Colorado Topped $1 Billion in Legal Marijuana Sales in 2016

Dec 13, 2016
 A Billion?!?!?!?

It only took Colorado 10 months to pass $1 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2016, one year after the state came up just shy of that milestone revenue figure.

Marijuana businesses in Colorado, which voted to legalize the drug recreationally in 2012, reported roughly $1.1 billion in legal sales of medical and recreational marijuana and related products this year through the month of October, according to the latest batch of tax data from the state’s Department of Revenue. That number easily tops the roughly $996 millionin total marijuana revenue the state reported in 2015.

The Denver Post first reported the state’s record sales figures, noting that Colorado saw $82.8 million in retail cannabis sales in October alone, along with more than $35 million in medical marijuana sales. With two months left in 2016, The Denver Post also notes that the state’s legal marijuana market could hit $1.3 billion for the year, which would represent a 30% spike in sales over the previous year. In 2015, the state saw a 42% bump in legal cannabis sales from 2014, which was the year the state’s legal recreational pot market opened for business. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2000.

Through October, Colorado has collected more than $150 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales, including nearly $50 million from a specific excise tax that directs funds to school construction projects. The first $40 million collected annually from the excise tax is earmarked for the school projects.

Cannabis industry research firm ArcView Group estimates that the legal marijuana industry in the U.S. industry could reach nearly $22 billion in total annual sales by 2020. However, it remains to be seen how President-elect Donald Trump‘s administration will handle the issue of marijuana legalization, considering that the drug remains illegal on the federal level despite the fact that a growing number of states have voted in favor of legal pot.

Since Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana market was the first to open for sales nearly three years ago, three more states—Alaska, Oregon, and Washington—have launched their own recreational pot programs. Meanwhile, last month, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada all approved ballot initiatives to legalize the drug for recreational purposes in those states. Following the election, more than 20% of the U.S. population will now live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. Medical marijuana is also legal in 28 states.

A Primer On Peptides: What They Are And Why To Take Them…

There’s a lot of buzz about peptides in the fitness world these days. Various peptides are recommended for burning fat, building muscle, and improving athletic performance. But, what the heck is peptide? Kind of sounds like pepto … Pepto-Bismol? No. That can’t be right. It’s not. Let’s examine what peptides really are and point out a few that maybe you’ve heard about in the gym or among your fitness cohorts.

 

peptides, what are peptides, peptide supplementation, peptide primerFirst, what are peptides? They are defined as a compound of two or more amino acids in which a carboxyl group of one is united with an amino group of another. With the elimination of a molecule of water, a peptide bond is formed. To put it simply, they are basically just small proteins. Technically, anything with fewer than fifty amino acids is considered a peptide although this is not hard and fast rule. A dipeptide is made up of two amino acids joined by one peptide bond. Tripeptides are three amino acids bound by two peptide binds. And so forth and so on. A polypeptide is just a long, un-branched chain of amino acids joined by peptide bonds that is not complex enough to be referred to as a protein. (Proteins are made up of polypeptides.)

 

 

Peptides, as we mentioned are made from amino acids. So, intake and production of all the amino acids is necessary for production of all the peptides needed for the body to work efficiently. Of course, as we age and we go through different times in our lives with different diets, stress, and physical changes some essential amino acids and peptide production is down-regulated. For example, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) production is reduced naturally when we are stressed and as we age.

 

Peptides have many functions in the body, some act like neurotransmitters, others like hormones. Many control and influence how our bodies react to diet and physical exercise. There are also several amino acids that are necessary in sufficient amount to produce hormones like human growth hormone (HGH, pictured to the right). If you aren’t absorbing or making enough of those amino acids, your production of that hormone will be lowered. Those of us interested in fitness and athletic goals, of course, are interested in counteracting these down-regulations so that we can maximize our bodies ability to recover, perform, and meet athletic goals.

 

Of course, amino acid supplementation is a pretty common among fitness buffs. However, peptide supplementation is becoming more common. What’s the advantage? First, peptides are digested and used more readily by the body as they are smaller and your body doesn’t have to break down a larger protein molecule. Also, peptides are thought to be more stable in the body and therefore more beneficial than the more unstable, un-bonded amino acids.

 

Glutamine and creatine peptides are very popular as you end up with quicker absorption, fewer side effects, and more bang for you buck from these versions of the supplements. There are also the more general amino acid peptide formulations available that deliver a whole spectrum of amino acids in a pill or powder form. They usually are referred to as “pre-digested” proteins or peptides. They may be beneficial for many who are looking to ensure an adequate amount of amino acids in a stable, more easily digested form.

 

re are also some much more controversial peptides being discussed and used in the fitness arena. These usually come in injectable forms and are banned by many athletic governing bodies. Most of these injectable forms of peptides are taken to bump up the production of HGH, which can increase lean body mass, lower body fat percentage, and improve speed of recovery after workouts. IGF-1, GHRP-6, and Ipamorelin are examples of these peptides. There are other peptides like Melanotan, used to increase tanning of the skin, and SNAP-8, used to decrease wrinkling of the skin. Most of these peptides are only legally available for research purposes or in specific clinical situations – and for good reason. No one is completely sure what happens to the human body when these products are utilized for long-term use.

 

So, how can peptides be of benefit to those of us looking to maximize our fitness, our recovery, and our body composition? Peptides may enable you to absorb more bioavailable amino acids and deliver more quickly to cells after workouts. You may also glean some of the benefits of old school supplements like creatine without the old school side effects like cramping and bloating by using the newer peptide versions. And, if you are lacking in some of the basic amino acids, you may enable your body to produce certain substances like growth hormone, which will ultimately enable you to see more results from all your efforts in the gym and in the kitchen.

 

References:

1. Elsevier, “An introduction to proteins and peptides.” Last modified 2005. Accessed March 25, 2013.

 

Peptide bond illustration by webridge (a structural protein structure) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsOther photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

Pros and Cons of Cheap Protein Powder

 

by: http://workouttips.net

 

There are tons of cheap protein powder on the market lately, promising to be the same or in some cases better than the premium well known products, but is it true?

First of all is there any difference in quality between premium protein and cheap protein powder. The short answer is absolutely YES, but it’s not that simple. I will explain the differences and my personal experience and how you can save on protein even with the premium brands.

Let start with the cons and the pros for cheap protein powder and then get into the actual differences that you will feel on your body, because the differences on paper and the actual differences are not the same and this will be explained in details below.

Cheap Protein Powder Cons

New Brand

This might seem like it’s not a pro or a con but it’s a con for sure. With a new brand, a lot of promises can come all masked with a cheaper price tag. They usually have all the best quality checks and everything else that will check all of your boxes and they might look like they are even better than the popular premium brands and with a much cheaper price.

 

The reality is: with new brands you don’t know what you are getting and you can’t find reviews to made up your mind and usually just few of them will stay in the market for longer time and big percent of them are just buying and adding their label as their brand. In the end it is up to you if you want to go for the new “premium” brand that is offering Cheap Protein Powder.

Harmful substances

You might not know but this is one of the biggest differences between premium and Cheap Protein Powder – how pure is the protein. There are a lot of cheap and also few expensive brands that contain some pesticides and other residues that are harmful for your body and some of them might be cancerous or allergenic.

