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            -            HMB

            -            WPC/WPI

            -            Glutamine

            -            Omega 3                               See Section III Fat Loss for descriptions

            -            Chromium Picolinate            See Section III Fat Loss for descriptions

            -            VIT C


            Strenuous athletic events and the associated intense training that comes with them can really ‘knock’ the body around.

            Adequate recovery, (ideally with supercompensation) between exercise bouts will aid in the manifestation of peak athletic performance.



Scientific Name:                    beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate Monohydrate (HMB)

Type of Nutrient:                    Food

History:                                   Recently discovered nutrient which has had 8 years of major university research

How supplied:                        250mg Capsule or may be added to high quality protein

Natural Sources:                   Alfalfa (lucerne)  Corn silage, Grapefruit, Catfish.  Also produced in the body.  Its precursors are the amino acid leucine and the keto acid KIC.   Contained in breast milk.

Used for:                                Muscle Growth, Fat Loss

Cost effectiveness:               Expensive but does work.   If you can afford it, try it

Safety:                                    No negative side effects recorded


            One of the most recent studies, S  NISSEN, et al “Effect of beta-hydroxy beta methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Strength and Body Composition of Trained and Untrained Males Undergoing Intense Resistance Training”, done at Iowa State University 1996.

            In a four-week, double blind study, three grams of HMB were given in three divided doses per day to subjects undergoing intense weight training.

            Overall HMB increased lean body mass 2kg (3.1%) and decreased body fat by 7.3% (1kg) (both significantly better than the controls).

            The HMB subjects increased their bench press strength by 10kg (37% increase over controls).  Similar results were found for other exercises.

            In another study (Nissen et al J Appl Physiol 81(5): 2095-2104, 1996) two indicators of muscle breakdown (proteolysis) - urinary measurement of 3-methylhistidine and blood plasma levels of creatine phosphokinase were analysed.

            Researchers concluded that supplementation of 1.5 or 3g of HMB/day can partly prevent exercise-induced proteolysis and/or muscle damage and result in larger gains in muscle function associated with resistance training  (A 55% improvement on lean mass gain between the HMB groups and control group.  A 295% improvement in strength gains between the two groups).



            It appears that HMB works by a similar mechanism to anabolic steroids in minimising muscle-tissue breakdown.  Anabolic steroids have side-effects and are illegal.  But much of their effect is not so much through increased protein synthesis but rather by decreased muscle breakdown.

            HMB would appear to exert its effects in this same department.  By slowing the rate of protein breakdown, muscle size and strength can be increased.



            One big way that HMB differs from steroids is that HMB is a food while the other is a drug.  Extensive studies have been done to evaluate HMB’s safety and no negative side-effects have been recorded.  It is produced naturally in the body from metabolites of Leucine (an amino acid found in complete proteins) and HMB is found in some foods.


CAUTION            Since no safety studies have been presently undertaken on pregnant or lactating women, this group is advised against taking HMB.



            HMB works best with regular exercise.  And the harder you train, the greater will be its benefits.  It also works best with a protein rich diet (3g/kilo bodyweight).

            A good quality WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE (WPC 85) or Isolate is probably the best way to supply the necessary amount of protein.



            The recommended dosage of HMB is 3 grams per day, in 3 divided doses of one gram each.


ie         Breakfast         1g  HMB

            Lunch               1g  HMB

            Dinner              1g  HMB


            As mentioned earlier, hard training and a high protein diet will maximize results.  An 80kg bodybuilder wishing to gain muscular mass should consume 240 grams of high grade protein per day.

eg        Breakfast                      30g Protein

            Morning Tea                 40g WPC 85

            Lunch                            30g Protein

            Afternoon Tea              40g WPC 85

            Post Workout Meal      60g WPC 85

            Dinner                           30g Protein

            Supper                         10g WPC 85


            The scientists who have studied HMB extensively do not believe there is any benefits to cycling (going on and off) HMB.




Scientific Name:  Whey Protein Concentrate/Whey Protein Isolate

Type of  Nutrient:          Food

How Supplied:              Powder

Natural Source:            Milk

Used for:                       Muscle growth, immune system enhancing

Legal Status:                OTC

Availability:                   Health food stores, gyms, mail order

Cost Effectiveness:     Concentrate * * * * *

                                       Isolate * * *

Safety:                          Excellent


            Bodybuilders have intuitively known the importance of a protein rich diet for building muscle for a long time.  Only in recent years has the scientific community started to accept this.

            Studies with both strength and endurance athletes have indicated that intense exercise does increase protein and amino acid needs.  (Friedman J E et al Int J Sports Med 10 (1989):118-123)  (Lemon P et al Sports Med 1991; 12(5):313-325).    Studies have also shown that the anabolic effects of exercise are increased by a high protein diet.  (Fern EB et al Expermentia 47 (1991): 168-192)  (Goranzon H et al Am J Clin Nutr 41(1985): 919-928).

