Tag Archives: energy

A ‘Hearty’ Dose of CoQ10

February marks the start of Heart Health month which means I’m often asked about prevention, detection, and solutions for all things heart related. A ‘hearty’ dose of Coq10 may just be what the doctor ordered. Here is what you need to know about this supplement and more.

Some frequently prescribed medications, such as statins, are known to lower CoQ10 levels in the body. Proper CoQ10 levels are important for heart health and cellular energy. Studies have shown that CoQ10 supplementation can help individuals maintain healthy CoQ10 levels while on such prescription medications.


What is CoQ10?

Antioxidants are necessary for a healthy heart. CoQ10 is a coenzyme and an important antioxidant that acts as an essential component of your heart’s energy producing system. While working out, it is important to maximize energy, especially in the cells of your muscles. CoQ10 is present in every muscle cell where it is involved in the process that produces cellular energy. CoQ10 can be found in two structural forms: ubiquinone and ubiquinol.

How does CoQ10 work?

A coenzyme helps an enzyme perform its function and an enzyme is a protein that acts as a catalyst or trigger. Proteins are found in different structural forms from long fibrous proteins found in muscle and hair cells to round, globular proteins that are referred to as enzymes. When a protein (enzyme) acts as a catalyst the end result is an accelerated chemical reaction. Enzymes are necessary to allow chemical reactions in the body to occur at the rate required to sustain life.

CoQ10 can also be used as an antioxidant. Free radicals wreak havoc on the body and damage cells. Antioxidants act as scavengers, quenching free radicals. The body is able to recharge or recycle CoQ10 so that its antioxidant capabilities can be reused.

Why is it important?

CoQ10 participates in the body’s generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy on which the body runs. This production of energy is needed for growth, health, and maintenance of our cells.

What are the benefits?

  • A combination of CoQ10 and Carnitine supports healthy heart and blood vessel function
  • CoQ10 helps support a healthy cardiovascular system, heart health, and is an important antioxidant and essential component of your heart’s energy producing system
  • CoQ10 is a structural component of a cell’s membrane and plays an important role in normal cell metabolism
  • Supplementation with CoQ10 may be useful in increasing circulating Q10 level
  • CoQ10 may work with other antioxidants like vitamin E to protect the body from free radicals

Is it found in foods?

Yes, particularly seafood and beef. To view information from the National Institutes of health related to CoQ10 click here.

What is the difference between ubiquinone and ubiquinol?

In chemistry-terms, ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10 and ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10. Ubiquinone is a bioavailable form of CoQ10 which the body converts to Ubiquinol to be utilized. Ubiquinol is the advanced bioavailable antioxidant form of CoQ10. This form does not require the additional steps of metabolism that Ubiquinone requires. Check the label of your bottle of CoQ10. If you don’t see the word Ubiquinol explicitly stated on the bottle, it is likely that the more common and standard form of Ubiquinone is what you have received.

Talk to your doctor to determine your age related needs. As we age, physiological changes occur across all body systems. They can be influenced by multiple factors: genetics, illness, environment, lifestyle. It is known that CoQ10 levels progressively decline after the age of 40 (Kalen et al., 1989; Soderberg et al., 1990). If you are seeking the advanced bioavailable form of CoQ10, choose ubiquinol.


Kalen, A., Appelkvist, E.L. and Dallner, G. (1989) Age-related changes in the lipid compositions of rat and human tissue. Lipids 24, 579-584.

Soderberg, M., Edlund, C., Kristensson, K. and Dallner, G. (1990) Lipid composition of different regions of the human brain during aging. Journal of Neurochemistry 2, 415-423.


3 Energy Supporting Nutrients

This time of year can prove to be especially exhausting. With holiday parties, copious amounts of sugary holiday foods, booze, and travel to see family for the holidays, it’s important to stay energized to enjoy the season. Support your body’s natural energy-creating processes with some of the following vitamins and minerals.


B Vitamins

B vitamins are essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Vitamin B-1 plays a role in energy metabolism, vitamin B-12 is essential for energy production and red blood cells, and vitamin B-2 is essential for metabolism and energy production. It’d be a good idea to go with a B complex supplement to cover all your bases. Here is a great liquid option, timed-release capsule option, and b-12 chew.


Check your iron status. Lack of iron can limit oxygen delivery to cells. Iron is involved in energy utilization and can support healthy energy levels, just be sure to take it with a vitamin C source to help with absorption. I like this option for women.


