Vitamin D and D3 (Cholecalciferol) – Read This or Be Forever in the Dark!

Vitamin DVitamin D is essential to our survival, that’s why it’s called a Vitamin – the “vita” part is taken from Latin and means ‘life’.

Most people know that – it’s no secret…but what many people don’t know about are the health benefits that Vitamin D actually provides, and not just in the avoidance of something negative either.

Sure, you won’t get rickets if you grow up with the minimum daily amount, but there is far more to the “sunshine vitamin” than escaping death and avoiding the bowed legs.

What’s even less understood by people about Vitamin D is the quantity you need on a daily basis to really get the benefits from it. It shouldn’t be taken lightly either, because it can make difference between happiness and depression, strength and perpetual fatigue, sexual health and limp libido…and yes, the difference between a long life and premature death.

Vitamin D – The Benefits

Clinical trials and other scientific studies have fairly well nailed down Vitamin D’s health effects:

  • Strengthens Bones and reduces fracture risk
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Boosts Testosterone
  • Reduces Fat Mass
  • Improves Cognitive Function. Mood, Emotional Stability and Brain Health
  • Encourages Life Longevity and improves general functionality of the elderly
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Decreases risk of Asthma Attacks
  • Reduces incidences of Type-1 Diabetes
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity (anti-diabetic inc. Type II)
  • Reduces risk of CardioVascular Disease
  • Reduces risk of Colorectal and Pancreatic Cancer
  • Reduces risk of Multiple Sclerosis (and reduces symptoms if already suffering)

Got all that?

Good…let’s move on.

Vitamin D – A Global Insufficiency

The majority of people are not deficient in Vitamin D, but they do have an insufficient amount in their system.

The fine line between those two terms: deficient and insufficient is that a deficiency will cause dramatic health problems, whereas as insufficiency will cause more subtle health problems that are nonetheless negative on both a physical and mental (cognitive and emotional) front.

37th Parallel

Reason 1 – Lack of Sunlight

Girl in the sunshineVitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin or sunlight vitamin because it is synthesized in our bodies when the Sun’s radiation hits our skin.

There are several reasons why you might not get enough sunlight to synthesize an adequate amount of Vitamin D but one very large factor is your geographical location.

People who live above the 37th parallel (line of latitude) do not see enough sunshine throughout the year to make sufficient Vitamin D. Summer, perhaps, but even then, much of that is spent indoors working.

By the way, there is a lot of the globe above the 37th – just check it out. Most of North America for one thing.

And we mentioned another reason above; a LOT of people work in offices, warehouses, shops, workshops etc. without getting much real sunlight.

Reason 2 – Diet

Glass of MilkIt’s hard to get enough Vitamin D from your diet, and most of us don’t eat the right things anyway.
Oily fish is one of the best sources, but even then you’d have to eat like a seal to get what you need in Vitamin D.

In the case of Vitamin D, your diet should almost be viewed as a bonus to the primary collection method – the Sun. Read above: Reason 1 to see the problem there.

Vitamin D “fortified” foods give somewhat of a false sense of security as well. They generally contain a token amount (100 IU) which isn’t much to write home about, especially if the price tag is bumped up because of it.

Reason 3 – Old Health Data and Ridiculous Governments

Woman Doctor

Ignore government health advice. We have science.

Would you believe us if we told you that government health agencies are stupid? Yes, yes, you probably would.

Well, it’s true. The Recommended Daily Allowance in most developed countries is still pathetically low. Oh, you might not die if you get as much as they advise, but you sure as hell aren’t going to be at your peak.

It’s almost as if they want a weak and sickly population. And then they complain about the burden on the hospitals and care givers. It’s infuriating.

Canada, for example, is a country well and truly above the 37th Parallel. Hell, it’s above a country that is mostly above it!!

…and they recommend that adults over 50 take a daily supplement of 400 IU Vitamin D. And as if that doesn’t suck enough, they say men and women between 19 and 50 should aim for 600 IU a day from their diet AND supplements.

To cap it off, they advise the safe upper limit is 4000 IU per day!

Idiots!

A New World Order – At Least 2000 IU a Day!

DoctorWhat hope do we have, seriously, if governments are useless, nature is mean, and living anywhere but near the equator isn’t sunny enough?

We have science, that’s what.

Thankfully, there are ongoing studies in the field of nutrition and supplements, and the researchers don’t just stick with information from the mid ‘90s when they are considering the necessities of human health.

What we should be looking at is a minimum daily intake of 2000 IU (an International Unit – 1000 IU = 25 micrograms).

Most governments think 4000 IU is the ceiling, above which you should not go, but there are plenty of people taking more than this quantity per day, and only getting positive effects from it.

There are cases of much higher doses but from our perspective we would probably say that between 2000 and 4000 IU in the form of supplementation is good enough for rock and roll.

Types of Supplements and D3

There’s a few types of supplement, from capsules to softgels, liquid and tablets, but if you remember the general rule that Vitamin D is soluble in fat – and therefore should be taken with food (inc. a source of fat) – then you can’t really go wrong.

Vitamin D3 – aka Cholecalciferol is more bioavailable than its D2 cousin, so if you have the choice, which you will, take the D3.

