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Muscle Building: How Much Weight Should You Be Lifting?

Muscle Building

It’s one of the first questions that people ask once they start going to the gym or seriously considering buffing up their physique: “How much weight should I be lifting?” It’s an important question, and getting the wrong answer could lead to doing a lot of work only to fail getting the results you’re looking for. That said, it is a question with more than one right answer, with the one that’s right for you depending on the fitness goals you’re trying to achieve.

How Much Weight to Lift?

“Building muscle” seems like a simple goal, but there are different ways to go about it. If you’re looking to gain strength, you’re going to want to do different exercises than if you’re just looking to add bulk.

If your main weightlifting goal is to build as much muscle strength as possible, then the answer to the “how much weight question” is going to be “a lot.” The target range includes weights that you can rep only 1-6 times. Specifically, you’re going to want to do lots of multi-joint movements like dead-squats, bench presses, and squats that exercise groups of muscles and joints like the elbows and shoulders. These exercises strengthen and grow fast-twitch muscle groups, which are the muscles that also get worked out during resistance training.

Keep in mind that fast-twitch muscles tend to tire out quickly, which means that strength building will entail long rest periods of up to five minutes between sets. You’ll also want to do a lot of warmups, and will have to be disciplined enough to stop yourself from doing more than your body can handle.

Bulking Up

If you’re more interested in muscle size, you’re going to want to choose less heavy weights than are used for strength training. To achieve maximum muscle size, you should be able to comfortably perform 8-12 reps per set with the weights you are using. Keep in mind that this is the weight range that lets you perform “true” reps with perfect form – no bouncing the bar off your chest to give yourself a lifting boost or only bringing your arms down halfway.

Where strength training focuses on working out multiple muscles at once, bodybuilding is about exercising one muscle at a time in order to tone it as much as possible. Maintaining proper form is essential to bodybuilding – if you’re activating joints other than the one that the exercise you’re working on is meant to tone, you should revisit your technique to ensure that you get the results you’re looking for.

Bodybuilding also requires activating fast-twitch muscle fibers (i.e., the muscles that give you the strength to lift heavier weights the more you train). Like with strength training, that means doing multi-joint exercises. Whereas strength trainers focus on doing just a few of these exercises at their maximum lifting threshold, bodybuilders will want to use smaller weights so that they can perform more of these exercises with shorter weight periods. You should be able to perform 3-4 sets of each multi-joint exercises, with rest periods lasting only 60-90 seconds.

Whether you’re looking to bulk up, or lift more than anyone else, you’ll need a healthy source of protein to fuel your exercise. Promax bars are loaded with the protein that fitness buffs need, and they come in a variety of flavors. For more information, feel free to visit our .

Sources:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/28-laws-of-lifting-for-muscle.html

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-much-weight-should-you-lift.html

How Much Weight Should You Be Lifting?

http://www.boxingscene.com/build-muscle/10077.php

 

Posted in Gym, Strength Training | August 22, 2015

Brandon Messina

Promax_FF_081815_Photo_215x215What makes you the Featured Fan?
My fitness journey started just about three years ago with working out in my room for 30 minutes a day. I was unsatisfied with being average and decided that I wanted to make change. No more swimming with my shirt on or feeling embarrassed at the beach. I began doing as much research on working out as I possibly could, spending countless hours reading articles and watching workout videos on YouTube. I quickly fell in love with working out, and it wasn’t too long before I had that six pack I’d always dreamed of. I’ve come a long way over the last three years and I am very proud of the progress I’ve made. That being said, I will never allow myself to be satisfied. Instead, I will continue to push myself in my pursuit of creating my best self.

Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
In addition to pursuing my own fitness goals, I want to help others reach their goals. For this very reason, I decided to major in Exercise Science in college. Not only will I garner a great deal of fitness and nutrition information for myself, but I will be able to use that knowledge to help others reach their full potential and accomplish their fitness goals.

What is one unique thing about you?
Before I began bodybuilding and weightlifting, I was an artist, a BMX rider, and a Parkour and Freerunning enthusiast. Luckily, I truly believe I have finally found my calling.

Check out Brandon on INSTAGRAM!


