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      News — health

      American GAINZ Introduces "CORE"!

      American GAINZ Introduces "CORE"!

      At American GAINZ Nutrition we rely heavily on the fitness community to shape the direction of our performance nutrition offerings.  THANK YOU to all of our supporting athletes from around the country!  Your input is incredibly valuable and led to the development of our latest creation - American Gainz CORE!  


      We have listened, sourced, and created a product we are stoked to launch as we welcome in the 2018 competition season.

       
      After overwhelming success during the last stages of sensory testing, we are excited to share the basis of the “AGN Core” design with our community as we prepare for launch!

      Performance Nutrition
      • 25 Grams Protein from Whey
      • > 5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs

      Organic & Natural Ingredients
      • Nothing Unnecessary – Protein, Flavor, & Sweetener
      • Pasture-fed Premium Whey, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Cocoa, Sea Salt
      • The cleaner the ingredients, the cleaner the taste, the better the product…FACT

      Quantity & Package
      • 2 ½ lbs.  –  ½ lb more protein than the typical 2 lb. quantity
      • Same durable material and gym bag compatible stand-up pouch

      Flavor
      • We simply added Organic Cocoa, so naturally, that’s what it tastes like!
      • Sea Salt - yes, a pinch of sea salt was added after the second sensory trial to smooth out the raw silhouette of cocoa
      • It's Light - yes, if you love liquid brownies, this isn't for you.  Think of it like this; If the typical GNC dessert powder is orange juice, Core Protein is like Orange sparkling water.  It's light, fluffy, many sweet tooth consumers add a small serving of their favorite organic sweetener :) 



      *Important - Directions for Use
      Core Only requires 2 scoops per serving and ONLY 8 Ounces of water; due to the organic nature of the product's flavor, too much water can easily water down the flavor quickly.

      8 Ounces is no more than a cup of coffee for reference. On a classic blender bottle shaker, the 8 fl oz marker is ONLY a third of the way up a shaker bottle as depicted!

       

       

       

      Balanced Sweetener
      • Organic Coconut Sugar - Fastest growing natural sweetener sourced in the U.S.
      • Reformulation process for the new and improved Tactical Recovery is taking place now!
      • AGN Core is just sweet enough to balance the natural bitterness of cocoa

      USADA & WADA & FDA & Lab Testing
      • Although the USADA does not certify, endorse, or approve supplements, Core is NOT a supplement. It’s protein from milk with all natural ingredients.
      • Categorized by the FDA, AGN Core is considered a conventional “food” product
      • American Gainz Nutrition guarantees our products do not contain any ingredients on the WADA prohibited list.
      • 3rd Party Lab Results for all products will be posted to the website before the new year!

      If you have any questions or ideas for future products, please feel free to email us Questions@AmericanGainz.com.

      Adam & Bryan – Founders
      American Gainz Nutrition

       

      The Habit of Health - Written by Camzin Martin

      The Habit of Health - Written by Camzin Martin

      The Habit of Health
      Written by Camzin Martin

       

      It’s #BeachSeason and many of us (myself included this year) look at ourselves in the mirror and see a reflection of failed New Year’s Resolutions. Mine was to run every day, and let’s just say that hasn’t happened. Failing to create, implement, and maintain healthy habits is so common that the devout roll their eyes each year waiting for the flash to drain from the pan.

      So, while it may seem cruel to point out the deviation from the path a full seven months into the year, the point of this article is not to have a collective pity-party, but rather to make a commitment to the habits that create success today.

      My mom illustrates this point well. My mom is amazing, in her youth she was an incredible athlete, she held national titles in martial arts and was an accomplished runner. As a professional she achieved a level of success and renown as she was recruited from South Africa and able to afford her family the opportunity to live in the United States. As a mother, she raised two successful children with my father, and as adults we still have a close loving relationship with them. Along the way through chasing financial and familial goals health and fitness took a backseat, and poor diet and inactivity took its toll.

