The Best Broke-College-Kid Meal Strategy

Most of us can relate to the whole “wanting to eat clean but not having the money or time” dilemma.  So we are laying out our best tips and tricks to help you out and keep you on that healthy lifestyle grind.  We’re providing you a list of good foods to keep around (+ our rationale) and other money-saving tips. Here we go: 


  • Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Mix
    • Protein-packed and low-fat. Comes in a ton of great flavors and they’re super filling.  They make a great breakfast paired with fruit or nuts. And the chocolate favor makes for a great dessert.
  • Milk
    • One we really like is the CarbMaster milk from Kroger: zero fat, only 3g of carbs, and 11 grams of protein per serving. Plus it’s lactose-free!
  • Protein powder of your choice
    • Typically wholesale clubs sell protein at very low prices per serving; also great in a pinch to keep you full & can be added to so many different recipes.
  • Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
    • Only 30 calories & makes protein shakes taste delicious!
  • Ancient Harvest POW! Mac and Cheese
    • Mac and cheese is always a budget effective decision. The sharp cheddar variation tastes amazing, is protein packed, and contains minimal fat. So if you’re a cheese person, that means you can probably afford to put some extra shredded cheese on top. Yum.
  • Greek Yogurt
    • Greek yogurt is often sold in value packs and is a great solution to that pesky sweet tooth. Opt for lower sugar options or plain if you can handle that.
  • Almonds
    • We’re aware these are NOT cheap, but they’re a great investment, especially if bought at a wholesale club or in a value size.  They’re a great way to get in healthy fat and are a great calorie-dense snack.  Plus, you don’t have to eat that many at a time to get in some calories. Much better for you than eating potato chips.
  • Spinach
    • A great option when it comes to volume foods, and it’s packed with micronutrients and negligible calories.
  • Microwave popcorn
    • Opt for variations like Healthy Pop by Jolly Time and Smart Pop by Orville Redenbacher to avoid the crazy fat calories found in other options.  It makes for a relatively clean carb in a pinch and is another great volume food with a minimal caloric impact.
  • Lean ground Beef, Chicken breast, Turkey breast
    • One or all of these are essential if you 1) aren’t a vegetarian or a vegan 2) are in need of a protein source.  These can be cooked easily in a pan or an oven, but we chose these specifically because they often come in microwaveable varieties (just flip to the back of the package and watch those sodium calories!) or they can be purchased as cold-cut lunch meats, making them easy even if you’re living the dorm life. We suggest lean cuts of meat because we understand the temptation of processed, fat filled snacks in college. What’s up Flaming Hot Cheetos and late night cookies?? All joking aside though, it really is about balance – we figure you’d want to make up the lack of fat calories somewhere else. Just a thought though.
  • Beans
    • Great for our plant-based peeps.  Super easy to whip up, cost effective, and a great source of protein. It’s a win!
  • Eggs
    • Convenient and fast to make on the stove or in the microwave, eggs are a perfect way to get in some fat and protein.  Plus, when bought in bulk, they’re extremely affordable.
  • Plain Instant Oatmeal
    • They always say: “you could feed an army on this stuff!” That’s not entirely wrong.  It’s a great way to start the day – it’s a complex carb, packed with fiber, and another great volume option to keep you full for the early part of your day.  Avoid the pre-seasoned sugary options and make it your own with spices or fruits!
  • Steam Bags
    • You can find these in the freezer section and pick up veggies and brown rice on the cheap.  Each bag typically has multiple servings and you don’t have to worry about fresh produce going bad! Perfect for if you’re someone who tends to buy stuff and forget about it for a bit.

Money-Saving Tips

  • Shop somewhere with a rewards program or a loyalty card.
    • For example, if you shop at Kroger with your loyalty card, you can save up to 10 cents/gallon of gas when you fill up at Kroger locations.  Not a bad reward!  Another major key: Target’s Cartwheel feature on their app. Huge money saver – it’s as simple as scanning a product and saving the discount barcode for checkout if there is one.
  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach.
    • You’re more likely to grab what you’re craving – which oftentimes ends up being unhealthy (and also a whole lot of extra money). Do yourself a favor and eat before heading to the store!
  • Related to the above: Bring a list.
    • And stick to it!
  • For your unhealthy/processed food purchases, shop at a discount store.
    • The Dollar Tree and other dollar stores sell the same processed snacks you buy at the grocery store for much less. Make one more stop for those gummy worms and you’ve already saved yourself about a buck.  Small savings add up!
  • Bring your own bags.
    • In certain cities/states, stores will charge around 10 cents per grocery bag, which can really add up over the time. Invest in a couple of reusable grocery bags or recycle some you already have to save some cash over time and do the environment a solid. Killing two birds with one stone, woohoo!
  • Don’t pass over generic brands.
    • Oftentimes store-brand products are identical to the name-brands you love and grew up on. Flip to that back panel and compare the ingredients.  You might be surprised at what you find (+ those savings!!).
  • Check out weekly grocery ads.
    • You can find major savings, especially on fresh produce and meats. And we all know those are luxuries when you’re on a tight budget.


