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Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 06 February 2014

The Truth About Metabolism

Metabolism is Strongly Correlated with Body Composition

Your metabolism is related directly to the physiological composition of your body. Muscle has the natural ability to increase metabolism, and fat has the unfortunate ability to slow it down. By maintaining a proper and healthy balance of Muscle and Fat, you can positively impact your metabolism, generating more energy and helping you stay healthier and more lively throughout the day.

The easiest way to determine your body composition is through a simple conversion known as the Body-Mass Index. Although not perfect, BMI will give you a roundabout estimate of your muscle-fat ratio, letting you know what your goals should be when exercising and dieting.

Proteins Are the Best Food to Enhance Metabolism

The foods that you eat influence your metabolism powerfully. The more complex the food that you eat, the more energy it takes for your body to turn it into a useful product. Proteins take the most energy for the body to break down, so they burn the most calories.

Simple sugars and carbohydrates take the least energy for the body to break down, and have the least influence on metabolism. The body has the ability to break down simple carbohydrates and convert them directly into fat. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole grains take more energy to break down and are healthier for the body because they add fiber and other nutrients to the diet.

Women Have Slower Metabolism than Men

It may seem a bit unfair, but it is physiologically more difficult for women than men to burn fat. Women genetically store higher levels of fat than their male counterparts, because this helps with the nursing process and makes it easier for women to bear healthy children.

Men, on the other hand, have higher metabolisms, both because their bodies are less prone to deposit fat, and because Testosterone flowing through their veins encourages the muscles to grow larger, which further enhances metabolism.

The good thing about this for women is that they are biologically designed to carry more body fat than men, which means that as long as they stay within a normal range for their sex, it's not harmful for women to have a slightly higher BMI than their male counterpart pound for pound.

What Exactly Is Metabolism?

In terms of diet, nutrition, and exercise, the word Metabolism usually refers to the rate at which your body burns fat and calories, but the full definition is more broad. Metabolism refers to any activity that your body does that uses energy.

When you exercise, your body is burning consumed and stored calories in order to fuel your physical activity. Any food that you eat will lead to an increase in metabolism, because your body is spending energy breaking the food down. The problem with simple carbohydrates and empty calories is that your body expends significantly less energy breaking simple foods down than more complex foods, such as proteins and whole grains. This causes your body to store more calories than you actually need.

Metabolism can further be broken down into two forms of action: Anabolic Metabolism and Catabolic Metabolism. Anabolic Reactions in the body either store energy or use energy to build cells and other physiological structures. Catabolic Reactions refer to any metabolic reactions which free up stored energy or break down cells or molecules.

What is Metabolic Rate?

Metabolic Rate refers to the speed at which your body burns calories over time. When you hear the word Metabolism used in the context of exercise, nutrition, and diet, it is generally being used as a shorthand for metabolic rate.

The most common scientific measure of Metabolic Rate is Basal Metabolic Rate. Resting Metabolic Rate is a shorthand method of approximating Basal Metabolic Rate using weight, height, sex, and age in a less restrictive setting.

Your Baseline Metabolic Rate gives you a general idea of how your body uses energy. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will naturally burn even in a sedentary environment. The more fat that you have, the fewer calories that your body will ambiently burn.

A Variety of Factors Influence Your Metabolism, Including Lifestyle, Age, and Genetics

Metabolism is impacted by a wide variety of different factors. Lifestyle is the aspect that you have the most control over as an individual. Lifestyle encompasses a wide variety of components, including the foods that you choose to eat and the level of physical activity that you choose to engage in.

You don't have any control over age, but it is important to recognize how age affects metabolism. Children and adolescents have incredibly high metabolism, because they directly use the energy and calories they take in to grow taller and stronger. During early adulthood, most people still have strong metabolisms, but metabolism naturally slows with age, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight.

Genetics is another factor which cannot be controlled by human beings. You got your parents eyes and their height, and you also get their physiological predisposition toward metabolism. Some people are just born to burn energy, and these people will find it easier to keep weight off than those that were born with more modest metabolism.

