Using Bodybuilding Supplements To Build Muscle
OK, first let's get something straight here...
If you think that buying a shake or taking a
few pills will all of a sudden make you huge,
then you are mistaken.
No supplement will help you if you are not training
and dieting correctly -- they will just give you
very expensive urine. All aspects of your program
have to be in order for you to get the maximum
benefit from sports nutrition supplements. From
my experience, supplements enhance your program
1. Adding an element of convenience: Using food
supplements like Meal Replacement Powders and
whey protein help to eliminate the common problem
of 'not enough time', by providing you with an
quick efficient way to get your required nutrients
2. Increasing strength and decreasing recovery
time: Using vitamin and amino acid supplements
help to minimize the negative side effects of
weight training and speed your recovery.
The Benefit of Convenience
There are many 'old school' trainers and bodybuilders
who profess the uselessness of supplements. They
are constantly preaching that they don't work,
and that you don't need them. Well, to tell you
the truth they are correct, somewhat. Remember
that not too long ago there were no supplements.
Bodybuilders built huge physiques without meal
replacement powders, creatine or prohormones.
There was no such thing as exercise 'machines'.
They used multi-jointed, compound free weight
exercises that not only increased their muscular
size, but also make them incredibly strong. So,
if you look at that way it can be done and you
don't need any supplements. However, the decision
whether or not to use supplements should involve
the consideration of other factors that may come
into play when speaking of dieting today. The
first of which is time.
Many people today just do not have the time to
live, eat and breathe food. Very few people like
to cook, and even fewer cook on a regular basis.
When was the last time that you actually had six
meals that you actually cooked yourself? Many
of those who are against dietary supplements continue
to preach that you should get all the nutrients
that you need from your diet. 'Eat a balanced
diet and you will get all the nutrition you need'.
Well, 100 years ago that may have been true, but
today this type of advice is questionable.
The fact is, most people's idea of a good meal
is restaurant or (even worse) fast food. To ask
someone to eat specific amounts of protein, fat
and carbs seems like an impossible request considering
that most people can't even get their minimum
requirements of good fat or fiber. Experts will
continue to spout 'eat a balanced diet,' while
Americans feast on nutritionless fast food and
sugar. Not only do our bodies have to deal with
the ever-increasing external stresses of everyday
life, they also have to combat nutrient-depleting,
tissue damaging exercise.
If I did not have the option to supplement my
diet with whey protein, I probably would not have
gained as much weight as I have. Now, I'm not
saying that the whey protein is why I gained weight,
but it did help me a great deal.
I am usually very busy and I just don't have
the time, nor the desire to eat six, planned whole
food meals per day. Supplements like meal replacement
powders and whey protein fill in this gap for
I typically have three real food meals and three
protein supplement meals -- that makes up my required
six meals each day. When I'm away from home, or
not able to get an adequate meal, my MRP is always
right there when I need it. It gives me a quantifiable
amount of protein so that I can keep track of
my nutrient intake. In my opinion, this is much
better than just grabbing something and then trying
to guess at how much protein, fat or carbs you
just ate. Getting in all of your required meals
and nutrient amounts is crucial to your success.
My mass diet requires a very high daily protein
intake -- Over 300g per day. Just to give you
example of how much that is, here are some examples
of what 300g of protein is equal to:
Tuna -- 50 oz of canned tuna (the average can
is 6-8oz.), which is 1,750 calories and 25g of
Chicken -- 38 oz of chx breast (equals about
seven 6oz breasts), which is 1,313 calories and
38g of saturated fat
Beef -- 43 oz of lean ground beef (about 2.7
pounds of meat), which is 3,214 calories and 215g
of saturated fat
Eggs -- 50 large whole eggs, equals 3,750 calories
and 250g of saturated fat
Egg whites -- 100 egg whites, equals 1,600 calories
and almost no fat
Pure whey protein -- 15 scoops of EAS Precision
Protein, equals 1,500 calories 7.5g of saturated
It is very possible to get this amount from eating
whole foods only -- But it will take work. Also,
as you can see from the above numbers, getting
all of your protein from regular food will also
bring a lot of unnecessary elements like extra
saturated fat. Yes, our goal to gain mass is to
eat a lot of calories (including fat), but your
main fat intake should consist of unsaturated
fats that are liquid at room temperature like
olive oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil and safflower
oil. Whey protein supplements will help to give
you the extra protein without the fat.
Increased Strength and Decreased Recovery
In addition to a whey protein supplement, I recommend
that everyone should be taking a multi-vitamin,
plenty of vitamin C, and glutamine. Creatine can
also be added if you are over 18.
Weight training increases the body's need for
many minerals like magnesium and selenium. The
multi-vitamin ensures that I am not deficient
in any major essential vitamin or mineral. Deficiency
symptoms include muscle weakness and suppression
of the immune system, muscle cramping and fatigue.
I always take a multi-vitamin without iron, because
grown men do not need additional iron. We get
enough from our food. Men and postmenopausal women
should never take iron supplements unless they
have iron-deficiency anemia, which is only diagnosed
by blood tests. The body has no way to eliminate
excess iron except through blood loss. Women who
menstruate are protected from iron overload, obviously.
Iron is also an oxidizing agent that can cause
damage to the heart and arteries, and is a major
risk factor in arteriosclerosis.