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essential supplements

You’re getting all the nutrients you need, right? Wrong! Here are three supplements you have to try today!

When establishing a healthy and effective exercise regimen, there are a lot of factors to consider.

These include your fitness level, personal goals, type of workouts, duration of the workouts and the frequency of the workouts, among others. The list goes on and on. It is no surprise then that many other crucial factors tend to get neglected. One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a healthy training person is the use of supplements.

The world of supplements is vast and confusing. Where do you begin? Right here. To begin with, you have to choose ones that are the best fit for you and that will produce the results you want. The right supplements will make it easier to receive the needed nutrients in order to build muscle. They can also work to boost your workouts.

For them to work properly, they must be taken the right way and combined with a proper diet. Timing has a significant impact on the effectiveness of your supplements. Why? When you take them is just as important as what you’re actually taking. So let’s take a look at a few of the best supplements out there, and specify exactly when and how they should be consumed. This way, you’ll be absolutely sure you’re getting the most out of what you put into your body.

This Is The Case For Creatine Supplements..

One of the most widely touted supplements out there is creatine. And, for a good reason too. It is easily among the best and most well-researched supplements you will find. Hundreds of articles and healthcare professionals assert not only the benefits of creatine but, more importantly, its safety. This is thanks to the fact that there’s nothing harmful or unnatural in it.

This little miracle powder (or pill, if that’s how you choose to take it) is a by-product of amino acid (protein) metabolites found in the liver, kidneys and pancreas. Almost all of the body’s creatine is stored in skeletal muscle, and the small remainder is kept in the liver, kidneys, brain and testes. Since it is already a naturally occurring substance in the body, adding more by way of a supplement form is perfectly safe when done correctly, and can only serve to help. Make sure to research the best creatine since there are many types. 

The Studies Tell The Story.

All of that research doesn’t lie. Studies have linked creatine to increased muscle mass, boosted strength and improved anaerobic capacity. Specifically, it can enhance the maximum strength and energy output of your workouts, allowing you to lift heavier and longer.

Post-exercise, it can aid in workout recovery and drop the time needed to regain strength after heavy workouts. Furthermore, the benefits extend well beyond bodybuilding purposes. It can also help fight memory loss, support anti-aging and boost cell protection capabilities. While there are numerous forms of creatine available, creatine monohydrate is the best of the bunch.

Why?

Simple. It is the longest-standing kind and has the most research behind it.

When Should You Take Creatine Supplements?

So when is the right time take it? This is where it gets a little complicated. Why? There are actually compelling arguments for taking it before exercise and after exercise.

First, let’s look at the case for taking it before your workouts. More creatine means more ATP. As the primary source of cellular energy, more ATP yields more power for your muscles to use. And more power allows for increased activation of muscle fibers. This allows for more weight to be lifted and therefore more muscle gains.

On the other hand, there is the case for taking it after your workouts. Post-exercise, your muscles are depleted of vital nutrients and as a result are fully prepped for a large intake of nutrients. So add in creatine along with your protein and carbs. This way your body will very likely absorb the supplement to its fullest ability and reap all of the benefits.

Take it whenever you want and don’t stress about it too much. Creatine is good for you no matter what. So as long as you take it, regardless of when, you should be able to see great benefits.

But, the amount you take does matter. The advised optimal dose is between 2 to 5 grams per day. You can boost that amount for the first week if desired. But, after that, there are no added benefits to taking larger amounts. It seems that creatine is able to work its magic whenever and however you decide take it, even in small doses.

This Is The Case For Whey Protein Supplements…

If you’re looking for a versatile and widely available supplement that is also extremely beneficial, you should look no further than whey protein. This highly adaptable supplement is a combo of a type of protein called globular proteins. These proteins are extracted from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production.

Basically, you take a certain part of the cheese (the whey) during its production and then you isolate all the globular proteins from it. These are then mixed together and you have whey protein.

whey protein supplements

What makes this supplement so versatile is that it comes in multiple forms that can be used in many ways.

There are whey protein bars. You can find these at almost any health food market, all gyms and a lot of standard markets.

