Christine Envall Female Bodybuilder Australia

Supplements

Are they necessary?

For the first few years I trained I never worried too much about taking amino acids or other supplements that were on the market (other than L-carnitine, but more on that later).  This was mostly a financial decision, being a student at the time I could barely afford to buy chicken breasts, let alone anything from a healthfood shop!

As I have grown bigger and train harder I find it essential to take certain supplements, particularly ones to help me recover.  You might have read on my old website about the Musashi supplements I was taking.  I took many different combinations of amino acids for various reasons for a couple of years after I first won the NABBA World Championships, but found when it came to competition time I couldn't shed my water.  Finally I decided to cut off the supplements 10 weeks out from the 2000 World Championships and discovered that I was once again able to lose my water properly for stage.  The one supplement I found I couldn't go off or my training suffered was the good old BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids).  Without these, I found I wasn't recovering as well as I had been. 

The moral of the story is:  if you're not sure if something is working, go off it and see if you notice the difference.

Supplement Menu

At present I am keeping my daily supplement intake quite basic, concentrating on Muscle Growth and Recovery.  Once I get closer to competition I will add supplements to improve my energy levels and fat burning capacity during work-outs.  To see what I'm taking, check out my daily supplement menu.

Tendon Repair

I suffer from patella and elbow tendonitis, brought on from years of training with heavy weight.  Originally I started taking a supplement called Sports Cartilage Repair from an Australian company called Vital Strength.   Later I found a better product called Joint Food by Nutra-Life, but now I use Sandra Cabot's Bone, Joint & Cartilage Nutrient Powder because it contains much less added carbohydrate than the Nutra-Life product so a much smaller dosage is required.

Although the formulations are slightly different, the key ingredients are the same except the Sandra Cabot product contains Calcium Hydroxyapatite to assist with bone strength.  It also contains MSM.  MSM acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory and is critical to the formation of connective tissue of all types.

The active ingredients in Joint Food are: Calcium Hydroxyapatite, Horsetail herb, MSM, Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium & Magnesium, Zinc & Manganese amino acid chelate, Antioxidants (Vitamins E, A & D), Selenomethionine.

REDBACK AND LADYBIRD

Since May 2002 I have been sponsored by International Health Investments Pty Ltd "Red Back - highly potent supplements" and "Lady Bird - all natural supplements for women" sports supplements.  The owner of the company was part owner of my former sponsor Vital Strength, so while it may seem like I have 'jumped ship' with my sponsorship, I have in fact remained loyal to the driving force and innovator from my previous sponsor in teaming up with Red Back and Lady Bird.

In January 2004 I joined International Health Investments as the Technical Product Manager.  My main role is the development of new products for the company and the improvement of the existing products.  I am in the process of improving the flavours of all the existing products and optimising the formulations to make them even more effective with the aim of making them the highest quality products on the market in Australia.  

MRP DELUX - Muscle Rebuilding Protein

Muscle growth and recovery in one!  MRP Delux is designed as a meal replacement but also contains L-glutamine and Taurine to assist with cell volumisation during training and recovery  as well as the full spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals.  The protein : carb ratio is 2:1 so I use it on it's own as a pre-training meal and with WPI post workout to aid with recovery.  I do add extra L-glutamine post-workout to further enhance recovery.

FIGURE TONE PROTEIN - LADIES PROTEIN COMPLEX

Although there is nothing wrong with women taking regular protein supplements, there is a distinct advantage to taking a protein powder designed for women.  In June 2002 my sponsor launched the Lady Bird range of supplements for women.  I switched from Complete Protein from the Red Back range to the Figure Tone Protein as the women's product is boosted with extra iron, calcium and magnesium to help meet a woman's increased need  for these minerals.  I used to take extra calcium, magnesium and iron supplements (but would often forget!), but now I don't have to as they are included with my regular protein powder.

I also use Red Bak WPI after training to get the immediate benefits of this quick absorbing protein and sometimes I use Red Bak WHEY (WPC/WPI blend) when I feel I need the immune boosting benefits and high BCAA levels of whey protein.

MUSCLE STACK

I have one other supplement I take religiously.  I used to be a critic of creatine, having never noticed any benefit to using the product.  In the course of developing a range of supplements for Australian company Bio Nutrics, I started to trial the Bio Vol Creatine-HMB-Ribose formula I put together for them.  I couldn't believe the results myself!  There was no need to load the product, I just started using it on my training days, taking it about 30 minutes prior to a workout.  My explosive power and endurance through the heavy weights sessions increased noticeably.  I believe it is the combination of the HMB and creatine which is mainly responsible for this, with some assistance from the ribose.

Red Bak now has a product similar to the Bio Vol, except that it also includes Taurine and Alpha Lipoic Acid.  These nutrients help to improve the uptake of the creatine even more and L-glutamine to help recovery, improve immune function and spare muscle protein during training.

 

<< Back