Amino Acids are the chemical units or “building blocks” as they are popularly called of proteins. Eight of these amino acids are essential, which means that the body cannot manufacture them. The rest of amino acids are non-essential, which means that they can be manufactured by the body, but only with proper nutrition. Amino acids can build cells, repair tissue, and form antibodies. They also build RNA and DNA, and carry oxygen throughout the body. Proteins are made up of amino acids.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Antioxidant substances include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Antioxidants are found in many foods. These include fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish.
A nutrient that is converted to Vitamin A by the body when needed. Contains antioxidant properties. Beta carotene is found in green vegetables and carrots and is converted by the body into vitamin A according to its needs.
Biotin (Vitamin B)
Biotin is a B vitamin that’s needed for the formation of fatty acids and glucose, which are essential for the production of energy. It also helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). Calcium is required for muscle contraction, blood vessel expansion and contraction, secretion of hormones and enzymes, and transmitting impulses throughout the nervous system. The body strives to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these functions.
Measurement of the potential of food to supply energy. Carbohydrates – The body’s principal source of energy. Simple carbohydrates come from sugars; complex carbohydrates come from starches and fibre. The body converts them to glucose, which is used to energise cells.
An amino acid essential for the breakdown of fat into energy. Carnitine may improve the utilisation of fats for energy and can be beneficial in conditions associated with impaired fat breakdown and energy production. Carnitine may be beneficial in heart disease, enhancing physical performance, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, liver disease, and protection against drug toxicity.
Substance manufactured by the liver and other organs and consumed via animal fat. High-fat diets increase the amount made. It is believed that high levels lead to collection of cholesterol in the arteries, possibly leading to serious health risks.
A nutrient that helps prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver; aids in the detoxification of metabolic wastes and toxins.
Mineral important in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats; helps build lean muscle tissue and regulate blood sugar levels.
CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid)
A naturally occurring nutrient which scientists have discovered exerts a positive effect on protein and fat metabolism.
Coenzyme Q 10
Vital to energy production at the cellular level; used for endurance improvement. Supplementation may decrease fatigue, muscle weakness and obesity. Also recognised for its strong antioxidant properties.
Mineral important in the formation of red blood cells; keeps bones, blood vessels, nerves and the immune system healthy.
Creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements on the market and is used by bodybuilders, athletes, sportsmen and women alike. Creatine is a compound made naturally in our bodies as an energy replenisher. It is manufactured in the liver, kidneys and pancreas and secreted into blood for transport to muscle (amongst other) tissues. Its chemical name is methylguanido-acetic acid, formed from the amino acids arginine, methionine and glycine.
A hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Primary function is to produce estrogens and testosterone.
Consists of both soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble (does not dissolve in water) fibre. Diets high in dietary fibre and low in fat may have a protective effect against many chronic illnesses, including heart disease and some cancers, and may reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Provide essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body. They transport fat-soluble vitamins and regulate blood cholesterol levels. Provide energy when the body’s carbohydrate level is depleted. Provide protection to vital organs. While fats are essential to the body, many people consume much more than necessary to remain healthy.
Vitamin important in the synthesis of DNA, tissue growth and the production of red blood cells.
An herb (Korean – Panax Ginseng) (Siberian – Eleutherococcus senticosus) (American – panax quinqefolium),. The most costly root, ginseng is a low-growing, shade-loving perennial herb of the Araliaceae family. It is cultivated in China, Japan, Korea and Russia and can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. The United States can also cultivate this root.
Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Production of glucosamine slows with age.
A non-essential amino acid, glutamine is considered to be a brain fuel. Glutamine has been used therapeutically for alcoholism, mild depression and to reduce the craving for sweets. Glutamine is very important in the functioning of the metabolism and muscle maintenance. Glutamine supplementation can help prevent muscle and other tissue breakdown by providing the body with nitrogen and fuel.
An herb (Camellia sinensis). Green tea originates in China, Japan and other parts of Asia. The leaf of the plant is used in creating the extract which is potent and bioflavonoid-rich. This herb is used primarily for its free-radical scavenging capabilities.
Plants containing many nutrients and phytochemicals, providing an array of health benefits. Herbs have been known for centuries, but are now becoming the basics of many modern medicines.
Naturally-occurring nutrient with the ability to inhibit the synthesis of carbohydrates into fat; also works as an appetite suppressant. Found in Relìv products under the brand name CitriMax®.
A nutrient that helps prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver; aids in the detoxification of metabolic wastes and toxins.
A mineral necessary for normal cell metabolism. Required by the thyroid gland in the synthesis and secretion of hormones.
A mineral essential to the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin (which carries oxygen in the blood and muscles, respectively). A part of several proteins and enzymes in the body.
