What Are Prohormones and Are They Still Around?

If you hadn’t heard of them yet, Prohormones were once seen as the future of supplements. However, if you were to ask around about them now, you would hear more about the drawbacks of using a prohormone than the benefits. Why did everyone’s attitude towards these once highly sought after items change? It seems like such a great idea, to use parts of steroids that were scrapped to create new Frankenstein-like supplements, right? Wait, yes you read that right, I did just write out scrapped parts because, essentially, that’s what prohormones are. Without knowing this, most everyone was under the impression that these were a safer choice, when compared to using steroids.

What is the Future of Prohormones?

In 2014, the majority did not feel that way, as these products were considered far too dangerous for human use, scary, right? There was a large report that documented just how risky these little capsules were to use. If you missed out on the window in which prohormones were available, consider yourself lucky. I remember trying one of these, at the request of my older brother and I so regret it. Within a couple of days, I had pain that would shoot up my sides and I stopped taking it immediately. I came up with a lie, telling him my wife freaked out when she saw them but the truth was that I didn’t want to put myself through the physical pain anymore. I thought that I pulled a side muscle, that’s how bad the pain was. It wasn’t until I looked around online that I found that this condition was normal, at least as normal as that kind of pain can be, I suppose.

If you were to look around now, you won’t find any actual prohormones (or at least, you shouldn’t) but companies have found ways to make alternatives. With these alternate products, most are hit and miss. It’s an odd thing to use a supplement that aims to do what they big name prohormones did, without them ever being allowed to have the same ingredients. As for what the future holds, the outlook for prohormones doesn’t appear to be a good one. I don’t honestly believe that were going to see some rebirth of these supplements, like some do. After dealing with five days of pain, where I could barely sleep, I would have to say good riddance to the old days where prohormones were thought to be the new king of the supplement world.

Melatonin Supplements Found to be Under Fire

One supplement that I know quite a bit about would be melatonin. For the past five years I have, off and on, been taking melatonin. This supplement is made to help promote deeper and more peaceful sleep. One reason that I’ve always liked this supplement is because it wouldn’t make me oversleep. There are far more dangerous supplements to take for sleep but I’ve always avoided them. The uncertainty of how long I could oversleep always kept my guard up. The last thing that I wanted to do was oversleep and risk getting fired! However, there is news being recently reported that melatonin might be misleading us!

sleeping outside

There have been reports stating that there are huge variances in between what some supplement companies are listing and what is actually there. No companies have been named but barely less than three-fourths of companies tested were found to have results that didn’t match what was in the supplement. The one saving grace of hearing this news is that melatonin is a relatively safe supplement.  While nothing is impossible, it is very hard to get a crazy high amount of melatonin, even if the supplement is incorrectly dosed. Interestingly enough, the melatonin levels were found to be higher than what was on the label. I had feared that companies were not putting enough of the sleep inducing ingredient in their products. I am sort of shocked that these select few companies were going overboard on the melatonin. Variances in how much melatonin you are actually getting per serving could have widespread implications on the world of supplements. You would have to be living under a rock to not know that there is a major wave of distrust for most supplements. Hearing news of these study results are sure to only fuel the fire for increased supplement regulations.

I do have to admit that I’ve noticed there have been times where melatonin has my sleep all mixed up. I have always had various problems sleeping. There was a brief period of my life where I could only sleep a few hours a night. I was in college at the time and under an incredible amount of stress. Melatonin was the only thing I could use to safely get a good night’s rest without oversleeping. Since I was working while I was in college, missing a day of work meant I was losing out on money and I didn’t want that. Looking back, I’m not sure if I will continue to use melatonin as much as I used to. I know that it isn’t great to use melatonin every single day. I currently try to only use melatonin when I know that there will be a change in my sleep levels. For example, if I know that my shifts at work will change, I will use melatonin so that I can wake up earlier. As any night owl knows, there are times when melatonin can be your best friend. After hearing about the mistakes of labeling, I may have to downgrade melatonin from best friend to occasional acquaintance! I eagerly await to see if there will be any companies named in this study. However, I think hearing the news of the results of this study say all that needs to be said, in regards to the current state of supplemental products.

