Cellucor C4 Ingredients: New Formula vs Old Formula

a great preworkout supplement

2017 Update:Cellucor updated their ingredient list after methylsynephrine came under scrutiny by the FDA in early 2016. If synephrine with an added methyl group was being banned, then it was prudent for supplement companies to stop selling products containing synephrine.

Cellucor C4 is one of the most-popular pre-workout supplements on the market. It features a concentrated formula and small scoop sizes, both of which attract consumers by the droves. Not only that, but C4 packs a wallop in the gym and will give you some of the best workouts of your life. But why is C4 so effective?

Let’s take a look at the ingredients label and briefly highlight what each major ingredient does:

C4 Ingredients for 2017 and 2018

After the methylsynephrine ban in early 2016, Cellucor reformulated C4. They removed the synephrine and added theacrine.

Theacrine is a stimulant which is structurally similar to caffeine and also has parallel mechanisms of action. One advantage of theacrine over caffeine is it’s inability to build tolerance in animal studies. This is a clear advantage since caffeine quickly establishes tolerance.

Updated C4 Ingredient List (2017 and 2018)

  • Theacrine: This replaced synephrine and is the major difference from the old formula. It’s structurally similar to caffeine, but doesn’t build tolerance. This more than makes up for the lack of synephrine.
  • Vitamin C as ascorbic acid: kept from the original formula
  • Niacin as niacinamide: kept from the original formula
  • Vitamin B6 as pyridoxal-5-phosphate: kept from the original formula. One difference is that this ingredient now appears on its own instead of in the proprietary “explosive energy blend.” It’s unknown if the dosage for this changed from the original.
  • Folic acid: kept from the original formula, but now no longer called folate.
  • Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin: kept from the original formula
  • Beta alanine: Kept, but increased from 1500mg to 1600mg. Although small, this is a welcome increase. Still, at least 2g of beta alanine is needed for an effective dose. This limitation is understandable though as Cellucor could only use so many ingredients while having one dose fit into a single scoop.
  • Creatine nitrate: kept from the original formula
  • Arginine alpha ketoglutarate: kept from the original formula
  • N-acetyl-L-tyrosine: kept from the original formula
  • Caffeine anhydrous: Increased from 135mg to 150mg. This increase may be due to losing the synergy with synephrine
  • Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean extract standardized for L-dopa): kept from the original formula

C4 Pre Workout Ingredients (2015 and prior original formula)

  • Beta Alanine powder: Improves carnosine levels and reduces fatigue
  • Creatine Nitrate: Improves water retention and boosts muscle growth
  • Arginine AKG: Improves protein synthesis and libido levels
  • Vitamin C supplement: Improves overall wellbeing but also shows promise in boosting energy levels
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) supplement: Increase the production and efficiency of neurotransmitters
  • Caffeine Anhydrous powder: Boosts energy levels and increases focus
  • Mucuna Pruriens: Increases the brain’s capacity to produce neurotransmitters and protein
  • Bitter Orange: Boosts energy and attacks the body’s fat stores
  • Niacinamide: Increases energy levels and focus
  • Folic Acid: Helps the body make new cells
  • Vitamin B12: Helps with normal functioning of the brain and nervous system
C4 Ingredients
The ingredients list: Man’s best friend!

Whew. Quite a list. Individually, these supplements promise and deliver on any number of benefits to the body. But taken on their own, you may not notice much of an effect, or if you do, it will be minute.

However, taken altogether prior to a workout, the synergistic effect is tremendous. Your energy levels skyrocket, your focus hones, and your body sets itself on a one-way train to muscle growth and fat loss.

C4 New Formula vs the Old Formula

Is the 2017 (and 2018) C4 formula better than the old formula? The slight increase to beta alanine, caffeine, and the addition of theacrine more than make up for the lack of synephrine. The 15mg of extra caffeine anhydrous and the new theacrine stimulant offsetting caffeine’s tolerance only serves to enhance the stimulatory properties of C4.

Since C4 kept the same amount of mucuna pruriens and NALT, you’re still going to feel the elevated mood (and slight euphria) that you felt from the old formula.

How to make your own C4

You really cannot ask for a better combination of ingredients in a pre-workout supplement, but what if you don’t have the cash on hand to buy a major name brand blend?

This is where bulk supplements come into play. Nearly all of these ingredients are available for purchase in bulk online sites like beamzen.com or purebulk.com. At first, bulk prices may seem steep, but when you break down cost by serving, that is where you will see the real savings. If you are looking to invest in long term pre workout supplementation, check out this break down of Cellucor C4.

