Body-Building Drugs & Supplements
Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements commonly used by those involved in bodybuilding and athletics. Bodybuilding supplements may be used to replace meals, enhance weight gain, promote weight loss or improve athletic performance. Among the most widely used are vitamin supplements, protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), glutamine, essential fatty acids, meal replacement products, creatine, weight loss products and testosterone boosters. Supplements are sold either as single ingredient preparations or in the form of "stacks" - proprietary blends of various supplements marketed as offering synergistic advantages. While many bodybuilding supplements are also consumed by the general public their salience and frequency of use may differ when used specifically by bodybuilders.
HISTORY:Athletes in ancient Greece were advised to consume large quantities of meat and wine. A number of herbal concoctions and tonics have been used by strongmen and athletes since ancient times across cultures for the enhancement of strength, vigour, prowess and stamina. In the 1910s, Eugen Sandow, widely considered to be the first modern bodybuilder in the West, advocated the use of dietary control to enhance muscle growth. Later, bodybuilder Earle Liederman advocated the use of "beef juice" or "beef extract" (basically,consomme) as a way to enhance muscle recovery. In 1950s with recreational and competitive bodybuilding becoming increasingly popular Irvin P. Johnson began to popularize and market egg-based protein powders marketed specifically at bodybuilders and physical athletes. The 1970s and 1980s marked an explosion in the growth of the bodybuilding supplement industry fueled by an unprecedented increase in mainstream recreational bodybuilding and the widespread use of modern marketing techniques.
In the USA, in October 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was signed into law. Under DSHEA, a supplement manufacturer alone is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements it manufactures or distributes are safe. Dietary supplements did not henceforth need approval from FDA before they were marketed. Except in the case of a new dietary ingredient, a firm did not have to provide FDA with the evidence to substantiate safety or effectiveness. It is widely believed that the 1994 DSHEA further consolidated the position of the supplement industry and lead to unprecedented growth and sales figures.
Supplement categoriesModern bodybuilding supplements are often marketed as promoting various desirable processes related to improving nutrition, enhancing body composition or improving lifting performance. Supplements are often categorized accordingly. While many of these categories are based on scientifically based physiological or biochemical processes, their use in bodybuilding parlance is often heavily colored by bodybuilding lore and industry marketing and as such may be deviate considerably from traditional scientific usages of these terms.
ProteinBodybuilders often supplement their diets with a powdered form of protein. The powder is mixed with water, milk or juice. Protein powder is generally consumed immediately before and after exercising, or in place of a meal. Some types of protein are to be taken directly before and after a workout (whey protein), while others are to be taken before going to bed (casein protein). The theory behind this supplementation is that bodybuilders, by virtue of their unique training methods and end-goals, require higher-than-average quantities of protein to support maximal muscle growth.
Currently, no consensus has been reached in determining whether or not an individual in exercise training can benefit from protein and amino acid supplements. Protein supplements come in various forms: ready to drink shakes, bars, bites, oats, gels and powders. Protein powders are available in a variety of flavors.
- Whey protein contains high levels of all the essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids. It also has the highest content of the amino acid cysteine, which aids in the biosynthesis of glutathione. For bodybuilders whey protein provides amino acids used to aid in muscle recovery. Whey protein is derived from the process of making cheese from milk. There are three types of whey protein: whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate. Whey concentrate is 29%–89% protein by weight whereas whey isolate is 90%+ protein by weight. Whey hydrolysate is enzymatically predigested and therefore has the shortest rate of digestion of all protein types.
- Casein protein (or milk protein) has glutamine, and casomorphin.
- Soy protein from soybeans contain isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen.
- Egg-white protein is a lactose- and dairy-free protein.
- Hemp seed contains complete and highly-digestible protein and hemp oil is high in essential fatty acids.
- Rice protein, when made from the whole grain, is a complete protein source that is highly digestible and allergen free. Since rice protein is low in the amino acid lysine, it is often combined with pea protein powder to achieve a superior amino acid profile.
- Pea protein is a hypoallergenic protein with a lighter texture than most other protein powders. Pea protein has an amino acid profile similar to that of soy, but pea protein does not elicit concerns about unknown effects of phytoestrogens. Pea protein is also less allergenic than soy.
Branched-chain amino acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; the body breaks consumed protein into amino acids in the stomach and intestines. There are three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Each has numerous benefits on various biological processes in the body. Unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are metabolised in the muscle and have an anabolic/anti-catabolic effect on it. BCAAs account for 33% of muscle protein.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in human muscle and is commonly found in supplements or as a micronized, instantly soluble powder because supplement manufacturers claim the body's natural glutamine stores are depleted during anaerobic exercise. Serum glutamine is used by the body to counteract the acidosis that results from exercise; in order to replenish the loss ofglutamine from the bloodstream, the body catabolises glutamine from the muscle.Ingestion of supplemental glutaminemay therefore help ensure a ready supply for the muscles. It is also argued that a deficiency may lead to a weakened immune system and wasting of muscle tissue.
Some studies have shown there to be no significant effect of glutamine on bench press strength, knee-extension torque or lean muscle mass when compared to controls taking a placebo, though another study found that glutamine is beneficial in raising T-helper/suppressor cell ratio in long distance runners.
Essential fatty acids
The essential fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid) may be especially important to supplement while bodybuilding; these cannot readily be made in the body, but are required for various functions within the body to take place.
Fatty fish, such as fresh salmon and trout are rich in essential fatty acids and fish oils can also be taken in supplement form.
