Supplementation: are you wasting your cash?

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The supplement industry is truly MASSIVE, you name it, there’s a supplement for it………

It can all get very confusing, and understanding supplementation can be made increasingly difficult by public perception and branding.

For example, if you were to ask the average person what they think of protein shakes, a typical response could be “you don’t know what’s in them; it can’t be ‘good’ for you”.

In their mind, you may as well be publicly sticking a needle in yourself!

The exact same person probably wouldn’t have the same reaction to somebody drinking  a ‘sports based’ energy drink, which are extremely widespread and available from just about every shop/supermarket. Despite these drinks very often being highly calorie dense and containing a wide range of stimulant based ingredients, they are for the most part socially acceptable……….

Lucozade for example, is actually marketed, endorsed, and supported by athletes, yet is purchased and consumed by an often inactive demographic, without any secondary thought being given.

What do you need to consider when it comes to supplementation?

Firstly it is essential that you have a balanced diet containing all the necessary nutrients (macros & micros) before introducing any shake or supplement. It is far more beneficial to get your diet on track first for you to notice tangible results and also for you to make vast improvements in your health & performance (both in and out of the gym).

Remember that there isn’t a supplement invented that will transform you or help you if the rest of your diet & lifestyle is poor!

By definition a supplement is ‘Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it’………………..

The use of any supplement is also obviously dependent on your individual goals. I always suggest that before you commit to purchasing any supplements you discuss your goals with a professional, and do your own research.

I do acknowledge that supplements can play a role within your routine and can definitely help in terms of reaching your goals, however, I would encourage you to consider the following pointers with regards to your existing diet & lifestyle before buying and committing to any supplements:

>Are you aware of your average total daily calorie intake?

>Are you aware of what is potentially lacking in your diet in terms of micronutrients?

>If your goal is fat loss, are you in calorie deficit?

>If your goal is to increase muscle mass, are you in a calorie surplus?

>Are you eating sufficient amounts of protein/carbohydrates/good fats to support the level of training you are performing at?

>Are you eating at regular intervals to avoid potential binging? This doesn’t have to always mean 5 meals a day, I’m merely encouraging you to question your existing patterns, are you consistent in your approach?

>Do you plan ahead and prepare your meals, if and when required?

>Do you drink sufficient water for your bodyweight on a daily basis? (https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/are-you-drinking-enough-water/ – have a read to find out how much).

>Do you feel you get sufficient sleep and recovery? (See my blog https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/struggling-with-your-sleep-read-this/

>How much stress do you have within your current lifestyle and how do you combat it?

Before you part with your hard earned cash, I would suggest avoiding:

>Any product that claims to have ‘steroid like’ effects or benefits! The only products that have steroid like effects are steroids!

>Any product that relies solely on buzz words, such as ‘super lean’ or ‘shredded’.

>Any product you are potentially buying solely because someone else is the gym also happens to be using the same product.

>Any product that hides the active ingredients behind the term ‘propriety blend’. This can be very misleading and can often mask the active ingredient quantities, save you hard earned cash and don’t get conned!

>Any product that is promoted/endorsed exclusively by the latest reality TV star!!!

>Any product that encourages you to regularly replace meals with shakes.

What supplements would I recommend you do use?

>A quality whey protein powder – this can prove to a convenient source of protein for some. I tend to favour using it in conjunction with other foods such as oats or yoghurt.

>Creatine – this is a supplement that has been around since the 70’s, and has been proven to have many benefits, to read more click here: https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/confused-about-creatine/

>ZMA – this one of my favoured supplements for aiding with sleep.

>Fish Oil – this boasts a huge number of benefits, including the contribution of normal/healthy function of the heart.

>Vitamin D – if you live in sunny old England, it’s worth considering that exposure to sunlight is responsible for Vitamin D synthesis, and is responsible for the majority of Vitamin D intake in the body.

>Vitamin C – this contributes to normal function of the immune system.

That’s it, it may not be the sexiest selection, but I guarantee they will have a greater impact on your health & performance opposed to the fad/false hope supplement on the market. It will also prove to be far less damaging to your bank account!

