Category Archives: 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.

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.

 

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

Eat to grow muscle – food with high protein content

To grow muscle, you need to increase protein intake, as this is the building blocks of muscles

Supplements are an essential if you are a serious athlete or are serious about getting muscular body. Supplementation is not a meal replacement, it is meant to supplement your existing diet.

These food contain high levels of protein and should form of all athlete’s diets:

#1: Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut)

Protein in 100g 3oz Fillet (85g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
26g 22g 1g protein per 4.5 calories

Other fish high in protein per fillet(3oz or 85g): Tuna (22g), Salmon (22g), Halibut (22g), Snapper (22g), Perch(21g), Flounder and Sole (21g), Cod (20g), Tilapia (17g).

Tip: Tuna can be mixed with low fat mayo, raisins, apple slices and mixed nuts (not peanuts)

#2: Lean Chicken (Chicken Breast)

Protein in 100g 3oz serving (85g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
18.3g 16g 1g protein per 4.6 calories

More Chicken and Turkey: Chicken Leg – Drumsticks (60g) provides 16g protein. Chicken Thigh (37g) provides 9g protein. 3oz serving of Turkey Breast (85grams) provides 26g protein.

Tip: Steam or grill your chicken breast, steaming does not dry the meat

#3: Cheese (Non-fat Mozzarella)

Protein in 100g 1oz Slice (28g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
32g 9g 1g protein per 4.7 calories

Other cheese high in protein per ounce(28g): Low-fat Cottage Cheese (5g), Low-fat Swiss Cheese (8g), Low-fat Cheddar (6g), Parmesan (10g), Romano (9g). *Low or Non Fat Mozzarella and Cottage Cheese provide the most protein per calorie, full fat cheeses typically only provide 1g protein per 20 calories, and are less optimal sources of protein

#4: Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat)

Protein in 100g 3oz Slice (85g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
36g 31g 1g protein per 5.3 calories

T-Bone Steak 3oz (28g) provides 19g of protein, 1 Piece of Beef Jerky (20g) provides 7g of protein.

Tip: High end retail stores offers a lean option of 20% fat and an ultra-lean option with 10% fat.

#5: Pork Loin (Chops)

Protein in 100g 1 Chop (137g,~5oz) Protein to Calorie Ratio
30g 41g 1g protein per 5.4 calories

Sirloin Roast 3oz (28g) provides 23g of protein, Ham 3oz (28g) provides 18g of protein, 1 slice of bacon (8g) provides 3g of protein.

#6: Tofu

Protein in 100g 3oz Slice (85g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
7g 6g 1g protein per 7.4 calories

1 cup (252g) of firm tofu provides 20g protein. 1 cup of soft tofu (248g) provides 16g protein. 1 cup of tempeh (166g) provides 31g protein.

#7: Yogurt, Milk, and Soymilk

Protein in 100g 1 cup (245g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
6g 14g 1g protein per 9.8 calories

1 cup skim milk (245g) provides 8g protein, 1 cup soymilk (243g) provides 8g protein.

Tip: Look for zero-fat or low fat yogurt that is unsweetened (such as plain or Greek-style).
Skip the milk if you are on a protein supplement because milk contains high levels of sugar (lactose).

#8: Beans (Mature Soy Beans)

Protein in 100g 1 cup (172g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
17g 29g 1g protein per 10.4 calories

Other beans high in protein per cup cooked: Kidney Beans (17g), White Beans (17g), Lima Beans (15g), Fava Beans (14g), Black Beans (15g), Mung Beans (14g).

#9: Eggs (Especially Egg Whites)

Protein in 100g 1 Large Egg (50g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
13g 6g 1g protein per 12 calories

1 Egg White (33g) provides 4g protein, 1g protein to 4.4 calories. 1 cup of scrambled eggs (220g) provides 22g protein.

Tip:  Skip the egg yellow, boil or steam the eggs. Shops sell  egg steamers that are very convenient to use.

