Achieving Blood Rushing Pump for Growth

Muscle pumps in the gym is the most satisfying feeling for gym-goers. This blood rush into the muscle cells giving you the pumped up look also contributes so much to muscle growth factors.

Besides it has extremely motivating and inspiring effects. A good pump in the gym is one of the biggest reasons that will lead to muscle growth, along with proper post training nutrition and supplementation. But before we get to that lets talk about behind the scenes of what really goes on in the body for the skin tearing pumps to occur:

Continue reading Achieving Blood Rushing Pump for Growth


The advice for aspiring bodybuilders looking to build muscle mass is to load up enough resistance to perform 6 to 8 reps per set. If developing peak power is your goal, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Researchoffers some valuable insight to college-aged lifters.

Scientists recruited 19 student athletes and had them perform 3 reps of power cleans while standing on a force platform to record power output. Loads varied from 30%, 40% and 50% of one rep max (1RM) all the way up to 60%, 70% and 80% of 1RM. Peak power output occurred at 70% 1RM. But using resistance equal to 60% or 80% of 1RM was not significantly different.

True Strength Moment: If your goal is to elevate your peak power, work power cleans between 60% and 80% of your 1RM. Remember to adjust the load accordingly once your 1RM increases for any given exercise. To stay on top of your game, check out today’s Performance Blog post at and see how dehydration affects sports performance.

Complete Guide To Building Bigger Shoulders

Introduction to Shoulder Building 101

A new course is available at Weik University on building massive shoulders. Those interested in sitting through an easy course, no need to look any further because class has just begun. Everyone is guaranteed an “A” for the course as long as you sit through the course and pay attention (you can take notes if you wish). From there, all you have to do is take what you learned from the course and utilize it in the gym for massive shoulder gains.

Let’s start with the basics of Chapter 1 and then get into more detail later on in the course.

Continue reading Complete Guide To Building Bigger Shoulders

Will Nitric Oxide Supplements Help You Gain Muscle?

Nitric Oxide, or NO Supplements, can certainly help you improve your gains in muscle and bodybuilding. Nitric Oxide works by signalling the body to expand the blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow. Put very simply, more blood flow to the muscles means more valuable oxygen and nutrients are getting to the muscles. This provides more muscle mass and allows for greater endurance, allowing you to workout longer. The added nutrients also promote faster muscle growth and quicker recovery from your workouts, provided you are eating a proper diet. NO or Nitric Oxide is especially effective when combined with adequate protein and Creatine supplementation.

Continue reading Will Nitric Oxide Supplements Help You Gain Muscle?

Ways To Pick A Good Protein Powder

Proteins are the building blocks required to repair and grow muscle tissue when participating in any type of activity that breaks down muscle tissue including particularly in our case, progressive resistance training.

Typically to gain muscle mass or even lose fat, you have to keep your protein intake high. A good rule of thumb to calculate protein for lean muscle gain is to multiply your lean body mass by 1-1.5. Then we would want to divide that intake into 5-6 meals over the course of the day.

Now to anyone who is a newbie to this concept, the thought of eating 6 chicken breasts a day or 8 eggwhites each meal can seem like a daunting task. Fear not as there is an alternative to eating 6 whole food protein sources a day that is guaranteed to deliver just as good as results.

Continue reading Ways To Pick A Good Protein Powder

BSN® Nominated for Nine Canadian Supplement Awards

BSN® is honored to have been nominated in nine categories for this year’s Muscle Insider Canadian Supplement Awards, recognizing the best nutritional supplements available to our friends north of the border! These awards are voted on by actual supplement users and consumers, so winning would be a tremendous achievement and yet another reinforcement of BSN®’s place among the worldwide leaders of the industry.

The complete list of BSN®’s nominations is as follows:

Please go to to place your votes. BSN® appreciates all your support, and we look forward to taking home a few of these trophies when the winners are announced!

ZMA Review

ZMA stands for zinc magnesium aspartate. I remember when this supplement came out years ago with all the usual hype.

