There are a vast number of supplements available for bodybuilders, and it’s no wonder that they become confused by what they should use and what they shouldn’t. Some manufacturer’s make wild claims about their products ability to increase muscle and bulk, but you should be aware that there are no regulations in place to guarantee the safety or purity of a product sold as a supplement. Supplements are not required to meet the same safety standards of a prescription drug for instance and no requirement is needed to prove the effectiveness of any health claims the product makes.
We’ve all heard it before, “you should always drink plenty of water”. It can’t be stressed enough. However, I believe that too much of anything is detrimental. So, yes, you can drink too much water! Experiment with different quantities and find out what works best for you.
One of the most misunderstood concepts in the world of muscle building is the protein drink. I remember when I first started supplementing my diet with protein shakes. Some of my friends asked if I had noticed any differences in my training like I was on steroids or something. If that was the only time I had been asked similar questions, I wouldn’t worry as much, but since it is so common, I’ve decided to address the point and even show you a couple of my favourite muscle building drinks.
First of all, realise that a muscle building drink is just a substitute for food. It doesn’t have any magical properties, its the nutritional equivalent of grabbing a chicken breast and putting it in the blender. While your protein drink should taste a helluva lot better than a blended chicken, it’s essentially delivering the same thing.
Now, lets look into making the best muscle building drinks out there. What you want to put in these will depend on what you personally like and what you are drinking it for.
I know that last statement will be a surprise to many of you. But the nutritional makeup of your protein drink should depend on what you’re drinking it for. Let me explain. If you are about to workout, you want your shake to be full of protein and slow releasing carbs, so you have the energy to work out at your maximum potential.
However, if you want to have a shake after your training session, you will still want plenty of protein, but you will want faster energy releasing carbs, so you can repair your muscles as quickly as possible. Make sense Don’t worry if it doesn’t, just accept it for the time being.
If you want to personalize your power drink or if you want to make sure what ingredients are in the power drinks you take in, you can make your own blend to meet what your body needs for a specific bodybuilding training set. There are many protein power drinks that you can blend and mix. Protein power drinks add muscle to the drink and it also contains carbohydrates, calcium, riboflavin and of course, protein.
Energy drinks are soft drinks advertised as being specifically designed to provide energy. Generally they include a combination of methylxanthines (including caffeine), B vitamins, and herbal ingredients. Other ingredients commonly include guarana (extracts from the guarana plant) or taurine plus various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine, glucuronolactone and ginkgo biloba. Some contain high levels of sugar, while most brands also offer an artificially sweetened version. The central ingredient in most energy drinks is caffeine the same stimulant found in coffee or tea, often in the form of guarana (as in Josta, for example) or yerba mate.
Energy drinks are also used as mixers with alcohol. This combination carries a number of dangers:
* Since energy drinks are stimulants and alcohol is a depressant, the combination of effects may be dangerous. The stimulant effects can mask how intoxicated you are and prevent you from realizing how much alcohol you have consumed. Fatigue is one of the ways the body normally tells someone that they’ve had enough to drink.
The verdict on energy drinks
Evidence is beginning to emerge that energy drinks may be harmful to some members of our community. It may be best to avoid giving these drinks to children under the age of ten. With older children and young people, watch closely the amount of energy drinks they consume as well as any effects on their mood or behaviour. If you are unsure or would like further advice, consult your doctor or other health professional.