      In February of this year my parents moved out to Houston to be nearer to us and their grandchildren. Since moving, as a grandparent, my mother has made some new habits. She increased her sleep from approximately five hours a night to six. She began meal prepping her breakfasts, and has recently moved to meal prepping her lunches as well. She committed to working out under my supervision three times a week to now committing to three workouts a week at a local affiliate. As a result, she is losing weight and her bio-markers are moving in the right direction.

      She started small, and she started consistent. She committed to meal prepping her breakfast (as one giant egg-bake that she portioned out) and built from there. 

      Resolving to change your life and committing to an end goal is daunting. Resolving to make a small change and re-committing to do it in the beginning of each day is something we can all do.

      So, take your big goal from the beginning of this year and choose one habit, that if done consistently, will build toward your goal. Download a “been on the wagon for x number of days” app. Write your commitment on your mirror. Start. Each morning reaffirms that today you will honor your commitment. Don’t let tomorrow, or next week, or next month get in your head – just commit to today!

      In a month or so you’ll find that each today has amounted to a long list of todays, and the success underneath you has propelled you forward. You may find that the vice that plagued you is no longer even a consideration because denying it has simply become habit. Rinse and repeat with the next habit you want to create, and next year this time let’s look in the mirror and see the product of each daily commitment culminating in surpassing some goals.

      Stevia or Sucralose to Sweeten Your Whey Protein…

      Stevia or Sucralose to Sweeten Your Whey Protein…

      clean sugars: stevia vs sucralose in whey protein powderThe word "clean" appears a lot in conversations surrounding protein. Clean can mean a lean ingredient list, no chemicals, no fats, no heavy metals, minimal cholesterol, no fillers, or even Made in the USA. Sometimes "clean" refers to no sugars. It is important for you to understand what is sweetening your daily protein supplement when it does not contain sugar.

      The Backstory

      As the health and wellness boom sweeps across the globe, athletes in particular are beginning to pay more attention when exploring new supplements or proteins. If you are focused on making gains and consuming a protein powder without consuming tons of unnecessary calories, your natural tendency may be to stay away from simple sugars (i.e., fructose, sucrose, and lactose).  Let's be clear, our market is the fitness community.  We don't believe sugar in moderation is bad, and as a matter of fact our latest product launches "Core" and "Tactical Recovery" both contain Organic Coconut Sugar (comparable to 2 apple slices) in place of a artificial sweeteners. 

      Despite the FDA regulations on nutrition facts panels (NFPs), many protein brands forgo disclosing that their product contains “simple sugars," especially in the form of lactose*. These same brands display warning statements in bold that read, “If you are Lactose Intolerant do not use this product." By putting two and two together, you can begin to understand these common practices in nondisclosure. The NFP does not list sugar; yet, the manufacturer warns the consumer that the product is loaded with lactose. Another way to determine when sugar is not disclosed on the NFP is to look at the number of carbohydrates in grams and subtract everything else in the sub-heading (for example, fiber). The remainder can indicate the undisclosed sugar. Keep in mind, "Supplement Facts" are designed to look like a traditional regulated NFP, but below is a good example of why we suggest to stay away any protein products that are classified as "Dietary Supplements".

      *Lactose is a milk sugar (made up of glucose and galactose units) that remains along with the whey protein once water is removed in the process of creating whey protein concentrate (WPC) from wet whey.

       

      examples of Nutrition Facts disclosing and non-disclosing sugars

       

      Not disclosing the sugar content is one thing, but listing 0 grams of sugar is where the need for sugar alternatives comes into play, especially when talking about whey protein isolate (WPI) or whey protein hydrolysate (WPH), which each contain minimal natural sugar (lactose) when compared to whey protein concentrate (WPC). The most common sweeteners to compensate for the lack of lactose are sucralose or stevia.

      What is Sucralose?

