What You Should Know About Controlling Cholesterol

High blood cholesterol can have serious consequences for your heart, but healthy lifestyle choices can help put you in control of cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol isn’t all bad. In your body, cholesterol serves several important functions. It’s a building block for cell membranes, an essential part of many hormones, and used by your body to make bile, which is necessary for proper digestion. Even though cholesterol has so many vital functions, you don’t need to consume cholesterol in foods because your body can make all the cholesterol it needs.

While a little cholesterol is essential for good health, it becomes a problem when there is much more than your body can use. Excess cholesterol accumulates in your blood stream and sticks to the lining of blood vessels. This buildup can lead to atherosclerosis, a narrowing and hardening of the arteries that can result in a heart attack, stroke, and other serious complications (1). Although family history plays a part, cholesterol levels in the body are strongly influenced by your diet and physical activity level. This means that healthy lifestyle choices can help you manage cholesterol levels and help to keep your heart healthy (2).

Apart from managing a healthy weight and avoiding smoking, there are several lifestyle choices the American Heart Association recommends to help protect your heart health (2). These are three simple steps from the American Heart Association guidelines that can help you keep your cholesterol levels under control.

1. Choose heart-healthy fats.

The American Heart Association guidelines recommend increasing heart-healthy fats, especially polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats while limiting unhealthy sources such as saturated fats. Heart-healthy sources of fat include nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Too much saturated fat is a concern for blood cholesterol levels because your body uses saturated fat to build its own cholesterol. When you eat a meal high in saturated fat, your body’s cholesterol production systems go into overdrive. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to seven percent or less of your total calories (2).

2. Get more fiber, especially soluble fiber.

Getting at least the minimum recommended amount of dietary fiber every day is essential for a healthy heart. Some types of fiber, such as viscous soluble fibers found in oats, can be especially helpful for managing blood cholesterol levels. Women should aim for no less than 25 grams per day while men need at least 38 grams per day from foods such as whole grains, beans, peas, and lentils (3). The American Heart Association recommends choosing a dietary pattern that is high in fiber (27-38 grams per day) to protect heart health (2).

3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

While any amount of exercise has benefits for health, the greatest benefits for maintaining a healthy level of blood cholesterol can be seen with at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. This works out to be about 30-40 minutes a day, four or five days per week. A higher level of physical activity can have additional benefits for managing cholesterol and overall health, too (2).

Ingredients for Heart Health

Heart Shake Booster adds the right ingredients to complement smart lifestyle choices for heart health. Designed for use with Isagenix shakes, Heart Shake Booster is formulated to help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. †

Heart Shake Booster’s powerful ingredients include plant sterols, pantethine, which is a derivative of vitamin B5, and a blend of other ingredients inspired by a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.

Plant sterols reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from foods, helping the body eliminate excess cholesterol (4-6). Because plant sterols are most effective when consumed twice a day with food, Heart Shake Booster is designed to be blended with your favorite Isagenix shake twice daily for a delicious, convenient option to customize your Isagenix System (7).

Smart lifestyle choices, such as being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and choosing a heart-healthy diet are essential first steps in keeping cholesterol levels in check. Heart Shake Booster is a convenient choice to complement your heart-healthy lifestyle that may help reduce your risk of heart disease.

†Foods and supplements containing at least 0.65 g per serving of plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 1.3 g, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of Heart Shake Booster supplies 0.65 grams of plant sterol esters.


  1. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, et al. American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics–2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015 Jan 27;131(4):e29-322.
  2. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Jul 1;63(25 Pt B):2960-84.
  3. Institute of Medicine, Food Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press;2005.
  4. Mattson FH, Grundy SM, Crouse JR. Optimizing the effect of plant sterols on cholesterol absorption in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1982 Apr;35(4):697-700.
  5. Malina DM, Fonseca FA, Barbosa SA, Kasmas SH, Machado VA, França CN, Borges NC, Moreno RA, Izar MC. Additive effects of plant sterols supplementation in addition to different lipid-lowering regimens. J Clin Lipidol. 2015 Jul-Aug;9(4):542-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2015.04.003.
  6. Abumweis SS, Barake R, Jones PJ. Plant sterols/stanols as cholesterol lowering agents: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food Nutr Res. 2008;52. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v52i0.1811.
  7. Doornbos AM, Meynen EM, Duchateau GS, van der Knaap HC, Trautwein EA. Intake occasion affects the serum cholesterol lowering of a plant sterol-enriched single-dose yoghurt drink in mildly Hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Mar;60(3):325-33.

