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Is Your Smartphone Keeping You From Hitting Your Fitness Goals

Is Your Smartphone Keeping You From Hitting Your Fitness Goals

As you round the corner on a run through your neighborhood, your phone buzzes in your hand. You slow your pace and check the message you just got, tapping out a quick response, and your back to your run. Later, as you’re about to finish the last of your sets at the weight rack, you stop and browse your phone for a few minutes. Then, right before bed, you bath your face in the electric blue glow of your phone screen as you get caught up on the day's news before you turn in.

Our smartphones are an omnipresent part of our everyday lives. It’s easy to see why, they’re infinitely useful, tracking everything from our finances to our steps and calories. But while they might be useful, they might also be having an impact on your physical fitness. Here at Axis Labs, we’re all about helping our customers live their healthiest lives. While this article is certainly no attempt to “scare you straight” and convince you to abandon your smartphone in favor of a brick phone, but merely to shed light on how your phone might be impacting your health in unexpected ways.

Balance Issues

You can talk the talk, and you can walk the walk, but can you do both at the same time? Studies suggest that this might not be possible when you’re playing with your phone. The journal Performance Enhancement & Health found that exercise was impacted by the presence of a cell phone. The study looked at different phone functions, like texting, talking, and music, and then compared their effects on postural stability. 

What they found was fairly surprising. Researchers noted that postural stability was dramatically worsened when subjects were texting and talking but listening to music did not have as much of an impact. The article suggests that by texting and exercising, you’re dividing your attention between two tasks. This results in a greater risk of sustaining an injury during exercise. The most telling examples are in the data itself. Balance and stability declines by 45% when texting and exercising. Talking on the phone worsens balance by 19%.

A Pain in the Neck

We’ve all been warned about hunching over things while we work on them, be they books, keyboards, or in this case, phone screens. As cell phones have become more prominent, so have issues related to the spine. Typically, when we use our phones, our spines are not in an optimal position. Our neck is bent, our shoulders rounded, and our head hangs down. 

This might not seem like a big deal, but when this behavior is repeated over and over again, for hours at a time in some cases, it can have long-term effects on your health. For instance, when you bend your neck 60 degrees to look over your phone, you’re putting tons of pressure on your cervical spine. The human head weighs about 10-12 pounds on its own, but when hung down, you’re putting approximately 60 pounds of pressure on your neck and spine.

Eventually, this could result in the degradation of the natural curve of your neck and cervical spine, which could mean a costly and otherwise unnecessary surgery. Of course, to correct this, you can simply limit the amount of time you spend looking at your phone. But if that’s not always easy to do, simply bring your phone up to head height rather than looking down at it.

Your Pump Passes By

Some exercises require you to keep your heart rate at a certain metric in order to be the most effective. But frequently checking your phone can interrupt your workflow and put longer breaks between sets. This can lower your heart rate, meaning your workout isn’t as productive as it should be.

Phones Make Sleep Difficult

In a previous post, we’ve covered why your body needs its rest, and sleep is the greatest way to restore your body every day. But using your phone regularly before bed or at night may keep you from getting the rest you desperately need. 

Smartphones emit a blue light that suppresses your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body produces to help you fall asleep and maintain a regular circadian rhythm (that’s your wake/sleep cycle). When your body produces less melatonin, you’ll find it’s harder to fall asleep, and even worse, harder to stay asleep. 

Equally frustrating is that smartphone usage before bed keeps your brain active and alert. It’s not uncommon for many people to watch a quick YouTube video before bed, or to send a few emails, or even to read a book on your phone before bed. While you might think this can lull you to sleep, the things you’re engaging with actually wake your brain up, making it difficult to fall asleep.

Finally, your phone is routinely waking you up throughout the night. Every chirp, pop, ding, and buzz can roust you out of your slumber. For instance, in 2014, the National Sleep Foundation found that roughly three out of every four children sleep with an electronic device in their room. The study found that these children slept about 7.2 hours a night compared to the 7.7 hours of children who didn’t. The study found that the devices interrupted the sleep of the study’s subjects.

To combat these effects, make sure to put your phone away at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Just like you need to let your body cool off after an intense workout, your brain needs to relax and unwind after a long day of being stimulated. 

Prioritize Your Health with Axis Labs

Like all things in life, using your phone requires balance. There’s no denying the uses it has, but that shouldn’t justify overuse. Instead, find time to separate yourself from your phone, especially when you exercise. You’ll find that you enjoy the time you spend away from it and that when you do use your phone, you’ll use it intentionally.

