Category Archives: Supplements

Welcome to the supplements section. Here, you’ll find in-depth information on the
most popular bodybuilding and weight loss supplements. Learn about the top pre-
workout energy formulas, the best protein supplements, and the most effective fat
burners, as well as special supplements formulated for men’s’ and women’s health.

Read detailed reviews about the latest supplements to hit the market. Learn which
products are worth adding to your supplement stack and which aren’t. Browse our
archives of supplement information to optimize your stack and get the best results
from your dietary supplements.

Protein Shake

5 five-minute protein shake recipes

Protein

Everyone knows the best way to get your protein fix is through real food such as lean meat, eggs and salmon. But demanding jobs, insane workouts and maintaining a social life can mean a lack of time for food prep.

Enter the protein shake.

Quick, easy and crammed full of the good stuff, a protein shake is the perfect solution for time-starved muscle-fiends. These simple yet satisfying shakes can all be knocked up in under five minutes and will quickly get to work, fueling your workouts and repairing your muscles.

The choice of protein powder you use is up to you. Whey protein is the most popular – it has the bonus of being a complete protein and gets rapidly absorbed. But if you’re a vegan on a mission to get muscular, you’d be better off sticking to plant-based protein powders such as soy or hemp.

Once you’ve picked your powder of choice, simply whack all the ingredients in your blender, blitz, and sup away.

Pure Protein Power
2 scoops protein powder
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup tepid instant coffee
2 tbs peanut butter
Ice

The combination of protein powder, whole milk and peanut butter = protein overload. Or a whopping 65g per shake, in more scientific terms.

The coffee is not only a treat for your taste buds, but the caffeine hit will give you an extra surge of energy, making this a perfect pre-workout shake.

At around 600 calories per shake, it’s great for those on a bulking diet. If you’re watching the calories, opt for skim milk and go easy on the peanut butter.

The Green Monster
1 scoop protein powder
1 tsp chlorella powder
2 cups kale
½ banana
1 cup frozen berries
1 cup water
Ice

This beast will help turn you into The Hulk quicker than you can say, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!” Filled to the brim with essential vitamins and powerful antioxidants, you’ll feel better by simply looking at this green marvel.

Kale is the ‘It Girl’ of the vegetable aisle at the moment, but not without good reason. Just one cup gets you serious bang for your buck where RDAs are concerned: 9% calcium, 206% vitamin A, 134% vitamin C and a staggering 684% vitamin K. Plus it’s stuffed with minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

As well as the nutritional benefits of this super smoothie, it also packs a serious protein punch at 35g. And with around 300 calories, it’s perfect for those looking to cut body fat.

Chocoholics Anonymous
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup milk
1 banana
1 tbs peanut butter
½ tsp cinnamon
Ice

“I am a weightlifter, and I am a chocoholic.” Go on say it.  There’s no need to feel ashamed.

Whip up one of these badboys to satisfy your chocolate cravings and hit your daily protein needs.

As well as the chocolatey goodness, it also includes the humble banana, which has enjoyed some seriously healthy claims to fame over the years. It is said to protect against type 2 diabetes, aid weight loss, improve the nervous system and help with the production of white blood cells. Ooo la la!

With around 35g of protein and 485 calories, we reckon this delectable shake would make a pretty tasty, guilt-free pudding.

Tropical Delight
1 scoop protein powder
½ cup pineapple
½ cup mango
½ tsp coconut extract
1 cup orange juice
Ice

Sure, you might have forgotten what sunshine feels like, your flip-flops are collecting dust and you’ve got more need for thermal underwear than sunscreen, but it doesn’t mean you can’t pretend!

This tropical delight will send your taste-buds straight to the Caribbean, with its sunny blend of fruits and vitamin D overload. With only 310 calories but a hefty 30g of protein, this skinny shake is perfect for those looking to lean out for their summer holidays.

Note: novelty cocktail umbrella mandatory.

