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You are currently browsing the My Nutrition blog archives for the day Thursday, February 3rd, 2011.

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Archive for February 3rd, 2011

Benefits of Caffeine

Thursday, February 3, 2011 @ 12:02 PM
posted by Jeffery mason

Caffeine is a stimulant chemical found in tea, soda, coffee, and many other products. It is most commonly known for its energizing effects, both mental and physical, but there is a huge list of benefits from this stimulant. To give you a taste, some studies have claimed that caffeine boosts brain function and memory. Another study claims that both decaffeinated and regular coffee can help reduce an individual’s risk of stroke. Even some cancers are known to be deterred by the consumption of coffee. As a workout supplement, though, caffeine may boost performance results through the increase of mental focus and energy.

Muscle Pain

In 2009, a health professor at the University of Illinois claimed that caffeine can help reduce muscular pain caused by exercise. The study involved twenty-five different college-aged males, split into two groups. The control group exercised as normal, yet the experimental group consumed up to four cups of coffee per day. The results showed that the experimental group handled the pain of exercise easier than the control group. If you are constantly suffering from the pain of sore muscles, caffeine may help reduce it.


When exercising, caffeine can actually help to mobilize the fat stored within your body. Rather than using glycogen as an energy source, your body will first burn away the fat. The glycogen will be saved until the body truly needs it and cannot burn away anymore fat. This extends the overall exercise timeframe, enabling you to get more from your workout and not succumb to the fatigue so early. Combined with the increase of blood pressure, pulse rate, and stomach acid production, you have yourself one powerful, simple exercise supplement.


You only feel what your senses perceive and tell you, but caffeine has been known to alter the perception process. Rather than feeling the full amount of work you are exerting, you only feel a portion of it. Studies have shown that caffeine can increase workout production by up to 11.5%. This is a direct result of the introduction of caffeine into your system.

Obviously, not everyone is capable of enjoying the effects of caffeine. Instead of feeling energized and enjoying the positive effects, your body is flooded with negative effects. You experience insomnia, irregular heartbeats, dehydration, and abdominal cramps. All of this can greatly affect your overall life, not just your workout routine. Talk to your doctor before you start to supplement caffeine, to ensure that you do not feel any abnormal effects.

What is Whey Protein?

Thursday, February 3, 2011 @ 11:02 AM
posted by Jeffery mason

Countless individuals around the world consume whey protein, daily. However, most of these individuals do not think about where the whey in that protein mix comes from, or why it is capable of helping out so much. Whey, or milk plasma, is the liquid remaining after the curdle has been strained from cow milk. It is enriched with essential amino acids, easily digestible, and is one of the most nutritious protein available. Before you purchase a whey protein supplement, understand that there are two different forms.

Whey protein comes in isolate and concentrated powder mix. Whey protein isolate will be the purest form and it contains almost no fat, cholesterol, and lactose. Obviously, this is the more expensive form of whey protein. Concentrated whey protein mix contains anywhere from 29% to 89% of protein. Since the protein percentage is lower, the fat, cholesterol, and lactose levels are higher. It is your choice as to which one you want to choose, since they are made for two very different reasons.

The whey isolate form is intended for individuals looking to bulk up their lean muscle mass, without the increase of bodily fat. Instead of generally bulking up your body, you are attempting to produce strictly lean muscle mass. This would be great for bodybuilders, runners, swimmers, and lifters looking to enhance their muscular recovery, quickly. Take whey protein isolate as a post-workout supplement to get the protein right into your system.

Concentrated whey protein is going to give you some extra calories and fats, and for this reason, you are going to need to burn those extra nutrients off. If you are going through a bulking phase, your body needs more calories and fat to perform intense workouts, so concentrated whey protein works well for this purpose. Bodybuilders could benefit from concentrated whey protein, since they perform high calorie exercises.

Before you purchase any whey protein, check out the ingredients and type of whey in the formula. As you can see, there are two very distinct differences between these proteins. If you were to pick the wrong one, your workout exercises are going to be very different. Your muscular results will be very different than what you were hoping to achieve. The protein content can be indicative of the muscular growth you see, yet the sugars, cholesterol, and calories can get in the way. Do your research and then buy the one that will work for you.

Lycopene: The Well-Being Supplemental Nutrient

Thursday, February 3, 2011 @ 11:02 AM
posted by Jeffery mason

Within the human skin, liver, lungs, color, and prostate, there is a red carotene and carotenoid pigment known as lycopene. This same pigment is found within fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelons, papayas, and carrots. In the late 1908s, scientific interest in lycopene exploded when it was found to have antioxidant properties more powerful than beta-carotene. From this research, these are some of the possibilities that lycopene may have for your system:

  • Antioxidant

Similar to carotenoids, various laboratory studies found that lycopene may have intense antioxidant effects. However, the test subjects in these studies were mice, so it is not clear how much help lycopene will have on humans. For now, the effects of lycopene are only speculative and a firmer conclusion will need to be drawn from more studies.

  • Male Infertility

In the year 2000, a study was conducted on 30 men with idiopathic infertility. Each of the men were given trace amounts of lycopene, over three months. At the end of the three months, the each of the men showed some kind of positive change to their sperm count, morphology, and motility. Aging men who find their sexual system starts to fail could potentially see an increase of function with the introduction of lycopene.

  • Coronary Artery Disease

There have been several studies suggesting that lycopene may be useful for people suffering from high cholesterol levels. One study had humans ingest tomato juice and tomato sauce for one week. At the end of the week, even in that short amount of time, these individuals showed lower levels of LDL than the control patients. Ask your doctor about lycopene as a supplement assistant for controlling high cholesterol levels.

  • Cancer

If there was a single disease that should strike terror within your head, it is cancer. Various studies have been conducted on populations that consume large amounts of tomatoes, which would give them more lycopene in their blood. These studies showed that these individuals are at a much lower risk of developing a cancerous tumor. The main prevented cancers are lung, stomach, and prostate, but other studies point at cervix, breast, mouth, pancreas, esophagus, colon, and rectum. Regardless, lycopene could help prevent against any number of these cancers.

As stated earlier, lycopene is still being tested as a viable antioxidant, yet that does not mean it cannot help you maintain an overall healthy internal system. If you want to ensure that your body does not continue developing toward a potentially unhealthy outcome, lycopene could be utilized as a dietary supplement to increase your well-being.