This should be one of the primary things you need to watch for when shopping for any kind of supplement or protein not just Cheap Protein Powder.

Quality of the Protein

Whey Protein is a byproduct made from processing milk. In the end the difference in price between Premium and Cheap Protein Powder is the quality of the milk used for making whey. There is a big price difference using milk from organic cows and industrial cow. The milk from industrial cows contains heavy metals, antibiotics, hormones, etc. Also there is another factor that will influence in the quality such as: how the whey is produced and how many quality checks are performed.

 

In reality it is really hard to get the information on how your protein you use is made and what kind of milk is used but essentially is believed the Premium brands of Whey protein are using the best processes and milk for producing whey protein contrary to the Cheap Protein Powders we see on the market.

Pros of the Cheap Protein Powder

Cheap Price Tag

There is nothing more to say, it’s cheaper and sometimes we don’t have the possibility to pay for premium brand, especially if you are planning to use protein in a long term, it can make a huge difference in cost.

Same Quality as the Premium Ones

Some of the Cheap Protein Powder that is in the market is as good as the premium brands that we all know. In this scenario the premium brands protein powder is more expensive because of the brand as they value their brand more. It’s the same as cloths, you have a $500 T-Shirt and a $15 one and there is no difference in quality you just pay extra (a lot of extra) for the brand. You need to decide if you need protein for results or you want to pay more just because of the brand.

We covered the pros and cons and it might look like there are not enough pros for the Cheap Protein Powder but that is not the case. Essentially you can find a well-priced protein that will be of a high quality if you ignore the brands and read the reviews and the labeling.

Are there any real differences in performance?

The answer is NO! I have tried almost every brand of protein from the Premium expensive brands to the unknown Cheap Protein Powder brands and I can tell you there is no BIG difference in the end result.

 

All of the big Brands would have you believe that there is a difference, that their brand is better and you will get better results and they are backing that with their case studies that are made by them or private company they paid for the case study. I will just say don’t believe in all of that bullcrap, case studies are easily manipulated and that is proven numerous time and lot of the private research papers are not considered as valid in the scientific world.

But have in mind that some of the Cheap Protein Powder are not healthy at all and you probably will have the same result but you might pay extra with your health if you are planning to use them in the long run.

Now I will revile my BIG secret on how to save ton of money with more expensive brands or any other brand!

The secret is consuming less; I know its defying the logic but consuming less will mostly not make any difference in your gains.

I have a few close friends that are in medicine and they have shown me that a human body cannot digest more then 20-25 grams of protein in one meal. Essentially 20-25 Grams is the maximum that some of us can consume at once, everything more will just end up in the toilet. And of course I was intrigued by this and I believed that this might not matter for people who are exercising regularly, especially if you are gym-nerd like me, we should be able to consume more protein in one meal as our body have a need for it.

I decided to put this on the test and started consuming between 1/2 and 2/3 of regular coup dosage. I was doing this for more than 4 months and I didn’t notice any difference then consuming it normally. My mind was blown away; I know how it sounds but this for me was a revelation. In my case usually one container of way protein lasts around a month, and now it can last up to two months.

The image is from my protein and how much I consume per cup.

whey protein full and half cup

Do what you want with this information, but I highly suggest you try it out and you will see for yourself. This is not only for whey protein it’s for any kind of protein source you are consuming, just don’t overdo it with the protein.

If I missed something out let me know in the comments below we can continue this topic.

Authors – Nick Cheadle & Elliot Reimers

Nutrition – it’s a complex topic.

Do you need carbs or do you avoid them altogether?

You can’t eat bread, ice cream and pizza, but you can and should eat celery, chicken and spinach, right?

What’s the deal with sugar?

Are 8 meals per day better than 6?

Depending on what you read and whom you listen to, getting your eating right for fat loss can become a real pain as you struggle and stress over what to eat, when to eat it, and how much you need. To answer all of the above and more, we need to look at the underlying principle of nutrition.

So let’s get a bit of background knowledge out of the way.

Calories are King

A calorie is a unit of energy and your body needs them to survive. They are ultimately what determine whether you lose, maintain or gain weight. Weight management, in reality, is a very simple equation.

  • Eat fewer calories than you burn and you lose weight.
  • Eat more calories than you burn and you gain weight.
  • Eat as many calories as you burn and your weight will remain stable.

That’s it. The very crux of weight loss and weight gain comes down to the amount of energy you’re putting in versus the amount of energy you’re putting out. Ultimately, the rest of your  diet doesn’t really matter until your caloric intake has been addressed.

A General Guide

As a very (very) general guide, the more calories you eat, the faster you’ll gain weight and build muscle provided you’re training accordingly, however the faster you’ll likely also gain excess body fat too. The fewer calories you eat, the faster you’ll lose weight but the greater chance you have of burning through muscle too.

As you can see, it’s something of a numbers game and a bit of a balancing act, in ensuring you’re gaining or losing slowly to reap the rewards without necessarily experiencing the potential consequences in excess.

Optimizing your approach with Flexible Dieting

If you really want to split hairs and optimize your approach, you’re going to need to consider calculating your daily macronutrient requirements. The three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats. This is going to help you build and maintain muscle mass when bulking or cutting in the best way possible, whilst allowing freedom within your calorie intake – known as flexible dieting or ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ (IIFYM). Flexible dieting involves restriction free eating and focuses on the nutritional content of food, rather than specific foods being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You monitor your intake by tracking calories and/or macronutrients and place a focus on nutrient-dense, healthy foods.

However, if you fancy a little “junk food” you can have it, provided it’s in moderation, and still fits the parameters of your daily calorie/macronutrient requirements.

 

The power of IIFYM

Flexible dieting is so successful, because it completely eradicates the need for cheat meals, greatly reduces your risk of binge eating and ensures you’re far more likely to stick to your diet and, ultimately, get results. It’s all about forging a healthy relationship with food and promotes consistency and sustainability in your approach to eating and gym progress.

“You could consider it the scientific approach to eating – a way of tracking and quantifying what you’re eating in a bid to control and manipulate your body composition.”

As mentioned, it’s also arguably the most sustainable way to diet, as it’s easy to stick to for a long period of time. You can discover all about flexible dieting and its benefits, as well as calculate your own macronutrient requirements by checking out the Simplyshredded 12 Week Shred Guide.

Science Factor

Now, despite the fact that we have more scientific knowledge and more access to research and literature than ever before regarding the importance of calories, the energy balance and how to structure our diets for optimal muscle building and fat loss through the use of flexible dieting, much of the training and dieting community is still stuck in the dark ages. There are so many myths and misconceptions floating around out there it’s scary. Guys and girls and self-acclaimed fitness models alike are still promoting outdated practices that just don’t make sense and aren’t even close to necessary.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common myths that the big jacked dude at your gym is likely going to share with you, despite the fact you’re now clued in to the science behind why/how you gain/lose weight:

Eat Small, Frequent Meals to Speed Up Your Metabolism

The theory that your body would find it easier to handle and digest multiple smaller meals per day in comparison to larger, more infrequent feedings makes sense to a certain degree, right? It’s reasonably similar to the notion that dumping an enormous pile of wood onto a fire might not be as advantageous as gradually adding in one log at a time – but your metabolism isn’t a fire.

