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NOT YOUR AVERAGE POST-WORKOUT

 

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The Benefits of Betaine

Betaine? What The Hell Is That?

You may be quite accustomed to this ingredient in many supplement formulas, both proprietary and full disclosure labels. You may have never heard of betaine, commonly labeled as trimethylglycine on most products available today. You may not even care to know what betaine is or what it is capable of but I am here to help you hopefully grasp a better understanding on what this ingredient in particular does and how it can help your workouts and body composition in the future. Don’t just know what you are taking… understand WHY you are taking it!

Betaine originated from sugar beets but is also naturally occuring in most living plants and animals and is an oxidation product of choline metabolism. Now it’s time to get all SCIENCY up in here! Betaine’s primary function is as a methyl donor and as an osmolyte. Methyl donors such as betaine are of major importance as anticarcinogenic nutrients. In fact, a lack of sufficient methyl donor nutrients such as choline, betaine, methionine, and folate is the only nutrient deficiency known to be carcinogenic in and of itself. As an osmolyte, it plays a role similar to taurine by protecting cells from dehydration by drawing water into the cell.

betaine

So It Helps Me Get Swole, Thats Great?

Well hold on just a second. It does help your cells hold onto water much like taurine (and somewhat creatine monohydrate). But someone decided to do a study and see what other implications there were with betaine supplementation. The results speak for themselves.

In 2011 a study was led by Jenna Apicella from the University of Connecticut titled “The Effects of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms.” In this study 12 men underwent two weeks of supplementation with either 1) 1.25mg of Betaine twice a day or 2) a placebo. These first two weeks were followed by a two week “washout” period in which neither group took betaine or a placebo. Following this washout period the subjects switched groups, and those taking placebo before now received betaine and vice versa. Before and after each two-week period subjects completed a workout. Circulating Growth Hormone (GH), Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), Cortisol and Insulin were measured. Muscle biopsies were also taken from the quads of the subjects to evaluate protein signaling (specifically Akt, p70S6k, AMPK).

Betaine supplementation produced a near significant increase in GH (+4%) and significantly increased IGF-1 (+12.4%) levels. Not only that, betaine also significantly decreased cortisol (-4%) levels. There was no difference in insulin levels. There was a measurable increase in total muscle Akt (+1% total Akt), a serine/threonine protein kinase that plays a key role in multiple cellular processes, as well as the compensation of training induced decreases in the phosphorylation of of Akt at S473 and p70 S6k at T389, both enzymes that are intricately involved in cell- and in this case muscle growth, it can be expected that long(er) term supplementation with betaine would also improve the hypertrophy response to resistance training.

You Lost Me In All That Sciencing

So lets piece all of this together. Cortisol is something we don’t want too much of because it can inhibit GH release. Supplementing with betaine in the trial showed a decrease in cortisol. A decrease in cortisol means a decrease in somatostation which allows our pituitary gland to churn out more GH! Phew! Ok so what does all of this mean? Based on this study we can conclude that:

Betaine supplementation at about 2.5 grams per day enhanced both the anabolic hormonal profile and the corresponding anabolic signaling in muscle tissue.

But don’t just take my word for it… if you’d like you can READ THE ENTIRE STUDY

I Want Some!!!

Thankfully at least one company has put this 2.5g daily dose of Betaine in a rather robust mix of other staple supplements!

EndurateENDURATE combines Betaine (2.5g) with a full dosing of Creatine Monohydrate (5g), Beta Alanine (3.2g), HICA, Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride. However if thats not for you Genomyx offers Betaine Anhydrous by itself as part of the BASYX line. Look for it at your preferred online retailer!

@DJBEANPOLE

Formutech Nutrition’s LEVEL II – Final Review

FORMUTECH NUTRITION’S LEVEL II
FINAL REVIEW

Alllll right. You guys asked for it. So here it is. The final review. Now I’ve never been the type of logger that goes through and gives out points based on categories for things such as taste, mixability, effects, etc. I feel like when reviews become this subjective the only way to truly evaluate them is to narrate my feelings based upon my perceived observations while taking such a supplement. So don’t expect me to say 4.6/5 here and 10/10 there etc. You’ll have to do some reading 

In comparison to both Lecheek Nutrition’s Ripped Cocktail and PES’s Alphamine, my views are going to be a little skewed. I have run full containers of both of those supplements whereas Level II was only a sample trial. So I can’t actually say how well Level II would have done in the long run compared to these other fat burning powders!