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Posted in Featured Fan |

All About Stevia: Your Questions Answered

Stevia Leaves

For those of us constantly training, we understand that we need our carbohydrates and our protein, and yes—even our sugar. But there are so many sugar alternatives out there, that when we want something that sweetens and doesn’t have the same negative effects on our body as sugar sometimes can, how do we know what the right product to choose is? Today we want to talk about Stevia, because there’s a lot of news circulating about it and because—guess what? It’s in Promax bars! Why in the world would be choose Stevia? Well, because it’s a perfectly safe sweetening product, and it’s natural. But we know you have more questions, so we’re happy to answer them!

Where does Stevia come from?

Stevia is completely natural. It comes from a plant. In fact, it comes from the same family as Chrysanthemum or ragweed. It’s been used in South American and Asian countries for ages as a sweetener. You can find Stevia in its natural form in Brazil, Paraguay, Japan, and China.

How does Stevia compare to sugar?

Believe it or not, Stevia is actually sweeter than sugar. Studies show that Stevia is found to be 200 times sweeter tasting than regular sugar. Not bad for something that isn’t even sugar, right? Because of this, your body reacts differently to Stevia than it would to sugar. Unlike sugar, which raises blood sugar, studies show that Stevia actually tends to lower blood sugar levels. This is a great benefit for everyone but especially for those training who may be suffering for Diabetes. (If you are suffering from Diabetes and want to try Stevia, though, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor first.)

Is Stevia safe for baking?

Yes, absolutely! Stevia is safe for baking and while it measures a bit differently than regular sugar will in a measuring cup, it’s perfectly safe to integrate it into your recipes.

How can I use Stevia?

There are so many ways you can use Stevia. You can put it in your coffee or tea, for instance. Another way to use it would be to sprinkle it over a tasty fresh fruit salad. If you’re someone who indulges in yogurt parfaits, you can include a little there also. Think of all the things that you may be tempted to use sugar for and instead, substitute Stevia.

Where do I find Stevia?

Stevia can be found in most grocery stores. You will find it usually in the sugar aisle or paired with the coffee or tea in single serving size packets. Other forms of artificial sugars which include Stevia are products like Truvia or ProVia, but these aren’t as natural as Stevia and are more processed.

Still Unsure?

Now that you know the basics about Stevia—where it comes from, how it compares to sugar (and how your body reacts differently), whether it’s safe for baking, how to use it, and where to find it, what’s stopping you? We’d love to know if you’re finding ways to incorporate Stevia into your daily nutrition. Is it by way of a Promax bar perhaps? If you’ve still got questions, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, we’re always happy to keep the fitness and nutrition conversation going!

Sources:

http://www.stevia.com/Stevia_article/Questions_Answers_about_Stevia/2269
http://www.livescience.com/39601-stevia-facts-safety.html
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/all-about-stevia
http://authoritynutrition.com/stevia/
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/what-is-stevia
http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/is_stevia_safe

Posted in Nutrition, Stevia | August 21, 2015

6 Surprising Foods That Keep You Full Longer

satisfying food

Ever get that feeling you’re not full after you eat a meal or a mid-day snack? You know you ate enough, but you still have a craving for more. The truth is, some foods don’t keep you as full as others, and not feeling full and satisfied can lead to overgrazing and snacking too much. To combat that hungry feeling, we’ve gathered up a list of different foods that will leave you satisfied and full for hours.

Pears

Like apples, pears are a great snack to munch on, especially when it comes to keeping you full. Their fiber content does wonders for that hungry feeling. But pears don’t just keep you full, they have many other health benefits—they are packed full of vitamins B2, C, and E. Being high in vitamin C and copper, they help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals in the body, which helps to prevent cancer. As a bonus, the fiber in a pear is water soluble, so it helps keep the sugar levels in the body regular.

Mint

This one sounds strange at first – but have you noticed whenever you chew mint flavored gum or a peppermint, that your hungry feeling goes away? That’s because mint acts as an appetite suppressant, making you feel less hungry. But there are many more benefits to mint than just that. If your stomach feels off and you’re having digestion problems, drinking something infused with mint will help to soothe your stomach and promote proper digestion. Plus, by consuming mint in your diet, you’re revving up your digestive enzymes so you’ll be burning more fat – which in turn will help keep the weight off.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are the newest diet celebrity, and they should be, considering it’s been said they’re one of the best ways to suppress hunger. How? Chia seeds swell up in your stomach with liquid! They also contain high amounts of calcium, potassium, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals that contribute to bone health. And they can even help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study that showed decreasing rates of blood pressure and inflammation with chia seed consumption.

