Monthly Archives: August 2016

Beginners Guide for Body building With Supplements

unduhan-39If you’re new to bodybuilding or just want to gain an edge during your workouts, then supplementation is a no-brainer. With so many to choose from, it’s easy to become paralyzed by all the types, doses, companies, and, not to mention, promises. What’s a newbie to do?

It’s time to learn the basics. Here’s an uncomplicated beginner’s guide to what you need to get started. After a while you may experiment with others or simply stick to the ones listed here. But wherever your training journey takes you, rest assured that these make up the foundation of any healthy supplement plan.

First, some wise words of advice. The term supplement is roughly defined as “in addition to” not “in place of.” You should adhere to a balanced, healthy diet with ample supplies of protein, complex carbohydrate and fiber, and healthy fats. Without a solid, real food foundation in place, all the supplementation in the world won’t get you to your goals any faster. Eat first, then supplement.

1. WHEY PROTEIN

For the past decade or two, whey protein has established itself as the cornerstone to any supplement plan. Chock full of amino acids, it’s especially plentiful of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine. The BCAAs are vital in the protein synthesis process required to build new muscle tissue – especially leucine.

Used as a staple for pre and post workout nutrition, whey protein is a fast acting protein which is absorbed quickly due to its high filtration processing and small molecular make-up. It’s readily available to starving muscle cells when taken after a hard training session.

When and How Much?

The prime times to use whey protein powder are post workout and at other times when getting in a whole food meal proves difficult – such as after work and prior to your workout. Another critical time is for those who train first thing in the morning and don’t want any amount of solid food in their stomach for a lengthy digestion. Whey, with its fast digestion, fits that criterion quite nicely.

For most gym-goers, a single dose post workout could include anywhere from 20 to 30 grams per serving. If you are a heavier trainer who weighs north of 200 pounds, a slightly higher amount may be needed such as 40 grams.

2. CREATINE

The research on this wonder supplement continues to grow. No longer a freshman, creatine has affixed itself as the real deal. Supplement manufacturers have been scrambling for years to develop the “next creatine” but are still champing at the bit in the lab. Found as a naturally occurring substance in foods such as fish and steak, creatine works by helping to replenish adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stores during bouts of intense training.

It does this by “superhydrating” muscle cells full of fluid so other processes can take place as well like protein synthesis. This, in turn, will increase the rate of recovery between and during workouts. Initially, the bodyweight gained is mostly water, but over time your body will build new muscle easier and faster.

When and How Much?

There are two schools of thought regarding how much creatine to take. Originally, when it was new to the market, it was thought that you needed to load for five or so days in order for it to completely saturate your muscle tissue. This led to fast water weight gain and a positive sense of accomplishment.

Related: Should You Take Creatine Pre or Post Workout?

However, some experienced stomach pains and other gastrointestinal (GI) tract issues due to the amount taken daily. As time went on and more research was done, and it is now recommended that starting with a maintenance dose yields the same end results.1 Go with 3 to 5 grams pre and post workout for best results.

3. FISH OIL

Fish oil may not seem like a “sexy” choice for a supplement, but its benefits are long-term and vital to a healthy body. High in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fish oil is not necessarily an acutely effective supplement. Its main benefit has been found in reducing inflammation in the body.

So what, you say? Inflammation has been shown to be the instigator of myriad health problems including heart disease. For training purposes, inflammation can prevent the body from properly utilizing macro and micronutrients and hinder performance and recovery from training.

When and How Much?

With fish oil, taking in more isn’t a good thing as too much can lead to a higher risk of stroke. A moderate supplementation plan is the best route since you are using it more as a preventative measure versus an acute performance supplement. 2 to 3 grams per day is the normal recommended amount taken with a meal. Other forms of healthy oil, like krill oil, are available as well if you find fish oil gives you an unwanted aftertaste.

4. MULTIVITAMIN/MINERAL

Another “boring” but necessary supplement is the tried and true multivitamin/mineral. Although recent research has blasted its efficacy, the benefits of getting certain amounts of these vital micronutrients prove essential for optimal health.2 These nutrients are necessary for countless bodily processes and overall balance. For example, zinc is used in tissue (muscle) repair and magnesium helps the body get appropriate rest.

Why wouldn’t you want a little insurance since no one’s diet is perfect day-in and day-out?

When and How Much?

A simple name brand multivitamin/mineral supplement will do just fine. One with 100% of most vitamins and minerals listed is your best bet. Mega-doses don’t do much in the way of getting any healthier.

Hype or Help The Essential Supplementation

Let’s face it, the times are changing in the fitness and nutrition industry. Broscience, pseudoscience, and anecdotal lore are giving way to the white lab coats and data driven decisions.

So to search for new, effective supplements, we should turn to the scientists.

