The Big T: Testosterone and Training
Testosterone sometimes carries with it a positive or negative stigma, depending on the audience or context; but the fact is testosterone plays a vital role in many bodily functions in men and women, especially in training. This hormone is defined as “a steroid hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex.” Testosterone is responsible for the development of the male reproductive system, regulating libido, maintaining muscle, bone growth and much more. It also plays a role in increasing mental and physical drive and reversing the aging process. Despite its obvious necessary functions, low testosterone levels are often overlooked in men. Decreases in Testosterone can cause depression, loss of energy, decreased strength, decreased height, lack of sexual desire, obesity and many other health issues. This can be caused by a variety of factors including hereditary conditions, infectious disease, tumours near or in the pituitary gland, abuse of performance enhancing drugs, excess iron, damage to the testicles, obesity and age. When it comes to training hard, having a balanced level of testosterone is vital to effective results. In today’s competitive sports many athletes are much younger than the “seasoned” athletes, allowing them to naturally take advantage of their heightened hormone levels. This gives the older competitors a run for their money. Athlete or not, everyone can all benefit from increased testosterone levels, helping the body to reach its natural potential. Testosterone therapies are available as prescribed by doctors, but there are also some great ways to naturally and safely boost levels. Some of these include: Healthy Nutrition – As mentioned above a big factor in low levels is obesity. Working towards a leaner physique can relieve depression, increase energy and in turn increase testosterone. Start the process with a balanced nutrition plan from a qualified nutrition coach. Some “go to” weight loss tips include: • Never drink your carbohydrates – avoid juices, soda, sugar in coffee and any other beverages containing carbs. Simple carbs like those found in sugary drinks will spike blood sugar levels and cause fat storage. • Get plenty of dietary fat – dietary fat includes fat from nuts, fish, lean meats, coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil and more. Dietary fat is essential for promoting the body to burn excess body fat and is also known to naturally boost testosterone. Starting your day with a high, “good” fat meal with a lean protein and no carbohydrates can boost testosterone levels by up to 200%. • Time carbs around a workout – after periods of exercise our bodies are able to process and store glucose in our muscle as glycogen rather than spilling over as fat. Try to time your carb intake for post-workout. • Eat plenty of low calorie vegetables – a diet in high vegetables provides valuable nutrients that increase your body’s ability to transport glucose to be burned as fuel rather than stored as fat, not to mention the endless other benefits of “getting in the greens.” Vegetables also help curb appetite and keep our digestive track working more efficiently boosting our immune system and keeping us healthy. • Get sufficient protein – a sufficient protein intake will promote more muscle growth and more muscle growth means less fat. Individuals with higher lean body weight burn fat more efficiently than those with less muscle mass. Be sure your meals include a sufficient serving of complete protein such as lean meats, fish or poultry. Some vegetarian sources include beans, lentils, Quinoa and nuts. Effective Training – Although all exercise will promote a healthier, potentially leaner physique there are specific training methods that can naturally increase testosterone. These include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Strength Training. Lower body exercises such as squats and deadlifts are also known to increase testosterone and growth hormone levels. Be sure to consult a qualified trainer before attempting exercises you are unfamiliar with. Supplementation – although a healthy diet will lend to sufficient nutrients we can also benefit from specific supplements known to boost testosterone levels. These include: • ZMA – ZMA is composed of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 and is known to increase growth hormone and free testosterone levels by up to 300%. ZMA can be purchased as a supplement by itself or in powerful blends like that found in Nutrabolics’ Hemotest 2XC. ZMA supplements are best taken before bed and will also improve sleep quality and recovery rate. • Tribulus – when consumed in dosages of 500mg or more Tribulus is said to increase testosterone levels, enhance mood and libido. There is much speculation on the effectiveness of Tribulus, however. Tribulus is suggested to be taken when you wake