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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Top 5 Supplements to Gain Muscle Mass

Some things are classics. Like one of my early mentors, Tony Fratto, squatting at the 1973 World Championships.


Here is an article we posted in 2009 with some nutritional advice from Charles Poliquin that is as relevant today as it was then. Eat good food and keep supplementation simple and basic.

by Charles Poliquin

In many seminars, I always get asked which supplements are best to gain mass. My answers will surprise many of you.

Here they are:

1. Fish Oil

What? Fish oil? That is not cool, avant-garde, sexy, or exotic. Fish oil?

Yes. Fish oil. You cannot be anabolic without enough Omega 3s. For example, I was once training a first-round pick for the NFL. He put on 29 lbs of lean body mass in one month once I jacked his fish oil intake to 45 grams a day. If you want to put muscle on and lose fat, take at least 30 grams of fish oil a day.

Additional reasons for using fish oil include:

* It reduces inflammation.
* It improves insulin sensitivity: makes glucose and amino acids get better in your starved muscle cells.

Taking fish oil in a liquid form is the most economical way of doing it. But taking them every meal works best. I always recommend a combination of liquid and capsules - Liquid for home meals, and capsules for away from home meals.

2. Primal Greens:

What? Ground veggies? Yes, indeed.

The more alkaline you are, the more anti-catabolic you are. Cortisol puts the body in an acidified status; Primal Greens alkalizes you and reverses that state in no time.

A Primal Green drink with 40 BCAA tablets post-workout will put you immediately in an anabolic state. Primal Greens are rapidly becoming a staple recovery in the U.K. in both football and rugby circles. Some athletes like to alternate between Primal Reds and Primal Greens to get a broader base of micro-nutrients.


3. Whey Stronger:

This product is great for the following reasons:

* It is low-heat processed. All of the important proteins like immunoglobulins are not denatured. It is the same proteins you would find in organic milk.
* The milk comes from grass-fed cows. Therefore, it is rich in CLA, another well acknowledged anti-catabolic nutrient.
* It is rich in BCAAs and glutamine, important anti-catabolic factors.
* It is a better precursor for glutathione, therefore a more anti-oxidant protein.


In order to maximize the benefits of Whey Stronger, use 0.25 g per pound of bodyweight, first thing in the morning with 1 tablespoon of glutamine. Use it again, 0.25 g per pound of bodyweight, post-workout.


4. Carbohydrate Powder:

My philosophy on any nutrient is that if you want the best results, get the best stuff.

There are a lot of carb powders out there to chose from but my favorite is unflavored QuadriCarb ultra-soluble powder. It reloads glycogen the fastest.

QuadriCarb is a better choice because of it leaves the stomach faster, delivering glucose more quickly to the blood, and potentiating insulin release to a greater extent, compared to plain old malto-dextrin. It contains 4 different types of sugars with different glycemic curves that permit greater glycogen synthesis for an extended period of time.

These three metabolic attributes translate into faster muscle glycogen repletion after intense workouts (or competition), and an increased ability to drive the transport of anabolic/anti-catabolic nutrients like branched chain amino acids, creatine, and even carnitine.

Carnitine does not accumulate or "load" in muscle unless accompanied by high insulin concentrations, explaining why virtually all carnitine studies have NOT shown increases in muscle carnitine after oral or even intravenous dosing in multi-gram doses. Additionally, very recent research indicates that the exceptional potentiating effects of QuadriCarb on insulin release may switch off" muscle protein breakdown in human muscle. Together, QuadriCarb can speed recovery and muscle refueling, drive nutrient transport, and foster an environment in muscle that supports gains in lean mass, both as carbohydrate/glycogen and muscle proteins.


5. Multi-Intense:

A single nutrient deficiency can halt muscle growth altogether. After running countless Comprehensive Metabolic Profiles, it has become obvious that overcoming deficiencies has often blasted plateaus in strength and muscle mass gains.

For example, many baseball pitchers and track throwers were shown to be deficient in taurine and magnesium, because of all of their high velocity throws. Restoring those two vital nutrients brought about immediate increases in performance in the gym.

In order to maximize the benefits of this nutritional solution, take 2 tablets, 3 times a day, in the middle of meals. That regimen should cover your nutritional bases.

Every person has different nutritional needs, but the above five are the best for everyone based on my experience. Use all of the above on a daily basis and you will have the foundation you need to achieve your goals.

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