Every time you eat, you burn calories digesting the meal you’ve just consumed. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Whilst different macronutrients contain a different increase in TEF, whether you look at the percentage increase from a meal perspective or a day’s worth of eating, that percentage is going to remain the same.

Different macronutrients have a slightly different thermic effect, but at the end of the day, 10 x 250 calorie meals is ultimately going to burn the same amount of calories through digestion as 1 x 2500 calorie meal, provided the macronutrient breakdown is the same of course. So quit with the stop-watch – there’s no need to time your meals to the minute just to lose fat, so long as you aren’t consuming too many total calories.

Your diet should work for you and so long as you’re meeting daily requirements from a calorie/macronutrient perspective, the amount of meals you eat is largely irrelevant to body composition outside of affecting things such as mood, energy levels, training intensity etc. Again, there’s more on this in the Simplyshredded 12 Week Shred Guide.

 

Low Carb Diets are the Only Way to Lose Fat

For a long time now, carbs have been made out to be the enemy – they’re evil, dirty, body fat increasing monsters. One of the main reasons behind this belief is due to the apparent success of eating approaches such as the Atkins and South Beach diets that focus on severely restricting carbohydrate intake in favor of proteins and fats.

People tend to get pretty excited during the initial stages of a low-carb diet as you tend to lose a lot of weight almost immediately. Trouble is, this is mostly water and glycogen – not necessarily body fat.

Over the long term, any differences between low carb diets and other diets balance out and show that it isn’t beneficial to opt for one over another. Plus, when people tend to opt for a low-carb diet, they consume an increased amount of protein that tends to have a higher thermic effect and provides more satiety, further contributing to the illusion of lower-carb diets being more effective. Outside of personal preference, certain medical conditions and very few other scenarios, there’s just no need to remove the most readily available source of energy from your diet.

So long as you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you’re going to be losing weight, whether you’re consuming no carbs or a diet that is filled with calories from Twinkies.

Eating Carbs at Night Makes You Fat

You aren’t planning on training after a certain hour in the day, so you won’t likely require any more carbs right? They are the number one fuel source for the body, so it seems like it might have some truth to it yes? No.

Just no. Burning fat requires eating fewer calories than what you’re burning. It really doesn’t matter whether you choose to eat the calories before you burn them, so long as the net result at the end of the day is the same.

It is best to implement periodic cheat days after you stick rigidly to your “clean” diet

The ironic thing about people who criticize “flexible dieting/IIFYM” followers” is that they rigidly cling to their “clean” eating regimen only to give in after a short period of time and go on absolute binge-a-thons (colloquially called “cheat” days). Don’t be fooled; those intermittent binge episodes will wreak havoc on your body composition quickly.

Many gym-goers assert that “clean eating” is the key to success when trying to build muscle and burn fat. In their mind, “clean eating” entails a day full of nothing but tuna, broccoli, and brown rice. Reality check…eating plain, bland, fresh-from-the-can tuna chunks all day won’t make you healthier, or better looking than the next guy. What it will make you is someone who dreads their diet and can’t wait for the next cheat day to roll around.

The solution is quite simple—be creative in the kitchen! Have some variety in your diet, and quit looking at certain foods as being either “good” or “bad.” There is little reason to believe that a little “junk” food here and there will make or break your health and physique as long as you’re hitting your nutrient goals. There are millions of ways to eat a healthful diet rife with nutrient-dense foods and make it taste good. Get over the idea that dieting to have a lean body has to be some sort of sacrifice or process of suffering.

There is no reason you can’t achieve your physique and performance goals while also enjoying the foods you like, just exercise moderation; a sliver of cake won’t break you, but a whole cake probably will.

The human body can only absorb 30g of protein in one sitting

For some odd reason, people seem to believe the body is only capable of absorbing this rather random (and small) amount of protein at a time. If that supposition isn’t already ludicrous enough to know it’s bogus, then read on and we’ll take a scientific/methodical approach to this. Essentially, the idea that your body can’t absorb/digest more than 30g of protein at a given feeding is inherently suggesting that you will be excreting any amount of protein over that mark in your feces. Basically, instead of your body digesting the “excess” protein, it magically bypasses the highly conserved/intricate digestive process and is sent directly to the colon.

Note that we would be screwed physiologically if this is what actually happened; we would be bound to the toilet all day.

Furthermore, there is next to no literature that confirms the body can’t absorb more than 30 of protein at a given feeding. In fact, the literature supports that the body can digest quite a large amount, it just takes longer to digest and absorb than a smaller dose. Rather than just redirecting excessive protein to your colon, the rate of digestion compensates to reduce the supply of nutrients being sent to the anterior small intestine (i.e. the stomach delays gastric processes).

For the absolute extremists who want to know if their body can absorb 200g of protein at once? The short answer is “yes,” but not all of that will be put to “good use” so to speak.

Protein, like carbohydrates, can be converted to fat, but the pathways to do so are inefficient biochemically so it happens to a lesser degree. The majority of amino acids that aren’t used for muscle protein synthesis are likely subject to oxidation and/or hepatic gluconeogenesis, therefore being subsequently stored or used for energy.

Don’t worry too much about eating a lot of protein at once, the body can handle pretty much whatever amount you give it. However, it is still best to space out your protein intake over the course of 3-5 meals rather than eating it all at once.

 

Training Myths Busted!

When it comes to training, it seems like broscience just won’t go away. No matter how much nonsense is behind certain lifting ideologies, there’s always a generous amount of gym-goers who remain caught up in their unfounded habits.

Hopefully you’ll approach these myths with more of an open mind and see that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Read on as we uncover some of the biggest training misconceptions that pervade the fitness industry.

Cardio is Essential for Fat Loss

‘Lifting weights is great for building and maintaining muscle mass, so in order to burn body fat we’re going to need to elevate our heart rate for extended periods of time and ‘sweat’ that fat off, right?’

Wrong.

Cardio isn’t essential for fat loss, but it may help. Science tells us that we lose weight when we burn more calories than we consume, so if performing cardio helps with that equation, then sure, it’s advisable. But consider this – lifting weights also elevates the heart rate and burns calories. In fact, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. So there could be an argument for the fact that burning calories through lifting weights is arguably more beneficial in the long term, but we won’t get into that here.

Adding cardio into your routine may very well help swing that energy balance (calories in versus calories out) in your favor, but no more effectively than eating fewer calories. Again, it’s all about that calorie equation – are you burning more calories than you’re consuming?

Fasted Cardio Is Best for Fat Loss

‘If you haven’t eaten in around 8 hours because you’ve been sleeping, surely it’s easier to tap into those unwanted fat stores, right?’

Well, not really. In fact, research shows that so long as the energy balance of your diet is on par with your goals (i.e. you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming as mentioned above), fat loss is similar whether or not you choose to eat before performing cardio.

“Findings indicate that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a calorie deficit are similar regardless of whether or not an individual is fasted prior to training. Hence, those seeking to lose body fat conceivably can choose to train either before or after eating based on preference.”