Most ZMA capsules are a combination of these two before-mentioned minerals and vitamin B6.  Manufacturers claim taking it will promote lean muscle mass, improve  sleep, and increase testosterone production.  Let’s take a look at these an other claims made by the supplement makers.

Continue reading ZMA Review

Nutrex’s Deadline Diet

One of the most educational things a person can do for himself is to set a deadline for reaching his physique goal. An impending deadline forces you to accelerate the learning curve and you will acquire more info about how your body works than ever before. Sometimes the deadlines are self-imposed; other times you may have a specific event in mind for which you want to peak.

Maybe you’re a competitive bodybuilder prepping for an upcoming contest. Maybe you‘re just a regular guy or gal, who wants to knock the socks off your old friends at the high school reunion, or look good for your upcoming vacation on the beach. It doesn’t matter. The following diet can help you reach your goal.

Continue reading Nutrex’s Deadline Diet


Whey’s A Versatile Supplement
Whey protein is attractive to athletes largely because it’s an excellent source of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). An analysis of 25 studies published in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care suggests that whey has a lot more to offer above and beyond supporting muscle protein synthesis. Researchers believe that the bioactive microfractions found in whey might help lower blood glucose and insulin levels.

True Strength Moment: Contrary to what you might have heard, there is no single best protein to meet every need. There are many types because active adults are striving to meet such a wide range of goals. Lactoferrin, immunoglobulins and lactalbumin can be altered by processing. Because whey concentrate is closer to its natural state than isolates or peptides, it’s a great source for these bioactive compounds. So if your focus is recovery and immune system health, try a whey protein that contains a significant amount of concentrate.

Caffeine Factor: It’s The Highly Beloved & Most Ingested Drug In The World & For A Good Reason

Ever since the ancient Chinese brewed the first cup of tea and Ethiopian herders noticed their goats jumping about after munching coffee beans, we’ve been hooked on caffeine. Each day, nine out of 10 Americans ingest some form of caffeine. Two-thirds comes from the morning coffee slam, and the rest is spread across sodas, tea, energy drinks, supplements and chocolate. We may be hyped about caffeine, but caffeine doesn’t deserve its hype as an addictive, dehydrating and dangerous drug. Far from it.

Used the right way, caffeine can provide a healthy stimulating effect for both brawn and brain.

Continue reading Caffeine Factor: It’s The Highly Beloved & Most Ingested Drug In The World & For A Good Reason

Essential Amino Acids & The Growth Trigger

The synergistic effect of Essential Amino Acids and carb ingestion maximizes the anabolic response of resistance training by limiting the post-exercise rise in protein degradation and inhibiting post-training cortisol release. Carbs plus aminos, taken post-workout, induce muscle growth. “No sh!t,” you’re thinking… “I knew that.” Everybody who trains hard knows the deal, but how many truly practice what they preach? Beyond that, few optimize this vital window by using the right aminos best suited to ignite anabolism: essential amino acids (EAA’s).

Continue reading Essential Amino Acids & The Growth Trigger

5 Key Exercises For a chiseled set of rock-hard abs

Nothing completes a stellar physique like a set of rock-hard abs. Achieving success at any level of bodybuilding requires you to have deeply etched abs. How do you get them? We’ll show you how with five great exercises for carving out your own set of granite-hard abdominals. Just remember that the best ab development in the world will mean nothing if your abdominal muscles are covered with fat. So along with doing these ab exercises, make sure you follow a high-protein diet, eat a moderate level of carbohydrates, reduce your dietary fat intake, burn enough calories with training, and use Hydroxycut® Hardcore X to support your overall weight-loss goals. And to help yourself get enough protein for building muscle and aiding recovery from intense workouts, use Nitro-Tech® Hardcore. With the help of the Nitro-Tech family of products, you’ll have no trouble meeting your protein requirements.

Continue reading 5 Key Exercises For a chiseled set of rock-hard abs

Bust Fat & Build Muscle: GI & GL Perfect Combination!

What if you could have your cake and eat it too? What if you could build muscle without adding fat while still enjoying your carbs?

