Nutritional Supplements

Dietary and Nutritional Supplements

nutritional supplements

One aspect of building lean muscle mass and physical strength that is often overlooked is the potential to complement your nutritional dietary intake with supplements

Although nutritional supplements are not necessary for all individuals that regularly strength train, it is our belief that most individuals do not consume, on a daily basis, the appropriate amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats in their daily dietary intake.

This being said, it is important that anyone that is serious about increasing their lean muscle mass and their physical strength consider adding nutritional supplements to their daily dietary intake.

Below is a list of several of the most popular weight training supplements, their associated benefits, and their typical daily dose requirements.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is the highest quality protein available today. Whey protein is rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), containing more than any other food source by volume. Whey protein is one of two types of protein that is derived from milk (the second type of protein being casein). Whey protein is a by-product of the process that takes place during the conversion of a cow’s milk into cheese.

Whey protein provides the body with the perfect amino acid profile for muscle building and strength, and reduces the post-workout recovery time needed for the muscle to rebuild itself. In fact, numerous clinical studies have concluded that whey protein assists in increasing muscle size and muscle strength, and reducing the time needed for the muscle to rebuild and replenish itself.

In addition to the muscle building and muscle recovery benefits, whey protein also works as an antioxidant to bolster the human body’s immune system. Scientific studies have concluded that daily supplementation with whey protein promotes a strong immune system.

Recommended doses of total protein intake per day for individuals that regularly weight train should be between 0.8 grams to no more than 1.2 grams per pound of body weight. For example, an individual weighing 200 pounds should consume a total of 160 grams to no more than 240 grams of protein per day.

Primary benefits of supplementing daily food intake with whey protein:

  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Decreased recovery times and faster muscle repair
  • Reduced post-workout muscle breakdown
  • Increased metabolic rate

Creatine

Creatine was first discovered in 1832 by a French scientist. However, it was not until 1923 that scientists discovered that over 95% of creatine in the human body was stored in the muscle tissue. The first report of creatine enhancing muscle growth was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 1926.

The human body naturally produces creatine, which is primarily used to supply energy to the muscles. Creatine is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, and is transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once the creatine reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).

Creatine is 100% natural and can be found in many types of foods. Typical foods that contain creatine include beef, herring, salmon and tuna. However, the best source of creatine is creatine monohydrate because it contains more creatine per weight of material than any other source.

Creatine has been shown to significantly increase lean muscle mass in as little as two weeks. Creatine is also responsible for improving performance during high-intensity exercise, increasing energy levels and speeding up recovery rates. In addition, creatine increases the energy reserves in muscles due to its muscle protein synthesizing effect, while minimizing the breakdown of protein. The reason of this is that creatine hydrates the muscle cells with water. Finally, creatine promotes muscle growth by increasing the size and strength of the muscle fibers.

The primary benefits of supplementing your diet with creatine:

  • Provides energy for your muscles
  • Enhances protein synthesis
  • Increases muscle volume
  • Delays and/or reduces lactic acid build-up

There are two primary approaches to taking creatine. The first approach is defined as “loading.” The loading approach is only for individuals that have never taken creatine before. The concept of loading refers to saturating the muscles with a supplement – in this case, creatine. For example, during the first four to seven days, you would consume 20 to 30 grams of creatine per day. Simply mix the creatine with a non-acidic juice or water. Upon the completion of the “loading” period (four to seven days), you would then consume 5 to 15 grams of creatine per day to keep your muscles saturated with creatine.

The second method is a more gradual approach to saturating your muscles with creatine. For instance, you may skip the loading phase and begins supplementing your muscles with creatine at a rate of 5 to 15 grams per day, every day. Clinical studies have shown that optimum results are observed when creatine is combined with a high carbohydrate base such as dextrose (glucose), and consumed approximately a half-hour before weight training.

There are several types of creatine available in the marketplace. Below is a list of the types of creatine you can add to your supplement regime:

  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Creatine Citrate
  • Creatine Phosphate
  • Creatine Malate
  • Creatine Ester  

In addition, creatine is available in powder, liquid and capsule form. The most common type of creatine used today is creatine monohydrate in powder form.

