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Bodybuilding.com's Ultimate Holiday Shopping Guide!

The holidays are fast approaching and it can often be difficult to buy for loved ones. What do you get for the person who either has everything, or who wants so little?

By: Clayton South

It is that time of year once again! The holidays are fast approaching and it can often be difficult to buy for loved ones. What do you get for the person who either has everything, or who wants so little? When you find yourself in a situation like this, it helps to have some ideas.

Although it may be difficult to decide what to get that special someone, there exists a gift for the bodybuilder or athlete in each of us. This publication will outline some great gift ideas for the bodybuilding initiated and uninitiated, and will explain the benefits associated with each gift idea.


Category 1 - Immune System Boosters

Gift Idea 1 - Multi-Vitamins

Multi-vitamins are, without doubt, the most important supplement that one can use. For years experts have been debating the necessity of using a multi-vitamin preparation. Research has demonstrated that for the average person, using vitamins is necessary for health.1 If this is true for the average, non-exercising person, then this is even more true for the bodybuilder or athlete. Vitamins are used by the body for almost every physiological function.

Without an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals, immune function can be compromised. Giving a loved one a solid vitamin and mineral formulation can contribute greatly to overall health, and can boost the immune system, thereby potentially preventing illness.

When considering a vitamin purchase it is important to pay attention to the ingredients and to look for potential allergens. It is also important to pay close attention to the dosing procedure. Do you want to purchase a vitamin that is taken once, or twice, daily? Also, do you want a vitamin that is time-released or non-time released? These are important decisions that will influence the cost of the product you decide to buy.

Although not all vitamin products are created equal, stick with a quality manufacturer [Prolab, Twinlab, Labrada, Eclipse] and your loved one will not be disappointed.

Gift Idea 2 - Glutamine Powder

Glutamine is an excellent supplement that is responsible for maintaining nitrogen balance, protein synthesis, and immune system defense. 60 percent of the bodies free amino acid pool is comprised of glutamine.2

Glutamine is the amino acid most present in muscle tissue. During exercise glutamine is released from muscle tissue into the body. Maintaining optimum glutamine levels is critical for muscular growth, and overall health. Replacing lost glutamine is crucial for proper recovery and muscle growth.

Glutamine is an essential amino acid, meaning that not enough can be obtained from diet, nor can enough be made by the body from other amino acids. For the serious athlete, supplemental glutamine is a necessity.

When deciding on purchasing a glutamine product for that special bodybuilder or athlete, you must decide between peptide-bonded or free form l-glutamine. Typically, the peptide (protein) bound is more stable and thus more likely to survive exposure to hydrochloric acid in the gut. It is also more expensive, and typically found in protein powders.

Free form l-glutamine has a lower survival rate, but is more practical and convenient. Free form l-glutamine is great for a person counting their calories. Peptide bonded glutamine is bound to a protein molecule, and thus has a caloric value higher than its free form counterpart. Also, free form l-glutamine is great when looking for a quick glutamine boost. If you find that you require more glutamine than your current protein powder provides, you can always add in as much, or as little, free form l-glutamine as desired.

Glutamine will not only make your loved one healthier, but it will also make their life more convenient!


Category 2 - Muscle Builders

Gift Idea 1 - Protein Powder

Ask any serious athlete what macronutrient they could always use more of, and the answer will unanimously be: protein! Protein is the stuff of life, and will always rule as king in the bodybuilding and fitness world.

Protein is one of three macronutrients (the others are fats and carbohydrates), and is structured in chains. These chains, called polypeptides, are made of amino acids. Glutamine, mentioned above, is one of these amino acids; there are many others. When attempting to choose a protein product, it is important to realize that not all proteins are created equal. The proteins available in supplemental form are: Caesin, Whey, Egg and Soy.

Depending on the protein chosen, price and quality vary drastically. For specifics on what to consider when looking to purchase a protein powder, refer to the publication What Should You Look For In A Protein Powder?

Gift Idea 2 - Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine is an excellent supplement that, when used as part of a strength program, can produce great gains in lean muscle tissue for the user. When considering a Creatine product, purity should be of primary consideration.