Metabolism is Controlled Primarily by the Thyroid Gland

The Thyroid Gland is a complex area of the brain which is responsible for controlling the way that your body absorbs and expends energy. Thyroid Hormones control how slowly or quickly that your body burns calories.

It also makes executive decisions regarding what your body does with the nutrients that you take into your body. The Thyroid decides if you need to build protein for muscle or build fat for energy storage. The Thyroid also decides whether you burn fat or muscle during exercise, and how your body reacts to other hormonal influences.

Thyroid Dysfunctions are almost synonymous with Metabolic Disorders. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body does not produce enough Thyroid Hormones to allow the body to function appropriately. This has a negative influence on metabolism, and can lead to extreme fatigue, reduced metabolism, and extreme difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the Thyroid Gland produces too many hormones, which speeds up metabolism, sometimes leading to rapid weight loss or a need to consume a large number of calories to remain at a healthy weight.

Both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications which influence the rate at which the Thyroid Gland operates. Hypothyroidism can be treated with Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy which replaces Thyroid Hormone which is not being produced effectively by the brain, and Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications which block Thyroid Hormone Receptors, limiting the influence of the excess hormone production.

Anaerobic Strength Training is a Fantastic Way to Encourage Faster Metabolism

Weight Lifting and Resistance Training are powerful ways to both help you lose weight and increase your Basal Metabolic Rate. Although there is no debate as to whether or not this is true, there is some debate regarding the mechanism by which these positive changes occur.

There is one school of thought that suggests that reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass increases your metabolism at rest, allowing you to burn more calories even when you aren't engaged in physical activity.

There are many detractors to this hypothesis, however, including the American College of Sports Medicine. The ACSM suggests that the primary benefit of Strength Training for most people in regard to Metabolism occurs during exercise and when new muscle is being developed. They admit that regular Strength Training does increase Resting Metabolism, but for most people, the Metabolic Benefits of Strength Training which occurs in the period during and immediately after physical activity vastly outweighs the slight increase in Resting Metabolism.

As You Grow Older, Your Metabolic Rate Decreases

As we mentioned earlier, briefly, your Metabolism decreases as a factor of age. The rate at which this decline occurs is different from person to person, but all people will burn less energy as they grow older.

One reason for this is that the body becomes less effective at maintaining muscle mass over time. The influence of hormones like Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone start to decline in the late twenties and early thirties, and the metabolic processes of the body start to slow down. The average rate at which metabolism tends to slow down for the individual is around two percent every ten years.

In women, Menopause can also play a more immediate factor in metabolism. It is vitally important to engage in physical activity before, during, and after Menopause, because studies have shown that women that do not engage in regular exercise lose about ten percent of their metabolism, adjusted for age-related loss of muscle mass, than women that have not yet experienced Menopause. Women that exercise regularly do not experience any additional decline beyond the guaranteed two percent per decade.

A Highly Restrictive Diet Has a Negative Impact on Metabolism

Many people believe that one of the easiest ways to lose weight is simply to cut calories. While it is true that responsibly cutting back on calories is an effective aspect of losing weight, cutting calories too much can actually have a negative impact on your ability to lose weight. If you cut your calories to less than 1,200 per day, your body is going to react to that as a sign of starvation and cut back metabolism significantly in order to help the body maintain its weight against that risk. The problem is that if you are simply cutting back in order to try to lose weight, you are going to get vastly limited results.

The best way to lose weight is to cut calories moderately and increase physical activity in order to enhance metabolism. Following this method, you ensure that your body increases its metabolic rate while also reasonably decreasing calories, which produces the most effective rate of healthy weight loss.

Experts also suggest spreading small, nutrient dense, low-calorie meals across the day in order to enhance metabolism. Eating a snack or meal every two to three hours gives your body energy and choosing foods smartly allows your digestive system to work hard to break down the nutrients contained within the complex foods that you are eating.

