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Intense training requires intense protein. You may be combining added protein to your low-carb diet or adding more to your Beyond Raw® Re-Built Mass XP for a mass building stack. Regardless, Beyond Raw® Iso-Peptide Protein is ideal for any driven athlete. Building muscle and strength requires constant mobility and rapid recovery to hit the gym day after day. Protein supplies you with the building blocks for muscle, the amino acids. Complete proteins contain all the amino acids your body needs to create muscle. The whey protein hydrolysate in Iso-Peptide Protein provides a pre-digested complete protein source with bioactive peptides. These hydrolysates go beyond the raw whey protein concentrates in supplying bioactive di- and tri-peptides, which are more rapidly absorbed than whole protein.

Iso-Peptide Protein also supplies whey protein isolate with extra leucine. Leucine is a unique essential amino acid (EAA) in that it is a strong signaling molecule for your muscle to know it’s time to build muscle. Leucine flips on the molecular switch for muscle protein synthesis, and if the other EAAs are there, the process makes your muscles grow.

Leucine can’t be made in your body and does not get converted to sugar or the other amino acids in your body. Thus, the leucine you consume is directly proportional to the leucine you have in your blood after a meal. The more leucine you have in a whole food meal, the more likely that meal contains a lot of the EAAs for muscle growth. Thus, the more leucine, the more you can ensure muscles are receiving adequate stimulus for protein synthesis. Each scoop of Iso-Peptide contains 10g of leucine and a clinical dose of Opuntia Fiscus Indica extract (OpunDia™; InuSpike™) which has been shown to positively modulate insulin response, particularly when combined with leucine post-exercise. Insulin is considered an anabolic hormone as it facilitates nutrient uptake in cells, including amino acids, and encourages the synthesis of protein.

Beyond Raw® Iso-Peptide Protein also provides you with Collagen Hydrolysate and micellar casein. These are both sources of the EAAs, each with special properties. The collagen hydrolysate provides you with the precursors for the most abundant protein found in your connective tissue including tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Our joints are where bones end and articulate on cartilage with the support of ligaments and tendons. Consuming collagen hydrolysates provide your body with a major source of protein in connective tissues.

Micellar casein is “the other” milk protein that is a bit different than whey protein. It has the tendency to form globules in the stomach that slow down the absorption and delivery of amino acids to your muscle. With the rapidly absorbed bioactive peptides combined with whey protein isolate and slow-digesting micellar casein, Iso-Peptide is designed to optimize amino acid delivery throughout the post-exercise anabolic response.

Since Iso-Peptide Protein has no added sugar, and ideal for low carb training, it supplies medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) for a little extra energy. MCTs are rapidly absorbed and quickly metabolized fats that are less likely to be converted to fat under your skin. MCTs are predominantly used by your body for energy. MCTs add to the power of Beyond Raw® Iso-Peptide Protein.
There are many modalities that can help you to recover from intense training. Delayed onset muscle soreness after lifting heavy weights or trying a new exercise can limit your ability to train in subsequent days.

Modalities like electric stim, ice and heat, massage, and stretching can all benefit your muscles and your health to support recovery.

If you have ever had a therapeutic massage you know it can have powerful effects. When you walk into the spa and lie on the table you can just feel the weight of the world being pulled, kneaded, and rubbed right off your body. When you walk out, your legs feel like Jell-O and your head feels like it’s floating. It’s a fantastic feeling, similar to the satisfaction one gets after a hard workout in the gym.

Despite the fact that massage therapy is a multi-billion dollar industry with millions of Americans partaking in treatments every year, there are skeptics to its validity and usefulness in healthcare.

The reason for this may be that the evidence to support the beneficial effects of massage therapy has lacked scientific scrutiny until recent years. Massage therapy is often labeled an “alternative” treatment along with acupuncture, chiropractic care, and mindfulness techniques.

Ancient Greek and Indian texts describe massage as a therapy for treating sports and war injuries; it was also used widely by Hippocrates and the Roman Empire.

