How Much Protein Does a Person Need?

whey milk protein

The body needs plenty of protein because protein builds muscle and aids in a variety of internal processes. While most Americans eat plenty of protein in their diets, getting the right kind of protein is just as important as how much is consumed. Different proteins play different roles in muscle growth, immunity, hormone regulation, and energy production. Whey proteins have become popular as a supplement because they can be used for muscle building as well as a variety of other health benefits.

What are Whey Protein Supplements?

whey protein builds muscle
The first step to building a great physique is to make sure you’re ingesting enough protein.

As the name suggests, whey protein comes from whey, a by-product of cheese production. It contains all of the soluble proteins and nutrients from milk, but is dehydrated into a more convenient supplement form. Whey is generally available in three different forms: concentrates, isolates, and hydrosolates.

Concentrates still contain fats and lactose, but are less processed than other whey protein forms. Isolates have the fat and lactose removed and are made up of a higher percentage of pure protein. Hydrosolates are processed even further and metabolize more easily. All of the forms of whey protein can be used as a pre-workout supplement to increase gains in muscle mass (1).

The Benefits of Whey Protein

Whey protein is an incredibly popular supplement for bodybuilders due to its ability to help increase muscle mass and endurance and reduce body fat. It stimulates protein synthesis in the muscles, which means more muscle mass and more energy.

These proteins are also absorbed quickly, meaning that they start working faster than other supplements. Whey protein will increase blood flow to muscles, providing energy and allowing for a faster post-workout recovery. On top of the workout benefits, whey proteins contain leucine, a compound that helps the body to adapt to high levels of stress from exercise. Whey contains antioxidants that destroy free radicals, and also blocks harmful carcinogens from affecting the body. Using whey protein not only helps during and after workouts, but also protects your body from outside threats.

How Much Whey Protein to Take

whey protein shake
Whey protein makes for a delicious pre or post-workout snack.

Ultimately, the body needs at minimum between 46 and 56 grams of protein per day, and whey protein is a great way to reach, or even exceed, that number. Proteins from food are necessary to keep the body running, but adding whey protein has the added benefit of being a workout booster.

A whey protein supplement can be taken before workouts, usually in an amount of 10 to 20 grams, but can also be taken post-workout at 20 to 40 grams. It can also be taken in between meals for an extra boost. The amount of protein needed by the body is actually fairly small; supplementing with whey protein means that you get extra nutrients, more power, and more strength.

1. Burke, Darren G. “The Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation With and Without Creatine Monohydrate Combined With Resistance Training on Lean Tissue Mass and Muscle Strength”. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

D-Ribose for Muscle Energy and Strength

weightlifting d-ribose

Sometimes, no matter how motivated or how well-rested you are, you simply don’t feel like you have enough energy during workouts. Supplementing with d-ribose powder is one way to boost muscle energy and get past muscle fatigue. D-ribose is a naturally occurring sugar, which means that it’s safe to take and your body will gladly accept the energy that d-ribose provides.

What is D-Ribose?

d-ribose weightlifting gains
D-ribose can help with that burst of energy needed in the deadlift.

Your muscle cells already contain ribose, a sugar that is used in the manufacturing of amino acids and that promotes metabolic processes. D-ribose, the naturally occurring version of ribose that is in almost all living things, is crucial in starting the process in your body that makes ATP.

Your body uses ATP as energy for almost everything, which means that slowed metabolism of ATP will make you feel sluggish. Clinical studies have shown that supplementing with D-ribose can improve metabolic function and restore energy [1]. It can also reduce after-workout muscle cramps and stiffness, allowing for faster recovery [2].

Benefits of D-Ribose in Muscle Cells

When D-ribose enters the body, it provides greater energy production and helps the user feel more energized. It can be used pre-workout to stop fatigue, and will lower muscle strain. It can also be taken independently of workouts to reduce other types of muscle pain, or to provide energy throughout the day.

D-ribose is becoming increasingly popular because it is natural, effective, and safe. Supplementing with D-ribose supplies your body with more of a sugar that it already has, and boosts your natural production of energy rather than altering it or interfering with existing cellular mechanisms. Taking this supplement is like giving your body a shortcut to making more D-ribose, which is usually a long process. Providing more of it to your muscles quickly lets them recover faster and work better without waiting to synthesize more D-ribose to get the energy they need. Some people even use D-ribose in their energy stack to maximize their potential energy.