Brainy Banana Berry Blast
1 scoop protein powder
1 banana
1.5 cup mixed berries
1 cup water
Ice

Got an exam or work presentation coming up? Knock back one of these brain booster shakes to get you geared up and ready to smash it.

Research suggests that berries are brain friendly in several ways. For one, they contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by free radicals. They’re also reported to help slow down age-related memory loss.

Now where did I put those car keys…

With 30g of protein per shake and just 360 calories, a Brainy Banana Berry Blast is a top choice for refueling muscles and keeping trim.

Anabolic Steroids & Their Effects

Anabolic steroids, also known as  anabolic-androgenic steroids, are a synthetic form of the male sex hormone testosterone. When broken down, the terms anabolic means muscle building and the term steroids is the term for a classification of drugs. Although there are some medical benefits by taking anabolic steroids, the synthetic hormone has become a plague within sports due to the performance enhancing benefits when taken in large amounts.

Medical Purposes

Anabolic steroids can be used to treat various medical conditions like testosterone deficiency or delayed puberty. They are also used to help offset side effects of serious diseases like AIDS and Cancer. However, these steroids are strictly monitored by medical professionals and all steps are taken to ensure no abuse or serious side effects occur.

Illegal Usage

Anabolic steroids are illegal to possess for usage or with intent to sell. They are classified as felonies in the United States and those trying to sell these steroids could face up to 5 years in prison under federal law. Those individuals caught using steroids, without intent to sell, could face up to one year in prison. These laws were first put into place in 1990 under the Federal Anabolic Steroid Control Acts.

Additionally, anabolic steroids are illegal in all professional sports and international sports organizations. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped the problem with steroids abuse from teenagers to adults. 4% of high school students have reportedly abused steroids, according to the CDC. Roughly 1% of American adults have reportedly abused steroids as well.

Do Steroids Work?

There’s no doubt that anabolic steroids provide the performance enhancing effects of which they are designed for. Individuals will experience a noticeable gain in muscular size and strength. Athletes become bigger, faster and stronger. However, there are numerous side effects and serious health risks associated with these drugs, which is why they are illegal if not under a legal medical prescription.

Health Risks

Using anabolic steroids has been found to be an addicting drug. Additionally, recent studies have discovered that steroids abuse can lead to abusing other drugs as well. However, these are mild health risks compared to some of the more serious health issues that stem from steroids abuse.

  • Hypertension – dangerously high blood pressure
  • Cholesterol – increased bad cholesterol (LDL) and decreased good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Cancer – increased risk of developing liver, kidney or prostate cancer
  • Liver problems like tumors, cysts and the inability to perform optimally
  • Circulation and heart problems like heart attacks
  • Prevents teenagers from normal growth and development

Top 3 Supplements for Building Muscle and Size

Building muscle and size are usually primary goals for male weight lifters. In addition to a consistent workout program, one’s diet must be designed to meet the needs of building muscle. This typically involves more calories and more protein. Often, people are unable to consume enough protein in their diets through just food alone. This is why whey protein supplements are essential for building muscle and size because they provide the added protein intake that the body needs for building muscle. In addition to whey protein, creatine monohydrate and branch chained amino acids (BCAAs) are important supplements when trying to build muscle mass because they help produce more energy, repair muscle damage, maintain muscle mass and more.

Whey Protein

Protein is the building blocks for muscle. If you are looking to increase muscle mass then whey protein is the best supplement out there. Whey protein is created through the process of converting milk to cheese. It’s then processed even further to remove any fat and lactose. The end result is a pure protein that has all of the essential amino acids to build muscle.

Whey protein is normally digested quickly by the body which means it’s absorbed quicker and gets to work faster. Not only is protein a building block for muscle growth, but it’s also a great source for repairing muscle damage from working out. Protein also helps to boost the metabolism which can lead to burning more calories and shedding body fat. Whey protein typically comes in powder form and can be mixed with water, milk or juice.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate, commonly referred to as creatine, is another very popular supplement when trying to build muscle. Creatine monohydrate is converted to creatine phosphate in the body, which is a key component in the process of ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP for short, is found in all living cells with the primary function of transporting cellular energy.

