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    Ask Eric Thread
    Hello, I decided I'd make an "Ask Eric" thread concerning Finess and nutrition.

    Small background on me:

    I've now taken over 15 credit hours at THE Ohio State University regarding Nutrition and Kinesiology. In addition, I was at one point in time ACE certified, and still have a plethora of books, websites that I frequently referance/go to.

    Website wise the most notable is probably elitefitness.com (No, I don't take steroids).

    I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can, though I will admit, right now, I don't have all the answers.

    Here's a sample of a bulking article I wrote a few years back:

    First off, its impossible to gain weight if your burning off everything you eat. I canít tell you how many countless times I manage to see people working like beast's in the gym, then complain time and time again that there not getting anywhere. Strong bodies are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.... Remember that. Sure you have to lift to tear the muscle fibers, but if you give them nothing to repair themselves with, what do you thinks going to happen??? Exactly, not a damn thing at all.

    The Three Calorie Sources: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fatís

    The first thing you need to do is up your protein intake. For those looking to gain muscle mass, the bare minimum of protien they should be ingesting works out to 1g of protein per lb of lean mass, rounded up. For instance, if your bf is 10% and you weight 150, that means 135 grams of protien, at the bare minimum. I tend to stay around 1 to 1.2 grams of protien per lb of total body weight. Not only is protien where you get all your amino acids from, (the building blocks of muscle itself), but this is also a great way to get "lean" calories in. While gaining fat will be unaviodable in the intial phase of "mass building" the calories you ingest from protie sources are going to be used up as energy and also to build that mass you were so looking for. You also need to make sure your getting your protien from a variety of sources. Shakes, lean red meat (high source of iron) eggs, poultry, fish, milk and dairy products unless you have are lactose intolerant) , and various nuts, as well as soy, should all be part of your diet. The fish is especially great because it contains omega 3 fatty acids, which aid in keeping colesterol down and promote better cardiovasuclar health. Salmon, tuna, swordfish and shark (if you can find the last two) are all excellent sources of high quality protien, and omega 3's. The shark I personally would avoid due to the high mercury content in it, which can lead to brain damage, and other nasty little side effects. Appx 35% of your caloric intake should come from protien sources.

    Next off carbohydrates. To many people get the wrong kind of carb's into their system. There are basiclly two types of carbohydrates. Simple sugars,(insulin spikers) and complex carbohydrates while fibers and sugar alcohols also play a part in this (as well as starches) we wont really delve into those at this time.. Primary good sources of complex carbs would be stuff like whole wheat bread, pasta (if made from un enriched flour), oatmeal (preferably not instant). Cream of wheat, potatoes, yams, rice (preferablly brown) are all excellent sources, as are leafy greens. Heh yes even body builders eat salad. One should go for roughly 2 3 grams of carbohydrates per lb of body weight, from both simple sugars (most fruits and fruit products), and complex sources as listed above. Another indicator as to whether you are getting enough carbohydrates in is to check your ratios. 50% of your caloric intake should be comming from carbohydrates.


    Which leads us with fats: Fitting into the typical body building ratio, fatís should make up approximately 15% of the calories from your diet. While one must be carefull to limit total fat intake, if your following the above two guidlines, you should notice that you actually will be getting your fat calories in along with the above sources. In order to make sure you get enough ďgoodĒ fat (polysaturated and monosaturated), you may need to employ either a fish oil, safflower oil, or flaxseed oil supplement into your diet.


    How to eat:



    Now you have a idea of what to eat, and what ratios you should strive to stick to (50 35 15) its time to talk about ďhowĒ to eat. For those of the ectomorphic persuasion... remember its not just what you eat, but when and how. Several meals a day work better than 3 large meals, as your body is constantly burning off what you eat. What I have found to work well for me, and other "skinny" people like me, Is tend to do 6 7 meals a day, 2 by protein shake. I also make sure that when I workout I immediately have a high carb drink (usually fruit juice) in order to replenish my muscle glycogen levels... I add creatine and glutamine to the drink, then 15 30 minutes after the drink I try and make sure to have a high protein, mod carb meal. The logic here is post workout, glycogen levels in the muscles are at their lowest, and without proper maintenance of these levels, your body will not be able to absorb the protein you should be ingesting post workout. Thatís another thing, so many people miss the boat on this it still amazes me. If your not eating right after you work out, your just shooting yourself in the foot. Remember training to grow requires food and rest. Train hard while in the gym, but then as soon as you get out, start giving those muscles what they need to grow. Rest and nutrition! Donít wait 2 3 hours after you ďgot pumpedĒ! Get out, get some carbs in, and then after you have spiked your insulin levels, feed your muscles at least 1/6 of your daily intake in protein.

    A sample diet may look like this:

    Early morning: 2 servings oatmeal with milk (1 and 2/3 cups). 8oz Oj, 6 10 egg whites (2 yolks in) 2 pieces wheat toast.
    2 3 hours later: (protein shake, or maybe a bar with a protein drink, and a granola bar for added carbs)
    2 3 hours later: Lunch 2 3 chicken fajitas with 2 servings rice, heavy on the chicken,
    2 3 hours later : snack, shake, bar, perhaps a can of tuna with crackers and mayo.. Be creative!
    2 3 dinner, salmon steaks, or perhaps lean choice cut steak(8 oz at least) baked potatoes (2) salad or asparagus. Donít feel bad if you want desert, go ahead and have it.
    2 3 hours later pm snack, perhaps your second shake? If not make sure itís a high protein meal before bed. This not only will make you feel full, but gives your body something to repair its muscles with at night, which by the way is when your body will grow the most, so make sure to be getting plenty of sleep (more on that later).