Caffeine Increases Metabolism

Caffeine belongs to a class of chemical compounds known as stimulants. Caffeine has the ability to positively impact metabolic rate, and research has indicated that a single cup of coffee has the ability to increase metabolism by as much as four percent as it is metabolized by the body.

Caffeine takes around twenty to thirty minutes to fully enter the blood stream, and many people actually use it in order to amplify their physical activity. Caffeine can increase energy levels during exercise and help prevent fatigue. Caffeine can also help the body burn more calories and exercise harder. It's important to consume caffeine in efficient sources, however. Black coffee contains few calories, but if you are drinking peppermint mochas to increase your metabolism, you are being counterproductive.

Of course, too much caffeine can be bad for you, and the body does slowly develop a tolerance to caffeine over time. There are some experts that suggest that the best way to use caffeine to enhance weight loss is to use it for such purposes only for short periods of time. For example, drink coffee before exercising for two weeks, then stop for two weeks.

Eating Spicy Foods Can Boost Your Metabolism

Spicy foods contain a potent chemical known as capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes spicy foods feel hot no matter what temperature that they really are. They accomplish this by stimulating heat receptors in the mouth and other parts of the body, giving a stronger burning sensation dependent upon the concentration, measured in Scoville Units.

Like caffeine, capsaicin can also be used in order to enhance metabolism. Capsaicin is also a very calorie-effective means to accomplish this, because most hot sauces contain very few calories. Simply using a few dashes of hot sauce on your breakfast, lunch, or dinner can give you a quick and easy metabolic boost.

If you want to boost your metabolism before a workout, take a tablespoon equivalent of green chile pepper or red pepper. This has been shown to provide you with a temporary increase in metabolism which can be as high as 23 percent. If you don't want to deal with the taste, you can also get a beneficial effect from red pepper capsules. Taking a capsule before every meal has been shown to provide an average metabolic increase of ten to sixteen percent over the course of a two day period.

Be Extremely Careful When Considering Weight Loss Supplements

Weight loss pills and supplements may sound like a miracle in a bottle, but most of them also come with a significant risk of side-effects. Never use a dietary supplement without consulting your doctor, because your physician will be able to give you a responsible and professional opinion regarding their use.

For example, Ephedra used to be a widely-used energy and weight loss supplement, but was made illegal in 2004 after it was found that Ephedra could be dangerous to take for many people. Ephedra has the ability to both increase heart rate and blood pressure, which does increase metabolism, but these two factors are also associated with a number of dangerous health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and anxiety attacks.

We also suggest extreme caution when utilizing amino acid supplements, because the human body can only process a certain concentration of amino acids and other peptide fragments before the liver starts to suffer and become overloaded as a direct result. Try to get your amino acids from the foods that you eat, not from supplements that flood your body.

Climate Has a Direct Impact on Your Metabolism

The human body is a machine that is designed to function at a particular level of body heat. Our bodies work hard to keep our internal temperature between 96 and 98 degrees, and the harder that is to attain, the more energy that will be expended to restore optimal temperature. The chemical reactions in our body depend upon a specific range of temperatures, and the body will start to fail if it becomes too hot or too cold.

Room temperature is the ideal environment for our bodies. The ambient heat generated by the body is enough to sustain an average temperature. The more it deviates from that temperature, the more calories the body will burn. Studies suggest that people that live in hot climates have Basal Metabolic Rates that are between five and twenty percent greater than those that live in cool climates.

Remember that your body doesn't care what the temperature is outside, if you are inside. A helpful tip to slightly increase your metabolism is to keep your home a little cooler or a little warmer than room temperature, depending on the season. The increase in metabolism may only be slight, but every little bit counts when you are trying to sustain a healthy weight.

Your Body Burns More Calories Simply Sustaining Itself Than Working Out

The human body burns a lot of calories just keeping you alive. On average, seventy percent of the calories that you burn during the day would have been burned whether you were running at the gym or sitting around watching television.

This doesn't mean that you should forgo exercise or anything, it just gives you an idea of the amount of work that it takes for your body to keep you happy and healthy. Around thirty percent of the calories that you burn during the day are a direct result of the activities you pursue throughout the day.

