Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Skinny on Fats: Benefits of Coconut Oil

Guest blog by Michael Fuhrman, D.C.

Coconut oil may be one of the most misunderstood of the more readily available dietary fats/oils.
As it is predominantly over 90% saturated fat, consumers assume it is bad for you and look for other seemingly less offensive alternatives.

The distinguishing feature between coconut oil and other forms of saturated fats and triglycerides is the much shorter length of the fatty acid. Coconut oil is actually a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), 6 to 12 carbon lengths long, as opposed to long chain triglycerides which are over 12 carbon lengths long and is the principal form of fat found in western diets. This smaller chain length makes it much easier for the body to absorb, digest and process as its breakdown requires less energy and less enzymatic action than what is usually needed for the longer chain triglycerides. Once broken down into medium chain fatty acids and absorbed in the body, they are then delivered to the liver where they are used as a primary source of energy. This leads to an increase in metabolism, ultimately resulting in an improvement in blood lipid profiles. Indeed, in eastern Asian cultures where coconut oil is a significant source of fat, rates of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease are lower than their western counterparts.

Wide array of clinical uses

Clinically and therapeutically, coconut oil appears to possess a variety of useful properties that may make it, when used appropriately, a no-brainer as a food item to be consumed on a daily basis for many people.

As part of a weight loss protocol, coconut oil has been shown to help improve anthropomorphic profiles in overweight and obese men and women.

Researchers have discovered that Alzheimer’s sufferers have pathological brain glucose metabolism possibly due to glucose transporter dysfunction and insulin resistance.

Alzheimer’s patients, therefore, find that their brain’s ability to use glucose (the brain’s preferred form of fuel) is impaired. Fortunately, the brain can use ketone bodies, which are by-products of fatty acid metabolism, as an alternative fuel source. MCTs are an excellent source of ketone bodies and it is this property that those with Alzheimer’s find beneficial, as they experience improvements in cognition and memory.

Coconut oil is chock full of antioxidative compounds which helps protect it from oxidation and degradation. This quality was evaluated in an interesting study which looked at the antioxidative properties of various oils and their effects on rodent testes. The rodents who were fed coconut oil had higher levels of testicular antioxidants, thus suggesting a protective role in reproductive health. Of particular significance, the coconut oil-fed rats also showed increased levels of testosterone as well. Furthermore, components of coconut oil contain fatty acids such as lauric and myristic acids which also act as 5α-reductase inhibitors, which help block testosterone from metabolizing to the more potent and possibly proliferative dihydrotestosterone.

Who would have thought that coconut oil could have a positive effect on osteoporosis? Supplementation of the oil in mouse models of osteoporosis demonstrated a significant improvement in bone density, volume, and bone microarchitecture, structure and trabecular number as well.

Finally, lauric acid is a powerful antimicrobial and antifungal compound and has been shown to be active against a variety of candida strains, including albicans.  It has also, as well as medium chain triglycerides in general, shown activity against oral pathogens and skin pathogens that are associated with acne development.

Coconut oil, with its medium chain triglycerides and plethora of therapeutic benefits, may make it a sensible choice use in a variety of clinical applications.

Tyron here, check out some of the comments we've been receiving about our gym.

This one is from a lady new to our gym who's currently in our Foundations program. She says, "The Maker's Body CrossFit: for sure you will love it..very motivating, invigorating and fun! I love our coach and owner Tyron not only good looking fella, well verse on what his coaching and very supportive. "No pain no gain" it's true but once you have it you don't wanna slip it away. Everybody can do it...not too late for every one to have a healthy physique and brain...I highly recommend this gym. For all fitness level... You won't regret it!"

Received this recently from one of our members, "Ya it's great, I enjoy being back! Definitely a fun atmosphere. I tried crossfit somewhere else, and was not even close to how much fun Maker's Body is, and the classes are instructed way better with you guys "

I have a great team of coaches and staff that help me immensely run an awesome program for our amazing members!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Creatine

Everything You Need To Know About Creatine
Written by Calvin Sun

Creatine is easily one of the most popular supplements in the fitness industry. It’s been around for over 20 years and has become one of the most studied supplements in exercise science. However, there seems to be a fair amount of misinformation and mystery that still surrounds the supplement. Recently, I’ve received a lot of questions about the function of creatine, it’s safety and efficacy, as well as proper dosages for athletes. The purpose of today’s article is to answer some of these common questions and provide you with enough information to decide whether or not creatine should be part of your supplement regimen.

