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.

Supplements that Make Your Skin Look Better

One of the most crucial parts of you that you want to make sure gets what it needs would have to be your skin. After all, in most cases, it will be what people are going to see on you almost immediately. I do have to admit that woman, in modern society do have a bit of an advantage, as they have makeup. Guys don’t often wear makeup, although this varies from person to person. Either way, we all have some moments where we will have life work against me. I know that in the Summer, my skin really works against me. It gets even tougher when I am working outside, as I will have sunburns to deal with, being that I am so fair skinned.

Vitamin E

Not just an essential for vitality of the heart, this vitamin can also do amazing things for your brain. To have a healthy heart, you have to make sure that the right amount of red blood cells are getting where they need to go. With this amount of newfound cells, the heart will function at a more optimal speed. This could not sound like that big of a deal to you but, trust me, you want your heart on your side, let’s keep it nice and happy. I really like going with the Nature Made line of supplements.

For me, they are the ones that just happen to be at the store that I most often frequent. Compared to the online shops, the prices are fair. I usually get the 30 caps bottles, if I enjoy the supplement, I might upgrade to the 60 or 90 count bottles. I try to not have to take something everyday for the rest of my life and like to think that there can never be a supplement that I must have to function, not a good way to be. Puritan’s Pride is another brand that I often see. As far as the design of the bottles, I really like the dark green bottles of the Nature Made, they really provide a welcome addition to any little cabinet. The green is dark enough to hide whatever is in there but still light enough to where you can what you are looking at.

Iron 

better skin

You probably didn’t expect to see this one, did you? Yes, not just for blood issues or people that need it for weightlifting purposes, Iron is very versatile. I remember having medical tests when I was younger and the doctor was often astounded at how high my iron levels were naturally. I never knew why that was so important, I didn’t even track my iron intake, so I didn’t even know where the iron that was my diet was coming from. I don’t think that I was alone in assuming that as I have heard others talk about high levels of vitamins, unbeknownst to them. If you want healthy skin, make sure that you are also not doing anything to speed up the damage being done daily.

Unless you follow a very strict regimen and never go outside and basically live in a contained environment, you are in contact with the elements. These very elements can bring about immense levels of damage to your skin, the rate at which that occurs will be dependent upon how long you are out in these very elements.

Lead the Whey Flavor Winners

There is an awesome contest that has been going on for quite a while that deals with naming a new flavor of protein powder. This isn’t just some small time business that needs a new flavor, it’s optimum nutrition. Optimum has been the biggest name in the protein world for quite a while now. Wanting to listen to the people, they came up with a social media contest for you to name their latest flavor of protein powder. Being a yearly contest, there will always be some winners and losers. For this year’s contest there were three different flavors, all dying for a spot to become the next official optimum nutrition protein flavor. The three finalists were mango, blueberry cheesecake, and chocolate dipped banana. I would probably pass on the mango flavor as that sounds pretty nasty. However, the blueberry cheesecake and chocolate dipped banana flavors sound amazing.

Apparently, the public opinion is similar to mine, as chocolate dipped banana and blueberry cheesecake were the

One of the winners of this amazing opportunity!
One of the winners of this amazing opportunity!

flavors said to be the winners. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on both of those flavors and give them a shot, I am always thinking that we need improvements to the protein powders that we have. I think that there are too many of the same flavors that have been around year after year and it isn’t doing anything to want to get more people to try them. The contest was known as being called Lead the Whey (get it?) and was a huge hit. I really wish that more companies would reach out to the people whose products are intended for and make an effort to get their opinion. We, as consumers, are the ones who will be drinking these products all of the time, shouldn’t we have a say in what flavors are being released? I still long for some sort of cola flavored protein powder. I don’t know how they would make it and it would probably have to be mixed with water but this would be a really great idea. I can’t seem to fight my soda addiction so maybe having a protein powder that could help curb the need for soda would help me out immensely. Not only will the winners of this contest get to see their personal selection released worldwide, there is also another bonus.

