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The Lethal 150

Reader Beware! I am about to reveal to you the most lethal 150 calories you will ever put into your body! These specific calories will stick to your body as fat faster than any other form of calorie! Can you guess what it is? It is something so easily attainable, so commonplace in our everyday diet; so second nature to reach for when we are thirsty!

It’s soda pop! If you drink just one 20 oz. can/bottle of soda a day, it can add up to 1lb. of bodyweight per week. Americans drink as much as 216 liters (57 gallons) of soda a year per person! And, in that one 20 oz. soda is the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar! According to the American Heart Association, that is 3 times the recommended daily amount. No wonder experts claim sugar to be the number one addiction over any drug! I know; you’ve heard all this before; it’s nothing new, but what you may not know is why it is so bad for you (and it truly is).

Let me explain why….

Most soda manufacturers use High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS 55) to give it that so sweet taste. As a matter of fact, it’s in everything. Commercial use of High Fructose Corn Syrup began in the 1970′s and consumption increased 26% by the 1997. As early as 1985, 35% of dry sweeteners became available in the form of HFCS in our everyday food supply. HFCS is a cheaper source of sugar as compared to sucrose or sugar cane, and is comprised of 55% fructose and 42% glucose - two very high glycemic sugars. I can hear your question already…. “How could something that comes from corn, which is natural, be lethal?” The answer is this: Corn is not bad for you, but the end result of processing it is. The manufacturers are converting a natural sugar source (corn) using an enzymatic process to make it even sweeter and more concentrated. And, it is the amount of that concentrated sugar source (fructose/glucose) ingested into the body all at once that makes it so lethal. Here’s what happens after you drink a can of soda: Your pancreas has to create and release even more insulin than normal just to digest the HFCS in that one can of soda pop. The pancreas knows that the blood does not like too much glucose in the blood stream. One teaspoon worth of sugar at any given time in our blood is the preference. Too much sugar floating in the blood stream could potentially leak into the brain and become toxic! Reports have shown that too much glucose in the body/brain has been known to cause a foggy mental state in some people. However, when we become “addicted” to soda, absolutely nothing tastes and feels better. Why, because within 40 minutes of drinking a soda the brain releases a chemical called “Dopamine”. Dopamine gives us that “feel good” response and we all want more of that – right! This is what creates the addiction process. After an hour, the sugar crash hits and the vicious cycle starts again – we go straight to the fridge for another soda! In rat studies; when given a choice, the rats unanimously preferred sugar over heroin! That’s pretty potent stuff, don’t you think! Makes me think twice about that can of soda or regular drink with my burger and fries! Ouch! See how subtle it is! This why I refer to it as the Lethal 150 – it is The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (the corn is good, the calories are bad and the fat is ugly).

This is what happens over time: I know you’ve all heard this before, but it’s very important stuff. Elevated insulin levels create an “addiction” to simple carbohydrates. This addiction creates the potential for a series of health conditions to occur, such as: weight gain, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes. Recent studies show that children, during critical growth phases at 12 years of age can increase the risk of weight gain or obesity by 60% by drinking just one soda a day. This can increase the risk of Diabetes by 80%! It makes those kids’ meals not so healthy!

As I mentioned earlier, the sugar form of fructose seems to be the primary culprit causing the weight gain. Because your liver breaks down fructose differently than it does other sugars; it stores fructose as fat. Elevated Triglycerides are also linked with having too much sugar in your diet. Triglycerides are found in your body in the form of cholesterol. You don’t want too much of this type of fat being elevated in your body.

The final point I want to make in why these 150 calories are bad for your body is chronic consumption. Soda is linked to shutting down the control mechanism in your body called “Leptin”.This is huge, so pay attention. Leptin controls appetite and fat storage, and it tells your liver what to do with the stored glucose. Fructose, even though it does not create an insulin response, it still affects it. It starts to influence the “Leptin effect” immediately upon digestion. Leptin is regulated by insulin response to the digestion of sugars and meals. Translation: When Leptin levels are reduced in the body, it becomes less active in regulating energy and utilizing stored fat for energy.

To conclude; we now know that both Leptin and Insulin response is reduced by this form of sugar. As a side effect, the body’s ability to regulate energy and metabolize fats and sugars are reduced. The long term effects of insulin resistance is linked with weight gain, obesity, elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides and the list goes on.

In the future, it is wise to cut back on the number of soda’s containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) you drink on a regular basis. Or, if you can, cut them out completely. Try other soda’s that use a different sugar source such as sugar cane. There is a plethora of organic sodas on the market (and yes, they are tasty and sweet). Try drinking R.W. Knudsen sodas. Knudsen produces fruitsweetened sodas that have a lower glycemic sugar response and allow the body to digest the sugars better. Your body will thank you for it and you will be amazed that you feel great without the sugar rush.

Trainer Notes:

Current research tells us that the lack of insulin response (decrease in insulin sensitivity) affects many metabolic functions; therefore, we need to keep our Leptin receptors functioning properly to promote improved insulin sensitivity. Trust me, it’s not rocket science – it just takes a little tweaking in our daily routine. Below are a few helpful tips to follow:

  1. Exercise on a regular basis and get plenty of sleep.
  2. Reduce carbohydrate intake and keep simple sugars to a minimum.
  3. Increase intake of essential minerals such as Chromium and Magnesium – they are metabolic boosters for carbohydrates/proteins.
  4. Keep your daily protein intake high. The standard is 1gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
  5. Add Tribustol (by NES Company) to your supplement regime. It is very effective for boosting insulin sensitivity and metabolizing carbohydrates/proteins for better utilization by the muscles.

Ramsey Rodriguez – NSCA, CSCS, CISSN


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