Don’t Call Beta BCAA Weak!

Cellucor is back at it again with another new supplement release that everyone is talking about. This branched chain amino acid supplement is known as Beta BCAA. I’m not too crazy about the name of this product but let’s take a closer look at those ingredients to find out more. The first thing that I’ve noticed about Beta BCAA is that it offers its amino as a 2:1:1 ratio, commonly seen as the most effective way to ration out a series of amino acids. There are other ratios that you can implement a BCAA with but most statistics show the 2:1:1 ratio to work exceptionally well. To be more specific, there are 2.5 grams of leucine, 1.25 grams of isoleucine, and 1.25 grams of valine per serving of Beta BCAA.

For those of us who have problems digesting caffeine but still need an energy boost to get moving, a BCAA supplement could be just what you are looking for. Also, if you are sick of the same old flavors of your current branched chain amino acid supplement, Cellucor has you covered! The flavor selection for Beta BCAA could still use a few improvements, as there are only three flavors currently available. The Beta BCAA flavors are limeade, topical splash, and watermelon.

After getting the chance to try all three flavors, there really isn’t a bad one in the bunch. I personally enjoyed the topical splash flavor the most, followed by the watermelon, and the limeade. I feel that the only thing setting the limeade flavor back was that it was a bit too bitter for my tastes. However, taste is something that is clearly subjective and I encourage you to try the limeade flavor for yourself. What separates Beta from other BCAA supplements out there is that, in addition to the 2:1:1 ratio of aminos, you receive an additional 3 grams of citrulline malate and 1.6 grams of beta alanine.

A headache that anyone who has tried a BCAA product knows about is trying to mix up your supplement. Usually, you will end up with a chunky beverage that is flaky and hard to drink. Don’t even get me started on having a clump of supplement powder dissolve in your mouth because it wasn’t mixed properly! The Beta BCAA mixes up very smoothly, especially when using an actual shaker cup with the mixing ball within it. I felt more energized within about twenty minutes after finishing my drink. I had a long drive to where I would go to lift so I had this drink emptied as I was pulling into the parking lot.

One cool aspect of using BCAA’s is that they can be taken before training, during, or after you’re done in the weight room. The added versatility of branched chain amino acids sometimes makes them more convenient than a preworkout powder. Take it from someone who needs a lot of energy just to wake up in the morning, Beta BCAA packs quite the punch. You won’t be feeling shaky and out of control with this supplement but rather more focused and headstrong. It’s tough to explain but once you’ve tried Cellucor’s new branched chain amino acid product, you’ll have a better idea of the feeling I am talking about. Overall, this inexpensive BCAA supplement is one that anyone serious about their nutrition should take a second look at.

What Can Ease Chronic Headaches?

If there is one thing I hate the most, it would have to be a headache. I’m prone to getting these painful ailments about two to three times a week. The worst headaches are migraines, those ones that are so bad you just want to hide from the world. If you can name it, it’s likely that I’ve tried it for headache relief. What one new study found was that the lack of a certain vitamin can greatly attribute to suffering from headaches. The vitamin that you get from the sunlight, vitamin D has been shown to help reduce headaches.

What a study found was that out of two groups of people, the ones who had less vitamin D were more prone to headaches. I do have to say that one product I definitely recommend is BC Powder. If you haven’t tried the powder before, it tastes like death, but it works extremely well. However, I was hoping to look for a remedy that was a little more natural, which is why I went with vitamin D If you choose, you get your vitamin D through a supplement, although some enjoy to get this through exposure to sunlight. You don’t need me to tell you to not overdo it in the sun, just be cautious. Many don’t think that sunburn is that big of a deal, barring the painful skin. However, getting a sunburn will make you prone to getting them easier throughout your life.