Wishing you all of the best of luck in your upcoming semester. Study hard and happy eating!


A Guide to Healthy Eating: Summer Barbecue Edition

July 4th is on its way – which means cookouts and barbecues galore.  

Everyone has different nutrition goals so these recommendations are merely healthier suggestions rather than a one-size fits all nutrition guide.  Okay, let’s get into it:

Hamburgers vs. Hot Dogs

Hamburgers are typically more calorically-dense than hot dogs due to sheer mass – I mean how often have you really seen a footlong hotdog at a summer barbecue? So what we are asking is – how much other stuff are you planning on eating at this event? Eating right is like a puzzle; you just have to fit the right things together.  If you opt for the more calorically-dense burger as your entree, then you’d obviously want to eat fewer side options. But keep in mind, the burger isn’t a bad option. They’re typically packed with more protein, less sodium, less saturated fat, and fewer unhealthy preservatives than hot dogs. Plus, for a less calorically-dense option, opt for a lettuce bun.  We probably wouldn’t recommend that with the hotdog: best to keep the dog classic in our humble opinion.


Grilled rather than fried.  Fried chicken packs more calories due to its higher fat content, which probably means fewer cookout sides for you.  Grilled chicken is leaner and its lower fat content means you can have more of it – especially good for packing in your protein for the day.


Fruit salad is a summer staple; however, the most delicious ones are typically made with simple syrup, a sugar-water concoction that makes it taste great but can put a real dent into your carb allotment for the day.  If you go for that option, keep in mind the sugar carbs you’re taking in and the increase in calories. If you can find a fruit platter at the barbecue instead, you’ll ideally be taking in fewer carbs – just be sure to watch your portion sizes!

Potato Salad and French Fries

Potato salad is delicious, don’t get us wrong, but it’s also packed with mayo and therefore unhealthy fats.  Same with fries, we love them, but they’re full of unhealthy fats from frying oil. Instead opt for a baked potato with melted cheese (healthy fats – but keep in mind, not all cheeses are created equal).

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a great way to get in your carbs, but it’s up to you to keep it relatively healthy.  It’s so tempting to slather corn in butter and salt, but that means you’re voluntarily adding fats and sodium to your meal.  Since there is a ton of savory cookout food, these are two things to watch. Fats for obvious reasons – your body should only have so much in a day – and sodium for blood pressure problems and the inevitable problem of water retention.  Be sure to keep your corn as condiment-free as possible for the cleanest meal. Another great option if you can’t resist slathering your corn on the cob in butter and salt is other grilled veggies – grilling them gives them great flavor, and you’re typically less inclined to slather these in butter.  But you should still be sure to watch your sodium intake on these.

Pasta Salad

Whether we’re talking macaroni salad or an oil & vinegar style dressing, this cookout classic is sodium-dense.  In proportion to a 2000 calorie diet, pasta salads can make up around 50% of your recommended daily sodium intake.  Plus macaroni salad is mayo based; you already know the deal with that. Lots of fat. This may be a bland recommendation, but it is a smart one.  If a regular salad option is available, go for that. It’s less calorically dense, meaning it’s a great food if you’re looking for volume. You can eat a ton of it and the calorie count is minimal – depending on what you top it with.  Our recommendation: a lower fat dressing (less calories), a serving or half a serving of unsalted almonds for some healthy fats and protein, avocado for your healthy fats if you’re not an almond person, fresh fruits (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples), or sunflower kernels (yay for fiber!).

