Note: Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of this website's publisher or staff. Bodybuilding.com does not condone any form of illegal drug use for bodybuilding or for any recreational purpose. Bodybuilding.com also does not condone abuse of legal drugs for any purpose.
[ Q ] Clayton, I was wondering if you could help me. I seem to ask people for help but am unsure of who to believe. I have looked at your articles and you seem to be "the man".
I have used Sci-Fit's Kre-Alkalyn and whatever protein that tastes good at the time. I am considering taking Sci-Fit's ES3 and continuing with Kre-Alkalyn for my creatine intake and also drinking plenty of protein.
Does this sound like a good plan or would you recommend something different? I am a Police Officer and work nights. So with overtime, kids and everything else I work out 3 days a week. Try and get all major parts in, in those days. Thank you in advance!
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[ A ] Thanks for your question.
As a police officer who works nights, you know that one of the biggest challenges is eating regularly. Working the night shift dramatically impacts your body and disrupts your internal clock and your circadian rhythms. In turn, this disruption affects your appetite and can make it difficult to eat.
Considering your situation, my first recommendation is that you stick to the basics before testing some of the more advanced and specific dietary supplements on the market.
To this end, I recommend that you first begin using a quality multivitamin and multimineral product to ensure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you need to maintain basic health and to support your body during times of stress both at work and in the gym.
Next, because working nights is one of the best ways to throw off a regular eating schedule, I recommend using RTD's - ready to drink shakes. While regular protein powder is useful, you have to mix it with water or some other fluid and this can be messy and time-consuming. Because of your situation, using a high-quality RTD that you simply open and drink is the best solution.
When it comes to RTD's, I've pretty much tried them all. Some RTD's taste good, and others taste terrible. My personal favorite and the one that I'll recommend to you is the new Lean Body RTD by Labrada Nutrition. I really like this RTD for a number of reasons.
First, it's very high in protein so you're guaranteed to get all of the protein that you need in one serving. Secondly, it contains a blend of proteins so you get an extended amino acid release, ensuring a positive nitrogen balance for up to five hours. And, finally, the taste is absolutely phenomenal and because of the packaging, these do not have to be refrigerated.
Extended protein release and refrigeration considerations are especially important in your situation because when you're out on the road and away from the station you may not have time to eat for many hours, and you certainly will not have access to a refrigerator.
Once you've established a regular eating schedule that ensures that you are receiving all of the nutrition that you need, I then recommend exploring creatine monohydrate, fatty acids and possibly nitric oxide supplementation. Once you've successfully integrated these elements into your plan, then explore the very specialized supplements like ES3 and the like.
The key for you is effectiveness and convenience - whatever you take has to work and it has to be easy. Stick to these basics and work your way up and you'll satisfy both of these conditions. Good luck!
[ Q ] I have been taking L-glutamine and Optimum 100% Whey protein. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Optimum whey lists a glutamine on the label at over 4 grams per serving. Is this glutamine the same as taking L-glutamine? Is 100% Whey protein a good product, or just another scam?
Also would it be a good idea to stack it with No-Xplode to get even better results? Thanks for the help.
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[ A ] First, let me assure you that ON 100% Whey is a stellar product. In fact, it's an amazing product. Even though it's just a protein powder, it is an incredible value because it's a trusted product from a trusted company. Anyone who knows anything uses ON 100% Whey because of its quality and value. It simply can't be beat when it comes to a whey protein powder. It's no scam.
With respect to glutamine, it's important to understand that there are differences between L-glutamine and the glutamine listed on the product label. Whereas L-glutamine is free-form, the glutamine listed on the product label is peptide bonded, and this offers several advantages.
Regular L-glutamine is a great supplement on its own, and I highly recommend it to everyone, but poor absorption can sometimes limit its effectiveness. By contrast, peptide bonded glutamine is efficiently absorbed and is not subject to the same degree of destruction.
Although you are getting approximately 4gm of glutamine per serving of 100% whey, I still recommend that you use a free-form L-glutamine, especially just after you awaken and just before you go to sleep at night.
At these times, take regular glutamine on an empty stomach in the morning. Note that you will not get the same effect on growth hormone levels during this time if you take glutamine along with protein.
