Tag Archives: supplements

Optimum Nutrition 30th Birthday Giveaway!

(This post was written and the computer deleted it, so good luck to our memory to write the exact… same… thing. We keep it real over here.

30 years. I think you’d have a hard time convincing a lot of people who modern-day supplement companies have existed for over three decades, but that wasn’t the case at the 2016 Olympia when Optimum Nutrition, the gold standard in the industry, threw a huge party in Vegas. Although I grew up in gyms and around fitness, I really didn’t start taking any supplements until 2007, but for the last decade as I’ve grown both personally and professionally in the fitness industry, there have been very few standards that have remained constant. Optimum Nutrition has been one of them, and they’ve done so by taking a smarter approach than any of their competition.

img_0884
Continue reading

Optimum Nutrition Protein Water

Back in January, we (probably) introduced you to Trusource and had some happy giveaway winners. [Do you want more giveaways?!] If you remember, we were blown away by their protein water product. Fast forward a few months and we find out that Optimum Nutrition (arguably our favorite supplement company) has their own protein water. What do we have to do? Obviously, we had to try it and let me just say that we were NOT disappointed. In fact, we even fought over it!

IMG_9372
Continue reading

A True Lifestyle Supplement: ON Amino Energy

The supplement industry can be a huge, intimidating monster for many. Think along the lines of that dark and scary maze at the end of the Triwizard tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yes, it can be that bad for millions of people who are overwhelmed by the flashy labels, crazy names, and exhaustive ingredient lists of thousands of brands. Thousands of powders, hundreds of flavors, and yet, they only aim to accomplish a few things. Mostly, they help you get ready for your workout, assist you in getting through your workout, or benefit you in recovering after your workout. Some companies like to put them in separate products that you buy and combine while some combine them into one proprietary blend for you, but what if you’re perfectly content working out without supplements? 

US_AminoEnergy_30srv_2015-Cafe_Vanilla
Continue reading

2015’s Best Protein Powder

While in Petco tonight, I was questioning my normal choice for dog food and needed assistance. Under great duress due to my indecisive nature and love for our animals, I decided to head over to a reliable website. While we might look to Amazon and Yelp for reviews or thumbs up on YouTube for that matter, we often forget that anyone can contribute to those ratings. The result is something far more subjective and far less consistency.

When I need to make a more important decision, I might head over to Cnet or review.com because I know that they are professionals, getting paid for what they are doing, and therefore to a certain degree, their lives depend on providing high quality and far more objective reviews. While I don’t know them personally, their reviews seem to be extremely in-depth and considerate of more than just, “we’ll give you some money to recommend our product.” Sadly that happens far too often, especially in the fitness and nutrition industries!

Gotta get our protein on to stay hungry and fit!

Gotta get our protein on to stay hungry and fit!

Continue reading

Do Pre-Workouts Actually Work?

Well, I’ll tell you one thing, they won’t do anything if you don’t! Performance enhancing drugs enhance… performance but they don’t magically give people biceps bursting out their sleeves and eight packs. Now, it’s up to you if you want to spend a part of your hard-earned paycheck on some powders with artificial flavors and food dye to make them actually look like “fruit punch.” Obviously, just like any other consumer good, there are better and worse products based on the principles and practices of the companies that create them. Without naming any names, I’ll say that companies that constantly talk about the science behind their products and are more transparent are safer bets. If a company relies on using sex, popular people, flashy labels, and other marketing tricks to sell their sub-par products, save your money. And, if you have any specific questions, feel free to send me an email!

IMG_6169
Continue reading

One-Protein-Fits-All: Sunwarrior

I have a friend at work who struggles to get enough protein as a kind-of-vegan (she just doesn’t eat cheese and milk by itself) and who also can’t eat soy. I can suggest all the protein powders in the world, but they usually end up having either milk proteins or soy in them! It’s been a tough case to try to find one that would work for her. As fitness professionals, we run across a lot of people who are soy or dairy limited, so it can be a struggle to provide enough options for good protein. Here at Hungry and Fit we finally found a one-fits-all product! Enter Sunwarrior (epic name, right?). 

photo 3 (37)
Continue reading

The Truth About Supplements

Every day we hear something new in the media about different supplements. This one can stop Alzheimer’s and this one can prevent you from getting fat! It’s hard to know what to trust or what to believe in. You become hesitant with everything OR you simply start trying everything. Recently, my coworker showed me this incredible infographic on supplements and correlating studies. I got really excited about it because I am a firm discourager of fads. Most often, many supplements (I’m talking health supplements so things like coconut oil and garlic extract are included here), are popular fads without real grounding. Take a look at the Interactive: Snake Oil Supplements (no it’s not about snake oil, it’s just the title).

