Category Archives: Supplements and Products

6 Tips to Protect Your Joints

When you’re working out, you should pay extra attention to your joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as knees and ankles, because they absorb most of the impact during strenuous bodybuilding training. Joint injuries are frequent in sports, and they ultimately lead to damage and disease, one of which is rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike back or hip problems that are characteristics of old age, joint problems plague people regardless of how old they are. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can help you stay injury free, and keep your joints healthy when you’re training.

Warm up and stretch

Joints connect two bones, and their surrounding smooth tissue, cartilage, as well as a lubricant, synovial, prevent friction between two bones. Warm-up exercises and stretching are essential for prevention of all kinds of injuries, including joint strains, dislocations, or sprains. Many people think that warming up is the same thing as stretching, which is a common misconception. These two procedures are complementary, and both are highly beneficial for improving joint flexibility and increasing mobility. A warm-up should start with joint rotations that will stimulate the production of synovial fluid. After warm-up exercises, comes stretching that will prevent joint stiffness, and ultimately injuries.

Watch your nutrition

Inflammations and excess fat are the greatest enemies of healthy joints. This means that you should eliminate sugar, processed foods, or carbonated drinks, from your diet as they stimulate inflammatory responses. Make sure to include foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark, leafy green vegetables, berries, or nuts as they can successfully fight inflammations. Orange vegetables are loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, essential for preventing rheumatoid arthritis and similar inflammation-related conditions. Fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, important for suppressing the production of enzymes that lead to cartilage erosion.

Do yoga or Pilates

Bodybuilding lifting and yoga are, practically, match made in heaven. A demanding and strenuous exercise regimen requires some kind of antidote, that can help the body to completely relax and recuperate. Although many weight lifters aren’t actually into Pilates, this low-impact training can actually help them improve their balance, as well as joint mobility and flexibility. Yoga is composed of various stretching exercises that can do wonders for sore and stiff joints, and improve the elasticity of the whole body.

Take supplements

Supplementation is one of the essential elements of any effective exercising regimen. Apart from regular supplements aiding muscle growth, there are those used for keeping your joints healthy. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced in the human body and it’s a major ingredient of the synovial fluid and cartilage, and its role is to protect your joints from injuries and make them more elastic. There are supplements that increase and retain hyaluronic acid in your joints, and they’re used to prevent injuries and disorders, as well as to treat them. A study has found that this supplement can alleviate symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. People who train a lot should make sure to take high-purity glucosamine in order to replenish the stores of this chemical compound, whose responsibility is to reduce osteoarthritic pain and swelling, increase joint mobility, and help repair the cartilage. Its production is reduced due to a natural aging process and sustained traumas, and this ultimately results in cartilage destruction, so it’s important to boost it with a high-quality supplement.  

Reduce stress

Believe it or not, but stress also contributes to joint issues and aggravate them. Namely, when you’re stressed, levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, are soaring and wreaking havoc on your immune system. Apart from setting the fertile ground for various inflammations, cortisol has a negative impact on the production of collagen, a protein that makes connective tissues, by inhibiting its production and breaking it down. When you’re stressed focus on your breathing pattern and try to breathe deeply for 10 minutes.  Yoga is also beneficial for controlling cortisol levels, as this ancient practice incorporates meditation and diaphragmatic breathing.

Choose good shoes

As an athlete, you’re aware how important shoes are for your performance. When it comes to such high-impact activities such as bodybuilding, your joints are exposed to various loads that they have to absorb, meaning that they’re under a great deal of strain. That’s why it’s important that your shoes are comfortable, and that they provide support and stability. Unlike running shoes that should provide cushioning in order to absorb impact, shoes for strength training should have a thin sole in order to improve your balance.

Joints are extremely prone to injury, so it’s of vital importance to be careful and follow these tips in order to keep them healthy. Remember that joint injury can damage your cartilage beyond repair and ultimately result in various diseases, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Luke is a fitness and health blogger at and and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

4 Bodybuilding Supplement Scams to Avoid

The world of bodybuilding has its fair share of supplement companies marketing their products with hyped up claims. Some of these supplements are go-to products that many bodybuilders “think” they need, when in reality, they’re really just wasting their hard-earned cash.

We’ve compiled a short list of the Top 4 Supplement Scams out there that have grown popular. You’ve probably bought one or more of these already! Save your money and use it on supplements that actually provide you with benefits.

ONE: “Advanced” Forms of Creatine

One of the most widely researched muscle compounds in existence is creatine. It’s been used by bodybuilders and athletes since the mid 1990’s and is most commonly sold in the form of creatine monohydrate.

Over the last decade, we have seen companies out there release new “breakthrough” forms of creatine that supposedly is more effective than the original monohydrate form. These “new” forms include: creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride, buffered creatine, creatine nitrate and creatine malate.