Take home point? When it comes to cardio, stick to what you prefer.

 

Light Weights and High Reps Helps You ‘Tone’

The media is obsessed with this one but the reality is that when people consider the term ‘toned’ or ‘toning’, they’re really just referring to muscular definition and shape, resulting in a firmer, more widely attractive body. Here’s the thing, looking ‘toned’ is possible, but it requires muscular development and lowering your body fat percentage in order to show off said development. Typically speaking, the best way to go about this is to engage in regular hypertrophy (lean muscle building) training with an emphasis on progressively overloading your muscles, or challenging them more and more over time, while eating at a surplus to support said growth. From there, it’s simply a matter of sending yourself into a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you’re burning in order to shed enough fat to get lean enough to show off those hard earned muscles once you’ve achieved the size you’re after.

There are obviously a few more intricate details worth paying attention to such as protein intake, optimal training methods for muscle retention etc., but that’s the core of it. You can look ‘toned’ but there’s really no way to actively ‘tone’.

When cutting, it’s best to lift lighter weights for higher reps

There seems to be a variety of misconceptions attached to weight training; a popular one in particular is the idea that lifting lighter loads for more reps (say 15+) will “tone” muscles better than using heavy loads for fewer reps (6 or less). Aside from the fact that “toning” is a nonsensical term when it comes to muscle morphology, there is little basis to the presumption that using light weights and doing many repetitions is superior for muscle hypertrophy over using a weight that you may only be able to complete 5 reps with per set.

At the end of the day muscle hypertrophy is muscle hypertrophy; muscles grow or atrophy, which is what changes their shape. Using a mix of several rep ranges with both higher and lower loads will ultimately be best for building and maintaining muscle.

Let your diet do its thing for fat loss and keep training much like you would when trying to gain muscle—what builds muscle best retains it best. Moreover, you cannot “spot-reduce” certain body areas no matter how much you target/stimulate them. If you want an etched six-pack of abdominals, skip the marathon sets of sit-ups; work instead on providing progressive overload to the abdominals and losing sufficient body-fat. The best way to ensure you’re building or maintaining muscle is having a progression scheme in place. When you go into the gym one of your main priorities should be trying to progress from your previous workout.

Keep in mind that progression doesn’t always have to mean adding weight to the bar, but can come in the form of adding more volume, increasing frequency, adding various intensity techniques, etc. Just focus on progressing/improving in some capacity each week.

 

You can “etch details” into your muscles depending on what exercises you perform

This sort of plays off the above myth, but there is simply little basis to the idea that a muscle will appear more etched/detailed if you train it from 1,000 different angles. What will make it appear more vividly is simply making it grow and losing sufficient body-fat. Apparently many bodybuilders have taken the idea of “sculpting their physiques” far too literally. You can sufficiently stimulate just about all of your chest muscles using a press exercise and a flye exercise. You don’t need to do 6-7 different chest exercises in hopes that you will suddenly carve in striations that would otherwise be absent.

Assuming an equal amount of training volume is being performed, you won’t see much difference in your bicep growth whether you choose to perform just barbell curls and hammer curls or 9 different bicep exercises. We could go on and on with examples, but hopefully this will suffice.

It is best to only train each muscle group once a week

Many bodybuilders follow training routines that have them exhaustively train each muscle group only one time per week. While this may provide decent results over time, it is actually a rather inefficient way to train.

A study in the “Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology” found that muscle protein synthesis dramatically increases 65% above baseline 24 hours after a heavy bout of resistance training, and then drastically declines back to baseline at about the 48-hour mark post-workout.

Therefore, a much more prudent way to train would be to hit each muscle group 2-3 times per week and split the volume across each session. Think of each training session as an opportunity to induce growth; would you only want to grow your chest 52 times per year or, say, 104-156 times per year? Still not sure how to answer this? Well a second study in the “Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research” found that subjects who trained only one day per week had only 62% of the strength gains compared to subjects who split their training over 3 days per week (volume was matched between the two groups).

Here’s an example of what an efficient training split may look like:

  • Monday: Chest/Back/Shoulders/Arms
  • Tuesday: Rest Day or Cardio
  • Wednesday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
  • Thursday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
  • Friday: Back/Biceps/Abs
  • Saturday: Rest Day or Cardio
  • Sunday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
  • Repeat rotation

 

Final Thought

In an industry saturated with under-qualified coaches, trainers and professional competitors who all preach about the methods and practices that have ‘worked for them’, it’s important to understand and consider the underlying reason certain approaches work.

Don’t confuse correlation with causation. Common sense is best applied liberally and if in doubt, do your research. The whole dieting and physique progress thing shouldn’t be as complex as some make it out to be.

The reality of fat loss

Fat loss is a simple mathematical equation that becomes a touch more complex in reality – there’s no need to further complicate the situation by self-imposing ridiculous old-school beliefs and mantras. Having the drive and determination to put the seemingly perfect plan in place is one thing, but to ensure that plan is as perfect as can be is another.

Focus on consistency over time through incorporating sustainable methods to eating and lifting. It’s for this reason that theSimplyshredded 12 Week Shred Guide has been designed; to help eliminate the guesswork and offer you results driven, evidence-based training and nutrition principles that have worked time and time again.

It will help you develop as a lifter and gain an insight into the underlying principles behind WHY things work and how to go about them in the most effective manner, rather than simply leading you blindly. You can check out some of the transformations and success stories HERE.

Rise to the challenge!

Gone are the days of the ‘perfect’ meal plan – The Simplyshredded 12 Week Shred Guide offers you the ability to become the master of your own diet. It’s 60% off for a limited time only though – so make sure to grab your own copy before it reverts back to full price. You can even run the program and send your before and after photos in for a feature on the website.

Science Says Gluten Sensitivity Isn’t Always Real – Some People Are Just Whiners…

That may be a snarky way of saying it, but it is true in certain cases. Scientific studies have concluded that sensitivity to gluten for people who do not have Celiac disease may only be psychological.

It is especially relevant in a country where 17 million people may unnecessarily believe that they are gluten sensitive (source: A Mayo Clinic survey in 2012, cited in a NY Times article.)

It is especially shocking in a planet that spent $10.5 billion last year on gluten-free products (source: Mintel, a market research company, cited in the NY Times article.)

It is especially important because a psychological disease can spread as fast as any virus.

Finally, it is especially lucrative for all the food companies making tons of money off of people who are not really gluten sensitive.

The same scientist who gave strong proof for gluten sensitivity a few years ago now says it might only be in your head.

Let’s start with some facts. Gluten is a protein found in grains. Celiac disease is very real. Gluten triggers really bad symptoms in people with Celiac disease. These symptoms include “depression, ADHD-like behavior, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and chronic fatigue” (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).

