How And Why To Use Gratitude To Hugely Improve Your Life (Backed By Science) [INFOGRAPHIC]

Gratitude pays huge dividends in ways that will surprise you. It’s worth figuring out how to incorporate it into your life.

Scientists have discovered that feelings of thankfulness inspire happiness, among other things.

Basically, if you can re-wire your thinking to include being genuinely grateful for the amazing parts of your life, instead of having a scarcity mindset, you’ll live a fuller, richer life.

Here’s how being grateful heightens your enjoyment of life.

how and why to use gratitude to change your life

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1. Crafting thank-you notes boosts self-esteem

This is evidenced by a 2014 study of athletes published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. Researchers found that teen athletes who thanked their coaches for success had higher self-worth than those who didn’t. The grateful players also scored better and trusted their coaches more than those who lacked appreciation.

At the University of California, swim coach Teri McKeever employs a novel training strategy. At the end of the season, Coach has her team write thank-you notes and make gifts for members of the college Athletic Department.

Does writing thank-you notes feel like a chore? Think of how you feel when you receive one!

2. Keeping a gratitude journal hones willpower

A 2014 finance study in Psychological Science showed that gratefulness fosters patience and self-control. Subjects were tested on self-discipline regarding money management. First, they were asked to journal an experience that prompted joy, gratitude, or indifference. Then, they were given a choice of receiving $54 immediately or $80 after three days.

Subjects whose writing primed them to feel joy or indifference wanted the cash upfront. Thankful subjects had more willpower, opting to wait the three days for the larger sum. The research also suggests that gratitude aids decision-making.

Study co-author Professor Li states that this finding applies to addictive behaviors, such as impulse buying, overeating, and smoking.

Is there a nasty habit you want to combat? When fighting a craving, take a moment to pen a thank-you note.

3. Being appreciative promotes health

In 2015, UC Davis Medical Center reported that being thankful improves our biochemistry. Some of the benefits of being thankful include reduced blood pressure, strengthened immunity, normalized cholesterol, lowered stress hormones, and improved kidney function.

Studies show that grateful people are inclined to exercise and eat healthfully. Are you lagging in these areas? Being appreciative can restore your resolve.

4. Expressing thankfulness attracts friends

Sending a thank-you note to a helpful person paves the way to friendship. This was the finding of a 2014 study at the University of New South Wales. The research involved 70 college attendees who gave advice to high school students. Mentors who received thank-you notes were highly inclined to offer their phone numbers and email addresses for future contact. The college kids also saw grateful teens as having warm personalities.

Is there a new acquaintance who’s gone the extra mile for you? Send them a note of gratitude, and you may gain a friend.

5. Staying mindful of good fortune builds resilience

Rebound quickly after misfortune by listing your blessings. A 2014 study cited in the Journal of Positive Psychology followed Israeli teens who survived a five-day missile attack. Those who remained grateful for their family and friends were least subject to post-traumatic stress disorder.

After a loss, being grateful for what remains will reinforce your strength.

6. Gratitude walks elevate mood

Staying mindful of your good fortune keeps unpleasant feelings at bay, such as envy, depression, fear, and resentment. Recalling the good in your life increases dopamine, a brain chemical released by pleasure. Other hormones that surge are oxytocin and serotonin, promoting affection and happiness.

Two 2008 studies in the Journal of Research in Personality found that grateful first-year college students had few bouts of depression.

When feeling dejected, take a gratitude walk. While strolling, note the things around you that lift your spirit. For example, “Wow, I love this sun and breeze. Look at those cute dogs with their owners and adorable kids! It’s so great being able to walk, see colors, and hear laughter.”

7. Thanking co-workers spurs motivation

A 2012 study in the Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion explains the benefits of being valued as an employee. Feeling appreciated inspires excellent job performance and the desire to help people.

A 2015 workplace study found that organizations who formally recognize their employees have better staff engagement, team relationships, and loyalty than businesses who don’t.

Tell coworkers you enjoy their company. If you’re a supervisor, start meetings by praising your staff for a recent achievement. Reward great performance with tangible thanks, such as catered lunches, bonuses, gift cards, and theater tickets. Here are other creative ways employers and staff can show gratitude.

8. Appreciating a partner enhances romance

Couples who convey what they value in each other are more committed than those who don’t. Grateful partners also enjoy greater intimacy and sexual fulfillment.

A 2015 University of Georgia study found that expressing gratitude fosters marriage longevity. Even when faced with other challenges, such as financial stress, spouses who feel appreciated are more likely to remain faithful.

If you’re in a romantic relationship, thank your sweetie for their love on a regular basis. Acknowledge the things they do for you, and the joy they bring to your life. Tell them how fortunate you feel to be theirs. Praise your love’s wonderful qualities and talents.

To keep your sentiments fresh, be inventive with your tributes. Here are some ways to shower your partner with appreciation.

9. Keeping a gratitude jar cultivates empathy

Thankfulness prompts compassion. In 2011, University of Kentucky scientists studied the relationship between aggression and appreciation. Grateful subjects were more likely to be kind to others, even after receiving negative feedback. Gratitude softens the desire to retaliate.

Note miraculous moments on slips of paper, and store them in a cookie jar. When feeling glum, raid the jar, and feast on your past revelations. In addition to being uplifted, you’ll develop benevolence.

10. Counting blessings at bedtime invites sound sleep

A 2009 study conducted at the University of Manchester, England showed that among 401 subjects, including 40 percent with sleep disorders, those who felt grateful enjoyed better sleep than those who harbored negative thoughts.

A helpful nightly habit is to journal or reflect on three things for which you’re deeply grateful. To keep your practice from getting stale, think of three new blessings each evening.

Tools of Gratitude

Daily acts of thankfulness will improve your self-esteem, willpower, health, friendships, resilience, mood, motivation, love life, empathy, and sleep.

For optimal benefits, use several forms of expression. You can keep a journal or gratitude jar. Write thank-you notes, offer gifts, and go on gratitude walks. Surprise people you value with gift cards.

Certain individuals have profoundly influenced your development. Send each a letter of appreciation while they’re still alive. Swap grumbling thoughts for thankful ones, and your joy in life will soar!


How Sitting Is Killing You, And How To Save Yourself [INFOGRAPHIC]

Take a moment to consider just how much of your time is spent sitting. We sit down to eat our breakfast, then we sit in our cars or public transportation to get to work, then we sit at our desks during the workday. When we come home, we sit on the couch and watch TV. Excessive sitting doesn’t mean we’re lazy, it’s just a part of modern life.

With all that sitting, it’s no surprise that our health is starting to take a toll. Only 20% of American adults are getting the recommended amount of physical activity to begin with [1]. Add to that a sitting epidemic, and you have a very real health risk.

It’s important to note that it’s not just sitting that’s the problem. It’s inactivity. Even standing still for long periods of time, such as on assembly lines, will take a toll [2].

The overall issue is immobility for long stretches of time.

Fortunately, this is a problem that’s easy to solve. It’s as simple as setting a reminder on your phone or computer and getting up to stretch and walk around for a few minutes throughout the day.

Here are 8 reasons to sit less, and 3 ways to move more.

How Sitting Is Killing You Infographic

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1. The average American sits for 38 hours per week [3]

Between 1965 and 2009, the number of hours the average American adult spent sitting down each week increased by 12 hours. In 1965, adults spent 26 hours per week sitting. Fast forward to 2009, and adults spend 38 hours per week sitting.

This increase in chair time has been attributed to many things, including the fact that more and more modern jobs are done sitting at a computer.

2. More than half of the average person’s day is spent sitting [4]

This may sound like a lot, but it’s really not that surprising if you think about it. Walk yourself through the past week and tally up your hours doing the following:

  • Eating
  • Watching TV
  • Sitting at a desk
  • Sitting in a car or on a bus or subway
  • Sitting on a couch
  • How much time did you spend sitting down?

3. Hitting the gym is not enough [5]

A report published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation found that no amount of exercise can counteract the negative effects of sitting all day. That means that you can spend three hours at the gym each night, but if you’ve been sitting motionless for an eight-hour workday the damage is done. The key is to take frequent breaks from sitting throughout the day–and also go to the gym!


4. What happens when you sit? [6]

When you are sitting for 30 minutes, an hour, or more, here’s what happens in your body that causes harm:

  • Lungs get compressed by the ribcage
  • Bloodflow to the heart is restricted
  • Digestion slows down
  • There is less blood circulation in your legs

5. Sitting causes a 90% increase in diabetes risk [7]

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sitting for eight hours or more each day increased the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by as much as 90 percent.