      Sucralose is the only type of artificial sweetener derived from real sugar molecules. It is created by substituting one part of a sugar molecule with chlorine to create a substance that is about 600 times sweeter than sucrose; this is why so little is needed to sweeten even the most bitter protein powders. This is great because when talking about clean and lean protein powders, a protein utilizing sucralose essentially has 0 grams of the daily serving attributed to the sweetener, which leaves each serving loaded with what the consumer wants and is paying for — protein. Sucralose also differs from other artificial sweeteners in that it passes through the digestive system without being metabolized, which is why it contains no calories. It is made right here in the USA. The taste profile is immediate, and in your face sweet, it's often used to mask undesired flavors by tying the pallet up with intense sweetness. 

      What is Stevia?

      Stevia is obtained from an herb known as yerba dulce, which is grown in Paraguay, Brazil, Southeast Asia and other places (tropical climates, not made in the USA). When stevia was first introduced to the U.S. market, it was only available as a dietary supplement but quickly gained popularity as it can be marketed as "Natural". Stevia contains different chemical compounds that make it sweet, including its principal sweetening agent, rebaudioside A. These compounds make stevia anywhere from 40-300 times sweeter than table sugar. Thus, one teaspoon of stevia extract has about the same sweetening potency as an entire cup of sugar.

      Are they FDA approved Sweeteners?

      Sucralose

      Yes. Sucralose has an excellent safety profile. More than 100 safety studies, representing over 20 years of research, have shown sucralose to be safe. Sucralose was FDA approved as an all-purpose sweetener in 1998 in the USA, and further recognized and approved by numerous global FDA equivalents:

      • European Union Scientific Committee on Food (SCF)
      • Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ)
      • Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada
      • (Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
      • Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare

      Stevia

      In the United States, high-purity stevia glycoside extracts are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and are allowed as non-nutritive ingredients in food products without a formal "approval".  GRAS is different than "approved by the FDA".  The FDA has simply put, not questioned the GRAS notice of stevia glycosides as a high intensity sweetener.  So unlike Sucralose, Stevia does not have "Approved" status as food additive.

      In more detail, these stevia glycocides are what can be found sweetening many protein powders.  This said, its important to know, both stevia leaf and crude extracts do not have GRAS notices or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in food.  To see how these glycosides are extracted here is the best video we found. Link to Real Stevia Extraction process (American Gainz Nutrition Disclaimer - We had zero choice in the music selection on this video, lol). 

      Although stevia is assumed safe by many due to its status as a natural sweetener, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) notes that being natural does not guarantee safety. Both Canadian and U.S. regulatory agencies have rejected stevia in the past. In addition, a European Community scientific panel made the decision that stevia was not an acceptable food additive. 

      The Take-Away

      If you are the type of health-conscious athlete who relies on nutrition in order to achieve peak performance, at American GAINZ Nutrition we strongly recommend always going with a lean & clean protein powder with minimal ingredients regardless of your preference of sweetener, as long as you understand all the ingredients and they are all openly disclosed on the packaging.  We encourage you to avoid the calories from excess simple sugars and any brands that do not disclose their sugars in the nutritional fact or supplement fact panels. Our latest launch of both "Core" & "Tactical Recovery" proteins utilizes the latest and greatest FDA Nutrition Facts Panel which fully discloses "Added Sugars" as a component of the total sugar.  If you prefer a pure, unflavored option, check out AGN Roots Grass-fed Whey, no sweeteners at all, just the worlds best certified Grass-fed Whey. 

      What's the best unflavored grassfed Whey?

      Stay Strong America!!

      The Scale - Written by Camzin Martin

      The Scale - Written by Camzin Martin

      The Scale
      Written by Camzin Martin
      Photo by Mariana Gonzalez

       

      In the functional fitness community we are largely known for embracing body positivity. The mantra that being strong is better than being skinny. We tell new converts not to worry about the scale. That muscle weighs more than fat, that the growth of their quads and biceps are to be celebrated.

       

      Unfortunately, somewhere along the way many of us lose this perspective.

       

      Before I dive in, let me admit that this gets to me from time to time as well. There are still some days where I step on the scale and shed a tear before talking myself off the ledge. My husband has told me once or twice that he planned to throw our scale away. That being said, I feel like I finally have a healthy relationship with food, and a working relationship with my scale.

