CALORIE COUNTING VS CLEAN EATING


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Low fat or low carb? There are numerous ways to pursue a diet. Whether you’re working hard to transform your body, or maintain the shape you’ve already achieved, research recently published in online journal Open Heart argues against counting calories. Instead, focus on the nutritional values of the foods you eat.

Because adherence to a low-calorie diet isn’t necessarily associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, the authors suggest boosting omega-3 intake by eating more cold water fish, olive oil and nuts. Fruits and vegetables obviously make good choices, but the experts warn against consumption of sugary drinks and fast food.

True Strength Moment: What these scientists are recommending is essentially a Mediterranean style diet containing healthy unsaturated fats. This diet is a lot easier to adhere to than counting calories, and it provides a balance of nutrients from a variety of fresh whole foods.

BREAKING DOWN YOUR AMINO ACIDS


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Active adults who train intensely typically choose complete proteins containing all of the Essential Amino Acids to kick-start recovery. A new study from the University of East Anglia found a correlation between regular consumption of 7 amino acids from meat, fish, dairy, beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach, and cardiovascular health.

Examining data on 2,000 normal weight women in the TwinsUKregistry, researchers found evidence that higher consumption of these amino acids might be associated with lower blood pressure and less arterial stiffness.

True Strength Moment: The 7 amino acids singled out in this research were arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, leucine and tyrosine. An interesting mix of Essential, Conditionally Essential and Non-Essential amino acids.

Everybody wants a lean, muscular physique. Like anything worth having, wanting it isn’t enough. You have to commit to a rigorous diet and training program that will tax your strength mentally as well as physically. To help you satisfy both of these demands, ON’s Essential Amino Energy combines a powerful ratio of rapidly absorbed free-form amino acids with natural energizers and N.O. boosting ingredients to help you reach your next level – including muscle-building BCAAs and arginine to help support intense, vascular pumps.* At 10 calories per serving, it’ll make a big impression without denting your diet. Mix up Essential Amino Energy anytime you want to dial up mental focus, physical energy N.O. production, and recovery support.*

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OMEGA-3 EPA & BACTERIA


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There are millions of bacteria in your digestive tract known collectively as microflora. Some people use probiotics as a way to promote a good balance of these organisms, and a study published in the journal Lipid Technology suggests omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) might help increase an immune signaling protein that promotes normal gut bacteria.

True Strength Moment: EPA is found in cold water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna. Previous research published in theJournal of Functional Food found that omega-3 fatty acids encapsulated with probiotic bacteria can have a beneficial synergistic effect. Kind of a mini stack for your stomach.

HIGH-PROTEIN BREAKFAST BENEFITS


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Protein is the nutritional building block of muscle mass. It’s also been shown to help preserve muscle while you’re trying to lose weight. Ramping this macronutrient’s potential up a notch, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests high-protein breakfasts can help prevent body fat buildup in overweight teenagers.

For 12 weeks, researchers had some overweight teens consume a normal amount of protein at breakfast by pouring milk over cereal. That was 13 grams. The high-protein group consumed 35 grams from eggs, dairy and lean pork. Not only did that breakfast help prevent body fat gains, but subjects reduced daily food intake and reported less hunger.

True Strength Moment: The study’s abstract didn’t mention anything about regular exercise, but 35 grams of protein at breakfast is a good way to start busy days.

RISKS OF HIGHLY REFINED CARBS


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Consuming a lot of white bread, white rice and sugar sweetened soft drinks can go to your waistline, and research from Columbia University Medical Center suggests it can also weigh heavily on your mood. Analyzing data from 70,000 older women who participated in the National Institutes of Health Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study between 1994 and 1998, researchers found that consuming highly processed carbohydrates can elevate the risk of depression.

True Strength Moment: Highly refined carbohydrates elevate blood sugar levels. If the level gets high enough, your body releases hormones to try and reduce blood sugars. This hormonal response can have an impact on mood and fatigue. For a tip on potentially lifespan extending foods, read today’s Performance Blog at ABBperformance.com

EATING FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH


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Endurance training whether running, cycling or swimming supports cardiovascular health while building your level of fitness. Now a study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests consuming certain amino acids can also make a difference.

Researchers examined the eating habits of 1,898 female twins between the ages of 18 and 75 registered in the TwinsUK database. Answers to food frequency questionnaires helped them calculate individual intake of arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, leucine and tyrosine from protein foods.

It was determined that higher protein intake and consumption of these 7 amino acids was associated with lower systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and pulse wave velocity which is a measurement of blood vessel stiffness.

True Strength Moment: These amino acids are found in meat, dairy and vegetable foods. In fact, higher consumption of amino acids from plant sources was associated with lower central blood pressure. Add this to the growing body of evidence supporting the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet.