Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, simply return the unused portion for a full refund. More Info

EnergyFirst, Vitamins Food Supplements, Manhattan Beach, CA
McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

National Health and Wellness Club
Friday, November 20, 2015

Top 10 Protein Shake Recipes for Weight Loss

We have scoured the web for some of the best recipes for protein shakes. We found not only the most delicious and unique ones, but also those that add extra vitamins and minerals that benefit the body. If you want to add a little excitement to your protein shakes, to lose your weight check out these Top 10 Protein Shake Recipes as well as slimming smoothies. It will deliver some diversity to your glass instead of same drink every time.

1. Coffee Lovers Delight

Love coffee? Then combine your caffeine and breakfast in one shake with this yummy recipe! Instead of drinking your coffee, add it to your basic protein shake instead. You can use instant coffee like in the recipe, but you can also use your favorite brew. This is one morning treat you’ll look forward to everyday. Raw almonds give it added crunch and, while skim milk gives it a creamy consistency without added fat.

  • 1 to 2 scoops of ProEnergy Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of pure water or skim milk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • 1-2 teaspoons instant decaffeinated coffee
  • Add ice for extra thickness
  • Optional: 1 scoop Greenergy
  • Optional: 1/4 cup of OmegaEnergy Mix or 1 tbsp of OmegaEnergy Oil
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

2. Tropical Dream

Is your routine making you bored? Do you want to get away from it all? This delicious recipe will not only help you lose weight, but it can whisk you away with its exotic tropical flavors! The pineapple gives it added fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time. This shake is also packed with Vitamin C to keep away colds and flu.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

3. Chocolate Cherry

Chocolate and cherries are a truly divine combination. Cherry cordials are a popular dessert, but eat too much and you can gain a lot of weight. Have a taste of these flavors without all the extra calories and fat by making this yummy shake! This delicious smoothie could be just what you need to curb your hunger for sweets and desserts. The ProEnergy Chocolate Whey Protein Powder gives you that rich, chocolatey flavor you’re craving!


Blend until creamy smooth:
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

Want to know more about weight loss and living healthy? Check out our FREE Health Fitness Guide! It’s packed with tons of info, news, and tips and tricks to help you to achieve the body you want!

4. Almond Peach Delight

Peach please! This scrumptious shake recipe is full of delicious fruity flavors, plus the ProEnergy Vanilla Whey Protein Powder gives it a delightful creaminess without added calories. This recipe calls for frozen peaches, but fresh peaches will do just as well. Nuts make an excellent addition to this shake – they keep you full longer and are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats and other nutrients. Almonds in particular are full of calcium and Vitamin E, both of which can help keep your bones and skin healthy.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

5. Breezy Freezy Shake

Summer heat got you beat? This shake will cool you down on those hot summer days! The pineapple in this recipe provides extra fiber, which can help you lose weight by keeping you full, but also adds extra Vitamin C so you stay healthy.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

6. Creamy Peach Smoothie

Are you craving for something rich and creamy? Forget about desserts – try this yummy protein shake instead! This delicious treat features peaches and bananas, while the yummy vanilla whey protein powder gives it added creaminess without the extra fat. Feel free to substitute low-fat yogurt with Greek yogurt instead. This variety of yogurt is rich and creamy, but actually has HALF the amount of carbs of regular yogurt.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

7. Piña Colada

If you like PiñaColadas…you’ll love this delicious shake! Don’t head to the bar next time you’re looking for an escape. Whip up this delicious weight loss shake instead – all you need is some ProEnergy Vanilla Whey Protein Powder, frozen pineapple, and coconut extract to make a yummy and nutritious smoothie! These smoothies for weight loss will help curb your hunger pangs and make you feel like you’re lounging by the beach on a tropical island.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

Want to know more about weight loss and living healthy? Check out our FREE Health Fitness Guide! It’s packed with tons of info, news, and tips and tricks to help you to achieve the body you want!

