All posts by Gym Supplements

Nutrition Supplements

Do you need supplements?

My view is yes,  you do need sport supplements to achieve great results .

Yes, supplementing is essential for maximum growth and recovery.

I believe in supplementing, and my personal experience has shown that leaner and superior gains are achieved through supplementation.

If you struggle to meet your goals,  supplementation could be the answer. A bulking supplement is recommended for hard gainers,  and protein replacement meals is recommended for individuals struggling with weight loss, and a protein supplements is recommended for body builders who want to grow and achieve the six pack look.

Food reduces the need for supplements

A variety of different protein sources is essential to ensure proper and sufficient protein intake.

You will need to include fish, chicken, dairy and red meats.

Most people will need to eat 5-6 smaller varied meals per day  to achieve the perfect balance between gains and weight control. But no matter what diet an individual follows, the majority want to gain maximum muscle and minimum fat.

Calorie intake per day

The biggest factor is caloric intake per day. This is the amount of food required to keep you alive and how many more or less calories you need to achieve your goal (weight gain or loss).  This is discussed in another post.

Protein to carb to fat ratios

Nutrition is a science.  Each person needs to adjust their protein to carb to fat ratio to their specific needs and “body types”.  This is discussed in another post.

Body types

There are 3 basic body types and depending on your body types:

Naturally skinny or lean Ectomorph, Naturally plump or broad Endomorph, and the Mesomorph who is naturally muscular. You could fall between the ecto / meso or endo / meso body types. Most individuals’ goal is to achieve the Mesomorph body type.

Why supplement?

With today’s busy lifestyle,  and work responsibilities, it is easier and faster to take a sports supplement to replace 2 or 3 meals.  And contrary to popular belief, the added ingredients make it cheaper per serving  of sports supplements , than to have a varied healthy diet.

Sport supplements also tastes better than many foods that give an body builder or athlete the equivalent nutrients.

The pros of taking sports supplements

  • The nutrients in a gym / sport supplements is highly-concentrate.
  • It is quick and easy to carry , prepare, drink or eat a serving of sports supplement.
  • The recommended or required intake is met quickly.
  • Sport supplements have the correct ratios for maximum absorption.
  • Sports supplements include higher levels of performance enhancing nutrients that food cannot provide quickly, such as creatine, which requires saturation to be achieved for maximum benefit.
  • Dietary supplements have a psychological and motivating effect.

Tips on nutrients

Zinc: 

Overdosing on Zinc supplements causes nausea and vomiting.  Zinc binds to copper, inhibiting copper absorption in the body. Reduce zinc intake unless advised by a doctor. only take one or twice a week to “top up” if your body is depleted.

Zinc is also found in Emmental and Edam cheese, oats, oysters or pumpkin seeds.

Creatine

Creatine doesn’t really have any side effects but any overdose is expelled and wasted. Follow the product instructions and do not overdo it as you will be flushing money away, quite literally.

Iron

Iron is absorbed better with Vitamin C and amino acids.

Iron is found in meat, green leafy vegetables, parsley, dried lentils and carrots.  Note that spinach contains a rich amount of iron, however, oxalic acid found in spinach prevents the body from absorbing the entire amount.

NoCarbDiet

Negative calorie foods that burns fat

Do negative calorie foods exists?

The theory: You will burn more energy digesting these foods than you can get from the calories in that food

These foods are usually plant-derived foods that are high in water content and rich in fiber: grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, except for fatty fruits like avocados and olives.

This is a myth,  you cannot eat food to lose weight

It seems like a great weight loss miracle, but unfortunately it does not work like this.

Celery is top of the list as an example as it has 10 Calories, of which most of the Celery is water and fibre and it is a great snack to eat to suppress hunger pains instead of a Chocolate bar loaded with sugars – at 280 Calories.

It has been shown that to digest the Celery, you only need 2 Calories. This means that the body burns or stores the balance of 8 Calories.

Ok, since you do not burn more fat by eating these foods, what use are they?

You will not shed the calories from the cake you just ate by eating these foods, but you can replace that cake with these instead!

