Will Andro 400 make your muscles get bigger and in less time?

I have been seeing ads and have had tons of questions by friends that want to bulk up quickly and get totally ripped in half then time, using Andro 400.  Now, I think at this point in time all of my loyal readers know that I am usually touting that if something seems to good to be true, it usually is, right? The makers of this “supplement” claim that it will boost your metabolism and burn away belly fat, while simultaneously helping to build muscle. But is that really possible and does the supplement meet those claims?

What is Andro 400?

Andro 400 is a supplement containing androstenedione which is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen.  Apparently, the company claims that it can boost your testosterone levels by 400% to help you grow stronger, faster, along with improving sexual function (and arousal), and cuts down on recovery time after hard workouts just by taking 100-200mg per day.  I guess on paper that sounds pretty good: get cut, perform like a porn star, and feel great right after hard workouts?  It would be even better if those claims were scientifically founded…

Does it work?

The key question, right? Well, there was one major study that was performed in the late 1990’s when steroids and supplements were being banned from use by professional athletes, and people were claiming they were getting all bulked up from these supplements, so Iowa State University did a small study to assess the effects. Bummer for Andro makers. The study was performed on 20 men over an 8 week period, where half of the men enrolled were given 300 mg of Andro and the other half were given placebo (insignificant supplement- sugar/flour) that would have no effect on them.  What did they find? After 8 weeks of heavy training, lo an behold, they found NO significant difference between the men that took the placebo and those that took Andro.  The men who took the Andro did have an increase in estrogen levels (another bummer there).  But the positive side is that they were able to figure out that those with lower levels of testosterone were able to boost them up a bit, but if you had normal levels of testosterone in your body baseline, there was no change.  They also noted that the men who took the supplement in the study, had a 12% drop in their High density lipoprotein levels (HDL- the good cholesterol), which can lead to a build up of plaques in their arteries and significantly increase their risk of stroke and heart attack.

Is there a downside?

The problem with these supplements, and with anything that you put into your body that isn’t organic food, is that there are side effects, which can be bad. And as well all should have guessed by now, most medications/supplements are filtered through your liver, so you are putting yourself at risk for causing some damage to your liver, because on top of not truly knowing what the drug is doing to your body, they are not FDA approved, so you aren’t totally sure what you are ingesting. Your liver had a major part in converting estrogen to testosterone too, so flooding it with Andro can cause some major strain and could lead to some liver damage.  Also, if you have any sort of cancer or history of hormone sensitive cancers, it may increase your risk of tumors re-growing if you are changing your hormonal balance.  So anyone with any sore of hormonal imbalances should not take Andro 400 (or any other hormonal changing supplement- if you do need hormonal supplementation, you should be on a prescribed regimen from your HCP.) The boost in estrogen levels that some of the test subjects saw did not cause any effects because they took the supplement short-term, but long-term they could start to have female like features (grow breasts, shrinking of the testicles, etc), and for those that do increase their testosterone, they can have increased rage and mood swings, acne, and an increase in body hair.  Also, the drop in HDL, as stated above, can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack significantly.

Bottom line?

Don’t do it.  Eat a high protein diet, lift weights, get your favorite cardio on, and skip the Andro 400. It truly did sound too good to be true. If you are a woman, it can increase your testosterone and make you dude-like, and if you are a dude, you can start becoming more feminine, all while stressing out your liver (one of our most loved and vital of organs). That does not sound like anything I want to be a part of for certain, and I don’t think you should either.  If you do insist on taking either Andro 400 and any other Andro containing supplement, please get a physical by your HCP with some labs drawn to check your liver, cholesterol levels, and check your heart out, then follow-up with them a couple of months into taking the supplement.  It is unfortunate that these supplements, despite being found to only appear to cause harm, are still on the market, but they are.  So if you must take them, be safe, talk to your HCP, and note any side effects you may have…and if you are told to stop taking them by your HCP, please stop.  It is not with doing long-term damage to your body to have some pumped up muscle-filled physique now.

Yours in Good Health


Exercising in the heat: How to stay cool

It has been pretty to and humid out, making most people either exercise super early in the morning (like me) or later in the evening, avoiding the days heat, and if they can’t fit that in, they go to workout inside or just skip it.  With winter always a step away, you don’t want to skip your outdoors time; I wait all year for it to be warm enough to play outside!