8. Melon Madness

You’ll go MAD for this delicious treat! Watermelons are bursting with flavor and juices that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you hydrated and feeling full. Although this fruit is mostly water (about 92 percent), it’s actually packed with lycopene, amino acids, Vitamins C, A, and B6, plus antioxidants! A scoop of ProEnergy Vanilla Whey Protein Powder not only makes it healthier, but adds a rich creaminess that makes it even better.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

9. Blueberry Vanilla Pear

This yummy shake not only helps you lose weight, but it’s good for you too! Peach contains a lot of pectin (more than apples!), which is a water-soluble fiber that makes you feel full AND fights bad cholesterol and even some forms of cancer. Blueberries, on the other hand, are another super food that is packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, vitamin B6 and C, plus it can help bad cholesterol levels down.  A glass of this shake will certainly keep the doctor away!

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

10. Apple Cinnamon

Don’t reach for that slice of pie next time you’re craving something sweet. Have this delicious apple cinnamon shake instead. This shake isn’t just delicious, but it can help you lose weight too. Apples can help you feel full because it’s full of fiber, while cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender - add more liquid, spices or ice to your desired taste and consistency.

Fruit and green veggie smoothies are the hot, trendy way to weight loss these days, helping people sips away those pounds. But, did you know that you can also use protein shakes to help you slim down? Contrary to popular belief, protein powder isn’t just for maximum gains. Drinking a protein shake for weight loss may seem counter-intuitive, but actually, protein aids in burning calories, helps build lean muscles, and keeps you full for longer periods of time.

Yes, protein shakes are the best-kept secret weight loss tool everyone needs to start drinking! These shakes are convenient and easy to make and full of nutrients you need to stay healthy as you slim down. Aside from just protein powder and water, you can add different ingredients to the basic recipe so you never get bored. Just check out all the yummy weight watchers protein shake recipes we have on our website!

Whether you need to drop serious weight or just looking to makeup for an extended cheat day, whip of one of these or other protein shake recipes next time you’re feeling hungry! Protein shakes are easy to make and so healthy for you, and with the endless combinations and possibilities, you’ll never get bored!

Want to know more about weight loss and living healthy? Check out our FREE Health Fitness Guide! It’s packed with tons of info, news, and tips and tricks to help you to achieve the body you want!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sugar: A Sweet "Poison"?

Sugar: A Sweet "Poison"?

You're probably familiar with what direction an article about the dangers of sugar will take--scary health facts followed by a typical laundry list of foods and sweets many believe life would be dull without. In our defense, though, we only mean well.

Take it from an esteemed science journal, Nature, that recently published the thoughts of a sociologist, endocrinologist, and public health expert from the University of California, San Fransisco in an article entitled "Public health: The toxic truth about sugar." They argue that sugar should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

We are all too familiar with the consequences of tobacco and alcohol consumption. But why are these health experts teaming up against sugar? Sugar is partly responsible for the 35 million deaths that occur worldwide each year. Consider just a handful of causes of sugar-related deaths: metabolic syndrome (including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease), cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

The Empty Calorie and Beyond

You don't have to look hard to find traces of sugar in our food supply. In the past 50 years, our nation has tripled its consumtion of sugar. Every American downs a whopping 130 lbs of sugar each year (about 3 lbs per week). At least 500 calories of their daily intake comes from refined sugar, the nutritional facts of which is easy to remember - just memorize the number "zero". That's 500 empty calories of zero nutrition (zero vitamins, zero minerals, zero fiber, and zero enzymes).

Sugar is more than just an empty calorie. Its effects are comparable to that of alcohol. (After all, alcohol comes from the fermentation of sugar.)

According to the article in Nature, chronic alcohol and chronic sugar exposure can both cause the following health problems: hypertension, myocardial infarction, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, malnutiriton, habituation/addiction, and liver dysfunction. They even touch on the negative social effects of sugar due to obesity-related social stigma.

Is Sugar Making your Liver Fat?

Let's zone in on one of these health problems: liver dysfunction. Liver problems generally flow under the radar because the symptoms and effects develop slowly but (dangerously) surely. When we think of liver problems, we usually think "cirrhosis" and when we hear the word "cirrhosis" we instantly think "alcoholic." It's time to update the way we associate these conditions. Before cirrhosis comes fatty liver. So how does fat get into the liver? And what does sugar have to do with it?

Like alcohol, ingested sugar goes through the liver. When there's too much sticky sugar going through, the liver ramps up its fat-production factory (lipogenesis) to its highest level. Lipogenesis converts the sugar to fat molecules and stores it in liver cells. One study found that just 3 weeks of excessive carb intake increased liver fat by 27%.