ADVERTISING

That is not a pretty list, and it’s hard not to feel any sympathy for those who suffer from these symptoms. But some people get these gluten-triggered symptoms without having Celiac; the term is non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). But this condition is largely self-diagnosed. Professor and scientist Peter Gibson is no stranger when it comes to studying gluten; he did a study in 2011 that gave a lot of credit to the belief in (non-Celiac) gluten sensitivity. Seeing that NCGS had become a worldwide phenomenon, he revisited the topic in 2013 with a critical look at the original assumptions. These are the measures he took to validate his results:

  • Subjects were given every single meal for the duration of the study.
  • Any other potential causes of bad stomach symptoms were removed from the diet (lactose from milk, for example).
  • Peter collected nine days worth of urine and fecal matter for analysis purpose.

The results were pretty shocking. They concluded that gluten couldn’t have caused any of the negative symptoms the subjects were suffering from.

NOCEBO might sound like the name of the latest trendy NYC neighborhood, but is actually a term used to denote an inert substance that creates harmful effects in a patient (opposite of placebo). Gluten was proven as a NOCEBO by the researchers of this medical study. People who did not take gluten but had thought they were, began to experience a list of symptoms that no one would wish his or her enemies. In the study’s own terms, “we found no evidence of specific or dose-dependent effects of gluten in patients with NCGS” (source: No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.). Gibson then took the research one step further.

Gibson’s team became less interested in studying gluten itself and more interested in studying people who believed they were gluten-sensitive. He wanted to better understand adults who diagnosed themselves with this condition. According to its results, “GFD was self-initiated in 44% of respondents; in other respondents it was prescribed by alternative health professionals (21%), dietitians (19%), and general practitioners (16%).” If you have a friend with “gluten sensitivity,” there is a 44% chance they self-diagnosed. There is only a 16% chance that a gluten-free diet was recommended by a medical doctor.

Jessica Biesiekierski, a member of Gibson’s team, is focused on doing more experiments to prove whether or not non-Celiac gluten sensitivity truly exists. Gibson and Biesiekierski’s have said:

“Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), occurring in patients without Celiac disease yet whose gastrointestinal symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet (GFD), is largely a self-reported diagnosis and would appear to be very common.”

“There is definitely something going on,” Biesiekierski told RCS, “but true NCGS may only affect a very small number of people and may affect more extra-intestinal symptoms than first thought. This will only be confirmed with an understanding of its mechanism.”

Currently, Biesiekierski is focused on refining the experimental methods used to determine whether or not non-Celiac gluten sensitivity truly exists. In the meantime, the gluten-free movement keeps storming on, backed up by some celebrities:

Just how big could this be?

Marketers are milking consumers and treating this trend like it will never go away. Just look at the numbers… (the following surveys and marketing studies were originally cited in this NY Times article about the non-gluten big bucks.) A fast growing trend: 11% of all households purchased gluten-free foods in 2013. They were 5% in 2010 (source: Nielsen Survey). These household customers ring up as much as $100 of gluten-free products in their average grocery basket. This is 3 times more than the average grocery bill of $33 (source: Catalina Marketing). Annual sales of gluten-free products were estimated to be $10.5 billion in 2013 and are expected to be $15 billion by 2016 (source: Mintel). To quote Harry Balzer, VP of market research at NPD Group: “About 30 percent of the public says it would like to cut back on the amount of gluten it’s eating, and if you find 30 percent of the public doing anything, you’ll find a lot of marketers right there, too.” Here is the craziest part of all – a 2012 Mayo Clinic survey concluded that only 1.8 million Americans have Celiac disease. In the same time, it’s actually 18 million people who consider themselves “gluten sensitive”, participating in the increase of this explosive trend

The chart below shows the volume of Google searches with the keywords: organic, gluten, GMO and antioxidant. All of these health trends have made it onto the labels of tens of thousands of products you find at the grocery store:

http://www.google.com/trends/explore?hl=en-US#q=antioxidant,+gluten,+gmo,+organic&geo=US&cmpt=q&

People care more about gluten than about antioxidant rich and non-GMO products. Gluten is a very specific protein affecting 0.6% of the American population that actually has Celiac disease, whereas 5.7% of the population believes to be gluten-sensitive. It has recently become more interesting for people than organic food, something on the contrary relevant to just about 100% of the population. According to the Google search volume, the only over-diagnosed illness that tops the gluten-free craze is ADHD.

To sum up…

  1. Scientist who studied gluten inside and out has shown gluten sensitivity might be in your head.

  2. Celiac disease is a fact. Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) may not exist.

  3. A large part of the population falls into the NCGS camp.

  4. The business of gluten-free products was $10.5 billion last year.

  5. Some trends come from a marriage of health concerns and marketing.

If you want to find out more about how to get tested:

http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/diagnosing-celiac-disease/screening/

* This article was updated on September 23 2014 in response to the complaint(s) that we did not provide enough detail within the original.
** The opinions expressed are those of the author. Buzzworthy is more than happy to post a counter opinion if reliable sources and a strong case are provided.

Xyrem Information 🤔

By Trinka Porrata

If you have the debilitating COMBINATION of narcolepsy and cataplexy, it is possible that the “official” GHB (tradename Xyrem) might help that condition, by reducing the incidence of cataplexy.  It is claimed that Xyrem reduces the incidence by 70 percent.   (Comparison: an ongoing study says that Prozac reduces incidence of cataplexy by 92 percent with ongoing efficacy; but Prozac, as with most drugs, also has risks and concerns.  This is not a recommendation of Prozac over Xyrem.  What works for one may not work for another.).

If you have only narcolepsy or other sleep disorder—and do not have cataplexy—then Xyrem wasn’t approved for that purpose.  But, since the FDA declined to exempt Xyrem from “off label use”—though this was recommended by their own advisory committee–doctors can and may prescribe it for just sleep disorders or other conditions.

While Orphan Medical can only “advertise” Xyrem for the combination of narcolepsy and cataplexy, their literature also suggests that Xyrem may be a possible treatment for daytime sleepiness and fibromyalgia, referencing that it is being researched for those conditions.  The FDA has not deemed it efficacious for those conditions yet, but because of the off label use policy and the reference in their materials, doctors can and might prescribe it without being fully informed.

NOTE:  Off label use means that doctors can prescribe the drug for conditions and diseases other than what the drug has been researched for and approved for, even without any research or evidence to back up that it is effective or safe for that other purpose.  That is a policy fraught with risks.

Unfortunately, some of the doctors prescribing GHB for off label uses have minimal, or no, knowledge of this drug in general, other than what they have been told by a drug representative.  If you are taking it or considering taking Xyrem for whatever purpose and your doctor, for example, tells you that GHB is non-addictive, you may want to get a second opinion because the medical facts indicate otherwise.  Even the FDA literature on GHB acknowledges its addiction potential and withdrawal syndrome (please read the FDA data below).  In fact, withdrawal from GHB, once addicted, can be severe.  It is claimed that narcolepsy/cataplexy patients exhibit no withdrawal syndrome (if withdrawal is from a therapeutic dose), but patients with this condition truly have a strong motivation to maintain the correct schedule of their medications.  Patients with a less complicated regime of medications to take daily may be more likely to slide into addiction, gradually adding a little to their dose or taking it more often.

