|Supplements in the Real World
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By: Dean Goudie
There are many supplements out there, and there are tons of questions being asked constantly about all them. There are so many opinions to which work and which don't, and what the hell half of them actually do, I decided to write about them all from my experiences and opinions I have heard. Since there are hundreds of products out there, I am only writing about the weight-gainers, and bulking products, I have always been a thin person and have never used a dieting supplement. I have however studied hard of those for bulking.
First on the list is Myostat, or any "Myo" product. There are many of them, they claim to bind to, and neutralize myostatin. Myostatin being a gene which is suppose to limit the amount of muscle a person can build. This product basically claims to remove this limit allowing muscles to grow larger and even new muscles to form! This is a great concept, but it hasn't arrived yet.
The claims made by this concept have never been proven and it's very doubtful this product does anything. Reviews from people are very mixed, but as of yet there is no actually proof that this works, and even if it did it would be considered dangerous, as it would alter genes in what could be a harmful way.
The next product, which gets questioned a lot, is cell-tech creatine. The company called Muscletech that makes cell-tech is known for high prices. The word of this product as is also my opinion is that it is an average product at an above average price. The product is certainly not worth the price and contains a lot of sugar! You can buy creatine monohydrate at a much lower price. For more information on creatine read below.
Andro poppers are the next item on the list. The company Pinnacle is becoming well known for scam products. And the poppers fall directly into that category. The poppers fall very short of the claims made by Pinnacle. The pills offer very little andro, hardly enough to make any noticeable gains, and even if there was enough androstenedione that would mean there would be the possibility of side effects. Don't waste your money here; there are much better products out there if you are looking for good doses of androstenedione, such as 1-AD & 4-AD.
Weight-gainer N-Large II is a popular product among hard gainers. This product is very cheap (where I live in Canada anyway) running around half the price of any other protein available. It contains 52 grams of whey protein, 600 cals and 88g of carbs. With those stats it will no doubt help you gain weight. The question is, will it be the right kind of weight?
Eighty eight grams of carbs with 600 cals could lead to a fat increase. However if you are a difficult gainer I don't see a problem with this product. The sugar is high, but if you watch yourself you can see if you are getting a gut or a gun. But with the price, I'd say it's worth a try.
ZMA is a combination of zinc and magnesium minerals. I have been asked time and time again what the side effects are, and there are NONE. These are minerals; they are not some chemical or drug, just important minerals for a bodybuilder. It has been discussed that unless you are in need of these minerals you will not gain much by taking them.
But if your diet is lacking these it would be a great idea to take them. ZMA can raise your testosterone to their top natural level. Natural level being the key term here. ZMA won't raise your test levels higher than that. I'd recommend this to anyone whose eating habits are abnormal and lacking good foods, but then you'd probably be better off getting a good multi-vitamin.
Glutamine is a good product on the market in my opinion. Glutamine is usually recommended for a cutting cycle to prevent muscle wasting, but can be taken any time to enhance muscle recovery. Glutamine in the body is reduced after heavy workouts, so supplementing it to help the body recover is a recommended idea. Users who take this supplement have reported good results consistently, so I'm sure the product is legitimate.
Creatine monohydrate is another product I have written about previously. This is a reliable product which effects include extra muscle endurance, water retention, and reported additional strength and energy during workouts. Some claim that the product cause upset stomach, but this hasn't been proven, on the whole most people have no side effects. Water retention is suppose to occur and is not a side effect.
Muscles grow best in a lot of water; therefore water retention makes the ideal environment for muscle growth. Any water retention will go away after you stop taking Creatine. Creatine is also quite cheap, and is a pretty good deal. There is some debate as to whether or not creatine "loading" is necessary. Loading is when you take the daily doses several times a day for the first 5-7 days to soak the body with creatine to maximize the effects. I believe this is a good idea, and that it can do no harm, as I said, creatine is rather cheap and even if a bit of creatine is wasted it won't make much difference.
Protein is the backbone of the supplement industry as far as bodybuilders are concerned. Some believe in their multi-vitamins or whatever, but the hardest thing to do is get the required amount of protein in your diet. As a bodybuilder you need at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight you have, and there is no upper limit for protein as far as I am concerned.
And the only way you'll get to the amount daily is with a good protein powder. Now, I'm not saying you should replace meals and real food for protein; you should take protein with your meals to get the added extra protein. There are no side effects of taking protein; I have yet to see a study that proves it will damage any organ in the body.
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