Then there is whey protein powder. This has chameleon-like powers. How? It can be used in shakes and smoothies or put into pretty much anything that you consume. Check around the site. You’ll see all sorts of recipes. Go to any gym and you’ll likely hear people talk about some pretty crazy recipes and concoctions they have invented with it.

The Studies Tell The Story.

The versatility isn’t the only good thing about whey protein. It has many physical and mental benefits. For starters, it will help you lose fat and preserve muscle. Studies have shown that those on a reduced-calorie diet who consumed whey protein lost significantly more body fat (about 6.1% total) and preserved their muscles better than participants who were on the same reduced-calorie diet without the whey protein.

There are also strength gains, as it increases your fat-free mass and muscle strength. You will even be able to reduce your hunger cravings. In an Australian study, those who consumed a beverage with 50 grams of whey protein had notably reduced levels of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger to your brain. In the long run, you’ll help fight off some of the most prevalent forms of cancer, such as colon and prostate.

Another long-term benefit is an improved immune system. Researchers found that subjects who completed strenuous aerobic activity had plunging glutathione levels. This has a crucial impact on the immune system, among other things such as the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and more. But, by adding in whey protein, these subjects showed a considerably smaller reduction in glutathione levels.

On the subject of serotonin, this supplement aids in coping with depression and stress. Researchers found that those on it experienced fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is easily explained, since mood-boosting serotonin has already been proven to increase as a result of whey protein consumption.

When Should You Take These Kinds of Supplements?

With all of the advantages that whey has, it would be a shame to void all of them by not paying attention to timing. There are a few essential times for taking whey protein. The most important time is right after your workout. At this point, your muscles need instant nutrition for recovery and growth. They will therefore soak up the supplement like a sponge. Protein also affects males and females differently be sure to check out the best protein powder for women & men when shopping. 

It is also ideal to take it right before you go to bed. Going all night without protein is quite a long time. Don’t do that! Do your body a favor and make sure it has something to get it healthfully through all of those hours.

This is also the same train of thought for taking it upon waking up. This is a good time because after going that long without food or water, your body needs protein as soon as it can get it. It is certainly not harmful to take it pre-workout either, because any nutrients that serve to help your muscles endure the strain you are about to put them through are more than welcome.

But post-workout is the preferred and most worthwhile time for your body. With extensive research, and the physical benefits and mental benefits to its credit, whey protein might just be the best supplement you can take post-workout (and even around your sleep schedule).

cherry supplements

This Is The Case For Tart Cherry Supplements…

When you think of tart cherries, supplement isn’t exactly the first thought that comes to mind. Yet surprisingly, this unassuming super-fruit is emerging as a post-workout must-have for athletes. It’s easy to see why the tart cherry supplement is getting so much love. It is primarily used for its strikingly similar effects to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

As a supplement, it works almost instantaneously, like an aspirin would. So you can use it for pain, for muscle damage or as a chronic anti-inflammatory. You could also use it for improved muscle recovery, to help lessen severe joint pain conditions (such as arthritis), to help get better sleep and much more. Talk about multi-purpose! The sheer volume of antioxidants found in tart cherry make its beneficial possibilities endless, especially for your workouts.

The Studies Tell The Story.

Want a way to protect your body? A study was done on marathon runners who consumed 8 ounces of tart cherry juice, twice daily, both before the marathon and for 48 hours after the run. They found that these runners experienced less muscle damage, less soreness, less inflammation and less protein breakdown than those who did not consume the supplement.

Other studies showed that athletes experienced just a fraction of their typical strength loss after exercise, and that they recovered what little strength they did lose more rapidly after drinking 24 ounces of tart cherry juice every day post-workout.

Even when you’re not exercising, this supplement’s phytochemicals will protect your health from the inside out, making it easier for when you do actually engage in strenuous activity. Don’t like juice? Good news! Tart cherry has you covered. It is available as a juice, a powder and a capsule.

When Should You Take These Supplements?

The timing is pretty self-explanatory. Due to its all-encompassing healing properties, it is most beneficial to take this supplement post-workout, when your body really needs that extra bit of tender loving care.