People that are sedentary always burn fewer calories than people who are active. People that are sedentary only burn around twenty-five percent of their calories through physical exertion, whereas physically active people burn around-thirty five percent of their calories through exercise and activity.


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 28 October 2017

Recognizing Poor Sleeping Habits

We all know how it feels have a rough morning. You wake up from your slumber and it's so much easier just to turn over and hit the snooze button. Sometimes it can be a struggle to even open your eyes. Hopefully, you're one of those people that only feels that way every once in awhile, but we understand that a lot of people have significant amounts of trouble getting out of bed on a regular basis.

Some people think of it as a form of laziness, but there are a lot of reasons why poor sleeping habits can be chronic and problematic, without it necessarily being some sort of character flaw, as it is so often characterized.

How Did You Feel This Morning?

Think about how it felt to wake up this morning? Was it a struggle to throw off your blankets? What did you do yesterday? Did you spend the afternoon helping your friend move into a new apartment Maybe you were so exhausted that you needed to get a little extra rest to recover. Or maybe the room was particularly cold, and it felt so wonderful under the blankets that it took every ounce of your resolve to leave your wonderfully warm and comfortable bed. Maybe it was something going on in your head?

We've all had those nights we spent tossing and turning because of anxious thoughts we just couldn't evacuate from our minds. There are perfectly normal reasons why we have trouble sleeping sometimes, but there are a lot of reasons why we sleep poorly that can have a powerful effect upon your overall health and well-being.

Sleeping difficulties are a major problem for a lot of men and women across the country. A lot of people don't really understand why they have trouble sleeping, but they know that it's having a negative effect upon their life. Specialists spend their entire careers working with patients in order to help promote healthier rest patterns. In terms of so many aspects of our health, healthy sleep is the lynchpin that helps maintain us in peak condition. The rest of this article will be concerned with various root causes which have a negative impact on normal sleeping habits.

Common Sleeping Problems

Not Enough Sleep

This should seem pretty obvious, but if you don't sleep the seven to nine hours that your body naturally requires, you will start to slip as a result. Your body goes through a natural cycle of sleep, slipping from REM sleep to multiple stages of deep sleep.

All of these stages of sleep are important and restorative, and if you don't sleep long enough, your body will suffer because you don't spend the necessary amount of time rejuvenating through each phase of sleep. Just restructuring your life to be able to sleep for a full night can do wonders for your health.

Abnormal Sleeping Patterns

There are a ton of careers out there that don't permit you to establish a normal and healthy pattern of sleep. Doctors and nurses work long hours and often are required to flip their entire schedules on a day's notice. Firefighters and EMTs have to remain on call for long hours, finding short respites of sleep interrupted by high adrenaline periods of activity. In order for sleep to be most restorative, your body must adhere to a healthy pattern.

Hormone levels rise and fall throughout the day, controlling hunger, fatigue, and energy levels, and if your schedule is too all over the place, you may find yourself with energy rushing through your veins just when you lay your head down to rest. Although there is only so much you can do in regard to regularize your sleeping patterns in many cases, make every effort to establish sleeping habits as close to normal as possible.

Atypical Circadian Rhythm

If you have allowed your sleeping habits to get off track, you may have actually hijacked your own Circadian Rhythm. The Circadian Rhythm is naturally optimized for nighttime rest, but if you work second or third shift, stay out too late with friends, or do anything that causes you to regularly fall asleep at a strange time, your body will actually re-adapt to your new circumstances.

This means that if you get a new 9-5 job or if you otherwise have to wake up at a normal and decent hour, your body will grind its gears, slow to recalibrate to sudden alterations in your sleep schedule.

Bad Sleep Hygiene

There are a lot of things that you do throughout the day that wreck your normal sleeping habits without you even realizing it. Do you watch Television in the bedroom? Do you drink caffeine within three hours of bedtime? Do you give in and take a nap in the afternoon? All of these seemingly innocuous decisions can prevent you from getting the most out of your night's rest.