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Steven Bently – Amped Isagenix Products

Listening to an endurance coach talk about using products to maximize nutrition to help athletes: Gain Muscle, Get Faster, Get Stronger, Last Longer.

My Isagenix 2 Day Cleanse Experience

Come hang out with me for two days as I do not eat any solid food and just drink the Isagenix Cleanse For Life. Comment if you have any questions and if you …

Training for Explosive Action With AMPED Nitro

The term explosive action in sport science and athletics is a real, highly sought-after result of training that could mean serious competitive gains for athletes.

In team sports, such as basketball or soccer, explosive action might refer to a variety of movements that include jumping, kicking, change of direction, acceleration, and even deceleration. These are often studied as either single or repeated actions, and measurements might involve a combination of power, speed, and endurance.

Plyometric Training

Coaches and trainers often turn to plyometric training for its well-established benefits to explosive speed, power, and endurance. Seeking the right adaptations for their athletes, training might include a series of plyometric exercises – such as squat, peak, and countermovement jumps, short sprints, and shuttle runs – designed to mimic specific movements seen on the court or pitch.

Apart from plyometric training, dietary approaches are widely used by athletes to seek out adaptations that translate to explosiveness. While the research remains limited, some studies have offered promising findings, particularly when plyometric or sprint-type exercises are combined with targeted nutrition and supplementation regimens.

Buffering Up With Beta-Alanine

The demonstrated ergogenic effects of beta-alanine – an amino acid found mainly in chicken and beef – have made it a supplement worth studying.

Beta-alanine is thought to work by increasing the concentration of carnosine in both fast-twitch and short-twitch muscle fibers. A greater amount of carnosine in muscles could mean more of a buffer against acidity that can lead to fatigue.

In a recent randomized placebo-controlled study on 25 club-level female soccer players, plyometric training combined with beta-alanine supplementation led to a greater adaptive response for endurance and in repeated sprinting and jumping performances (1).

The researchers explained that beta-alanine’s benefits might be explained due its effects on “increasing buffering ability of muscles” that “may have increased fatigue resistance during sets of jump training, allowing greater intensity during the latter part of plyometric training sessions” (1).

Creatine Increases Muscle-Carb Carrying Capacity

Creatine’s often touted for acting itself as quick energy for explosive movements related to strength training for athletes. Less well-known is that creatine can also improve athletic performance through increasing muscle carbohydrate storage capacity.

Repeated fast, explosive movements that translate to speed and power in sports are highly reliant on carbohydrate stores in muscle or muscle glycogen. For this reason, nutritional strategies like carbohydrate or glycogen loading are employed. Creatine is thought to improve the efficiency of glycogen loading by attracting water into muscles, allowing for greater carbohydrate storage. A study in cyclists taking creatine (20 grams for five days plus 3 grams for nine days) demonstrated that the supplement increased stored glycogen in muscles by more than half and led to greater power during sprints and less time to fatigue (2).

Likewise, a study on female soccer players showed that creatine supplementation led to enhanced adaption in response to six weeks of plyometric training. Greater improvements in jump and repeated sprint performance as compared to those taking placebo were seen (3).

Caffeine on Countermovement Jumps

Caffeine is the most widely used ergogenic substance used by athletes, usually in the form of coffee or energy drinks. Its stimulant properties are owed to the interactions with adenosine receptors in the brain leading to greater alertness and energy levels (4).

When combined with plyometric training, caffeine also can lead to greater explosive action. For example, one study found that ingestion of 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight improved countermovement jump performance in elite male volleyball players (5).

Another study evaluated a caffeine-containing energy drink on both countermovement jump performance and team performance of female soccer players during a double-blind, placebo controlled trial (6). The energy drink, which provided a dose of caffeine equivalent to 3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, led to increases in countermovement jump height, total running distance, and number of sprint bouts during a simulated game (6).

