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FitTips for One and All - Vol. VIII, No. 6

FitTips for One and All
Volume VIII, Number 6

Presented by Fitness for One and All
Director: Gary F. Zeolla

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Starting and Progressing in  Powerlifting:
A Comprehensive Guide to the World's Strongest Sport

350 page book by Gary F. Zeolla
For the beginner to intermediate powerlifter
Sound training, competition, dietary, and supplement advice

I would like to wish all readers of this newsletter a very Merry Christmas!

Supplement Reviews

By Gary F. Zeolla

In my powerlifting book, I describe the supplements I was taking at the time the book was published (May 2008). Although I'm still taking products similar to what is listed in that book, since then, I have changed the exact brands. So in this issue of FitTips for One and All I will list and review all of the new products I have started using over the past year.

Most of these supplements can all be purchased iHerb. When checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

Daily Multiple Tablets For Men

In my Creationist Diet book, published in 2000, I included a chapter on supplements. In the book, I mention that the daily multiple vitamin/ mineral product I was taking was CVS's Spectravite Senior (CVS's equivalent to Centrum Silver). That meant I was taking one simple, inexpensive multiple that contained 100% of the Daily Value (DV) for a variety of nutrients.

The reason I was taking it is as I state in the book:

One way to insure one does not sustain a nutrient deficiency is to take a multi-vitamin/ mineral supplement that contains 100% of the RDA [Recommended Daily Allowance] for a wide variety of nutrients. Such a supplement could provide "insurance" against deficiencies that one might have and not be aware of (p.188).

But after that time, when I began developing health problems, I began experimenting with higher dose and much more expensive products hoping they might provide some benefits for my health issues.

First I tried products by Jarrow Formula. The first was their Multi 1-3, then later their Multi-Easy Powder. Both of these seemed to be high quality products that initially did seem to provide some benefits. But over time, I must have become sensitive to something in them as they began causing me problems, so I stopped taking them.

Then I switched to products by Twinlab. First was their Daily One Caps then their even higher dose Daily Two Caps. Again, initially they did seem to provide some benefits, but eventually they began causing me problems also, so I stopped taking them as well.

It was at that time that I began researching higher does supplements in more detail and wrote the two-part article Folly of Synthetic, Mega-Dose Supplements. In that article I discussed both the difference between synthetic nutrients as opposed to food-based nutrients and how taking doses of nutrients much higher than the DV (or better RDA) can cause problems.

I then switched to Twinlab's Food Based Ultra Daily. As the name implied, the nutrients are derive from real food and they are in "reasonable" amounts which is to say 100% of the DV. And once again, initially, the product did seem to provide benefits. But there were a couple of problems with it.

First off, it was rather expensive. But most importantly, the company stopped making it. As a result, at the beginning of 2010 I began to look for some other food-based product to take. But everything I looked at was even more expensive, some of them terribly expensive. As such, I began to wonder if maybe I had it right in the first place, that just a basic one-a-day product with 100% of the DVs would be the way to go.

I was going to go back to the Spectravite product I had started with a decade before, but I didn't like that it contained artificial colorings and other artificial ingredients. But then I noticed One-a-Day's Men's Health Formula. It seemed to be a well balanced product that was rather inexpensive. I also liked that of all of the One-a-Day line of products, tit was about the only one that did not contain artificial colorings or other artificial ingredients. But since CVS had their own equivalent of it, which was even cheaper, I went with that. CVS often has "Buy one get one for half price" sales which makes the product even less expensive.

After taking this product for several months, rather than the higher dose or food based products I'd been using over the past decade, all I can say is I have noticed no change in my health situation. As such, I feel a little ripped off. I feel like I wasted a lot of money on a lot of high priced useless supplements over the past decade. As such, I will stick with just a basic once daily multi from now on. And this one seems to be as good as any.

Calcium. Magnesium with D

(Country Life)

I suffer from a condition called neurological "tics." These are minor muscle twitches that can barely be seen by others, but they can be very irritating, especially when they flare-up at night. The best I can explain, it feels like someone is pinching me. You should be able to image how difficult it would be to sleep with someone pinching you all night long.