#10: Nuts and Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon Seeds)

Protein in 100g 1 Ounce (28g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
33g 9g 1g protein per 15.8 calories

Other nuts and seeds high in protein (grams protein per ounce (28g)): Peanuts (7g), Almonds (6g), Pistachios (6g), Sunflower Seeds (6g), Flaxseed (5g), Mixed Nuts (4g).

Did you know: Peanuts are not nuts but are edible seeds enclosed in pods, such as peas and  beans. They belong to the single plant family, Leguminosae.  Unlike nuts, which are grown on trees, peanuts grow underground. 

Nutrition Supplements

Gym supplement companies understate protein content

Protein is the building blocks of muscle, which is why it is essential for body builders and for individuals who want to maintain muscle while training or doing sports.

It would be difficult to eat food that would contain the required amount of protein, as you would need to eat a lot of food. Protein supplements are nutrient dense, and contains more nutrition, especially protein, per serving.

However, Protein is expensive – and it is big business!

Gym supplement companies may be understating protein content on their labels, which means that you may be paying more for less protein.

For food high in muscle building proteins, please read “Eat to grow muscle

Lucky, the supplements have been tested to see if they comply with legal requirements of labeling.

  • For protein less than 10g/100g of supplement, the margin error is ±2 g
  • For protein more than 10g/100g of supplement, the margin error is ±25%

It is fair to say that manufacturers cannot predict the quality of the protein from their sources, I would think it is impossible, and they have to go by what their suppliers claims. However, with so much money being invested in getting these products out there, they should have their products tested and labeling adjusted.

Here is a list of branded protein / bulking supplements and their protein content so that you may check to see if you are getting what you really pay for.

Remember that these figures should be taken in context of price, what else has been added to the supplements, and if the percentage is really relevant to the actual amount consumed per serving (Is 1g relevant even if it is 10%, for example).

However, it should also be questioned that if the protein is grossly understated, what else is understated or exaggerated.

One solution to this confusion and uncertainty is to cover your bases. Instead of taking one brand, take 2 or 3 similar products from different manufacturers during the day, or throughout the week.

I wouldn’t recommend blending them together in one serving, just take a different product at different times of the day, and mix them up.

