What they are, how they work, and how to
In the world of natural
bodybuilding, there really isn't much that actually has a noticeable effect
except for causing your wallet to lose weight. There are, however, a few
that really do work and have been proven over and over again to be
beneficial. Below are the ones I have tried and found to be beneficial, or
at least to have a noticeable effect. I have tried many others without
results but these few here have proven themselves.
ECA stack (Ephedrine, with
Caffeine and Aspirin)
If there are any other (natural) supplements
that you want info or instructions on, e-mail me or ask it on the message board for a
What it is: Creatine Monohydrate
(CM) is a naturally occurring compound found mostly in the muscle. The body can
synthesize CM from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. It
is also found in meats, especially red meats. CM helps with the energy cycle of the
muscle and more CM allows more ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy source of the
muscle) to be created faster.
How to take: When you first
start taking CM, you should do a loading phase followed by a maintenance phase for best
results. Take 1 teaspoon 5 times a day for 5 days to load, then cut back to 2
teaspoons a day for maintenance. Mix it into a simple carbohydrate drink (grape juice is
considered the best but any juice is okay). The best times to take CM is before and after
your workouts as that is when you will really need it. On the off days, you can take
it anytime, preferably on an empty stomach.
What it does: During the loading
phase, the creatine saturates the muscles and builds up the ATP levels, and the
maintenance dose maintains these higher levels. The creatine gets absorbed, along
with some water into the inside of the muscle cells, which makes the muscles fuller and
larger. CM has been proven to increase size, strength, endurance, and decrease
lactic acid build-up and recovery times. Works for almost everyone!
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What it is: Vanadyl Sulfate is believed to mimic
insulin by increasing glucose transport to the muscle and improve glycogen storage and the
absorption of protein.
How to take: V.S. Should always be taken with a meal
and the dose varies depending on body weight. If you are 120lbs. or less, take 2
tablets a day; 150 lbs.= 3/day; 180 lbs.= 4/day; 210 lbs.= 5/day; 240 = 6/day;
270 = 7/day;300 = 8/day. These should be taken for about 3 months on and 2
weeks off . Take one tablet at a time with a meal or with a carbohydrate drink or
protein/carb mix, and always take one with your protein after training. Another way
to take this is all the tablets at once, plus one, right after training, only on training
days. Try both ways an see which is better for you.
What it does: You should notice harder muscles and a
better pump when training, as well as a bit of strength and size. Vanadyl sulfate
works very well stacked with creatine monohydrate.
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What it is: Ion exchanged whey
protein has the highest BV (biological value) of any protein source. Eggs are 100 on
the scale and whey protein is 157. For your information, here are some other BV's:
The numbers used to be percentages with eggs being the highest until
new advances led to "ion exchanged, predigested, undenatured, lactose reduced whey
protein. This means that whey protein is the most easily absorbed and used protein
available. Most other sources of protein are well below 100 BV.
How to take: Try to get at least
1 gram of total protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Whey protein is best taken
first thing in the morning, within an hour after weight training, and about 45 minutes
before bed. Some even take a serving in the middle of the night, just to be sure.
The body can only absorb 30-40 grams of protein at a time so take that much (usually 1 1/2
scoops)1-4 times a day.
What it does: Protein is
basically what muscles are made of and is used to build and maintain muscle. If you
do not have enough protein in your diet you won't build much muscle. A high protein
diet also helps to lose fat.
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- What they are: Meal replacement shakes and bars contain protein,
complex and simple carbohydrates and sometimes a bit of fat, along with multiple vitamins
and minerals in an attempt to replace a full meal conveniently and with low fat.
They are not made to live on, but to replace one meal a day (usually breakfast), if losing
fat is desired, or to add an extra meal or two if weight gain is desired.
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ECA stack (Ephedrine, with Caffeine and Aspirin)
- What it is: Ephedrine hydrochloride is an extract of
ephedra, which comes from the Chinese herb Ma Huang. This substance
works 2 ways, it will give you an extra boost of energy and seems to increase strength,
instantly, the first time you take it! The second way is as a thermogenic fat
burner, the effect of which is multiplied when taken with caffeine and aspirin. Most
commercial fat burners contain these 3 ingredients.
- How to take: For an extra intense workout, take 20-30 mg ephedrine,
200 mg caffeine, and 300 mg Aspirin. If taken for more than a week or two straight,
the effects will diminish and it is recommended to take 2 days off for every 5 days
- For fat burning: To burn fat, take the ECA stack before meals and
before training, 2-4 times a day. Wash it down with grapefruit juice for an
even better effect. It seems grapefruit juice allows the caffeine to be better
absorbed by the body. When used for fat burning, it still works to burn, even after
the effects seem diminished.
- Cautions: Read the label on the ephedrine before use and do not use if you
have any of the following: diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, on asthma
medication. If the instructions on the bottle are different from these, follow these
instructions, the ones on the bottle are most likely for medicinal purposes.
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