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30 Apr

Disregard your protein shakes and bars. Another study proposes that for greater and better muscles more protein isn’t the answer. Rather you have to eat the same sum and convey it into more equivalent divides for the duration of the day.

The study analyzed healthy adults who ate a total of 90 grams of protein in the form of lean beef throughout the day, HealthDay reports. This is the average daily amount of protein consumed by Americans, even though the recommended amount is actually only about 60 grams. One diet involved 30 grams equally for three meals. The second had participants consume 10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch, and 65 grams at dinner.

 

Results showed that in those who equally distributed their protein intake, the muscle production was 25 percent higher than those who had an uneven intake. These findings will perhaps change the way that those trying to gain muscle diet. “Usually, we eat very little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch and then consume a large amount at night. When was the last time you had just 4 ounces of anything during dinner at a restaurant?” study leader and muscle metabolism expert Doug Paddon-Jones explained, according to HealthDay. According to Paddon-Jones, Americans are not consuming enough protein for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and in the evenings they are consuming too much. “We run the risk of having this excess oxidized, and ending up as glucose or fat,” Paddon-Jones added.

The answer to optimal muscle production is not eating more protein, but more equally distributing the amount you already eat. “You just have to be a little more thoughtful with how you apportion it,” Paddon-Jones explained.  Some ways to add a bit more protein into your morning meals are perhaps replacing carbohydrates with high-quality protein. An egg, a glass of milk, yogurt, or even a handful or nuts has nearly 30 grams of protein. It is advised that you again eat 30 grams of protein with your lunch, and curb your dinner protein intake to be no more than 30 grams. “Do this, and over the course of the day you will likely spend much more time synthesizing muscle protein,” Paddon-Jones concluded.

Proteins are large complex molecules that do most of the work in cells necessary for structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Protein is a component of every major body system and every fluid, except for bile and urine. It helps your body transport oxygen in your red blood cells and supports your immune system. It is also necessary for muscle repair and growth. When an individual consumes larger amounts of protein the body will begin building new muscle. When you consume more protein then you need, instead of becoming muscle it will become fatty acids and sugar.

28 Apr

Granite tumbles to the floor as the sound of sledge hammer on chisel resonates through an unfilled room, vacant aside from the soldier, his instruments and his perfect work of art. He makes a stride back to break down his creation with focus. He’s been taking a shot at this undertaking for a considerable length of time. To the outside world, it seems impeccable. To him, its just not ready. He’s in a hurry. There is a show in the following couple of days. This will do for now. He trusts it is sufficient.

 

Such was the mindset of Airman 1st Class James Jones, a 673rd Communications Squadron cyber systems operator, as the days drew closer to his first ever bodybuilding contest: The 2015 National Physique Committee Alaska State Championships on April 4. He spent more than a year preparing, chiseling at his physique slowly but surely every day. Hundreds of hours in the gym, a diet that would drive many people insane and an entire lifestyle designed to push his body to its maximum potential, would be validated or destroyed by a panel of judges when all his hard work was unveiled under bright stage lights.

Cue the lights and the music. Jones went through mandatory pose after mandatory pose as his body was critiqued. A panel of judges examined his work and compared it to his competitors, looking for the slightest flaw. The result was not only a first place clear-cut victory in his middleweight class, but a landslide victory in the overall men’s category, becoming the youngest person in the contest’s history to win the title and only the second ever to win it in his first try.

In competitive bodybuilding, contestants’ physiques are judged on size, shape, symmetry and definition. For many top-tier bodybuilders, their champion physiques are built through years, often decades, of work. Many are in their early to mid-30s. Standing 5 feet, 7 inches and weighing 165 pounds at 21 years old, Jones was just hoping for a high placing in his first-ever competition. He got that and then some.

“I hit all my mandatory poses and then we waited for the judges to tabulate their scores,” Jones said. “My heart was pounding. Of course, it seems like they drag out the announcement forever. Then, I heard my name called, that was amazing! All the time and money I put into this … it let me know everything I put into this was all worth it. It was one of the best feelings in the world.”

With more than a year’s worth of work culminating in a few brief moments on a stage, Jones was not without worry or retrospection. Did he do everything he could have to create the best possible version of himself?