up and afternoon, preferably before workouts. • D-Aspartic Acid – D-Aspartic Acid is “an endogenous amino acid and is found in the neuroendocrine tissues of humans.” It has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men after about 12 days of usage, however additional more extensive studies on other mammals have shown that D-Aspartic Acid may also increase progesterone and estrogen levels. • Bulbine Natalensis – Bulbine Natalensis is a South African herb backed by various research studies to raise testosterone by up to 350% while also decreasing estrogen levels by 35%. It is also effective in increasing libido, mood and overall sexual performance. Doses are suggested to be taken at levels of 25-50mg per kilogram of bodyweight. • Fenugreek – fenugreek is a plant commonly found in the Indian Subcontinent. It is used as a spice, an herb and a vegetable. Fenugreek is also used as an effective libido enhancer and testosterone booster. Fenugreek also reduces the height of insulin spikes and blood sugar levels which can in turn reduce fat storage. Effective doses of 500-2000mg are recommended. Put the best to the test with Hemotest 2XC Of all the rumored substances known to boost testosterone, the ones backed with the most research are ZMA, Bulbine Natalensis and Fenugreek. As mentioned in my article “The Importance of Rest and Recovery,” Nutrabolics® has their bases covered in the ZMA department with Hemotropin 2XC™. Hemotropin 2XC™ has a “partner in crime” so to speak with the complimentary supplement Hemotest 2XC™. This product has a powerful blend of Fenugreek Extract, Bulbine Natalensis and AtraGin, allowing effective testosterone release and efficient absorption of nutrients. It also includes Acetyl L-Carnitine, an amino acid that increases nerve conductivity; and Luteolin, a flavonoid effective in reducing inflammation as well as lowering the risk of prostate and other types of cancer. Direction for use of Nutrabolics® Hemotest 2XC™ are (1) serving in the morning and/or (1) serving before training with plenty of water. Written by Nutrabolics Athlete Ricky Goodall
BREE LIND IFM V-LOG SERIES - MMA CONDITIONING
Nutrabolics Bree Lind takes us through one of her intense MMA conditioning classes as 1 of her 6 part video series leading up to the Inside Fitness Magazine Model Search. Stay tuned for weekly V-log updates on Bree's prep to this exciting competition.
eating out is possible
People are usually surprised on how often I eat out and I have heard the same questions every time - What do I order? How do I make healthy choices? It's actually quite simple, so I decided to write a blog on how to make healthy choices when eating out at a restaurant. Most restaurants I've been to are very accommodating to healthy eating since they want to make your experience at their restaurant enjoyable and memorable. The number one rule is: Don't be afraid to ask! You can always take a meal on the menu and MAKE it healthy, though I definitely stay away from anything with bread or noodles, which automatically eliminates burgers, sandwiches, and pastas. I also make sure to ask them NOT to bring the bread and butter at the beginning so Im not even tempted to nibble. Here are some examples of things I will ask to be taken out of my meal or change: • If my meal comes with white rice, I will get it changed to brown rice and I will ask for half the original portion. Also, if they don't have brown rice at all, I will substitute for some STEAMED veggies with no butter or oil. • If my meal comes with a starchy carb such as potatoes, fries, yam fries etc. I will always substitute for steamed greens or a green salad. • If my meal comes with cheese, nuts, croutons, or bacon, I will always ask for it without • If my meal comes with a dressing or a sauce, I will ask for them to come on the side so I am in control of how much I am consuming. Also, if my meal comes with a creamy dressing or sauce, I will always substitute it for a vinaigrette dressing or a lighter sauce. • Chicken and fish are always ordered "skinless" and cooked "dry" (without butter or oil) • When ordering steak, I'll go for a leaner cut such as the tenderloin or the T-bone, also cooked "dry" • Definitely stay away from ANYTHING deep-fried!! Sometimes I find that after all my requests, the meal I get is NOTHING like the one on the menu! But hey, If that's what it takes to look good and feel great, then so be it! Because fitness is a lifestyle! Stay sexy people, Venessa Leianne Nutrabolics Athlete http://www.fitness-4-her.com
Nutrabolics Men's Photoshoot
Sneak peak of Nutrabolics Athlete Jonni Shreve from the Nutrabolics Men's Shoot this past weekend. The shoot took place at Fitness FX Gym in Halifax, NS, and was captured by the #1 photographer on the East Coast - Wayne Forrest. Stay tuned for the release of other photos, some of which will be used in the 2013 "I TRAIN" Campaign.