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic compound that is produced from three amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine.

Creatine serves as an essential part of the ATP-CP energy system, also known as the phosphagen system. This system is responsible for powering short duration, high-intensity movements such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping. Adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) is broken down to release energy resulting in adenosine di-phosphate (ADP). At the cellular level, creatine is used to regenerate ADP into ATP resulting in delayed fatigue and improved exercise performance [2,3,4].

Why Should I Take It?

Creatine is produced by your body in small amounts [1,2]. It is also found in some animal-based protein sources such as red meat. The amount produced by your body and obtainable through food is quite low, which is why supplementation can be effective. Some research suggests that vegetarian and vegan athletes can greatly benefit from creatine supplementation because of dietary deficiencies [1].

Numerous studies have found that creatine supplementation results in improved body composition, increased strength, and faster sprint performance [2,3,4]. As a result, creatine tends to be popular with football players, bodybuilders, strength athletes, as well as track and field athletes. Creatine has also been found to attenuate core temperature and heart rate in trained endurance athletes [5].

Does Creatine Cause Muscle Cramps?

One of the common myths surrounding creatine is the idea that it increases risk of muscle cramps or injuries. Multiple studies have found that this is not true [10, 11]. In fact, a study on Division I football players found that creatine may actually reduce cramping and injuries [12]. Other research has also found that creatine can be useful for reducing muscle cramps in medical applications [13]

Is Creatine Bad For Your Kidneys?

You may have heard that creatine is bad for your kidneys. This is likely due to confusion between creatine and creatinine, a metabolic byproduct. Multiple studies have found that creatine is perfectly safe with no negative changes in renal biomarkers, such as blood urea nitrogen and glomerular filtration rate [7,8]. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that creatine had no negative impact on markers of kidney function [9]. Long-term studies on athletes have also found that creatine does not cause any harm to the liver or kidneys [14,15].

Is Creatine A Steroid?

While creatine is capable of improving athletic performance, it is not a performance-enhancing drug or anabolic steroid.

Is Creatine Recommended For Female Athletes?

Creatine has been found to have positive effects in both male and female athletes. Deciding whether or not you should take creatine has less to do with your gender and more to do with your goals. If you are trying to improve your strength, power, and body composition, creatine is certainly worth considering.

Which Form of Creatine Is The Best (Monohydrate, Ethyl Ester, HCL, etc.)?

Creatine monohydrate still appears to be the best for results. It also happens to be the least expensive version as well. Some research has found that some of the fancy, buffered forms of creatine actually don’t result in any increase of creatine content in muscle tissue [6].

How Do I Take Creatine?

Most research suggests 3-5 grams a day, though some studies uses doses as high as 20 grams a day with positive results. Research has also found that taking creatine post-workout appears to produce better results [16]. Some experts suggest a “loading phase” of 20 grams a day for 5-10 days and then reducing the dosage to 5 grams daily. My advice would be to add 5 grams of creatine monohydrate to your post-workout drinks without the loading phase.

Is There A Brand You Recommend?

I like Optimum Nutrition’s Unflavored Creatine. It mixes well and doesn’t cause any GI distress. Also, it’s very affordable at 15 cents per 5 gram serving. Click here to purchase from Amazon.

Based on current research and my own experience as a coach, creatine is a safe and effective supplement for athletes. If your goals involve increasing strength, improving body composition, or sprinting faster, creatine is certainly worth considering. It also has the added benefits of reducing muscle cramps and attenuating core temperature which can be especially beneficial for CrossFit athletes.

Still have a question about creatine? Feel free to post it here on the blog or on our Facebook page. I’ll either answer your question directly or in a future post.