Don’t let the marketing hype fool you – not one study has ever been performed that has shown any of these “advanced” forms deliver any benefits above and beyond the monohydrate form. In fact, several studies show that certain forms, one being ethyl ester, are actually inferior.

These supplement companies will jack up their price range for their “new and improved” creatine product that delivers equal or even worse results than the original.

Save your money and stick with 3-5 grams per day of high quality, German-grade micronized creatine monohydrate.

TWO: Weight Gainers

First off, there’s nothing wrong with taking a weight gainer in controlled amounts, just keep in mind that all they really are is a basic mix of whey protein and simple sugar. Yes, that’s it!

A far better approach would be to add your own blend of carbohydrates and healthy fats to whey protein powder. You can add oatmeal, fruit, natural nut butters and healthy oils (like flaxseed or extra virgin olive oil) are all great options.

This will give you the high calorie density that you’re after while still giving your body a great dose of minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and fiber, rather than a bunch of nutritionally void sugar.

THREE: L-Arginine (“Nitric Oxide Boosters”)

The idea behind NO2 products is to enhance oxygen delivery and blood flow to your muscles in order to increase nutrient uptake and give you a permanent pump and lasts throughout the day.

Usually, these NO2 Products are based off of different forms of the amino acid l-arginine, with l-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate being the most widely used.

This is the perfect scam for dishonest supplement companies out there since l-arginine is a dirt cheap ingredient that can be easily added to pre-workout formulas and other products to hype up labels and keep production costs to a minimum.

The problem for you as the consumer is that there is absolutely zero research showing a positive relationship between l-arginine and an increase in nitric oxide or muscular performance. That is correct, ZERO.

If you’re looking for a truly effective way to enhance your workout strength, energy and focus, one suggestion is to use a natural human growth hormone (HGH) spray like Sytropin. It’s safe and legal!

FOUR: L-Glutamine

I know you’ve heard about glutamine. It’s been a staple part of bodybuilding supplement plans for decades. Even though many bodybuilders swear by it, the concrete research on glutamine is extensive and shows minimal results.

First off, a very large portion of orally consumed glutamine never will make it to your muscles at all and is instead used as energy by the intestines. Percentages vary, but the average seems to be around 65%.

Second, around 10% of your total protein intake is already made up of l-glutamine. That means if you’re consuming 200 grams of protein per day, you’re already taking in 20 grams of l-glutamine right there. Don’t think that consuming more is better. It’s not.

Third, pretty much all of the standard claims about l-glutamine’s effects on bodybuilders have been debunked over many different studies.

Save your cash – you don’t need to add l-glutamine to your supplement list.


Now that you’ve seen our list, make wiser choices when it comes to your supplement routine and don’t be made a fool by companies that don’t have your best bodybuilding goals in mind.

Top 10 Supplements For Bodybuilders (2016)

Ask any bodybuilder out there what supplements they are currently cycling through and you’re bound to get a different answer. What works for Joe doesn’t work for Harry. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of supplements on the market targeting the bodybuilding and weight lifting circuit. It’s easy to get lost as you try to figure out what’s legit vs. just a bunch of hype.

If you choose wisely, certain bodybuilding supplements will easily be worth more than their cost by helping you achieve hardcore results. A bodybuilder’s biggest mistake is to ignore the nutritional supplement aspect of the sport.

Here at Ripped Science, we pulled a team together and spent months researching hundreds of supplements and came down to this ultimate Top 10 list.

Are you ready for it? The countdown begins…


pure inventions

WHICH TO BUY: If you’re looking for the best green tea extract, liquid is better than capsules. Our top pick for you is nothing other than Pure Inventions Green Tea Antioxidant Extract.

WHY USE IT: Simply stated, green tea is your tool to shred fat. Green tea elevates norepinephrine levels which prolongs thermogenesis. Translation? You will be turned into a fat-burning machine.



WHICH TO BUY: We zeroed in on a product called Solaray Mega Multi Mineral which contains several times the amount of amino acid content than ordinary products. This product is also “reacted” with whole rice concentrate opposed to soy or yeast.

WHY USE IT: If you’re training hard, which you should be, then consuming a multi-mineral supplement is a good idea to reduce the effects of excessive ROS and inflammation produced from the intense training. You don’t want to risk being deficient in anything, do you?


raw fiber

WHICH TO BUY: We’re big fans of Garden of Life products and they just so happen to have a product called Raw Fiber – Beyond Organic Fiber. It contains 15 Raw Organic Superfoods and is sure to keep you in tip-top shape…especially in the bathroom.

WHY USE IT: With all the caveman portions of protein you’re eating, it’s important to get in some good fiber to help you get rid of toxins and also to keep your digestion in line.



WHICH TO BUY: Our research pointed us in the right direction when we discovered Equalize by ACN. This product uses ground-breaking ingredients to enhance testosterone and stop testosterone from converting into estrogen. Two other products we recommend are AntlerX IGF-1 and Alphatropin for the ultimate stack.