CREATINE 2XC IS HERE
After months of anticipation and fan hype, Creatine 2XC has finally launched worldwide. This high-powered creatine supplement is designed to support extended muscle endurance, accelerate muscle tissue repair, increase lean body mass, enhance cell volumization, and support efficient ATP production. Get your bottle today and get ready to pack on serious punch in the gym!
NUTRA GIRLS LOCK DOWN 8% OF INSIDE FITNESS HOT AND FIT 100
Nutrabolics would like to congratulate Natalie Waples, Bree Lind, Nicki Bucci, Lisa Delahaye, Mindy Karuk, Madelein Kolev, Shannon Lynch, and Caitlyn Bellamy, who all made Inside Fitness' 2012 Hot and Fit 100. The girls will be featured in a special issue of the Canadian magazine.
NUTRABOLICS EVOLVES WITH 2013 AD CAMPAIGN
Nutrabolics, has moved into a new phase of its brand with the launch of a cutting-edge 2013 ad campaign. After several product-based campaigns, Nutrabolics has decided to shift its primary focus on to the modern athlete. Designed for the "informed consumer," the campaign takes a step away from currently trending ads in the industry.
MIKE JOHNSON AT SUPPLEMENT KING GRAND OPENING
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder and 2011 Mr. Canada, Mike Johnson will be on location at Supplement King's new Bedford, Nova Scotia store to help celebrate their grand opening. Mike will be signing autographs for fans and sharing supplement tips.
NUTRABOLICS READY TO GO FOR FIT-X 2013
Nutrabolics will be a main exhibitor at Fit-X 2013, which will take place in Melbourne Exhibition Centre in Australia. This year's show is primed to be bigger and better then ever and the Nutrabolics booth will be no exception. The Nutrabolics demo team will be on site to hand out samples and provide info on the latest in Nutrabolics' cutting edge supplement line.
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: NICKI BUCCI
Congratulations to Nicki Bucci, our "Athlete of the Month" for January. Nicki has gone above and beyond in representing Nutrabolics at our supplement demos and on our social media forums. Thanks for all of your hard work Nicki!
BREE LIND IFM V-LOG SERIES - CROSS FIT TRAINING
ATHLETE BLOG - Jonni shreve
What's up Nutrabolic fans! Jonni Shreve, Nutrabolics Bodybuilder here. I'm currently 8 weeks out from the NSABBA Provincial Championships and right after that I will be going straight into prep for the Canadian Nationals. I can honestly say Nutrabolics has played a huge part in my prep so far. From Isobolic™ to Swollen™, Vitabolic™ and ThermalXTC™, have all helped me a lot. Last year I placed 3rd at Provincials in Heavy Weight (8th over all,) and then competed in Super Heavy Weight at Nationals. From last year to this years prep, Nutrabolics supplements have been my main source of fuel. I can't wait to see my improvements in 2013 that have come from pure hardwork and proper supplementation. Going big, going strong, Nutrabolics 2013 Jonni Shreve Nutrabolic Sponsored athlete Follow Jonni on Twitter @Jonni_Shreve & subscribe to his Youtube @ Jonni Shreve
Swollen goes global
Nutrabolics Athlete Casandra Bella gets her SWOLE on in Mexico with Swollen™ Watch for Casandra in the Toronto area where she will be doing demos at Popeyes Supplements. Check out our Facebook page to see where she will be next. Follow Casandra on Twitter @BellaBeachBody
The Importance of Rest and Recovery
There’s an old training belief that states, “there’s no such thing as overtraining just under resting;” and this couldn’t be more accurate. In the world of exercise, be it professional sports or everyday fitness; rest and recovery are two of the most important yet undermined aspects of effective training. During bouts of moderate to intense training the body goes through many processes including tissue damage, acidic build up and general wear and tear. In order to prepare itself for similar future situations the body has to have a period of building and repair; this may include rest days, extra sleep, a slight increase in calories, more efficient caloric timing and supplementation. Demands on athletes to perform at high levels to overcome competition makes overtraining an easily attained outcome. With athletes beginning their careers at younger ages there is a continued demand to work harder, longer and more often to keep up with the opposition. Some clear signs of overtraining can include a weakened immune system, intense soreness, loss of appetite, an increase in junk food cravings, trouble sleeping and even injury. Overtraining may also lead to a decline in performance; increased fat storage, decreased strength and stamina, and even