Tortilla Chips and Salsa / Potato Chips and Dip

Both tortilla chips and potato chips are sodium traps.  Super delicious, but not the best for your overall health.  Dips are typically sour cream based, making them fat-based, and not necessarily the good kind of fat either.  Additionally, the serving size on these dips are about 1 tablespoon… and as we all know, that is near-impossible to stick to when chips and dip are such an irresistible combo.  If you can manage your portion sizes on these, you can probably afford to work these into your cookout palate. Getting to salsa; it’s really not a bad way to get some flavorful carbs in.  Our recommendation? Go for raw veggies dipped in either salsa or hummus. This is a healthier route and great for volume if that’s what you’re looking for. Just watch your dipping – nothing is good in excess.

Baked beans

Baked beans have a mixed reputation.  Some laud them for being healthy and others steer entirely clear. Why? Well there are different versions of this BBQ favorite that need to be accounted for.  The kinds that are avoided by health enthusiasts are those that are high in sodium (some up to half of your daily sodium intake) and those that contain tons of sugar.  If you’re the one bringing the beans, make sure you go for the reduced sugar recipes or no-salt-added versions. Other than this stipulation, beans are a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a great diet option.


The baked treats are always the hardest to avoid at a summer cookout.  They’re calorie-loaded, carb-heavy, sometimes fat-heavy, and typically not very protein-rich.  Popsicles (juice/water-based) are a great option to stave off a sweet tooth because while they are sugar-heavy, they amount to way fewer calories than baked goods.  Less calories doesn’t always mean better, but given the amount of food you’re probably consuming at this cookout, it’s best to go for the lower-calorie option. Another good option – jello.  It has no nutritional value, but it’s a great low-calorie dessert option and is almost solely carbs (it contains a very small amount of protein). Another tip: steer clear of the desserts at the cookout entirely and wait until you get home! This way you can pick a more preferable or healthier option instead of just eating what someone puts in front of you.

Sweet tea, beer, fruit cocktails

Drinks at cookouts are a carb-fest.  Beer? Obviously. Sweet tea and fruit cocktails? Sugar haven.  So how do we get around this if we still want to have a good time and enjoy ourselves?  Nothing beats a good sweet tea in the summer. We get it. Instead of scratching it completely, try a half-sweet, half-unsweet tea.  It’s a decent compromise: a little less of that classic sweet tea taste for way less sugar and carbs. Not too bad of a trade-off. As for beer, go for light beers.  Or opt for a dry wine instead if the cookout only has regular beers. Instead of fruit cocktails, try these modifications: a shot of your favorite liquor chased with lemon or lime, a gin and tonic with fruit garnishes, tequila and lime club soda, a mojito (but watch the sugar), the list goes on.  If you ever run out of ideas, Pinterest is your friend.

Also, a shameless plug for water: HYDRATE. Your body will thank you later.


Follow these tips and tricks to stay on track – or just have the ultimate cheat day.  No judgement. Chances are the food is good, and you deserve it. Happy BBQ season!


Comment below with your favorite tips, tricks, and food ideas; we love to hear from you!

TheFitExpo presents: Top 3 Tips for Bulking Season

With Summer officially ending this Friday, bulking season is just around the corner for most of us. Or maybe you cheated on your diet a little too much during vacation and just decided to use “an early start to bulking season” as an excuse to keep you from feeling like crap about yourself. Or maybe that’s just me. My weight gain was totally intentional, I’m just bulking okay?!? Besides we’re talking about you here. So before I get completely sidetracked realizing just how far off my diet I got on vacation, let’s move on to TheFitExpo’s Top 3 Tips for Bulking Season.


  1. Carbs are your friend:

The primary goals of any bulk should be to add two things: size, and strength. Carbs have been shown to effectively help you reach both of these goals! In terms of size, it’s important to be in a caloric surplus when you bulk. This means eating more calories than you burn. As many of us have learned the hard way, carbs are an easy way to get in extra calories. While it’s true that one gram of fat (9 kcal/g) contains more calories than one gram of carbohydrate (4 kcal/g), carbs are also much more quickly digested. This allows you to eat more sooner, making it easier to get yourself in a caloric surplus! An increase in carbs will also help you to keep your muscle glycogen stores full, resulting in increases in both strength and endurance! This will allow you to work harder in the gym, resulting in more long-term gainz!

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Eat Fat to Lose Fat?: The Truth About Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets have been around for years, but have seen a huge boost in popularity recently. With so many diet trends coming and going, why has keto stuck around so long? And why has it become so much more popular recently?