“When I saw the other competitors, I realized many of them were a lot bigger than me,” Jones said. “I was a little worried. I felt they could win on sheer size alone. However, the biggest guy can be big, but if he isn’t lean it does him no good. You also have to be lean and symmetrical. I knew I had good proportion, and thankfully it resulted in a win.”

Jones said when people view his contest photos, he is humbled by the praise. He is often asked, “How can I look like that?” However, few people are prepared for his answer. The hundreds of hours in the gym is the easy part. The hard part comes in the thousands of hours spent outside the gym.

Bodybuilders typically structure their year in two seasons: offseason and competition or “cutting” season. The offseason is spent bulking and competition season is spent trimming down. Just as in sculpting, it is better to start with too much material than not enough.

For Jones, a typical offseason day sees him rise at 2 a.m. to drink a protein shake, before going back to bed. He sleeps until 5 a.m. Breakfast follows as soon as he awakes. It’s the first of six meals, not counting his shake, which he’ll eat.

“Right now, I’m eating 350 grams of protein a day and 400 to 500 carbs,” Jones said. “I eat every two to three hours. That’s a very difficult thing to do. You spend time preparing all that food. You spend time eating all that food. You’re carrying Tupperware containers of food everywhere you go.”

Jones said another common question he gets is, “Hey, what supplements do you take?”

“I don’t mind sharing that with people, but even if I tell you, supplements only represent a very small percentage of what you’re going to need to do to be successful. You still have to eat the right food in the right amounts to make gains in the gym.”

Jones said the hardest part of bodybuilding is the long-term rigid discipline the sport demands.

“The biggest challenge is consistency,” Jones said. “You have to eat your meals every day. You can’t skip a meal. If you skip one, it’s going to show. Starting a year out, I knew I had to get every training session and every meal in. If I lost, I didn’t want it to be because of something I could have prevented through discipline.”

According to Jones’ coach and trainer, George Hartley, Jones’ ability to discipline himself sets him apart from many competitors.

“James is driven beyond his years and has an exemplary work ethic,” Hartley said. “I believe his time in the service has helped him mature in ways other men his age don’t have until their 30s in the civilian world. He understands bodybuilding is a lifestyle and becoming a great bodybuilder is something that takes years of training and discipline.”

Jones shared that while he is self-motivated and possesses tremendous drive, he wouldn’t be able to do it without two secret weapons in his bodybuilding arsenal: his personal faith and his family life.

“One of the main reasons I was able to accomplish my goals of competing was because of my faith in God and amazing support from my wife, Emily,” Jones said. “She helped me cook my meals when I was physically drained and provided constant motivation throughout the final weeks, letting me know, ‘It’s almost over.'”

The discipline and attention to detail Jones exhibits in his personal life has a direct correlation with his workplace performance, where his leadership recognizes him as a leader among his peers.

“His level of professionalism is top notch and unsurpassed,” said Master Sgt. Aaron Hazen, the 673rd CS network operations section chief. “He is one of those Airmen you can assign a task to and not have to worry or follow up. Airman Jones doesn’t linger on what he can’t do; he finds what he can do and runs with it. We’ve been able to assign him responsibilities normally reserved for noncommissioned officers. He will go far in his career and in bodybuilding if he stays the course.”

Having conquered the top bodybuilding event in the state, Jones is hoping to use the momentum of his success to propel him to greater heights. He has his sights set on the 2016 Emerald Cup in Washington.

“The Alaska competition qualified me to go do this bigger show in Washington,” Jones said. “If I place high enough, it will set me up to eventually earn a pro card. That would officially make me a professional and that’s a big deal.”

Currently, Jones is still considered a novice, having competed in a National Physique Committee event, which is considered to be the amateur league for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness organization. The IFBB is recognized throughout the world as the premier bodybuilding organization, drawing an overwhelming majority of top-tier athletes. Winning at the Emerald Cup and a subsequent national-level competition would award Jones professional status with the IFBB.

“Once that happens, you start talking about being put in magazines, supplement and clothing line endorsements, not to mention being recognized as being in the top percentages of bodybuilders in the world,” Jones said. “It would be a dream come true.”

In addition to the gratification Jones receives seeing his hard work rewarded with a title, he also gets personal fulfillment from being able to positively influence people around him through bodybuilding.

