Just Max Fitness Nutrition Blog

The Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements for Maximum Performance

The Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements for Maximum Performance

Do you feel stuck in the gym? Are you just going through the motions and “checking the boxes and not getting the maximum benefits out of your workouts? Then it might be time to try a pre-workout supplement.

Pre-workouts can help:

  1. Heighten your Energy Levels
  2. Sharpen your Focus
  3. Improve Endurance and Stamina
  4. Delay Fatigue
  5. Increase your Strength and Power
  6. Accelerate your Muscle Recovery

Check out our full blog to learn more.

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Finding Value in Expired – Clearance Supplements

Expired Supplements

© Can Stock Photo Inc. /alexskopje


|Why do Supplements Have an Expiration Date|  |How Long After Can I use Expires Supplements?|
|How to Store Your Supplements |


Some of the best values in sports nutrition and fitness supplements are found in the Clearance Sections either online or at your local store. Some clearance items are because of being over stocked, but most clearance supplements come from items that are “short dated” - items that are about to expire or may be recently be expired.

 Below is my blog on expired supplements, whether they are safe, and their effectiveness. I even outline how long you can take a supplement passed its sell by date on some of the more popular types of supplements in the industry today.


Are Expired Supplements Safe to Take?

I get this question a lot. The new year has passed, and you’ve probably gotten into some type of healthier nutrition and exercise regimen and maybe you’ve found last year’s supplements in the back of cupboard now expired and you are wondering if they are still safe to take. Who wants to waste all that money they spent on supplements last year, (or even the year before)? Is it necessary to throw all these out and start over?  Although I would like the uptick in sales, I’m also a good guy so the short answer is, No…

For the most part expired supplements are safe to take and won’t harm you. It is hard to imagine that if you have a tub of protein sitting on your cupboard and its OK consume on 2/28, but when the calendar flips to 3/1 you can no longer take it and you must throw it in the trash and buy a new, larger tub from JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com.

In the process of moving my inventory from my spare bedroom to the “store” in the Garage of Gainz, and I am finding hundreds of dollars of expired or near expired fitness and sports nutrition supplements. I have been taking expired supplements for years and nothing bad has ever happened to me. I’ve never gotten sick or even had stomach discomfort, (my cerebral palsy is from birth, it certainly has nothing to do with taking expired supplements) so I thought I’d some actual research and get some answers for those looking for them, and see if I can remain in good conscious while selling some of my near-expired and expire supplements at discounted rates. As a smaller shop some of my products don’t turn as well as others (and even I can’t take this large of volume on expired supplements, so often you can find great supplement deals on anything from protein, pre-workout powders and even some of the top weight loss supplements in the JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com Clearance Section.



Why do Fitness and Sports Nutrition or Fitness Supplements have an Expiration Date?

It turns out that the FDA doesn’t require manufactures to put expiration on their supplements, however many do so as a quality control mechanism.  The expiration date is the last date the manufacture can guarantee the potency of the ingredients that are listed on the label.

The compounds in any fitness and sports nutrition supplement start to break down the moment the they are manufactured, and the potency listed on the label is the potency guaranteed at the time of expiration.  (This also means that if you get your hands on some supplement that was just made by a manufacturer you could be getting a slightly stronger potency then what is listed on the label). 


An Expired Supplement can Cause Changes in Flavor

The one downfall in expired supplements could be changes in flavor. Just like active ingredients of supplements breakdown overtime, so too will the flavor components of a supplement (and the flavor components usually break down faster). From my experience the flavor component doesn’t drastically change, but it certainly doesn’t taste the same as when you open a fresh supplement.

If you’re taking a supplement that is long past the expiration and you can’t stand the taste, then it means it is time to throw it out and get some fresh stuff. If you don’t throw it out, it will just sit back on the counter and be another two years past the expiration date the next time you try it, just toss it out!


So How Long Can I take an Expired Supplement?


Expired Protein Powder

Expired protein is probably the most common of all supplements in the industry, the bigger container you buy the better deal you get per pound. From my personal experience when I buy protein powder, I usually get sick of the same flavor every day, I will open up to three different tubs and one ends up in the back of my supplement cupboard, and before I know it it’s expired. I recently found a tub Rivalus Native 100 that expired in November and I only have 6 scoops gone out of it. I certainly fined the tub, I just added a little more than a full scoop to make sure I was still  getting all my protein needs.

Protein powder is a dry product so if it is stored properly there is little chance that bacteria will grow or cause it to spoil. Protein can be good for up to a year passed it sell by date. Always do a small smell taste with a spoonful or two of protein in water to ensure nothing smells bad or taste rancid before mixing a large smoothie or meal replacement. If you pass that test, then you are good to go!



Expired Protein Bars

Expired protein bars and other food type products are one of two supplement types that I would exercise caution regarding consuming them. Many of the protein bars on the market are loaded with synthetic ingredients and preservatives in order to increase shelf-life, there has been a shift in the industry to provide real food and whole food bars and snacks. These type of protein bars (Like Quest protein bars, or my favorite - the Anabar) should be consumed within 3-6 months after the expiration date because of the whole food components that can spoil and rot over time.

If you have something hiding in your cupboard that you’ve found and they are well passed the expiration date (more than the 3-6 months), I would recommend tossing these. Eating spoiled food can cause more trouble than it is worth.



Expired Pre-Workout

You can treat any expired pre-workout much like an expired protein powder. Pre-workouts can also be good for a at least a year passed the expiration date. Your pre-workout is still good even if it is clumpy. Pre-workouts often get clumpy even before the expiration date because the ingredients in them attract moisture from the air when kept room temperature. 

The biggest thing to watch for with expired pre-workout is discoloration. If parts of the pre-workout are different colors from the rest of it, ie. your blue raspberry pre-workout (which is usually a blue powder) also has brown spots in it - your pre-workout is going bad and it’s time to order a new tub from JMFN.


Expired Creatine

I wrote a rather extensive blog on creatine and all its wonders already but forgot to add a section on expired creatine. So here it is...  Creatine probably lasts the longest of all expired supplements. Like all supplements it will certainly lose some of its potency but can still be good for up two years beyond the expiration date.

