Improving your health and succeeding in your workouts have a lot more to them than just exercising and staying active. It is also necessary to eat a healthy diet that gives you the vital nutrients you need to get the results you want. Two popular choices that are actually similar in their goals are the Ketogenic diet and the Paleolithic diet. However, it can be tough to know which diet will best help you reach your goals unless you research how each one affects your health. Here is a quick breakdown of paleo vs. keto so you can learn more about which foods to eat, which to avoid, and how they can bring short- and long-term success.
Check any fitness blog and between articles on the best high protein nutrition bars and secrets for the perfect workout, and you’ll probably see dozens of entries about squats. In the past few years, squats have become an incredibly popular exercise in the fitness world, thanks to their ability to engage multiple parts of the body and give them a strenuous and effective workout.
Planning on jumping right into the most strenuous part of your workout routine the minute you hit the gym floor? Think again. Failing to properly warm up before exercising can make injury more likely and can also reduce the effectiveness of your workout.
Warming-up before exercise is just as important as every other aspect of your exercise plan, such as doing the right exercises and using nutritional bars and protein supplements to enhance muscle-building. Exercise experts suggest the following workouts to ensure a safe and effective workout:
Increase Your Heart Rate
Pumping up your heart rate helps prepare your muscles for exercises and activates your nervous system. Before your workout, briefly jog, or run on the treadmill or bike. Jumping jacks or skipping rope can also help get your blood pumping at a faster rate.
Dynamic stretching can help prepare you for a workout. Make continuous motions to stretch your muscles and prepare them for a workout. Some suggested exercises include: moving your arms in circles, toe touches, and kicking your legs forward. You should avoid static stretches, as these stretches are detrimental to exercise performance.
Try a Few Lunges
Rotating lunges are great warm-up activities because they help to build balance and stability. To perform a rotating lunge, stand with your feet spread hip-width apart. Hold an object at chest level, and then take a big step forward with your left leg.
Bend your left knee and move downward until your thigh is more or less parallel to the floor. Next, hold and turn your torso to the right for a few seconds while keeping the object you’re holding in front of your chest. Then rotate back to the center and stand up again. Next, repeat this exercise with your right foot.
For Squat Enthusiasts
Pre-squat warm-up – Squats have become incredibly popular in recent years as they are great for building muscle and burning fat. However, there is a risk of injury involved that a proper warm-up can mitigate. If you’re planning to do squats, perform a kneeling glute mobilization warm-up. This movement helps to increase mobility in your hips.
To perform the kneeling glute mobilization:
- Get on your hands and knees, and keep your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Cross one ankle behind the opposite knee, pushing the knee of the crossed ankle/leg into the ground.
- Gradually ease your rear back to your heels. While doing this, keep your arms straight and your abs tight.
- Sit back until you feel that the glute on your crossed ankle side has been stretched. Once it has, return to the starting position.
By getting a good warm-up in before you exercise, you maximize your potential gains from your workout and reduce your chance of injury. It’s well worth the investment of 5-15 minutes.
Promax Nutrition provides exercise enthusiasts with health fuel to build bigger, stronger muscles. Promax Nutrition’s wide range of protein bars and snacks provide targeted nutritional support to men and women building better bodies.
When you were a kid, did your mom ever scold you for eating between meals? Her heart may have been in the right place, but it turns out she was wrong: Not only will snacking not spoil your meal, it’s also an important part of staying healthy and losing weight.
Snacking Keeps Blood Sugar Balanced
Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level is an incredibly important part of staying healthy. Three to five hours after eating, blood sugar levels take a dive, slowing down our metabolism. When our blood sugar undergoes constant dips and spikes, it increases our chances of developing serious health problems like insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar steady? Snacking, especially if you eat a consistent amount of carbs.
Snacking Prevents Overeating
We all sometimes get hungry between meals. When we don’t slake our hunger with a little snack before mealtime, those hunger pangs are more likely to make us overeat. If you’re feeling bad about grabbing a snack a couple of hours before lunch or dinner, don’t – instead, grab something rich in carbs like fruit or whole grains, and combine it with nuts, dairy, or other protein-rich foods. Not only do these food contain important nutrients, they’re also the most filling.
Snacking Helps Us Lose Weight
It may sound counterintuitive, but snacking is one of the best ways to start losing weight. Specifically, moving from a schedule of a couple of big meals to one with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps us keep our intake and output consistent, and makes it less likely that we’ll overeat. The trick is to keep your meals small, and space them out consistently throughout the day.