As for how much to take, that is still being debated. But in terms of its juice form, the consensus from most studies is that two 10-ounce bottles should be more than enough to reap all of the benefits. Tart cherry is easy to understand. It works right away, comes in many different forms for consumption and is extremely beneficial. There really is nothing to lose and lots to gain from trying out this fruity supplement.

BUILD Protein

Conclusion 

There are no set rules when it comes to which supplements you choose to take. Every person has a different body with different needs and varying workouts to match. Creatine, whey protein and tart cherry have all proven themselves to be beneficial enough to put on your must-try list.

Who knows?

One, or maybe all of them, could even make it on your permanent supplement regimen. So go have fun finding out what works for you. Just be sure to take them at the right times!

-Nicole Dimacale

 

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Best Creatine Male

Crea-what? We get it. Creatine isn’t the most common thing. Here’s an easy guide to understanding it.

Ever stepped in a sports nutrition store without seeing creatine for sale? We thought not. Wonder why? There are lots of reasons. With over 200 studies to date, it’s one of the most researched fitness supplements out there. If you’re looking for an extra boost to enhance your performance or how to gain muscle, it may be time to try creatine. Still not convinced? We did the research. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Creatine?

Think creatine is fairly new? That’s a common mistake. Believe it or not, it was discovered in 1832. French scientist Michel Eugène Chevreul was the man who has been credited. Scientifically speaking, creatine is an organic nitrogenous acid that is created naturally in the human body. With that said, it can also be found in some foods. It helps to give energy to the cells in your body, especially muscle. How? It does this by causing more frequent formations of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Essentially, creatine helps your body produce more quick bursts of energy.

The synthesis of creatine takes place in the kidney and liver and the creatine is transported in the body via blood. About 95% of the body’s total creatine is in the skeletal muscle. With the ability for muscle building stores of phosphocreatine, more creatine could help resynthesize ATP in the muscle. This could be helpful by giving more energy to the muscles and body. With this increase in energy bursts, if you use them while training, you could reap some great benefits. Sound like a good combo?  We thought so…

Who Takes Creatine?

There’s a glut of supplements to choose from. Where do you start? Right here! You sometimes find in your research that each supplement can help different body types, regimens, and goals. So what types of people are compelled to consume creatine to help their needs? Athletes and bodybuilders are the most common users of these supplements. The International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association both allow the use of creatine It’s widely used among pro and amateur athletes. An article by WedMD stated

An article by WedMD stated that, “according to studies, 8% of adolescents take creatine…[and] an estimated 40% of college athletes and up to half of professional athletes say they use creatine supplements.” Considering its low risks, many athletes have pounced on the chance to boost their abilities and performance by using creatine.

Who Should Stay Away?

If you exercise routinely and intensely and you have a healthy diet, then creatine can be considered. However, Jim King, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, does not advise that those under 18 use creatine. Why?  He told Men’s Health that “children are still in a growing phase, and we’re not sure what impact creatine may have on muscles and bones as they grow.” Providing supplements for children’s athletic enhancement just isn’t worth the risk.

Those who have kidney problems should also avoid taking it. Since creatine is consumed as a powder mixed with liquid, it comes out through your urine and whatever comes out through your urine passes through your kidneys. While the risks are very low, the risks for someone with a kidney condition would certainly face a higher possibility of further complications. In other words, another instance where it just isn’t worth the risk.

Who Does It Best Serve?

Another noted reality of creatine is that it’s found in many types of meat. It’s in beef, pork, salmon and tuna. Because of this, vegetarians typically find a greater positive response from taking creatine than meat eaters. There are also a significant number of people who don’t respond to creatine. After about one week of consuming creatine with your workouts, you should notice a difference. If there’s no clear upgrade, then you’re probably a non-responder. Ultimately, creatine should really only be consumed by high-performance adults who work out regularly, maintain a healthy diet and don’t have kidney problems. But beyond that, research has indicated other uses of creatine besides increased athletic performance. creatine-2 2

Who Else Can Benefit From Creatine Besides Athletes?