Oatmeal

It’s time to swap out your favorite sugary cereal in the morning and opt for this filling, high-fiber breakfast food. If you feel sluggish in the mornings and want a boost of energy, oatmeal can fix that; since it’s high in protein and carbohydrates, you will get calories and energy in return, keeping you motivated during your busy work day or killer work out. You don’t have to eat oatmeal to gain all of its power, consider taking an oatmeal bath to soothe your skin and balance your skin’s pH level.

Nuts

Of course nuts are on this list; their power to keep you full has been widely known for years, but don’t skim over their incredible health benefits. Nuts lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) so your chance of heart disease will decrease, plus they also prevent blood clots so your chance of a heart attack is lowered, too. Diabetes can be prevented by eating nuts as well, because fiber helps to prevent it.

Hummus

The protein in hummus doesn’t just help to curb your appetite, but it promotes bone, muscle, skin, and blood health as well. If you’re having trouble keeping your digestive tract regular, it may be time for you to begin eating this delicious snack, since the fiber in hummus helps keep you regular. One unique factor of hummus is that it helps to relieve anemia in those who have it, because chickpeas are packed full of iron, so oxygen gets delivered to red blood cells.

Of course, for the ultimate on the go fix for that hungry feeling, our Promax protein bars are the perfect solution. From our original, lower sugar, and pro series bars to all the different flavors we have, you’ll be sure to find the one to satisfy your appetite. The protein and fiber in our bars keep you full and energized, plus they’re packed with so many vitamins and minerals, you’ll know you’re doing something good for your health at the same time you’re enjoying your snack.

For more information nutrition tips, be sure to come back to the Promax Nutrition blog each week.

Sources:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/12-surprising-health-benefits-hummus-that-make-even-more-irreplaceable.html
http://www.aperfectpear.com/health-benefits-of-pears.html
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html
http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
http://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-oatmeal-why-you-should-add-power-food-your-high-fiber-diet-328788
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635

 

Posted in Carbs, Nutrition, Protein | August 20, 2015

Protein Packed Desserts You Can Make From Home

protein packed desserts

Dessert is one treat we all love to have – and when it contains health benefits, it takes the word “treat” to a whole new level. We love protein and desserts, so combining the two sounds like heaven to us. To share the love, here are 4 recipes so you can create some protein packed desserts at home!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bites

What You’ll Need:

  • ⅔ cup raw cashews (you can use almonds instead if you prefer)
  • ⅓ cup oats
  • 1 scoop whey vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (agave nectar can be used as a substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Grind your cashews and oats in a food processor until powdery.
  2. Add your syrup, vanilla, and protein powder and mix it until smooth.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips, and then roll your mixture into small balls (about one-inch balls).
  4. Place in refrigerator to chill and keep them there to store.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cups

What You’ll Need:

  • ¾ cup Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ¼ cup PB2
  • ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  1. Combine your vanilla protein and PB2 in a small bowl, and then add in your unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Mix the ingredients together, then add in your peanut butter and mix until smooth.
  2. Melt your chocolate chips over low heat in a small pan.
  3. In your 8 silicone baking cups, add a small layer of your just melted chocolate. Then place them in a tray in the freezer for 15 minutes (until hard).
  4. Place a spoonful of your peanut butter mixture into each baking cup (make sure you leave enough room on the sides for your chocolate to fill in).
  5. Add more melted chocolate to the top of each baking cup.
  6. Place your cups back in the freezer for 30 minutes (until hard).
  7. Remove them from the silicon baking cups, wrap in foil, and place back in the freezer until serving.

 Banana Cheesecakes

What You’ll Need:

  • ¼ cup instant oats
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 ounces of fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup mashed banana
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven for 300°. Coat 2 jumbo-sized muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Stir your oats and applesauce together in a small bowl. After stirring, divide the bowl in half and press each half into the bottoms of the muffin cups (1 half=1 muffin cup).
  3. Bake your muffin cup bottoms for 8 minutes. Let them cool.
  4. Mix your cream cheese and honey in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is smooth. Add in the mashed banana, cornstarch and vanilla. Spread your combined mixture (this is your filling) on top of the cool crusts.
  5. Bake in the oven for 19-22 minutes (until the center slightly jiggles).
  6. Cool at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill (at least 3 hours).

