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Whole Foods vs Shakes For Muscle Gain
Copyright 2006 Jonathan Perez After many years of spending hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars, after getting sick on them, and after seeing NO KIND OF RESULTS from them, many have finally realized that they are WORTHLESS. Yet, many are still confused if the supplements that are sold as "Meal Replacements", "Weight Gainers", "natural supplements", and "amino acids" have some good use in substituting for some WHOLE FOODS. Surely you see them in just about every other page in every-single bodybuilding / fitness magazine. Everyone at the gym uses them. Go to any grocery store and they have them there too. Yes, even you have probably used them and / or are using them right now.
Shakes and supplements. Many different "meal replacement" powders and shakes, also known as RTD's, are sold as being a substitute for a real, whole food meal. The makers claim that they are "just as good, if not better, than eating a real meal".
They claim to have higher amounts of protein, lower amounts of sugar, and add in ingredients such as BCAA's, Glutamine, Creatine, HMB, CLA, so on and so forth. They claim that your muscles need a high amount of this and that, and that you can't get those from just eating the right foods. That's what the makers claim. First off, no supplement that is out on the market right now will build any kind of real, permanent muscle on your body, none! Not creatine (which makes you gain nothing but "water weight"), not glutamine, not HMB, not NO2, not any one of them. If you are skeptical, perform a test on yourself: For one month, don't change anything about your training routine or your eating habits. Measure your arms, your chest, and your waist with a measuring tape and fat calipers. Take one supplement, and only one.
Use it for that month. Then take your measurements again. I guarantee you that your measurements will reveal that your arms or chest didn't get any bigger or vascular, regardless of what the weight scale says. Yes, some people report gaining 8-10 pounds of weight after one week of using creatine, but are those 8-10 pounds muscle? No! They are made up of water and / or fat. The measuring tape and fat calipers will reveal that to you. So, when a meal replacement shake or powder advertises that it is better than eating whole food because it contains all of these extra "muscle building ingredients", don't be fooled. Even if it actually contains those ingredients, they don't work anyway! Second, meal replacements claim to have a certain amount of protein grams, carb grams, and fat grams. Well, lately there have been several analysis done on many popular supplements, and it has been discovered that many of them do not contain the amount of ingredients as printed on the label!! Just a while back a report was written that a popular "protein bar", that claims to taste like Snickers, contained up to 7% less amount of protein than the label claims. And it contained much more sugar than stated. Many of these makers "skim" on the ingredients to bring the cost down of making those supplements, while lying on the nutrition labels, just to make a bigger profit! Third, the price.
A meal replacement powder can cost you up to $3.00 PER PACKET, while it would probably cost you $1.00 or less if you were to eat the same amount of calories from real food. I don't know about you, but I rather keep my money in my pocket. Fourth, and probably the most important out of all, is that powders and shakes contain many ingredients that are down-right harmful to your internal body. In order to make these "meal replacements" into powders and to be able to be stored for long periods of time (for shipping and sitting on the store shelves), many chemicals and preservatives must be added. What do you think happens when you are constantly putting into your body foreign chemicals and preservatives, substances that are not from nature. Your body does not handle well those types of unnatural substances. Instead of making you gain muscle, all you will get is a BLOATED STOMACH, DIARRHEA, and EVEN FAT, since your body doesn't digest it well. How many times have you drunk a protein shake and 30 minutes later you start to get "gas"? That's your body's way of telling you that it cannot handle that shake.
Also, "meal replacements" DON'T contain vital nutrients that are a "must-have" if you want to grow a healthy physique, such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, enzymes, etc. These powders don't have any of those things. Don't believe me, read the nutrition labels. On the contrary, whole foods are natural, they contain all of the vital nutrients that your body requires to get big and strong, they are much less in price, and they won't cause you to go running to the nearest toilet. Without a doubt, if you want to gain muscular weight, forget about those disgusting-tasting meal replacement powders and shakes, and eat real whole foods, just like our ancestors did back before the supplement industry came along with all of their lies.