  1. These foods are much healthier than junk foods!
  2. They contain a good proportion of water and fibre, reduces cravings, and keeping you fuller for longer! This means you will eat less during the day, and when consuming these foods, your calorie intake will be drastically reduced.

Vegetables that burn fat

Vegetables on the negative calorie food list are: Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chicory/Radicchio, Cucumbers, Endives, Green beans, Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Radishes, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini.

Fruits that burn fat

Fruits on the negative calorie food list are: Apples, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cranberries, Grapefruits, Honeydew, Lemons/Limes, Mangoes, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangerines, Watermelon.

Herbs and spices that burn fat

The spices and fresh or dried herbs on the negative calorie food list are: Anise, Cayenne, Chili peppers, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander/Cilantro, Cumin, Dill, Fennel seeds, Flax seeds, Garden cress, Garlic, Ginger, Parsley, Onion, Mustard seeds, Watercress.

Buying Steroids in South Africa

Anabolic Steroid abuse is a major concern in South Africa,  and gyms have a zero tolerance policy towards steroids, however, there does seem to be a secretive steroids black market in South Africa.

If you talk to many well build body-builders, they will initially deny any steroid use, but as you get to know them, they start to open up about their past Steroid or performance enhancing drug use.

From News24:

Types of steriods

In the fitness industry, the most commonly used oral anabolic steroid is Dianabol, aka Dbols, which helps users build mass in a relatively short time. It costs around R400 for 60 capsules.

The most commonly used injectable is Test Prop (Testosterone Propionate) which, according to steroid.com, promotes nitrogen retention in the muscle, and the more nitrogen the muscles hold, the more protein the muscles store. It goes for around R380 for 10ml.

One extremely dangerous steroid that some used is called Tren (Trenbolone Enanthate), which is in reality intended for livestock and referred to as the ‘greatest performance enhancing drug on earth’.

Directions for use would say ‘use 1ml for 100kg of cattle’. It is often used for its alleged fat-burning properties as well as reputed powerful muscle building, strength increasing and “hardening” qualities.

Clomid is another popular drug that’s used in post-cycle therapy, ie to ‘put you back to normal’. “

I tend to disagree with some of the content in the article.

“But in the fitness and sports world it is readily available, once you’ve found a seller.

One user (who requested to remain anonymous) told Health24 that there are always steroid pushers at the gyms, especially the larger ones.

They may approach you in the locker room and comment on your physique, thereby striking up a conversation.

Depending on your response, they may offer suggestions of how you can bulk up easier.”

This information is false, fake, a fantasy. I have never been approached by anyone and if I question anyone whom I suspect is taking Steroids, they will deny steroid use – outright! It takes them time to open up to you  once you get to know them.

“It’s also not unheard of for personal trainers to supply those they are training with illegal steroids. “

Rubbish. Personal trainers would be taking a huge risk if they do supply Steroid to anyone.  Personal trainers push a person hard to do their best, they will train a person to breaking points.

“They are also readily available online, although for every real supplier there are about 10 who run online scams and the buyer will most probably end up with a container of chalk rather than any performance-enhancing drugs.”

True, from what I understand, even the products purchase from sellers may be fake or dangerous. People are landing up at doctors with high blood pressure and other complications.

Jealous snitches and supplier rivalry

The biggest danger for a steroid user is jealous gym “friends” or rivalry between suppliers.   You might find the police waiting outside the gym because a rival supplier snitched on their competition. Unfortunately, the user will be in the firing line and will get caught along with the supplier.

A gym “friend” is also your competitor,  and unless you truly know the person, it is to be assumed that they will use the gym’s anonymous tip lines when they become jealous of your easy gains. Or it may just be religious beliefs or perhaps just moral guilt.

Side effects of steroid use

The side effects are quite sever and may include, among others:

  • Aggression – Roid rage
  • Acne
  • Body and facial hair
  • Abnormal breast development
  • Baldness
  • Increased blood pressure and strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Male infertility
  • Loss of libido
  • Liver problems
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver cancer
  • Mental health problems, including depression, concentration and aggression.