Supplement Serving size Amount for at least 100 Servings Cost
Beta Alanine 2g 100g $4.79
Creatine 3-5g 500g* $8.89
Arginine 3-5g 500g* $15.95
Vitamin C 250mg 25g $3.25
NALT 350g 50g* $3.25
Caffeine Anhydrous 50mg 5g $0.99
Mucuna Pruriens 250mg 25g $6.40
Bitter Orange 10-20mg 5g* $3.42
Niacinamide 1 capsule 100 capsules ~$4.00
Folic Acid 1 capsule 250 capsules* ~$3.00
Vitamin B12 1 capsule 100 capsules ~$5.00
Total Cost $55.69
Total Per Serving $0.56

*500g Creatine provides 100-166 servings
*500g Arginine provides 100-166 servings
*50g NALT provides 142 servings
*5g Bitter Orange provides 250-500 servings
*250 capsules of folic acid is 250 servings

The largest variant Cellucor offers contains 60 servings and costs $49.99, which breaks down to $0.83 per serving. However, as you can see by buying bulk, you save $0.27 per serving with some extra left over supplement to do with as you please.

This may not seem like very much, but if you are committed to this particular blend, then you can increase your bulk purchases to save even more. For example, if you bought enough to create 250 servings that would cost you around $106 dollars, breaking down to $0.42 per serving and still leaving you plenty of left overs of multiple supplements. That is a savings of $0.41 per serving. Looking at it long term, buying 250 servings at a time will last you about 8 months and save you over $100.

It comes down to cost versus convenience. It is clearly more convenient to buy a premixed blend and call it a day. However, if you are on a budget, it is well worth your time to invest in a digital scale and some gelatin capsules as the DIY method clearly lands you some big savings.

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

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.

How does Resveratrol affect Testosterone and what other Benefits does Resveratrol Produce?

resveratrol can help fight the effects of aging

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a compound found in the skins of red grapes, berries, and other fruits. It is thought to act as a powerful antioxidant with a strong potential for fighting the effects of aging. These effects are largely due to the fact that this supplement helps to promote the increased production of something known as sirtuins. Sirtuins are enzymes involved in the aging process that are thought to increase the activity of the cells’ mitochondria. There are also additional research studies which indicate that resveratrol supplements may act as a neuroprotective substance by helping to protect against memory loss. There is even new research suggesting that resveratrol may help to increase testosterone levels.

How does Resveratrol affect Health?

Many people are interested in using a resveratrol supplement because it seems to be able to increase overall health. Because it functions as an antioxidant, resveratrol serves to make almost every major organ in the body run better. The elimination of free radicals is also quite important as the removal helps to reduce inflammation.

Another important benefit associated with resveratrol is its fighting of the effects of aging. Resveratrol covers just about everything from helping to protect the heart to making it easier to lose weight. One of the ways in which these benefits occur is by the activation of so-called anti-aging genes like the master gene, P53. There have been a number of experiments conducted on bacteria, fish, worms, and mice that have shown positive increases on lifespan based on activation of P53 by resveratrol. In some cases, this supplement has been able to extend lifespan up to twice the normal length. Of course, while there are huge differences between humans and mice or worms, in many cases we do have very similar genes. This similarity is giving research scientists hope that many of these health benefits can transfer over, especially in the area of longevity.

How does Resveratrol affect Testosterone?

There is some exciting new research into the effects of resveratrol on testosterone. Recent studies do seem to support that resveratrol affects testosterone, although more studies are needed. The researchers seem to think the reasons for this effect are two-fold. First, resveratrol inhibits aromatase, which is the main enzyme responsible for the production of estrogen. Second, resveratrol also seems to inhibit the body’s estrogen receptor.

As the body’s level of estrogen production is limited, resveratrol will help to balance out hormone levels and in the process increase testosterone. This increase is beneficial on a number of different levels. Not only will this hormone help sexual function, but it also helps to regulate red blood cell production, bone density, and even muscle mass. There may even be a role for this supplement to play in producing better emotional states, especially in those who are already experiencing lowered levels of testosterone.

What do Studies say about Resveratrol and Testosterone?

