Bodybuilding Supplements May Not Be Necessary by Gary Mathews
To supplement or not to supplement....
....that is the question on
more bodybuilder’s lips than ever before. Are they safe? What
works and what doesn't?
Lets have a look at the basics.
There are various reasons why athletes may be interested in supplementation.
· Concern about getting
adequate nutrients from our food supply. · Suspicion of pharmaceuticals. · Belief that diet
alone will not achieve optimal nutrition
The concerning thing about supplements is that anything classified
as a dietary supplement is not required to meet any FDA or other
standards! Think about that! there are no regulations in place that
guarantee the safety or purity of something sold as a supplement.
They are also not made to meet the similar safety requirements
as prescription drugs or any other manufacturing standards. They
are not required to meet product potency or purity ratings and are
not required to prove the effectiveness of any health claim that
Studies suggest that a number of supplements may deliver on advertising
claims. However, trainees are spending large sums of money on products
that have little or no proven usefulness.
Personally I find the use of supplements over rated and as with
strength training, supplementation asks the same question “if
a little is good then maybe more has to be better”
Supplementation and steroids started to proliferate when volume
strength training became the training system of the day. Young strength
trainees slaving in the gym for five to six days a week was seen
as normal. All this without making any progress or putting on any
They then turned to the latest supplement or steroid thinking that
this is the magic bullet to put on that added muscle when all the
time they were just plain "overtraining"
The cold hard facts are that the majority of the regular trainees
in your gym are overtraining. The sad reality is that the type of
training that you find in bodybuilding books and magazines (and
used by the stars) are irrelevant to the majority of
the population and has a high failure rate.
If more bodybuilders started using more infrequent, short,
high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required
amount of time to recover and become stronger…
MOST OF THE WEIGHT GAIN SUPPLEMENTS AND STERIODS AVAILABLE
TODAY WOULD NOT BE NEEDED.
The bottom line on weight gain supplements:
· Before taking a supplement
try to make modifications to your diet that might achieve the same
· Only choose products that show the amount
of active ingredients on the label that are required.
· Be aware that “natural” does
not mean ‘safe’
· Some herbal supplements may have unpleasant
Listed below are some popular bodybuilding supplements available
on the market today:
Creatine was first introduced to the market place some eight years
ago and has since become the most popular bodybuilding supplement
of all time.
Creatine is said to significantly increase lean muscle mass, improve
performance, increase energy levels and speed up recovery rates.
Creatine also stimulates the uptake
of amino acids in the proteins, which means that the more that it's
used the more muscle that may be grown.
Dosage: A loading phase of 20grams a day for the first five days
then a maintenance phase of 5grams a day from then on.
The highest yield of protein currently available and is extracted
from milk. This is another popular supplement for athletes and bodybuilders
because of its high proportion of
amino acids. It is supposed to be high in potassium, which is essential
for muscle growth and is an antioxidant and a good immune system
Is a non-essential amino acid, which makes up to 60% of the amino
acids in the bodies muscles. Glutamine containing products are protein
shakes and good quality protein powders; it can also be added to
protein shakes for added potency.
Dosage: 5grams to 15 grams per day.
So please remember a supplement is something added to the diet to
make up for a nutritional deficiency or imbalance they are not intended
to substitute for eating a balanced diet. If they are to be taken
at all they should only be used to supplement the diet and not replace