6. Sitting increases the risk of heart disease [8]

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that women who sit for 10+ hours per day are more at risk for developing heart disease, the leading cause of death among women [9].

7. Cancer risk is increased by as much as 66% by sitting [10] [11]

A study published by the National Cancer Institute reported that sitting is associated with an increased risk of developing multiple types of cancer, including:
Lung cancer (risk increased by as much as 54%)
Colon cancer (risk increased by as much as 30%)
Uterine cancer (risk increased by as much as 66%)

8. Sitting increases your risk of death … for any reason [12]

Being mostly sedentary increases mortality, making you 24% more likely to die from any health issue.


9. Take a mini movement break about every 30 minutes [13] [14]

Use an app or alarm clock to set a timer to go off every 30 minutes. When you hear the alarm stand up and move around–stretch, walk, do a jig, whatever you feel like. As little as 60-90 seconds of physical activity for every 30 minutes of sitting can offset its negative effects.

10. Get a sit-stand desk [15]

Sit-stand desks are adjustable so that you can easily switch back and forth between standing and sitting throughout the day. A study found that sit-stand workstations reduced the time employees spent in a sedentary position by 3.2 hours per week. While standing still for long periods of time isn’t good either, the change-up can help you move more throughout the day.

11. Fidget [16]

Your coworker’s annoying leg bouncing and thumb twiddling may actually be saving their life! A study of 13,000 women published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the women who sat still without fidgeting for seven or more hours per day increased their mortality risk from all causes by 30%. In contrast, the women who sat the same amount of time but fidgeted actually lowered their overall mortality risks.


[1] Park, Alice. “Exercise Benefits Your Health, But Only If You Sit Less.” Time, Time, 19 Jan. 2015,

[2] Hutchinson, Alex. “Standing All Day Is Twice as Bad as Sitting for Your Heart.” Runner’s World, Runner’s World, 13 Sept. 2017,

[3] Walton, Alice G. “More Evidence That Sitting Is Bad For Us — And Exercise Alone Won’t Save Us.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 18 Aug. 2016,

[4] Geggel, Laura. “Too Much Sitting Is Killing You (Even If You Exercise).” LiveScience, Purch, 21 Jan. 2015,

[5] [6] [14] Strutner, Suzy. “Sitting All Day Is Even More Dangerous Than We Thought.” The Huffington Post,, 13 Sept. 2017,

[7] [12] Biswas, Aviroop, et al. “Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults.” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 162, no. 2, 20 Jan. 2015, pp. 123–132., DOI:10.7326/m14-1651.

[8] Chomistek, Andrea, et al. “Relationship of Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity to Incident Cardiovascular Disease.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 61, no. 23, Jun. 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.03.031.

[9] World Health Organization. International statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Geneva: World Health Organization, 1992. Available at Accessed April 15, 2010.

[10] Heath, Rory. “Sitting Ducks – Sedentary Behaviour and Its Health Risks: Part One of a Two Part Series.” British Journal of Sports Medicine Blogs, 21 Jan. 2015,

[11] Park, Alice. “Sedentary Behavior Increases Cancer Risk by Up to 66%.” Time, Time, 16 June 2014,

[13] Dr. Mercola. “New Study Debunks Dangers of Prolonged Sitting.”, Peak Fitness, 30 Oct. 2015,

[15] Greenhouse, Pat. “Yes Sitting at Work Is Bad, but Is Standing Actually Better? – The Boston Globe.”, Boston Globe, 3 Nov. 2014,

[16] Hagger-Johnson, G, et al. “Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2016,

What is Bone Broth? Does It Actually Do Anything?

Whether you’re worried about finding yourself ill in the middle of cold and flu season or you have achy joints, chances are, you’ve heard someone mention bone broth as a solution.

It sounds easy enough: just add a little bone broth to your diet–generally without packing on a huge number of calories–and you can enjoy any number of great health benefits!

In fact, there’s now even bone broth protein powder available on the market to get some of the benefits while increasing protein intake for muscle growth!

The question, of course, is, does bone broth actually do anything?

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is broth made by cooking the bones of your meat – typically chicken, turkey, cow, or pig, but you can use whatever bones you happen to have on hand – for several hours in order to break down the bones and bring out all of the health benefits.

The biggest difference between bone broth and traditional stock comes from the length of time that the bone broth is cooked: substantially longer than most people cook their cooking stock.

Bone broth is touted as having several health benefits that make it worth your while including increased gut health and an improved immune system.

The question is, does it really have all of those benefits?

How It’s Made

The easiest way to make bone broth is to start by having a meal that includes the bones of the animal.

Cook a whole chicken or turkey, grab a ham that’s still on the bone, or choose a bone-in steak or roast.

Cook the meat as usual.

When you’re done, clean most of the meat off of the bone.

Don’t worry if there’s still a little meat left, it will just add flavor to your bone broth.

If you’re using beef bones, toss them back in the oven and roast at 350 degrees for about an hour–it will make the flavor of your dish much better!

Otherwise, just toss the bones straight in a crockpot.

Add salt, pepper, celery, peppers, onion, carrots, or any other vegetable you’d like.

Cook on low for 8-24 hours.

Bone broth can be stored in the fridge for short-term use or frozen if you’ve made a big batch and want it to last longer.

The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Advocates of bone broth ascribe a wide range of health benefits to this simple concoction. Dr. Axe claims that it will help treat leaky gut syndrome, improve joint health, boost your immune system, and even reduce cellulite. Seems like a perfect combination, doesn’t it?

In order to fully understand the benefits of bone broth, however, it’s important to study what’s really in it and how it actually affects the body.

What’s in bone broth?

The long cooking process that creates bone broth helps to make use of every part of the animal.

It breaks down the marrow in the bones and helps extract nutrients that were stored by the animal.

Bone broth is an excellent source of a number of amino acids that can be beneficial to your body in many ways, including boosting joint and bone heath – but it’s also not the only source of those vital amino acids. They can also be found in chicken, eggs, and other meats.

What about that vital collagen addition?

One of the much-touted benefits of bone broth is its high collagen content.

According to bone broth’s backers, ingesting collagen in its natural form will decrease cellulite, increase joint health, and offer a number of other benefits.

Skeptics, on the other hand, argue that simply ingesting collagen may not be enough to take it where the body needs it most.

One study, however, suggests that some people may be able to benefit substantially from adding collagen to their diet when it comes to cellulite: compared to those who took a placebo, daily collagen supplements did significantly reduce cellulite in study participants.

Drinking collagen through bone broth therefore has the potential to offer the same benefits – and potentially to provide some of the joint-cushioning impact that many athletes are hoping for when they add bone broth to their diets.

Note, however, that the body doesn’t absorb collagen whole; instead, it’s broken down into those critical amino acids that the body uses for overall health. The amino acids are then directed where the body needs them most–potentially including moving them toward joint health.

Can bone broth really provide an immune system boost?

Chances are your grandmother recommended chicken soup every time you had so much as a cold or the sniffles. Maybe you’re even lucky enough to have had the kind of grandmother who would cheerfully bring you a fresh pot any time you were sick.

As it turns out, science does back the old family assertion that chicken soup can help your immune system and allow you to recover from cold or flu symptoms faster–and those benefits extend to bone broth, too. There are several reasons for this:

  • Hot liquids help thin mucus and decrease its buildup in the chest.
  • Chicken soup limits the movement of the white blood cells that fight infection, reducing the body’s response and therefore decreasing cold symptoms.
  • Chicken soup helps cilia work more effectively, decreasing the instance of illness.
  • Chicken soup naturally increases hydration, which is critical during any illness.

While it’s unclear whether or not other types of bones offer the same benefits, bone broth made with chicken bones will certainly offer the same benefits as traditional chicken noodle soup. It’s also a rich source of nutrients that the body needs in order to stay healthy, which makes it well worth the investment.

Will bone broth help you sleep?

One of the odder claims about bone broth is that if you consume it on a regular basis, it can lead to a deeper night’s sleep. Here’s the surprising fact: it can!

Glycine, which is one of the common amino acids found in bone broth, can have a calming effect on the body, which can lead to a deeper night’s sleep.

Does bone broth fight inflammation?

If you’re recovering from injury or illness, one of your priorities may be fighting inflammation–especially inflammation in your gut.

The amino acids in bone broth that provide so many other benefits can offer some inflammation-fighting properties, which will make you more likely to recover faster.

This property can also help decrease joint pain, especially in athletes who are struggling with the recovery process.