Related: Are BCAAs Effective? See What the Science Says

The mammalian target of rapamyocin (mTOR) is what all skeletal muscle scientists dream about. Why? It’s one of the key components of turning training into lean muscle tissue. If we boil it down to the basics, mTOR activation = muscle growth* and there is a newer supplement being utilized because it is a known activator of mTOR.

THE RESEARCH ON PHOSPHATIDIC ACID

Anytime you start looking at new supplements, you can actually use muscle cells, grow them in a lab, and give them the supplement and see how they respond. One of the first studies done on PA showed that giving muscle cells did increase the “grow” signal for muscles.2

For scientists, seeing a mechanism is a good sign that it might be something worth pursuing, and pursue it they did.

In a small study of well-trained men, the people who took 750 mg of PA for 8 weeks saw a 3.4% greater increase in their strength in the back squat and 2.5% greater increases in lean body mass than the subjects who didn’t take it.

Now 3% might not seem like a lot, but if you are squatting in the 300s, that is at least a 9 pound increase more than the the placebo and man, I would love an extra 9 pounds on my back squat. Additionally, an extra 2.5% of lean body mass might end up being around 2-3 extra pounds of lean mass, which is also something I would happily accept3.

You would think one study would be enough, but replication is critical. A follow-up study in 28 people done using the same dosage above (750 mg/day) showed that PA increased muscle size and lean body mass4.

So it does look like PA works, not only when scientists pump their pipettes, but also in normal people pumping the iron.

IS PHOSPHATIDIC ACI D SAFE?

Now I know most of us would sacrifice a lot of things (sleep, work, … maybe even dare I say women) in the name of gains, but we should probably also see if this thing is safe.

Well, it turns out that phosphatidic acid at efficacious doses, around 750 mg/day, is safe in young, healthy males5.

Phew, dodged a bullet there.

POTENTIAL PITFALLS

There is a mentality that more is better when it comes to muscle growth. More training, more food, more supplementation.  Specifically, people will often take multiple supplements that are “designed” to elicit muscle growth, assuming they will have additive effects.

Interestingly it appears that PA may actually have some interactions with whey proteinsupplements. In a study done with rats, taking whey protein and PA alone lead to increases in muscle protein synthesis but using them together actually reduced the effect of both, indicating they may interfere with each other6.

Now there are some definite caveats to this study as it was only demonstrating acute muscle protein synthesis in rats. And as we know, muscle protein synthesis is not a great indicator of long term muscle growth.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids (meaning our body does not create them) that contain an aliphatic (branched) side-chain.

There are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are key players in the regulation of muscle mass and must be consumed through your diet.

One interesting aspect of BCAAs is their metabolism in the human body. The breakdown of BCAAs is regulated through an enzyme complex known as the branched chain amino acid dehydrogenase complex, which we are going to shorten to something more manageable and call it BDC.

To take biochemistry from test tube to muscles, this means that when we have higher levels of BDC around, more BCAAs are broken down.

Levels of BDC in the human body are increased when we exercise, indicating that exercise promotes breakdown of BCAAs.

Another important aspect of this complex (which we will discuss later in this article) is that when the metabolites of BCAAs are present (i.e. the products of the breakdown), they inhibit the BDC complex. Which means if you have a lot of BCAA breakdown products around you preserve the currently available amino acids.

THE ANTI-FATIGUE HYPOTHESIS: BATTLING TRYPTOPHAN

Before we dive into the individual BCAAs and their functions, we need to cover one aspect of the collective group of BCAAs, their proposed ability to reduce fatigue.

There is a hypothesis about fatigue during training, it is called the central hypothesis of fatigue.

The Central Hypothesis of Fatigue states that elevated levels of serotonin in the brain caused by increased levels of tryptophan (tryptophan is converted to serotonin) during exercise induces fatigue.

BCAAs are thought to prevent this because they compete for the same transporter into the brain. So the hypothesis is that if you increase your BCAAs in the blood by supplementation, you prevent tryptophan uptake and thus reduce fatigue.

Now this sounds great as a biochemical and physiological theory. . . but unfortunately the research hasn’t created any promising results and any anti-fatigue effects of BCAAs by reducing “Central Fatigue” appear to be minimal if any.

VALINE: GLUCOSE CREATION

Valine is the least researched or well understood of the 3 BCAAs, and as such the currently known biological effects of it are minimal.

Valine is a glucogenic amino acid, meaning it can create and/or be converted into glucose1,2. The methyl carbons of valine can be utilized to produce glucose and ultimately glycogen.

This process of valine oxidation for glucose is increased in skeletal muscle following injury, which suggests that consuming extra valine in times of muscle injury (i.e. heavy training) might be beneficial for muscle recovery. Unfortunately for valine, it is far less effective at this than Leucine (a theme that repeats itself).