WHY USE IT: I don’t know one bodybuilder that wants an above normal amount of estrogen. Yes, believe it or not, men do produce estrogen and it can wreak havoc on your gains. An estrogen blocker is imperative to keep your hormone levels balanced and minimize muscle loss.



WHICH TO BUY: It wasn’t rocket science for us to figure out which supplement nails it when it comes to joint health. If you haven’t added Synotrex to your daily routine yet, better go grab it. NOW.

WHY USE IT: Every bodybuilder knows the importance of joint health. If you don’t support your joints, you might as well sit on the bench. Over time, if you skip joint health, it will be a huge (and I mean HUGE) regret!



WHICH TO BUY: The post-recovery workout powder we salute is BSN’s Amino X.  This BCAA formula supports endurance during your workout and aids in muscle recover post-training. BOOM! You need this! Blue Raz is our favorite taste of the bunch.

WHY USE IT: All you hear about these days is pre-workout and how many scoops you took that day. But, equally important (if not more), is post-workout because if you don’t recover, how will you hit it harder and make gains? You follow me?



WHICH TO BUY: We searched high and low and finally found the supplement to win this category: Swanson Premium’s High Potency Antioxidants delivers a comprehensive collection of powerful antioxidants – including, vitamins C, E, selenium, SOD and more.

WHY USE IT: If your immune system is suffering, so are your workouts. You need antioxidants not only improve your immune system response, but to reduce oxidative stress. It’s time to challenge free radicals and stop them in their nasty tracks!


fish oil

WHICH TO BUY: We love fish oil, but we don’t like fish oil supplements that are not tested for heavy metals or impurities. We also don’t like fish that aren’t wild-caught. Thankfully, there is a wonderful product by AMRAP Nutrition that is the Fish Oil of champions.

WHY USE IT: Fish oil is crucial to improve athletic recovery and is also an anti-inflammatory. Despite what you saw on a gym meme, you can definitely gain without the pain. Everyone knows that lubing up is always better! Your joints will thank you.



WHICH TO BUY: You need to care about the whey you use. If you don’t use whey from grass-fed cows…you’re going to screw up your hormone levels. Thankfully, on the 8th day God created Xwerks Grow – the cleanest, nutrient rich protein you can drink!

WHY USE IT: I’m not sure this one needs an explanation. If you don’t know that this helps up your daily protein intake, and is a staple for bodybuilders worldwide, then you must be a newbie. Hit the weights, kid!



WHICH TO BUY: There are so many to choose from, but after a ton (and I mean a TON) of research, we decided that Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder wins the gold medal prize. It’s packed with 99.9% pure creatine with no fillers or additives.

WHY USE IT: Adding this to your supplement regime is a no-brainer for bodybuilders. I’m not sure you can call yourself one if you don’t use it. In short, if you’re ready to have insane strength and power, this stuff is for you!


Bodybuilding 101: How Effective Are Steroids?

One question that often plagues bodybuilders is whether or not to use steroids. They want to know how effective steroids actually are compared to staying natural. Also, they are concerned by the risks. By reading this, you’re taking an important step to educating yourself prior to answering this question for yourself.


Simply said, a “steroid” is an “anabolic steroid” which is a man-made substance that has similar effects to the body as testosterone, including increased muscle growth, strength, leanness and recovery.

While testosterone itself is the best known steroid, there are many others that are quite popular among athletes and bodybuilders, including:

  • Nandrolone
  • Stanozolol
  • Trenbolone
  • Oxandrolone
  • Deca Durabolin
  • Dianabol
  • Methandrostenolone
  • Boldenone
  • Oxymetholone
  • Drostanolone

Each of these have unique profiles in terms of potency, toxicity, side effects and synergism. They are combined in various ways to create different types of steroid “cycles” for different purposes and goals.

As I heard one popular bodybuilder say, “It takes a lot of hard work to build a top-tier physique, but it also takes a lot of drugs.”

The fact is that you can only build so much muscle and get so lean naturally.

One scientific study performed at Maastricht University found that during a period of 10 weeks, individuals who practiced resistance training while on anabolic steroids gained 4 to 11 pounds of lean muscle mass. Individuals who did weight training while using anabolic steroids gained 16 pounds of lean muscle mass in just 6 weeks.

There have been numerous studies on steroid use. The below graphic shows the results from a study at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

43 men were divided into 4 groups
Group 1: Placebo with no exercise
Group 2: Testosterone with no exercise
Group 3: Exercise only
Group 4: Testosterone with exercise

All of the men were given a standardized diet to follow and the exercising subjects squatted and bench pressed three times per week for a total of twelve sets of six reps, with varying amounts of weights lifted in each workout. Muscle size was measured by MRI and strength was determined by actual one-rep maxes.

After 10 weeks, here’s what happened:


As you can see, the men who took testosterone and exercised gained 3x the amount of muscle mass compared to the men who exercised only.

As a sidenote: the men used 600 mg of testosterone per week, which is a moderate dosage by today’s standards.


