March is here – and with it comes spring fever. The kind of “bug” we all enjoy catching. And with spring fever comes the desire to emerge from hibernation, to shrug off the throws and blankets, stretch, open the front door wide and skip around outside.
It’s about getting moving again. For many people, the new year’s resolution to hit the gym and get into shape gets put off until the weather is friendlier – longer days/extended sunshine and warmth.
The first key things you will want to do is renovate your comfort-food winter diet – switch to more nutrient-dense and lighter fare, along with more water. If you fell off the Dry January wagon, hop back on; if you didn’t participate, try it, or at least cut down on alcohol intake.
Start your exercise reasonably; if you haven’t cycled, run or lifted weights in awhile, don’t expect to be able to begin where you left off. And that’s OK because it will come back swiftly when your exercise habits become regular; you will also more quickly surpass where you left off.
To enhance your workout and fitness this spring, there are a couple of supplements with scientific evidence showing they can help you get into shape and feel great.
LJ100® Tongkat Ali is a water extract standardized to 40% glyco saponins, and greater than 22% eurypeptides. It is the only clinically proven Tongkat Ali extract for fitness benefits and support.
Human trials show that LJ100® supplementation aids in creating a favorable anabolic state (building up), while suppressing catabolic state (breaking down); this enhances performance. In tandem, LJ100® supplementation has been shown to increase fat free mass and decrease body fat and increase muscle strength and size as well as endurance.
One placebo-controlled endurance study looked at how 100 mg LJ100® affected 30 men recruited to engage in a 24-hour mountain biking event (four laps, total 60 miles). The LJ100® group took the supplement 30 minutes prior to endurance exercise. At the end of the study, cortisol levels were 32.3% lower in the LJ100® group compared to placebo, and testosterone levels were 16.4% higher in the LJ100® group compared to placebo. The authors concluded that LJ100®, through its apparent ability to maintain low normal levels of cortisol and high normal levels of testosterone, improved anabolic state during intense endurance workouts.
LJ100® also appears to positively impact strength and muscle quality in middle-aged women. A double-blind, randomized study with 31 women aged 45–59 were given either 100 mg of LJ100® or a placebo for 12 weeks. Significant improvements were observed in bench press. Leg press, handgrip strength and muscular endurance.
Increasing nitric oxide has become a goal for athletes and for gym-goers who want to get the most out of their workouts. When you exercise, your L-arginine levels become depleted which leads to less-than-ideal nitric oxide levels and higher lactic acid build up, fatigue, and slow recovery times. Research shows that when nitric oxide amount in athletes’ muscle is increased, both endurance and performance increases. However, intensive physical exercise is followed by production of lactic acid waste which attacks muscle cells, accumulates in the tissue, leading to cramps and aches which can make muscle recovery difficult.
NOMax™ is the ideal supplement for athletes by optimizing the nitric oxide levels to support the flow of blood and oxygen to the skeletal muscles, while at the same time neutralizing the toxic exercise-induced lactic acid. NoMax™ is abundant in flavanone-O-glycosides. It has two mechanisms of action that help the body produce its own energy in a more sustainable manner. NOMax™ is now enhanced with L-citrulline (which replaced L-arginine) to increase the production of nitric oxide, while also providing antioxidant protection to reduce the harmful effects of free radicals generated by sustained and repeated physical activity. Results of a clinical study with this improved compound will be released this year.
ParActin® Andrographis paniculata promotes muscle health and recovery through several mechanisms of action: improves skeletal muscle strength and exercise performance, reduces muscle damage and lowered serum creatine kinase, reduces fibrosis and pro-fibrotic factor (biochemicals that inhibit muscle regeneration), and reduces inflammation in the skeletal muscle via inhibiting the pro-inflammatory switch NF kappa B.
Getting back into physical shape, recovering and increasing agility, endurance, strength, balance and poise is a great feeling, not to mention how such physical fitness benefits practically all other areas of health.