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A Comprehensive Guide to the Ketogenic Diet

History of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet was originally studied and developed in the early 1900’s for the use in children who suffered from intractable generalized seizures and continues to be the main focus of this diet. Many of these children were not responding to conventional pharmaceutical drugs, and there was evidence to show that a ketogenic diet was able to reduce frequency of seizures in these cases. 

Today, the ketogenic diet still serves as a method of treatment for children with intractable seizures, and along with it, scientific research in the area has been performed at an increasing rate. Overall, the results look promising in many cases.

If you’re reading this for fitness purposes, you may be thinking, “What does this have to do with me?”. If you’re about to change your diet for any purpose, we believe it’s always important to know the origins of the diet prior to jumping right in. This can be regarded as a safer approach, but also, it can help you decide whether or not it’s worth it.

Let’s take a look at what a ketogenic diet actually consists of, and then we’ll dive into any available evidence for/against its use in the fitness domain.

What is a Ketogenic Diet​?

Simply breaking down the word “ketogenic”, we see that it implies the generation, or creation, of ketones. So what are ketones? Ketones, often called ketone bodies in a technical sense, are produced after your body starts breaking down fat for the purpose of generating energy. Therefore, they aren’t really a substance that acts on your body, but rather, the result (a by-product) of this type of process.

​So why is this unique? More often, in healthy individuals, the body uses glucose as the fuel for energy production. This is the basis for the vast majority of diets for athletes and other fitness gurus. For example, you may have heard of athletes eating something like whole-wheat pasta the day of, or the night before, an event. Among other things, the purpose of this is to provide the body with enough fuel in the form of glucose to run off during the event.

  • Side Note: You may have heard about the Glycemic Index (GI) when it comes to meal preparation. For endurance events, athletes typically prepare by eating foods with a low GI level. This will cause a gradual rise and fall in blood glucose levels, allowing them to sustain that fuel for a longer period of time. Athletes requiring shorter bursts of energy may opt for higher GI foods, depending on what the actual event is. GI could be considered a “subsection” to a diet incorporating carbohydrates, and thus glucose.

So what happens if your body is low on glucose? Do you just completely shut down and become incapable of movement? The answer is no (at least not yet). The body has many different energy cycles it can use to create energy, and the cycles it chooses are often based in what type of activity is being performed, but just as importantly, how much fuel is available for each cycle. If your body becomes low on glucose, it can transition to breaking down fats for the production of energy, and thus, ketones are produced.

Therefore, a ketogenic diet represents the preference to use fats for the production of energy, which is why it is often considered a form of low-carb/high-fat diet. Fat is actually packed with energy (calories are a unit of energy), and thus, it has been proposed that this could theoretically be a way to lose weight or boost your fitness by unlocking a key energy source that burns off fat mass in the process. If you are considering a ketogenic diet, theory isn’t enough to go off, so let’s see what any available scientific evidence has to say about this.

The Ketogenic Diet and Fitness

The first thing we want to make clear is that research into the fitness effects of a ketogenic diet pales in comparison to that of medical purposes where it was first identified. This doesn’t necessarily mean that scientists don’t think it’s worth studying, but more likely that this is a new enough topic that there just hasn’t been enough time for lots of comprehensive long-term studies to take place. So does that mean it’s cutting edge, or bogus? Let’s find out.

** ​For the sake of practicality, as well as accounting for advancements in the research, we will only consider scientific studies from the last 15 years.


Scientific Evidence Supporting the Ketogenic Diet

Study 1: Losing Weight by Decreasing Fat Mass

A study performed by Jabekk et al. (2006) included a group of 16 women between the ages of 20-40 who were classified as being overweight, that is, with a BMI greater than 25 kg/m^2. They were assigned to one of two groups. The first was a group that participated in a 10-week resistance-training program performed twice a week (e.g. leg press, shoulder press, etc) with their normal diet, while the other group maintained a ketogenic diet.

So what was the ketogenic diet in this case? The 8 participants in the ketogenic group were encouraged to limit their intake of carbohydrates as much as possible. They were confirmed to have maintained their state of ketosis through urine samples that confirmed positive tests for urinary ketone bodies (remember, ketones are a by-product of fat-breakdown). Otherwise, there were no limits on protein, fats, or fatty acids. For example, these subjects in the ketogenic group were still allowed to eat meats, fish, cheese, margarines, butters, and oils.

The results? As one might expect through a resistance training program, the normal diet group saw in increase in lean body mass, but no decrease in fat mass. On the other hand, the ketogenic group saw a statistically significant reduction in fat mass, but no statistical change in lean mass.

The conclusion – a low-carb ketogenic diet may be beneficial in reducing fat mass in overweight women who participate in a resistance-training program. The reason we say “may” is because it’s important to acknowledge that this study wasn’t attempting to probe into the underpinning mechanisms of these differences, and there was certainly some variability between individuals. For some, the ketogenic diet had more positive affects than others. While they stuck to a general type of diet, habitual dietary intake could not be accounted for, as well as any other day-to-day or pre-existing factors that could slide under the radar and influence the results.​

Nevertheless, the statistical significance of thee results shows some promise, particularly since blood lipid profiles of the ketogenic group did not seem to be negatively influenced during the study.

Study 2: Weight Loss and Performance in Weight Category Athletes

This second study (Rhyu and Cho, 2014) was performed in South Korea on Taekwondo athletes. The participants were high school students who regularly practiced Taekwondo, and the study was performed at one of their Taekwondo summer camps. There were 20 participants in total, with 10 being randomly assigned to the ketogenic diet group, and 10 being assigned to the control group.

What is interesting about this study, and different from the first study we mentioned, is that the investigators had more control over caloric intake. Participants were instructed to record their caloric intake over a 3-day period and the average amount of calories consumed per day was recorded. Then, at the start of the study, the participants were all assigned meal plans that reduced their caloric intake to 75% of their normal intake for the purposes of weight loss.

The menu for the ketogenic diet group consisted of foods like beef, pork, fish, beans, eggs, and cheese, but excluded items like bread, rice, noodles, coffee, and tea. They were limited to 22g of carbs per day, and they stuck to a ratio of 55% lipids (fat), 40.7% protein, and 4.3% carbs. In contrast, the proportions for the control group were 30% lipids, 30% protein, and 40% carbs. This diet stage lasted for 3 weeks, and both groups participated in their usual training program, with an emphasis on strength improvement.

The results? After the 3-week protocol, the groups both lost weight, but did not differ significantly from each other in terms of weight loss, loss of fat vs. fat free mass, BMI, or sprint/maximum exertion exercise performance. Often times, there was actually a slight decrease in performance for both groups, most likely due to the relatively sudden weight loss and caloric restriction.

However, there were a couple notable differences that were statistically significant. First, the ketogenic diet group was able to finish a 2000m sprint in less time than the control group, and they experienced less aerobic fatigue as measured by the Wingate test. Here is what the authors had to say about this result:

“This result indicates that although the ketogenic diet may cause reduction of fat-free mass, when exercise is prolonged, it can be effective for improving aerobic capacity and fatigue-resistance capacity by compensating for decreased carbohydrates and causing lipids to be used as an efficient energy source.” - Rhyu and Cho, 2014

Additionally, from blood profiles, the researches also noticed an anti-inflammatory effect in the ketogenic diet group that was also noticed in previous studies as well.

“In conclusion, the ketogenic diet can be helpful for weight category athletes, such as Taekwondo athletes, by improving aerobic capacity and fatigue-resistance capacity, and also by exerting a positive effect on the inflammatory response.” - Rhyu and Cho, 2014

Study 3: Metabolism and Performance in Off-Road Cycling

This third study, conducted in 2013 by Zajac et al., set out to determine the effects of a long-term ketogenic diet on aerobic performance and exercise metabolism in off-road cyclists. The participants included 8 male cyclists with at least 5 years of sport-specific training and a VO2max of at least 55 ml/kg/min. Given the low sample size to begin with, this study employed a crossover design, meaning that participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups (ketogenic diet or non-ketogenic diet), and then they switched after 1 month.