Brand Product name Label (g) Protein content claimed on label per 100g % difference
BIOGEN Bulk 45/150 20 18.2 9.00
BIOGEN Diet Protein 56.2 53.0 5.78
BIOGEN Nitro Mass 30.1 30.3 -0.50
BIOGEN Nitro Plex 51.4 49.6 3.50
BIOGEN Premium Iso-Whey 70.1 66.2 5.58
BIOGEN Protein SR8 78 74.4 4.68
BIOGEN Whey Isolate Plus 83.2 78.9 5.17
BPI Whey HD 65.8 36.6 44.38
Body Logix Vegan Protein 62.5 54.2 13.36
BSN Syntha 6 46.8 43.4 7.26
BSN True Mass 15.92 16.3 -2.39
Cellucor Whey Protein 71.43 68.4 4.31
Clicks Rapid Muscle Grow 37.4 32.1 14.17
Evox Formidable Mass 17 16.3 4.12
Evox Lean Pro Diet 76 68.3 10.20
Evox Muscle Meal 41 38.8 5.37
Evox Synergy Whey Protein 76 65.7 13.62
Evox 100% Whey Protein 72 57.6 20.07
GNC Performance Whey Protein 67.61 66.4 1.86
Inner Armour Nitro Peak 66.67 62.0 7.00
Myofusion Elite Protein Series 67.6 67.2 0.59
Muscle Junkie Freak Mass Mutater 16.8 14.2 15.48
Muscle Junkie Whey Protein O.D 74 63.9 13.72
Muscle Med Carnivor Mass 27 30.7 -13.70
Muscle Med Carnivor 64.91 71.0 -9.31
MHP Paleo Protein 60.8 64.0 -5.26
MHP Up Your Mass 34.59 27.9 19.34
Met-Rx Whey Protein 73.3 71.2 2.93
Muscle Tech Anabolic Halo 58.82 54.6 7.17
Muscle Tech Mass Tech 24.71 24.5 1.05
Muscle Tech Nitrotech 83.3 82.3 1.26
Muscle Tech Phase 8 61.5 58.3 5.20
Muscle Tech 100% Premium Whey Protein 63.4 59.6 6.07
Muscle works Anabolic Whey 57 54.5 4.47
Nutri Tech Casein Slow Release 78.89 59.3 24.83
Nutri Tech Diet Meal 66 38.3 42.05
Nutri Tech Anabolic Mass Builder 37.5 7.5 80.13
Nutri Tech Premium Pure Whey Protein Lite 72 63.2 12.22
Nutri Tech Premium Pure Whey Protein 72 62.7 12.92
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey 78.9 74.0 6.21
Optimum Nutrition Lean Whey 77 73.4 4.68
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass 15.4 14.7 4.87
PharmaFreak Freak Protein 69.4 67.9 2.16
PharmaFreak Mass Freak 20 19.3 3.50
Supplements SA Massive Muscle 37.5 8.5 77.41
Supplements SA Pure Whey Protein 83.3 40.1 51.86
SSN Micellar Casein Protein 70 63.3 9.64
SSN Lean MRP 56 49.4 11.79
SSN Mass Addiction 16.67 14.6 12.42
SSN Anabolic Mass Builder 33.5 32.1 4.18
SSN Performance Whey Protein 68 70.9 -4.26
SSN 100% Whey Protein 75 68.0 9.40
SupaShape Diet Whey Protein 59 54.4 7.80
SupaShape Pure Whey Protein 72 65.3 9.31
Titan After Math 72.5 66.0 8.97
Titan Iso Max 92.4 82.1 11.20
Titan Mass Prodigy 28 26.4 5.89
Titan Pro Whey 74 68.0 8.11
Titan Slim Core 51.6 48.9 5.33
USP Labs Oxyelite Protein 63.89 61.4 3.98
USN Casein Protein Slow Release 71.1 69.6 2.11
USN Diet Fuel Ultra Lean 48.15 46.2 4.05
USN Fast Grow Anabolic All In One 33.4 36.2 -8.23
USN Hyperbolic Mass 16.6 15.8 5.12
USN Hardcore Whey GH 78.8 74.2 5.84
USN Lean 8 Multi Phase Pro 50 46.7 6.70
USN Muscle Fuel STS 34.5 32.3 6.52
USN 100% Whey Protein Plus 65.5 63.0 3.82
Universal Real Gains 34.2 31.2 8.92
Weider 100% Whey Isolate Protein 88.5 77.1 12.94
muscles

Steroids – how to increase testosterone without using Steroids !

Increase testosterone without using steroid

1. Start when your are young

Training when you are in your 20’s will go a very long way. Testosterone starts to decline from the age of 30 in men.  If you are younger than 30, take full advantage of your natural testosterone levels, your muscles will be retained throughout your life.

If you are over 30, and you have never trained before, then the struggle is real, but you can still do it!

2. Lose weight

Increase your testosterone by losing weight.  Overweight men tend to have lower testosterone levels.

Since you are exercising, this is already a step in the right direction.  If you are overweight, do cardio for 20 minutes (or more) on the days that you train.

You need to change your diet, in other words, what you eat. Reduce your carbohydrate and sugar intake. Reduce your fat intake.

  • Take-outs are bad – those burgers, pizzas and chicken pieces are all bad for your weight and testosterone.
  • Sugar is included in abundance in fizzy drinks and fruit juices, drop these immediately. Drink water.
  • Stop eating sweets and chocolates. Don’t even buy them. Don’t even look at them.
  • Milk has lactose – a sugar. Reduce milk intake.
  • Grains need to be cut out of your diet. No breakfast cereals or bread of any type.
    You may substitute your cereal with oats, and you may substitute your wheat bread with rye bread.
  • Replace your rice and pasta with “cauliflower rice” – Cauliflower is chopped up into fine pieces to resemble rice. Microwave for 5 minutes and your rice is ready to eat.
  • Include green vegetables (such as Broccoli, spinach) and fruits (such as Pears, apples. Note: bananas are carbs, avoid!) in your diet.
  • Reduce the amount of food that you eat, and eat 5 ~ 6 smaller meals split over the  day rather than 3 large meals. Don’t skip breakfast and eat your carbs during the earlier part of the day and more green vegetables and proteins at night. Don’t eat carbs at night. If you feel like having a snack, grab and apple.

