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What is Protein Powder and What Does it Do?

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What is Protein Powder and What Does it Do?

Protein powder is having a moment. It’s been around for decades, but it has never been as ubiquitous as it is today. It’s at the gym, at the health food store… you can even buy protein powder at grocery and big box stores now! So what’s the deal? What is protein powder, and is it necessary? How do you know which one to choose?

This post explains the different types of protein powder so you can decide which one is right for you.

What is Protein Powder and Why is it Important?

You probably already know that protein helps you repair and build lean muscle mass, which is why the Paleo Diet and other high-protein protocols are so popular among athletes.

Protein molecules are made up of amino acids. When you consume dietary protein, your body rearranges the amino acids, creating new protein structures that help your muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger after a workout.

Ingesting protein is also shown to help people lose fat, partly because it is filling but contains relatively few calories. It also helps you maintain muscle mass, which is necessary for burning fat.

But protein does a lot more than just build muscles. It supplies your body with energy and helps repair and regulate the cells in every part of your body!

Our bodies use 22 different types of amino acids; 9 of them are considered “essential” and can only be obtained through dietary sources.

Most adults who eat a healthy, balanced diet get a sufficient amount of protein, but some people require supplements, such as those who:

  • Want to build muscle
  • Are trying to lose weight
  • Need recovery support for sports injuries
  • Choose vegan or vegetarian diets

Whether you’re working to increase strength, lose fat, or just improve your general health, a convenient way to increase your protein intake is to consume protein powder.

What are the Different Types of Protein Powder?

Protein powder is a concentrated source of protein that is derived from animal or plant foods that you can either drink as a shake or add to the foods you already eat (think peanut butter or oatmeal — you can even make protein powder pancakes).

Here are some of the most common types:

Whey

Whey protein powder is probably the most popular among weightlifters and other athletes. It is a complete protein source, which means it provides all of the 9 essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own. It also contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Whey is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), including leucine, which plays a big role in muscle growth and recovery. It is digested quickly, it provides a rapid boost of amino acids helps increase muscle mass. Some studies suggest that whey protein may also reduce inflammation and improve some heart health markers.

Whey protein powder comes from dairy, so even though it loses most of its milk sugar during processing, it may not be ideal for people who have difficulty digesting lactose.

Milk

Casein

Casein protein also comes from milk, but is digested more slowly than whey. When casein interacts with stomach acid, it forms a gel that slows down the rate at which your stomach empties. This delays the absorption of amino acids into your bloodstream, resulting in a more steady exposure of your muscles to the amino acids.

Casein is also a complete protein source, and the delayed absorption means the protein-building benefits can last up to 7 hours.

milk

Egg

Eggs are one of the best sources of high-quality protein you can eat. Egg protein powders are a complete protein, and are second only to whey in the amount of leucine they provide.

Egg protein powder is easily digested and is an excellent choice for people with dairy allergies. But because the powder is usually made from egg whites rather than whole eggs, it may not be as filling as other proteins.

eggs

Pea

Pea protein powder is made from the yellow split pea, which contains all but one of the essential amino acids, and is rich in BCAAs. It’s especially popular among vegans and people with dairy and egg allergies.

Studies suggest that pea protein may promote fullness and muscle growth just as effectively as animal-based proteins.

peas

Soy

Soy protein powder is another good, plant-based option for vegans and other people who are dairy-free. Soybeans are legumes that are high in protein while being relatively low in fat.

Soy

Soy is a complete protein, especially high in arginine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan. It also naturally contains B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

How do I Choose the Best Protein Powder?

The first step to choosing the best protein powder is understanding its source and nutrient content, and how much it has been processed.

Protein concentrates are the least processed kind of protein powder. They are produced by extracting protein from the whole food using heat and acid or enzymes, and are usually composed of 60-80% protein and 20-40% fat and carbohydrates.

Protein isolates are made by removing more fat and carbs with additional filtering, which further concentrates the protein. Isolates typically contain 90-95% protein and are considered more pure, but are generally more expensive than concentrates because they have gone through more processing.

Protein hydrolysates are the most processed form of protein powder, and are produced by further heating, which breaks the bonds between amino acids. This process helps hydrolysates absorb more quickly in your body.

Choosing a protein powder is a matter of dietary preference and taste. Experiment with different types and flavors until you find the one that works best for you.  

A good place to start is with the THRIVE Lifestyle Mix, a combination of whey, pea, and soy protein that contains our premium blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics to fill in nutritional gaps and help you feel your best!