In this case, the ketogenic diet consisted of 70% fat, 15% protein, and 15% carbohydrates. The non-ketogenic diet consisted of 30% fats, 20% protein, and 50% carbohydrates. Both diets were isocaloric, meaning calorie intake was controlled and maintained. Lots of biochemical testing on blood samples were performed to gain insight into metabolic changes and maintenance of a state of ketosis. Comprehensive fitness testing was performed prior to the diets being assigned, which provided baseline measurements of performance, and then the training programs maintained a high volume and moderate intensity.

The results? The metabolic effects of the ketogenic diet group were often pronounced, indicating that this diet could promote fat oxidation at moderate intensity and at rest. It could also slow down the rate of carbohydrate utilization and enhance endurance performance in long distance events lasting 2-5 hours. The ketogenic diet group saw statistically significant effects on body composition, as reflected in a lower body fat percentage, and there were also indications of reduced post-exercise muscle damage.

In terms of performance, the ketogenic diet group displayed statistically significantly higher VO2max and VO2 at lactate threshold than the control group. It must be noted that the authors acknowledge that many of the positive effects in performance cannot be guaranteed to be a result of purely the ketogenic diet, but perhaps other factors that go along with it, such as changes in body composition. Furthermore, they did see a decrease in high-intensity performance with the ketogenic diet, likely due to a lack of available fuel for those sorts of tasks (e.g. glucose).

In conclusion, the authors summarize all of their combined results in the following way:

“…long-term, high-fat diets may be favorable for aerobic endurance athletes, during the preparatory season, when a high volume and low to moderate intensity of training loads predominate in the training process. High volume training on a ketogenic diet increases fat metabolism during exercise, reduces body mass and fat content, and decreases post-exercise muscle damage. Low carbohydrate ketogenic diets decrease the ability to perform high-intensity work, due to decreased glycogen muscle stores and the lower activity of glycolytic enzymes, which is evidence by lower lactic acid concentration and maximal workload during the last 15 minutes of the high intensity stage of the exercise protocol.” - Zajac et al., 2013


Scientific Evidence - Mixed Reviews

Study 1: The Atkins Diet and Obesity

So it seems that a ketogenic diet can have some benefits for particular athletes, and we have also seen some effects in young people who are technically considered to be overweight. What about those who are classified as obese? Can this diet be used to promote health outcomes in obese and largely non-active individuals? One study set out to try and determine if this could be plausible.

The study we would like to highlight that shows some positive outcomes was performed by Foster et al. (2003) and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This journal has the highest known impact factor, essentially meaning it has to be a really well designed study that provides significantly useful information. To be clear, this study provided a focus on the Atkins Diet, which is considered a low-carb high-fat diet, but not necessarily in the true ketogenic sense, as we will describe shortly.

This study was one year long and included 63 obese men and women (BMI > 30). Potential participants were excluded if they had type 2 diabetes or were taking any medications that could interfere with the results. 33 were randomly assigned to the low-carb/high-fat group. This diet consisted of limited carb intake to 20g per day during the first two weeks, and then gradually increasing until a desired weight was achieved. The rest of their diet was in the form of protein and fat, as advised in the Atkins plan (more detailed information presented in the journal publication itself). The conventional/control diet group consumed 60% of their calories from carbs, 25% from fat, and 15% from protein.

Outcomes included body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin levels, and urinary ketones. It appears no exercise plan was put in place, but the subject met regularly with a registered dietician to ensure adherence to the program and avoidance of any negative health issues with relation to the study. Different measurements were performed at different frequencies throughout the study, but in general, all measurements were performed on a regular basis and rather frequently throughout the study.

So what did the results show? The low-carb/high-fat group lost significantly more weight than the conventional group at the 3- and 6-month marks of the study, but after a full year, the difference was not statistically significant. While there were no differences in blood pressure or LDL levels (“bad cholesterol”), there were continuous increases in HDL levels (good cholesterol) for the low-carb/high-fat group and decreases in triglycerides (a good result).

Now, the important thing to consider in this study, especially in relation to a ketogenic diet, is that the percentage of low-carb/high-fat participants that tested positive for urinary ketones were significantly higher only at the 3 month mark, which is most likely associated with the time point of the lowest carb intake. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant associations between weight loss and ketosis at any point during the study.

So what does this all mean? Remember, this study is taking the perspective of obese individuals who may be trying to lose weight and improve their cardiovascular health. While there some outcomes that would have positive outcomes for cardiovascular health, the investigators warned that others did not change, and that this diet could potentially discourage one from consuming healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, which could negate any positive effects.

Furthermore, the lack of subjects reaching a state of ketosis, combined with the absence of a training program, suggests that this diet, and maybe ketogenic diets as well, may or may not be overly beneficial for improving cardiovascular health in obese individuals. Overall, it’s inconclusive.


Scientific Evidence Not Supporting the Ketogenic Diet

Study 1: Strength Performance in Elite Artistic Gymnasts

This research study, conducted by Paoli et al. (2012), aimed to investigate the effects of a ketogenic diet on explosive strength performance. 8 high-level male artistic gymnasts who averaged 21 years old were recruited for the study, some of which were on the Italian national team. In this case, since there weren’t many participants, they all took part in the ketogenic diet along with a 30-day training period monitored by the investigators. Then, after a 3-month break from the diet, they were tested again with the same training program and their conventional diet.

The ketogenic diet was quite comprehensive with strict guidelines, but otherwise, the athletes could consume the foods as they wished. Athletes mainly consumed beef, veal, poultry, fish, eggs, seasoned cheese, infused tea, moka coffee, and herbal extracts. They avoided food and drinks that included alcohol, bread, pasta, rice, milk, yogurt, soluble tea, and barley coffee. They were also provided with other high quality protein supplements with virtually zero carbohydrates. Very detailed information about the herbal extracts and supplements can be found in the journal publication itself.

The results showed that the diet was successful in reducing body weight via reducing fat mass, thus decreasing the percentage of body fat, which is farily impressive considering these athletes already had a low body fat percentage to begin with. However, while the difference was not statistically significant, the athletes experienced a slight drop in lean body mass as well. There were no differences in any of the performance outcomes.

The authors of this study concluded that while a ketogenic diet is likely beneficial for reducing body fat percentage, there were no beneficial effects on explosive strength performance. Furthermore, some athletes reported not being able to complete some of the training tests on the ketogenic diet, but this only occurred during the first week when the athletes were becoming accustomed to their drastically different diet. The sample size was also quite low.

Lastly, one major thing that struck us while reviewing this study is that there did not appear to be any blood or urine measurements for detection of circulating ketone bodies, so it can’t be confirmed that these athletes were actually in a state of ketosis during the strength testing. Given the comprehensive protocol for the ketogenic diet, one could assume they were, but science leaves little room for assumptions.

Study 2: Ketogenic vs. Non-Ketogenic Diet in Sedentary Individuals

This is another well-controlled study. Published in 2006 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Johnston et al., this study focused on overweight men and women who were defined as being sedentary (non-active, between 20-60 years old). This study was similar to the Atkins study that was inconclusive. In this case, the control group was still consuming a diet low in carbs, but not to the extent of the ketogenic group. Perhaps this will help shed some light on the effect of a ketogenic diet for sedentary individuals looking to lose weight.

It’s a little confusing how this group decided to design the diets, but for most of the study, the ketogenic diet group was limited to under 5% of their diet being carbohydrates, 60% being fat (21% was saturated fat), and the remainder being protein. Gradually, their carbohydrate limit was increased over the course of the study.

Unlike the previous Atkins study, this one showed a significant increase in ketone bodies in the ketogenic diet group for a slightly longer proportion of the study. Only the very last time point (Week 6) were no statistical differences between groups detected. Lots of body composition and biochemical measurements were taken regularly throughout the study, with a focus on indicators of cardiovascular health.

So what did the results show? Well, not much to be honest. If anything, there were some adverse health effects associated with the Atkins-style ketogenic diet. There were no differences between groups for body weight or insulin resistance. Furthermore, blood LDL levels (bad cholesterol) were elevated and were calculated to be associated with higher ketone bodies, and there was also an additional inflammatory risk. In summary, the authors concluded the following:

“The ketogenic low-carbohydrate (KLC) and the non-ketogenic low-carbohydrate (NLC) diets were equally effective in reducing body weight and insulin resistance, but the KLC diet was associated with several adverse metabolic and emotional effects. The use of ketogenic diets for weight loss is not warranted.” - Johnston et al., 2006


Our Conclusion!

