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Betagen = Creatine+L-Glutamine+HMB

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Q. What is Betagen, and what will it do for me?

What is Betagen?
Eas Betagen contains 3 key ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, L-glutamine, and HMB. Other ingredients include Taurine and potassium phosphate. If you follow the EAS marketing info - Phosphagen (another creatine containing supplement) is more for loading and Betagen is best used for maintenance phase.

What does Creatine do?
Simply speaking, creatine increases the energy of your muscles - it enhances your strength. Having extra creatine (you body makes some naturally - so you're "supplementing" what you already have) means that you can work your muscles to the maximum potential - letting you squeeze every bit out of them.

Some of the standard benefits of supplementing with creatine include:
- More energy during workouts due to ATP regeneration
- Enhanced strength during work outs
- Less dependence on glycolysis - reducing lactic acid
- Quick muscle weight gain in just weeks (if you're new to creatine)

Creatine powder typically takes at least an hour to absorb, so it's best to take it between 1 and 1.5 hours before a work out.

Where does natural creatine come from?
Creatine is found mostly in meat and fish. Some good sources of creatine include cod, tuna, salmon, beef and pork. If you're a vegetarian, you would tend to have less creatine than meat-eaters - simply because meats are a source of creatine.

Does supplementing with creatine have Side Effects?
Yes. It's known to generate weight gain; usually muscle; but it does promote water retention in your body; so a small portion of the weight you gain will just be from water retention. But the rest is pure muscle, and you'll feel stronger, and look fuller overall (this is from a body building perspective, so be aware of the context.)

No studies have shown creatine to have any serious adverse side effects. However, some studies have shown atheletes experiencing gas, bloating and diarreah problems with OVER using creatine. This problem went away after lowering the amount of intake. Not long term side effects of creatine have been shown either.

What does L-glutamine do?
Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in your muscles - over 61% of skeletal muscle is Glutamine. Glutamine consists of 19% nitrogen, making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into your muscle cells.

During intense training, Glutamine levels are greatly depleated in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. It could take up to 6 days for Glutamine levels to return to normal - and Glutamine plays a key role in protein synthesis. Studies have shown that L-Glutamine supplementaiton can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.

L-Glutamine supplementaiton promotes a positive nitrogen balance and prevens the loss of muscle. Recent studies have shown that taking just 2 grams of L-Glutamine can increase growth hormone levels by 400% (HGH helps metabolize body fat and support muscle growth.)

Does L-Glutamine have side effects?
In short, no. You shouldn't worry about Glutamine side effects, as studies have found it to have no adverse side effects, and also because Glutamine naturally occurs in your body, it has no health risks. However, like all supplements, to much is never a good idea. Taking excessive amounts of L-Glutamine has led to upset stomachs, so you should follow the recommended dosages.

What is HMB?
HMB is short for beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate. Small amounts are found in certain foods such as citrus fruits, catfish and alfalfa. Although HMB supplements have only become popular since the mid 1990's, the role of HMB in cholesterol metabolism has been studied for several decades. Scientists in the 1950's discovered that HMB (then known as 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid) plays a role in the synthesis of cholesterol.

HMB supplements were first developed to help farmers raise leaner cattle and other farm animals. Specifically, HMB improves growth and immune function in animals, such as chicken and sheep. Some research shows it also reduces subcutaneous fat (that's the fat stored directly under the skin) in steers. HMB is produced by the body when muscle tissue breaks down, such as during training.

It is hypothesized that HMB supplements may signal the body to slow down destruction of muscle tissue. Although the evidence is based on small studies, HMB may enhance strength and muscle mass in response to weight training and may help prevent muscle damage during prolonged exercise. Some studies indicate that HMB may have greater effect when used with creatine. In addition, it may help prevent wasting in people with AIDS — particularly in combination with amino acids such as glutamine.

I want the benefits; but don't want to pay for Betagen...What are my alternatives?
You can buy the key ingredients separately for much cheaper (according to bodybuilding for you approximately 39 cents per serving cheaper, so you do the math).

You can buy the ingredients from several places:
http://www.bodybuilding-supplements-for-you.com/shop-by-product/creatine-powder.htm
http://www.allstarhealth.com/

Data pulled from the following resources:
http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/creatine/eas-betagen-review.htm
http://www.consumerlab.com/results/creatine.asp
http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/hmb.htm

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