In women, the above and also include:

  • menstrual irregularities

5 Ways to spot a steroid user: look for a distended gut/stomach,  disproportionate upper body development, gynaecomastia (man boobs),  acne,  stretch marks and a sudden increase in muscle mass.

The saddest part of steroid use is the rapid loss of muscle mass when the user gets off steroids. It may take several weeks to lose all the gains, but it is guaranteed that the muscle will disappear compared to a natural body builder. Natural builder will maintain muscles for years, whereas steroid users will lose it all.

Bottom line: Don’t use steroids.

Steroid users

Vitamins

Vitamins for skin, hair and nails

Vitamin supplementation is not required if you have a varied and healthy eating plan which consists of grains, meat, vegetables and fruits.

If you have good nails, skin and hair, then supplementation is not required.

If you get painful muscles cramps or spasm, then you may try vitamins and minerals  supplementation for several weeks, however, abnormal mineral ratios may also cause spasm and cramps. So overdoing is not going to be helpful.

If you have a great varied diet, you can still supplement but you can take the lowest dosage or half dosages (such as one tablet a day instead of two tablets), or you can skip a day between supplementation.

This not only saves you money, but should be sufficient to make up any shortfall.

When to take full dosages

Grey hair, dry or falling hair is a common problem many body builders and fit individuals tend to have due to the higher demands on their body for vitamins and minerals.

Eating a high protein, low fat diet may also lead to some vitamin deficiencies, especially if grains or fats are eliminated from the diet.

Taking a  multi-vitamin assists greatly in keeping vitamins in check, but sometimes taking extra precautions may be needed to healthy skin and hair.

Vitamin B tends to be one of the important vitamins for most individual in maintaining good health, and is sometimes lacking.

Which foods contain  Vitamin B ?

The different types of vitamin B come from different types of foods. Vitamin B12 is found primarily in meat and dairy products. B7 and B9, and, to some degree, B1 and B2 are found in fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin B boost every now and again may correct the balance, but an excessive Vitamin B-Complex intake is also capable of causing “burning muscles” or chronic muscle
tension.  It is not necessary to overdose, keep the dosages down to the recommended minimum as your body does not require a constant dosages if you are eating well.

A good balanced, and varied, diet a complete diet consisting of meats, grains, fruits and vegetables is required to get all your vitamins.

  • Vitamin B12 is found primarily in meat and dairy products, so strict vegetarians are at risk for a deficiency.
  • Vitamin B6 can be found in fish, poultry, liver, potatoes, and non-citrus fruit.
  • Most people get B1 from breakfast cereals and whole grains. B2 also can be found in whole grains, as well as in milk, eggs, and dark green vegetables.
  • Vitamin B9 can be found in many foods, from meats to grains to citrus fruits.

If you are a vegetarian or on a strict or specialized diet, supplementation may be required to meet vitamin requirements.

Which vitamins you need to look at if your skin, hair or nails are becoming problematic:

  • Biotin: The #1 B vitamin for hair growth.
  • Zinc: When we are deficient in zinc, our hair loses its colour, leading to gray hair.
  • Vitamin D: Opens follicles for hair to grow.
  • Vitamin E: Gives hair shine, bounce and growth.
  • Niacin: Increases circulation to allow hair growth.
  • Magnesium: Gives stronger hair.
  • Iron: Encourages hair growth.
Table of vitamins - set of food icons organized by content of vitamins
Table of vitamins – set of food icons organized by content of vitamins

 

Muscles like hulk

Steroids – are they worth it?

Steroids is not a magic pill or injection. By taking steroids, you will not automatically inflate to massive sizes, and you will not transform yourself in Hulk in a similar way as the “Hulk”.

Steroids is the name of many different chemicals that have one thing in common: To change your body unnaturally.

Steroids are not worth it!

You can achieve better, longer-lasting results naturally. If you are just looking at becoming lean, ripped and muscular, and  are not looking at competing, don’t use steroids.

Steroid gains do not last, the gains and strength somehow seem to reverse once a user stops using steroids, even if they continue to train.

Natural bodybuilders keep their gains and shape for many years, as long as they keep training.