Think creatine can only help your training? 

Think again… 

There’s a long list of benefits. You may be surprised to learn that there have been studies on the effects of creatine beyond athletics. You may be even more surprised by the results. Research published in the Journal of Neurochemistry concluded that, “combination therapy with coenzyme Q10 and creatine produces additive neuroprotective effects in models of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.” Their study showed neuroprotective effects against dopamine depletion, as well as significant reduction in other harmful chemicals.

The research also displayed an improvement in motor performance and an extension in survival. Further research needs to be done. But, creatine provides a possibility to helping degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. There has also been research to suggest creatine may help those with muscular dystrophy. Dr. Rudolf Kley, of Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, was the lead reviewer of a study on the subject. The research concluded that those who

There has also been research to suggest creatine may help those with muscular dystrophy. Dr. Rudolf Kley, of Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, was the lead reviewer of a study on the subject. The research concluded that those who took creatine found a muscle strength increase of 8.5% compared to those not taking it. The team concluded that the results show “short- and medium-term creatine treatment improves muscle strength in people with muscular dystrophies and is well-tolerated.” A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry examined the use of creatine and depression. Researchers from three South Korean universities and the University of Utah conducted the study. They concluded that women battling depression might benefit from the use of creatine. In the study, participants augmented their daily antidepressant with five grams of protein. This resulted in a response to the antidepressant that was twice as fast as women who took only the antidepressant. Research published in the

Researchers from three South Korean universities and the University of Utah conducted the study. They concluded that women battling depression might benefit from the use of creatine. In the study, participants augmented their daily antidepressant with five grams of protein. This resulted in a response to the antidepressant that was twice as fast as women who took only the antidepressant. Research published in the Federation of European Biochemical Societies Letters studied the effect of creatine on IGF-1 and aging. They found that creatine use into older adulthood could negate the degenerative effects of age-related muscle wasting and maintain youthful levels of IGF-1. When combined with strength training, creatine may provide a potentially positive effect on aging by reducing the muscle waste that comes along with it. Another unexpected potential use of creatine is to increase memory retention and intelligence. In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, Australia, participants were given

When combined with strength training, creatine may provide a potentially positive effect on aging by reducing the muscle waste that comes along with it. Another unexpected potential use of creatine is to increase memory retention and intelligence. In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, Australia, participants were given creatine supplements or placebo pills for phases of six weeks.

The lead researcher, Dr. Caroline Rae, found that the creatine showed a positive effect, at least in the short term. She also stated, “The results were clear with both our experimental groups and in both test scenarios. Creatine supplementation gave a significant measurable boost to brain power.” If you think about it, that’s quite a list! Athletes, those with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, those with muscular dystrophy, people suffering from depression, aging and young adults all used creatine to great success.

With the exceptionally low risk presented by creatine, the research merely continues to grow in support of creatine use. When taking it doesn’t prove to pose substantially harmful consequences, people from many walks of life are giving it a try.

What Are The Low Risks Of Taking Creatine?

Anything additive you consume has potential side effects. With creatine, the typical mild cases are stomach pain, muscle cramping, diarrhea and nausea. The most common tends to be muscle cramping. But, there have been minimal reports of these side effects. Also, none of these risks are dangerous to your long-term health and are statistically unlikely to occur. As previously mentioned though, those with kidney problems and under 18 years old shouldn’t be taking it. All people respond differently to any type of medication or supplement. Be smart. Talk to your doctor about your specific body type. Mention what you’re looking for to be sure that trying creatine is the right step for you. Best Creatine

What Can It Do For Me?

Now you know the basics of what creatine is, who uses it and the potential risks. What are the actual benefits of creatine for an athlete or fitness buff? Good question. Plenty.

Better Aptitude And Performance

Studies from the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal show that creatine causes muscle fibers to grow in your body. Creatine phosphate supplies muscles with energy to ensure they don’t fatigue too soon. More energy means more strength in muscle contraction. This allows you to perform more reps, sprint faster and be more forceful. Sounds good to us!

