Sport & Fitness

Our range of protein powders and sports supplements cut out all the nasty stuff and give you the nutrients you need to perform at your best, and recover fast. For our SlimRight range, visit the Weight Management section of the site.

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Sport & Fitness
Get Healthy The Natural Way
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Get Healthy The Natural Way

Around this time every year, most of the population make new year ..
Lift Heavy To Get Lean
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Lift Heavy To Get Lean

Many women (and men) exercise to lose weight and get toned. After many weeks and months of working out with light weights and high repetitions, they have enjoyed limited results and get disheartened. The solution may be to lift heavier weights and do fewer repetitions.  

Heavy Weights Don't Cause Bulking

For many women we talk to about our range of sports supplements, such advice sets off alarm bells. They are concerned that if they lift heavy weights and use protein powders they will bulk up, get square shoulders and start to look like body builders. The reality is that numerous reps of lighter weights that many women do to 'tone' is more likely to give you that body builder physique than lifting heavier weights at smaller repetitions.  

Protein Powder Doesn't Cause Bulking

Other women's fears of protein powders making them bulk up are also unfounded. Protein powders are an excellent way to retain a trim figure, increase energy and do not necessarily lead to 'explosive muscle growth' (contrary to what some of the advertisements in some magazines might promise). Unless you take supplements and eat a diet specifically designed specifically to help you bulk up, 95% of women will not bulk up, tending to build curves in the 'right' places instead.  

What the professionals say

Registered sports scientist Habib Noorbhai says this lingering myth over women bulking up from weight training is a very common misconception. “Strength training has a variety of benefits for women, one of which is preventing the earlier onset of bone and joint-related diseases such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. “Performing low to moderate intensity weight training will ensure increase in strength gains, assist in the loss of body fat and assist with activities of daily living.” He adds that “vigorous intensity weight training can initially lead to a minimal gain in lean muscle, but generally low to moderate intensity weight training combined with cardio, and following a healthy eating plan is the secret to getting toned and losing body fat”. We have to agree. We are lucky enough to have an in-house gym at Nature's Way HQ. Many of us have recently started to focus less on  the treadmill and bicep curls and more on lifting heavy. We use whole-body exercises like squats, dead lifts and power cleans in conjunction with circuit training and clean diet. We have certainly not noticed any bulking, are happy with improvements in strength and body shape and can also report a reduction in body fat.  

So where do you start?

There is an inherent risk in starting to lift heavier weights. Unless you are already experienced at weight training, we strongly recommend enlisting the services of a personal trainer or - ideally - a strength coach who can teach you proper form to avoid injury. Once you have learned the basics of safe lifting, you can start to increase the load and train with a friend or alone, however that initial expert guidance to help you refine your form and build a baseline of strength is highly recommended to help avoid serious injury..  
Metabolism MythBusting
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Metabolism MythBusting

Speeding up your metabolism is the holy grail of weightloss. But there are very few ways, other than exercising more and  increasing your lean muscle mass, that are actually proven to work.  So which of those “too good to be true” tips you’ve overhead at the gym or on Dr Oz are legit? Read on for our metabolism myths and truths.

 

Metabolism Myth 1: Some Foods Increase Metabolism.

We say: Confirmed.

 

"Diet-induced thermogenesis" is, in layman's terms, the amount of calories we burn just by digesting the food you eat. Just as running burns more calories than a walk in the park, eating certain foods burns more calories than others.  Doctors from the Harvard School of Public Health studied the thermic effect of different macronutrients. They found that protein is a clear winner in the quest to boost metabolism.  

Furthermore, coconut oil has been shown to help increase metabolism. Another study published by the European Journal of Nutrition showed that by combining chilli and medium chain triglycerides (such as those found in coconut oil) increased diet induced thermogenesis by more than 50%!  Thai chicken curry anyone?

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Metabolism Myth 2: Eating small meals every 3 hours stokes your metabolic fire.

We say: Busted.