If you are adding bone broth to your diet, can it lead to weight loss?

Bone broth for weight loss: it’s yet another “miracle cure” for this popular substance.

You likely already know that there’s no magic pill that will make weight loss a snap.

Consuming a broth-based soup before your meal, however, can offer the benefit of decreased calorie intake over the course of the meal.

Consuming bone broth can also help you feel full longer, which may lead to reduced snacking between meals. As a result, weight loss may follow.

So what’s the verdict on bone broth?

While bone broth has the potential to offer several health-related advantages, it’s not the cure-all that proponents would have you believe.

If you’re sick or having trouble recovering from a hard workout, bone broth certainly won’t hurt you – and it does have several dietary benefits, especially if you’re not in the habit of eating healthily on a regular basis.

By adding bone broth to a diet that is already health-conscious, you’ll experience some benefits – but you shouldn’t expect a magic fix, either.

Bone Broth: Your New Recovery Drink

One place where bone broth does show significant promise: as an athletic recovery drink. If you’ve been using additive-filled sports drinks to fuel your post-workout recovery, bone broth can offer a number of substantial benefits that may lead you to replace your typical post-workout drink with bone broth–or at least a soup made from it.

Consider these benefits:

  • Bone broth is often high in sodium, which can replace the electrolytes lost during an intense workout.
  • Bone broth will replenish water lost through sweat.
  • Amino acid building blocks can help rebuild muscle after an intense workout.

Even if you aren’t able to enjoy the other health benefits of bone broth, it certainly makes a nice workout recovery drink–and that may make it well worth adding to your diet.

The important thing with bone broth, as with any addition to your diet, is to note that it’s not a cure-all. Consuming bone broth offers several health benefits–but so does eating eggs or meat and drinking milk. Rather than focusing on one individual aspect of your diet, savvy athletes take a well-rounded approach, consuming a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

The jury may still be out on the full benefits of bone broth, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a healthy addition to your diet! Try it for yourself and see whether or not you appreciate the benefits, whether as a sports drink or as an immune system boost in the middle of cold and flu season.


The Best Bicep and Tricep Workouts For Men To Get Massive Arms

There’s a bodybuilding mantra that was made popular in the 1960s that focused on the importance of the arms.

“Arms and chest are always the best!”

This mantra highlights the truism that when it comes to aesthetics, the arms and upper body are always the first to get noticed. Many men instinctively know this is true, but they overthink their plans for building arm muscles.

There is no argument against diet, rest, nutrition, and supplementation being important when focusing on building a great set of arms.

However, when it comes to training arms for massive gains, it’s important to consider the function and construction of arm muscles. These are some of the most versatile, yet mostly simply constructed muscles in the body. Take a few cues from some bodybuilders who were known for their incredible arms.

“… remember that once you get going, you must handle as much weight as possible, but always in good form.”

– Larry Scott, Mr. Olympia 1965-1966

“I don’t know; I never count sets.”

– Sergio Oliva, Mr. Olympia 1967-1969

“The cheating barbell curl stands alone for building mass.”

– Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Olympia 1970-75, and 1980

Each of these champions were known for their incredibly well-developed arms and they approached arm training with a simple philosophy: lift heavy weights, aim for a maximum pump, and always train to – and even past – the point of failure.

This seems obvious to any man who has spent time in a gym. The most basic principle of muscle growth is breaking plateaus.

So why do so many men fail to grow massive arms?

It helps to first understand your arms’ general anatomy.

  • Biceps: A two-headed muscle that lies on the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow.
  • Triceps: A three-headed muscle on the back of the upper arm, responsible for extension of the elbow.

The versatility of the biceps and triceps allows a man to perform nearly endless types of upper body motions. This versatility is also what allows the biceps and triceps to be worked easily in bodybuilding situations. The simple act of closing and opening the elbow joint fully engages all of the muscles in each group. Adding resistance recruits muscle fibers fully and efficiently.

Understanding this is the key element to developing arm size.

Men fail to add mass to their arms because they spend too much time on exercise variations, rather than simple weighted lifts.

With extremely light weights, fewer total muscle fibers are activated. With heavy weights, more total fibers are activated. As multiple lift sets are performed, some fibers become filled with waste materials like lactic acid and ammonia. When this happens, other fibers are recruited to complete the lifts. Heavy weights recruit the greatest number of total fibers in each muscle group.

And as these muscle fibers are stressed under heavy loads, they develop micro-tears. Blood is pumped into the muscle fibers to compensate for these injuries, and the fascia is stretched. When this stretching happens, minerals and nutrients are released to begin work on repairing the torn muscle fibers. As these micro-tears are repaired, the results are ultimately larger and stronger muscle fibers, meaning muscle growth.

In other words, you need to stress your biceps and triceps in order for them to grow.

To put this into practical terms, heavy pushing and pulling from the elbow joint provides maximum stimulus for bicep and tricep growth.

Think about it.

20 minutes of heavy barbell curling will certainly stress arm muscle fibers to the point of micro-tearing far better than an hour of performing sign language.

In short, if a man wants his arm muscles to grow, he must subject both the triceps and biceps to weight loads that provide the necessary muscular challenge and stress.

The Most Common Arm Mass Myth

When a man flexes his arms, he holds his arms outstretched and flexes from the elbow. This causes a contraction in both the biceps and the triceps. The bicep contraction is greater because the elbow joint is activated and shortens the bicep head. Magically, a bicep peak is seen.

Psychologically, humans perceive the bicep as the more prominent and aesthetically appealing part of the arm. Overall mass is certainly important to developing an impressive peak.

Despite the attractiveness of a peaked bicep, it is the triceps that provide the majority of the arm’s bulk.

Even in men with underdeveloped arms, the triceps account for two thirds of the upper arm’s total mass.

This underscores another reason why many men fail to grow impressive arm mass. They concentrate almost exclusively on building a bicep peak.

Instead, they should focus the greatest amount of work on the muscle group with the most potential to become huge, the triceps complex. Adding mass to the triceps will increase arm size quicker than through the biceps, adding a more definitive visual dimension. Keep this old-school Venice Beach mantra in mind when building arms.

“Biceps are for the eyes, but triceps are for size!”

Programs for Building Arm Mass

Every arm workout should begin with a short series of acclimatization movements. Warm the arm muscles with a couple of sets of 15-30 repetitions of movements like:

  • Floor push-ups
  • Wall presses
  • Assisted chin-ups
  • Very light standing dumbbell curls

Biceps and triceps are also intertwined with muscle groups like the deltoids in the shoulder and the pecs. Loosen the shoulder girdle and upper chest with several minutes of circumductive band stretching and bodyweight hangs from a bar using overhand and underhand grips. Since an effective arm mass workout involves lifting heavy weights, lower back, glute, and hamstring stretching is also advised.

Then begin the workout. Remember, keep it simple and challenging.


Straight Bar, or EZ Bar Curls

  • 2 sets at 50 percent max load for at least 25 reps
  • 4 sets at 70 percent max load to failure

Barbell Curl 100 Rep Strip Set

  • Start with a barbell loaded with a number of small plates, like five 10-pound plates each side.
  • Cheat curl this weight until failure.
  • Remove a plate on each side and continue curling to failure. Repeat if needed.
  • Rest for no longer than 10 seconds between each weight tier.
  • Do not stop until 100 reps are complete, but once 100 is reached, continue lifting until failure.

That’s it! With three minutes between each failure set, and a concentration on maximum pump, the biceps will be fully stimulated for gaining mass. The trick is to experiment with load amounts over the course of several workouts to achieve true muscle failure. This will ensure complete muscle fiber activation.


Pressdown/Pushdown (cable, machine, platform, other variations)

  • 2 sets at 50 percent maximum for at least 30 reps
  • 4 sets at near maximum until failure


  • 4 sets to failure

Overhead Rope Pull

  • 4 sets to failure

This exercise involves full stretching and flexing of the triceps. Allow the arms to stretch behind the head, and rotate the wrists outward when the arms are fully extended.

Bodyweight Bench Dips

  • 2 sets until failure

* Special note: Some men increase the intensity and power in their heavy arm workouts by wearing a cinched weight belt. Wearing a belt increases valsalvic blood and air pressure, which encourages pumps in the upper body. It also provides support when attempting certain “cheat” exercises.

Recovery Nutrition To Maximize Growth

Another mass secret that most men neglect is post-workout nutrition. After a body part is put under extreme stress, there exists a window to introduce nutrients that are essential in the fiber-healing, size-building process.

