Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Supplements Help!

I am re-posting my previous blog regarding supplements. I posted one earlier to help those out that are interested in training for a show and confused about what supplements they should be taking or the actual benefits of the supplements on the market. There are so many out there, it can often get confusing and overwhelming. My thought is... stick to the basics! You dont want to over load yourself and take supplements that your body doesnt really need. I have recommended some of the basic supplements on the market, along with their functions and how they help the body.

While training, I was taking many of these supplements in order to help my body reach its maximum potential. If you are dieting and restricting calories and nutrients that the body might have absorbed previous to restricting your diet, then taking supplements is necessary for your health and well being. The supplements I recommend (and was taking) for women interested in training are the following: Womens multi-vitamin, fish oil/flax oil, amino acids, protein powder, cre-alkaline, glutamine, ZMA, CLA,  and a thermogenic fat burner.

Recommended Supplements
For general health, required nutrients:
Multi-vitamin: Promotes a healthy immune system (Advocare- CorePlex)
Vitamin-C/D: Provides improved immune responses (Advocare- C-Grams, Caltrate)
B-12: Helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells (B-12 dots)
Fish Oil/Flax Oil: Plays an important role in the transportation of nutrients/blood pressure (Advocare- OmegaPlex)

For muscle growth:
Amino Acids: Protein Foundation (Advocare- Catalyst)
Protein Powder: Provides nutritional support for increased muscle mass (Advocare-MuscleGain)
Cre-Alkaline: Supports muscle growth and lean tissue gain
Creatine: Supports multiple muscle metabolic processes and enhance physical performance and endurance (Advocare-Muscle Fuel)

For quicker recovery:
Glutamine: Speeds recovery, vehicle for protein uptake
Zinc, Magnesium, Aspartate (ZMA): Hormone booster male/female (Advocare- NightTime Recovery or V100 Multivitamin)

For fat loss:
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): Natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging
Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA): Anti-cancer and antioxidant properties, also fight belly fat and acts as a natural fat burner
Chromium Picolanate: Curbs sweet tooth
Metabolic Support: Fat burner, appetite suppressant (Advocare – MNS Max)
Thermogenic: Speeds up fat loss, appetite suppressant (Advocare – Thermoplus)

***Find Advocare Supplements @ www.MyAdvoLife.com ***

Monday, October 25, 2010

The water/carb cycle

This post is for those of you out there thinking about competing and looking for information on the water deplete/carb load cycle. If you dont have a clue what I am talking about, let me explain. Most competitors go through a cycle of water loading and carb depleting and visa-versa before the show. The point in this is to dehydrate yourself while filling your muscles up with carbs so you look "fuller" rather than depleted. The cycle lasts for about a week and the last day you are on it should be your show day (It is unhealthy and dangerous to put your body through this cycle for long periods of time or to maintain the look you have on stage- I do not recommend it). If your looking to get on stage and want to understand this process better, here is how the cycle works:

You start about a week out from show time. You begin to up your water intake to 1.5 gallons a day (you should already be drinking a gallon a day). You also add sodium to your meals, the ones that dont already have sodium (since most things do.. like fish)...and while doing this you carb deplete. So basically the only carbs you eat are in the morning (oatmeal) and a light amount in the afternoon (like adding beans to your chicken salad). This is going to fill your muscles and body up with water.. you will retain the water in your muscles and deplete them of other nutrients.. you feel bloated but you actually loose weight (its strange-both times I have done this cycle I have dropped a few pounds). After about three days of this.. you begin to introduce carbs back in your diet, and your water intake starts to decrease. You completely cut out sodium as well. The method here is to release water and fill your muscles with the carbs you are introducing. Each day you will eat more carbs, and drink less water. **Make sure you are eating ENOUGH carbs. And of course the day of the show you will only be sipping water and eating LOTS of carbs the day before. Carbs as in more oatmeal, sweet potato, rice cakes, etc. This will expand your muscles and make them hard while your body is dry from dehydration. This is what gives you the "best" look on stage.

Most competitors also use a supplement to aid in getting rid of every little bit of excess water retention your body might have. A few commonly used are expel, taraxaton, etc. It depends on how your body reacts to these supplements, and weather or not you prefer to use them. I recommend testing the entire cycle with a diuretic like these about 2 weeks out, so you know how your body will respond.