Ecdysterone is a bodybuilding supplement that came out a few years ago based on… BUG SCIENCE! Bodybuilding = bug science? Yes, it sounds strange, but what made them make this leap and does it actually work?

What is Ecdysterone:

Ecdysterone is a plant sterol. It is manafactured in plants to provide nutrients to insects and certain animals. Ecdysterone has a hormonal anabolic effect in insects.

Does Ecdysterone work?

Absolutely not. There is no research ever proven that Ecdysterone works on humans. The only research that show it's anabolic effect, was done on insects and rats. This research was done in Russia and very poorly constructed. These sterols were first initially marketed in the 80's and quickly lost popularity when it was found they don't work. Ecdysterone is just another junk sterol with a different name.

A quick search on Ecdysterone reveals many websites are still selling it. This is unbelievable, it shows how sleazy supplement companies are to continue to sell this junk supplement. More surprising is how some newbies to bodybuilding continue to somehow fall for it. I was shocked to find out many popular bodybuilding websites were actually giving a positive light to ecdysterone in their articles. If they had come to this blog post instead, they would know not to purchase it.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

Your pre-workout meal may be the most important meal of the week.

Importance of Pre-Workout nutrition:

According to studies, what you eat before your workout has a big role in protein synthesis and fat burning for hours after your workout. Pre-workout nutrition helps set off the cascade of hormone reactions, setting the tone for the rest of the day.

According to studies, the pre-workout meal seems to be more important than your post-workout meal for effecting protein synthesis and fat loss post-workout. Getting adequate carbohydrates pre-workout improves endurance and strength for your workouts.

When should I eat for my pre-workout meal?

You should have a "liquid" meal 45 minutes to one hour before workout. Full solid meals should be roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 and 1/2 hours before working out.

What should I eat for my pre-workout meal?

You should have a high carbohydrate and high protein meal. The nutrient profile should be similiar to breakfast for protein and carbohydrates, except less fat. Fat should generally be avoided pre-workout, as that will slow down digestion too much.

Pre-workout supplements:

Some of the possible pre-workout supplements you may want to take to improve gains and performance in the gym are; Caffeine or ephedrine, NO2, Creatine, BCAAs, and Vitamin C.

How To Reduce Water Retention

Water retention is a big issue for bodybuilders. You been cutting for a while, yet you still have that “bloated” appearance. Luckily, there is many solutions to help reduce water bloat.

Tips to reduce water bloat

1) Reduce salt in diet. Salt plays a huge role in how much water you hold. Dairy and protein powders are often high in salt, so reduce those in your diet when you can.

2) Drink more water! Water helps flush out the sodium in your body, leading to less water retention.

3) Get off creatine. Creatine causes an enormous amount of water bloat.

4) Try caffeine or other strong diuretics. Caffeine and other stimulants such as ephedrine and synephrine are natural diuretics. Anti-estrogen supplements like 6-OXO and anti-estrogen prescriptions like nolvadex reduce water retention due to their effect on reducing estrogen levels in the body. Some bodybuilders use strong diuretics like Lasix for competitions. There is some long term health risks if you abuse some of these compounds though. Caffeine is the only I mentioned, that is safe to use long term. These diuretics will help give you more of a "ripped" apperance. Long term usage of some of these isn't a good idea, so reserve it to appropriate times of the year.

Bodybuilding & Protein Meal Frequency

One thing that makes bodybuilding diets different from most, is the need for small frequent meals that contain significant protein throughout the day.

Why do Bodybuilders eat so many meals a day?

Bodybuilders during their bulking phase require a lot of calories. As a result, it is nearly impossible to get them all in the traditional 3 meals. You need a large calorie surplus to allow for muscle gains and to prevent overtraining.

Even if you are able to eat for example, 3000 calories in 3 meals, your body won't be able to digest it as well as if you had it in 5 or 6 smaller meals.

