Eurycoma Longifolia) is a natural powerful herb that been used for centuries in Malaysia. It was used by indigenous people for centuries and consumed daily by Malaysians in many forms for its rich history and proven health benefits.
What is Tongkat Ali?
Tongkat Ali is a herbal root that originates from a plant known as Eurycoma Longifolia.
The plant grows and is found mainly in Malaysia and a few countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia. Tongkat Ali grows in deep tropical rainforests and has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries.
Tongkat Ali is slowly becoming one of the fastest-growing herbs that have sparked interest by scientists and researchers around the world. It has a reputation of a powerful herbal medicine and has been clinically and scientifically proven with years of studies and research.
What are the Health Benefits?
There are many benefits from incorparating this her into your daily lives, we will discuss the top 5 benefits that have been clinically tested with positive results.
1) Increases Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is one of the key hormones in our body that is associated with masculinity, energy, mood, stamina, libido and overall general health. Therefore, both men and women can gain similar advantages by restoring testosterone levels. Our testosterone levels drop as we age, by the time we are in our 60s we only have 40-50% of testosterone levels of youth.
Tongkat Ali has been scientifically tested to restore or increase your testosterone levels for both men and women.
One study showed Tongkat Ali extract appeared to be beneficial as a health supplement in disabling the appearance of late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) symptoms. For one month, out of 320 patients suffering from late-onset hypogonadism (LOH), 76 patients were given 200 mg of water-soluble Tongkat Ali extract and results showed improvement in Ageing Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scores and improvement in the serum testosterone concentration.
Another research by University of Western Cape, South Africa, both men and women (ranging from the age of 57-72 years) were daily given 400-mg of Tongkat Ali extract over a course of 5 weeks. The results illustrated that Tongkat Ali not only enhanced the levels of testosterone but also greatly promoted muscle strength in men and women.
This is further supported by Dr. Andrew Huberma, one of the most respected health and wellness personalities in the United States. In a recent interview with Joe Rogan, Dr. Andrew said that consuming 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily has the effect of increasing testosterone levels between 100 to 200 points.
2) Improves Sexual Health & Libido
Tongkat Ali is often referred to as the best natural remedy next to Viagra. For centuries Tongkat Ali has had been known to support healthy male reproductive function and fertility – including sperm motility, semen production, libido, and erectile function.
The are a significant number of research and clinical studies on Tongkat Ali’s benefits on men’s sexual health.
For example, a 12-week study by the University of Science Malaysia was conducted on 109 men ranging between the ages 30 to 55; it was observed that Tongkat Ali had a great impact on sexual health and libido. In comparison to the placebo, it resulted in increased sperm motility, increased semen volume, enhanced libido and improved erectile function.
Another study; a 9-month clinical trial at Wellmen Clinic, Damai Service Hospital by Dr. Tambi regarding infertility, showed that 75 males under the effect of Tongkat Ali supplements also had an improved rate of fertility due to the increased rate of semen volume, increased concentration of sperm, increased sperm motility, and sperm quality.
3) Improve Strength, Muscle & Physical Activities
Tongkat Ali has become very popular in the fitness and sports community, many athletes have seen the benefit of adding Tongkat Ali to their diet. The main benefits of Tongkat Ali being a remarkable increase in performance-related activities specifically in muscle growth and strength.
Again, there has been an incredible amount of scientific studies on Tongkat Ali benefits on muscle growth and strength. In a study of 32 men published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 11g daily of Tongkat Ali supplements were given for 4 weeks and resulted in increased total strength based on squats, bench and deadlift exercise.
In another 5-week study on 14 men published in the British Journal Sports of Medicine it was observed there was an improvement in the strength and size of muscle. This is over and above significant improvement in athletic performance based on daily intake of Tongkat Ali.
4) Reduce Stress, Anger & Improve Mood
Tongkat Ali has been proven by scientists to reduce anger, tension, and confusion – factors that influence your mood and stress levels.
Dr. Shawn Talbott is one of the few experts who integrates physiology, biochemistry, and psychology to help people improve mental fitness and physical performance.
As a veteran who participated in dozens of Iron Man triathlons, trail ultramarathons, national rowing and cycling events he was attracted to study Tongkat Ali’s effect on both mental health and sports performance.
In one of his studies showed significant improvement in mood. The study was performed in 2013 on 63 men and women who were in a reasonably stressed state. The results showed that 200mg daily of Tongkat Ali for 4 weeks resulted in:
Reduction in Tension by 11%
Reduction in Anger by 12%
Reduction in Confusion by 15%
Reduced cortisol exposure by 16%
These are scientific-backed proof that prehistoric and traditional remedy of Tongkat Ali may be an effective method in protecting the body from the damaging effects of contemporary chronic stress – contributed by daily customary stress due to lack of sleep, dieting, and lack of exercise.
5) Potential Treatment for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body “loses too much bone” and as the bones become weak, it may be susceptible to break/ crack – usually from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.
In recent studies Tongkat Ali has been shown to be a possible treatment for Osteoporosis.
Tongkat Ali was found to strengthen bones and ultimately treating male osteoporosis by a group of researchers at the Faculty of Medicine, the National University of Malaysia . This finding was due to Tongkat Ali’s major role in increasing testosterone levels, which not only stimulates the production of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts), but also activates the death of bone break down cells (osteoclasts), which eventually leads to bone mass preservation.
There is evidence in other studies to suggest that the consumption of Tongkat Ali stimulated bone formation as it triggers the manufacture of proteins which are bone-building in nature
Whats the big hype with Tongkat Ali, And being promoted by so many big influencers?
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.