In part one, I talked about the importance of the right supplementation and also what supplements work best for you in order to be a better bodybuilder without paying a fortune. So far I said that a good multivitamin/mineral formula, with the addition of extra anti-oxidants, Creatine, L-Glutamine and Meal Replacement Powders, you can feel secured that your supplementation program is very good. But what other supplements can make you an even better bodybuilder? That's what we are going to discuss today.
HMB (Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) - Learn More
It is a metabolite of the amino acid "leucine". It appears to upgrade the body's natural potential to build muscle and burn fat by minimizing the muscle tissue breakdown that occurs after all intense exercise sessions.
In one study that was published in the "Journal of Applied Physiology", it was revealed that athletes who supplemented their diets with 3 grams of HMB a day, for only three weeks, gained three times as much lean body mass and experienced an increase in strength two and a half times greater than test subjects who followed the same workout program but used a placebo.
Also another very good plus, is HMB is very safe and nontoxic. (You don't need to cycle it). Despite many people's belief that HMB does not work, HMB has been extensively studied and has been found to have a very consistant, positive effect on protein metabolism. The reason that some people believe that HMB does not work is because as with most supplements, it can not work for the 100% of the population. It's effectiveness is around 70% for the people that try it.
3 grams per day. Click here for more info on HMB.
D-Ribose - Learn More
Ribose is a naturally occurring energy metabolite found in all cells of the body. It plays a vital role in myocardial and skeletal muscle metabolism through it's participation in the synthesis of ATP and other adenine nucleotides. Research indicates that supplementing with Ribose is an effective way to increase energy levels (ATP) within the muscle cell, enhance muscular performance, and aid in recovery after high intensity exercise. Ribose is a wondrously effective nutrient for increasing energy, maintaining normal function of the heart and skeletal muscles, and keeping energy levels high and performance at its peak.
3 to 5 grams per day should be enough to maintain normal ATP levels. Serious competitors or individuals concerned about cardiovascular health may want to take more. 5 to 10 gram per day is appropriate. Start with the lower dose first, however, and move up if more seems necessary. Ribose has been found to be completely safe at these recommended dosages. Click here to learn more about Ribose.
NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) - Learn More
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is an altered form of the amino acid cysteine, which is commonly found in food and synthesized by the body. It has been shown to help increase glutathione levels by up to 500%. Research has shown that NAC supplementation virtually eliminates the exercise related changes in glutathione status by preventing the increase of oxidized glutathione in the blood.
Also, in one more study, the positive results were not just because of NAC's ability to scavenge free radicals but also its ability to support higher levels of Glutamine in the bloodstream, which aids in repairing damaged tissue. Something very interesting about NAC, it has been found that NAC supplements improved symptoms in individuals with bronchitis. Finally remember that NAC may increase urinary zinc excretion. Therefore, supplemental zinc and copper should be added when supplementing with NAC for extended periods.
Take 600mg of NAC every day, divided in 2 seperated doses through the day. (So take two-300mg dosage, for better results).
EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) - Learn More
Many of us have experienced very bad results when we wanted to diet hard, because we had eliminated fat from our diet as much as possible. We were thinking that since fat is bad, if we don't eat fat at all we will get leaner, right? Totally wrong! The more fat we refuse to eat, the more our testosterone levels drop, insulin function becomes impaired, muscle growth slows, and finally we run out of energy. What most of you don't know, is that there are good and bad fats around. Some fats are essential to life itself, not to mention that we need them in order to have optimal muscle and fat metabolism.
The fats that you should avoid are the saturated and the hydrogenerated, and these fats are responsible for problems like heart disease, cancer, and many more health problems. In contrast, Unsaturated and Poly saturated fatty acids are much healthier (solid evidence shows that eating EFA's will protect your most important muscle, your heart), and those are the ones you should ALWAYS consume when you are dieting.
The essential fatty acids are the omega-3 (linoleic) and omega-6 (linolenic) fatty acids. These nutrients can maximize athletic performance in various ways and are useful supplements for anyone with a physically active lifestyle. Omega-3 (linoleic) fatty acids are found in abundance in flaxseed oil and fish oils. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in many vegetable oils (such as black currant seed, borage, flaxseed, walnut, chestnut and soy), and are especially abundant in evening primrose oil.
So if you want to diet right, you need EFA's. One last note: Remember that if you want OPTIMAL health and athletic performance, you need to consume the right proportion of omega-6s to omega-3s, up to approximately five times more omega-6s than omega-3s.