Level II is fantastic at doing a few things!

1) It will backhand slap the **** out of you within about 5 minutes of taking it. I took it each morning before getting ready to go to work. My dosings (as you’ll see further into this review) went up the deeper I got into this log but the effect was also the same (only becoming more long lasting with a greater dose). I would either pour a scoopful directly into a glass with water and mix it, or I’d open a water bottle, drink a little bit out to make run for Level II, and then pour Level II onto a piece of paper, form a funnel, and dump it in. In both instances by the time almost 5 minutes had gone by I found myself vigorously brushing my teeth to no end because I was concentrating so hard on brushing my teeth. It wakes you up, locks in your focus, and makes you feel ready to tackle the day.

2) It mixes well. It goes down well. It’ll make you look forward to tomorrow just so you can take it again. In both instances of mixing, only when I dropped the scoop into a glass of water did I really run into any type of snag. If you follow that method the powder just floats gently on the top of the water waiting for you to put a spoon in and stir it up. If you are drinking from a glass you will notice that some of the powder will stick to the side of your cup as the volume gets less and less. Just throw in a bit more water, swish it around, and problem solved.

3) You will be awake, alert, and energized for HOURS after you’ve taken it. My typical work day consists of a diet mountain dew on the way in to work. A few squirts of MIO energy after breakfast and lunch, and then depending on how I feel maybe some more MIO before the drive home. When I took Level II I never felt the need to take in any more caffeine because the energy high stuck with me for my entire work day… which is a straight 12.5 hours. This did not disturb my sleep patterns because I only dosed once at 5AM (one day I did two dosings… more on that) however I would recommend not taking this anywhere NEAR your bedtime or you’ll be up all night wanting to collate files or something.

4) You won’t want to eat. EVER. Level II straight knocks the appetite right out of you and it doesn’t return. Now I’ve taught myself to eat on a schedule and when a certain time rolls around I know it means time to eat. However with Level II I had to force myself to eat… not because I was hungry, but because I need to maintain my caloric input so I can stay at the size I am right now! This supplement would be especially welcome for someone that does Intermittent Fasting (LeanGains) protocol!

5) Dosages for me were as follows: Initially for the first few days I only took 1 scoop in the morning. Then I branched out and tried to take 2 scoops in the morning but I had an over-stimulated effect and decided to pull back my dose after that. I ended up finding a happy place at 1.5 scoops and on my last day I took 1.5 scoops in the morning and 0.5 scoops at night. Same great effects as you’ve read above and no issues with sleeping!

So how does this compare to Alphamine and Ripped Cocktail? If any of you have read my Ripped Cocktail log I came to the conclusion that RC would be better if it were combined with other fat burners because I didn’t feel as though it packed a powerful enough punch on its own. I think, depending on the synergistic ingredients within the unknown Level II label… that Level II would perfectly compliment RC if one were so inclined.

The real showdown is between Alphamine and Level II. Level II takes the early lead with the kick-in effect time. Alphamine slowly builds up after dosing whereas Level II is right up in your face almost minutes after taking it. So if you are needing something that brings you the energy nice and fast without waiting and you need to be wide awake within minutes then Level II is what you want. Both Alphamine and Level II are equally great and causing appetite suppression, long lasting energy, and fat loss… I guess the real conclusion would be its up to you to decide which one you’d rather use based on flavoring!

TL;DR: Level II is going to bring some big competition to the fat burner powder playing field. With a great flavor, easy mixability, and quick/long lasting effects including energy and appetite suppression, if fat loss is you game then Level II is definitely something you should consider adding to your supplement arsenal.

@DJBEANPOLE
@FORMUTECH

IN REVIEW: PES Erase Pro

Having been a fan of the original Erase when I was given the opportunity to review Erase Pro I went in with high expecatations. Erase Pro is essentially Erase with some extra added goodies and whopping 75mg (a full 3 pill a day dose of Erase) and I couldn’t wait to see the results. PES supplied me with a full bottle… and after I was 3 weeks in I was so thrilled with not only what I was seeing in the mirror but at how I was feeling that I decided to purchase my own bottle out of pocket and extend the 4 week period to a full 8 week run. 8 weeks of Erase Pro really shows the extent of what this AI is really capable of and right off the bat I’d like to say that this is what I’d recommend everyone run it for.