How to Take D-Ribose for Energy

d-ribose weightlifting
Supplement right and lift heavy!

D-Ribose is widely available as a dietary supplement powder, and should be taken several times a day before and after working out to maintain energy levels. The suggested dosage is 3 to 5 grams a day, though the amount taken should be modified according to body weight.

1. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2006.12.857?prevSearch=allfield&
2. http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/177660

Nitric Oxide Supplements

Nitric oxide works to increase muscle size

Nitric oxide is a chemical compound made of nitrogen and oxygen. As a supplement, it is widely used to increase muscle size and endurance. Nitric oxide increases blood flow, which can lead to increased muscle gains.

How does Nitric Oxide Work? What is it and Why is it Important?

Nitric oxide benefits
Nitric oxide can help with muscle strength and growth.

Nitric oxide is a very important biological messenger, and a versatile molecule. It is synthesized from arginine, oxygen, and NADPH. Blood vessels use this compound to relax the surrounding muscles, which makes it a vasodilator.

Its main role in the body is regulating blood flow and communication between different organ systems such as the brain, lungs, and kidneys. Nitric oxide can diffuse freely across membranes, which makes it effective and fast-acting. It can also affect the body’s release of adrenaline and other hormones. Therefore, it can help muscles get more nutrients while under physical stress.

Nitric Oxide Benefits

nitric oxide muscle growth
Nitric oxide can help you set new personal records.

The vasodilation and hormone increasing effects of nitric oxide are believed to make it effective as a supplement for greater endurance and muscle gains. Those supplementing with nitric oxide often report more muscle growth after workouts, and less fatigue. The ability to workout harder and faster means that muscle growth can happen more quickly, and it is easier to increase workout length and intensity when more blood is flowing freely to the muscles. Taking nitric oxide can help increase the anaerobic threshold, the point at which lactic acid builds up in muscles and causes fatigue.

Nitric oxide supplements, and those that increase the influx of nitric oxide to the body, have been shown effective in increasing blood flow in active men [1]. Some supplements contain a precursor to nitric oxide, which is then synthesized in the body after ingestion. Either supplement will rapidly diffuse into the body and increase blood flow quickly.

Taking Nitric Oxide Supplements

The best way to take nitric oxide supplements is by mixing the supplement powder with a beverage and consuming it pre-workout. It is best to follow the dosage instructions that come with the specific supplement, since most nitric oxide powders will contain other compounds that help the nitric oxide to absorb. Supplements commonly contain arginine, citrulline, and other strength boosters that help the efficacy of nitric oxide.

Nitric Oxide Supplement Side Effects

There are many N.O. boosting supplements available on the market, so side effects may vary depending on the supplement. The most common side effects include, nausea, changes in blood pressure, and decreased dopamine levels. There are several supplements to take that may counteract the side effects of nitric oxide supplements. Fish Oil maintains healthy blood pressure levels and mucuna pruriens increases dopamine levels.

Sources

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20885188

Cissus Quadrangularis vs Glucosamine for Joint Pain?

knee joint pain

Glucosamine and cissus quadrangularis are both commonly used to reduce joint pain and improve mobility. People with ongoing joint pain often want to be able to remain active, and natural supplements are a great way to reduce pain and accomplish daily tasks. Glucosamine was long lauded as the best supplement for joint pain, but recently the extract of cissus quadrangularis, an herb from India, has gained popularity as an effective joint pain reliever.

What are Glucosamine and Cissus?

cissus quadrangularis
The cissus quadrangularis plant resembles a skinny cactus.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is found in shellfish, bone marrow, and fungi. It is made by hydrolyzing chitin, a structural component of cells. It is a precursor to glycosaminoglycans, which are key components of joint cartilage. Taking glucosamine may then help to repair damaged joints.

Cissus comes from the cissus quadrangularis plant, a member of the grape family that is found across Southeast Asia and Africa. It was often used in classical medicine to help heal injuries, and is taken as a supplement to aid in anything from healing broken bones to stopping gastric distress [1].

It helps to quicken the healing process because it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and also works as an antioxidant. Cissus supplements taken for joint pain will help to improve joint function by lessening pain and revitalizing injured joints.

Cissus Quadrangularis vs Glucosamine?

jogging joint pain
Jogging can cause joint pain. Use supplements to counteract the effect.

