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!


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.

Vending Machines are Starting to Hulk Up

When you go up to the snack machine, it’s usually because you want a treat to help get you through the day. Whether it be a candy bar, chips, or some other savory treat, vending machines are showing no signs of slowing down in terms of being popular. We could safely say that it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing vending machines going away anytime soon but what we are seeing is a trend towards healthier vending options. I would get very annoyed that just because I needed more protein during the day, that I would have to find other options to get what I needed. It bugs me that anyone else could have food that was perfect for them but because I have chosen another path in life that I had to suffer not being able to have my food needs taken care of. Don’t get it confused, there are still decent options for those who are seeking a snack that is higher in protein. I know that I’ve seen many different meat based snacks, as well as hearty sandwiches that are sure to have your protein numbers in check.

What I think that we’re needing to see more of is a trend towards food and drink products that are specifically made with the protein seeker in mind. When the late afternoon hits and I find that my stomach is growling, reaching for a a jerky stick does not do wonders to calm the stomach pains. I wish that I would have some sort of option to be able to have a crunchy protein bar to help get me through the day, in a way that I preferred. The good news is for the health-conscious is that trends are showing that we will be having more high-protein snacks in our vending machine soon.

We’ve all seen the wonders that have been done to lunch programs all across America, with the addition of menus that were made to help others eat better. Now, it appears as if we will see the need for healthier choices at snack machines, which helps to make all of our lives a little bit easier. I know that I am at the whim and mercy of the vending machine once hunger strikes, at the worst times, perhaps in the future I will have options that are better suited to my eating regimen. Wouldn’t it be cool to drop by a vending machine at lunchtime and see it loaded with selections that wouldn’t make you feel guilty until you left to go home? I know that I am curiously awaiting to see what kind of new options will follow the trend of people wanting healthier choices. We’ve already started to see a revolution start, with more healthier options becoming the norm and not a rarity. It isn’t convenient to have to find a restaurant that will be able to cater to my needs, so a vending machine is an option that I like to use. Also, I think I’m not alone in this one, I don’t like to waste the gas needed to go out and eat for lunch. Even though gas prices have dropped, I still don’t like to deal with all of the traffic and the hectic environment that comes with trying to get a meal at lunchtime. I’ll stick to my vending machines and get hyped up for what I’m hoping will be a lot more protein selections in the future.

A New Lease on Life for RTD’s

When it comes to convenience, there really isn’t anything better then a drink that’s already mixed and ready for you. I would say that I have probably spent and accumulated two months of my life just preparing drinks and getting them ready, not even consuming them yet! One thing that has long plagued supplement stores is that for their ready to drink options, stay on this can occur quickly. My stomach would often turn when I would see one of my friends, who used to work at a supplement store, throwing out the product that had expired even though it had only been there for weeks. As we do get used to more convenience in the way that we use our supplements, especially when it comes to protein drinks, there still is much to be done as far as improvements go. What One new food product aims to give us is that long lasting shelf life we have hoped for our ready to drink beverages


.As you see, when protein powder is added to a supplement, it does start to create a headache as far as how long that supplement can safely be stocked on the shelves. The mixture of protein and water can quickly turn stale and leave not only a lasting nasty smell but could also cause intestinal problems and discomfort. If any of you have ever left a shaker cup with protein powder in it out for a long amount of time, you’ll know the exact smell that I’m talking about. Being one of the most revolting things I’ve ever smelled, I’ve had to toss out a few really high-quality protein tubs just because I knew I could never drink from them again with a clear conscience.

In recent years, there can certainly be no doubt that we have seen ready to drink products become more and more popular. I know that, for me, if I have the option to consume a drink that is more convenient I will likely choose that over having to go back home and make something up. Being that I am constantly finding myself driving to and from just about every place, convenience is a huge factor for me and will likely determined the drink that I choose when I do stop by A gas station. Muscle milk was the first, as far as I’m aware, that was able to bring ready to drink protein products to the mainstream. I usually find the muscle milk products to be delicious and they do hold a special place with me but I will still sometimes try other products to see how they compare. Perhaps we could get other companies to throw their hat into the great ready to drink protein race in the industry. I’m sure that for some supplement makers, there is just no feasible way that they are able to still make money with the limited shelf life of certain products. Now, with news of a new ingredient that is being made to lengthen the lifespan of our supplement, we should all be celebrating. I look forward to being able to stock up on my favorite RTD’s, now that I have the feeling of knowing that they will be able to stay in my fridge without having to be tossed out. Like me, I’m positive that you’ve probably wasted more than a few dollars when you have to throw out clumpy and expired supplements.

What Makes C4 50x Different from the Original?

