You're sitting in the dining hall at school or entering a gym filled with self labeled hardcore lifters and all you hear is talk about this new supplement which is hot on the market right now. "Oh man, have you heard about so and so." "Yeah man. That stuff is supposed to help you put on 10 pounds of solid rock hard muscle in 30 days or less." I'm sure you've heard it before or at least read it in some magazine ad.
My advice to the beginner or the ignorant is simple: DON'T BUY INTO THE HYPE. Think about it for a second. Ten pounds of solid muscle equals 160 ounces. Now think about a 16 ounce flank steak. Hmm...that's a hell of a lot of muscle and this new product will guarantee you ten of these flank steaks slapped onto your body.
If it sounds too good to be true and it doesn't have the chemical structure of a sterol molecule, then it's probably too good to be true. Sure, you can make gains off of supplements but the claims they make are extreme and sometimes utterly outrageous.
There are so many supplements out there, it's tough to determine which ones truly work and which ones are just plain garbage. One of the best ways to determine a supplements potency is to actually give it a try yourself. The biochemistry within the human body is phenomenal and one person's myriad of biochemical processes may react slightly differently with certain compounds.
In other words, one supplement may do wonders for one person yet yield minimal if any results for another. Knowing this, you're probably confused about what to take and what not to take.
Phano's Top 5 Supplements
Well, from personal experience and from results obtained from several friends, I believe the Top Five supplements to take are as follows:
Well, proteins are comprised of amino acids and if you don't have the amino acids present, how can more protein be synthesized?
So they rationalized that if phosphocreatine levels were related to fatigue, then if we were able to sustain adequate levels of phosphocreatine, then we would be able to delay the onset of fatigue thus allowing us to train harder and longer.
Sounds logical enough, don't you think? So the geniuses at a pharmaceutical company decided to develop and isolate the immediate substrate for phosphocreatine in the form of creatine. There are some who swear that creatine does wonders for them yet on the same token, there are others who are skeptical about creatine and consider it harmful to human health.
Personally, I believe creatine to help but only if you do your homework in its entirety. Just because you're ingesting 20 grams of creatine a day doesn't mean you'll be 50 lbs heavier in four weeks. Read it now: IT WON'T HAPPEN!
This one here is a no-brainer. It's difficult for the average Joe who eats only 2-3 times a day to get all the vitamins and minerals from foods. So the next best thing is to consume a good multi-vitamin tablet.
I believe the best ones are the ones which cause your urine to become yellow despite the amount of water you drink.
When you train your body produces free radicals which are extremely harmful to the internal biochemistry of your body thus requiring powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C and E.
Meal Replacement Powders:
Unless you're a self-made millionaire and you have all day to sit around and do nothing while making enough money to live comfortably, then you are out in the real world trying to make a decent living. With this said, you have to be in the gym to workout, eat your 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day, maintain good grades, a family, or whatever your situation may be, and still remain sane.
All of this is difficult enough and frankly, I get sick of eating all of the time. Enter meal replacement powders! It's an easy 300-600 calories. These are well worth the investment , if you ask me, but the difficult part is finding good ones. I believe that you get for what you pay in a protein or MRP shake.
If you're paying $10 for a 20 lb bucket of a no name protein, I'd be a little worried. Just the big name companies b/c the FDA looks more closely at them than the smaller no name companies.
Once you reach a certain level of lifting, your joints begin giving you problems. No, not because you become a complete pansy but rather because it's hard on your body to push and pull extremely heavy weights. Almost everyone I know swears by glucosamine/chondroitin complex tabs but there is fault in the research that was done with glucosamine.
The glucosamine administered in the initial research was given via injection as opposed to oral administration. If you don't believe me, you are more than welcome to look up the journal yourself. Why is this important? Well, your liver is the gate keeper of the body and will degrade a lot of what goes in it which it deems potentially harmful or foreign.
My biochemistry professor tried to convince me that glucosamine is worthless but to this very day, I take glucosamine and my joints aren't as bad as they were before I started taking them. This could be a placebo effect but could this be the case for millions of other glucosamine users out there? To be honest with you, I doubt it.
Remember, these are the Top Five supplements which I deem to be vital to anyone's attempt to build a better physique. There are a ton of other supplements which I'm sure may be good but not many of us have that kind of money to throw around much less the time to eat this pill and that pill and mix this shake and that shake.
My general rule of thumb for any beginner or intermediate lifter is to stick with the basics. If you try to get too fancy too soon, then you'll probably end up doing more harm than good. So until next time, train hard, train smart, think BIG!