“Bodybuilding opens a lot of doors,” the state champion said. “I get to meet new people, make new friends and have an impact on their life. After I won this show, I had a promoter for one of the high school bodybuilding shows ask if I would come guest pose at their competition. For me, that is awesome to be able to reach out to high school kids and help motivate them to achieve their goals.”

22 Apr

These high-protein breakfast recipes come from SDI Labs recommended menus and recipes. We focused on these three because they’ll fill you up and give you energy for everything, from your early morning conference call to your INTENSE morning WEIGHT ROOM sessions—and start your day deliciously.

1. Gluten-Free Coconut Pancakes

10 grams of protein; Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups almond milk, homemade or store-bought
3 large eggs
1⁄4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2⁄3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2⁄3 cup white rice flour
1⁄3 cup coconut flour
1 1⁄2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
Grapeseed oil, for frying pan

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, eggs, agave, and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, combine the shredded coconut, rice flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the almond milk mixture into the well and stir until just combined.

Heat a frying pan over low heat. Lightly brush with grapeseed oil. Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake onto the griddle and cook until bubbles appear near the center, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes (they will be delicate) and cook until golden, about 1–2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.


2. Strawberry Hemp Milkshake

8 grams of protein; Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries, hulled
½ cup hemp hearts
2 cups cold filtered water
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Pinch of sea saltIn a blender or Vitamix, combine all ingredients. Blend on high until smooth, or three to four minutes. Refrigerate and serve chilled. The shake will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.


3. Egg White Scramble with Curried Goat Cheese and Dandelion Greens

17 grams of protein; Serves 4

Ingredients
4 ounces goat cheese (local, if possible)
¼ tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
Pinch of turmeric
1 bunch dandelion greens, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
12 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Place dandelion greens on individual serving plates and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, curry powder, salt, and turmeric. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the egg whites and cook, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan with a heatproof spatula, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Spoon the eggs over the dandelion greens, top with the goat cheese mixture, and serve immediately.

18 Apr

The male growth hormone levels are important for men and women to consider, not just to buff up and stay sturdy, but also to support our body’s natural growth hormone, a key hormone to keep the body’s youthful and energized. Testosterone in addition supports our libidos, our feeling, and our levels of determination and drive. Though women don’t want an excessive amount of testosterone, a little is actually crucial to ward off excess estrogen that can cause depression, weight gain, hormonal modifications, or just an overall imbalance of sex hormones by the body processes. And men, of course, are always looking to improve their testosterone levels to assist build muscle, stay strong, and support their male livelihood the big T word is often connected with.

 

Nutrients That Boost Testosterone Levels

Key nutrients needed to boost testosterone in the body are: amino acids (protein), zinc, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and an overall anti-inflammatory diet. These nutrients are found in both plant-based and animal-based foods, but there’s no reason to think that you need to eat steak, eggs, chicken, fish, or drink milk to boost testosterone. In fact, many animal-based foods can actually increase estrogen in the body, which lowers testosterone and can lead to some negative side effects due the estrogen coming from animals that have hormones our bodies were not meant to consume.

Regardless that animal-based foods and dairy-based protein powders or supplements are promoted to boost testosterone levels, in some studies vegans have actually been found to have higher levels of testosterone than meat-eaters or even vegetarians. The best part is, they also had less cancer risks due to the removal of animal proteins in their diets.

To boost your testosterone without the risks of eating animal-based foods, here are some of the best plant-based options that you’ll want to add to your daily menu if you can. These are delicious proof that you can boost testosterone in the body without having to eat animals to get your fill!

 

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc, a crucial mineral needed for optimal testosterone levels. Zinc keeps the sex organs healthy and promotes a healthy metabolism that assists with the conversion of certain hormones. They’re also great sources of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce more serotonin, which helps balance your hormones even further. These alkaline green seeds are also one of the most overlooked sources of plant-based protein, iron, and are great sources of healthy omega-3 fats.

2. Coconut

Coconut’s a great food to boost your muscle-growth, promote lean body mass, and balance your body’s hormones including testosterone. How so? It’s a great source of healthy saturated fats, which most people think they need to avoid, but when eaten from plant-based sources, is actually helpful in moderate amounts. How so? Saturated fats are necessary for testosterone production and they support the body’s ability to make cholesterol without having to consume added dietary cholesterol from animal-based foods. A few tablespoons of raw coconut butter, shreds, coconut milk, or fresh coconut meat are all you need to support your body with this healthy source of fat. It’s still a good idea to limit all sources of saturated fats to 10 percent of your daily diet and not rely on them alone.

