My experience with Supplements

Building muscle is a very important part of burning calories. The more muscle the more calories burnt. Many women seem to think that lifting weights will make them look like men. The reality is the looking like a man takes a lot of work, it just doesn’t happen from lifting weights lol.

Professional competitors take a lot of supplements to get the muscle definition they have on stage, not to mention their diet is very very limited, so if you WANT to look like a man it takes a lot of hard work supplements and effort.

Although I haven’t been on this journey for long, I have been working out since i was 13 years old, when I was boxing in the basement of a Daisy Mart in Brampton. lol. I was the only female and the only child. I learnt a lot from my trainer and I wish so badly I could remember his name and the name of the “studio” but being 13, its so very hard to recall.

Protein was the very first supplement I started taking, and now it has become a staple in my diet. Although there are lots of foods that contain protein in them, some days I just don’t feel like eating meats or alternatives. A nice refreshing protein shake is just right.

The next supplement I love is ZMA (Zinc monomethionine aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate). Why do I love it, because it helps me sleep and Sleep is NUMBER ONE in my books!!! It has also been known to increase muscle mass, strength and power.

Typically, ZMA should be taken 30 – 60 minutes before bed. Although, not clinically proven, it has been noted that most people supplementing with ZMA noticed better sleep patterns and a deeper sleep which may directly and indirectly affect athletic performance.

While zinc and magnesium deficiencies are common in the general population, deficiencies of these minerals are even more prevalent in athletes. Research shows that intense exercise and stress related physical activity results in relatively high levels of bodily losses of zinc and magnesium (http://www.exrx.net/Nutrition/Supplements/ZMA.html)

Although there hasn’t been any clinical studies that prove the effects of ZMA, I can tell my sleep is deeper which means I get more rest and my muscles are better repaired! 🙂

Branched -Chain Amino Acids or BCAA‘s  are a supplement i first heard about from a Fantastic Trainer and IFBB Pro Danielle Ruban Martin. Danielle and I used to work at a gym together, although we didn’t know each other than. It wasn’t until I moved and joined  a local gym that I formally met Danielle and realized we had a few mutual friends. She was the one who told me of the importance of BCAA’s.  Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein,

When you eat a protein food, it gets digested in the stomach and intestine into individual amino acids and short chains of amino acids that are small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream. These amino acids have far reaching effects in the body from building and repairing tissues, to producing chemicals that enable our brains to function optimally.

 The essential branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are of special importance for athletes because they are metabolized in the muscle, rather than in the liver. Here’s how this works: once protein is broken down into individual amino acids these amino’s can either be used to build new proteins or be burned as fuel to produce energy. So, in the case of strength or endurance athletes, BCAA’s are essentially the parts of protein used as “fuel” and when the stores have been exhausted, the body “strips” or catabolizes lean muscle to get more of them for energy. Up to 15% of energy burned in athletic activity is provided by hard-earned muscle, essentially “eating” what the athlete has been training hard to develop (http://www.popeyescanada.com/art_bcaa.php)!
BCAA’s come in pill form of powder form, I find that I don’t drink enough water during my workout, so using the powder from requires that I drink a full bottle of water while taking in the BCAA powder, not to mention in comes in great tasting flavours.
Next is  CLA’s (Conjugated linoleic acids) which are naturally present in some meat and dairy products. CLA prevents fat from being deposited into the cells by speeding up the body’s fat metabolism. CLA also helps the body metabolize existing fat deposits. This fat then returns to the blood stream where it is used as energy by muscle cells and the liver.
CLA can help you achieve your diet goals in two ways: first, CLA increases lean muscle which naturally slims your body. Secondly, the added muscle tissue automatically burns more calories than fat tissue, which in turn increases your metabolism (http://www.cla.cc/cla_faq.html).
The next Supplement that I take every day before and after my workout is L-Carnitine. The body uses t as  transporter of fatty acids into the mitochondria.The Liver and Kidney’s send it to the muscle tissue.
L-carnitine helps your body burn fat during exercise by easing the passage of long chain fatty acids through the mitochondrial walls. After the first five minutes of exercise, glycogen supplies of your body are exhausted, and your body turns toward your fat stores for energy. How efficiently your body uses these fat stores determines your endurance. L-carnitine increases this efficiency, thus increasing your energy levels for long-term aerobic activityRead more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/397987-what-does-l-carnitine-do/#ixzz1lXGvu7Bd

Carnitine’s role in fatty-acid transport into cells’ mitochondria for energy production helps in weight management by enhancing the rate at which your body uses fatty acids for energy production. This, in turn, increases the fat calories your body uses each day and decreases the amount being stored on your hips, waist, and other body parts. Carnitine ingestion can also increase your metabolic rate-the amount of energy you produce and the calories you use to produce it-which means you will burn more calories each day (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa53.htm).
It’s an all too common feeling, coming home from work, tidying the house, prepping meals, and then when it comes to going to the gym, we just have no energy left. Thats where a pre workout formula comes in. I have tried a few, and if you’re someone who can’t handle the tingly sensation of the more intense pre workouts, Amino Energy is my new favourite!! Although I am someone who doesn’t mind the burning itchy sensation of brands like 1MR or Jack3d, I actually really like Amino Energy by Optimum Nutrition. It mixes great with no particles after shaking, the fruit punch flavour is awesome, although thats the only one I’ve tried, and although the jolt isn’t as intense you can tell from the extra sweat and energy that it is working.

