Jack had his magic beans; the "Magic School Bus" took Mrs. Frizzle's class on a tour of the human body. But beware of "magic" pills that contain dimethylamylamine, or DMAA; they claim to increase fat-burning and muscle-building, and to enhance your performance. But according to an alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, what they really do is raise blood pressure and trigger shortness of breath and even heart attack.
DMAA is particularly dangerous when used with caffeine. At least five deaths have been reported.
The FDA is getting the product off shelves (it also appears on labels as MHA, DMP and geranium sources, like its oil, extracts, stems or leaves), but you may still have some at home or spot it online. Take a pass. Instead, try this one-two combo to burn fat and build muscle - right from your fridge.
1. Drink skim milk after exercise. A study found that women who did lost five times more body fat and added almost twice as much muscle after 12 weeks of regular exercise as women who downed a sports drink. Want to avoid milk protein, like whey or casein, which can cause other problems? See tip No. 2.
2. Enjoy fish (salmon and ocean trout) and skinless chicken within an hour of strength training. You need about 0.5 g of protein a day for every pound you weigh (75 grams if you weigh 150 pounds). In one study, postmenopausal women who ate the additional protein twice a day lost 3.9 percent more weight and gained 5.8 percent more thigh muscle than women without extra protein.