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    LIVING LEGACY BLOG — amino acids

    5 Tips for a Better Sleep

    5 Tips for a Better Sleep

    People always look for magic recipes to have a better health, having more focus, recovering faster from physical activities or stress and, of course, for losing weight. But in reality, we have a very powerful tool from nature that will beat all those miraculous formulas:

     

    A nice and deep sleep night!

     

    A good sleep allows your body to recover and also to perform vital metabolic processes, such as getting rid of toxic proteins in the brain. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, your “sleeping” brain is very busy consolidating short-term memories into long-term memories.

    It's no surprise that sleep deprivation has been associated with a lot of health issues, the ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. 

    Research shows that not getting enough sleep, or getting poor-quality sleep, also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.(1)

    So, as this is a very important issue, most of times overlooked, we researched proven factors to consider if you want to have a quality sleeping time:

     

    1. Turn the Lights Off

    Light helps to regulate the body biological clock, especially through melatonin, a hormone that indicates to your body that it’s time to sleep. When we turn all the lights off the body starts to produce melatonin. But the blue light, naturally produced by the sun and also by the TV screens, computers, and smartphones disrupts the production of melatonin. So the important tip here is to reduce the exposure to blue light in the evening.

    2. Try to be consistent on sleeping time

    Your body aligns itself with sunrise and sunset. Being consistent with waking and sleep times can improve the quality of your sleep dramatically. It's just like a computer program. That's why on Mondays it is always a hard day to wake up and you feel sleepy and tired all day long.  If that's sounds familiar for you, probably your weekend sleep pattern is not the same as weekdays.

    Studies show that an irregular pattern of sleep can also alter your levels of melatonin (2).

     

    3. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine during night time

    Alcohol is known to increase sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns. Drinking alcohol before bed also can reduce nighttime hormone production. A study (3) shows that ethanol decreases nocturnal plasma levels of thyroid hormones, causing the disturbance of many other factors.

    Regarding the Caffeine, it's a very popular substance that has proven to bring many benefits, like focus enhancement and energy boosting. Many people use it for improving the sports performance. But people don't realize that taking this substance in the late evening, will stop your body from naturally relaxing.

    So, be careful on what you drink with your dinner. Sometimes that glass of wine, soft drink or the expresso after the meal are the bad guys behind your troubled sleeping!

     

    4. Exercise hard to sleep well or sleep well to exercise hard?

    Definitively exercising during the day leads to a better sleep at night. But this is a kind of controversial subject with regard to the potential sleep disruption that may be caused due to a hard workout done in the late evening.

    The findings here are that exercising lead to an increase in the production of adrenaline and also raises your body temperature. (both negative factor for a good night sleep). But those factors are temporary. So, unless you finish your workout and jump straight to bed, these effects may be compensated by a warm bath and a cool temperature bedroom.

    A study also shows that increased physical activity improves sleep and mood in inactive people.(4). But not everyone is the same. You will have to listen to your body and determine is the time you go to the gym is causing you a poor night sleep.

     

    Now, one thing to watch is regarding the muscles or joints pains that the workout may produce in your body. If you did workout too hard this may be felt during the night and disrupt your sleep. Also in the next morning you will feel tired and sore because your body needs more rest to recover. With this regard, it's important to have the correct nutrition and post training supplementation.  Glucosamine formulas taken regularly can help to improve a lot the joints discomfort, while BCAAs (amino acids) will support your muscles regeneration process.

     

    5. Try to Supplement with Melatonin

    Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that signals to your brain when it's time to relax and go to bed (5). Often used to treat insomnia, it may be the easiest and fastest way to fall into a deep sleep. It can also help fight jet lag, and that's why melatonin is especially popular among frequent travel flyers.

    Other natural supplements that combined with melatonin can help:

    Magnesium: Lack of magnesium, a mineral that plays an important role in the brain, can result in abnormal neuronal excitations leading to a troubled sleep. 