Creatine is used primarily for increasing lean muscle mass, resulting from exercise3, 4, 5 and increasing strength. Despite the wild media-fueled claims otherwise, creatine has been proven safe for use by healthy adults with no preexisting medical conditions.

Aside from building muscle, creatine can improve brain function and make you smarter by improving short term memory!6 If you are considering buying a creatine supplement but think that creatine is suitable for male athletes only, scientific research has demonstrated that creatine is suitable for women, and will not cause a "blocky" or "unfeminine" look to develop.7 Creatine is suitable for all persons looking to add lean muscle mass, increase strength levels, and improve overall health.


Category 3 - Tastebud Teasers & Pleasers

Gift Idea 1 - Protein Bars

Protein bars are the ultimate in terms of nutritious convenience. They are portable, nutritious, taste great, and best of all, they don't require complicated and laborious mixing procedures involving noisy, and often messy, blending devices. Because bodybuilders must eat every couple of hours (to maintain nitrogen balance and protein synthesis), protein bars can help to fill the nutritional need when one neither has the time, resources or wherewithal to cook a full-course meal.

Not all protein bars are created equal, however. As with protein powders, protein bars differ in price and quality. While some bars are premium quality and are manufactured with the highest ingredients according to the strictest standards, others are poorly made and have little flavor. It pays to understand what you are buying, and the purpose for which you are buying.

All protein bars on the market today are AT LEAST edible. This is a marked departure from the past when bars often tasted like sour milk. Today, market competition is fierce, and this works to the consumers benefit.

Some protein bars contain different proteins in different ratios, while others contain one type of protein exclusively. Generally, it is best to purchase a protein bar with a mix of casein, whey, egg and soy proteins. This will help carry the athlete over until their next meal which, after all, is the reason why they would use a protein bar. A mixture of protein will be released at different rates in the body, whereas one type of protein may not cover all of the required nutritional bases and may leave the bodybuilder in a state of nutritional deficiency.

When considering a protein bar purchase, examining the macronutrient ratios of each product is ideal. This is important, because some bars are designed for fat loss, muscle gain, or to provide energy. The goal of the athlete will determine what bar is appropriate for the occasion.

It is also important to ensure that the product purchased is manufactured by a credible and trusted company. Trusted industry names include: Labrada Nutrition, Twinlab, Prolab, EAS, Cytodyne Technologies, American Bodybuilding and Next.

All things considered, taste is usually the deciding factor when considering a protein bar purchase. Some protein bars taste better than candy bars! For example, some flavors include: chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, pina collada, Texas pecan pie, blueberry cheesecake, smores, and caramel nut fudge. For a comparison of select bars and how they rate concerning quality, taste and price, refer to the publication Battle Of The Bars!

Gift Idea 2 - Meal Replacement Powders (MRP's)

Meal replacement powders are designed for convenience and taste, but some (not all) require a blender to mix (others can be mixed easily in a shaker bottle). While this may seem like an inconvenience, the one major advantage that meal replacements have over protein bars is that they can be customized for macronutrient content.

If, for example, the athlete consumes a lot of protein, extra protein can be added prior to mixing, to customize a convenient, delicious, meal. What's more, amino acids and omega oils can be added, if the meal requires. Meal replacements, like protein bars, are designed for different purposes. Not all meal replacements are created equal.

Some meal replacement powders are designed specifically for fat loss, while others are designed for muscle building. As with all products, the athletes goals will dictate what is required.

Meal replacements also taste great. The most common of flavors are chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, but other flavors can include tropical, strawberry banana, blueberries and cream, peaches mango, and root beer float! Another advantage of MRP's is that they often contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. A delivery of vitamins throughout the day is crucial for immune system health and muscular growth and fitness.

Meal replacements are a good, healthy, alternative to the all too common practice of eating fast-food on the go. They allow the athlete to plan healthy eating practices, thereby allowing them to realize their goals of optimum health.

Gift Idea 3 - Beef Jerky

Do you or your special someone want a convenient, healthy, snack to eat on the go, but do not want a messy protein shake or a protein bar? Beef jerky is always a good choice. Loaded with quality animal tissue protein, beef jerky is a high protein, low-fat, low-carbohydrate snack that provides crucial amino-acids and amazing taste! It is sure to please the most critical health nut.