If you haven’t heard of it yet, there’s been a change at Cellucor, regarding on of their top supplements. The C4 supplement has remained one of the most popular workout drinks around, now even being made in a ready to drink option. I loved trying the C4 and have always kept a container of it in my cabinet ever since but there was a problem that some have had with this item. When you are using something to get more energy, you’ll notice that you can build up a tolerance to certain ingredients. This is commonly why you’ll see certain preworkout makers have a range of one to three scoops for their product, this is to cover situations where a tolerance could be avoided. What is scary is that even after hitting that three scoop maximum, depending on the preworkout, you can still notice that you may have a tolerance that is even greater than the maximum allowed dosage. With doing away with limits in mind, Cellucor has released C4 50x, designed to be 50% more powerful than C4 but how? Looking closer at C4 50x, it is my intention to find out what has been added to make this supplement so much more powerful and to also find out if it feels like it has become a stronger pre workout.

I’ll be quick to point out, for those who are good with numbers, that this new version of an old classic is not fifty times stronger than the original. I wouldn’t want a supplement that was already strong to be 50 times more potent, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t even be allowed to be sold. Could you imagine if your favorite preworkout was fifty times stronger, just thinking about that has got me feeling dizzy! What is true is that the 50% extra strength that you will be getting is more than strong enough, for even the most jaded supplement user. Made with teacor, I have to throw in that I love that Cellucor has such cool names for these new additions that they add to their line of products. The tea cor helps to make sure that tolerances won’t be happening anytime soon. Made to make the user feel like they are using the C4 for the first time, every single time. I have only been able to use this supplement for about two weeks now and I have to say, the tolerance buildup issue has really been taken care of. It is such a bummer to have to shell out upwards of forty dollars for a supplement these days, you want to know that you are going to be getting your monies worth.

I’ve spent too many months upping my scoops for most of the supplements out there that it just becomes a hassle. It felt like I had gone back into my first month of lifting with C4 50x, as it did hit that hard whenever I would use it. What I think is so cool about the C4 range of supplements, is that now they almost have a tub for any situation that you need it for. First, there is a mass line that Cellucor has introduced, loaded up with extra carbs, a smart move. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a C4 ripped product that allows you to be helped in your quest to lose weight, by adding thermogenic ingredients. For the purpose of keeping my thoughts together, the C4 50x is a welcome addition to any old lifter that is sick of having a tolerance!


Are Weightlifting Belts for Me?

Understanding the protection that you will receive from a great weightlifting belt can never be fully understood, until you get hurt because you weren’t wearing one! Not just for show, a belt is made to help support your balance. When carrying out lifting motions, it’s hard to sense if you are in the right alignment. Although it could look simple in books and videos, when it comes time for you to lift, balancing yourself is often the last thing you think about. I’ve always used a weightlifting belt, it takes seconds to put on and it saves me, in the event that I am not using correct form. If you are a fan of the military press, this is the lift that I most utilize my belt for.

The awkward part of a military press is the fact that, to do them properly, you have to slightly bend your back to get the barbell under your shoulders. I prefer using the Harbinger line, as the belt that I’ve been using for about ten years, has only just now started to show any signs of wear. A good weightlifting belt will be durable and able to lock in whichever waist size it needs to. The last thing that you want to have happen when lifting, is your belt suddenly unbuckles, leaving your back wide open to pull a muscle in. To further understand why a weightlifting belt should be on your workout list has to do with how we all breathe. Have you ever ran or exerted yourself so hard that you became out of breath? Most likely, you will try and pull the breath from your stomach, expanding it out fully.

While breathing through your stomach, instead of your chest, works wonders for getting your breath back, it does also cause you to become off-balance. If you can have an image in your head of someone breathing in fully through their stomach, it will appear to be pooched out, which leaves you lurching forward, unknowingly. When we are trying to lift, it’s easy to naturally want to draw big breaths through your stomach. If you’ve paid attention so far, you can now realize why compound lifting and stomach breathing are a no-go. I used to think a weightlifter’s belt was made to force the spine into alignment, it is actually made to help restrict your breathing, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. If you were to attempt many of the hard-hitting lifts without a belt, stomach breathing would cause you to tip forward. When wearing a weightlifting belt you want to have it tight, but not on there so tightly that it impairs your ability to breathe.

I recommend thinking of a belt that is made for lifting weights, like you would any belt that you would wear in public. Most likely, you’ll have a notch that is met that allows you to breathe and ensuring that you keep your back properly aligned with the rest of your body. I’ve seen people wear their belts higher up, closer to their chest but I always like to have mine resting on my stomach. It will take some trial and error but eventually you will find the optimal spot for your belt to rest, it’s just a matter of personal preference. What shouldn’t be a matter of preference is deciding if you should ever use one of these belts or not. No question you should be protecting your back, when doing the more dangerous lifts.