There is much media attention focused on the use of anabolic steroids by athletes to help boost performance. Steroids abuse is still on the rise by sport participants or body builders wanting to get a competitive edge. What is even more alarming is the increase use of Supplements.
Walk down any supplement aisle of your pharmacy or health-food store. Thousands of products that claim health benefits.
Have you ever opened up a Fitness Magazine? I counted the number of supplement advertisements in one popular magazine. Of the 248 pages, 107 were for supplement ads – that’s 43%. It’s no surprise. Most bodybuilding and fitness magazine publishers own supplement companies. They then use their magazines to promote their products. Ever see the new supplement break-through? Those full-page ads cost thousands of dollars. Magazines just can’t turn down that type of money, besides there’s lots of people that are willing to try the newest product being promoted by top bodybuilders (who use steroids) and supermodels.
Here’s some excerpts from just one of the ads;
“Top 5 reasons why XXX will turn you into a muscle-building freak and crazy sex machine”
“With super-charged hormone levels you will become an instant predator in the gym and in the bedroom”
Talk about brain washing theyour easily-influenced public.
According to the Nutrition Business Journal, the supplement industry reached an all time high of $13 billion in sales in 2000.
Americans spent almost $35 billion on diets and weight loss products!
There are over 1,000 manufacturers of over 20,000 different supplements consumed by over 100 million people.
I don’t know about you but I can’t afford to throw away my money. They are not magic pills or potions. Supplements are not drugs and cannot give you steroid like results. Supplements are food. These “natural” or “herbal” products should never take the place of food, but rather help insure that you are maximizing your nutritional intake.
Ever read the very small fine print: Here’s for one promoting fat loss:
“When combined with increased exercise and the XXX diet. Results are not typical . Use only as a dietary supplement. The persons here on may or may not have been remunerated. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA…….
One thing the fine print does say – Regular exercise and proper nutrition are essential for achieving your weight-loss goals. Duh!
Supplements and prescription drugs both have something in common. They can help you – but to what extent? Supplements are not regulated the same as prescription drugs and there is no list of negative side effects like prescription medications. If you are being treated for heart disease or are taking medication check with your physician before starting any supplement.
“Fat Burner” Supplements cannot melt fat away. No pill can do that. Certain products rely on thermogenic ingredients – that raise body temperature and increase metabolism. This is the wrong way to heat up your body. The problem is that it affects the nervous system and really addresses the symptom (fat) and not the cause (poor nutrition and lack of physical activity).
Supplements can only make a 5 to 10% overall difference. That is only if your eating properly and have hit the higher threshold in training.
You do not need to worry about supplements until you gain at least 20 pounds of solid muscle mass without supplements.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT ARE USEFUL
1) Multi Vitamin/Mineral Supplement
Vitamins and Minerals are considered “non-energy” nutrients – compared to the “energy” nutrients of Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein (calories).
Vitamins are not energy but help to release energy. There are two main types of vitamins – fat soluble and water soluble.
Water Soluble vitamins are seldom harmful as your body can easily excrete any excess. This includes Vitamins B, C and Folic Acid.
On the other hand, high doses of fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K can be toxic if overused. They are stored in organs and tissues and can cause dry skin, nausea, joint pain and depression.
Minerals carry oxygen to cells, aid in muscle contraction and help build bones and teeth.
Because our society is heavily reliant on processed and refined foods, a Multi Vitamin/Mineral Supplement helps act as insurance as it fills up any deficiencies in the micronutrient content of your diet. It’s important to realize that a multi-vitamin does not give you “energy” or decrease your body fat.
2) Protein Powder
A key to maintaining and gaining lean muscle mass rather than unwanted body fat is to ensure you take an adequate amount of protein.
Whey Protein is the best protein supplement. It boosts the levels of amino acids and provides the greatest absorption rate of all protein sources. Whey protein is a milk-based protein that is specially processed with most of the lactose being removed. A Whey Protein Isolate absorbs faster and more fully than a Whey Protein Blend. Whey Protein is best as part of your first meal of the day, pre-workout, or post-workout – when your body is starving for protein (the building blocks of the body).
Creatine is the most popular sports supplement used by athletes, bodybuilders and other fitness buffs. Creatine is made by your body primarily in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Creatine is a metabolite which regenerates ATP, the high energy compound that provides energy for muscle contraction. Creatine benefits strength and anaerobic exercises but not endurance. Creatine is not a fat loss supplement.
You would need to eat 9 pounds of red meat to ingest 20 grams of creatine – which is the initial loading dose often recommended during the first phase of creatine supplementation. During the maintenance phase, creatine is recommended post worik-out and at bed time.
Unlike vitamin or protein supplements, it is recommended that you cycle creatine (go on and off it). This way your body will not decrease it’s own production of creatine when your muscles are already saturated. For the majority of users noticeable gains in strength is experienced usually when used for the first time.
Supplements are not necessary for optimal health – if you are eating right. The human digestive system was designed to process whole foods. The body cannot properly absorb nutrients from artificial sources – which is common in many supplements. Have you been hearing all the bad things about aspartame lately?
Unfortunately most people don’t have time for a balanced diet. Others just don’t make the effort. In this case, supplements can help provide many of the essential nutrients.
It amazes me that most people are more willing to spend $30, $40, even $50 or more on a bottle of pills or powder than to spend the same on monthly gym membership or a personal trainer which can help set you up for life. The only thing that a lot of these supplements give you is expensive urine! You make the choice.
Now here’s some simple common sense. With the kids back in school, cold and flu season starts. Rather than relying on some of those herbal supplements – eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep and wash your hands often….your immune system will remain strong.
There is no substitute for proper nutrition and exercise. The best way to improve your life and well-being is to eat properly and follow a well-designed program that challenges both your body and mind. No drug or supplement can do that for you!
excellent post,Thanks for sharing such a useful tips.
Very well guided. Taking a supplement isn't actually a bodybuilding requirement. If your diet is adequate, you don't need to supplement it to build muscle.
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