Erase Pro comes bottled with 30 pills that are capped at a much larger size compared to Erase and with a unique blue color. These are gel caps and I had no problem swallowing them down, even when they were taken alongside one pill of Anabeta Elite, 3 pills of Beta Alanine, and 3 pills of Orange Triad. For this 8 week run I ceased using fish oil because I had begun experimenting with the effects of ArA, GMS, and PES Enhanced as a preworkout.

erasepro-rendering-150dpi_1

I did not notice much happening within the first two weeks. I noticed that I was urinating more often but I was also drinking more water due to preparation for a half marathon. Even due to my increased food/water intake, I did not notice any bloating… in fact I started to notice a distinct “dry” look to myself in the mirror, especially upon waking up. Through the 8 weeks my waistline actually shrunk by about 1.5″, the V-taper of the lower abs began to pop, the top abs and obliques began to show more and I noticed a hardening effect similar to what felt like excess water leaving my system. Most of you are probably assuming I had joint issues (which did plague me after a few weeks use of OG Erase) but to my surprise (even with lack of fish oil!) I had absolutely NONE! I was weight training 2-3x a week and running increasingly greater distances 3-4x a week and did not suffer from joint pain once. My libido even seemed to skyrocket the further in to the cycle I got… particularly the last 2 weeks. Woke up “excited” consistently. My strength even increased the further into my cycle (partially in part to Anabeta Elite) and my mood was constantly elevated!

Long story short, Erase Pro works… and it works WELL. It leaned me out, increased my libido, bumped up my strength and when combined with Anabeta Elite I managed to put on 11lbs throughout half-marathon training (in which I was expecting to LOSE weight)!

Kick ass job PES… this is OTC AI I will always use from now on. Can’t wait to cycle this again!

@DJBeanPole
Get Erase Pro!

IN REVIEW: PES Anabeta Elite

When I first stumbled into the world of sports supplements Anabeta was a word I kept seeing pushed around yet had no idea what it was about. When I finally got my hands on a bottle I was thrilled to see my results and can definitely attest to the added hunger it gives you. Kick up your carbs and Anabeta takes care of the rest! So when PES provided me with Anabeta Elite I didn’t know how they could possibly expand upon something that already worked so well. I was in for a surprise.

Anabeta Elite comes in a bottle featuring 120 dark red gel capsules that actually have quite a pleasant and sweet aroma to them (who smells their pills lol? Smell them sometime! They actually smell sweet!) These pills are slightly bigger than the OG Anabeta but go down just the same without a problem. While I had tempted with dosing them higher than recommended on the bottle (going from 4 a day to perhaps 6) I decided I’d ride it out with the recommendations on the bottle… and instead of sticking to a 4 week cycle I ordered myself another bottle to give me a nice 2 month ride (paired with Erase Pro, of course)!

anabeta_elite_rendering_300dpi__1__1

Now I’ve noticed a lot of people saying in other reviews that Anabeta is great for a bulk, and Anabeta Elite would be great for a recomp or a cut. When I started this 8 week cycle I was already 2 months into prepping for a half marathon which I would eventually end up running in the last week of my cycle. I lifted weights 2-3x a week and would
run 3-4x a week (alternating slow long distance with shorter distance but a faster pace). Naturally my caloric intake was up already to adjust for this. I was anticipating this half-marathon training to be used to help me get cut up for the summer especially with the
inclusion of forskolin into the formulation but I was wrong. And in a good way!

I began to feel the effects of Anabeta Elite before I started to see them. In the gym I had just begun a strength training template that required heavier and heavier weights the deeper you went into the training. This appeared to be a daunting task on paper, but after the first few weeks of using Anabeta Elite I was surprised at how easy what I perceived as “heavy weight” was to move around. My muscle bellies seemed to be increasing in size and overall I noticed a larger appearance in the mirror… without regards to excess fat. My chest, arms, shoulders, back, and legs felt like they were growing like weeds. Shirts started to fit tighter. This new muscle growth led to increased vascularity particularly in the forearms, upper arms, shoulders, and lower abs. I started getting compliments from people I work with about how I looked. Strangely enough, my appetite was not on fire like I was expecting it to be. I’m not sure if its because I was already eating a
lot in the first place or that I just never felt the urge. Regardless, Anabeta Elite made me stronger, look better, and feel better… and even with all of that cardio training for the half
marathon I managed to pack on 11lbs! So this product was a definite recomposition key player for sure! I started at 225lbs, ended at 236lbs, and managed to run that half marathon in under 2 hours.

