Blog

Pre-workout supplements: What you want and what to avoid

There’s no better feeling than the one you get after a good workout.

Your emotions are running high, stress is low, you’re on top of the world.

But, maybe you find yourself in a bit of a rut right now.

Either you’re up early, out of bed before the sun rises or you’re getting there after a long day of work. Sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough motivation in the world.

And getting to the gym is only half the battle. Real progress is only made when your workout is intense and long enough.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix pre workout image 1

To break yourself out of a rut or to make sure you get the best bang for your buck when you are in the gym, a pre-workout supplement could be the answer you’re looking for.

A pre-workout supplement will help you up your intensity and grind out a difficult workout. It could help you get you the gains you want.

Where do you start? What separates the good from the bad? What ingredients do you want in your pre-workout and which ones do you want to avoid at all costs?

I’ve got you covered. Read on and find out everything you need to know.

What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are supplements taken before you exercise. That’s really all they have in common.

The ingredients in each one can vary quite a bit depending on the brand.

Pre-workout supplements generally claim to increase:

  • Energy
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Lean muscle gains

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix pre workout image 2

But, not all of them can effectively do this.

What you want your pre-workout to have

Ingredients that prime the mind for exercise

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix pre workout image 3

Your mind is your most powerful ally when it comes to a good performance in the gym. It can also be your biggest enemy.

You want a pre-workout supplement that gets you in the right mind space to crush it.

Pre-workout supplements can help you get there by priming your brain for increased mental focus and activity. Supplements that do this have a moderate amount of caffeine in them.

Caffeine before exercise has been shown to increase overall performance, make the workout seem easier, and make it more enjoyable.

I say moderate amounts of caffeine because there are some pre-workout supplements on the market that contain way too much. These ones, which I can tell you from firsthand experience, leave you with the jitters and battling a major energy crash.

Ingredients that prime the body for stress and recovery

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix pre workout image 4

Alongside ingredients that prime the mind for exercise, good pre-workout supplements also prime the body to withstand the stresses of exercise and to recover from it.

I’m talking adaptogens, creatine monohydrate, Nitrosigine, and citrulline.

For more on adaptogens, please check out this article.

Adaptogens are part of the nutritional support your body needs to handle stress.

And exercise is a form of stress.

Not in the negative sense you probably think of when you say you’re “stressed out”. But, in a positive way. Exercise stresses the body and the body adapts by growing and becoming more efficient. The stress from exercise is what makes you stronger.

Adaptogens help reduce and resist the effects of stress and improve the body’s capacity to perform under stressful circumstances.

Other ingredients a good pre-workout supplement has are creatine monohydrate, Nitrosigine, and citrulline.

Creatine helps you work out longer and harder by increasing the amount of energy available to working muscles.

Nitrosigine is a combination of the amino acid arginine and silicon. Together, they increase blood flow and improve delivery of oxygen to muscles.

Citrulline helps support better blood flow too. And it helps protect against muscle soreness.

When you have all three of these ingredients working together in the same supplement, you have a combination that increases your power output, decreases fatigue, improves blood flow, accelerates muscle gains, and improves performance.

A supplement like this can be boosted by with the addition of caffeine and the right combination of adaptogens.

What you don’t want your pre-workout to have

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix pre workout image 5.jpeg

You don’t need any unnecessary fillers.

A lot of the ingredients you find on some pre-workout supplement’s labels have zero scientific support. These are things like maltodextrin, artificial flavors and colors, and other stuff that won’t help you when you’re exercising.

You also don’t need artificial sweeteners or “proprietary blends”.

To be on the safe side, sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose should be avoided.

“Proprietary blends” are a mixture of ingredients whose specific amounts do not have to be stated on the label. Just the total amount of the “blend” has to be listed. Manufacturers often do this to keep their competitors from knowing exactly what is in their product.

But, that means you also don’t know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Don’t waste your time.

Lastly, check out the reviews.

One of the best ways to nail down a good supplement is to read the comments of people who have actually tried it.

A few negative reviews on a supplement isn’t something to get worked up over. But, if it has a grocery list of complaints from everyone who has tried it, move on to something better.

Conclusion

Pre-workout supplements are designed to prepare your body for better strength and power before exercise. Taking a pre-workout supplement before you work out gives your training a boost.

Pre-workout supplements that contain ingredients such as nitrosigine and citrulline deliver nutrients and oxygen to working muscles. Creatine, which is also an ingredient in many pre-workout supplements, improves your performance and reduces fatigue.

Caffeine can give you the mental boost you need to focus and adaptogens provide your body with the nutritional support it needs to handle the stress of exercise.

If you’d like to know more about pre-workout supplements, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.

Follow the blog for email updates of when new articles are available.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for regular information on living your healthiest life.

 

6 adaptogens that will help you combat stress and maintain your energy

Stress is something we’ve all felt. Most of us have probably been completely overwhelmed by it at some point in our lives.