Because glucosamine is found naturally in healthy cartilage, it makes sense to take for joint pain. Glucosamine supplements are a natural way to improve the quality of life for someone having joint problems. It is thought to be particularly effective for knee pain, and it is often taken with chondroitin, a compound derived from cartilage that allows for faster pain relief [2].

Cissus has many benefits, since it has so many uses. Besides relieving joint pain, it helps general healing processes and can relieve a variety of minor ailments. It has even been used for a weight loss supplement. Either supplement is great for joint pain relief, but cissus can also be used for other health benefits.

Taking Supplements for Joint Pain

Glucosamine is most effective in amounts of 500 mg 3 times daily, thought the full 1.5 gram amount can be taken at once. Cissus is recommended in amounts between 500 and 1000 mg, though it depends on the concentration of the plant extract. It is always best to start with a lower dosage, because cissus can take some time to have its full pain-relieving effect.

1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874105006653
2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/glucosamine/NS_patient-glucosamine

Creatine as a Nootropic Supplement

Pictured above is creatine being measure in a spoon. This is not a recommended way to measure your creatine dosage.

The odds are that you have heard of creatine and its association with athletic performance. Creatine is a popular choice for athletes thanks to its effect on lean muscle mass and its energy-boosting properties.

But did you know that creatine also has nootropic properties? The benefits of creatine are myriad: increased memory, reduced fatigue, improved mood, and even reduced brain fog. Let’s take a closer look at the mental benefits you’ll receive from taking creatine supplement.

Memory Benefits of Creatine

Creatine can be used a nootropic to boost brain power.
Creatine is a proven brain-booster!

Creatine is  known to increase your short-term memory and this increase is one of the most well-documented benefits of the compound. Supporting studies abound: improvements in memory span[1], improvements in working memory[2], and prevention of memory decline [3]. Scientifically, the results are in: creatine is great for improving memory.

So how exactly does a supplement known for its physical benefits do so much for the brain? Creatine primarily works by increasing your synthesis of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP [4]. ATP is a nucleotide that functions as the primary source of energy for cells.

In other words, the more ATP that you’re synthesizing, the more fully and efficiently your cells can transmit information. Think of ATP as the “fuel” for the neurological vehicles taxiing information around your brain. Higher levels of ATP make calling to mind that elusive word or thought that much easier.

Creatine for Fatigue

Creatine’s ability to enhance your production of ATP also ties directly into another one of its main benefits: fatigue reduction. Studies have found that creatine’s abilities to reduce fatigue and boost energy are apparent even at low doses [5]. Since increased ATP boosts cellular performance, creatine is at least partially responsible for this energy boost, but there is more to the picture than that.

After a successful study on creatine’s mental-fatigue-reducing effects, a team of researchers measured an increase of cerebral-oxygenated hemoglobin in the brains of the test subjects. This increase was evidence of increased oxygen use by the brain. In other words, creatine primes your brain for improved performance.

Creatine for Mood

Creatine's nootropic side effects include increased mood.
Creatine can boost your mood.

Studies have found that taking a creatine supplement has mood boosting properties both on its own and synergistically with prescription anti-depressants [6]. This synergy too ties into creatine’s boosted production of ATP. Beyond that, creatine has also been shown to reduce some of the side effects of sleep deprivation, such as irritability [7].

Additionally, boosted energy levels means reduced stress making it much easier for your better moods to shine through. While the exact benefits of creatine for mood are not fully understood, what we know so far seems promising.

Creatine for Brain Fog

One of the bottom lines of nootropics is that, one way or another, you are probably going to deal with brain fog. Some people might be looking to alleviate existing brain fog, while for others brain fog may be caused by a nootropic.

Either way, the verdict is clear: having a gummed-up haze hampering your mental performance is no fun. The great news is that here too a creatine supplement will benefit you. Here is the impressive part: even this benefit is tied to creatine’s ATP production, albeit from a slightly different way. Increased ATP improves your brain’s ability to block negative effects by allowing the brain to more quickly deal with any deficiencies.  A study found that creatine supplementation improved the subject’s fluid intelligence, or their ability to solve problems and derive meaning from abstract knowledge [8]. Or in other words, directly counteract the effects of brain fog.

