CATEGORIES: MB, HL
BENEFITS: This herb, known scientifically as Withania somnifera, is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps to suppress free-radical production. In some studies, it has increased testosterone levels by up to 40%.
DOSAGE: 1,500–2,000mg three times per day with food, with one dose 30–60 minutes before workouts
CATEGORIES: HL, EP, FL
BENEFITS: This carotenoid is a potent anti-oxidant that improves immune function, aids cardiovascular health, and protects the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Research also shows that it can increase endurance by up to 150%, thanks to its fat burning abilities.
DOSAGE: 4–6mg with meals once or twice per day, with one dose taken with your pre-workout shake
BENEFITS: Avena sativa (the scientific name for oats) contains the active ingredient avenocosides, which are a type of plant saponin similar to the furostanolic saponins in Tribulus. They increase the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) released from the pituitary gland, which influences the testicles to produce more testosterone. Evidence suggests that the avenocosides free up testosterone from its carrier protein, sex-hormone- binding globulin (SHBG), making more of it available to enter muscle cells to stimulate growth and boost strength gains.
DOSAGE: 100–300mg of a 10:1 Avena sativa extract two or three times a day, with one dose 30–60 minutes before workouts
BANABA LEAF EXTRACT
CATEGORIES: MB, HL
BENEFITS: Used as traditional medicine in the Philippines to treat diabetes and kidney diseases, the leaves appear to act in a similar manner to insulin by activating insulin receptors. One of the main ingredients responsible for this action is corosolic acid.
DOSAGE: 30–50mg banaba leaf extract standardized for corosolic acid with your post-workout shake
CATEGORIES: ST, MB, EP
BENEFITS: In the body, beta-alanine combines with another amino acid, histidine, to form the dipeptide (two aminos bound together) known as carnosine, also a component of vitamin B3. Research shows that muscles with higher levels of carnosine can generate greater forceful contractions for a longer period, resulting in superior strength, endurance, and mass gains. In one study, subjects taking beta-alanine with creatine gained more muscle and lost more fat than subjects taking just creatine.
DOSAGE: 2–3g with your pre- and post- workout shakes
BENEFITS: This phytonutrient—with antioxidant and provitamin A activity—provides anontoxic source of vitamin A. It also works with other natural protectors to defend cells from free radicals, and it aids metabolic functions, such as recovery from exercise.
DOSAGE: 5,000–25,000 international units (IU) per day with fat-containing meals
CATEGORIES: ST, MB
BENEFITS: This phytochemical, found in plants such as spinach, stimulates protein synthesis and drives muscle growth with no impact on hormone levels.
DOSAGE: 100mg with meals, including before and after workouts, for a total of 400–500mg daily
BENEFITS: This unique amino acid (also called trimethylglycine) derived from beets aids joint and liver repair, joint building, and liver protection. Studies show that it boosts strength and power, increases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels, and even acts like the body’s own production of creatine. Research suggests that it may also support faster recovery from injury and inflammation.
DOSAGE: 1,500–3,000mg with pre- and post-workout meals
BENEFITS: Also called phenylethylamine (PEA), this naturally occurring metabolite of the amino acid phenylalanine is a stimulatory transmitter in the body that enhances neurotransmission. It promotes fat burning by increasing the release of norepinephrine, which raises dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, thereby reducing the sensation of pain and boosting feelings of euphoria to help bodybuilders tolerate the rigors of contest dieting. It’s also available as beta-methoxyphenylethylamine, a form that significantly enhances its half-life in the body and allows a single dose to be more effective.
DOSAGE: 100–500mg one or two times daily
BENEFITS: Piperine is an active extract derived from black or long pepper. Research suggests it enhances nutrient absorption, most likely by increasing blood flow to the digestive tract. In one study, taking vitamin B6 along with Bioperine-branded piperine more than doubled the amount of B6 found in the blood of healthy men two hours after ingestion.
DOSAGE: 5mg daily with food
BENEFITS: Large doses of bovine colostrum— the first milk produced by cows during the initial days after giving birth—have been shown to improve immune function and increase levels of IGF-1. In addition, research indicates that it may aid muscular endurance. Gram per gram, the protein in colostrum is a bit more anabolic than that found in whey or other protein powders like casein or egg protein.
DOSAGE: Replace 5–10g of protein in your pre- and post-workout shakes with 5–10g of bovine colostrum.