Bodybuilding Supplements A to Z
This is a Great guide To find out what Supplements are needed for Bodybuilding.
Article by Paul Becker from TrulyHuge.com
There is alot of confusion about supplementation, which is why I compiled this report. It is meant to help the average person understand the world of supplements. Remember supplement by defination means "something extra", they do not replace proper diet and exercise. But the right supplements used along with the right diet and training program to suit your goals can help you to make faster progress.
Feel free to e-mail me with any question about supplements, I'd be glad to answer them for you.
Thank you, and enjoy!
Supplements A to Z
0 - Garbage
* - Bad
** - Okay
*** - Decent ( may be useful )
**** - Good ( Is useful )
***** - Excellent ( A must have ! )
Amino Acids - Amino Acids are basically proteins that are broken down into their basic building blocks. Amino Acids are very important factor in anabolism (the building of muscle tissues). They are essential, But if you already have a high protein diet you may not need these. Otherwise, a good choice.
Boron - A few supplement companies have claimed boron raises your testosterone. But I can assure you, it doesn't. Do not waste your money on this garbage.
Carnitine - This is an amino acid that promotes fat burning. But it doesn't do too good of a job. One of the fats that it does burn off is a good fat (triglycerides). Also gives mild energy boost.
Chitosan - This is a popular "fat blocker", and some studies have actually shown that this can block the absorption of fat to your stomach. But it may also stop the absorption of other essential vitamin and minerals. I would recommend this product only for those looking to lose weight, not to gain muscle. You may have seen commercials about a product called "Cheat and Eat" which is based on chitosan.
Chromium - This is probably the most famous of all the fat burners of the market. Chromium is a good product, It has been proven that chromium can help you lose fat and gain muscle. The best chromium product is chromium picolate.
Chrysin - This is an extract from a plant. It prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, which is common when you take any supplement that increases testosterone production and you do not want that to happen. So if you are taking any supplement that increases testosterone, it's good to add chrysin.
Colostrum - This product claims to raise your IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor). It's found in a mother's breast milk. But it doesn't give you anything good because the IGF-1 increase is only good for the mother's baby. Which makes it useless for you and me.
Creatine - Creatine is one of the muscles' main energy sources, the muscle will store more creatine then we consume in our normal diets, (creatine is found in a varity of foods, one of the best sources is lean red meat, so it is a good idea for vegetarians to suppliment it) by supplementing it the muscles will soak up the extra creatine. When muscles absorb creatine it also brings water with it, your muscles are 70 % water) this makes the muscles bigger and harder. Also when you ingest creatine it is stored, and about 20 minutes later it is transformed into ATP. ATP's are what give your muscles 'energy' during a workout, on creatine you might be able to push a few more reps than usual. The best type of creatine to take is creatine monohydrate. Many companies tell you that you should 'load' on creatine. Which means you should take up to 4 times as much creatine than usual during the first few weeks on creatine. It is optional to load.
Dandelion - This is a diuretic which is pretty useful. Many bodybuilder use dandelion before contest to get that ultra lean look. It is included in the popular product 'taraxatone.' I recommend not to buy dandelion individually, instead purchase a product like taraxatone.
DHEA - DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is another testosterone booster. It doesn't work too well on It's own. But It is very useful when stacked with tribulus terrestris and Tongkat Ali.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) - It was once said that all fats are bad. This is not entirely true. Now, don't get the idea that you can go to your favorite fast food restaurant and gain muscle. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. The "good" fats are called linoleic (omega-6) and linolenic (Omega-3.) These are commonly found in cold water fish like flounder, or in certain oils like soybean oil. So, If you are on a very low fat diet, EFAs can be very helpful in giving you energy throughout the day.
Ginkgo Biloba - This herbs helps concentration. Which may be helpful to some people at the gym who can't keep up with their sets (slacking off). I have never tried ginkgo myself but I've heard from so people that it works, and from other that it only brings on a painful headache. If you have trouble focusing on your workout at the gym, give it a try.
Ginseng - Ginseng is an herb that help you cope with stress. I'd say that about half of the people on ginseng actually experience results. It comes in many different forms like, Indian, American, Korean, and Siberian ginseng. They are all not that different but Siberian is the best.
Glucosamine - This very popular arthritis medication that help your body form cartilage. Many bodybuilders experience pains at their joints throughout the day from weightlifting.
Glutamine - Glutamine is an amino acid. It's the amino acid which is found most in human muscle tissue. Therefore making it an essential to all bodybuilders. Everyone knows that you need protein to get any bigger, and glutamine is the number one part of the protein the makes you grow. Glutamine is one of the best, if not the best supplement on the market today.
Rating - *****
Guarana - Guarana is consider to be the herbal form of caffeine. Guarana is in almost all 'energy' products. It can give you a good boost of energy during a workout. Best if combined with Ma Huang.
