My Advocare Journey has stuck with me over the years, and while I'm not in the shape that I hoped to be in by now, (my own fault), I still haven't gained back the majority of the weight that I had lost! I've decided to add some different exercise to my diet and I'll be posting my results here.
Products I'm taking from Advocare:
-Spark Mango Strawberry (twice a day)
-Mass Impact (twice a day)
-Catalyst (three pills, twice a day)
-Rehydrate Mango Pineapple (once a day)
-ThermoPlus (once a day)
I've been doing regular gym workouts and trail riding on my bicycle for the last year or so and while I've lost weight and inches, gained lean muscle and overall feel better, I still find that I give into cravings more often than I care to even admit. Holiday time is often worse and since we are in this wonderful time of the year, I've decided to make my New Years Resolution a few weeks earlier than is custom.
I ordered the insanity workout from Beach Body and it arrived at my doorstep on Friday. I opened up the box and decided that I would take the fit test Today (Sunday) and start the exercise regiment on Monday as to coincide with the calendar that they provided. I will say this, after spending two days in the gym 3 out of 4 weeks for the last 6 months and averaging 60 miles a week on my bike during this previous summer, I have not had a workout this hard since high school. ...that' kind of sad. :-) What's really sad, is that this was only the fitness test!! Tomorrow, the real workouts begin and I'll hopefully be updating this on a weekly basis (Sundays) due to my travel schedule.
The Biggest Struggle:
I have a feeling that my biggest struggle will not come from the workouts, but from the amount of traveling that I do. A meal plan is included with the Insanity workout and while 5 meals a day is a great idea, I'm not sure that packing a napsack full of cold egg whites, chicken and what-not will be very appetizing. But, I will try and this week will be the first big test as I am traveling Tuesday through Friday with my coworkers around the State. So, hotels, restaurants and lots of time sitting in a vehicle.
(powdered Fruit Punch drink)
Many of us either don't have the time or won't make the time to put in a good workout. This is not beneficial since after the age of 35 people start to lose 0.5% of their muscle mass per year unless they regularly make a decision to maintain their muscle mass. This only gets worse, and more alarming, after the age of 60 and can lead to muscle atrophy, loss of mobility, falls, etc. While there are many products on the market that address this issue, AdvoCare is a unique single-product solution that provides 28 vitamins, minerals, and botanicals. Besides energy, this product also supplies the needed nutrients to help build and maintain muscle during and after exercise. Another benefit is that it helps reduce oxidative stress on the muscle. Drew Brees, the quarterback for the Saints and an unpaid spokesperson for AdvoCare uses Muscle Fuel before his workouts in order to optimize his results.
Muscle Strength is a dietary supplement that offers many key benefits, including:
-Enhances muscle growth in conjunction with strength training
-Helps decrease recovery time between periods of intense workout
-Promotes muscle strength and endurance
-Aids in maintaining lean muscle mass
-Encourages repair of body tissues
-Contains antioxidants to help reduce the effects of free radicals
Muscle Strength promotes the body’s innate systems for building lean mass and reducing fat tissue. This pre-exercise formula is specifically designed to improve the results you receive from weight training and other forms of repetitive strength training. The ingredients in Muscle Strength have been shown to enhance muscle size and strength while reducing muscle breakdown. It also contains botanicals that provide nutritional support to help muscles adapt to physical stress, enhancing endurance and speeding recovery. One key ingredient found in Muscle Strength, HMB, is a crucial compound that helps stabilizethe muscle cell membrane during intense workouts. Studies in the United States have shown that HMB supplementation is associated with increased muscle strength and increased muscle mass. Derived from the essential amino acid L-leucine, HMB has been extensively tested for safety and effectiveness.
As always, this information is taken directly off of the AdvoCare website. You may access this and additional information in the PDF Format by browsing through the store and clicking on the product page. If you have questions please email me or post them here.