Bottom Line: Creatine as a Nootropic

Creatine is a harmless amino acid with many benefits for the keen-eyed nootropic user looking for something to top off their stack. As long as you keep your dosing at safe levels, creatine has tremendous potential for improving your mental performance. Not only that, but thanks to the ways a creatine supplement will benefit your mood and fatigue, creatine is an almost sure-fire way to improve your all-around quality of life.

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561278
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21118604
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17828627
  4. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/44694983_Dietary_supplementation_of_creatine_monohydrate_reduces_the_human_fMRI_BOLD_signal
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11985880
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22864465
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16416332
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691485/

Pre-Workout Supplements: Do I need anything more than caffeine or am I wasting money?

caffeine is found in coffee

With the flashy marketing and high-pressure sales tactics favored by supplement companies, pre-workout supplements may come off as snake oil. And to be honest, some pre-workout supplements are ineffective, overpriced, and full of nasty filler that will do more harm than good (see: belly fat).

That being said, there are a few supplements that I highly suggest including in your pre-workout blend in addition to caffeine. We all know that caffeine supplements can boost your energy levels, but what other supplements can have an impact on your workout? Let’s take a look at my three favorite pre-workout supplements other than caffeine: L-arginine, creatine, and beta-alanine.

L-arginine

 

Muscle growth
L-arginine can help with muscle growth

L-arginine is an amino acid that shows significant promise in increasing natural production of growth hormone, boosting testosterone levels, and reducing fatigue. L-arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide, and increased nitric oxide production is a great thing for exercise.Why? Nitric oxide is responsible for vasodilation.

When vasodilation occurs, blood vessels widen. Wider blood vessels equal better blood flow. Better blood flow equals more effective oxygen transportation. More oxygen equals more intense workouts. It is as simple as that! Also, for you men out there, I can report that l-arginine is a big boost in the bedroom!

Creatine

Creatine can be added to protein shakes
Creatine can be added to protein shakes

If you’ve spent any time in the workout community, you’ve heard about creatine. Creatine is an organic acid found in many foods, especially fish. Creatine powder’s main function is to supply energy to the cells, in particularly to muscle.

If you eat meat on a regular basis, your body probably has a standard supply of creatine. If you don’t… well, I hate to tell you, but you’re probably deficient. That being said, even meat eaters can benefit from a creatine supplement regimen because the more creatine your body has, the more energy is supplied to your cells. More energy translates into more intense and productive workouts. Great deal, right?

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is another amino acid, and if you’ve ever taken a pre-workout blend before, then you know EXACTLY what beta-alanine does. You know that tingly, powerful, stimulant feeling you get after taking your pre-workout? That’s beta-alanine doing its job.

 

Beta-alanine can help increase muscular endurance
Beta-alanine can help increase muscular endurance

Beta-alanine is all-around my favorite supplement other than caffeine because it helps with weight-loss, stamina, and muscle recovery. It is an all-in-one miracle supplement, and I say that with 100 percent sincerity.

Conclusion

So, knowing that these three supplements (plus caffeine) are decent is one thing, but how do you go about introducing them to your workouts? You can do what I do, which is buy the bulk supplement powders and cap my own pre-workout pills, but I recognize that the capping process is labor intensive and some of you may have busy schedules. So what do you do? Simple, check out the nutrition labels on pre-workout blends and keep an eye out for these supplements. Speaking from experience, both MusclePharm Assault and Cellucor C4 are good choices.

Assault Pre Workout & ON Whey Protein

Musclepharm Assault

The abundance of workout supplements on the market makes it difficult to decide which supplements are the best to take. There are supplements for energy, recovery, stress, relaxation, and so on, and in some instances these supplements are marketed as having benefits in multiple categories.

In order to avoid taking too much or too little of any particular supplement, it is important to know what you are ingesting! This point may seem simple, but you would be amazed at the number of people who blindly take supplements without first doing a little research.

So, in the pursuit of research and bettering your knowledge of workout supplements, I’ve constructed a barebones guide to two of the most popular workout supplements on the market: MusclePharm Assault and Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, a pre-workout supplement and a post-workout supplement respectively. By using this stack of supplements, you’ll see a marked improvement in many facets of your fitness.

MusclePharm Assault Pre Workout

MusclePharm Assault
MP Assault Pre Workout Ingredient Label

You may have heard of MusclePharm Assault at some point because the brand sponsors many UFC fighters. Assault is a heavily-marketed supplement, but that does not mean that it is lacking in solid ingredients. However, taking a glance at the ingredients label, you may have noticed that there are MANY ingredients—so many ingredients that you may feel overwhelmed.