       

      It took me 5+ years to get there.

       

      So hopefully we can get there a little faster together. Recently I've been approached by a few members and friends who have read some of these blogs or watched my body change as I recovered from pregnancy who were curious as to my diet or training and what worked for me.

       

      In each of those conversations my friends talked disparagingly about their weight.

       

      Which surprised me. Sure, some of these women have body composition changes to make. For most in that category, however, the result of those changes will likely be a higher number on the scale and a lower body fat percentage. For the rest in that group it will eventually be a change on the scale, but the journey will be slow and steady as their composition changes while they lose fat.

       

      The rest I consider lean, leaner than myself.

       

      Which shocked me. In my mind, how could someone like this (super lean and fit) be concerned about the number on the scale? Some saying things like, "Oh I've got a lot of fat to lose", me responding with, "Where?" and the rebuttal being, "Oh I carry all of my fat in my ________" (enter some obscure region where it would be near impossible to determine with the naked eye). And while the subject of body dysmorphia is a subject for another day, the antidote I can offer in the interim is to be focused on performance.

       

      Of course there are still physical attributes that I would prefer looked/were different, but the number on the scale is a tool now, and not a ghost ready to haunt my thoughts all day.

       

      So here's the advice I shared with one friend, because it helped me stop going crazy when this bothered me all the time.

       

      Put the scale away - but don't throw it away. If you're like me you'll want to know from time to time, and I think you should allow yourself the curiosity. Set a few dates in the future that you'll allow yourself to look at it, other than that, don't step on it.

       

      Set a goal and start working towards it relentlessly - During the vacation from the scale pick something you want to achieve and work towards it a little every other day (to avoid burnout). I recommend keeping the same stimulus so you can see progress (i.e. 5 min max pull ups)

      Maintain healthy diet and recovery throughout - the number on the scale matters if it's an indicator of deteriorating health. Make sure you are fueling your body and allowing it to recover. Don't skip your breakfast or your post workout protein shake, take care of yourself.

       

      Maintain perspective - when you step back on the scale it's going to reflect some number back at you. If you've lost or gained weight and are better at that thing you were working on (and you're staying healthy) then IT DOESN'T MATTER. If you lost 5# and can do 10 more pull ups, cool! If you gained 10# and can do 10 more pull ups, then that's great too. Remember that it's about what our bodies can do, not about how they look, how much they weigh, what size they fit into.

       

      I weigh 30# more now than when I started CrossFit. I had just lost 70# before I started and gotten down to a size 0. I was so proud of myself then. But I was weak, unfit, and unhealthy. Now I weigh a whole heck of a lot more, if my quads or shoulders are involved I'm a size 8, but I'm more proud of where and who I am now than I ever was then.

       

      Trust the journey. Celebrate your success. And leave the scale in it's rightful place of importance, on the floor, under our feet, not over our heads.

      Ingredients vs. Claims Vol. 1: “Lactate” - Written by American Gainz Nutrition

      Ingredients vs. Claims Vol. 1: “Lactate” - Written by American Gainz Nutrition

      Ingredients vs. Claims Vol. 1: “Lactate”
      Written by American Gainz Nutrition
      Contributor: Rodrigo Salas, M.D. CFL1

       

      Ever wonder what the hype over “lactate” based energy supplements is all about?

      Products containing “lactate” are becoming increasingly popular and many specifically target the box community with extremely attractive claims:

      Increase work capacity | Reduce muscle fatigue | Increase endurance | Increase recovery speed |Reduce Lactic Acid | Improve Aerobic Threshold |Reduce Muscle Soreness

      Well due to the recent flood of emails we’ve been receiving with inquiries around these specific claims, we thought we would just put this information out there, and then leave it up to you to experiment and let us know. Specifically we are talking about powdered pre-workout or energy supplements that contain Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Lactate, Magnesium Lactate, or a combination of all three.  

