In recent weeks, I've become fascinated by meat. I love meat, and firmly believe it can make a huge difference in the gym and in life.
If you're a vegetarian, I salute you. I tried eating a plant-based diet once and just couldn't do it. I felt lethargic and my workouts suffered. I am most definitely a carnivore, and always feel best when I consume at least 3 lbs of high-quality red meat per week.
Not all red meats are created equal, and it's very important to eat the highest-quality meat you can find. If you can find wild grass-fed meat, that would be ideal.
But what if you can't find a high-quality meat? What if all you have access to is garbage?
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in grass-fed animal products like meat and dairy. It differs slightly from other omega-6 fats in that it is very effective in preventing tumor and cancer growth.
This means it's healthy for you.
There is some research out there to suggest CLA may help increase testosterone levels and reduce body fat, but the results are mixed. The reason CLA works is still unknown, and a solid long-term research study on humans has yet to be done.
For now, it seems the fatter you are the greater the benefits of CLA. So if you're a fat-ass, I highly recommend you stop eating crap and start taking CLA, fish oil, and probiotics as part of your training program.
Keep in mind that the research has all been conducted with grass-fed meats. This means the effectiveness of synthetic CLA is still up for debate.
Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes it's difficult to get your hands on high-quality grass-fed meat. Poor-quality meat can sometimes be more harmful than good, and in that case you may be better off supplementing with synthetic CLA.
CLA comes in many forms, and you need to make sure you're taking the right type. Specifically look for the trans-10,cis-12 and cis-9,trans-11 variations.
Notice the "trans" in those names. That means CLA is a trans fat, but don't worry: naturally occurring trans fat is harmless. It's the man-made varieties of trans fat you need to avoid like the plague.
The key to results with CLA is to supplement consistently for several months and always get an adequate dose. Most studies note benefits at 3-6 grams per day.
This month, my friends at eVitamins sent me a bottle of their in-house brand of CLA to review.
This is a quality product. eVitamins did an excellent job of researching the best forms of CLA to use and included both the cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12 varieties in each dose.
The pills are easy to swallow and there were no unwanted side effects. In all, I am very pleased with this product.
If you have the option to buy grass-fed animal products to get your CLA, I recommend you do so. But if access to high-quality meat is limited, give this CLA supplement a try.
Regardless of what you do, remember that it will be several months before you start seeing changes, so plan for the long-term.
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