Despite the abundance of information on nutritional supplements, confusion still reigns over what supplements to take and how to design a program that fits your needs. After you have established nutritious eating patterns with a nutrient dense diet of lean proteins, starchy carbohydrates, and fibrous vegetables, it’s definitely time to add in supplements .First question: Which supplements?To develop the best possible physique and enhance your performance, you need four groups of supplements: (1) energy supple-ments; (2) anabolic enhancers; (3) cellular protectors; and (4) recovery supplements. These are briefly described below. By choos-ing supplements from each grouping, it will be easy for you to map out a supplement strategy .Energy SupplementsThese include carbohydrate supplements, Creatine Monohydrate™, CapTri®, and a trio of special energy enhancers, which are explained below. Here’s a brief look at how each of these supplements can enhance energy .Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for athletes, particularly strength athletes. Weight lifting is an anaerobic ac-tivity.
That means the energy is produced without using oxygen. Carbohydrate is the only fuel substrate which can be broken down to yield energy without reacting with oxygen. So to start with, you should eat a high carbohydrate diet. To increase your intake of carbs, supplement your diet with a beverage such as ProCarb™, or our energy bars. That way, you’ll be well energized for more intense workouts.Also, include a special kind of fat known as a “medium chain triglyceride (MCT oil)” such as CapTri® in your nutrition program. This type of supplement provides over twice the energy density of protein and carbohy-drate (8.3 calories per gram for MCTs versus 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein) and is absorbed into the bloodstream as rapidly as glucose. MCT oil is preferentially used as fuel for energy, instead of being stored by the body. As an added benefit, MCT oil has a thermogenic effect, which means that it is converted to energy very rapidly. It is an extremely concentrated source of calories which are rapidly absorbed and metabolized for energy by the human body. Start with 1/2 tablespoon at every meal. After a few days, increase to one tablespoon with each meal. During hard training, many athletes go as high as two to three table-spoons per meal – a level they have found to be beneficial. Supplementing with Creatine Monohy-drate™ provides energy-giving benefits too. Among other effects, creatine increases levels of a high-energy compound called creatine phosphate, which also allows more rapid production of ATP. The more ATP that is available to muscle cells, the longer, harder, and more powerfully you can work out.To use Creatine Monohydrate™ in your supplement program we recommend taking four 5-gram doses a day for five days.
This is known as the “loading phase.” From there, two to 5 grams once a day — about a tea-spoon — will keep your muscles saturated with enough extra creatine. This period is called the “maintenance phase.”To put your energy into the fast lane, supplement with Parrillo Max Endurance Formula™. It contains inosine, a natural chemical that improves oxygen utilization for better stamina; dl-phenylalanine, an es-sential amino acid that can act as a potent mental stimulant for improved concentration during workouts; and ferulic acid, a lipid ex-tract with a number of healthful properties. In combination with the Parrillo Nutrition and Training Programs™, it is recommended that Max Endurance™ be taken 20 to 30 minutes before training.Anabolic EnhancersThere are several natural ways to encour-age muscle growth. One is supplementation with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These include l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine, and they make up about one-third of your muscle protein. All three of these nutrients are involved directly in the build-ing of muscle, and deficiencies can lead to muscle loss .On the Parrillo Nutrition Program™, we advise taking two or more capsules of our Muscle Amino Formula™ with each meal.In addition, supplement your diet with GH releasers — those containing arginine pyroglutamate and lysine monohydrochlo-ride. These stimulate the release of growth hormone, the most anabolic substance in the human body. 1 Use the Parrillo Enhanced GH Formula™ before bed and before training. Cellular ProtectorsNo one wants to get sidelined from illness, so it’s important to get your fill of antioxidants from a vitamin supplement such as Parrillo Essential Vitamin Formula™, and minerals from Parrillo Mineral Electrolyte Formula™. Supplementing with antioxidant nutrients, which include vitamins A, C, E, and minerals such as selenium, has been found in research to help protect the body against diseases . 2
Another good move: Consume whey protein. Research shows that whey protein diets increase the amount of immune-boost-ing glutathione in body tissues. Glutathione is an amino acid derivative.3Whey protein is found in the following products Optimized Whey Protein™, Hi-Protein Powder™, 50/50 Plus Powder™, Parrillo Supplement Bars™, Parrillo Protein Bars™, and Parrillo Energy Bars™.Recovery SupplementsFollowing a workout, your body needs certain nutrients for growth and repair. These include carbohydrates, which restock muscle glycogen; protein, which jump-starts the muscle-making process; and antioxidants, which are depleted with vigorous work-outs .One of the easiest ways to initiate re-covery following a workout is to consume a mixed carbohydrate/protein supplement such as our 50/50 Plus Formula™. Scientific experiments demonstrate that this type of supplement (with the added protein) initiates the rapid uptake of carbs by your muscles – faster than carbs alone.4In addition, a carbohydrate/protein supple-ment taken following a workout stimulates the release of two hormones (insulin and growth hormone), creating an environment favorable to muscle growth and recovery.5What’s more, supplementing with antioxi-dant vitamins – namely vitamins E, C and selenium – has been found in studies to help muscles recover and regenerate more rapidly following exercise .6 As noted above, the Parrillo Essential Vitamin Formula™ and the Parrillo Mineral-Electrolyte Formula™ A Pumped Up Supplement Strategyboth supply the antioxidants your body needs for recovery.
1. Isidori A., et al. 1981. A study of growth hormone release in man after oral admin-istration of amino acids. Current Medical Research and Opinion 7: 475-481 .
2. Nieman, D.C. 1997. Exercise immunol-ogy: practical applications . International Journal of Sports Medicine 18: S91-S100 .
3 . Bounous, G ., et al . 1991 . Whey pro-teins in cancer prevention. Cancer Letter 57: 91-94 .
4. Zawadzki, K.M., et al. 1992. Carbo-hydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 72: 1854-1859 .
5. Chandler, R.M. 1994. Dietary supple-ments affect the anabolic hormones after weight training exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 76: 839-845 .
6. Alessio HM, et al. 199
7. Exercise-induced oxidative stress before and after vitamin C supplementation. International Journal of Sport Nutrition. 7:1-9; Also: Jakeman, P., and S. Maxwell. Effect of antioxidant vitamin supplementation on muscle function after eccentric exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology 67: 426-430 .