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I have been out of the supplement world for quite some time and I don’t plan on getting all encyclopedia brown on it anytime soon because supplement is all that needs to be said. It is to supplement what is already there or what is missing. It is not the key, even though that is what supplement companies want you to believe. First off lets realize that they are a company. There objective first and foremost is to help themselves. What they display to the outside world seems to come off as they want to help you and they put all these awesome quality ingredients into their product but at the end of the day if they have the choice between two ingredients and the better one is 10 cents more they will opt for the lower quality ingredient. If they truly cared about their customers they would sell what works and not just what sells. If you read the literature about what is the most optimal carb to protein ratio for a post workout shake it would be around 4:1 in favor of carbohydrate, yet you see these “awesome” companies like Progenex and Herbalife with 20 grams of protein and 7 grams of carbs. So if we do the quick math they should be putting in 80 grams of carbs. If they put in 30 grams of protein that would be 120 grams of carbohydrates. Who the hell is going to buy a supplement with 120 grams of carbs per serving? That is what some people think is all they need for an entire day. The fitness world is deathly afraid of carbohydrates so there is no way in hell that they would do this. And it is good for them because they get to sell you a 2 pound bag of protein for $60 and you come back for more and more. If carbohydrate is so important why doesn’t anyone talk about it? Well it comes down to money and what sells. If you buy dextrose (typically put into supplements) it is only around $2 per pound. So they could either sell you a 2 pound jug of dextrose for $4 or a 2 pound jug of protein for $60…ya I see why they sell protein.
I feel most high school athletes who care about lifting have heard they need to take protein. Shoot I remember coaches telling me that if I didn’t take my protein immediately after my workout I might as well not even have worked out because my muscles were just going to waste. Wait what? What about the guys 50 years ago who were jacked and didn’t take protein 15 minutes after they worked out? I guess that was before bro science so it doesn’t count.
Anyways back on the carb train for a second….everyone knows about protein but few athletes realize that carbohydrate is just as important post workout. First of all when we lift heavy weights we use carbohydrates to fuel our workouts, not protein. So if you drove your car for 3 hours from San Francisco to Sacramento would you need to put in windshield wiper fluid or gas into your car before driving back? Gas. Because that is the fuel source you just used to make your car run. Our bodies are using carbohydrate during intense lifting efforts so we need to replace those carbohydrates after we finish lifting. “Ok cool bro, but what about getting Jacked and Tan?” Well the cool thing about post exercise carbohydrate ingestion is the hormonal responses it triggers throughout the body to make you more anabolic and grow. The most notable hormone is insulin that is released due to the increased blood glucose levels of post workout carbohydrate. Insulin is a very important hormone and it signals the body to grow and increase the production of other important anabolic hormones. There is a reason why big time bodybuilders inject insulin into their muscles post workout and you can get this same positive effects (without the harsh ones) as body builders who inject it simply by adding in a few scoops of dextrose to your post workout shake.
I’m not against protein powder, I just think it is a scam and you don’t have to have it. Supplement companies really piss me off with their labels, fake graphs and promising kids 20 pounds of muscle growth in 14 days. “University Tested” that doesn’t even mean anything! I can test if drinking goat snot will increase my strength levels but that doesn’t mean it actually works people!
Testing something and having something actually show significant difference are different things. And to be honest, having something show significant difference doesn’t mean much in this day and age anyways.
My suggestion would be to eat real food. We are here to gain weight right? Weight…weight…weight. Ok lets think about food in terms of how much it weighs and if eating food that weighs something makes us weigh more, wouldn’t we want to eat things that actually weigh something? “Wait a second Jim. I think he is onto something!” Maybe living off of whey isn’t the best route after all.
Do me a favor all you supplement queens and put 2 scoops of protein powder on a plate and now put a 1 pound steak, 2 baked potatoes and a mound of peas onto another plate. If we are trying to gain weight what do you think will help us out more? 50 grams of protein powder? Or a couple pounds of food? I remember kids who would religiously take their protein post workout around 5pm and then not even eat dinner because their protein would make them feel full or upset their stomach. Hopefully this makes sense but if not keep on buying your $60 jug of whey protein and stay the same weight while the “uneducated” reap the benefits of real food.