There are consequences that are associated with consuming too much vitamin D, you don’t want to overdo it. What occurs when you have an overabundance of this vitamin is that calcium will start to form in your blood. Having a normal amount of calcium is perfectly normal, however, when you go overboard, this is where problems can occur. Lack of appetite and vomiting are two of the worst drawbacks to having a buildup of calcium in the blood. It’s important to know when remedies aren’t fixing the problem. If you have been taking vitamin D and noticed that it isn’t helping your headaches, this is when it is time to see a medical professional.

Hydro Pump by Nutrakey is Intense!

Versatility is a crucial part of any good supplement. I often find that products I continue to order will be ones that have multiple uses. Hydro Pump is known as a supplement that can intensify your preworkout, yet it can be used by itself. Figuring out your tolerance to caffeine is something that must be done on your own. I could estimate, as best as could be expected, how much caffeine is too much but it would be based on weight. Also, everyone will react differently to large amounts of caffeine. Why I love Hydro Pump is because, although I can handle my caffeine, there are some days where I don’t feel like being a shaky mess for hours on end. There are really nice flavors that come with Hydro Pump: cotton candy, strawberry lemonade, and unflavored. I’ve never seen the joy in an unflavored supplement but I do see why some prefer them, over any flavoring, it could even be due to allergic reaction possibilities.

Is This Supplement Effective On Its Own?

Yes, I found that Hydro Pump still provided me with an awesome edge, when it came time to hit my arms. I have to admit, it was honestly nice to not have that queasy feeling in my stomach, you know the one, of my body telling me that it has way too much caffeine in it. Hydro Pump is free of stimulant ingredients but don’t let that write this one off, it still gets you moving. The bread and butter of this supplement is how it affects your pump, or how much strength you are providing while you lift weights. A supplement that is known for a good pump will have you experiencing the following: harder muscles, increased veins appearing, and the ability to lift heavier weight. I was eager to step up to some heavy sets of curls and wasn’t sure if Hydro Pump would pull me through, without feeling tired. Thank goodness, the delicious cotton candy flavored beverage that I had in my shaker cup kept me going strong until well after my workout was over. Best of all, I noticed that my arms looked like they belonged to someone else.

Where I normally have minimal definition and arms that look good in shirts but not in tank tops, I actually felt much better about my lifting progress. Looking in the mirror isn’t an activity I often do, regardless of what anyone who knows me tells you, but I couldn’t stop checking out how much more defined I look. As sad as it is to admit, I do have to say that, after my first time using Hydro Pump, I may have strutted around the gym to show off. After being impressed with Hydro Pump being so effective for a stimulant free supplement, I had to try it with another pre workout. Again, this supplement is very versatile and since it’s ingredients are made for a better pump and not more energy, you generally will not run too much risk in mixing Hydro Pump with something else. I had a favorite pre workout on hand that I felt had been waning in strength, making it the perfect candidate to be mixed with Hydro Pump, now I see why the unflavored one is so popular. Within about twenty minutes, I felt like I had a stronghold over my old limits. I don’t often get to breakthrough my limits but when it happens, there isn’t a better feeling that I could think of!

Flavored Water or Sports Drinks: Selecting the Best

For many gym goers, there face endless variety when they get to that vending machine. I’m speaking for those of us that can’t stand the taste of normal water. I will try and find any way around having to drink plain old water, I just can’t do it. Needless to say, when I get thirsty and I can’t be seen guzzling down a soda, I face two choices: flavored water or a sports drink. Flavored water certainly isn’t a new and groundbreaking product but he can get me to put down the soda pop. As it stands, there are many different options to have your water flavored, including: powders, drops, etc. When it comes down to my favorite flavored water, I have to pick Propel.

Where I live, the Summer season is one that is unbearably hot, if you aren’t drinking plenty of water, you could end up passing out in the heat. When I know that my brain is telling me to clean up what I am drinking, I always reach for the Propel, if possible. As for the flavor picks, I love the orange mandarine and the grape. The trickiest part about having the Propel water around is not drinking down the whole bottle in a single gulp. I am someone who always feels like I am in a state of constant thirst and without the acidity of soda, I can definitely put down a lot of water. On the other hand, I have always grown up around sports drinks and am a big fan of the products. The two main sports drink companies are Gatorade and Powerade and both have delicious options to drink up, when you are breaking a sweat. If you hear the commercials made the makers of these sports drinks, it is said that they have great ways of keeping you hydrated.