If you are trying to ensure that you are getting your recommended number of grams per day (most recommended serving sizes are 5 grams) its potency, simply take a scoop and a half or even two scoops to get the same effect as one scoop. You may get more than your body needs by using this strategy and excrete it out, but it beats the alternative of throwing it in the trash.

Like a pre-workout, creatine can clump up because of moisture as well, and like pre-workout this doesn’t mean its bad either, it is just attracting moisture from the air.


Expired Fat Burners

Fat Burners are the most popular supplements in the industry today and have been for years.  So, you’ll be happy to know that expired fat burners can be taken long after the expiration date like the other popular supplement listed above.  The one guideline I wouldn’t follow is that of taking extra to increase potency.  Many of the top fat burners contain stimulants and those should never be taken beyond the recommended dose. This can cause harm and even make you sick (unrelated to the fact they are expired). If you’re taking an expired fat burner it is best to stick with the recommended dose as they may take a considerable amount of time to lose their potency (remember, the expiration date is the last guaranteed date of full-potency.  And they aren’t going to lose half potency in 24 hours. As you get further from the expiration date your fat burner won’t be as effective, but it sure beats the alternative of throwing it in the garbage.



Expired Fish Oils and Probiotics

Fish oils and probiotics are the second category of fitness supplements that I would use with caution when passed the expiration date. Fish Oils are a fat and can oxidize when exposed to light which can make them rancid. Fish Oils are also a liquid (even inside the capsule) and supplements in liquid form do degrade faster than that of powdered supplements like protein or creatine.


Tips for Storing Your Supplements

There are ways you can store your fish oils and probiotics (as well as your other supplements) to extend their freshness and shelf-life. Almost all supplement labels have the direction to “store in a cool, dry place” and this is the easiest way you can improve the shelf-life on any supplement.

Additionally, you can store your liquid supplements, Fish oils, and probiotics in your refrigerator to help maintain freshness. Store any pre-workouts (including the new pump products in your freezer after opening if the “clumping” bothers you, but it isn’t essential.

We at Just Max Fitness Nutrition also have one do not do that a surprising number of people don’t know about (or don’t care) but it can increase the self-life of that precious jug of protein.

Do not store your protein on top of the refrigerator. Your refrigerator generates a lot of heat, and heat rises. This can create humidity and your protein has the potential to absorbing some of that moisture that will make it to degrade faster then normal. So, do not store your protein on top of your fridge!


Expired Doesn’t Mean Bad

In conclusion, expired does not necessarily mean “gone bad.” Whether or not you can take an expired product really depends on the product itself. As outlined above the expiration (sometimes sell by date) doesn’t indicate the true shelf-life of a product. Some supplements like; protein, creatine, and pre-workout powders can be used well passed their expiration dates (some even a year past!). But others like protein bars, other food-like supplements should be used within 3-6 months after the expiration date because of the whole food components that can spoil or rot over time, as mentioned in the protein bars section.

Of the supplements that I researched, Fish Oils and probiotics are the only supplements that should be tossed after reaching the expiration dates. This is because of the oxidation of the fats and the live bacteria components respectively.

If you’re not sure on whether a supplement past its expiration date is still good, it is always better to error on the side of safety and toss it.  Getting sick in any capacity will usually keep you out of the gym and no one wants that!

If you have a question about supplement that I didn’t cover in this blog or have comments or concerns regarding this blog, leave a comment below or join the Just Max Fitness Community in our Facebook Group and have your question answered by one of your peers!


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so this should not be taken as medical advice.  This is my experience with expired supplements. If you don’t feel comfortable taking expired supplements, don’t take them.


Your Friend in Fitness,


- Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition


What is Creatine and What Does it Do? The World's Most Proven Fitness Supplement Examined

What is Creatine? The World's Most Proven Fitness Supplement Examined

Questions and Answers About Creatine


Creatine is without question the most proven supplement in the fitness nutrition industry. Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid is naturally produced the body from the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Its efficiency has been proven in hundreds of scientific studies that have been done on the compound over the years as it relates specifically to fitness nutrition.

Creatine Benefits: What Does Creatine Do For the Body?

Creatine increases muscular energy by assisting the body in producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Adenosine triphosphate is the chemical compound that allows your muscles to contract and the more ATP you have available to your muscles, the more contractions (repetitions) you can perform in a given movement or exercise.


Creatine and the Brain:

Some of the more recent studies involving creatine have shown that it can also be very beneficial the brain. Researches started studying the effects of creatine and the brain since 2003 and every year the evidence on the positive effects on the brain become more and more prevalent.

Creatine has been shown to enhance the brain’s cognition and also reduce mental fatigue.

Even more research need to be done, but perhaps by taking creatine and increasing our brain’s performance could slow down terrible diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia

How Effective is Creatine?

Creatine has been so effective in increasing strength and muscle mass gains that many outside of the fitness industry tried to start a myth that it was a steroid. By definition something that is produced naturally in the body cannot be a steroid.

Types of Creatine:

There are many different types of creatine on the market today. The most commonly used (and cheapest available) is creatine monohydrate. Creatine Monohydrate is the golden standard of creatine and the one all other creatine is measured against. Other types of creatine include:

  • Creatine Anhydrous – creatine with the water molecule removed. This provides more creatine per gram and also helps reduce the boating side effect that can be accompanied by creatine.
  • Creatine Citrate – creatine combined with a citrate molecule. The citrate molecule helps the creatine dissolve better in water.
  • Creatine Ethyl Ester – converts back to usable creatine in the body (the creatine the body produces naturally using the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine.
  • Creatine HCL (Hydrochloride) – creatine combine with a hydrochloride molecule can also make creatine more water-soluble.
  • Creatine Magnesium Chelate – creatine bound with a magnesium molecule. Magnesium aids in creatine metabolism (the breakdown of creatine) so it may make creatine more effective by breaking it down faster. This also aids in reducing the water retention caused by creatine consumption.
  • Creatine Malate – creatine combined with Malic acid. Malic acid is an organic acid (made by the body) that helps turn carbohydrates into energy.
  • Creatine Nitrate – creatine combined with a group on nitrate molecules. Nitrate molecules, like citrate and hydrochloride help make the creatine more water soluble.
  • Creatine Pyruvate – Creatine combined with pyruvic acid. Pyruvic acid my help provide higher plasma levels in the bloodstream.
  • Buffered Creatine – creatine with a higher pH level. It thought that creatine with a higher pH level will break down less in water. (See How to take Creatine).


