Sarah Bowmar here, owner of Bowmar Nutrition! I am so excited to finally bring our PRENATAL to our product lineup! I want to breakdown all of the details of this product as well as answer some FAQs I have been receiving on social media- let’s dive into the product!
What is a Prenatal?
A prenatal is a daily multi vitamin that is specifically designed for women who are trying to conceive, pregnant, and/or breastfeeding. With the added benefits of Vitamin E and B6, many women going through menopause often take prenatals as well to reduce day to day symptoms and Vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis (all three ingredients are in our new prenatal). I personally will continue to take a prenatal until I am done having children and beyond- it is an amazing overall multivitamin that has additional beneficial ingredients that many multis do not. As always, consult with your doctor for any health concerns.
A prenatal does not make you more fertile. It does not increase your chance of getting pregnant. It does not facilitate in conception. It is recommended by the American College of Gynecology to begin taking a prenatal AT LEAST 90 days before trying to conceive. Many nutrient deficiencies can occur while pregnant so it is best to begin your prenatal 3 months prior to conception. If you are not taking a prenatal and find out you are pregnant, begin taking one immediately!
During pregnancy (and breastfeeding), your nutrient needs are different than any other time in life, coupled with the fact that baby gets all nutrients from mom, many women find themselves deficient in nutrients even if their diet is well balanced. It is VITAL to be supplementing with a high quality prenatal to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mom and baby. It’a also important to note that a prenatal should not replace a well balanced diet.
Vitamin A- recommended 1300mg per day
Forms healthy skin and eyesight; helps with bone growth
Vitamin C- recommended 120mg per day
Promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones; helps your body absorb iron
Vitamin D- recommended 15mg per day
Builds your baby’s bones and teeth; helps promote healthy eyesight and skin
Vitamin E- recommended 19mg per day
Helps your body create and maintain red blood cells, healthy skin and eyes, and strengthens your natural immune system
Vitamin K- recommended 90mg per day
Vitamin K helps blood to clot. It is essential to prevent serious bleeding. Babies do not get enough vitamin K from their mothers during pregnancy, or when they are breast feeding. Without vitamin K, they are at risk of getting a rare disorder called ‘vitamin K deficiency bleeding. It does not pass through the placenta and therefore, necessary for babies to receive Vitamin K at birth
Thiamine- recommended 1.4mg per day
Enables you and baby to convert carbs to energy. It also helps your nervous system, muscles, and heart function normally and is essential for baby’s brain development
Riboflavin- recommended 1.6mg per day
An essential vitamin (also known an B2) that helps your body produce energy. It also promotes your baby’s growth, vision, and healthy skin plus it is essential for your baby’s bone, muscle, and nerve development
Niacin- recommended 18mg per day
Improves digestion and can ease morning sickness and nausea
Vitamin B6- recommended 2mg per day
Helps form red blood cells; helps body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates
Folate- recommended 640mcg DFE per day
Early pregnancy, folic acid helps form the neural tube development. It can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida). Babies tubes have formed by end of week 4 which is why it is vital to supplement with a prenatal prior to conception but at the very least AS SOON as you find out you are pregnant
There is also a huge difference in quality, effectiveness, and absorption rates between folic acid and folate (what is in our product). You can read more about the folate source in our product here
Biotin- recommended 35mcg per day
Help keep your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy. A crucial nutrient during pregnancy, as it’s important for embryonic growth
Pantothenic Acid- recommended 7mg per day
Helps create pregnancy hormones and eases leg cramps
Choline- recommended 550mg per day
An important nutrient that helps your baby’s brain and spinal cord develop properly. Some studies suggest it may also protect a newborn against neural tube defects, similar to folate
Iron- recommended 27mg per day
Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin (blood) for both you and your baby during pregnancy. Iron helps move oxygen from your lungs to the baby’s body and the rest of your body. Supplementing with iron can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia, a condition that can cause extreme fatigue and other symptoms
Zinc- recommended 13mg per day
Getting enough zinc is especially important during pregnancy because there’s so much rapid cell growth. This essential mineral also helps support your immune system, maintain your senses of taste and smell, and heal wounds
Selenium- recommended 70mcg per day
Has been shown in some studies to decrease TPO antibody levels and in one study, selenium use during pregnancy decreased TPO antibodies and reduced the risk of thyroid function abnormalities after pregnancy
Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme normally found in the thyroid gland. TPO plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones
Manganese- recommended 2.6mcg per day
Assists in the formation of fetal bones and cartilages. On top of that, it is needed to break down amino acids, carbs, and cholesterol- which is vital for the growth of the unborn baby. It is also an important mineral for protecting new cells from any potential damage
Chromium- recommended 45mcg per day
A mineral that helps your body break down and store fats, carbohydrates, and protein. It also works with the hormone insulin to maintain a normal level of glucose in your body. This is especially important if you become diabetic during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
Gestational diabetes effects up to 10% of pregnancies in the United States. If you have GD, your baby is at a higher risk of:
- Excessive birth weight
- Early (preterm) birth
- Serious breathing difficulties
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life
Ginger Root Extract- daily value not established
Ginger has been recognized as a popular nonpharmacological treatment for morning sickness during pregnancy
Please note, it is recommended to not consume more than 1g of ginger per day if pregnant. 2 pills (1 daily serving) of our prenatal contains 10% of the daily limit.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin – daily value not established
Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli, and in corn and egg yolks. The body cannot make lutein and zeaxanthin, so baby and mom must get these important nutrients from foods or supplements, or a combination.