Flaxseed oil, often sold as a supplement on its own, is an ideal source of alpha-Linolenic acid, which can also be found in walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Meal replacement productsMeal replacement products (MRPs) are either pre-packaged powdered drink mixes or edible bars designed to replace prepared meals. MRPs are generally high in protein, low in fat, have a low to moderate amount of carbohydrates, and contain a wide array of vitaminsand minerals.
The majority of MRPs use whey protein, casein (often listed as calcium caseinate or micellar casein), soy protein, and/or egg albuminas protein sources. Carbohydrates are typically derived from maltodextrin, oat fiber, brown rice, and/or wheat flour. Some MRPs also contain flax oil powder as a source of essential fatty acids.
MRPs can also contain other ingredients, such as creatine monohydrate, glutamine peptides, L-glutamine, calcium alpha-ketoglutarate, additional amino acids, lactoferrin, conjugated linoleic acid, and medium-chain triglycerides.
A sub-class of MRPs are called 'weight gainers' and have a high ratio of carbohydrates:protein. Where a MRP would have a 0.25-2:1 ratio of Carbohydrates:Protein a weight gainer would have in the order of between 3-5:1 ratios.
ProhormonesProhormones are precursors to hormones and were most typically sold to bodybuilders as a precursor to the natural hormone testosterone. This conversion requires naturally occurring enzymes in the body. Side effects are not uncommon, as prohormones can also convert further into DHT and estrogen. To deal with this, many supplements also have aromatase inhibitors and DHT blockers such as chrysin and 4-androstene-3,6,17-trione. To date most prohormone products have not been thoroughly studied, and the health effects of prolonged use are unknown.
Although initially available over the counter, their purchase was made illegal without a prescription in the US in 2004, and they hold similar status in many other countries. Additionally, their use is proscribed by most sporting bodies.
CreatineCreatine is an organic acid naturally occurring in the body that supplies energy to muscle cells for short bursts of energy (as required in lifting weights) via creatine phosphate replenishment of ATP. A number of scientific studies have shown that creatine can improve strength, energy, muscle mass, and recovery times. In addition, recent studies have also shown that creatine improves brain function. and reduces mental fatigue.Unlike steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, creatine can be found naturally in many common foods such as herring, tuna, salmon, and beef.
Creatine increases what is known as cell volumization by drawing water into muscle cells, making them larger. Thisintracellular retention should not be confused with the common myth that creatine causes bloating (or intercellular water retention).
Creatine is sold in a variety of forms, including creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester, amongst others. Though all types of creatine are sold for the same purposes, there are subtle differences between them, such as price and necessary dosage.
Creatine monohydrate is regarded as a necessity by most bodybuilders. Creatine monohydrate is the most cost-effective dietary supplement in terms of muscle size and strength gains.There is no preferred creatine supplement, but it is believed that creatine works best when it is consumed with simple carbohydrates. This can be accomplished by mixing powdered creatine with grape juice, lemonade, or many high glycemic index drinks.
Some studies have suggested that consumption of creatine with protein and carbohydrates can have a greater effect than creatine combined with either protein or carbohydrates alone.
Thermogenic productsA thermogenic is a broad term for any supplement that the manufacturer claims will cause thermogenesis, resulting in increased body temperature, increased metabolic rate, and consequently an increased rate in the burning of body fat and weight loss. Until 2004 almost every product found in this supplement category comprised the "ECA stack": ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. However, on February 6, 2004 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of ephedra and its alkaloid, ephedrine, for use in weight loss formulas. Several manufacturers replaced the ephedra component of the "ECA" stack with bitter orange or citrus aurantium (containingsynephrine) instead of the ephedrine.
Testosterone boostersThere are several naturally occurring plants, amino acids, and vitamins, as well as synthetic chemicals that are sold as supplements to increase testosterone levels. Some commonly taken supplements of this type are Fenugreek, Eurycoma longifolia, D-Aspartic acid,Boron, L-Carnitine and Tribulus terrestris.
In the world of Bodybuilding, Testosterone is KingAthletic Benefits of Increased Testosterone:
- Increased protein synthesis from amino acids
- Increased appetite
- Increased bone remodeling and growth
- Stimulation of bone marrow, which increases the production of red blood cells.
- Stimulate the formation of muscle cells and hence cause an increase in the size of skeletal muscles, leading to increased strength.
- Increase in competitive drive, motivation, and aggressiveness. 1,2,3
What Are Testosterone Boosting Supplements?Testosterone booster supplements are natural products that may help in increasing testosterone levels. There are two main type of testosterone boosters, Tribulus and ZMA.
Tribulus: Tribulus Terrestris is a vine plant that grows in moderate and tropical climates in the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe, India and China. Tribulus Terrestris contains steroidal saponins, alkaloids, and flavanoids, and its protodioscins content is believed to be responsible for its effects on hormone, libido and body composition.
ZMA: ZMA is a scientifically designed anabolic mineral formula. It contains Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate plus Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6, and is an all-natural product that has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes. Hard training athletes typically deplete the body from these essential minerals.
Studies have shown that supplementing with 30mg of Zinc and 450mg of Magnesium per day can elevate testosterone levels up to 30%!
Benefits To Taking Testosterone Supplements:Obviously, the main benefit from increasing testosterone levels is increased strength and muscle mass. Users of testosterone boosters have often reported the following effects:
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased strength
- More energy
- Increased libido
- Elevation of mood (testosterone has been used to treat depression)