Snacking Improves Mood and Helps Us Focus
Remember what we said earlier about blood sugar drops and slowed down metabolisms? After your body burns through the food you’ve ingested, the body reacts by slowing down, which leads to crankiness, tiredness, and an inability to concentrate. Grabbing a snack between meals will keep your energy levels up and prevent the onset of foul moods that affect productivity and make the day seem longer.
A Few Tips for Snacking
Snacking may be good for us, but that doesn’t mean that every type of snack is healthy. Candy bars and other sugary snacks should be avoided as much as possible; not only do they pack on the pounds, they also burn up quickly, leaving you more hungry and cranky than you were before you grabbed a snack.
The best in-between meal snacks are ones that are rich in protein and amino acids (cheese, meat, tofu), carbohydrates (fruit, honey, whole grains, vegetables), and/or omega-3 fatty acids (fish, yogurt).
If you’re looking for the perfect, healthy snack to keep your energy up and help you lose weight, Promax Nutrition bars are the perfect choice available in many different flavors and varieties, including lower sugar. Learn more by looking through our website today.
Olympians are the best athletes in the world. If you’re looking for amazing displays of just what the human body is capable of doing, there’s no better place to look. Of course, getting to the level of an Olympian isn’t easy; it takes a combination of natural talent and years of dedicated training it be able to do what those athletes do.
Not everyone has the natural talent, but anyone can take an example from the training that Olympians use to get in peak physical shape, and apply it to their own workout routines.
What, did you think training to be an Olympian was all springs and weight lifting? Any Olympic athlete or trainer can tell you that just important to getting into shape is proper diet and hydration.
Specifically, Olympians eat a breakfast rich in carbohydrates and lean protein, and keep eating every 3-4 hours (and within 90 minutes of every workout). Also, they drink lots of fluids. LOTS of fluids. On a typical day, an Olympian drinks half their own body weight in water, plus sports drinks rich in electrolytes after workouts.
Warm-Up and Recovery
Also important to developing the perfect Olympic training regimen is understanding the role warm-ups and recovery exercises play. A typical Olympic warm-up includes 10 minutes of jogging or jumping rope, followed by 10-15 minutes of dynamic warm-ups (skipping, reverse lunges, or other exercises that improve flexibility and coordination, and prevent injuries).
Once the workout is finished, Olympians always make sure to follow up with recovery techniques to reduce soreness and keep the body limber – foam rolling, massage, and stretches are a must.
Planning and Mental Training
It’s always a good idea to have a specific fitness goal in mind, so that you have something to work toward and a way to measure your progress. Like with everything else, Olympians take this to the next level.
Most Olympic athletes plan their training schedules years in advance (four years in advance, to be precise), and then stick with that schedule from the time one year’s Games end and another begins.
While most people may not have the time or discipline to stick to a four-year plan like that, they can still follow Olympians’ example by setting a specific goal for themselves, and a timeframe in which they want to meet it. Training like an Olympian requires exercising your brain and willpower, as much as your muscles.
Diversify Your Routine
Most athletes may focus on one particular event, but that doesn’t mean that they keep their training confined to just one of exercise. Runners don’t just run – they do sit ups, pull ups, ball exercises, and sometimes even take ballet. To be the best physically, you need to build all your muscles and train your entire body.
Training like an Olympian starts with the perfect diet. Promax Nutrition sports nutrition bars are designed to provide athletes with the perfect mix of proteins and nutrients, and come in a variety of flavors and formulas to meet your needs. Want to learn more? Contact us today.
Easy, quick access to healthy food, including low-calorie sources of protein, is half the battle in eating healthier and getting fit. All too often, we fall of the wagon because it’s easier to whip around the corner for a cheeseburger than it is to whip up a healthy meal.
Dropping the ball in the kitchen can erase all your hard work in the gym. No matter how hard you work out, if you’re still eating junk, all that effort will not yield many results. A recent article in Men’s Fitness found that people who spend less than an hour a day prepping food at home are more likely to eat fast food, while those who spend more time on meal prep are more likely to eat healthier.
Not all of us have the luxury of more than an hour a day to prep food, so these hints will help you make the most of the meal prep time you have:
- Multi-task when roasting vegetables – Roasting your veggies adds flavor, but cooking them all individually is time-consuming. If you’d like to have a batch of several veggies available to eat, pair them up based on cooking time. By cooking vegetables together, you maximize your efficiency in the kitchen. For example, you could roast fast-cooking vegetables like asparagus and cherry tomatoes together, or pair up longer-roasting veggies like carrots and cauliflower.