Let’s begin by addressing what a “Keto Diet” is. In its simplest form, a ketogenic diet involves cutting out carbs, but there’s a lot more to a proper ketogenic diet that just not eating carbs. A general recommendation for a ketogenic diet is to eat 70% of your calories from fat and 30% from protein, eating as few non-fibrous carbs as possible (fibrous carbs are not digestible so eat your veggies. They’re an essential part of this diet). How is this possible? Surprisingly, carbs are not essential in your body. There are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but carbohydrates are not needed for your body to function. It’s true that glucose is your body’s preferred energy source, however, in the absence of glucose, your body will adapt in one of two ways. One option is for your body to undergo a process called gluconeogenesis in which excess protein is converted to glucose to be used for energy. As you may have guessed, protein being converted to glucose is not exactly optimal for gains. The other option is for excess fat to be converted into a chemical called ketones, which themselves can be used for energy. This is why it is ESSENTIAL to make sure you’re eating excess fat when doing a ketogenic diet, otherwise, your body will begin to burn through protein that could otherwise be used to build muscle. However, if you are eating enough fat, this will not be an issue. Ketone supplements may also be able to help put you in a state of ketosis even in the presence of carbs, however, I need to do more research before I comment on any of these claims. By now we’ve established that people can get away with not eating any carbs, but why would anyone want to cut out carbs?

Recently, people are joining the #WarOnCarbs (a term coined by world-renowned powerlifter Mark Bell) primarily as a way to lose body fat. The keto diet does allow for a tremendous amount of weight loss in a short time, but before we praise it as the new “miracle diet,” let’s take a look at how this weight loss actually occurs. A primary driving factor of fat loss from the ketogenic diet is the caloric restriction that occurs naturally from cutting carbs. This concept of calories in versus calories out (thermodynamics) is universal to all diets, meaning that keto does not hold an edge in this regard. However, it does have several other benefits outside of its direct impact on weight loss! Many keto-lovers are people who will binge on sugar uncontrollably as soon as they have a taste of carbs. With a ketogenic diet, these carbs are eliminated, making the diet easier to adhere to. Ketones themselves also have several other fat-burning benefits such as their ability to help suppress hunger, making it easier to eat fewer calories. Since the brain operates extremely efficiently on ketones you may also be more focused during your workouts! Their ability to help lower insulin levels will also provide more balanced energy, preventing the energy crash that you may sometimes feel after eating carbs. In terms of general health, ketones may also help to fight seizures and Alzheimer’s due to a potential increase in mitochondria in the brain. Diabetics may also do well on a ketogenic diet because the absence of carbs lessens the body’s reliability on insulin. Cancer patients may be the ones to benefit most from a ketogenic diet, however, as the cancer cells thrive in the presence of glucose. Because of this, the removal of carbs essentially “starves” the cancer cells.

Clearly, there are a ton of benefits to this diet. However, in terms of actual fat loss, almost every “benefit” relates to helping you to control your calories. While a ketogenic diet may all of for these calories to be easier to control, ketosis is far from necessary to achieve being in a caloric deficit. On top of this, much of the “weight loss” that occurs immediately is simply water weight. Your muscles store carbs as glycogen, a molecule that will be used for energy when you move. However, in the absence of carbs, theses glycogen stores will become almost completely depleted. Each gram of glycogen stored also carries 3 grams of water with it. This water is stored in the muscles so it will not make you look bloated, however, when you deplete your glycogen stores, you also lose the water that was previously stored within the muscle. This lost water weight accounts for much of the “weight loss” that many people initially see on ketogenic diets. I want to point out that this is alright as your body learns to run off ketones rather than carbs, however, this lost weight has nothing to do with fat loss.

There are also some negatives to a ketogenic diet that may discourage you from trying it. One of the biggest issues with a ketogenic diet is adherence. There’s no doubt that this issue exists throughout all diets, however, it is even more pronounced in the ketogenic diet. If you eat just enough carbs to take yourself out of ketosis, you will be left with no significant amount of ketones or carbs to use as energy, leaving you exhausted. Even if you remain in ketosis your performance may suffer due to the depleted glycogen stores that were mentioned earlier, which would greatly reduce recovery rates. It can also be difficult to get enough protein on a ketogenic diet. It would be nearly impossible to eat the 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight that the ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) recommends without going over your daily calorie allowance.