Gift Idea 4 - Cookies

Cookies never looked so good! If you thought that cookies were forbidden for the health-conscious, think again! Keto-cookies are here!

These cookies taste great, are low calorie, and they don't have the fat or sugar that other cookies have. If you are looking for a great-tasting, guilt-free, alternative to the traditional cookies that make you gain unwanted weight, keto-cookies are a sure pleaser.

Gift Idea 5 - Frosted Flakes

Mom always did say that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and how right she was! The only thing she didn't know is that frosted flakes could be so good for you!

These frosted flakes contain 110 calories per serving, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and a whopping 17 grams of muscle-building protein per serving. And that's before the milk is added! This is one gift that all athletes will appreciate. Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, and now it can be healthy, and convenient!

Gift Idea 6 - Mac and Cheese

If you or your loved one loves macaroni salad (a holiday tradition), then consider using this special Keto Macaroni and Cheese. A typical holiday meal often contains around 2500 calories. This will even add fat to an ectomorphs waistline. With this macaroni and cheese, eating maccaroni salad will be an enjoyable experience. Try some of this special Macaroni and Cheese and you and your loved ones wont have to worry about the holiday love handles!

Gift Idea 7 - Ice Cream

Everyone loves ice cream, especially if they know that it is healthy for them. This ice cream is thick, rich, and full of flavor. It is sure to be a hit with the dieting bodybuilder, looking to make a responsible, goal appropriate, choice when trying to deal with the cravings.

This ice cream can also be enjoyed by the whole family. Waistline watching is on the rise and this ice cream is a great alternative to other ice creams.

Gift Idea 8 - Pizza

If you enjoy pizza, then this low-carb pizza dough is sure to make your mouth water. With just 4 grams of carbohydrates per serving, this makes eating pizza a guilt-free experience. For the bodybuilder, this is a great alternative to eating traditional pizza dough that is loaded with carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates can lead to an increased waistline and bodyfat storage.

Gift Idea 9 - Chocolate

Every holiday brings chocolate, and usually lots of it. At the same time, we usually notice an increase in the waistlines of millions. Well, no more! Labrada Nutrition has introduced CarbWatchers sugar-free chocolate. Made with maltitol, this product does not cause massive insulin spikes, unlike its sugar-containing counterpart. This gift makes chocolate eating a healthy, and guilt-free experience!


Category 4 - Clothing For Men & Women

For the ever growing and evolving athlete, clothing is a necessity. Athletes in general, and bodybuilders in particular, are always changing their size and dimensions. Accordingly, it is important to have durable, long lasting, apparel to meet the challenge.

Bodybuilding.com offers a wide variety of high-quality t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, caps, hats, warm-up suits, and even posing trunks, suitable for both sexes, at remarkable prices. Regardless of the item, Bodybuilding.com apparel is high-quality and made to last. This season, let your loved one proudly tell the world that they workout. Treat them to Bodybuilding.com apparel!


Category 5 - Bodybuilding Tools & Accessories

Aside from immune system boosters, taste bud teasers and pleasers, and quality clothing, Bodybuilding.com also stocks an incredible array of tools and accessories. These tools and accessories make great gifts, and are very useful and convenient.

Gift Idea 1 - Stylish Gym Bag

For any serious athlete, a gym bag is a must. While some gym's offer locker rental services, not all do. This can make transporting equipment [shorts, shoes, etc] a difficult and unpleasant task. At times like these, it helps to have a durable, spacious, functional, gym bag to meet the challenge.

This attractive gym bag meets all of these requirements.

Gift Idea 2 - Towel

Sweat! No one likes it, but it's a fact of life. Well, no more with these durable and oh-so-stylish towels from Bodybuilding.com. These towels are soft and durable, and are great for removing sweat from your forehead after exercise, or wiping down equipment after use. But this is not their only use.

These towels are also very travel friendly, and are great for shaving or cleaning up minor spills or messes. At their affordable price they make a great gift! Get your loved one something they wouldn't think of getting themselves - a stylish towel from Bodybuilding.com!