    Valerian root: Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root is commonly used as a natural treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression and menopause. This root is backed by several studies that show it can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality.(6)

    L-Theanine: An amino acid, l-theanine can improve relaxation and sleep. (7)

    Tryptophan: Study reports that doses as low as 1 gram per day of this essential amino acid may help improve sleep quality. (8)

    And many other natural ingredients, such as Chamomile, Vitamin B6, St. John’s Wort, Gaba, Skullcap and Ashwaganda, are already being used in the best sleeping formulas that are available in the market.

     

    For athletes, a good night sleep worth as much as a heavy day of training. Recovery is very important to take you to the next level of performance of your sport. So, make sure to follow these tips and have a good night!

     

    Gracie Essentials Team

     

     

    References:

    (1) https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/sleep-deprivation

    (2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220314

    (3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8675588

    (4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25903450

    (5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9556097

    (6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347389

    (7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15378679

    (8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19715722/

    Studies Find The Right Way to Gain Lean Mass during 'Cut Diets'

    Studies Find The Right Way to Gain Lean Mass during 'Cut Diets'

    The most popular way for losing weight is following a "cut diet", which basically is a process of restricting calories and carbohydrates during hard physical training periods. The caveat here is that this kind of procedure also poses a high risk for lean tissues, which in consequence will eventually lead to performance limitation.

    What people don't realize is that they will put extra effort on the hard workout to compensate the limitations and they are still loosing lean mass along with fat. And the risk of injuries is real and increased.

    Besides that, the lean mass will help the metabolism to burn extra fat, so you really don't want to lose any lean mass at all! You worked for it, so you wanna keep it! 

    BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) are one of the most researched and popular strength training supplements for muscle recovery. Studies on BCAAs have been evidenced its properties on helping exercise-induced muscle damage and stimulating muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth).

    This is why BCAAs can especially benefit the body during caloric restriction in combination with heavy resistance training.

     

    WHAT ARE BCAAs COMPOSE OF?

    Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are defined by a group of 3 essential amino-acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Essential means that the body doesn’t produce them naturally and they must be ingested through daily nutrition.

    You can do this by eating lean meats, protein rich vegetables (especially if you are vegan) or drinking whey protein which is packed of BCAAs. A large percentage of branched-chain amino acids are found in our skeletal muscle and studies have shown that leucine is responsible for the muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth). That's why BCAAs are “the most widely used supplements among bodybuilders.”

     

    BCAA AND WORKOUT

    Heavy workouts can cause a process in your body called "Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD)" resulting in a temporary decrease in muscle force production, a rise in passive tension and increased muscle soreness, which is basically tearing down of the lean tissue.

    The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reported that when BCAAs are taking right before, during and after resistance training, the muscle recovery process is accelerated and the muscle function is improved (1)

    Another study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, shows as conclusion that Whey Protein supplementation helps to improve all parameters in terms of lean mass gain over a period of 10 weeks. (2) 

     

    BCAA and WEIGHT LOSS DIETS

    The caloric restriction combined with intense workout is definitively the most popular way of losing weight among athletes and common people. The difference is that, athletes know about the process of muscle loss during the process and they supplement their nutrition with protein and BCAA to prevent it.

    Calories and essential nutrients restriction can also lead to decreased athletic performance and increased chances of illness (your body resistance drops) and training injuries. If the protein intake is not enough or compatible with your body needs, muscles will be wasted rather than grown.

    So, beware when trying to get fit fast by only working hard. Sometimes working smarter is better than harder!

      

    (1) https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-016-0142-y 
    (2) https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2011/03001/Effects_of_Resistance_Training_and_Whey_Protein.57.aspx

     

     

    How Supplementation with Collagen Can Upgrade Your BJJ

    How Supplementation with Collagen Can Upgrade Your BJJ

    Collagen Protein is a unique in its amino acid structure because of its high amounts of glycine, lysine and proline, which are found in lower amounts in other protein food supplements.