Steroids may not be as dangerous as some people think, yet anyone who uses steroids and thinks they are safe and harmless is “whistling past the graveyard.”

Some side effects of steroid use are reversible and some are not. Permanent damage is definitely possibly.

For example, reversible changes include testicular atrophy (shrinking), acne, cysts, oily hair and skin, elevated blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels, increased aggression and lowered sperm count.

Irreversible damage includes male pattern baldness, heart dysfunction, liver disease and gynecomastia (breast development aka “man boobs”).

Another downside of steroid use is the risk of biological and psychological addiction. 30% of steroid users develop a dependence syndrome. This occurs due to the “invincible” feeling while on a steroid cycle, opposed to the “low” they get on an off-cycle.

Some people argue that you can mitigate or even eliminate the risks of steroid use if you properly manage your drug cycles and health, but that is wishful thinking.

Every time you inject or swallow steroids, you put a lot of stress on your body and there’s a chance something can go very wrong.

In the end, the choice is yours.

Working Out Can Be A Pain

Lifting heavy weights can wear down our joints over time and sometimes lead to injury that keeps us out of the gym from weeks to months. Personally, my knees take a beating from squats and my shoulders, elbows, hands and ankles will have ongoing phases of painful joints and inflammation.

Portrait of a muscle fitness man reaching for his knee in pain

You can always use wraps, apply some topical cream and do hot/cold therapy to help ease the pain, but I like to beat the game and I’m sure you do too. Instead of waiting for the pain to arrive and reach for an anti-inflammatory (like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen), the best thing you can do for joint pain is to PREVENT it from happening. There are a few natural ways you can lubricate your joints effectively allowing you to maximize your results in the gym. Time off can steal your gains that you’ve worked so hard for and nobody wants that.

Numerous research has indicated that glucosamine and chondroitin help with joint pain and improve function. Both of these substances are components of cartilage, which helps cushion the bones and protect the joints.

Supplement FactsGlucosamine is an amino sugar and part of the structure of chitin which actually compose the exoskeletons of crustaceans and other anthropods. Glucosamine is commonly sold in a variety of forms including: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetylglucosamine.

Chondrotin sulfate is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) composed of a chain of alternating sugars. Chondrotin chains can contain over 100 individual sugars and is proven to be an important structural component of cartilage, proving resistance to compression.

My supplement of choice is Synotrex which combines both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Synotrex even goes a step further by adding Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which is used for chronic pain and joint inflammation.

Synotrex provides a dual effect to provide joint pain relief since it (1) promotes the growth of new cartilage, (2) while helping to keep the cartilage from deteriorating further.

synotrex (1)Synotrex was my answer to preventing joint pain and inflammation. Even if you’re already suffering from joint pain, Synotrex guarantees you will experience pain relief within 30 days and offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, which I think is excellent.  Most companies only offer 30-day guarantees, if any at all.

No, I’m not being paid by the company to write this. I’m letting you know about a product I’ve personally taken for over a year with my daily supplement routine. No gimmicks, just facts.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Top 10 Features That Women Find Sexy

Let’s be honest, we work out in the gym to look good, not just for ourselves, but to be as attractive as humanly possible. What guy doesn’t love a girl checking him out? Fact is, we all instinctively make judgments quickly based on appearances. Would you like to know what features drive women wild?

Let’s reveal where a women’s eyes go first. According to new studies, these are the answers, and some of you guys out there may be surprised….

Hot blonde posing with sexy guy, close-up

1. Buttocks – That’s right guys, she’s all about that bass! Women like a good, firm ass as much as we guys do. They love a nice curve and all agree that the shape is what is most important.

Fit body of shirtless man with tape measure

2. Slimness – Most men in the reverse poll thought muscular arms would be at #2, yet that feature (gasp) didn’t even make the top ten. Although strong arms are traditionally a sign of an alpha male, times are changing and men are now under pressure to stay thin. (HUH?) Women have obviously lost their minds since they now pick the Ryan Goslings over the Jean-Claude Van Dammes. Maybe it’s just a phase, but arms are out and thin is in. I can’t believe I just typed those words.

Thumbs up for a beach body

3. Flat stomach – Well, this reminds me of #2, yet I’m guessing we can finally talk about a six-pack? Women definitely want to stroke their fingers down your abs and not see the Pillsbury Dough Boy. They also seemed to agree that sitting around drinking beer and playing video games isn’t sexy. Wait…no more GTA???

Young man coverin eye

4. Eyes – This is way more popular than most of us guys realize. But, I mean, we all like a pair of sexy eyes looking at us. So, it’s not that crazy. Women claim they are all about some soulful peepers. And, again, Mr. Gosling tips the charts, with Bradley Cooper not far behind. If only I had played the lead in The Notebook…the world would be a better place.