This is the power of the glycemic index and the glycemic load. The following bodybuilding diet program will be suited to those who find it too difficult a task to drop carbs to around 30 grams a day for 5 days (as in a cyclical carbohydrate diet). For carb lovers, this is as good as it gets!

Continue reading Bust Fat & Build Muscle: GI & GL Perfect Combination!

Creatine – Beyond The Confusion

It is the best selling supplement ever, period. Creatine sales totaled over 100 million dollars in last year alone! These sales were to everyone from middle scholars to the elderly.

Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine. That’s it, it is nothing more than a combination of amino acids.

Continue reading Creatine – Beyond The Confusion

A Winter Soup That’ll Make Muscle And Melt Fat

Protein-Packed, Muscle-Building Chili

This muscle-building chili recipe is jam-packed with protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber! Use it for a quick lunch on the go or between meals for a high-calorie snack. If you’re not a barley fan, it can be omitted.

Continue reading A Winter Soup That’ll Make Muscle And Melt Fat

Extreme Workout, Are You Tough Enough?

If you’re like most guys, you’re working out too slowly, spending too much time in the gym, and not seeing the results you want. But by condensing your workout into a perfectly designed 15-minute total-body pump, you can rev up your metabolism and burn massive amounts of fat (for the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day!) while building your aerobic endurance and stimulating muscle growth beyond your wildest dreams.

All you need is an effective workout that you can squeeze into 15 minutes. Here’s a total-body workout that requires just 900 seconds of your precious time. Think you’re man enough? It won’t take long to find out!

Continue reading Extreme Workout, Are You Tough Enough?

Four For Your Core

Infomercials are right about one thing: Exercise devices can put you on the fast track to a six-pack. But the best ones don’t go by names like Ab Rocket or Torso Tiger, and you won’t see them on late-night TV. They’re already in your gym, says David Jack, general manager of Competitive Athlete Training Zone in Acton, Massachusetts. Add these four to your ab routine to accelerate your gains.

Continue reading Four For Your Core

Unparalleled Gains in Dense Muscle with Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series

Scientifically Advanced Musclebuilding Protein Formula

Introducing Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series, a Scientifically Advanced Musclebuilding Protein Formula. Backed by a portion of a multimillion-dollar research and development budget, the Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series formula was ingeniously formulated to build upon the muscle and strength-building properties of whey protein – making it a truly technologically advanced musclebuilding whey protein formulation!s

Unparalleled Gains in Dense Muscle with Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series

Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series is mega-dosed with multiple anabolic agents to deliver rapid and dramatic muscle gains for bodybuilders and athletes of all levels. In fact, advanced Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series is now loaded with 25 percent more protein than the previous version and delivers 11 grams of leucine and 13 grams of additional BCAAs with every maxed-out daily dose! In addition, a key ingredient in Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series features Micro-Diffuse™ Technology, designed to increase the dissolution of a critical anabolic agent by drastically reducing the size of the particles. Driven by the anabolic musclebuilding power of SynthePro®, and featuring the state-of-the-art blends Nitroxen® and Insulogen®, Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series is truly a scientifically advanced musclebuilding protein formula. In fact, subjects using the core formula in Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series packed on incredibly more lean muscle than subjects using whey protein.

University Research Supports Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series

In order to engineer Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series, Team MuscleTech™ teamed up with researchers from St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Saskatchewan to conduct some of the most innovative musclebuilding research in history. Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series features Nitrogen Retention Technology, developed to drive nitrogen retention for fast and great muscle gains.  The power of Nitrogen Retention Technology is illustrated by the incredible muscle gains experienced by subjects using the core formula in Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series along with a hardcore training program. Just check out the study results! ‡In a six-week, double-blind study involving 36 test subjects with at least three years of weight-training experience, not only did subjects gain more muscle, subjects using the core formula in Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series also jacked up their bench press more than subjects using whey protein.