There are many other studies out there that investigate the ketogenic diet to some extent, but we feel this is a good and recent representation of the overall results. In fact, enough evidence has emerged to warrant the recent publication of a review study in 2015. A review study involves an expert in that area of research finding all available literature on the particular topic and addressing the state of affairs. In this case, the review written by Antonio et al. seems to line up with the evidence we presented here. This review was appropriately titled: The Ketogenic Diet and Sport – A Possibe Marriage?

First, let’s consider the overall themes of the results we summarized in this article, and then we will combine this with the perspective of Antonio et al. Generally speaking, all the studies that showed benefits of following a ketogenic diet also included exercise. Furthermore, the performance benefits associated with a ketogenic diet were most pronounced in those participating in long duration endurance events where maximum exertion (i.e. explosive strength, anaerobic power, etc) was not required.

In the case of those sports that relied heavily on maximum/explosive performance, the ketogenic diet did not show any benefits, which makes sense considering our explanation of the diet at the very beginning of this article. Reductions in muscle glycogen stores should not be advantageous for quick-burst activities, but switching over to a fat oxidation cycle during, such as those during endurance events, should theoretically hold more potential. The evidence does seem to support this.

Lastly, it seems apparent that the ketogenic diet is NOT appropriate for sedentary individuals looking to drop weight through a diet program. It does seem to help with shedding some pounds in certain cases, but the whole purpose of losing weight is it keep it off and improve your health, and a ketogenic diet does not seem to facilitate this, and sometimes, may even be detrimental.

So what does the review study have to say? They do offer a large list of practical considerations and future directions, so here are a couple that stood out to us. If you are at all interested, we highly suggest taking a look at the study for yourself to see everything they had to say, as it is very comprehensive.

  • A ketogenic diet should include less than 5% carbohydrates, and no more than 20g per day.
  • For athletes who need to maintain lean mass (i.e. muscle mass), the daily intake of protein should be at least 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram body weight, up to a maximum of 2.5g. Otherwise, you may risk losing muscle mass, and may even perform lower on tests like the VO2max.
  • Athletes should ensure they are receiving adequate vitamin and mineral intake while on a ketogenic diet, which may be compromised if not carefully planned.
  • There is no way to confirm that you are in a state of ketosis without a urine or blood sample being performed. Blood is a more reliable indicator of ketosis than urine.
  • If you are a young athlete, be careful. You may not realize it at first, but often times other people can pressure you into taking extreme measures to improve your performance, whether it be parents, coaches, recruiters, or friends. Your health always comes first, so an extra-cautious approach should be taken for young people.​

Final Note

We really like this review article that we just summarized (perhaps over-summarized – it’s a big article). It is very recent and considers multiple perspectives, and appears to be largely unbiased. They offer some other very specific guidelines for athletes in general, but from the studies we have seen, plus this review study, we would like to offer our own three-point take home message:

  1. The ketogenic diet holds the most potential for highly competitive endurance athletes who have time to stick to the diet (you may notice drops in performance the first week while your body adjusts). If you don’t fall into this category, it’s probably not worth it.
  2. If you plan on following the ketogenic diet, we highly encourage you to consult with a registered dietician. It can be a difficult diet to adhere to, and maintaining a state of ketosis can be difficult in general, especially if you want to be consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals at the same time. A registered dietician will make the process way easier for you, which can make it well worth the cost.
  3. If you’re an overweight or obese individual looking to improve your health by losing weight, be highly skeptical of the Atkins Diet. While it seems like a lot of work, you will have the best chance of success if you take a multifaceted approach and consult with a few different professionals: i) a personal trainer can help you design an effective, practical, and fun training program, ii) a registered dietician can help you find a diet that is healthy and helps you lose weight, but is still tasty and easy to manage, and iii) a doctor should be consulted from time to time to make sure you aren’t experiencing any adverse health events, and it can also be a good way to track your progress (e.g. blood pressure measurements).​

We hope you found this guide to the ketogenic diet to be useful. We wish you the best of luck with all of your health, fitness, and performance goals!

Best Weight Loss Stack

Your definitive guide to building the most effective weight loss combo

Fat burners…

To most, they’re a scary and mostly confusing thought, and although 99% of them are probably garbage, there are some of them that actually work. The problem with finding the best weight loss stack, however, isn’t one that’s easy to solve if you don’t have all the information you need to make solid choices regarding your journey and your supplements.

Name

Price

Rating

Shred JYM by Jim Stoppani

$

No reviews yet!

Legion Supplements Phoenix Fat Burner

$

Kor Nutrition USA Thermakor

$

Transparent Labs PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner

$

No reviews yet!

Some of the commercial fat burners out there tend to sport nothing but a bunch of ineffective ingredients, while others push the limits far beyond measure with their downright dangerous compositions.

So how do you sift through all the noise out there?

How do you know which products to turn to if even the Google search for best fat burner delivers nothing but plain-sight spammy results?

The answer is simple really: You educate yourself, and you then go ahead and discover that gold mine which lies hidden in the other 1% of products out there.

This post has been compiled in order to assist you with finding a combination of fat burning products that really work. We’ll show you what ingredients are worth their weight in gold, and we’ll also be showing you what products you can safely ignore.

By the end of reading this post, you should be able to see what the leading products are in the fat burning market this year, and you should be armed with all the information you’ll ever need in order to choose and put together the best fat burning products for your weight loss stack.

Are There Really Fat Burners Out There That Work?

Good question! The answer is YES.

There are quite a few products on the market that will assist your body in burning more fat than it would on a normal day.

Take a few of those products and then combine their efficacy (stacking should only be done when you’re prepared to play it safe), and you’ve got a winning recipe to boost your metabolism!

Is There Such a Thing as a Magic Pill?

Well, you should be able to answer that question honestly if you’re reading up about a weight loss stack. In order for you to effectively lose weight, you’ll need to do 98% of the hard work yourself, relying on supplements to push your body when you cannot put in any more effort.

Let’s do this:

Weight Loss = Healthy Diet + High Protein Intake + Monitoring What You Put In Your Mouth

To Go the Stimulant or Stimulant-Free Route

The answer here should be stimulants. We just said that, yes, because it’s the most effective approach. You want to use products that contain healthy stimulants such as caffeine. Stimulants that have fact-based proof that they work are classified as stimulants.

The reason why you should be using stimulant supplements isn’t hard to understand. They may help your body release stored fat for the purpose of supplying you with much-needed energy. Now that you understand why stimulant-based fat burners are more effective, you’ll need to determine in which form you’ll take your supplements.

Powders or Pills?

Early in 2013, fat burning drinks started trending in North America, and in modern times, it’s hard to decide whether you should opt for supplements in powdered form or those presented in pills.

The Pros of Fat Burning Pills

· Their efficacy is much more durable. Pills take a while longer to take effect on your body, but they tend to have a longer lasting time than powders. If you need something to curb your appetite, pills make much more sense.

· They’re more varied. Finding the exact product that you’re after is much easier with pills because they outnumber powders tenfold.

· They tend to be cheaper. When you go by the serving in any way. Powdered products usually cost a lot more and do go as far as a single-dosage pill does.

· They’re convenient. Pills can be taken anytime, anywhere. You don’t need a shaker and there’s no washing up to be done afterward.


The Pros of Fat Burning Powders

· They’re customizable. If you don’t feel like taking a full serving, you don’t have to, and that goes both ways. Powders can be customized per serving, which is something that cannot be done with pills.

· They kick in faster. Powdered formulas are a lot more potent during the initial period than pills could ever be. They don’t have to dissolve before they start working, which is where the difference comes in with powders.

· They may be tasty. Some powdered fat burning formulas taste great because the mix contains added sugar. This means that the best of the bunch will taste horrible, while those that may do more harm than good will taste a lot better than a pill would.

· They may have added benefits. Ingredients such as added amino acids and omega 3 oils may be added to powdered formulas. These are the kind of ingredients that will not be added to pills for the sake of fillers. Powders may actually deliver more value for money when you look at it this way.

Best Weight Loss Stack

In order to put together a combination of supplements that will help you achieve your weight loss and fat burning goals, you first need to understand what supplements truly work. We’ve rounded up a list of supplements that have been proven through work for weight loss by means of thermogenesis, the idea of increasing the rate at which your body burns fat.