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies

What You’ll Need:

  • ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup Whey Chocolate Protein Powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla (you can opt for Chocolate Almond Milk instead)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (also leave 2 tablespoons for the topping)
  • ½ cup raspberries
  1. Heat your oven to 350°. Spray your baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (can be any size pan but suggested size is 8 x 8).
  2. Blend your oats in a blender until they have a flour-like consistency. Transfer them to a medium sized bowl. Add in your protein powder and cocoa powder, then whisk it all together.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together your applesauce, egg, honey, vanilla, and almond milk until it’s blended well and smooth. Add in the rest of your dry ingredients until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Over low heat, heat your ¼ cup of chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir them continuously until it’s all melted together. Stir in brownie batter. (If you prefer using a microwave to heat you can—just stick them in for 30-45 seconds).
  5. Pour your mixture into your pan, and take your 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and sprinkle them on top. Chop your raspberries in half and add them to the top.
  6. Bake your brownies for 18-22 minutes.
  7. Cool them on a wire rack, cut them into pieces (bars or squares) and place in refrigerator to chill.

Of course, if you’re looking for something much easier, and even more delicious, you can always enjoy our Promax Cookies ‘n Cream bars or our Promax Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for dessert, or even right after your workout! Packed with protein, our bars are the best way to refuel – and the flavors are unbeatable.

For more amazing recipes, be sure to check out our #MAXMunchies!

Sources:

http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2014/03/100-calorie-raspberry-chocolate-chip-protein-brownies/
http://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2014/01/16/banana-breakfast-cheesecakes/
http://www.peanutbutterandfitness.com/2014/01/chocolate-peanut-butter-protein-cups.html
http://sweettreatsmore.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-protein-bites-recipe/

Posted in MAXMunchies, Protein | August 19, 2015

Sports Injuries, Prevention, and Recovery: What to Keep in Mind

Runner’s Knee Hurt

If you walk into a gym you’re more than like to see different athletes pull out things from their gym bags that make it look more like a first aid kit—gauze, compression bands, medical tape, ice packs and more. And while you may be surrounded by weights and machines and not surgical equipment, it’s important to keep in mind that along with training comes the risk of injury.

What’s the most common cause of injury?

The most common cause of a sports injury is from training too much. Sounds too simple, right? It’s not. Overtraining can put unnecessary pressure on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing serious pain and delaying or even derailing your training.

What are the most common sports injuries?

 -Swollen muscles

-Fractures

-Knee injuries

-Achilles tendon injuries

-Sprains and strains

-Dislocations

-Rotator cuff injuries

If I get injured what can I do?

When you get injured one of the first things you can do is stop and assess the injury. If you feel pain—not discomfort, but pain, stop and assess. Many athletes follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If doing these things doesn’t do anything to alleviate your pain then it is a good idea to go to a doctor or physical therapist to seek further instruction on what you can do to allow your body to heal. Remember that if you continue training while injured, you can make the injury even worse, so get the problem checked out as soon as you can.

There’s more you can do!

Besides taking care of yourself physically and making sure that you care appropriately for the injured area of your body, you can also take notice of what is going into your body. Proper nutrition is an important component of training that not only helps to prevent injury but also helps in recovering from injuries as well.

What should I focus on?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: protein and carbohydrates are essential to your training. Thus, they are also crucial to pay attention to when you have an injury.

When it comes to protein, you can eat either animal-based or plant-based proteins. Whey protein powder is from animal protein, but you can also take the time to cook up chicken or fish. The most accessible vegetable-based protein to consume is soy protein, but you can also get a small amount of protein from rice and beans (though not as much as soy, as they don’t have as many amino acids). The amino acids in proteins will help to your muscles begin to repair themselves. Eating carbohydrates will help to replace the glycogen that we used during our workout, which will help get our energy back up.

Carbohydrates are more important for the prevention of injuries, as they help give you the energy you need to train as hard as you do, while protein is most important when it comes to recovery and healing. We know that it can be hard to feel like you have time to fit in the proper nutrition, especially if you need to add physical therapy and icing to your routine. Take the time to plan out your nutrition if you can and if you don’t have time, grab a protein shake or a well-engineered protein bar to keep you fueled.

