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Old 03-06-2007
Hades Hades is offline
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Default A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

A Brief and Basic Guide To Bodybuilding Supplements
By: Hades

Weightlifting is separated into many different categories of people, with many different goals in mind. Power lifters want strength, bodybuilders want tone and symmetry, and casual lifters want definition. But one thing is left out that all weight lifters strive for. Size. Plain and simple, people want big muscles, and weight training is how you get them. If you have spent any amount of time researching how to get muscles, you’ll learn that it takes a few different things all acting in synergy. You need to first and foremost lift weights, you need to diet properly, and you need a solid supplement regime to help you on your way.

But anyone who has walked into a vitamin store before knows that there is a vast array of supplements that promise pounds and pounds and pounds of never-ending muscle that will have you owning your gym in no time. Lets cut the bullshit, and get down to two things: Science, and tried and true gym-tested lifter-approved supplements. You wanna be big, you’re gonna need to supplement.


What supplements should the average internet lifter take and in what doses?

Protein
You’re not gonna build any muscle unless you take protein. Having worked in the retail world of supplements before, I can’t tell you how many kids come in saying they want creatine, and tell me they don’t take or don’t have the money for protein. You don’t take protein, you aren’t gonna build muscle. Protein, whey specifically, provides a flow of amino acids to your muscles that help the rebuilding process, and therefore actually build more muscle!

Whey: is the most commonly used protein, and readily available in isolate and concentrate form. It contains the highest biological value (BV) of any protein, meaning it has the most nitrogen your body can use and absorb. Ideally, isolate, which is the most readily absorbed into your system, is the best choice for your post-workout shake. It rapidly enters the system delivering the much needed amino acids to start the recovery process. Isolate is also more expensive than concentrate, and is only most beneficial during the short period after your workout.

Egg: With a slightly lower biological value than whey (100 as opposed to 104), egg is still a fair option, but not as good of a choice as whey. Being the availability of whey is so high in any store, it is a better pick.

Milk (casein): A BV of 91 makes casein seem like a pointless choice also, but it does have its place. Casein moves very slowly through the digestive tract, making it ideal for a before-bed shake. Sleep is the body’s most catabolic period of the day, from lack of nutrients. The slow flow of casein provides a constant feed of nutrients throughout the night, leaving less time for the body to feed off your hard earned muscle.

In terms of dosing, if you want to gain big, take in 2g of protein for every 1lb of body weight per day. Don’t get all this from powder, try to get it from real food sources. I would try to stick to a general rule of not getting more than 25% of your daily protein intake in through powder. So if you are 200lbs, and taking in 400g of protein per day, try not to get more than 100g of protein from a powdered source.

Creatine
Creatine doesn’t build muscle. Creatine won’t get you ripped. Creatine will not make you look like the pros, and creatine does not make you stronger. Creatine does none of these things alone. But, when given to an athlete that constantly is working his or her muscles to the extremes they can handle, creatine is an excellent supplement. Creatine functions on a molecular level in your muscles cells, dealing mainly with the cycle of ATP to energy back to ATP. What that means for you is creatine will help you work out longer and harder. This in turn, will build more muscle, because the more your muscle is broken down by the last few reps of your exercise, the more it has to build back up.

Monohydrate: Creatine monohydrate is the standard of all creatine. It was the first, and is still commonly used today by weightlifters. The rapid weight gain attributed to creatine in the first week or so is due to water retention in the muscles. Some lifters may like this, giving the appearance of extra size, but stopping the supplementation will only cause that size to disappear. Monohydrate is best taken with high levels of simple sugar, like dextrose, to shuttle the substance into your blood stream faster via insulin spiking. Average loading phase dose is 20g per day, and maintenance dose is 5-10g per day.

CEE: Creatine ethyl ester. No need to high sugar drinks, no loading phase, no water retention, just readily absorbed creatine. Comes in pills, powders, etc. The powders smell like shit, id suggest going with a pill. This does work, and from personal experience, I have found it to be superior to regular creatine. My brand of choice is Shredded Mass. Stinky powder, but good product. Average dose is 3g per day.