The winners of this contest have won $10,000, what a cool way to get an awesome reward while helping out your favorite supplement maker! When this contest starts, this company releases the flavors for the public to try. With all of the innovations that Optimum has made, including an awesome protein water that you can drink right out of the bottle, they continue to be about the people. The people that continue to make them, most likely, the number one supplement manufacturer. I, for one, am so pumped up to try the blueberry cheesecake flavor that I can’t stop my stomach from growling! I am curious as to what the new flavors will be and I hope that they do this contest again next year. As a matter of fact, I hope that this contest becomes a tradition, there are some really smart people out there that are coming up with product innovations that I couldn’t thought of. Perhaps we are one step closer to a really good tasting coffee protein flavor, something I have had a hard time trying to find.

What is Going on with GNC?

As I began to catch up on some recent news, after a crazy weekend, I kept running into talk about GNC. The supplement store giant is closing down some stores, hundreds across the country. I remember seeing mass closings starting to happen to another (former) giant, Blockbuster. I am not saying that there is trouble around the corner for this nutrition giant, I actually wouldn’t want to happen. GNC might not be my preferred supplement store but it isn’t fun to see one of the giants in this industry starting to lessen the stores that they have. Even in my town, the local GNC is the spot that some swear by, putting their products above all others.

I usually order any supplements that I need over the internet, so I don’t visit the store in my area that much anymore. I remember, before I wised up on how I got the products I wanted, I would frequent my GNC. The people that worked at this store were always super helpful and I even knew one employee for quite a while. One thing that I would notice was how often the employees would change around, it seemed to be a sign of a high turnover rate. What eventually would lead me away from GNC was their prices. As has happened with many other industries, the flat out cheaper internet prices are putting many local businesses in jeopardy.

I wouldn’t classify GNC as a small business, by any means, but things have to change if a business wants to stay relevant. Most of the supplements that I would see for sale at my local GNC were always so overpriced. If you had one of their membership cards, you could sometimes stack what you were buying and get a decent deal. I didn’t want to have to plan my trip around a day or two and fight the crowds, just to get a decent deal on a tub of pre-workout powder, apparently others are following suit. The closings are going to be happening in the near future, I don’t have the exact number of stores that GNC currently has but hundreds of their locations closing down could be bad, if this store is your one-stop shop for supplements. gnc protein

Perhaps if they could lower the prices or offer some generic in-store brand for a cheaper price, more people would begin to come back to this, once giant mega power in the supplement world. It would freak me out to see such a big brand go down this way, maybe a rebranding is in order for this company. I think that the backlash against supplements, with so many getting pulled could be another cause for concern for the future of a business that sells supplements. As it did with other business that were closing their doors, you may want to pay them a visit. I have no idea if this holds true for GNC but you can snag some really nice deals when a business is trying to get rid of all of their products. If you have a GNC in your area, you should pay it a visit in the near future. If the store in your area is one that is closing soon, you could end up leaving and getting a ton of supplements, while not breaking your budget.

Elysium is the Breath of Fresh Air We Need

When a supplement company promises to do something revolutionary, we have been conditioned to not expect too much. There have been entire departments of a company banking on the fact that someone will believe that their newest product is the best thing ever. As you know, we rarely in the world of supplements gets something that comes along and changes the entire game. It appears as if Elysium supplements could be the ones that are the real trailblazers we have been yearning for. Awash in a sea of proprietary blends and claims that just never seem to materialize, this company wants to changes those old preconceived notions of what a real supplement company should be. If you go to their webpage, Elysium seems to have an entire vibe that just screams: we know what we are doing. If you look at the staff that makes up the higher power positions of this company, you see more scientists than you would in a level of Goldeneye.

I’m all for companies having all of their staff be these 350 pound muscleheads but this was really refreshing to see. Let’s face it, the big guys are what I want to look like, the genius scientists would be who I prefer to be making what I am going to take. I remember hearing someone say that they would trust their food to taste better if a fatter chef made it, as weird as that sounds, I kind of liken that to what Elysium is doing. Backed by people who probably have an IQ many points higher than mine, these people have the credibility so few companies have left these days.