I have been taking both Muscle Fuel and Muscle Strength for two weeks now. During these two weeks my standing dumbbell curl has gone from (set1) 20 x 30lbs, (set2) 16 x 35lbs, and (set3) 8 x 40lbs to (set1) 20 x 40lbs, (set2) 16 x 45lbs, and (set3) 10 x 50lbs (10 on right 10 on left; 8 on right 8 on left; 4 on right 4 on left) My squat has also increased. Since my knee surgery 4 years ago, I have had almost continuous problems building and maintaining muscle in my right leg, specifically my quad. I have increased my squat from 10 x 120lbs, 8 x 125lbs, 6 x 130lbs to 10 x 140lbs 8 x 145lbs 6 x 150lbs. While this is fairly light, especially since I use to squat over 315lbs in high school, it is a definite improvement for me and I can't wait to see what I can lift in the future. I typically lift four days a week, lower body on Monday and Thursday with a light lift on Monday, upper body on Tuesday and Friday with a light lift on Tuesday, with a core workout on Wednesday and Saturday. Monday through Saturday I run on the elliptical before my additional workouts. Sundays are my day off from the gym. AdvoCare Performance Elite products as well as the Active and Trim lines have greatly increased my performance at the gym.
AdvoCare slam is a liquid vitamin and amino-acid energy boosting shot. It comes in multiple flavors such as lemonAid, Strawberry Blast(pictured), Power Punch(my favorite), Octane Orange, etc. It is sugar free, promotes mental focus and it is fast acting without a sudden drop or jitters. Oh, and it tastes great, unlike some other energy shots.
My Experience with Slam:
I have taken Slam on multiple occasions and have tried every flavor except for the Strawberry. Each and every one of them tastes great. This is important to me because I WILL NOT consume something if it makes me feel sick or tastes bad. For example, while 5 hour energy worked great(it really did), it tasted horrible. The Hitman shot tasted even worse and it did not help keep me energized. These are the only two other energy shots that I have ever tried and I did not have a good experience with them. When I signed up to become a distributor with AdvoCare, I received a 'distributor kit' that contained a few Slam's. I was hesitant to try it because of my previous experiences with energy shots, but after a friend of mine tried it and exclaimed that it actually tasted good, I gave it a shot.
I now use Slam when I travel to help keep me awake. I do a lot of traveling with my job and it is frequent that I will be on the road after dark. If I've worked a long day or week, it can be hard to stay awake. While I use to by AMP and drink that, I can now drink one sugar free shot of AdvoCare Slam and then sip water the rest of the time. This is not only more effective than my previous options, it is also healthier. As I stated in my first post, my family has a history of diabetes and I am always concerned about sugar intake. Slam has become a must have when I travel or when I work late nights or even when I want to pull an all-nighter playing video games. To order Slam, please visit the link below or click on the word 'Slam'.
What You Do
When It Counts
"Those with difficulty swallowing may chew or crush most AdvoCare® caplets and tablets. One exception is ActoTherm SR, the thermogenic component in the first color packet of the MNS® Max 3 strip pack. Since the ActoTherm SR caplet is formulated using sustained-release technology, chewing or crushing the caplet interferes with the extended-release mechanism and results in more rapid release of the ingredients. Capsules may be opened and sprinkled on food."
This is good news for those of you who see the number of pills and can't stand the though of swallowing them. From experience, I have had no trouble swallowing the pills. In MNS e, there is a total of 13 pills I take throughout the day. I also take ThermoPlus and Catalyst. This adds an additional 8 pills that I take during the day for a total of 21 pills. Both ThermoPlus and Catalyst are capsules and can be easily opened and sprinkled into a meal replacement shake or mixed in with spark. Believe me, the results far outweigh the pills you need to swallow.
What You Do
When It Counts
MNS e or Metabolic Nutrition System energy, is proprietary blend of nutrients designed to 'rev-up' your metabolism and it is conveniently divided into four packets that you take throughout the day. MNS e includes five key components that address your energy levels, core nutrition, and appetite control while providing a sustained boost in energy. This not only helps enhance your mood, it also helps provide a heightened sense of well-being. The Scientific & Medical Advisory Board has searched the world for the safest and most effective energy boosters. One of these discoveries, oolong tea, is an important reason behind the effectiveness of MNS e. Below you will see a picture of what a MNS e pack looks like.
As you can see, there are four individual packets all combined in to one strip. The first two packets are called 'Red' packets and you take the first one 30 minutes before breakfast and the second one 30 minutes before lunch. The last two packets are taken with a meal. I take both of my white packets as soon as I finish eating lunch but you can take them with breakfast. Below I will list out what each of these packets contain.