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that some lifters swear by and some don’t. Personally, I don’t. Glutamine is ideally used after exercise, to replace amino acid stores in the body. This is also exactly what whey protein does, but some people feel that more glutamine should be taken at this time. Being that some like it and some don’t, I’d say try it for a month, then drop it for a month. If you notice a difference, stick with it. I didn’t notice anything, and save my money for other things now.

BCAA’s

Branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are the three ‘essential’ amino acids the body needs to build muscle. These three are found inside protein molecules, and are considered more important than the other essential amino’s. Standard whey protein contains a lot of amino acids, but supplementing with BCAA’s can help feed muscles throughout the day.

EFA

Found in food, essential fatty acids help the body with mood, inflammation, metabolism regulation on low fat diets, skin hair and nail health, and many other things. They can be found primarily in fish, but supplements like flaxseed oil and fish oils contain potent amounts also. I take six fish oil capsules per day, 3 in the morning and 3 at night.

Fat Burners

Fat burners are mainly stimulants. They contain stimulant properties that not only stimulate your brain and give you that ‘jittery’ feeling, but stimulate your metabolism, burning calories. There are many fat burners on the shelf that claim to shed 30lbs of fat in 6 weeks or some bullshit like that. Don’t buy it. The standard ECA stack (ephedra/caffeine/asprin), or fat burners like clenbuterol, work far better. They may be in the ‘gray area’ in terms of the law, but they will yield far better results than something like Hydroxycut.

Prohoromones

Sort of designer steroids in ‘legal’ packaging, prohoromones will boost testosterone levels and increase protein synthesis in your body, resulting in more muscle. They are sometimes just as bad or worse for you than actual steroids, making them a less than desirable alternative. But if legality is what you are looking for, many prohoromones can provide steroid-like effects while keeping you out of cuffs.

Vasodiolators

Arginine based products are the new rave today. Claiming to give you increased vascularity, increased energy, and better ‘pumps’ in the gym, these kind of products are flying off shelves. They do work, but so far have not been proven to provide jack in terms of increased gains. Yet I still consume my NoXplode every day before my workout. Why? I like the stimulant properties of it. I could care less about the ‘pump’ in the gym, and frankly, if you aren’t getting one anyway, you aren’t working out hard enough. But my personal favorite, NoXplode, is a great product to keep you focused and energized throughout your workout. If the pumps and vascularity is your thing, choose any product with AAKG as the main ingredient.


Would said lifter's requirements change if he participated in BB, Pl, MMA...or just lifting for the love of it?

It shouldn’t. Any goal in any of these sports, in terms of supplements, is to gain muscle and become stronger. Even if you just desire that ‘fit’ look, you still need muscle there, and the supplements will still benefit you.

What minerals and in what quantities should be involved?

There are a few minerals that should be taken by all walks of lifters. Zinc and magnesium before bed have been proven to increase the quality of sleep, making it deeper and longer. This in turn results in better GH release, which will build more muscle in the long run. Potassium is a great mineral to supplement for muscle cramps, and although the pills only go up to 99mg per dose, foods like sweet potatoes contain over 800mg of potassium. There are other minerals that can deal with insulin response, but for the general lifter, a solid ZMA supplement before bed, and potassium throughout the day will do the trick. This is not to say that minerals are not important at all, just not as a primary supplement.

What vitamins (not a super multi in a single pill either...what should be in this multi...what are your criteria for a good multi)?

The two most important vitamins you can get as a lifter is C, and a B-Complex. Vitamin C helps not only with the immune system, but deals with cortisol (a catabolic stress hormone present after strenuous exercise). Lower cortisol can lead to greater muscle gains in the long term. You can take large amounts of vitamin C and not overdose on it, because it is a water soluble vitamin, and anything not used by the body is excreted in urine. For immune aiding, 1000mg per day is sufficient, but when I feel a cold coming on, I sometimes take upwards of 6000mg per day, spaced out. For effective cortisol reduction, 2000mg is needed post workout. Vitamin C is also an excellent antioxidant.
B Vitamins are essential for nervous system health. B12 is a commonly used bodybuilding vitamin, mostly injected, for increased energy and appetite. Does the average lifter need this? No. A good B-complex, preferably sublingual (under the tongue), that contains a higher dose of B12 works well, especially if it’s in a liquid form.
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Old 03-07-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Great post all round.