As for NO-Xplode, you can take a nitric oxide product with 100% Whey - many people do and get good results. However, be aware that each person will differ in their sensitivity to arginine and that 100% Whey and NO-Xplode both contain arginine.
While arginine is generally safe, the risk of overdose does exist when you use multiple arginine containing products. Signs of overdose can include upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating and cramps.
I recommend monitoring your arginine intake and, because arginine stimulates nitric oxide (a stable oxidant but an oxidant nonetheless), be sure to increase your vitamin C intake for extra oxidant protection and insurance against any potential negative effects.
[ Q ] Clayton, please help me out here.
If steroids can be used to help an eighty year old woman recover from hip surgery, why can't they be used to help the average guy stay on the job?
I'm the average 48 year old guy. MY BODY IS FALLING APART! We all read about testosterone and HGH levels as we get older. I own my own business, it is physically demanding and my body is not recovering.
My muscles are stretching and not recovering. My friends who are in the trades, cops, firemen - anyone with a physically demanding jobs - all complain of the same thing. Why isn't anyone paying attention to this market--IT'S HUGE!
I've talked to a couple of "doctors" and they know less than I do about physical fitness in general, and much less about steroids, HGH or any other supplement. They simply recommend eating a balanced diet and doing sit ups to help relieve back pain.
Where can one go to overcome ignorance?
Hope to hear from you. Thanks.
[ A ] You know, every once in a while I'm given a bit of hope that despite the irrationality and ignorance of the medical system and the government, no amount of ignorance or regulatory bullying can stamp out reason and common sense.
You raise a great point and our medical system and regulatory environments are interesting, aren't they?
Instead of using our incredible scientific knowledge and medical machinery to maintain the productivity of our nations productive citizens, we're allowing productive and valuable people to succumb and decay under the ravages of pollution, hard work and garbage foods.
At the same time our medical establishment seeks to sell symptom specific quick-fix pills to people with no real present or future productive capacity. As a result of this backwards approach, we're seeing the death of our national productivity, national health and future quality of life.
As sad as this realization is, it's easy to see why doctors and the system work the way they do: money. The fact is, preventative medicine is the death of the current medical system that aims to treat only symptoms.
And, whereas the pharmaceutical sectors are worth billions of dollars in profit annually, physician monitored preventative medicine practices (that can include testosterone shots) are worth less than 1/1000th of this staggering amount. In other words, preventative medicine is a money losing enterprise for the pharmaceutical establishment.
So, rather than give our best and brightest and most able citizens medicines, our "medical system" has been fashioned to train doctors to treat with drugs that are sold at obscene prices.
Having said all of this, I should make a couple of points: people with health conditions do have much to contribute to society and nothing that I've said here means otherwise. And, while preventative medicine is the approach that best ensures the health of a nation, it is still medicine that employs the use of real and often dangerous drugs. Even preventative medicine needs to be supervised by competent medical doctors.
My point here is simply that the system is backwards, that it's going to create an unprecedented crisis in this nation, and we're only now starting to see the effects.
The only thing you can do to help overcome this is to educate people. Thankfully, there's some evidence that our awareness on these issues has evolved and that this new awareness is spreading. More people than ever are spreading knowledge and education to people who would otherwise simply be another income source for the pharmaceutical industry - people who would "rent" their basic health from established medicine at an obscene cost to wallet and dignity.
By educating people on healthy living, you're saving lives and, hopefully, evolving the consciousness and priorities of our nation so that the future of our country will be healthier than the one that the drug industry currently envisions.
[ Q ] I picked up some creatine ethyl ester about two weeks ago and the stuff tastes really bad, like drinking lime juice with a touch of tart concentrate. Is the stuff supposed to taste good?
Also I have been taking it according to the label (1/2 tsp 30min to 60 min before a workout and 1/2 tsp immediately after the workout) and haven't notice too much of a difference in performance or appearance. Am I taking it right? Should I increase the dose? Any ideas would greatly help! Great articles by the way.
[ A ] Thanks for your question.
It's well known that Creatine Ethyl Ester powder tastes pretty bad and has a horrible taste that doesn't go away no matter what steps you take to flavor it. For this reason, only a select few manufacturers sell CEE in bulk powdered form while most elect to sell CEE in capsule form. The bad taste that you're experiencing isn't the result of the creatine itself, but the solvents that were used to create the ester linkage.