    These particular amino acids are found to generate cell growth faster because the natural ability to produce supporting amounts of connective tissue diminishes after the age of 25.

    Collagen is more easily digested in the hydrolyzed form because of its low molecular weight and is absorbed within 30 minutes.

    "I have noticed a major difference in the health of my joints in particular, since I started taking  Collagen. Sometimes the discomfort I used to feel right after heavy training sessions or tournaments persisted for days. Now the time I need to full recover is much shorter. The best thing is having the Collagen mixed with Whey, so that makes the supplementation easier and cheaper. I don't have to buy 2 different products." - said Wilson Sgai, Jiujitsu Black Belt Master.

    Gracie Whey is the product developed by Gracie Essentials that brings Collagen Peptides in its formula. 

    Gracie Whey hydrolyzed collagen peptides are so-called Type 1 Collagen Peptides and comes from bovine source. This means they are identical to the collagens found in human bones and skin. This patented peptides presents high-purity, natural bioactive product, containing more than 97% protein (on a dry weight basis). 

    Gracie Essentials product contains 18 amino acids, the building blocks of our tissues and the primary component of proteins. Glycine, proline and hydroxyproline represent around 50% of total Collagen amino acid content; the glycine and proline concentration in Gracie Whey is 10 to 20 times higher than in other collagen proteins. As a result this product offers health benefits that cannot be found in other protein sources.

    gracie whey collagen amino profile

     

    Not only for jiujitsu and MMA fighters, but for sportspeople in general, optimal nutrition is key to achieving an ideal physique, to recovering from training sessions, to boosting performance and staying mobile and injury-free.

    Among the main benefits of Collagen we can highlight these following excerpts from scientific studies: support of connective tissues, joint discomfort reduction and injury prevention (3,4,5) by stimulating local cells to produce more collagen fibers and tissue matrix. Latest science also demonstrated collagen's anti-inflammatory effects (6).

    So, if you want a real upgrade on your roll, think twice on what supplement to use to recover. Gracie Whey will give you the best amino acids profile available in the market, packed with the traditional BCAAs and also the Collagen Peptides unique components. Gracie whey is available in two flavors, Acai (exclusive) and Cocoa. 

     

    References

    1 TrendsandDevelopmentsinSportsNutrition.Euromonitor,2015

    2 Watanabe-Kamiyama,M.etal.,2010,Absorptionandeffectivenessoforally administered low molecular weight collagen hydrolysate in rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58:835-841

    3 Jiang,J.X.etal.,2014,Collagenpeptidesimprovekneeosteoarthritisinelderly women: A 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Agro Food Industry Hi Tech, 25:19-23

    4 Wienicke,E.,2011,In:PerformanceExplosioninSports–ananti-dopingconcept. Meyer&Meyer Fachverlag und Buchhandel GmbH, ISBN-10:1841263303

    5 Shaw,G.etal.,2016,VitaminC-enrichedgelatinsupplementationbeforeintermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.138594

    6 Dar,Q.A.etal.,2016,Oralhydrolyzedtype1collageninduceschondroregeneration and inhibits synovial inflammation in murine posttraumatic osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 24:S532–S533

    7 Paddon-Jones,D.etal.,2004,Potentialergogeniceffectsofarginineandcreatine supplementation. The Journal of Nutrition, 134(10):28885-28945

    8 Cermak,N.M.etal.,2012,Proteinsupplementationaugmentstheadaptiveresponseof skeletal muscle to resistance type exercise training: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(6):1454-1464. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.037556

    9 Veldhorst,M.A.etal.,2009,Abreakfastwithalpha-lactalbumin,gelatin,orgelatinTRP lowers energy intake at lunch compared with a breakfast with casein, soy, whey, or whey-GMP. Clinical Nutrition, 28(2):147-155

     Photo Credits: @raysantana