Natural Creatine Sources:

Creatine is made naturally in the body by the pancreas, kidneys and liver. Creatine is also found in whole food protein sources like:

  • Meat
  • Fish
When you are eating red meat, chicken, turkey, pork or any other type of animal, you are actually eating the muscle of the animal (where creatine is stored).

    If Creatine is Made Naturally, Why Do We Need to Supplement It?

    Many athletes and general fitness enthusiasts look to supplement creatine because for many of them it is hard to get the recommended 5 grams per day by diet alone. Only about 2g of creatine are found in a 16 ounce steak. I don’t know about you, but I know I can’t afford to eat at least 40 ounces of steak everyday (nor could I even eat that much). Creatine is one of the cheapest and readily available supplements on the market, and one of the cheapest for how effective it is. You can get as many as 75 days worth of creatine right here on JMFN for only $39.99 or other wildly popular creatine products like this one.

      Who Should Take Creatine and When to Use Creatine?

      Creatine should be consumed by everyone, and if you eat any type of animal protein you are consuming creatine. Even if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian your body still creates creatine on its own. The real question should be who should supplement with creatine?

      That answer is also just as broad, creatine helps the body in so many ways (this is why your body can also produce it naturally). Creatine is not just for professional athletes looking to gain an edge on the playing field, if you are a recreational athlete involved in any kind of strength or “short burst” movements – creatine is for you.

      That could be football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, wresting, Olympic weightlifting strong man training, martial arts, basically with any physical activity you can benefit from creatine supplementation. Even endurance runners are now seeing the benefits of using creatine supplements.

      It was originally thought that endurance trainers and athletes wouldn’t see the benefits from creatine because it was thought that creatine only enhanced short muscle movements and contractions but adding creatine to an endurance athlete’s diet will also improve his or her glycogen stores (energy stored) in the muscle. Creatine also has a few non fitness related benefits.

      • Increase Bone Mineral Density
      • Improve Glucose Metabolism
      • Improve Brain Performance


      How to Take Creatine (Creatine Cycling):

      When creatine was first introduced to the fitness nutrition industry in 1993 by EAS, it was originally thought that creatine needed to be “loaded” with 20-25g of creatine for the first 5 days of supplementing with creatine.

      The idea of loading creatine stems from making sure that your muscles are fully saturated with creatine.

      By taking four or five separate servings of 5 grams per day for the first 5 days you overload your muscles with creatine, and the remainder of your cycle would simply be a continuous 5 grams a day for maintenance.

      Some years later (after more research) it was noted that creatine did not need to be loaded at all and that the body can only absorb so much creatine in a given time (remembering that creatine is also naturally produced in the body), if you were loading your creatine you were essentially making your liver and kidneys work harder while creating expensive urine.

      The optimal daily serving on creatine is between 3 and 5 grams and can be taken pre- or post-workout; either way will allow you to receive all of its glorious benefits. Taking creatine pre-workout will assist you with the upcoming workout or physical activity whereas a post-workout creatine would replenish your muscles depleted glycogen stores and assist in a faster muscle recovery.

      For this reason I like to split up my 5g serving of creatine into (2) 2.5g portions and take it both pre- and post-workout.

      Creatine is highly unstable once it interacts with liquid and starts to breakdown in to creatinine (a by-product of creatine that doesn’t yield any benefits) so when you are putting it in your shaker cup or mixing it into your glass it is best to consume right away.

      A more unconventional way can even be to put the creatine directly from the spoon into your mouth to prevent as much of the breakdown as possible.

      How and whenever you decide to take your creatine, simply take 3-5g daily on a consistent basis and you’ll be sure to reap all of its benefits.


      Side Effects of Creatine:

      If up to this point it seems like creatine is a “too good to be true” supplement, it might be because it really is the best discovery in modern fitness nutrition to date. As with anything, there are some side effects to creatine supplementation and anything in excess can be harmful as well.

      According to WebMD.com creatine can be safe when taken by mouth for up to (5) five years. The most known side effect of creatine is bloating. Creatine stores water in the muscles making them bigger and full over time. In extremely high doses creatine can cause harm to the heart, liver and kidneys.

      This is in part because these organs are also producing its own creatine organically in the body, by adding high amounts of creatine in single doses you are causing these organs to work harder and in the long run can cause damage.


      The Creatine Myths... That Just Don't Seem to go Away! 

      Creatine supplementation must start with a loading phase: Back when I first supplementing with creatinine in the late 90’s I was instructed that I needed to take 20-25 grams of creatine a day to help fully saturate my muscles and allow the creatine to work fully in my muscles.  After the first 5 days I then only needed to take 3-5g a day to keep up “creatine maintenance”. This is simply not true. Unless you are an elite athlete and training is your job you would be better to stick with the lower dose of creatine, as it can be just as effective. At some point (more than .025g per pound of bodyweight) we simply reach the point of diminishing returns and end up wasting the remaining creatine. 

      I don’t know if this was a sales tactic back in the day or advances in creatine research through the years have debunked this all-time creatine myth, but I have feeling it was a little bit of both.     

      Creatine causes acne: The creatine itself does not cause acne. But research has shown that the hormonal changes that your body endure while exercising, combined with taking the creatine may be what’s causing new acne outbreaks.  Basically, if you just took creatine and didn’t workout you wouldn’t see an uptick in acne. But why would you do that?

      Creatine has been shown to increase testosterone production and testosterone can cause increased acne (think teenage boys going through puberty). Every person’s body is different, in both composition and chemical makeup and every person that experiences this side effect needs to determine if the detriment of acne outweighs that of creatine supplementation. Remember, if you’re getting new acne your test levels are probably increasing and the gains that you are after are on the horizon!