Even having a large dinner, or exercising just before bed can have a severely negative impact upon your resting patterns. As you fall asleep, your muscles relax and your digestive system slows to a crawl. Falling asleep with a lot in your stomach or right after a long and hard workout can lead to a restless night.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a severe medical condition that affects many men and women across the United States. Sleep Apnea primarily effects obese individuals, but can actually be a problem for anyone. Sleep Apnea is a condition caused by anything that obstructs your airways as you try to sleep. Minor Sleep Apnea can be as simple as a chronic snore, but for some people, it actually causes them to suffocate for brief periods throughout the night, before gasping for fresh air.

Sleep Apnea wreaks havoc upon the body, and is one of the leading causes of Testosterone Deficiency in males. It also disrupts Human Growth Hormone production, which can have a negative impact on energy levels of both sexes. Even though Sleep Apnea is a serious and potentially chronic condition, there are multiple effective ways to treat and alleviate the disorder.

For obese patients the best way to resolve Sleep Apnea is to lose weight. There are also masks which actively circulate fresh air into the nostrils and mouth, allowing you get all of the oxygen that you need to sleep soundly. For patients with severe sleep apnea not directly caused by obesity, surgery is also an available option.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome is a little-understood medical condition that can have a negative effect on healthy sleep. The primary symptom of RLS is exactly what it sounds like: during sleep, a patient feels sensations which cause them to compulsively want to move their legs or arms during sleep. The condition is obviously neurological in nature, but researchers have yet to discover a clear cause.

Around one in ten people in the United States suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome. Although doctors don't have a firm idea of why RLS happens, there are ways to ease the symptoms of the condition, such as exercising more often, sleeping more regularly, decreasing caffeine use, or massaging the legs before bed.

Medical Side-Effects

There are many medications that can lead directly to disrupted sleeping habits. A few types of drugs that can disrupt healthy sleep are allergy medications, blood pressure medications, and anti-depressants.

If you are having trouble sleeping, consider what drugs you are currently on, and talk to your doctor about choosing another treatment option or changing the means that you take a medication. Some medicines, for example, can disrupt sleep when taken orally, but when delivered directly to the lungs has no disruptive effect.

Untreated Psychiatric Issues

Men and women with elevated levels of anxiety or depression are at higher risk of sleeping poorly, which can even exacerbate the primary condition. Psychological conditions have a nasty tendency of making the brain go into overdrive at the worst times, especially when you are alone with yourself.

If you are chronically depressed or sad, getting treatment can help you sleep better, and the combination of therapeutic treatment and improved sleeping habits can improve both your health and your outlook on life significantly.

Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder and Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder

As researchers learn more about conditions related to Circadian Rhythm Disruption, they find that there are underlying biological reasons why their sleeping patterns are different than the norm. A few examples of conditions caused by a disruption of the Circadian Rhythm are Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder and Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder.

ASDP is a condition in which individuals start to get sleepy very early and have a tendency to wake up early than normal. DSPD is caused when individuals have trouble falling asleep until later than normal, and wake up later as well.

These conditions are believed to be the result of a biological clock that is simply out of time with the majority of human beings. Although these disorders are often chalked up to poor habits, they can actually be biologically-induced conditions.

These conditions are also correlated with an increased risk of serious medical disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes has also been strongly correlated with an increased risk of sleep apnea.

Sleep Often Troubled by Multiple Issues

Although all of these issues can have a negative effect upon sleep, the problem is that most people that sleep poorly have trouble for multiple reasons. The more sophisticated that views on poor sleep become in the medical community, the more it becomes clear that many issues which have a disruptive effect on sleep are interconnected and finding the root cause or causes of poor sleep are the most effective ways of contributing to a normal night's sleep.

What Can I Do to Sleep Better?

Sleeping well is undeniably important to living a healthy life. If you are having trouble sleeping well, read through this list of common causes and see which issues apply to you. If your sleeping problems are clearly the result of an underlying medical condition such as sleep apnea or medications you are taking, don't be afraid to talk to a doctor.