Drink plenty of water and eat a calorie-dense meal. Or, if you’re like most guys and want to get this over with quick, down your favorite protein shake after your workout to get a blast of protein.

Part of adding mass is prompting the body to constantly repair itself, and good post-workout nutrition is vital.

Arm Mass Workout Summary

Size and mass are interchangeable terms when applied to muscles. Arm muscles are no exception. In order to increase in size, arm muscles must be stimulated according to their most basic movement ranges. This is achieved with heavy weights, under the force of gravity, being shifted with contraction and extension from the elbow joint.

The vast majority of men who achieve incredible arm mass rely on one workout indicator to measure progress: creating a pump that leads to muscle failure. Most men never experience an arm workout that includes muscle failure. They always frame their workouts around a strict set and rep combination. While this promotes strength gain, it doesn’t always promote size increase.

The problem with muscle failure is that it’s more mental than physical. Left alone, the body as a machine can perform lifts until it literally shuts down, or stops because of injury. It’s the mind that convinces a lifter to stop before reaching failure.

When performing a set, a good indication of failure is when the force of gravity completely overpowers the force of a muscle. This means lifting until reps have almost no positive/concentric phases, and only powerful negative/eccentric phases. Experienced mass monsters know that even after failure, with a breath of air, at least one more rep can be squeezed out. That extra effort beyond what seems to be a limit is where growth happens. That push beyond the perceived norm is where muscle fibers are commanded to become more massive.

When performing an arm muscle set, pick an ideal number of reps at which to fail. Once that number is met, go past it with abandon. True failure, and the coinciding growth, will come as a shock. Increase weight loads over time to achieve true failure with less reps. This is the formula that allows arm muscles to reach their size potentials.



What Is Protein and How Does It Build Muscle?

Some men exercise to stay fit, while others are in it to build their muscles and achieve a certain look. There’s a lot of different advice on how to create muscle, and along with that there are all kinds of misconceptions regarding the subject. As a result, men have turned to protein diets as well as protein shakes, probably the hottest thing in the fitness market right now. So what’s the real story behind protein?

Explain Me A Thing About Proteins!

It’s true that proteins help the body build muscle, but they also play other vital functions in a person’s body.

A protein can be described as a large and complex molecule that is required by the body for regulation, function, and structure of organs and tissues.

Proteins are comprised of very many small units known as amino acids. These are attached in the form of a long chain. A single protein chain can be made of approximately 20 kinds of amino acids.

Some of the functions of protein include:

  • Storage/transport – Protein binds and carries small molecules and atoms throughout the body and within cells.
  • Messenger – Protein facilitates transmission of signals that synchronize biological processes between various organs, cells, and tissues.
  • Tissue maintenance and repair – Protein plays a crucial role in the development and repair of various tissues in the body such as muscles, hair, eyes, organs, and the skin.
  • Source of energy – Protein is the main source of energy for the body. Once a person has consumed more protein than is required for bodily functions and tissue maintenance, the extra is converted into energy.
  • Formation of antibodies – Proteins form antibodies which, together with immune system cells, assist in preventing infection, disease, and illness.

How Proteins Are Translated Into Muscles

Step 1: Protein breakdown/digestion

Digestion enzymes in the small intestines and the stomach break down proteins to make peptides. The body then uses the amino acid chains as a kind of mortar and brick for muscle fiber rebuilding.

Step 2: Transport

The amino acids are transported to the liver and from there, propelled to the hungry muscles.

Step 3: Muscle repair

Micro tears, caused by workouts, send signals to the immune system to repair the muscle using amino acids.

Step 4: Body remodeling

Imagine a construction site with a foreman; a person’s DNA plays the role of a site foreman. It directs and deploys particular amino acids to the muscles. These are then used to weave bundles of protein filaments, called myofibrils, that play a vital role in the construction of muscles.

Step 5: Construction

Continuing with the construction site analogy, imagine a damaged wall that has additional mortar and bricks added to shore it up. This wall is then stronger, in spite of the initial damage. The body works similarly. Myofibrils merge with the damaged parts of the muscles, and in the process of being repaired, the muscle is made stronger than before, facilitating eventual muscle growth.

How Much Protein Is Required To Build Muscle?

There is a misconception that eating or taking excessive amounts of protein will stimulate even more muscle growth. The truth is that excess protein is converted to fat, promoting weight gain rather than muscle growth. Taking in too much protein will translate into weight gain while taking in too little can result in an essential amino-acids deficiency in the body, thus impairing repair and growth.

We have already established that the body requires proteins to build muscle, but how much protein is required to do so?

Mark Tarnopolsky, a nutrition and exercise scholar at McMaster University, points outs that a highly trained athlete thrives on around 0.7g of protein per day per pound of weight. That is to say, an athlete who weighs 150 pounds, should consume approximately 115.5g of protein per day.

A man who works out regularly for at least an hour most days of the week requires about 0.55 grams of protein per pound while one who only exercises for less than an hour, 3 to 5 days of the week, will need about 0.45g/pound.

Protein Intake To Lose Fat And Build Muscle

Regardless of whether you are looking to lose weight and gain muscle or just drop some pounds, it is essential that you maintain a healthy protein intake. The level of protein that a man should take is dependent on their weight and the specific goal they are trying to achieve, e.g. fat loss.

A person looking to look weight should consume more protein than carbs. Increased protein intake increases satiety hormones and reduces levels of the hunger hormone. This reduction in hunger is what ultimately promotes weight loss and fat loss. An increased protein intake has also been proved to boost metabolism levels, thereby increasing the number of calories burned in a day.

While weight loss is perceived to translate to fat loss, one tends to lose a bit of muscle too. It is therefore important to consume sufficient amounts of protein to prevent muscle loss. Combining a high protein intake with strength and resistance training will ensure that as your body loses fat, it also builds muscle.

It’s critical to time your protein intake, especially if you work out regularly. According to researchers, consumption of about 30 grams of protein triggers a synthesis that lasts about three hours. Studies show that while the body digests all the protein taken in, it does not necessarily need all of it, so some of it is broken down and stored as fat, therefore taking in 60g of proteins may have the same effect as consuming 30-40g.

Nutrition and fitness experts recommend splitting protein intake between before and after a workout. For instance, eating a sandwich with protein 30 minutes before workout is ideal since carbs increase insulin, slowing down the breakdown of protein, hence boosting the growth of muscles after exercise. Furthermore, the body breaks down the carbs rather than expending stored proteins.

Best Sources Of Protein

Some men rely on meat for their protein, but there are other foods that are high in proteins and also suitable for vegans.

Vegan sources of proteins

Let’s get these out of the way first, as they apply to fewer people…but are still great to know.

There are various myths regarding plant-sourced proteins. A lot of claims have been made about the need to consume a variety of foods for the formation of complete proteins. Inasmuch as the claim may have some truth to it, there are several sources of plant-based proteins that are complete. Some of these plants rich in proteins include:

  • Pumpkin seeds – 10 grams of protein per quarter cup
  • Sunflower seeds – 10 grams of protein per quarter cup
  • Soybeans – 16 grams of protein per cup
  • Almond butter – 7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons
  • Chia seeds – 10 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons
  • Buckwheat – 23 grams of protein per cup
  • Lentils – 18 grams of protein per cup
  • Tempeh – 10 grams of protein per 2 ounces
  • Quinoa – 7 grams of protein per every cooked half-cup
  • Chickpeas – 13 grams of protein per cup
  • Kale – 5 grams of protein per cup
  • Tofu – 10 grams of protein per 3 ounces
  • Rolled oats – 7 grams of protein per cooked half-cup
  • Spinach – 5 grams of protein per cup
  • Millet – 5 grams of protein per cooked half-cup
  • Rye grains – 5 grams of protein per cooked half-cup
  • Plant-based protein powders also exist and are good sources

Animal-Based Proteins

Much more popular, and packed much more full of protein, are the animal-based options you’re probably used to hearing about. These include:

  • Meat
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Jerky
  • Dairy (i.e. milk, cheese, yogurt…even whey and casein protein powders)
  • Seafood such as whitefish, shrimp. tuna, and salmon
  • Eggs

5 Common Myths About Protein Intake And Muscle Building

Here a few common protein myths:

1. Diets high in protein can leach bone calcium.

False. Dietary protein is essential for bone health. Clinical studies show that higher protein consumption leads to an increase in bone density and fewer occurrences of fractures.

2. High protein diets can damage your kidneys.

High protein diets are risky to people with a history of kidney issues. Kidneys helps the body to remove urea, which is a protein by-product. If a person’s kidneys are not healthy, less urea is removed, leading to greater stress on the kidneys. If you have no pre-existing kidney problems, it’s likely that a high protein diet won’t affect your kidneys, but consult a doctor if you have questions.