Creatine Monohydrate helps to boost the body’s energy by restoring depleted creatine phosphate sources, which creates more energy, and allows your muscles to recover faster. A faster recovery means you can perform at a higher level when doing anaerobic exercises.

Another benefit of creatine is that it helps you increase muscle strength. This means you will start lifting heavier weights which leads to an increase of muscular size. Creatine Monohydrate most commonly comes in powder or pill form.

Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs are crucial for the synthesis of protein. They consist of amino acids that aren’t found in the body. Unlike many amino acids, BCAAs bypass the metabolizing process of the liver and are directly metabolized within the muscles. This aids in the breakdown of protein so that the muscles can grow and repair. BCAAs also prevent muscle tissue damage, maintain muscle mass, and reduce muscle fatigue. In addition to the muscular benefits, BCAAs improve cognitive functions like being able to concentrate or focus better. BCAAs typically come in pill or powder form.

 

Creatine – The Master Of The Explosive Power

Creatine is a well known substance in the sporting circles. Although it is allowed by the World Anti-doping Agency, some Creatine based products have a bad name. Why? You can find out bellow.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid, made out of three other amino acids – Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. It was discovered in 1832 by Michel Chevreul. In 1923 scientists proved that 95% of the total mass of Creatine in the human body (in a phosphate form) is found in the muscle tissues.

How does Creatine help you?

Creatine is one of the most commonly used supplements in bodybuilding today. Its main purpose is to increase the energy reserve in the muscles, which leads to increased muscle power and hardiness. Why is that? When muscles contract, the human “fuel” – ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) breaks down to ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). In order for the work to continue, the ADP must transform back into ATP though attaching another Phosphate group. The additional Phosphate group comes from the Creatine Phosphate stored in the muscle tissue.

Best practices:

The most common forms of Creatine that can be found on the market are

1) Creatine monohydrate and 2) Creatine Phosphate.

1)   Best results are achieved when the monohydrate is administered in a special routine (2 stages). The first one is called “Loading” and it is recommended for everyone that is taking Creatine for the first time. It has duration of four to seven days, during which the bodybuilder takes twenty to thirty grams a day. After that comes the second stage, during which you take around 0,03 grams for every kilogram in weight you have.

2)   If you are using a supplement which contains the Phosphate form, everything is the same, but you should lower the doses with around 20%-30%.

Creatine is best administered around 30 minutes before a session, accompanied with simple carbohydrates.

Advantages and disadvantages of Creatine for bodybuilders:

Although it’s not definitely proven, some side effects of Creatine include dehydration, diarrhea, muscle cramps, lower blood volume and lower electrolyte levels. The most important thing to remember when using Creatine as a supplement is to drink a lot of water during the day – six to eight glasses a day.

Creatine is one of the most popular and effective supplements used by bodybuilders. Used in conjunction with a good diet it ensures fast and noticeable effect in the muscle development.

Additional physiological effects:

Using Creatine helps recovering after sessions and stops the process of muscle decomposure(Catabolism).

Creatine is absorbed through the small intestine and transported to the liver via the bloodstream. It can pass the blood barrier via a transporting peptide. It is still unknown whether this process causes decreasing the quantities of this peptide or not.

Foods containing high levels of Creatine:

Opposite of anabolic steroids, Creatine is widely accepted as a natural supplement as it is present in a lot of foods. The highest levels of Creatine can be found in red meat (especially beef) and fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.).

What Is Whey Protein

Whey protein is a product extracted from dairy which is similar in how cheese is produced.  However, it differs in that it is the leftover of when the coagulation process occurs and then becomes a solution of lactose in water, about 5% that includes some minerals and lactalbumin. Once the fat removing process is completed  a series of processes are applied to bring out the protein content which then becomes the product bodybuilders and fitness people get as supplements.