As for dosing, the main advantage that CEE presents over other forms of creatine is that it is absorbed more easily and the ester linkage protects the active creatine component from destruction in stomach HCL As a result, more creatine from CEE passes through the intestine intact and into the bloodstream where it is then transported to target muscle cells for absorption.
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As a result of increased absorption, you shouldn't need to take large amounts of CEE to notice effect - the common effective dose of CEE is about half of the dosage amount required to see effect with regular creatine monohydrate. So, whereas regular creatine monohydrate needs to be dosed in 5gm servings, CEE should only need to be dosed in 2.5gm serving sizes.
Most people who use CEE report immediate results - often from the first dose. These results are usually visible and obvious and result in harder muscles, increased strength and improved exercise performance. That you are not seeing these results suggests several possibilities, including that you are a non-responder, or that your product is not genuine creatine ethyl ester.
Whereas in the days immediately following CEE's market debut, there was some question as to the authenticity of products claiming to contain CEE, the debate has now been settled and we can safely say that, today, genuine CEE does exist.
I suggest trying a different product brand to see if the issue is with the product. If you do this and you are still not responding, this may hint at underlying difficulties with creatine absorption.
To get to the bottom of any potential creatine absorption issues, it's important to know how you respond to regular creatine monohydrate. If you respond favorably to this supplement, then other factors affecting absorption are at work. Are you dosing on an empty or full stomach? Do you take any other supplement ingredients at or around the same time as your CEE dose?
Keep in mind also that science shows that a 2.5gm dose of creatine every several hours is optimal for creatine absorption while avoiding down regulation of the creatine transport mechanism. It may be, therefore, that you are dosing with too much CEE and unknowingly shutting down your own creatine transport mechanism.
If you are following label directions, ensure that you're not taking in more than 2.5gm of CEE at any one serving. And be sure also to drink plenty of water when you dose as this helps with absorption.
If, after exploring all of these possibilities, you find that you are simply not responding to any CEE product, I suggest trying a different supplement altogether. Many different forms of creatine exist and one may work for you. Explore your options and you'll get to the bottom of it. Good luck!
[ Q ] Hey Clayton, I have some quick questions.
I am 20 years old, male and have been working out for several years. I have two bottles of 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione and I am scared to take them because, quite frankly, whenever I hear of test boosting I get a little scared. Is it completely safe? Are there any possible side effects, and if so, how likely are they to occur? How would you recommend dosing 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione?
Also, I want to add L-glutamine to my nutrition program so that I can build lean muscle and accelerate recovery. I was going to dose at 10gm/day in two 5gm doses. What is the best time to take glutamine?
I hope you can help me. Thank you very much.
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[ A ] Thanks for your question Marco.
4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione is a great ingrediant that's been around for years.
While 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione has the effect of increasing testosterone levels, it does not do so directly as, for example, anabolic steroids do. Instead, 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione is an irreversible "suicide" inhibitor with a total affinity for aromatase - the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estradiol. 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione irreversibly binds to aromatase in adipose and peripheral tissues.1
When it comes to the issue of safety, although I would be very surprised if 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione had long-term side-effects, there is at present not enough research to rule out side-effects. Lets face it: any time you put something into your body, you put yourself at risk for side-effects.
This is even true of the food you eat. Having said that, and if the real world experience of almost every bodybuilder is any guide, 4-Etioallocholen-3,6, 17-Trione appears to be very safe. As for dosing, I suggest following the directions on the product package as these dosing guidelines have been effective for most users of the product.
For glutamine dosing, a 20gm daily intake divided into 5gm servings has proven benefit. I recommend taking 5gm of glutamine upon waking in the morning, 5gm before your workout, 5gm after your workout and another 5gm on an empty stomach before bed. This keeps a steady concentration of glutamine in your body - a critical factor for seeing benefit.
Do YOU have a question that you want answered? Do you have an opinion you want to share about the column? If so simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and be heard! Say your piece!
- Numazawa M, Tsuji M, Mutsumi A (1987). "Studies on aromatase inhibition with 4-androstene-3,6,17-trione: its 3 beta-reduction and time-dependent irreversible binding to aromatase with human placental microsomes." J Steroid Biochem. 28(3) (Sep): 337-44.
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