 

Two hours have clicked past since your last meal. You’re feeling hungry again. Must mean your metabolism is working overtime, right?  Well, maybe not. There are two things to consider here:

  1. If you are consuming carbs with your ‘small meals’, you could just be interfering with the way your body is regulating insulin production and actually causing unnecessary hunger.
  2. Your body needs time to properly process the protein you are consuming to ensure hypertrophy. Eating more meals more often can interfere with this.

So, how often should you be eating?

Studies have shown that consuming a balanced meal of lean protein, low-GI carbs and healthy fats will help to regulate your blood sugar AND increase muscle mass.  Eating 4-5 balanced meals, every 4-5 hours allows your body enough time for protein synthesis while helping to keep your blood sugar in check.

 

Metabolism Myth 3: Green Tea increases metabolism and burns more fat.

We say: Confirmed.

 

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that subjects taking a green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg EGCG) three times a day had a significant increase in energy expenditure over a 24 hour period.  One cup of green tea supplies approximately 20-35 mg of EGCG. Therefore, to experience benefits similar to those shown in the study you would need to be drinking upwards of nine cups of tea a day, or find a supplement with similar caffeine and EGCG content. Try our Metabolift product, which contains not only green tea extract and caffeine, but metabolism boosting guarana, bitter orange, B vitamins and more. Read More.

So, what’s the catch?

Well there doesn’t seem to be one.  Aside from weight loss and metabolism benefits, green tea drinkers appear to have lower risk for a wide range of diseases, from simple infections to chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bottoms up!

 

WHAT NEXT?

When all is said and done, increasing your metabolism is just one piece of the weight loss puzzle. In addition to the above metabolism myths and truths, the key to lasting weight loss is consistency – find an exercise program and nutrition plan you can stick to and commit to it!

What Is the Best Time To Take Protein?
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What Is the Best Time To Take Protein?

This commonly asked question has no universal answer... The best time to take protein depends on you and your specific health goals. Check out our protein timing cheat sheet below: these general guidelines will help you answer one of the most commonly asked questions in sports nutrition...

What Is The Best Time To Take Protein?

 

1. If you Take Protein In The Morning

BENEFIT A: WEIGHT LOSS Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that taking protein early in the morning gives a feeling of fullness and reduces appetite and snacking. Take a low carb protein shake in the morning to reduce hunger and help boost your metabolism. Better yet, blend a scoop of soy protein in with some almond milk, blueberries, spinach and a banana for a great superfood breakfast. BENEFIT B: SUPPORTS STRENGTH AND MUSCLE MASS Catabolism is relatively common among athletes. It is caused by over-training and under-eating. In short, catabolism happens when your body needs a food source for energy, has none to draw on, so starts to use your muscles as fuel. Needless to say, this is bad for an athlete. A 2006 study from Victoria University showed that taking protein first thing in the morning increased both overall muscle mass AND strength for athletes when compared to a control group who had no protein with breakfast. Worried about bulking up after your breakfast shake? You need not worry - unless your diet is rich in carbs and your fitness regime is designed to help you build muscle, you are unlikely to bulk up  after a protein shake for breakfast.  

2. If you TAKE PROTEIN THROUGHOUT THE DAY

BENEFIT: MORE ENERGY Find yourself nodding off mid-afternoon? The reason could be that your diet lacks long-lasting energy. Try splitting your 3 (large) main meals for 5 smaller ones, eating every 3 hours. Make sure your 5 meals contain protein. If not a shake, then a tin of tuna or a fistful of nuts can be an easy way to grab some protein in a meal. BENEFIT: WEIGHT LOSS A 2005 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that participants who got 30% of their daily energy intake from protein felt less hungry and lost more weight.  

3. If you Take Protein Before Training

BENEFIT: MORE EFFECTIVE WORKOUTS Many proteins contain high levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). These help maintain muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen provides energy to the body... more glycogen means more energy. A pre-workout snack of a protein shake plus a complex carbohydrate like brown rice or oats 45 minutes before exercise can give the energy needed to go harder during workouts. Alternatively, try our Brown Rice Protein with Chia and Pea before training for a shake that delivers pre-workout carbs and BCAA's and for fuel plus readily absorbed brown rice protein  for recovery.  