THRIVE Lifestyle Mix

How to Boost Your THRIVE Results with THRIVEFIT

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How to Boost Your THRIVE Results with THRIVEFIT

So you’ve started the THRIVE Experience, and you have more energy than ever. You’re more focused. You feel better throughout the day.

Now you’re ready to take your THRIVE results to the next level.

Enter THRIVEFIT.

THRIVEFIT is an ultra premium fitness performance line designed to help you crush your workouts, recover faster, and build lean muscle mass. And it was created to work in tandem with the THRIVE Experience.

Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, just feeling more energetic, or all three, THRIVEFIT can help you get there.

Start with the THRIVE 3-Step Process

The THRIVE Experience was made to supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle and fill in nutritional gaps with more than 100 premium-grade vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, protein, fiber and more.

People love THRIVE not just because it works, but because the simple, 3-step process makes it easy to look and feel your best!

Step 1: As soon as you wake up, take two THRIVE premium lifestyle capsules (formulated for men and women) on an empty stomach.

Step 2: A half hour later, drink the delicious THRIVE ultra micronized shake mix.

Step 3: Apply the lifestyle derma-fusion technology (DFT patch) to clean, dry skin.

That’s it! You’re ready to take on the day with increased energy and mental clarity.  

Start with the THRIVE 3-Step Process

For Even Better Results, add THRIVEFIT

Optimizing your THRIVE results with THRIVEFIT is just as easy — and delicious!

Here’s how it works.

Complete your 3-step THRIVE process as normal when you wake up in the morning.

Then, drink the THRIVE BUILD vanilla ice cream-flavored drink mix before you head to the gym. You can even add it to a smoothie for a delicious, healthy protein boost anytime during the day, whether you’re working out or not!

BUILD contains 25 grams of premium Whey and Casein protein isolates for building and repairing lean muscle, making it the perfect pre-, during-, or post-workout fuel (or a nutritious anytime snack).

Within an hour after your workout, drink the tasty THRIVEFIT RECOVER mix to rebuild your glycogen levels, recover faster, and recharge for your next workout.

RECOVER is a premium 1-to-1 engineered blend of carbohydrates and our high-quality Whey and Casein protein isolates for post-exercise recovery.

Lastly, drink the citrus-flavored THRIVEFIT CIRCULATE supplement at any point throughout the day to increase your stamina, nitric oxide levels, repository capacity, blood flow, endurance — even on rest days!

CIRCULATE contains a precise blend of amino acids, powered by 3,000 mg of one of the purest forms of L-Arginine available, making it a great pre-workout tool. Or you can combine it with THRIVEFIT RECOVER to help get more healthy, oxygenated blood to those muscles you’ve just broken down and optimize your workout results.

Incorporating THRIVEFIT into your THRIVE Experience will help you live, look, and feel your best — at work, at home, in the gym, or wherever your day takes you!

Which THRIVE DFT is Right for You?

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Which THRIVE DFT is Right for You?

What are those colorful squares THRIVERS are wearing? If you’re new to Le-Vel, you’ve almost assuredly heard the buzz about THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Derma Fusion Technology, or THRIVE DFT, as it’s more commonly called.

What is THRIVE DFT, anyway?

It infuses the derma (or skin) with Le-Vel’s unique, premium-grade THRIVE Lifestyle Formula. THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Formula contains key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, amino acids, enzymes and plant extracts. Millions of Brand Promoters and customers report incredible results from DFT including increased energy and circulation, appetite and weight management, nutritional support and mental acuity. Best of all, DFT includes a delivery system designed for increased bioavailability. In other words, your body absorbs more of DFT’s premium ingredients, and you enjoy the benefits over an extended period of time.

When Le-Vel created DFT, it was the first product of its kind – making it a particularly exciting evolution in the nutritional supplement industry. Taken in conjunction with THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Capsules and THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Shake from Le-Vel, DFT can help people of all ages experience greater vitality and well-being. When consumed in the morning as recommended, these three easy steps deliver all-day, time-released benefits.

Which THRIVE DFT should I use?

If you’re new to Thrive DFT, you might be wondering which one to use. Le-Vel offers a few different varieties designed to address specific needs. Here’s a brief rundown of each one:

THRIVE Premium Lifestyle DFT: The original DFT first launched in 2013, Thrive Premium Lifestyle DFT delivers ultra-premium results, including weight management and nutritional support, for adults of all ages and lifestyles.