Before Breakfast Color Packet
Metabolic Enhancer – 2 caplets
Thermo P – 2 caplet
ProBiotic Restore – 1 capsule
Before Lunch Color Packet
Metabolic Enhancer – 2 caplets
Thermo P – 2 caplet
CorePlex – 3 caplets
OmegaPlex – 1 softgel
Thermogenesis/Energy: This unique formulation of herbal ingredients helps increase energy, support metabolic efficiency and suppress your appetite. The oolong tea extract found in this product helps ignite your body’s natural ability to produce energy so you feel more energized and vibrant. The sustained energy that comes from the thermogenesis/energy product is what helps make MNS Max E a powerful source of energy and more efficient metabolism.
Metabolic Enhancer: This key component is a blend of safe and powerful herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals that help boost the body’s energy systems while providing appetite control. The botanical extracts in Metabolic Enhancer supports the body’s ability to burn calories more effectively as well as reduce appetite.
CorePlex® supplement: CorePlex is a high potency, comprehensive multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides a strong foundation of basic nutrition. Each serving of CorePlex provides 36 vitamins, minerals and nutrients in a highly absorbable form so you can enjoy the advantages of complete core nutrition. This foundational nutrition not only fills the gaps of your normal diet, but it also primes your body to receive maximum benefits and results from MNS Max E.
OmegaPlex® supplement: OmegaPlex is a blend of omega-3 fatty acids that’s high in purity and effectiveness. Omega-3s are essential for a multitude of biological and physiological functions, including proper brain development, strengthened immune and cardiovascular systems, and healthier skin and hair
ProBiotic Restore™ ULTRA: Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that confer health benefits on the host. Our bodies must maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria to work at its best. When this balance is disturbed, it can have significant negative effects on our health including poor digestion and absorption of nutrients. Our immune systems are under daily assault from environmental factors, physical and emotional stress, inadequate rest and poor nutritional status. Additionally many individuals do not consume adequate dietary fiber, drink enough water or exercise regularly, which often results in occasional problems with elimination. Even though some individuals supplement their diets with probiotic products, all probiotics are not equal. The multi-strain probiotic complex in ProBiotic Restore ULTRA provides six high potency strains – three species of Lactobacillus and three species of Bifidobacterium. Two billion colony forming units (CFU) ensure full coverage of both the small and large intestines. ProBiotic Restore ULTRA helps replenish normal beneficial intestinal microflora to support healthy immune and intestinal function, while aiding good digestion and enhancing weight management programs.
This product contains herbal sources of caffeine comparable to 2-1/2 cups of coffee per day.
CONTAINS OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS DERIVED FROM FISH (SARDINES, HERRING, MACKEREL).
vitamin B-12, omega-3 fatty acids, gymnema, vitamin B-6, folic acid, garlic powder (odorless), taurine, green tea extract, guarana extract, lutein, lycopene, N-acetylcysteine, coleus, oolong tea extract, L-glutamine, Probiotic Culture, fructooligosaccharides
My Experience with MNS e:
I have been taking MNS e for about a month and a half. I am currently working through my third box of it. During this time I have seen an increase in energy, appetite control and an overall sense of just feeling healthy.
One thing that you should know about me is that I have never been a morning person. I would much rather stay up into the wee hours of the morning and then sleep until late afternoon. However, my job does not give me that option. A month ago, this was the norm: I would stay up until about 10pm and then I would head to bed and read for about 45 minutes. I then fall asleep. In the morning I wake up to an alarm clock at 7am. However, most mornings find me hitting the snooze button multiple times before my girlfriend finally kicks me out of the bed. I then rush through a shower and stop to get a doughnut on my way to the office. The rest of the morning is spent trying to wake myself up, consuming multiple bottles of Mtn Dew, coffee, or AMP.
Now, I still stay up until around 11pm, but when my alarm goes off at 7am, I am up and going. I immediately take my first red MNS e pack and then hop in the shower. By the time I am done getting dressed it is time for me to eat. I make a meal replacement shake (takes less than a minute and I mean that) and drink it on the way to the office. My mornings are much more productive now.
