Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

To Supplement or Not to Supplement; That is the Question


Some fitness adherents are supplement crazy and spend money like a Vegas drunk with a big roll trying to impress girls he barely knows. I know lots of folks who admit to spending hundreds of bucks each month on the newest, latest dietary or supplement craze. A subtler shade of this same affliction is the cutting-edge Elite who also purchase lots of supplements and spend lots of disposable income on nutritional supplements of some type or another, the newer the better for this crew. Both ends of the fitness feeding chain are seduced by supplements that promise everything and deliver very little. There is something intrinsic and rooted deep in the human psyche that eternally searches for a miracle pill, potion, compound, substance or procedure that will do one of three things: make you lean, make you muscular and make you look and feel decades younger than your actual chronologic age.

Apparently there is no finite number of times you can get burned before you wise up and quit looking. If a magical pill or potion existed that delivered the mail on any of these three counts, believe me, you'd hear all about it all the time. Since the days of Ponce de' Leon stumbling around the malaria-ridden Florida everglades looking for the Fountain of Youth, people have sought physical shortcuts through chemistry to eliminate the gut-busting physical effort and fierce disciplined denial required to self-administer a successful physical renovation. John Parrillo, my nutritional Guru, always says that the regimented use of regular food, the kind you purchase off the shelf in the grocery store, will get you 80-85% of the "way there," there being a significant increase in muscle mass and a dramatically decreased body fat percentile. Obtain the twin titan attributes: more muscle/less body fat, and guess what? You'll look decades younger than your chronological reality so number three is a free bonus when you become leaner and more muscular.

Supplement makers and exercise equipment makers, who proclaim extraordinary results that defy rational expectations, play to people's eternal demand for some blasted substance or another to magically allow the acquisition of a fat-free muscular body. Would it not be great to pop a pill and make it all go away? Unfortunately this defies reality, and a reality check reveals that nutritional supplements are vastly overrated. Supplements are meant to supplement not replace regular foods. Steer clear of anyone who tells you how easy the physical transformation process can be made by the use of their product or system. Read the small print: most of these miracle products and systems shown on TV infomercials are all forced to run legal disclaimers--you'll see it flash by along the bottom, too speedy to really read--they all basically say the same thing: "results are not ordinary and for dramatic results a sensible calorie-restrictive diet plan and a vigorous exercise plan need also be followed."

Put another way, if you had it together and went on a sensible, calories-restrictive diet and got your rear end in gear and exercised intensely, you'd make just as much progress with or without the miracle product. If you dieted properly using foods purchased from the local food mart and start hitting cardio and lifting with requisite ferocity, the magic beans the witch sold you are superfluous. Save your money; get food selections under control, multiple meals are a must, meal timing is important, overall food volume and content need to be squared away. Nail it down on all levels and you'll get 90% of the way "there" in eight weeks. No hype, just plain fact, based on decades of widespread empirical date gathered in the athletic trenches. We know what works when it comes to triggering a physical transformation -- but the price of admission is high and most folks have neither the inclination nor pain-tolerance to close the deal.

More confirmation of the basic truths came while reading Rehan Jalali's Six Pack Diet Plan. Rehan has a great grasp of the cold realities imposed by science and biology and logic, especially where nutritional products are considered. Results that fitness hucksters ascribe to their products are biologically, physiologically and scientifically impossible! With every page I turned, my science knowledge base was clarified and mostly reaffirmed by Rehan. Correctly used supplements (the right ones taken at the right time in the right amount) can add 10-15% to the final finished physical product. Nothing wrong with that! But let's try and get as close as we can to the goal before we start spending big bucks on supplements. The first order of business is getting control of the eating schedule. Makes perfect sense to spread out the day's calories, more feedings per day lessens the digestive burden. Clean up the food selections and try and match calories needed to exercise expenditure. Once you are training consistently and once you are using a multiple-meal eating schedule (and making good selections) the addition of core supplements will be timely and appropriate and likely blast you through to the next level.

The most basic nutritional supplement for all hardcore weight trainers is supplemental protein in powder form. Purchase a tub for $30 to $40; take the money out of your grocery money with all the dough you save by not buying ice cream, pie, frozen pizzas or candy. If you weight train as hard as you're supposed to, consuming a protein-rich liquid shake immediately after an intense session will actually accelerate results and speed up the recovery process. Every Purposefully Primitive weight trainer must have a canister or tub of protein powder on hand. The price per serving has plummeted, the potency has skyrocketed and it makes so much sense to supplement with amino-rich protein powder -- so easy to prepare and tasty. Mixing a fine-tasting protein shake with cold water is easy and within 30-seconds you are drinking a pre-digested concoction that delivers 35 to 45 grams of high biologic whey protein with scant 4-8 carbohydrate grams and no sugar or fat. Protein powder is the number one indispensable single supplement for the serious and savage weight trainer. On the other hand if you just loaf through your sporadic training protein supplementation would be a total waste of money. Vitamin and mineral tablets are also advisable; my other core supplement is the "sport nutrition bar" in all its various guises. I love the portability of bars in a wrapper. I can stash them anywhere: glove compartment, gym bag, desk drawer, file cabinet, boat, what have you. That way, anytime I get hungry, at the very least I can grab a bar and consume a product that, on average, provides 20 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, 5 to 15 grams of sugar and 3 to 5 grams of fat. Nice statistics for a 70 gram bar. With 250 clean calories, a bar (or two) makes an excellent meal-in-a-pinch. I buy them by the box.