After all, one of the companies came up with their beverage because they needed to keep a college football team hydrated, definitely one that is backed by science. The world of the flavored water was not content to just give you a way to drink more water, soon they would begin to start adding vitamins and minerals of their own. Today, attitudes are changing and people are worrying more about their healthiness and less about the next sugary soda. With the age of the soda having such a huge share in the drink market seeming to lose it’s hold, there are numerous waters and juices that are more than eager to being to take their spot. As far as sports drinks are concerned, I have got to go with Gatorade as my all time favorite, their Glacier Ice flavor has gotten me through many colds and grueling workouts. Having to put down the water, in favor of another drink is choice that has never bothered me, not with so many delicious juices and sports drinks there are out there.

The best way to find which alternative to water that you like is to try some of them yourself. The worst thing that can happen, when finding your favorite gym drink, is that you’re going to drink a few that you don’t like. What is important is that you find something that can help you cut back on the soda, even if you can’t stand drinking pure water!

dont skip your water

Can Vitamins Help Your Hearing?

As someone who listens to their music sound, while I am clanging some weights around, a problem that I know some of you have. Since I can remember, I have always heard two things regarding my hearing that have scared me for about thirty years. I was told that hearing had everything to do with the ear itself and once that hearing is gone, it doesn’t come back. I’m now able to actually rest a little easier knowing that studies are showing that hearing damage is, indeed, reversible. As to how much hearing you can recover, that will depend on many other factors but knowing that we can turn back the clock, through a healthier diet, is motivation enough for me to change up the way that I eat. I hope you’re sitting down for this next fact because it took me a few minutes to process it, that is how odd it sounds.

The fact is this: your hearing loss is not the fault of your ear, it doesn’t get damaged in that way, without something causing trauma to it. Yes, the hearing loss that we can experience is from our brains aging, not our ears. The sensation of hearing becoming diminished is because the brain is starting to have some difficulties in the job that it needs to do. One of the vitamins that can be the most helpful for bringing back some of your hearing would be vitamin A. One delicious way to get some more vitamin A into your daily meals would be through sweet potatoes. If you haven’t tried them before, get ready for a treat, sweet potatoes could actually pass a dessert because they are that good.

Of course, I enjoy my sweet potatoes with a very large amount of butter, so if you are watching calories, you may just want to make them plain. Even if you don’t choose to load your sweet potatoes up with butter, they still taste great plain. Up next, as another great source of the hearing healing vitamin A would come from mangoes. While it is a fruit, this one isn’t that sour and actually has a sweeter taste to it, if you mind the prepping process. Be warned, if you are preparing a mango for the first time, they can be quite difficult to cut up but are worth the time that you will spend on them. You don’t need to only eat the past two foods that I spoke of, if you get one hundred percent of the daily amount of vitamin A, your hearing is well on it’s way to slowly being repaired. The rate at which you noticed improved hearing will vary from person to person but lifting those weights with loud music will leave you with ears that could probably use some vitamin A.

It seems too good to be true but, as fate would have it, you could actually repair the hearing loss that you have undergone, with a handful of different foods. The last kind of damage that you want to cause would be any to your ears so, no matter how pumped up you are feeling, try to keep your headphone volume down reasonably low. If there is one thing that I have learned, when you start lifting to loud music, your ears adjust and because you want more intensity, it stands to reason that you will eventually turn it up even louder.

Two Flavors of Sports Beans Tasted and Reviewed!

Sports Beans are made by the Jelly Belly company and, to be honest, I didn’t have super high expectations about the effectiveness of this product. I have tried some weird things, all in the name of getting a bit more energy but jellybeans have never been on my radar, for those purposes. When I received some Sports Beans as a gift, from my loving wife, I figured I might as well review them. I had to look like I was bit more interested in the item than I really was because I was so skeptical. Thinking that my wife had just thrown away a buck or two, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had to eat a big slice of humble pie, along with a side of crow, as I popped the first jellybean into my mouth. Initially, I could tell that these sports beans were larger than the Jelly Belly’s that I am used to. I had two packets of the sports beans to try, one was all fruit punch, while the other package was an assortment of various flavors. I decided to walk on the wide side and grab the assorted flavor pouch first.