AMPED Nitro: Combining Beta-Alanine, Creatine, and Caffeine

AMPED™ Nitro contains the three ingredients in a convenient drink powder. The pre-workout drink also contains additional ingredients such as Nitrosigine® to support optimal plasma levels of arginine, which is a precursor for nitric oxide production and increases blood flow to the brain and muscles (7).

Based on the sports science literature, athletes could maximize adaptation from plyometric training with AMPED Nitro as a nutritional strategy that combines beta-alanine, creatine, and caffeine in safe and effective dosages.

Nitrosigine is a registered trademark of Nutrition 21, LLC and is patent protected.


  1. Rosas F, Ramírez-Campillo R, Martínez C, Caniuqueo A, Cañas-Jamet R, McCrudden E, Meylan C, Moran J, Nakamura FY, Pereira LA, et al. Effects of Plyometric Training and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Maximal-Intensity Exercise and Endurance in Female Soccer Players. J Hum Kinet. 2017;58:99–109.
  2. Tomcik KA, Camera DM, Bone JL, Ross ML, Jeacocke NA, Tachtsis B, Senden J, van Loon LJC, Hawley JA, Burke LM. Effects of Creatine and Carbohydrate Loading on Cycling Time Trial Performance [Internet]. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2017. 1 p. Available from: http://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-900000000-97135
  3. Ramírez-Campillo R, González-Jurado JA, Martínez C, Nakamura FY, Peñailillo L, Meylan CMP, Caniuqueo A, Cañas-Jamet R, Moran J, Alonso-Martínez AM, et al. Effects of plyometric training and creatine supplementation on maximal-intensity exercise and endurance in female soccer players. J Sci Med Sport. 2016;19:682–7.
  4. Burke LM, Desbrow B, Spriet LL. Caffeine for Sports Performance. Human Kinetics – HK. 2014. 216 p.
  5. Zbinden-Foncea H, Rada I, Gomez J, Kokaly M, Stellingwerff T, Deldicque L, Peñailillo L. Effects of caffeine on countermovement-jump performance variables in elite male volleyball players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13:145–50.
  6. Lara B, Gonzalez-Millan C, Salinero JJ, Abian-Vicen J, Areces F, Barbero-Alvarez JC, Muñoz V, Portillo LJ, Gonzalez-Rave JM, Del Coso J. Caffeine-containing energy drink improves physical performance in female soccer players. Amino Acids. 2014;46:1385–92.
  7. Kalman D, Harvey PD, Ojalvo SP, Komorowski J. Randomized prospective double-blind studies to evaluate the cognitive effects of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate in healthy physically active adults. Nutrients. 2016;8.

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Peppermint Oil-Infused Water May Support Your Workouts

According to preliminary yet promising findings of a new study, athletes who enjoy adding a hint of peppermint into their water for flavor might find another benefit: improved performance during workouts.

Peppermint oil is among the most popular essential oils and known for its flavoring and fragrance properties. Peppermint is widely used in food, cosmetics, and even pharmaceutical products. One of the major components in peppermint essential oil is menthol, which is reported to have cooling and soothing effects when used topically after a workout (1).

However, more recent research is investigating the effects peppermint essential oil may have on markers of exercise performance. One study, published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, studied the effects when 12 healthy males in their 20s ingested 0.05 milliliters, about one to two drops, of peppermint essential oil mixed into 500 ml (about 16 ounces) of mineral water daily for 10 days (2). The study also measured markers of lung function and exercise performance using a standard treadmill exercise test before and after the 10-day intervention period.

After supplementation, researchers found significant improvements to lung function and other related parameters indicating enhanced respiratory output and energy expenditure during exercise. Work, power, vertical and horizontal distance, and time to exhaustion also improved significantly.

More research needs to be done to find the exact mechanisms for how consuming peppermint essential oil supports exercise performance, but existing evidence may possibly provide clues. Previous research has shown the main component in peppermint essential oil, menthol, supports strengthened lung function (3, 4).

There’s also extensive research showing aromas such as peppermint essential oil may affect physical performance by impacting cognitive performance, perceptions of physical exertion, and pain response (5-7).

This study and others offer promising insights into ways peppermint essential oil may improve exercise performance. Although the research did not specify when to consume the oil around exercise, it’s suggested that simply ingesting it daily may lead to results.

