Article #12- Forbidden Supplement Stacks
Hello friends. Today my tetralogy about stackings will close with one article that is a "must read" for all of you. l will talk about supplements that you should NEVER take together.
Now, there are two categories of these supplements: supplements that you should not take at the same time, because they won't work efficiently, and supplements that you should not take on the same cycle, because you might experience some negative side effects. So far science has said that there are many ingredients that don't work well with each other, (minerals, vitamins, amino acids, that compete each other for better absorbtion), but l prefer to talk about the most crucial, or if you prefer the combinations that you should avoid at any cost! For some, l will use scientific facts. With others, l will use common sense. Let's see now the supplements that belong in the first category.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE AT THE SAME TIME
1 The first, is Calcium + Zinc/Magnesium (or the "famous" ZMA)
Calcium blocks the absorbtion of Zinc and Magnesium, so you should not take them at the same time.
Now some of you might wonder: "Hey John, l am not taking a Calcium supplement, so l don't have any problem with that", but the truth is, that ALL the whey, soy or milk proteins on the market contain at least 100-200mg per serving, and if you mix them with milk, then the amount is more or less 500mg! So if most of you are like me, drinking the last protein shake meal of the day just before you go to sleep, forget taking your ZMA.
Solution: There are two things that you can do as long as you will supplement with ZMA. The first is to take your protein shake serving 1-2 hours before you go to sleep. But for those that are afraid that they will be hungry again, l have one more very good solution. Replace your Whey with Egg protein! Egg powder does not contain any calcium, or if it does, the quantity is no more than 10-20mg per serving. (Almost nothing) So feel safe drinking your Egg protein with water or fruit juice (forget milk also), and after 10-15 min take your ZMA pills.
2 Two more supplements that you should not take at the same time are Creatine + L-Glutamine.
You should not take Creatine and Glutamine at the same time, because Creatine and Glutamine depend on many of the same substrate carriers and co-transporters. When the two are competing with one another for the same carriers, one wins and one loses.
Solution: Simply take them with 2 hours apart. Most bodybuilders are taking L-Glutamine before they train and before they sleep, and Creatine after they train and first thing in the morning. So this way, they give their bodies plenty of time to absorb each one of these separately. For others that train after their breakfast, if you take Creatine only once per day, take it after your training, and on the days you don't train, simply take your second dosage 2-3 hours after your morning L-Glutamine serving, or 2-3 hours before your last L-Glutamine serving.
3 I will talk about Creatine again, but this time with Caffeine
DO NOT take Creatine and Caffeine at the same time. A team of Belgian researchers investigated the effect of taking creatine supplements with caffeine. The researchers recruited nine men who did regular recreational exercise, but were not at a high level of training. Each man then undertook a series of three regimes, allocated in a random order, with a three-week break in between. At no stage did the men know whether they were taking caffeine, creatine or placebo.
The timetables were as follows:
A: Creatine loading for six days, taking 0.5g of creatine monohydrate
body weight per day
B: Placebo pills for 6 days
C: Creatine loading as in A, plus taking a dose of caffeine at breakfast in the last 3 days of loading. Caffeine dose was 5mg caffeine per kg of body weight (for a 70kg man, the equivalent of 3 strong cups of ground coffee, or 7 cups of tea).
Muscle creatine phosphate levels were measured before and after each regime. In addition, a series of tests to analyse muscular force were carried out on the subjects by making measurements during a standardized sequence of knee extension exercises. When creatine supplements were given, knee muscle force was boosted significantly, as would be expected given the raised muscle levels of creatine phosphate. But, guess what happened! Although caffeine-plus-creatine raised muscle phosphocreatine levels above placebo, the boost to muscle performance seen with creatine alone was completely missing!
Reference: "Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading", Vandenberghe et al, J Appl Physiol, vol 80, pp452-457, 1996.
Solution: It is better if you weight train after your breakfast, forgeting coffee at that time. If you train at the afternoon, avoid drinking coffee before you leave from your work. Try to have at least 4-5 hours difference between your coffee and your Creatine serving for better results. (Caffeine stays in your system longer than most other stimulants. Half the caffeine you drink in a cup of coffee may still be coursing through your veins four hours later). So for any one of you that is taking a loading phase of Creatine, forget coffee for 4-5 days.
4 Vitamin E and Iron
Now let's see one very important vitamin and one mineral that you should not take at the same time. Vitamin E and lron! lron destroys vitamin E. So don't take your vitamin and lron at the same time, if you want some extra anti-oxidant protection.
5 Copper and Zinc
Two more minerals that are not good to take at the same time, are Copper and Zinc. Zinc competes with Copper when you supplement them at the same time. So take them again separately.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE ON THE SAME CYCLE
Now pay great attention here. I won't talk about supplements that won't give you good results if you take them together, but supplements that will put your health in risk if you take them together.