Even if a natural bodybuilder stops training, the results quickly returns after a few weeks of training due to the magic of “muscle memory”.

Steroids

Steroids are drugs that change the chemistry of your body to produce a specific effect:

  • energy
  • strength
  • Build muscle
  • reduce fat

Steroids are illegal, and is usually purchased through underground (illegal, unlicensed) channels where quality is not guaranteed, and where no professional is available to check and correct for side effects. Irrespective of what is being told to you, if you are caught with Steroids, you will face legal consequence, you may land up in a court and may even get a criminal record.

It may sound unfair that a health freak can possibly get a criminal record, but  governments around the world are trying to discourage their use because of the devastating damage that steroids cause to people.

Early symptoms of steroid abuse are:

  • significant, sudden increases in body weight – this is the desired effect of body builders
  • serious cystic acne
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • severe leg and abdominal cramping
  • premature hair loss

Side effects of Steroids:

  • cholesterol modifications
  • heart disease
  • anaphylactic shock
  • high blood pressure
  • septic shock
  • death

Reproductive system problems:

  • genital atrophy
  • genital swelling
  • sexual dysfunction
  • sterility, impotence
  • prostate enlargement
  • fetal damage, and menstrual irregularities.

The liver and kidneys are under constant attack by steroids. Individuals do use liver tonics and tablets available at pharmacies, but these do not reverse the damage. These liver tablets are manufactured for infrequent alcoholic drinker, but the keyword is infrequent.

Effects to the liver includes:

  • cancer, jaundice, tumors, and Pelosis hepatitis.

Damage to the kidneys includes:

  •  kidney stones, kidney disease, and kidney malfunctions.

Taking steroids can also affect your skin and hair

  •  Acne, oily skin, rashes, purple or red spots on the body, hives, increased body hair, baldness, and increased facial hair in women.

Other side effects include edema bone pain, nausea, chills, diarrhea, insomnia, deepening of the voice, and changes in bowel and urinary habits.

Steroids can also affect the user psychologically. They can become depressed, aggressive, and very hostile. Some athletes are so aggressive that they have to use tranquilizes when not competing to cope with their hostility.

Are Steroids addictive?

Steroids are not addictive in that it does not change the chemistry in the brain in the same way alcohol or recreational drug would.

A person can stop using steroids at any time with no withdrawal or life-threatening symptoms, there are no cravings.

It is the desire to grow larger and to get leaner that pushes a user to use steroids over and over again.

Some steroid users stop growing,  or they are not happy with the results, and as a result, they continue to abuse new steroids to squeeze everything that they can out of their bodies.

Someone who starts receiving compliments feels good about themselves, and this pushes them to continue abusing the steroids.

And the feeling of achievement is also a strong contributing factor to the abuse.

The “addiction” is not the drug itself, but the mental and the self-esteem effect it has on a person.

Steroid users

muscles

What muscles groups can be trained together?

The muscles can be split into two categories, major and minor.

Major muscles are the very large muscles that are exercised first, followed by the minor muscle groups. The minor group are the smaller muscles.

You can combine 1 major and 1 or 2 minor muscles, or combine a number of minor muscles. Training major muscle groups in one session, or even in the same day, is not ideal.

The major muscles:

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Legs

The minor muscles:

  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Hams
  • Calves
  • Abs
  • Forearms

 

The worst foods that make you fat

All food makes you fat if you too much of it, and if you eat it regularly. The worst offenders are junk food and sugary drinks, which includes fruit juices, 100% pure or not.

The obvious fattening foods includes any type of take out foods:

  • Pizza 266 Calories / 100gram, and one pizza slice is approx 107g (285 calories)
  • Burgers – a popular burger comes in at 257calories / 100g, and one burger is 219g (543calories),. And there are much larger burgers on offer that are loaded with many more calories.
  • French fries is even worse, even though they look like a smaller portion, and comes in at a whopping 312 calories / 100 grams, with a medium serving sitting at a mega 365 calories (117grams).  If you think of skipping the burger and taking the fries to save on calories, think again, it is better to take the burger than the fries!
  • Fizzy drinks and juices come in at 32 to 38 calories per 100grams, with artificially sweetened drinks coming in at 8 calories per 100grams.
  • Any processed foods, such as processed cheese and sausages, contain too many calories and chemicals, avoid. This includes that borewors. If you love it and cannot do without a weekly braai, limit the intake, eat more greens and drink more water so that the craving is less and you get fuller faster.  A smaller piece of wors will satisfy your cravings if you eat healthy greens beforehand, and if you eat slowly.