Otherwise, diffusing peppermint essential oil in the hours leading up to a workout for alertness or keeping it in a gym bag to apply topically on muscles after a workout might also support exercise performance.


  1. Johar P, Grover V, Topp R, Behm DG. (2012). A comparison of topical menthol to ice on pain, evoked tetanic and voluntary force during delayed onset muscle soreness. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Jun;7(3):314-22.
  2. Meamarbashi A, Rajabi A. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 15.
  3. Zänker KS, Tölle W, Blümel G, Probst J. Evaluation of surfactant-like effects of commonly used remedies for colds. Respiration. 1980;39:150–157.
  4. Tamaoki J, Chiyotani A, Sakai A, Takemura H, Konno K. Effect of menthol vapour on airway hyperresponsiveness in patients with mild asthma. Respir Med. 1995;89:503–504.
  5. Raudenbush B, Smith J, Graham K, McCune A. Effects of peppermint odor administration on augmenting basketball performance during game play. Chem Senses. 2005;30:265–278.
  6. Raudenbush B. The effects of odors on objective and subjective measures of physical performance. The Aroma-Chology Review. 2000;9:1–5.
  7. Raudenbush B, Corley N, Eppich W. Enhancing athletic performance through the administration of peppermint odor. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2001;23:156–160.

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Isagenix 30 Day Cleanse – Day 15

Michelle’s journey with Isagenix…

Wellmune for Weekend Warriors – Isagenix Health

For those of us with busy lifestyles during the week, the weekend represents an opportunity for more intense workouts. However, this kind of infrequent physical activity on a weekly basis can be difficult on the immune system.

After intense or vigorous exercise during the weekend, there’s a period when immunity is suppressed and vulnerable. This “open window” can occur in both seasoned athletes and those who are recreationally active, although most of the research in this area has been completed in athletic populations.

Adding Immune Shake Booster into your everyday routine can be an important tool to keep your immune system stronger during and after exercise.

Immune Shake Booster includes ingredients designed to prime the immune system and can be used daily, which is particularly important for those who participate in physical activity, even sparingly. Wellmune® beta glucans in Immune Shake Booster have been shown to support the immune system at times of stress, including after exercise.

In a 2017 study in recreationally active adults, supplementing with Wellmune daily led to better immunity after exercise (1). Previous studies involving Wellmune have included men, women, stressed individuals, and athletes, but this is the first study to include recreationally active participants (2-4).

Study Details

The study included 109 college-aged, recreationally active men and women not currently taking part in an exercise program. All participants completed both a supplement (250 mg Wellmune) and placebo (250 mg rice flour) condition with a seven-day washout period between conditions.

After 10 days of either supplement or placebo, the participants performed fast and slow treadmill intervals in a hot, humid environment for 90 minutes. The researchers took blood samples at baseline, prior to and immediately following exercise, and two and four hours into recovery.

They found that there was a modulation of immune markers after exercise, suggesting immune cells are primed and ready if they were to encounter pathogens. This confirms supplementation with Wellmune beta glucan may decrease the likelihood of immune suppression after intense exercise as well as in times of extreme stress, as modeled in the hot exercise condition.

These results show another reason to make Immune Shake Booster part of your daily routine. Instead of using it seasonally, try adding a scoop to your IsaLean® Shake each day to support your body through life’s many stressors.


  1. McFarlin BK, Venable AS, Carpenter KC, et al. Oral supplementation with Baker’s yeast beta glucan is associated with altered monocytes, T cells and cytokines following a bout of strenuous exercise. Front Physiol. 2017 Oct 20; 8: 786.
  2. Carpenter KC, Breslin WL, Davidson T, et al. Baker’s yeast β-glucan supplementation increases monocytes and cytokines post-exercise: implications for infection risk? Br J Nutr. 2013 Feb; 109(3): 478-486.
  3. McFarlin BK, Carpenter KC, Davidson T, and McFarlin MA. Baker’s yeast beta glucan supplementation increases salivary IgA and decreases cold/flu symptomatic days after intense exercise. J Diet Suppl. 2013 Sept; 10(3): 171-83.
  4. Talbott S and Talbott J. Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan decreases upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and improves psychological well-being in moderate to highly-stressed subjects. AgroFood Industry Hi-Tech. 2010 Jan/Feb; 21(1): 21-24.

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