So here’s a breakdown of what I believe are the most-important ingredients included and what they can do for you as a pre-workout booster:

Muscle Pharm Assault’s Most Effective Ingredients

  • Beta-Alanine supplement: Improves carnosine levels and reduces fatigue
  • Citrulline Malate supplement: Reduces lactic acid build-up
  • Rhodiola Rosea powder: Reduces stress and improves muscular recovery time
  • Creatine monohydrate or HCL: Improves water retention and muscle growth
  • Caffeine anhydrous: Boosts energy levels and improves focus
  • L-Tyrosine: Increases dopamine levels
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): Improves muscular growth and recovery
  • L-Arginine powder: Improves protein synthesis and libido
  • L-Glutamine supplement: Assists in building muscle mass

While Assault also features other ingredients, I chose to highlight the supplements that I believe are the most useful and important when it comes to a pre-workout supplement. In combination, these supplements will give you an explosive and impressive workout.

And once you’ve completed a grueling workout session courtesy of Assault, you’ll want a high-quality recovery supplement to allow for muscle growth and repair. That’s where Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein comes into play.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein

ON Gold-Standard Whey Protein
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

 

Post-workout recovery supplements are integral to your success as an athlete. Your muscles need protein in order to repair themselves after the beating that you give them during a workout. In my opinion, the best post-workout supplement by far is Whey Protein. And I’ll give my word that Optimum Nutrition makes some of the best Whey Protein that I have ever consumed.

Taking a look at the nutrition label, you can see that this protein is very barebones. And that is a great thing! In a post-workout shake, the less ingredients the better. You don’t want a lot of filler or other crap that is bad for you: you want to actually benefit from the exercise you just completed.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Ingredients

ON Whey ingredients list
ON Whey ingredients list

Optimum Nutrition Whey Ingredients include: Whey isolate, whey concentrate, and whey peptides (plus other ingredients depending on which flavor you choose to purchase).

The blend of different types of whey is a great feature because each type digests slightly differently and at a slightly different pace, thus feeding your muscles over a longer period of time. In addition, some people digest different types of whey better than other types, so having a variety ensures that you are actually receiving the protein that you need.

Using Musclepharm Assault and Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein to get the Most Out of Your Workout

This stack is not only useful, but it is easy to use as the blends are pre-mixed for you. While the price may be higher to buy these pre-made supplements than to buy bulk powders and create your own, the convenience and ease of use makes this pre-workout/post-workout combination a surefire hit in my book.

Best Choline Supplements and Sources

peanut butter is an excellent choline sourceAmong all the nootropics out there, choline supplementation might be the most crucial. Choline is an essential nutrient — a nutrient needed by the body but not produced by it. While it can be found in everyday food items (eggs, peanut butter), most people don’t get nearly enough.

In fact, 90% of the adult population is deficient in choline intake. The obvious route here is to supplement, but it’s not that cut and dry. There are several choline sources, all with their particular ups and downs. With such variable options, can you decide what the best choline supplement is? How is a spoonful of alpha gpc powder better than a plateful of eggs? Why stock up on CDP choline powder when you could just buy a few jars at peanut butter? Here’s an exploration your options to help you figure out what the best choline sources are for you.

Choline Bitartrate

eggs are a choline source
Eggs are a useful source of choline

Choline bitartrate powder is one of simplest and least expensive sources of choline. It’s made by combining choline with the salt bitartrate. On the plus side, it’s very cheap; the downside being that it doesn’t have as much choline in at (some forms being as low as 20%).

It’s not a bad choice if you’re looking to supplement which choline to make up for deficiencies or just as an all-around dietary supplement. However, it might not be ideal if you’re looking for something to pair up with a racetam (most of which burn through choline).

Choline Bitartrate Dosage

In higher doses, it can both cause stomachaches and give your sweat an odd odor. Recommended daily dose is 500 – 1000 mg.

Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine powder is the second weakest form of choline – not to mention the type that turns up in foods. As such, it’s a “base” form of choline. Most other sources will convert to phosphatidylcholine in the body where it can be converted to acetylcholine or used to repair selves. In its supplement form it tends to caps out at around 13% choline. It’s a subtle, mild way to integrate additional choline into your diet. It’s effective at 800 – 2400 mg per day.