Screenshot

Screenshot

So how does this infographic work? It’s hard to understand at first. If you’re starting from the top, you’re looking at supplements with the most studies behind them which make them “Strong.” And if you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find “Slight” or “None” meaning there are very few studies behind it. This provides a wonderful foundation for the infographic–it’s all based on research. In addition, to keep this infographic fresh, the bubbles are all tied to a google doc. So when more studies come in, the infographic gets immediately adjusted. Pretty freaking cool, I think! 

There’s also the size of the bubble which–at first–could be misinterpreted. We usually think big is better, but not necessarily. You’ll notice garlic high at the top in the “Strong” field yet its bubble is smaller than, say, copper, which is at the lower end of the spectrum. The bubble simply represents the popularity of the supplement. So even though egg shell membrane is a tiny bubble, it is backed by many strong studies. 

love infographics. I love health and fitness. And I love when they come together to provide free information to the masses. What do you think of this infographic? Are you going to start taking garlic extract now? Don’t forget your probiotics or B3! It’s always fun to learn more about supplements and I believe this infographic is a great way of doing so. Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below! And as always, stay hungry and fit!

BONUS ANIMAL PIC

Nymeria keeping an eye on Noke

Nymeria keeping an eye on Noke

Natural Supplements

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of NOW Foods. 

FitFluential Is Fitness Found

I get a lot of questions daily about supplements. We’ll refer to supplements as anything other than the normal food or drink you consume daily. That includes all of those pills and powders you see in the stores; it makes breaking this topic down a lot easier. 

Now obviously in an ideal world, you can just eat and drink what you want everyday and you’ll be healthy, but it doesn’t always work like that. People have food allergies, conditions that affect their diets, fitness related goals, and are just plain picky! My father hates olives. I don’t like bad eggplant. It’s a tough world we live in and we are all faced with lots of challenges.

No matter what situation you are in it is important to realize there are ways to help yourself. When we are discussing health and wellness, supplements are obviously one of the most popular subjects in our society. Whether you are taking a multivitamin for overall health, iron to recover from internal bleeding, or whey protein to grow big and strong like your favorite bodybuilders, there are plenty of choices.

Supplements help me stay in good form! (This pic was after a huge Mexican meal)

Supplements help me stay in good form! (This pic was after a huge Mexican meal)

Personally, I have tried everything legal in the fitness industry. As an elite athlete, I was drug tested regularly and couldn’t even have elevated levels of caffeine in my body! I’ve tried supplements that provided zero results that made me sick, that cost a lot of money, and that tasted disgusting. On the other hand, I’ve tried supplements that had all of the opposite effects and if you want to ask about some specific to my or your needs, feel free to comment on this post. Otherwise, listen to what I have to say about NOW Sports and their products.

Right now, I’m going to touch on five of their products that I have in my cabinets in the kitchen. Keep in mind, NOW Sports is a family-owned company that has been providing high quality goods for almost a half of a century. Thus, as you can imagine, they have hundreds and thousands of different products. However, I’m a 25 year-old male and these are what I have at home. (A lot of these will work for both genders!)

1. Men’s Extreme Sports Multi – Made in the USA and GMP Quality Assured, these softgels are reasonably sized and easy to swallow. You take three a day to get your daily source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more. Why take a hundred pills when you can take three? It’s cost-effective and makes you feel good. Why? Because you go to sleep knowing that you fueled your body with important nutrients that are sometimes difficult to find in the foods you eat every day. What I really like about this product is the blend of herbal extracts it contains. There is just something natural about herbs that makes you feel so good. This is a must for active men.

photo (59)

2. Certified Organic Whey Protein – How many tubs of whey protein on store shelves have a USDA Organic label on them? Well, this one does and it really is one of the most natural whey proteins in the world. It doesn’t contain any salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, egg, shellfish, preservatives, antibiotics, or rBGH. It is natural and unflavored, thus taking the taste of whatever you decide to mix with it. A serving contains 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar, and a whole lot of essential amino acids! In all honesty, I have whey protein every day of the week and although it’s not meant to be a meal replacement, it will definitely help you track your consumption of macro-nutrients throughout the day. This is a must for just about anyone!