5. Long legs – Okay, well this one I can’t help. Being 5’7″, my legs are not long by any “stretch” of the word. But, needless to say, women dig a man who has a nice stride in his walk and additionally men who are taller. I totally lose this category. Time to invest in stilts.

Giant love

6. Height/Tallness – Wait one freaking second. Wasn’t this #5? Obviously not. There must be a bunch of short guys with long legs running around somewhere. The average height for men is 5’8″ and for women it’s 5’4″. The good news is that many women just want a man taller than they are, even when they’re in heels.

Stylist Drying Hair Of A Male Client

7. Hair – Don’t freak out just yet. Some women don’t mind a bald head on the right guy (think: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). But, women definitely enjoy hair in general. They want to run their fingers through it, pull on it during sex and they also said it needs to have a great style. No worries if you’re thinning, there are some really great all-natural hair loss solutions you can use to get it back!

lipstick on man neck

8. Neck – Seriously? I would have never thought about this one at all. No wonder men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Women like a good neck for some hot nuzzling. They like a man who smells good and has a rough edge of stubble. Women agree there is something very masculine about the male neck. Who knew?

couple in bathroom

9. Penis – I was beginning to wonder is this was even going to make the list! It appears our manhood is overrated by us. While there’s no doubt it’s important, many women actually aren’t mega concerned with the way it looks. They care about how it performs more than aesthetics. So, it’s okay to have a compact car with a dent on the side as long as it drives like nobody’s business.

Handsome muscular man shirtless wearing white pants over black background

10. Muscular chest/shoulders – I would have bet my paycheck this would have beat out the neck. Still scratching my head over that one. In reverse polls, many men thought this would be women’s #1 pick. Not so. I hate to break it, but it appears many women don’t like the hyper-muscular, steroids, work out 10 times a week look. They do love muscles (sigh of relief), but the real issue for them is that they don’t want a man who spends more time admiring his biceps than they do.

Just remember, this doesn’t account for every woman out there. Obviously, no one is created equal and my opinion of hot (Rachael Leigh Cook…oh yes, oh yes indeed), may not be your opinion of hot. We all have different tastes of what is sexually attractive to us. You have people with red-head fetishes and then others who are anti-gingers. You just never know, so my advice is to be YOU and the right person is gonna dig you hardcore.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Caffeine: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It’s natural to wake up to a cup of freshly brewed coffee to help get your day moving. But, could the caffeine in your morning cup be harmful to your health? Caffeine dependency is more common than you might think and cutting caffeine out of your healthy diet can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world. It’s cheap, legal and socially acceptable. 90% of Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis. Caffeine comes in many shapes and sizes, from natural sources to energy drinks. It comes with its perks and also its negative effects.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly:


One of the most healthy caffeine choices is tea. All tea comes from the same place – the Camelia Sinensis plant. Tea is packed full of antioxidants which can boost heart health and polyphenols which 1protect against heart disease. Studies have even linked tea consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has the fantastic effect of booting cognitive function and helping you feel more alert while promoting a feeling of relaxation.

Coffee is also a rich source of polyphenol antioxidants, which can help mop up free radicals and protect our bodies. It has been discovered that drinking two cups of coffee a day decreases your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by up to 25%. Coffee could even protect you against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.


2Caffeine is a stimulant which occurs naturally in coffee and tea; it stimulates the central nervous system and can lead to physical dependence. Consuming more than a couple of cups of coffee or tea a day could lead to caffeine-dependence. Once you’re a caffeine addict, you will have withdrawal symptoms when you try to reduce or quit. Some of these side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating


Notice, I’m just now introducing energy drinks to the conversation. Gulping down an energy drink is very appealing. With names that sound like you’re awakening the beast within, these drinks are highly marketed to people who are wanting a quick, mega boost. Celebrity endorsements and sponsorship of athletic teams only add to the appeal. But, the dangers of these drinks are real.

3Did you know that energy drinks are sold as dietary supplements, not beverages? This means that they are not subject to the same scrutinizing safety standards of food and drinks. It’s easy to confuse a stimulant boost with “energy.” The major difference is that energy is real fuel and stimulants only have a short-lived effect on your heart rate.

Also, mixing stimulants with alcohol and have a dangerous combination of “uppers” and “downers” that can result in cardiovascular and neurological side effects. I would think twice before downing an energy drink with vodka the next time you’re out at a bar.

Instead of an energy drink, I recommend using a pre-workout powder that is from a reputable manufacturer. If you safely follow the directions, you can help maximize your workout. Do not use stimulants throughout the day. If you do, you’re abusing it like a drug and it can have very nasty side effects on your health. Instead of waking up with an energy drink, have a cup of tea or coffee instead. Your body will thank you.

Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”


7 Natural Herbs Every Athlete Should Take

Herbs have been around forever and you may be surprised what power these little guys contain. Natural herbs can be more effective than man-derived products and often without the nasty side effects. In fact, the herbs listed below will not only improve your athletic performance, they help your body in many other ways too. Some herbs are wildly popular (we’ve all heard about #1), while others have been secretly hiding in the shadows.