4. If you Take Protein After Training

BENEFIT: RECOVERY AND GROWTH  A 2001 study published in American Journal of Physiology showed that post exercise is when your muscles are crying out for amino acids the most and are therefore most likely to absorb protein. The benefits of a post-workout protein hit for muscle growth and/or recovery are well documented.  Give your muscles the fuel they need to recover by consuming protein after your workout. A 2013 study from the University of Tampa studied the effectiveness of brown rice protein vs whey protein in helping post-exercise recovery. The study noted that "there were no differences between the two groups". Given that whey contains lactose (which can cause bloating, wind, nausea and diarrhoea in some people), brown rice protein is an ideal post-workout protein.  

5. If you Take Protein Before Bed

BENEFIT: RECOVERY AND MUSCLE GROWTH A 2012 study from Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands revealed that protein supplements taken directly before bed time do, in fact, get digested or used by your muscles while you sleep. This can boost overnight recovery and muscle growth. ------ This article was produced by our online health partners, Health365. For more  information on a range of exercise and fitness related topics, visit www.health365.com.au.  
5 Benefits of CoQ10
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5 Benefits of CoQ10

CoQ10 (co-enzyme Q10) is a substance found in our body that is ..
Why We Need Magnesium
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Why We Need Magnesium

The Importance of Magnesium For Health

Magnesium is abundantly available in a range of foods, as well as in supplement form. It is critical for maintaining a huge range of biochemical reactions  in the body. It is particularly important for:
  • protein synthesis
  • proper muscle function, relaxation and contraction
  • nerve health
  • blood pressure
  • maintaining bone health
  • energy production
  • the list could go on and on.

How Much Magnesium Do I Need?

The Australian Government National health & Medical Research Council recommends the following RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for magnesium: Male Adults: 330-350mg a day Female Adults: 255-265mg a day

Magnesium Deficiency

Measuring the exact level of magnesium in each person's body is difficult. This is because much of the magnesium that exists in your body is in your bones or cells, not in your blood. This difficulty in measuring magnesium levels can make magnesium deficiency difficult to diagnose via usual tests. However, common signs of a magnesium deficiency include:
  • fatigue
  • agitation / restlessness
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • tingling in joints and extremities
  • muscle cramping and spasms
  • poor nail / hair health
Studies also suggest sufficient magnesium intake is linked to blood pressure management, increasing / maintaining brain function, helping with migraines and lack of magnesium may contribute to depression-like symptoms.

Best Magnesium Sources

Magnesium is abundantly available in a number of foods. Some of these foods include:
  • Super Cacao is completely organic and rich in magnesium. Try including it in some of our delicious Cacao recipes.
  • WholeFood Magnesium Powder features natural magnesium and is in an easily absorbed powder form. Most magnesium tablets contain synthetic magnesium compounds created in factories. Tablets are not as easily absorbed.
  • dark leafy greens (eg/ raw spinach)
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains like brown rice
------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on which electrolytes we need to maintain health, visit www.health365.com.au.    
Muscle Cramps: Causes & Treatment
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Muscle Cramps: Causes & Treatment

Muscle cramps are powerful, involuntary, painful spasms of a ..
Training tips to avoid joint damage.
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Training tips to avoid joint damage.