Maybe i should sticky this

I disagree with very little there. (generally the egg/casein v.s. whey argument... and this part
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hades
This is not to say that minerals are not important at all, just not as a primary supplement.
As i think Chromium should be a mainstay honestly.)

Great compilation Hades..

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Old 03-07-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Call me out man, lets make it interesting!
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Old 03-07-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Well..short of writing a rebuttal argument.. my thoughts:

Whey... highest BV arguably.. but ideal? No.

Here its BV is superceded by it's too-quick assimilation, deamination etc.

It has limited applicability honestly... immediately pre-wo to spike protein synthesis ..immediately pwo to do the same.

Casein is superior for staving catabolism in the pwo enviroment... AND over the course of the day.

To make whey 'feasible' outside of the pwo environment.. you'd need to ingest in small amounts very frequently over the course of the day.

I'm sure Johan would chime in here with a rebuttal however.

My personal experience with different protein blends supports a lot of the research i've come accross.

I made my best gains while using slow acting proteins over the course of the day:

whole foods + egg protein + caseinate

In fact.. I've dropped whey from my protocol completely ('cept in protein blends..)

-N
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Old 03-09-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Whey is ideal for pre and post WO, yes, but i never stated anything about using it throughout the day.

in fact, "I would try to stick to a general rule of not getting more than 25% of your daily protein intake in through powder."

i also did state that casein is good for long periods of fasting, which mostly happen at night, and that a majority of your diet should be whole foods.

i would also agree with using something like a casein/whey blend over the day if you couldnt eat whole foods, but personally, i can get my whole foods in throughout the day, and dont rely on powders for my protein. also, i dont even use whey pre or PWO anymore, i have a meal. only time i use whey is in the morning when i immediately wake up.
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Old 03-20-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

There are a lot of factors in determining whether or not the Whey will be digested too quickly. When did you last eat, what have you eaten with your shake etc... as all of these will determine how quickly the Whey is digested.

However as you two have pointed out it is fairly simple.

Whey is Optimal for PWO as well as Pre WO.

Casein is optimal any other time in during the day.
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Old 11-20-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Good post, I posted this my front page with all creds going over here and to Hades, but looks like he's AWOL.

I know the post is about supplements but cottage cheese is high in casein (for a food) and makes a good snack (not the whole carton) before bed. Get the low fat Borden - cottage cheese needs all the help it can get to taste half decent so don't get the cheap stuff! :puke2:
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Old 11-20-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Quote:
Originally Posted by catchpen
Good post, I posted this my front page with all creds going over here and to Hades, but looks like he's AWOL.
Thanks for the backlinks :)

I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

-N
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Old 11-22-2007
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Sorry, im here, just busy.
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Default Re: A Brief and Basic Guide to Bodybuilding Supplements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narkissos
Whey... highest BV arguably.. but ideal? No.

Here its BV is superceded by it's too-quick assimilation, deamination etc.

It has limited applicability honestly... immediately pre-wo to spike protein synthesis ..immediately pwo to do the same.

Casein is superior for staving catabolism in the pwo enviroment... AND over the course of the day.

To make whey 'feasible' outside of the pwo environment.. you'd need to ingest in small amounts very frequently over the course of the day.

I'm sure Johan would chime in here with a rebuttal however.
One year later the rebuttal is here :) Not a very educated rebutal though. What convinced me that it doesnt matter much that whey is quick acting is when I basicly lived(by neccesity not chooise) on whey protein for around 2 months or so. Of course I also added some oats and other cheap shit and got my omegas. But my days where basicly, whey shake with oats, whey shake with flax oil, whey shake with oats, whey shake with flax oil etc.

During those two months if anything my gains got a boost and I dropped fat faster. I remember I dug up some refs years ago that indicated peaks in aminos might stimulate protein synthesis more than steady high levels. Heck Il se if I can find them again, havent read a article about nutrition for atleast 2 years so perhaps time.

Casein I have never been able to afford, same with egg protein powder. For some reason its ridicilously expensive over here. Soy is dirt cheap though so I use that sometimes.
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