Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are Body Building Supplements Necessary?

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by Morley Evans

Jack Medina
When people begin an exercise program, they usually wonder what supplements they should take. This is especially true of boys and young men who want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. Supplement stores are jammed with cans of protein supplements endorsed by muscle men. Implicit is the message that the product will make the consumer look like the guy on the label. Maybe it won't.

Years ago, when I was a young man, I sent away for Joe Weider's weightlifting kit. Cast iron plates and steel bars arrived in a big cardboard box. It was delivered by mail. No kidding. Posters of championship body builders illustrated what to do. Larry "The Legend" Scott was featured. A thin, mimeographed manual came with the weights. Joe advised eating a diet stuffed with fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables. He advised young weightlifters to be patient and not to overeat. Of course I wasn't patient and I did overeat. After eating 8,000 calories a day for a while (I included liver, brewers yeast and raw eggs), I could no longer look at a plate of food and I lost interest. I did gain a pound a day of "shapely muscle" for about forty days. I soon lost that gain after I quit but a love of lifting iron stayed with me. That would serve me well years later.

This was about the time Joe and his brother, Ben, brought Arnold to the United States to launch the fitness craze that would sweep the world and make billions of dollars for a new fitness industry. As we now know, Arnold had more things in his body-building diet than leafy green vegetables and fresh fruit. But Joe's advice then is still gold today. (A nod to you, Joe Gold.)

Jack Medina gives the same advice today as Joe Weider offered back then, after training championship and Olympic athletes for over thirty years. Now that I am somewhat older, I follow that good advice. Here is some of what Jack Medina says about muscle-building supplements:
  1. Boys do not have the hormones required to build bulky muscles. That is why that are skinny. Don't worry about being skinny if you are a boy (or a girl).
  2. Soy isolate protein has advantages over Whey because it is plant based, not animal based. The FDA rates both as Excellent.
  3. Supplements may or may not contain what is on the label because they are not regulated or examined. JuicePlus+, however, is Certified for Athletes by NSA and contains only  food and nothing else.
  4. Water only is recommended for hydration - never "sports drinks". Muscles are 78% water, not protein.
  5. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables builds a solid foundation for athletic performance and you will be your ideal self with your ideal weight.
  6. Sugar is what is making you fat and diabetic and sick.
Whether you are a boy or a girl, or a man or a woman, what your grandmother told your mother and probably told you is what you need to know. Eat your fruits and vegetables, preferably raw. Drink lots of good fresh water. Get lots of sleep before midnight. Go to bed early. Get up early. Avoid sugar and foods that your body will convert quickly into sugar. Don't chew gum. Short term gain leads to long term pain. Play fair and stay clean. The most important thing your grandmother told you was, "I love you." No kidding.


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