Basis – The Main Product from Elysium

basis
Here is what everyone has been talking about!

Their main supplement is known as Basis and, from what I can gather, is a product made for general repair but that is an understatement. They currently offer a subscription service for this product, which is a bit different and wasn’t expected. I have complete faith that Elysium will be a big breakthrough in how we view supplements, as well as how companies will need to strategize to compete with this company. Elysium could still be seen as a new kid on the block but I think that this misconception will soon disappear.

I look forward to seeing not just Basis but a fuller product line to hit stores soon. Basis is such a tough product to pinpoint, that to put in just one category would be doing it an injustice. I’m not just blowing smoke either, here are just a few things that Basis has been tested to provide for the consumer: cell protection, repairing your DNA, better sleep, and energy, just to name a few. There are many research documents at their website that go into further detail about what all Basis can do but I feel like I need a degree, just to understand the wealth of information that they have presented to the public. Perhaps someone who has more of a mind for the breakdown of each and every molecule would be better suited to more accurately present the summary of all of that research, sorry! Give Elysium a look and get to know, who I feel, will be making big waves in the supplement industry as we finish this year and head into the next one, it could be sooner than that!

My Experience in Going to the Arnold Expo

Hey, everyone! I was recently able to attend the big Arnold expo and wanted to share my feedback about it. First, I had a blast even through dealing with all of the crowds. If you are like me and are a tad bit introverted, be prepared, as this is a large crowd. I guess that you could say the same warning would be fit to mention to anyone who is a bit claustrophobic, got to love crowded spaces. Anyways, if you can realize what you are going to be getting into, I think that you will enjoy it more. I hope that didn’t freak anyone out, just wanted to try my best to prepare anyone. One perk of going to a convention would be the swag, if you ever watched the television show the Office (U.S. Version), you will know the convention episode.

Did I Come Back with A Huge Supplement Haul?

I have heard that the samples have died down in frequency over the years. I have seen some posts on forums where men and women post their hauls they got form this convention, it used to make me so jealous. There would be countless bags laid out, all filled to the brim, loaded with supplement samples, t-shirts, caps, you name it! Those giant hauls weren’t even that rare, at one time, it seemed like everybody had all the luck in the world. Like I said, the recent years still brings awesome companies with samples to hand out, it has just died down now. Still, I was able to get some pretty cool stuff, nothing worth making a big stink about.

The usual things that you would see from the most popular booths starring the big name companies is what I had the most success with. Beyond that, there is so much to do at this convention that you will be hard pressed for time to see it all. I recommend staying the whole weekend, if you really want to check out all that this convention has to offer. It isn’t unheard of for someone to only take in a day of this bodybuilding wonderland, do what you feel comfortable with. The main attractions will be the actual shows, were are awesome to take in for the first time. These actual shows will be held in the biggest theater type room that they have and it will fill up, when talking about seats. The venue did a great job of making everyone in the room able to clearly see what was going on onstage. Even though my seats weren’t anything out of this world, I was still able to know everything that was happening, kudos to the sound department as well.

My Overall Experience at this Expo

One of the things that I hate about concerts is the chance the sound will not sound good, due to a bad mixer. If you have even the slightest interest in bodybuilding, you owe it to yourself to visit this convention. Don’t expect to take home a bunch of free stuff, check everything out and have a good time! When adding in the costs of travels and hotels (expect a lot of them to be booked, work fast), the expenses can add up. Ensure that you factor in all costs before you plan on buying a ticket to the event. Overall, I had a great time getting to visit this amazing place and will be pumped to go again this upcoming year!

Keep Your Mood in Check with These Choices

Focusing as much as I do on what pumps you up, I neglected to cover some great supplements for mental health. I want to point out that not everything is fix-all for every situation. You can usually find a level of disagreement about how well some of these positively affect mood. I have even felt different experiences, based upon which supplement I was using. Based on my experiences, I have found that some work better than others and I wanted to give those the special mentions. These are the top selling supplements that I have tried, they are very popular. If you have any mentions for something that didn’t make the cut, please let me know. I am always looking for new ways to reduce the daily stress in my life and am always willing to try something that I have missed.