Magnesium is required by the body for energy production. For those involved in endurance activities and frequent exercise, magnesium is a critical component for calcium uptake, muscle relaxation, and can certainly go a long way in helping support your activity levels. Personally, I really like Natural Calm®. If you’re looking for a capsule form, here is a great magnesium supplement in capsule form.

Finally, are you drinking enough water? Fatigue can be caused by something as simple as dehydration so make sure you are getting at least the recommended amount of 8 cups of water per day. Don’t forget exercise this time of year too, it can help you feel more energized. Have a safe, happy, and energetic holiday season!

Jumping into Female Fitness


As a coach to many professional and amateur fitness, figure and female physique champions, I have gained an appreciation for the unique challenges for women trying to get in shape. Whether due to intrinsic factors such as the complex female endocrine system or extrinsic factors such as working and parenting, the obstacles to getting in shape are numerous.

Here are just a few of my top tips for getting started with your workout routine. Check out the GNC Medical Advisory Board web page for the rest of my TOP 5 list and for more great articles from the MAB Doctors on recommended health screenings at every age, heart health and even top tips for healthy aging – all for women as we celebrate Women’s Health Month here at GNC.

  • Set realistic goals and write them down. The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline. It is very easy to say, “I want to be in shape for the summer.” However, “the summer” is very vague. Rather, it is better to say, “My goal is to lose a pound per week for the next month.” This is something measurable, and when you attain it, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you even further. If you don’t know what is realistic (i.e., losing 1 lb vs. 10 lbs per week), consult a nutritionist or trainer. Be patient; Adela Garcia didn’t become Ms. Fitness Olympia overnight, or in one month, for that matter.
  • Make a schedule. It is very easy to say, “I just don’t have the time to work out.” This type of statement is not due to a lack of time, but a lack of prioritizing. Your health is important to every aspect of your life and should always be a priority. This includes proper nutrition, sleep and exercise. Workouts can be done at almost any time of day, anywhere or for any length of time. Whether doing some push ups and sit-ups by your desk at work, running up and down the stairs in your building or going to the park with your kids, exercise can be incorporated into all aspects of your day. One of my favorite tips for women is to do your workouts in the morning before the rest of the family gets up. It is often easier to ensure a good workout by disciplining yourself to be the early bird. Workouts don’t have to be hours long, just getting moving is a great start!
  • Choose your exercises based on your goals. First of all, if you are not exercising now, pick something, anything, that you can imagine yourself doing. If your goal is to put on muscle and get stronger, you will have to incorporate resistance training. If you want to run farther and faster, you will have to dedicate a larger portion of your time to endurance training. One thing that many women I talk to neglect is the importance of weight training in improving your physique. Muscle is the machinery that burns fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn. Combining resistance training such as weights with cardio training can be complementary in fat loss goals. A little extra muscle will help tighten up such saggy skin areas as the triceps. You will also feel stronger and empowered. Many women are afraid of weights because they think they will get “bulky.” Lifting heavy weights in itself does not make you “bulky.” Eating excessive amounts of food makes you “bulky.” Train with weights and see how your muscles respond. You may be pleasantly surprised when you see a little bicep pop off your arm.

Once you get started, stick to it. Within a week, you will see measurable results. Use something that is quantifiable to see your success: body fat percentage, weight, strength in an exercise, endurance, etc. Keep a log and be scientific about your approach.

As GNC and the Medical Advisory Board celebrate Women’s Health Month this May, we are excited to encourage your fitness goals and look forward to you sharing your successes with us. Best of luck!

ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B6, B12 & Folate

Researchers from the Aging Research Center in Stockholm, Sweden reported on a 7-year study investigating Alzheimer’s disease and diet.  Published in the Journal Neurology, the authors found that those with a higher level of vitamin B12 in their blood were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, those with higher levels of the inflammatory marker, homocysteine, had a significantly greater risk of developing the disease.

Subsequently, a number of other studies have suggested that high homocysteine levels correlate with an evelevated risk to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, blood vessel clotting, and peripheral atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the artery walls leading to blockage).

How do B vitamins impact homocysteine?  Folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 help to convert homocysteine into methionine, one of the 20 or so building blocks from which the body builds new proteins. When your body lacks folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, this conversion process becomes inefficient and homocysteine levels increase. Elevated homocysteine is associated with inflammation in the body. In turn, increasing intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 helps to maintain normal homocysteine levels.

It’s incredible how so many vitamins and minerals work together to complete bodily processes. Moreover, understanding how vitamins directly impact your past, present, and future health could make the difference between poor and high quality health through the aging years.  Check the breakdown below for specific callouts to the unique role of vitamins B6, B12 and folate.

