After two years of training, you may want to explore new ways of getting the most out of your training. At this stage you may consider adding in new supplements into your regime to further improve your results.
Greens for Muscle Growth
Virtually all serious bodybuilders will supplement their diets with protein powders, but what about vegetables? Many bodybuilders put significant emphasis on their protein and carb intake, often ignoring their vegetable intake. How many people do you know who actually consume the necessary amount of vegetables with every meal? An adequate intake of fruit and vegetables has a protective influence on health but most population groups eat less than the recommended amounts of these foods. In 2007, just over 10% of Australian adults ate the recommended minimum of 5 serves of vegetables each day.1 Greens are vegetable extracts in a powdered form that you can mix up in water, juice or even as part of a protein shake. There are many kinds of green supplements that are available. Each of them offer the nutritional benefits of green plants and vegetables. Green drinks contain many different alklysing ingredients and the regular consumption of them helps create an alkaline environment in our body. This is critical to bodybuilders, because the high protein diet you need to provide the body the raw materials for muscle growth is also naturally acidic. By consuming a sufficient vegetable intake, and supplementing your diet with greens balances out the acid to alkaline levels within your body, and create an even better anabolic environment for muscle growth. A greens drink generally contains approximately the equivalent nutritional intake as eight servings of fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that the phytonutrients found in greens help protect the body from free radical damage, help ward off illness, lower your risk of infections, and dramatically reduce the amount of yeasts and toxins in the body. There are many more benefits to taking greens drinks, besides the above. Green drinks are considered by some to be amongst the best sources of antioxidants, to the extent that they are considered to be a must have supplement for overall health and wellbeing. Take at least one serve of a greens supplement daily.
Testosterone Support For Advanced Trainers
Luteinising hormone (LH) is secreted form the pituitary, a gland at the base of the brain. LH triggers testosterone production. Testosterone’s effects are classified as androgenic or anabolic. The androgenic effects include changes in sex organs, voice pitch, and hair growth on the face and body.2, 5 The following supplements will assist you in your pursuit of quality muscle gains:
- Tribulus terrestris has been reported to lead to a rise in the production of luteinising hormone (LH). When LH levels are increased, the natural production of testosterone will also increase, which can also improve sex drive and libido.
- Horny Goat Weed may increase LH and natural testosterone production. Tests have shown that this product helps fight fatigue and elevated cortisol levels, a by-product of resistance training.
- Longifolia may stimulate the production of testosterone, and reduces the levels of bound and inactive testosterone in the body through the production of LH.
- Viraloid may increase the amount of testosterone produced by the body, and improves the absorption by increasing androgen receptor sensitivity. Thus your body will utilise and absorb natural testosterone and synthetic androgens more efficiently.
- ZMA is a supplement worth taking, if you are not already doing so. This blend of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 has demonstrated improvements to low testosterone levels, increased strength, and accelerated muscle size gains.
- Methoxy is a naturally derived non-hormonal anabolic and anti-catabolic compound known as a flavone. It may decrease cortisol levels, increase protein synthesis, and recovery. Methoxy may promote muscle size and strength, and fat loss, without adversely affecting hormone levels.
Supplements For Advanced Bodybuilders
Milk thistle is a herb and anti oxidant specialising in liver support and repair. Research studies support its liver-protective properties.3 The liver is one of our most essential organs and multitasks many of the body’s most vital processes. Unhealthy diets and lifestyles make us susceptible to disease. Testosterone Supplements can place an even greater stress on the liver. Thus when using Testosterone products, a liver formula is recommended. A Blended Protein Mix composed of a blend of Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate, with Tribulus, L-Glutamine, and BCAAs will give you added benefits. L-Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in muscles, provides fuel for the immune system. During stressful exercise, glutamine stores will be damaged, compromising immune system function.3 Glutamine is a great anti-catabolic agent, protecting muscle from cortisol. During sustained exercise, muscle protein loss occurs. This is mainly because there is an increased use of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) for energy. BCAAs are generated by muscle protein breakdown, and serve as precursors for the synthesis of glutamine, BCAAs are critical to anabolic and anti-catabolic processes. Joint Support Supplements are used to repair bones, particularly the joints. Doing so will help prevent injuries and also assist in the prevention of future disorders such as arthritis. GABA is an amino acid that is produced in the brain and is formed by glutamic acid in the body with the help of vitamin B6, which has a calming effect. Found in large amounts in the hypothalamus it serves as a neurotransmitter. The hypothalamus regulates instinctive functions such as sleep cycles, body temperature and the pituitary gland. The pituitary is the master endocrine gland affecting all hormonal functions. Growth hormone is produced in and secreted by the pituitary. GABA, when combined with other amino acids and nutrients gives more strength and helps faster recovery. Testosterone may be converted to the estrogens 6-keto-estrone and 6-keto-estradiol. Studies have shown that the active ingredient, 3,6,17-androstenetrione, found in a popular anti-estrogen supplements may help against the effects and formation of estrogen.
Bodybuilding Supplements at Night
Casein Protein results in a sustained elevation of blood amino acids. Better nitrogen retention and an overall increase in anabolism with a decrease muscle catabolism results. Casein supplements are high in protein and low in fat, carbohydrates and lactose, whilst being high in BCAAs and Glutamine.6
Supplements For The Advanced Bodybuilder
Like a car using high technology and better quality fuel, you will perform better with the right key nutrients. Combined with resistance training and the correct diet, adding supplements may help you elevate your lean muscle gains to new levels.
2 Sports Supplement Review by Bill Phillips
3 Nutrient Timing by John Ivy, Ph.D., and Robert Portman, Ph.D., p. 35
4 Sports Supplement Review by Bill Phillips p 156
5 Boost testosterone and muscle gains without drugs: the latest research by Paul Cribb, B.H.Sci HMS
6 Macrobolic Nutrition – Priming your Body to Build Muscle and Burn Fat by Gerard dente and Kevin J. Hopkins, p. 48