Glutamine

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the human body produces it naturally. Approximately 60% of the glutamine in an individual resides in the muscle tissue. The remaining glutamine is located in the lungs, liver and stomach. The glutamine molecule has a unique structure with two nitrogen side chains. Because of this molecular structure, glutamine is the primary transporter of nitrogen in the muscle cells.

Clinical studies have shown that glutamine contributes to protein synthesis (muscle growth), anti-catabolic breakdown functions (prevents muscle tissue breaking down) and growth hormone levels. Glutamine is also responsible for promoting nitrogen retention and assists in preventing the loss of muscle proteins. Hence, a positive nitrogen balance and high glutamine levels are necessary for gaining muscle mass.

As mentioned, the muscles are the biggest source of glutamine in the body. When an individual participates in an intense physical activity (weight training), a higher level of glutamine is required than the total amount that the body can produce. In this case, if the body cannot get the required glutamine from the bloodstream, it must take the glutamine from the the muscles. When this occurs, the body will break down the glutamine stored in the muscles and transport it into the bloodstream. As such, if an individual regularly participates in intense physical activities, glutamine supplementation is required.

Glutamine supplementation is particularly important immediately after intense physical activity, as glutamine levels can be reduced by up to 50%. When muscle tissue has been broken down (post-workout), glutamine is required to provide protein to the muscle cells where it will be synthesized for muscle growth. If the body is forced to produce its own glutamine, it may take several hours, or even days, to get the glutamine levels back to normal.

Glutamine supplements are best taken immediately after an instense physical activity. Most individuals simply add glutamine to their post-workout shake.

Below are several of the primary benefits associated with glutamine:

  • Stimulates muscle protein synthesis by donating nitrogen to build proteins
  • Decreases muscle recovery time
  • Increases the production and release of growth hormones
  • Decreases muscle catabolism during exercise
  • Increases muscle endurance by replenishing glycogen levels
  • Decreases the probability of illness, sickness and infection by stengthening the immune system
  • Minimizes the effects of over-training from heavy lifting and extended workout periods

Additional glutamine health benefits not related to strength training are as follows:

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Heals some of the intestinal damage caused by anti-inflammatories
  • Elevates and improves mood
  • Positive effects on neurodegenerative diseases
  • Improves short-term and long-term memory

For most individuals, the recommended dose of glutamine is 2 to 15 grams daily. It is best to start out on the lower end of the recommended dose of glutamine as some individuals have experienced an upset stomach when taking higher doses. If you don’t experience these symptoms, you can increase your daily dose of glutamine.

Multivitamins and Minerals

vitamins and minerals

Virtually every bodily function utilizes vitamins and/or minerals. When an individual becomes deficient in one or more vitamins and/or minerals, their body ceases to function optimally. This scenario is all too common as most individuals do not get the required nutrients from the food they consume on a daily basis.

A good daily multivitamin and mineral supplement improves an individual’s physical health, mental health and overall well-being. All bodily functions are improved as well. A multivitamin and mineral supplement will typically contain at least the  recommended daily dose of a variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

In many instances, multivitamin and mineral supplements are formulated for a specific sex, age group or physical condition (i.e. pregnancy). In addition, multivitamin and mineral supplements can be purchased in pill form or in liquid form, though they are generally most effective when consumed in liquid form. Clinical studies have shown that the absorption of liquid vitamins and minerals into the blood stream is five times more effective than absorption of vitamins and minerals in pill form.

The individual vitamins and minerals in a daily multivitamin not only provide the specific benefits of each of the individual vitamin and minerals, but the combined (synergistic) benefits of all the ingredients together. Below are a few examples of the benefits associated with taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement.

  • Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin that assists in neutralizing potentially damaging free radicals in the body, and is particularly important for the protection of cell membranes as well as maintaining healthy skin, circulation, nerves, muscles and red blood cells.