The social decadence of massage tarnished the reputation of massage until the late 1800s when new techniques sprouted and scientific research began to explore its effectiveness. Many different techniques varying in the pressure applied, use of tools, patterns of application, and frequency of use have evolved over the centuries.

Manual techniques involve effleurage, kneading, petrissage, frictions, tapotement, and vibration/shaking. Massages dilate superficial blood vessels and increase the rate of blood flow via local nerve-mediated reflexes. Forceful massage may even increase the amount of blood volume pumped out of the heart by improving venous return.

Flow rates take time to return to normal after a deep tissue massage; such effects on blood flow suggest that massage may be able to support muscle performance and recovery.

Recent data supports that massage therapy and its effects can support recovery from exercise. In the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers demonstrated that massage therapy to sore quadriceps resulted in mitigating inflammation and supporting mitochondrial function. The researchers noted that despite having no effect on muscle lactate or glycogen, massage modulated inflammatory markers thus countering cellular stress produced with muscle fiber injury.

Interestingly, they also found a rise in mitochondrial biogenesis which may have the benefit of supporting energy production in subsequent bouts of exercise. Of particular note, the fable that “lactic acid is massaged out of the muscle” has been disproven in multiple studies including the above study.

The nice thing about massage is that is can be done just about anywhere. If you don’t have a therapist or a partner that can help you, there are many devices available on the market. One of the simplest tools for self-massage is the foam roller. Foam rollers have become very popular in recent years and can be used to perform self-myofascial release. Rollers that are firmer or have multilevel rigidity can apply consistently greater pressure and may be more effective.

A study at the Memorial University of Newfoundland published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research demonstrated that foam roller self-myofascial release applied to the quadriceps improved range of motion without any concomitant deficit in muscle performance. This is great, as most static muscle stretching prior to exercise can actually reduce the strength of the muscle.

Nonetheless, stretching is also an important technique for success in athletics. The flexibility obtained by stretching exercises is needed to keep joints supple, maintain range of motion, and recover from muscle soreness.

Joint range of motion has been shown to improve transiently after flexibility exercise, chronically after approximately 3-4 weeks of regular stretching with a frequency of at least two to three times a week, and it may improve in as few as 10 sessions with an intensive program.

However, it is important to recognize that static stretching before high intensity or impact exercise is not recommended as it can weaken the muscle and increase the risk of injury. Rather, a modified low intensity warm-up such as jogging before running is recommended to avoid injury.

TYPES OF STRETCHING
Static Stretching: This is where you stretch a particular muscle for a hold of 15 to 30 seconds without bouncing or moving. It should produce a mild, painless pulling sensation in the muscle and not hurt your joints.
Dynamic Stretching: Stretching style where you swing your legs or arms through a stretched position at your limits of range of motion. Speed can be gradually increased.
Ballistic Stretching: This stretching forces a body part to go beyond its normal range of motion by bouncing into a stretched position. It triggers the muscle’s stretch reflex (and thus muscle relaxation), but can make you more susceptible to injury if done by the inexperienced.
Passive Stretching: This is basically static stretching with a partner who helps hold you in a stretched position. They can add a little extra stretch or get you into a position you might not be able to on your own.
Active Isolated Stretching: This involves holding a limb in a position without assistance of another limb or partner. For instance, holding your leg up in the air without using your hands or a support.
Isometric Stretching: Similar to static stretching, but during this stretch you contract the stretched muscle to resist the stretching movement.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation: This is a combination of static, passive, and isometric stretching. First, you stretch in a static position. Then you perform an isometric contraction resisted by your partner for ~10 seconds. After the contraction your partner passively stretches you past your last static position. This is a very advanced form of stretching.
Intense training in the gym requires just as intense focus on your metabolism and recovery. Training to build muscle and strength results in initial muscle breakdown and glycogen depletion. However, increasing muscle mass requires you spare your muscle and restore glycogen for optimal results. Beyond Raw® Labs understands these demanding needs, necessitating the creation of the multifunctional Precision BCAA formula.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids key to cultivating results. BCAAs include leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids are found in significant quantities in your muscle. They play a structural role as well as a functional role. BCAAs can be incorporated into muscle proteins that make up the contractile elements of muscle. Furthermore, BCAAs, especially leucine, can act as a signal to turn on muscle building machinery in the muscle cell and boost insulin release. With leucine’s strong signaling function, it is the most abundant BCAA in the Precision BCAA formula.