When you’ve put down the phone, it’s time to pick up the great pre-workout and fitness products offered by Axis Labs. Lab-tested and gym proven, all of our products are designed to fit naturally into your health and wellness routines and to enhance the effects of your exercises. Browse our collections and order today.

Your Pre-Workout Routine Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

Your Pre-Workout Routine Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

Imagine, if you will, that moment when you look in the mirror after getting back from the gym and not noticing any real difference. Frustration mixes with disappointment to leave a bitter tasting bile in the back of your mouth. You resolve to hit the gym even harder the next day, but you’re faced with the same frustration at the end of the day.

The exercises you do at the gym go a long way in helping you reach your fitness goals, but nearly as important is what you do leading up to each gym session. There’s more to working out than simply doing endless sets of lifts. That’s why it’s important to have a pre-workout routine in place long before you even step foot in the gym. To make sure you’re working out effectively, join Axis Labs as we outline some of the things you should include in your pre-workout routine.

Why Your Pre-Workout Routine Matters

When it comes to getting fit, we’re often quick to attribute our success to the time spent at the gym. It’s the most obvious connection the slimming waistline or developing muscles we see. But for most, a trip to the gym lasts about one to two hours a few times a week. It’s hard to make the argument that all of your fitness success is thanks to the gym alone.

Instead, it’s important to know that reaching your fitness goals is a cumulative process. The decisions you make both in and out of the gym contribute to your overall well being, and your ability to reach your fitness goals. That’s why it’s important to have a routine in place that prepares you for your workout and keeps you healthy and fit between trips.

Your Success at the Gym Starts at Your Pillow

We’ve all had that moment when we finish up at the weight rack after adding on a few extra pounds and smashing out our reps. We feel invincible! But that feeling can be linked back to how much rest you’re offering your body.

The connection between sleep and your performance at the gym is actually well known. While anecdotally, you might feel like you’re not at your peak when you visit the gym after a sleepless night, research has proven this to be true frequently. A study conducted in 1981 tested a group of subjects, having them perform a series of exercises after getting more or less sleep. What it found was that while your body’s response to the lack of sleep may not affect your performance, it’s actually your brain’s response that affects it the most. The study found that after three days of sleep deprivation, the subjects underperformed during the exercises because they felt more tired and couldn’t focus.

So what’s this mean? It means that you owe it to yourself to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

Hydration is Key

Despite having easy access to clean water, some people still aren’t getting enough water every day. Not only is this affecting their health, but it’s also affecting their performance in the gym. Being adequately hydrated is one way to ensure you’ve got the energy you need to complete all your reps and sets.

Water offers your body a host of benefits that matter most when you’re exercising. Being hydrated keeps your body at a normal temperature. It also serves as a cushion for your joints, meaning they can move smoothly. It also protects muscle tissues. So how much water should you be drinking a day? The Mayo Clinic has suggested that males should drink about 3.7 liters of water a day, and females should drink about 2.7 liters each day.

That doesn’t mean you should slam nearly 4 liters of water right before you work out. In fact, quite the opposite. Instead, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you drink about 17 ounces of fluid roughly 2 hours before you start to work out. This is enough to keep you hydrated — without making you want to run to the bathroom after every set.



Time For Snacks and Supplements

There’s been a long-standing line of thought that you should work out on an empty stomach in order to burn more fat. But the reality is that trying to crush your weights on an empty stomach might actually be working against you. Feeding yourself before your workout actually helps to kick start your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more fat. At the same time, you’ll also have the energy you need to complete your exercises and focus on your fitness regimen.

If you caught our last blog post, you already know that timing is everything when it comes to using your supplements and snacks. You should plan on having a light meal or snack around 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout. This combination of food and pre-workout supplements is a great way to feel more energetic and alert before you start your routine. You’ll also find that you can work out longer because of the nutrients within the supplement. As an added benefit, the supplements are packed with BCAAs, or Branched Chain Amino Acids, which help you recover more quickly and maintain your gains.

Train With a Purpose

So, you’re well rested, hydrated, fed, and you’ve had your supplements. What’s next? It’s time to battle plan. You might have friends who visit the gym and just kind of wing it, but you might also notice that they aren’t seeing the results that they’d like. That’s because, without an exercise plan, you’re really just wasting your time at the gym.