Lifestyle DFT

The next three DFT products are part of Le-Vel’s THRIVE Plus line:

Black Label: Considered the next evolution of Derma Fusion Technology, Black Label is based on an entirely different formula than the standard DFT and DFT Ultra. Its objective is to deliver superior results in terms of general health, wellness, fitness, weight management, mental acuity, nutritional support, and mood support.

Black Label DFT

DFT Duo: If you’re looking for weight management and appetite support, this is your DFT. The first Le-Vel product designed specifically for weight management, DFT Duo offers a dual-action, left/right adhesive application, resulting in a larger fusion footprint that provides a balanced release. DFT Duo also includes an enhanced weight management formula concentration intended to deliver greater absorption. This groundbreaking product supports lipid metabolism and supplies all-day weight management and appetite support.

DUO DFT

DFT Duo BURN: Also focused on weight and appetite management support BURN is even stronger than DUO in terms of the active ingredients and absorption. For the ultimate push towards your weight management goals, use BURN as Step 3 of the THRIVE Experience. DFT Duo BURN comes in two editions: Original and Metallic Gold, Silver and Black.

DFT Duo BURN Metallic

Which DFT should you choose? It’s important to set your health and wellness goals first. Starting with THRIVE Premium Lifestyle DFT allows you to get acquainted with one of the core products in Le-Vel’s Thrive 8-Week Experience. Commit to those eight weeks, and determine the kind of benefits THRIVE Premium Lifestyle DFT brings you, as those results vary according to the individual. Be sure you’re sticking to those three simple steps each morning, as recommended. After your 8-Week Experience, if you’re ready to elevate your results or concentrate on weight management, try one of the other DFT products. Regardless of which DFT you choose, we’re confident that it won’t be long before you truly understand what it means to THRIVE – and you won’t ever want to be without this product!

What’s the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients?

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What’s the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients?

If you’ve spent significant time at the gym, you’ve probably heard people talk about counting macros (or macronutrients). It sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Maybe not rocket science, exactly, but you may have wondered why someone would go to all that effort.

And what about micronutrients? Are you supposed to count those, too? What’s the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients, anyway? Is one more important than the other?

Macronutrients and micronutrients both nourish your body, just in different measures. They even come from the same place — the food we eat.

Well, both are essential for good health.

Let’s discuss what makes macros and micros different, and how to be sure you’re getting enough of both.

What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients are the basic components of a diet, present in everything we eat, from apples to steak to ice cream. Macros deliver calories and energy to the body, enabling it to grow, function, and repair itself — which is why we need lots of them!

The three main macros are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Almost all food includes some combination of two or all three.

For example:

  • A chicken breast contains 44 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat (0 carbs).
  • A large avocado contains 21 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of protein.
  • A banana contains 31 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat, and 2 grams of protein.

Let’s take a closer look into what the different macronutrients are and what they do for our bodies.

Protein

Protein, which is made up of amino acids, is an essential nutrient for growing and repairing muscle, which is why so many athletes eat a high-protein diet. But it’s is good for more than just muscle; protein is also the main component of your organs, bones, and hair, and helps the body manufacture hormones and maintain a healthy immune system.

Good sources of protein: lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds, beets, and raw greens (like kale and spinach).

Good sources of protein

Carbs

Carbohydrates are your body’s go-to source for fuel. They are made up of small chains of sugar, which your digestive system breaks down into glucose to use for energy. They also help keep your brain and nervous system healthy and can protect against cardiovascular disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Good sources of carbs: brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, vegetables, oats, beans, and fruit (especially apples and bananas).

Good sources of carbs

Fat

Fat is a vital part of a healthy diet. It supports brain development and cell function, protects the organs, and aids with the absorption of vitamins. Because it’s the most calorie-dense nutrient, fat has gotten a bad rap over the years. But healthy fats (like Omega 3s and Omega 6s) can help balance your blood sugar and decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Good sources of fat: fatty fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado.

Good sources of fat

Counting macros

Counting macros is an alternative to counting calories, enabling you to tailor your diet to your body’s needs.

When counting macros, you start with your body’s caloric requirements (which depend on your age, sex, weight, and activity level), and divide them up into protein, carbs, and fat.

Each macronutrient delivers a different number of calories per gram.

Protein: 4 calories per gram

Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram

Fat: 9 calories per gram

A common breakout for an active lifestyle is 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fats. (So in a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, you would aim for 800 protein calories. Since there are 4 calories per gram of protein, you would need to eat 200 grams per day.)