While patients can receive only a limited supply each month, things can happen, ranging from a rollercoaster ride of being on it and off of it during the month (while waiting for the next batch) to drug-seeking behavior, buying illicit GHB.  Some patients have been told that they can’t experience tolerance on this drug but reality indicates otherwise.  Reading message boards about Xyrem use, some note that it worked OK at first and then they get a lessened response.  Their dose gets increased and increased but there is a maximum allowed.  Some doctors call that “adjusting the dose” and indeed that does have to happen for some to get the right effects and not too many side effects.  But for those who simply find that they need more and more to get to sleep because it no longer works as well, there can be problems once they reach the top.

So–If you have a history of alcoholism or other addiction issues, you may not want to touch this drug.  Never mind that GHB is being researched in Italy as a treatment for alcoholism.  Bear in mind, there was a time when it was thought that morphine, for example, was a treatment for alcoholism!!!  The Italian research doesn’t address “impairment” issues and GHB is definitely dramatically impairing for driving, etc.  Yes, it may “cancel” the craving for alcohol but may well replace it with a craving for GHB.    People trying to get off of GHB have to avoid alcohol completely at least for a few months to avoid slipping into alcohol dependence.  Benzodiazepine drugs are also risky taken in combination with GHB and an easy substitute for those trying to get off of it, with a heightened risk of addiction to that drug.  Many alcoholics who had been clean and sober for years started taking GHB thinking it was a “healthy” dietary supplement only to find their life spiraling downward as they fell into GHB addiction.  Anyone prescribed Xyrem needs to appreciate their situation and be very careful with any combination of drugs and any indication of building tolerance or dependence.

Furthermore—If you have a history of depression, you may not want to touch this drug.  Yes, is it touted as an anti-depressant on the Internet, but it seems to be only temporarily so for most.  Many of our GHB addiction cases from one country in particular have involved mental health patients who turned to GHB as a last resort—other medications having failed them—only to find that the aftermath of GHB is deeper depression.  We have dealt with a number of suicides involving people trying to get off of GHB, from suicide within hours of going into withdrawal (See Tyler’s story on our tragedies page) to months later, still struggling with depression and anxiety (whether or not they had prior depression issues).  Even the FDA’s literature on GHB acknowledges the depression issue (see below).

It is important to note that the FDA’s website includes this notation about Xyrem:  “Side effects associated with Xyrem include confusion, depression, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, bedwetting, and sleepwalking. Abuse of Xyrem could also lead to dependence, i.e, craving for the medicine, and severe withdrawal symptoms.”

Many users discuss on the message boards their experiences, including vomiting, snoring, sleepwalking, concern about maybe not being able to wake up at the sound of fire alarms or whatever emergencies while on it, etc.

It is important that you discuss any side effects with your doctor.  It seems, based on email and board messages that sometimes patients are reluctant to tell the doctor, fearing they’ll be kicked out of a clinical trial or taken off the medication and since they may be having some improvement on Xyrem, they are hesitant to risk giving it up.  But it may be a matter of adjusting the dosage or indeed may involve danger and should be handled with the doctor.

The FDA approved medical guide for Xyrem includes this information:

What is the most important information I should know about Xyrem®?

*Xyrem® is a Schedule III, federally controlled substance. This means that if you sell, distribute, or give your Xyrem® to anyone else, or if you use your Xyrem® for purposes other than what it was prescribed for, you may be punished under federal and state law by jail and fines. Your Xyrem® should be used only by you, as prescribed.

*It is critical to keep Xyrem® out of the reach of children.

*Xyrem® can cause serious side effects including trouble breathing while asleep, confusion, abnormal thinking, depression, and loss of consciousness. Tell your doctor if you have any of these problems while taking Xyrem®.

*The active ingredient in Xyrem® is gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a chemical that has been abused (misused). Abuse can cause serious medical problems, including trouble breathing, seizures (convulsions), loss of consciousness, coma, and death. Abuse of Xyrem® could also lead to dependence, craving for the medicine, and severe withdrawal symptoms.

*Xyrem® causes sleep very quickly. Therefore, take Xyrem® only at bedtime and while in bed.

*Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or perform any activity that is dangerous or that requires mental alertness for at least 6 hours after taking Xyrem®. When you first start taking Xyrem®,until you know whether it makes you sleepy the next day, use extreme care while driving a car, operating heavy machinery or doing anything else that could be dangerous or needs you to be fully mentally alert.

Who should not take Xyrem®?

Do not take Xyrem® if you

*take other sleep medicines or sedatives (medicines that cause sleepiness),

*have a rare condition called succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency

Tell your doctor if you

*are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. It is not known whether Xyrem® can pass through your milk and harm the baby.

*have had depression. You may be more likely to get depressed taking Xyrem®.

*have liver problems. Your dose may need to be adjusted.

*have sleep apnea, snoring, or breathing or lung problems. You may be more likely to get serious side effects.

*are on a salt restricted diet, have high blood pressure, or heart failure. Xyrem® contains a lot of sodium (salt) and may not be right for you.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and supplements.

What are the possible side effects of Xyrem®?

*The most common side effects of Xyrem® are nausea, dizziness, headache, sleep problems, confusion, vomiting, and bed-wetting. Tell your doctor if you develop these less common but possibly serious side effects: sleepwalking (confused behavior during the night that may include walking around and doing other activities while not aware of what you are doing), increased sleepiness during the day, snoring, you stop breathing for a short time while you sleep (sleep apnea), breathing problems, depression, and abnormal thinking.  These are not all of the side effects of Xyrem®. If you are concerned about any possible side effects consult your doctor.

Effects of abusing (misusing) Xyrem® (GHB)

*Some people who repeatedly abuse GHB become addicted to it. People who repeatedly abuse GHB can develop withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include the need to continue taking the drug, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and abnormal thinking.

General advice about Xyrem®

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes not mentioned in Medication Guides. Do not use Xyrem® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Xyrem® to other people. It may harm them, and it is against the law.

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/xyrem/medicationguide.htm

Adverse reactions Xyrem or other GHB products (illicit products that are really GHB) or any other drugs may be reported to the FDA through their MedWatch page.

http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/index.html

Report form begins here…

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/   

Based on incoming email from Xyrem patients, we know that some doctors who are prescribing it are NOT screening their patients for prior addiction and depression issues.  And some are prescribing Xyrem to patients who are taking other depressant drugs at the same time, etc.

___________________________________________

Xyrem Messages to Project GHB:

(Note:  This is a partial sample of messages regarding Xyrem)

2004 Comments:

My wife had GHB (Xyrem) prescribed to her from a family medicine doctor for sleep.  She took it for nearly 10 weeks…  She takes other meds as well.  She began to hallucinate, had psychotic fits, rage, and required hospitalization.  Is it legal to prescribe this drug for sleep???

