If you’re thinking about using nutritional supplements to help you bulk up, here are a few helpful tips.
1) DO YOUR RESEARCH – Know what you’re planning to ingest. Don’t take the word of friends or marketing paraphernalia. If you have access to a site like medline.com, you can review current medical research on almost any substance or topic. If not, take an afternoon or two and hit your local medical school library. A friendly librarian will help you find the right textbooks, medical journals or abstracts.
2) SEE A DOCTOR – Get an expert (preferably your family physician’s) opinion. Some nutritional supplements may react badly with other prescription medicine. Others aren’t recommended for people with kidney or liver damage, or any number of other health conditions.
3) DON’T OVERDO IT – Putting on too much weight quickly can put strain on your body. Bean recommends putting on weight slowly, adding perhaps a pound or so each week.
4) KEEP YOUR PARENTS INFORMED – This goes for coaches, also. Let them know what you’re taking. They are the people who oversee your regular diet or workout routine; having all of the information makes their job easier.
5) FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS – If the recommended dosage is three tablespoons, that doesn’t mean that six tablespoons is twice as good. “Too much of a good thing” is more than a cliché. Anything more than the recommended dosage could be harmful.
6) BE REALISTIC – If there were a surefire way to turn a 140-pound kid into a stud linebacker, everyone would do it. We all have our limitations; all the protein shakes in the world may not get you that college scholarship, so set realistic goals and don’t obsess.