Many athletes and physically active people want to maximize the value of their workouts through supplementation. The metabolic benefits of these products are not as intensively studied as one might hope. And although recent research has substantiated the claims of a few, and research continues, many of the supplemental products on the market are not able to scientifically defend their claims.
The following are safe and effective supplements I recommend for athletes or individuals that want to maximize strength, power and metabolic function. Depending upon your sex, age and training goals and objectives, some may not be appropriate. All supplements are to be employed in conjunction with an intensive strength-training program and an adherence to a sound and adequate nutrition.
A bad diet supplemented is still a bad diet. All supplements have responders and non-responders, thus some of these may have varying effectiveness based on the individual.
Insures a balance of nutrients to promote muscular function and anabolic metabolism.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Vitamin E and beta-carotene are two other well-known antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy.
Creatine is a muscle volumnizer and claims to create bigger and stronger muscles by increasing hydration of muscle cells and muscle tissue. Increases strength, mass and weight. Creatine is a naturally occurring protein found in meat. Recommended dosages is 5 grams per day for a 12 – 16 week intensive resistance training program. Individuals over 220 lbs may up the dosage to 7 grams per day.
- Glutamine (Pre and Post exercise)
Decreases exercise induced Amino Acid suppression. Good for creating muscle volume as well. No known side effects. Significant glutamine loss has been noted during high intensity exercise. This supplementation of this protein is indicated. This is a protein actually used by the muscle during exercise and starts to promote an anabolic state in the muscle cell.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids
These are essential Amino Acids or proteins which promote an anti-catabolic hormone profile. Essential means that the human body can not manufacture this protein on its own and it must be consumed. An excess of these Amino Acids have a positive effect on blunting the effect of catabolism or the breakdown of the muscle post hard workout.
- Glucosamine & MSM
Helps bind water to cartilage matrix and claims some protection from Osteoarthritis. Stimulates the increased production of chrondrocytes which are cartilage cells used to repair cartilage. Basically assists in the lubrication of joints and helps maintain healthy and pain free joint function. There are multiple forms of Glucosamine available but studies have shown that Glucosamine in the form of Glucosamine Sulfate is the most effective.
Available evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the use of glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee. It is believed that the sulfate moiety provides clinical benefit in the synovial fluid by strengthening cartilage and aiding glycosaminoglycan synthesis.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is sold as a dietary supplement that is marketed with a variety of claims and is commonly used (often in combination with glucosamine and/or chondroitin) for helping to treat or prevent osteoarthritis. The biochemical effects of supplemental methylsulfonylmethane are poorly understood. Some researchers have suggested that MSM has anti-inflammatory effects
- Fish Oil Omega-3
Fish oil stimulates blood circulation, increases the breakdown of fibrin, a compound involved in clot and scar formation, and additionally has been shown to reduce blood pressure. There is strong scientific evidence that n-3 fatty acids significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels and regular intake reduces the risk of secondary and primary heart attack. Some benefits have been reported in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and cardiac arrhythmias.
There is a promising preliminary evidence that n-3 fatty acids supplementation might be helpful in cases of depression and anxiety. Studies report highly significant improvement from n-3 fatty acids supplementation alone and in conjunction with medication.
- beta-Hydroxy beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
Appropriate for individuals over 50. Shown that in this age group, it reduces protein breakdown and causes increase of lean muscle in aging individuals. Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine and is synthesized in the human body. It plays a part in protein synthesis and was discovered in scientific studies to purportedly increase muscle mass and decrease muscle breakdown.
Appropriate for males over 40. Hormone produced by the testes. Males over 40 years of age may note increase in testosterone availability. DHEA is a natural steroid prohormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, the gonads, adipose tissue, brain and in the skin (by an autocrine mechanism). DHEA is the precursor of androstenedione, which can undergo further conversion to produce the androgen testosterone and the estrogens estrone and estradiol. DHEA is also a potent sigma-1 agonist.
Banned by the NCAA
Supplements to AVOID
Androstenedione (Andro) This is a dangerous suppliment.
Pregnant or lactating women, diabetics, hypoglycemics, and people with known medical conditions and/or taking drugs should consult with a licensed physician and/or pharmacist prior to taking dietary supplements.
©2010 Patrick LoSasso website: preventionthrufitness.com
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