3. Take Zinc

Take a zinc supplement – less than 40 mg a day, as this is the recommended adult upper limit. If you cannot test yourself for zinc deficiency, and you exercise regularly, then taking a zinc supplement covers this base.

Your testosterone levels decreasing if you are zinc deficient.

4. Do strength training

Increase the weight and reduce the reps, and train slower for good strength and increased testosterone levels.

5.  Increase your Vitamin D

Supplement with Vitamin D increases levels of testosterone.

6. Tan – spend some time in the sun

Tanning for a few minutes at noon will increase your Vitamin D levels and will increase your testosterone levels. Spend just enough time to tan without getting sun-burnt. If you get red and you itch the next day, then you have spent too much time in the sun.

7. Cope with stress better

Stress will inevitably reduce your testosterone levels. When you’re under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which blocks testosterone.

8. Eat healthy fats

Your body needs healthy fats to function normally.

  • Olives and Olive oil
  • Coconuts and coconut oil
  • Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
  • Raw nuts, such as, almonds or pecans
  • Organic pastured egg yolks
  • Avocados
  • Grass-fed meats
  • Palm oil
  • Unheated organic nut oils

9.  Boost Your Intake of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) from supplements like Whey Protein

BCAAs results in higher testosterone level when taken along with resistance training.

Taking whey powder after training is great to boost testosterone levels as it enhances the satiety/testosterone-boosting impact. Hunger hormones cause the opposite effect on your testosterone and libido.

 

 

Lose weight: does CLA work?

Lose weight: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is said to help reduce body fat

Yes, CLA works. CLA has been studied on humans, and there is significant evidence to show that it does work in reducing body fat.

Studies have been done on humans and animals using CLA, and it does seem to be effective in losing body fat, even with no exercise or change in diet.

I do use CLA, I lost most of my fat already, and lately my body weight never seems to change, but then again I am guilty of eating junk food every now and again.

I do cardio, which is only 20-30 minutes a day, whereas other people can do up to an hour of cardio a day to get lean.

If I changed my diet and cut out all the bad fatty carbo-loaded foods, and increased my cardio by another 10 minutes a day, I would lose weight. It is just common sense.

Maximizing your fat loss

  • If you do not do cardio, start now. Aim for 20 minutes or more.
  • If you already do cardio, increase the time by a few minutes each week, and mix your cardio with other cardio exercises (don’t just cycle, use other machines). If you feel the stepper is way too difficult to do, then do the stepper! Laziness is what is stopping you from losing the extra weight!
  • Take the recommended dosage of CLA – follow the packaging dosages
  • Cut out all juices and fizzy drinks, and drink water during the day
  • Change your diet to a higher protein, low carb and low fat diet for enhanced results

Losing weight is never quick, it takes time, sometimes months – but starting now is the first step towards losing weight.

So what exactly is CLA, and what makes it work?

CLA does not suppress your appetite, and it does not increase your heart rate or blood pressure. It does not work on your nervous system at all, which is great news if you suffer from side effects when you take other fat burners.

CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid – it is a good fat found in foods such as meat and dairy products – albeit at low levels.

Getting CLA from a diet is not ideal as the levels are too low to be beneficial, and meats have high levels of saturated fats, reversing any positive effect the CLA may offer.

At least 1.4 to 3.0 grams per day dietary CLA is necessary to achieve body fat loss, and this can only be achieved by taking supplements. Studies have shown CLA to work in reducing body fat.

Taking high dosages of CLA is bad though, as it does not enhance the effect, it wastes your money, and it might cause health problems, so keep within the dosages on the packaging as the dosages on the packaging has been approved as being safe and effective .

Natural CLA in food

CLA food 1

CLA food 2