A fitness plan helps you to keep you from over or under training. Without a plan, you might move from weight rack to machine and back again, unintentionally only ever working the same set of muscles. Nobody wants to look like they’ve skipped leg day, so make sure your training plan calls for it. Your plan also provides a structure so you can target some muscle groups one day, another the next and so on. It keeps you motivated to keep visiting the gym, and also keeps you from burning out when you aren’t seeing results right away.



Your Source For Pre-Workout Supplements

When you make your pre-workout routine a pivotal part of your exercise regimen, you’ll find that you feel better when you get to the gym and that your workout is more effective and thorough. The result? You’ll reach your fitness goals faster.

An easy addition to your pre-workout routine is our lineup of supplements. Axis Labs uses ingredients that are lab-tested and gym-proven to create pre-workout supplements that help you get fit fast. Order your pre-workout products today!

Are You Using Your Pre-Workout Effectively?

Are You Using Your Pre-Workout Effectively?

There comes a point in every fitness enthusiast's life when they sit back and ponder, "Should I be using a pre-workout?" More often than not, the answer is usually, "yes" and they invariably begin to use a pre-workout, or at least try it. But committing to using a pre-workout supplement doesn’t mean you’re always using it well.

Getting The Most Out of Your Pre-Workout Supplements

There’s more to these supplements than simply slamming a bottle full of it back before your next set of reps. Seeing as we are a leading provider of high-quality sports nutrition products, we thought it important to explore some of the ways you might be using your pre-workout supplements incorrectly and then offer up some tips for using them the right way. Let’s take a look at these popular supplements.

Just What Is a Pre-Workout?

One of the first places that athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness fanatics stumble is understanding what a pre-workout is and what it does for them. By having a better understanding of what they are, you can use them more effectively.

In simple terms, pre-workout supplements are formulated to increase your ability to perform at the gym. By using a unique balance of ingredients, vitamins, and minerals, pre-workouts are designed to help you boost your strength, and build more muscle. The result is that you can work out longer and harder, leading to greater gains at the end of each session.

Should Everyone Use a Pre-Workout?

Traditionally, pre-workout supplements have been secluded to the realm of "elite" athletes and bodybuilders, but really anyone could benefit from using a pre-workout. If you’re interested in improving your level of fitness, whether you’re brand new to the gym or a seasoned regular, a pre-workout can help them reach their fitness goals faster.

The Benefits of a Pre-Workout

We’ve already covered a lot of these in a previous blog, but for those who might have missed it, here’s a fast recap:

  • You’ll feel more energetic and alert. That’s because pre-workout supplements like our HAILSTORM make use of ingredients like creatine, which increased the amount of stored energy in your muscles.
  • You’ll work out longer and harder. That’s in part because of other ingredients like Nitrates and Beta-Alanine which improve your blood flow and limits the accumulation of lactic acid on your muscles.
  • You’ll see greater gains. With the right combination of Branch-Chained Amino Acids, your body can recover more quickly from your exercises, ensuring you maintain the muscle mass you built.

But Are You Using It Properly?

Once you’ve decided that a pre-workout is a good fit for your exercise needs, the next step is to examine how you’re using it. We’ve found that many gym-goers simply take a supplement because they’ve heard it works. There’s a ton of ways you can misuse a pre-workout, limiting their effectiveness, and even hindering your ability to exercise properly. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid and how you can fix them.

First Mistake: You’re Taking it at the Wrong Time

The name "pre-workout" can be a little deceiving. We often see gym-goers throw back a whole shaker bottle of their supplements as they walk up to a weight bench and then start lifting. This isn’t the best way to use a pre-workout. That’s because you’ll start to feel the effects while you’re well into your second, third, or even third set of exercises, meaning you’re not getting the most out of your workout. Plus, many of the stimulants that are used in pre-workouts take three to six hours to leave your bloodstream, meaning that taking it right before your exercises could mean that you’re too jittery to relax and recover.

Some have the opposite problem where they take their supplements too early. In this case, you’ll find that you’ve just begun your exercise routine and you already feel worn out. This means that you don’t finish your sets because you lack the energy.

When Should You Take It?

Timing is critical when it comes to effectively using a pre-workout. That’s because these supplements typically need 30 minutes to an hour to fully active within your body. The combination of ingredients, minerals, and stimulants all interact with your body in different ways. By taking it 30 - 60 minutes prior to hitting the gym, you’ll feel the full effects by the time you start your first set of exercises.