Fattening foods that seem like a healthier

  • Pasta, brown or white, is loaded with calories. Replace with brown rice, potatoes or cauliflower rice.
  • Sweetened yogurt is full of sugar. Replace with unsweetened yogurt or even Greek yogurt.
  • Salads with salad dressing. Salad dressing packs a whole lot of calories, and tghe tastier, the more likely it is laden with fats and sugars. Replace the salad dressing with vinegar or lemon juice, or purchase an off-the-shelf low fat, low sugar, low sodium alternative.
  • Almost all breakfast cereals, with the exception of Oats (Not instant oats) and a few of the newer health cereals,  are bad news. They usually have sugars, and a lot of sugar. Read the labels before buying.
  • Brown bread, seeded breads and Rye combination breads. These may seem like great alternatives, but they are just as destructive to your weight as white bread. Avoid any wheat breads, replace with 100% rye.

 

TOWIE Six pack challenge Mens Health

Supplements for abs za

Supplements for abs

If you would like to get a six pack, it is best to cut out the junk – junk foods, fizzy drinks and sugary stuff. Cut out the carbs as much as possible and increase your protein intake.

Lastly, budget for at least 6 weeks of intense diet and exercise.

Supplements to take to build your six pack

  • CLA
  • Fat burner

Supplement exercises to do

  • Cardio – 30 minutes a day

30 minutes of cardio is most effective when split. I find that it prevents boredom and is more motivational.  And it also feels as if I did work harder.

I start with the most difficult and intensive exercise, and then move into the machines that requires less effort. This is to enhance the after-burn effect.

I feel the stepper is the most intensive for me, followed by the rowing machine, then the treadmill at a fast walking pace,  the cross trainer, and last, the cycling.

I pick 3 exercises for 10 minutes each, and if I don’t do weight training, I do 4.

More information on fat burning and after-burn effect may be found here.

Image from Men’s health 6 pack challenge

 

 

High protein diet

Proteins – whey, milk, egg, soy and blended

There are a number of different protein supplements on the market, and there is a variety of proteins from food.

Protein is one of the three major, or macro, nutrients. The other two being carbohydrates (carbs) and fats.

Proteins are comprised of nitrogen-containing groups called amino acids.

There are about 20 different types of amino acids commonly found in foods. All of them are important for building and maintaining muscle, but 8 are vital. These are what’s known as the Essential Amino Acids (EAAs).

The EAAs cannot be synthesized in any of your tissues, so they must be obtained through high protein foods.

  • Lean meats,
  • fish
  • poultry
  • eggs
  • milk
  • cheese
  • soybeans

Powdered whey, casein, egg, and soy proteins offer the same amino acids as whole food sources in more concentrated doses – with lower levels of calories, fat, carbs, cholesterol, and other non-protein ingredients.

Whey Proteins – fast acting

Whey proteins are quickly and easily digested ( “fast-acting” ), they are loaded with essential amino acids (EAAs) – including the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), and they contain subcomponents (microfractions) that appear to provide benefits above and beyond amino acids and elemental nitrogen. Whey is one of two major dairy proteins and accounts for about 20% of the protein in milk.

Casein Proteins – slow release

Comprising 80% of the protein in milk, casein is the dominant dairy protein. Often referred to as a “slower-acting” or “time-released” protein, because they are digested and absorbed much more slowly than whey or soy proteins. Casein proteins are especially useful when taken at bedtime and during other prolonged periods without eating.

Milk Proteins – 20% whey / 80% casein

Milk protein is dried milk with most of the fat and carbohydrate removed. Like the original milk, powdered milk proteins are about 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein, so utilization is somewhere in between the two.