Ta da! We now have a fatty liver (think "foie gras" from an overfed duck), what was once mainly seen in alcoholics nearing the stages of cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is becoming more common in non- and moderate-drinkers. They are at risk of developing a severe form of the disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. That's right. One no longer needs to be an alcoholic to have a cirrhosis-like liver condition, just a habit of consuming too much sugar.

What does a fatty liver look like?

Inflammatory processes in the liver take off. The liver no longer metabolizes or detoxifies the way it used to. It starts to produce more LDL and less HDL (the "good") cholesterol. The LDL starts traveling through and depositing itself in the arteries. Keep in mind, this is a very simple, summed-up version of what really happens. In reality, this is closely tied in with other problems throughout the body, including insulin resistance because of a desperate, over-worked pancreas.

If there is a bright spot about fatty liver, it's that it is reversible before the point of steatohepatitis. Weight loss sustained by healthy lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can repair the liver.

Sugar is sweet and there's no denying it can please the taste buds. However, quantity is a serious issue. How many more scary facts do we need to bridge the gap between our understanding of the science behind sugar and our actual habits? The UCSF team consider the dangers posed by excessive sugar consumption so serious they suggest serious measures: taxes (an option the country Denmark is considering), school bans, advertisement bans, age limits, zoning ordinances, and licensing requirements.

The change can start in your kitchen (and cupboard). Remember to cover your bases: good fats and oils (omega-3-rich foods and small amounts of essential omega-6's), controlled carbohydrate intake for stabilized blood sugar, and antioxidant-rich greens and whole foods. EnergyFirst ProEnergy whey protein powder is ultra-low glycemic; it has next to no sugar (less than 1 gram per each 25 gram scoop). It helps support healthy weight loss and provides nutrients needed to burn fat and stay energized all day. Our Greenergy superfood blend is a sugar-free supply of liver-protecting nutrients and antioxidants.

Nature 482, 27–29 (02 February 2012)
BMJ 2008;337:a2364
J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep;110(9):1307-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.06.008.
Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2014 Jun 27;111(26):447-5
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;96(4):727-34. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Yogurt and You

What's in Your Yogurt?

Just how many ingredients are listed on your yogurt label? Yogurt is essentially a mix of two ingredients: milk (ranging from nonfat to whole fat) and live active cultures. When the label has more than those two ingredients, start asking yourself why?

The Fewer the Ingredients the Better

When it comes to yogurt, stick to the basics. The fancier a yogurt gets, the farther it gets from its intended purpose: to nourish your body. The main added ingredient to look out for is, surprise surprise, sugar! That's right, these yogurts are desserts, not a healthy part of a nourishing meal. Fruit on the bottom? Dessert. Raspberry cheesecake or key lime pie flavored? Dessert (and an unhealthy one at that). What we really need to be happy, healthy individuals is a zero-tolerance policy on yogurt with added sugars.

Even the most natural, healthy yogurt will have some sugar in it due to the naturally-occuring milk sugar lactose. However, as it ferments, the live active cultures in yogurt convert much of the lactose to lactic acid. When it comes to blood sugar, a high quality yogurt is a complete package with everything you need to keep your levels stable. Its rich protein content digests slowly and aids in appetite control.

Look out for gelatin, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, supplemental whey protein, or modified food starch (real yogurt doesn't need wheat or corn in it!) It's unnecessary. With every additional ingredient, you get one step further from the whole, unprocessed food. If you want a more interesting yogurt, add your own ingredients at home! Spice it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, or nuts and fruits.

Live Active Cultures are Your Friends

So we've just learned that the best yogurt for your body boils down to two main ingredients: milk and bacteria. (It tastes better than it sounds!) Yes, your yogurt is alive and that's a good thing! Two of the most popular cultures included in yogurt are Lactobacillus and Streptococcus.

When it comes to your immune system, your body is not alone. You have trillions of tiny little helpers colonizing in the intestines. They can also influence our metabolism and regulate digestion. Probiotics have even been shown to improve athletic performance by enhancing recovery from fatique, boosting immunity, keeping the GI tract healthy and reducing susceptibility to respiratory tract infections.

When it comes to live active culture content, think big! 1,000 bacteria/gram may sound big but it's not worth settling for! Shoot for at least one million live active cultures/ gram yogurt. If you find the Live & Active Cultures seal on your yogurt container, it has been approved by the National Yogurt Association for having at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.

