To cut down on the repeat posting of threads we've answered a billion times, I came up with this. This combined with the search function should allow for you new posters looking to get your shit together where eating and supplementing is concerned on the right track, and off the bullshit meters of the veteran posters. Have fun: Q: Hi, I'm a gnub here and... A: Slow down there hoss. Watch this: Posting and you. Q: Should I take a Multivitamin? If yes, which one? A: Of course you should. Especially in America. A list of good Multi's is as follows: 1) Balanced Essentials from Heaven Sent - Here you have a formula made from whole food sources that comes in liquid form and the taste isn't excruciating. With liquid you get the better absorbancy, and the whole food source mean this would be like what you SHOULD get from Vitamin content of all your food, but don't because food in the US SUCKS. 2) Sea Essentials by Heaven Sent - This was their first formula. People had discrepencies because it doesn't list the precise values of Vitamins it contains. But Heaven Sent aren't to blame for this. The FDA is. Because of the nature of the blend (Sea Vegetable preparation) the numbers vary slightly from batch-to-batch. The FDA said if they can't make it precise, they can't put numbers. But the antipoxidant and mineral properties of this are very good. And it was the Sea Essentials that I took and never, EVER got sick. I switched to Mega Men this year, and got my first cold in 3 years. 3) GNC Ultra Mega Green - Most Americans just do not get enough greens. Plain and simple. This is another Vitamin with whole food nutrients in it. But the drawback is these things are GIGANTIC. Not Horse pills, Elephant pills. And suggested use is 3 times per day (to supplement veggies with your meal), but like Mick states I think this is a bit of overkill. 2 per day in the morning should do. 4) Garden of Life's Living Multi - Notice a theme here? I hate the idea of purely synthetic vitamins. If you can score a good one with whole food nutrients you're going to find the health benefits a bit better. This is a good one. Garden of Life is a good line of things anyway, very reputable. 5) Nature's Plus - Source of Life. The customers who use this never, ever consider taking another one. And yet again another whole food source Vitamin. Now, cheap? What will suffice? Well you have GNC's Mega Men, Twinlab's Daily Two, Solgar has a decent multi (Solgar is actually an excellent line but they tend to be pricey as well as they come from Japan.) Q: Should I take protein? I always hear about protein. When should I take it? Morning? Afternoon? Night time? What's a good protein? Casein? Whey? A: Yes. Q: What about Xyience? A: Xyience is garbage, it's tin-can packaging is appropriate for where it belongs. Q: How do I gain weight: A: There are a couple of factors to gaining weight. Eat big but eat clean, lots of whole grains, lots of leafy greens, lots of lean protein, simple carbs in moderation. At least 5-7 meals per day. Snack on things like almonds and yogurt, things with good calories and high nutritious value. If your numbers of calories in is greater than your calories out, you should be gaining weight. If you're eating is clean, you should be gaining lean muscle. Lift BIG. Lots of guys think they lift heavy and really haven't scratched the surface of what their body is capable of. Big weight = big muscles. And get AMPLE rest. 7-8 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep per night, and on your days off at-least have one day where you barely move. Your body needs to heal to grow. Q: But I do all of that and still can't gain any weight. I MUST be a hardgainer! Right? Don't I need some supplement like GAKIC, LEUKIC, or some high-end Creatine to give me that edge I need? A: No, what you are is either a liar, or delusional about your eating or lifting. You cannot do everything perfect and NOT gain any weight. It just doesn't work that way. You're botching it up somewhere. Supplementing aside, your eating and your workouts are where all the real progress is made. Q: Okay okay, I admit I don't eat that clean. But why is clean eating so important? Surely I will get bigger eating pizza and McDonalds, I mean their food is loaded with calories right? And if I had a whole bag of Doritos, that's like a billion calories!! Shouldn't I get bigger? A: *sigh* You may end up getting fatter. And before you ask no fat does NOT turn into muscle. Fat is fat, muscle is muscle. Completely different molecules that never BECOME each other. And NO you DO NOT want to get fatter, before you say it. You want to put on lean and healthy bodyweight. Getting fatter comes with a laundry-list of health problems. Here, read this: Metabolic Function For Dummies. Q: Metabolic Advantages!?!?! Surely