Is Whey Protein Safe

So far, whey protein has proven safe.  If you’ve allergies to such products that’s the difference.  The application from whey protein in humans is still to be collected but it’s anti-inflammation properties and caner prevention and treatment properties has been observed in animal life such as lab experimental animals.  They’re not human but then again humans are ten times larger.  What most people use whey protein for is for substituting protein from other sources.  Bulky protein from large animals like cows and pigs can take a toll on the digestive tract and overall systems of the body used to extract energy and nutrient from food.  Herein is why whey protein comes in as it’s in a powdered form that generally mixes with  most nutritional drink liquids.  It’s easier to digest, isn’t as bulky and is deliverable to the muscles and other tissues with relative ease.  Some side effects of consuming whey protein are reported and range from bloating to gs and more.  However scientists at present aren’t sure why or aren’t exploring the issue properly.  It also may be to volume of protein to digestion speed.  The body can only digest or process a certain number of grams per hour.  The rest sits there in the colon and problems occur.  The lower quality whey proteins may contain anything from sweeteners to other ingredients that the body doesn’t need or could e hazardous.  You’ll have to check the quality of the whey protein you purchase and make sure you’re getting the real deal in high quality whey protein and not the lower grades.  There are three primary forms of whey proteins such as WPC or concentrate, WPI or isolate, and WPH or hydrolysate.  The higher and most effective form being WPH.

What To Expect From Whey Protein

As most people use this supplement for bodybuilding the process for building up that lean muscle mass requires proper usage, quality whey protein product as well as your exercise regimen.  As more research is done it will show the advantages or disadvantages of this bodybuilding supplement.

Glutamine – The King Of The Amino Acids!

Glutamine is the most common amino acid, and because of that it is rarely in

sufficient quantities in the human (body builder’s) body.

What is Glutamine?

L-Glutamine (abbreviated as Gln) or simply Glutamine is non-essential aminoacid, because it can be synthesized in our body. In fact, it can be synthesizedby multiple organs – muscles, liver, etc. The biggest supply of glutaminein our body is the blood plasma – around 35%. The high net amount ofHydrogen in its molecule (around 20%) makes it the single most importanthydrogen mediator in our body.

How is Glutamine created in our body?

In most cases Glutamine is synthesized through fermentation of food bybacteria in our stomachs.

Why is Glutamine so important?

Glutamine has various uses in our body, but several of them are veryimportant for body builders. It drastically increases the growth hormoneproduction and it also plays important role in peptide metabolism, whichtranslates in fast recovery rates and muscle growth. Regular administrationguarantees protection from muscle tissue dismemberment and ensuresthe body has enough of the hormone for the tissue to grow. If active bodybuilders do not produce or administer enough Glutamine they will sufferGlutamine deficit, which leads to other internal organs “stealing” the aminoacid from the muscle tissue.

What are negative/side effects of taking a Glutaminesupplement?

Glutamine itself does not have any negative side effects. Taking extremequantities may lead to an upset stomach. In that case, stop taking thesupplement for 2-3 days and then lower the amount you administer.

How to administer Glutamine?

The level of L-Glutamine drops around 50% after a session. This is why themost appropriate time for administration is about 30 minutes after the end ofthe session. It will help recovering the glycogen in the muscle tissues (whichtransforms itself into glucose causing high blood sugar and Insulin levels).The 30 minutes waiting period is mandatory, because after lengthy cardio

sessions, the levels of Cortisol(a steroid hormone) in the blood are very high.Cortisol suppresses the stomach absorption rates and makes administrationof supplements inefficient.

Other Glutamine advantages:

It is the main source for the Glutamic acid – one of the most powerfulantioxidants in our body. Glutamine is also one of the main ammoniatransporters in our body.

What happens to the Glutamine after administration?

After ingestion it is quickly transformed into Citrulline and Arginine (other α-amino acids) and Glutamic acid. Which are the most Glutamine-rich foods?The highest percentages of this important amino acids are foods with highproteins levels, such as red meat, fish and dairy products.