I really want to bulk up. What is the most effective AND safest route for me to follow?
To increase muscle mass you need an appropriate strength training programme as stimulus for the muscle to grow. An equal amount of dedication and effort need to go into optimising your dietary intake - the correct composition (mix or carbs and protein), amount and timing of meals and snacks are needed to maximise training adaptations and muscle growth.
Avoid the following dietary mistakes:
- Protein is important for muscle growth, but there is a limit to how much your body can use for muscle growth. So, don't over-do it at the expense of other dietary components, such as carbohydrate-rich foods that are equally important. Carbs provide the necessary fuel and other dietary nutrients to fuel your training sessions, aid recovery and muscle growth. Carbs also play a role in triggering the release of key hormones (e.g. insulin) that stimulate muscle growth.
- Don't blindly believe the 'incredible' results that muscle-building-type supplements offer. At closer inspection you most often will find that these products have NOT been evaluated or approved by the SA Medicines Control Council, and lack proper scientific-grade testing for efficacy AND/OR safety.
*Muscle bulking products pose a high risk of containing unapproved drugs / herbal ingredients and formulations that may cause ill-health effects, and may cause athletes to test positive for a prohibited substance.
Consult with qualiﬁed professionals such as a Registered Dietitian and Biokineticist, who are best suited to provide evidence-based advice on optimal nutrition and strength regimes.
For more information read the SAIDS leaflet "Supplements under the Spotlight" and the Supplements Position Statement on the SAIDS website.