I suggest that you consider addressing all the above points before introducing any form of supplementation into your routine.

Doing this will not only improve your health massively, but also place you on the right path to achieving your goals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you found it useful please like and share with others.

If you need any help or further advice, give me a shout.

Tristan ‘keep supplementation simple’ Buttle.

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The 4 essentials to fat loss: Number 1………

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We live in a world of information overload, & the birth of social media has provided many individuals and self-proclaimed ‘experts’ or ‘gurus’ with a voice…

Often, these voices tell you that they have THE answer, and that they have THE secret, and that ultimately, their way is THE way.

When it comes to fat loss & getting in shape, there are many ways to train and many ways to set up a nutritional plan….

…..however what works for someone else is not guaranteed to work for you.

The work that is required to achieve any goal is always obviously dependent on the specifics of the goal in question, that been said, I believe there are 4 basic areas that apply to ANY fat loss related goal…..

Today, we are just going to look at number 1, I’ll be in touch over the next few days with the rest…

1) Eating and understanding calories:

Nutrition is a MASSIVE topic and probably THE most confusing area of fat loss.

>However, in simple terms, fat loss ultimately comes to down to creating a calorie deficit.

This is ESSENTIAL, please don’t let anybody tell you calories don’t count. Too much of ANY food can result in weight gain.

A deficit can be achieved in a variety of methods and no one approach suits everyone.

What I will say is that when it comes to a creating a calorie deficit consider the following:

>What is the highest (not lowest) number of calories you can consume to achieve your goals? This will prevent you from starving yourself, setting unsustainable targets and stop you from burning out and giving up on your goals… remember that by definition, calories are a unit of ENERGY.

>The biggest influencing factor on fat loss is the TOTAL amount of calories you consume on a continual basis, not the time of day that you consume your calories.

Eg: let’s say you need to eat 2500kcal, but you have a busy day and it gets to 9pm but you still have 500kcal left to consume, then eat!!

It is the total figure that you hit by the end of the day that counts.

Start with the basics first, if you reading this and you are struggling with losing body fat, I suggest you start by logging your daily food intake.

You can easily do this by downloading the myfitnesspal app on your phone.

Its free, its simple and very user friendly.

Don’t worry about the targets the app sets you with, just use it as a log, this will help you to assess exactly where you are at with your intake.

It will also educate you on the true calorie content of certain food choices!

I’m not saying that you need to log everything, every day for the rest of your life, but if what you are doing isn’t working, then perhaps it’s time to try something new?

That’s all for today, if you get stuck with anything, then give me shout,

Tristan ‘calories DO count’ Buttle

Ps – part 2 with you tomorrow, if you are lucky!

How to eat porridge without feeling like Oliver Twist……………………….

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Eating clean/healthy is bland & boring………………..

Is it?

This is the typical perception, am I right?

Bland, flavourless, beige food, with no colour & no flavour, just eat, chew, repeat……… This is especially true when it comes to breakfast, particularly with reference to good old porridge oats………

This doesn’t have to be the case my friend………….

First up, I’d just like to start by saying that personally, I’m not keen on labelling ANY food as GOOD or BAD…I don’t believe that’s healthy……

…..think of it as good or bad CHOICES opposed to good or bad foods.

………For example, having birthday cake on your birthday isn’t bad is it? But having birthday cake every day becomes a bad choice……………Anyway, I digress…

So basically you CAN eat whatever you decide/desire…but when it comes to condiments/sauces/flavours, you may find that banging a load of your fav sauce on your meals may create a larger dent in your total daily calorie intake that you realise.

But if you want to be able to stomach your porridge without feeling like Oliver Twist, read on…………

Firstly, you may think me about talking about porridge oats is a bit typical/cliché/boring?

Perhaps, however: 1) Oats are a great source of carbohydrate.2) Oats are cheap. 3) Oats are quick.

By the way, for the sake of this, I’m talking about actual porridge oats, not the pre flavoured stuff which will quickly ramp your daily sugar content up….