Gift Idea 3 - Lifting Straps

Lifting straps are an essential and invaluable piece of bodybuilding or powerlifting equipment. Lifting straps allow the athlete to lift more weight in a safer manner, by enhancing grip and stability. Some straps are better than others, but all straps on the market today, at minimum, meet standards for safety, quality and value.

Bodybuilding.com has a wide selection of lifting straps, so it's sure that you will find the perfect ones for that special someone. And, as always, Bodybuilding.com offers the lowest price around. It's a winning combination that can't be beat, or found anywhere else: selection, value and quality.

Gift Idea 4 - Workout Gloves

Workout gloves are similar to lifting straps in that they enhance the athletes grip, thereby providing support and allowing for the use of more weight.

Workout gloves, however, serve many different purposes, whereas lifting straps are somewhat singular in that regard. Workout gloves, for example, protect skin from developing calluses. They also eliminate the need for messy chalk, and can provide wrist and hand webbing support.

Whereas lifting straps are for lifting only [ie - lifting more weight in a safer manner] workout gloves help with lifting safely, but also serve many other purposes.

Some bodybuilders appreciate workout gloves, while others do not. Regardless, workout gloves are a good tool to use, even occasionally, and can help provide support to the hands and wrists. They are very popular and are a great tool, a great value, and are sure to please even the most discriminating bodybuilder or athlete.

Gift Idea 5 - Wrist & Knee Wraps

Wrist and knee straps are an excellent safety tool for the dedicated, advanced, athlete. Traditionally more of a powerlifting accessory, wraps help to protect the knees and wrists from bearing an excessive weight load. Over time, the wrists and the knee cartilage can deteriorate from exposure to excessive weight load, and arthritis and painful inflammation can result.

Wraps are ideal for the powerlifting or olympic athlete, the bodybuilder who lifts heavy and with intensity, or even for the athlete with a pre-existing medical condition.

Gift Idea 6 - Lifting Belt

Lifting belts are a great accessory for all athletes. Lifting belts provide erector (lower back) support when doing movements like deadlifts and barbell squats.

An antagonistic relationship between the lower back and the abdominals exists and a lifting belt equally distributes internal gut pressure. This provides support, and allows the lower back to stay flat during heavy lifting movements. Ideally, a lifting belt should be made of high-quality rawhide leather. This will provide for maximum support and durability.

Gift Idea 7 - Tape Measure

If bodybuilders do one thing consistently it is obsessing about the size of their bodyparts! And no wonder. Bodybuilding is a game of impression management. For those without business experience, impression management is the art of mastering appearances. If you have heard of "symmetry", this is impression management at its most bodybuilding-basic. Some bodybuilders are so good at impression management that they would make Machiavelli proud.

It is no longer necessary to obsess and speculate as to a bodyparts size. Now it is possible to eliminate the guesswork and get an accurate measurement. Myotape allows for precision measurement of any bodypart that you would like to measure. It is important for every athlete to be a scientist - ie. collect precise data. Precision will allow for greater progress. Now, the Myotape tape measure takes the guesswork out of a big and important part of the lifestyle.

Gift Idea 8 - Shaker Bottle

Picture this: You are away from home and you need to eat immediately. Your nitrogen balance hangs precariously in the balance. To eat and grow, or to not eat and shrink, that is the question. Well, it's a question no longer with this convenient Bodybuilding.com shaker bottle.

This bottle provides the athlete with the ultimate in convenience. Made from a high-quality, patented, durable plastic, this sturdy shaker bottle includes a strainer insert to break up even the most stubborn of protein and meal replacement powders. Now, eating on the go doesn't have to be a question! Enjoy a delicious and nutritious protein shake wherever your travels take you. This product makes a great gift along with protein powder and meal replacements listed above.

Gift Idea 9 - Bodyfat Tester

Body composition is always on the mind of the serious athlete. Everyone wants more muscle, less fat, and a better body. The first step to building a great body is to determine how much fat and muscle you have. Fat calipers are great for this purpose. Fat calipers, long a tool of professionals and serious athletes, are a priceless tool that provides accurate readings regarding body composition. If, for example, the athlete wanted to know how much muscle he or she REALLY had (as opposed to how it empirically appeared), bodyfat calipers would yield a resultant with ease.