Response:

Technically it is “legal” under the “off label use policy” for a doctor to prescribe Xyrem for sleep.  But it was not approved for that purpose.  The FDA review committee did not deem it efficacious to reduce daytime sleepiness.  The committee also recommended that this drug be exempted from “off label use” but the FDA chose not to do so.  –Porrata

2004 Comments:

I have narcolepsy and have a prescription for Xyrem.  While GHB has a great potential for abuse, I do not agree with much of what I read on your website.  There are countless numbers of pain killers, stimulants, tranquilizers and other drugs that have genuine medicinal benefits yet can be abused like GHB.    I also disagree about more research being needed merely because “it is not known why it works.” It is unknown how half the prescription drugs on the market today actually work.  Just randomly look up some drugs in the PDR and you will find out.  But that in itself is not a reason to refrain from taking it if a doctor feels it could help.  Doctors typically weigh the possible ill effects of a drug against the possible benefits.  Now days, the doctor and patient usually come to a joint decision.  If you were in agony due to some disabling illness, would you not be willing to take your chances on a drug that is know to work?   Would you even care if there were unknown risks if this drug brought you immediate relief?      As for GHB/Xyrem being addictive, it is definitely NOT addictive when taken as prescribed by a sleep specialist.  I was a participant in one of the clinical trials a few years ago.  After almost two years on Xyrem, the doctor had me stop “cold turkey;” and there were no cravings or withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.   As for GHB users passing out and dying, this again is from abusing GHB.  If someone takes as much GHB as they desire for a good “high;” then of course they’re flirting with death.  Here’s some more food for thought.  Ask any doctor who is a “SLEEP SPECIALIST;” and he or she will likely tell you what a godsend this drug is for narcoleptics.  But ask any other doctor about GHB and they’ll probably freak out and agree with everything on your website.  Sleep specialists are far more knowledgeable about GHB than other doctors.  They not only know its potential pitfalls but also know about its medicinal benefits for narcoleptics.    But thank you for at least addressing the medical use of GHB for narcoleptics.  I was glad to see that you did.

Response:  I’m glad you were able to stop taking GHB without withdrawal.  Not all patients prescribed it have been so lucky.  Actually, not all sleep specialists are recommending this drug.  No, I would not consider taking this drug no matter what my condition.  I realize that narcolepsy/cataplexy combined makes for quite a debilitating disease, but knowing what I do about GHB I could never be persuaded to try it.  My biggest concern is that some patients are given this drug without fully appreciating what it is they are being given.  If they have a history of addiction to any substance or history of depression, this drug is of particular concern.  –Porrata

2003 Comments:

I’m new to your web site.  Some of my fellow Narcoleptics may resent me for these   comments, but I have a right to my own opinion. I have a severe, disabling case of Narcolepsy, a disorder of the brain’s sleep/wake mechanism.  Over the years, I’ve developed a tolerance to all of the available stimulant medications used to treat it.  I’m almost a prisoner in my own home because of the constant unrelenting sleepiness. HOWEVER, I WOULD NEVER EVEN CONSIDER TRYING XYREM (GHB) UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!  When I investigated the possibility of participating in a clinical study, the benefit I could expect to receive (30% improvement) did not outweigh even some of the less serious potential side effects.  There was no mention of some of the more serious side effects that are mentioned on your web site.  I realize that some people with serious life-threatening illnesses will try just about anything because what have they got to lose?  But a person does not die from Narcolepsy, unless  he/she has an accident of some sort as a result of the excessive sleepiness.  The long term effects of the stimulant medications on my brain has been bad enough.  But I’m certainly not willing to risk messing up what’s left of my already damaged brain.  I’ll keep my half-of-a-life rather than lose it altogether!

2003 Comments:

Narcoleptics are subject to rape when a cataplexy attack occurs. Married 27 years to a narcoleptic wife, I know exactly how it happens. One of my wife’s pregnancies in her first marrage came about when her first husband took advantage of her cataplexy. My hope is Xyrem will reduce her risk of cataplexy rape.

Clinical trials showed xyrem worked and soon my wife will start it. But narcolepsy is a strange disorder, not well understood by anyone, and we do not know whether or not it will work for her. Postings in the narcolepsy mail-list have shown it worked for other narcoleptics.

Little is know about how narcolepsy works and its origins so we have to use clinical trials to test treatments. That no one knows how GHB acts on narcolepsy begs the question and is unfair. Don’t complain about not knowing how GHB works until you can post how narcolepsy works.

I was especially disturbed by your speculation that Prozac is a narcolepsy treatment. Although some anti-depressants have been prescribed, the consensus is their side effects are not proportional to the benefits derived and no one is using Prozac to treat cataplexy.

I came to your site because as a new drug, we need to have factual information about Xyrem and interactions other drugs … Loracet Plus and ACE inhibitors. But there is no evidence that you have any data beyond the existing pharmacology.

Worse, your ignorance about narcolepsy “use Prozac” and then to criticize release of GHB because:

“they [FDA] fundamentally have very limited knowledge about it. The FDA does not know its mechanism of action or what the long-terms effects may be.” July 17, 2002 press release.

This begs the question about what you [or anyone] knows about narcolepsy and destroys your credibility as a factual source about GHB and narcolepsy.

Response:

Project GHB has never said that Prozac is a narcolepsy treatment.  There is a valid, long-term university-based study about Prozac as a treatment of cataplexy (most people with cataplexy also have narcolepsy but not everyone with narcolepsy also experiences cataplexy).  And, certainly no one has contended that that is a “best answer” either since Prozac, like most drugs, does have issues and concerns as well).  –Porrata

2002 Comments:

I am 28 years old. I have suffered from my Narcoleptic symptoms since I was 11 years old. Although I was not properly diagnosed until I was 13, the medications I take for cataplexy and Narcolepsy do not cure or fully relieve my sleepiness or loss of muscle control, but they do however lessen the severity of them. I have heard that severity of symptoms differs from patient to patient. I think I would consider myself somewhere in the middle. I read about Sandra who seems to have more severe symptoms and I also know someone personally who has a more mild case of narcolepsy than myself. I would have to agree with you about scheduling the drug on level 1. Like human cloning and stem cell research these decisions ultimately affect human lives. Let it be fully researched before it causes more harm than help.  I am sided with you on that issue. GHB, by all means should be controlled.

2002 Comments:

You state that your purpose is educate people about the ABUSES of GHB. But, I gather that you are willing to allow 150,000 or more people simply “wait” when GHB can provide substantial help to them.

Your position is not only irresponsible, but if GHB is not approved for legitimate treatment, I would place the deaths of narcoleptic patients who die from preventable accidents directly at your feet.

Response:

You are quite wrong.  We are concerned about those suffering from any disease especially when treatment is non-existent or hard to come by.

Our GHB addicts (we know of more than 1000 of them in more than 47 states and several foreign countries and each of them know dozens more who are addicted too) face exactly that problem too.  There aren’t 150,000 people with potential value from GHB because that’s about the full population with narcolepsy, BUT only a portion of them also have cataplexy.  GHB does NOT treat narcolepsy.  It does NOT reduce the daytime episodes of sleepiness.  That was clearly established in the FDA hearing last summer on GHB re the narcolepsy/cataplexy trials.  What it does do is reduce the incidence of cataplexy attacks (complete, brief loss of muscle control).  Prozac (which granted has its own risk factors) has also been found to reduce the incidence of cataplexy by 92 percent with persistent efficacy (it keeps on working).  It is of value ONLY to patients with both narcolepsy and cataplexy (cataplexy by itself is really rare).

