[ Q ] I've been bodybuilding seriously for about a year, and I like protein bars but I'm going to puke if I have to shove another chocolate coated protein bar down my throat. Is there a protein bar out there without chocolate?
- Nutty Peanut
- Trail Mix
- Honey Almond
[ A ] Yes, there is.
Unfortunately, chocolate coating has been the protein-bar standard for years - it's become a box that's caused a "creative deficit" and a million variations on the chocolate theme like chocolate mint, double chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate crunch, chocolate swirl, chocolate fudge, etc.
I think of it like this: making a protein bar is like making a movie - everyone's made movies one way for years - with pretty good results - so every movie maker has followed the same movie making methods. The only problem with this is that most standard movies suck. So do most chocolate protein bars.
Thankfully, the Rockin' Roll bars are a new kind of protein bar, and they have that special "something" that makes you want to eat several at a time.
They come in three flavors:
Each of these bars has a tasty center nougat that's rolled in caramel and peanuts, and seeds and fruit in the case of the trial mix flavor. They all taste good, but I like the new Trail Mix Flavor the best; it's simply the best protein bar I've ever had hands down.
The good thing about these bars is that they not only taste good, but they're useful because they're loaded with muscle-building protein and they instantly kill my junk food cravings and make me full without using processed sugars.
It doesn't say to do this on the package, but I sometimes heat my bars for 5 or 6 seconds, and they become soft and chewy, like a gourmet desert. It's something you might try.
I love these bars, and if you're looking for an alternative to the chocolate overkill, give these bars a try. I know you'll love them as much as I do.
[ Q ] I want to take a Nitric Oxide supplement. I've done some research and they seem good for muscle building, but I'm worried about the long-term effects on my health. Should I use nitric oxide to build muscle?
[ A ] Despite the magazine hype and marketing sensationalism surrounding these regular L-arginine based "muscle builders", there isn't much scientific or anecdotal evidence to support the claim that regular L-arginine builds muscle when taken within safe recommended ranges.
In fact, most of the so-called "muscle builders" that use regular L-arginine as their base advocate high-doses, and while these high doses may stimulate the nitric oxide pathway and induce a "muscle pump", users of these regular L-arginine supplements know all too well that high doses of regular L-arginine causes stomach upset, cramps, diarrhea, cold sweats, oxidative damage and lethargy. High doses of regular L-arginine will give you a muscle pump, but park you on the toilet.
Thankfully, we now have Arginine Ethyl Ester.
Arginine Ethyl Ester is a new kind of arginine that has the muscle-building benefits of regular arginine, but increased arginine absorption, eliminating the need for the high doses required to see effect. By increasing arginine absorption, Arginine Ethyl Ester is stomach friendly (it doesn't disrupt intestinal pH balance), cost effective, and quick to give results.
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Although there's little clinical research to date on AEE, and although marketing claims promising "steroid-like" results are obviously stupid and insulting, AEE is one of the hottest supplements around because it's safe and works well.
[ Q ] What is the proper dosing of L-glutamine? Should I take it 3 times a day, or an hour before working out?
[ A ] The amino acid L-glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that's used to maintain the free amino acid pool, to stimulate growth hormone release, and to serve as fuel for glucose production. It's essential to your health and muscle building results.
The best way to dose glutamine is to meet current physiological needs, and anticipate future needs.
Do so as follows:
1. Take Five Grams Just As You Awaken In The Morning.
Your body enters a state of catabolism during sleeping periods, and this is especially true if you go to sleep at night without eating foods that contain time released proteins that release amino acids for periods of two hours or more.
When you enter a state of catabolism, your body harvests amino acids from muscle tissue, and these amino acids are sent to the liver and converted into glucose. By dosing with glutamine in the morning, you give your body the amino acid needs and you shift your body into a state of anabolism and away from muscle wasting.
2. Take Five Grams Just Before You Exercise.
Exercise depletes your free amino acid pool, which consists primarily of glutamine. During exercise, the body uses glutamine to manufacture glycogen - sugar that's used by muscles to power exercise.
If hard training depletes your free amino acid pool, your body will start to cannibalize existing muscle tissue stores for amino acids, which will be sent to the liver to be converted into glucose to fuel exercise sessions. Anticipating a depletion of your amino acid pool - and taking a five gram serving of glutamine before exercise - will prevent muscle breakdown, and will enhance exercise endurance and boost the quality of your work out.
3. Take Five Grams After You Exercise.
Taking a five gram serving of glutamine after you exercise will help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue and will speed the recovery process by serving as a pool from which the body can draw to manufacture glucose to replenish muscle sugar stores.
4. Take Five Grams Before You Go To Sleep.
A five gram serving of glutamine taken before sleep will delay the onset of catabolism.
In addition to the above listed benefits, L-glutamine stimulates the pituitary gland in the brain to release hGH, which is well-documented to build muscle, burn fat, speed recovery and slowly aging process.
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[ Q ] I have just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I've never taken steroids, but I did use DHEA, creatine and HGH precursors. Now, I've started taking hormone shots (Cosadex) 50 mg. What can I do to help preserve muscle during this hormone treatment time?
[ A ] Casodex (biculatamide) is a prostate cancer treatment introduced in 1995, and it's available as a prostate cancer drug treatment in most of the world.
I know several people that take this drug, and although it's an effective prostate cancer treatment drug, it also has a severe anti-androgen effect and drastically limits the production of testosterone in the adrenal glands and testes, as well as the action of testosterone at cellular receptor sites.