How can we keep it cool?
A recent study from Roehampton University in London, looked at the response of athletes bodies in heat, and tried to find ways to help cool them and improve their physical performance in the heat.  They found a really simple solution, that didn’t actually affect their core temperatures (so their bodies weren’t actually any cooler) but they felt much cooler and were able to run longer in faster.  The simple solution was to put a soft flexible neck strap with reusable cool packs around the athletes necks while they ran on treadmills in humid 87 degree heat.

summer-runningIt is really all about perception; your body isn’t actually cooler, but you feel that it is, and you are able to push through and work out despite the heat.  Of course, there are risks associated with that, and you need to make sure to hydrate with water and electrolyte based fluids (coconut water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc.) and when you really feel hot, to prevent heat stroke, just take it easy and stay inside.  Also, I am not encouraging you to run at 12pm every day BUT I do think this is a good trick for those of us that want to run outside in the summer, and not be excessively effected by the heat…..and it may be helpful for those training for competitions.  Tricking your brain into feeling cooler, can help you out, just remember to listen to your body and if you are too overheated, take a break.

Try it out, stay cool, and get your exercise in the fresh air!!

Yours in Good Health


I have recently been introduced to the world of kettle bells and my abs are thanking me for it!  I thought that it couldn’t really make that much of a difference in my workout, but it really has.  I have 5lb, 10lb, and 20lb kettle bells; the 5lbs for when I am learning a new workout so that I don’t hurt myself and the 10lb and 20lb for actual muscle-building purposes.  They are great because I have totally new workout routines and am working my muscles in different ways.  Also, you are combining cardio with strength training which is the best kind of workout; you increase your metabolic rate significantly, so it truly is a fat burning workout.  The bells are so different from  regular dumbbell weights because they are unstable and it requires extra concentration and muscle strength to stabilize the bells, allowing you to use more muscles with each workout AND most often you are using your core muscles to aid in the stabilization.  Many of the workouts are full head-to-toe workouts and utilize every muscle in your body, that focus on muscle movement and toning, so you don’t bulk up (you can if you want to and use higher weights, but I like to tone).


Also, its fun, new to your body (so you burn more calories), and you are supposed to supplement your workout twice a week with kettle bells so it changes your routine. Kettle bell routines are easy to learn (Turkish get-ups are about the most challenging and even I could get them down quickly!), also it is low impact on your joints, and what is better than high intensity cardio that is low stress on your joints??

Give it a try, and let me know what you think, they have changed my abs!!

Yours in Good Health


Boost your daily exercise

A couple of years ago, I was unable to run for a couple of months, and it was absolutely killing me.  My doctor told me that I was allowed to walk as much as I wanted, he just really didn’t want me running for a bit.  Well, I felt like I was constantly walking and seeing all the results of my running going down the drain (I am obsessed with noticing muscle formation in my legs and it makes me really sad when I notice that they aren’t as cut as they should be).  So, I decided to get ankle weights, just 3 lbs, and I thought that they were too light at first, but let me tell you, at the end of a few 4 mile walks with my dogs, I totally noticed a difference, and I saw the definition in my calves coming back! On average, you burn an extra 180 calories an hour using 3 lb ankle weights, which isn’t a huge amount BUT it is an extra calorie deficit, and you are building muscle, which helps you burn more calories during the day.

When I got back into running, I tried with the weights, but that was a touch too much for me…I was lucky to get three miles without dying!  But, I started wearing my ankle weights while doing housework (vacuuming, doing laundry, etc), while running errands (under pants, of course), and even at work.  It tires your legs out so much and puts a little extra boost of exercise in your every day movements that you wouldn’t normally have. Plus, it was hidden, so it was my own little secret that I was getting a workout while running to each Code Blue!

exercise boosters!

exercise boosters!

If I have a great run or workout, I don’t bother with the ankle weights, but if I have a day where I am running around doing errands, and I know that I won’t have time for a proper workout, it gives my body a little exercise that I know I wouldn’t be fitting in otherwise.  Also, you can get spicy and move up and down the weights to work best with your level of activity and comfort; they can be purchased for pretty cheap at Target or Amazon; there are super expensive versions, but really all you need is something to strap onto your ankles that isn’t huge and bulky!  The ones that you can change the weights in tend to be a bit more pricey…I just bought a 3lb and a 5lb version because it ended up being cheaper than the adjustable version.

Also, low weight stimulation to your muscles, while helping to tone the muscles, also helps to adhere them to your bones, thus making your bones stronger, so this is a good suggestion for those of us who don’t get enough calcium OR anyone over the age of 30 to prevent osteoporosis.  So, while helping burn a few extra calories, it also prevents the degradation of your bones!  And, notice what a difference walking, running, etc. feels like when you take the weights off- you feel like you are floating on air!!

Yours in Good Health