Egg Proteins

Eggs are the “gold standard” for protein quality, with loads of essential amino acids (EAAs) and some of the highest scores in all measures of protein quality. Eggs are a great alternative to whey, casein, and whole milk proteins for those with milk allergies or  lactose intolerance.

Soy Proteins

If you are a vegetarian, don’t consume eggs are diary, then soy proteins contain all of the required amino acids in sufficient amounts to support muscle growth and development.

Blended Proteins

If you can only afford one type of protein, this is probably the type that you should go with. Combining faster-, intermediate-, and slower-protein sources in one convenient place, blended proteins give you more sustained protein digestion than single-source proteins like whey, casein, egg, or soy.

High protein diet

Fat and unhealthy foods to avoid

The following list is foods that may seem healthy, are easily available or are just everyday foods that we tend to look over

Sugary soda drink

This is quite an obvious one, however, it forms part of many people’s diet. Soda drinks provides a lot of high fructose corn syrup with no nutritional value.  A list of what these sodas do for you:

  • Obesity – the sugar makes you fat, clear and simple.
  • Dissolves tooth enable – gives you really bad teeth to the point that smiling will become a Hill-Billy event.
  • Kidney issues
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • reproductive issues
  • osteoporosis
  • asthma

Fruit juice

Fruit juice is just as bad a sodas, it has high concentration of sugars.  It also has most of the fibre stripped out. Have you ever noticed how much more flavour a bottle of fruit juice tastes compared to a freshly squeezed orange?  That is because the manufacturers add artificial flavours and smells to the final product!

Many of the things that make a real fruit healthy has been removed during the processing. You may get some vitamins, and anti-oxidants, but putting a priest in a prison does not turn it into a church.

Take a look at the breakdown for a 350 ml portion of Coca Cola and apple juice:

  • Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons).
  • Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons).

Margarine

The advertising is so fantastic on margarine. It seems healthier and less fatty, with so many varieties such as light variety, ones that contains seed oils and others being omega-3 enriched. However, margarine actually is full of trans fats, coating your arteries and increasing your cholesterol levels.Rather stick with real butter, in moderation of course.

Sandwich meats and hot dogs

Healthy pieces of chicken and ham slices? I thought so, but they are so flavorful and so rich for such thin slices. Yes, they are in fact lower quality cuts of meat are full of nitrites, chemical flavorings, dyes, and a lot of sodium.

Hot dogs – chicken, pork, lamb or beef, it does not matter, they are processed low quality meats and they are just as bad as the sandwich slices.

Processed cheese

Processed cheese wrapped in plastic, ready to be put on sandwiches / buns is not real cheese. It is unhealthy processed artificially flavoured products.

Rather use real cheese, Low fat Mozzarella being the best option if you need to use a cheese.

Fast food salad

Those chicken strips and salad dressing pack more calories than a burger and fries.

Fast food

French fries, fish, burgers, chicken, beef, fried or flame grilled – fast foods are all bad!

Artificial sweeteners

Linked to neurological problems, cancer and even diabetes and a tendency to make people crave food more and overeat.

Unfortunately, there is not much choice when it comes to sweetening things up.

Rather use brown sugar, honey or natural maple syrup.

Drink water with ice and lemon juice.

Cut the sugar dosage and get use to drinking beverages more naturally, such as coffee with 1 teaspoon of sugar and milk, or just plain tea and milk.

You can try clear green tea with mint or lemon (green tea is available in those specific flavours from Lipton and other manufacturers).

Microwave popcorn

Popcorn is a great alternative to snacks, but microwave popcorn is bad as the imitation butter flavor is PFOA, which has been linked to certain cancers and infertility.

Rather buy an air-popper and use real butter.

Low fat yogurt

Low fat yogurt may be sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Rather eat plain yogurt or low fat Greek yogurt. If you prefer to sweeten it up, add your own fruits and honey.

Multi-grain or multi-seed bread

Unless the multi-grain / multi-seed bread is whole wheat bread or rye bread, then you will be buying white bread with seeds and grain in it. This is pointless as white bread lacks nutrients and is made from enriched flour.