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The Perfect Supplement
Most all of us who have ever touched a weight or picked up a copy of
MUSCLE & FITNESS or FLEX have been involved in the pursuit of the perfect supplement.
What would the perfect supplement do? Well, for starters, it would be formulated in such a
way that it encourages the production of lean mass, while at the same time aiding the body
fat reduction process. It would provide all of the essential and protective nutrients your
body needs for optimum health, and performance including protein, carbohydrates, essential
fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants.
The perfect supplement would also be a slow-release energy source. One
that's capable of building and re-building muscle and liver glycogen stores so that we can
have intense workouts and then recover from them. It would have the ability to boost your
metabolism, and it would contain enough fiber to keep your digestive system healthy, and
in proper working order.
This supplement would be rich in amino acids, including branched chain
aminos to help synthesize protein for muscular repair and growth. What's more, it would
help prevent fatigue, electrolyte imbalances, and other conditions associated with hard
training. And dare I say that it would also be "anti-catabolic."
What is this supplement? Which one does it all? Which one will
transform your physique and boost your performance to levels you never dreamed possible?
Well, it's called "FOOD". Think about it for a second....Food really does do all
these things, making it in a manner, the "perfect supplement".
First of all, food does build mass, and keep you lean - as long as you
choose foods that partition to muscle and energy stores and not to fat depots. The base of
your food should come from lean proteins. The balance from starchy and fibrous
carbohydrates. While attempting to gain lean muscular body weight, it is advisable to
consume in the range of 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per day per pound of bodyweight. At
least 1 gram of this should come from lean animal source proteins such as egg whites,
skinless white meat chicken, skinless white meat turkey, fish, and occasionally lean red
meat. Additional protein will fall in place through your consumption of carbohydrates.
Protein supplies amino acids for growth and are the building blocks for every cell in your
Starchy carbohydrates belong in the group of food that we typically
refer to as complex carbohydrates. Fibrous carbohydrates also belong in this group, but we
have separated them for this discussion and in order to look at them more closely.
Preferred starchy carbohydrates are natural, unrefined foods such as barley, black-eye
peas, brown rice, corn, kidney beans, lima beans, other legumes, lentils, oatmeal, whole
wheat, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. In addition to supplying vitamins, minerals, and
antioxidants, these foods give you energy to train and the ability to recover quickly.
Fibrous carbs include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, broccoflower,
brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans, lettuce, okra,
squash, and zucchini. These foods also supply vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. More
importantly however, they supply an abundance of fiber. Fiber slows digestion and
facilitates a slow release of glucose into the blood stream. That's good. During the
pre-contest phase, you can adjust your intake of starchy and fibrous carbs to help burn
more body fat.
Either way you look at it, food really is the cornerstone of
bodybuilding nutrition. If you don't eat the proper foods - lean proteins, starchy
carbohydrates and fibrous carbohydrates - nothing else really matters. No supplement can
ever provide all the benefits that food supplies. We as human beings were built to process
To supplement, in my opinion, means to add to or to do in conjunction
with. It's my assumption that you want to make the
best possible progress with your physique. If that's true, then I suggest you get back to
the basics, and that means food!