But what about the vitamins and herbal extracts that were yesterday's latest thing? Once in the front of the line, some very effective supplements have been relegated to some sort of "B" list. They've fallen out of vogue. The secret is there's no reason to not include them. They are safe, effective, and an exceptional value for the money.
Supplements To Consider
B-9 - Learn More
When was the last time you heard a discussion about this vitamin, otherwise known as Folic Acid? I like to call this the incendiary grenade of our secret weapon arsenal. It's has an extremely powerful double punch to the human body, two qualities that extremely beneficial to the bodybuilder. B-9 helps in the utilization amino acids (that's the concussive side of its abilities) and the utilization of sugars (the long burn, just like the fire from an incendiary grenade). Cha-ching.
In other words, it can help you build muscle while helping you metabolize carbs. What a two-fer! B-9 is a key vitamin in cellular function and repair. Deficiency of folic acid leads to impaired cell division, and alterations in protein synthesis. The effects of deficiency (bodybuilders, take note) are most pronounced in rapidly growing tissues (aka muscle). Dr Atkins said that healthy adults require much more than the 400 microgram Recommended Daily Allowance.
s But be aware that High doses of Vitamin B9 (more than 15mg) may cause stomach upset, sleep trouble, and skin disorders, and can even cause seizures in persons with convulsive disorders. Take a goodly amount, just don't overdo. If you think that folic acid is just for moms and babies, think again.
Guarana is the mobile armored platform of our attack when the enemy is fat. It used to be the hottest thing around, but like the other supplements listed here, it has become second class. It shouldn't be. Guarana has been shown to stimulate the migration of lipids so fat can be burned as energy. It is also an appetite suppressant.
Guarana aids in a temporary, natural increase in body temperature and metabolic thermogenesis through nutritional stimulation of the body's ÃŸ receptor pathway, which can induce the breakdown and release of stored body fat, and allows fats to be turned into energy. When stimulated through appropriate dietary supplementation, thermogenesis is also a mechanism that increases metabolic rate.
Stored body fat, if released and available for use, can provide the fuel for this increased metabolic rate (great news if you do a ketogenic cut cycle, like me). Other active constituents of guarana are theobromine and theophylline. They have some effect on increasing metabolic rate, suppressing appetite and enhancing both physical and mental performance. Guarana increases mental alertness, fights fatigue, and increases stamina and physical endurance.
In body care products, it has been used for its astringent properties, and in the treatment of cellulite. I use guarana as the "C" part of my ECA stack because I like the slow infiltration of the boost rather than the quick spike caffeine can give. (Side note: there has been discussion that caffeine's quick spike can cause the body to retaliate by releasing cortisol and thereby hold onto fat.)
Vitamin C - Learn More
Remember the MOAB in the Middle East war (nicknamed the mother of all bombs)? It had more explosive power than any other conventional weapon ever made.
That's Vitamin C. Aside from strengthening the immune system, mega-doses of Vitamin C (1000 mg or more) can reduce cortisol in the blood. Cortisol not only inhibits the positive effects of the body's testosterone on our muscle mass, but also it actually promotes a catabolic (muscle tearing down) environment in the body. As we all know we are trying to maintain an anabolic (muscle growing) environment for our muscles.
Most multi-vitamins do not contain enough Vitamin C to combat cortisol. On days when I have been fighting off a cold, I have taken 1000 mg of Vitamin C every hour for two days. I watched others around me suffer for days, while I was past the illness in less than 48 hours. Some people take 10 to 15 grams a day as a regular part of their supplementation! But beware of this yellow alert: There has been discussion of Vitamin C negating the effects of ephedra if you are on an ECA stack. I take two ECAs a day (morning and afternoon), then switch over to green tea in the late afternoon and start hitting the C. It seems to be working.
Cayenne - Learn More
If conventional weapons are not to your liking, then its time to kick things up with a little nuclear power. Cayenne is my favorite. It's a thermogenic and appetite suppressant in one! Some of the cardiovascular benefits of cayenne include: reducing blood pressure, fighting fatigue (because the increased circulation lowers the blood pressure, and increases the distribution of oxygen), lowering cholesterol (by thinning the blood), reducing the risk of blood clots, increasing the metabolism, easing of muscular pain, relieving cluster headaches, and preventing heart disease.
Wow! A truly nuclear supplement! I team this up with my green tea in the PM for massive thermogenic burn. Hoo-Rah! Red alert: if you do not take this is capsule form and try to take it fresh or in bulk powder, you will think you ate a nuclear bomb! Take a minimum of 40,000 Scoville heat units a day. Some people do not like cayenne because it can cause heartburn. Drink more water and take it long enough to give your body a chance to adjust. You will be hooked on this truly nuclear supplement.
My Own Stealth Weapon
Lastly I've decided to invent a brand new supplement which will be all my own.
Let's see, it has to be thermogenic to aid in fat loss, increase ATP in the muscles to help in workouts, boost immunity, reduce high blood pressure, protect the liver (so that I can get more benefit from my ketogenic cut cycles) and it has to lower cholesterol. Yeah, that should do it. Now I know you're all going to line up to buy some, for a whole lot of money. Send the checks now, before you figure out that I'm talking about ginger.
That's Zingiber officinale, not Ginger the girl on Gilligan's Island. I take 2.5 grams a day (yellow alert: 2.5 grams has 2.5 carbs ketogenic dieters). You can take bulk powder but it is very hot in the mouth; caps are best.
If you buy bulk powder, buy quality only. There is some real garbage out there. Also, powdered bulk ginger can be stale if the store doesn't get much action. Caps are still pretty cheap, so I'd recommend them over all.
The war on fat and catabolism is not one that should be taken lightly. The enemies are truly formidable, but you can win; stay in the trenches, never surrender, and pick up some of these secret weapons to turn the tide in your favor. Hoo-Rah!
The Penny Pincher's Guide To Supplements!