My take on supplements Part 1

Many people ask me about supplements, what to take to gain weight. It’s quite difficult to advise when I have no idea what they eat, but first I always recommend that you put your diet right. Most people wouldn’t need any protein shakes if their diet was spot on. You can have it, it’s your choice, but it’s not necessary to gain muscle. Protein intake is necessary, but most people should be able to have enough protein from their food intake: chicken, eggs, fish and beef.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan then it’s a whole different ballgame – depending on your end goal.

So what supplements do I recommend for gaining muscle?
👉Creatine –

  • Helps muscle cells produce more energy.
  • Improves high-intensity exercise performance.
  • Speeds muscle growth.
  • May lower blood sugar levels and fight diabetes.
  • May reduce fatigue and tiredness
  • Can improve brain function

👉Glutamine – which is an amino acid, therefore it’s a building block for protein and a critical part of the immune system. It also has a special role in intestinal health.

Some foods that contain glutamine are: eggs, beef, skinned milk and white rice

Glutamine is a critical fuel source for immune cells. If the body’s need for glutamine is greater than its ability to produce it, your body may break down protein stores, such as muscle, to release more of this amino acid.
Additionally, the function of the immune system can be compromised when insufficient amounts of glutamine are available.

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How to eat for weight loss

There are so many diets out there, no wonder people get confused which one would suit them better. Atkins diet, bloodtype diet, cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, slimming world, weight watchers, ketogenic diet, low fat diet, low GI diet….. and the list goes on. Is losing fat as simple as creating calorie deficit? Most diets say: if your calorie intake is less than what you burn off, you will lose weight. Well, that might be true – to a certain extent, but is it only fat that you will burn off?

A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. A pound of muscle renders 600 calories. So 500 calories deficit a day will give you 3500 calories over a week: 500 x 7 = 3500
However there are 2 ways it can go:
– you will either lose 1 pound of fat (3500 calories)
– or you can lose 6 pounds of muscle (6 x 600 = 3600 calories)
 Obviously you want to avoid losing muscle tissue. That’s why it is important that you pay attention to the correct calorie deficit based on your current bodyfat levels and activity level. If you have a higher % of bodyfat, you can get away with a larger deficit in the early stages of your diet. But if you have a low(er) % of bodyfat, the calorie deficit needs to be adjusted to avoid losing muscle tissue. In your cutting diet, the type of protein, carb and fat has to be considered as well as how the body processes them.

1 gr of protein = 4 calories,

1 gr of carbs = 4 calories and
1 gr of fat = 9 calories.
 In general, high glycemic carbs create a large, temporary rise in blood sugar because they’re quickly digested. Low GI carbs create a lower rise because they’re slower digested.

A rapid blood sugar rise means:

– more insulin is released. A high insulin level promotes quick storage of sugar in muscle and liver. It also inhibits the hormone glucagon which normally tells the body to burn stored fat. Obese people tend to be sugar burners, they mainly burn stored glycogen. Their forthcoming meals restore glycogen (especially if it’s high GI) and the circle goes on, therefore they never get to burn stored bodyfat, they just store more and more.
– Blood sugar levels drop quickly, leaving you feel hungry sooner, so your body needs fuel again. The glucagon is still in short supply, therefore the body does not tap into the stored fat for supply. You feel hungry and will eat again – needlessly, which will lead to increased fat gain over time.

 Moderate and high glycemic foods are recommended after exercise when the plasma glucose concentrations are elevated and it facilitates muscle glycogen replenishment.
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