BVits_FoodsB6 (pyridoxine)

B6 is essential for nervous system function and may play a role in the maintenance of normal homocysteine levels. It is required for proper hemoglobin synthesis and plays a varied role in amino acid metabolism. A high protein diet may increase the body’s need for vitamin B-6.

Food sources include: fortified breakfast cereals and grains, liver, bananas, and avocados.

B12 (cyanocobalamin)

B12 is essential for energy production and red blood cells. It primarily comes from animal sources, so a strict vegetarian who avoids all animal products (vegan) may need to get B12 through a supplement.  It is essential for nerve tissue formation, metabolism of carbohydrates, proper red blood cell formation, and required for proper neurological function.

Food sources are: liver and other meats, poultry, seafood, milk, cheese, eggs, fortified grains and cereals.


Folate is a B vitamin found naturally in foods; think leafy green veggies, fruits, dried beans and peas.  The synthetic form of folate is folic acid, found in fortified foods and supplements.  What you may not know is that folic acid in supplements is more bioavailable than food folate.  As the Office of Dietary Supplements states, “Folate helps produce and maintain new cells.” Folate is required for the transformation of homocysteine to form methionine (along with vitamin B12); it is also required for proper red blood cell formation.

Food sources include: fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, spinach, beans, asparagus, and more.  The ODS provides a list of more food sources of folate and folic acid.

The GNC Difference

When it comes to quality, purity and potency you’ll find that GNC has the best options in the form you prefer: melt, capsule, tablet, liquid, chew, take your pick.

What questions would you like answered regarding B vitamins?


The ABCs of Vitamins: Niacin & Pantothenic Acid

It has become a common misconception that B vitamins give people energy.  In reality, B vitamins do not give people energy.  Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins- the energy-yielding nutrients- supply the fuel for energy.  The B vitamins help to burn that fuel which is where the association with energy is derived.  In this series of the ABC’s of Vitamins, we are going to explore the role of two B vitamins that help to burn carbs, fats, and proteins: niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid.

How Niacin is used in the body:

Niacin /Niacinamide (B3): Niacin is unique among the B vitamins because the body can produce it from protein.  It functions in a variety of important chemical reactions in the body; most notably it provides dietary support for a healthy blood lipid profile. Like all B vitamins, niacin plays an important function in energy metabolism and it may function in DNA replication and repair. Some people experience a tingling sensation in the skin when taking large doses of niacin.  The tingling or hotness is called “niacin flush” and usually occurs after 50 mg.  Niacinamide is a form of niacin that offers niacin without the potential of flushing; niacinamide is niacin attached to an amide molecule.

Food sources of niacin include:  lean meat, fish, chicken, cooked dried beans and peas, low fat milk and cheese, fortified grains and cereals.

How Pantothenic Acid is used in the body:

Pantothenic acid (B5): This vitamin was named after the Greek word “pantos” meaning “everywhere” in reference to its widespread appearance in plants and animals. Pantothenic acid was first recognized as a substance that stimulates growth.  It is required for fatty acid and energy metabolism.  It is an essential constituent of coenzyme A and is essential to metabolic processes in the body.

Food sources of panthothenic acid include: most foods but especially liver and salmon.  Other sources include fortified grains and cereals.

Supplements containing B vitamins:


B vitamins must be present in every cell continuously for the cells to function as they should.

The GNC Difference

Be sure you know what’s in your supplement bottle. GNC maintains 150 quality checks in the manufacturing of supplements-more than the FDA requires.  With guaranteed potency and guaranteed purity, GNC has been a trusted brand for over 70 years.

What vitamins are part of your daily regimen?

The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B1 & B2

Some time after vitamin B was named, it was discovered that what was called vitamin B was actually several different vitamins.  Each of the B vitamins own a different role in the body.  Collectively, the grouping of B vitamins became known as the “B Complex”. Although each B vitamin is separate and distinct in its role, they work synergistically when taken together.

There are eight B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, folate, and B12.  Today we are going to look at the role and significance of vitamins B1 and B2.  The next post in this series will feature B3 and pantothenic acid.

Why B Vitamins:

TabletThe more food is processed, the fewer vitamins are left.  Sometimes food manufacturers will fortify or replace the vitamins that are lost during processing.  This is commonly done with B vitamins.

B vitamins are water soluble so they are absorbed directly into the blood stream.  Excess amounts are excreted from the body and may be replenished regularly.  Generally, B vitamins are not readily stored in the body (except for B12, which is stored in the liver); so they should be part of everyone’s daily diet or supplement regimen.