Mouth-Watering Flavors Make Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series a Must-Have

Researchers at Team MuscleTech™ collaborated with product development specialists and industry-leading flavoring experts to develop a protein formulation with a velvety smooth taste to rival that of the richest, purest dessert delicacies known to man. Using decadent cocoa, and after conducting countless internal   blind-comparison sensory laboratory taste tests and vastly improving any prototype deemed somehow imperfect, Team MuscleTech™ researchers finally achieved flavor perfection. You’ll be absolutely blown away by the rich, indulgent, milkshake taste of Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series Chocolate Milkshake.

Micro-Diffuse Technology
Tri-phasic Filtration Technology

The Powerful Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series Formula Features Micro-Diffuse™ Technology

After developing a scientifically advanced protein formula backed by a university study and independent research on its key ingredients, Team MuscleTech™  employed a state-of-the-art delivery system to put part- icle science to work for you: Micro-Diffuse Technology™. The advanced technological system delivers smaller, micron-sized particles of a key musclebuilding ingredient with enhanced dissolution and dispersion properties.

Tri-Phasic Filtration Technology – Another Advanced Mechanism Featured in Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series

A remarkable technology also driving the purity of the whey protein of Nitro-Tech®  Hardcore Pro Series is its state-of-the-art Tri-Phasic Filtration Technology, which is designed to ensure the ultra-anabolic properties of the whey protein remain intact and the structural integrity of the protein fractions are preserved. Tri-Phase Filtration Technology involves three phases, all performed to enhance the overall purity of the whey protein in Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series:

  1. Microfiltration is the process in which fat is removed from the protein to help make the whey protein in Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series a perfect protein choice for athletes who want a lean, muscular physique.
  2. Ultrafiltration involves the concentration of protein, which entails removing lactose, making it much easier to digest and helping those with sensitive stomachs avoid negative side effects, like bloating.
  3. Metafiltration is the final step in Tri-Phasic Filtration Technology; it involves the removal of any impurities from the whey protein. It purifies and concentrates solids, which makes the protein particles in Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series ultra-pure.

Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series – The Future of Musclebuilding!

For over a decade Team MuscleTechTM has brought countless bodybuilders and athletes across the globe multiple steps in the evolution of the Nitro-Tech® formula for incredible gains in lean muscle. Now this brand new formulation, Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series, is the complete solution for building massive, dense muscle, fast!‡ If you are truly serious about building muscle and strength fast, add Nitro-Tech® Hardcore Pro Series to your training program.

BSN’s Award Winning Supplement – Syntha 6

Syntha-6™ is the ultra-premium protein with an ultra-premium taste. Our multi-functional protein blend utilizes multiple individual proteins, each with varying digestive rates and distinct amino acid profiles. This combination ensures active muscles are fed for hours with the most complete blend of proteins available.

To enhance this ultra-premium blend, Syntha-6™ has been loaded with BCAAs, muscle-sparing glutamine peptides, A²ZORB™ for greater digestion and healthy MCTs and essential fatty acids.* Last but certainly not least, each serving of Syntha-6™ provides you with 5 grams of fiber for slower digestion and increased nutrient uptake.

Not only does Syntha-6™ produce mouthwatering shakes, which can only be described as “ridiculously delicious,” it provides you a meal perfect for rigorous training schedules and hectic lifestyles.


  • Produces “ridiculously delicious” protein drinks that maximize lean muscle development*
  • Doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or stuffed; great for several-times-daily use
  • Multi-Functional A.M.-P.M. Protein Blend: ultra-premium quality proteins + digestive enzymes
  • Packed with BCAAs (for nitrogen balance), Glutamine Peptides (recovery, immune system), MCTs (fast energy) and fiber


  • “Ridiculously delicious” protein shakes that make following a high-protein diet easy and enjoyable
  • Packed with BCAAs, glutamine, heart-healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals for a nutritionally complete meal replacement*
  • Multi-functional protein blend, ideal for A.M. and P.M. use
  • Enhanced with digestive enzymes for complete digestion, protein utilization and intestinal health*
  • No bloating or stomach discomfort; ultra-premium protein sources used in formula

RECOMMENDED USE FOR MALES: As a dietary supplement, take 2 scoops (providing approx. 44 grams of protein) with 8-10 oz of cold water or any beverage of your choice. Use approximately 4-5 oz of liquid per 1 scoop of powder. Vary the amount of liquid to achieve your desired flavor and consistency. Drink 2-4 servings daily, or as needed to satisfy your protein or muscle-enhancing requirements. To increase your protein intake per serving and to achieve an amazing milkshake taste, use non-fat or low-fat milk.

