In Depth Look Into Muscle Mass Products
When you make the decision to work on your muscle mass one of the firsts things you will probably do is go online or into a store such as GNC and look for products that will enhance your efforts. That is a real good idea because there are many products that work to your benefit. Howver some are just hype. We are going to get down to the nitty gritty here and give you the scoop on what works and what may not be such a good investment.
Back in 2005 steroids that increase testosterone levels were removed from stores because they were not safe. Many supplement suppliers have formulated new products that are natural. These supplements can vary in price anywhere from $24.00 to $65.00. They claim that increasing the testosterone level will improve muscle mass and also the libido. However a report in the Journal of Ethnopharacology printed a study of 12 healthy men over a course of 4 weeks. They broke the men up into 2 groups One group took the supplement which is derived from the puncturevine plant. The second group took a placebo. After the testing period they found absolutely no difference in the levels of testosterone within the 2 groups.
Mark Moyad, MD the director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center indicates that this supplement can actually lower good cholesterol and even cause breast enlargement.
Our recommendation is to stay away from these product.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham (UK) revealed that men who took this supplement before and after their work-out showed significant loss of sore muscles. Other studies indicate that aside from a reduction of fatigue, participants also showed signs of enhanced fat burn off.
The 2005 FDA ban on pro-hormone supplements was wide spread however DHEA was not effected. But it turns out that it survived the ban due to heavy lobbing in Washing D.C.
DHEA claims to slow down the signs of aging including muscle loss. However, a recent study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that a 2 year study that monitored 87 men and 57 women, all over the age of 60 who had low levels of DHEA. The study concluded that the supplement did raise DHEA levels but there was no increase in muscle strength. It is probably a better idea if you feel that you have low testosterone to just make an appointment with your doctor and get on a hormone replacement program.
Creatine is a highly effective nutritional supplement. It is also made in the body by the liver and kidneys and stored in the muscles. Creatine supplements are used to fuel more energy to the muscles. It is used for high intensity work-outs and it will enable you to work out harder and longer. There have been over 300 studies on creatine and approximately 70% of these studies have proven to show significant muscle gain for those that used it. Creatine is highly effective but do understand that you will gain weight and your diet must be very healthy.
This supplement is a derivative of the branch-chain amino-acid leucine. Similar to creatine but not tested as much. We recommend waiting for more research before taking this supplement. Also pay close attention to labels as some manufacturers are combining creatine with HMB.
This is an amino acid and it is meant to increase the production of nitric oxide in the body. The concept behind this is that it will increase the blood flow directly to the muscles and improve the exchange of nutrients. A study conducted at Baylor University and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a daily supplement containing 9 grams of arginine could cause a heart attack. Risk factors are too high to mess with this supplement.
Do your due diligence on any supplement that you are going to put into your body. Know the risk factors. Educate yourself and use only safe products to achieve the results you are looking for.