The following products should be considered as key players in a weight loss stack:

Caffeine

Caffeine is commonly available, cheap, and effective in weight loss efforts. It may increase your mental focus, but it also has the ability to up your performance, suppressing your appetite, and assist your body to burn fat at a faster rate.

A daily dose of 100mg of caffeine per day should proof effectively as a threshold level to avoid the snag of your body building up a tolerance for caffeine.

Ephedrine

Ephedrine is a high-potency stimulant, but many folks have a negative view of it. This stimulant increases the rate at which your body releases stored fat which is burned during a workout, but it may also boost a person’s metabolic rate by as much as 5%.

Synphedrine

Synphedrine is a derivative of Bitter Orange, and in most aspects, it’s pretty much the same as Ephedrine, but it’s not nearly as potent as the latter. Synphedrine is there for a good replacement for folks that cannot use ephedrine but still need to boost their metabolic rate.

Green Tea

You’ve probably heard the name a thousand times before, which is why it might be a good idea to sit up and pay attention at this point in time. When taken in conjunction with a moderate caffeine dosage, green tea may help raise your alertness and up your mental focus. Since it contains catechins such as EGCG, green tea may be able to raise your body’s fat metabolism rate.

Yohimbine

The bark of the Yohimbe tree is used as a source for the extraction, Yohimbine, which in turn creates a powerful fat-burner. This stimulant-based fat burning ingredient may be able to raise your body’s adrenaline levels, speeding up your metabolism and increasing the rate at which your body burns stored fat.

How to Avoid Falling for Scams

A lot of commercial weight loss products list the ingredients we just discussed as their core compositions, but that’s about all they list. The reason for this is because the junk they’re feeding you is nothing but hot air, nothing backed by science, and nothing that has been proven to really assist with weight loss or fat burning.

In the spirit of helping you save money and assisting you with recognizing pure crap, here are a few ingredients you can safely pass by when shopping for supplements:

CLA

Conjugated Linolenic Acid is a group of fatty acids that work with the glucose metabolism and steroid hormone production systems within your body. Even though CLA has been on the shelves for ages, there simply isn’t any concrete proof that this ingredient aids in weight loss and fat burning on any level.

Raspberry Ketones

A lot of products marketed specifically for women tend to list Raspberry Ketones as their core ingredient, but in reality, they’ll probably only make your breath smell like berries, and not much more. The studies that were done with this ingredient to indicate whether or not it was effective as a weight loss as fat burning aid were performed in tubes and rats, never on humans.

Green Coffee Extract

A lot of scammers promoted Green Coffee Bean Extract as the “Cure for Obesity”, but its popularity was short-lived. The claims on the efficacy of green coffee extract were based on preliminary research studies, and after the initial wave, no new results indicating any tangible proof were ever concluded.

Garcinia Cambogia

So this is yet another “amazing cure for fat” which never had any bite behind its bark. It might have a minor effect as far as appetite suppression goes, but only when the whole fruit is consumed, not just its extracts.

With that being said, it’s time we showed you what some of the best weight loss products and fat burning supplements on the market looks like…


Review of 2017’s Best Weight Loss & Fat Burning Supplements

Shred JYM by Jim Stoppani

We love Dr. Jim Stoppani and the amazing supplements he introduced to the market. Jym Supplement Science offers a product range that’s backed by science and a list of ingredients that’s justifiable and totally understandable. We’ll admit that one serving equaling 4 capsules might sound like a huge amount of stimulants, but the ingredients are so effective that the dosages are much more understandable once you get to know more about the science behind it. The reason why this supplement comes in as one of our top picks is because it supports fat release, transports the fat, and also boosts the body’s metabolic rate.

shred jym

Pros

  • Targets body fat in 3 ways thanks to the synergistic ingredients
  • Contains Synephrine, Green Tea, and Caffeine
  • Contains research-backed ingredients

Cons

  • 4-capsule dosage might seem a bit much for most folks

Legion Supplements Phoenix Fat Burner

A lot of people know that Legion Supplements is synonymous with great fat loss results, and their Phoenix fat burner is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The blend contains some very potent stimulants which include a blend of Green Tea Extract, Synephrine, and Naringin. When taken as a pre-workout, this fat burner will help you power through your routine, but it also boosts your metabolic rate, ensuring that weight loss is inevitable. Phoenix may increase thermogenesis, up your mental focus and energy levels, and help you lose the extra pounds.

legion supplements phoenix supplements

Pros

  • Promotes energy and mental focus
  • Boosts metabolic rate
  • Contains a transparent blend of stimulant ingredients

Cons

  • Phoenix might be a little too much for folks sensitive to stimulants


Kor Nutrition USA Thermakor

Kor Nutrition USA made waves with their fat burners and weight loss aids during the course of 2015, but their Thermakor is said to be one of their most effective and efficient fat burners ever introduced. The ingredient list of Thermakor is impressive, to say the least, and features some great stimulants such as Forslean, Synephrine, and Hordenine, all of which greatly aids in the battle against the bulge. The boost you’ll get from the clinical doses of caffeine and green tea extract further enhance Thermakor’s potency, ensuring that your metabolic rate is boosted to the max.

kor nutrition thermakor

Pros

  • Contains a powerful blend of stimulants for effortless fat burning and weight loss
  • Comes with a full money back guarantee
  • Contains clinically effective dosages of powerful fat loss ingredients

Cons

  • It’s not cheap

Transparent Labs PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner

If there’s anything we hate more than fat, its proprietary blends with exuberant product claims, but that’s definitely not the case with Transparent Labs. Their PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner is such a powerful blend of supplements, and the fact that the company is one of the only no-BS supplement brands on the market just makes us support their product even more. We love the fact that the PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner has a list of science-based ingredients and contains no artificial crap, only 100% transparent formulas. We’re betting you’ll enjoy the fat burning and weight loss benefits which are thanks to the addition of Forslean, Green Tea Extract, White Willow Bark, and Synephrine.

Transparent Labs PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Contains some powerful and very effective ingredients
  • Contains no fillers or additives
  • Comes available in a stimulant-free version

Cons

  • The stimulant-free version is not as potent or effective as the version with stimulants


Final Thoughts

We reckon that it’s pretty clear to see which one of the 4 top weight loss products in our lineup take the cake. We’re mad about Transparent Lab’s PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner. Not only does it offer you great value for money and provide you with all the fat-torching supplements you’ll need, it also offers real, tangible results. We reckon that using PhysiqueSeries as part of your weight loss stack would be one of the best decisions you could make unless you’re okay with taking forever to reach your goal.

We hope that this post has armed you with the information you’ll need in order to get out there and purchase some great supplements which will form the framework of your weight loss stack. Making up your own combo can be more efficient, it may save you hundreds of dollars, and it allows you to customize your stack according to your personal needs!

When to Take Amino Acids

Your ultimate how-to guide when it comes to taking amino acids

Glutamine, Branched-Chain Amino Acids, Arginine, Lysine, Methionine, Carnitine, Cysteine, HMB…

The list is pretty long, but all of those names have one thing in common: They’re all amino acids.

amino acids

Wondrous as they may be, amino acids are what lie at the base of human well-being. They’re just as crucial as our vitamin and mineral intake, and they can mean the difference between amazing and terrible health, growth and immune systems.

I never knew exactly how important amino acids could be to my health, nor did I have any clue as to when to take amino acids. I’ve come a long way from having a less-than-desirable immune system and being 10kg overweight. In retrospect, I can easily sit back and say (with a smile) that one of my saving graces was the day I learned about the benefits of amino acids.

In this post, I’ll be elaborating about the different kinds of amino acids, and I’ll also be telling you when the best times are to take your AA’s. Before we get into the deeper details, though, there are a few basic things I need to clarify.

What Exactly Are Amino Acids?

In foods, amino acids are what make up the protein. As soon as you consume those proteins, they break down into a range of different amino acids inside of your body. in order to reach a point of health where your body has a perfect protein balance, you have to consider the supplementation of amino acids, just to ensure that you’re getting all the protein your body needs to grow.

How Many Different Amino Acids Are There?

Well, the truth is that this is a relative question, and depending on who you’re talking to, there are about 20 or 22 different types of amino acids out there. Roughly 8 to 10 of those varieties are crucial to human health, so we need sufficient amounts of specific amino acids in order to be as healthy as we possibly can.