Calipers are a fundamental tool that every athlete should own. Without them, years of progress can be lost.

Gift Idea 10 - Food Scale

Food scales are useful because they allow the athlete to precisely measure the amount of food that they will consume. This is crucial because nutrition is, by far, the most important aspect of the lifestyle.

Bodybuilding is about stimulus and response. One goes to the gym to lift weights to stimulate the body to grow. While many do the first correctly, the growth is sometimes fleeting. This is where many athletes experience a breakdown: their nutritional regimen. If one fails to plan a goal-oriented nutrition plan, one will lose years of progress. A food scale is another fundamental and necessary piece of equipment to employ in all bodybuilding endeavors.


Category 8 - Gifts For The Thinking Athlete

To think and be healthy, or to not think and be ill is the option available to all athletes. Knowledge is not power - the application of proper knowledge IS. But, not all knowledge is created equal.

The bodybuilding industry is rife with so-called experts. Unfortunately this makes finding true information a difficult task. How is one to find truth in all of the chaos? Fortunately, Bodybuilding.com has assembled a wide array of books. These books are chosen for their accuracy and relevance, and in them you will find solid information that will help in all bodybuilding and fitness endeavors.

Knowledge is a gift only if that knowledge is correct. These books make for great reading, and great growing! Give your loved one the gift of knowledge this holiday season.


Category 7 - Inspirational Gifts

Gift Idea - Bodybuilding Videos

Even the most serious athlete needs a bit of inspiration now and then. Lets face it, training is a tough business, and only when you give your all will results materialize. Sometimes life can get hectic and can knock us down a few notches. No shame in this, its human. At times like these a pick-me-up is needed; something to ignite the fires of passion for training once again.


Click On The Type Of Video For More!

This is where bodybuilding videos can prove their value. Bodybuilding.com has a wide variety of training videos to suit any need. If your loved one wants to workout at home, or enter a competition, Bodybuilding.com has the appropriate titles, and every other relevant title in between. For bodybuilding videos that you wont find anywhere else at amazing prices, Bodybuilding.com is your one-stop shopping source!


The Bottom Line

Regardless of the exact bodybuilding related gift that you decide to give your loved one this year, the ultimate gift you can give to a loved one is more time with those that they love. And lets face it, time is not just about quantity - its about quality.

When you choose to buy a gift from Bodybuilding.com, you will be choosing to give your loved one the most important things of all - health, happiness, and quality of life. By giving them a health related gift, you will, personally, be improving their life and making a direct impact on how they feel, each and every day. You will be helping your loved one to live their life to the fullest - to the standard that they deserve. Nothing says "I love you" more than that.

Let your loved ones know that you love them this season. Give them the best gifts of all - gifts of health and wellness from Bodybuilding.com!

References

  1. Navarro M, Wood RJ. Plasma changes in micronutrients following a multivitamin and mineral supplement in healthy adults. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Apr;22(2):124-32.
  2. P.Newsholme et al, "Glutamine and glutamate as vital metabolites," Braz J Med Biol Res, 36 (2003): 153 -163
  3. Stone MH, Sanborn K, Smith LL, et al. Effects of in-season (5-weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:146-65.
  4. Earnest CP, Snell PG, Rodriguez R, et al. The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiol Scand 1995;153:207-9.
  5. Stout JR, Eckerson J, Noonan D, et al. The effects of a supplement designed to augment creatine uptake on exercise performance and fat-free mass in football players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997;29:S251.
  6. United Press International. August 12, 2003.
  7. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Mar;13(1):87-96.
  8. Van Mol, Peter. Prohormone Science! Do they work? http://www.Bodybuilding.com/fun/catproh.htm

Disclaimer

The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers. Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications.

Copyright © 2003 Clayton South. All rights reserved.

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.

Bodybuilding.com's Ultimate Holiday Shopping Guide!
csouthca@gmail.com

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