I am your host, Noodles and Beef, and welcome to my blog. It's my creative dumping ground and journal. I post work from my photo projects, sketches from my notepad, and infographics from my research. Sometimes I write about my body dysmorphia but more often I post photos of my butt. I am in a D/s relationship with two wonderful pups. Your hair looks amazing today.

Anyway, thanks for reading my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

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Hey, Dylan. Two questions: how do you feel about pre work intake before the gym? And are you doing a 2015 calendar?
twburg

I’ve written a very detailed post about pre-workout supplements here.  But, the gist is that yes, I feel pretty good about pre-workout drinks.  I drink a protein shake 60-minutes before working out and take Hyper Shock by Myogenix within 20-minutes of working out.

I was going to do a 2015 calendar, but I am too busy this year with other projects.  Namely:

  1. Propose to big pup Done!
  2. Plan our wedding In progress!
Small update to my breakfast-replacement super shake (link is to old recipe) that I feel should be documented:
60g (2 scoops) Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey
15g creatine
10g glutamine
1/3 cup raw walnuts (protein, omegas)
1/3 cup raw almonds (protein)
1/3 cup frozen blueberries (antioxidants)
1/2 banana removed
1 cup Acai juice (antioxidants)
1 shot flax seed oil (omegas)
1 fancy squirt of honey (local if you can)
1 scoop of psyllium husks removed
1 tbsp chia seeds (new, replaced psyllium husk)
1 tbsp maca powder (new, added for macro nutrients and aphrodisiac properties)
1 tbsp cocoa powder (new, added for possible fat burning and myostatin blocking)

Small update to my breakfast-replacement super shake (link is to old recipe) that I feel should be documented:

What is Chuck taking/eating that he gained 10 lbs in a week? Tell us the secrets!!!
Anonymous

image

Chuck is here, so he’ll answer your question:

Chuck says:

I have six gainer shakes a day.  

Yes, six.  One when I wake up, one before gym, after gym, with lunch, after work, and before bed.

I take Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Gainer with two cups of 2% milk.  (Dylan note: together, thats 80g protein, 1,000 calories, 100g carbs)

For breakfast I eat Van’s Brown Rice Waffles.  Yeah.  Letsee, two of those.  And then.  Lunch and dinner are variable, but always include some sort of brown rice or quinoa.  Lotsa of protein and vegetables.  

And then I have snacks: cheese sticks, brie with brown rice crackers, and protein bars. And whole raw almonds.

Chuck edit #1:

Oops, forgot my supplements.  No steroids, I don’t take creatine because of the caffeine I drink, Magnum Nutraceuticals Primer, CoQ10, Fish Oil, and thats all that I’m really taking.

Oh, and pre-workout, No2 Booster like NOXPLODE.

Here’s my commentary:

Chuck has a very receptive body to weight training and diet.  He’s kind of a natural at gaining weight, which can be a double-edged sword.  He doesn’t require much chemical assistance, its all about diet.  So I’m putting him on a “clean bulk” diet.  He’s allowed to have complex carbs like quinoa or brown rice and dairy.  

Did your new supplement audit post include your T-Stack?
Anonymous

No, I’m off my testosterone booster stack and anything that makes my BP get high.

I reviewed all the supplements I’m taking with my doc for drug interactions and had to remove ALA. It was making one of my medications to strong and resulted in some weird side effects.

Hence the need for supplement audit.

Time for an audit of my current supplements…
Protein Shake (5-6 times daily)
60g (2 scoops) Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro WheyWhy this protein? Hydrolyzed whey is the most bio-available form of whey protein and it boosts glycogen storage in muscle tissue (source).  Its a little bit more expensive than the whey isolate I was using.
5g Creatine Monohydrate
5g L-Glutamine
I space my meals and protein intake out every 3-hours, because research shows this is the ideal cadence for muscle growth.
All those pills:
Alpha Lipoic Acid (500mg 3x daily) removed b/c drug interactions
EGCg (400mg 3x daily)
Garlicin (600mg 3x daily)
Cissus Quadrangularis (4800mg 3x daily)
Nordic Fish Oil (3000mg 3x daily)
CoQ10 (1800mg 3x daily)
Curcumin (1500mg 3x daily)
I’ve tripled my intake of fish oil and CoQ10 to try and help my heart health.  However, fish oil at this dose has anabolic and mood elevating effects…hoping I see that effect.
I’m also experimenting with adding curcumin.  I used to cook with tumeric sporadically, but want to try a more concentrated approach.  Research shows curcumin has an anti-catabolic effect, and possibly even an anabolic effect by raising natural testosterone levels. It inhibits the conversion of amino acids into glucose, stimulates fat burning and protects men from prostate cancer. And those are just a few of the effects.