  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C assists white blood cells combating infection, and is essential for wound healing, the formation of collagen, maintaining healthy skin, and the formation of other important structural materials in bones, teeth and capillaries. It also helps with the absorption of iron from plant sources.

  • Vitamins D, K, A and other nutrients all have specific beneficial effects on the human body and range from minimizing the risk of heart disease to helping to ward off Alzeheimer’s disease.

Intense physical training, for example, increases the production of free radicals within the body. Hence, when individuals participate in a weight training routine, they should increase their intake of antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, and ensure that they are taking adequate amounts of the proper minerals, such as calcium and iron, required to maintain strong, healthy bones and joints.

A multivitamin and mineral supplement, preferably in liquid form, provides the foundation for good health and wellness.

Natural Testosterone Boosters

Increasing your testosterone levels will promote accelerated muscle growth, enhanced mood and a healthy libido, just to name a few benefits. Testosterone booster supplements are natural products that assist in increasing testosterone levels. There are two primary types of testosterone boosters: Tribulus and Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate (ZMA).

Tribulus: Tribulus Terrestris is a vine plant that grows in moderate and tropical climates in the United States, Mexico, Eastern Europe, India and China. Tribulus Terrestris contains steroidal saponins, alkaloids and flavanoids, and its protodioscin content is believed to be responsible for its effects on hormone, libido and body composition. Individuals in China, the Middle East and India have been using Tribulus for centuries to cure conditions like dizziness, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and headaches.

Tribulus has been used by bodybuilders and athletes to raise testosterone levels for years. However, the long-term biological effects of Tribulus have not been established in human subjects. Tribulus is believed to promote a healthy hormone profile by increasing testosterone levels. It accomplishes this by stimulating the anterior pituitary gland. This is believed to promote the production and secretion of the Leutinizing hormone (LH), which can lead to increases in free-testosterone levels.

In addition to stimulating the level of the Leutinizing hormone and possibly increasing testosterone levels in some subjects, Tribulus may also be an effective treatment for male and female impotence, and promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Tribulus is an all-natural product and studies on humans have shown no side effects. The product is safe for use by women and men.

Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate (ZMA): ZMA is a scientifically-designed anabolic mineral formula. ZMA contains Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate, and vitamin B-6. ZMA is an all-natural product that has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes. 

Studies have shown that supplementing with 30mg of Zinc and 450mg of Magnesium per day can elevate testosterone levels by as much as 30%.

In 1999, a clinical study conducted by Lorrie Brilla, PhD, a sports performance researcher at Western Washington University, concluded that ZMA significantly increased free testosterone levels and muscle strength in NCAA football players. Other studies have reached similar conclusions.

The report conducted by Lorrie Brilla, PhD, concluded the following:

“A group of competitive NCAA football players who took ZMA nightly during an eight-week spring training program had 2.5 times greater muscle strength gains than a placebo group. Pre and post leg strength measurements were made using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer. The strength of the ZMA group increased by 11.6% compared to only a 4.6% increase in the placebo group.”

“The muscle strength increases may have been mediated by the anabolic hormone increases in the ZMA group. The ZMA group had 30% increases in free and total testosterone levels compared to 10% decreases in the placebo group… The ZMA group also had a slight increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels compared to a 20 percent decrease in the placebo group. This study shows that anabolic hormone and muscle strength increases can be induced in already strength-trained athletes by using a novel zinc-magnesium preparation.”

The benefits associated with consuming supplements that increase testosterone levels are as follows:

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increased strength
  • Increased energy
  • Increased libido
  • Improved mood 

Testosterone supplements are available in pill or capsule form and are typically taken 1 to 2 times daily. However, the dosages are dependent on the type of supplement, the ingredients, and how much is contained within each pill or capsule. It is recommended that the individual follow the dose instructions provided on the label.

Both Tribulus and ZMA are completely natural products and are free of any side effects.

HMB

Beta-Hydroxy Beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a byproduct of the normal breakdown of the amino acid Leucine. Therefore, HMB is a metabolite of the essential amino acid Leucine. HMB is produced naturally in the human body from the proteins in our diet and can also be found in small amounts in the foods we consume. For instance, HMB can be found in foods like catfish and alfalfa.