3. All proteins are the same.

Not all proteins are the same. During workouts or post workout, proteins such as whey are more convenient since they tend to assimilate faster than other proteins. These types of proteins that are assimilated faster in the body are known as quick release, while the rest are known as sustained release proteins. Sustained release proteins such as casein are slowly assimilated into the body and hence are more appropriate for downtimes.

4. Cooking protein changes it quality

Eating foods such as raw beef does not add any value to your body and increases your chances of developing E. coli. Properly cooked protein retains the same nutritional qualities as raw protein.

5. Proteins such as casein and whey make females become jacked

Getting ripped involves a lot more than just consuming protein shakes. While soy has some connection to estrogen levels, it is not enough to lead to broadening of shoulders in women.

What Does It All Mean, Basil?

While there are many myths around protein intake, not everything works for everyone. The important thing is to first distinguish between truths and myths, then establish a diet and workout routine that is most efficient for you as an individual. The needs of a man who just wants to tone may be quite different from one who needs to lose fat, for instance.

Consulting a nutrition and fitness specialist can help you avoid fad diets and non-effective workout routines. Remember that proteins play an essential role not just in the building of muscles but in boosting other functions of the body. Strength workouts and other exercises, combined with a great, balanced, protein-high diet, will go a long way to ensuring that you get the desired results.


Men: Should You Drink Your Protein Shake Before or After Your Workout?

You’re sold on the many benefits of drinking a protein shake as part of your regular diet and exercise plan. Not only that, you’re committed to doing the best you can to improve your overall health and fitness. Unfortunately, there’s one key question that keeps popping up: when is the best time to drink your protein shake? Should you consume it before your workout, or after? Is there an ideal window that will allow you to get the best results out of your protein shake? Below, we explore both sides of the protein-shake- timing debate.

The Benefits of Protein Shakes

Whether you’re a weekend warrior who gets in most of your exercise a couple of days a week or a dedicated athlete trying to build a substantial amount of strength or endurance, protein shakes offer a number of key advantages. Protein is the vital building block that helps you build muscle.

Consuming enough protein–made easy with convenient protein shakes–offers several benefits.

  • You’ll recover faster after an intense workout, since the protein you’ve consumed will help rebuild your muscles.
  • As a result of that faster recovery time, you’ll be less susceptible to injury.
  • Protein in shake form breaks down fast, which means that it will be delivered directly to your muscles in the aftermath of your workout, when you need it most.

Does Timing Matter?

There’s been a lot of chatter about that post-workout window when it’s best to take in certain nutrients in order to reap the highest number of benefits. You’re already drinking the protein shake for all the benefits it can offer, so you want to make sure that you’re getting the maximum benefits from it. In order to fully appreciate those gains, however, make sure you’re asking the right questions.

What’s the post-workout window?

For many years, bodybuilders and weekend warriors alike have held onto the fairy tale of the post-workout window.

This Cinderella-esque countdown is the 30 to 45-minute period following a workout when your body is able to use the right proteins and nutrients most efficiently.

There’s just one problem with this so-called window: it’s going to take your body longer than 45 minutes to break down any protein shake.

What are you eating before your workout?

This is the argument that leads many people to decide to consume their protein shakes before their workouts, rather than after. The food that you eat an hour or two before your workout is more likely to be metabolized during and after your workout–including that 45-minute window when you’ll make the best possible use of those amino acids and proteins in the shake that will help build your muscles.

It’s also important to remember that pre-workout nutrition can significantly impact how well your workout session goes, transforming your energy levels and increasing your endurance so that you’re able to tackle that heavy-hitting workout session with everything you’ve got.

What are you eating the rest of the day?

Post-workout protein might help give your muscles the amino acids they need to encourage recovery, but you don’t just need protein during your recovery period. Your nutrition is a 24-hour concern. Protein shakes aren’t just a great way to boost your workout recovery. They’re also an excellent option for meal replacements at any time of the day.

Opting for protein powder as a meal replacement option can make it easier to get in a healthy, nutrient-dense meal when you don’t have time to sit down and eat a full meal. Before you decide how much protein you need after a workout, consider what you’re eating the rest of the day. If you’re grabbing a piece of fruit for breakfast and heading straight to the gym, protein is more critical than if you’ve eaten a well-balanced diet throughout the rest of the day.

Why is protein so necessary after your workout?

Following your workout, during that critical recovery window, your muscles are repairing themselves. During an intense workout, your muscles are working hard. They may develop microscopic tears that require amino acids to repair. By giving your body a great source of protein following a workout, you allow your muscle to repair themselves more effectively, which will both decrease your recovery time and help you build strength faster.

Why drink your protein shake after a workout, rather than before?

There are several reasons why you might opt to drink your protein shake after your workout, rather than before. These reasons include:

  • Drinking your shake before your workout can make your stomach testy, especially since many protein shakes are dairy-based. This is particularly true if you prefer to blend your protein powder with milk.
  • Following a workout, you’re often ravenous. A protein shake will help fill you up and prevent you from either binge eating at your next meal or eating far too many calories munching due to hunger.
  • Protein shakes are often designed to digest more efficiently than many traditional meals. Often, shakes can deliver the protein punch you need within thirty minutes, rather than taking several hours.
  • Protein shakes can help with weight loss since they make you feel full.

Why opt to drink your protein shake before, rather than after, your workout?

Whether you do it as a meal replacement or a supplement just before your exercise routine, drinking your protein shake before your workout, offers several advantages to your exercise routine:

  • Boosts your energy throughout your workout
  • “Pre-loaded” with protein and amino acids, your body starts repairing muscle sooner
  • Less need to rush straight from your workout to your shaker cup.

So…when should you drink your protein shake?

Ultimately, the question of when you should drink your protein shake is up to you. Carefully consider things like your nutrition throughout the rest of the day, how much protein you’ve eaten before your workout, and what your plans are for after your workout.

Test-drink your protein shake a little while before your workout: does it upset your stomach, or give you an energy boost?

Over time, you’ll find the protein shake routine that works best for your active lifestyle.

Protein Shakes: What to Watch Out For

If you’re using protein shakes as a regular part of your recovery plan, make sure you take a few potential downsides into account.

Check the calorie count on your protein shake.

Most protein shakes are designed to be relatively low-calorie. Some shakes, however–especially those marketed for body builders or as muscle-increasing supplements–may have higher calorie counts than others.

Make sure you know how many calories are in your protein shake, especially if you’re using them as a meal replacement or your athletic goals include weight loss.

Make sure that you’re eating plenty of real foods along with your protein shakes.

While it’s fine to start your morning with a protein shake as a meal replacement–or as an addition to your meal–you need to make sure that you’re getting real nutrition. Real food is always going to contain more of the vital nutrients your body needs than a protein shake.

Protein shakes are less effective for people who engage in endurance exercises, rather than muscle-building.

While they still offer plenty of health benefits, protein shakes don’t help as much with muscle recovery after an endurance workout.

If you’re going to use protein shakes, it’s important that you find the protein shake that’s right for you. Check its nutrient content, read through the calorie content and other key nutritional information, and balance your workout needs in order to determine whether it’s more effective to consume your protein shake before or after your workout.

There’s plenty of controversy out there about the right time to drink your protein shake, but ultimately what it comes down to is this: you need to select the method that will best help you meet your goals.

If you’re choking down a protein shake before your workout, then feeling it slosh through your entire routine, it may be negatively impacting your fitness. On the other hand, if you need a solid source of energy throughout your workout, a protein shake is a great way to get that boost.


The Best-Tasting Protein Powders For Men In 2018, Rated and Reviewed

Obviously, protein powder is a godsend and one of the best solutions if you want quick and easy bursts of protein throughout the day.

But while protein powder is efficient and reliable, many powders taste awful, and if they don’t they’re often full of GARBAGE. 

With protein powder being a daily part of my diet and probably your diet, there is literally no reason to be choking down a shitty tasting powder every day.

There’s some good options out there now!


I’m going to walk you through our top picks for powders that are delicious, BUT I’m not going to talk about any gimmicky, marketing-BS products.

Just like I’m not choking down a bad tasting powder every day, I’m not drinking a delicious but horribly-made and dangerous protein, either.

Top 4 Best Tasting Protein Powders


Whey Protein Powder


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How Can You Choose the Best-Tasting Protein Powder?