RECOMMENDED USE FOR FEMALES: As a dietary supplement, take 1 scoop (providing approx. 22 grams of protein) with 4-5 oz of cold water or any beverage of your choice. Vary the amount of liquid to achieve your desired consistency. Drink 2-4 servings daily, or as needed to satisfy your protein or body-shaping requirements. To increase your protein intake per serving and to achieve an amazing milkshake taste, use non-fat or low-fat milk or your favorite soy beverage.

There’s No Higher Standard in Protein: ISO 100

ISO•100, the ultimate ZERO CARB Whey protein…that actually tastes good!

Dymatize ISO•100 derives its name from its protein source, 100% Whey Protein Isolate. Unless you are in the medical profession, you have probably never seen protein like this before.

Most companies “claim” they use Whey Protein Isolate, but after one serving of Dymatize ISO•100 you can instantly see, taste and even feel the difference! Our Whey Protein Isolate has been processed to the zenith of perfection, 100% hydrolyzed and instantized and taken through no less than 5 quality controlled steps. Both lactose and fat have been removed from ISO•100, leaving you with nothing but the most easily digested, assimilated and most bio-available source of protein on the market.

We know that maximum protein utilization is essential to aiding muscle recovery and maintaining a positive nitrogen balance, which is critical during periods of intense training. There is no higher standard of protein than ISO•100, so feel confident that you will be feeding your muscles to their fullest potential!

Check the stats: each serving has an astonishing 24 grams of protein, with “0” Carb & “0” Fat. Look closer. You will see that all this is in a serving size of about 28 grams, making ISO•100 90% protein by weight! Nothing out there matches our formula, nothing even comes close.

The meticulous processing of Dymatize Whey Protein Isolate gives you “instant mixability” in its true form. You won’t believe how quickly Dymatize ISO•100 goes into solution. And, because of its ultra-purity and zero lactose, Dymatize ISO•100 could be the easiest protein to digest on the market today.

Don’t forget, with zero carbohydrates, Dymatize ISO•100 is perfect for low carb diets.

The Need For Speed: Accelerate Your Muscle Growth

You’ve undoubtedly tried different programs in search of more size and deeper cuts. You’ve gone high rep, you’ve gone low rep, you’ve pyramided up, you’ve pyramided down hell, you’d do the freakin’ Hokey Pokey every day if some study somewhere proved that it packed on muscle.

One overlooked variable for many bodybuilders, however, is rep speed. The prevailing mantra is slow and steady, contracting the working muscle as forcefully as possible at the apex of each rep. Good advice, yes … but you can do better. In fact, by using the full spectrum of rep speed, from slow to fast, in your overall program, you can maximize your growth. Isn’t that really what it’s all about?

Continue reading The Need For Speed: Accelerate Your Muscle Growth


Maybe you’ve heard about how betaine derived from beet root can help increase the performance of long-distance cyclists and other endurance athletes. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research recently tested betaine’s effect on strength training. Scientists supplemented a hydrating beverage with 2.5 grams of betaine and had half of the study subjects drink that beverage or a placebo for 14 days. Each day, subjects performed 10 sets of bench presses to failure. The lifters who supplemented with betaine were able to perform about 6.5% more reps leading to greater training volume.

True Strength Moment: Scientists aren’t sure what the specific mechanism for improvement was, but post-workout levels of blood lactate didn’t rise as much in betaine supplemented subjects. If you’re going to put betaine to the test in your gym’s weight room, avoid the temptation of bench pressing every day like these study subjects. You’ll get more out of your training if you give each muscle group at least 48 hours to recover.