Do Human Bodies Produce Amino Acids?

In short…no. Our bodies are unable to synthesize amino acids. We only get these proteins (which are converted into amino acids inside of our bodies) from the foods we consume. We can also ensure we’re getting in enough amino acids by taking the best amino acid supplement.

Most Essential Amino Acids and When to Take Them

If you’re trying to get your body into shape and be as healthy as you can, you’re going to need to understand the essential amino acids, and you’re also going to have to know when the best times are to take them. Here’s a roundup of the most essential amino acids out there. You’ll also learn more about their benefits, and the best times to take them.

1. Histidine

We need histidine in order to allow our bodies to grow and repair tissue. Histidine is also essential for the good health of glial nerve cells, the cells responsible for the protection of nerves. Apart from protecting the nerves from unintentional damage, histidine also plays a key role in the production of white and red blood cells. Histidine is used for the medicinal treatment of arthritis and nerve deafness conditions.

2. Lysine

L-Lysine is utterly important for human growth and development. The body uses it to successfully absorb calcium from food sources, which in turn promotes better bone growth and fat mobilization for energy. Folks looking to improve lean body mass often look to Lysine to help them pull through periods of stress and fatigue, but Lysine also promotes the production of antibodies as well as various hormones and enzymes in order to boost overall health.

3. Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine may help boost your mood because it stimulates the nerve system, but it’s also an amino acid that assists in focus and memory. Furthermore, phenylalanine may also boost your epinephrine levels, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels. In short, this amino acid greatly aids the functions of the nervous system.


4. Methionine

This amino acid is best known for its ability to help break down extra fats in the body, and as such, it may also increase testosterone levels. When taken at the right time, methionine may help rid the bloodstream of excess fat as well as assist the body with detoxification by removing heavy metals from the stomach and liver. A very important aspect of methionine is the fact that it’s one of the 3 major amino acids your body requires to manufacture Creatine monohydrate, which essentially plays a big role in energy production and muscle mass. You can check out this study if you need more information on methionine’s benefits.

5. BCAAs

Valine, Isoleucine, and Leucine are what make up Branched-Chain Amino Acids and they’re a pretty big deal in the world of fitness. BCAAs happen to be some of the three most important amino acids when it comes to repairing, maintenance, and manufacturing of muscles. Medically, BCAAs are used to treat a wide range of conditions including depression, irritability, and fatigue, all of which may be related to a protein deficiency.

Leucine

Leucine forms part of BCAAs, but it’s the strongest of the three, and as such, may help regulate blood sugar, skin tissue growth and repair, and the growth and repair of skeletal bones. Leucine is also responsible for Human Growth Hormone levels, which means that it may assist with the rate at which wounds heal, energy is regulated in the body and preventing the breakdown of muscle tissue.

Isoleucine

Isoleucine is almost similar to leucine, which means that it accelerates muscle recovery, influences blood-sugar levels, and also stimulates HGH levels. The difference between leucine and isoleucine lies in isoleucine’s ability to heal wounds. Because isoleucine is able to assist with the production of hemoglobin, it’s one of your body’s best defenses against infections contracted through flesh wounds.

Valine

As part of the BCAAs group, Valine is best known for its ability to help repair and assist with the growth of muscle tissues. Valine furthermore regulates the nitrogen balance and assists your body with preserving glucose usage.

6. Threonine

Threonine is mainly derived from animal proteins such as dairy and meat, and it plays a major role in the health of the heart, nerve tissue, and skeletal muscle. This amino acid is used to form collagen and elastin, the 2 most important binding substances within your body. Threonine is responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system, liver function, and the lipotropic functions. By far the most important, threonine allows your body to better absorb other nutrients! For more stats and facts about the benefits of threonine, follow this link.


Other Beneficial (But Not Essential) Amino Acids

I’ve already told you about the most essential amino acids, and I’ve show you how they can benefit your health, but there are quite a few other amino acids which may also benefit your body in more than one way. These include:

Glutamine: L-Glutamine can be found in the body in large amounts, and it’s often referred to as ‘brain food’ because it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Glutamine is beneficial for memory recall and focus, but it’s also great for the synthesis of muscle tissue. Furthermore, glutamine is essential for the preservation of muscle mass for folks looking at alternative sources of energy for their bodies.

Arginine: L-Arginine is best known for its nitrogen retention ability, and this is big in the world of muscle protein synthesis. Arginine may also be beneficial as far as a healthy immune system goes, but it has also been indicated as a beneficial amino acid which may promote male sexual health.

Carnitine: Carnitine isn’t an amino acid, by a long shot, but yet it’s promoted as one. Because of carnitine’s structural similarity to amino acids, it’s indicated for use as such. This compound may assist your body with maintaining lean muscle mass and reducing its body-fat percentage.

Cysteine: L-Cysteine is a great antioxidant, and may be used to promote skin health and boost the production of collagen in the body. Cysteine may assist with the metabolizing of B-vitamins and it may also be a potentiating compound of insulin.

HMB: Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methyl Butyrate is a derivative of leucine, and as such, it may promote muscle synthesis, promote lean muscle mass and reduce body fat levels. HMB may furthermore improve the use of free amino acids, but its best known for its ability to prevent muscle loss and fat storage during times when your body has insufficient glucose levels.

How to Ensure You’re Getting Enough Amino Acids

The best way (for most folks in anyway) to get your dose of amino acids is to eat correctly. This includes eating several small meals a day, and ensuring that you have some protein with every meal. But that’s not possible for all of us.

When to Take Amino Acids

If you’re an athlete, you should stick to the recommendations of The American College of Sports Nutrition’s guideline of consuming proteins both before and after workouts. By taking an amino acid supplement before your training session, you’ll be able to boost muscle protein synthesis and help prevent the breakdown of muscle protein.

Best Time for Taking Amino Acids When Weight-Training

Taking amino acids during your workout is the best idea if you’re a weightlifter. You may also want to consider taking amino acid supplements, like Transparent Labs’ BCAA Glutamine supplement, if you’re set on achieving the best results. This will ensure you also get your much-needed dose of vitamins, minerals, and carbs.


Best Time to Take Amino Acids if You Run or Swim

If you’re more of an endurance trainer than an iron junkie, taking your amino acid supplements won’t fall in the same class as the latter. By taking amino acids while training, you’ll up your endurance levels and may benefit from faster recovery times after workouts. It may also promote fat loss and help you gain lean muscle mass. Runners and swimmers should take pure amino acids, in addition to their in b-vitamins and electrolytes, before and after their workouts.

Final Thoughts

As far as the impact that amino acids had on my health and fitness regime, results were beyond describable. I benefited from their ability to push my endurance levels even further, and I dropped 10KG thanks to a balanced eating, exercise, and supplementation routine.

I hope that this post has inspired you to start giving amino acids a second thought. I also hope that you understand their importance, and how taking these supplements at different times may benefit individuals on various fitness stages of their lives.

Remember: As long as you’re going all out in the kitchen as well as the gym, you should be benefiting from supplements in the way they were designed to add value to your health and fitness efforts!

Best Workout Supplements for Women

The ultimate girls-only guide to the world of supplements

Whether you’re aiming to burn extra fat and gain lean muscle weight, or simply dropping a few pounds, the best workout supplements for women may give you that edge you’ve been looking for all along.

Name

Price

Blackwolf Trail

$

Transparent Labs - ProSeries LEAN

$$

HIT Supplements - Igniter Extreme

$$

4 Gauge

$$

While an intensive training regime is the best way to reach your body goals, your nutritional program will account for roughly 80% of the results you’ll see.

Somewhere between the blurred lines of nutrition and your workout routine lays the hidden gem we call supplements.

This post has been put together in order to help women better understand what supplements will help them gain lean muscle mass, accelerate their fat loss process, and improve their overall health status.

Why Women Need Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements might seem like an intriguing deal, but only if you don’t understand the way in which they work or the benefits that they might be able to bring to the table. A good pre-workout supplement can help you shift your ass off the couch on those days you just don’t feel like hitting the gym.

What Exactly a Pre-Workout Supplement Does

Before you start taking a pre-workout supplement, you need to understand the benefits of taking these products. Here are a few different ways in which these supplements may help improve your workout:

More Focus - Since they contain ingredients that up your mental focus, pre-workouts will help you power through your workout more efficiently without the risk of leaving you daydreaming in the weights corner of the gym.