BCAAs taken during training supply your muscles with signals and building blocks to prevent breakdown. When the signal to grow is there, it limits the signal to breakdown thus sparing muscle loss during intense training. Taken with carbohydrate, the BCAAs improve glycogen re-synthesis and spare its breakdown through an insulin response. Insulin is further modulated by InsuSpike™ (Opuntia ficus indica) in the Precision BCAA formula.

Training performance also requires restoration of electrolytes lost from your blood, sweat and tears. An electrolyte blend of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium contributes to maintenance of normal muscle, heart and lung function. There’s nothing worse than having to cut your training short for cramping. Additionally, citrus fruit extract containing the polyphenol rutinoside (PeakForce™ WATTS’ UP®) enhances work efficiency.

Finally, it is important to note that intense training with its muscle catabolism and fuel burning can result in the production of damaging free radicals. These free radicals and activity-induced inflammation can make it more difficult to recover from your training. Univestin®, a proprietary blend of flavonoids from Acacia Catechu wood and bark extract and Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) extracts has been shown to act upon metabolic processes in the body related to supporting a healthy inflammatory response.

As you can see, the Beyond Raw® Precision BCAA formula, like the name says, provides the precise ingredients you need to succeed in the gym.
To get brutal in the gym, you need to get LIT™. Beyond Raw® LIT™ is the ultimate in performance elevation. With the sole purpose of producing extreme energy, intense focus and powerful pumps, LIT™ will light up your training. Beyond Raw® LIT™ has scientifically proven ingredients that work together to support consistently better workouts.

For energy and performance support, the critical 3 “Cs” are properly dosed to reach science-based objectives: creatine, CarnoSyn® and caffeine. Creatine has hundreds of studies to support its performance enhancing effects in the gym. Helping muscles make and circulate ATP, creatine supports the energy fuel needed for muscle building reps. CarnoSyn® (beta-alanine) is a precursor to the production of carnosine in muscle. By boosting carnosine levels more efficiently with carnosine supplementation, you can increase muscle pH buffering during high intensity training, key to supporting muscle function and performance. Finally, caffeine will limit your perceived exertion and create uninterrupted focus and energy in the gym.

For an even greater power boost, ElevATP® is included for supporting ATP for muscle energy production. Supplementation with this ancient peat and polyphenol-rich apple extract is a powerful way to significantly increase blood ATP levels. In the muscles, ATP provides the chemical driving force for contraction. This novel ingredient sets LIT™ in a league of its own.

Your pump is also supported by the potent ingredients citrulline and Nitrosigine,® in Beyond Raw® LIT™. The citrulline in LIT™ is scientifically dosed at 3 grams per serving, to support nitric oxide production. Further arginine silicate inositol (Nitrosigine®) is clinically shown to boost arginine levels for intense training. With nitric oxide production comes enhanced blood flow to improve pump, delivery of nutrients to muscles and clearing of metabolic waste for a performance boost.

The final component of a comprehensive workout booster is support for brain function. NeuroFactor™ is a whole coffee fruit extract that goes beyond the caffeine found in coffee. Muscles produce a signaling protein called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) that supports brain cell function. Clinical studies support NeuroFactor™’s ability to increase BDNF levels. Some theorize that BDNF production by muscle is the reason why exercise supports brain function in aging.

It’s easy to get LIT™, but your brain function allows you to stay LIT™.
To build massive and massively strong muscle you need to stay anabolic. Your body is in a constant state of flux. Being anabolic means that the state of building is staying ahead of breaking down. Just like the engine of a sports car, you need to be finely tuned and powered by the most efficient fuel. Otherwise, you just break down. You tune your body with weights and high-intensity interval training while fueling at meals and during restful sleep (see Return With Rapidity: Stress, Sleep & Recovery). The most efficient fuel to power your engine is Beyond Raw Re-Built Mass XP. With the best protein, complex carbs and healthy fats this is a supplement for the most intense training.