Soy Lecithin

Soy is another source of choline

As the name suggests, soy lecithin is derived from soybeans, and is a nice all-around health supplement. It gives the body choline in the form of phosphatidylcholine, but also seems to benefit the body in few other was: for example, mice dosed with soy lecithin had a slightly better 12 month survival rate than the control group. On the downside, it similar side effects to bitartrate. If you decide to supplement with it, shoot for 400 – 800 mg per day.

CDP Choline

One of the two forms usually touted as the best choline supplement, CDP choline powder (or citicholine) is a viable nootropic in its own right. This is thanks to a few neurological benefits you’ll get from the supplement even outside of boosted choline levels.

CDP choline powder is a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, but that’s not all. It also delivers a dose of cytidine, which converts to uridine, a substance with cognitive enhancing properties.

CDP choline is also unique in choline supplements in that it appears to boost dopamine receptor density – a neurotransmitter crucial to pleasure and reward systems. A nice side effect of this? A reduction of addictive behaviors.

In addition to this, CDP choline provides the usual slew of choline-related benefits: boosted memory, increased focus, even improved mood. It’s also performed particularly wells in studies attempting to slow cognitive decline, an area where other choline sources have failed to perform. If you’re looking for all the benefits of a regular choline source plus a few enhanced cognitive benefits, it’s a great choice. Go with 500 mg per day if you supplement with CDP choline powder.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is frequently hailed as the best choline supplement. It makes sense, since it’s on par with CDP choline in terms of clinically-established effectiveness, even outperforming it in some areas. Like, say, increased physical power output after acute dosing, making it alpha GPC powder a go-to supplement for athletes. It also functions slightly differently. While CDP choline is a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, alpha GPC is a byproduct — it’s further along in the metabolic chain. This makes it particularly effective at helping cellular membranes stay healthy and strong.

Alpha GPC can help keep cell membranes strong

It’s also a viable nootropic even on its own. Studies have shown it to both increase rate of learning and prevent memory loss. And in trials directly comparing it to CDP Choline, it outperformed it cognitive-improvement areas. If you’re measuring the effectiveness of your choline supplement by raw cognitive enhancement levels, alpha GPC is probably your best choice. Alpha GPC powder works best at daily doses in the 300 – 1200 mg range.

What is the Best Choline Supplement?

So which is the best choline supplement out there? The answer ends up being that there is no answer, at least not a hard and fast one. If you’re looking for light boost to choline-levels only, the occasional dose of choline bitartrate wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you’re in the market for cognitive enhancement, it makes more sense to grab a bottle of CDP choline or alpha GPC powder. Just make sure to try out both – since they work differently, there isn’t a clear “winner” so much as there are two alternatives. Happy supplementing!

Protect and Enhance your Memory via Racetams with Antioxidant Properties

Racetams with antioxidant properties help protect the brain
pwb-rust
Rust is a commonly-seen form of oxidation

Racetams are one of the most popular nootropic supplements available on the market today. Since the discovery of the prototypical racetam, piracetam powder, in the 1960’s, racetams have become well-known for their cognitive-enhancement abilities. However, many of them provide additional antioxidant benefits, making them even more useful.

So why would you want a supplement that boosts your brain power as well as provides antioxidant advantages? While it may seem like a strange combination, antioxidants protect cells, including those within the brain. If your brain cells suffer damage from oxidation, reason stands that your memory could be similarly affected.

Adding a memory enhancer on top of an antioxidant might just be the smartest move you could make. So what are the racetams, how do they work, and which ones will provide you with a double dose of neuroprotection?

How Racetams Work

While the mechanism of action behind racetams isn’t completely understood, it is believed that they work by encouraging the formation of new synapses and enhancing synaptic plasticity, two factors that are critical in memory formation and learning.

Acetylcholine is a common neurotransmitter
Acetylcholine is a common neurotransmitter

These actions are accomplished by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine within the brain; acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter primarily responsible for learning. Thus, by maintaining high levels of acetylcholine, cognitive enhancement is greatly increased.

Benefits of Racetams

Racetams are able to improve long and short-term memory and have been found to have logic, speech, and sensory-enhancement properties. Additional benefits include improved athletic performance and focus which makes them a favorite among fitness enthusiasts.

Racetams with Antioxidant Properties

Some racetams such as Piracetam have some antioxidant properties. Let’s first discuss a little bit about the process of oxidation and the role of antioxidants in our bodies.