How B1 (thiamin) is used in The Body:

Thiamin is essential for proper nerve and muscle function and plays a role in energy metabolism.  Furthermore, thiamin helps to metabolize carbohydrates and branch chain amino acids. Heavy exercise may increase the body’s need for thiamin.

Food sources of thiamin include: pork, organ meats, oysters, collards, dried beans, fortified grains and cereals.

How B2 (riboflavin) is used in The Body:

Riboflavin is essential for metabolism and energy production.  It doesn’t survive exposure to sunlight very well, which is why it is better to keep products that have B2 in them (like milk) in opaque containers instead of clear plastic or glass.  As a raw material, riboflavin takes on a bright orange/yellow color.  When B2 is added to a B complex supplement, the vitamin could appear speckled.  This is normal.  Riboflavin functions in a variety of important chemical reactions in the body and plays a major role in the utilization of cell oxygen.  Heavy exercise may increase the body’s need for B2.

Food sources of riboflavin include: dairy and meat products, fortified grains and cereals.

Supplements containing B1 and/or B2 Vitamins:

ABCsVitamins_BVitamin B-1 300

Vitamin B-2 100



Total Lean: Lean Shake & Lean Shake 25

Maintaining a balanced diet is the most effective and natural way to receive the benefits of B vitamins.  However, with the daily stressors of work, family and life, supplements can help to fill in the gaps and support repletion of nutrients lost during exercise. Knowing what is in the products you consume empowers you to make healthy decisions that last a lifetime.

We will explore the role of B3 (niacin), and pantothenic acid in the body as a continuation of this series.  Stay tuned!


Which vitamins do you take everday?

The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin A

Before the discovery of vitamins, how did humans approach illness or recognize deficiency?  There were certainly many strange and bizarre methods used to treat the most common illnesses we see today.  However, you could say that ancient Egyptian medicine got it right.  In this case, Egyptian medicine used foods like liver to aid in night blindness; they were definitely on to something₁.  Liver is a rich source of what we now know as vitamin A.  It wasn’t until 1931 that Paul Karrer defined its chemical structure. Chances are someone has suggested that you take vitamins or you’ve heard that you should.  Well we’ve come a long way since Egyptian times. So, what are the next steps? Let’s consider this your introduction to The ABC’s of Vitamins A-Zinc.  I am going to outline what makes each vitamin worthy of your attention in a series of posts starting with…you guessed it, vitamin A.

How Vitamin A is used in The Body:

Vitamin A in the eye takes part in an important reaction that helps adjust your vision to see in the dark.  Specifically, the retina of the eye will metabolize vitamin A into a molecule that is necessary for vision.  The result is that you can see in color and in low-light situations.  Deficiency of vitamin A interferes with this process and may result in night blindness.

Why Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is necessary for eye health, essential for normal vision and healthy skin.  Adequate vitamin A promotes normal healthy skin appearance and texture while it supports the normal renewal of skin cells.

Foods containing Vitamin A:

Who knew that bright colors could serve for more than just visual appeal? Orange and yellow colored fruits and vegetables derive their color from important compounds called carotenoids like
beta carotene (which is converted into vitamin A), lutein and zeaxanthin that are naturally present in the eye and necessary for eye health.  Get at least 5 servings of colored fruits and vegetables a day.  The foods listed below contain the most vitamin A:

Assorted_MultivitaminsSweet Potato (with skin)

Beef Liver




Sweet Red Peppers

Recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for adults:

The Daily Value (DV) in adults for vitamin A is 5000 IU.

Many living foods like fruits and veggies supply the body with vitamin A along with other essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Start with a healthy diet; focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, beans, eggs, nuts and seeds, and fat-free/low-fat milk and milk products.  Dietary supplements used in combination with a healthy diet will provide your body with the greatest opportunity to support healthy vision as you age.


₁Nuun, J. F. (1996) Ancient Egyptian Medicine. London: British Museum Press.

What is your favorite food that contains vitamin A?

Burn Baby Burn…60% More

Imagine trying to tie your shoe with one hand. It would be tough but not impossible.  You could probably get it done, but it would take a lot longer than you wanted.  An extra hand sure would help.  When it comes to losing weight the same principles apply.


Increased calorie burning, in addition to diet and exercise, can help you get closer to your weight loss goals.  Burn 60™ is clinically shown to increase calorie burning by up to 60%^.  It also provides an extra boost of energy.  So when you are working out at the gym, you’ll have that extra boost to help keep you going.  Reaching your weight loss goals may not be as easy as tying a shoe but having an extra boost can really make the difference.