I’m damn impressed, thats for sure. I’m already looking forward to cycling this (alongside Erase Pro) again in the near future!

@DJBeanPole
Get Anabeta Elite!

IN REVIEW: PES Alpha-T2

AlphaT2 from PES is definitely a potent fat burner crammed inside a little green & white pill that I had the privelege to review. Although the effects of AlphaT2 can’t be as easily felt compared to something like a preworkout, over the course of my time taking it there were noticeable effects that it had on my body in a very positive way.

Alpha T2 was taken consecutively with Alphamine so my dosing was slightly different than what the bottle recommended (and also prolonged the product usage). I would take my Alphamine in the morning and then would take 2 pills of Alpha T2 at night. Once Alphamine ran out I switched over to the suggested dosing of 2 pills AM/ 1 pill PM. The pills are gel capped and go down easy and do not have an aftertaste even 20 to 30 minutes after dosing.

new_at2_large

During the first week of dosing there wasn’t much I noticed besides slight increase in body temperature especially in the abdomen region. As the dosing continued through week 4 I noticed that the thermogenesis effect had increased substantially, almost as though my hypothalmus turned the temperature dial up a few notches. I even had to buy a sweat-defense deodorant because I would perspire at even the thought of working out. Huge increase in the sensation of feeling heat across all of my body. During workouts (cardio) I noticed I would sweat much sooner than usual and would be drenched afterwards even with minimal effort and that even during resistance training I would start sweating into my first couple of sets! I did not have any noticeable appetite suppression but I was usually taking my dose a few hours prior to sleep and I wasn’t eating anything then anyway. When I would wake up in the morning (especially towards the end of the bottle) I would look like bloated/held less water. AlphaT2 definitely attributed into helping me lean up, even though I was not eating for cutting. I’ve noticed some increased definition through my lower abs, shoulders, and arms. I’m filling out my shirts better while looking better with them off, and even a few pairs of jeans are not quite as snug as they once used to be requiring me to notch the belt one extra loop!

AlphaT2 is a fantastic fat burner whose effects really start to become noticeable the further you go into the bottle, and I’d highly recommended it for anyone looking to turn up the heat on themselves to help squeeze out some excess water and get that lean and cut look.

@DJBeanPole
PES ALPHA-T2
Purchase from Nutraplanet!

IN REVIEW: PES Alphamine

Of all the possible preworkouts, fat burner drinks, and any other supplement that has any flavoring in it… Alphamine is easily the best tasting out of all of them! Cracking open a new tub will instantly fill your nostrils with a sweet aroma… and it tastes even better than it smells!

When I first received Alphamine I tried dosing it in just about every way possible to see what worked best for me. I assessed my tolerance to it by following the directions on the side of the tub. I was surprised to see that the label said there were 84 servings in there yet the tub seemed so small. Once I opened it up I realized why… the scooper is tiny! Took 1 scoop with 6 oz. of water for the first 2 days before bumping up my dose. As I’ve already said, the taste was AMAZING and all I wanted to do was mix the entire tub into one of those huge orange coolers you see coaches getting dumped on with and just drink it all day long! After the first two days I messed around with the dosage and timing: 1 scoop prior to breakfast and 1 scoops prior to dinner. 2 scoops prior to breakfast only. 2 scoops prior to dinner early. 1 scoop mixed in with preworkout. 2 scoops mixed in with preworkout. 2 scoops before breakfast and 1 scoop before dinner. 2 scoops preworkout and 1 scoop before dinner. Multiple combintations of dosings with endless possibilities while all arriving to the same fantastic effects of the fat burning potential found within those highly concentrated ingredients!

Within the first few days of trying Alphamine I knew I was in for a different fat burner. I usually don’t respond well to thermogenics and usually roll my eyes when a product claims to be “the BEST thermogenic on the market.” Alphamine proved me wrong. The thermogenic effects come on fast and last for a good 6-8 hours. I took this over winter and I actually found myself having to strip layers of clothes off when indoors because I would be getting too hot! During cardio I noticed that I would sweat MORE than usual and that I would begin sweating more towards the beginning of my workout rather than the middle. I even found myself sweating more often during weight lifting workouts and I usually never sweat doing that.