It’s your body’s way of responding to demand or threat. In our primitive days stress helped us react to the giant jungle cat nipping at our heels and trying to tear us limb from limb.

Nowadays the threat might not be so immediate, but we still have the same biological wiring.

And it’s called the stress response.

The stress response is a state of increased mental and physical arousal activated when you perceive danger.

This kind of arousal in small doses is a good thing.

It can help you stay focused, energetic, and alert during emergency situations. It can also help you rise to meet new challenges. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, it sharpens your concentration under pressure, and it keeps you on task when you’d rather be relaxing and watching TV.

Too much stress on the other hand, is a bad thing.

It can have detrimental effects on your physical and emotional well-being. Stress is an energy killer. And it’s intimately linked to fatigue.

Many of us don’t deal with stress in healthy ways. We resort to alcohol, stimulants, and comfort food. These unhealthy habits provide short-term comfort, but work against our health in the long run.

A healthy alternative for dealing with stress without the negative side effects are adaptogens.

What are adaptogens?

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix 6 adaptogens that will help you combat stress and maintain your energy

Adaptogens are a group of herbal supplements that can prevent the physical and chemical effects of stress on the body.

By counteracting these effects, they help prevent fatigue and maintain energy levels. Especially, when they’re taken in advance of a stressful event.

There are many different adaptogens. And they don’t all work the same way.

Adaptogens were first studied scientifically in the former Soviet Union.

The research scientists Nicolai Lazarev and Israel Brekhman were looking for a way to naturally improve strength, stamina, and energy in soldiers, athletes, and cosmonauts.

Much of their work was unknown to most of the world because of the Iron Curtain, which prevented open contact between the Soviet Union and Western countries.

With the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, however, the information became available.

Since then, many people have used these natural supplements to combat the harmful psychological and physical effects of stress.

Here are 6 effective adaptogens proven to help combat stress, fatigue, and maintain energy levels.

  1. Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum)

Wolfberry is high in antioxidants.

It contains:

  • Phenols
  • Polysaccharides, vitamins A and C
  • Beta carotene
  • Lycopene
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine
  • Selenium
  • Nicotinic acid

Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the cell damage that can occur when an organism is stressed and have been associated with lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

  1. Eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

Eleuthero root is also known as Siberian ginseng. This herb is an adaptogen used to reduce fatigue.

It has been shown to improve physical performance during periods of high intensity exercise and preliminary studies in animal research suggest eleuthero root is neuroprotective, which means it can protect the brain from harm.

  1. Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

Rhodiola is also useful for combating fatigue.

It can significantly reduce the effects of prolonged and minor physical exhaustion; the conditions that generally result in burnout.

In addition to its anti-fatigue capabilities, rhodiola also can:

 

  1. Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)

Ashwaganda is mostly noted for its ability to prevent anxiety.

However, it performs many other functions in the brain and the rest of the body too.

Ashwaganda has been shown to:

 

  1. Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)

Ayurvedic medicine has employed the use of bacopa for centuries in the treatment of epilepsy and asthma.

As an adaptogen it is used to improve cognition by reducing anxiety and improving memory formation.

Most of the scientific studies involving bacopa’s ability to increase cognition have been conducted in the elderly. However, there is research to support bacopa’s effectiveness in young populations as well making it a suitable adaptogen for people of all ages.

  1. Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Schizandra is known as the “five flavor berry”. This because it contains all five of the basic flavours. That is: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, and bitter.

It has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to nourish the kidneys and heart.

The majority of research on schizandra as an adaptogen was performed in Russia decades ago. And most of it cannot be accessed.

From the limited Western evidence available and research that can be accessed from Russia, schizandra increases work accuracy and antioxidant protection while also decreasing feelings of fatigue and exhaustion.

Are adaptogens safe for everyone?

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix 6 adaptogens that will help you combat stress and maintain your energy doctor.jpeg

Generally.

There are a few groups of people who should talk to a medical health professional before using them, however.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should consult a physician. Most adaptogens have not been adequately tested for pregnant and breast-feeding women so their safety under these conditions is not clear.

People who are taking other medications should also consult a physician or pharmacist when trying something to new to make sure there aren’t any potential negative interactions you may not be aware of.

Conclusion

Stress is a fact of life. We cannot rid ourselves of it.

But we can provide our body with the proper resources to better manage the physical response to stress.

Adaptogens are a healthy way to increase your capacity to deal with stress and improve your mental and physical performance.

Let me know what you think about adaptogens in the comments.

If you’d like to know more about adaptogens, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.

Follow the blog for email updates of when new articles are available.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for regular information on living your healthiest life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to know about cleanses

We’ve all felt it. You’re tired, feeling a little sluggish. Just gross all around.

It feels like something, or many things, in your body just aren’t running the way they’re supposed to.

What do you do?

If you’re like many people you go on a cleanse. A little reset for your body.