      Creatine Harms Kidneys and Liver: Science has yet to show a connection between high doses of creatine and kidney or liver damage. I personally don’t think that a substance made naturally by the body (in the liver, kidney’s and pancreas) would ultimately do harm to those same organs, that seems to be extremely counterproductive human biology. (Exemption - Extremely high does of creatine can cause these organs to work harder and can cause harm over time.)

      The original source of this myth may have come from an excess amount of creatinine (a byproduct that is created when creatine is broken down) in the bloodstream and urine.  This used to be a major indicator for the potential of kidney disease. Quite simply if you are supplementing with creatine you are taking more in, so more need to be broken down (and more creatinine created), and thus a false positive for kidney disease is created.  Just stick to the 5-10g of creatine a day and it won’t have any adverse effects on your kidneys or liver.

      Women should not take creatine:  This is another terrible myth.  I’m not even sure why one like this would get started.  Its not like creatine will only be produced naturally in a man’s body, or women shouldn’t eat meat or fish. If a woman is looking to get stronger or put on muscle, she has every right to the same creatine supplementation as a man.

       A lot of women shy away from creatine because of the potential for water retention and weight gain, although most of those claims are over blown as well. It is possible that you may retain a little water but if you let your body adjust that tends to diminish over time. If you are gaining a little weight it is more likely do to adding muscle.

      Most women can get by with an effective dose of about 3 grams per day. Also, if you are wanting to supplement with creatine but are still concerned with the water retention, try a creatine anhydrous – which is a form of creatine with the water molecule removed. 

      Creatine can cause a failed drug test: Because I am an American and am striving to one day reach the Paralympic, I will eventually be drug tested by USADA or WADA. So, should I be worried that my creatine supplementation may cause a positive drug test because of the increased hormone production (see the Creatine Causes Acne myth above). Absolutely not!  Creatine is produced naturally in the body and is found in everyday common foods like red meat and fish.

      Although I have heard stories of failed drug tests, they are indeed jus that…stories. If an athlete is on creatine and failed a drug test they either have poor quality creatine that maybe tainted with other substances or he or she is also taking other supplements along with creatine that they aren’t disclosing.  It is very important to know where your supplements are coming from, and that they are high quality.

      All creatines are the same: All creatines are not created equal. Just like with any type of product you can find different qualities of creatine. In the industry for the most part German creatine tends to be a better-quality creatine then of Chinese creatine. Chinese creatine is often less pure and has different contaminates in it. I sell the brands on my site that I do because I trust the quality of the products. You cab be assured that any creatine you buy from this site is of some of the best quality.

      Conversely just because there is a new type of creatine with a fancy name (Creatine HCL and Creatine Piruvate come to mind (see types of creatine above)) doesn’t mean that it is better than the tried and true creatine monohydrate.  Some have shown promising results but for more testing is needed to prove that these forms of creatine are in fact superior to monohydrate.

      The one exception to that rule may be a creatine anhydrous. Creatine Anhydrous removes the water molecule, offering a purer creatine while helping to minimize the effects of water retention.

      My Experiences with Creatine:

      I began using creatine around 1996 or 1997. I remember the first create product I ever bought was EAS Betagen.  I liked that particular product because it had creatine, glutamine, taurine, and HMB in it.

      Back then I thought the orange flavor was one of the best tasting products on the market. And even 20 years later, it is still a great supplement!

      I have tested every thing from creatine powder, capsules, and even the liquid serum. I no longer use creatine year round, I do remove it from my cycle when I am cutting weight for a powerlifting competition or when I feel I am getting to heavy. For someone confined to a wheelchair where cardio is already difficult, it makes it that much harder to cut the additional water wait, so I cut it out 2-3 times a year for 6-8 weeks at a time.

      Overall, I recommend that anyone involved in any type of strenuous activity (physical or mental), supplement with creatine and reap its benefits.

      Not finding a creatine that works for you in my collection of creatine products?

      Check out these Best sellers on Amazon!


      Let me know your experiences (good or bad) with creatine in the Facebook comment section below. Have you felt the benefits of cycling creatine in your workout regimen?

      Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition
      Rapid Fire Relief Review: Does Natural Pain Relief Spray Work?

      Rapid Fire Relief Review: Does Natural Pain Relief Spray Work?


      JMFN's Rapid Fire Relief Review

      A few years ago, I came across a therapeutic analgesic called Rapid Fire Relief while browsing the vendor tables at the Fox Cities Showdown - Wisconsin's Premiere Bodybuilding Show - in Oshkosh, WI.

      It was my first year as a spectator at The Showdown so I didn't know what to expect. You see, I was originally there with hopes of meeting Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden (who was cool enough to snap a pic with me). Shawn has always been one of my favorite IFBB Bodybuilders. (May he R.I.P) He was there representing the Ronnie Coleman Signature Series supplement brand

      As an avid MMA enthusiast, I also recognized the former UFC fighter, Kevin "The Fire" Burns, and wondered what brought him to this bodybuilding event. There were numerous vendor tables that were there helping sponsor this marquee event for bodybuilders looking to qualify before heading to the Amateur Bodybuilding Nationals, where aspiring bodybuilders can then achieve their pro cards. As it turns out, Kevin Burns, now retired from his fighting days, was representing his new company, appropriately named Rapid Fire

      Rapid Fire Spray is a 100% all-natural topical analgesic pain relief formula designed to alleviate minor muscle aches, joint sprains, inflammation and overall topical pain management. Each 1oz bottle contains approximately 30 uses of 3 sprays per use in two fresh varieties, Lemongrass and Wintergreen. Each contains a therapeutic-grade dose of wintergreen, peppermint, and menthol essential oils.

      The 100% natural claim had me immediately intrigued as I was once told by a National power lifting coach that the use of a topical cream like Icy Hot was actually prohibited in competition. And although in online research on the US Anti-Doping Agency website, I have not been able to find that it is still banned, I always prefer to find the natural option.