    The key here is to never go more than 3 hours without eating, and try and space your calories out evenly.
    If this was a training day, make sure that you follow the basics : have a small meal 1 hour or so before training consisting of carbs and protein, then post workout, get your glycogen levels back up by getting some simple sugars in (IE fruit juice works great here, due to being in liquid form will be absorbed quicker, also great time to fuel the body with some glutamine and creatine) then 30 or so minutes after that have a high protein, moderate carb meal.


    The suppliment everyone should be on


    Next up is to consider the multi vitamin your on. What your not on one??!?!?!? Thatís just insane. Diet alone cannot possibly get your body each and every single micro nutrient it needs. So why would you neglect it?? If your not on a multi, get on one. Itís the single most important supplement you can buy. Look for one that you can take safely multiple times a day, as many nutrients are passed out without being totally absorbed. Typically the body will dispose of most water soluble minerals/ vitamins after about 2 hours, so you should look to be taking a multi roughly 3 times a day, and also remember to up the water intake. This will help in absorption.


    Now that's High quality H2O!


    Speaking of water,..... if your not doing it, start.....The average, sedentary human needs 8 glasses a day to replenish its stores.. now if youíre an active athlete, donít you think you just might need more? Also donít be afraid to drink sports drinks as a way to get your water.... Those with sodium glucose formulas actually are absorbed by the body faster, and help replace vital minerals that are lost during exertion. I would say start out with 10 12 glasses a day, and if your having to go to the bathroom every 2 hours or so, then your at the right level. The body needs to water not only to aid in transporting nutrients to your cells and muscles, but to regulate body temperature while working out, to flush out free radicals and toxic substances in the body, and to keep your body balanced and running at optimal efficiency. Face it, we are roughly 70% water, why wouldnít you make sure to keep that level up?


    Overtraining and rest:



    Another big thing to consider when growing, is overtraining! How often do you workout? Is it all the time? How many sets per body part? Those who are already thin cannot afford to workout like madmen, as they will get nowhere fast. Try and stick to 3 4 exercises per body part at the most. What I have done (in order to shock my body into growth, and to keep it guessing) is I have a list of about 10 exercises per body part, and each time I train, I pick 3 to do, and Thatís it. Not only does this break the monotony of your routine, but by working the muscles differently each time, you will keep your body guessing what is coming next, which in turn forces the muscles go grow. If you want examples of several exercises per body part, let me know. The key is variety, you wonít get bored, your body will get shocked into growth, which will cause you to get bigger, and keep you interested!. Instead of a downward spiral, this is an upward one, one that continually causes you to be exited and to grow.

    Now on to sleep. How much do you get??? Remember, in order for the body to get stronger, you have to incrementally increase the training intensity, and then make sure to get plenty of recovery time/nutrition. IF your not eating right, and your also not sleeping anywhere 71/2 9 hours a night... how do you expect your body to grow? Sleep is when the body repairs itself, and if your not getting that in, your muscle fibers cannot repair and strengthen themselves.



    Supplements (In order of importance, to me anyway)


    1. Multi vit /mineral (should try and couple it with a cell absorption supplement)

    2. Protein Supplements (bars, shakes ECT, whey post workout is great, but for the rest of the day, look for something that has a mixture of proteins in it (IE soy, casein, whey, egg, ECT ECT)

    3. Nitric Oxide producer.... There are plenty out on the market, what this does is increase the flexibility of your circulatory system, which aids in getting nutrients to the cells immediately after being stressed. Look for one that also is high in anti oxidants (IE vit e and C) as this will help in keeping the "signal molecules" of Nitric oxide from being destroyed by free radicals.Also I would recommend taking this 2 3 times daily, as to keep the Nitric oxide levels high. I take one before bed (when Nitric Oxide levels are lowest) and one pre workout.

    4. Creatine Some swear by it, some say its utter crap. Fact of the matter is, for most people it will work. Creatine Monohydrate in powder form has about a 75 percent effect rate, while getting it in suspended form has shown to be about 90 percent effective. To save yourself money, look to get your own powder, and then use a high sugar transport of your own to spike insulin levels and assure yourself of a high uptake.

    5. Glutamine not only does this aid the immune system, but this also aids in keeping nitrogen levels in the muscle tissue at their peak efficiency, which leads to much better protein absorption.

    Additional nutrients that would be a major plus:

    Glucosimine with MSM (Methlysulfonylmethane) This aids in strengthening the tendons and ligaments connecting muscle to bone, which will not only boost your lifting ability, but your flexibility as well. This also prevents injury by enhancing and promoting healthy joints and muscles.
    Caffeine or guarauna supplement Great for those days you need a lift in the gym. Lets face it, some days are tougher than others, and a little pick me up now and then cant hurt. Caffeine in doses of 100 to 300 milligrams have been shown in studies to be more alert, and have their reaction speeds increase. I would not make this a regular thing however, seeing as how caffeine actually counter acts what creatine does for you.



    Hope that I can be of help to some of you folks.

    Eric
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; June 24th, 2007 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Removed hotlink

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