- Diversify your dishes – You can easily keep your meals from getting boring by preparing multiple varieties of the same food at one time. When cooking food, prepare more than one type of the same food by adding different spices and seasonings to varying versions of the same dish.
- Package based on portion size – It’s easy to just open a container of nuts, berries, or veggies and keep snacking until it’s empty. To exercise better portion control, package your food based on appropriate portion sizes. Use baggies or other small containers to hold the right portion size of foods you’ve prepared.
- Keep protein-rich snacks handy – For exercise enthusiasts, protein is absolutely essential, as it helps muscles to recover after a workout. Protein also works to stave off hunger. Having low calorie sources of protein nearby can help you avoid higher-calorie options.
- Have some salads ready to go – Salads provide a healthy alternative to people seeking a quick and easy meal. Pre-made salads can get soggy and unappealing if they’re stored for more than a few hours. However, you can keep your salad fresh by using a glass jar. Put your dressing at the jar’s bottom and then layer the food, putting sturdier vegetables toward the bottom and greens at the top. This method will allow you to make a fresh salad in the morning and enjoy it a few hours later at work.
Promax Nutrition offers great-tasting nutritional bars that provide the protein exercise enthusiasts need to maximize their fitness gains. Vegetarian and gluten-free, these protein bars come in a variety of great flavors and formulations to meet individual customer tastes and needs.
Before explaining the benefits of burpees, it is important to share what exactly a burpee is, for those who have never heard of this exercise. A burpee is a six-count intense exercise movement, which combines squats and push-ups into an intensive singular movement, where you go from a standing position, to a squat, to a plank position, then perform a push-up and finally, reversing the order until you are standing.
Performing burpees as part of your normal workout routine does have several benefits. However, before attempting this intensive exercise, it is highly recommended you have someone there to supervise, as well as get permission from your healthcare provider, if you are not in peak physical condition. Some of the benefits you can gain by doing burpees, and repeating them in quick succession, as many times as possible before tiring include:
- Increases Endurance – Since burpees are performed quickly, and rely upon the entire movement of the body and all of your body weight, they are considered a “high-load” exercise. In addition, most people can perform as many as 15 complete burpees in just a 30 second period. Due to the high repetitions in a short period of time and high weight load, they are an effective exercise to use to increase endurance.
- Promotes Weight Loss – Burpees can help you lose weight (fat) because you are moving the muscles throughout the entire body and burning a large number of calories. When you burn more calories than you consume, it results in a reduction in body fat.
- Increases Strength – Since burpees push you through a wide range of strength building exercises, namely push-ups and squats, they help increase muscle mass and muscle strength. Not only does muscular strength in the legs and arms increase, but also the back, hips, stomach, and more.
- Improves Anaerobic Capacity – Burpees raise your heart rate in a short period of time, thereby contributing to anaerobic exercise training. During anaerobic training the body tends to produce energy with limited or without oxygen assistance. Doing burpees frequently can help increase your anaerobic capacity, and lead to improved heart and lung health.
For beginners, it is highly recommended to move through the burpee motions slowly at a regular pace, and gradually increase the speed in which you complete them as you become more comfortable. The last thing you want to do is cause an injury to your body because you tried to quickly move through unfamiliar motions.
If you are having problems performing burpees with your hands firmly on the floor, some beginners rely upon a step, bench, or box for support. As you become more proficient, then you should gradually lower the height of the support until you are doing burpees directly on the floor.
As your body starts to peak with regular burpees, you should consider one of several different burpee variations to make your reps more challenging, to continue to gain further benefits. After any intense workout, including burpees, remember to refuel your body with energy bars and protein bars ordered from Promax Nutrition by calling (888) 728-8962 now.
Much has already been said about protein, and you probably already know the basics: It’s the building block of cells and hence the whole body, and it goes into making muscles, tendons, and organs, including skin. Proteins also contribute to the production of enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters. Proteins are so embedded in our makeup and our nutrition needs that it impacts our lives and health in ways you might not even know.
So, here are five interesting facts about protein that you might not have heard before:
- Insects are good source of protein. They are on par with meat from other animals. Locusts and grasshoppers, for example, can supply the same amount of protein that by weight that beef does. Other edible insects, such as crickets, termites, and mealworms, vary in their protein content, but are on par with beef and seafood. The protein availability of insects depends on what they eat – they have to be fed the right kind of grains in order to be high in protein. So, as the world population continues to swell, you might start seeing insects flying off the shelves of your nearest store.