Take 5-8gr of omega-6s and 1-2gr from omega-3s. (Or take a supplement containing Alpha-Linolenic Acid (the parent of the omega-3 family).
Last but not least, I left maybe the most controversial supplement that exists on the market today. In many countries is not approved due to its "steroid like effects", and it's banned from any athletic organization that is under the guidance of the IOC (International Olympic Committee). So if you are a competitive athlete in any sport, and they have regular drug tests, forget this supplement.
Also the opinions of most people are totally split. Half of the people that have taken it, swear that it works like a mild steroid, and the rest believe that what you can get from it is only negative side effects and nothing good.
Without entering into details to say if it works 100% or not I will try to explain briefly all the forms of andros/nor andros and what they do to your body. Before I start, just remember that there are only two compounds that convert directly into testosterone in the body. These are Androstenedione and Androstenediol. Other substrates will convert into testosterone but not directly.
Androstenedione - Learn More
This was the first steroidal nutrient that hit the market almost 3 years ago. When you take androstenedione it is converted into testosterone by a natural enzyme in the body. Once converted into testosterone or nortestosterone in your body, you may get the numerous muscle-building and recovery effects testosterone provides through its various pathways.
4-Androstenediol - Learn More
4-androstenediol, like androstenedione, is quite androgenic. Also noteworthy is the fact that 4-androstenediol probably has some inherent intrinsic anti-catabolic value. (This means that it doesn't have to convert into anything for it to be active and that it can be considered to have true hormone-like activity). It seems to work better than Androstenedione.
5-Androstenediol - Learn More
It seems to work a little better than 4-Androstenediol. The benefit to 5-Androstenediol is it may exert anabolic effects in its unconverted state. This means that it might not have to be converted into testosterone to have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue. This is very significant because a large portion of all pro-hormone substrates go unconverted in the body. With 5-Androstenediol, this unconverted portion may be anabolic in muscle tissue.
19-Norandrostenedione - Learn More
19-Norandrostenedione, supports nortestosterone production. Nortestosterone is a highly anabolic hormone but is considered low androgenic. It seems also to work pretty good without experiencing the negative side effects.
19-Norandrostenediol - Learn More
19-Norandrostenediol is an isomer of norandrostenedione. It converts into nortestosterone via enzyme conversion just like the other nor-andro products. What is very interesting about this steroidal nutrient, is that it seems to be the best in terms of safety and effectiveness. A study that held in late 50s, determined it to be a highly effective anabolic compound on the same order as nortestosterone. The patent describes this steroid as a relatively weak androgenic agent. It is of special value in human (and in veterinary therapy) because of its high degree of activity in promoting nitrogen anabolism. This compound also has anti-estrogenic properties.
Recommended dosages for andros/norandros:
At first I want to say that any steroidal nutrient can not be totally safe. It seems that Nor-Diol works the best with the minumum side effects but if you decide to take them do it at your own risk. Read very carefully the warnings that every pro-hormone product writes at its label. So if you decide to try them, I repeat, it would be at your own risk. So for all the forms that I described above, DO NOT exceed 500-600mg at most per day. Personally, I think that you are fine if you use only 200-300mg per day, divided in two or three equal 100mg doses every day, or only one dose for some supplement companies that produce andros having 300mg per capsule.
Anything more than 500-600mg will not produce better results, but in contrast, it might put you in greater danger for any possible negative side effects. Also, if you want to stack different andros in order to get better results, that might be good, but remember never exceed the 500-600mg point. So take 100-200mg when you wake up, and again, another 100-200mg dosage, 30-40 min before you train.
Remember that you should always cycle andros. The best cycle seems to be 6-8 weeks on, 3-4 weeks off.
Also on your non-training days, remember again that it is very important to take supplements as these are critical recovery days where your body may utilize the pro-hormone substrates and other nutrients for supporting muscle growth and repair. However, it's fine if you take only one serving every day since you are not putting your body in the same catabolic state that you do when you weight train. (That means to take half the dosage that you take on your training days).
Finally about the best form of andros available, I think capsules work the best since we don't have many scientific data that say that pro-hormones in liquid or time-released form, work better.
This was the end of my second part about supplements you can use in order to have even better performance. So far you know every supplement, dosages, and when you should take them in order to help you increase your performance and your muscle mass and what can help you achieve the great body that you always wanted.
Just remember to keep in mind, that no matter what supplements you take, if you don't eat 5-6 good nutritional meals every day, and if you don't sleep at least 7-8 hours every day, you won't experience great results. So use supplements wisely.