Supplements & Their Description
CreatineThis is the most effective supplement for gaining size and strength. Creatine monohydrate is a nutrient found in a variety of foods. The richest source of creatine is found in red meat - 2.2lbs of steak contains approximately 5 grams of creatine. The latest theory on how creatine increases size and muscle strength goes like this. When you take creatine, it goes in your blood stream and your muscles soak it up. Creatine is one of the muscles main energy sources. By using the supplement, we are able to saturate our muscles with creatine. From this, our muscles will hold extra creatine, which means your muscles will be stronger and they would be able to refuel themselves faster. The best way to take creatine is as follows: start off by taking 20 - 30 grams a day in divided doses of 5 grams for one week. After the loading phase, maintain by take 10 grams a day. Itís a good idea to take it with a simple carbohydrate drink like grape juice. It can be expensive, but itís worth the price to overcome sticking points. If you wish to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of this molecule which is currently being promoted for performance and exercise programmes, then you should read:Creatine and Creatine Phosphate : Scientific and Clinical Perspectives by Michael A. Conway (Editor), Joseph F. Clark (Editor)
Whey ProteinEvery body builder understands the importance of protein. Without protein you canít build muscle; however this doesnít mean the more protein you consume the bigger you are going to get. It is the quality of protein that matters. That is where whey protein powders come into play. This protein has the highest biological value (greater than egg whites). I do believe that weight lifters need more protein than sedentary people. I recommend between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. For a person who weighs 200 pounds, they should try to consume 200 - 300 grams a day. This may seem a lot, but adding whey protein powder to the diet makes it easy to consume the amount of protein. This protein mixes well with water and is inexpensive. Itís a great supplement for those who are always on the run. One serving contains almost 20 grams of protein and virtually no fat.
AntioxidantsThese supplements are the latest buzzword in the health and fitness scene. But what exactly are they? They are chemical compounds (many are which vitamins) in the body that help fight free-radicals. These free-radicals are the bad guys. They are little molecules that flow in our blood stream screwing things up. One of the sources of free- radicals is oxygen metabolism (just breathing air!!). For example, by slicing an apple and by letting it sit in the open air it will eventually turn brown, well that is oxidation and the free-radicals are at work. Now imagine this process occurring in your body. It may enhance types of cancer, heart disease and for us weight lifters, interfere with muscle growth. That's right, studies have shown that strenuous exercise enhances the action of free-radicals. Therefore, to counter this attack we can supplement our diet with anti-oxidant vitamins such as A, C, E and beta-carotene to reduce the action of free-radicals. In addition, anti-oxidants have shown to be beneficial for the non-exercising person. Epidemiological data suggests an association between anti-oxidant vitamin intake and the lowering of coronary heart disease. The vitamins reduce the oxidation of plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol. Surprisingly, the dosage of C and E for this study was not high, 250 mg/day and 100 IU/day respectively. The cost of these two vitamins are inexpensive. If you go to a health food store you could spend a lot of money on a fancy anti-oxidant formula but a super market brand is just as efficient and much cheaper.
GlutamineThis is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue. In recent years, experts have focused on the "protein sparing" or muscle saving potential of this amino acid. This is especially important for the person who is dieting and trying to keep their muscle mass. Glutamine is often found in a good protein powder, but can be taken in a capsule. It may increase growth hormone levels and it is important to maintain proper health. The amount of dosage ranges between 2 - 10 grams a day, depending on body size and fitness goals.
Ephedrine/Caffeine/Aspirin StackEphedra is an herb derived from the ephedra plant, but its main chemical ingredient, ephedrine, is a beta-adrenergic agonist (vasodilator). It is a fairly potent thermogenic (burning fat) compound, but it has been found to be extremely effective when combined with caffeine and aspirin. The appropriate dosage for the stack is 20 mg ephedrine, 200 mg caffeine and 300 mg aspirin. Besides burning fat, the stack may increase the focus upon exercising, which could lead to an increase in strength. Although promising, the stack does pose some concerns. First, it stimulates the central nervous system and some people are very sensitive to the effects. Being lean is desirable, but itís not worth being wired all the time. I occasionally use the stack when Iím feeling tired before a work out. But donít use it everyday because your body will build up a tolerance and you would have to take more each time. This is when a problem can occur. Take caution, donít over exceed the recommended dosage and if you have any medical conditions do not use these compounds.
Vanadyl SulfateThis is a unique mineral that some research shows may be an insulin mimicker. Like insulin, it helps shuttle glucose into muscle cells, therefore increasing the levels of glycogen. This will make your muscles feel fuller and more pumped after your work outs.
WaterDonít be surprised, but water is very important for body builders. First of all, our body composition is made of 50% of water, our muscles are 70% water. Water aids and enhances metabolic reactions in the body. I recommend that you consume between 80 - 100 ounces of water per day and always drink water during your work out. I like to take sips after each set. If water and carbohydrate intake is manipulated correctly, it can make our muscles look bigger. Itís a body building trick that takes a lot of practice, but it can make a big difference in your physique.
We will guide when it comes time to using the right supplements.