Lastly, Green Tea, besides it’s amazing taste, bodybuilding.com has a great explanation as to why its such an important part of you’re “stack”:

Green Tea Contains the following:

Tannins – A group of simple and complex phenol, Polyphenol, and flavoniod compounds. Produced by plants, all of the tennis are relatively resistant to digestion or fermentation. All tennis act as astringents, shrinking tissues and contracting structural proteinsin the skin and mucosa.

What does this do for you?

    Having a cup of green tea after a meal can aid in digestion. Green tea has been used for thousand of years in Asia as a digestive.

Catechins – Catechins are a category of polyphenols. In green tea, catechins are present in significant quantities, more specifically; epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG makes up about 10-50% of the total catechin content and appears to be the most powerful of the catechins – with antioxidant activity about 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E.

A cup of green tea may provide 10-40mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant activity greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries.

What Does This Do For You?

      Well having a powerful anti-oxidant coursing through your system after a heavy workout is just what you need to curb free radical damage.

Flavonoids – Flavonoids are plant pigments, and are the brightly colored chemical constituents found in most fresh fruits and vegetables. They may aid in protecting against infection. Deficiency can result in a tendency to bruise easily. Learn mor eabout flavonoids, click here!

What Does This Do For You?

      Obviously your workouts will suffer if you are sick.

Theanine – An amino acid that produces tranquilizing effects in the brain, theanine is a unique amino acid found in the leaves sencha. Theanine is quite different from the polyphenol and catechin antioxidants for which green tea is typically consumed.

What Does This Do For You?

      I can personally attest to the good feelings you get after a couple cups of green tea. It leaves you with a peaceful feeling without compromising motivation and mental activity.

Bodybuilding & Fitness Uses

Pre-workout – Green tea is a great alternative to the ECA stack. Yeah I know nothing beats the ECA stack but hear me out. A number of people, including myself do not like how the ECA stack makes us feel.
I get jittery and easily angered for some reason. The green tea is great because it does have some caffeine and the Theanine really relaxes you mentally but lets you perform physically.

Cutting – Research suggests that supplementing with green tea can raise your resting metabolic rate by 3%. In order to get this benefit you must have about 3 glasses a day. If you have a bmr of 2000 or so that means 60 extra calories a day. Why do you see so few obese Asians. It’s not the kung-fu. It’s the green tea!

All About Tea

All teas come from the same source. The tea plant is a member of the Camellia family (Camellia sinensis). Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea are all derivatives of this one plant.

It is the way the tea is prepared that determines its color. After the tea plant is picked, it is fermented, and then heated to stop the fermentation process. This fermentation process is responsible for the caffine content of the tea. The longer it is fermented the more caffine the tea will have. Green tea has the least amount of caffine of all the teas because it is the least fermented. The reason why green tea has the most health benefits is because a longer fermentation process destroys many of the beneficial substances in the tea plant. That is why chugging your Lipton tea is not even remotely comparable to having a cup of green tea (Lipton is made from black tea).

Qualities Of Tea

There is a huge quality difference in tea. Tea has been compared to wine when it comes to grading. The crap you get when you buy a package of tea at the supermarket and the tea you can get in loose whole leaf form is worlds apart in taste and quality. When selecting tea to be put in bags and sold commercially, manufacturers select the cheapest and lowest quality grade available. The leaves are broken and packed into the small tea bags. Breaking the leaves apart like this degrades the taste and eliminates some of the healthful macronutrients.

I suggest ordering your tea in whole leaf form. Try to get organically grown green tea in loose leaf form for maximum benefit. If you do not like the taste of green tea supplementing is always and option.

Flaxseed oil and Fish oil are two kinds of fats that are great for you. I also include coconut oil and avocado oil in my diet. Good fats are important for your body Essential fatty acids decrease serum (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Lean bodybuilders working on getting cut usually experience greater definition when using these fats.Essential fatty acids (EFAs) – good fat, will also benefit your heart, immune system and metabolism.  Some EFAs can actually affect your hormone structure, increasing your metabolic rate, which in turn will help to increase the amount of fat you are burning – increasing total fat loss.Good fats are an essential part of any flat stomach diet as they are a source of energy.

Foods with Good Fat

  • Fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
  • Fish Oil supplements
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Fish Oil
  • Nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews)
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Natural Nut Butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter)

SO my fellow blog readers, these are the supplements I use , and I know for a fact there are tons more out there, and I would love to hear about other experiences with their supplementation, but all I have to offer is my own experiences.

Happy Exercising

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kayla
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 19:40:01

    Definitely gonna be utilizing this specific blog post to help me out along my journey!!

    ❤ your number one fan xo
    😉 hehe

    Reply

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