Builds Muscle

Creatine’s properties cause muscle cells to inflate, creating a stimulus for protein synthesis and a heavily muscled appearance. But, it’s important to be distinctive here on the heavily muscled appearance affect. Creatine does cause undisputed weight gain. This gain is mostly water weight. You must workout when using creatine. That’s how it helps you. When you consume the added creatine and workout, your body utilizes the muscle volumizing properties and works to build your muscles. But, if you slack off, you’ll merely notice a distasteful water weight gain you don’t want. Stick with the program!

Improved Anaerobic Capacity

In a 2002 study, those using creatine had an increased total body mass on average of 0.9 kilograms. They also had a 6.6% increase in thigh volume and better performance in all six sprints. The research concluded that the participants’ anaerobic capacity had undoubtedly been boosted by the use of creatine.

Bone Healing

Research conducted at the Institute of Cell Biology in Switzerland found that creatine provides a successful added therapy for bone fracture healing and the treatment of osteoporosis. Their research showed that creatine increased the activity of alkaline phosphate. Of course, this is important for bone growth. This means there is high potential in the healing effects of creatine on bone.

Enhanced Recovery

Want enhanced recovery? Good news! That was also looked into. The effects of creatine on muscle cell damage were examined to determine if creatine could help with recovery. The study showed that participants taking creatine experienced reduced muscle cell damage and inflammation. They concluded it could help recovery following intense exercise.

What Kind Should I Take?

What’s the best form to use? Powder creatine is the best creatine, most common and safest form to consume. Studies have shown that liquid creatine and creatine ethyl ester are unstable. Our advice? Don’t even go there. Creatine powder is your best choice. Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma, recommends mixing creating powder with fruit juice for best results. This balances the sugars with the creatine and the sugar in juice will help maximize the creatine uptake into the muscles. Ignite Banner

Conclusion

Overall, the studies say that creatine will not positively affect everybody. Sadly, it’s not a miracle powder to mix in your fruit juice and make you Superman. But, it does provide the possibility of being Popeye’s powerful spinach with very low risks for trying it. It will improve your muscle building effort. It’ll also give you more energy and the boost you’ve been looking for to push past your plateau.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Smash the competition with an edge that doesn’t compromise your morals or health. Creatine helps give you a safe attempt to jump higher, sprint faster and lift heavier. Keep in mind: It may work better for those who eat less meat. And, it may be lost on some body types. But, in the end, when you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your training, it couldn’t hurt to try it. The research backs that up. Creatine could be what’s needed to give you the jumpstart you need to go faster and further. By Alyssa Bright

By Alyssa Bright

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Best Supplements For Muscle Growth

If you’re just getting started with your journey into bodybuilding, or you’re a seasoned veteran who’s been at it for years, you still need to make sure that you are supplementing correctly. Here are the best supplements for muscle growth.

Far too many people fall for gimmicky supplements they firmly believe will deliver them fast results, only to find that they aren’t quite what they had hoped for. There is hope however, there are the best supplements for muscle growth and can aid your gym workouts.

If you don’t want to be left disappointed, it pays to do your research first. Let’s walk you through some of the most commonly used products and weigh in on which will help you get your weight up.

Here are the best supplements for muscle growth…

Protein Powder For Building Muscle

The very first supplement that you should look into that anyone who wants to build muscle mass should be considering is protein powder.  A good protein powder such as Protein Build will help supply the quality amino acids your muscles need to repair and restore broken down muscle tissues.

Protein powder is ideal during those busy times when you may not be able to cook a full meal and will also be great for immediately post workout as well. Men and women respond to protein as well, for example there the best protein powder for women and men as well.

Be sure to check carefully to get a good quality protein powder however as not all are created equally. Many have a number of added ingredients which aren’t natural for the body and may decrease the results that you see.

When looking for a good quality protein powder, you should find one that has around 105-120 calories and 23-25 grams of protein per scoop.

Creatine For Building Muscle

Moving along, the next supplement that you should be considering is the best creatine.  Creatine is a great way to help combat fatigue during your workout sessions so that you can put more energy and effort into each set that you do.