HMB supplements promote muscle growth by minimizing the amount of muscle tissue that is broken down after weight training.

HMB supplements slow down a process known as proteolysis. Proteolysis is the natural process of the breaking down of muscle tissue that occurs after intense physical activity. By taking HMB, the body is able to minimize the amount of muscle tissue breakdown and protein degradation due to intense physical activity. This allows the body to remain in an extended anabolic state, thus allowing for more muscle growth.

HMB supplements were first used by Iowa State University in cattle. The tests concluded that by giving cattle HMB supplements, they were able to produce more muscle tissue and less body fat on the cattle. Clinical studies were then conducted on humans, and the same result was found to be true. The clinical study, conducted by Iowa State University, tested 40 men who trained for 4 weeks and found that the men who were given 3 grams of HMB per day built more muscle and lost more body fat than the men who trained without HMB.

Clinical studies have been published that focused on measuring the side effects associated with taking HMB supplements in men, women, children and the elderly. In nine separate studies, only positive effects were found in relation to muscle mass, body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol.

The benefits associated with consuming HMB supplements are as follows:

  • Increased gains in lean muscle mass
  • Prevents muscle catabolism
  • Enhances muscle repair and reduces recovery times
  • Decreases body fat
  • Decreases blood cholesterol levels
  • Increased endurance

Many individuals take an HMB supplement with their whey protein, glutamine, creatine or carbohydrate shake. It’s also possible to buy blends of whey protein and/or creatine that contain HMB. By combining the supplements, additional benefits can be realized. For example, creatine will give the individual the strength to work their muscles with greater intensity, while the HMB will minimize muscle tissue breakdown and recovery time.

Similar to most supplements, the amount of HMB an individual should take is dependent upon their bodyweight. In general, an individual weighing up to 130 pounds (59.09kg) can consume up to 2 grams per day. For individuals weighing over 130 pounds, a dose of 4 grams per day is recommended. HMB should be taken 1 gram at a time, so an individual over 130 pounds should take 1 gram 4 times per day.

Nitric Oxide (NO)

Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule that functions within many tissues to regulate multiple physiological and cellular processes. The role of NO in the human body was first discovered by several groups of clinical researchers who were attempting to identify the catalyst responsible for promoting blood vessel relaxation and regulating vascular tone.

This catalyst was termed endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), and was initially assumed to be a protein like most other signaling molecules. The discovery that EDRF was actually nitric oxide (a highly reactive gas) has led to an explosion of interest in this field and has resulted in over 60,000 clinical papers being published over the last ten years.

Clinical studies have shown that nitric oxide plays a role in a variety of biological processes including neurotransmission, immune defense, and the regulation of cell death and cell motility.

Nitric oxide has become an extremely popular supplement for bodybuilders and individuals that train intensely with weights. Nitric oxide is the muscle’s “cell-signaling” molecule that is responsible for blood flow (hemodilation), oxygen delivery, glucose uptake, muscle velocity, power output and muscle growth.

Consuming a nitric oxide supplement has been proven to increase blood flow to the muscles. By doing so, an increased level of nutrients can be delivered to the muscles while they are under stress. Several individuals taking nitric oxide have reported that they achieve an increased “pump” while working out.

Nitric oxide also works with the endocrine system. More specifically, nitric oxide affects the release of the gonadotroptin-releasing hormone, as well as the release of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla.

The primary ingredient found in nitric oxide supplements is L-Arginine, an amino acid. It should be noted that consuming too much L-Arginine may promote side effects including tiredness, weakness, diarrhea and nausea. Currently, no conclusive dosage guidelines have been defined for supplementing with L-Arginine. Therefore, it is important that each individual assess their personal tolerance to L-Arginine.

One approach an individual can take to assessing their tolerance to L-Arginine is to begin by taking a small dosage for 1 week and assessing the effects. Thereafter, the individual can gradually increase the dosage and monitor the effects that the dosage has on their body. By using this approach, the individual will be able to minimize any side effects and determine their optimal dosage as well. It should be noted that each nitric oxide supplement comes with clear instructions on appropriate dosages.