With a ketogenic diet relying primarily on the creation of a caloric deficit, it is far from a “miracle diet” for fat loss as many people claim, it could still very well be the best diet for you. In the end, I am not arguing for or against a ketogenic diet. I’m saying that you should adhere to the diet that works best for you! What makes you feel good? What is most convenient for you? What allows you to train harder? What allows you to recover best? What gives you results? All of these are questions that you should know the answer to in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your diet. Look at these answers and decide if the keto diet works best for you! If you’re interested in switching to a ketogenic diet, do some more research and try it out! Just note that my basic explanation of the diet was just to give you an idea of what this diet is all about. Do some more research on exactly what you should be eating before starting. It is also a good idea to check with your doctor before making any big changes to your diet. To make this simple, the diet that is best for you is the diet that makes you feel great and is easy to follow. Find that diet and stick to it!

Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or reach out on social media (@thefitexpo) and let us know what you want to see in the future!

Alex Gaynor (@alexgaynor_)

What to Expect at TheFitExpo

If you’re about to attend your first fit expo, get excited! It’s a blast! Many people have some common questions before attending their first expo, so we’re here to answer them!

Planning Your Trip

First thing’s first, you have to plan your trip. If you’re from out of town, check out for a  discount on local hotels for a limited time. Before you go, be sure to check out our website to make a list of the celebrities and companies that you want to see! Also be sure to check out our schedule of events. This way you won’t miss out on what’s important to you! Again, all of this information can be found at . If you’re planning on competing in any of the competitions that are offered such as powerlifting, bodybuilding, Max Reps,etc., check our website to see how to sign up!

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Intermittent Fasting: What You Need To Know

Intermittent fasting is a popular dieting technique that has been around for years. About two years ago the hype surrounding intermittent fasting blew up due to its promotion by several internet fitness celebrities such as the Hodge twins, and the diet has remained popular ever since. However, as many of you know, popular does not necessarily mean effective. Data is often exaggerated or misinterpreted by companies looking to sell products. It is essential to do extensive research before starting any diet in order to minimize health issues and maximize results. However, some of you may not even be familiar with this diet so before we get into what the research says, let’s first discuss what intermittent fasting even is!

Intermittent fasting is a dieting technique which involves fasting (ingesting no calories) for a specific period of time, and then consuming all of your calories during your “feeding window.” The most popular, and most studied, form of intermittent fasting is 16/8, meaning a 16 hour fast followed by an 8-hour feeding window. As difficult as this sounds, remember that you are sleeping for 6-8 of these fasted hours. Still, why would you want to limit your eating to an 8 hour period? The most common reason people choose intermittent fasting is its “fat-burning effects.” At the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie, regardless of when it is consumed. That does not mean that intermittent fasting is useless for fat loss, however. In order to fully understand the purpose of intermittent fasting, let’s take a look at all of its potential benefits, as well as the studies that this data comes from.

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IIFYM: What You Need to Know

Today we’ll be discussing the popular form of dieting known as “if it fits your macros” or “IIFYM” for short. Some people love it, some people hate it, but what does science say?

First, let’s break down exactly what IIFYM is. IIFYM (also known as flexible dieting) relies on the tracking of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These are called macronutrients because you need to consume them in large quantities. Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, etc.) conversely, are only needed in trace amounts. Optimally, IIFYM also includes tracking your micros, though this is often mistakenly overlooked by IIFYMers.

IIFYM generally starts with the calculation of your BMR (basal metabolic rate) to determine your total calories burned at rest during a day. There are many online calculators that will do this calculation for you such as this one ( This gives a starting place for determining your optimal macronutrient intake. Tracking your macronutrient intake also allows for indirect tracking of calories as each macronutrient has its own caloric value. 1g of protein = 4 kcal, 1g of carbohydrate =4 kcal, and 1g of fat =9 kcal. It should also be noted that 1 g of alcohol = 7 kcal. Therefore, tracking your intake of protein, fats, carbs, and alcohol allows for you to indirectly track your total calories for the day as well.


Once you’ve figured out your BMR, you can add or subtract calories based on goals, activity level, and current diet. If looking to gain weight you will need to eat more calories than you burn through your BMR+exercise. Fat loss occurs when you eat less kcal than you burn through your BMR+exercise. It is important not to make too drastic of cuts however in order to see continuous, long-term progress. This calculator ( will help to determine your optimal daily caloric intake.