Don’t Forget the H20

Often when we’re training, we get so involved into our routines and nutrition intake, that we forget about one of the most important things we need: water. Hydration is an extremely important piece of the workout puzzle. Water helps our kidneys to function well and to filter the waste out of system. It also contributes to the wellness of other systems in our bodies, like our digestive system. When we lack water, our bodies let us know. Drink the recommended amount each day and to protect yourself against injury and recover further, drink even more than that.

Take care of yourself

We’ve laid out the injury basics for you, but before we go, we wanted to remind you: listen to your body. We’re all for training hard, but listen to what your body is telling you. Make sure you get the proper nutrition along the way to both prevent injury and help with recovery. If you have more questions about fitness and nutrition, feel free to take a look at our blog or reach out to us directly here at PROMAX.

Sources:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/protein-rebuild-muscle-tears-6731.html
http://www.ultrarunning.com/features/nutritional-support-for-sport-injuries-eating-your-way-to-recovery/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/412947-the-best-diet-for-recovering-from-a-sports-injury/
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportsnutrition/a/Protein.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sportsinjuries.html
http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/sports-nutrition.aspx
http://www.promaxnutrition.com/the-importance-of-hydration

Posted in Carbs, Fitness, Protein, Water | August 18, 2015

Do I Snooze or Do I Sweat? Should You Choose Sleep over Your Workout

Sleeping on Yoga Mat

It’s easy to get tired in the world we live in. Think about it. We’re always on the go, always working toward a new goal, and once we reach it, we’re already onto the next one. And while this kind of mindset is ambitious and healthy, it can be exhausting. We all know that there are days when we look at our gym bag—and then we think about our bed. When is it time to say “enough is enough” and skip a workout to catch up on sleep? Do you choose that extra hour of sleep in the morning or do you get up, lace up your sneakers, and hit the pavement? A lot of advice columnists answering this question will say “You can do both!” How ideal of them. The reality of it is, sometimes you have to make a choice—there’s no way you can possibly fit everything into your schedule, unless you somehow add more hours to the day (we’ve been trying to do it for years and it hasn’t worked yet, so good luck).

What hormones does sleep help regulate?

Ah, this is interesting. So there are a couple hormones that our body releases that specifically are related to our food intake. Leptin is a hormone that suppresses hunger. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite. In order to have a proper balance of these hormones, which with the right choices can lead to great nutritional habits, you need to get a proper amount of sleep.

What is a proper amount of sleep?

The jury is actually still out on that one. For some it’s 6 and for others it’s 9. Because so many people fluctuate in the amount of sleep they need, doctors recommend getting in about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. When you stop to think about it, it seems like a lot—that’s the average amount of time people spend at their job every day…and we’re supposed to get that much sleep? The answer is yes. For all the work you do during the day physically and mentally, you need the sleep. Just like we need to refuel our bodies after a workout, sleep is a way for us to refuel after each day.

Can I workout if I’ve gotten less sleep than that?

The “proper amount of sleep” jury and this jury are apparently out to lunch together, because that is also up for debate. It all depends on how much sleep you normally get and how good you feel. If you normally get 7 hours and only got 6.5 or 6 the night before, you may be able to fit in a light workout. If you only got 4 hours however, we wouldn’t recommend it. That’s because your body hasn’t spent the time it needs recuperating yet. Sure, you can work out, but odds are that you won’t be able to give it your all like you did on a day after you got a good night’s rest.

What if I really really want to work out?

If you haven’t gotten enough sleep and are really itching to work out—which we totally understand, because exercise relieves stress, then take a nap. We recommend taking a power nap for about 10-20 minutes and nothing longer. Taking a longer nap could get you kicked in to your REM cycle which is a way deeper sleep then you want to sink into before a sweat session. After your power nap, you should be good to go and work out. But be easy on yourself and listen to your body!

What’s the Promax jury’s ruling?

Like we spoke about before, it’s hard to say what is the right and wrong thing to do because everyone is different. Whether you should snooze or sweat all depends on you, your regular sleep schedule, your nutritional habits, how rigorous your workout is, and many other factors. All in all, it may be smarter to spend the extra hour catching up on sleep if you really need it. Exercising when you’re too tired can lead to mistakes in form and injury. But then again, you are an athlete and you know your limits—so you decide. If you think you’ve solved the mystery, we want to hear from you—feel free to get in touch directly!