Time for an audit of my current supplements…

Protein Shake (5-6 times daily)

I space my meals and protein intake out every 3-hours, because research shows this is the ideal cadence for muscle growth.

All those pills:

I’ve tripled my intake of fish oil and CoQ10 to try and help my heart health.  However, fish oil at this dose has anabolic and mood elevating effects…hoping I see that effect.

I’m also experimenting with adding curcumin.  I used to cook with tumeric sporadically, but want to try a more concentrated approach.  Research shows curcumin has an anti-catabolic effect, and possibly even an anabolic effect by raising natural testosterone levels. It inhibits the conversion of amino acids into glucose, stimulates fat burning and protects men from prostate cancer. And those are just a few of the effects.

Calculating my bodybuilding budget for the year to try and find savings.
My pup and I go through 7 jugs of Optimum Nutrition Whey protein a month, about $263.06.
This does not include the shakes we each have at work (1 jug each every month), creatine, glutamine, pre-workout shakes, or any other supplements.
Edit: I am a big fan of TrueNutrition.com and being able to customize your protein mix. However, the same protein mix is $361.25 (with shipping, including bulk discount and shipping coupon). Amazon wins if you only need a basic protein powder and free shipping.

Calculating my bodybuilding budget for the year to try and find savings.

My pup and I go through 7 jugs of Optimum Nutrition Whey protein a month, about $263.06.

This does not include the shakes we each have at work (1 jug each every month), creatine, glutamine, pre-workout shakes, or any other supplements.

Edit: I am a big fan of TrueNutrition.com and being able to customize your protein mix. However, the same protein mix is $361.25 (with shipping, including bulk discount and shipping coupon). Amazon wins if you only need a basic protein powder and free shipping.

I got this wonderful comment from reader Rudy:

Hey Noodles and Beef/Dylan.
I’m getting ready to start a cycle of the stack. (Interestingly, the Tulsi tea I drink has jsut under 2000mg of Holy Basil for 8 oz so I’m going to keep using that instead of getting pills.) I’m getting everything else online tonight. I follow you pretty religiously and haven’t seen a follow up post on how long you cycle on/off the stacker, plus anything to do in the post-cycle time to help the HPTA return to normal function. I don’t want my testosterone to just crash as soon as I’m done the cycle. 
Thanks for your insight, and for all of the butt pictures too. You’re a good man!
Rudy

Thank you for asking, Rudy.  I forgot to post a follow-up to my testosterone boosting supplement stack.
I explained briefly in this post that these supplements (while natural and legal) increase your testosterone much like steroids.  Your body tries to maintain stasis, so if you artificially increase your hormone levels too much for too long, you risk shutting down your natural production.
Just because these supplements are natural and sold like vitamins doesn’t make them any safer than the steroids we’re trying to emulate.  You should consult your doctor, get your levels checked quarterly, and cycle these supplements to prevent down-regulation or HPTA shut down.
You can minimize the chance of HPTA shut down by taking supplements that restore natural hormone function.  Steroid users call this Post Cycle Therapy, and it usually consists of a stack of drugs you get prescribed by your doctor.  They range from anti-estrogen modulators meant for women with breast cancer, to synthetic growth hormone releasers, and come with their own slew of side effects.
Here’s what we’ll use instead:
Resveratrol 2000mg/dayThis is the active ingredient in Red Wine that reduces the risk of heart disease. Low dose studies of this supplement showed it can cure common diabetic symptoms, protects the skin from UVA/UVB rays, inhibits herpes, and so much more.But, for our purposes, we take Resveratrol because it can restart natural production of testosterone (source), selectively blocks estrogen (source), and prevents existing testosterone from converting into estrogen (source).
D-Aspartic Acid 2,000mg/dayWhile the results are short lived (people online report effects taper off quickly after 3 months of use), DAA stimulates natural testosterone production in men with low testosterone and increases in sperm count. The method of action is unclear. (source)
P5P 100mg/dayIncreasing your testosterone levels can also increase prolactin levels. While the increase from my stack wouldn’t be enough to cause male lactation, there are other negative effects of prolactin we want to avoid, and P5P can help.  Besides inhibiting prolactin production, P5P has mild nootropic effects and gives me vivid dreams.
I recommend taking these supplements for a month following three months on the testosterone boosting stack.  I’ve done my best to research these supplements, but y’all should use your best judgement when playing with your body chemistry.  Talk to your doctor, research, then experiment on yourself.
Every body is different.  My stack had positive reviews for some, and it didn’t work for others.  Its important to test for yourself…what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone.

I got this wonderful comment from reader Rudy:

Hey Noodles and Beef/Dylan.