Upon first taste, I do need to mention that these beans had a very strong flavor, which I loved. After finishing the bag, at a quicker pace than I thought I would, it was time to wait around and see what would happen. Sure enough, after about ten minutes, I found myself wandering the house, looking for something to do. I should also mention that I was safe and sound in my comfy recliner when I tried these sports beans, if it can get me off that piece of furniture, it does give you energy! I was pretty impressed with the sports beans, you won’t get 300 mg of caffeine like you do with a pre-workout but the energy is there, it just comes on less strong. I see sports beans finding the most success with endurance athletes who needs longer lasting and more steady streams of energy, versus weightlifters that need those strong bursts in a shorter amount of time. The energy that you will receive form these sports beans is going to feel cleaner because you are getting it from safer and natural sources, such as: vitamin B, C, electrolytes, and more!

shiny

Plus, you get an excuse to eat jelly beans, as part of your exercise routine, how cool is that? In the pouches that I received was about 10-15 jellybeans. Again, the size of these candies will be larger than the usual jelly beans that you eat, making them able to semi fill you up, at least when you are on the go. Although I was initially skeptical of how jelly beans could possibly get me up and moving, I was pleasantly surprised with just how much energy I felt after downing a pouch of Sports Beans. There are different flavors of this product that are available for you to try, I only was able to test out two different variations. Jelly Belly has brought us tastes that we never thought we would try and now they are further expanding to not just give you awesome taste but actual energy and recovery. If you will excuse, I now have to apologize to my wife, as she knew these beans would be great from the very beginning, she was right!

The Dangers of Getting Supplements on Trading Websites

I had to speak out over this, after I kept seeing more and more supplement being offered on some of the big trading websites that are around. What started me, initially, was that some of the products I were seeing were half opened! Most of the time, the sellers were quick to note any and all negatives associated with the product that they were trying to get rid of. In other cases, it wasn’t as easy to get the full information from sellers, as some pictures were taken in bad light, leaving many viewers in the dark about what all they were getting. Where the situation went from mildly upsetting to full blown panic would be when I started to see other supplements, ones that really shouldn’t be offered by strangers. There will be many people that can tear down every supplement that has ever been made, you won’t find that here with me.

Sure, I think that a lot more could be done to protect consumers but I’m already starting to see that happen, good job! I also will regularly get supplements off of the internet I can’t fault anyone for that, as this is how I am able to do so many reviews for you. Where I would not start jumping into would be trying to get a supplement that isn’t available anywhere else, from a person and not a business. The key to understanding where you could be getting yourself into a spot of trouble is when you start looking after workout aids that are not widely available because they are not allowed to be sold, this is where you can really get yourself into a tricky situation. If you come across some cool listing that has a supplement you have never heard of, maybe consider doing some research in it. You don’t want to get caught with supplements that you shouldn’t have access to, no matter if you knew they shouldn’t be used or not. If you’re anything like me, and have seen your fair share of supplements come and go, you likely realize how easy it is for someone to get duped, when purchasing them. I know that more than my fair share of times I have had a product that I hated, but the worst thing that happened to me, in those situations, was that I tried a bad tasting product, pretty simple. Where lines start to blur is when the more dangerous and less well-known so-called supplements are making their way into the hands of people that have no idea how to properly use them. There are better practices being put into place for watching over this stuff but some of those people are pretty good at sneaking by, so always be on the lookout.

I will still check some of those trading type websites to get good deals on supplements when I am able to, as long you start to watch out for the sketchy deals, you should be just fine. You will likely come across a couple of listings that look too good to be true, in those situations, I ask that you try and reach out to the individual sellers. Sometimes, you will talk to someone who is on the up and up and will tell you all you need to know. If a seller isn’t able to answer your questions, or you simply get a bad vibe, feel free to come back to those websites later, as it is very possible you just saved yourself big time!