How does it work?

Burn 60™ is a powerful thermogenic formula, clinically proven to increase post-workout calorie burning by up to 60% for up to 1 hour after a workout.  You will experience a boost in energy and metabolism.

Why take it?

Burn 60™ increases calorie burning and can help burn calories on non-workout days.

How much caffeine is 180mg?

The 180mg of caffeine in Burn 60™ is comparable to a little less than two cups of coffee.

A Clinically Researched Thermogenic


Burn 60™ is clinically proven to increase post workout calorie burning by up to 60% for up to one hour after a workout.

^This double blind placebo controlled crossover study consisted of 22 healthy men and women. Participants exercised on a treadmill on two occasions. On one occasion they took Burn 60 before exercise and on the second, they took a placebo. The amount of calories burned during the first hour post exercise was measured and participants burned up to 60% more calories while on Burn 60 compared to when they took the placebo.


A look at the label:

Guarana Seed Extract

This is a berry that grows in Venezuela and Brazil, commonly used to prepare beverages that stimulate energy as our cup of coffee or tea will do.  Caffeine is the primary ingredient in Guarana and triggers thermogenesis (tending to produce heat in the body thereby stimulating the metabolism).  The whole idea here is to increase the energy our bodies use.

Black Tea Leaves Extract

Catechins in green tea leaves are oxidized in the manufacturing process of black tea which produce beneficial compounds such as: theaflavins, bisflavanols, and more.

Grape skin and seed extract:

Grape extracts contain flavanoids, vitamin E, linoleic acid and more.  These contain polyphenols which have antioxidant properties therefore, protecting our bodies against cell aging and damage.


As a dietary supplement, take two tablets 30-60 minutes before starting exercise on workout days, on non-workout days take two tablets with water before breakfast. Do not take prior to bedtime.

Get a helping hand to boost your calorie burn.  You may just reach your weight management goal faster than you thought possible!

Getting The Most From Genetix HD

The Genetix HD™ program is a trio of three products:

Each product has a unique purpose in working synergistically to help you maximize performance to achieve the ultimate ripped physique.  Due to the versatility of the program, there are many ways to use the products.  We are going to outline the best ways to use the Genetix HD products as a program and independently.

The usage directions will vary depending on whether you are using all of the items or a single item.


Only ONE SERVING of each item per day is needed.  Ideally taken as follows:  Add one level scoop of Pro Sculpt (13g) to 10 oz of cold water, mix well, and consume in the morning, upon waking, and then Take three tablets of Meta-Ignite 30-60 minutes before workout.  Take one pak of Physio-Burn with dinner.  Again, and there should be at least 4-5 hours taken between the doses of Meta-Ignite and Pro-Sculpt.

If you’re a visual learner, check out this chart (click to enlarge) for best times to use Genetix HD™ as a program:

*When Stacking BOTH Meta-Ignite and Pro-Sculpt, you should use One Serving of Meta-Ignite Before a Workout daily, and Only ONE serving of Pro-Sculpt daily, taken immediately upon waking. 

For usage on a single product within the trio:

  • Meta-Ignite:  As a dietary supplement, take three tablets 30-60 minutes before workout, once per day, for maximum results.   To assess tolerance, start with 1-2 tablets daily for the first 3 days, and gradually increase to the full, three tablet serving based on your individual tolerance.
  • Pro-Sculpt:  As a dietary supplement, add one level scoop (13g) to 10 oz of cold water, mix well, and consume 30-60 minutes before workout.  For maximum results, take one additional serving in the morning, upon waking, for a total of two servings daily.
  • Physio-Burn:  As a Dietary Supplement, take one pak daily with a meal.  For Maximum results, take two paks daily, one with breakfast and one with dinner.

For usage on Meta-Ignite AND Pro-Sculpt TOGETHER:

The directions for usage changes slightly, as both products are stimulant based, and therefore, should not be taken simultaneously.  When using BOTH Meta-Ignite and Pro-Sculpt, we suggest:  Add one level scoop of Pro Sculpt (13g) to 10 oz of cold water, mix well, and consume in the morning, upon waking, and then Take three tablets of Meta-Ignite 30-60 minutes before workout.  When using BOTH products, only one serving of Pro-Sculpt is recommended per day, and there should be at least 4-5 hours taken between the doses of these two items.

So there you have it.  All of your usage needs answered. If you’d like to check out my previous posts on Genetix HD, check out these links: MetaIgnite, ProSculpt, PhysioBurn. Based on your current physique, goals and needs choose what works best for you.  Progress is made one step at a time.