5-HTP - 5 Hydroxytryptophan is converted into seratonin in your body. 5-HTP is supposed to help suppress your appetite. Many people claim that it actually works. If you have trouble dieting, then give it a try.
Hydroxy Citric Acid (HCA) - HCA is another appetite suppressant. HCA is not very popular and doesn't work for everyone. Even if it does work for you, It won't have a great effect.
Lipoic Acid - This is an insulin like substance. It is found in many creatine products like Cell Tech. Lipoic Acid actually works great when used with creatine. Bodybuilders using insulin with creatine can get steroid like gains. This effect won't entirely happen with Lipoic acid, but you will get some good gains.
Rating **** (w\creatine)
Medium Chain triglycerides (MCT) - These are a type of fat which are less easily stored than normal fat. Back in the days' when Weight gainer's were the biggest and the best thing around MCT were very popular. Today my favorite weight gainer contains MCT's (Champion Nutrition's Heavyweight gainer 900). Do not consume these thinking it will help lose fat or gain muscle. MCT's are not important, but are better than regular fat.
Melatonin - Melatonin is the hormone which, in our bodies, tells you when to go to sleep. It is a natural sleep aid. It may not be that powerful, but it not addicting like other sleep aids. Bodybuilder's use Melatonin because the only time you grow is while sleeping.
Mexican Yam - Mexican Yams are supposed to be converted into DHEA in the body. I say, If you want DHEA buy DHEA! Do buy this!
Phosphates - Phosphates are used to increase your endurance. They are also used with creatine, like in EAS Phosphagen HP. I don't believe this is a good product. Bill Phillips (EAS) made it popular in his creatine.
Pregnenolone - This is another testosterone elevating hormonal compound. It also raises the female hormone progesterone which is a catabolic hormone. Catabolic means that breaking down of muscle tissue, which is very bad. In conclusion this is another supplement that does just about no good at all.
Pyruvate - This is a new supplement that is supposed to help you "lose fat without exercise". Some studies show Pyruvate works, so show it's just a hype. Pyruvate is supposed to alter your ATP levels (muscle cell energy) like creatine. Try it out for yourself, But I do recommend that you do workout while taking it.
Saw palmetto - This is herb that was first used to help protect the prostrate for men. Now it was found that it is also anti-estrogenic (Blocks the harmful female hormone estrogen). Which may help in making androstene last longer in your system. Saw Palmetto has also been found to treat acne into some cases.
Shark Cartilage - This became popular back in the early 90s when someone said that it could be a cure for cancer. He said that sharks were the only animal that couldn't get cancer. This started a craze to get shark cartilage. Later it was found that this was all hype. Now shark cartilage can help bodybuilders and weightlifters repair cartilage. By releasing Glucosamine. My opinion is if you want to try to repair your cartilage buy Glucosamine in it's purified form.
Sterols (Plant Sterols) - Despite their name "sterols" they have nothing to do with steroids. Marketers just try to sell it because of the similarities in names. Sterols do not do anything!
Taurine - Like I said before Glutamine was the Number one Amino acid found in muscle tissue. Taurine is the number two Amino acid found in muscle tissue. In my opinion just take glutamine. But if you want to be one small step ahead take both.
Tongkat Ali also know as Long Jack- has been shown to support male hormonal balance (including testosterone availability), libido and performance. Tongkat Ali is a Southeast Asian botanical known to substantially increase testosterone levels (scientific abstracts note increased testosterone levels of up to 400%) and anabolic activity. Used traditionally to enhance energy levels, endurance and stamina, and to reduce occasional mental fatigue. fatigue.
Tribulus Terrestris -Tribulus has been a popular medicinal herb in folk medicine in the East and in Bulgaria since 1981 in the treatment of sexual deficiency. According to one Bulgarian clinical study in men it increases libido and increases Testosterone by 38%. Since testosterone promotes protein synthesis, the benefits are increase in muscle growth and body strength.
Vanadyl Sulfate - Vanadyl is a good supplement because it makes your muscles look and feel harder. It is another insulin like supplement. But vanadyl has been shown to be slightly toxic in high doses. If you have soft muscles, then give it a try. But follow the label.
Whey Protein - Whey protein is by far the best protein there is (for now). Your diet should always be a high protein diet. Also you should eat both high protein normal foods plus whey protein shakes. To figure out your recommended daily protein intake you should multiply your body weight by at least 1.5 (e.g 200lbs times 1.5 = 300 grams).
White Willow Bark - This is the herbal form of aspirin. Aspirin stacked with Ephedrine has shown to reduce fat.
Yohimbe - This herb is most widely used by men for sexual performance. But also is able to stop your body from storing fat (in small amounts).
"We Cannot Stress Enough How Important Nutritional Support is in Order to Gain Muscle Mass"
For the human body to perform at its maximum potential, it must be fed a vast and complex array of vital nutrients. Becoming deficient in just one of these essential vitamins or minerals breaks down the metabolic pathway that produces optimum efficiency and performance declines.