Sources:

http://blog.anytimefitness.com/healthy-debate-sleep-vs-working/
http://greatist.com/fitness/dear-greatist-which-more-important-sleep-or-exercise

http://www.thegreatfitnessexperiment.com/2009/11/sleep-vs-exercise-which-is-more.html

http://soreyfitness.com/fitness/sleep-or-workout-weightloss/

http://www.outsideonline.com/1870011/sleep-or-exercise

http://www.endofthreefitness.com/the-definitive-guide-to-sleep-and-fitness/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18648/whats-more-important-exercise-or-sleep.html

 

Posted in Fitness, Nutrition, Sleep | August 17, 2015

Whey vs. Soy – What’s the Difference?

Workout Tips

Whey protein and soy protein are both used as dietary supplements to help increase protein and improve overall health, but what are the differences between them? Both soy and whey have distinct health benefits, and can be used to achieve certain health and fitness goals, but the differences between the two forms of protein mean that the two are best suited for different things. In this article, we’ll take a look at the difference between whey and soy, and when it’s the right time to add either (or both) to your diet.

Soy Protein

Soy protein is taken from the soybean plant, which you probably also know as being the source of tofu. Given that tofu is one of the main sources of protein for people on vegetarian and vegan diets, the soybean’s reputation as a source of healthy protein is well established. More than that, though, soy protein is loaded with isoflavones, cancer-preventing phytochemicals, calcium, fiber, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Soy protein has been shown to help maintain healthy blood sugar, lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and maintain a healthy body weight.

There has been some controversy around soy in the bodybuilding and fitness community, with some claiming that its effects are overrated, and that it may even lower testosterone. Recent studies into the benefits of soy, however, seem to be indicating that many of these beliefs are false – a 2004 study confirmed that soy protein helps to build mass and does not lower testosterone, while a 2005 study demonstrated that soy was effective at building lean muscle mass.

Whey Protein

Unlike soy protein, whey protein is derived from animal products – namely, cow’s milk. Like soy, however, whey protein has been found to have many positive health effects. Its high antioxidant levels are believed to help decrease the likelihood of cancer and prevent prostate cell death. On top of that, whey protein is incredibly effective at building muscle.

While both soy and whey have been shown to stimulate healthy muscle development, whey has higher concentrations of amino acids that aid in muscle synthesis, and has also been shown to reduce muscle-destroying cortisol, and to stimulate hormone effects in the body that promote additional muscle growth—something that soy can’t claim. Research shows that whey protein is absorbed and assimilated faster than soy, making it ideal for before and after workouts. For bulking up and building muscle quickly (but healthfully), whey may be the best choice there is.

Which One Should I Choose?

If you’re just interested in maintaining muscle mass with healthy protein, soy protein and whey protein will both get the job done. More than that, the choice depends on your goals. If you’re looking to bulk up, whey will likely give you faster results. If you’re just looking to maintain your current muscle mass, or looking for a non-meat protein source, there’s no reason to avoid turning to soy.

Whether you go with whey or soy, Promax protein bars are a powerful tool for bodybuilding and maintaining overall body fitness and health. To stock up on our whey or soy varieties, check out our selection online.

Sources

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson71.htm
Posted in Nutrition | Tagged , | August 15, 2015

Living and Training with Celiac Disease

Gluten Free

Bread, bread, glorious bread! For those of us training to get lean, it’s something we may want to avoid, depending on our training schedules. But what if you have to avoid it? Absolutely cannot eat it? Those with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder, are in this predicament. How should you handle your training and nutrition if you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease?

The Basics: What is it?

Celiacs Disease is an autoimmune system disorder when your body cannot process gluten, which can be found in wheat, barley, or rye. When someone who has Celiac Disease comes in contact with any of these ingredients, it causes extreme discomfort and inflammation in their small intestine, putting a great amount of stress on their digestive system.

What are the symptoms?

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • mouth sores

A list of other symptoms can be found here; symptoms vary for each patient.

How does Celiac Disease affect your workout?