A nutrient responsible for the transportation of fats to cells for use in energy production.
L-carnitine is very similar to the nonessential amino acid carnitine. It performs some of the same functions, such as helping metabolize food into energy.
Essential amino acid. Important for growth, tissue repair, and the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies. Research indicates that lysine may be useful in the treatment of migraine and herpes simplex. Precursor to carnitine in the body.
A mineral aiding many basic functions, including metabolism, heart rhythm, bone growth and the function of nerves and muscles.
A mineral playing a vital role in reproduction and energy production; very important in building healthy bones. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) – Provide twice the energy of carbohydrates; have no significant effect on insulin production. Improve the absorption of amino acids and reduce muscle tissue breakdown.
A mineral required to activate certain enzymes that are necessary for thousands of bodily functions.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Crucial for conversion of food into energy; helps maintain normal functioning of the skin, nerves and digestive system.
A naturally derived wheat germ oil concentrate which has been clinically proven to increase oxygen utilisation when exercising.
Functions in the breakdown and use of proteins in the formation of blood cells.
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
Essential in metabolising food; aids in the synthesis of various body chemicals, such as hormones and cholesterol.
Potassium/Potassium Phosphate is a mineral which assists in muscle contraction and in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in body cells. Potassium is used for regulating heartbeat and helps muscles contract and relax. Potassium is also important in sending nerve impulses as well as releasing energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates during metabolism. Potassium can be found in potatoes, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, split peas, butternut squash, watermelon, raisins, yoghurt, orange juice, brussel sprouts, courgettes, bananas and broccoli.
After water, protein is the most abundant and important substance in your body. Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids of which there are approximately 22 different types. The body needs all of these amino acids in order to function properly, so it is important to get protein from a variety of sources. Amino acids are chemical compounds containing nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. These chemicals combine together into different structures to form the various types of protein that the body requires.
The proteins you consume in your food are broken down through digestion into individual amino acids; these amino acids are then absorbed and reform in order to create new proteins that are then used by the body. These individual amino acids perform a vast multitude of functions and have an equally diverse range of benefits for the body. Proteins are responsible for maintaining healthy hair, skin, muscle, bones and organs. Protein is a major component of all muscles, tissues and organs and is essential for almost every process that occurs within the body including cell repair, metabolism, digestion and the transportation of nutrients and oxygen in the blood.
It is also essential for the production of antibodies, which fight against infection and illness. For bodybuilders protein is so crucial because it is responsible for repairing damaged cells. It is protein that helps rebuild the damaged muscle fibres that are broken down during exercise. You cannot over-stress the importance of this nutrient if you want to build muscle and maintain a healthy body.
Quercetin is a concentrated form of Bioflavenoids derived from citrus fruit. Bioflavonoids are also known as flavenoids. These compounds are occasionally classed together as Vitamin “P”. Quercetin is a water-soluble plant pigment. While Quercetin is not considered essential, it does support health as an anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, and anti-viral agent.
Recommended Dietary Intake. Estimates of daily minimal dietary intake of established nutrients provided by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council. Optimal levels have not been formally established.
Saw Palmetto Berry
An herb (Sarena Serrulata). Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree with red berries which were used by Native American Indians to ease certain ailments. The red berries contain high concentrations of plant sterols, including B-sistosterol, which act as anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, the berries provide a variety of fatty acids and phytosterols which inhibit the action of dihydrotestosterone, the compound thought to be responsible for the enlargement of the prostate.
Selenium (Se) has been shown to prevent or slow aging and is an essential component of key antioxidant enzymes (anti-oxidants protect against free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules which are potentially damaging by-products of the body’s metabolism and which may contribute to the development of cardio-vascular disease and cancer This anti-oxidant action helps in the body by slowing cellular aging due to oxidation). Selenium also helps keep youthful elasticity in tissues and is essential for normal growth and development. Selenium can be taken as a dietary supplement either on its own or included in a multivitamin and multi mineral supplement and is usually included in meal replacement powders and bars.
Helps regulate blood pressure and water balance in the body.
St. Johns Wort
An herb (Hypericum perforatum). St. John’s Wort is an aromatic perennial herb which has been used for centuries for a wide variety of conditions. The plant’s active compound, hypericin, has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. Hypericin has also been shown to have monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibiting activity, mimicking the action of antidepressant agents.
A naturally occurring androgenic hormone, testosterone is very important for muscle and strength and achieving your optimal physique. Without Testosterone, it is very difficult to build and maintain a decent muscular and strong physique. Testosterone and its levels can be affected, elevated and reduced by many things.
Testosterone levels can be low from one’s genes, stress levels, drugs and alcohol abuse, dietary things such as excess soy products. Testosterone levels can also be high from genetic disposition, excess meat consumption, eating foods high in minerals such as zinc or supplementation.