If you feel that your sleeping problems are the result of your own taking healthy sleep for granted, the following are some healthy steps to get your sleep patterns back on track:

Make a concerted effort to sleep better- One of the most important things that you can do is simply prioritize sleep more highly, making the conscientious choice to sleep better.

Lights Out The healthiest sleep occurs in the darkest of night. Eliminate all sources of light from your sleeping area. Even cover up your alarm clock.

No Caffeine after 4pm Caffeine stays in your system for a notoriously long time. By avoiding caffeine in the early and late evening, you can detox and make it easier to sleep.

Have a Light Dinner A heavy stomach can make sleep very restless. The digestive system works slowly at night, and falling asleep with a full stomach is far from optimal.

No Work or Play in the Bedroom The brain is a complex thing. If you like to watch television, work on your homework, or play on your phone in bed, this can prevent your brain from properly associated the bedroom with sleep.

Consider Melatonin- If you are in the process of correcting poor sleeping habits, Melatonin can be a useful tool to recalibrate your system. Only use recommended doses however, because taking too much can have a negative effect on sleep.

For most people, a combination of these steps will be quite successful in improving your sleeping habits and your ability to wake up ready for anything. If you still have trouble sleeping even after taking these proactive measures, your doctor can work with you to uncover any underlying conditions which may be impacting your sleep.

If All Else Fails, Talk to Your Doctor!

Remember: There is no reason to resign yourself to a lifetime of poor sleep. You will age faster, be less productive, and ultimately less happy. Take the necessary steps to optimize your sleep to necessities of your life, and your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 29 August 2013

Amazing Health Benefits of L-Citrulline and Watermelon

In a previous article, we discussed twenty five foods that provide amazing benefits for human health. There is one amazing food that we missed, however: Watermelon.

In recent years, scientists and health professionals are becoming more aware of the amazing nutritional benefits provided by watermelon.

One thing that we have known for awhile is that watermelons, like tomatoes, have been shown to be a food which is incredibly high in Lycopene content. Lycopene is a form of phytonutrient which is incredibly important for optimal cardiovascular health. Lycopene also provides significant benefits in regard to bone health. Two other quality sources of Lycopene are Guava and Pink Grapefruit. What truly makes Watermelon stand out from the rest is the outstanding concentration of one particular nutrient.

The Fantastic Benefits of L-Citrulline

Although we have understood the importance of Lycopene for a number of years, we are learning about another nutrient contained within watermelon that is incredibly potent: L-Citrulline. L-Citrulline is present in watermelon at levels which are higher than any other food that we know of in the world.

L-Citrulline is a powerful Amino Acid compound that is uncommon in most foods. When nnjjwe consume foods like watermelon which contain Citrulline, the nutrient travels to the kidneys, where is converted into Arginine.

As you know if you have read this site, Arginine is actually used by physicians in order to test the health of the pituitary. Arginine has the ability to naturally stimulate the production of Human Growth Hormone. Adding L-Citrulline to your diet can help you maintain healthy levels of HGH, promoting optimal health and providing benefits to physiological systems throughout the body.

How much L-Citrulline is in a Serving of Watermelon?

Watermelon truly contains an amazing amount of L-Citrulline: 250 mg in every cup. Although much L-Citrulline is converted into Arginine, the nutrient provides its own unique benefits as well. In addition to increasing Human Growth Hormone, Arginine also has direct effects upon maintaining heart health, improving circulation, and increasing blood flow to disparate locations of the body.

L-Citrulline and Obesity

Also, current research suggests that L-Citrulline encourages weight loss and improved weight maintenance. In animal research, there is strong evidence that L-Citrulline contributes to the production of fat antagonists, preventing fat cells from absorbing fat by blocking an enzyme known as TNAP.

In animal research, high levels of Citrulline consumption directly correlate with increased production of amino acid compounds known as Polyarginine Peptides. When L-Citrulline is consumed, it is converted into Arginine by the kidneys, and Arginine is then converted into these Polyarginines. Polyarginines are directly responsible for blocking fat absorption by inhibiting TNAP enzymes. When TNAP is blocked, this prevents fat cells from growing and multiplying with the same level of efficiency.