Muscle anabolism is fueled by the essential amino acids that you can’t live without, found in complete, high-quality proteins. To rebuild the muscle you’re breaking down with training, you need to have these essential building blocks of muscle protein. The protein in Re-Built Mass XP is an awesome blend of complete proteins with complementary effects.

Not only is protein needed to act as building blocks for muscle growth, but the branched-chain amino acid leucine is vital to your muscle. Leucine acts as the key to turn on the muscle growth engine in your muscle cells. The leucine content of your protein tells your body that high-quality protein is available for growth and allows the process to move forward. The milk-derived proteins whey and casein are particularly rich in leucine. Further, Re-Built Mass XP adds even more leucine to the formula to ensure optimal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.

There are two types of protein in Re-Built Mass XP that optimize the availability of all of the essential amino acids. The first two are rapidly digested whey protein isolate and “pre-digested” whey hydrolysate. These are also among the richest sources of leucine found in nature. In addition, calcium caseinate is a milk-derived protein that is digested slower and thus gives a more sustained delivery of amino acids over time. This ensures that while the muscle growth engine is running, there are always materials ready to build.

The next power producing component of Re-Built Mass XP is its Advanced Creatine Complex. Creatine monohydrate, made in our bodies from glycine and arginine with the intermediate guanidinoacetate, acts as an ATP buffer and powerful anabolic agent. It boosts muscular creatine stores, muscle hydration and helps to turn on muscle growth. Studies suggest creatine monohydrate supplementation can add an eleventh rep to an otherwise ten rep set by delaying loss of strength and muscle failure. Combined with MagnaPower® (magnesium creatine chelate), energy production is greatly supported.

Weight training and high-intensity sports require ample amounts of glycogen (stored glucose) to fuel grueling workouts and competition. Glycogen stores are significantly depleted by training and are especially lower after two-a-day workouts. It is critical to replenish those stores after your training to stay anabolic and powerful at the next workout. Re-Built Mass XP has 140g of high-quality, complex carbohydrates to re-fill the tank. ModCarb™ is a complex carbohydrate blend made from oats, amaranth, buckwheat, chia, millet and quinoa for sustained release of energy.

Last, but certainly not least, consider the Re-Built Mass XP Performance Blend of BetaPower® and HMB. Multiple human clinical trials have supported the strength, power and athletic performance enhancing effects of the betaine anhydrous in BetaPower®. HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) is a breakdown product of the amino acid leucine, which has the power to limit muscle protein breakdown during resistance training. By limiting the breakdown that occurs with intense training the balance shifts to anabolism over catabolism.

Rebuild your body with Re-Built Mass XP!
Whether you’re bodybuilding or strength training, the end goal is to turn on Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS).

MPS is the process by which muscle repairs and grows. Muscle gets bigger and stronger when it produces more contractile proteins like actin and myosin. Intense training can break those proteins down (Muscle Protein Breakdown, MPB). Thus the equation:

Net MPS = MPS – MPB

The goal of training and dieting is to shift this equation toward more synthesis than breakdown. The molecular switch for turning on MPS is called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Your training in the gym and food you eat both have the ability to activate mTOR. The actual act of lifting weights and its effect on the cell membranes of muscle also activates mTOR. However, a key activator of mTOR is in the protein we eat.

The amino acid L-leucine has been proven to be the main player in protein for turning on MPS. Not all proteins are created equal: some contain more leucine per gram.

Studies show that gram for gram, whey protein is effective in inducing a larger increase in blood essential amino acids and stimulating MPS post exercise compared to soy.

When you eat, the leucine spike results in the activation of mTOR. When all the other essential amino acids are present, as in drinking whey protein, this activation leads to the production of muscle building proteins. The food you eat also causes insulin release which helps halt the process of MPB. Interestingly, it is the MPB side of the equation that needs the most inhibition to keep your muscle growing.