Tocotrienols along with tocopherols are from the vitamin E family of nutrients. Tocotrienols are derived from plants and are anti oxidants (anti-oxidants help in the body by slowing cellular aging due to oxidation). Vitamin E supplies oxygen to the blood which is then carried around the body to the organs helping with fatigue and nourishing cells and helping with muscle and nerve maintenance. Vitamin E also helps with cholesterol reduction, strengthens capillary walls and protects lungs. Most commercial vitamin E supplements do not contain the gamma form of the vitamin, depriving you of the full range of its antioxidant effects.
Tonalin (conjugated linoleic acid)
An essential fatty acid shown to reduce body fat and increase muscle tone.
A nonessential amino acid but may be essential for individuals with certain diseases or nutritional concerns. May be important for neurotransmitter synthesis and mood regulation. May be useful for depression, allergies and addictive states.
Vanadium is an essential mineral present in many foods but one which is not easily absorbed. Trace amounts of Vanadium are essential in the diet but it is not entirely clear what role it plays in the body or what effect deficiency has on our bodies. Vanadium is found in several forms such as Vanadyl Sulphate and Vanadate.
Fat-soluble vitamin that promotes good vision; helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and skeletal and soft tissue; possibly increases resistance to infection.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is used in the body to digest carbohydrates and in the body’s metabolism to generate energy. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is essential for the normal function of the brain, nervous system, muscles and heart and promotes growth and muscle tone. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) also aids the circulation and helps maintain the intestines.
Important for metabolism regulation and red blood cell production; helps maintain a healthy central nervous system.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is needed by the body to use oxygen and for the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids and carbohydrates to produce energy. Vitamin B2 is also needed to activate Vitamin B6 and to create Niacin (Vitamin B3). Vitamin B2 is also used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration and growth. Vitamin B2 is also needed when protein intake is high and is most beneficial to the skin, hair and nails.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin), promotes release of energy from foods and aids efficient nervous system function, circulation, growth and metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 also aids sex hormone production and reduces cholesterol levels in blood, reducing high blood pressure.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a water soluble vitamin essential for health. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is essential for more than 100 enzymes involved in synthesis and breakdown of amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is used for fat metabolism, red and white blood cell growth, antibody formation and for the efficient function of the nervous and lymphatic systems. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is also needed for the conversion of L-Tryptphan (an amino acid) to Niacin (Vitamin B3 which is also important to the circulatory and nervous systems).
Antioxidant that performs a variety of roles in the body, helping to promote healthy gums and teeth, aids in mineral absorption, helps heal wounds. May provide a variety of other health benefits.
Promotes absorption of calcium and helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that acts as a major anti-oxidant protecting against free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules which are potentially damaging by-products of the body’s metabolism and which may contribute to the development of cardio-vascular disease and cancer This anti-oxidant action helps in the body by slowing cellular aging due to oxidation. Vitamin E supplies oxygen to the blood which is then carried around the body to the organs helping with fatigue and nourishing cells and helping with muscle and nerve maintenance.
Vital to blood clotting; may help maintain strong bones with aging.
Whey protein contains both essential and non-essential amino acids, meaning that it has all the proteins available from food sources plus some you cannot get from food. It is the richest source of branch chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine).These proteins are vital to the process of rapid muscle growth and without them muscles will struggle to recover from the stress of exercise.
For these reasons, it is prudent, if not essential to consume a protein shake directly after a workout in order to start the process of recovery and growth as soon as possible. The 20-45 minutes after a workout is known in the bodybuilding world as the “protein window” and in this short window of time the body absorbs proteins/amino acids rapidly and effectively. Consuming whey protein during the day and directly after workouts is a quick, simple and easy way to boost your protein intake, gain weight, recover from workouts and build muscle.
Xylitol is a white, odorless crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar and was discovered in 1891 by a German chemist- Emil Fischer. Xylitol is broadly classed as a carbohydrate but is absorbed slowly by the body and not all utilised and has 40% less calories than most other carbohydrates. Xylitol has been used in foods as a bulk sweetener for decades and is useful as a sugar substitute and in diabetic foods.
A hormone stimulant, particularly effective in the production of testosterone. Primary Uses: as an aphrodisiac affecting both the male impotence and female frigidity. Secondary Uses: in bodybuilding and athletic formulas where more testosterone production is desired.
Zinc is an essential mineral found in almost every cell in the body and an essential part of more than 100 enzymes. Zinc supports a healthy immune system and is used for protein synthesis, Zinc is used in the formation of collagen which is the base of bone onto which calcium is deposited. Zinc is also used for wound healing, and for a sense of taste and smell. Zinc is used to help prostrate gland function, burn and wound healing and reproductive organ growth and development.