      However, if you're like me you sometimes wonder if the natural products are strong enough to be effective. Well, it just so happened that on the day Kevin Burns was providing a product demo of Rapid Fire Relief, I had the usual pain

      Rapid Fire Relief Product Image

      in my forearm from a heavy bench press session and I wanted to put this stuff to the test.

      So he hooked me up with 3 sprays on my forearm and sent me on my way. Happy to say, I felt no pain in my forearm for the entire afternoon! When I passed by his booth again in the evening session, I purchased two bottles of the wintergreen (original) scent. I am now in love this stuff! 

      Once I finished all of the product I had originally purchased that day, I immediately contacted Kevin about getting more for myself and to share Rapid Fire Relief on the Just Max Fitness Nutrition website.

      If you have minor aches and pains from your most intense workouts, I encourage you to try this natural pain relief spray today. You'll find that this natural remedy really does work and you'll feel better about putting it on your skin for that reason alone. What a relief!

      Both scents - wintergreen and lemongrass - are available right now on sale for just $24.99 per bottle. Use the Discount Code "RapidFire" to save 15% so we know that you saw this article!

      Bonus: this Rapid Fire Relief review features a YouTube interview with founder Kevin "The Fire" Burns ...

      Let me know what your experience has been with Rapid Fire Relief by leaving a comment in the Facebook section below or to writing your own review on our product page here and tell us what you think of this natural pain reliever!


      Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition
      Journey to the 2016 Paralympic Trials and Much More

      Journey to the 2016 Paralympic Trials and Much More

      Joshua Myers 2016 Paralympic Journey

      2016 Paralympic Journey Update of Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition. Plus, JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com Celebrates 1 Year with an 11% Savings Discount Code!

      Last year, right after JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com went live and I also launched this GoFundMe campaign, I wrote a blog post that chronicled my 2015 Paralympic season and the experience of placing first and winning the Shot Put National Championship in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Hamline University.

      This time around, I wanted to do things a little differently and let my supporters know how my season has gone, prior to the end of it, while also taking the opportunity to thank everyone who makes this journey as excellent as it has been.

      As of June 15, 2016, right around the time that JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com also celebrates one year from launch, I have completed two of three scheduled meets and this year’s third (invitational) meet happens to be very special and impactful to my journey of becoming a Shot Put Paralympian.

      Looking back at the first event of the season, the Desert Challenge Games held in Tempe, AZ, is always my favorite event of the year. The Desert Challenge Games plays host to the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Athletics Grand Prix, the only place it is ever held in the United States. Here, I get to go back to where I started throwing shot put and also get to see so many friends and great people from my time as an Arizona resident.

      On that note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a few supporters and "believers" who made my trip to Arizona and my chance to enter the track and field landscape possible by being added to the world ranking list.

      Hats off to Dr. Gary Johnson, II, Au.D with Advanced Hearing Group, and his wonderful wife Vikki -- your continued sponsorship and support of my efforts is paramount to my success! Big thanks also to my JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com main-digital-marketing-man Ricky Arconti (who has done much to help this website grow) along with his family, including Meghan Zeller, who brought a big crew of supporters to the event in Tempe! 

      At the Desert Games, I finished first in my division by a considerable margin with a throw of 5.73m (18 feet, 9 inches) and currently rank 16th on the World Rankings List. However, this was not a personal best, which was rather disappointed.

      Although I did not throw as far as I had trained for and envisioned, I have learned that throwing the shot put is as much about technique as it is about strength.

      I have stayed motivated with my workouts in the gym and found a way to simulate the throwing technique using my lat-pull machine plus a D-ring, when I'm unable to throw outdoors.

      I have also reconnected with my old powerlifting coach, Big Dave from the Beyond Fitness days (my first time with a coach and experience in a real health club)! He has been devising new strength programs that will turn me into a champ.

      At the start of June '16, I completed my second meet in Lake Forest Illinois, competing in the Adult National Open and Great Lakes Regional Games (GLASA). This event was an excellent one, which served as an additional warm-up to the team trails. It was a close commute to my home state of Wisconsin and I had one of my best friends as travel companion and coach for the weekend.

      This year's third meet is the capstone as it is the 2016 Paralympic Team Trials, which will be held at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. The competition runs from June 29th to July 3rd, with subsequent Paralympic Team selections being made on July 3rd!

      The schedule-makers have me charted to throw Shot Put the evening of June 30th -- so if you could send positive vibes my way that evening, that would be great!

      This event also serves as our National Championships, so I will also be aiming to defend my title and capture a second straight Championship!

      Leading up to this Paralympic Team Trial, as I continue to work on my technique, getting faster and stronger - I want to thank a few more folks who have supported and contributed in some way along my journey:

      To customer's across the country who have purchased JMFN t-shirts and discount nutritional supplements from JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com this past year, I thank you and appreciate you choosing JMFN to meet your fitness and nutrition needs.

      Please know that your purchases allow me to live my entrepreneurial dream to provide you with online nutritional supplements at a great price. Even though there are many stores on the web that sell sports nutrition supplements and fitness products, how many of them have a founder with an inspiring story and mission like this one?

      As always, if you would like to support my journey while shopping for a product that you can't find on this website, please check out my "believers" page, or click on the Amazon link here - or any Amazon banner displayed on this site - anytime before you shop on Amazon.com, as I will receive a small percentage of the sale of any purchase you make to help offset the costs of Paralympic training and event expenses, at no additional cost to you. 

      In recognition of all JMFN customers and in celebration of JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com's one year anniversary, please apply discount code, 'JMFNONE' at checkout to save 11% off your next purchase in the month of June!

      To the many who have contributed to my still active GoFundMe (GFM) campaign most recently: Kyle from KarateMart.com, Brooke, Jessica, Michael, and Richard D. Arconti). I cannot thank you enough!

      To the folks who have donated to my GFM campaign in exchange for personalized workout plans: Chris, Shannon and Brieanna, I look forward to helping you reach beyond your fitness goals!

      Even though I am currently short of my fundraising goals to fully fund my upcoming Paralympic Trial in Charlotte, including flight and traveling with my throwing chair, transportation and hotel accommodations, I am hopeful that with your help I will be able to reach my fundraising goal this month!