1 E/C/A + Yohimbine
ln a study held in 1998, when overweight and obese people were given a combination of Ephedrine, Caffeine and Yohimbe stack, and asked to exercise, the doctors that did the study found that the addition of Yohimbine (10mg/d) increased blood pressure and heart rate while decreasing the heart's efficiency of pumping blood! This increased the load on the heart during work or exercise that could potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke! But Ephedrine (50mg/d) + Caffeine (400mg/d) alone, had no such effect on heart function. So forget any supplement product on the market that has all of them at the same time, and forget any combination like that, for your own good. Reference: "Cardiovascular effects of Ephedrine, Caffeine and Yohimbine measured by thoracic electrical bioimpedance". Clin. Physiol.1998
2 E/C/A + L-Carnitine
Here l prefer to talk with common sense. In order to burn fat when you take Ephedrine or E/C/A stack, your body is turning the calories into heat instead of storing them as fat. Also, Caffeine by itself, increases blood adrenaline levels, thereby increasing lipolysis. (The breakdown of fat.) But in order for your body to start doing that, it has to also increase your heart palpitations. (That's why people with heart or blood pressure problems should never take any Ephedra based product.) Also, in order to transfer fatty acids across cell membranes to the mitochondria where they can be used as energy, L-Carnitine also increases your heart palpitations. (Not as much as E/C/A but it does.)
So if you take both of them at the same cycle, you risk an even faster heart beat. Losing fat is good, but losing your health is terrible! So take them at different cycles.
3 L-Carnitine + Yohimbe
L-Carnitine, as l said before, increases your heart rate. Add to that, Yohimbine, (the active ingredient of Yohimbe), has a major impact on blood levels of noradrenaline. (A neurotransmitter secreted by certain nerve endings and by the adrenal gland.) Guess what that means? Yohimbine stimulates the central nervous system, and this has as an effect, increasing your resting heart rate. Again we have a story with two ingredients that can each increase your heart rate. So to take both of them at the same time is a very big NO NO.
4 Creatine and Fat Burners
l said before that it is not good at all to take Creatine with Caffeine, but there is something more here. Think about one of the most major functions that Creatine is doing. lt causes water retention inside the muscle cell, right? Now think about one of the most major actions of Caffeine! (If you wonder why l am talking about Caffeine again, keep in mind that at least 90% of fat burners contain Caffeine or "Guarana" which is basically Caffeine in herbal form.) lt causes frequent urination. So from one side you have to drink more water because of Creatine, but at the same time you have to go to bathroom more often. The final result? Very possible dehydration and muscle cramping.
You want to lose some unnecessary fat pounds ladies and gentlemen? Fine, take your fat burner, reduce your calories, and increase your cardio! You want to gain some muscle pounds? Take a good Creatine supplement, and increase your food consumption! You want to get more muscles, but at the same time you want to lose some unnecessary pounds? Sorry, out of the question! Decide what you want to do first, and don't believe the hype: "l got 10 muscle pounds in 8 weeks, and at the same time l lost 20 fat pounds"! (Yeah right!)
5 E/C/A (or any fat burning product) + Pro-Hormones
Now l will talk about what I think is the most dangerous combination. l really wanted to find a very good scientific study that would confirm what l will say, but l will use again my common sense. (And remember, you will read it here first!) As l said before, an E/C/A stack (or any other product that contains Caffeine, L-Carnitine or Yohimbine), is increasing your heart palpitations, right? What about Pro-Hormones? Pro-Hormones work wonders if you take them alone, but remember something. When you take them, you are more "in the mood" to train hard, because your testosterone levels are increased. Also, one of the negative side effects of pro-hormones is more aggression. Of course you don't have the same kind of aggression that you might have if you were taking steroids, but l will explain what l mean.
It's scientifically proven that when males (or females) are most aggressive, plasma levels of testosterone are elevated! Well think about something now. Do you remember the last time that you were very angry about something before you train? As a result, you had a very good training later. Also have you ever heard from your trainer or from some friend, that if you want to train real hard, you have to think someone that you hate? (Good old motive) Yes? Good! This means your testosterone levels had hit the roof at that time, (along with your Adrenaline or Epinephrine levels), and that's why you could try harder and lift more. Maybe even some of you have made fun about that saying. "Hey my testosterone levels are pretty high today!"
Now try to think something else. Do you remember your heart beat increased? (This is very important)! lf you remember that, then we are on the same page. lncreased testosterone (for a large or small periods of time), increases your heart rate. Of course as l said before, one part of that has to do with Adrenaline because it stimulates the heart, constricts small blood vessels, raises blood pressure, liberates sugar stored in the liver, and relaxes or contracts certain involuntary muscles, but also increased testosterone plays it's role there.
Pro-Hormones primary function is to increase your testosterone levels. lf you remember, what l wrote before, fat burners also increase your heart rate. So what is the final result here? Again, two (or more), compounds that will increase your heart palpitations! My advice? Avoid that at any cost!
NEVER take two ingredients that both increase your heart rate. And l will say again what l said about Creatine and fat burners. Follow two different cycles, one for muscle mass, and then one for fat loss, but never do them together. Don't believe the hype that you can get muscle pounds and lose fat pounds at the same time. But most important, don't put your health in any kind of danger.
This was the end of my 12th article friends. lt was one of the most important articles that l have written so far, and l hope you will follow my suggestions and won't combine what l mentioned before. Save your money and keep your health in the most optimum levels. ln my next week's article l will talk about the importance of the mind power. (Remember! The best workouts really start in your head). Stay tuned!