I’m getting ready to start a cycle of the stack. (Interestingly, the Tulsi tea I drink has jsut under 2000mg of Holy Basil for 8 oz so I’m going to keep using that instead of getting pills.) I’m getting everything else online tonight. I follow you pretty religiously and haven’t seen a follow up post on how long you cycle on/off the stacker, plus anything to do in the post-cycle time to help the HPTA return to normal function. I don’t want my testosterone to just crash as soon as I’m done the cycle. 

Thanks for your insight, and for all of the butt pictures too. You’re a good man!

Rudy

Thank you for asking, Rudy.  I forgot to post a follow-up to my testosterone boosting supplement stack.

I explained briefly in this post that these supplements (while natural and legal) increase your testosterone much like steroids.  Your body tries to maintain stasis, so if you artificially increase your hormone levels too much for too long, you risk shutting down your natural production.

Just because these supplements are natural and sold like vitamins doesn’t make them any safer than the steroids we’re trying to emulate.  You should consult your doctor, get your levels checked quarterly, and cycle these supplements to prevent down-regulation or HPTA shut down.

You can minimize the chance of HPTA shut down by taking supplements that restore natural hormone function.  Steroid users call this Post Cycle Therapy, and it usually consists of a stack of drugs you get prescribed by your doctor.  They range from anti-estrogen modulators meant for women with breast cancer, to synthetic growth hormone releasers, and come with their own slew of side effects.

Here’s what we’ll use instead:

  • Resveratrol 2000mg/day
    This is the active ingredient in Red Wine that reduces the risk of heart disease. Low dose studies of this supplement showed it can cure common diabetic symptoms, protects the skin from UVA/UVB rays, inhibits herpes, and so much more.
    But, for our purposes, we take Resveratrol because it can restart natural production of testosterone (source), selectively blocks estrogen (source), and prevents existing testosterone from converting into estrogen (source).

  • D-Aspartic Acid 2,000mg/day
    While the results are short lived (people online report effects taper off quickly after 3 months of use), DAA stimulates natural testosterone production in men with low testosterone and increases in sperm count. The method of action is unclear. (source)

  • P5P 100mg/day
    Increasing your testosterone levels can also increase prolactin levels. While the increase from my stack wouldn’t be enough to cause male lactation, there are other negative effects of prolactin we want to avoid, and P5P can help.  Besides inhibiting prolactin production, P5P has mild nootropic effects and gives me vivid dreams.

I recommend taking these supplements for a month following three months on the testosterone boosting stack.  I’ve done my best to research these supplements, but y’all should use your best judgement when playing with your body chemistry.  Talk to your doctor, research, then experiment on yourself.

Every body is different.  My stack had positive reviews for some, and it didn’t work for others.  Its important to test for yourself…what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone.

So I just started the test boosters you recommended. I know to take the garlicin after a meal three times a day and the other three are just once daily.... When is the best time to take them or does it not matter?
beardedjoy

I take the test boosters about an hour before my workout to try and get the hormone spike in line with my gym time…however, this is just a theory I have and I don’t think it really matters.

Talk to your doctor

John M., a medical research scientist, left this very thoughtful comment on my testosterone boosting supplement stack.  He points out a few misleading parts of the studies I referenced (like the Holy Basil study is based on an animal model, which doesn’t necessarily translate to humans)…and now I feel a bit irresponsible for not putting a disclaimer on my advice.

These supplements work very well, but playing with your body’s hormones can have serious repercussions.  As John pointed out, your body tries to maintain stasis, so if you artificially increase your levels too much for too long, you risk shutting down your natural production.

Just because these supplements are natural and sold like vitamins doesn’t make them any safer than the steroids we’re trying to emulate.  You should consult your doctor, get your levels checked quarterly, and cycle the supplements to prevent down-regulation or HPTA shut down.

Perhaps it would be worth doing a write-up on “post-cycle” supplements that restore natural HPTA function when you’re done taking testosterone boosting supplements.

I have a question about the testosterone boosting stack post. If you have say 500 mg of the Holy basil, and your stack says 2000 mg, do you take all 4 pills with food once, or spread them out over the day? Same with the other suppliments in that post. Thanks!
Anonymous

If you need to take 2000mg of Holy Basil and each pill contains 500mg you will take four pills at a time.  Here’s the breakdown again:

I take Garlicin three times a day with my meals because this study says taking it this way prevents growth of new fat cells.

Hey Dylan, this is just a general question about supplements: When did you start taking them and why did you do it then? I'm not talking about whey or creatine, but the other stuff-- the abbreviated ones. Vague, I know. I've seen guys about my size (which is not very large) talk large quantities of supplements but always doubt their effectiveness as I persist to believe that they are for those who reached their natural limits. Thoughts?
timovdrow

I originally started with soy protein shakes.  I didn’t start taking whey until a year after I started weight training.  A little later I added creatine.

Then I discovered Animal Pak multivitamins.  Back then, Animal Pak contained 4-androstenediol (4-AD), a pro-hormone that the liver converted into testosterone.