Another major reason behind the meal frequency is to have a steady stream of protein. By having frequent small high protein meals throughout the day, it will insure amino acids concentrations in the bloodstream throughout the day. Without amino acids in the bloodstream they body may break down muscle in the body to get it's amino acid requirements.

Having a steady supply of amino acids in the bloodstream becomes even more important during cutting phases. Calorie restriction puts your body in a very catabolic (muscle wasting) state. One study done on people during weight loss supports this notion. The ones who ate frequent protein meals, had more lean muscle preservation over those who had less frequent protein meals. This was despite the fact, that all had the same overall total protein calories a day.

How many meals a day should bodybuilders eat?

That would depend on your calorie requirements and how serious of a lifestyle bodybuilding is for you. Some bodybuilders aren't able to have as many meals as they require, due to career and personal responsibilities. 5-6 meals should give good results. Professional or very serious bodybuilders often meals even more frequently, some up to 10.

How much protein is digestable in one meal?

That would depend on the individual's genetics. In general, 30 to 50 grams is the most the average person can digest adequately in one meal.

Water & Bodybuilding

With our high calorie high protein active lifestyle, it is no surprise water should be at the top of our list of importance.

Why Bodybuilders need a lot of water:

High protein diets require a lot of water. The extra water is needed to reduce stress on kidneys and liver. Bodybuilders who take creatine will require even more water intake. Another reason is hydrated muscle cells are more anabolic. Adequate water also aids in fat loss, digestion, and nutrient uptake. Drinking plenty of water will also cause you to retain less water, making you look more "ripped".

How much water do bodybuilders need?

8 glasses a day is what is recommended to the general public. However, bodybuilders require much more water due to our diet and active lifestyle. How much water you require will depend on your weight, what supplements or drugs you are taking, and if it's a rest or workout day. The general recommendation for bodybuilders, should be at least 0.7 ounces per lb of bodyweight.

Bodybuilding & Fiber

Bodybuilders need fiber more than any other group with our massive calorie and protein requirements.

Importance of fiber in bodybuilding diets:

Bodybuilders eat a tremendous amount of protein. High protein diets usually lack "bulk" A.K.A fiber. Compound that with the fact that bodybuilders also eat more calories then the average person, means bodybuilders are going to require a lot of fiber. The lack of fiber in a high protein high calorie bodybuilding diet can lead to constipation, bloating, and higher risk of colon cancer.

Many bodybuilders find the need to supplement with fiber in their diet. Eating foods such as; oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, vegetables, and fruits can help offset the need for supplementing
with extra fiber.

Insoluble vs Soluble Fiber:

Both are important for different reasons. Soluble fiber forms a gel over the stomach slowing down digestion, reducing insulin spikes. Soluble fiber also helps lower blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibers main purpose is to form the bulk needed to pass your food quickly through the digestive tract.

How much fiber should bodybuilders have?

Due to our diets being different from the mainstream public, we have different requirements. In general you should aim for at least 10 grams per every 1000 calories.

Tuna & Mercury

Tuna makes up a large protein source for many bodybuilders because of price and convenience of it. But how healthy is Tuna with Mercury and other concerns?

Mercury & Tuna:

Many officials and nutritionist recommend that you should not eat more than 1-7 cans of tuna a week, depending on the source. Canned tuna has less mercury than Tuna steaks and chunk light white canned tuna has less mercury than chunk white canned tuna. If you plan to eat a lot of tuna, the liver supplement NAC is also recommended to help with mercury detoxification and elimination in the liver.

Health effects of too much Mercury:

The effects of too much mercury are: Lack of coordination, confusion, vision and hearing problems, and possible permanent damage to brain or kidneys. Luckily, adults can usually recover from mercury poisoning by stop eating Tuna.

Dangerous Tuna from China:

Where you get your Tuna is a major problem. Tuna from China is full of dangerous toxins and antibiotics. With U.S labeling in it's current form you may not have any way of knowing where it is from by just reading the label.