Second Mistake: Your Pre-Workout Is Lacking

Nearly every sports nutrition brand and even a lot of other brands have their own pre-workout supplements. But not all of these supplements are made equally. In fact, a lot of them over promise and under deliver. You expect a lot from yourself while at the gym, so it’s not unreasonable for you to expect the same of your pre-workout.

What Should Your Ingredient List Look Like?

With so many supplements lacking proven ingredients, it’s critical that you scrutinize the details and ingredients of your pre-workouts. So, what are the "can’t miss" ingredients in your pre-workout?

  • Beta-Alanine: This ingredient helps you to build lean mass while shedding body fat. It also reduces muscle fatigue and increases your work capacity
  • Creatine: Supplementing with creatine has been shown to help with improving the size and strength of your muscles by increasing cell volumization and protein synthesis. This reduces the amount of time you need to recover.
  • Caffeine: A little caffeine can go a long way in motivating you to push through one more set or stay at the gym just a bit longer. It also offers enhanced focus and clarity, helping you to perform exercises properly.

Third Mistake: You’re Taking a Pre-Workout On an Empty Stomach

It’s not uncommon for some who take pre-workout supplements to look at the ingredients list and think that it’s a meal in and of itself. But taking a pre-workout on an empty stomach might actually have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for.

Seeing as supplements make use of stimulants, taking a pre-workout on an empty stomach is not unlike drinking a large coffee on an empty stomach. You’ll feel jittery, nervous, and agitated. This could interrupt your focus on your exercises, meaning you’re not effectively using your time at the gym. Not only that, if you’re hungry going into your workout, you might be tempted to overeat after you leave the gym, negating any of the results you worked so hard to develop.

So What Should You Eat With Your Pre-Workout?

This isn’t to say that you should wolf down a three-course meal before every trip to the gym, but it does mean that you should have a light meal or a snack around the same time you take your pre-workout supplement. If you’re worried about feeling bloated or stopped up, just avoid snacks and meals that are high in fiber. A simple meal can help you avoid the jitters and crash you might experience otherwise.

Fourth Mistake: You’re Taking Too Much

When it comes to sports supplements, there can be too much of a good thing. Your pre-workout has a suggested serving size for a reason. By taking too much, you can actually develop a tolerance to the supplements. That means you have to take more and more over time to get the same results. Not only is this an expensive habit to break, but it can also leave you feeling sick.

How Much Should You Take

Take the recommended serving and no more or less. Realistically, adding a little bit more, or cutting out a bit every now and then won’t undo the results, but you shouldn’t make it a habit. These serving sizes are formulated to offer you the best results possible. Some pre-workout supplements can be taken more often than others, but generally, you’ll only take one once every 24-hours.

Find Your New Standard Of Excellence With Supplements From Axis Labs

The right pre-workout supplement can make the difference between a simple trip to the gym and the productive workouts you’re looking for. At Axis Labs, we’ve designed a line of pre-workout supplements with your needs in mind. Made from lab- and gym-tested and proven ingredients, our products are some of the best available. Cut the jitters, find your focus, and crush your sets with products like Creatine Ethyl Ester, HemodrauliX and HAILSTORM. Try them today!

Getting The Most Out Of Your Workout With Creatine

Getting The Most Out Of Your Workout With Creatine

Getting strong, defined muscles takes more than just simply hitting the gym all day every day. Sure, you’ll see improvements, but if you want to see lasting, impressive gains, you’ll need a little help. For some, their minds might jump immediately to harmful substances like steroids. While these drugs can lead to dramatic results, they can also have a series of terrible side effects. By enhancing the nutrients and substances that naturally occur in your body, you can quickly achieve the jacked look you’re going for. To do this, you can start incorporating more creatine into your sports nutrition diet, thanks to the creatine-based pre-workout products from Axis Labs.3

What Is Creatine?

Creatine occurs naturally in the cells in your muscles. It is this substance that helps you produce the energy you need to push through a set of heavy lifting exercises, or intense exercises like sprinting. Most of the creatine in your body is stored in phosphocreatine and is largely found in your muscles, with only a small amount found in your brain, kidneys, and liver. You can improve the stores of creatine in your body through your diet by eating enough meat, you can also improve it by exercising frequently, and balancing your hormone levels, paying particular attention to hormones like testosterone.

By supplementing with creatine, you’re basically increasing the amount of phosphocreatine your body can store. Your body keeps this substance in your cells and uses it to produce an energizing molecule called ATP. When you need more energy during your next workout, you’ll want plenty of ATP, as your body uses it to fuel your muscles and workout harder.