For a high quality yogurt, choose organic, grass-fed yogurt. (You may have to consider local farms.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Defend Yourself Against Radiation

Naturally Defend Yourself against Radiation

Out of sight, out of mind? Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to radiation. Even though we cannot see it, it can be there. It can also cause a lot of damage to one’s health. In 2011, the Great East Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami led to a nuclear power plant leakage. Since this event, research on radiation and its associated health risks has skyrocketed. History dating as far back as the Cold War that started in the 1940’s shows that radiation from other countries has reached American grounds. In fact, small amounts of radiation from the 2011 leakage have been detected in America and several Pacific Islands.

It is commonly known that aside from the immediate sickness caused by radiation, long-term damage to human DNA also occurs. This can lead to several different types of cancers, including leukemia and thyroid cancers.

What can you do to protect yourself against radiation?

In the event of a nuclear emergency, it is useful to have potassium iodide as a short-term protective measure. This radioprotective agent, which is also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this use, saturates the thyroid gland with iodine to prevent radioactive iodine (iodine-131) from destroying thyroid tissue. It is vital to remember that potassium iodide is not meant to be taken regularly. It should only be taken as a first line of defense in the case of immediate exposure to radiation.

General Protection against Radiation

Radiation wreaks havoc in our delicate cells. It leads to excessive free radical damage. Thus, natural antioxidants are vital. Here are a few plant sources with radioprotective potential:

· Alpha Lipoic Acid: This is not only a potent antioxidant, but it also helps recycle vitamins C and E. This antioxidant can be more effective in multiple sites of the body because it works in both water and fat-soluble environments. Interestingly, this antioxidant was used to help Chernobyl victims more than a decade after the nuclear accident. Their health showed remarkable signs of improvement after just 2 months of treatment.

· Curcumin: Since free radical damage can lead to tumor growth, antioxidants like the ones found in Curcumin are especially important. They can kill tumor cells while still protecting normal cells against radiation.

· Garlic: Because of its high organosulfide content, this Allium vegetable is known for its radioprotective properties. These organosulfur compounds can suppress tumor cell growth.

· Ginger: This extract is especially effective in protecting the gastrointestinal tract from radiation exposure.

· Ginseng: This nontoxic natural compound is effective at scavenging free radicals in various body tissues as early as 1.5 hours after exposure to radiation.

· Green tea: Green tea extracts include a polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This extract has been shown to prevent DNA damage from UV radiation in human cells. In mice studies, this polyphenol prevented oxidation of lipids in the liver and increased the lifespan of mice.

· Lycopene: Studies of lycopene show that it can decrease the activity of free radicals and increase the effectiveness of other antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and catalase. This action helps protect white blood cells.

· Quercetin: This natural plant pigment is well-studied and known for its mitochondrial and white blood cell-protective powers.

· Resveratrol: This is a protective polyphenol is found in grapes and red wine. Aside from its anti-aging properties, it has also shown evidence of anti-carcinogenic properties.

· Spirulina: Mice studies have shown that spirulina extract can significantly reduce the amount of radioactive damage in the bone marrow.

· Vitamins A, C, E: Your daily multivitamin can protect you from more than you though possible. Vitamin A helps protect the oxidation of lipids in the body. A popular antioxidant, Vitamin C, helps protect DNA. If these three antioxidant vitamins are trusted for protecting astronauts in space from radiation, we can trust them here on planet earth.

· The list of naturally-occurring radioprotective ingredients continues

It’s this type of evidence-based information that inspires us at EnergyFirst to make high-quality products easily accessible. These products contain the above-mentioned natural ingredients that are proven to be effective. EnergyFirst Greenergy contains spirulina, green tea extract, ginseng root, vitamin A, vitamin C (from beta-carotene, acerola cherry, and ascorbic acid), and turmeric. Our EnergyFirst supplements include these essential ingredients, such as Resveratrol, the ACE vitamins, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and our Inflammation blend (with Curcumin).