Here are the 7 herbs you need to add to your supplement super-stash:


  1. Ginseng – Everyone knows about this super root. Ginseng is available in different forms, yet most athletes choose the standardized root extract to keep it simple. Ginseng treats any type of body deficiency and also has beneficial effects on the central nervous system, adrenal, sexual function, anti-fatigue properties and is known to accelerate metabolism. In addition, ginseng can stimulate nitric oxide production in immune cells, arteries, vascular endothelial cells and erectile tissues.Ashwagandha seed (Withania somnifera)
  2. Ashwagandha – This herb literally means “the grounded strength of a stallion” which leaves no doubt about its ability to increase athletic prowess. Ashwagandha is referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties even though they are botanically unrelated. This powerful herb is most well-known for its restorative benefits and can help with post-workout recovery.Medicinal holy basil or tulsi leaves
  3. Tulsi-Holy Basil Leaves – These leaves support drastic increases in endurance while minimizing post-workout recovery time. Most prefer this as a tea as it also helps assist with digestion, not to mention improving mental sharpness and supporting adrenal function. Holy basil is also known to decrease pain and swelling (inflammation).ginseng stack up on a white background
  4. Eleuthero – Formerly called Siberian Ginseng, this root is the food of champions and ruler of the adaptogens. Eleuthero helps increase and provide long term energy. In addition, it helps with adrenal function and raises blood-oxygen levels. Many people use this in combination with Gotu Kola.Tumeric and tumeric  powder.
  5. Tumeric – A significant amount of the stiffness and soreness after a workout comes from an inflammatory response. When tumeric is consumed with your post-workout hydration, it assists the body to speed up the recovery of injuries as well as optimize muscle mass.snowdon rose
  6. Rhodiola – Besides being a great herb to enhance memory, rhodiola strengthens the body, making it more resilient to challenges such as exercise and fatiguing tasks. In one study, healthy adults who consumed 200mg of rhodiola extract one hour prior to exercise significantly increased their capacity for endurance. Rhodiaola extract also reduces levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, and creatinine kinase, a marker of muscle damage.ciwujia
  7. Ciwujia – This loaded root has shown in studies to significantly improve workout performance through a carbohydrate-sparing action. During exercise, ciwujia shifts the energy source from carbohydrate to fat, thereby increasing fat metabolism. This shift also improves performance by delaying the lactic acid buildup associated with muscle fatigue.

Herbs should not be taken lightly. In case you didn’t know, ma huang is an herb. What is this crazy Chinese name? Known as “Ephedra” here in the States, the FDA actually banned this herb back in 2004 due to its powerful effects. Just because these are herbs, you should still pay attention to the recommended dosage and not go crazy.


Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Stop Abusing Your Pre-Workout

The first time I tried a pre-workout powder, I added just two simple scoops to my water bottle. It didn’t take long before I wondered if that powder was really the blue meth from Breaking Bad. I felt like I had turned into the Incredible Hulk. It didn’t take long before my “go” juice became my drink of choice. Then, two scoops wasn’t enough…

preworkoutYou’ve probably been there. You now take 3+ scoops of pre-workout to get the same cracked-out feeling as before so you can be a beast at the gym.

The sad fact is that guys burn out every day from the use and abuse of pre-workout supplements and thermogenic fat burners. I’m definitely a fan of using a  pre-workout and want to teach you why you’re burning out and what you can do to fix it.

The Need For Speed

Pre-workout supps contain a high dose of caffeine and some even contain extra stimulants such as geranium extract or 1,3-dimethylamylamine (which is so strong that it has been compared to the drug “speed” and is officially banned for professional athletes).

When you consume stimulants, a message is sent to the brain to allow the release of adrenalin into the blood stream. Adrenalin is preworkout2produced in the (appropriately named) “adrenal glands” which sit just above your kidneys. These two little guys are virtually the body’s fuel tanks. When you begin to consume more and more caffeine, you begin to stress out your adrenals. In short, you’re burning out because you’re taking in way too many stimulants and not giving your body enough time to put fuel back in the tanks.

Million dollar question: “How do you keep the tanks full and stop burning out?”

Simple answer: “Cycle” your pre-workouts

By taking your pre-workout supplements for 4-6 weeks and then completing a 1 week break where you take in almost no stimulants, you will allow your body to fill the tanks back up so you can kick ass again in the gym. During that “no-go-week”, you can’t consume: energy drinks, pre-workouts, thermogenics, nothing with high octane caffeine whatsoever.

That being said, expect some withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, low energy levels and bad mood.

Businessman drinking coffee from coffee potBut, wait, how about we find the perfect balance? Basically, figure out how many grams of stimulants you’re currently consuming in your pre-workout cocktails. Some people are up to 1,200mg of caffeine a day. That’s equal to 15 cups of coffee. In order to not withdrawal like a madman, yet cycle properly, allow yourself a morning double espresso (160mg caffeine). This helps take the edge off and after a few days, your body recuperates.