      Are you willing to help me reach my goal? Click here to see what it takes to help me reach my goal!

      Joshua Myers GoFundMe

      Additionally, I would like to thank Josh for being the best wing man in the game; to my old powerlifting coach Big Dave for coming up with new strength programs and refueling my desire to power lift; to Steve for being my new pseudo throwing coach and the best adopted father a 14 year old kid could ask for some 22 years ago. I am forever grateful!

      To the countless family and friends, who continue to show their support through social media likes, comments and shares of my updates. You might not know it, but your words and kind gestures keep me fueled up! Your Facebook post/comments and morale support are often the most motivation and encouraging feedback I receive! 

      And a thank you goes out beyond measure to my mom for raising me the way that she did, as I know that she is proud of me every day, even when I don't reach my own expectations for myself. And to my wife, aka my spotter in the gym, and my boys, Dylan & Dominic, I love you and I couldn’t do what I do without you.

      If I forgot to thank anyone in this massive shout out, it was surely unintentional. 

      Thanks in advance for leaving a quick comment in the Facebook box below and for continuing to encourage me, my fellow adaptive athletes, and anyone who has their heart set on achieving their fitness goals!

      Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition
      Which is the Best Whey Protein Powder? R1 Protein by Rule 1 vs Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard: "Olympics of Whey Protein Powders" Review

      Which is the Best Whey Protein Powder? R1 Protein by Rule 1 vs Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard: "Olympics of Whey Protein Powders" Review


      Best whey protein powder: Optimum Nutrition vs Rule 1

      Which Whey Protein Powder is Really the Best on the Market? Rule 1 R1 Protein vs ON Gold Standard Review


      ***Updated for 2023***

      A quick Google search of “Top 10 Proteins on Amazon” and you can see that Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard is far and away the number one selling product on the largest e-tailer on the internet.

      It is also #1 on the second largest e-tailer (and JMFN's largest competitor), Bodybuilding.com.

      You can go on any number of fitness nutrition websites, or protein review websites, to find ON Gold Standard Protein and see that it is number one on those websites too. On its own site, Optimum Nutrition claims that it is the number one selling protein in the world. This is probably true, but have you ever questioned why ON protein is so highly touted?

      I believe it is simply because they were the first premium whey protein manufacturer to brand their protein powder as “Gold Standard” and have done a great job marketing this message to fitness industry.

      In any instance, when I have asked someone why they chose ON 100% Whey Gold Standard over another sports nutrition supplement brand, more often than not I simply hear “They are the gold standard of protein powder”, not because they're searching for the cheapest whey protein for sale on the market, the best tasting, or even the best quality protein.

      Of course the top medal to win in the Olympics or any sporting competition where medals are handed out is obviously the Gold Medal.

      I did some research, I found that there are quite a few protein powder brands on the market that rival 100% Whey Gold Standard in quality.

      If I were to hold a Protein Powder Olympics - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard could win the bronze, maybe even the silver. But they wouldn’t get the gold at my games. The gold would be crowned on the makers of R1 Protein by Rule 1. Therefore, the remainder of this blog post is dedicated to anyone looking for an in-depth Rule 1 protein reviews.

      Rule One Proteins was founded in 2014 under the parent company Nutrivo, LLC – the brain trust of Tony Costello Sr. and his son, Tony Costello Jr. Tony Sr is one of the two founders of what is now known as Optimum Nutrition; yes I typed that right, the same company that used to have the best protein on the market.

      Brothers Mike and Tony Costello (Sr.), sold Optimum Nutrition to Glanbia Nutritionals in 2008 for $315 million. They both had intentions of walking away from the sports nutrition supplements industry entirely, but when Tony Sr had the opportunity to start Rule One, and create Rule 1 protein powder, it was something he couldn't pass up.

      So in creating the number one fitness supplement brand over 22 years, if they were starting over certainly they thought they could create a better version of protein then Optimum Gold Standard Whey.

      Would you want to create a better #1 seller than the version you just left? The answer to that question is a resounding YES! 

       In comparing the contents of these whey powder products, both Rule 1 protein powder and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard are gluten free, have similar consistency and similar flavoring which is good because I think they both taste great.

      Being gluten free and having similar consistency are both very important to me as well, but that is where the comparison ends.

      In all other major metrics that we should be looking at in determining the quality of our protein powders; like protein per serving, additional BCAAs per serving (super important if you are using your shake as an immediate post-workout recovery drink), and the macro make-up of the powder such as fat and carbohydrates (sugar).

      In these "Olympics of Whey Protein Powders", R1 Protein by Rule 1 receives the gold without question!



      So, which protein powder do you think is truly the gold standard of whey protein in your rankings of Rule 1 vs Gold Standard?

      Let me know which whey protein powder is your favorite in the blog comments below!


      Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition
      2015 Paralympic National Championships & What’s Next for Joshua Myers

      2015 Paralympic National Championships & What’s Next for Joshua Myers

      My Experience at the 2015 Paralympic Track and Field Championships at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota

      Last month I competed in my first Paralympic National Championship meet in St. Paul Minnesota at Hamline University. I was able to win the National Championship in my class of F33, (athletes are separated into classes by level of disability) with a throw of 5.64m (18.5 feet).

      Although I did not reach my personal goal of 6m (19 feet, 8 inches) I was the #1 ranked thrower in my class for the entire throwing season by a considerable margin ...

      (There is another gentleman who belongs on this list that competed at Nationals with a throw of 3.69m)

      I competed in two events this year and I thought that my throws of 5.83m at the Desert Challenge Games in Tempe, AZ and 5.64m at the National Championships in St. Paul, MN were going to get me into the Para Pan American games this August.  With a Minimum throwing standard of 5.5m and being meters, and over a meter ahead of the rest of our Nation I thought I was headed to Toronto!

      However when Team USA was announced on July 6th, I was not on it.  I was really disappointed that was not on the team and frankly, as National Champion I couldn’t understand why.  Don’t they want their National Champion to represent at a big event like the Para Pan-Am Games?  I certainly wanted to represent my country in a event that boasts 1600+ participants, representing 28 countries with competition in 15 sports.

