As much as I hate some of the recommendations the “eat this, not that” books make, the concept itself is great. And I think we could use a version for bikini competition supplements.
The average person with average fitness goals could probably make some measurable improvements in their overall health and appearance by simply referring to these guides whenever they’re thinking about a double bacon cheeseburger (or Carne Asada Fries where I live).
They’ll never get anywhere near their peak using this approach, but they just might find the balance they’re looking for.
Unfortunately, this sort of quick reference guide does not exist for those of us with more lofty goals of getting into peak shape and competing, without ingesting unnecessary (and expensive) pills or putting our long term health at risk.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how many foods and supplements the average female fitness competitor is consuming that are simply not the absolute best choice given the job they’re expected to do in the body.
Without even really trying, I came up with enough that I could probably make this a 3 or 4 part series, and that’s not even counting food and exercise categories.
Let’s see if Part 1 doesn’t get me sued by the “eat this, not that” people first.
Supplement Fish Oil, Not Flax: I would assume that most figure and bikini competitors are taking at least one of these supplements for their high Omega 3 content. There are literally dozens of reasons to do so, and there is no shortage of resources describing these reasons.
I won’t bore you with the same old stuff. What I want to tell you is that the human body tends to have a hard time converting the fats from Flax into EPA and DHA (the essential fats we take these supplements for) in the body.
This is true particularly for those of us who eat meat. Fish oil is the better choice here because it already contains usable EPA and DHA, with the exact amounts of each printed right on the bottle.
Supplement Yohimbine, Not Yohimbe: Many bikini and figure competitors have sworn off products containing Yohimbe due to some pretty strong side effects, including severe dizziness, anxiety and nausea. Yohimbine is the alkaloid contained in Yohimbe that is sort of the “active ingredient”, if you will.
Taken on a completely empty stomach (as in first thing in the morning or several hours after a meal), Yohimbine can be very effective at mobilizing stubborn lower body fat, which can then be burned through low intensity cardio (never do high intensity work when on Yohimbine).
Yohimbine tends to not produce the nasty side effects that Yohimbe does, however, care should still be taken when consuming this or any stimulant. Always read the warning labels and do your homework first!
Supplement Creatine Monohydrate, Not Kre-Alkalyn (or other “designer” brands): Creatine is still one of the best overall supplements available. Unfortunately, many bikini and figure competitors shy away from it due to the perceived “bloating” effect.
So of course, the supplement companies have insisted that they have the solution. And they do: It’s called taking hardly any Creatine. That’s essentially what you’re doing when you take their “no bloat”, “female friendly” designer Creatine blends.
They’ve basically added some useless ingredients to mask the fact that they’ve taken out most of what actually works: the Creatine!
If you’re one of the few who’ve tried these designer creatine supplements and are convinced that they are actually helping you, it may be worth considering going back to good ol’ Creatine Monohydrate (preferably Micronized) and simply cutting back your dosage until you’ve found the magic amount.
Otherwise, you’re basically just paying a supplement company to do so for you, and probably being fooled by the placebo effect.
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