            And the harder you train, the more important dietary protein becomes to your muscle building efforts.

            In the last 10 years it has been shown that whey protein may possess special properties not seen in other proteins.  In one study, a whey protein diet appeared to enhance the liver and heart glutathione (arguably the most important water soluble antioxidant) concentration in ageing mice and to increase longevity (Bounous G et al Clin Invest Med 1989; 12(6):343-9).

            Also, undenatured (undamaged by heat treatment or acid) whey protein (such as modern high quality WPC and WPI) has been shown to enhance the immune system (Bounous G et al Clin Invest Med 1991;14(4): 296-309)  (Bounous G et al Clin Invest Med: 1989 JUN; 12(3);P154-61) and lower serum cholesterol (Zhang X et al Br J Nutr 1993p;70(1): 139-46) as compared to casein and soy proteins.

            However, one recent study (Bosselaers et al Food Chem Toxicol 1994; 32(10): 905-9) showed that casein, but not whey or soy, had antimutagenic effects and may be cancer protective.

            A study done in 1986 (Battermann W Deutsche Milchwirtschaft 1986;37(33): 1010-1012) pointed out the possible ergogenic effects of Whey Protein.

            Overall, Whey Protein is considered to be the best supplemental form of protein for athletes because of its increased bioavailability and solubility compared to other milk proteins and its high percentage content of Branched Chain Amino Acids (25%+).

            Recently, a number of improved Whey Protein powders have come onto the market.  A predigested whey protein powder that is made by low temperature, high speed sonic drying with micro-pore membrane filters and Ion-exchanged columns to remove lactose is the best.  These new Whey Protein Isolates are very soluble and great for mixing - but they are also quite expensive.

            For value for money, you can’t beat Whey Protein Concentrate.  Its BV (Biological Value) and protein content is slightly less than WPI; its carbohydrate (lactose) and fat content is slightly more than WPI but its price is much less than that of WPI.

            The superiority of whey protein as a supplement can be seen by its BV rating (the higher the better).  The BV of a protein is calculated by subtracting the amount of protein excreted (urine, faeces) from that ingested.  This gives an estimate of how much protein is retained in the body (hopefully reflecting increased retention by muscle tissue).

The BV is therefore a measure of a proteins ability to be used by the body.

            For comparison, the BV of predigested undenatured whey protein is 157.

            Egg white has a BV of 87.

            Soy protein has a BV of 74.

            (You may recall hearing somewhere that egg has a score of 100.  Well, it does - but this is a different system of rating known as PER (Protein Efficiency Rating) not the BV).


            Good question - but if you’ve ever tried consuming large amounts of protein (eg 300 grams per day) you’ll know the answer.  For most people, it’s physically impossible to eat enough protein rich whole foods such as beef, chicken, fish and eggs on a daily basis.  It is both time consuming and tiring on the jaw.  You soon become ‘sick and tired’ of this continuous effort to eat.

            Not only is drinking your protein quicker and easier, using a Whey Protein has a higher BV and can actually save you money in comparison to whole foods.



            Whey Protein is superior to other milk proteins such as calcium caseinate and vegetable protein powders such as soy.  Actually, of all the proteins, Whey protein has an amino acid profile closest to that of  human breast milk - and look how a baby grows!

            In my mind the only choice is between WPC and WPI.  My advice is if you can afford it, use WPI.  Otherwise at half the price, WPC is much better value for money and I think it tastes better.

            I personally recommend WPC to most of my clients, especially the ones on super high protein diets because of the large quantity they need (around 10 kg’s per month).

            WPI, although slightly superior, would work out very expensive. Ironpower has a WPC based protein powder named SynStack for building muscle and losing fat at the same time. Click here for more information on SynStack.


            For serious bodybuilders, consume around 2.2-3.3 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight in divided doses throughout the day.  

eg         For an 80kg bodybuilder

            80 x 3.3 = 264 grams per day

            / 7  =  Approx 38 grams per meal, seven times daily.

            Breakfast          38 grams

            Morning Tea    38 grams

            Lunch               38 grams

            Afternoon Tea  38 grams

        *  Post Workout Snack   66 grams

            Dinner              38 grams

            Pre Sleep Snack            10 grams

            Note:  The protein listed is total protein.  It may be total protein shake, or half food, half protein shake or total whole food.  Do not rely entirely on liquid drinks - although they are so convenient.  Make sure there are plenty of whole food proteins such as lean beef, chicken, fish, pork, lamb and eggs.  Also, don’t neglect vegetable proteins.

*          The most important protein shake of all is your Post Workout Snack.  This should contain 25% of your daily protein intake.  Make sure you consume plenty of carbs of varying glycemic indexes at this meal also.

            The Pre Sleep Snack is vitally important also. 



