T Nation

Mixing supplements

Hi, I have a question regarding 4AC-ED. I just started on it, and am stacking it with T2. What I wanted to know was, if there is anything positive about also taking creatine. In addition, does anyone think that this stack is good/bad with a low level of carbs in the diet?

Creatine? Take it or leave it. Works in a totally different way to 4adec and t2. It acts to increase exercise tolerance, and also to increase hydration of the muscle. Just make sure that you drink enough water. I currently have stopped w the creatine, having been “on” for about a year. Did notice I look a bit more ripped, less full. No effect on workout endurance, enjoyment, strength etc. (However I LOVE my workout, so that’s never been a problem!). [p]
WRT the carbs- How much are you taking? If you’re on an extreme carb limiting diet, then it MIGHT cause a problem if you are taking in say 10g creatine per day. I think creatine formulas generally have 3g carbs/g creatine. So, for a 5g dose (normal)/d equates to 15g carbs. You decide.Hope this helps- SRS.

Hi, Jimmy. SRS is right that 4 AD-CD and creatine work by different mechanisms. However, I like the idea of stacking creatine with 4 AC-ED. Creatine is actually recommended for use with Mag-10. Creatine works better for some people than others. If you’ve used it in the past with good results, definitely stack it. If you’re a non-responder, skip it.

I’m not sure I’d like to see you going low-carb on a pro-hormone cycle. You need those carbs (and plenty of protein) to grow muscle.

Do a search on “Growth Surge” in the article archive (on www.t-mag.com, which is not to be confused with the search engine for the forum) for diet recommendations when using a pro-hormone.

Best of luck to you, Jimmy, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

My problem is that since I am Ketosis and still have a pretty high BF% (compared to what I want to be - 19%), I am not 100% sure as what to do. I realize that carbs are important in gaining muscle, but I really don’t want to gain weight but rather lose some body fat. Maybe I am just trying to do too many things at once??

I think that you should leave the creatine out, as it tends to not only make you gain weight, but appear a little puffy. If your main goal is to drop bf, I would stick with 4AC-ED, and T2. That should help quite a bit. Most people use Mag10 to gain weight, but I have used it quite successfully to drop body fat while maintaining muscle. Good luck.

Okay, Jimmy. Thanks for sharing that. The additional information you provided was helpful.

Here are my thoughts on the subject. John Berardi has written on the topic of whether it’s better to drop BF and then bulk, or whether it might be better to bulk up first and then drop BF. Here’s the quick synopsis: If you’re on the lean side (say, below 10%) and you put on one pound of weight, most of it’s going to be lean muscle. If your BF is on the high side and you put on one pound, a much higher percentage is going to be fat than in the former example. So the consensus is (here on the forum, not necessarily “out there”) that it’s more efficient to drop BF below 10% before starting to bulk, pro-hormone or not.

Having said that, there are those who use pro-hormones to drop their calories very, VERY low, say to half of what their maintenance calories are. And the use of the pro-hormone does protect your LBM.

Your other option is to hold off on the pro-hormone, diet down, and then “go for the gold.”

Just one quick thought, if you’re going the low-carb route, you should probably not be doing creatine. Creatine works by keeping the cells very well hydrated, and ketosis works by depleting glycogen stores so that your body is forced to draw on fat stores. So the one is trying to hydrate you, and the other is trying deplete glycogen (and all the water that is stored in the muscles WITH glycogen). It’s kinda like trying to put on the gas and the brakes at the same time.

So in which direction are you leaning?

I’m not TT (hell, not even close…she’s Beautiful, man), and I’m sure she’ll probably hit on this. But, you can use the current supplement regime (i.e. 4ad-ec + T2) for losing some fat while retaining maximum muscle. One way or the other, YOU need to make up your mind what you want to do.

Well, the way I am leaning for the next few weeks is to use the 4AD-EC and the T2 and stay low carb but add addtional protein. I think that this will benefit me the most, allowing me to retain my current muscle and hopefully allowing me to lower my bf%

Okay, that’s a plan. Make sure you’re getting 2g of protein per pound of LBM. But here’s the deal. You need to divide it up into as many meals as possible. Keep the number per meal at less than 50g. The greater the protein intake in a given sitting, the greater the insulin response. Also, drop the creatine, just for the time being.