As early as the second trimester of pregnancy, lutein and zeaxanthin start accumulating in the retina of baby’s eyes. During the third trimester, when baby’s eye and brain development are at their peak, the levels of lutein in mom’s bloodstream are also at their highest.ii A recent study found that children born to moms who had higher lutein and zeaxanthin levels in their blood just before delivery had a lower risk for poor visual acuity – the ability to see fine detail – at three years of age.iii
Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in areas of the brain related to sight, learning and memory.iv
Currently there is no global health organization recommendation for lutein and zeaxanthin intake during pregnancy.v However, health professionals suggest adults consume 10 milligrams (mg) of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily to support eye health and to insure adequate levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the retina.vi
Why doesn’t this also have calcium?
It is recommended to not consume calcium with iron as your body will prioritize calcium over the iron. We recommend taking your calcium supplement and Vitamin D3 in the morning and prenatal at night, or vice versa. It is recommended to consume 1300mg of calcium per day if pregnant.
Is it vegan?
The capsules used are plant based!
Should I be worried about an iron overdose?
Iron overdose typically occurs at 45mg or higher in adults. Our product has 27mg. If your diet is heavy in iron- it is best to track iron mg consumption to ensure a healthy dosage per day.
What about DHA?
Many of our customers are already using our Bowmar Nutrition Fish Oil which contains the recommended dosage of DHA for pregnancy. Additionally, our fish oil is sourced from wild caught fish and is processed through state of the art purification processes to remove PCBs, dioxins and furans, and mercury to ensure purity levels below 0.09ppm, 2 ppt WHO TEQs, and 0.1ppm respectively
Additionally, there are several studies that prove DHA is best absorbed as a liquid in a soft gel cap (what our fish oil is), compared to the marine derived oil being converted to a powder
What other supplements can I take while pregnant?
It is always recommended to consult with your doctor regarding any and all vitamins and supplements you may be taking while pregnant. There is a full list of the products I took while pregnant with Oakley, linked here.
Can I open these capsules and consume this in a liquid?
It is NOT recommended to open our PRENATAL and consume by mixing it into a liquid. The iron should not be absorbed directly as a powder, it is to be absorbed as a capsule
“Can you lose weight without doing cardio”? Sis, that’s what I did during this cut. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (1- you should), but 2- I have been in a 4 week cut for an event this weekend. I haven’t been doing any cardio and I am 8lbs down from what I weighed before I got pregnant. Is weight the end all be all for health? No, it’s actually the lowest on the totem pole for success measurements for me. What else is going down? My body fat %, my inches around my waist, my face is getting leaner, I am visibly leaner, my clothes are fitting differently, etc. I would also like to mention that I am doing this all WITHOUT compromising my strength in the gym or my happiness levels (as many dieters become extremely unhappy)!