that's all nonsense. Isn't a calorie just a calorie? A: NO. And don't you come in here spouting that AHA bullshit. Any organization such as the American Heart Association and their Nutritional Committe that puts their "Heart Healthy" stamp of approval on a box of fucking Lucky Charms is NOT to be trusted. There's a whole world of true information out there, you'd be wise to look into it. Q: Speaking of bullshit, isn't Ephedra legal again? A: Yes and no. The ban was overturned by a Federal Judge in Utah. However, the FDA immediately filed an appeal to the ban-lift. It's still in litigation, and there's an injunction in-place to keep it off of store shelves. Some smaller supplement stores are chancing selling it because they feel the DEA has better shit to do than bust them for having 5 bottles of something with beneath 10mg of Mahuang in it. That's another thing, the ban-lift was for supplements containing under 10mg. So everything over 10mg is still illegal. ***As of August 17th, 2006 the Federal Appeals Court of the 10th Circuit in Colorado upheld the initial FDA ban on Ephedra, overruling the Utah Court's ruling regarding low-dose supplements. IT IS ALL ILLEGAL NOW. Q: What's all this grass-fed hooplah I keep reading about? A: Animals eat grass. Yes even chickens. The grass contains omega-3 fatty acids. Since animals became largely and almost entirely grain-fed, the nutritional value of their byproducts has dropped more than half of what it should be. This is true in America, and is a reason you'll see a lot of the regular posters here agreeing that food in America is basically shit unless you're willing to spend money on the real food, because it is expensive. Here's the breakdown of the terminologies (as it applies to poultry): Q: I'm a vegeterian/vegan. I use Soy for my protein, can that equate to enough protein intake per day? A: First of all if you're male you may want to re-consider using Soy. Soy is estrogenic in the human body. But that aside, no. Soy isn't even a complete protein. It takes a serving of Soy, some kind of legume, and some kind of caseinate all in one sitting to get a complete protein that you'd get from meat. There are other sources as well (like the combination of rice and beans), but when you do this you're jumping up your caloric intake, as well as your carb intake. So be careful with this decision. Unfortunately most vegetarians/vegans despite having an aura of health-consciousness...are duly unhealthy. Q: I want to try GAKIC, LEUKIC, Nitrous, Esterfied Creatine, Androstein (if I can get it), Steroids, etc., is it going to be worth it? A: No. Unless you're a professional athlete and are making the money back that you're spending on these things based on your athletic ability. They really aren't worth spending the money on. Paying over $60 for a bottle of anything specifically for vanity purposes and temporary results is just stupid. You'd be better served spending that money on less-costly supplements where the effects are long-term. Like protein, and better food. Also of note is that where banned supplements are concerned, it's not worth the risk of your freedom for vanity. There are no Pro Athletes doing Prison time over banned supplements. Rather the people in jail over this are people like you and the guy you're going to get them from. Because the Laws passed to dismantle banned supplement use in Pro Sports has severely missed it's mark. It's highly un-wise to play a game in which you've already lost before it begins. Q: Hey do you have any recipes? A: There's a recipe thread stuck at the top of the forum. If there's something missing from there, make a thread requesting a specific type of recipe you're looking for. But always check the thread first. Q: Do I need to cycle or load creatine? A: The jury is still out on cycling. Loading, no. Cycling, there's a general rule of thumb that it's good to cycle all your supplements. Two months on, one week off, something of that nature. Just to allow your body a break from your supplementing. Q: Speaking of supplements like GAKIC and Nitrous, aren't they just bullshit? A: No, most supplements do what they do, they just don't work miracles and advertising tends to lead people to believe that miraculous results will occur. Because general society is gullible, they tend to believe it then become VERY disappointed when they don't get the miraculous results they dreamed about. The X-factor being that everyone's physiology is different, biologically you might just be a non-responder to something that gets 75% or more of people good results. It's a crap-shoot, so if something doesn't work for you you have no right to go around posting that anything is "bullshit." Unless you quote clinical studies or conduct them yourself, write it off as that your