Also, read up on P+F & P+C food combining by John Berardi. I’d actually recommend that you go to the article archive, do a search on Berardi, and read everything the man’s ever written.

And finally, search for the article called “The Missing Ingredient.” It’s about how to keep a food log. If you’ll make that investment into your body composition goals, we’ll be able to be of greater assistance to you in the future.

Keeping a food log will allow you to make subtle changes to your diet and control the rate at which you lose weight. And don’t forget that with the 4 AD-EC you can get a little more aggressive with dropping your calories. When you’re not “on” you really can’t create much more of a deficit than 500 calories per day without sacrificing LBM.

Best of luck to you, Jimmy, and let us know how it goes.

You seem to have your bases pretty well covered in terms of supplements for fat loss. Depending on how low you cut calories, 4-AC-DC may not be sufficient to keep all your LBM, but it always seems to get me pumped for a workout.

Creatine will enhance your recovery and won’t promote storing fat. So if you are worried about recovery issues on your diet, creatine would be helpful.

However, if you had some extra cash, I’d get a ECA stack before creatine, in order to accelerate fat loss. Also higher on the list would be Protein Powders(Low Carb), Methoxy, Metamucil, Flax Oil, and Fish Oil Caps.

Good Luck!

Hey, Rob, I went back to some of my resources, and you’re right. As per Lyle McDonald, “Creatine has no known effects on ketosis, nor would it be expected to affect the establishment or maintenance of ketosis.” In fact early studies on creatine used coffee or tea, without carbohydrates, and creatine uptake was still fairly high.

So you feel it enhances recovery and does not interfere with fat oxidation, and it looks like Lyle agrees. Do you have anything else that supports that, either off the top of your head or just your own personal experience?

Thanks for stepping in and putting the correct spin on things.

Well, Rob beat me to the punch Tampa! I was just about to wade in and talk about how there had been no studies to report problematic interactions with a creatine/ reduction diet protocol. Have to go check on something I remember reading not too long ago before I can comment further. See you soon. SRS

Hey, SRS, since Rob beat you to the punch and I know you’re getting ready to, do you think I could duck? My jaw’s getting sore. (grin)

Seriously, I appreciate the fact that you guys keep me honest and accurate.

OK, what I was thinking about is the actual MECHANISM of action of creatine for gaining muscle mass and strength. The long and short of it is despite several studies we still don’t know. The theories are:

  1. Increased protein synth, decr breakdown in muscles. This has NOT been proven conclusively in studies. see below

  2. Increased stabilisation of cell membranes. Yes, I think this has been proven in-vitro (hence it’s apparent beneficial effects on organ and brain damage patients). Sounds good, and would certainly help keeping a muscle happy, but I don’t think this would be enough to give all the results we see.

  3. Increased capacity for work- Yes, concentration of creatine and creatine phosphate in cells seems to help athletes perform better for longer.

So, my first answer on my first post above STANDS.

Regarding no1, Studies looking into protein turnover came up with differing results. It seems to me the confounding factor is whether the individuals were undertaking an exercise program. Those studies showing favourable (incr synth) protein metabolism seem to come with athletes, or at least individuals performing regular muscle work. The studies looking at basic protein turnover in a sedentary individual show no change over placebo.

So, agreeing with Rob, it seems that the creatine is basically just AIDING the athlete to work harder, and gain more with supplementation than without. In addition, recovery of optimum muscle function is probably enhanced

Of course, I have not mentioned the hydration effects yet. As I and a-train mentioned, I think this has a large influence on perceived gains.

As far as the carbs plus Creatine goes, it seems to be that simultaneous dietary carbs + creatine = increased ABSORPTION from the intestine than creatine alone. It does NOT follow that these carbs are needed in the muscle simultaneously with the creatine to permit its effects (assuming optimal protein synthesis is not considered a direct creatine effect -a substrate WILL be needed if synthesis is to occur, whether this be carbs, fat or protein).

So, Jimmy, the main use of creatine in the situation you will be putting yourself in would probably be the intensity/endurance effects DURING a workout, and the recovery effects after. Whether this seems like a worthwhile enough reason depends on your general workout capacity and recovery ability, and of course your pocket! Why not try without first, and then with?

Sorry for the long post again. Once I get going…:-)SRS

TT is a girl?

There’s rumor to that effect.