Hi Mike, my friend recommended I should contact you. Just wondering what sports nutrition products would you recommend for me to use? I'm wanting to increase my upper body strength, decrease my body fat percentage, and tone up.
For your goal the habit to get in place (if you haven't already) is to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals per day (rather than 3 big meals). This will keep metabolism high for greater calorie burning plus protect muscle (so it’s less likely sacrificed for fuel). Keep in mind that the more muscle you have the MORE fat you burn. Body fat is melted inside fat burning furnaces called ‘mitochondria’ - housed in muscle tissue.
It makes sense that when your muscles are bigger, there are more mitochondria available for burning fat. To add further fuel to the fire, the more intensely you exercise the more mitochondrial density you build into your muscles as a natural response of the body. This is one reason bodybuilders and bodyshapers lean up so rapidly. It’s not so much about genetics, but more that they have programmed their bodies through exercise to be better fat burning machines. We all have this ability.
With each meal aim to eat a quality protein portion (if you’re going to miss anything don't miss the protein). Preferably space meals no more than 3 hours apart. This will help you feel more alert and energised, plus provide muscle building blocks for improvement. Protein can come from meat like chicken, fish, and beef - or egg whites or light cottage cheese are good sources too. Another option is Whey Protein powder.
Proteins are rated on a scale of ‘Biological Value’ (how well the body utilises each protein). On this BV Scale Whey Protein rates the highest of all, followed by egg whites, then meat, then dairy (milk protein), then at the bottom are plant proteins. From a nutritional point of view it's a good idea to include whey into daily eating. Natural properties found in Whey Protein Concentrate (called immunoglobulins, glycomacropeptides, and lactoferrin) may support muscle and boost immunity to protect us from illness (and overtraining if dieting or training harder).
So for your goals I would recommend a high quality Whey Protein Concentrate (like my Defining Whey) as the main supplement to use.
The most powerful way to target fat burning head on is with a Thermogenic. My one's called TR2. This is designed to help stimulate metabolism to a high fat burning level plus provide a boost in energy and motivation. For those that don't normally drink much coffee/tea/energy drinks they will 'feel' thermo's a lot more, although the fat burning effect will be just as strong for hardcore coffee drinkers too.
Another popular product for body fat reduction is called Carnitine Fumarate. Carnitine is traditionally used for it's fat mobilisation role. It's used by the body to transport fats into mitochondria for burning. When we exercise hard, don't eat spot on, or are vegetarian we can end up with lowered levels of Carnitine. People with low Carnitine can feel lethargic, have slow recovery from training and have trouble losing weight.
By supplementing we increase the pool the body can draw from for fat 'moving', so more fat can be burned, and more efficiently. The added benefit of the Fumarate component of Reactiv Carnitine Fumarate is unique. Fumarate is an intermediate of a cellular energy system in our body called the Krebs Cycle. Providing extra amounts of this raw material may help accelerate the rate at which the Krebs Cycle replenishes itself. This may provide greater energy and endurance during exercise so that we don’t feel as tired and can push harder for faster training progress.
You can feel this in full effect after about a week of supplementation. Unlike the instant stimulant type of energy you get from thermogenics, this is more of a feeling of increased endurance ability to push harder for longer. Other benefits of Carnitine include heart strenghtening and protection, powerful antioxidant ability, and reduced post exercise muscle soreness.
Those are the 3 products that would help you the most. Whey protein for lean muscle support, Thermogenics for metabolism boosting, and Carnitine for fat transporting.