“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” I bet you’ve never heard that before! All joking aside, I can’t think of a more appropriate quote to use when it comes to achieving good health. Years of “putting off” a healthy lifestyle often lead to years of dependency on prescription medication and doctors, all leading to regrets. There are no “do-overs” in life. Time goes by so fast that before we know it, we wish we had our younger years back. How many people have said, “If we just had one more shot, we know we’d do it right?” Now is the time to get fit and healthy, and, with Max Muscle’s Core 4 program, it’s easier than ever.
Essential for life are each of the components of Max Muscle Sports Nutrition’s Core 4. A person could actually survive on nothing but the Core 4 which, although we don’t recommend trying, is another example of the power of getting these nutrients into your diet now. How many of you can actually say that you know you are getting the optimal amounts of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids from your diet? How many go through the day without thinking about how protein may affect your mood, food cravings and energy levels? And, how many don’t realize that they may achieve more health benefits by simply taking glutamine every day than by taking many prescription medications that mask illnesses rather than ever begin to fix them? The Core 4 is simple to incorporate into your life. It starts with high quality, properly synthesized products that contain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, glutamine and protein. Visit your local Max Muscle Sports Nutrition store today to make sure you are using only the highest quality supplements available. It’s time to build your solid foundation for life!
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals play essential roles in most metabolic processes in our body. They act as anti-oxidants, co-enzymes and catalysts, playing roles in a number of chemical reactions. Most of us know that it is crucial to get enough of these micro-nutrients in our diet but most don’t know if they really are getting enough. Taking a high quality supplement will help to provide the nutrients we may be lacking.
Vitamin C is present in every cell of the body. It provides antioxidant protection by neutralizing free radicals. Vitamin C can regenerate Vitamin E and is also important in collagen synthesis, carnitine synthesis, immune function energy metabolism, and many other important functions in the body. Vitamin C is water soluble and may be lost from the body at higher volumes during times of stress, so be sure to eat plenty of foods high in vitamin C as well as supplement each day and after exercise.
B vitamins are important for energy, metabolic functions, red blood cell formation and division, insulin sensitivity, detoxification, mood enhancement, as well as many other critical processes. B complex vitamin supplementation has been recommended to help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), insulin sensitivity, alcohol addiction, depression and high blood pressure. Women of child-bearing age should take folic acid daily, and Niacin (B-3) is being used to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. A quality multi-vitamin will have an appropriate balance of the B vitamins.
Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. These vitamins are stored in fat tissues in our body. Vitamin A’s primary functions relate to eye health, immune function, bone development, growth, reproduction and detoxification. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and is important for healthy cell membranes and for a healthy circulatory system. Vitamin K aids in the formation of blood clotting factors and bone proteins.
Much attention has been brought to vitamin D recently because so many Americans have been found to have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is critical for bone health. It helps the absorption of calcium and regulates proper levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Vitamin D is important for immune support, strength and new research is showing it reduces the risk of many forms of cancer. This vitamin is highly recommended for individuals with conditions that range from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, liver disease and others.
Minerals play critical roles in a number of reactions in the body and must be obtained through our diet since our body cannot synthesize them. Despite the fact that we Americans typically eat a lot of food, mineral deficiencies still exist. Some important roles of minerals:
*Calcium maintains bone strength and structure
*Iron transports blood to the muscles
*Sodium helps to control water balance
*Magnesium is necessary for muscle relaxation, neuromuscular activity, protein synthesis, fat synthesis and energy production
*Zinc is critical to immune function
*Manganese helps with carbohydrate metabolism, bone development, protein digestion, collagen formation, protein synthesis (and more)
It is important to note that large quantities of minerals should not be supplemented. Consumption of high amounts of one mineral, can inhibit absorption of another, for example, high consumption of zinc can impair copper absorption. Both major and trace minerals are needed in very small amounts by the body and a good supplement should provide enough for optimal health.
Essential Fatty Acids
Supplementing with essential fatty acids can be life changing. The benefits we get from fish oil, which is an omega-3 essential fatty acid containing EPA and DHA, are vast. Omega-3’s reduce inflammation, improve brain function, provide immune support, strengthen the vascular system, and aid in fat burning. Fish oil is suggested for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and for women who experience pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS.)
Omega-3 Plus is a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement you can find at any Max Muscle and offers 1 gram of fish oil per soft gel. Take two to six Omega-3 Plus soft gels per day to make sure you are getting optimal amounts of EPA and DHA. For those who cannot have fish oil, try Max EFA’s. Max EFA’s provide a combination of omega 3, 6 and 9 by offering flax seed oil, wheat germ oil, evening primrose oil, conjugated linoleic acid and borage seed oil.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and in muscles. It stimulates the synthesis and inhibits the degradation of proteins. Glutamine is a carrier of nitrogen and has been called the “nitrogen shuttle.” Research suggests that glutamine, when taken post exercise, stimulates glycogen re-synthesis. Many people who exercise or train frequently and do not take glutamine post exercise have shown to have low plasma levels of glutamine. Several hours of recovery are required before normal plasma levels are restored and if not fully restored before your next training session, can lead to over training.
Other types of metabolic stress such as illness, inflammation, injury, infection and surgery, can deplete glutamine reserves, which is why glutamine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid and must be obtained from the diet. Glutamine works synergistically with insulin to hydrate the cells, which makes supplementing with glutamine and carbohydrate immediately after exercise critical. Oral glutamine supplementation has been shown to be very safe and well tolerated. Take a minimum of 5 grams of glutamine post exercise. It is also recommended to take throughout the day and before bed.
The human body contains thousands of different types of protein, each performing important functions. Protein consumption through our diet is critical to life, and although Americans consume an average of 100 grams per day, assuming that our diets contain enough protein would not be necessarily correct. When we talk about getting enough protein in our diets, what we should really stress is getting the right protein in our diets. It is not the protein that operates at the functional level in our body, but rather the amino acids we get from the protein, which means knowing what type of protein is best given your goals and needs is extremely important.
Whey protein is an excellent source of glutamine, glycine and the branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine.) Whey protein transits the stomach quickly for fast absorption by the intestines making it ideal to consume post exercise to speed recovery. Rich amounts of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, are contained in whey protein. Glutathione is involved heavily in metabolic detoxification and levels of glutathione have shown to decrease with exercise. Peptides from whey protein have also shown to enhance the activity of our immune system.
Casein protein comprises 80 percent of the protein found in milk and does not clear the stomach as fast as whey protein. It is a slower digesting protein, often referred to as a “time-released” protein, making it a good choice to add to whey protein or to consume prior to bedtime when our bodies are in a fasting state.
Soy protein is a plant protein and contains adequate quantities of the essential amino acids histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, tryptophan, valine, phenylalanine and tyrosine. Soy has a high protein efficiency ratio (PER), and has shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels, making it a great choice for a protein supplement.
Egg white protein is another popular choice for protein supplementation and is also a slower digesting protein. Egg white protein contains all of the essential amino acids and is often the standard used for measuring the protein quality of other foods. Other benefits of protein include:
*Appetite suppression through secretion of hormones that promote satiety
*Increased energy levels by stabilizing blood sugar
*Recovery from exercise by promoting protein synthesis
Recommended intakes of protein will vary for most people. Athletes and very active people, who consume higher amounts of calories than the average person, are advised to consume higher amounts of protein, approximately 1.0 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. Many athletes, especially strength athletes, will consume even higher amounts. MS&F