Well-Being Supplementation

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Today’s article is a guest post from Sol Orwell and Kurtis Frank of Examine.com, one of the premium, unbiased supplement websites on the planet.

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supplements

Most people want to “feel better”, and many supplements cater towards making you feeling better. Despite how straightforward that sounds, the manner in which supplements can help you achieve that is not nearly as clear cut.

This is mainly due to the fact that “well being” is a very holistic and broad concept, and the broader the concept, the harder it becomes to narrow it down with quantifiable parameters.

Basically, we cannot actually measure how good somebody feels aside from just asking them about it and having them write it down. And that of course introduces all kinds of potential errors and short-term biases.

Couple this with the observation that anything that induces a large and rapid change in well being is unlikely to influence everybody the same way (not everybody reacts the same to huge social or chemical stressors designed for happiness). Some people can have bad reactions, aka trips. Thus, any reliable method to increase well being is going to have to be subtle. [Read more...]

Supplements for Feeling Strong and Being Lean

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Today’s post, along with a few more in the coming months, is from my friend Sol Orwell, who runs Examine.comA compendium on supplements and nutrition. We analyze scientific research to separate the facts from the myths when it comes to supplements and nutrition.

Enjoy the info.

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In being asked to offer recommendations for supplementation on “feeling stronger and being lean” I came across a slight conundrum; am I supposed to recommend strength enhancing agents (per se) or do I take the “feeling” word at face value and just make people feel stronger/better. In fumbling around with the thought for a while, I realized both goals are acceptable; why not just cater to both in one article?

Increasing Strength

My first thoughts always go to Creatine when it comes to strength enhancement. Creatine is just outright unrivalled in the amount of studies done and the reliability of the results. It is the best choice you can make for feeling and being stronger. Buy a bit of creatine, and take 10g a day for a few days. If you suddenly gain a bunch of water weight then congratulations are in order – you’re a responder. Afterwards, take creatine at 2-5g daily forever, depending on bodyweight. Buy the powder form as it is tasteless. And make sure you get plenty of water when you consume it, otherwise you can get stomach cramps (about the only downside of creatine).

Beta-Alanine is up next, primarily due to its popularity. Beta-alanine has reliable benefits, but the benefits are small in magnitude; the most recent meta-analysis on the subject matter found significant benefits associated with activity over 60 seconds in time (the 60-240s range) that was, numerically, 2.85%. It is a small amount, and 33% of the studies were funded by companies with vested interests in beta-alanine.

The only reason I suggest beta-alanine is that it appears to enhance the rate of muscle mass accrual, independent of the amount of work done. Basically, take one dose of beta-alanine, and you won’t perform better than placebo; keep on taking daily doses of beta-alanine, and you will perform better than placebo after 8 weeks or so. Just to note, beta-alanine still works even if you lose the “tingling” feeling. [Read more...]