People often look at the nutritional benefits and calorie content of protein powders before making a purchase. In fact, it’s where we always start, and it’s the non-negotiable aspect for us.

While this is essential, you could still end up with a supplement that you don’t drink because it tastes lousy. That’s a waste of money and it sucks.


Protein powders come in different flavors ranging from vanilla, chocolate, and cookie dough to orange, lemon, cake batter, peanut butter, and everything in between. Research is your best bet to see which flavors are hits or misses. Since flavor is such a personal preference, individual reviews are hard to trust.

What we like to do is start simple. To me, protein is not a luxury product I’m going to go out and spend a million hours trying to find a flavor that’s as complex as a teenage girl’s Starbucks order.

I don’t necessarily care for a fancy “french toast” flavor or something.

So, going the basic route like chocolate should be good.

HOWEVER, if you do want to try all these flavors, buy the smallest container first, to make sure you like it.

I once bought a 5 pound tub of ON in a flavor I hadn’t tried before and the next 2 months of downing that stuff SUCKED. 

Go small first.

Types of Mixers

Most products mix well with water. Water doesn’t have any effect on the taste of the protein supplement. It’s a good option if you want to avoid the extra calories that come with other mixers.

Milk is another conventional mixer with numerous advantages. It has casein and whey (protein constituents), which play a significant role in muscle building and repair, and will make your formula a bit thicker. Given that milk adds more calories to the protein powder, it allows for quicker mass gaining.

However, milk has lactose (just like milk-based proteins), a compound that some people are allergic to. If you’re lactose-intolerant and drinking a plant-based protein or a beef protein, you might consider almond or soy milk. Typically, it has all the benefits of milk as a mixer. 

Maybe don’t put a fruit flavored powder into milk, and if you want a super creamy rich experience, don’t waste it in water.

Sources of Protein

There are different types of protein-rich foods including beef, milk, chicken, eggs, and fish. They have high amounts of amino acids but also may be high in fat and calories. Those are a good option for mass gaining but aren’t optimal for someone trying to lose weight. 

Another type of protein is vegetable protein, including foods such as soy, nuts, flax, rice, beans, and peas, among others. They have a relatively low amount of fat and are best for those who’d like to maintain or lose weight. Conversely, if you want to mass gain, vegetable protein may not be right for you. Vegetable protein could be the best option if you’re lactose- or gluten-intolerant.

Whichever protein source you choose, make sure that it provides 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving. Avoid those with high fat and carbs. Below 5 grams is acceptable.

Types of Protein

There are three major types of proteins: concentrates, isolates, and casein.

Isolates are created by separating protein (and also non-protein) components in order to “isolate” the desire protein. Whey isolate, is the most common isolate protein. It’s a high-quality protein with a lot of amino acids and plays a huge role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Whey isolate is fast-digesting, easily absorbed, and is suitable for use immediately after a workout to replenish muscles. Whey can also be a concentrate protein.

Concentrates “are a human or animal dietary supplement that has a very high protein content and is extracted or prepared from vegetable or animal matter.”

Casein is a milk protein and is skimmed off separated milk, then dehydrated and powdered. Casein is synthesized slowly and raises plasma amino acid content slowly compared to a concentrate protein.

Knowing what type of protein you’re looking for will help you when choosing a protein powder.

Advantages of Protein Powder Supplements

  • Proteins help in the development of enzymes, nucleic acids, and immune components. If you’re working out hard, you may need more than an average daily protein dose to help your muscles repair themselves. Supplements fill that gap.
  • Protein powder supplements take around 30 minutes to reach the muscles. Therefore, they deliver quicker muscle healing and development during and after workouts.
  • They help reduce cholesterol and lipid levels in the body.
  • Protein powders, particularly those with whey, help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.

The 4 Best Casein Proteins (Reviews Below)


Whey Protein Powder


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Ratings & Reviews Of The Our Picks

So, what are your options for the best-quality AND best-tasting protein powder?





Our Rating

You’ve probably heard of ON Whey, right?

It’s got twenty-four grams of whey protein, 5.5 grams of natural BCAAs, and 4 grams of natural glutamine in every serving. It’s legit, it’s well made, it’s trusted, it mixes well.

It’s the best value and quality option out there, basically.

In terms of flavors, it’s got A TON of flavors. Like, 20 or something crazy on Amazon. 

Everything from cake batter (wtf?) to french vanilla to strawberry banana. 

However, just because there’s so many, doesn’t mean they’re all delish.

In fact, I had a sad day one day when I bought Extreme Milk Chocolate instead of Double Rich Chocolate. It was just sooo much difference and I was not a fan.

So, our favorites here are the Double Rich Choclate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Ice Cream. These not only taste great but also blend easily in a variety of mixers. But definitely try them all! Just make sure you buy a small tub before committing to a huge one in case you don’t like it.









Our Rating

Quest has a cult-like following. They’re all about eating right and fueling your body efficiently, which means low carbs, high quality ingredients, and a commitment to change the lives of it’s customers.

This whey-based protein powders deliver 20+ grams of pure, low-carb, low-sugar protein per serving. Made with protein isolates, rather than concentrates, all flavors of Quest Protein Powders provide a quick release of protein to muscles, along with nine essential amino acids. They mix easily with water and are even more flavorful when blended with your favorite milk or milk substitute.

Exceedingly popular, these are low-cal, soy- and gluten-free, and come in a huge variety of creamy, unique flavors.

Our favorites include salted caramel, banana cream, peanut butter, and cinnamon crunch. 


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Our Rating

This powder is a blend of non-GMO, certified vegan ingredients including sacha inchi, vegetables such as peas, broccoli, and spinach, brown rice, and hemp protein. All flavors are gluten-free and also free of artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.

They deliver at least 20 grams of whole-food, plant-based protein per serving.

So, it’s a plant based protein, and it packs a punch.

We wanted to include this one on the list, because while it’s not for everyone, people who are lactose intolerant, or who are vegetarian or vegan can still get a pretty awesome protein powder and the greens benefits, too, and it doesn’t taste like total crap, like many of the other natural options.

Vega Protein & Greens powder comes in six flavors, but our favorites were vanilla, chocolate, and coconut almond. They’ve also got unflavored (or “Natural”), which is useful if you like to make your own shakes and want a plain base.


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Our Rating

This stuff is cold processed from milk sourced from small US dairy farms that don’t use growth hormones.

And it contains only three ingredients: 100% grass fed pure whey protein, a natural flavor (strawberry, cacao, or vanilla), and organic coconut sugar.

Literally nothing else. No additives such as artificial sweeteners or colors. GMO-free, soy- and gluten-free, and is a great source of amino acids and glutathione.

It blends well with everything from milk and milk substitutes to coconut water, fruit juices, and fruits and vegetables in smoothies. 

All the flavors are great, actually, and with only three, you can’t go wrong.


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Taste-Test Winner

These are all amazing in their own way (otherwise we wouldn’t have included them). And we stick by our rankings (ON being the best overall including value, taste, etc.)

However, for straight up flavor, and because it makes AMAZING baked goods, the taste-test winner is…

Quest Nutrition

Creamy, rich, and literally tastes like you’re eating a naughty dessert, when really you’re just fueling your muscle growth. Awesome, right?

It’s a solid product, we love the brand, and man does it taste good.

Best Casein Protein Powders For Men | Reviewing & Rating The Top Brands

Most men want to look good. But getting in “gym” shape can be a problem since sticking to a recommended diet and regular workouts isn’t easy.

One way to help with your fitness goals is to incorporate a casein protein supplement into your diet. The supplement boosts muscle retention and fuels fat loss. Below are some top rated casein protein supplements that might work for you. Later in this article, we’ll review each powder and render our verdict on the best one.

Top 4 Best Casein Protein Powders

What is casein and the protein powder it’s used in?

Casein is the main protein in dairy products such as milk and cheese. It’s slow-digesting and therefore “results in a slow but steady release of amino acids into circulation.”

In order to produce casein powder, the solids are skimmed off milk that has separated “after a curdling agent has been applied. Then they’re dehydrated and turned into powder which is a rich source of amino acids” essential for muscle growth and tissue repair.

Types of casein protein

The primary types of casein protein are micellar casein and casein hydrolysate.

The main difference between the two is that micellar casein is digested slowly while casein hydrolysate is rapidly absorbed.

How do you take a casein protein powder?

Like most dietary supplements, you ingest it. How much you consume depends on how much protein you’re consuming elsewhere, as well as what your physical fitness goals are. Health experts say that casein protein powder works better when consumed after a workout or half an hour before going to bed.

