Anyone who's into the world of fitness and muscle-building will tell you that even more important than your workout routine is your nutrition regimen. If you're not counting calories and tracking your nutrient macros, then you're not maximizing your time spent in the gym effectively.
Some bodybuilders will do just about anything to get a dietary edge on other weightlifters — including adding breast milk to their nutrition plans.
Body builders are so obsessed with their nutritional intakes, they're willing to spend a ton of money on health supplements like protein powders and vitamins. Americans spend about $30 billion on these products every year.
There's a lot of debate surrounding supplements in general, even something as simple as whey protein powder. So some people are trying to take a more "natural" approach to their supplements. If you're a bodybuilder trying to pack on as much muscle as possible, then you're going to need to slam down plenty of calories. But that doesn't mean downing a few chocolate bars and then hitting the weight rack: you need healthy fats and healthy proteins. You're going to need something that will help you grow, because that's the whole point, right?
If you watched the most excellent Michael Bay film Pain & Gain, you may have recalled a scene in which Anthony Mackie extols the benefits of drinking breast milk to increase muscle mass.
As far-fetched as it might seem, this actually happens a lot more often than one would think. Yes, there are bodybuilders who'll actually seek out human breast milk in an attempt to up their muscle-gaining game.
But how does one go about purchasing it? It's not like you can walk to the bodega, pass over the Silk Cashew Chocolate, and pick up a half-gallon of lactose-free Fairlife boob juice. This is where the magic of social media comes into play.
You might've seen a post from a mommy Facebook group or two where on mom is offering extra breast milk to others who may have trouble producing their own.
With the birth of our first kid, my wife was producing tons of milk, so she helped a few other moms out. Conversely, following the birth of our second kid, she had some difficulty for a couple of weeks, and other moms came to the rescue, more than willing to send her a few frozen packets. You might be wondering: why would someone go through all that trouble? Why not just buy formula?
First, sometimes babies don't really "take" to formula, especially if they're used to the flavor of breastmilk. Also, babies drink a lot of milk — like, a lot a lot of it. Formula is expensive and, once you mix that bad boy, it's only good for a couple hours. Whatever your baby doesn't drink has to be tossed out. Plus, there are the additional antibodies and growth hormones present in breast milk that formula lacks.
So it's understandable why a health-nut would want to gulp down some breast milk. They'll get an extra dose of immunity-boosting antibodies, plus breast milk is very calorically dense by design; it needs to be to help babies grow. And what does a bodybuilder want more than growth? They can eat "clen and tren hard" as much as they want, but it's difficult to find anything made in a lab that can stack up to what pretty much every new mom is packing in her mammary glands.
At least, that's the idea. There are some bodybuilders who swear by the stuff. Brian St. Pierre, a dietitian, said in an interview with Men's Health that breast milk doesn't necessarily work for adults like it does for babies, and there is no real empirical evidence it gives crazy gains to grown iron-pumpers. He does understand why some meatheads are drinking it, though: "I think the idea behind drinking breast milk for muscle growth is that it’s incredibly calorie and nutrient dense, and it has some additional healthy substances."
However, people buying breast milk from randos online probably don't know what they're getting, and the quality of breast milk varies greatly from source to source, since it's heavily influenced by the producer's diet. Since it's sold on Facebook groups and through other casual means, you could end up with some dyed water, regular milk with some weird flavoring, or breast milk from someone who's sick.
Furthermore, the person who pumped that milk might not be sanitary, and while the antibodies in their milk will protect a baby from getting sick, they aren't necessarily made for your immune system. Then there's this scary thought: HIV is transmissible through breast milk, which is why mother's who have the virus are advised not to breasffeed their children. Yikes.
Some "official" sites like OnlyTheBreast screen breast milk sellers to sell to buyers looking for clean, healthy breast milk for their babies. Or maybe that gym-bro looking for an edge that'll get them looking extra-jacked at Wildwood this summer.
Lifters have been known to go through some crazy lengths to get super jacked, without resorting to steroids. Professional Strongman legend Derek Poundstone wasn't just known for pulling some insane weight, but for his less-than-conventional dietary habits, like the Poundstone shake. He puts boiled chicken, 40oz. of water, and ice cubes in a blender and goes to town. Watch someone trying it for the first time below.
In other "weird edge" athlete news: researchers at Stanford University believe they've developed a supplemental training device that helps athletes performing better longer. The RTX Cooling glove is dubbed as being "better than steroids," and it works by regulating an athlete's body temperature. The data they collected revealed that extremities, like hands and feet, are key parts of the body where heat regulation occurs.
Cue this weird-looking glove. Statistics show that athletes who use it between reps, for example, were able to bang out more reps between sets than they would without the glove. More repetitions = more muscle stress = more muscle tears & repairs = better results. At least that's the logic on paper. Former MMA monster Mark Coleman used it, and a lot of data suggests it works, even if it looks like something Mr. Freeze would zap Batman with.
In the quest for ultimate gains, some people are intentionally restricting their blood flow (occlusion) because they think it'll help up their mass. How does one go about this? One example is wrapping rubber bands around your arms while performing bicep curls. Yeah, cutting the amount of blood pumping through your body is definitely not a good idea when you're exercising.
I'm sure there are other crazy things out there, like people eating some particularly nasty parts of animals in the hopes of bulking up. This should go without saying, but before trying any new extreme fitness or diet regimen, consult an expert. Or read Arnold's Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, AKA the real Bro-Bible.