- Americans don’t eat the most meat. However, they are a close second to the inhabitants of Luxembourg. Each person there consumes a whopping 300 pounds of meat per year. Americans consume about 276 pounds per year. Americans’ taste for meat is declining – we consume about 20 pounds less per year than we did about 10 years ago. Beef used to be our meat of choice until about the early 1990s, when chicken started its ascent into popularity, and it has showed no signs of stopping.
- Protein makes your hair curl. Researchers looked at curly hair and straight hair through an electron microscope. They found that keratin – the protein that’s the primary component of hair – was distributed unevenly in curly hair: It accumulated on the inside edge of the curl, as opposed to being spread evenly over the hair, as in straighter hair.
- Some proteins have weird names. There’s the Sonic Hedgehog protein, which plays a role in the development of the brain and nervous system. There’s also Pikachurin, which is a fast-acting protein that facilitates visual function.
- Protein deficiency can have serious consequences. For example, if you’re lacking in the protein albumin – the most common protein found in your blood – you could suffer a variety of symptoms, including swelling all over the body. So, it’s important to eat a varied diet. Other signs of protein deficiency could be lethargy, muscle or joint pain, trouble sleeping … even hair loss and dried, cracked skin on the corners of your mouth.
Our protein bars and energy bars are great for giving you the necessary proteins you need if you’re always busy and need to snack between meals or ensure you get the right nutrients before or after your workout. Check out our selection of protein bars and other high-quality products, and get started on the path to better nutrition today.
With New Year’s just right around the corner, one of the most common resolutions people make is to get fit, shed the pounds they packed on over the holidays, and start living more healthfully. However, in just a few short months, over 95% of these people have given up on their New Year’s Day resolutions and gone back to their former habits.
Why do they give up? Because they start to feel pain and discomfort, and they do not feel like they can push any harder. Their muscles and bodies ache from exercising. They figure they can take a few days off from the gym to let their bodies rest. After taking a few days off, they go back to the gym, only to find they are losing their motivation. They do not feel like they can get back on that treadmill and walk another mile or do another set of weight lifting. Eventually, they end up talking themselves out of working out, with excuses like “It hurts,” “It takes too much time away from some other activity,” and so on.
The biggest way to avoid falling short on your New Year’s Day resolutions is to learn how to push through the pain and stay motivated. The old adage “No pain, no gain!” is entirely true. You have to remember that your body is going through major changes, and there are going to be muscle aches and pains. This simply means your muscles are becoming stronger. What can you do to keep motivated and push through the pain?
Listen to Your Favorite Music
While you work out, listen to your favorite tunes on your smartphone or music player. Your music selections can help push you along and distract your mind from the pain so you can reach your daily fitness goals.
Repeat a Mantra Over and Over
Pick a mantra you like, and repeat it over and over in your head if you find you are having difficulties reaching the end of your workout routine for the day. Select a mantra that motivates you and which keeps you going. You can even make one up.
Set Realistic and Daily Goals
One reason so many people fail their New Year fitness resolutions is because they do not set realistic or daily goals. Without goals, you will mindlessly wander through your workouts and quickly lose motivation.
Visualize How You Feel after a Workout
Think about how you and your body feel after completing a workout if you are considering stopping short of your daily goal. Most people feel a sense of accomplishment. Once you are done for the day, you can sit, relax, and do whatever you want.
Reward Yourself with a Healthy Treat
Make it a habit to reward yourself for reaching your daily goal with a healthy treat afterward, like a protein bar, energy bar, or fruit smoothie.
If you are looking for healthy bars to use as rewards after your workouts, you will find a wide variety of flavors available from Promax® Nutrition.
Eating the right foods keeps our bodies working properly, thanks to a mix of essential vitamins and nutrients. Found in many foods, from fresh fruits and vegetables to healthy energy bars, vitamins can either be water-soluble or fat-soluble. It is essential to have a good balance of the right vitamins in your system, as doing so contributes to your energy level and ability to fight off disease.
However, it can be difficult to know which vitamins are best to take. Since people have a variety of different careers that affect their daily routines and fitness levels, there is not one cure-all vitamin to take to remain healthy. Those that work in an office every day have needs that are different from firefighters, who have different needs than athletes.
It is important to consult with your physician before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet because having too much of a vitamin can have a negative effect on your health. Your doctor will also be able to determine if you have any vitamin deficiencies so that you can build a vitamin regimen that meets your specific needs.