Nitric oxide has been used in bodybuilding and weight gain supplements since 1996. Niric oxide is  available in powder and pill form. However, pure nitric oxide is most commonly found in pill form. Nitric oxide is also available as a pre-workout supplement, and is typically combined with other supplements like vitamins and creatine.

Carbohydrates

healthy carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are essential for any individual that is looking to increase their lean muscle mass and strength. There are two basic types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates are found in natural and processed sugars, and are rapidly broken down by the body, absorbed into the blood stream, and used as energy.

However, this type of energy is short-lived and can often lead to the individual feeling tired and lethargic.

Hence, simple carbohydrates are not generally recommended for individuals that are seeking to increase their lean muscle mass, or for individuals that are simply looking to live a healthy lifestyle.

Complex carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our bodies. Complex carbohydrates include foods such as wheat, brown rice, potatoes, whole grain bread and oatmeal. Complex carbohydrates take much longer for the body to convert into energy, and the energy is longer lasting. Daily consumption of foods that are high in complex carbohydrates is recommended for all individuals, especially athletes. Complex carbohydrates are typically described as the “good carbs” because they provide the human body with sustained energy, thus allowing for extended periods of intense physical exertion.

Complex carbohydrates provide two key elements associated with building lean muscle mass. First, carbohydrates provide the human body with energy to operate at a level of high intensity for an extended period of time. Simple carbohydrates will not provide the energy required to sustain a level of high physical activity.

Second, insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the human body, and drives nutrients from the bloodstream into the muscle cells. When an individual completes their workout, their muscles immediately begin trying to repair and rebuild themselves. In order for this repair to occur, the muscle tissue requires energy and nutrients. This is the only time when simple carbohydrates benefit the individual in terms of gaining muscle density. Immediate consumption of a simple carbohydrate after a workout will raise the depleted insulin levels.

This, in turn, speeds up the process of protein synthesis (rebuilding of muscle tissue). Complex carbohydrates will not provide the same rapid effect as simple carbohydrates because they take longer to be absorbed into the body. An excellent source of a post-workout simple carbohydrate is a banana. Eating a banana will give the individual 25 to 30 grams of simple carbohydrates.

As previously mentioned, individuals only need simple carbohydrates immediately after their workout to increase insulin levels. Complex carbohydrates are required to maintain a more even and sustained energy level throughout the day. This begins when the individual awakens in the morning and consumes foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates. In addition, it is important to fuel the body prior to participating in an intense physical activity. This is best accomplished by consuming foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour before the physical activity begins.

It should be noted that the human body will only burn off the carbohydrates that the body requires to perform its daily functions. The rest of the calories (from the carbohydrates) will be stored as fat.

For this reason, more and more individuals are beginning to realize that it’s better to consume 5 to 8 smaller meals per day instead of 3. Under this scenario, the individual is able to spread their carbohydrate intake across the entire day and achieve an optimum energy level with less variation.

Carbohydrate supplements are available in powdered form. There are two basic types that are used by most strength trainers: blends and pure. Blends include the typical “weight gainer” products and are comprised primarily of pure carbohydrates with the addition of proteins, fats and other nutrients. Pure carbohydrate supplements are 100% pure carbohydrates. Weight trainers typically add pure carbohydrates to their post-workout shake to spike their insulin level.

Essential Fatty Acids

healthy fats

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are healthy fats that the human body cannot synthesize, and hence must be obtained through your diet. EFAs are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from linolenic, linoleic and oleic acids.

There are two categories of essential fatty acids: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-9 is necessary yet “non-essential” because the body is able to manufacture a modest amount on its own, provided the other primary EFAs are present.

The number following “Omega-” represents the position of the first double bond, counting from the terminal methyl group of the molecule.

Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from Linolenic Acid, Omega-6 from Linoleic Acid, and Omega-9 from Oleic Acid.