Although this seems to be the primary mechanism by which L-Citrulline blocks fat accumulation, scientists hypothesize that a combination of Nitric Oxide Production and changes in adipose fat metabolism will likely lead to L-Citrulline being used medically as a tool in the war against obesity.

A Natural Answer to Erectile Dysfunction: L-Citrulline Boosts Nitric Oxide Production

L-Citrulline can also encourage healthier production of Nitric Oxide by the human body through its role in creating an enzyme known as Nitric Oxide Synthase. After L-Citrulline is converted into Arginine by the kidneys. it is then absorbed by human cells and converted into Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide is a natural muscle relaxer which is also necessary in order to stimulate the male erection.

When the body releases Nitric Oxide, the blood vessels relax, improving blood pressure and contributing to a healthier cardiovascular system. This increase in blood flow also stimulates healthy sexual function in males. Erectile Dysfunction Drugs like Viagra and Sildenafil actually relieve ED by stimulating the production of Nitric Oxide and improving blood flow to the genitals.

Of course, don't read this information and think that Watermelon can be a replacement for drugs that reverse Erectile Dysfunction or improve blood pressure, because the levels of L-Citrulline present in Watermelon are not medical in concentration. L-Citrulline is simply a vital piece of a puzzle which contributes to optimal cardiovascular health.

How Much Watermelon Does it Take to Provide Significant Effects from L-Citrulline?

In human patients, watermelon consumption has been scientifically proven to boost Arginine Levels in the body, but only when eaten in large portions. In one particular study, subjects drank either 3 or 6 cups of watermelon juice each day for 3 weeks. This increase in Watermelon Consumption led directly to boosts of Arginine varying from 12 to 22 percent.

In terms of calories consumed, that is still pretty amazing. Three portions of watermelon contain 135 calories, provide 60% of your daily value of Vitamin C, and increase your Arginine Levels by at least 12 percent. If you enjoy watermelon, there is arguably no food which can have such a direct impact on your Arginine Levels.

What is the Healthiest Part of a Watermelon?

Most people consider the part of the fruit with the deepest color to be the part which is the healthiest. This is certainly true for foods like grapes, but for watermelon, each part of the watermelon contains high levels of different nutrients in different concentrations. The core portion of the watermelon is bright red in color, and is a much lighter pink closer to the rind.

A few years ago, nutritional researchers actually studied the nutritional content of various areas of the fruit, and came to some amazing conclusions. Watermelon has four primary forms of nutrient: Vitamin C, Lycopene, Flavonoids, and Antioxidants. Every* part of the watermelon contains large amounts of these different nutrients in different locations within the watermelon.

What Are the Healthiest Kinds of Watermelon?

In addition to this, every type of watermelon appears to have its own particular form of nutrient distribution. Unlike many types of foods raised agriculturally these days, all types of watermelon have high levels of nutrient concentration. Another thing that is particular about watermelon is that the lighter-colored pulp of the watermelon contains nutrient levels which rival those in the core of the watermelon in many aspects.

In order to obtain the most benefits, however, it is important to pick a type of watermelon which produces a deep red color in the late stages of ripening.

When selecting the ideal watermelon, the primary thing to keep in mind is to select a watermelon which is completely ripened. Studies demonstrate that watermelon contains the highest concentration of Lycopene when the watermelon is primarily red in color. Ripened watermelon is also rich in Beta-Carotene, but early in the ripening process, there is almost no Beta-Carotene contained within the melon. This is also true of anti-oxidants contained within the watermelon.

If you grow your own watermelons, the key to extracting the most nutrition out of the final product is patience. If you are shopping at a store however, the key is to have a keen eye for detail.

Other Watermelon Benefits

Watermelon Provides Great Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Support

Watermelon contains high levels of a number of different phenol nutrients, carotenoids, flavonoids, and triterpenoids. All of these nutrients are powerful Antioxidant compounds. Among all of these compounds, watermelon has the most significant concentration of Lycopene. It is actually a source so potent, that there are very few foods that can even match it, among which are guava and pink grapefruit.

