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It’s that time of year when most of us tend to pack on a few extra pounds. Lots of holiday parties, delicious foods and sweet treats everywhere. It is, after all, a time to eat, drink and be merry right? We get it. When you decide it’s time to get back on track, including a proper diet and nutrition into your lifestyle will always be the key to weight loss and success. So whether you’re just starting to get back in shape or want to lose the holiday weight, here’s a few nutrition and supplement recommendations to help you get the most out of your workouts. You get them all at our favorite online health and nutrition superstore iHerb.com!

BCAA’s

BCAA’s or Branched Chain Amino Acids are made up of the three amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They have been shown to help support your muscle endurance, growth and recovery. Supplementing with BCAAs before and during your workouts may reduce muscle soreness and help you recover faster. They may also improve your mental and physical performance, especially if you train while dieting.

So why do you need BCAA’s? While the many amino acids are metabolized in the liver, BCAAs are metabolized mostly in the muscle tissue itself. This means if you supplement with BCAA’s, your muscles will be able to use it as fuel for energy much faster. Although BCAA’s are found in traditional whey or protein powders, they must be digested and processed by the body to get the benefits. Taking them in isolation gives you much greater benefits.

We like the California Gold Nutrition, BCAA, AjiPure, Branched Chain Amino Acids because they are made through a proprietary process that allows it to dissolve super fast for quick absorption, unlike traditional BCAAs. The more BCAA’s you absorb the more benefit your muscles will get.

How To Use BCAA’s: For best results Add 1 Scoop of California Gold Nutrition, BCAA, AjiPure, Branched Chain Amino Acids to your pre-workout shake/drink.

Glutamine

Glutamine has been well documented for its anti-catabolic properties. During intense training sessions, your body’s natural Glutamine levels can become depleted, which leads to decreased strength, stamina, and recovery.  It can also take up to 6 days for Glutamine levels to return back to normal.  Supplementing with Glutamine is a good idea because it may minimize the breakdown of your muscle and improve your metabolism. According to Dr. Axe Glutamine also:

  1. Promotes muscle growth, fat burning and decreases muscle wasting (1)
  2. Improves athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise (2)
  3. Improves metabolism and cellular detoxification (3)
  4. Curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol (4)
  5. Improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair (5)

We recommend California Gold Nutrition, L-Glutamine Powder because it contains the world’s purest fermented, vegetarian-sourced L-Glutamine available on the global market.

How To Take Glutamine: Add 1 Scoop of California Gold Nutrition L-Glutamine Powder to your workout shake/drink twice per day.

Creatine

Creatine increases the body’s ability to rapidly produce energy. With more energy, you can train harder, get stronger, and see faster results. Research has also shown that Creatine can have positive effects on bone mineral density, stress reduction, and may even boost memory.  The purity of creatine is just as important as its effectiveness. California Gold Nutrition’s Creapure Creatine Powder meets the highest standards for quality, safety, and efficacy. It will make a real difference in your workout.

How To Take Creatine: Add 1 Scoop of California Gold Nutrition Creapure Creatine Powder once per day to your workout shake/drink.

L-Citrulline

To further amplify your fitness results even faster, you may also want to consider supplementing with California Gold Nutrition Sport L-Citrulline, before and after your workouts.  L-Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that has been shown to improve heart health, blood flow, and endurance while boosting muscle growth and recovery. The recommended dosage for L-Citrulline is 3 to 5 grams per day.  California Gold Nutrition Sport L-Citrulline has successfully undergone and met the stringent requirements of the USP Dietary Supplements Verification Process to deliver the benefits and highest quality L-Citrulline you’re looking for.

Milk Protein Concentrate

After a tough workout, having a post-workout meal that’s high in protein is definitely beneficial.  The most convenient way to accomplish this is with a protein shake.   When it comes to shakes, the options seem endless.  And, if you have any digestive issues, powders made with whey or high in lactose may wreak havoc on you later.  If that sounds like you, California Gold Nutrition, Milk Protein Concentrate, Ultra-Low Lactose, Gluten Free might be just what you need.  It’s very easy on the stomach and is unflavored without any artificial sweeteners (which are also known to cause stomach upset.)  You can add it to nearly anything for an extra protein boost too.  Each serving provides 25g of protein and just 2 carbs.  You can use it morning, between meals and at bedtime too. California Gold Nutrition, Milk Protein Concentrate is made exclusively with Idaho, USA-sourced milk from two dedicated and wholly owned dairies for complete control.  You won’t find any gluten, GMO’s, soy, or rBGH in this Grade A Dairy either.   For a really fast, protein-packed shake try this easy recipe….

Recipe: Blueberry-Banana Protein Shake

Ingredients
2 scoops California Gold Nutrition Milk Protein Concentrate
1 frozen medium banana
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavoring
1 cup almond milk

Directions: Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

High-Quality Superfood Meal Replacement

Having a meal replacement powder on hand can be a great way to help keep you on track to meet your weight loss and fitness goals. We love this chocolate flavored Zenbu Meal Replacement Powder from Madre Labs. Zenbu (meaning “all” or “everything” in Japanese) is a chocolaty blend of macro-nutrients (protein & complex carbs) with a special organic phytonutrient-rich blend of fruits, berries, greens, vegetables and spices, organic seeds, sprouts, and mushrooms. It also has lots of protein (17g), vitamins and minerals and is loaded with prebiotics and probiotics which are important for digestive health. With all these super nutritious ingredients having Zenbu Meal Replacement on hand is an easy way to keep your diet healthy and your weight loss goals on track. Plus, the protein in Zenbu is plant-based which makes it great for anyone who is lactose or whey intolerant, wants to stick to a plant-based diet or is just trying to avoid dairy.

Zenbu can be mixed in water, juice or the milk of your choice (coconut, almond, rice etc.). We think using the blender is best. It has:

  • 17 g Protein, 8 g Complex Carbs, 1 g Fat
  • 70+ Superfoods & Nutrients
  • 23 Vitamins & Minerals
  • No Dairy, Gluten, Soy or GMOs
  • No Added Colors, Artificial Sweeteners
  • No Animal-Derived Ingredients (vegetarian-friendly!)

One great thing about the Zenbu Shake Blend is that it’s only sweetened with a touch monk fruit extract and organic stevia. This way you can control the sweetness of your shake. Too many times I’ve spent good money on flavored meal replacement or protein powders that read little to no sugar on the label but were overly sweet once I made my shake. With Zenbu you can control the sweetness and make it the perfect shake for you. Here’s our favorite super delicious Zenbu shake recipe. This is so good…

Recipe: Zenbu Chocolate – Almond – Banana Shake

Ingredients:
2 scoops Zenbu Chocolate Meal Replacement
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 medium banana (peeled, sliced and frozen)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Directions: Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until nice and smooth. Enjoy!

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