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    LIVING LEGACY BLOG — protein

    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.



    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.”



    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) 



    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



    7 Reasons Why Your New Year’s Resolution Might Fail

    7 Reasons Why Your New Year’s Resolution Might Fail

    Traditionally a new calendar year symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book of your life. A blank page waiting to be written, a restart. But while so many people like you wish to achieve something, according to researches, only about 10% will ever experience the sweet taste of accomplishment. Sounds bad?  Yes, it is pretty bad. Chances to fail are 90%.

    I was making a reflection on why that happens while observing my Jiu-Jitsu new members starting their practice in this first week of the year. Many new faces, but unfortunately the majority of them have high changes to not be an academy member by the end of the year. I watch this movie every year.

    And it’s not anybody’s fault, it happens everywhere in fitness gyms and academies of all kinds. And here are the reasons my reflection on the issue has revealed:

    • You are a “short term” thinker – Life is just like a marathon and not a sprint run. As a marathon requires, you need to plan for it. You need to plan resources, get some practice (so you can have an idea if that is for you) and set goals. I will talk about goals later, but the thing is that most people want it ALL and want it right NOW. Don’t try to change your whole lifestyle in January, because that will certainly be too much. Start with small changes and victories. Walk a 5K race, then run a 5K, then go to 10K, 15K, 21K and that’s how you will get to complete a marathon! Want to lose weight? Start by adding one good habit per week on your daily diet. Drink more water first, quit fast food second, eat more veggies next, add some quality protein in the meals in the sequence, etc., etc.
    • Too much thinking, less action - There is a time to be a planner; there is a time to doer. Many people stop in the planning once they realize that the “doing part” will be in fact pretty hard (it does not have to be, if you go back to the point before). So, it does not matter how ready you are or how much knowledge you got for accomplishing certain project, if your ATTITUDE fails, you will never finish anything in life. Be more pragmatic and get things done!
    • You do not enjoy the process – when you see eating right as a chore and exercise as a penalty, things are not well. The best fitness routine is the one that does not cause disturbance in your daily life. Don’t add stress to your day. The goal is exactly the opposite, remove the stress and make things pleasant. Nobody could to do something that hates consistently for too long. Once I read an interview with one of the best Brazilian swimmers and several times gold medalist in the Olympic Games saying that sometimes is hard to get in the pool in the morning that he felt like he was going to puke in the water … That happens to everyone, because there are not 100% of good days in life. But I am sure he enjoys 99% of his sports practice.
    • You do not have a goal – “What gets measured gets done!” Yes, this is so true; people do not have a “solid”, “specific”, “realistic” and measurable goal set when they think on New Year’s resolutions. Tracking progress is key to any project accomplishment. Instead, people just say: “I want to Lose Weight”. When the correct thinking would be “I want to lose 2 pounds per month until the end of the year”. That would be the perfect goal statement. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Specialists call it a “SMART” goal.
    • You have no social support – That’s so hard to be alone in your projects, because people do not motivate you to follow on the right direction. You need to have support from your family to start with. If you will make your family unhappy every time you are absent to practice a sport, then you should rethink on your plans and negotiate the schedule will cause the minimum disturbance of your family affairs. Friend must be in the equation as well. How about to post in your social media timeline inviting your followers to be your accountability partners? So, an extra help and motivation will come to you for helping on your journey. And this is at same time an extra commitment you are making. Now, it’s not you to be disappointed in case of a failure. The more people, the more the strength of your mission. Spread the world! 
    • You don’t now your WHY – for anything in life you need a “reason why”. That is the fundamental of your motivation. Motivation = motive + action. And probably this is one of the major things here. It’s important to know if, for example, you want to be fit to become a positive example to your children or feel more confident and sexy? The reason why matters and that is what should come to your mind when you about to give up!
    • You do not believe in yourself – wow, that’s so powerful because your mind plays tricks on you. If you think you can’t then your body probably can’t go on. But impossible is nothing and whatever your mind believes will become reality. Even if you failed in the past trying to accomplish the same thing, do not let that negative thinking disturb your plans. You can do better this time, because you are better prepared and have more confidence in you. I always tell to my students: “The black belt is the white belt that never gave up”.