Alphamine_raspberry_lemonade_large

Alphamine also provides you with a great energy kick. I work night shift and I would take Alphamine prior to heading into work, and about the time I would eat dinner is when I’d need another ‘pick-me-up’ and Alphamine helped me make it through my 12 hour shift without the extra use of other caffeine drinks or energy products.

I’ve yet to take a product that suppresses my appetite… until I ran into Alphamine. When taken prior to my shift I found myself not just snacking less between meals… but not snacking at all! Once the thermogenesis effect kicks in you know your appetite is shut down! You don’t feel full… you just don’t ever get that growling stomach sensation that you need to eat something.

Alphamine also did a great job at helping me lean out slightly… even though my diet was not on point 24/7. The tub lasted me about a month and a half, and during this time I continued to gain strength in the gym, lost a few pounds, started seeing some new vascularity (not necessarily new growth, but simply due to the fact that I was decreasing my body fat % to the point that the muscles underneath my skin were pushing those veins to a visible view), and (especially when taken preworkout and pre-meal) I noticed that, almost similar to the effects of agmatine, my muscles became fuller, seemed to have more “pop” to them in the mirror (thanks to the leaning effects!), and felt more pumped/hard throughout the day.

Alphamine was definitely a huge surprise hit with me and is something I will be looking to add into my arsenal of supplements in order to continue to make new gains and keep my biggest critic of myself happy: the mirror.

@DJBeanPole
PES Alphamine
Buy it at NutraPlanet!

Lecheek LOG Day 45: Back/Bis

DAY 45: BACK/BIS

Final day! Ended up going with Maximize Intense and a serving of Hemavol I received as a sample packet for my my preworkout today. This was the combination I was using way before I started this log and I must say that SpeedX3 is STILL my reigning preworkout champion. The pumps were good and the sweating was right on par with how I remember it but the focus factor was just not there!

I kept it light today and went for high reps and stretch/squeeze. Deadlifts were not done today. These are being moved to leg day which freed up today for all back/biceps. This entire workout was done 4XMM style so rests between sets were short and I moved fast in the gym!

LAT PULLDOWN: 70×15 100×12 140×10,7+3@125 125×10,10 NEGATIVE 75×10

ONE ARM DB ROW: 30×15 45×10 50×10,10,10

T-BAR ROW: 45×10,10,10,10

CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN: 100×10,10,10,10

WIDE GRIP SEATED ROW: 70×10 75×10 90×10,10

STERNUM-UPS: BWx3,2,2,1

LAT SHRUGS: Dipstation BWx20,10

HAMMER CURL: 35×10,10,7+3@30 30×10

STRAIGHT BAR CURL: 40×10,10,10,12

CABLE ISOLATION CURL: 20×10,10,10,12

Final Videos will be shot and posted Monday. It will be a two part review, one for SpeedX3 and another for MassHGH. Before/After pics will be put up around then as well.
Stay tuned,

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition

Lecheek LOG Day 43: Shoulders

DAY 43: SHOULDERS

Took 2 servings of C4 today as the preworkout. Taste was alright slightly bland but not so chalky compared to Maximize v2. I think mine was fruit punch. It apparently had 3g of Beta Alanine in that 2 serving dose and I felt the tingles slightly about 10-15 minutes after taking it but then they went away. The pumps were definitely there as was to be expected with the nitrate but it was a different feeling than agmatine or SpeedX3 pumps. Kind of like a dull, achy pump… and not one that felt like my skin was going to burst. And my muscles felt much more sore after the workout especially the delts during the scaption exercise. You’ll see that I had a hard time doing some dropset stuff just because the “sore pumps” were too much to handle and I couldn’t push on!

SEATED DB SHOULDER PRESS: 30×15 50×12 60×10,10,10,10 45×4 pumps! 30×4 argh!!!

OVERHEAD SHRUG: 45×10 75×25,25,15,16 dropset to…

DB SHRUGS: 100×8 75×10 50×12 25×25 rapid succession last set was for speed

SCAPTION: 10×10 20×10,10,10,8 sore/pumps ouch (in a good way!)

REAR DELT FLYS: 10×10,10,10,12

FACE PULLS: 40×10 70×10,10,10,10

PULLEY DELT RAISE: 20×8,7

REAR DELT FLY MACHINE: 150×10 175×8 160×10 NEGATIVES 130×6,4

Stay tuned,

@DJBeanPole
Lecheek Nutrition