      All I’ve ever wanted to do since my high school wrestling days was represent my country in a sporting event because I am not able to defend my own freedom in the military. (I once represented Team USA in the CP-ISRA World Games in Nottingham England, 2001 as part of the Cerebral Palsy powerlifting team. I would love to compete in that event again for another chance at placing but it appears that they have removed powerlifting from the offered sports).

      I did a little research to try and find reason why I wasn’t selected to the team and this is what I found. In the sport of Track and Field the USOC sets a number of different standards that an athlete must reach and although I met the standard to qualify for the Para Pan-Am Games, there are a number of standards that I have not met in accordance with the USOC. There is a 6m standard for World Team B and emerging athletes, 7m for the World Championships (I was hoping to have a chance at reaching this distance in Toronto), National Team B is 10m, and National Team A 10.42m. I don’t know what all these standards mean but I know if I reach the National Team A Standard, I would be on any team heading where Track and Field goes and that may be the case with the National Team B Standard also the only difference being the level of support an athlete gets from the USOC. 

      As a nation the US has never had a strong shot puter in my class, the last representative in the Paralympics was in 2000 at the Sydney Paralympics and I currently throw further than the marks he listed back then. The current National Record for my F33 classification is only 5.9m and I plan on crushing the record next year (and each year after that).

      At this point you might be asking yourself, “So if he was only 7cm off a National Record, why would he not get to go?” I know I was, and then I figured it out.  What is the basis for the majority of decisions in the world today? Money! (That is why I attempt to raise my own money via JustMaxFitnessNutrion.com) Why does the USA set such a high National Team standard?  If you were to look at the current National Team B Standard of 10m and the current world ranking list an athlete would be firmly solidified in the second spot, a silver medal (I have currently fallen to 17th in the world).   The US isn’t paying for an athlete to travel in a sport the nation isn't strong in if he or she isn't going to medal.

      Although I don’t agree with this philosophy, I do understand it. I don’t want to go to the Paralympics and finish in last place. I compete to be the best and want to win Gold. I do see a bit of a double standard though; the USOC has talked about wanting to increase Cerebral Palsy participation in the Paralympics, and here I am! Why not let me compete in Toronto and get that international exposure? The National Standards are so high that many young athletes quit before they even get started. I talked to a number of athletes at nationals who felt this way. 

      If anyone took a look at that same world ranking list again and focused on the countries competing at the Para Pan Am Games, I would finish in 3rd out of 5 athletes. A bronze medal certainly isn’t what I train for but it gives me international experience and a chance at a bronze medal to keep me motivated during the long process of the next 4 years.


      So What is Next?

      I am disappointed that my throwing season ended a few months shorter than planned but in a way it has motivated me. I truly thought I had done enough, was good enough to be selected to Toronto and then the additional time between meets would have enabled me to get to 7m and qualify for the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, leaving me a long shot for the 2016 Paralympics, but it was not meant to be.

      Before he passed, legendary fitness model Greg Plitt said “The the thing about good enough is we don’t know if it’s enough until the nth hour.  And if we come up short doesn’t that suck!?” Whether it be because of work, family, or just an over all lack of energy I fell into that trap too many times saying “training has been good enough this week” and sure enough, coming up short sucks! He goes on to say “If today you never say good enough, tomorrow you will have enough.”

      I vow over the next 4 year cycle to never say “good enough” in my training cycle. I was feeling down for a little over a week about not being selected, but my good friend played some Greg Plitt off YouTube and told me to get off my ass! I have a 10.42m mark to hit!

      My first goal is certainly to get that 6m mark and keep setting National records, steadily increasing to 10.42m before the next world championships in 2017.  I have revamped both my training and my diet, working on core and flexibly while trying to perfect the throwing form.

      I talked to my sponsor, Advanced Hearing Group of Mesa, AZ and they will be sponsoring me for the 2016 Desert Challenge Games, May 18-22.  I have $400 left from the Go Fund Me account that I created for the 2015 season (this will remain open for the 2016 season if you wish to support). 

      For the 2016 Track & Field season plan on attending (scheduling and funding permitted):

      Lastly, I want to thank my group of supporters. I may not be a part of a team in WI, but I don’t train alone. Thank you to those who come to the Body Basement and train, Advanced Hearing Group of Mesa, AZ for their monetary investment in JMFN, to my good buddy Ricky who built this site and gives countless pro-bono hours to help me create a successful web presence, to the dozens who donated on Go Fund Me, to my followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to the customers of Just Max Fitness Nutrition, to my wife who makes sure my throwing chair is set up properly in the backyard before each practice, and to my boys – you are the reason I do what I do, to show you the only limits in life are the ones you place on yourself.

      “If you don’t take life to the max, you’ll never get the max out of life.” –Greg Plitt


      Thank You

      Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition
      Arnold Sports Festival

      Arnold Sports Festival

      Arnold Sports Festival: How Meeting These 8 Bodybuilders and Fitness Fanatics Inspired Me to Greatness!

      Each year, the Columbus Convention Center (Columbus, Ohio) holds one of the fitness industry’s most expansive expos, The Arnold Sports Festival (ASF), which is named after the godfather-of-modern-bodybuilding, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

      The ASF began in 1989 as the ‘Arnold Classic’, a bodybuilding contest showcasing the top physical specimens in the world. Today the Arnold Sports Festival hold contests for more than 50 sports, including international events in Australia, Brazil, and Spain. The Arnold Sports Fest is now the second most prestigious bodybuilding show behind only the Olympia, known as the “Super Bowl” of bodybuilding.

      As the founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition, a lifelong fan of bodybuilding, a proponent of powerlifting and a 2016 Paralympic-hopeful, I couldn't resist the opportunity to see what sort of adventures the ASF had in store. Hoping that we wouldn't run into any serious snowstorms during the drive from Wisconsin, my best friend and I (also named Josh) embarked on the 8.5-hour road trip to Columbus, OH.

      Little did we know, this would be like no other road trip we have experienced together before!

