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Articles > Bodybuilding Supplements > Cycling Your Supplements
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A good number of serious lifters think that when they are "off" supplements the hard work they do on their physiques will be wasted. The opposite is true: when your body is exposed to exogenous substances such as supplements, alcohol, drugs, etc., it builds a tolerance. This tolerance obliges us to use more and more of the product to get the desired result.

In the sports supplements world cycling is a process where you use a supplement for a while, then stop, then go back to using it. The idea is that if you give your body a constant source of a substance – it may eventually get lazy and stop making the substance.

Foundation Supplements
All well-built structures have to have a firm foundation. A good nutrition plan is vital to achieving a great and healthy body. Convenience is always an issue in our busy lives. Meal replacement powders let you get your meals in an expedient and usually delicious way, and this is essential since daily caloric ingestion and the kinds of macronutrients consumed can go a long way in determining whether fat loss and/or lean muscle gain will be achieved.

Nutritional supplements are very important for strength, long life, disease prevention, growth, and reaching maximum mental and physical performance. This is a scientific conclusion, one so undisputed that the United States Congress was obliged to recognize this truth and support nutritional supplements in a big way to make sure they stayed freely available to the public.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a sportsperson who's not engrossed in going faster, getting stronger and recovering from workouts more quickly, no matter what their experience or fitness level. An athlete's natural tendency is to look for an "edge" or supplements that can boost performance and decrease fatigue, once he or she reaches a certain peak level or plateau.

Supplements are near mandatory in the bodybuilding world. Nowadays almost everyone is using Creatine, and it has become a key landmark. As a bodybuilder, you also need to take a good multivitamin. But remember; even though there are plenty ready to drink shakes and other convenient supplements available, they will never take the place of actual food.

Carbohydrate Supplements
Not many people recognize that carbohydrate is the best-proven dietary ergogenic aid – especially carbohydrate supplementation during endurance exercise. Your body burns a combination of carbohydrates and fat during endurance exercise, but as exercise intensity increases the role of carbohydrates becomes greater. Carbohydrate supplements can be in powder, ready-to-drink or gel form and can be used as a readily available fuel source during training, post-exercise refueling or carbo-loading.

Vitamin Supplements
Increased food intake and supplementation with antioxidants may improve immune-system performance since increased oxygen use during workouts can add to the manufacture of free radicals. Two South African studies have produced encouraging results regarding Vitamin C supplementation. Sticking with a high intake of fruits and vegetables should also pay off immune wise, regardless of your level of supplementation.

Protein Supplements
You cannot help but notice that the supplement business is hard at work promoting protein powders, bars and shakes when you look at the advertisements in just about any sports magazine. Their objective: to persuade athletes to buy extra protein to build muscles and recover from exercise. Most healthy athletes can consume adequate protein through their sports diets.

Creatine Cycling
You should take the smallest amount of Creatine that results in a positive gain. For the typical person 5 grams of Creatine powder is the correct quantity.

Studies have found that chronic administration of Creatine leads to a down-regulation of the Creatine transport protein, which is responsible for the uptake of Creatine into cells. Simply put, your body becomes "accustomed" to Creatine and begins to use it less efficiently with prolonged supplementation. Dr. Theo Walliman (Lourdes et al, 1998) therefore recommends consuming Creatine for no longer than 3 months at a time, followed by a 1-month "Creatine-free" period to avoid complications of Creatine transporter down-regulation.

Creatine is a first-rate supplement to help you gain weight, but, to do so successfully, you need to learn about Creatine loading and use. You've doubtless heard of the loading and maintenance phases once you've heard of Creatine. During the loading phase you fill up your muscles with Creatine, which is then used for ATP re-synthesis. You lower the amount of Creatine use after the loading phase, and this second phase is the maintenance phase.

Here's how to cycle Creatine:
Week 1: load (20 g/day)
Week 2-4: maintenance (10 g/day)
Week 5: load (20 g/day)
Week 6-8: OFF
Repeat cycle

There is a supplement on the market that claims to make Creatine cycling unnecessary. The makers of CELL-Tech say it is better to take this supplement daily because, by making it a part of your regular supplement schedule, you can increase your gains in size that much more. According to them, the longer you use it, the better it works. Each serving of CELL-Tech contains a generous amount of Alpha Lipoic acid, so your muscles end up loaded with Creatine, which can help you achieve impressive strength and muscle gains.

Supplements Which Do Not Need Cycling
Protein – you can eat protein to your liking but experts recommend anywhere from 1-2 grams per pound of bodyweight in order to maximize muscle gains.
Glutamine – though this supplement is extremely important, it does not need cycling.
Multivitamins and antioxidants – taking these year round can only benefit you. Most of us cannot get enough of the vitamins and minerals just from the food we eat and a supplement is the best way to overcome this.

 

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