How Does Creatine Work?

Creatine directly impacts the performance of your muscles, and having enough available to your muscles when you need it most can help you push through that extra set, and build the muscles you want. Creatine improves your workouts in a variety of ways:

  • Creatine can help you improve your total workout length, which helps build long-lasting muscles.
  • Creatine helps to repair and grow new muscle mass.
  • By increasing the amount of water content within the cells in your muscles, you might see larger, more defined muscles.
  • A reduction in muscle breakdown is linked to increased creatine levels, which then leads to an increase in muscle size and growth.

For these reasons and many more, creatine is a popular substance to include in supplement regimens and sports nutrition diets. There are two creatine supplements in particular that are popular with bodybuilders and gym rats alike. These are Creatine Monohydrate and Creatine Ethyl Ester.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate, or CM, is perhaps one of, if not the most effective supplements that you can use to enhance your performance. It is highly researched and has been used successfully to improve muscle strength, size, and appearance. Additionally, it has been proven to be incredibly safe, with no apparent side-effects even after short or long-term supplemental use.

The Benefits Of Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine can offer you a host of benefits that other supplements simply cannot. By using creatine, you’ll enjoy higher intensity workouts. Because creatine monohydrate is directly tied to how much ATP your body produces, you’ll enjoy greater muscular strength, enhanced performance from your muscles, your muscles will experience greater endurance, and you’ll be less likely to feel fatigued after a workout. As an added benefit, CM has also been linked to accelerated muscle recovery, ensuring that you can get back into the gym faster, and make your rest days more effective.


Creatine Ethyl Ester takes advantage of the immense power of creatine and makes it even more useful than CM by making it more readily absorbed into the bloodstream. CEE was specifically formulated to ensure that you can intake more creatine, more effective, which means you need to take less of the supplement to notice the same or even greater effects. It also means that the two common, but mild side effects attributed to CM, bloating, and dehydration, do not occur.

The Benefits Of Creatine Ethyl Ester

Much like CM, CEE is a powerful supplement that can benefit bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts in a variety of ways. Essentially, because CEE is just an improved form of CM, the benefits of the two are shared. Athletes who include CEE in their pre-workout supplement regimen report seeing a leaner physique, improved muscle growth, increased strength, and increased power for high-intensity exercises or lifts. The key benefit to CEE is, of course, its increased absorption time.

How Are CEE And CM Different From Each Other?

CEE is just CM with an ester attached. Esters are created by combining carboxylic acid and alcohols together in a process known as esterification. Rather than absorbing the creatine through the stomach, which occurs when you take a CM supplement when you take a CEE supplement, you absorb the creatine through the small intestine, which allows it to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. Similarly, CEE is more stable than CM at lower PH levels, meaning it can survive the harsh conditions of the acids in your stomach. This makes CEE a more stable supplement. However, thanks to the micronized form of CM offered by Axis Labs, the surface areas of the molecules within the supplement are larger, which leads to increased absorption speeds.

Order Your Creatine Pre-Workout Supplements From Axis Labs

As a leading sports nutrition researcher, Axis Labs offers only the finest pre-workout supplements. Both our Creatine Monohydrate and Creatine Ethyl Ester supplements are a great addition to your current pre-workout supplement line up. Made from high-quality, pure ingredients, both of these supplements can enhance your workouts and leave you with a leaner, meaner, and more cut physique. You’ll recover faster, and sustain your gains longer. Order your Creatine Monohydrate and Creatine Ethyl Ester supplements today.


Cited Works:

Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., … Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4, 6.

Becque, M. D., Lochmann, J. D., & Melrose, D. R. (2000). Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32(3), 654-658. doi:10.1097/00005768-200003000-00016

Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Boetes, M., Incledon, T., Clark, K. L., & Lynch, J. M. (1997). Creatine Supplementation Enhances Muscular Performance During High-Intensity Resistance Exercise. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 97(7), 765-770. doi:10.1016/s0002-8223(97)00189-2

Cooke, M. B., Rybalka, E., Williams, A. D., Cribb, P. J., & Hayes, A. (2009). Creatine supplementation enhances muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6(1), 13. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-13

Riesberg, L. A., Weed, S. A., McDonald, T. L., Eckerson, J. M., & Drescher, K. M. (2016). Beyond Muscles: The Untapped Potential of Creatine. International Immunopharmacology, 37, 31–42.