poor cognitive function. There are a number of effective ways to avoid and reduce the effects of overtraining and to ensure the most out of rest and recovery periods. Some of these methods include: Sufficient Rest Periods – making sure you have the right amount of rest will not only help the body and mind recover from the extra strain of training but can also increase performance when you return. Dedicate one to two days fully to rest and avoid training completely. Proper Nutrition – making sure your body is getting the right types of fuel in the right amounts at the right times is as important, if not more as your training regime itself. Be sure to educate yourself on the right kind of nutrition for your goals and consult a nutrition coach who is familiar with your training. Sufficient Quality of Sleep – besides the obvious benefits from a good night’s rest, our sleep provides several benefits directly related to athletic performance. During periods of rest hormones such as human growth hormone and testosterone are released and assist in muscle growth and repair. In order for these hormones to be released properly a deep sleep and smooth transition between sleep patterns has to occur. Unfortunately during heavy training several aspects impede us from attaining quality sleep including mineral deficiency, overactive central nervous system and more. Some ways to help promote sufficient sleep quality can include avoiding stimulants 4-6 hours before bedtime and also proper supplementation which we will cover below. Proper Supplementation – heavy training causes our bodies to work harder and require more than the average person. Although proper nutrition will help your body get many important nutrients supplementation is a great way to ensure it gets everything it needs. During intense training our bodies often become deficient in important vitamins, minerals and more. Some of these include: Fluids – in other words; water. Be sure that every pound you lose during training is replaced by at least 500ml of water. It is very easy to become dehydrated from overtraining and this can lead to injury, headaches and more. Electrolytes – these include sodium, potassium, chromium and more and are responsible for all of the electrical processes in your body. Without electrolytes your body would simply not work. A proper nutrition plan will ensure electrolyte recovery and products such as coconut water and Pedialyte can also help restore electrolytes lost during training. Vitamins and Minerals – our bodies need a higher amount of vitamins and minerals when training heavily than is possible from nutrition alone. Be sure to include a balanced multivitamin in your daily intake. Post-workout Nutrition – your nutrition should also include the right type of post-workout nutrition. After a hard workout our bodies are most responsive to nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein to be used for growth and recovery without running the risk of fat storage. Be sure your post-workout nutrition includes a quick absorbing protein such as Whey Protein and a simple carb such as Dextrose or Wazy Maize. Taking 500-1000mg of vitamin C immediately after a workout will also reduce cortisol levels and aid in recovery. Specific Recovery Supplements – there are a number of specific supplements designed to assist in recovery but it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. The most important substances to look for in a recovery supplement are zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. This trio is directly responsible for increasing free testosterone absorption, increasing growth hormone peaks and smooth transition between sleep cycles. Other beneficial are Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and L-Tryptophan which when combined increase growth hormone production by up to 200% and also promote a restful sleep. Hemotropin 2XC™– The Recovery Supplement Breadwinner There are a number of supplements on the market to assist in recovery and finding the best one can prove to be difficult. An efficient recovery supplement should include zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, GABA and more. Nutrabolics has heard the call and responded with the superhero of recovery supplements: Hemotropin 2XC™. This supplement includes a high dosage of all of the above mentioned as well as a slew of others including AstraGin, a powerful nutrient transporter as well a blend of amino acids that will heavily boost anabolic hormones, have you sleeping like a baby and ready for action in no time. "The Importance of Rest and Recovery" Written by Nutrabolics Ricky Goodall.