A 2008 Korean study examined the effects of Resveratrol supplementation on the New Zealand white rabbit, corpus cavernosum. The researchers were looking to measure ex-vivo penile erection and in-vivo sperm counts and quality. The in-vivo study measured the reproductive organ weights, blood testosterone levels, testicular histopathology, and sperm counts. It also examined and measured the epididymal sperm motility and deformity.

For the in-vivo study, mice were given a dose of resveratrol at 50 mg/kg for 28 days. The ultimate results were interesting, showing no increases in body weight, reproductive organ weight, or testicular microscopic findings. But, they did show increases in blood testosterone concentration of 51.6 percent, testicular sperm counts of 15.8 percent, and epididymal sperm motility by 23.3 percent. Incidentally, all of these effects were achieved without any significant influence on sperm deformity.

How does Resveratrol Work?

A 2012 National Institutes of Health study into the effects of resveratrol seems to have helped cast a bit of light into how this supplement might work. The supplement works not only as an anti-inflammatory compound (which testing had pretty much proven at this point anyway), but also as a genetic manipulator through both direct and indirect chemical pathways. It also helps to block the action of a muscle enzyme known as PDE4 that causes cell degradation. This supplement also appears to bind to many different types of proteins, which shows that there may be the potential for new help for heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, and more.

What is a Helpful Dose of Resveratrol?

In order to really have most of the desired effects, not only an increase in testosterone, you should be taking resveratrol every day. The recommended dosage level for resveratrol is 1000 mg per day or more depending on if there is a specific condition you are trying to find support for or protect against. Typical sources for your resveratrol supplements include Japanese knotwood or red grapes, with the Japanese blend being superiors (if you can find it).

Resveratrol supplement is also available in a powdered form, which can be taken with meals. The idea with your supplement schedule here is to use resveratrol every day with meals. It might take a little time before noticing results such as regulating and increasing testosterone levels and improving mood.

What else does Resveratrol do?

Resveratrol is also considered to help protect the heart against all types of damage. Part of this protection is immediately tied to resveratrol’s ability to work as an antioxidant supplement, helping to remove free radicals from the body and lowering the levels of inflammation. Inflammation can be stressful and detrimental to the overall cardiovascular system.

You will also note that a lot of the existing research into this supplement is still centered on the fight against cancer. There may actually be a role for some of these anti-cancer effects through the estrogen response systems, as discussed above.

Rhodiola Increases Physical and Mental Endurance

rhodiola can increase endurance

Endurance athletes are always looking for an edge. Whether it’s a new training protocol or a new mindset, being able to push yourself to work just a little bit harder and longer can make the difference between first and second place. Proper implementation of the right pre-workout supplements is key in training endurance athletes and thanks to a study performed in Belgium, there’s another supplement to add to the mix. When taken before training, rhodiola rosea supplements were found to improve performance in endurance athletes, even with no previous use.

Belgian researchers studied 24 healthy endurance athlete students. First, a baseline for an endurance activity was established with each athlete. Then, a few days later, the students were either given rhodiola or a placebo an hour before performing the same endurance activity. After another week, they came back and performed the same training session, but the rhodiola group was given placebo and vice versa. The results proved to be significant. Rhodiola improved the work capacity of the athletes by an average of 3% and in one case, the student was able to extend the time by 9.7%. Another conclusion from the study, aside from the improvement in performance for doses one hour before training, is the finding that when the athletes consumed rhodiola consistently over a four week basis, there was no additional benefit like those found in other supplements that may require a “loading period.” This means there appears to be an acute effect when used for endurance training. It’s important to note that this fact doesn’t imply there are no outside benefits to taking rhodiola on a consistent basis, but that it’s just not effective at building up in your system.

What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Let’s look at the supplement as a whole. Rhodiola rosea is a plant found in the cooler climates of the world, particularly in the Arctic or other mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere. The plant and its roots have been used for hundreds of years by ancient civilizations such as the Vikings as a supplement to increase stamina and strength. Rhodiola use today is more widespread and is consumed via tea or, for those not living in areas where it grows naturally, in a convenient supplement form. Rhodiola contains many different polyphenols and antioxidants including rosavins, rosarin, rosin, and salidroside. These compounds, at the most simple level, help provide balance to stressors in the body and the environment. From a physiological perspective, rhodiola is said to reduce free radicals that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Psychologically, rhodiola helps reduce mental stress by optimizing the levels of “feel good” chemicals in the brain.

