There is no doubt that bodybuilding in any form is an extreme lifestyle if you’re serious about it. Even if you don’t compete and do this recreationally, you’re doing things far beyond what normal people do. You passed the point of just wanting to be in shape and healthy many forty-five pound plates ago. You train hard in order to achieve an extraordinary physique and strength. This entails many grueling painful reps, and a mass consumption of quality calories each day. This is everything but normal.
Another addition to your routine that is out of the norm consists of taking supplements. When you read the labels on supplements and see the recommended dosage, do you ever think to yourself ‘Ah, that’s the safe, normal amount; I need more than that to grow. Two caps aren’t going to have any effect on me. I need at least double that.’? Bodybuilders tend to have the mentality that more is better. It’s sort of along the same lines as eating one small chicken breast, only getting 20 grams of protein versus eating two large chicken breasts, getting almost triple that. Or doing a set of eight reps when you know you could have done two more versus doing ten reps with the same weight followed by three more assisted reps. It makes sense that the latter of those two scenarios will result in more muscle growth.
Many carry this philosophy over into their supplement regimen. If you gained ten pounds in one month of taking five grams of creatine a day, you somehow think you can gain 20 pounds if you take ten grams a day. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way with supplements. In fact, mega-dosing with some supplements can actually be deadly, such as getting too much iron. You may also suffer unwanted side effects which may not necessarily be detrimental to your health, but they could very well hinder your ability to train.
At a high-level, most supplements must be broken down by the body and some can be very harsh on your liver leaving you with symptoms such as stomach cramps, and in some cases can cause health problems. You certainly won’t feel like training when you’re hunched over holding your stomach. Also, with many supplements, taking more simply will not have any profound effects as opposed to taking lower dosages. Creatine is a good example as you simply won’t see any benefits from taking three and four times more than what is recommended. The only effect you’ll get from that is bloating and less room in your wallet. However, supplements like BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) may be dosed at more than what the label recommends without negative side effects.
Although there may be some supplements that you may indeed benefit from taking more, it’s always a good idea to start with following the label. It’s also important to know that the dosage of some supplements is dependent upon body weight. See what kind of results you get from the recommended dose then gradually go up from there if you do not achieve the desired result. Also, take it a step further and do your research on what you’re taking to see how it will impact you. Learn about the supplement as this may help you determine how much is right for you, or better yet, if the supplement itself is even right for you.
Some supplements may be ok to mega-dose where as some you may not see any extra benefits at all. The bottom line is you should do your own research on supplements, and especially those supplements that contain a variety of ingredients. More can be better in cases, but often times more is not necessarily better.
Train with Passion,