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Post-Workout Nutrition

Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the importance of post-workout nutrition, yet few truly know what to eat in order to optimize recovery after a workout. Optimal recovery will allow you to get back in the gym sooner and hit your next workout harder. As many of you may know, anabolism (muscle-building) does not actually occur in the gym. In fact, training is generally catabolic (causes muscle breakdown)! Muscle-building actually occurs during the recovery period, making proper post-workout nutrition essential for gaining muscle. This article will discuss how you can make the most of your post-workout meal so that you can recover more quickly and keep chasing gains!

Muscle-building occurs from an increase in muscle protein synthesis (or mps for short). One of the main factors responsible for increases in mps is the mTOR pathway. Proper post-workout nutrition should seek to stimulate mTOR for optimal results. mTOR is stimulated exercise, insulin, and the consumption of leucine. (1) Obviously, exercise has already been completed before your post-workout meal. Insulin is released after carbs are consumed and leucine can be consumed through protein or BCAA supplementation. These stimulatory factors are discussed in greater detail below.

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Surviving Your Memorial Day Barbecue: 5 Tips to Help Keep Your Diet in Check

It’s almost Memorial Day, and you know what that means! Barbecues! But, for all of the fun that barbecues can be, they can wreak havoc on your diet. For those of us trying to get (or keep) our bodies looking good for summer, this can lead to all kinds of stress. While a good diet is essential to reaching your goals, one day won’t kill you if you keep your diet somewhat in check. Not only is it difficult to track every single gram of protein, fat, and carbs in the many homemade dishes being served, it’s awkward and you don’t want to become “that guy.” So how do you balance the stress of sticking to your diet and not freaking out when you deviate from it slightly? You compromise. Following the tips below, you’ll be able to eat as closely to your diet as possible without having to bring those dreaded Tupperware containers of chicken and broccoli to your Memorial Day BBQ. If you start to get stressed that you’ve gone too far off of your diet, remember that Memorial Day only comes once a year. Be mindful of what you’re eating but don’t stress!

Tip #1: Eat Your Burgers Without Buns

If your normal daily carbohydrate allowance lets you have the bread, go for it. For many of us who are eating low-carb diets, however, these buns are sure to send our carbs way over our daily allowance. This is why eating burgers without the buns is an easy way to stick closely to your diet. When it comes down to it, burgers are not that much different than the chicken breasts that many eat on the daily. There’s some extra fat for sure, but calories are still significantly lower than they would be for a burger with a bun. It’s an easy change that cuts out a ton of unnecessary calories!

Tip #2: Stay Away From the Pasta Salad

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Top 5 Pre-Workout Ingredients

There’s a lot more to a good pre-workout supplement than just a caffeine boost! Pre-workouts can help to boost muscle protein synthesis (mps), endurance, strength, pump, energy, even help to limit muscle soreness. Listed below in no particular order, are 5 of the top pre-workout ingredients on the market. If you’re looking to take your results to the next level, read on to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your pre-workout.

  1. Beta-alanine


Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is taken up by muscle fibers where it will combine with histidine to create carnosine. Carnosine helps to buffer metabolic waste such as lactic acid, resulting in increased endurance, strength, power, and recovery. (1) The wide variety of proven benefits offered by beta-alanine make it a top pre-workout ingredient for anyone looking to boost their performance in the gym. Optimal dosage ranges from 2-5 g. (2) Some people prefer to split up these doses due to the tingling sensation (called paresthesia) that is often caused by taking large doses of beta-alanine. Don’t worry though, this is a harmless side effect that some people actually enjoy.

  1. Citrulline Malate


Citrulline Malate (or L-Citrulline Malate) is simply the amino acid citrulline bonded to malic acid. Citrulline is one of the premiere pump-inducing ingredients on the market. A majority of arginine consumed is broken down by the liver long before it can cause an increase in NO levels (and give you a pump). Citrulline, however, bypasses the liver and is then converted to arginine within the body, and eventually to NO. In fact, citrulline has been shown to boost blood arginine levels more than citrulline itself! (3) Though L-Citrulline can provide great pumps on its own, combining citrulline with malate also provides the ATP boosting benefits of malate which helps to generate more ATP through the Krebs cycle to give you more energy. (4) Optimal dosage for L-citrulline itself is about 1-3 grams, while doses of citrulline malate should be about 6 grams in order to provide you with a full dose of L-citrulline (5). Also, look for citrulline-malate in a 2:1 ratio, meaning that there are 2 molecules of citrulline bonded to each molecule of malate, for optimal dosing.

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