Posted by: Cathrine | 2007/05/14


HI doc

I train at the gym for an hour and a half at least 4 days a week. Focus is on stregth training and muscle gain. I do eat oats and a whey shake for breakfast after training, tuna and avo sandwich for lunch, vegetables and meat for dinner, BUT, the trainers at the gym say I won't pick up more muscle unless I use creatine and glutamine and up my protein even more. I have no idea what these products are and if they have any side effects? How do I take them, before or after training? Thanks for the help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Cathrine
It depends if you are trying to develop muscles like Miss Universe? According to the expert physiologists who lectured us at a course on Sports Nutrition, there are 3 factors that determine how much muscle a given individual can develop without endangering her/his health (kidneys, etc): 1) the basic body build of the athlete, i.e. are you an ectomorph (thin, lean build), an endomorph (muscular to start off with) or a mesomorph (inclined to pick up weight easily) - if you are not an endomorph you will find it difficult to build massive muscles; 2) the amount of exercise you do with weights and for how long - it takes TIME to develop muscles and the more exercises you do with weights the greater the chance of building muscles; 3) the amount of protein AND carbohydrate you eat (click on 'Fitness' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition' and read the articles on how much protein and carbohydrate you need to eat per day. If you are a serious body builder then you can consider taking creatine, but if not, then avoid using it as it tends to cause water retention and increases mass along with pumping up the muscles. Most protein foods contain plenty of glutamine (an amino acid) so once again don't take it as a supplement if you are not trying to develop super-sized muscles or participate in a very high level of sport (weight lifting, competitive swimming, etc). You need to decide how much muscle you want to build, but if you are not a weight lifter, etc, then I would stick to my present dietary intake (make some adjustments according to the guidelines in the above mentioned articles) and do my exercise. Tell your instructors that you are prepared to gain muscle at a reasonable rate.
Best regards

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