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WHEY PROTEIN – IS IT ONLY FOR MEN?

For some bizarre reason, that we can’t quite fathom, it seems that some people don’t believe that women need protein in their diet as much as men do.

Why this would be, we are not quite sure, but make no mistake, the female of the species needs proteins just as much as the males do. After all, we are mammals too!

One thing a lot of women looking to lose weight fast may forget, is just how important protein – including of course whey protein – is to ensure adequate nutrition.

Yoyo dieting can wreak havoc on the body and its ability to regulate its weight. But did you know that when the body starts to burn muscle, this is a bad thing for your diet. Quite apart from the fact that you don’t want your muscles to waste away (do you?) muscles are where the fat burning occurs.

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So, you want to keep your muscles, even if you are not into body building and of course this goes double or even treble for anyone who is looking to tone up as well as slim down.

In order to maintain or increase your muscles, you therefore need to ensure an adequate supply of protein. Naturally, it is best if you can meet your protein needs from your diet. This would usually be from red meat, fish and eggs and the like. But if, like many people, your diet may suffer from one or two gaps, you may be considering a protein supplement.

Whey protein would therefore be a good place to start.

The proven health benefits are manifold. It may help boost your immune system, for example, which is always good news. It does this by increasing the levels of glutathione, which aids your body in its own personal detox.

More good news comes in the form of osteoporosis or rather the lack of it – hopefully! This is because whey protein is derived from milk and milk contains calcium, something which women can sometimes be deficient in, leading to the danger from osteoporosis – amongst other things.

Another thing that might prove to be an unexpected bonus, when using whey powder supplements, particularly through drinks, is that it has been proven to help beat those hunger pangs that are the curse of so many a diet.

Of course, there are calories within the supplements themselves, which is to be expected and this should always be worked into any calorie plan that you have, but the good news is that these supplements have been shown to limit the amount of ghrelin, a hormone that puts our brains on hunger alert!

So the next time you were thinking of snacking on a cupcake or some chocolate, consider instead a whey protein bar or shake – not only will it help tone you up, which will lead to increased fat burning in the long run, but it could also help you when reaching for the next cookie and the next…

Creatine Supplement

WHAT IS CREATINE?

The first thing you want to know is what is creatine and why do we need it.

Creatine is the second most important protein that your body needs, after whey protein, to help the development of all essential muscles.

But this is not all. As well as the beneficial effects of growing your muscles, it also helps you power through the most high-intensity work out sessions, in a breeze.

The human body generates this at about a gram or two a day, but it does not hang about in your system for long and you may want to give it a little helping hand.

However, like all things in life, knowing how to and how much to and when to, are the key points to successfully boost the creatine in your body.

Put simply, there’s no need to overdo it. Sometimes less can be more when it comes to creatine.  Here we have put together a simple guide to creatine as part of your workout schedule.

WHO SHOULD TAKE CREATINE SUPPLEMENTS?

creatine1Anyone who is doing high intense gym workouts might consider taking creatine as a supplement to their diet. However, if you are a long distance runner, or doing prep for a marathon then maybe this is not the product for you, as it does not show any really beneficial effects on long, slow types of exercise.

Also, if your diet is already high in creatine, then you may simply not need this and since there is no evidence taking more than required (i.e. loading up) actually works on the human body any better than simply taking the amount advised.

Studies have shown that people who eat a diet that is high in red meat have naturally higher creatine levels than those that don’t. In other words, if you are a vegetarian this is a supplement that you may need particularly in your diet.

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE?

If you have decided that creatine is for you, the next question will naturally be, how should I take this supplement? The short answer is, in a drink.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?

As previously stated, more could be less in the case of creatine or at the very least, there isn’t really any point in taking any more than the stated dose as it would just be a waste of money.

The good news is that you don’t actually need to take very much of this supplement and it can be quite easily added to your daily protein shake.

5 grams is the recommended dosage, in monohydrate form, taken with 400 mls of water (or your shake),

Other forms of creatine are available, for example liquid form or nitrate, but the general advice is that the monohydrate is the most efficient form.

It doesn’t mix in particularly well, so be patient and wait for all the lumps to dissolve properly before drinking, it will work better if you do!

WHEN SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE?

The best time to take creatine is after a workout, and not before it. This is because it can cause water to be drawn into your gastrointestinal tract, which could possibly result in bloating and cramping – not something you want before you hit the gym!

HOW TO USE CREATINE?

Maybe you are new to the world of protein shakes and supplements and the whole thing is confusing you a bit. You may have heard about this and its use as a muscle developing tool, but not be exactly sure about what it is and how to use creatine safely and effectively.

The good news here is that it is very safe to add as a supplement to your diet and any negative side effects are fairly unlikely or not very serious.

Any side effects should be limited to, at worst, perhaps some mild bloating and cramping. Even then, these aren’t completely proven.

Because creatine is already produced by the human body, it is a natural protein, however, it is not produced in very high amounts. By taking a supplement you can increase the quantity produced, but why might you want to do this?

Well, if you are a gym buff you may have heard about its potential to build muscles, giving you the toned, ripped physique you are after.

And it is true that the use of this protein could lead to a weight gain – this is an effect that could be good or bad, depending on what it is that you want to achieve,

In the short term, any weight gain may only be down to an increase in water retention, but, with long term use it can provide the bulking up in muscle that you desire.

However, getting more buff in the muscle department is not the only beneficial effect of this protein.  People also love it for the feeling of strength and the amounts of energy associated with it.

Before we get too carried away with the idea, it is important to note that this is only when it is used correctly and in accordance with the instructions on the packaging.

There is nothing to be gained by taking more than the stated dose, here. Also, in about 20-30% of the population, there will be no effects at all of taking creatine supplements, as some people seem to be naturally immune to it!

So back to the thorny question of how to use creatine? Despite there being some alternative ways to get this essential protein into your system, the best way, think the experts is the creatine monohydrate. This is to be taken, 5 mls dissolved into 400 mls of water.

Some people favor adding it to green tea, others add it to their daily protein shake.

Timing, as with so many things in life, is crucial though. You particularly do not want to go taking this just before you go and hit the gym…remember the potential bloating side effects.

Generally afterwards is the best time to take creatine. One note of caution here, it is not the most soluble thing in the world ever and will take some time to mix in properly, so make sure you give it a good stir.

Despite one or two minor downsides, this is a safe and easy to use supplement that should see you powering through your exercise program in no time

 

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