3. Pea Protein – I am staring at my tub of Vanilla Toffee and what stands out the most is the fact that this product is VEGAN friendly. That means any vegetarian or vegan can eat this without any beef! (Get the pun?) Every serving contains 25 grams of protein derived from non-GMO vegetables. That means your veggies are natural and not treated with all those nasty chemicals! It also means this protein is the way to go if you have allergy issues since it contains no major allergens! This product really has a nice smooth flavor and texture; its mixability is through the roof so you won’t see or feel any clumps. Nothing better than having a nice smooth shake and then choking on an explosion of dry powder! Oh, I forgot to mention, it ALSO has a huge serving of essential amino acids. Anyone can try it but some people need it… you know who you are!

photo 1 (52)

4. L-Carnitine Liquid – At this point, you’re probably like what the heck… is that? You recognize multivitamin, protein, whey, etc. But what is this?!?! L-Carnitine is a non-essential amino acid. Now, before I get too in-depth and scientific for people who haven’t read thousands of pages of textbooks and taken tests on this, I’ll just say that you have to believe me! I will say that L-Carnitine is regarded as a facilitator of good health and energy production. Who doesn’t want more energy? I know I do. Now you can get this naturally from eating red meats, but even for us carnivores there usually isn’t enough and you need to supplement that intake anyways. As for the veggie-loving folk, you definitely need this product. Just take a tablespoon twice a day on an empty stomach and feel the greatness occurring on a cellular level. It goes down smooth!

5. MCT Oil – This final product that comes in an amazing glass bottle that makes you feel like you’re living centuries ago (It’s a good thing!). It is a source of fat! Yes… you heard me right. It’s a source of fat. Now, before I get too emotional, I want to express my opinion that fat has a bad reputation. It is an essential nutrient that does so much more for our body than we know. Again, tens of thousands of pages of reading and life experience… I know! This is a source of saturated fat that comes from coconut and palm kernel oil. Those are high quality oils that provide a high quality saturated fat. So how exactly do these help you? Fats help in bodily functions such as the production of energy and these fats just so happen to require less enzymes to be absorbed. Therefore, you do less work and get more! One to three tablespoons a day, depending on your needs, aid in weight management and healthy bodily functions. And my favorite part… you can use this to replace those cheap oils that contain saturated fat’s evil cousins. Just don’t fry with it, the boiling point is too low!

photo 2 (55)

And there you have it, five amazing products that could find a place in anyone’s home. They are affordable, reliable, natural, effective, sometimes organic, sometimes vegan, and NOW Sports doesn’t bother making annoying packages that claim to make you shredded! They just provide a high-quality product and I respect that! Use any of these to stay Hungry & Fit!

Do NOT Mix Thermogenics and an “Empty” Stomach

If you don’t know what I’m doing this week, please read hereNow that you understand my Hell, please know that I made a big mistake last night. So yesterday was Day 2 of this awful protein-shake-only thing I’m doing. And I know I have a tough workout coming up, to be more specific, the Spartacus workout3 circuits of it. So I was thinking…I should probably take a pre-workout so I have enough energy for the workout. Unfortunately, the only thing we had left was little thermogenic sample packs. If you don’t know what a thermogenic is–it’s basically a fat burner. However, it also has energy in it–concentrated caffeine. If any of you know me, you know caffeine tears my body apart.

So I take it. Feeling alright, feel as if I have enough sustenance in my body (because I previously just had my #4 protein shake) and head over to my workout. Now I am proud of myself for this workout. Nobody was watching me, I set up a timer, and did every set, every rep as hard as I could. When I felt like giving up, I would push on and fight harder. So that felt awesome–3 circuits through, 10 stations, 1 minute each. And I did it. Felt shaky by the end, but I was expecting that.

Near the beginning

Near the beginning

photo 5 (1)

photo 4 (4)

photo 3 (4)

photo 2 (7)Then I get home. And it just hits me–I get the shakes all over and become incredibly nauseous and cold. I really felt like throwing up, but didn’t. All I could do was lay down on the couch, trying to watch the NBA Finals game (boo, Heat!), but feeling so tremendously awful. I have one last protein shake to drink, the one I probably needed the most, but I just couldn’t do it. So I go to bed very early and have a rough night of tossing and turning with the taste of bile in my mouth, but I woke up feeling better and hungry.

How I felt

How I felt

Still feeling a little off today, but it’s Day 3 and I’m hoping it will be easier from here on out. My body is getting accustomed to less food, so I will be less hungry. My body is pretty sore, especially my back and rear delts, but it feels good. I brought an ice cube tray to work to munch on and it feels like I’m eating real food!

My cute ice cubes

My cute ice cubes

Moral of the Story: DO NOT HAVE THERMOGENICS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Period.

Cheers! Stay hungry and fit!

You may also like…

Beginner’s Guide to Supplements

This post is essentially a direct email to a close friend of mine that I brought more into the world of fitness last year before I moved. One of my former pupils is now helping him but there are always questions that need to be answered. This response to one of his questions is going to be used as the topic of this post as a result of his request. It is, therefore, to a certain degree catered to his personal needs. I could have just told him to go to Amazon or Bodybuilding.com to read product reviews, but that wouldn’t be very nice, would it?