With this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about cleanses so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to do one.

We’ll talk about the scientific evidence regarding cleanses, how they work, what you should look for in a good cleanse, and what cleanses should be avoided at all costs.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix should i cleanse image 1

Do cleanses work?

Yes. Especially in terms of weight loss and weight management.

Cleanses that involve intermittent fasting for 24-48 hours have been reported as healthier and more effective than every other popular heart healthy diet.

A 15-month study designed to test the long-term success of using the Isagenix system on sustained weight loss and its effect on detoxification and metabolism was recently conducted by Dr. Paul Arciero of Skidmore College. The results were published in the journal Nutrients in 2016.

The study concluded that the system was more efficacious at improving body weight and composition (fat mass, abdominal fat, and lean body mass) compared to traditional heart healthy diets.

The results of this study support the plethora of anecdotal evidence out there.

After a cleanse people generally report feeling better, having more energy, being more focused, and experiencing a general increase in their well-being. People definitely aren’t imagining these things.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix should i cleanse image 2

How do cleanses work?

Most likely through three different routes.

  • By removing the troublesome parts of your diet.

The vast majority of us consume a lot of food that isn’t good for us. I’m talking the high octane, nutritionally void comfort food that tastes oh so good. While this stuff is delicious, our bodies generally hate it.

Simply removing this crap from our diet could be responsible for a pretty significanthealthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix should i cleanse image 3 boost in the good feels when we go on a cleanse.

The second part of this are the foods that we may be sensitive, intolerant, or allergic to.

A lot of people have sensitivities to some food groups.

This may be because they’ve never made the mental association between their bad feelings and said food group. Or, it may be because the discomfort caused by the food group isn’t severe enough for them to warrant a behavioral change.

Either way, going on a cleanse and coincidentally removing a troublesome food group from your diet is another potential explanation for the positive results of a cleanse.

  • The mental aspects of a cleanse.

There is a strong relationship between the body and mind. If you need convincing, just look at the placebo effect.

If you do something that you believe is good for your body and believe will make you feel good, then it’s going to make you feel good.

Making the decision to start putting your health first and take care of your body by going on a cleanse is incredibly gratifying. Therefore, you’re going to experience some good feelings.

It’s also very fulfilling to discipline yourself and stick to a strict dietary regime for any length of time. Especially if you’ve had trouble in these areas of your life in the past.

  • They allow your body to do what it does best.

Giving your body a break from all of the bad food we generally consume gives your body a chance to catch up. It allows the cleansing organs we have to do their thing.

This natural process takes place in the kidneys and the liver.

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, just below your ribs and behind your stomach. Each one is about 4-5 inches long and about the size of your fist.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix should i cleanse image 4.jpegThey filter your blood.

The kidneys remove wastes, control the body’s electrolyte balance, and control fluid balance.

Blood comes into the kidneys, wastes are removed, and filtered blood goes back into the body. Wastes removed from the blood are expelled in urine.

The kidneys are incredibly efficient at their jobs. A person can have as little as 10% of their kidneys working and they may not even notice that something is off.

The second natural site of cleansing in the body is at the liver.

The liver is much larger than the kidneys. It weighs about three pounds and sits on the right side of the stomach. It’s up in behind the rib cage.

It filters blood coming from the digestive tract before it allows it to move along to the rest of the body. Many things that come in from the digestive tract, such as chemicals and drugs that need to be detoxified, will be detoxified here.

Good cleanses, like the ones I’m going to discuss soon, provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to support the body’s natural ability to cleanse itself.

What does a good cleanse have?

Good cleanses provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to function optimally.

And the best ones employ bouts of intermittent fasting for 24-48 hours.

Cleanses to avoid

  • Avoid cleanses that are low in vitamins and minerals your body desperately needs.

Many cleansing programs are low in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Cleanses that rob you of essential vitamins and minerals aren’t going to support your liver and kidneys and allow them to do what they do best. And a cleanse that doesn’t provide the optimal conditions for cleansing, isn’t a good cleanse.

healthy wheys corey munegatto isagenix should i cleanse image 5

Who should do cleanses?

People who are generally healthy and have no pre-existing medical conditions should safely be able to try a cleanse that isn’t too restrictive and is relatively short-term.

Conclusion

The latest research suggests cleanses that encompass caloric restriction and intermittent fasting are incredibly effective. They’ve outperformed all other heart healthy dietary recommendations out there.

Cleanses work to help you feel better by preventing the junk from your diet entering your body in the first place, by giving you a positive mental kick, and by allowing the natural cleansing mechanisms you have to do what they do best.

Anybody who doesn’t have pre-existing medical conditions will benefit from going on a cleanse.

That’s everything you need to know about cleansing. Let me know what you think in the comments.

If you’d like to know more about good cleansing options, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.

Follow the blog for email updates of when new articles are available.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for regular information on living your healthiest life.