Article from

1. Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Parise G, Candow DG, Mahoney D, Tarnopolsky M. Effect of creatine and weight training on muscle creatine and performance in vegetarians. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Nov;35(11):1946-55.

2. Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, Grindstaff P, Plisk S, Reinardy J, Cantler E, Almada AL. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc., 1998, 30(1):73-82.

3. Becque MD, Lochmann JD, Melrose DR. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Mar;32(3):654-8.

4. Souza-Junior et al. Strength and hypertrophy responses to constant

and decreasing rest intervals in trained men using creatine supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

2011, 8:17.

5. Beis, Lukas Y., et al. The effects of creatine and glycerol hyperhydration on running economy in well trained endurance runners. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 8.1 (2011): 24.

6. Jagim A R, et al. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:43.

7. Groeneveld GJ, et al. Few adverse effects of long-term creatine supplementation in a placebo-controlled trial. Int J Sports Med. 2005 May;26(4):307-13.

8. Gualano B, Ferreira DC, Sapienza MT, Seguro AC, Lancha AH Jr. Effect of short-term high-dose creatine supplementation on measured GFR in a young man with a single kidney. Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Mar;55(3):e7-9. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.10.053. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

9. Gualano B, Ugrinowitsch C, Novaes RB, Artioli GG, Shimizu MH, Seguro AC, Harris RC, Lancha AH Jr. Effects of creatine supplementation on renal function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008 May;103(1):33-40. doi: 10.1007/s00421-007-0669-3. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

10. Greenwood, Michael, et al. Creatine supplementation during college football training does not increase the incidence of cramping or injury. Molecular and cellular biochemistry 244.1-2 (2003): 83-88.

11. Dalbo, Vincent James, et al. Putting the myth of creatine supplementation leading to muscle cramps and dehydration to rest. British journal of sports medicine (2008).

12. Greenwood, Michael, et al. Cramping and injury incidence in collegiate football players are reduced by creatine supplementation. Journal of athletic training 38.3 (2003): 216.

13. Chang, Chiz‐Tzung, et al. Creatine monohydrate treatment alleviates muscle cramps associated with haemodialysis. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 17.11 (2002): 1978-1981.

14. Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Aug;31(8):1108-10.

15. Mayhew DL, Mayhew JL, Ware JS. Effects of long-term creatine supplementation on liver and kidney functions in American college football players. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002 Dec;12(4):453-60.

16. Antonio J, Ciccone V. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013,10:36.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

The 8 Supplements I Highly Recommend

I hope you are having a great day. Proper nutrition and supplementation is vital in my mind so I've detailed below my top 8 supplements I recommend.

But before that I just wanted to remind you about our Christmas Party that's coming happening on Saturday Nov. 22, 2014 at 6pm at the gym. All members and their guests are welcome. I have created a Facebook invite for it so please RSVP through that or email me back letting me know you are coming. I've copy the link below. The cost is $10 per person (kids 10 years old and under come free). No need to bring anything other than your beautiful self as the event is being catered by Michelle Kirk and her catering company, MK caterin. Friends and family are more than welcome to join you as well. Please do not wear your workout gear. It'll be nice to see everyone dressed up and looking sharp. No need to worry as there will be no WOD scheduled ;)

Christmas Party Event link:

1) Krill Oil/Omega-3s
Years ago, the ratio of pro-inflammatory (bad) Omega 6 to anti-inflammatory (good and healthful) Omega 3 was close to 1:1 in one's diet. Unfortunately, most of us with a SAD (Standard American Diet) get way too much Omega 6 and way too little Omega 3, and that unhealthy ratio tends to keep many of us in a constant state of systemic inflammation. Since Omega 3 oils are found in fewer and fewer modern foods (fish being one of the few, but fresh fish also being impractical to eat regularly due to heavy-metal content) the single easiest way to overcome this serious deficit and rebalance your Omegas is to take highly purified Omega 3 supplements, preferably krill oil.

Click this link and check out the infographic that compares fish oil vs. krill oil.