  • St John’s Wort

You probably figured that this all-star for mental mood improvement would make an appearance. This was the first supplement of its kind that I had tried. I was in college and worrying about every little thing. It started to really spiral out of control when my doctor told me how tense I was, after running some tests. I knew that I had a stressful life but I imagined that it was nothing out of the ordinary, I guess I was wrong.

  • 5-HTP

This supplement is made to help to release more serotonin, the chemical that produces feelings of happiness in the brain. I have used this in the past and it really did what it said that it would. One helpful hint is to pair this with some caffeine, as it made me feel sleepy at times. The drowsiness could have all been due to the specific brand and size of capsule that I got, which was 200mg. It is recommended to start with 50 mg of this supplement and take as needed, not exceeding three times per day. After following these rules for a week or two, you can increase what you use, if you feel that isn’t doing as good as it should be. I have read some reviews stating that this supplement can be deadly dogs, so all of my pet owners need to keep this product stored away very safely.

  • Gaba Root

Now this option has drawn some mixed opinions. I have had ok experiences with using this ingredient, while others say that it does the opposite of what is intended for. Being offered up to the public as a way to calm anxious feelings, it isn’t for everyone but has worked wonders for others.

had enough

Don’t expect to have your personality completely change with any of these options. At best, you will lose those bad feelings, most of the time, and enjoy a more positive outlook. The best way to describe this would be to picture a bar at a certain level. This level that your personal bar is set to is your current mood. This mood line will vary, depending on what kind of day you have, as is the same with everyone. If you have your bar set in a negative mindset, all these supplements will do is to raise that bar to something more normal. Stress has, sadly, become a part of life for most of us. Even though you have to deal with all kind of stressors, it doesn’t mean you can have a supplement or two in your corner to get through those crazy days.

Recall Hits Now Health Group Kind of Hard

Known as one of the biggest supplement makers out there, Now Health Group is now facing some problems. There has been a recent recall that was issued, for not just one, but six different products made by this company. This is a big deal, since this company has not really seen a recall of this magnitude, as far as I am aware of. The saving grace of this incident is that the recall was issued by the Now company. When a company voluntarily recalls something, this isn’t as big of a problem than if the products were recalled after bad things started to occur.

What Supplement Were Affected by This?

As previously mentioned, there are six supplements that are being recalled, due to an error in how the labels were printed and the information that was on them. The errors on the labels had some allergy information misprinted/omitted. Here are the products in question:

  1. Cranberry Extract
  2. Goldenseal Root
  3. Burdock Root
  4. Gingko Biloba
  5. Andrographis
  6. Elderberry

You will want to check your pantry, or wherever you store your supplements, to find out if you have any of these products. The official recall lists that certain sizes of product are on the list. NOW is a company that makes many different supplements, in all different sizes. The recall is only targeting certain sizes of product, so be sure to head over to the official FDA website, as they have more detailed and constantly updated information about this issue.

now foods pic1

These kind of recalls are very common, within the world of supplements. The details of the current NOW recall are, of course, to be taken seriously. The good news is that it doesn’t look like it is going to affect a large number of people, when taking into consideration how bad this could have been if it involved every single product that they make. I, myself, have used NOW products before and even have some in my home right now (none that were recalled, thank goodness)! I will still continue to use supplements by this company, if they fit into my budget and goals.

I pat the NOW company on the back for being completely transparent with their customer base and the world by voluntarily letting everyone know that there were some labeling issues that needed to be addressed. The concerns that were made public are those that could lead some to have allergic reactions, due to certain ingredients not being listed. I would advise you, if you own any of the products listed in this recall, to contact NOW and let them know.

I have no idea if refunds or sending said product in is going to be how they choose to move forward. What is of the utmost importance is that you stop using any of these supplements, if you have them. Wait it out until this recall has been entirely taken care of. If you are in a pinch, grab another supplement by another company while this all smooths over. I am positive that the NOW company is doing everything humanly possible to make sure that this current issue gets resolved in a timely manner. Looking at the history of the company, I don’t believe that additional recalls will happen. Don’t let this scare you from checking out NOW, they have been doing better than many other supplement companies recently, to be honest.

