So I went to Vitamin World yesterday to buy some Creatine and protein powder with Ryan. And while we were purchasing these items, who did the salesman talk to? Ryan.
The guy never even asked me if I wanted any help.
Was I being ignored because I was female? Or was it just bad service?
I’m hoping it was just bad service, but it did get me to thinking about women and their comfort level with supplements.
Supplements and weight training go hand in hand. Most of the women think of supplements the same way they think about heavy weight training – both are just something men use to get big. They don’t consider the strength or fat loss benefits of supplements.
I was shy myself about using supplements. I first started by just taking protein powder. I would put it in my smoothies to make them more of a meal. I started doing this when I went on The Abs Diet.
And recently I’ve seen more and more women drinking protein powder. Of course they drink it as a meal replacement (and usually they drink Muscle Milk, which probably is the best tasting protein powder but also the one with the most junk in it).
But using protein is the first step to using supplements.
After becoming more comfortable with protein (and after I got really into gaining more strength and muscle definition), I started experimenting with other supplements. I tried L-Arginine and BCAAs (branch chain amino acids).
I tried L-Arginine because it was a nitric oxide booster. Nitric oxide causes vasodilation, which means the muscles around the blood vessels relax and the blood vessels dilate so that blood can flow more freely. Because the blood vessels are dilated, more blood can reach your muscle tissues, which means the muscles will receive immediate supplies of nutrients. Nitric oxide also helps with stamina and strength and improves performance because muscles are easily receiving required amounts of oxygen from the blood.
L-Arginine also supports the release of growth hormones, which can help repair muscle tissues and aid in muscle growth. It supposedly can also help with fat loss.
I didn’t like L-Arginine that much. It made me feel a little too wired and jittery during the workout. I may give it another shot though at some point because I did feel like I got in really great workouts when I took it.
I took BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) when I tried the Lean Gains intermittent fasting diet. They are the building blocks of protein and when you are fasting, they help you save your muscle tissue. I don’t really feel that they are necessary now that I’m not fasting and getting plenty of protein (from meat, eggs, fish, and protein powder). I do think they are good for you, but I just don’t think I need the extra BCAAs right now.
Now I’m going to try Creatine. Creatine has always intimidated me. Mostly I didn’t want to do it because of the water weight you can retain and the bloated look your muscles can get. BUT it does supposedly help you make strength gains. AND supposedly Creatine Ethyl Ester doesn’t make you retain as much water. We will see though.
For the next 30 days, I will be taking Creatine Ethyl Ester around my workouts. I will also be adding in protein powder (which I didn’t take last month with the slow carb diet). Other than that though the diet will remain the same as last month. With the same diet, I will see if I make greater gains because of the protein powder and creatine. I will also see how much water I retain while taking Creatine.
This should be interesting….We will find out if Creatine is one of Man Bicep’s favorite supplements!