      For those who do not have a full awareness of lactates role in the body, we did our best to cover it at a high level, unfortunately biochemistry is a bit unforgiving when over simplified. So here it goes:

      Of the 3 energy systems, it’s the Anaerobic Pathway where “lactate” comes into play.

      Unlike the ATP-Phosphocreatine System (PC) which utilizes high energy phosphates stored within the muscle tissue, the Aerobic and Lactic Acid (Anaerobic) pathways rely on a different mechanism to produce energy. They both need a chemical substrate that has to be cleaved in subsequent reactions to provide the cell with its main energy currency, ATP. The most used chemical substrate in the tissues is Glucose, whether it is coming from regular diet or intrinsic metabolic pathways such as glycogenolysis or gluconeogenesis, it is the downstream cascade of reactions that are to be taken in account to objectively evaluate abovementioned claims.

      It’s important to note, although both the PC and Lactic Acid systems are considered anaerobic, they are not part of the same type of performance (mechanical work). PC is responsible for the explosive, fast twitch contractions 0-10 seconds, 1 RM, or 40 yard dash type of work. Whereas the Lactic Acid system is responsible for your performance during an intense 10-30 second exercise range, limited by the energy output of this pathway and the chemical properties of lactate (lactate acid) that’s proven to interfere with cellular homeostasis.  

      Each glucose molecule entering a cell during an energy demanding state goes through a process called Glycolysis, where they are cleaved by several enzymatic reactions to synthesize “Pyruvate”. This fact is why “Pyruvate” and more specifically “Creatine Pyruvate” can be found in several popular pre-workouts. This molecule with energetic potential has two downstream options that rely on the presence or absence of Oxygen, hence aerobic and anaerobic pathways. The difference between both pathways is that the aerobic goes through a secondary phase called Kreb’s Cycle, providing with 32 ATP per glucose molecule overall, while the anaerobic goes directly to lactate and provides only 2 ATP per glucose molecule.

      This “lactate” moves passively out of the muscle cell membranes to the bloodstream and heads to the liver to be metabolized. This process is called “Cori Cycle”. In this cycle, lactate is reconverted to glucose by liver cells by a process called gluconeogenesis (new synthesis of glucose), but this reaction requires energy. As lactate produces 2 ATP in the muscle tissue, it uses 6 ATP in liver cells, giving a total output of negative 4 ATP, so this high energy demanding metabolic process by itself is not efficient in overall performance.

      The abovementioned fact is the main argument of why lactate intake would not be the most efficient supplementation to increase performance. Since you are already taking the molecule “lactate”, the muscle tissue is not creating the 2 ATP that would be produced during anaerobic glycolysis, and is also depleting the liver of 6 total ATP for each 2 lactate molecules that are being converted to 1 Glucose and sent to the muscle tissue latter on. This process, by quantifiable fact, is not very efficient.  

      Moreover, lactate by itself, regardless of ATP production, has chemical properties that can alter normal molecular behavior. Lactate is an acid, meaning that it can decrease the pH of its surrounding environment, and as the cell is exposed to unnatural conditions, some enzymes that are in charge of glycogen breakdown stop working properly. Acidity will interfere with calcium binding to troponin preventing efficient contractile force. Continuous exposure to an acid environment will deplete cells from potassium, originating an electrolyte imbalance within the muscle cell, hence, subnormal muscle response - “the burn”.

      Conclusion:

      There is some scientific literature that supports that lactate intake can increase performance, but the majority lack proper biochemistry support. Also, their sample sizes are not big enough to give a statistically significant conclusion. Of the studies available, the stated hypotheses do not include all of the surrounding implications. However, as the possibility of these claims to be true should not be ruled out entirely, there are no current studies that properly support them.

      So before you drop $50 on magic engine powder containing the same ingredients found in TUMS (Calcium Carbonate), please note that ingesting “Calcium Carbonate” or “Lactates” is not currently a scientifically accepted practice that can produce these abundant performance enhancing claims.

      If you liked this blog, and or have any questions, please contact us at questions@americangainz.com