Squat For Size

Legs the size of Mini Coopers. If you’re avoiding the squat rack, it’s time to give that daydream a rest. The squat is one of the most revered choices in the exercise catalog because of its uncanny ability to pack muscle onto your wheels. Bodybuilding greats (and squat scholars) eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman and two-time Arnold Classic winner Kevin Levrone both swore by it as the lower-body mass-building movement.

In theory, it’s as primal as using a bone for a toothbrush you drape a bar loaded with weight on your back, crouch down and explode up. Easier said than done. Executing the squat properly is anything but basic. Jim Stoppani, PhD, provides a step-by-step guide, plus tips so you’ll know squat about the squat.

Now that you’ve been schooled in the squat, follow these tips from Stoppani to ensure that you’re packing bulk onto your lower limbs.

1 Find Your Footing

Positioning your feet wide, like a sumo squat, will target the glutes and inner quads. A narrow stance will focus on the outer area of the legs and develop more quad sweep.

2 Head In The Game

Never look down, because glancing downward will flex your cervical spine and put pressure on the disks in your neck.

3 Watch Your Weight

Do not trade form for weight. A bunch of plates jammed onto the bar might boost your ego, but it won’t improve your legs. Go lighter and perfect the mechanics until your form is sound.

4 How Low Should You Go?

Descend until your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Stopping short of that position can detract from full upper-leg development.

5 Ramp Up The Reps

Consistency with reps could shortchange growth. The majority should fall in the 8-12 range, the legs respond well to higher reps, but don’t hesitate to ramp it up to 15 reps if you feel inclined.

6 Rest Remix

Two to three minutes between sets should be plenty of time to recover. But, just as you do with reps, mix it up. Shorter rest periods of a minute or 30 seconds will exhaust the muscle, allow for a larger build up of lactic acid and cause the body to release more growth hormone.

7 Wrap It Up

In the past, it was widely believed that knee wraps prohibited muscle activity, because of the reliance on the wraps’ elasticity. A new study from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, shows that wraps do not interfere with muscle growth and may even allow you to go heavier.

8 Belt One Out

Use a weight belt when squatting up to or exceeding 80% of your one-rep max. An added benefit of a belt: it can further increase pressure in the abdominal cavity for better stabilization of the spine.

9 Knees And Toes

You’ve heard it before: extending your knees over your toes will cause injury. Not necessarily. A new study shows that trying to prevent this actually placed more stress on the lower back, and that the knees experienced less stress when they did extend past the toes.

10 Partial Squats

Develop bigger teardrop muscles by performing only the upper half of the movement with heavier weight as this is when the muscle receives most of the stress. Do two or three sets of these before moving on to full squats.

Primary Muscles Worked

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Adductors
  • Sartorius

Secondary Muscles Worked

  • Calves
  • Spinal erectors
  • Abdominals

Supplementing with Iron Can Fight Fatigue

Your days are filled with a tight schedule of racing to work, working and catching up on the latest important information and water-cooler work gossip, followed by a mid-day battle to hold your eyelids open, another race home (and opportunity to tow the car behind you if he gets any closer), a workout, housework, dinner, time with family…and let’s not forget quality time on Twitter and Facebook. Yep, our days are busy, but if you are fatigued all the time, it may not be your busy schedule that’s sapping your energy.

What Is Iron?

Iron is an essential mineral for our health. It regulates cell growth and differentiation and is a structural component of many proteins and enzymes. The iron in our body is mainly found in hemoglobin, myoglobin, enzymes that assist with biochemical reactions and storage proteins.

Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues in our body and myoglobin is a protein that supplies oxygen to our working muscles. Because iron is so critical to proteins involved in oxygen transport, low iron levels and a true deficiency can lead to a number of symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Mental “fogginess”
  • Lowered immunity
  • Feeling cold, difficulty maintaining body temperature
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Poor performance in work and school
  • Glossitis (inflamed tongue)

How much iron do you need every day? It depends on if you are a male or female, pregnant or lactating and your age:

 Age  Males (mg/day) Females (mg/day) Pregnant (mg/day) Lactating (mg/day)
9-13 8 8 N/A N/A
14-18 11 15 27 10
19-50 8 18 27 9
50+ 8 8 N/A N/A

You can get iron from food and therefore shouldn’t, hypothetically, need to supplement if you eat the right foods every day. The problem is that many do not as evidenced by the fact that iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutrient deficiency in the world.