In 2002 Congress pass and bush signed a law requiring country of origin be put on food labels. Due to politics it has yet to be implemented more then 5 years later! If you care about your health you should look for tuna that you know is not from China. If they don't label the origin of country, don't buy it.

Bodybuilding: Meat vs. Vegitarian Protein

Vegetarianism and Bodybuilding do really not mix. The most important part of a bodybuilder's diet is high protein. There is no way you can get enough protein in your diet through just vegetables. Sure, you can have a whey protein shake to help get the recommended amounts, but liquid protein is not as effective for gains as whole food protein sources.

Another thing to consider is the protein sources in vegetables are "incomplete". Vegetable proteins don't have the right ratios of amino acids that are optimal for human bodies. It takes about 1/ 3 more vegetable protein to equal effectively animal protein. Vegans, people who want to avoid anything that comes from a animal, should forget about bodybuilding. Vegans will drink soy protein because, unlike whey protein, it doesn't come from a cow. However, soy Protein will increase your estrogen levels and is a very poor amino profile.

Body Types & Bodybuilding

There are 3 major classifications of body types . However, they really don’t tell the whole story as it relates to bodybuilding genetics.

Body type groups:

Ectomorph: These are the traditional “skinny hardgainers” of bodybuilding. They have a fast metabolism and low bodyfat %. Gaining weight can be difficult when they are younger. When their metabolism slows as they get older, is when weight gain becomes easier. "Skinny fat" is a term for ectomorphs who are out of shape and have a gut.

Mesomorph: Mesomorphs have a balanced athletic body. They don't have much of a problem gaining or losing weight. Only later in life, when their metabolism slows, gaining fat is more of a problem.

Endomorph: Endormorphs gain weight very easily. As a result, they naturally tend to carry a high bodyfat %. Lack of excercise and dieting can easily cause them to become obese.

What the classifications don't tell you:

Each individual of a bodytype will have different genetics from each other of the same bodytype, when it comes to muscle building and fat loss abilities. Some ectomorphs for example, will have a much easier time gaining muscle than other ectomorphs. Some ectomorphs might have more of a tendency to put on fat instead of muscle compared to most ectomorphs.

Where people gain the weight, also varies slightly for each person. Some might gain mostly fat on their stomach. Others of the same bodytype might gain weight, but it's more evenly distrubuted across their body in the form of both fat and muscle.

Joint Supplements

Nearly 60 million people today have joint disorders. If you have been hitting the weights for years, you may need to take joint supplements to help with your joint pain or arthritis. Even younger bodybuilders could use it as a preventitive measure against future joint problems.

Joint Supplement Ingredients:

Glucosamine: Glucosamine (Glucosamine sulfate) is a natural occuring compound that helps manafacture glycosaminoglycan in cartilage. Glucosamine has been used in helping people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A study done on 178 Chinese suffering from knee arthritis took 1500 mg for 4 weeks. It was found more effective and better tolerated than prescription drug Ibuprofen. Glucosmaine actually plays a structural role in the joints and reverses inflammation. It can be taken orally and it goes right to the joint. Recommended dosage is 500mg 3 times a day. There is no severe side effects from Glucosamine.

Chondroitin: Chondroitin (Chondroitin Sulfate) is a major part of the structure of cartilage. According to studies it promotes bone healing. Glucosamine and Chondroitin work better when taken together than by themselves. Recent studies also show it can lower cholesterol, help against arthersclerosis and help prevent heart attacks. Dosages are recommended at 300mg 3 times a day. There is no severe side effects.

MSM: MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is has been shown to dramatically reduce pain felt with arthritis. Recommended dosages is 2 grams a day. There is no severe side effects with MSM.

Calcium: Calcium will help against osteoporotis. Steroids and high protein diets can cause an increase risk for osteoporotis in men. Calcium also may play a role in preventing cancer. 1000mg is the recommended daily dosage

Celadrin: Celadrin is a proprietary blend of acetylated fatty acids, esters, and other compounds. Celadrin works at the cellular level to make the joints more fluid and mobile.

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