At one time I took three different prescription drugs to control these tics. But they never fully kept them under control, so I did some research on my own.

I found that such tics can often be the result of low calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and/ or potassium (K) levels. Magnesium in particular is usually the problem. As a result, I tried experimenting with different Ca, Mg, and K products. I initially found that Twinlab's Calcium Citrate Caps worked better than any other products I tried. As a result, I took it for several years with good success. I even have my mom taking that product for her osteoporosis, along with Twinlab's Vitamin D Caps.

However, after taking the Twinlab product for several years it seemed to stop working. I'm not sure why that was. Maybe I became sensitive to something in it. But I began experimenting once again. I eventually switched to Ethical Nutrients' Bone Builder. That also seemed to work rather well.

However, at some point it began to make me drowsy. This would not have been a problem if I only took it at night, but to keep my tics under control I need to take a product throughout the day. Thus once again I began experimenting with different products. What I settled on was Country Life's Calcium. Magnesium with D. It contains per capsule 250 mg Calcium, 125 mg Magnesium, and 100 IU of vitamin D.

The addition of vitamin D is nice. I get 400 IUs in my multi (CVS's Daily Multiple Tablets For Men). But much research is now showing that the DV of 400 IUs is too low. More like 1000 IUS is now being recommended by many authorities. I take two of the Calcium, Magnesium with Ds a day. I also take a teaspoon of Twinlab's Cod Liver Oil, which contains 400 IUs. Thus together, I am getting the now recommended 1000 IUs of vitamin D.

In any case, along with this product, I am taking Country Life's Magnesium Potassium Aspartate. Between these two products and the calcium and magnesium in the Daily Multiple Tablets For Men, I am taking a total of 710 mg of calcium and 670 mg of magnesium. With taking that amount, my tics are now under control again. As such, I will stick with these products for now.

Country Life Calcium. Magnesium with D is available from iHerb.
When checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

Magnesium Potassium Aspartate

(Country Life)

I suffer from a condition called neurological "tics." For details and another product I take for it, see Country Life's Calcium. Magnesium with D. But along with for that reason, I take Country Life's Magnesium Potassium Aspartate for two additional reasons.

First off, I take one caplet at bedtime, and it seems to help me sleep at night. This is a big deal as getting a good night's sleep has always been a struggle for me.

Second, it seems to make it easier for me to "move my bowels" in the morning. I can notice the difference if I forget to take it the night before. However, it I take two caplets then I end up with "runny stools." So I will stick with just the one caplet at bedtime.

In any case, three benefits from one inexpensive supplement is rare, but that is what I get from this product, hence the five star rating.

Country Life's Magnesium Potassium Aspartate is available from iHerb.
When checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols

(Country Life)

For several years I took Twinlab's Super E Complex, which contains 400 IUs of vitamin E. I mainly took it because higher doses of vitamin E are supposed to help with post-workout soreness and recovery. But then a study came out in the fall of 2004 that taking more than 300 IUs of vitamin E can increase the risk of heart disease, not decrease it as earlier thought.

As a result, I began taking the Super E only every other day. But after a while, the large bottle I had spoiled, and I just didn't bother getting another as it didn't seem worth it with the possible problems.

But then at the beginning of 2010 I read a study on the Web that high doses of vitamin E can help with allergies. That study used 800 IUs, but with the earlier study, that seemed way too much. As such, I initially tried a 400 IU product, but the thought of the earlier study still concerned me.

Then I came across Country Life's Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols. It comes in different strengths: 200, 400, and 1000 IUs. I went with the 200 IU level. That way, I'd be below the 300 IU level that the study found problems with.

This product does seem to help a little with my allergies. Not much, but given how cheap it is, it is worth taking it for that little benefit. I tried taking two a day, but that provided no further benefit, so I will stick with just the one softgel for 200 IUs a day.

It should also be noted that this product contains "Mixed Tocopherols." Most other vitamin E products only contain alpha tocopherol. But vitamin E in nature is actually composed of four different tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. All four of these are found in this product. Such a mixture gives the vitamin E greater antioxidant power than alpha tocopherol alone.