Whether you are already feeling the onset of sore / stiff joints, have early arthritis symptoms are are just trying to avoid joint pain as you age, there are some simple things you can do to protect your joints and limit further damage and inflammation during exercise.  
  1. Learn to lift

Whether it be in the gym, at the workplace or around the house, you need to learn how to lift heavy objects safely. Learning to lift heavy objects appropriately can not only save your back, but it can also save your joints. For heavy objects that are placed on the ground, squat down and lift with your legs rather than your back. If you feel strain or pressure in your knees or hips, stop and ask someone for help. When carrying heavy objects, hold them close to your body so your core takes the pressure rather than elbow and shoulder joints.  
  1. Recognise over-use

Suffering joint pain after prolonged use? Chances are you may be suffering a minor joint injury or an over-use injury. With injury, the fluids and cartilage that protect the joint can become damaged. This, in turn, can allow the bones to rub against each other and further injure the joint. If you have unexpected / sudden joint pain, try to limit use and see a health professional as soon as possible. Continuing to use an injured joint can make the injury worse and may cause permanent or more severe damage.  
  1. Stay trim, stay strong

Retaining a healthy body weight is important to protect your joints. Each kilogram you lose means up to 4 kilograms less pressure on your knees, hips and ankles as you walk... lose 12 kilograms and that’s nearly 50 kilos less pressure! Furthermore, focusing on maintaining strength through regular exercise or resistance training can help stabilise joints, meaning less wear and tear and lower chance of injury.  
  1. Go for low impact exercises

Exercise has so many critical benefits for our health, and it would be a shame to let sore joints or arthritis stop us from enjoying those benefits. However, exercise can often be damaging to joints: we have already mentioned that walking adds 4 kilograms of pressure per kilogram of body weight to our joints. Running adds an extra 10 kilograms of joint pressure per kilogram of body weight! The more pressure we place on a  joint, the more wear and tear we get on the protective tissues in the joint. The more damage to  the protective tissues, the greater the chance of permanent damage and arthritis. Low impact exercises like pilates or cycling can be more friendly for joints... see our article on exercises for arthritis sufferers for more ideas of low-impact exercises to help protect your joints.  
  1. Feed your joints

There are two nutrients that actually feed your joints and help your body grow and repair connective tissues in the joints. Glucosamine and Chondroitin work well in tandem to actively feed your joints and promote cartilage health... cartilage is critical for protecting your joint and acting as a shock absorber. ------- This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on dealing with arthritis, visit www.health365.com.au.    
Superfoods for Healthy Joints
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Superfoods for Healthy Joints

Natural joint health supplements like krill oil and glucosamine have well documented benefits for supporting healthy joints, and pharmaceutical / prescription drugs can be obtained from your doctor to help with arthritis and joint pain. However, your lifestyle and the food you eat  can also have a significant effect on joint health. Try these superfoods for arthritis and maintaining joint health.

CAMU CAMU

A fine powder derived from an Amazonian fruit, Camu Camu has impressive antioxidant properties and can be a great anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatories cab be beneficial for arthritis sufferers, as the joint pain felt is often the result of swelling and  inflammation around the joint. Reducing inflammation, therefore, often means reducing pain. Further, Camu Camu is rich in vitamin C – vitamin C is critical for a number of bodily functions including production of collagen. Collagen is required for growing, healing and repairing tissue and cartilage.

CHIA SEEDS

Chia Seeds are rich in fibre, protein and – importantly – omega-3 fatty acids. Ensuring you have sufficient intake of Omega-3s is important for joints and the link between omega-3 intake and joint health is documented. If you aren’t eating fatty fish such as salmon or tuna 3 times a week, you should be trying to increase your daily omega-3 intake by:
  1. taking a Krill Oil tablet daily or
  2. including vegetable sources of omega-3 like chia seeds into your diet. Need some inspiration on how  to eat more chia? Check out our Chia Seed recipes.

TURMERIC

You may be familiar with turmeric as a spice used in curries and stir fries. You may not realise that it is actually a superfood that contains a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin. Adding enough turmeric to your meals each day to achieve the full anti-inflammatory effect might not be feasible, but there are an increasing number of juice bars around that offer turmeric in their products that can help you increase your turmeric / curcumin intake. Alternatively, try Osteo Flex – it contains clinically studied levels of curcumin so you can be sure you are getting sufficient dosage. It also contains additional joint care ingredients Krill Oil and Green Lipped Mussel.   ---------- This article was provided by our online partner Health365. To buy superfoods online, visit www.health365.com.au.