After that one week off, you’ll definitely feel the power of your pre-workout again. This is my best advice to help you not burn out on pre-workout!

Tristan "Lucky"





Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Have a Testosterone Boosting Three Way: Part 2

In our prior post, Have a Testosterone Boosting Three Way: Part 1, we covered the first step in naturally increasing testosterone levels – DIET.

I promised a post that shows a 3-step plan to help boost testosterone naturally. This formula has been successful for many guys, including myself, over the years. For some, it doubled their T levels within a 90-day period. We will cover this topic in a series of three posts so you get all the info without getting a migraine afterwards.

Testosterone levels are taking a nose dive. Studies have shown that the average male’s testosterone in today’s society is nearly 25% lower than in the 1980’s. Without the big T, men become infertile, impotent, docile, and weak.

The thing is, men’s testosterone levels in 2013 ranged from 270 – 1070 ng/dL. 100 years ago men’s testosterone levels were recorded to be between 800-2000 ng/dL!

T1This means that the men with “low testosterone” 100 years ago would be considered men with high testosterone now. This is an alarming statistic. And the trend is continuing each and every year! It is estimated that over 14 million men currently suffer with low testosterone levels.

The SECOND STEP to increase T naturally is: SUPPLEMENTS

While there are probably hundreds of different supplements on the market claiming they raise testosterone levels, not all of them actually produce the results you see in their ads and websites.

Another factor is where are these supplements being sourced? Even when you’re taking a regular vitamin, let’s say vitamin C, it’s important that you get this from a reputable company that is providing a natural source. Even when a vitamin is marked “natural”, it only has to include 10% of the actual natural plant-derived ingredients. The other 90% could be synthetic.

This is an important factor since what you put into your body is crucial for your health and longevity. I’m going to take this a step further and quickly discuss six categories of nutrients used in the manufacturing of vitamin supplements.

1. NATURAL SOURCE – These include nutrients from vegetable, animal or mineral sources, but prior to being bottled, they undergo significant processing and refining.

2. NATURE-IDENTICAL SYNTHETIC – This includes nutrients completely manufactured in a lab with the molecular structure identical to the same nutrients occurring in nature. Manufacturers often prefer this process because of the cost and scarcity of natural resources. Most standard vitamin supplements on the market today are this type.

3. STRICTLY SYNTHETIC – These nutrients are manufactured in a lab and are different than the same nutrients found in nature. Synthetic vitamins can have the same chemical constituents, but have different chemical compositions.

4. FOOD CULTURED – These are actually my preferred source and what I generally purchase for myself. This involves the same process behind cultured foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut. Nutrient supplements are often grown in yeast or algae. Culturing in and of itself creates nutrients and can make them more bio-available.

5. FOOD BASED – One kind of food based supplement is made by enzymatically reacting synthetic and natural vitamins with extracts containing vegetable proteins and then making this into a supplement. This is not food cultured, because the nutrients are not grown into a whole food, as in the yeast/algae suspensions.

6. BACTERIAL FERMENTATION – This includes nutrients produced by genetically altering bacteria. Genetically altered bacteria can produce nutrient by-products.

One thing I’m going to say again, popping a few vitamins isn’t going to magically increase your T levels. This is a 3-part program. If you’re eating garbage and not exercising, no amount of supplements is going to help your testosterone levels reach optimal levels.


t2– Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 actually isn’t a vitamin, it’s a hormone — a really important hormone that provides a whole host of health benefits. Our bodies can naturally make vitamin D from the sun, but recent studies have shown that many Westerners are vitamin D3 deprived because we’re spending less and less time outdoors. When we do decide to venture outside, we slather our bodies with sunscreen, which prevents the sun reaching our skin to kick-off vitamin D3 production. If you’re not getting enough sun, you may have a vitamin D3 deficiency, which may contribute to low T levels. Studies have shown that men who take this supplement see a boost in their testosterone levels. Because I live in the Pacific Nortwest — and the sun isn’t out most of the year — I take 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 in the morning and could probably take more. Tim Ferris from the 5 hour body recommends 6,000 IU upon waking and 6,000 IU at night. Keep in mind that it may take someone already deficient 6 months to return to baseline levels.

– Omega-3 Fish Oil (EPA and DHA). First and foremost, I’m very picky with my fish oil. I only buy wild caught and make sure it contains low mercury and heavy metals.  Fish oil has been shown to lower SHBG and increase production of Luteinizing Hormone (the hormone responsible for triggering the testes to produce T). You want to make sure you have enough of the “good” fats to clear the gunk out of your blood. hey have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels while providing your body with the fat it needs to produce testosterone. Fish oil is also known to help improve mood, which is a nice bonus.