      Daydreaming of what could be, I came up with a list of eight names of bodybuilders and fitness-celebs that I most looked forward to meeting. I explained to my buddy Josh, who each of these guys were, why they were significant to me, and that if we were given the opportunity to meet them, that I would really like to have my picture taken with each one of them and maybe snag an autograph or two.

      In the beginning, I was hoping to get four of the eight, I was in fact able to get all 8! Here is a brief description of each encounter I had with my favorite world class body-builders, professional wrestler, and fitness celebrity.

      Victor MartinezVictor Martinez (Facebook | twitter) was the first bodybuilder that I had the pleasure of meeting. A winner of the Arnold Classic in 2007, Victor is certainly world-class. I have always seen Mr. Martinez in MHP ads in all the muscle magazines that I purchase. And although JFMN doesn’t yet carry the MHP, I did speak with representatives of the company and am trying my best to bring them on board! Anyhow, I became an even bigger fan of Victor's after the release of Generation Iron. In that incredible documentary film, I learned to relate to the ups and downs he has been through and was inspired to know that he stays toward the top of his profession regardless of any setbacks life has thrown his way. To an adaptive athlete like myself, Victor is proof that one can overcome adversity and succeed regardless of perceived limitations. MHP has not yet been added to my web-store yet, but I was able to make connections at the ASF, look for that soon.

      Kai GreeneKai Greene (Facebook | twitter) aka ‘The Predator’, was an ASF winner in 2009 and 2010 and has been known as the world's top-contending bodybuilder for the past 3 years. On a side note, MHP and Muscle Meds (the company that sponsors Kai) are actually owned by the same larger company, so Muscle Meds should also be added to the JMFN site with any luck as well. On a personal level, in any aspect of sport competition, I have always been labeled as the "underdog", so naturally I have gravitated towards following the Predator to see if he can dethrone Phil Heath, the current king-of-bodybuilding. Does Kai have what it takes to bring home the Sandow in 2015?

      CT Fletcher ISYMFCT Fletcher (Facebook | twitter) is a former bench press and arm curl world champion that is best known today as a YouTube sensation for his brash personality and his acronym "ISYMFS". Although he may come off as too brash for some (even for me sometimes), I am drawn to him because of the fact that he is a "real" person. Regardless of how much money may be gain from the supplement industry, he won't change his image just to make a buck. In a world where PEDs and steroids are commonplace, CT also challenges anyone who ever wants to drug test him to do “come on down to his gym”. He is 100% drug free, 100% of the time! And that is what I am too. Keep being you and command your arms to grow by force of will, CT!

      Hulk HoganHulk Hogan (Facebook | twitter) is the reason I found my way into the world of fitness in the first place. What can I say, I know that professional wrestling is, well, fake, but as a young Hulkamaniac the guys of the WWE were the original athletes with comic book-superhero bodies that I most looked up to. The Hulk hasn't wrestled in some time, he is still an icon, not only in wrestling but in this industry as well. I am glad that Funnbar (who knew that there was protein packed chewy candy?) brought him by the ASF. I have been trying to meet this guy and get this photo for close to 30 years! Thank you to the ASF and Funnbar for giving me the opportunity. Say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and keep training and you can be anything that you want to be! Believe!

      Ronnie ColemanRonnie Coleman
      (Facebook | twitter) Wow! Who doesn't look to meet Ronnie Coleman when they go to a bodybuilding show / fitness expo? At 50 year old, the 8-time Mr. Olympia is still an absolute beast! His iconic catch phrases of, "Yeah Buddy" and, "Lightweight baby -- ain’t nothing but a peanut!", have endured long beyond his reign in the world of bodybuilding. Ronnie was also one of the nicer guys at the ASF and took the time to sign this picture on Saturday after having it blown up to a 16X20 poster the night before. Thank you Mr. Coleman!

      Phill Heath Current Mr. OPhil Heath (Facebook | twitter) how could I not search out an opportunity to have my picture taken with the 4x (and current) Mr. Olympia? What an awesome opportunity! He’s made it known that he wants to be the first bodybuilder to reach 10 Olympia titles. Let that one sink in for a minute. Mr. Heath has competition like Kai Green and other young up and coming bodybuilders to contend with; will he have the drive to remain at the mountaintop?  Phil also took the time to meet with me a second time and sign my poster photo! He’s got heart!

      Mr O Jay CutlerJay Cutler (Facebook | twitter)  4x Mr. Olympia was pretty much the coolest and most surprising meet and greet of the weekend! The picture you see here is a photo that Jay's social media team posted on Jay's Official Fan Page - this photo received more than 60,000 likes and hundreds of positive comments! That’s a record for me. Thank you for the amazing photo opportunity. Mr. Cutler truly is a class act!

      Arnold SchwarzenaggerArnold Schwarzenegger (Facebook | twitter) aka, Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Conan the Barbarian, the Terminator, and the Governor! It seemed like every one of the 200,000+ people that attended the Arnold Sports Festival tried to catch a glimpse, get a photo opportunity, an autograph, or even a chance to chat with the legend. Thanks to my buddy's extra ticket to Arnold's annual symposium at the ASF, I was able to get this photo. Although it was extremely brief I feel honored to have gotten my picture with the man of so many talents, many to consider Arnold to be the holy-grail-of-celebrity-autographs and if you're into fitness at any level, you may agree.


      Overall, the weekend was more incredible than I could I have ever imaged. Aiming to get 4 of the 8 bodybuilders and fitness celebrities on my list, I went 8-for-8. As the founder and operator of JMFN, I made some key connections to expand product offerings to my clients!

      This cast of bodybuilding and fitness fanatics was nicer and more approachable then you might have imagined! Beyond these interactions, I left the AFS feeling more motivated to get bigger and stronger than ever! I truly believe I will push toward my goals with more drive than ever.

      As always, thank you for shopping with JFMN and checking out our affiliates and sponsors for great fitness and nutrition deals!

      Have you ever met one of these bodybuilders, fitness celebrities or anyone else in this industry who inspired you to greatness? Share your interactions and / or photos in the comment section below!  


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      Joshua Myers, Founder of Just Max Fitness Nutrition

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