Disclaimer: The following is to a certain degree my opinion and personally professional way of explaining some very complicated matters. Although I have knowledge based on formal education and years of experience and experimentation, the language used may not necessarily be technically or scientifically accurate. It is merely a useful means to explain complex processes and ideas in a way that everyone can understand, visualize, and implement. If you have an issue with the way I do what I do, please send us an email. Thank you =)

 

Note: This will not be very in-depth. For more specific questions, please message us. We will answer ALL questions.

 

I am going to break this into a few sections. First, I will be dealing with general vitamins, minerals and similar products that relate to nutrition and dieting. Then I will go into three sections that highlight pre, intra (or during), and post workout related supplements. If you are looking for anything about proteins, skip to the post workout section.

 

Vitamins and minerals are an important part of the operation of our body’s various systems. Common vitamins such as A, B, C, D, and E are very beneficial for our health. While we can obtain them from certain foods and even our environment, sometimes a multivitamin will provide us with a consistent intake. Also, anti-inflammatory and pro-health supplements that are found in nature, such as turmeric and curcumin are low risk options. For more information about those, check out Monica’s Health Mag.

 

I recommend a few “multivitamins.” First, Kirkland has one of the only USP verified products on the market and it is very affordable. Emergen-C is a different means of consumption (a powder that is mixed in liquid) but you need to be aware that it is believed that it can be harmful to the enamel on your teeth. For those that are training hard, Universal Animal Pak is a more serious product that contains 11 pills in one “half-serving.”. I would recommend those products over other brands for performance and value.
 
Creatine: This is an organic acid that is present in vertebrates. That means that is a natural compound that is already inside of you! It’s purpose is to provide energy to various parts of your body, mainly your muscles. For anyone questioning taking creatine, please recognize that it is not a high risk product if taken properly and it can have positive results on your growth and development when paired with an effective physical fitness routine. I would recommend taking Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder. It is a simple monohydrate, more natural and basic essentially. Try to take it in six week on and off cycles, performing a loading stage the first week and a maintenance stage for the next five. In the loading stage, take one scoop (teaspoon) with every macro or major meal, and one heaping scoop post workout. (Realize that many pre/intra/and post workout supplements also contain creatine.) During maintenance, take a scoop post workout.

 

 

Pre-Workouts: Many of these products contain various vitamin b, amino acids, and what I will refer to as aerating compounds. They essentially get more air to your blood and provide you with a placebo effect pump up feeling. I am not the largest supporter of these products and the massive amount of them that exist. They conveniently affect everyone differently. Even if it only makes you think that it is working, that might help your workout. They can potentially reduce lactic acid buildup, allowing you to perform more repetitions and further tear your muscle fibers before fatigue sets in too far. I recommend Cellucor C4 if you want one that tastes better. MusclePharm Assault is another one that tastes alright and is more effective. If you want a better value, try Jack3d. Try to stay away from lemonades and fruit punches, they usually taste worse. Usually stick to one scoop, but follow directions. I like to take these on an empty stomach, but I have a sensitive stomach so it’s up to you.

 

 

Intra-Workouts: Again, I am even less of a fan of these products. They are very similar to pre-workouts, but they provide you with more carbohydrates and electrolytes to help you maintain endurance based strengths throughout a workout. These are more useful for longer workouts. I recommend Cytosport’s Cytomax. Ask for flavor recommendations, but they are all relatively good in terms of taste. Take one scoop for an hour-long workout, or two for a two-hour long workout. Make sure you double your amount of water if doubling scoops.

 

Post-Workouts: Protein supplements are the reason this article was written. I recommend that you eat a gram of protein for every pound you want in your goal weight. I want to weigh 225 pounds again, so I shoot for at least 225 grams of protein a day. Sometimes that can be hard to achieve on a certain budget or with time restraints. Protein powders provide a reasonably priced and very dense protein serving, and they usually have other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids as well. Thus, you can quickly hit a protein goal by making a shake with these powders. I prefer eating real foods for protein, fish being my go to.

 

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a more complex and tasty product, I recommend Cytosport’s Muscle and Monster Milks. BSN’s Syntha-6 is a good value, mixes well, and tastes alright. For the purists out there, I would stick to Optimum Nutrition’s Isolated Whey Protein and Isolated Casein Protein. Now, it is up to you, but do not try the crazy flavors like Cookies n’ Cream. They are awful. Stick with chocolate or vanilla, depending on your preference. Moving backwards, whey protein is derived from the process of making cheese while casein is more so derived from the milk of mammals directly. Whey breaks down and is processed faster, so I usually take it during the day. Casein processes slower but is still protein packed so I usually take it before going to sleep. Get both if you’re super serious, or whey if you’re starting out easy.

 

 

A post for dieting and nutrition will be made in the future and it will go more into depth of how these products can fit into your diets. For now, here are just introductory tips and product recommendations.

 

Cheers!