Benefits include: boosts heart health, a powerful antioxidant, a strong anti-inflammatory, boots immune system, improves joint lubrication, encourages a healthy liver, eases PMS symptoms, maintains healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improves brain health and much more.

Suggested Use: Take 1000-2000 mg per day.

2) Multivitamin
The way I look at a multivitamin is it fills in the holes in your diet where you are missing things. It's like an insurance policy, it has your back just in case something happens, i.e. your diet sucks. Look for one that is whole foods based.

Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule per day (depending on brand)

3) Vitamin D3
Research suggests that up to 85% of people could be deficient in vitamin D without knowing it...leaving them with less-than-optimal health. Because current scientific research suggests that all cells and tissues in your body have vitamin D receptors - and further concludes that every cell and tissue needs vitamin D for its well-being. Not only that, but vitamin D is responsible for the regulation of over 2,000 genes in your body!

Suggested Use: Take 4-5000 IU per day.

4) Magnesium Bisglycinate
Magnesium bisglycinate is an essential mineral needed for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. This mineral is required for the formation of healthy bones and teeth, protein and fatty acid formation, activating B vitamins, supporting muscle activity, nerve transmission, relaxing blood vessels, clotting blood, temperature regulation and ensuring intestinal mobility also called bowel movements. Magnesium bisglycinate is the only magnesium shown to cross the blood brain barrier which makes it an excellent choice for aiding those with depression and/or anxiety, or migraine headaches.

Suggested Use: Take 350-500 mg per day.

5) Vitamin K2
Benefits include: helps move calcium into the proper areas in the body, such as your bones and teeth and removes calcium from areas where it shouldn't be, such as your arteries and soft tissues. It's essential to take when taking vitamin D3.

Suggested Use: Take 120-240 mcg per day.

6) Protandim
Protandim, the Nrf2 Synergizer, has been shown to reduce Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances or TBARS value, by an average of 40% in 30 days. TBARS are used to measure free radical activity and oxidative lipid peroxidation, which measures cell damage caused by free radicals. When Nrf2 is activated, it induces the body's natural antioxidant defenses to help repel free radicals a million times better than vitamin C. In fact our own natural antioxidants that our bodies produce neutralize free radicals at a ratio of 1 million to 1 antioxidant every second whereas other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E for instance do so at a ratio of 1 to 1.

Check out this video to learn more:

Suggested Use: 1 tablet per day.
Available from us directly or at

7) Post Workout Shake
After every workout I recommend taking a shake of whey protein powder and a fast acting carb that's low in fructose such as apricots, figs, kiwis, pineapples, rice cakes, white rice, maple syrup to help build muscle, reglycogenate (replenish glycogen stores) and recover. You may also want to add BCAAs and glutamine to enhance muscle recovery and protein synthesis.

The reason for taking a post workout shake is your muscles are starving for nutrition and your body is in a catabolic state (tissue breakdown state) so you want to get it into an anabolic state (tissue building state) as fast as you can and with the right post workout shake, you can do this.

Suggested Use: Consume within one hour after your workout.
The protein powder I use is available at

8) Probiotics
Probiotics are living, direct-fed microbials that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. They work by colonizing the intestinal tract and crowding out disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and yeasts. Several trillion bacteria live symbiotically in our gut today albeit not all are good and depending on which of the two is winning the flora war, your health will be determined.

Being stressed, getting sick, taking antibiotics, eating certain processed foods all support the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast forms while choking out the healthy flora. Many people whose diets include daily doses of yogurt or acidophilus are able to maintain healthy gut flora, but these sources aren’t always reliable (pasteurizing and added sugars can reduce their effectiveness), and not everyone can tolerate dairy that well. For that reason, I think it’s wise to take probiotic supplements on occasion. Not necessarily every day, since once these “seeds” have been planted in a healthy gut, they tend to multiply and flourish easily on their own. I’d certainly take extra probiotics under times of great stress or when you’ve been sick or are taking (or have just taken) a course of antibiotics.

Dramatic changes can be seen in people suffering from Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, Candida, asthma, and other allergies when probiotics are taken.

I hope these tips helped :)


Reference for #1 and 8:
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