If you have read my earlier posts, you may have noticed that I mentioned I use to take other thermogenic pills before I found AdvoCare. You may have also noticed that I mentioned they made me feel very sick. While MNS e is not strictly comprised of thermogenic pills, it does contain them. If you scroll up a bit, you'll see that both of the red packs contain Thermo P. I take both of the red packs on an empty stomach and I can honestly say that I do not feel sick because of them. I was very hesitant to take another thermogenic pill when I first checked out AdvoCare. My uncle, who introduced me to AdvoCare, gave me a few extra thermogenic pills and told me to try them and I do not regret giving them a shot.
Another benefit from taking the MNS e packet is the appetite control. I am a big snacker...a very big snacker actually. I love chips, chocolate, cookies, etc. Where I work, the kitchen/break room typically has some type of snack food laying around and if there isn't something laying out, there are vending machines. Take a look at my scrolling banner. Notice that 'What Do You Feel Like at 3 O'clock?' picture? Both of those are me. I am tired and in a snacking mood at 3 o'clock. Since I have started taking MNS e, I have noticed that my cravings for junk food have declined. I can also say that I am more awake in the afternoon. This is in part due to taking the MNS e strip as well as drinking Spark (see the Spark post). This isn't to say that I don't have the occasional cookie or piece of chocolate. It simply means that I don't have the irresistible craving for chips, chocolate and cookies. A great example is this: Before I started taking AdvoCare products, if I would walk into a gas station to pay for gas or go into a grocery store to get food, I would leave with multiple candy bars, chips, chocolates, sugary drinks, etc. Now, I can walk in and pay for gas or get the groceries on my list without splurging on junk. I don't have to avoid the candy isle in order to keep myself from buying junk, I simply don't crave it anymore. While this wasn't an instantaneous result, it did happen quick; within the first two weeks. The only reason why I even noticed it was that I purchased a candy bar at the grocery store, went home and made dinner, then went to the gym, came home and watched some TV and then went to bed. The entire time the candy bar was sitting on the counter in plain site. I noticed it, I could have eaten it, I simply didn't crave it.
My overall thought on MNS e is that it is an excellent product and I have no plan to stop taking it. I may, at some time in the near future, switch to the MNS c to see how that works but I haven't decided yet. I strongly encourage you to consider taking MNS e. If you were going to take one product to see if AdvoCare is right for you, I would recommend MNS e. However, the results will be better if combined with other products such as Spark, Catalyst and ThermoPlus and believe me, I'm not just saying that.
What You Do
When It Counts
The Following is an excerpt of a report that I found:
"The Effects of AdvoCare Spark...on blood sugar levels were compared with those of a standard 50-gram glucose intake. Following ingestion of each product, blood sugar levels were determined periodically for two hours. The results for each drink are presented in the graph below."
I unfortunately cannot get the graph any bigger or clearer. However the breakdown is this: the blue line is the glucose and the other lines are the Spark flavor. I'm no scientist, but to me it looks like Spark is way below the level of glucose at the peak and at how quickly your blood sugar returns to baseline. My father is a diabetic and I am constantly worried that I am going to become diabetic as well. An energy drink that is sugar free that doesn't spike the blood sugar? Wow, that sounds great to me! Here is the conclusion from the author of this article: "As can be see in the graph, following consumption of a Spark Energy Drink, blood sugar levels increased from approximately 88 mg/dL to approximately 106 to 114 mg/dL with the maximum increase occurring between 15 and 30 minutes." "Blood sugar levels returned to baseline within 60 minutes."
After I purchased the products, I decided to do a little bit of third party research to see what other people were saying about AdvoCare. While doing this, I came across a fairly popular site, http://www.energyfiend.com/. I have browsed the site previously and I was actually somewhat shocked to see them appear in my search for Spark reviews. Here is a snippet of the review and a link to the whole review.
"I can now truthfully say that given the immediate availability of a Spark packet, I would choose a bottle of water from a cooler instead a stand-by favorite energy drink."
All in all, I have been very pleased with Spark and I can see why it is a top selling product from AdvoCare. If you would like to know where you can order Spark from, please contact me. Heck, ask and I might just ship you a free sample!
What You Do
When It Counts