J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):561-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0590.
Toxicol Lett. 1989 Aug;48(2):165-9.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Sep;28(9):1355-64.
Space Med Med Eng (Beijing). 2003;16 Suppl:514-8.
Mutat Res. 2008 Jun 30;654(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 Mar 15.
Toxicology. 2009 Jul 28;262(1):43-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 May 18.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

5 things you should know about cooking oils

Is it time for an oil change in your kitchen? When it comes to cooking, not just any ol' oil will do. Oil has the potential of being healthy or harmful depending on how you use it. The best advice we can give you is to keep a variety of different oils in your pantry for different uses. Why? Read on to find out. Here are five important facts to remember about oils:

1. Know what "smoke point" is and know it well. Heat changes the chemical state of matter and oil is no exception. Different oils handle heat differently. The "smoke point" is, well, the point at which oil begins to smoke. At this temperature, the oil begins to a) break down and release toxic fumes, b) impart a bitter off-taste due to the formation of a toxicant known as acrolein and c) lose its antioxidants and nutrients. When your oil starts sending out smoke signals, it's time to discard it.

When cooking with heat (i.e. stir-frying), stick to plant-based oils that have high smoke points (above 400 degrees), such as sesame oil. The higher the smoke point, the less likely you are to reach the point where the oil starts to oxidize rapidly. If an oil has a low smoke point, stick to using it for dressings, dips, and the like. Oils with low smoke points include walnut or extra virgin olive oil.

Pay attention to your cooking technique and make sure to have all your ingredients ready before heating your oil on a pan. This way your oil is less likely to reach its smoke point.

High smoke-point oils: almond, avocado, hazelnut, palm

Medium smoke-point oils: grapeseed, macadamia nut, extra virgin olive, peanut, hemp, sesame, walnut, coconut

Low smoke-point oils (not to be used with heat): flaxseed, wheat germ oil

2. Avoid highly processed oils and consider the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio: Sesame and walnut oil are good oils to use. However, because of the high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, use them moderately. Vegetable oils such as canola, corn, safflower, cottonseed or soybean oil may be cheaper but they come with a price. They are highly processed, too high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (over 50% omega-6), and too low in omega-3. The high omega-6 content makes it difficult to achieve the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. This creates an imbalance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Such an imbalance is linked to chronic inflammation, hypertension, digestion problems, poor immunity, and cancer.

3. Cook with coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in stable, plant-based saturated fats, thus making it less likely to smoke at higher temperatures. It brings a subtle, tropical flavor to your dish. It also contains lauric acid, a fatty acid with antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

4. EVOO: Why pay extra for extra virgin? Technically, all oils are processed to some extent. However, virgin oil is less refined and processed. A less processed extra virgin olive oil will retain more nutrients and antioxidants, like squalene. Squalene is an antioxidant that helps inhibit cholesterol synthesis and can quench free radicals. Olive oil, which is high in oleic acid, is safe for moderate cooking temperatures because of its stable monounsaturated fat content.

5. Oil storage 101: To retain the nutrients and quality of your oil, store in a cool, dark place away from heat and light. High-temperature storage conditions cause gradual changes in oil composition, leading to rancidity. This process transforms aromas to odors. Light exposure will lead to antioxidant and nutrient loss.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why Whey?

How do muscles grow? Exercise, of course. Are you reaping all the rewards you can from your exercise, though?

True, exercise (especially resistance exercise) has a great influence on muscle growth. The timing and quality of the protein you feed your body can make muscle growth more effective.

Exercise tears muscle fibers. As they rebuild, a high quality protein (with a high quality amino acid profile) can help increase size and strength. Whey protein is effective in repairing and rebuilding the injured muscle. It quickly delivers amino acids to muscle tissue after an intense bout of exercise.

The critical period of time when whey protein needs to be readily available is hours after an exercise session (known as the recovery period). One recent study in the Journal of Physiology found that whey protein is important not only immediately after a workout, but also every 3 hours during the muscle recovery period.This study shows that distributing your whey protein intake can help maintain peak muscle mass.

Exercise is the Whey to Go

We always praise exercise and for good reason. It burns calories, melts away fat, builds muscle, and the list goes on. However, for all these things to happen, our body needs to supply the energy we need to exercise. It is during those bouts of energetic exercise that our body produces oxidants. Surprising, right? Even something as healthy as exercise can produce those radical, unstable little oxidants we all try so hard to reduce.

Thankfully, our body has an exquisite antioxidant defense mechanism to quickly rid of those damaging oxidants after a bout of exercise. Intense exercise, though, can deplete our levels of one of the most important antioxidants we've got: glutathione. Where does whey come in?