Iron deficiency develops in stages over time. First, our iron intake doesn’t meet our daily needs. Next our storage form of iron is depleted (while the typical tests for anemia, hemoglobin and hematocrit, remain normal at this stage). By the time a person is anemic, both their storage form of iron and blood iron levels cannot meet their daily needs.

Your best bet for eating your iron is red meat. If you don’t like red meat, dig into a serving of chicken livers or clams and you’ll get all the iron you need for a day. If you’ve nixed those top three sources, you can get iron from fish and poultry and several grain-based foods as well. However, there are two types of iron, heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in foods of animal origin only.

We absorb about 15-35% of heme iron and absorption isn’t affected by other foods we eat. Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods (vegetables, grains, breakfast cereals etc). Only 2-20% of non-heme iron is absorbed and many factors affect the absorption of non-heme iron. The following food components, when eaten at the same time as non-heme iron, decrease its absorption:

  • tannins (found in tea and wine)
  • calcium (dairy, multivitamins)
  • polyphenols
  • phytates (legumes, whole grains)
  • some proteins in soy food

Unfortunately, many of the most abundant sources of non-heme iron are foods that contain substances that also inhibit its absorption. However, you can increase the amount of non-heme iron you absorb by consuming vitamin C rich foods or beverages or heme iron (from meat, turkey, chicken and fish) at the same time.

Sounds complicated doesn’t it? Luckily our body does an amazing job at compensating: the biggest factor influencing iron absorption is your storage levels of iron. If iron stores are high, absorption levels drop. However, if storage is low, absorption increases in an effort to build optimal storage levels. Sometimes though, our compensation mechanisms can’t bring us back to normal levels.

How The Bodybuilding Supplement Iron Can Help You Fight Fatigue:

Bodybuilders Know Their Diet

As a bodybuilder, you are very aware of what you’re consuming and will find out if your diet is lacking in any nutrients. And, if your diet falls short, you’ll turn to a dietitian or physician to find out the best way to make up for that shortfall.

Bodybuilders Recognize When Something Doesn’t Feel Right

Being in tune with your body pays off. As a bodybuilder, you won’t put up with mild fatigue – one of the first signs of iron deficiency. And, because you are always reading about health, nutrition and working out, you realize that even before you are truly anemic, mild iron deficiency can make you feel like garbage.

Bodybuilders Are Supplement Savvy

As a bodybuilder, you will dig deep to find out what you need and how to get it. And, you know by now that even supplements in the same category are not always created equally. And, iron is no different – if our bodies absorb heme iron better than non-heme, it makes sense to take a heme iron based supplement if you have iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia. Plus you need less heme iron then non-heme iron to get your levels back to normal which means you should experience fewer side effects (namely constipation – the most common side effect of iron supplements).

Additional Tips To Fight Fatigue:

Get Checked

As in, go to the doctor. If you know you eat plenty of iron in your diet, you may have anemia that isn’t due to iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, depressed metabolism due to chronic dieting, stress, mono or something else. The only way to find out is to have a physician look at your symptoms and then rule out what you don’t have.

Sleep Well And On A Regular Schedule

If you feel like you are tired all the time, it makes sense to take a cold hard look at your sleep habits. And, I have news for you: few of us can get by on 6 hours a night every night. Power down your electronic equipment, turn your phone on silent and shut the shades. In order to function well every day, we need to recharge at night.

De-stress And De-clutter

Stress and clutter take time and sap energy. De-clutter and un-friend (or “hide”) things and people that drag you down rather than bring you up.