Taste has gotten so much better over the years! There are so many varieties of bars available that there is no reason not to be able to find a taste that appeals to you. I eat 2-3 bars every day and more if I'm in the deep woods or out walking around. I love my sport nutrition bars. I could recommend also recommend creatine monohydrate for competitive athletes. Ditto for beef liver amino acid tabs; these are great for women subject to iron deficiency anemia. Supplements are meant to supplement not supplant. Square away the food basics and make a commitment to bust your butt in the gym. Buy some whey protein and a box or two of bars. Settle in for the long haul.

Marty Gallagher is a former fitness columnist for washingtonpost.com. He is also a former national and world champion powerlifter. Marty's articles have been published in such magazines as EAS' Muscle Media, Muscle & Fitness, and Powerlifting USA. His website, http://www.martygallagher.com, assimilates years of accumulated knowledge from the athletic elite and makes them accessible to the common person. The "Purposeful Primitive" way has been proven effective time after time after time for weight loss, building muscle, increasing strength, and improving health.


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times (blog)

FDA Warns Supplement Makers of Stimulant Dangers
New York Times (blog)
The Food and Drug Administration sent letters to the makers of eight dietary supplements on Thursday warning them that their products contain a synthetic, amphetaminelike stimulant that medical experts say is potentially dangerous. The agency's actions ...
FDA Issues Warning On Weight Loss Supplements Containing Dangerous ...Yahoo Health
US FDA warns five companies over BMPEA stimulant in supplementsFox News
FDA Warns Weight Loss, Workout Supplement Sellers Listing BMPEA ...Forbes
The Consumerist -International Business Times
all 29 news articles »


WND.com

Supplements? How to get what you pay for
WND.com
WASHINGTON – More Americans are taking vitamin and mineral supplements than ever before, but the question remains whether they are getting what they pay for. Citing safety and product integrity, 14 state attorneys general recently sent a letter to ...



Fox News

DR. MANNY: Are your dietary supplements killing you?
Fox News
Let me give it to you straight: Vitamins and supplements are not going to make you healthier. As a matter of fact, a recent large-scale study which was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting found that that not ...
Dietary Supplements May Actually Increase Cancer Risk, Especially In High DosesHuffington Post
Can too many supplements increase your risk of cancer?WCPO
Taking Too Many Dietary Supplements May Raise Risk Of Heart Disease And ...Yibada (English Edition)
TheHealthSite -Irish Independent
all 54 news articles »


CBS News

Dietary supplements linked to increased cancer risk
CBS News
Consumers are always looking for ways to minimize their cancer risk, which is one reason why many turn to over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements. But new research finds that while companies promote dietary supplements for their ...
Supplements May Raise, Not Lower, Cancer RiskLive Science
Overconsumption of vitamins and supplements increases risk of cancer: doctorNew York Daily News
Warning: Too Many Dietary Supplements May Increase Cancer RiskYahoo Health
Medical Daily -Medical News Today -ABC News
all 148 news articles »


Excessive use of dietary supplements linked to increase cancer risk
Science Daily
While dietary supplements may be advertised to promote health, a forum at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator Tim Byers, MD, MPH, describes research showing ...



PsychCentral.com (blog)

12 Supplements I Take Every Day for Depression
PsychCentral.com (blog)
12 Supplements I Take Every Day for Depression I hereby confess that it takes me a half hour each week to fill up my mammoth-sized pill container with the supplements and vitamins I take each week to give my brain every lift I can. It's expensive, it's ...



The News Journal

Study links muscle supplements, testicular cancer
The News Journal
Researchers found a clear relationship between the use of muscle-building supplements and the risk of developing cancer even after controlling for other factors like race and age. Participants in the control group and the group with cancer had similar ...



New York Times (blog)

Retailers to Stop Sales of Controversial Supplements
New York Times (blog)
Some leading vitamin stores have announced that they were pulling from their shelves a group of supplements that may contain a dangerous stimulant. Vitamin Shoppe, one of the country's largest specialty retailers of dietary supplements, said that it ...
Supplement expert: FDA "completely dropped the ball"CBS News
Untested Stimulant Found to Persist in Some SupplementsScientific American
Vitamin Shoppe Pulls Products After Speed-Like Drug Found in Dietary ...ABC News
Men's Journal -Fox News -Washington Post
all 137 news articles »


New York Times (blog)

GNC to Strengthen Supplement Quality Controls
New York Times (blog)
GNC, the country's largest specialty retailer of dietary supplements, has agreed to institute sweeping new testing procedures on its herbal products that far exceed quality controls mandated under federal law. The action to be announced Monday comes ...
Investigation prompts new scrutiny of dietary supplementsMSNBC
Why You Should Care About GNC's New Supplement GuidelinesABC News
GNC Holdings settles herbal supplements dispute with NY Attorney GeneralReuters
DailyFinance -The Hill
all 203 news articles »


Bloody Elbow

Study finds troubling link between use of muscle-building supplements and cancer
Washington Post
The growth in popularity of dietary supplements has come largely despite a lack of scientific evidence to back up claims that they work. There are, however, growing questions about their risks. The latest: A new study, published in the British Journal ...
Study: Popular legal supplements may double the risk of testicular cancerBloody Elbow
Muscle supplements linked to cancer riskFuturity: Research News
Muscle-Building Supplements 'Increase Risk of Testicular Cancer'Newsweek
Medical Daily -Tech Times -GOOD Magazine
all 65 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.