    Have a Great Year!

    Rilion Gracie


    Picture: Renzo Gracie and Rilion Gracie - Credits: Ray Santana

    Blog Living Legacy by Gracie Essentials


    TAGS: New Year Resolution, Jiu-Jitsu, Lifestyle, Health, Fitness, Protein, Jiu-Jitsu, Whey 

    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. 



    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

    Your Supplements Might be Killing You!

    Your Supplements Might be Killing You!

    Just like my father, Great Master Carlos Gracie Sr., I became an autodidact when the subject is healthy nutrition.

    And I cannot ignore the evolution of this market in the last few years, specially in a country like the US. We have seen a significant growth of interest in the topic, especially among the younger population.

    However, people quickly began to realize that keeping a natural, healthy, strict and disciplined diet it's not practical in the modern society, where everyone is in a kind of a "rush" for everything. 

    And that is where the supplement industry has found one of its main pillars by addressing the "need" for instant consumption of essential nutrients in a very convenient format: a capsule or a powder scoop.

    As getting the necessary nutritional value from the real food that we eat alone became nearly impossible nowadays, we then turn to supplements of different kinds.

    That was the main reason why I created Gracie Essentials. If you cannot fight them, join them. But in a way you can preserve your principles, values and beliefs.

    Mostly important,  I did not want to enter in my academy's locker room anymore and find my athletes taking supplements that represent a treat to their health. 

    But this was not their fault. I realized that a lot of people fail to comprehend that taking nutritional supplements from unauthorized and unproven ingredients with questionable health effects is a considerable gamble that may end up causing potentially devastating effects on their bodies. 

    Watch Fake Products 

    Not only there is an abundance of fake supplements and other types of nutrition on the market, but the trend is growing in popularity. Products of this kind are even sold by trainers and self-proclaimed nutritionists, coming from sources that cannot be trusted.

    Unfortunately, the consumer is unaware of the schemes as well as of the side effects, which can follow. 

    What to do? 

    My honest advice is to purchase your supplements, whey protein, pre-workouts, BCAA, Vitamins and all sorts of additional supplementation from renowned, reputable and established brands on the market. I take pride in also providing this possibility to you with Gracie Essentials. 

    This is absolutely critical. It’s true that proper intake of additional nutrition through different supplements could be particularly beneficial. It could significantly increase and enhance your performance

    Furthermore, it could also help you with different weight-related challenges. Whether you want to gain weight and muscles or you want to burn through excessive fat, proper supplements are absolutely necessary and paramount. However, you should make sure that you get this from reliable sources with established reputation. 

    So, a few things you have to check before buying supplements: 

    1. Make sure the company manufacturers the product in the USA. 

    2. Look for certifications from the manufacturer like GMP (good manufacturer practices)

    3. See if the products are manufactured in a approved FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) facility.

    4. Look the label of the supplement and check if everything is disclosed. Be careful with proprietary blends that do not tell you what is inside the formula. 

    5. Be sure there are no banned substances in the formula. FDA banned some harmful ingredients that even the big supplements and retail brands used to sell with no restrictions in the market.

    6. Make sure the company has a website and a real customer service. You have to be able to communicate with the manufacturer in case you have any doubts about the ingredients or the directions to take the supplement  

    7. And last, but not the least, we advice you to talk with your doctor in order to determine your compatibility and proneness to taking supplements of the kind. Remember, supplements are not medicines and are not supposed to cure any deceases. Always trust in your doctor's opinion.

    Hope this information helps you to navigate through this huge market of sports nutrition with so many options in the shelf. And do not forget to check our products at www.gracieessentials.com


    Master Rilion Gracie