Scientific Name:          L-GLUTAMINE

Type of Nutrient:          Amino Acid

How Supplied:            Tablets, Capsules, Powder

Natural Source:           Protein foods

Benefits:                       Anti Catobolic, (prevents muscle breakdown), Boosts immune system, Growth hormone release, Enhances muscle cell volume

Cost Effectiveness:     * * * * *

Safety:                          Good

            Glutamine is a very important amino acid to bodybuilders.  It’s the most abundant amino acid in the body, making up over 50% of the extracellular and intracellular amino acids.

            It has a major effect on liver function, acts as cellular fuel to muscle and other tissues in the body and may regulate protein synthesis.  (Rennie et al Metabolism 1989; 38 ( 8 Suppl 1): 47-51.)

            It also boosts the immune system against the drop in immune function after intense exercise.

            Technically speaking, Glutamine is generally not considered an “essential amino acid”.  It can be synthesized from other aminos - notably glutamic acid, valine, and isoleucine.  But after intense exercise (stress) the demands for glutamine can be so great that the body cannot manufacture enough and it may become “conditionally essential”.  Under these conditions, glutamine supplementation can make a world of difference.  In European hospitals glutamine is treated like a drug - being administered to patients suffering from stress or trauma (surgery, burns, disease).  Studies show that this glutamine supplementation produces a potent anti-catabolic effect - preventing muscle wasting.  (J Lacey et al Nutrition Reviews 48(1990): 297-309) (E Roth et al, J Parent Ent Nutr 14 (1990):1305-1365).

            Of most importance to the bodybuilder is the size of the glutamine pool in a muscle cell.  Both increasing the production of protein (for muscle building) and decreasing protein degradation (and resulting muscle breakdown) are dependant on how much glutamine is stored.  If there’s plenty, then other aminos will not be forced into glutamine production.  This leaves them free for protein syntheses.  Also, skeletal muscle which bodybuilders work so hard for will not be broken down to manufacture glutamine.  Glutamine acts to maintain amino acid balance thus enabling the body to manufacture more protein.

            A study in 1995 (Welbourne T Am J Clin Nutr 1995; 61:1058-61) has shown that a few grams of glutamine taken orally increases plasma growth hormone levels.  Two grams of glutamine increased growth hormone levels fourfold.  Whether this extra growth hormone results in positive effects on body composition (increased muscle, decreased fat) is yet to be determined - but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

            Glutamine also appears to be important for proper muscle glycogen deposition and cell volumisation.

            When demands by the intestinal tract, immune system and other parts of the body exceed dietary glutamine production levels, cell volume decreases as the muscle glutamine levels fall.  This is catabolic (S Low, et al J Physiol 492.3(1996): 877-85).  Glutamine helps maintain proper cellular hydration or cellular volume.


            Studies show that between 50% and 85% of a large dose of glutamine ingested orally does not reach the bloodstream - since glutamine is also used by the mucosal cells of the intestinal tract.  (Jungas P L et al Physiol Rev 1992; 72(2): 419-448).

            There are two schools of thought as to the best way around this.  One says to take a very large amount (5 grams or more) at once so that it doesn’t matter that a lot is destroyed.  The other school of thought is to take 2-3 grams four or more times throughout the day.

            Two important times would be immediately after training and before bed.

            There’s a possibility that loading up on supplements like glutamine in combination with a high glycemic index carbohydrate (causes large insulin release) such as grapejuice for a week might increase muscle cell volume (by super-saturating the muscle cells glutamine stores).  This would be done in a similar way to Creatine Loading.

For example:  
Breakfast   3 grams with grapejuice  
Morning Tea  3 grams with grapejuice
FIRST WEEK Lunch 3 grams with grapejuice  
Afternoon tea 3 grams with grapejuice  
Post Workout Snack 3 grams with grapejuice  
Dinner  3 grams with grapejuice
Before Bed 3 grams with grapejuice

            After the “loading” week the dosage may be backed off to 2-3 grams twice per day.             Firstly     - after training

            Secondly - before bed.


Scientific Name:                      Ascorbic Acid

Type of Nutrient:                      Essential water soluble vitamin

How Supplied:                         Powder, Tablets, Capsules

Natural Source:                       Citrus Fruits

Used For:                                Antioxidant

Cost Effectiveness:                * * * * *

Safety:                                     Excellent

Precautions:                           Excessive doses may cause diarrhoea, upset other vitamin actions and act as a diuretic.

            Not only is Vit C a potent antioxidant, it also may have “growth-factor-like” properties for collagen synthesis - important for the repair of your tendons and ligaments.

            Some research suggests Vitamin C may also help improve the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio (anabolic-to-catabolic ratio).

            Vit C may also help protect muscles from excessive damage and may help ‘contractile tension’ (strength).



                1000 MG                     3 x DAILY

eg           BREAKFAST            1000mg (1 gram) Ascorbic Acid

               LUNCH                       1000mg (1 gram) Ascorbic Acid

               DINNER                      1000mg (1 gram) Ascorbic Acid