If I’m having carbs as part of my routine with breakfast, I personally weigh out the oats I need the night before (I typically have 100 grams, you will probably not need this much)…this makes my morning routine easier……tip: get some digital scales.

I don’t soak them or any of that business….just a dry measure in a bowl, ready for the following morning….

Add water, stir, microwave for 90 secs- done… simple…

Now for the flavour:

I personally mix in 1 scoop of whey protein (you may not need a full scoop, especially if you are having fewer oats) into the cooked oats…I’m a chocolate flavour kind of guy….. Always look for quality, & a reputable brand when choosing your whey.

Next up, sprinkle some cinnamon into the mix…. Massive health benefits, tastes like Christmas, what’s not to like?!

Nearly there….meant to say earlier, you need to purchase some frozen berries (cheaper than fresh, won’t go off & some actually have lower kcal count than their fresh counterparts)…measure out what you need the night before & leave to defrost overnight in the fridge…

Chuck the berries into the porridge & you have yourself a meal!

No beige, lots of flavour & colour greater nutritional value, higher protein & higher antioxidant content… bang on!

Give it a whirl; let me know how you get on…

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘quaker’ Buttle.

P.S – if you’ve got any ideas yourself, let me know……………..

Confused about Creatine?

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Understanding supplemention:

1) Creatine Monohydrate

We now live in an era of supplementation………………

This can be confusing, as there are many conflicting reports/articles all giving you a different perspective/opinion. It’s hard to keep up, am I right?!

I will be addressing several different supplements over the next few months; however I will only base any of my work on supplementation that I have personally used.

The aim of this article is to try to examine the nature, the role, and the benefits of supplementing with Creatine.

In turn you can hopefully feel more informed & make the right choice for YOU.

You’ve probably heard about, read about or maybe even used creatine before…over the years I’ve seen it labelled a ‘steroid’, I’ve read allegations by doctors that it will kill destroy your kidneys, and I’ve seen allsorts of praise/indifference along the way.

Firstly, it is essential to establish that you have a balanced diet containing all the necessary nutrients (macros and micros) before introducing any potential supplement into your routine.

It is far more beneficial to get your diet on track first for you to notice any tangible results and also for you to make vast improvements in your health.

There isn’t a supplement invited that will transform you or help you if the rest of your eating pattern is poor.

Remember that, by definition, a supplement is ‘Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it’.

The use of any supplement is also dependent on your individual goals. I suggest before committing to purchasing any supplements, you discuss your goals and current lifestyle with a fitness professional, alongside doing your own research.

So let’s dive into Creatine:

Creatine is a totally natural occurring substance in your body.

For example, the average 70kg human will already have an average of 70g of creatine in their body, 95% of which is stored in the skeletal muscles & the remaining 5% found in the brain, heart & the testes. It is produced naturally, mainly by the liver.

This process is completed by the conversion of 3 amino acids – Arginine, Glycine & Methionine – to form creatine.

Creatine is not only produced naturally in the body, but is also found in foods such as beef, chicken and some fish.

For example: there is typically 4 g of creatine per kilo of tuna, & 5g per kilo in salmon.

For this reason, research has indicated that supplementation of creatine can have a greater effect on vegetarians due to the typical lack of creatine in their existing diet since it is only found in trace amounts in fruit and vegetables.

Creatine is responsible for increasing/ replenishing ATP in the muscle: high energy molecules with 3 bound phosphates, when a phosphate breaks, energy is released, Creatine provides phosphates to replenish and keep energy running.

Supplementing can provide a volume of available fuel to keep driving this process.

Supplementation is available in a variety of forms, with lots of weird & wonderful creations & ‘enhanced’ versions.

In terms of keeping things cost effective & for ease of use, I’d advise simply sticking to monohydrate (ideally creapure).

This is the most common version of this supplement (in America alone, it racks up 400 million in annual sales) and is easily the form with the most scientific studies and research use to back it up.

Creatine is not only one of the cheapest supplements available on the market, it’s also one the most researched supplements available, unlike more modern/newer products that can often lack data & available research. The first mainstream of creatine use in athletic performance dates back to the 1970’s in Russia.

