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Are you getting E-enough of these supplements?
Here’s a brief rundown on all the supplements in the “E” category that are interesting and/or effective.Remember, I’ve ranked them from 1-10 with 1 being – don’t even bother, 10 being – you MUST use this supplement, and 2 -9 increasing in importance and effectiveness with the number.
Well known for its immune-protective properties, this herb has been shown to offer some defense against colds and flu, and can be used to protect the immune system from the stress caused by heavy training. Research shows that Echinacea can also reduce the length and severity of colds and flu. Echinacea may also boost the appetite, which can be critical in mass-gaining phases for those who have trouble eating enough. Some research even suggests that echinacea increases production of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which could enhance endurance.
Take: Look for products that contain Echinacea purpurea, standardized to 4% sesquiterpene esters, or Echinacea angustifolia standardized to 4% echinacosides. Take 200-400 mg two to four times per day during flu season or at the onset of a cold. To stimulate appetite, take 400–500 mg before meals. If taken for longer periods, it is best to cycle this supplement in periods of three weeks on and one week off.
Rank: 8 – The research on Echinacea has shown both positive benefits and not such significant results, depending on the study. But anecdotal reports that I have received show definite positive results for preventing colds and flu, as well as reducing their length and severity.
Egg protein is often called egg albumen, or ovalbumen. This is because the major type of protein in egg white is albumen. Egg protein was once considered the perfect protein. That’s because it is a very high-quality protein that is utilized well in the body. Of course, that was long before anyone realized how effective whey protein was. Although whey protein is the most critical protein to take for boosting muscle growth, egg protein can add to whey’s benefits. It is also a good alternative for those who can’t tolerate milk proteins, such as whey and casein. One reason that egg white protein is so beneficial is its high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the most critical for stimulating muscle growth. While whey is also rich in BCAAs, egg white protein provides benefits that whey does not. Egg protein is rich in the amino acid arginine, which triggers nitric oxide (NO) and growth hormone production. It’s also a high sulfur-containing protein, which is crucial to the body’s hormone-producing pathways and therefore muscle growth, as well as aiding joint health.
Take: 10–20 grams added to your whey protein shakes, such as before and after workouts.
Rank: 7 – although it’s an effective protein, I would recommend getting your egg protein from whole eggs. However, if a protein powder that includes whey and casein, also includes egg white protein, that is a benefit. For those who cannot consume milk proteins, egg protein gets a rank of 10.
Elderberry extract comes from the fruit of the Sambucus plant, which is a species of shrubs. A study published in the journal Phytochemistry reported that phytochemicals in Elderberry directly bind to the H1N1 virus and block its ability to enter cells, which is critical for its infectious effects. And if you do contract the flu this season, research shows that taking elderberry extract can reduce the duration by half.
Take: 2-4 grams of elderberry extract four times per day when sick or to prevent getting sick.
Rank: 8 – Elderberry extract can be quite effective when you have the flu.
EURYCOMA LONGIFOLIA JACK
This rainforest plant, also known as Malaysian ginseng or tongkatali, appears to directly enhance testosterone production by stimulating the Leydig’s cells — special cells that convert cholesterol into testosterone — of the testicles. It may also free up testosterone in the blood. Testosterone normally circulates in the blood bound to a carrier protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). This protein extends the time testosterone stays in the blood, but prevents it from entering muscle cells. E. longifolia Jack is believed to help release testosterone from SHBG so it more of it can enter muscle cells to induce growth. Research has shown that it can boost testosterone and lower cortisol when taken before workouts.
Take: 200-300 mg of a 20:1 extract of E. longifolia Jack two to three times per day with one dose 30-60 minutes before workouts.
Rank: 6 – although some research does show that it can boost testosterone levels and even lower cortisol, anecdotal reports from guys taking the supplement have been less than impressive.
This extract from the evodiarutaecarpa fruit burns fat by stimulating specific receptors in the central nervous system that boost metabolic rate. Evodiamine also reduces hunger and slows the digestion of food, which not only keeps you feeling fuller longer, but causes a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This helps prevent spikes in insulin, which could help to prevent fat gain and maintain better energy levels.
Take: 30-50 mg two to three times per day
Rank: 6 - There is not a lot of research that directly supports evodiamine’s fat-burning effects, and even anecdotal reports are not all that stellar.
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