What Am I Doing? Plus an Example
I hit my 10,000 steps a day and lift 5 days a week. That’s it. My diet also reflects my activity. Let’s take an example (because I don’t share my calories as they mean nothing to anyone but me):
Let’s say we want to aim for a 300 daily calorie deficit (this number isn’t magical but it’s easy for math). This means your calorie intake must be 500 less than your TDEE but stay above your BMR
TDEE (without cardio but lifting 5 days a week and hitting 10,000 steps a day): 2000 calories
BMR: 1500 calories
This means you would need to eat 1700 calories to hit your goal of a 300 daily deficit
Let’s take that same person and add in 30 min of cardio on top of the 10,000 steps and lifting 5 days a week
TDEE increases from 2000 to 2200. This means you get to eat 1900 calories instead of 1700 for the same 300 daily deficit
Does this make sense? Cardio is simply a TOOL to burn more calories which results in you getting to eat more during the day to hit the same deficit. I recommend starting a cut WITHOUT cardio because then you have room to increase the deficit
Please refer to my other blogs regarding cardio:
How Much Cardio Should I Be Doing
How to Increase Your Metabolism
How to Reverse Diet
You’ve seen the ads. Susan from accounting has talked about it. Pinterest has harassed you with it. And yet- hardly anyone actually knows what a metabolism is. Or how to “increase” it. Lucky for you- this blog is going to give you a deep dive into all things metabolism related! Buckle up!
What is your metabolism? At it’s most basic definition, the google machine gives us this: “Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function”. So, we all have a metabolism, obviously. Is there such a thing as a “slow” metabolism- it’s EXTREMELY rare and not to fault for the rising obesity and overweight pandemic. Luckily- there is a way to increase your metabolism and ultimately, eat more calories during the day- isn’t that the end goal? I will be hitting you with a lot of acronyms during this blog as well- just as a heads up!
Your metabolism (calories burned) is your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).
Your metabolism is made up of:
- BMR- basal metabolism ratee
- TEF- thermic effect of food
- NEAT- non exercise activity thermogenesis
- EAT- exercise activity thermogenesis
Too often, when I ask someone how many calories they burn during the day, they ONLY thing they are burning calories when they are in the gym or on the elliptical. That is simply NOT the case and EAT for many actually makes up the smallest portion of their calories burned during the day.
BMR- Basal Metabolic Rate
Your BMR is the LARGEST contributor to the total calories burned throughout the day. For many active people, it makes up at least 50% of total calories burned. For sedentary people, it can make up 70%. The largest factors of your BMR include: age, height, weight, body fat %, genetics, hormones, stress levels, and muscle mass (as we know, more the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest during the day-roughly 6 calories per 1lb muscle mass). These basal functions include circulation, breathing, cell production, nutrient processing, protein synthesis, and ion transport.
TEF- thermic effect of food
As you can see from the above, nutrient processing burns calories. Which means- you are literally burning calories when you consume food because it requires energy from your body (digestion, metabolization, absorption, etc). Roughly 10% of your calories burned throughout the day come from breaking down food. This is why it is recommended to not have 2 large meals a day. There isn’t a magical number of meals per day but the more spread out your meals are, the better your body can digest the food!
Do you know which of the 3 macros (carbs, fats, and protein) requires the MOST energy to break down? It’s protein! Which is another reason it is so important to hit your protein macros for the day. If you are struggling to get enough protein in during the day, I suggest checking out what we offer on bowmarnutrition.com
NEAT- non exercise activity thermogenesis
Calories burned during NEAT come through walking to the store, throwing the stick for the dog, running after a toddler, etc. The energy that is required to move your body outside of producing cells and digesting food but not the calories that are burned in the gym! This is why you hear nearly every fitness person on social media talking about hitting steps for the day. For MANY, walking is considered NEAT. Yes, for some, walking may be considered cardio but for the overwhelming majority- simply walking is a way to increase your NEAT calories. 10,000 steps a day is a great number to shoot for!
EAT- exercise activity thermogensis
Obviously this one is going to be the calories burned during your actual training and cardio sessions. For sedentary people, this will make up less than 5% of TDEE. For some athletes, it could be up to 25% – 35% of TDEE.
How to Optimize Metabolism
So now that we understand what our TDEE is, metabolism, and the four components of it- how do we increase metabolism?