Benefits of use can include:

>Increased explosive power

>Increased endurance, strength & speed.

>Can aid in the recovery process.

>Can enhance muscle cell volumization by helping to drive water into the muscle.
>Research has also shown that Creatine supplementation has a significant positive effect on working memory (especially short term), and on intelligence whilst improving cognitive function.

Dosage:

You may notice that many suppliers of Creatine advise you to first use a “loading phase” (often an average dose of up to 20g per day for the first week of use), before switching to the “maintenance phase” (typically 5g per day for the following 8 to 10 weeks).

This initial phase isn’t always necessary (it’s also not absolutely wrong) and many studies have shown there is no significant benefit of taking more than 5g-10g per day. By not adhering to the loading phase you will also make your investment far more cost effective!

Depending on body weight a typical daily serving can range between 3-10g per day, with larger people tending to go with the higher dose.

Be sure to maintain an adequate water intake whilst taking creatine as it is hygroscopic, which is a fancy word for saying that it has the ability to move water from your cells into your blood, so hydration is the key when supplementing.

I’d also advise remembering to dissolve your creatine fully into enough water before use.

Hopefully this gives you a clearer picture about what creatine is and its application to performance/training.

As ever, any questions please do give me a shout

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘crazy about creatine’ Buttle.

Read this before taking any supplements!

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Supplementation:
What you need to know and consider

As protein shakes and the use of a massive array of different supplements are becoming more rapidly widespread, I feel it is part of my duty to you to inform you of the benefits of taking certain supplements in conjunction to a well balanced nutrition plan. I will also address the false misconceptions of taking supplements over the course of the next few months. It can be confusing, and understanding supplementation can be made increasingly difficult by public perception and branding.

For example, if you were to ask the average person what they think of protein shakes, a typical response could be a grimace coupled with “you don’t know what’s in them; it can’t be ‘good’ for you”. In their mind, you may as well be publicly sticking a needle in yourself! The exact same person probably wouldn’t have the same reaction to the consumption of a ‘sports based’ energy drink, which are extremely widespread and available from just about every shop/supermarket, despite these drinks very often containing high levels of sugar, and many other stimulant based ingredients. Lucozade for example is actually marketed endorsed and supported by athletes, yet is purchased and consumed by a often inactive demographic.

Firstly it is essential that you have a balanced diet containing all the necessary nutrients (macros and micros) before introducing any shake or supplement. It is far more beneficial to get your diet on track first for you to notice tangible results and also for you to make vast improvements in your health. There isn’t a supplement invented that will transform you or help you if the rest of your diet is poor.

Remember that by definition a supplement is ‘Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it’. The use of any supplement is also dependent on your individual goals. I suggest before committing to purchasing any supplements you discuss your goals and current lifestyle with a fitness professional (such as myself!) and do your own research.

I do acknowledge that supplements can play a role within an individual’s routine and can definitely help in terms of reaching goals, and I do personally take a variety of supplements myself. However, the main points to consider with your existing diet & lifestyle before purchasing/committing to any supplements are:

-Are you eating clean/whole food choices, and avoiding processed and refined foods?

-Are you eating sufficient amounts of protein/carbohydrates/good fats to support the level of training you are performing at?

-Are you eating at regular intervals?

-Are you always aware of what your next meal will be?

-Do you plan and prepare your meals?

-Do you drink sufficient water for your bodyweight on a daily basis? (https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/are-you-drinking-enough-water/ – have a read to find out how much).

-Do you feel you get sufficient sleep and recovery? (See my blog https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/the-importance-of-sleep-my-first-quick-blog/ for more info),

-How much stress do you have within your current lifestyle and how do you combat it?

I suggest that you consider addressing all the above points before introducing supplements into your routine.Doing this will not only improve you health massively but also place you on the right path to achieving your goals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, if you found it useful please like and share with others.

If you need any help or further advice, please do not hesitate to contact me, on here or on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TristanButtlePersonalTrainer

Regards,

Tristan