Final Thoughts

ApprovedMagnesium is a mineral that is often undervalued and under-dosed. You can read about magnesium here.

If you are taking a multi-vitamin, it might be an idea to replace it with more specific supplements, like a separate Vit D3 and a Magnesium. Multi-Vitamins tend to include the bare minimum, which is why you’ll probably find the 400 – 800 IU Vitamin D dose on the label.

The other option you have is to take a supplement which is geared towards physical performance, such as Prime Male (read the review here).

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are getting enough of this essential Vitamin.

Amino Lean (AminoLean) RSP Nutrition – Our Review

Amino Lean from RSPAminoLean is RSP’s answer to the torrent of BCAA and amino acid based workout supplements which have bludgeoned the bodybuilding and sports supplement market in recent years.

BCAAs and amino acids have been popular with athletes, gym goers, sportsmen and sportswomen for a long time due to the fact that were scientifically proven ergogenic supplements (those which improves physical performance/physique) in the early days of such science.

It’s simple really, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue…you’ve heard it all countless times before.

The difference is that BCAAs have been studied continually since the good old days and there’s nothing supplement companies like more than ingredients which proven themselves time and time again, and become more versatile with it.

These days, said companies can add claims like – “Leucine triggers mTOR signalling for anabolic muscle growth” or “Valine competes with tryptophan in the brain and wins, which reduces fatigue during exercise” or “Isoleucine promotes fat burning and prevents fat storage.”

All of these claims have some weight to a certain extent, but for us there’s no real need to keep up the hard-sell where BCAAs are concerned – we know they work and they are good for several reasons (which we’ll get to) but it’s whether they are included in the supplement at effective quantities, and furthermore, what additional ingredients are paired with them to make the product more powerful or diverse.

Those are the real points to consider when you are looking at one of these workout supplements.

Let’s see if RSP have got it right with AminoLean…

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Promised Benefits of AminoLean

AminoLean is intended to help the user:

  • Build Muscle
  • Boost Energy Levels
  • Burn Fat

Bench Man Woman SpottingIt’s essentially an all-round workout formula – like most supplements in the same category – and a change from the usual stimulant riddled pre-workout drink mixes that are also available.

BCAAs are a prominent feature of the formula because they have roles to play in all of the above advertised benefits. What makes BCAAs unique in the amino acid group is their structure, which allows them to be used directly inside muscle tissue as a source of fuel for contraction force and repetition endurance.

Leucine is famous for its ability to stimulate the mTOR pathway in the muscle growth process. In short: it triggers protein synthesis, thereby helping you grow muscle from your resistance training and stemming the flow of catabolism.

Isoleucine, another BCAA, has been shown (in early research) to promote the usage of stored fat as fuel. Additionally, it may prevent the storage of new dietary fat.

Valine has a unique and different effect when supplemented. During exercise, we experience the effects of increasing serotonin levels, which ultimately makes us tired. Valine actually competes with tryptophan – the fatigue hormone that serotonin increases – in the brain, and more often than not wins. This victory means that tryptophan is blocked from having its effect. Thus, Valine can be viewed as having an anti-fatigue effect.

AminoLean actually contains the full spectrum of essential amino acids, the effects of which range from increased blood flow to improved cognitive function. All good benefits during a workout.

On top of this, there is a dedicated “Weight Management Blend” that includes ingredients associated with a reduction in body fat.

Finally there’s an energy and focus element in caffeine, sourced from the green tea (in the weight management blend) and Theobromine.

Key Ingredients and Formula Potential

The following equate to 7.8g of AminoLean (2 scoops / 1 serving).

Amino Acid Blend – 5,000mg (5 grams)

  • L-Taurine, Beta Alanine, L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine, L-Glutamine, L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, L-Tyrosine, L-Histidine, L-Lysine Hydrochloride, L-Phenylalanine, L-Threonine, L-Methionine

Weight Management Blend – 1,500 mg (1.5 grams)

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid Powder, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, Green Tea Extract, Green Coffee Extract

Natural Energy and Focus Blend

  • Caffeine (from green tea above) and Theobromine

Important to Note: There are 30 servings per container. A single serving is 2 scoops. RSP warn users against exceeding 8 scoops in a 24 hour period OR 6 scoops in a 4 hour period.

We have no problem with the Amino Acid Blend. There’s not much you can do different than what RSP have here.

The Weight Management Blend has a couple of good ingredients in L-Carnitine and Green Tea but they are more useful to us here as energy providers than fat burners.

Side Effects and Health Considerations

doctorThis supplement should only be used by adults who exercise on a regular basis.

Those who should not use AminoLean are Pregnant and Breastfeeding women, Children, Elderly people and those suffering from a medical condition which precludes the use of such supplements (check with your doctor), and those who are on prescription meds (again, check with your doc).

The average user should be fine with this product but we’d exercise caution and start with a single scoop (half serving) to assess tolerance.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Blackwolf Supplement TubAminoLean is a solid supplement for energy and faster recovery/growth from a workout. It’s not a dramatic difference in terms of muscle increase but the pre-workout and intra-workout effects on power levels are decent enough.