Background Information and Benefits of CLA

Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a slightly altered form of linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid important to human health. Omega-6 fatty acids are derived from the foods we eat primarily from meat and dairy products [13]. Therefore, CLA is primarily found in meat and diary products.

Scientific interest in CLA was first stimulated in 1988 when a University of Wisconsin researcher discovered its cancer-fighting properties in a study of rats fed fried hamburger [8]. CLA cannot be produced by the human body, but it can be obtained through foods such as whole milk, butter, beef, and lamb.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a potent anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogen, and anti-catabolite, as well as a powerful immune system enhancer [1]. Some of the common accolades of CLA are assistance in fat burning, building and retention of lean muscle, and is a cancer fighter.

Some of the most known suggested benefits of CLA supplementation include:

  • Increased metabolic rate— This would obviously be a positive benefit for any type of athlete that is trying to lose weight and improve body composition.
  • Enhanced muscle growth — Muscle burns fat, which also contributes to increased metabolism, which is useful in weight loss and management.
  • Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides— Since many people these days have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, even with treatment, this benefit can have an impact on any person who has high cholesterol.
  • Lowers insulin resistance — Lowering insulinresistance has been shown to help prevent adult-onset diabetes and make it easier to control weight.
  • Reduces food-induced allergic reactions— Since food allergies can be at play when weight loss becomes difficult, this can be of help.
  • Enhances immune system – With the variety of bacteria and poor immune systems in contemporary society, enhancing the immune system’s ability to function properly is a positive benefit to all.

CLA supplementation was also shown to improve the lean mass to body fat ratio, decreasing fat deposition, especially on the abdomen, and enhancing muscle growth. CLA achieves this reaction by it reduces body fat by enhancing insulin sensitivity so that fatty acids and glucose can pass through muscle cell membranes and away from fat tissue [2]. This results in an improved muscle to fat ratio.

Compelling evidence also indicates that CLA can promote youthful metabolic function and reduce body fat. The unique mechanism by which this fatty acid protects against disease makes it an important addition to any supplement program.

Contemporary American society is one that is arguably different than previous generations. Contemporary Americans are generally deficient in consumption of CLA, which is mostly due to the changes that have occurred in the practices of feeding cattle. Since CLA comes primarily from meat and dairy products, changes in the feeding habits of cattle would have a great impact on CLA, which have led to a decline in the content of CLA in meat and dairy products.

For optimal CLA production, cows need to graze on grass rather than be artificially fattened in feed lots [19]. Studies and research findings have shown that the meat form grass-fed cows contain up to four times as much CLA as their non-grass-fed counterparts [15]. Today’s dairy products have only about one third of the CLA content they used to have before 1960 [15].

As any person walking down the street in America can see, we have an obesity epidemic in this country. Now I am not saying that CLA is America’s savior for fighting obesity but American’s deficiency in CLA could have an influence. Several animal studies showed that adding CLA to the diet resulted in leaner, more muscular bodies. One 1996 study, for instance, showed as much as 58% lower body fat in CLA-supplemented mice [6].

As mentioned earlier, CLA is a component of red meat that has been shown to prevent cancer. The FDA has also published research attesting to the anti-cancer properties of CLA [12]. CLA is used by body builders to drive glucose into muscle cells to produce anabolic effects. Dieters can use this same sugar burning mechanism to prevent serum glucose from turning into body fat. The new CLA oil is about 50% stronger in the cis-9, trans-11, isomer, which is considered the best by scientists [2].

CLA is also chemically related to linoleic acid, but appears to have opposite effects in certain important areas. For instance, linoleic acid stimulates fat formation, which is commonly known as lipogenesis, in adipose tissue, while research suggests that CLA inhibits fat formation. Another difference lies in tumor formation; linoleic acid tends to promote tumor growth, while research suggests that CLA is a great inhibitor of tumor development.

Finally another difference lies in that linoleic acid makes cholesterol more susceptible to oxidation, while CLA makes cholesterol more stable [7]. Due to the enormous impact that fatty acids have on our physiology, an excess of linoleic acid combined with a deficiency of CLA could have far-reaching effects on health and longevity.