It turns out whey protein has antioxidant and anti-fatigue properties. The journal Alternative Medicine Review touts whey for its numerous properties, including its ability to convert the amino acid cysteine to the potent glutathione. One study found that, compared to subjects who didn't supply their resistance exercise with whey protein isolate, subjects who did showed higher levels of glutathione. A study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that whey protein can act as an alternative source of antioxidants for prevention of athletic injuries caused by oxidants.

When our cells are armed with a good supply of antioxidants, especially the important glutathione, science shows our risk of cellular injury from oxidants drops. Phew! As a plus, it can improve performance and delay muscle fatigue.

Many studies on whey protein isolate involve healthy subjects. What about those who are obese and overweight? A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that whey protein supplementation improved insulin levels and decreased levels of triglycerides in the blood. Whey protein also has been proven to decrease blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health, especially by increasing levels of the good ol' HDL cholesterol.

ProEnergy: How does it Whey In?

Why is ProEnergy ideal for a post-workout meal (or for breakfast, a snack, or anytime of day for that matter)? Let's start with taste. Many powders may boast of their great taste. In reality, most of these products get their "taste" from artificial sweeteners. ProEnergy vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate powders have zero taste coming from artificial sweeteners. They are made with a natural sweetener, stevia leaf extract.

Easy and effective? Yes, it's easy on you and your muscles. Just mix the powder with liquid and you're all set. The whey protein isolate content is pharmaceutical-grade. It has even been used by physicians to improve immunity and muscle mass for patients with cancer.

Where does the protein come from? That is a crucial question. ProEnergy whey protein isolate gets its protein from grass pasture fed cows that have not been treated with any hormones or antibiotics. It doesn't get better than "no pesticides". The nutrient content and amino acid profile of whey from grass-fed cows are far superior to that of grain-fed cows.

As opposed to many heat-processed whey products that are acidic and low in nutrients, ProEnergy whey is cold processed, thus retaining its delicate nutrient profile.

Br J Nutr. 2010 Sep;104(5):716-23
J Physiol. Jun 15, 2013; 591(Pt 12): 2969–2970.
J Physiol. May 1, 2013; 591(Pt 9): 2319–2331.
Appetite. 2012 Dec;59(3):673-8.
J Nutr. 2011 Apr 1;141(4):582-7
J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(2):163-75
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Sep 22;7:30
J Dairy Sci. 2011 Aug;94(8):3739-46.
J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Jan 15;94(1):126-30

Friday, March 13, 2015

Benefits of Sleep

Are Your Zzzzzzz's Missing?

When was the last time you had a good night's sleep? You know, the one where you wake up the next morning feeling fresh and energized without the need of a shot of espresso. We all need it. Without a good night's sleep, we battle with daytime sleepiness that gets in the way of our productivity! We know all too well those sluggish days filled with random acts of clumsiness, crankiness, or mindless mistakes. You can't concentrate, remember, or work on things the way you'd like.

Let's face it, most adults are sleeping less and less. A survey by the Better Sleep Council shows that 48% of Americans report being sleep-deprived. Aside from the emotional and mental strain sleep deprivation has on people, what can be said of its affect on our physical health?

Better Sleep, Better Health

Sleep Loss: A Heartbreaker

Poor sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are beginning to observe a link between hypertension and poor sleep quality. In fact, shift work has become a risk factor for hypertension due to its disruption of normal sleep patterns.

Don't Stress, Sleep!

Poor sleep also triggers the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which increases cardiovascular disease risk. High levels of cortisol can break down collagen and age skin quicker.

While stress hormones are on the rise, sleep loss leads to a drop in human growth hormone. This hormone is involved in building muscle mass, strengthening bones, and keeping skin healthy.

Sleep Loss: Another Epidemic

Diabetes and obesity are on the rise. So is sleep loss, though. It turns out better sleep means less weight struggles. Research shows that sleep is strongly linked to weight control and a lower risk of metabolic disorders. Sleep is regulated by circadian rhythms that, when disrupted, can lead to unwanted metabolic and hormonal changes (especially glucose metabolism and insulin levels) that increase risk of diabetes. It also makes it difficult to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.

Why is it that sleep loss makes people more prone to obesity? It increases hunger and appetite. Normally, two hormones - ghrelin and leptin - keep our hunger and satiety signals in check. When we don't sleep like we should, ghrelin and leptin levels are out of whack. This means more of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and less of the "full" hormone (leptin).

Unfortunately, it's not veggies you'll be craving. Research patterns show cravings are mainly for high-fat, high-carb, and high-calorie foods.

One study compared eating habits and sleep habits of normal-weight and obese women. In general, obese women were awake more than normal-weight women, their sleep quality was poorer, they spent more time eating during the day, and displayed higher blood pressure than normal-weight women

Sleep Wisdom From EnergyFirst

Make an oath of honesty and ask yourself the following questions: What's interfering with my sleep? Are my meals before bedtime too large? Is there too much city noise or light bothering me? Are my electronics distracting me? Am I allowing nicotine or alcohol to disrupt my sleeping patterns? Am I exercising too close to bedtime? (The National Sleep Foundation encourages a window of three hours between exercise and bedtime.) Do I have the habit of consuming too much caffeine too close to bedtime?

The Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine urges clients to have at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night as part of a healthy lifestyle.

EnergyFirst's natural Sleep Aid is a natural cure for sleep deprivation. This blend of herbal sleep remedies can help you fall and stay asleep to meet your recommended sleep needs.

Also, fight daytime sleepiness easily with an energizing shake that takes into consideration the mind-body connection. EnergyFirst ProEnergy whey protein shakes help stabilize blood sugar levels that may, otherwise, be disrupted. Stable blood sugar means better concentration, a better mood, and better focus all day long.

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Feb 5;349(1):91-104. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Sep 10.
Curr Hypertens Rep. 2014 Oct;16(10):483.
Appetite. 2012 Aug;59(1):9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.03.015. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Friendship and Health

Stay Active for Better Health

No, not physically active (although that's extremely important, too). We're talking about staying socially active to stay healthy. That's right, your ties with friends, parents, siblings, co-workers, former schoolmates, or even neighbors are just as important as, well, your choice in breakfast and your exercise routine.

A recent review of 148 studies done at Brigham Young University found that people with stronger social relationships had a 50% lower risk of dying than those with weaker relationships.

Researchers labeled "social relationships" a new health risk factor. In fact, according to the study, the harm of weak relationships is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes per day or being an alcoholic. Social ties can be more harmful than being obese or not exercising.

Health - "That's What Friends Are For"

We humans are naturally social. Unfortunately, the quality and quantity of authentic relationships are dying down. The study, published in Plos Medicine, found that the number of Americans who report being lonely has increased three-fold in just two decades.

That statistic is alarming considering the exponential growth in online communities and social networks. However, it begs the questions: how healthy are our relationships? Are our friends a relief or a source of stress? Within the online community, our friends may be our "followers". However, are all our "followers" our friends?

We take smoking, exercise, diet, alcohol consumption, family history, and similar risk factors seriously. This study offers compelling evidence that it's time to take social relationships seriously, too. Cultivating meaningful relationships can exert a positive and protective effect on our psychological and physical health.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Like Exercise

It's hard to like exercise, let alone love it. Let's face it: gulping down a supplement is far simpler. As important and effective as supplements may be when it comes to helping prevent chronic disease, exercise wins by a landslide. You may be fully aware of all the health benefits. What's stopping you, though?

If you're harboring negative feelings toward exercise, it's time to give exercise a second chance. Everyone has their personal experiences, struggles, and achievements when it comes to physical activity. Considering the widespread lack of exercise in our nation, there may be more struggles than achievements. Read on to find out 4 ways you can transform your struggles into victories and learn to love exercise:

1. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started." (Agatha Christie)

You need a reasonable amount of exercise for good health. Choose a few days during your week and work your way up to 5 or 6 days of exercise. Don't expect your routine to look the same next year or even next month. You may need to make a few changes until you find what works right for you. Exercise for at least 30 minutes. On certain days, work your way up to 45 minutes to an hour to burn more fat. View the time slots you've selected for exercise as an appointment with your body and health. Honor the appointments!

2. If certain exercises feel like torture, it may not be your fault. After all, the first treadmill was engineered to reform and punish prisoners. Remember, though, as boring and as unpopular as it may be, exercise is not the enemy. Once you're familiar enough with the movements for certain exercises, try to multi-task. Find something entertaining to listen to or learn. A book, an audiobook, an audio course, an album, a recorded concert, or a comedy skit.