Some bodies function better (or lose weight faster, if that’s what’s desired) with a higher percentage of fat and fewer carbs. A person following the keto diet might get 60% of their calories from fat, 30% from protein, and 10% from carbs.

It all depends on your goals.

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals the body requires, and while they are essential to health and wellness, a little goes a long way. These nutrients are found within the macronutrients we eat for energy.

The three vital micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, and water.

Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds our bodies need to work properly. They are vital for healthy bones, skin, vision, cognitive function, and a robust immune system. There are 13 essential vitamins our bodies need: A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyroxidine, biotin, folate, and cobalamin). With the exception of Vitamin D, all are derived from food.

Vitamins

Minerals

Minerals support the body in much the same way as vitamins. They help build strong bones and teeth, heal wounds, regulate metabolism, and maintain a healthy blood pressure and immune system. There are two types of minerals: macro minerals (calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur), which are required in larger amounts, and micro minerals (chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc), which are often called trace minerals – of which only small amounts are needed.

Minerals

Water

Water is critical for every single system in the human body. It improves brain function and mood, carries nutrients to cells, flushes out toxins, and acts as a general lubricant for the body. Even mild dehydration can affect physical and cognitive performance.

And while drinking plenty of water is always a good idea, remember that fruits and vegetables (like watermelon and spinach) are also a great source!

Water

Are you getting enough micronutrients?

Ideally, we would get all the vitamins and minerals we need through a healthy diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables. But for busy families, that’s not always the reality.

Micronutrient deficiencies can cause a host of health problems — both physical and cognitive.

With 100% or more of the recommended daily value of 8 essential vitamins and minerals per serving, THRIVE Activate beverage can help you get the micronutrients your body needs to perform its best!

THRIVE Activate

Create a Healthy Fall Routine

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Create a Healthy Fall Routine

The further we fall into fall, the darker the early morning hours become. Those pitch-black fall mornings make it harder than ever not to give into the urge to roll over and go back to sleep. 

Not to worry, though – our early morning hours are about to get sunnier after we set our clocks back November 4. Of course, the price we pay for that is an hour’s worth of sleep.

With the fall now in full swing, it’s a great time to create some healthy habits that can help you stay on track through the rest of the year.

Commit to better planning.

Keeping up with everyone’s schedules is downright difficult – especially if you’re a parent. Get yourself a whiteboard calendar, and have a quick family meeting on Sunday evenings. Write down everything – work, school and sports commitments, evening meetings, etc. — so there are no surprises or missed appointments.

Sleep.

Aim for seven to eight hours a night if possible. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, and wind down before you head to bed. Keep your mobile devices out of your bedroom and make it a technology-free zone, if possible.

Start the day with intention.

When your alarm first goes off in the morning, remind yourself how much better you’ll feel if you take some time to yourself to start your day on a positive note. With that in mind, don’t hit the snooze button. Get up, and take five minutes to stretch or meditate.

Hydrate.

It’s not hard to stay hydrated during the hot summer months, but when temperatures fall, a cold glass of water may be the last thing you want. Yet, staying hydrated is incredibly important for your energy levels and overall health. For some variety, try hot water with lemon or one of these flavorful infusions.

Try a new exercise.

In an exercise rut? Try something new outdoors. Join an early morning or evening bootcamp class in your community (many are held in shopping center parking lots or parks). Discover a new walking, running or biking path. Take a nature hike. Or simply take the dog for a walk in the evening, and breathe in the nighttime air. Check out these other suggestions for fun fall workouts.

Enjoy the outdoors.

Make it a point to spend even 10 minutes daily outside. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93 percent of his or her life indoors. Time outside increases your exposure to Vitamin D (“the sunshine vitamin”). Light and outdoor exercise can elevate your mood, lower blood pressure, fight depression, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, improve short-term memory, heighten creativity and reduce your stress levels. A 2008 study of children with ADHD even found that being outside can improve your concentration.


Aim for 80/20.

At this time of year, maintaining healthy eating habits is a challenge. So cut yourself some slack. Don’t go for perfection. Instead, commit to staying on track 80 percent of the time, and give yourself wiggle room the remaining 20 percent of the time. That 20 percent can include your office parties, holiday get-togethers, family dinners and other special occasions. During those events, focus on loading up your plate with veggies, but if that pecan pie is calling your name, treat yourself. When it comes to your healthy lifestyle, it’s the big picture that counts. One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay committed to your health this fall and beyond is with the Thrive Experience. Three simple steps taken every morning can keep you on track and deliver the premium nutrition you need to stay active, feel great and live your best fall.