No one here has a problem with medical use of GHB staying right where it is—in tightly controlled research environment, available ONLY to narcolepsy/cataplexy patients.  Once outside of that environment, it will become a disaster (even more than it already is).  People with narcolepsy/cataplexy have a strong motivation to comply with instructions and maintain a tight schedule of meds. Beyond that environment, there is no such dedication.  If GHB is to be approved it MUST be excluded from the “off label use” policy of the FDA that would allow any doctor to experiment with it for any purpose.  Approval for one disease or condition means simply that the drug company can’t advertise it for other purposes, but doctors can play with it without any knowledge that it will work or is safe for other use.  In fact, the plan presented by Orphan was NEVER to even mention that the drug is in fact GHB, but rather it is hidden in their proposed literature as sodium oxybate (an old name for GHB which is not widely known) with a tradename of Xyrem.  Even the FDA evaluation committee said that if any drug should be exempted from the off label use policy it is this one.  Of course, the drug company can’t make big bucks if that should happen.  You see, the drug company is eager to see it go beyond those with narcolepsy/cataplexy.  I’d say that’s the irresponsible view, not ours.  By the way, GHB addicts seem to be the primary investors in Orphan Medical, based on their own financial community message board.  GHB addicts have been accidentally in some cases diagnosed as narcolepsy/cataplexy; others have deliberately sought that status so they can get the “good stuff” if approved.

No, our position isn’t irresponsible.  We’ve saved a lot of lives because of the information provided and have helped hundreds of GHB addicts escape its grip.  Meanwhile many others are struggling to get free of it while we are working to educate treatment people and others to recognize the problem and understand the unique and long treatment involved (compared to 3-5 day detoxes from most other drugs this one is much tougher).  There are more than 225 GHB-related deaths reported to us, many from GHB only (no other co-ingestants).  We have reason to believe that is the tip of the iceberg since most coroners know nothing about it and don’t have the ability to test for it.  We have helped hundreds of addicts and know of thousands and thousands of overdoses and sexual assaults.  There are more than 11,000 reported overdoses via the Drug Abuse Warning Network………….but according to one survey, only 7 percent of overdose cases get any medical treatment (and thus may be counted) because of the myth that it’s OK to “just let them sleep it off.”  Well, most people do sleep off a GHB overdose… …… ….Those that don’t are called dead.

We also see a lot of accidental overdoses and suicides in people coming

off of GHB.  Even Orphan admitted that they had a suicide and two attempts in their studies, but kissed it off totally to “prior depression.”  That’s funny, their protocols require exclusion of people with mental health issues.  And, we see that prior depression/mental health issues only make it worse.  We have suicides and attempts from people with ZERO prior issues and no real world reasons to commit suicide……it’s part of the risk of withdrawal.  This is a very dangerous and bizarre drug.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse recently released millions of dollars for research on GHB because so little is actually known about how it works.  Approval of this drug NOW, before that essential research is done, is insane.  Many countries around the world are just now awakening to the extent of their problems with GHB and are moving away from it.  How inappropriate for this country to suddenly embrace it with the new info just coming to light.  Look at all the recent drug issues because the FDA has inappropriately approved drugs too rapidly.  The FDA should leave GHB where it is now……research status….. ……and wait for the data to be completed.  Anything less than that is irresponsible.  (This is the response given in 2002.  The FDA approved Xyrem that summer.)
— Porrata

Why Taking Pre-Workout Supplements Might Be a Bad Idea…Maybe??!??

Pre-workout supplements are powders that get added to water and are consumed before a workout. They provide extra energy and supposed nutritional benefits. But are these powders actually healthy for you? Some brands claim to give you “immediate energy, focus, and strength,” others “advanced strength” and some even “explosive energy.”

Putting something into your body that claims to be “explosive” certainly doesn’t seem healthy. It turns out that this so-called “health” products might actually be dangerous for you.

Photo by Sam Dilling

In 2014, several pre-workout supplements were found to have DMBA. This is a substance pretty close to another chemical banned by the FDA, DMAA. Both DMBA and these supplements containing it were banned later in 2015 for increasing risk of heart attacks, bleeding of the brain and even death. Even though DMAA was banned awhile ago, here’s a list of supplements still containing the ingredient today in 2016 (Avoid at all costs!).

So, although it may seem like all the bad pre-workouts have been taken care of already, the ones on the market may still pose a risk to your health. Most pre-workout supplements contain chemicals like caffeine, arginine and niacin (B3), as well as others, to boost energy to ensure a successful workout.

Photo by Alyssa DiFrancesco

Caffeine is commonly ingested through things like coffee, soda and even tea, so consuming it in a pre-workout powder shouldn’t seem out of the ordinary. Some even suggest drinking a cup of coffee before your workout. Pre-workout supplements usually have three to four times the amount of caffeine contained in a cup of coffee. The problem is that caffeine naturally raises your heart rate and combined with the stress of cardiovascular activity it can put excess strain on your heart.

One helpful active ingredient is beta creatine, which allows the dilation of blood vessels. This is particularly helpful during workouts for building muscle mass and even improving workout capacity for the eldery. And as of right now, no negative side effects are known.

Arginine is an amino acid found in some pre-workout supplements. It’s popular because of its potential to raise nitric oxide production, which is great for a workout because it’s supposed to increase muscle growth, strength and performance. However, the effect doesn’t really take place because the amino acid can’t be absorbed into the intestines properly, and so it’s not really doing anything for you. At the same time, it’s not actively harmful.

Photo by Jackie Kuczynski

Niacin, also known as B3, is a vitamin. While it’s not necessarily bad for you, it just doesn’t do anything. There’s no evidence that Vitamin B3, or any of the B vitamins, raises energy levels. Like arginine there’s no harm risk from consuming it, but no reason to either.

An ingredient found in some pre-workout supplements, theanine, is also found in tea. Research shows that it has several health benefits, including stress reduction, raised nitric oxide production levels, and improved focus and alertness. It may be helpful before a workout.

A lot of pre-workout supplements, especially the ones with multitudes of flavors, contain artificial sweeteners and dyes. It seems contradictory to put anything artificial in your body before a workout, but sweeteners like sucralose and sugar alcohols have been under review by fitness communities for awhile. In general, artificial sweeteners tend to disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, alternating your metabolism and possibly increasing your risk for diabetes.

Photo courtesy of @hannah_gat on Instagram

Pre-workout powders also utilize emulsifiers to help all the ingredients dissolve and mix together smoothly. Unfortunately, these emulsifiers have some pretty nasty side effects, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and some emulsifiers have been linked to negative effects on fertility and reproduction.

The general side effects of most pre-workout supplements is jittery feelings, excess energy, headaches and nausea. In a review of two different pre-workout powders, even a SpoonPSU member remarked that for “long amounts of cardio, like running more than 4 miles, it does make me nauseous. Nothing to stop my workout, but enough to make me feel uncomfortable.”

Not all pre-workout supplements are bad. Most are. But the truth of the matter is that most supplements are unnecessary in comparison to the effects they can produce. You should try to stick to natural sources of energy before your workout, like bananas or oatmeal, or any of these other options. It might work out better for you leaving the artificial stuff behind, or you may find that these pre-workout supplements are necessary for you. It’s all about listening to your body.