Adjusting your nutrition when you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease is difficult enough. What about your exercise routine? Many people have many questions for their doctors—what exercises are safe to do?

Because people with Celiac Disease often have low iron, and thus, low energy, many professionals suggest starting out with a low-impact workout. For a lot of us, this is a difficult adjustment. But listen to your body and start off slow—then work your way back to where you were before you diagnosis. Exercises like pilates and yoga are a great place to start. They allow you to work muscles all over your body while not putting too much physical strain on yourself.

Finding a new workout regimen that works for you when first diagnosed is very important. Athletes are accustomed to the mood balance and enhancement that exercise gives them—don’t give up just because you become aware that a transition is imminent. We recommend reaching out to a trainer at a nearby fitness center or your current gym, to help you adjust your workouts to better suit your adjustment to living with Celiac Disease.

How does Celiac Disease affect your nutrition?

We have already mentioned that many people with Celiac Disease suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Because of this, a diet high in protein and calcium is recommended. You can get protein from lean meats such as chicken or fish and if you do not have time to cook, there is always the option of supplementing your daily diet with a protein shake or protein bar.

Where do I go from here?

Whether or not you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease, we at PROMAX are happy to answer your questions about what can be does to adjust your nutrition and training. Feel free to read our blog to learn more or contact us directly!

Posted in Fitness, Gluten-Free, Nutrition | August 14, 2015

6 Outdoor Fitness Hacks to Use this Summer

Running Outdoor

Now that the weather is warmer, we’re stocking up on our sunshine and Promax protein bars so we can enjoy more time outside and on the go. But what about gym time? Many athletes use the free time we have in the evening after work to fit in a workout. More often than not, these workouts occur inside, in a gym or training space of some kind. That’s no way to enjoy the great weather! We’ve made a list of ways that you can take your workout outside without equipment.

Chalk

If you’re looking for something to do close to home, move your workout to your driveway with a piece of chalk. Remember hopscotch? You can make yourself a similar sort of obstacle course. This workout allows you to test your creativity.

Playground

Playgrounds aren’t just for kids anymore. Many cities and towns are incorporating outdoor areas for adults to train now If there isn’t one in your area though, that’s okay! Head to the nearest playground and work your upper body on the monkey bars and test your heart rate by seeing how quickly you can do everything in the playground. Do the course once as quickly as you can. What was your time? Do it 5 more times and record your time. Now you’ll have a base for when you try it next time.

Phone Apps

Many of us will bring our phones along for a workout to listen to music or an audio book. This time around, use your phone as a workout tool. There are tons of new apps you can now use to workout. Bring your phone to an outdoor track or field and get sweating!

Pick-a-Tree

This hack is great for outdoor runners. It’s easy to fit in interval training when you’re on the treadmill—simply turn up the speed of the treadmill and spring for a specific amount of time, right? You can do that outside, too. Along your run, pick a tree or some sort of landmark as a goal (such as a mailbox, a street sign, or another land mark). Sprint until you reach the landmark, then continue at a regular pace for a time of your choosing. Once you catch your breath, do it again. Repeat until you’re entirely tuckered out!

Bleachers

Head to a local track or football field for your outdoor workout. Without a game and its crowd, bleachers are left entirely empty. Take advantage and run the bleachers up and down. Some stadiums are a bit too large to run in their entirety. If that’s the case, pick a section to run and make it a goal to do more each time. This quick climb is sure to get your heart rate pumping.

Benches

Keep an eye out for any benches or hard even surfaces (like cement edges or walls) that you see outside. You can use them to do planks, tricep dips, push-ups, or even step-ups if they aren’t too high off the ground.

Now go give it a shot

Now do you see? You don’t need all of that high-end equipment the gym has to get your heart rate soaring. Take advantage of what’s outside in your very own community. Above all, don’t forget to be on top of your hydration and nutrition before, during, and after your workout. Not only will you be motivated from mixing up your workout, but maybe it’ll save you a couple of dollars on your monthly gym membership, too!

If you’re stuck and need new ideas about fitness and nutrition, don’t hesitate to stop by our blog for motivation!

Sources:

http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/10-fitness-hacks-you-can-t-miss
http://greatist.com/fitness/how-rock-summer-workout-despite-heat

 

Posted in Apps, Fitness, Nutrition | August 13, 2015

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