3. Maca

Maca is a fabulous food for boosting and normalizing or improving your hormones. It canboost the libido and improve mood in both men and women, and is fantastic for reducing stress levels that can interfere with healthy testosterone levels. Maca is also great for boosting your energy to help you exercise, which boosts testosterone in return. When you workout, especially when you lift weights, you naturally boost your testosterone levels, which makes maca a great superfood to use on all counts. Working out and maca also both support your body’s production of growth hormones that supports your metabolism and keeps the body youthful.

4. Avocado

Also a libido-boosting food, this fruit’s healthy fats and high levels of vitamin B6 both reduce cortisol and improve testosterone production. They also support the metabolism and overall mood function. Avocados’ fats also reduce high levels of unhealthy cholesterol levels (LDL) that interferes with the production of testosterone. Animal-based fats raise high levels of LDL while plant-based fats lower LDL and improve levels of good cholesterol (HDL). See more plant-based foods with good levels of cholesterol that can also support your hormones here.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds directly boost testosterone levels in the body due to their amazing essential fatty acid (EFA) profile. They’re a great source of omega-3 fats, along with other anti-inflammatory fats. Chia seeds are also a great source of potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium that support your metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar, and mood. These nutrients are also necessary for optimal energy and hormone production in the body. Hemp seeds are also amazing for your hormone levels and they contain more protein, iron, and magnesium than chia seeds do.

Other great foods to support your body’s hormones that contain omega-3 fatty acids, natural protein, and vitamins and minerals are: almonds, walnuts, cashews, flax seeds and olives. You can also add more vegan libido-boosting foods to your diet to improve your hormones even further. As you can see, there’s no whey or steak needed here. Add a few servings of these five foods to your day and you’ll be well on your way to healthier T levels in no time!

17 Apr

In bodybuilding, size matters.

But, that’s usually not sufficient enough to win a competition. Judges are looking symmetry, definition, a little bit of flare and for a body that’s HARD,SHREDDED and RIPPED. So defined that the individual muscle fibers seem to pop underneath the skin.

 

Bodybuilding competitions are where audience members will see the biggest, leanest muscles with more veins and more striations. In the physique category, the muscles will be a little smaller and a little less conditioned. Female competitors also compete in figure and bikini competitions, with each division being less conditioned, less hard.

Judges look for hardness or that shredded quality, but they also consider size and symmetry of the muscles.

Contest judges would always state that athletes who look “hard,” “look like a piece of wood, like your finger wouldn’t sink into them if you touched them. ”

There are three elements that go into creating that look — and working out may be the least important of the three, judges said.

“The first thing is rest. Your body grows when you’re resting,” between periods of exercise, he said. “Nutrition is second. Your body wont grow or get conditioned if you’re putting the wrong things into it. You have to limit your fat and carbohydrates. Using an effective Bodybuilding Stack like the 8 week staggered for blitz also helps with achieving that desired SHREDDED effect.

“That hard, grainier, conditioned look, those are all terms for someone who has dieted hard and lost their body fat.”

Body builders prepping for a competition are training and dieting 24-7 for three to four months before an event..”You can’t turn it off,” they say.

If you’re planning on attending any competition, there are two very different parts to most events. The prejudging, which depending on the number of competitors, lasts up to three hours.

“Typically we bring out the competitors and we pose them next to each other and do comparisons,” judges said. Judges call out specific poses that highlight different groups of muscles.

The evening show is much more about entertainment and designed for the audience’s enjoyment. The competitors choreography their own routines to music and…”The evening show is fun. “Alcohol is available at most venues and the crowd gets a little ‘livelier.’ People have been working out and people see them in the gym. This is a chance for our athletes to show off all of their hard work.

“Plus, it’s kind of a celebration. They’ve been dieting and pushing the limits of their discipline. For them this is the day. After today, I get to eat whatever I want. After this is over, I’m going out and having a pizza.”

Whether you decide to attend as a spectator or a beneficiary of our muscle building products, you will definitely have a good time.