The Encyclopedia of Supplements: A-F

Get the REAL facts on all of your favorite supplements.
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EURYCOMA LONGIFOLIA JACK


RATING: ★★★


CATEGORIES: MB, ST, HL

BENEFITS: This rainforest plant, also known as Malaysian ginseng or tongkat ali, appears to directly enhance testosterone production by stimulating the Leydig cells—special cells that convert cholesterol into testosterone— in the testes. It may also free up testosterone in the blood. Testosterone normally circulates in the blood, bound to the carrier protein called SHBG. This protein extends the time testosterone stays in the blood but prevents it from entering muscle cells. E. longifolia Jack is believed to help release testosterone from SHBG so that more of
it can enter muscle cells to induce growth. Look for products that provide a 20:1 extract of E. longifolia Jack.

DOSAGE: 200–300mg two or three times
per day

 

EVODIAMINE

RATING: ★★★


CATEGORY: FL


BENEFITS: This extract from the Evodia rutaecarpa fruit burns fat by stimulating specific receptors in the central nervous system
that boost metabolic rate. Evodiamine also reduces hunger and slows the digestion of food, which not only keeps you feeling fuller longer but also causes a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping prevent insulin spikes that could
lead to greater fat storage.

DOSAGE: 30–50mg two or three times per day

 

FENUGREEK

RATING: ★★★

CATEGORIES: MB, ST, FL, HL


BENEFITS: This herb has myriad health benefits, the most notable being increased insulin release due to its high concentration of a BCAA isomer, 4-hydroxyisoleucine. Fenugreek can also elevate testosterone levels
as a result of its high content of furostanolic saponins, which increase LH levels to stimulate testosterone production.


DOSAGE: 500–2,000mg per day of furostanolic saponins from fenugreek, or the equivalent of at least 1mg of 4-hydroxyisoleucine per pound of body weight with your post-workout shake to rapidly restore muscle glycogen

 

FIBER

RATING: ★★★

CATEGORIES: HL, FL

BENEFITS: Fiber is an indigestible complex carbohydrate. Consumption of soluble and insoluble fiber enhances the health of
the digestive tract and improves the absorption and efficiency of bodybuilding diets. Fiber increases the bulk of food consumed, helping to process it. You should consume about 10–15g of fiber for every 1,000 calories eaten from food or supplements.


DOSAGE: 3–5g of fiber from supplements before large meals to help slow digestion,
 up to three times per day

 

FISH OIL

RATING: ★★★★★


CATEGORIES: HL, FL, MB, ST

BENEFITS: Fish oil contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids appear to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as prevent muscle breakdown, enhance joint healing, improve brain function, and help achieve greater fat loss.

DOSAGE: 1–3g with meals two or three times per day

 

5-HYDROXYTRYPTOPHAN (5-HTP)


RATING: ★★★


CATEGORIES: FL, MA, HL

BENEFITS: This modified amino acid is
what the essential amino tryptophan is converted to before it forms serotonin
and melatonin in the body. In men, 5-HTP has been shown to increase LH and gonadotropin-releasing hormone to boost testosterone levels. Serotonin can help curb food cravings—especially for carbohydrates—and melatonin can help you relax before bed. All this makes 5-HTP great to take at night to promote adrenal recovery and ease food cravings when they seem to be strongest. In one study, subjects taking 5-HTP ate fewer calories per day and lost an average of 11 pounds in 12 weeks, while a placebo group had difficulty limiting caloric intake and lost only two pounds.

DOSAGE: 50–1,300mg 30–60 minutes before bed (those taking prescribed antidepressants should not use 5-HTP before discussing it with a physician)

 

FLAXSEED OIL

RATING: ★★★★


CATEGORIES: FL, HL, MB

BENEFITS: Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, which the body can convert to the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and

DHA (see “Fish Oil”), and it has potent anti- inflammatory properties. If on a low-fat diet, men should limit the amount of flaxseed oil consumed to 30g per day; when combined with a diet low in fat, it has been shown to reduce testosterone in men by 15% within 30 days.

DOSAGE: 1–2 tbsp per day with food

 

FOLIC ACID

RATING: ★★★★


CATEGORIES: HL, MB


BENEFITS: Also known as folate, this B vitamin is critical for the production and maintenance of new cells (such as muscle cells); it’s also needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of all cells. Folate even plays a role in the conversion of arginine to NO. It also regulates the co-factors that directly influence the amount of arginine that can be converted to NO, resulting in greater NO production.

DOSAGE: 400–800mcg in the form of folic acid or L-methylfolate

 

FORSKOLIN

RATING: ★★★★


CATEGORIES: FL, MB


BENEFITS: Forskolin is the active compound in the herb Coleus forskohlii, a member of the mint family. It enhances fat loss by activating the enzyme adenylate cyclase, which is also involved in testosterone production. This leads to activation of the hormone-sensitive lipoprotein lipase, which allows fat stored in fat cells to be broken down for use as fuel. Research found that overweight men who took forskolin for 12 weeks lost considerably more body fat and had higher levels of testosterone than a placebo group.


DOSAGE: Take a Coleus forskohlii supplement standardized for 20–50mg forskolin, two or three times daily before meals.

 

FUCOXANTHIN

RATING: ★★★

CATEGORY: FL


BENEFITS: This carotenoid increases the activity of uncoupling proteins in fat cells, which increases the activity of the metabolic machinery in cells and makes them burn more fuel to produce adequate energy. In other words, you burn more calories, such
as fat, each day. Research shows that lab animals given fucoxanthin lost significantly more abdominal fat than animals receiving a placebo. Look for products that contain fucoxanthin extract like the trademarked form Xanthigen.


DOSAGE: 150–200mg two or three times per day before meals

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