Optimal Strategies to Reduce DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness, something that will almost break a new lifter and hurt even the most experienced ones. This kind of soreness comes from breaking down our muscles while we work out. If you have had it happen to you before, you will likely never forget it. There is a smarter way to fight this crippling pain and that is to find something that is made to reduce this loathsome incident from happening. The tricky part to this is that there are a ton of options, if you need something to help alleviate your pain. Most of the supplements made for this specific problem will work, to an extent. You don’t want something that will only remove part of the soreness, you want to get a product that is going to eliminate it altogether.

Below is a cool video that will help you to make the right decision for this problem that a growing number of weightlifters will face. Stick to big names and something that has been around for a while. You don’t want to end up falling in love with no more soreness, only to find the supplement removed by the time you need another bottle. There are differences between DOMS and hurting yourself, so make sure that you know the difference between the two. Always be sure that you are lifting what is in your safety range. As long as you are only pushing yourself harder in small amounts of weight, you should be fine. There will be days, where even weight that you are used to moving, won’t budge an inch, this is just a bad day.

Be on the alert if the soreness that you feel doesn’t go away within 1-3 days, this could be the start of an injury. Taking into concern the amount of time that you have spent working out is another factor. If you haven’t lifted anything before, the first time soreness is something that no supplement can take away. If you are starting a new training program, new bouts of soreness can pop up, also. However, you can have the time that you spent in pain greatly reduced by checking out the video below, enjoy!

Is an Abundance of Vitamin C Bad for You?

You, put down that orange and listen up! There could be a chance that you are getting more Vitamin C than what you actually need. Even though it is thought of as a cure-all for everything, including the common cold, too much of this wonder vitamin can actually be a bad thing. You can stroll down the aisles of any grocery store and find bottles upon bottles of a Vitamin C supplement. Mostly made in an easily chewable form, the ease of use makes these top sellers. Exercise caution when getting ready to drink that big glass of orange juice, overusing Vitamin C does not come without its own set of side effects. You could end up having these exact effects right now, it is just that they are so commonly associated with other sicknesses that it makes it hard to pinpoint what the underlying factors are. Having trouble getting to sleep could be a big sign that you are using too much of this wonder vitamin. Here is a fun fact: one of the main ingredients in Mountain Dew is actually orange juice. Whether it is for taste or energy, I do not know but vitamin C is in a soft drink that is supposed to energize you. Lack of sleep is a big component of knowing that you might have had too much of this vitamin in your system. From being someone who consumes way too much soda for his own good, I know a thing or two about kidney stones. What I didn’t know was that you can develop these pesky stones if you have an abundance of this vitamin in your body.

dangers of too many vitamins

Supplementing to get your daily dose of Vitamin C is very beneficial for you, as long as you are not overdoing it. Being that we get vitamins and minerals from what we eat or drink, keep a close eye to ensure that you do not go overboard. Also, try to take more Vitamin C right when you notice you feel under the weather. Long since debunked, vitamin C will not do much to help once you already have a virus in your system, although it might shorten the duration of your sickness by a day. As far as specific requirements, you should be on the safer side, provided that you keep the intake of this vitamin to under 2,000 milligrams a day. This number could look like one in which you have no danger of going over, until we throw vitamin c supplements into the mixture. Some of the supplements that you can take, in order to get more vitamin C, could end up giving you a dangerous amount that takes place all in one sitting. The growing lack of information over what information is available, when shopping for food, plays a large part in why some are taking an overhaul of vitamin C. If one is unable to accurately measure how much vitamins they are already taking in with what they eat, adding a supplement to that only hinders your healthy way of life. To give a better example, something akin to a handful of strawberries is a high enough intake of this vitamin to meet the minimum requirements. As you read that last sentence, did you know that strawberries are one of the foods that can boost vitamin C levels? If not, as I didn’t, this goes to prove a point about people knowing what is in their foods.