What are the benefits?

1. It improves your metabolic rate

An increase in metabolic rate translates to an increase in your body’s energy levels. A higher metabolism means more calories automatically burned. And the energy surge lets you go an extra mile at the gym, helping you burn additional calories and fat.

2. Casein protein powder might boost your lean muscle mass

Some health experts say that a single 33-gram scoop of casein protein powder contains an average of 24 grams of proteins and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) like isoleucine, valine, and leucine.

These nutrients collaborate to support lean muscle development and promote post-workout muscle recovery. The body also oxidizes the amino acids to provide the energy required for sustained exercise.

3. Casein protein powder can suppress appetite, unlike whey protein powder

Whey powder’s effects are short-lived since the body absorbs it very fast. On the other hand, since casein digests slowly, you feel full longer after you consume it than you would after consuming other kinds of protein. Feeling full longer means less chances of overeating!

4. Other benefits

In addition to the benefits outlined above, some studies report that casein may reduce triglyceride levels, boost your immune system, and protect your cells from the damaging effects resulting from oxidation.

Casein Protein Powder Drawbacks

While casein seems like a great way to help you achieve your fitness goals, some people are allergic to it. It’s also possible to make yourself sick by exceeding the manufacturer’s maximum recommended dose. If you’re sensitive to dairy products, we suggest that you avoid casein protein.

How to Choose the Best Casein Protein Powder

Casein protein powders vary in formulation and effectiveness. Of course, each brand promises it’s the best. So how do you purchase the right supplement?

1. Choose a supplement with minimal or no added ingredients

Some casein powders may contain added ingredients like sugars, colors, fillers, and dextrin. Try to avoid such powders since the added ingredients have no health benefits. Furthermore, some added ingredients might be harmful to your health.

2. Consult a health expert before you start using any type of protein powder, including casein

Consult a doctor before you start using casein. Like any supplement, it can have side effects. Common side effects linked with the use of casein protein include vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Consulting a physician should especially be a priority for people with chronic disorders like kidney disease or irritable bowel syndrome. A doctor may also be able to suggest a casein protein powder that will work best for you.

3. Buy from reputable manufacturers

Buy from a reputable manufacturer with scientific research behind its product as well as excellent reviews.

The 4 Best Casein Proteins (Reviews Below)

The Ratings & Reviews Of The Top Picks

So, which product is the best casein protein? Let’s dive into our top four picks.






Our Rating

Just like it’s brother, ON’s Whey Protein, this truly is the gold standard. 

I like to call it the “least offensive” product out there, since it just works, it’s trustworthy, it tastes good, it mixes well…it just hits the spot.

24 grams of protein per serving is just fine, it’s a super trusted brand, and it’s always been great when I get it.

Like usual, loads of flavor profiles to choose from.

Basically just the best.









Our Rating

Bulk Supplements’ Pure Casein Protein is free of any synthetic ingredients and is an excellent option for those who want to avoid potentially harmful additives.

It’s an excellent source of amino acids, proteins, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

The rich nutrient profile supports lean muscle development and recovery, but does so super basically and naturally, since Bulk Supplements typically includes JUST the active ingredient in their stuff. In this case there’s an emulsifier to keep it from separating, but it’s minimal and they’re a very clean and trustworthy brand.

Not great if you love flavors, but pretty non-offensive when it comes to being a plain, unflavored powder.

Great if you want the bear bones minimum but still want to grow muscle!









Our Rating

Ascent Native’s micellar casein powder is prepared from pure natural ingredients and is free of synthetic additives.

While it does have more ingredients than some others, it’s making good use of them, and is a more natural version of the ON offering.

They’ve put in these ingredients to help with taste, mostly, so you’re still pretty safe to go with this if you’re looking for a minimal option but want it to taste better than the unflavored offerings on this list.

It has a sweet amino acid profile, zero sugar (natural sweeteners only), and has fairly low calories and carbs per scoop.

Basically a good clean version but with a better taste than the super-minimalist brands.









Our Rating

Naked Casein’s tagline is “Nutrition with nothing to hide,” and that’s right on the money.

Naked Casein has zero additives, including sweeteners, food coloring, or artificial flavors.

It packs a powerful protein punch at 26 grams of protein (the most out of any of our top selections) and 5.4 grams of BCAAs per serving.

The milk from which Natural Casein is derived comes from US farms that do not use growth hormones rGBH or rBST.

It’s hard to dislike anything from NAKED. They’ve got “LESS NAKED” options, too, which give you a bit of flavor, but only add like 2 extra ingredients (all natural, too). So basically, it’s super simple, they’re building a trustworthy brand, and the stuff is potent!


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The Final Word

As usual, we’ve only given you options to choose from that stand apart from the competitors based on ingredients and performance…NOT marketing BS.

Nothing shiny or out of the pages of muscle-mags here.

This is the best of the best when it comes to slow-releasing casein protein and we stand behind any product on this list. 

At the end of the day, most people will be served perfectly well with Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Casein Protein.

We do add the other products, though, since every body and set of preferences is unique…I don’t want to assume that my favorite is your favorite, so feel free to look into the other choices, too. Like I said, they’re all legit.

15 Benefits Of Yoga For Men For A Better Body And Mind

To many men, yoga is largely viewed as a feminine activity. However, with time more men have come to appreciate the numerous benefits practicing yoga has on their health and general wellbeing.

From improving flexibility and muscle strength to helping them gain an all-around level fitness, more men continue to find a reason to try out yoga.

You should too, especially if you want to even out certain aspects of your life or are fighting such disorders as sleep or depression…or maybe you simply want to improve your cognitive functions.

Here are 15 awesome yoga benefits for men that should get you rolling the mat.

1. Helps Increase Strength And Muscle

You are probably mainly building muscles through strength training in the gym. So how can yoga and the fact that it doesn’t involve lifting heavy stuff contribute to muscle mass and strength buildup?

The minor point here is that while strength training relies on lifting heavy shit, yoga takes advantage of your body’s natural resistance abilities as well as your own weight to strengthen its own muscles. You become the heavy shit. However, only a few studies have been done, and the main one focuses on women 35-50 years old. You’re probably not a woman.

The major point here in relation to increasing strength with yoga is that it can help you lift heavier stuff in the gym. This study shows that regular yoga classes increased the amount of weight participants could deadlift. They didn’t measure any other strength metric, but from personal anecdotal experience, I’d suggest the muscle relief and flexibility gained from yoga help in almost all lifts. 

Just remember that like gym sessions, you have to commit to these poses regularly and for specific amounts of time if you want to achieve results.

2. Improves Overall Flexibility

If you are like most people, you often find touching your toes or bending backward hard enough if not utterly impossible. Inability to perform these two simple tasks is an indication of underlying health concerns.

However, yoga can help you with this.

But don’t quit if you can’t master this flexibility test after a few sessions. Remember that unlike fat-reducing chemicals or supplements that promise immediate results, yoga is wholly natural and, therefore, requires time and effort to get you flexible.

If you stick with the practice and perform progressively more difficult routines, you will notice gradual loosening of the muscles and joints in your body. All of a sudden some seemingly impossible poses become possible, and that’s not only good for your physical health, but your mental health and motivation, too.

3. Passive Cardio, Healthy Heart

Did you know that yoga is often referred to as passive cardio in reference to the numerous cardiovascular benefits it offers?

Over time, yoga specialists have come up with several poses meant to trigger different heart actions including low blood pressure, increased heart rate or even improved circulation.

Additionally, yoga poses allow for deep breathing, thus allowing for the intake of more oxygen into the bloodstream that when transported to some vital body organs such as the skin and brain has limitless rejuvenation effects.

The increased circulation and oxygenation stimulates red blood cells growth that in effect helps avert numerous blood-related illnesses such as strokes while the increased heart rate helps you avoid such conditions as heart attacks. 

4. Boosts Immunity

Unless critically injured, you don’t get to stick to a single pose for an entire yoga position, especially if you seek to enjoy all the benefits that yoga brings along. You have to keep adjusting our poses and alternating between several to relax various parts of your body. With this change of posture comes bodily contractions and muscle stretching that in turn moves the body organs around. This allows for the increased production and drainage of lymph within the body. Remember that this viscous body fluid is rich in immune cells that help the body fight infections including the destruction of cancerous cells. Additionally, the improved cell oxidation and blood flow help with the removal of toxic waste from the body thus promoting optimal cell function and helping avoid such infections as inflammation.