There are a number of types of vitamins though that you should consider adding to your daily regimen. These support everything from heart health to memory and are easy to obtain. Here is a list of some of the most common vitamins and the benefits they have:
What It Does: Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and skin, and it also supports bone and tooth growth. In addition, vitamin A helps your immune system and is important in the reproductive process. Finally, vitamin A enables your heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs to work properly.
Why You Need It: Although vitamin A deficiency is rare in North America, it is still important to have enough of it in your diet. There are certain groups of people that are at risk of having low vitamin A levels, including premature infants and people with cystic fibrosis. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to an eye condition called xerophthalmia, which can lead to blindness.
Best Foods for Vitamin A: Vitamin A can be found in both plant and animal sources. Some good foods to eat to get vitamin A are milk, cheese, and butter. Sources that are lower in fat are carrots, pumpkins, and apricots.
What It Does: Vitamin B12 promotes healthy nerve function and also helps your body make new cells. It can also help you lower your risk of heart disease because it breaks down fatty and amino acids.
Why You Need It: Those that are deficient in vitamin B12 can suffer from fatigue, anemia, loss of appetite, and constipation. Not having enough B12 in your system can also lead to neurological consequences, such as dementia and depression.
Best Foods for Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is among the types of vitamins that occurs naturally in foods and is also available as a supplement. Some foods that are rich in B12 are meats and dairy, including poultry, fish, cheese, liver, and yogurt.
What It Does: Vitamin C is important for preventing infections and promoting a healthy immune system. It also helps the body absorb iron, which is a critical component in the process of carrying oxygen through your blood cells.
Why You Need It: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps protect your cells from free radicals in the body. It is also needed to create collagen, which allows your wounds to heal. People who get little to no vitamin C may develop scurvy, which can also bring about depression and anemia, although it is rare.
Best Foods for Vitamin C: Citrus is a main source of vitamin C, although it is also found in vegetables. Some good foods to eat to get the vitamin C you need include broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and oranges.
What It Does: Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the body, which is important for bone health and development as you grow. It also helps reduce inflammation and benefits your immune system.
Why You Need It: Vitamin D can be absorbed naturally through sunlight. However, many people work long hours indoors and lack proper vitamin D levels. Deficiency can lead to brittle bones and osteoporosis.
Best Foods for Vitamin D: Dairy is an excellent source of vitamin D, which is not present in very many foods. In addition to being able to get vitamin D as a supplement, it can be found in milk, cheese, and fatty fish.
What It Does: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage and may also help in the fight against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also important to the immune system, fighting off bacteria and preventing infections.
Why You Need It: Vitamin E does a lot to keep your body healthy, including promoting healthy blood flow to keep it from clotting. Being deficient in vitamin E can lead to nerve and muscle damage, as well as vision problems and overall weakness.
Best Foods for Vitamin E: Vitamin E is found in a number of healthy fats, including avocados, vegetable oil, egg yolks, nuts, and whole grains.
What It Does: Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and promotes bone health. Scientists are studying its effect on reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.
Why You Need It: If you are taking a blood thinner for heart health, it is critical to get the right amount of vitamin K in your system each day. Without enough in your body, you may experience bruising and bleeding problems.
Best Foods for Vitamin K: Vitamin K is best found in leafy greens, such as collards, kale, spinach, turnip greens, cabbage, and broccoli.
What It Does: Biotin is crucial to maintaining overall health because it increases absorption of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from food. It keeps your bones strong and your hair healthy and growing.
Why You Need It: Without biotin, your body is unable to naturally process and break down the foods you eat. While biotin deficiency is very rare, it can occur in athletes who consume raw egg whites over a long period of time. Deficiency can cause depression, nausea, loss of hair, and scaly dermatitis.
Best Foods for Biotin: Biotin is produced naturally in your intestinal tract, but can also be found in egg yolks, soybeans, whole grains, and organ meats.
What It Does: Folic acid is responsible for making DNA and new red blood cells. It works to prevent anemia as well.
Why You Need It: Not having enough folic acid in your diet can cause anemia, which can deprive your body tissue of vital oxygen. Pregnant women with a deficiency may see birth defects in their children.
Best Foods for Folic Acid: Though folic acid is now added to most refined grains and foods like healthy protein bars, it is naturally occurring in legumes, liver, seeds, and greens like broccoli, spinach, romaine, peas, and okra.
Incorporating these important types of vitamins into your diet will help you stay healthy and increase your performance while exercising. For a workout bar that packs essential vitamins and none of the unnecessary stuff like artificial sweeteners, shop bars from Promax. We offer great tasting, high-protein energy bars for active people striving to achieve a healthy and fit lifestyle. For more information, feel free to visit our product page.