– Zinc. Studies on zincs supplementation suggest that zinc plays an important part in regulating serum testosterone levels in healthy men. Zinc is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in western countries, and even a mild zinc deficiency lowers sex drive, limits muscle gain potential, causes weight gain and hurts energy levels. Zinc is also a powerful aromatase inhibitor that will greatly reduce the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the body.

– Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is another widespread problem in our country. While this makes you prone to stress and muscle cramps, it also starves your body’s endocrine system of a vital mineral it needs for testosterone production. We wrote another article on how magnesium alone can send your testosterone levels through the roof. You have to check it out. Aim to get 400 mg daily.

– Vitamin C. Vitamin C reduces cortisol in your body. This is a very good thing. Less cortisol = more ability to produce testosterone and vice versa. So taking your vitamin C, along with de-stressing, will promote a natural anabolic environment in your body. Aim for 1,000 mg daily.

t3– Vitamin A. Vitamin A has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men by means of the suppression of estrogen levels. When your estrogen levels are high this causes a decrease in testosterone production. Blocking this production with Vitamin A will allow your testosterone to flourish.

– ZMA. Since Magnesium and Zinc both raise your test levels, it makes sense that taking a combination supplement like ZMA will work for you. The collaboration of these two supplements has been proven to increase the deepness of your REM cycles, which will raise your testosterone levels.

– DHEA. One alternative to straight testosterone replacement is to boost the levels of the hormones that stimulate testosterone production instead. DHEA, for example, is a “parent hormone” made in the adrenal gland and testes, which changes into testosterone in men and estrogen in women. One solution to low testosterone is DHEA supplements, which naturally raise the body’s serum androstenedione levels with is a 19-carbon steroid hormone that is an intermediate step in the biochemical pathway that produces the androgen testosterone and the estrogens estrone and estradiol. A DHEA clinical study found that DHEA supplementation significantly increased strength and lean body mass.

– Tribulus Alatus (T-Alatus). Not to be confused with its relative, Tribulus Terrestris, this special herb was proved in a study to significantly increase the level of free serum testosterone. Tribulus Alatus is also great for muscle building and strength enhancement.It also boosts your immune support from its high antioxidant qualities. Tribulus Alatus is said to be slightly more effective than Terrestris because it contains 6 unique steroidal saponins. The dosage is in the range of 350mg to 500mg. Also, make sure is it pure Alatus and not a scaled down extract version.

– Allicin Garlic.  In a garlic clinical study found that garlic supplementation increases testicular testosterone and decreases plasma corticosterone. During the study, diets with different protein levels were tested to conclude that garlic boosts testosterone on a high protein diet.

– Vitamin E. One vitamin E clinical study found that after oral vitamin E supplementation, normal male subjects had a significant rise in basal plasma testosterone. The results concluded that vitamin E may play and important role in hormone production in the pituitary-gonadal area in humans.


– Tongkat Ali Extract – Tongkat ali extract is both clinicaly proven to increase your testosterone levels through the production of leydig cells, and to increase your free testosterone levels by means of lower SHGB levels. This way, you are available to use all the hard earned testosterone you are producing with the steps above. (See all these studies and more here). It is one of the most easily faked supplements on the web, so make sure you are getting tongkat ali extract and not tongkat ali root powder. They look exactly the same. The extract strength is best at 1:200 and it has to be from Indonesia.


– D-Aspartic Acid. D-aspartic acid is all the rage in bodybuilding right now. It is an amino acid that has a dramatic effect on your testosterone levels. Many users report seeing a rise in testosterone of 33% in as fast as two weeks while using 3,000 mg a day. How it work’s is it helps your body convert cholesterol and its natural resources into testosterone. One supplement I would recommend for this is TestoFuel. With 2300 mg of D-Aspartic Acid, it also contains 5,000 IU of D3, 200 mg of Magnesium, and 10 mg of Zinc.


t4Lastly, when you’re boosting your T levels, it’s important to take care of two main organs that are helping the testosterone conversion: Liver and Kidneys. There are three main supplements I suggest to aid with your liver and kidney health. You will thank yourself later for taking extra good care of these guys.

– Dandelion. Herbalists use dandelion root to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, and dandelion leaves to support kidney function. Dandelion leaves act as a diuretic and increase the amount of urine produced by the body, supporting kidney function. Dandelion leaves are also used to stimulate the appetite and aid digestion.

– Milk Thistle. Today, milk thistle is still one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world and is also the number one recommended natural herb for liver health. In fact,in Europe, milk thistle is a prescribed medication. The milk thistle extract is prescribed to treat mushroom poisoning, alcoholic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, drug and alcohol-induced liver damage and acute viral hepatitis, just to name a few.

– Tumeric. This yellow root—a cousin of ginger—is a powerful liver protector and even liver cell regenerator. It not only helps stimulate enzymes responsible for flushing out toxins (including known carcinogens) from the body, but UCLA research found that turmeric is capable of combating the effects of carcinogens.

Stay tuned for part 3. Until then, live well and be well.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”