Below are several of the bodily functions where essential fatty acids play a vital role:

  • Transport oxygen from red blood cells to the various tissues
  • Promote brain development
  • Keep saturated fats mobile in the blood stream
  • Act as an anti-inflammatory (preventing rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
  • Regulate pressure in the eye, joints and blood vessels, and mediate immune response
  • Regulate bodily secretions and their viscosity
  • Dilation and/or constriction of blood vessels
  • Regulate collateral circulation
  • Reduce blood pressure (dilates blood vessels)
  • Regulate cell division rate
  • Maintain the fluidity and rigidity of cellular membranes
  • Regulate the inflow and outflow of substances to and from cells
  • Direct endocrine hormones to their target cells
  • Maintain proper kidney function and fluid balance
  • Prevent blood cells from clumping together (i.e. blood clots that can be a cause of heart attack and stroke)
  • Regulate smooth muscles and autonomic reflexes
  • Regulate nerve transmission and communication
  • Support cardiovascular health  

In a Danish clinical study, it was concluded that when subjects were given an oil blend of high nutritional quality, with an appropriate EFA ratio of 2:1:1 (omega-3: omega-6: omega-9), at the rate of 15ml per 25kg of bodyweight per day, the subjects exhibited the following reults:

  • Enhanced stamina by 40 – 60%
  • Improved muscular development (anabolic)
  • Allowed for more frequent training without the symptoms associated with over-training
  • Reduced recovery time from exhaustion and training sessions
  • Increased the speed at which injuries healed
  • Improved sleep in several athletes
  • Improved concentration
  • Improved skin conditions
  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Lowered resting heart rate
  • Lowered insulin requirements in people with Type 1 diabetes 

The most common type of EFA supplements are available in pill form. The pills may consist of pure omega-3, pure omega-6, or a blend of the two. In addition, many vitamin and mineral supplements include omega-3 and omega-6 along with other ingredients. There are also several oils, fishes, legumes and vegetables that are high in EFAs.

There are no adverse side effects associated with the supplementation of EFAs, either in pill or oil form.

Nutritional Supplement Safety

In general, nutritional supplements are safe. However, it is important to understand that nutritional supplements are not intended to replace regularly consuming a healthy, well-balanced, whole food diet. All healthy diets should include the regular consumption of sufficient amounts of lean cuts of meat, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.

It’s also important that you never exceed the recommended daily serving for each nutritional supplement you use. Several nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin B6, can actually produce detrimental affects when consumed at a rate that exceeds the recommended dosage from the manufacturer. This is especially true when exceeding the recommended dosage over a long period of time. Always follow the instructions that are included with the nutritional supplement, and be sure to understand the daily recommended dosage and the instructions for taking the supplement. Instructional labels may explain how the nutritional supplement can affect the structure and function of the body.

Always make sure that there are no side effects associated with the combination of nutritional supplements that you intend to take. In some instances, combining certain nutritional supplements can produce adverse effects and be detrimental to your overall health.

Finally, it is always a good idea to consult your medical doctor and discuss the various nutritional supplements that you are considering. Most medical doctors are familiar with several nutritional supplements, and are aware of any combinations that may be of concern. Openly discuss your personal health and fitness goals, your approach to obtaining them, and your dietary food intake routine with your medical doctor, as they may be able to recommend a combination of nutritional supplements that are tailored to your personal goals and your exercise routine.

nutritional supplements

All in all, adding nutritional supplements to your daily dietary intake routine can be an excellent approach to not only supporting a healthy dietary food intake routine, but to replenishing the nutrients that are lost through regularly performing an aggressive weight training program.

Regularly performing a weight training routine can place a high level of stress on the human body. The primary forms of stress that are placed on the body are those that you can physically feel (i.e. joint strain), depletion of the nutrients required to energize an aggressive weight training routine, and the additional nutrients required to promote the development of lean muscle tissue and gains in physical strength. This being said, adding a nutritional supplement routine to a healthy and nutritious diet is the best approach to minimizing these stressors and ensuring that your body responds and develops as a result of your weight training efforts.

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