Extra Energy - Pre-workout supplements increase your energy levels so that you’re able to complete more sets with more reps without tiring out too quickly.

Increases Strength - Pre-workouts contain a list of ingredients which may boost your physical power and strength levels so that you can power through your workouts, but we’ll get to these ingredients next.


How to Find the Best Workout Supplements for Women

The world of supplements is ginormous, and it’s not hard to see why every other supplement brand out there tries to be better than its competitor. But beyond the inflated claims that some brands make about their pre-workouts, the devil lies in the details, details that can only be found in the list of ingredients of the product in mind.

If you’re considering purchasing a pre-workout, make sure that it contains some (if not all) of these safe and effective ingredients:

Citrulline Malate: Almost all pre-workout supplements feature this ingredient since it may have the ability to up your endurance and strength levels during a workout. Furthermore, Citrulline Malate may also be able to cut down on recovery times after workouts since it targets and relieves muscle soreness.

Beta Alanine: You’ve probably heard about Beta Alanine before because it’s such a common pre-workout supplement ingredient. This ingredient is mainly used in supplements because it may be able to help ward off or slow down muscle fatigue.

Taurine: Most energy drinks are crammed full or taurine, and it’s also the case with pre-workout supplements that contain Beta Alanine, it’s a mandatory ingredient. Taurine reacts with Beta Alanine in order to avoid the risk of women suffering taurine deficiencies.

Creatine: Most of us are well aware of the energizing potency that Creatine delivers. This ingredient has a range of benefits but also has quite a few drawbacks. Make sure you’re not sensitive to Creatine before you start using a product that contains this ingredient.

Betaine Anhydrous: This ingredient, which is very commonly used in pre-workout supplements, may be able to boost your muscle growth rate. Furthermore, Betaine Anhydrous may delay muscle fatigue, increase HGH levels, and decrease cortisol levels.

Caffeine Anhydrous: Unless you’re going the stimulant-free route, you’re going to have to use a product that contains caffeine. This ingredient may boost energy levels and may also help boost your performance. Furthermore, caffeine is also linked with boosted endurance levels and lower perceived muscle comfort during weight training sessions.

L-Theanine: L-Theanine is a good ingredient to have in a pre-workout supplement since it may be able to improve your mood and attention levels, plus it may also be able to help reduce your stress levels.


Ingredients You DON’T Want in Female Workout Supplements

The list of “things” you don’t want to see on the back of any supplement bottle is an ingredient list containing proprietary blends. These ‘blends’ are cocktails, containing a mix of various supplements, but nobody can be sure about what exactly goes into that ‘special blend’.

This results in women not knowing exactly how much of which supplement they’re consuming, leaving them with nothing but hopes and dreams when it comes to their desired results.

Ingredients Which May Increase the Effectiveness Supplements

Aside from the big players such as caffeine and Creatine which we discussed earlier, there are a few other ingredients that may pay an important role in just how effective your pre-workout supplement is. Here are the other ingredients you may look for in the best female workout supplement:

Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of milk’s two proteins, and it’s mostly taken because it improves digestive functions. Aside from assisting with the breakdown of proteins within the body, Whey also contains peptides, which may be able to boost the blood flow to your muscles, effectively increasing the amount of oxygen that muscles have access to when they need it most.

N.O. Boosters

N.O. Boosters are compounds that may help increase the amount of nitric oxide in your bloodstream. This, in turn, may help boost your energy levels because your muscles are receiving more amino acids and glucose. By taking this supplement, you’ll be able to go longer and harder, plus you’ll also recover faster after a workout.

Fish Oils

Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as EPA and DHA. These compounds may help boost your overall health, but it may also be able to stimulate the body’s fat burning abilities.

Casein Protein

Milk has 2 proteins, one being Whey, and the other being Casein. Casein isn’t like Whey, it takes forever to digest, but that’s good because it supplies your body with a steady stream of amino acids as it digests. This, in turn, may help you build lean muscle mass if that’s your aim.

BCAAs

The BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are the three amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, and valine) which work together to help you build a better physique. By taking BCAAs, you may be able to train longer than before because these compounds can be burned as energy and may also help ward off fatigue.


Best Workout Supplements for Women

Now that you understand what exactly workout supplements may be able to do for you and your body, it’s about time that we showed you what some of the best products out there look like. We’ve rounded up the top market contenders for female workout supplements, and we gave them a good run for their money. Here’s what we made of them…

Blackwolf Trail

Blackwolf Trail is a pre-workout supplement which was designed with women in mind. This high-performance supplement contains 20mg of Whey protein and contains a lot of BCAAs, but it also boasts Creatine as an ingredient, which is perfect for women looking for an energy boosting supplement that’ll help them tone and tighten their bodies. Other ingredients of Blackwolf Trail that sparked our interest include Beta Alanine, L-Valine, and L-Taurine, all of which aid the metabolic rate as well as energy levels.

Blackwolf Trail

Pros

  • Made specifically for women
  • Contains great ingredients such as BCAAs and Creatine
  • Increases metabolism
  • Increases mental focus and energy levels

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • Can only be purchased on Blackwolf Workout’s website

Transparent Labs - ProSeries LEAN

Transparent Labs is a company well known for their amazing supplements and the fact that they’re totally honest about all the ingredients that go into their products. ProSeries LEAN is an amazing product from the brand, and it was made with weight loss and toning in mind. With the great ingredients, LEAN may help women burn more fat, but it also supports thyroid functions. By taking ProSeries LEAN, women can look forward to delayed fatigue, improved strength, boosted aerobic performance and better muscle endurance.

Transparent Labs - ProSeries LEAN

Pros

  • Also available in a stimulant-free version for women who are sensitive to stimulants
  • Contains a 6g Citrulline Malate dosage
  • Contains no unhealthy additives, filler, dyes, or artificial sweeteners
  • Boasts great ingredients such as Taurine, Beta Alanine, BCAAs, Betaine, and Choline

Cons

  • This product can only be purchased on the Transparent Labs website

HIT Supplements - Igniter Extreme

Igniter Extreme, another great female workout supplement, comes in as our 3rd best pick in this roundup. With Creatine as a star ingredient, Igniter Extreme provides women with the power and energy they need to push through their workouts. It also contains BCAAs, which boosts nitric oxide levels in the bloodstream, and along with the Beta Alanine and caffeine content, Igniter Extreme may help ward off fatigue and rev up energy levels. This pre-workout shake has a great taste, but we only wish it didn’t contain a proprietary blend as part of its ingredient list.

HIT Supplements Igniter Extreme

Pros

  • Boasts Creatine for muscle building
  • Made with women in mind
  • Great taste
  • With Beta Alanine, Igniter Extreme may help you train longer and harder

Cons

  • Uses a proprietary blend of ingredients

4 Gauge

4 Gauge comes in as our final pick for this roundup, mostly because it’s a pre-workout supplement that’s unisex, and even though it’s not specifically targeted at women, it’s still a great supplement! This supplement provides you with strength thanks to the Creatine, and as far as energy boosts go, you’ll be able to thank the caffeine content in 4 Gauge. Other great ingredients in this workout supplement include L-Theanine and Rhodiola Rosea, which may increase mental focus and relieve stress. One of the main reasons we love 4 Gauge is because it is comprised of natural ingredients and no proprietary blends. It’s a great product for women looking for a source of extra strength and endurance, but it’s equally as effective in boosting your mood and focus.

4 Gauge

Pros

  • Includes Citrulline Malate as well as 1000mg of Creatine
  • For focus it contains L-Theanine
  • Doesn’t contain too much caffeine so it won’t drive you over the edge
  • Contains all natural ingredients and no proprietary blends

Cons

  • 4 Gauge cannot be purchased in stores, sales can only be made via the 4 Gauge website


Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this post and that you understand just how important it can be for women to find the best workout supplement on the market. We’ve shown you what you need to look for in workout supplements, and we’ve also told you what to avoid. We’ve provided you with reviews on 4 of the best pre-workout supplements for women currently available on the market, and we’ve also told you why we love them so much.

If we had to single out one of our top picks as a winner it would have to be the Blackwolf Trail. This supplement is amazing for women looking to build and gain lean muscle mass. If you’re just looking to slim down and tone, on the other hand, we’d recommend using something like ProSeries LEAN.