body didn't assimilate it, and shut up about it. Q: What is the best fat-burner? And will fat-burners kill me? I don't want to have a heart-attack!! A: Again, "best" is a relative term. Find one that works best for you. It might be a trial-and-error process. To answer your second question, only if you use them stupidly. Problem with stimulants and thermogenesis is that you're creating an artificial boost of your metabolism. This could have a negative re-bound effect. Kind of like when you're on life support too long and your lungs can no longer breathe on their own. So use them to get where you want to go, then stay there by being disciplined. Caffeine (which is the stimulant in MOST fat-burners, and the ones without stimulants usually don't work), will NOT kill you. Abuse of caffeine however, could lead to heart and blood-pressure problems. If you use a thermogenic, and a particularly strong one, don't drink soda and coffee all day. Q: I want to suppress my appetite because... A: Whoah-up a sec there hoss. Before you continue, most people's problem with this is that they already eat too little. Two meals per day, usually binge-type meals where they gourge on food. Appetite suppression is NOT the answer to this problem. Suppress your appetite, eat too little, and your metabolism shuts down. Your body will then store everything you eat because your body thinks you're going to die...starve to death. Figuratively speaking, your body will take over for you if it thinks you're too stupid to feed properly, and will store fat to keep your stupid ass alive. But your organs can only hold out so long with this process happening. Break up your binge-eating to smaller meals throughout the day, and your body will run like a car. You put gas in it, it will burn it. But you also have to be active. SOME kind of exercise. Starvation is never an answer to obesity. Q: What's this Cortisol blocking thing I keep seeing on TV? Does it work? A: Yes and no. Cortisol is a stress-released hormone. Exercise and high mental stress can/do trigger it's release, and it puts the body into a very efficient fat-storage state. Most Cortisol blockers only prevent further storage of the fat, and specifically around the waist and hips. They're best used in conjunction with a thermogenic fat-burner. But more importantly they are best used for people who are emotional eaters, the ones who get stressed out and go for a bag of chips. Q: Emotional eaters!?!? I assure you I am NOT one of those. A: Liar. If you're truly not one of those, then there would be no need to tell us that. Put down that tub of ice-cream, quit crying, and do some push-ups or go running. Q: But wait a sec, I have you! Won't excercise only release more Cortisol!? I'm doomed! A: Before you shove that spoon in your mouth again, listen. The Endocrine system responds to exercise in MANY different ways. A lot goes on all at once. Yes more cortisol is released, but when you burn through glycogen stores, and adrenaline is released, your Alpha receptors are nice and stimulated, your body is a machine for efficiently assimilating and using calories as they're supposed to be used. Q: What do I sweeten all my food with? A: Why does your food HAVE to be sweet? Best advice, learn to appreciate how food TASTES. Condiments are added sugar, salt, and fat more times than not. Be mindful of that. Aside from that there are a plethora of both natrual sweetners (like honey and fruit for your oatmeal or protein shakes) and artificial ones like Splenda, Stevia, and Aspartame. Q: ASPARTAME!?!??! What are you insane? I read somewhere that that shit will eat holes in your brain? You must be an idiot! A: Really. Have a look-see at this: http://www.sherdog.net/forums/showthread.php?t=319871 Q: Oh. Okay. So I've read everything here and I still have some questions... A: Before you continue, I hope sincerely you truly have read everything here and have not just skimmed. But if you're looking for further good reading, go over all the the threads here: Weight Cutting. Protein. Creatine. The Magic of Vinegar. Pre-Workout Formula. Nootropic Guide. Custom Protein Shake Recipes. Custom PWO Formula. Whey Protein FAQ. Muscle Milk Info. Rating the Supplements. NO2 Voodoo Remedies Supplement Purchasing Supplement Wars News Supplement Brand Reviews Seven Habits of Effective Nutrition The risks versus benefits of fat/weight loss. The Feel-good Thread of the Century Why Cheaper is never better. The skinny on herbs. THIS is how you snack. YES Veggies at every meal! Egg News. And come back to us when you're better educated. Thanks, Management P.S. - To all the veteran posters, if I have forgotten anything here shoot me a PM and I'll add it. This can be a living document that we all contribute to in order to minimize the repetitious threads.