We’d prefer not to have the weight management blend in there to be honest. It seems RSP just want to put that stuff in everything but really, you just become immune to their effects if you have them in all the supplements.

The BEST workout supplements in the Amino Acid and general workout energy/muscle class are those manufactured by BLACKWOLF.

Blackwolf have dedicated their business to these types of workout products and they have the biggest and most effective (huge 30 gram scoops!!) blends of ingredients.

Follow the link below to read more about Blackwolf if you need something to fuel some hellish workouts.

Click Here to read more

Magnesium – The Most Important Mineral You Never Cared About

Magnesium Symbol WoodMagnesium is not in the headlines, it sounds like something your chemistry teacher used to bore your tits off about on a Wednesday afternoon, and it certainly doesn’t sound nearly as cool as passiflora caerulea, whatever the hell that is.

But…magnesium should be in the headlines, it was something your chemistry teacher explained (and you probably should have listened) and it does a bog load more for you than that passithingywhatsit shite.

There are lots of reasons why people in the third world are deficient in a multitude of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but there are precisely ZERO reasons why the average person in the social-media-infatuated developed first world might ever be deficient in anything in their entire life.

And yet…it’s one of the most common deficiencies in the developed world. Second only to Vitamin D.

And that’s just stupid.

What’s the Big Deal?

Magnesium is an essential mineral – “essential” being the key word here. You can’t love without it and you can’t be healthy with too little of it. You can be okay with just enough of it, and you can be Optimus Prime with the perfect amount of it.

So, if you had the choice, would you want to be a wet fart or the leader of the Autobots?

Here’s what magnesium does for you:

  • Keeps your Blood Pressure in the green
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity so you don’t become a Type II Diabetic
  • Increases Bone Mineral Density
  • Helps you Sleep Deeply
  • Boosts Muscle Oxygenation and Aerobic Exercise
  • Protects your Brain from Depression, Seizures and ADHD
  • Reduces chance of Migraines and reduces frequency if you get them often
  • Helps Relieve Symptoms of PMS

If any of the above evokes feelings of longing, then you might be a good candidate for the global magnesium correction program (not a thing) and perhaps you might start thinking about getting more from (a) your diet, or (b) a supplement.

Magnesium is supposed to be the second most prevalent electrolyte in your body. Pretty much wherever there is fluid in your body, there should be a certain concentration of magnesium. And considering we are basically just sacks of fluid held together by bones – which, by the way, also need magnesium – it’s a pretty big deal!

Fair Enough – What About the Diet Thing?

Yes, magnesium is in food. Yes, you can correct a magnesium deficiency with diet. No, most westerners and first worlders don’t eat enough of the right foods.

We’re talking about:

  • Leafy greens – e.g. spinach, swiss chard
  • Other veg – e.g. potato skins, tamarind, okra (ladies fingers), Edamame
  • Nuts and Seeds – e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews
  • Fruit – e.g. prickly pear
  • Beans and Legumes – e.g. peas, black-eyed peas
  • Soy produce – e.g. Tempeh, soy beans, soy nuts, tofu (that’s been made with Mg)
  • Fish and Seafood – e.g. salmon, mackerel, crab, pollock
  • Other – e.g. quinoa, toasted wheat germ, All Bran

Meats and poultry don’t contain much magnesium at all, and neither do nearly all grains. Basically the food types that much of the first world diets are based on.

When was the last time you took a crab sandwich and quinoa salad to work for lunch, with a little bag of almonds for a snack?

Not only do most of these foods satisfy a good portion of your magnesium quota, but they are good for you in all sorts of other ways.

How much Magnesium do we Need per Day?

Between 200mg and 400mg per day is recommended. Average portions of the example foods above contain between 40 and 90mg.

Some things like shell-less pumpkin seeds give you over 300mg of magnesium per 1/4 cup.

Talk To Me About Supplements

SupplementsSupplements are a good way to boost your dietary intake so that you are reaching that daily 200 – 400mg.

In fact out of all of the essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, we highly recommend a supplement or supplements that at least fill out your Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Zinc requirements. Others are easier to get from your food, but those three will get you on your way.

There are multi-vitamins available, but they are often dosed according to recommended daily allowances, which come from antiquated studies done by government health agencies about a thousand years ago. For example, most countries’ RDA for Vit D3 is 400 to 800 IU, which is just not enough for an adult that lives above the 37th parallel.

Supplements designed with physical performance in mind are probably your best bet. They usually come with a good Vitamin and Mineral base that takes exercise and sweating into account. They usually contain additional ingredients for helping you grow muscle, burn fat, boost testosterone, or a combination of some or all of them.

Prime Male

read about PRIME MALE – click the link below the article

Testosterone boosters often have a decent lump of Magnesium, Vitamin D and Zinc in them because they are all associated with elevated testosterone levels.

Vit D and Zinc have been proven in this context and the jury is still out on Magnesium, but whether it does or not, it’s good to have it in healthy doses in those products.

Take a minute to read our review of Prime Male – it’s one such supplement that does it all. We can’t say enough about it. For the modern man, it’s a must-have…

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