Friday, June 19, 2015

Protein Powder - A Beginner's Guide

Over the last few decades, protein powders have become mainstream and very popular. In the past, many thought protein powder was for those that pumped iron or were professional athletes. The new understanding of using a protein powder is that you are not taking it to bulk up or become a prize-fighter.

There are many sources of protein like the protein derived from eggs, soy, whey, and milk, also plant proteins for vegans and vegetarians. A popular new trending source of protein, in a powder form, is beef. Beef protein is a good fit for those avoiding plants, dairy or gluten forms of protein.

Why Take A Protein Powder?

There are many reasons why someone would include protein powder in their diet. It is an easy way to get the amount of protein needed for good health. Instances like a child that is a picky eater or a person that is on the go and does not get a balanced meal.

It may also be part of a diet to improve lean muscle mass or as a meal replacement for a weight loss diet. Many will take a protein shake after a workout to recover more quickly.

It will also depend greatly on what type of workout or sports you do. A teen that is active in sports will need more protein than an adult athlete in competition or adult building muscle mass.

Are There Different Types?

There are many types of protein powder. The many choices can be found online, in the supermarket, at a vitamin store or at a local pharmacy. Some will have natural sweeteners or will have added sugar substitutes. Some will list enhancements added to the formula like vitamins, minerals, lecithin and digestive enzymes to absorb the extra protein.

Some will buy a large month’s supply in a 2 to 5-pound tub for a better deal and for convenience. Others may use the premixed single serving sizes to grab on the go. Some have claimed that added ingredients will help build muscle and increase the fat burned.

How To Choose The Best One?

Before knowing the best one to choose, it is advisable to have an idea of your goal in taking a protein shake. You may have heard it is normal when you work out or you may have heard that it will help you lose weight.

It is important to know how much your body will actually need if a workout routine is started. Most people will get enough protein if they eat a balanced diet. Taking too much protein will only be discarded by the body and may have unwanted side effects and damage the kidneys.

Are There Reasons Not To Take Protein Powder?

Learning how much protein your body needs is very important. If you are getting enough through your diet, you may not need an additional amount. You may cause damage to your liver and kidneys to consume too much protein. Some reasons to take a protein powder is when recovering from an injury, sports or other types of trauma.

Elderly people may need an extra amount of protein and calories to sustain a poor diet or to gain weight. Those who choose a vegan or strict vegetarian diet may benefit from a protein in addition to their diet.

When Is The Best Time To Take Protein Powder?

If you need to feel less weak or fatigued when lifting weights or other strenuous exercise, a protein drink may be a good addition. Some say that just before a workout is the best time to take a protein shake, others will say right after one to rebuild muscle and heal more quickly.

Some experts say that either of these recommendations is incorrect. They say that what your body really needs during and after a workout is carbohydrates. The ratio should be a 5-1 or a 4-1 with carbs to protein.

So if your powder has 15 grams of protein, you will need 60 grams of carbs to balance it out and stay healthy, and also have a workout with good recovery.

Is Taking A Protein Supplement Right For Me?

The best way to know if a protein supplement, like a powder shake type, is right for you is to try it first. It has been found that for most adults, a rule of thumb is that for every pound of body weight, a 0.9 grams of protein is recommended.

So it is possible to be taking in too much protein if you are not very active or if your diet already supplies enough. Yet more research has shown that a good time, to have a protein shake is during the day, as a snack or if dieting, a meal replacement, but not recommended to take it surrounding a workout.

Enjoying a protein drink with added fresh fruit or other delicious additions may be just the right option to reach for throughout the day.

How To Incorporate Dumbbells In Your Workout?

Some have wondered where the term dumbbells began. Apparently, a few centuries ago, the men that rang the bells in churches were noticed for their great looking arms, shoulders and chest.

When other men who did not ring church bells, figured out the connection, some installed the same type of pulley systems in their homes that were used to ring church bells. Not actually ringing a bell, they were a mockup or a dummy copy of the bell and pulley.

As these caught on, the name became dumb-bells. Centuries later they removed the rope and pulley and we have the modern dumbbell.

Can You Get An Effective Workout With Dumbbells?

By using smaller weights, you tend to concentrate on your muscles and your core strength. When doing this, you can do less repetition and focus more on quality instead of quantity. You can find great examples of exercises for just about any area online.

Standing moves can be done to get flat abs, combining yoga moves with dumbbell weights can kick-start your regular yoga routine. Men can also benefit from using these types of weights.

According to Men’s Fitness Magazine, a man can actually get a better sculpted workout, then by using the larger barbell weights.

What Kind Of Exercises Can Be Done?

The benefit of dumbbells comes from the way your arms and legs can move independent of the other side. This causes increased strength in the weaker side of the body, and does a better job of getting the core stronger because of bracing harder.

In using these more portable weights, using the aid of a bench to workout gives you a whole new dimension in exercises. With the added smaller weights positioned, a leg lift and triceps tightening workout, called a one-arm row, will focus on sculpting the arms.

Most exercises that use weights or resistance can be adapted into a dumbbell exercise.

How Much Weight Should You Use?

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This answer really depends on the type of exercise. With any weightlifting exercise to get muscle tone, you need to lift until you achieve muscle fatigue. So the way to know the correct weight is to do 10 to 15 reps and if you feel like you can do more, you need to add more weight.

