Susan explains why she chose to be a drug-free athlete and how she builds muscle naturally.
Hello friends! I recently watched some of the coverage from the Arnold Fitness Expo in Columbus, OH, this past weekend. In the world of bodybuilding, this is one of the biggest shows with competitive events ranging from bodybuilding, fencing, running, bench press competitions, figure, bikini, squatting and deadlifting events and so much more. It’s also where all the supplement companies come out and advertise and sample their new products.
I thought it would be not only helpful, but also necessary, to offer a description of some of the natural and non-natural supplements that are used, and which organizations drug test and allow only drug-free/drug tested events.
Most bodybuilders would agree that to achieve a sculpted, lean, well-defined body, you must get adequate protein in your diet. Most of us do this with the supplementation of whey isolate protein powders. They are one of the quickest absorbing, fastest acting, and most bioavailable protein in powder form. Protein powder makes for ease, convenience, and handy to-go meals when needed.
Branch chain amino acids are the building blocks to protein molecules. They help me to recover faster, feel less sore and gain strength and endurance. They come in pills, powders and liquids, and they’re another common supplement fitness trainers suggest to help athletes who are tearing down and building muscle through intense exercise. I use an unflavored powder. They come in every flavor imaginable, but many also contain added sugars and sucralose, so read your labels carefully!
NFCA recently sent me a link on women bodybuilders that highlighted women who were, in my estimation, anything but natural. Women simply cannot put on muscle that mirrors our male counterparts without testosterone. It simply will not happen naturally! I lift as much weight as I can and consume plenty of protein, but we’re just not made to have the musculature and mass of a man. Hence, the supplements.
In addition to the ones I mentioned above, I take Creatine - a naturally occurring molecule in our own bodies that helps to prevent fatigue and deliver more oxygen to energy depleted muscle beds, and glutamine - a naturally occurring amino acid and one that is beneficial to the GI lining for individuals with celiac. When it comes to performance enhancing steroids or other aids to achieve greater mass, they’re just not for me.
Only you can determine what is “natural” and best for you. For me, it’s organic, non-processed, whole foods and as few toxins as possible. My mainstay meals typically consist of:
certified gluten-free oatmeal
gluten-free, casein-free protein powder that’s free of artificial sweeteners
fresh wild caught fish/seafood
fresh raw, broiled or steamed veggies
organic free range chicken
In my next blog, I will answer a question posted by a fellow blogger regarding how to bulk up and lean down while staying gluten-free.
Thanks for your kind interest and comments…keep sending them! (Email [email protected] with "Question for Susan" in the Subject line.)