In 2004, pro-hormones became scheduled drugs, like steroids, and Animal Pak had to remove the pro-hormone from its formula to remain legal.  The fella at my local Max Muscle store explained all this to me, you can about it here.  I had no idea.  But, he suggested some natural alternatives that weren’t banned.

As per his advice, I started taking the typical testosterone boosters to try and combat the effects of going off Animal Pak with pro-hormones.  Tribulus, Epimedium, ZMA, etc…I didn’t notice anything, so I tried other testosterone boosters, NO boosters, estrogen blockers, everything.

I went through this phase of trying all the supplements.  I would literally go on payday to the nearest GNC or Max Muscle and whatever I hadn’t tried yet I bought.  I would run the supplement for a few bottles, check my progress, and if I had results would either keep taking it or try something new.  Most supplements I tried did return statistically significant results and weren’t continued.

From my exhaustive personal testing, here are the supplements that have worked for me:

I got pretty burnt-out on blindly buying supplements and testing them on myself.  It was expensive and my success rate was horrible.  I changed tactics and subscribed to PubMed.  Whenever a new medical study is released that has something to do with “Muscle Growth,” I get an email alert.  I buy the research paper, read it, determine if its useful for my goals, and go out to try them.

This is how I developed my Testosterone Boosting Stack.  I compiled every study on natural supplements that increased testosterone and culled a list of potential supplements.  Through personal testing, I found the four that worked best, and viola!  A supplement stack that works better than those expensive test boosters I used to get.  Awesome.

I believe in continuous testing.  I’m always trying new workouts, supplements, routines, trying to find the best combination to help me get bigger.

I’m currently testing a HMB + ATP combo as a new study shows taking them together added 20lbs of muscle in a 3 month period over placebo.  So far, my weight hasn’t changed at all…but I’m only on my second month.  Hmmm.

Heya Sempai. I read you used cocoa butter to control the problem with stretch marks, so I did the same buying a preg woman cream with coca butter base, been using it for a month but seem is only making it worst, I got even more stretch marks on the places I started applying it. what kind of presentation worked for you? (cream, soap)
tacoderes

Hey kohai,

Make sure you’re using a cocoa butter with vitamin E and collagen.  That worked for me when I was growing a lot, particularly this lotion:

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks

I didn’t actually see results for a few months, so keep at it.

How do you deal with bloating while on a bulking diet? I just switched from cutting to bulking, and my waist size has ballooned by 1-2 inches in about a week from the enormous food baby I've been carrying around with me, and I know I didn't gain that much fat in so little time. Does it just come with the territory?
Anonymous

It’s probably just water weight!  I wouldn’t worry about it.  Soon as you stop bulking you’ll deflate.

I enjoy the bloating because it makes me feel bigger, so I don’t have many tips for avoiding it.

However, you can minimize fat gained by adding these supplements to your bulking regimen:

  • 500mg Alpha Lipoic Acid (Buy Here): ALA is pretty amazing, it’s a powerful antioxidant, free-radical hunter, it recycles vitamin C and E, and removes toxic metals from the body (mostly iron and mercury). But for our purposes, the most interesting thing ALA does is it acts as a nutrient partitioning agent, directing glucose preferentially to muscle tissue and away from fat tissue in people who exercise. (Source). In short, ALA diverts nutrients to your muscle tissue while starving your fat cells.
  • 400mg EGCg (Buy Here): is the active ingredient in Green Tea that increases your resting metabolism 4-6%. It also decreases GLUT4 transport of nutrients to fat cells and causes fat apoptosis. Fat cells commit suicide when you take EGCg. Reducing the overall number of fat cells (instead of just decreasing their size) will prevent you from rebounding when you go off diet.
  • 600mg Garlicin (Buy Here): This 2003 study took two groups on a high carb diet, one was given a high allicin supplement. After 3 weeks, those taking the allicin supplement did not gain weight, compared to those without the supplement that did gain weight. I couldn’t find the method of action for allicin and preventing fat gain, but Timothy Ferris says it worked for him, so I’m taking it too.
You can also try getting more potassium into your diet to cut your water weight.  I haven’t tried it myself, but my bodybuilder friends have said it works.

Hold on there, this is important.

Hi, I'm Noodles and Beef and welcome to my blog. How are you? Your hair looks great today. What's your secret? I think its important we get to know each other a little bit before you continue.

I've been updating this blog for over 13-years to help me remember and better appreciate my life experiences. I blog for my own benefit, so the content can be extremely personal and sometimes that makes people uncomfortable.

We just met, so I'm not sure what makes you uncomfortable.

Thats why you need to be at least 18-years-old to continue...and if it makes you uncomfortable, just stop reading my blog, okay?


I agree