3. Timing, timing, timing!

It's a great advantage if you can exercise first thing in the morning, especially if you're a "let's get this over with" kind of person. There are less distractions to stumble you from exercising. You'll see and feel the results much faster, including higher energy levels and better sleep. A research study published in the journal Sleep found that morning-exercisers slept better than evening exercisers.

The link between hormones involved in appetite, sleep, and exercise is much more balanced and harmonious. In fact, mornings are when insulin levels are the lowest, allowing for more fat burning. If morning exercise doesn't work with your life, remember any time is better than no time.

4. Find a buddy to exercise with or report to. They can prove to be a major source of help, acting as a human conscience that will bother you when you choose to neglect your exercise routine.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Do You Have a Happy Brain?

If you happen to be hanging out with nine of your closest friends one evening, there's a strong chance one of you is relying on an antidepressant to be there. A recent federal study found that one in ten Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressants. This doesn't even take into account the many people who suffer from depression or depressive symptoms without treatment.

There are so many uncontrollable factors involved in depression, negative feelings, anxiety, or just a grouchy mood. The question, however, is can diet help?

A growing body of evidence says yes. Changes in diet bring about changes in our brain structure and chemistry. We wouldn't want to underestimate the power of food. It can bring about relaxing, calming, positive changes in our mood. The problem, however, is that most people turn to the wrong "comfort" food when feeling stress, unrest, or depressed.

Positively Protein

The essential nutrients found in your basic healthy foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, etc) are used by the brain, too.

Protein is a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that affects levels of the "happy hormone", serotonin. What do you need to make sure you're getting enough protein for your body and brain? That's a no-brainer! Make sure you inlude a source of protein with all your meals and workouts (from lean meats, nuts, legumes, or a high quality protein powder such as EnergyFirst ProEnergy Whey Protein). In fact, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found alpha-lactalbumin, a component of whey protein, to increase tryptophan and serotonin levels in the brain.

Building meals around your basic healthy foods also ensures an adequate supply of other nutrients that have been shown to improve mild to moderate forms of depression, such as selenium, magnesium, B-complex vitamins, and iron. Deficiencies in these nutrients can cause anxiety, irritability, and fatigue, the perfect conditions for a bad mood. Snack on selenium-rich brazil nuts, throw folate-rich spinach into your salads, or add the earthy flavor of pureed black beans into your classic winter soup for an excellent source of iron and magnesium.

Is your Brain on Fire?

Have you ever been in a fussy mood and had no explanation for it? While the source of your irritability could be the bill you just spotted in the mail, the argument you had with a coworker, or the traffic you dealt with on your morning commute, it also may be due to something else. It may be your brain responding to inflammation. Two breakthrough studies, published in JAMA Psychiatry and the Journal of Neuroinflammation, demonstrate a surprisingly strong link between inflammation (or its byproducts) and mood disorders or depression.

Food intolerances, gluten sensitivities, unstable blood sugar levels, lack of sleep, and untreated stress can all lead to brain inflammation.

How can you treat inflammation naturally? Reduce it with regular, effective, properly-fueled exercise. This isn't enough, though. A nutritionally unbalanced diet can also increase brain-aggravating inflammation. Therefore, your diet is crucial.

Processed foods, high amounts of saturated fats, refined carbs, caffeine, alcohol, artificial colors, preservatives, and additives fuel inflammation. These are moody foods! They disrupt the production of your "happy hormone" serotonin. The stage is set for emotional instability.

Go fishing! Fight inflammation with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are foods you won't find in a vending machine. Try to eat at least two or three oily seafood meals each week (such as salmon) and leave those angry or cranky days behind. Also, choose grass-fed meat instead of corn-fed for an extra boost of omega-3 in your diet. Unfortunately, most people do not get the required amount of omega-3 from their diet. A rich supplement, for instance OmegaEnergy Fish Oil, can cover your bases and prevent a deficiency.

It's time to fill your plates with good mood food!

Journal of Neuroinflammation 2011, 8:94
Psychother Psychosom. 2013;82(3):161-9
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Aug 4;53:23-34.
  • McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
  • EnergyFirst, Vitamins Food Supplements, Manhattan Beach, CA