WOHO Program Off to an Amazing Start

Over in San Antonio, birthplace to one of my wresters of all-time Shawn Michaels, there is something else good going on there that everyone is trying to be a part of. Known as WOHO, or Work Out Help Out, this organization is spreading hospitality in large quantities. A big problem of volunteer work, is that people here work and free, thinking that it offers no benefit for them. Of course, the purpose of volunteer work should always be the joy that you get from helping others who are less fortunate, but that reason won’t cut it for everyone. Where the WOHO program differs from most other non-profit volunteer organization is in their style. The company does make a valid point, wouldn’t it be nice to help your community, while also getting that work out that you continue to put off? There are any number of activities that can be done to help out with the WOHO organization and to sweeten the deal, you get to burn off some calories. The events are typically done in a group setting, so you have a team of good people who are there to volunteer, whilst all working together. I hope that these programs keep catching on and spread around the rest of the country. 

The actual amount of work that you are doing will be enough to give you a good work out but don’t think that you will be required to give all of your time to the organization, they know that you have a life of your own, as well. A concern with volunteer workers is how they are going to be treated for their time. After all, you wouldn’t someone cranky who is barking orders at you, making it feel more like you are an inmate and less like a volunteer. The WOHO program is great and will definitely offer some great fun, while you volunteer. Even more of a rarity in volunteer programs is providing them with food. I have done a bit of volunteer work over the years, I should be doing more, but I was never once offered food. I mean, we were there to work for free, so I wouldn’t have expected food but would have loved some, if it had been offered. You won’t go home from your volunteer time with WOHO on an empty stomach, as this group also offers nutritious meals to their volunteers.

How Does the Obalon Help Cut the Fat?

No, you didn’t just read a typo, there is a new invention, known as the Obalon that is set to potentially take over how we look at fat loss. These capsules actually contain a balloon within them that, once consumed, will fill up the extra space in your stomach, making you feel fuller. Some are seeing this less-invasive form of weight loss as a sign that we have possibly arrived in the future. Looking like something more out of an old episode of the Jetsons, this futuristic treatment is scheduled to have a wide release slated for January, less than a month away. We won’t have to hurdle through any form of metaphorical tape preventing the release of Obalon, it has already been approved for release by the FDA. So, how does this contraption help you lose weight, without doing you any harm? The process that allows Obalon to start taking action is, of course, by first swallowing the Obalon capsule.

From there, the catheter device that is attached to the balloon will begin to fill up with air, once swallowed. The timetable for the Obalon to start taking affect is quick but the device will be within the patient for months, while safely being held internally. We have to keep in mind that, although the Obalon treatment has been proven to work well for reducing excess body fat, we still have to make sure that we are teaching new behaviors that have to change their eating habits. If the shoe was on the other foot, I don’t know for sure if I could get the fact that there was a balloon helping out my weight loss but I am a pretty big wuss, so to each their own!

It is looking like that Obalon treatment will be made not only for those obsess individuals who have no choice but to reach out for other measures, than diet and exercise alone. I also like that the less invasive Obalon device can also be used by those who are not able to be let into the gastric bypass programs available, due to the fact that they aren’t overweight enough. Due to the fact that Obalon will allow a larger majority of people to try their hand at other methods of losing fat, we should see the popularity of this radical new treatment really start to take off. Maybe a year form now, the Obalon will be the talk of the town and you can say that you read about it here a long time ago!

airyAnother reason that I think we will see Obalon really take off is because it cuts down on the wait times that weight loss patients would often have to deal with. With even becoming a candidate for gastric bypass, you have to go through a lot of waiting, it is common for some to wait months before they even have their first consultation appointment. With Obalon, you can likely be in and out of the office in a matter of a short day, ready to start feeling fuller faster. If you know someone in your life that is struggling with trying to manage their weight, be sure that you let them know about the new device, being released next month, that could look to make the pains of trying to lose weight vanish into the past. Pricing information has not become available and is likely to change, leading up to the initial release date, we will have to watch and wait as more news becomes available.