The Top Creatine will supply the pre-cursor to the high energy molecule ATP, which is going to be what actually powers you through each rep that you do.

Without ATP present, your workout would come to an abrupt end.

Since creatine allows you to do more work total per workout, it’s this additional work that can then mean you build more total muscle mass.

Find a product that contains fast absorbing creatine such as muscle build, which also contains L-Citrulline to help increase blood flow as well as L-Arginine to bring about a stronger muscle pump.

With these three ingredients working together, you’ll have the strongest workout you’ve ever had.

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Pre-Workout

In addition to taking the best creatine, you might also want to consider a pre-workout product as well. These are going to ramp up your energy levels, increase your mental focus and concentration, as well as help to boost your muscular endurance. If you can’t find some online you can research the best pre workouts from GNC.

A product such as Ignite will keep you going strong on those days when hitting the workout schedule is the last thing you feel like doing.  One thing to always keep an eye out for when selecting these products is the type of sweetener they contain. Many will contain artificial ingredients here again, which can work against you and make you feel less than optimal.

Ideally you’ll also want to find a product that contains a moderate dose of caffeine as one of the main ingredients as it’s this caffeine that is going to best help boost your energy.

Green tea extract can also be utilized, but you won’t get as strong of an energy boost from that as you would caffeine.

Just do keep in mind that if you are using the caffeine based pre-workout, you’ll want to make sure there are a few hours between when you use it and when you go to bed to ensure that it’s not going to keep you awake at night.

Why You Should Take Glutamine

L-Glutamine is the next bodybuilding supplement that can help you build muscle mass quickly.  Glutamine is a particular amino acid that’s heavily involved in the immune system response, so it’ll play a key role in how fast you recover between workout sessions.

If you are depleted of glutamine, this can mean a much slower recovery level, which means less frequent gym sessions. Since the more frequently you can break those muscle tissues down and build them up the faster the progress you see, it’s clear how glutamine will help out.

While you will take in some glutamine from the protein rich foods you eat, the level you take in is often not enough to meet the demands of the intense exercise sessions you are doing.

Therefore, adding the supplement proves to be very helpful. For optimal results, you’ll want to take 5 grams of glutamine immediately after your workout session and another 5 grams before you go to bed in the evening.

Branched Chain Amino Acid Supplements

Moving along, a branched chain amino acids are the next supplement that you’ll want to consider.  These are specially targeted towards the muscle cells and will help you avoid being in a catabolic state as you go about your workouts.

When you hit that catabolic state, you’re really breaking muscle tissue down quickly, moving away from progress.

As such, the better you can control this, the faster your progress will be. Branched chain amino acids will help you do just that.

These are designed to be taken either before, during, or after your workout – whenever you prefer. Some will choose to take them at all three times depending on their supplement budget.

They’re especially helpful for when you move into the cutting phase of your program and try and burn off more fat as they will help protect that hard-earned muscle you’ve just built.

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Testosterone Booster Supplements

Finally, the last of the bodybuilding supplements that you should know about is the testosterone booster. You will see a lot of these if you are reading popular fitness magazines and each has a different claim to fame.

This is one product you really need to be careful with however as most are more gimmicky than they are effective. One thing these products definitely will do however is increase your libido levels, so if that’s something you’re looking for, you will achieve that.

As far as being able to actually boost your total muscle development, however, they may help out slightly if they include key ingredients, but beyond that, you won’t see that much of an effect.

The primary ingredients you do want to look out for include vitamin B6, zinc, as well as magnesium.  Together these have been shown to help boost testosterone levels.

That said, you can pick up a straight ZMA product and see similar results for a fraction of the cost.

So keep these bodybuilding supplements in mind. If you choose wisely, you can get your hands on products that will help out, but you need to do your research. There are too many companies out there that are just looking to make a quick dollar and use elaborate marketing schemes to get you to buy.

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Conclusion

Read reviews, read research, and use some common sense and you should be able to steer clear of ones that won’t deliver and pick up ones  that will be the best supplements for muscle growth.

-Terry Asher

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