In general, rhodiola rosea benefits include:

  • Reduced physical fatigue
  • Improved mood
  • Lowered Stress

How Rhodiola Rosea Can Help Endurance Athletes

When the mechanisms of action in rhodiola are considered, it’s easy to see how it is an ideal supplement for endurance athletes. Preventing physical fatigue allows for more energy output in a race or during training. However, there may be a mental aspect to the supplementation as well. Improved mood and lower mental stress could help athletes overcome potential mental fatigue they may face, enabling them to crush previous records and crash through mental barriers that can hold perceived limitations of what the athlete’s abilities truly are.

Dosage

For improvements in endurance sports, a dosage the same as the dose mentioned above, a 200mg capsule one hour before training, is recommended. In fact, since the experiment was relatively basic, you can try to replicate it on your own to see the exact effects rhodiola has on you!

The Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women

pre-workout supplements for women

Step into any gym, especially the weight room, and you’re likely to see a scene dominated by men. Online resources are heavily geared toward men as well, with dozens of large sites, forums, and stores focused on providing men with what they need to succeed in the gym. What about the other half though? Should women be relegated to slow-paced elliptical workouts and measly salads to achieve fitness goals?

No, absolutely not! Women can benefit from weight training just as much as men. Sure, you may not want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger when you walk out of the gym (and your natural biology would make sure this change doesn’t happen), but who doesn’t want to be stronger, leaner, and more toned?

So suppose you’re already lifting weights or ready to make the jump, you will want to make sure you are getting the most out of your time in the gym. Pre-workout supplements can do just that. While they’re often associated with muscle-bound guys screaming during squats, pre-workout supplements can offer many benefits to women.

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplementation

For a long time, supplementation was viewed from a post-workout perspective. Empty the fuel tank, refill the fuel tank. Over recent years, however, it’s become increasingly obvious that by filling your tank with the right kind of fuel before you workout, you can make sure the right nutrients are ready to go right when you need them.

Pre-workout supplements can help you maximize:

*Strength – Any time you workout, you have to overload your muscles to get results. Pre-workout supplements can help you lift more weight and for a longer duration while training and ensure your muscles have the energy to perform.

*Recovery – DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be a thorn in the side of any athlete. The right supplements can reduce muscle soreness so you’ll be ready for the next session faster.

*Fat Loss – By taking supplements that help your body use its own fat as fuel, you can improve body composition by burning fat while you build muscle. Lean muscle is also referred to as “metabolic currency” meaning the more lean muscle you have, the better you are at burning fat!

Which Supplements Should I Take?

Now that you’re well aware of the benefits of pre-workout supplementation, you’re probably wondering which supplements you should be taking and you may be a little confused. This confusion is understandable as there are many effective pre-workout supplements on the market. Fear not! Below are the essentials of pre-workout supplements for women. These will help you achieve the benefits listed above and get the most out of your gym time.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate

Creatine is one of the most widely-used supplements and a staple in many athlete’s stacks. Creatine helps support performance while training and improved recovery post-workout. There is a downside to some forms of creatine, however. Some users report bloating when taking basic forms of creatine, mainly creatine monohydrate. So, what’s the best creatine for women that don’t want to walk around feeling bloated?

Magnesium creatine chelate is a relatively new form of creatine that helps you get performance and recovery benefits of creatine without feeling like you swallowed a balloon. One study even showed that magnesium creatine chelate was 6-8% more effective than creatine monohydrate alone. Higher performance with no bloating worries make this the best pre-workout creatine for women.

Whey Protein

As you exercise, muscle tissue is broken down and then repaired afterward by building blocks of protein called amino acids. Whey protein, another staple in the supplement world, helps repair muscles faster by delivering amino acids to muscles quickly. When you repair muscles quicker two main things happen. First, you experience less soreness so you’re ready to get back in the gym faster. Second, and perhaps the more important of the two, you build muscle and see results faster. Whey protein is normally sold in powdered form and in a variety of flavors so you can mix it with other supplements in a pre-workout shake.

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a complementary supplement to magnesium creatine chelate. By reducing muscle fatigue and improving strength, citrulline malate makes you more efficient in the gym and helps you work harder. Citrulline malate works in two main ways. First, it increases blood flow to the muscles, removing toxins, and delivering nutrients. Second, it increases ATP energy in muscles, giving you that extra boost to work harder. The icing on the cake with citrulline malate is the recovery benefit. Research shows that citrulline malate not only improves performance during a workout, but can reduce soreness by up to 50%!

Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide (sometimes shown as the acronym NO) is a fantastic supplement with multiple benefits. First, it increases blood flow to the muscles during workout. It delivers more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, enabling you to workout harder and longer in both strength and endurance exercises. The increased flow of nutrients to muscles also boosts recovery. Additionally, it helps the body use existing energy more efficiently and improve lypolysis. Meaning, glucose in your bloodstream and stored fat can be broken down and used even faster as fuel during a workout!

There you have it, four high-quality pre-workout supplements that come highly recommended for women! As you can tell, these all have incredibly synergistic effects. Whether it is whey protein providing amino acids or nitric oxide moving them to muscles while burning off fat for energy, these supplements are sure to help you get the results you want in the gym.

Yohimbine vs Maca for Testosterone

maca or yohimbine for testosterone boost

Low testosterone is a problem experienced by men of all ages. Men may have trouble performing sexually, or feel tired and sluggish during the day. More often than not, it can be traced to genetics or to a person’s nutritional regimen. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find effective and legal ways to boost testosterone due to the overwhelming number of supplements that claim to help.

There has been a lot of talk recently regarding testosterone-enhancing supplements. You may have noticed some of this discussion and even started looking into a few of the commonly touted remedies or supplements. Two of the most interesting and popular are Maca and Yohimbine HCL Powder. When looking at Yohimbine supplements vs Maca supplements – both of them actually offer a number of benefits related to increased testosterone and enhanced sexual function and performance.

What is Maca?

The first question you might be asking is: what is Maca? Sounds like a rather strange name, right? Well, it is a root found most commonly in Peru. It is also commonly referred to as Peruvian ginseng, despite the fact that it is not a member of the ginseng family. It has been used throughout the centuries as a folk remedy for increasing stamina, energy, and sexual function. It has even been reported that ancient Incan warriors took Maca before going into battle since it was thought to make them physically strong. However, they were later prohibited from taking this substance in an effort to protect the conquered women from their excessive libidos.

Today, this supplement can be used in either pill or powdered form. You can sprinkle it on just about any type of food you like. Some users even report that it has a pick-up equal to or better than coffee. On occasion, it has also been reported to be more effective when used inconsistently, like two or three times a week as opposed to every day.

What is Yohimbine HCL?

Yohimbine is the principle alkaloid of the bark of the Yohimbe tree. This tree is found in western Africa, throughout Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo, and Gabon. Yohibine extract is also widely reported and promoted as a natural aphrodisiac used to increase libido and improve erections.

This supplement is also thought to work by increasing the amount of testosterone produced by your body. As such, you may also see a number of other benefits related to increased testosterone production, especially related to fat loss and improved body composition.

Maca and Testosterone:

Maca is thought to play a serious role in improving sexual function. This improvement has been one of its long-reported traditional uses and benefits. The modern studies into these benefits, however, appear to be mixed, with some showing strong benefits and others not showing much at all

Maca has also been shown to increase fertility in men and improve mood in menopause. Studies have shown that supplementation improves semen volume, sperm count, and even sperm motility. Interestingly, serum levels of testosterone did not seem to be affected. It has also been noted that Maca may help to ease worry and sadness in post-menopausal women, as well as improve female sexual function.

Yohimbine HCL Benefits:

The major benefit of those who use Yohimbine HCL is that they normally see an increase in their natural testosterone production. Certainly, this improvement leads to improved overall male sexual function including improved erections. Many people suffering from erectile dysfunction have also found this supplement to be very helpful.

Another interesting benefit of Yohimbine HCL is that it aids in fat loss. It has been thought that this supplement works in your body by somehow blocking specific receptors that inhibit fat loss. This effect may also play a role in not only fat loss but the redistribution of fat and muscle throughout the body, giving you an overall leaner and more muscular appearance. When combined with actual weight resistance training, it can result in faster gains in muscle as well. Other studies have found that Yohimbine HCL increases lipolysis through the increased release of the powerful hormone norepinephrine.

Perhaps because of the excess norepinephrine in your system, Yohimbine HCL may also act as a natural mood booster. In higher doses (over 50mg per day) it may help to block an enzyme called monoamine oxidase that is thought to play a role in sadness.

Yohimbine vs Maca for Testosterone

Which supplement should you take probably depends on your specific goals. If you are simply looking to increase testosterone levels naturally, then probably Yohimbine HCL would work best. On the other hand, increased energy might be best accomplished by using Maca. So, it really depends on exactly what you are after. Both seem to be effective in their own ways.