Why Are Watermelons Red?

The red color in most foods come from two sources: Anthocyanin Flavonoids and Lycopene. Anthocyanins contribute very little to overall health, but Lycopene, on the otherhand, produces all sorts of wonderful benefits. Lycopene has been shown to be a powerful Anti-Inflammatory which is capable of inhibiting the production of enzymes such as lipoxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase which spread inflammation.

Lycopene and Cucurbitacin-C

Lycopene is also able to prevent damage that is produced by natural free-radical exposure as a result of its antioxidant properties. Another Anti-Inflammatory which is present in very few foods is Cucurbitacin-C. This nutrient works very similarly to Lycopene, although it is most effective at limiting free-radicals by a different biological mechanism.

Watermelon Keeps Incredibly Well

Another thing that makes watermelon an excellent choice in a healthy diet is that nutrient levels drop very slowly over time. Even after two days of storage after the fruit has been chopped and prepared, the Lycopene levels in the fruit still remain at optimal levels. The fruit remains near peak nutritional content almost up to a week after it has been prepared.

Watermelons: The Redder the Better

If you are using Watermelon as your primary source of Lycopene, choose varieties with dark-red flesh. Research has shown that red-fleshed watermelons have up to 120 times the level of beta-carotene as some light-pink varieties of watermelon. In addition to this, light pink varieties of watermelon contain almost no Lycopene. If you are not primarily concerned with Lycopene and Beta-Carotene, all types of watermelon contain various levels of a number of phytonutrients.

Watermelon is an Efficient Source of Vitamin C

Although we have been primarily focusing in this article on L-Citrulline, Lycopene, and Beta-carotene, Watermelon is also amazing because it contains so many other vital nutrients as well. Another one of these nutrients is Vitamin C. Per calorie, Watermelon provides a significant amount of the nutrient per calorie.

One serving provides 20% RDV of Vitamin C for a tiny amount of calories, only 45. This makes it great for individuals that are on a diet and trying to figure out a way to maximize their nutritional intake.

Why Should I Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Although most people seem to spit out the seeds, there are beneficial nutrients contained within watermelon seeds as well. watermelon seeds have a small but significant amount of both Zinc and Iron: not enough to provide you with all that you need, but a useful supplement to other sources of these minerals in your diet. Another reason you should eat your seeds is because Watermelon Seeds provide Zinc and Iron in ways that your body can readily digest and use. Studies show that around ninety percent of the Iron and Zinc from watermelon seeds is Bio-Available.

Watermelon seeds also provide a significant amount of protein, around a gram for every twenty four seeds. This means that you will get a healthy amount of protein just by eating a few slices of watermelon (if the watermelon contains seeds, of course!) You'll still need other sources of protein, but watermelon seeds can help you maintain a low-calorie diet while also getting the protein that you need.

Watermelon also provides a decent amount of dietary fiber. If you ate two hundred calories of watermelon, you'd get about four grams of fiber for your trouble. There are better sources of course, but in addition to the antioxidant benefits of watermelon, watermelon will make a solid dent in your daily dietary needs. Watermelon also contains healthy amounts of soluble fiber in addition to insoluble fiber. Most people know that Insoluble Fiber helps maintain regularity and digestive health, but fewer people realize that soluble fiber is incredibly important for maintaining the health of the heart and the cardiovascular system.

Watermelon: An Amazing and Efficient Way to Increase the Health of Your Diet!

Watermelon is a cheap and delicious fruit that does wonders for your health. The light, sweet taste may make you feel like watermelon is not an effective choice for an ideal diet, but that can be no further from the truth. We recommend adding watermelon to your diet on a regular basis. If you really enjoy it, consider making it one of your primary snacks or deserts! It tastes great while being one of the most Calorie-Efficient Fruits available. We recommend watermelon for the benefits of L-Citrulline alone, but all of the additional benefits make it a no-brainer!

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