Oxidation is defined as the interaction between oxygen molecules and all the other substances they may meet. The result of such a process in the body is chain reactions that can damage cells.

Examples of oxidation include the browning of an apple when cut open, and the rusting of metals. Simply put, antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Antioxidants are widely used in dietary supplements. Free-radical theory states that the effects of aging are a result of the body’s inability to counteract oxidative damage.

Racetams have been tested on rats as well as humans
Racetams have been tested on rats as well as humans

These facts bring us to racetams and their anti-oxidation properties. Piracetam is one of the racetams that seems to posses such properties. In a study performed to assess Piracetam’s antioxidant effects on a rat brain, it was determined that Piracetam had the potential to scavenge free radicals. Free radicals cause the body to age more quickly and contribute to cellular damage, including within the brain, so preventing this damage improves longevity as well as memory.

In human experiments conducted to measure the effects of one dose of Piracetam on 12 healthy volunteers, it was determined that this single dosage affected the natural electrical activity that occurs on the scalp.

How about the other racetams like Pramiracetam, Oxiracetam, and Aniracetam? Although there hasn’t been ample research done on the antioxidant properties of these other racetams, considering the fact that they have very similar mechanisms of action with Piracetam, it is possible that they too posses antioxidant properties.

Where to Buy Phenibut after Amazon Shut Down Sales

Where Can I Get a Reliable and Trusted Source of Phenibut?

In late 2012, Amazon decided to terminate their sales of Phenibut powder. By summer of 2013, the Phenibut shutdown went into full effect, raising concerns of an FDA crack down on all Nootropics as well as a noticeable disturbance among users of the highly controversial yet widely consumed and praised supplement.

Though Phenibut continues to be available to the public through several online sources, buyers beware; not all Phenibut is created equal. If you have come to rely on this supplement, now more than ever it is important to find a reputable supplier you can put your trust in for quality and reliability at a competitive price.

What is Phenibut and How Does it Work?

Phenibut is a derivative of the naturally-occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. Its additional phenyl ring allows Phenibut to cross the blood brain barrier and stimulate the GABA receptors in the brain much like other anti-anxiety substances.

Many people argue that Phenibut does not react in the brain like pharmaceuticals, yet science concludes that despite which receptors they bind to, they are all classified as anxiolytics that react in the body in similar ways.
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Phenibut is widely utilized for its anti-anxiety, sedative, and muscle relaxation effects as well as being used by weight lifters to boost growth hormone levels. However beneficial Phenibut is for a person seeking relief from anxiety, looking to add a boost to their workout routine, or just aiding in relaxation, this powerful nootropic also comes with its own risks and it is not a supplement to be abused.

Phenibut Side Effects

While there are no documented side effects for phenibut other than minor drowsiness, many users do develop a tolerance after extended and heavy use.

Furthermore, there are numerous reports on internet forums of some pretty serious withdrawal symptoms, but these symptoms are due to misuse of the supplement. When adhering to proper dosing and cycling, users should experience all of the benefits without the withdrawal issues.

Other concerns include how phenibut has the potential to change how some MAO inhibitors work. If you are currently taking an MAO inhibitor, you should talk with your doctor about potential side effects before taking Phenibut.

Where to Buy Phenibut Now

As mentioned before, now that Amazon no longer carries Phenibut, a multitude of sellers have cropped up; some are reputable, others not so much. Once you’ve established a list of safe vendors, however, you then have to look at price. Supply and demand plays a fairly large role when it comes to finding Phenibut.

So where can you get quality Phenibut at a competitive price? You have a few options.

Smart Powders is a long-established supplier of quality phenibut. Their prices tend to be slightly higher as they package their supplements in plastic bottles vs. foil pouches. This packaging raises their costs, which carries over to you, the buyer.

Another Phenibut supplier is Hard Rhino, a bulk supplement site that has been around for awhile and proven reliable.

A third option is Powder City. They’re also a long-established online supplement vendor with fairly competitive prices. They offer Phenibut in both foil pouches and in tub containers for an additional dollar.

Here is the price breakdown:

100 grams

Smart Powders $24.99
Hard Rhino $29.99 (125g; breaks down to $23.99 for 100g)

While all three of these sites have been vetted by online forums such as Reddit, only two of them clearly display a certificate of analysis proving the quality of their product: Smart Powders and Powder City.