Here are some steps:
- Hit your protein macros for the day- if you are falling short from your whole food options, utilizing protein powders or protein bars is a great way to fill the gaps
- Increase NEAT and EAT
- If you can increase your steps from 3,000 a day to 7,000, you have essentially doubled your NEAT calories
- Increasing number of lifting sessions per week will increase EAT
- This does not mean spending hours in the gym and it does not mean skipping rest days
The idea of this blog isn’t to give you ideas on how to damage your metabolism by spending hours in the gym our under eating. Getting close to your BMR or being below your BMR for any length of time will result in metabolic adaptation.
Let’s use an example:
- Sarah’s BMR is 1800 and her TDEE is 2500. Sarah has decided she is going to enter a cut so she drops her calories to 2000. Good job Sarah. Sarah then watches her progress and updates her body composition in her meal plan. With having lost a little body fat, her BMR is now 1700 and TDEE is 2300. She has to decrease calories to 1900 to continue to see results. Sarah DOES NOT want to get to her BMR as it will result in a flat line of progress as there is no where to go once you hit BMR. Once she gets to her goal / event / wedding / vacation, it’s time to reverse diet (full blog linked here)
- What you DO NOT want to do: BMR is 1800 and TDEE is 2500 walking 5,000 steps a day and lifting 4 days a week. If you increase your steps to 10,000 and lifting to 6 days a week WITHOUT adding in any calories, your deficit will become larger as your TDEE went from 2500 to 2700. Calories should be adjusted accordingly and you actually get to eat MORE!
If you need any help with BMR or TDEE, please checkout the services we offer, here!
Let me introduce myself, if you are new here. My name is Sarah Bowmar and my husband, Josh, and I are sole owners of our supplement company- Bowmar Nutrition. It is our mission to set the bar when it comes to transparency, consumer education, and product breakdown in the supplement industry. I feel there is a huge misunderstanding of PREworkout and it’s benefits! We offer two types of PRE: stimulant (contains caffeine and niacin- some experts consider niacin a stimulant) and a stimulant free version!
To checkout the PRE flavors we offer in each stim and stim free base, click here
Breakdown of PRE
Caffeine is 1 of 18 ingredients in our stimulant based PRE, yet majority of the consumers who use PREworkout assume they are only taking it because of the energy it gives them. In reality, it’s only 5% of the formula and there are 125mg of caffeine in one 21.5g scoop (which converts to 21,500mg). As you can see, the other remaining 17 ingredients and 95% of the formula are what make PRE amazing!
When it comes to the stimulant free PRE, there are several less ingredients as we do not need to add in vitamins. For example, caffeine can deplete vitamins such as B6 so our stimulant (caffeine) based version has vitamin B6 in it along with several other vitamins that can be depleted when caffeine is introduced into the system. Our stim free PRE has 10 incredible ingredients that I am going to break down for you to hopefully educate you on the benefits that a high quality PRE has to offer!
There are also several other benefits to consuming a caffeine free PRE such as for those who are caffeine / stimulant sensitive, those who workout at night, or those who want to consume their caffeine elsewhere during the day and not in their PRE. Whatever the case may be- I truly hope this blog provides a crystal clear understanding of why Bowmar Nutrition PRE is the best on the market. We also have samples of all of our PRE flavors in our stimulant and non stimulated based if you want to try them before committing to a tub! Find the samples here!
Potassium- an important mineral in the body, arguably one of the most important. In PRE, it regulates blood pressure levels, maintains nerve function, and controls fluid balance. It also helps support muscle health and muscle contractions.
L-Citrulline- a non essential amino acid that may increase blood flow (the pump) by increasing nitric oxide production. It can also produce positive muscle effects by decrease amino acid breakdown and stimulant protein synthesis. An increase in blood flow to the muscle can also result in strength increases during the lift as more blood in the muscle also means there are more nutrients in the muscle as well. This can also help with recovery and prevent injury when lifting with proper form.
Taurine- a conditionally essential amino acid that increases endurance performance, work load, and can reduce overall muscle soreness. There are also recent studies that prove it prevents muscle damage and protein catabolism while decreasing oxidative stress produced by exercise. Study can be found here
Betaine Anhydrous- a naturally occurring chemical in the body that improves hydration, stimulates water-based pumps (ie: shuttles water to your muscles), improves strength and powder, and, like l-citrulline, supports protein synthesis. As a side note, protein synthesis is a process in which ours cells make protein.
L-Tyrosine- this ingredient may be familiar to many of you that use our MELT fat burner- that in depth blog can be found here. It is an amino acid that has many incredible benefits. In the context of PRE workout, especially in a non-stimulant PRE, it helps with focus and reduces fatigue.
Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL- made from L-carnitine, this ingredient helps the body naturally produce more energy!
Green Tea Leaf Extract- caffeine is removed during the extraction process of our green tea leaf ingredient. During the process, tea leaves are soaked in water to release caffeine and other tea compounds. There is a relatively new study that looks directly at decaffeinated green tea leaf extract and the overwhelming results of its benefits of increased energy output during exercise. Full study can be found here
KSM-66 Ashwaganda Root Extract- this is another ingredient found in MELT and detailed in the blog listed above. In short- this ingredient helps decrease stress (cortisol) and increase testosterone in those who are active and weight train. Two additional studies can be found here and here
Citrapeak- probably my favorite ingredient in our PRE (this is both our stimulant and non stimulant based)! This ingredient is a derivative of citrus and has multiple studies that prove it’s effectiveness in increasing blood flow and the nitric oxide pump. The full studies can be found here
Citrus Bioflavonoids- another citrus derivative that has been proven in many third party studies and trials to increase blood flow (again, more blood flow to the muscle being worked = stronger output, less fatigue, more nutrients, less injuries, and better recovery).
Please note, it is most beneficial to consume PRE 15-20 minutes prior to your lifting session. As you can see from the above, these ingredients are geared towards weight lifting. We do not recommend PRE before a cardio-only gym session as many of the ingredients will simply go to waste. And this is coming from the owner of a company who could sell you this product and tell you to take it before cardio and sell twice a much product- but we aren’t about that over at Bowmar Nutrition!
As you can see from the above breakdown, caffeine plays a SMALL role in the overall benefits and intent of a good PRE formula. I personally prefer the non-stimulant base we offer over the stimulant base and I know thousands of our customers do as well! Please leave a comment if this blog helped!
One of the MOST POPULAR questions I receive, in the form of: “if i want to “tone”, should I lift heavy or light weight” or a combination of other buzz words. Let me set the record straight. You should be using appropriate weight for the workout. What does that mean? Let’s discuss
Let’s take bicep day as an example. One week you are doing 3 sets of 10 alternating dumbbell curls as your first exercise. You use 20lbs in each hand. Go you. The next week on bicep day, you have 4 sets of 15 alternating dumbbells curls as your last exercises. You have to “drop” the weight to 15lbs. Does this mean it is light weight? NO. It means FOR THE WORKOUT and WHERE THE EXERCISE IS PLACED IN THE WORKOUT, the weight is appropriate.
MACHINES can vary from gym to gym. Hell, there are two cable machines at our gym that I swear have different weight stacks even though they are listed as the same weight. Your body CANNOT read the weight you are using. Your body only knows the stress you are putting yourself under and if that stress is great enough to force your body to grow, it will.
Form vs Ego
I cannot emphasize this enough, NO ONE cares what weight you are using in the gym. I can count on 0 fingers how many times I have 1- noticed what weight people are using and 2- cared. You THINK people care, they don’t. So what ends up happening? You start ego lifting and your form goes out the window. And so does your ACL. Wow, thank goodness you used a weight that was too heavy to impress people that weren’t watching you to begin with. Enjoy the 6 months of physical therapy. Let’s leave the ego lifting in 2020 where it belongs and worry about form and safe lifting.
Types of Muscle Fibers
Now that we have those formalities out of the way, you have two types of muscle fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. All of your muscles are comprised of both types of muscle fibers. Slow twitch muscle fibers are trained in weight lifting with a higher rep count compared to fast twitch muscles fibers which are trained by a low rep count. As mentioned earlier, if the reps are higher, you will use a lighter weight compared to lowers reps at a higher weight. Both are still appropriate for the workout at hand (chart at end of blog for reference).
Training For Your Goal
In short, your weight training sessions should be compromised of both heavy weight exercises and high volume exercises in order to hit both types of muscle fibers. It does not matter if you are in a deficit or a surplus, the way you weight train should not change. You may not hit a ton of PRs while cutting but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be lifting as heavy as you can for the given rep ranges, I recommend dedicating 1/2 of your 45 min lifting session to low rep high weight exercises and the other 1/2 of your 45 minute workout to high rep low weight exercises.
I hope this blog helped answer the question I get so often!