Lately I was contacted by a guy I go to uni with, and he was interested in getting a bit of dietary advice to help him lean out and have more energy throughout his weightlifting. The food part of the advice was relatively easy- he is getting tested for celiac and lactose intolerance (south asian and metis descent), I showed him a few tips for cooking breakfast, and he has embraced the concept of a big-ass salad with a lot of enthusiasm. His mom is already gluten free and he's living with her for the summer, so dinner's are pretty much under control after a brief conversation with her (she cooks with ghee so phew).
The only thing is, the kid takes a lot of supplements, something that I have very little experience with. They are:
NO-Xplode. Appears to contain creatine, taurine, caffeine, B vitamins. He literally said that he thinks it can't be good for him, but that it really works. The biggest belief he has tied to it is he thinks it helps him get a good sleep. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bsn/xplode.html
Any ideas of what to say about these? The obvious answer to me is "holy, that seems like a lot of chemicals, drop everything now please", but he is clearly attached to them and is very certain that they help his performance. Do they help his performance at the gym? Are there alternatives that I can point him to so that he will listen to me (I have a feeling if I say "stop all of it" that will be the part of the conversation where he stops taking my advice)?
asked byJenny_9 (11577)
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on May 29, 2012
at 05:17 PM
I used to do bodybuilding, and I can tell you the GNC crap that is sold (which I'm assuming is where he is purchasing his supplements as it is a staple of the BB community--either that or Beverly International or somewhere like bodybuilding.com) is full of filler, soy and artificial/synthetic BS that is not good at all for your body. When I was in my best shape/leanest I ate a fairly paleo diet (looking back on it), and took few if any supplements. I kind of overdid it here lately on nutritional supplements (infinitely better quality than GNC brands). Here's a quick run through of what he's taken (next paragraph)
Glutamine: http://www.ergo-log.com/glutaminedoesnothing.html (the community is split on this, but essentiality there's a lot of research that points to it as useless for athletic performance). If he has digestive issues, L-glutamine can help, but I doubt there's much use for taking it for bodybuilding.
Multi-Vit: Most likely fillers, corn, soy, y'know the stuff we all need eyes roll...
Creatine monohydrate: creatine is not a bad supplement to take; however there's a conflict of interest with a paleo diet and the absorption method of creatine. In order to hasten absorption if you will, creatine is often taken with fruit juice, and those carbs can add up quick if he tries low carb...which he always will at some point for contests. However, creatine is often dropped 8-10 weeks out from contests, because it causes some water retention. This one I'd leave up to him though. Mainly because he SHOULD know to cycle this stuff anyways, so he won't be on it for more than a few weeks before taking a break for another few.
NO-explode: I've heard nasty things about this stuff. Heart palpitations, dehydration, headaches--I'd avoid.
Here's the thing: the body was meant to tire itself out. All this crap that people take to "get that extra pump" is unnatural, because your body is naturally built to hit a limit. Once that limit has been hit, that's it for the hour, the day, ect.
on May 29, 2012
at 05:29 PM
Adrenal burnout can be a bitch. I worked in a supplement store and the stuff people pumped into themselves baffled me. A natural approach to supplementation which addresses your body's deficiencies, not something that exhausts your system further.
During my first competition I fell into the Ephedrine hole for 3 weeks. To this day (5 years later) my body's ability to handle stress without having a melt-down is hindered.
I'd swap out his multi to a cleaner brand (try MegaFood), make sure his creatine and glutamine are pure (I'd go for a beet-based glutamine, rather than corn), and get him off the NO. He might have a caffeine crash, so let him drink espresso (bulletproof coffee?) or take caffeine only before he trains until his body gets used to it.
This might seem like a lot of gimmickry and brands, and while most paleo people don't subscribe to it, most people love branding and these are the ones I have found that actually do what they say they will in a clean way.
ps-if you wanna drop his creatine, let him get it from food. He can eat steak (he's happy), and he isn't taking in as much chemical matter (you're happy).
on July 10, 2012
at 01:43 PM
Have you tried to offer him an alternative to what he's currently on? Most likely he wont take any of your suggestions about dropping the spplements unless you're jacked & shredded.
CREATINE- suggest CreaPure or German creatine monohydrate. They are the purest form & has been time tested. Other types of creatine are questionable.
NO Explode- suggest he makes his own pre workout drink. It would be cheaper & most likely more effective. Ex, caffeine source (coffee,tea,pills,etc),5g BCAA, beta alainine & cit malate
on May 29, 2012
at 05:30 PM
I don't know much about the supplements he's taking but I just saw an article from Anthony Colpo about dietary cholesterol as a performance enhancer that might be worth a look.
on May 29, 2012
at 05:15 PM
The NO-Xplode is the one thing I would be most leery of. I used to take it and it does help some with performance. But as far as I can tell, it's primarily due to the caffeine. Funny that he thinks it helps him sleep when the instructions state not to take 4 hours before bedtime. There are a number of ingredients that don't have amounts listed (makes me nervous) and a lot of stuff that I just don't know enough about to assess. A shot of espresso would be easier and probably less expensive.
I wouldn't worry too much about the rest. Creatine has beeen shown to have some effect. Glutamine (perhaps) helps with recovery and some people swear to it's anti-sugar craving effect. A multivitamin? Meh, who knows if they are good or bad? Paul Jaminet actually considers these things and he may be changing his recommendation.
I would encourage him to wean himself of the NOX, perhaps slowly, otherwise caffeine withdrawal may kick in.
on August 28, 2013
at 01:00 PM
Out of those, creatine is the only one I recommend (from personal experience). For me at least, it contributes to strength and endurance during workouts, without giving off false signals: The body still tires. I do take it in moderation as I eat plenty of meat, and I do stop for extended periods of time - usually a few weeks. Mostly out of interest; to check what the effect on performance will be, and how much of the water-retention story is true.
Supplements that are high in caffeine heighten performance, but his 'good nights of sleep' are probably just sugar/caffeine crashes in disguise. Even more so if he trains late at night (and thus takes this supplement only hours before going to sleep). If so, you can try to make him see what happens during the rest of the day if he relies on pre-workout high-sugar shots by making him train in the morning.
on July 10, 2012
at 11:34 AM
It is a supplement which Supports Muscular Endurance, Strength and Resistance to Muscular Fatigue. NO Xplode is one of the most popular and best known pure NO bodybuilding supplements in the sport today. This means that there are plenty of people who have it in their stack, plenty of people considering it,
on August 28, 2013
at 11:33 AM
Creatine can help you build and recover faster but if taken with proper workout and balanced diet. Be humble with your workout as Dr. Jeff Of connecticut university states that creatine is not a magic bullet that can make you Mr. Universe overnight. For example http://www.maxrobustnl.com/ can be a choice but if taken with proper and strictly focused diet. Be patient and be safe. Thanks for sharing this valuable info.