I don't recommend using tribulus terrestris or other leuteinizing-hormone stimulating supplements, as these may interfere with your prostate cancer treatment, but if your doctor clears you to use other supplements like creatine, glutamine, vitamins and protein blends containing milk proteins (especially good for you, considering the catabolic effect of your drug treatment plan), then I suggest using these.
As for training, I suggest a two-fold approach:
- Do compound exercises.
- Reduce your body fat as much as possible.
Compound exercises allow you to work multiple muscle groups, and they give you the biggest anabolic bang for your buck. Doing these will help stimulate muscle fibers of all types (provided that you manipulate repetition scheme and poundage) and will boost hormone levels, allowing you to keep as much muscle as possible.
Reducing your body fat is an indirect way of reducing the action of estrogen in your body. As your body fat levels climb, so do your estrogen levels, and this causes a reduction in testosterone and growth hormone production. By reducing your body fat through cardiovascular exercise, you'll not only improve your heart health and general circulation, but you'll also increase your testosterone levels and look better.
As for nutrition, I suggest a two-fold approach:
Clean, muscle-building foods include herring, salmon, lean beef, chicken, celery, oysters, beans, broccoli, eggs, garlic and cabbage. These foods target estrogen, support muscle retention and testosterone increases.
Limiting simple carbohydrate consumption will keep insulin levels low, allowing you to lose weight, and maintain high testosterone levels. Saturated fats are of no value, so your fat choices should be unsaturated - these fats are used by your body to make muscle building hormones like testosterone.
So many people know that alcohol is so bad for you that I'm not going to write much about it here, other than to say that alcohol disrupts fat burning, damages every cell in your body, and it contributes to gynecomastia - something that you're already at risk for because of the drug treatment program you're on. Avoid it at all costs.
| What Is Gynecomastia?
Abnormal enlargement of the male mammary glands, sometimes to the point of secreting milk.
Your focus is the right one: act to preserve your existing muscle tissue stores. Above all else, make consistent choices, and get well. Best of luck.
[ Q ] I'm interested in using Kre-Alkalyn to assist me in my workouts. I have been using creatine but hate the bloating and stomach pains that it causes. I just wanted to know your opinion on the product and its effectiveness.
[ A ] Thanks for your question.
You know, it's interesting that people continue to claim that creatine monohydrate causes cramps, bloating and general system upset, and yet scores of creatine studies on hundreds of thousands of athletes have yet to substantiate a single case of cramping, bloating or general system upset that are directly caused by creatine monohydrate.
The fact is, science agrees that creatine is safe and without side-effect, and of the thousands of professional and amateur level athletes that I know, not a single one of them has reported any adverse effects from creatine monohydrate use.
I find your experience with creatine monohydrate unusual, on three counts:
- I find it unusual that you are experiencing bloating and stomach pains from using creatine - scientifically proven to be safe and effective.
- I find it unusual that you are sending me an e-mail about a cramping, bloating and stomach upset - possible symptoms of a medical condition - when treatment falls under the jurisdiction of a medical doctor.
- I find it unusual that you continue using a product that you say is causing you great pain.
I agree that the older and cheaply made creatine monohydrate products may have caused minor stomach distress and other side-effects in rare cases, but micronization technology (now a creatine manufacturing standard) allows creatine to easily achieve systemic distribution, effectively solving creatine absorption issues.
Read This Carefully:
Stop using all dietary supplements immediately and seek medical treatment if you are experiencing bloating and stomach pains from a safe and health-promoting substance like creatine monohydrate.
Do not take another capsule or spoonful of ANY supplement (including Kre-Alkalyn) without your doctor's approval; creatine is so safe that your life could be in danger if you're reacting to it.
With that said, here is my answer to your question.
I have been asked before to give my opinion about Kre-Alkalyn, and have even been accused by the products raw manufacturer of being uneducated about the product (after which time the product manufacture attempted to "educate" me with a sales pitch), and biased against the product (for disagreeing with the sales pitch and challenging the validity of the pseudoscience). These accusations are false.
Here's The Bottom Line:
I evaluate products based upon scientific evidence or substantial anecdote - not marketing hype or a well polished sales pitch. If a product works, I say as much. If a product does not work, I say as much. No amount of marketing hype or pseudoscience will change the truth, and I will not allow marketing hype and created pseudoscience to bias my opinion for or against a product.
It's my duty to maintain my objectivity until sufficient evidence exists to allow for an opinion. It's that simple.
I have used Kre-Alkalyn in the past, and while I did notice some benefit, I was generally unimpressed with its abilities. It's true that I did not experience water retention, but the products performance fell far short of claims made in magazine and internet advertisements.
So, while the product may be of some benefit, the product performance was disappointing because of the false expectations created around the product.
Most concerning, however, is the marketing material accompanying Kre-Alkalyn that attacks the efficacy and safety of regular creatine monohydrate. Creatine monohydrate is the world's most studied dietary supplement - and a mountain of scientific evidence overwhelmingly proves beyond any doubt that creatine monohydrate is safe and effective.
Overall, it's my opinion that the marketing campaign being waged by the products raw manufacturer is about as honest as an infomercial. I avoid using Kre-Alkalyn for this reason.
With this in mind, it is my opinion that while Kre-Alkalyn may have some ergogenic benefits (because it's creatine based), other creatine products - like CEE - are far superior.
The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider.
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Copyright © Clayton South, 2005 All rights reserved.
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