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Best Low Calorie Protein Powder That Actually Works | Reviewing and Rating The Top Brands

Choosing the right low calorie protein powder is often easier said than done. There are a slew of brands and tons of wrong information, so knowing which ones are the cream of the crop and which ones to steer clear from can be a challenging experience.

Rather than taking the shotgun approach and wasting money on low calorie protein powders that may or may not work, it’s best to invest a few minutes to learn a little about them and know if what you’re buying is the right choice for your goals, needs, and taste buds.

Lucky for you, here’s the rundown on low calorie protein powders and a quick list of the best ones to make this process as quick and easy as possible.

We focus only on products that work and that don’t have loads of filler and crappy ingredients. Marketing mumbo-jumbo is a no-go here.

Top 4 Low-Calorie Protein Powders


Whey Protein Powder



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Advantages of Low Calorie Protein Powders

Protein is a vital nutrient needed for muscle growth, strength, and recovery. Most protein powders, however, are loaded with unhealthy fats, carbohydrates, and tons of calories proven to negatively affect muscle definition and weight management.

The body needs protein for lean muscle growth, but it doesn’t need all of the extra calories packed into most protein powders. If you eat healthy and watch your calories, low calorie protein powders provide a convenient, effective way to support lean muscle growth and minimize fat gain.

When used as meal replacements and healthy snack options, low calorie protein powders also help you cut out the sugars and starches that are nearly inescapable in our modern diets. It’s not normal for you or anyone else to consume large amounts of refined carbs.

Your body breaks down carbs into sugar, so after eating a carb-filled meal, your blood sugar rises. This triggers the release of insulin, which works to bring your blood sugar, or glucose, back to normal levels. In addition to causing fat gain and poor performance, these blood sugar and insulin spikes promote type 2 diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis, and even cancer.

Low calorie protein powders can help prevent these diseases, promote optimal health, and more. In fact, here’s a list of their advantages and all they can do:

• Satiate you for longer
• Promote faster muscle gain and fat loss
• Boosts energy
• Improve heart health
• Repair muscles, skin, and hair
• Reduce water retention
• Make losing weight and feeling great easy!

How to Lose Weight with Low Calorie Protein Powders

Many people drink protein shakes to gain muscle, although they can also be used to lose weight, by packing more protein into a smaller calorie punch than a full meal.

As a “meal replacement”, they’re designed to replace a meal or two each day, with the whey or other type of protein mixed with milk or maybe a smoothie with some fruit. A lot of people actually only add water to limit their calorie intake.

Following a low calorie diet is a proven way to slim down – in fact, literally the only way to lose weight is to be in a caloric deficit, where you eat fewer calories than you burn – and since most protein shakes contain fewer calories than most meals you would normally consume, you’ll likely see results. The added protein will also help you grow and maintain muscle mass.

However, what if you could enjoy all of the benefits of protein with even fewer calories? Would you be even slimmer and more shredded? Of course you would!

Simply engage in resistance training regularly, limit your carb intake, and make sure you’re tracking your food with something like MyFitnessPal to stay under your TDEE, and the addition of a quality low-cal protein powder to your diet will help you achieve your goals. 

Choosing The Right One

Low calorie protein powders are a quick and convenient way to nourish your body, satisfy your hunger, build lean muscle, and keep your waistline slim. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle mass, boost your athletic performance, or simply improve your overall fitness, these low calorie protein-packed drink mixes are an optimal solution.

Unfortunately, choosing the best one for your goals, needs, and taste buds can be tougher than running a 4.4 40. So, how do you know which one is right for you?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, here are some general guidelines to follow based on your desired outcome:

Lose Weight

If losing weight is your goal, you should choose a protein powder with the fewest calories possible and no added dextrins or sugars. Protein powders with branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, should also be avoided as they actually promote weight gain along with muscle growth.

Build Muscles

When it comes to building muscle, protein powders with higher biological values work best. This is simply a measurement of the body’s ability to absorb protein and put it to use. Whey isolates and protein are ideal in this regard.

Lower Your Blood Sugar

If you’re diabetic, you should choose protein powders with zero added sugar. Powders with less than five grams of carbs per serving are also ideal.

Avoid Bloating and Gas

Protein powders are notorious for causing bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal issues. For easier digestion, choose one without lactose sugars, dextrins, and artificial sweeteners. If you’re sensitive to gluten, make sure to pick a powder that’s gluten-free as well.

Maintain Your Vegan Lifestyle

The power of protein can’t be duplicated. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there to accommodate your non-dairy lifestyle. Rather than choosing a whey or milk-based protein powder, select one consisting of 100 percent pure plant proteins. You’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of vegan-friendly options.





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Ratings and Reviews Of The 4 Best Options

So, which product is the #1 and why? Let’s dive into our top four picks.







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This 100 percent natural whey isolate formula is designed to help you get lean fast. With 22 grams of protein and only 100 calories per serving, it boasts one of the best protein-to-calorie ratios on the market today.

Legion Whey + is also lactose-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free. Plus, it’s derived from 100 percent non-GMO grass-fed cows, which is great if you care about what you put in your body. You do, don’t you?

It tastes surprisingly good for a protein powder, despite its somewhat noticeable stevia flavor. Plus, it blends well and won’t turn thick and clumpy like many of the other low-cal protein powders found on the market today.

Best of all, like all Legion products, Whey+ is made in the USA at an NSF-certified facility according to the strictest of quality control standards. Legion also offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

If you’re searching for quality protein that won’t add to your waistline, keep your muscle mass up, taste good, and live up to the hype, Legion Whey+ is the way!











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Optimum Nutrition (ON) delivers twenty-four grams of the good stuff, four grams of natural glutamine, and 5.5 grams of natural BCAAs in every 120-calorie serving.

It contains a blend of concentrates, isolates, and peptides which are transported quickly to the muscles faster for steady, efficient results whether before or after a workout.

Look, we say it all the time…there’s a reason it has “Gold Standard” in the name.

It’s considered one of the top protein powders and is known for being consistently high protein and high quality. Great taste, great at mixing, consistent, and it just plain works.

In addition to the solid nutritional boost you’ll get from every ON shake you mix up, a big added bonus is the 20+ flavors available. That said, not all flavors are created equal – there’s a big range of flavor even among the chocolate varieties – so when in doubt, buy a one-pound bag for your initial trial run!











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Naked Whey is a completely transparent company from source to end product, and it drives home that transparency with its clear powder jugs.

The powder contains one lone ingredient: 100% grass fed pure whey protein concentrate. It has no additives of any kind including sweeteners, flavors, or colors.

In that same vein, it’s GMO-free, contains no growth hormones, and is soy- and gluten-free.

Low-calorie, low-carb, low-sugar, and high protein, Naked Whey hits all the right notes in every nutritional department.

It’s cold processed, to prevent contamination by heavy metals or any kind of chemicals. Additionally, it’s manufactured without acids, bleaches, or high heats, therefore the integrity of the amino acids is preserved.

The only place this powder really falls short is flavorwise, given that it has only one ingredient. 

HOWEVER…you can get “LESS NAKED” whey, which includes two extra ingredients…a flavor (natural flavors…literally dried strawberries, cacao, or vanilla), and organic coconut sugar. Insane. 

So, now you’ve got a world of choice in front of you. We’re huge NAKED fans and we think you will be, too.











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Alright, bring out the fancy stuff.

This 100% grass fed whey protein powder has a whole lot going for it.

It’s the only one on this list that is 100% organic. It’s also the only whey protein on the market that is certified paleo friendly by the Paleo Foundation.

It’s got only three ingredients (all organic): undenatured whey (sourced from US farms), vanilla bean extract, and stevia.

Non-GMO and cold processed, without acids or bleach, they’ve preserved the purity of the amino acids. Gluten- and soy-free, including no soy lecithin, which is often added to protein powders as an emulsifier. Even so, it blends easily with your choice of mixer.

At 110 calories, with plenty of protein, calcium, and potassium, and less than a gram of sugar (naturally found in the milk the whey is derived from), this powder is exactly what your muscles need before or after a hard workout.

As a huge plus, all three flavors taste pretty darn good, too.


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And the winner is…

As you can see, there are a wide-variety of low-calorie protein powders to choose from, but which one stands out at the front of the pack? The answer is simple:

Legion Whey+

Featuring 22 grams of premium natural whey isolate from grass-fed cows and only 100 calories per serving, it’s easy to see why more and more people are turning to Legion for their daily protein needs. If you want to burn fat and gain lean muscle, chances are it won’t disappoint.

Combined with a healthy meal plan and regular exercise, this has the power to turn you into a fat-burning, muscle-building machine!

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