Remember that even though you might have invested in the best female workout supplement out there, the work is still up to you. These supplements won’t come to play and benefit your body if you’re not in the right frame of mind. It’s time to get off your buttocks and hit the gym, heck you can even head outdoors and start building your own home workout, as long as you’re moving! Armed with the information we’ve provided you with in this post, and of course, the great supplements we recommended, you’ll be well on your way towards building the body of your dreams!

Bone Broth Protein Powder Review

At its very simplest, bone broth is the liquid that results from simmering animal bones in water. This can be consumed by itself, but is more often used to make soups or sauces. It’s known to be an extremely nutritious mixture of vitamins and minerals that has formed the base of homemade soups for ages, and is often thought of being a cold and flu remedy.

If you have read anything about bone broth online, there’s a good chance you heard about how it’s been around forever. While this sort of claim is often used as a marketing strategy to appeal to those favoring natural items rooted in human history, it’s important to examine this claim with a critical eye. Has bone broth been used all the way back to ancient times as a source of nutrition? Yes. Bones were recognized early has holding many minerals, vitamins, protein, and healthy fats, and as such, they were often crushed and simmered/boiled in a variety of ways.

Ok, so making bone broth has been a practiced recipe for a while with many different people citing its health benefits. Does this mean it’s a miracle food? Well, we would go as far as to confirm its status as a superfood simply due to the concentration of vitamins, minerals, protein, and other good stuff, but it’s not always the most practical food source. While it can be really easy to make (sometimes all you need are leftovers!), not everyone wants to be constantly sipping on bone broth, particularly if you have a busy schedule or simply don’t like that much soup!

You may notice that we only review a small number of products. In our opinion, the main benefits of bone broth protein powder (see more detailed info below reviews) are its gut-friendly action, nutritional source, and lack of fillers and preservatives, all combined to provide a protein source just as (or more) effective than conventional whey protein isolate. Therefore, in this article, we are focusing on products that include these listed benefits in a reliable and effective manner.

Flavors: Natural (plain), chocolate, vanilla.

Characteristics: Gut-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, non-GMO, no fillers.​

Protein Source: Concentrated beef bone broth – 19g per serving.​

Price Range: $$​

What We Like: We like the bone broth protein powder forom Left Coast Performance mainly due to the fact that what you see is what you get. They offer only the good stuff, with the only ingredient being concentrated beef bone broth protein (for the natural flavor). For their vanilla and chocolate flavors, they only use natural flavors derived from a tiny bit of cane sugar, stevia extract, and monk fruit extract. If you’re trying to keep carbs as low as possible, don’t worry about the cane sugar, the total amount of carbs in the flavored powders is still less than 3.5g (less than 1g of sugar).

This protein powder is also fairly low in fat, but the fat derived from bone broth is typically quite good for you anyway. There are small amounts of naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals in the form of sodium, potassium, and calcium. Additionally, bone broth protein naturally contains chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, type 1 and 2 collagen, and glucosamine.

Chondroitin and glucosamine are found in bovine joint tissue, and there is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that consumption of these naturally occurring compounds is beneficial in treating osteoarthritis. While the scientific community is still working to confirm this, at the very least, these ingredients are known to be safe and free of negative side-effects.

Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that many people haven’t heard of before, but don’t worry, it’s still naturally occurring in bovine bone tissue, which is why it’s specified on the container. Fortunately, hyaluronic acid is known to be great for the skin, acting as both a hydrating and firming agent, making your skin feel better and look younger. It’s also thought that there may be benefits for joint health, but the benefits for skin health is the key factor to focus on here. You can get hyaluronic acid in capsules now as well, but this bone broth protein powder will contain some as well.

Collagen and amino acids are also listed as components of concentrated bone broth. Collagen is the most common form of protein in the body, as it is a fundamental component in all connective tissue. As we mentioned above, this bodes well for nutritional benefits, but it’s not to say that consuming a particular amount of collagen will lead to the production of the same amount of connective tissue (e.g. muscle mass) in your body. Nevertheless, it does serve some great functions, and is known to promote skin and hair health, joint health, repair of muscle tissue, and has also shown benefits for gut health by lining the stomach and eliminating toxins.

Overall, Left Coast Performance has formulated an excellent bone broth protein powder suitable for competitive and recreational athletes alike, or those in the general population who simply want a practical way to supplement protein into their diet. With about 19g of protein per serving, lots of additional and naturally occurring nutrients, and no fillers or preservatives, you’re only getting the good stuff! The main thing we really like about this protein powder is that, for us, it didn’t cause any bloating and was very gut-friendly. That being said, like anything else that is really high in protein, just take your time drinking it!

Critical Comments: We would like to see this bone broth protein powder available in more sizes. The current size is 12oz (340g), which is convenient for us, but if you go through a lot of it, you may have to start ordering a couple at once.​

Flavors: Natural (plain), chocolate, and vanilla.

Characteristics: Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, no fillers.

Protein Source: ​Concentrated chicken bone broth – 20g per serving.

Price Range: $$$

What We Like: Epigenetic Labs makes another nice bone broth protein powder that appears to be well liked among customers. Rather than beef bone broth, this formulation uses chicken bone broth, but it still results in almost the same nutritional value. Some people think that bovine bone tissue may provide higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin than poultry, but we can’t prove this, and nevertheless, both protein powders have these listed as components of their bone broth.

While we would consider this protein powder to be gut-friendly, as it is derived from pure bone broth, there is also xanthan gum and guar gum added to the flavored varieties, which are common thickening agents used in many recipes. This differs from the Left Coast Performance blend, as that company states that it could potentially irritate the stomach.

Overall, mostly everything we said for the Left Coast Performance bone broth protein powder holds true with Epigenetics Labs as well, with a couple subtle differences. With pure concentrated bone broth protein powder, you are receiving a blend packed full of nutrients and effective protein, which is excellent for workout recovery.

Critical Comments: Xanthan gum and guar gum added to the flavored powders.

Bone Broth Protein Powder Info

Athletes are instrumental in the advancement of our knowledge and implementation of nutritious food sources. Often having to consume many calories (so lots of food), while maximizing the nutritious benefits of their food, athletes are often among the first to explore better ways to consume a healthy food item.

Bone broth is no different. Given the many nutrition benefits of bone broth itself, the sports and fitness community wondered, “How can our athletes benefit from this even more?” While it may sound simple in hindsight, the evolution of bone broth protein powder has become the next big thing for many athletes who already consume a form of protein powder.

Benefits of Bone Broth Protein Powder​

To be clear, we’re not saying bone broth protein powder is a miracle supplement that offers all of these new health and fitness benefits that we never heard of. After all, bone broth has been consumed almost forever, and protein powder is also very common these days. So why do we say it’s the next big thing?

Simply put, bone broth protein powder offers all the benefits of a clean and pure whey protein powder, but with even more benefits as well. It’s an excellent option for those who sometimes feel bloated after having protein powder, or those who have digestive problems in general.

We have seen many claims out there about the high collagen content of bone broth and how this is important because collagen is fundamental in forming connective tissue. This type of claim is a little out of context. Just because it is high in collagen doesn’t mean our bodies will produce that much more muscle tissue. Rather, there is some evidence that the collagen helps line the stomach and acts almost as a filter, keeping good things in and toxins out.

Additionally, given bone broth comes from bones, it’s easy to assume that it will be high in minerals found in bones. This is a correct assumption, and fortunately, these are minerals that our body will gladly take in and use towards maintaining healthy bones and joints. Calcium and magnesium are particularly important in this case.

Lastly, some companies that make bone broth protein powder offer what is arguably the most pure form of protein you can get. Bone broth protein has zero carbs, can be gluten-free, paleo-friendly, dairy-free, and free of any preservatives and fillers, the latter of which can be harmful for gut health.

Conclusion

At this point, these are the two main bone broth protein powder blends that we think really hit the mark. Both offer a highly pure blend of bone broth, which contains lots of healthy protein, minerals, and acids, which provide many health benefits extending beyond workout recovery. We would consider Left Coast Performance the most pure, while Epigenetic Labs offers slightly larger containers.