Country Life Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols is available from iHerb.
For iHerb, when checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

Muscle Juice 2544
(Ultimate Nutrition)

I discuss a pre- or post workout drink in my God-given Foods Eating Plan book and in my Starting and Progressing in Powerlifting book. I those books, the drink I recommend requires using three different products to provide a carb source, a protein source, and a fat source. But I have since found a product that contains all three macronutrients in proportions similar to what I recommend in those books. The product is Ultimate Nutrition's Muscle Juice 2544.

The proportion of calories is as follows:
Carbs:    61.4%
Protein:  22.2%
Fat:        16.4%

This product is actually a "muscle gain" product. As such, the listed serving size is very large: 4 scoops, providing 1000 calories. That would be way too much for most people for a pre- or post-workout drink. Most will want to use 1/3 to half of that. I use a little less than two scoops.

That said, the carb source in the Muscle Juice is the same as found in the same company's Pure Muscle Carbs. That product is discussed in my powerlifting book. It is mostly maltodextrin with a small amount of fructose. Having tested the Muscle Juice with my blood sugar monitor, the glycemic response is similar to that for the Pure Muscle Carbs. It spikes the blood sugar sufficiently to provide a boost of energy for a workout but it is not a dramatic spike. As such, there is no crash later. Both the high and low levels stay within a rather narrow range. This is especially good for someone like myself with reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It would also be important for diabetics.

The maltodextrin's complex carbs are ideal for both fueling a workout and for replenishing glycogen stores after a workout. Fructose is only good for the former, but the amount is low, so this product would still be good post-workout.

The protein source is a blended protein containing whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and egg white albumin. This is the same type of protein blend that I recommend in my books.

The fat source is derived from MCT oil, which is to say, it is medium chain triglycerides, I discuss this kind of fat in my books. It is a saturated fat but it does not have the same health detriments as regular long chain saturated fat. But most importantly, it is burned more like a carb than a fat, so it provides another source of fuel for a workout.

So overall, this one product provides everything I recommend for a pre- or post-workout drink. But what's keeping it from being a "five star" product is the presence of artificial flavorings. I normally try to avoid such ingredients, but at least that is the only artificial ingredient.

It should be noted that Ultimate Nutrition also has a newer product: Muscle Juice Revolution 2600. All of the above comments would also apply to it. However, it contains additional ingredients, including canola oil and Acesulfame Potassium (a.k.a. Ace K). I discuss in my books why I also try to avoid these items. As such, I'll stick with the Muscle Juice 2544. But if those additional ingredients don't bother you, then the 2600 would also be a good option.


 New on Fitness for One and All

Full Workout Logs: Starting 9/12/2010 - All-Raw In-Season Training - Weeks 1-4 was completed early for reason discussed in the post listed next.

2010 Top 100 Chart/ Update is a new forum post.

Weight Loss/ Starting Over is a new forum post.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 11/3/2010 - Alternate Weeks 2 Routine - Weeks 1-6 of 12 will record my next set of workouts.

God-given Foods Eating Plan:
For Lifelong Health,
Optimization of Hormones,
Improved Athletic Performance
Paperback and eBook by Gary F. Zeolla

Also by Gary F. Zeolla:
Darkness to Light Web site and Darkness to Light newsletter.
Christian Theology, Apologetics, Cults, Ethics, Bible Versions, and much more. is the personal Web site for Gary F. Zeolla.
Author of Christian and of fitness books, Web sites, and newsletters,
and a top ranked and multi-record holding powerlifter.

Disclaimer: The material presented in this newsletter is intended for educational purposes only. The director, Gary F. Zeolla, is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any medical treatments or diet, exercise, or health improvement programs, consult your doctor. The director is in no way responsible or liable for any harm ( physical, mental, emotional, or financial) that results from following any of the advice or information in this newsletter.

All material in this newsletter is copyrighted 2010 by Gary F. Zeolla or as indicated otherwise.