MPB is initiated by intense training, inflammation, stress, and hormonal imbalances such as elevated cortisol. To boost Net MPS, you must try to keep MPB down.

Insulin production after a meal initiates molecular signals that turn off MPB.

Carbohydrates and proteins like milk derived casein are particularly adept at reducing the activity of cellular machinery of MPB. Deep sleep and its production of growth hormone and IGF-1 helps to limit MPB.

The breakdown product of leucine call beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl-butyric acid or HMB for short is a supplement ingredient that is particularly good at fighting MPB associated with resistance training.

As you get older – which can mean as early as 40 – the equation for Net MPS tends to drift toward MPB. Although the exact reasons for this are multifactorial and complex, science does show that you can fight it.

Science shows that as you age, your muscles become less sensitive to the effects of leucine and insulin.

Interestingly, studies show that it takes a greater leucine spike from a meal to activate mTOR in a 70- year-old than a young adult. This is called “leucine resistance.” 20g of whey protein may optimize mTOR activity in a young adult, but the older individual may require up to 40g to get the same effect. This science shows that it is critical to boost protein in your diet as you age.

Another strategy to enhance MPS with age is to limit the MPB side of the equation. You can do that by using supplements like HMB. In multiple studies, HMB has been shown to reduce MPB in the aging population. By supplementing with 3g of HMB with a leucine rich protein like whey isolates you can optimize muscle health. In summary, keep the math in mind when putting together your training and diet – the harder you live, the faster you fall.

Allow plenty of time in your training schedule for recovery of your muscle.

As you age, that may mean more time between body parts; let the soreness resolve before hitting that part again. Enhance your hormonal milieu by getting more growth hormone producing deep sleep. Use stress management techniques like meditation and yoga. Get more protein per meal and eat meals more regularly. Add HMB, whey protein, and creatine to your supplementation regimen to optimize MPS.
Energy for life comes from the oxidative processes that break our food down. This process of “burning” food as fuel for movement or enzymatic processes generates heat.

Body heat is tightly-regulated by our central nervous system since cellular functions are most efficient at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When our bodies are in disarray from illness or infection, we get an elevated temperature (fever).

The rate at which we breakdown macronutrients or stored calories is considered our metabolic rate. The higher our metabolic rate, the faster we burn calories from food or stored fuels, like fat.

We have a “basal metabolic rate”, which is the rate at which we burn calories to keep essential functions like the heart beating and the brain “on”. Our “Resting Metabolic Rate” or RMR is the amount of calories burned during a state of rest, lying down, and inactivity. Sometimes, basal and resting metabolic rate are considered the same, but there are differences that scientists like to point out.

A number of factors may influence our metabolic rate. First, the food we eat affects it. As soon as we start to eat we really aren’t resting. It takes some energy for sitting up, chewing, and shoveling our food. It’s worth bearing in mind however, that not all foods and calories are created equal in their ability to affect our metabolic rate. For instance, a high protein meal results in more energy expenditure than a high carbohydrate meal. This is partly due to what is called the “thermic effect of food.” It is very interesting that just the act of eating protein burns more calories than eating carbohydrate.

Further, the environment affects our metabolic rate. Studies have shown that lowering the room temperature from 70 degrees to 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit may increase your metabolic rate.

Interestingly, ingredients in some thermogenic supplements, such as Beyond Raw® Neuro Shred™ have this ability as well. In particular, capsaicin, a pungent compound of red chili pepper, is a thermogenic ingredient which stimulates energy expenditure. Capsaicin increases fat oxidation, limits appetite, and increases energy expenditure.

Although some of these effects appear to be through SNS stimulation, capsaicin also has little effect on blood pressure. Interestingly, capsaicin supplementation appears to limit the decline in metabolism that occurs with calorie-restricted dieting.

The interactions of our food, our environment, and our hormones make studying metabolic rate very challenging.

The take-home from this discussion is that there are many factors which may affect our metabolic rate. Having a healthy diet focusing on adequate protein intake, use of quality supplements, and care to maintain healthy body temperature may be some of the interventions for maintaining our metabolic rate.