Best Fat Burner

If you’ve ever tried to thin down, shed some frustrating extra weight, or lean out your muscles then you know how maddening and difficult it can be. Some people are skeptical of fat burning supplements--and that’s a good thing! You should hesitate before you throw any pill or supplement into your body. But the truth is that fat burners really do work. They aren’t magic pills that strip away fat with zero effort on your part. But they can seriously aid your progress.

The Truth About Fat Burners

You’ve probably heard of fat burning pills that melt fifteen pounds off while you sleep. Well, that’s not exactly how they work. It’s important to remember that fat burners are a supplement. They are designed to aid your weight loss journey, not support it entirely.

They Aren’t Miracle Pills

It’s just a fact of life that your weight loss journey is 80% diet. You won’t be able to circumvent that reality just by taking fat burning pills. You won’t miraculously lose weight just by taking the right supplement if you’re constantly eating pizza, cake, and potato chips.

It’s important to have realistic weight loss goals. Again--fat burners aren’t miracle pills. They will support your progress, but you can’t expect to lose massive amounts of weight in a week. The rate of weight loss can increased by supplements, but it’s still important to maintain a healthy pace of weight loss. Doctor’s have agreed that losing 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy rate of weight loss. You’re more likely to keep off the weight if you’re progressing at a healthy rate. One pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories, so you’ll have to reduce your caloric intake by 500-1,000 calories a day in order to lose the suggested 1-2 pounds in a week.

Be Careful With Caffeine Intake

If you’re a coffee drinker then you should be careful about taking stimulant fat burners. Most fat burning supplements will have caffeine in them. The stimulant increases energy (obviously) and increases your metabolism for more efficient fat burning. But if you’re already drinking several cups of coffee a day you might burn out.

Our bodies build up resistance to caffeine so while you might initially enjoy the energy boost, pretty soon the effects won’t be as strong and it will be tempting to take a higher dose. Never double doses or take a fat burning supplement more frequently than suggested. If you’re pumping caffeine from many different sources all day long you can expect to experience a serious crash at some point during the day.

What Do They Actually Do?

Once you have realistic expectations about what fat burners don’t do, it’s time to understand all of the important benefits.

Fat burning pills are designed to:

  • Increase your metabolism
  • Increase energy
  • Reduce your appetite

All of these features work with you to reduce your caloric intake and optimize your weight loss abilities. These benefits on their own won’t melt away the pounds but they can measurably increase your potential weight loss.

Typical Ingredients

Here are a few of ingredients that are typically found in fat burner pills.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA

This is a polyunsaturated fat that’s often found in grass fed meat sources. Studies have shown that it has fat loss properties.

Green Tea

Green tea has long been hailed as one of the best health aids around. It has fat burning properties and it also is quality source of cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Black Pepper

As surprising as it sounds, black pepper has been shown to slow down the production of new fat cells.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a mild appetite suppressant, but more importantly it stimulates the production of epinephrine and norepinephrine which break down fatty acids and turn them into fuel sources for the body.

Thermodiamine

This is a chinese fruit blend that may increase the body's internal temperature to burn more calories.

Many of the ingredients in fat burning supplements are meant to break down fatty cells. But those fat cells don’t disappear on their own. They are often released into the bloodstream and in order to get them out of the body you need to expend high amounts of energy--aka you need to work out!

The main goal of fat burners is to help you create a caloric deficit. By increasing the thermogenesis of the body or suppressing your appetite, the end goal is always fewer calories eaten than you expend.

Best Fat Burner

1. NatureWise CLA 1250

This is an all-natural doctor-designed formula of high-potency CLA. This is a non-stimulant so it’s perfect for people who are already coffee drinkers. Every soft-gel capsule has 1,000mg of active CLA derived from 100% non-GMO safflower oil. NatureWise CLA 1250 helps to breakdown fat stores in the body, prevents the production of new fat cells and increases the activity of fat burning enzymes. This fat burning supplement has been reviewed by the FDA.

NatureWise cla 1250

Pros

  • Significant reduction of appetite and cravings
  • NatureWise has great customer service and a stellar reputation
  • Decreased waist size quicker than others

Cons

  • Some bloating
  • Can cause nausea
  • Can result in headaches

2. Vintage Burn

Vintage burn is a non-GMO, third-party tested, vegan fat burning supplement that directly targets fat cells while preserving muscle cells. It is a thermogenic weight loss pill, meaning it’s goal is to raise the internal temperature of the body in order to burn more calories. It’s the #1 selling fat burning supplement of its kind. It also claims to increase focus for more intense and effective workouts. It does contain caffeine. The main ingredient in these Old School fat burners is green tea, a known and trusted fat burner that will increase your health while decreasing your waist size. These pills are perfect for those who are still interested in bulking up their muscles while burning fat.

Vintage Burn Fat Burner

Pros

  • Works for both men and women
  • Good appetite suppressant
  • Clear labeling with high quality ingredients

Cons

  • Can cause jitteriness
  • Can have negative effects on your digestion
  • Makes some people feel ill

3. NutraTech Atrafen

This is a specific formula designed for target appetite suppression. It claims to boost your metabolism and increase thermogenesis so you can burn more calories. Atrafen has a PM version available as well so you can take both supplements for 24 hours of coverage. Atrafen also has properties in it that can help regulate blood sugar levels which helps improve insulin sensitivity. By targeting appetite suppression, it’s important to make sure you’re still able to get enough nutrition to support your workout goals. You might not feel hungry, but your body does still need fuel to function well!

Nutratech Atrafen Fat Burner

Pros

  • Good replacement for high calorie caffeinated drinks
  • Reliable appetite suppressant
  • Atrafen PM doesn’t interfere with a good night's sleep

Cons

  • Might find yourself a little jittery at first
  • Unappetizing smell
  • Can cause bloating

4. Sheer Strength Fat Burner for Women

This fat burner was designed specifically with the biological and hormonal needs of women. With all-natural ingredients it claims to suppress your appetite and significantly raise the internal temperature of your body to burn calories. It contains no fillers, GMOs, preservatives, dairy, gluten, soy, egg, peanut or binders. There are no secret ingredients but 6 scientifically proven ingredients to aid weight loss. If you’re a woman looking to lose weight, you might want to consider using a formula that is specifically designed to meet the needs of a biological woman.

Sheer Strength Fat Burner

Pros

  • Increased energy
  • No jitters
  • Good appetite suppressant

Cons

  • Can cause sweating
  • Might affect sleep patterns if taken too late in the day
  • Can cause nausea

5. Caralluma Fimbriata

Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent plant that has been used for centuries in South India to increase energy, endurance, and suppress appetite. It doesn’t contain any fillers, binders or GMOs. This is designed to increase metabolism so you can lose weight in a slow and healthy way. There are no chemically created components of this pill. It’s extracted from the actual cactus. This is an ancient practice with good quality results. It claims to boost your mood, motivation and flexibility. Caralluma fimbriata claims to reduce inflammation and improve movement of your joints so you can work out harder and longer.

Caralluma Fimbriata Fat Burner

Pros

  • Helps with joint and muscle pain
  • Helps you feel full for longer
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Some people experience hives
  • Might feel so full that you feel heavy
  • Mild gastrointestinal distress

Which Fat Burner is Best?

The best supplement for the most people is NatureWise CLA 1250. CLA is scientifically proven to break down fatty cells quickly and safely. When paired with exercise, you can burn up the broken down fat cells and see good results quickly. This is a safe and natural way for both men and women to aid their weight loss journey. NatureWise is a reputable company with a long track record of safe and high-quality products. If you’re ready to let fat burning supplements help you reach your weight loss goals, check out NatureWise CLA 1250.

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About

A love of sports started at an extremely early age, but it wasn’t until I started lifting weights that I actually believed I could be any good.

During high school I had good hands, an above average sport IQ and an even bigger heart. But it wasn’t until my sophomore year that I began working out to build mass. Initially, like most teenagers I worked out because it helped me in sport, eventually I worked out because it helped me with the ladies.

It’s come full circle and today I lift because I want to improve my ups for basketball, I want to hit the ball further in golf and I want to punish in Muay Thai. Although I’ll never compete in collegiate sports again I still love the fierce competition that only sport can bring out of me. And as such, I’ve become addicted to weight lifting to improve my game.

Naturally this led me to wonder, am I getting the most out of my workouts? I’m not going to blow my body up by taking steroids so I can win a men’s league title, but I am keen on delivering as much fuel as possible to enhance my workouts. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

-Dan