Tag Archives: Tribulus Terrestris

preworkout safety

Workout Supplement Cautions

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA is a common supplement used by bodybuilders because of its effect on testosterone and strength. DHEA levels drop beginning at the age of 30, causing decreased muscle mass and libido.

DHEA seems to be a great addition to a workout stack, but there are several reported side effects. Due to the fluctuation of testosterone levels, DHEA can cause psychological disturbances including anger and insomnia. Supplementing with DHEA can also cause gender-specific alterations such as shrinking of testes or unwanted hair growth.

DHEA is likely safe when taken as directed; however, it is important to contact a physician prior to use.

Vitamins C and E

VitaminC[1]These vitamins are found in most workout supplements acting as natural antioxidants. Both vitamins C and E offer many benefits including weight management support, healthy skin, and improved immune function.

It is safe to use vitamins C and E; however, it is much more beneficial to consume these vitamins through whole foods rather than supplements. Overdoing these supplements can result in fewer mitochondria meaning less energy and growth.

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is a common ingredient in testosterone boosters and pre workout supplements. Tribulus claims state that the supplement increases testosterone levels, thus improving strength, muscle mass, and sex drive.

There have been no dangerous side effects reported from Tribulus supplementation, so it appears safe to consume. The problem with Tribulus is that there are very little studies to back up the claims stating this supplement supports testosterone or performance enhancement.

Yohimbe

Yohimbine is a popular supplement taken to increase energy and fat loss, which is why yohimbine is a common ingredient in weight loss and pre workout supplements.

This supplement needs to be treated just like other stimulants. Too many stimulating supplements can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and insomnia. When using supplements in this category, it is always wise to start at the lowest dose possible to assess tolerance.

Effective and Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

Whey Protein Make sure you have some whey protein and some Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) like isoleucine, leucine, and valine. The whey is the same protein you needed when you were a child to help you grow big and strong while the BCAA’s help your body use the protein more effectively and reduce delayed muscle soreness.

While some workout supplements have approximately 900,000 ingredients, taking the time to make sure you know what each one is and what it does can not only give you a better workout, it can save your life. Also remember that any of the beneficial ingredients – such as caffeine – can be harmful if taken in improper amounts.

The Bottom Line

Taking supplements daily is an excellent way to feel better and work harder; however, some dietary supplements do have side effects. It is always recommended to speak with a doctor before taking any dietary supplement.

cortisol during exercise

Ways to Counteract Cortisol Build-Up during Exercise

Have you ever wondered why it seems so difficult to build muscle? Are all those hours in the gym just not having as strong an effect as you had hoped or even any effect at all? More than likely, this issue will have something to do with Cortisol buildup. Indeed, scientists have known for years that elevated levels of this hormone interfere with all kinds of functions including learning and memory, immune function, weight control, blood pressure, and may even increase sadness.  Some supplements show promise in reducing Cortisol during exercise.

An article on Bodybuilding.com entitled “The Implications of Cortisol Release” discusses how Cortisol works. However, to make things easier for you, we have created a short “beginner’s guide” to Cortisol, if you will. Read on to find out more!

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is the primary stress hormone within the body. It is released as part of the body adapting to conditions whenever a threat is sensed. This reaction is also often called the “fight or flight” response. Unfortunately, as far as weight training is concerned, the hormone has a negative effect. It is catabolic, meaning that it actually works to break down muscles. This breakdown happens due to the fact that it reduces protein synthesis and prevents tissue growth. This breakdown generally begins occurring after about one hour of continuous exercise.

Total Workouts under an Hour:

So, the first thing that we can do to limit the buildup of Cortisol during exercise is to limit the time that we exercise. Try to keep the total workout to under an hour. Obviously, this limit might not be possible every time or for everyone, but the longer you go, the more of a problem Cortisol will become. An alternative to this shortening would be to take supplements during the workout that help to naturally raise or at least maintain testosterone levels such as D-Aspartic Acid, Horny Goat Weed, Tribulus Terrestris, or even Boron.

Limit the Cardio:

Although cardio time should be counted in the hour for the limit on workouts, it deserves special mention. The problem is that cardiovascular training causes the body to release Cortisol much faster than weight training. So, limit the time on the bike or treadmill. One option is to do your cardiovascular work on days that you do not lift weights.

Good Nutritional Habits:

The best way to eat in terms of Cortisol release is to consume more small meals throughout the day. In other words, take the same amount of food, but instead of having three relatively large meals, eat 5 or 6 smaller meals. Breakfast and the meal immediately following the workout are the most important. Also, make sure everything is balanced, since a good combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat has been shown to help control Cortisol levels the best.

 

For the entire Bodybuilding.com article, click here!