However, if you feel like you cannot raise the weight one more time, then you are fatigued and you are using the correct weight. When this weight becomes more effortless, it is time to add on a few more pounds to the dumbbell.

Dumbbells can be purchased in weights from .05 to 50 pounds, finding the right ones may take some experimenting.

Are Some Better Than Others?

Again, depending on the form of exercise, it is really what feels right to you. If you are able to have a secure hold on a metal rod and not the poly coated ones, then choose the metal. If a contoured handle feel better than a straight one, then get the contoured.

The suggestion when buying dumbbells is to buy several different sizes, as your workout strength increases, so will the size of weight. Some find that, if space is limited, the dumbbell blocks that come in several changeable sizes may be more to your liking.

Are You Limited By Them?

It depends on what you feel you want to achieve. In fact, there are many perks to using dumbbells instead of barbell weights. If space is limited and a full barbell rack will not fit, they are a great alternative.

If you have had injuries, it is recommended to incorporate dumbbells into the workout. They are great core builders because of the unilateral balance created, the core gets a deeper workout in order to stabilize the body.

For those of you who are new to weights, they are a safer alternative and if you have joint issues or past injuries to the neck and shoulders, dumbbells are recommended. For folks who are over 40, dumbbells are recommended because of the soft tissue or joint concerns, all gain without the risks.

Are Dumbbells Right For Me?

This is really a matter of choosing what you want to accomplish and what will work for your routine. They may be right for you if you are new to handling weights or want to step up your yoga or aerobics.

If you are concerned about a past injury, then dumbbells are the recommended weight of choice by professionals. These smaller weights are great if you have limited room or if you want to include weights into your workout for adding bone strength and avoiding the onset of osteoporosis.

If a good core strengthening, yet low impact, is what you want, then dumbbells are a good all-around choice. Also, if you have limited ability to stand or sit for long periods of time, dumbbells may be a great way to get the workout you need.

The Truth About Ab Workouts

The commercial and media are full of sexy flat abs and they are not just for men anymore. Women have gotten to that cut six-pack abs level too. The media is also full of many different exercises and products that promise flat abs in a very short time.

Others advertise that a diet or a certain food will give you those flat abs, whether you are male or female. But with all the hype and promises, most wonder what the real truth about abs is, and how to get your own tight abs without too much pain and effort. 

What Kind Of Ab Workouts Are Effective?

It seems that the one common point that most agree on it that core strength is at the base of an effective ab workout. Core strengthening exercises are the goal in just about every exercise, whether a calm yoga routine to a vigorous boot camp workout. 

Core strength is of course just what it sounds like, strengthening the core muscles of your body. Having good core strength is critical from youth all the way to the elderly. Developing core strength, in the elderly, is one of the best preventive measures for injuries and death from falls. 

But again, finding the best way to tighten them up is one of the biggest questions. Some say to do exercise that is fun is usually the best exercise, you will find time to do something you enjoy, instead of dreading the workout.

Can You Do Ab Exercises Wrong?

Yes, and often is sit-ups. There are many other, and possibly more effective ab exercises than the annoying sit-ups. The key to an effective ab workout is to control your abdominal muscles and abdominal walls. If using momentum instead of muscles to sit up, you are gaining no ground in a flatter belly. 

Other mistakes are holding your breath or not breathing correctly. If you aren’t breathing right, you are actually pushing your stomach out from behind your abdominal wall during the crunch, which is not what you want to do. The suggestion is to exhale as you do the crunch or sit up and you will feel your abs tightening.

Do They Work For Everyone?

No, and the research has shown that if you are not eating the right foods, endless ab exercises a day will have no effect. Well, it may have some effect, but if you are consuming too many calories or foods high in refined or processed carb, or high levels of sugar and alcohol, your six-pack may be hiding under unwanted belly fat. 

We have all heard it before, lean meats and protein, no starchy vegetables or fruits. Follow this and you will have a jump start on great abs without one crunch. Other things too can cause a good workout routine to bring little to no results. 

Stress is a big factor that causes the body to become overweight and show little effect for your exercise efforts.

Should Men And Women Work Abs Out Differently?

Functional movement, that uses the whole body, is the best for all. Abs are something that can be exercised at home, on vacation or even at work. There are a few standing moves with light weights that can strengthen the core and abs.

But according to surveys, the big difference between women and men’s workouts is a bit of gender intimidation. Both sexes are capable of doing the same workouts, but the perception toward each is somewhat bias still. 

You won’t find many men lined up to get into the yoga class, and women admit feeling intimidated by using the weight rooms.

Does Diet Alone Produce Flat Abs?

No, but it may help a lot. If your diet is full of sugar and processed foods, you will have a much harder time trying to find that tight flat stomach. Other things like not getting enough sleep, being stressed out, doing the wrong kind of exercise or even breathing incorrectly can stall your ab workout in its tracks. 

You may be doing the wrong moves or may just need to kick it up a notch. Our bodies can get used to the same boring routine and the only way to see some great results is to try something new.

Where Is The Best Place To Work The Abs?

Fortunately, ab workouts can be done at home just as well as in the gym. At home, a stability ball can be a great source for many types of ab exercises. Medicine balls can be another exercise helper and will be done in a few minutes.

The best place for you to workout could be with a friend or partner. Motivating each other is always a great way to stay in shape. Either at home or at the gym. Motivation is the number one thing that keeps us going and keeps us exercising.