When people think of bodybuilding and the supplements involved in it, they tend to think about muscle bound freaks who push themselves above and beyond healthy fitness levels. They think of people who use steroids and other illegal substances to achieve their ridiculous bodies. The fact is that there’s no need to desire to become massive to partake in bodybuilding or bodybuilding supplements.
These days regular men and women are taking supplements to lose weight and add muscle. It’s also used by people who are tired of being skinny to gain muscle as well as those who are tired of being fat.
BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENTS TO CONSIDER
Fitness and weight loss experts like to claim that losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is 80% diet with exercise only counting for 20%. Unfortunately, not everyone can reach their fitness goals by just eating right. Sometimes you will need to turn to supplements in order to reach the superior physical fitness levels that you desire.
No matter whether your goal is losing weight or gaining muscles there are some supplements that every fitness buff should be aware of. These are:
The main bodybuilding supplement that everyone should be taking to reach their fitness goals is protein powder. Protein powder is a bit of a generic and misleading term. When people discuss protein powders they can mean any of the following three things; a meal replacing powder (MRP), whey protein and casein.
1) Meal Replacement Powder
Meal replacement powders, also known as MRPs, are packed full protein, carbs, and fat. They also have up to half of your recommended daily intake of most vitamins and minerals. To put it simply they are designed to be a complete meal filled with protein. If you’re looking to lose weight, then you should replace one of your meals with one of these MRPs. If you’re looking to gain muscle, then you should drink them between meals to pack on some extra calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Bodybuilding experts are in agreement that these MRPs shouldn’t take the place of healthy whole foods. If you are taking an MRP, then you still need to eat plenty of natural proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
2) Whey Protein
Both whey protein and casein are derivatives of milk. Around 20% of the protein that you find in milk is whey protein, while casein makes up the other 80%. Whey protein can give your body a short-term spike of protein in the blood, which makes consuming it before and after workouts the best idea.
Casein is harder to digest than whey protein. This also means that it stays in your body for longer than whey protein, however. Because of this slower protein release and more extended duration Casein is best taken by bodybuilders after a workout or before they go to bed at night to keep their protein levels high while sleeping.
It’s important to drink a lot more water if you’re going to start drinking protein powders. Many of these protein supplements are difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems. Staying hydrated is the way to avoid this and the problems that can be caused by it.
You should only be taking creatine if you’re ready to do some intense resistance training and gain a lot of muscle weight. Creatine is powerful enough to ensure you’ll pack on a lot of muscle weight if you use it properly. However, it can cause you go gain weight if you don’t use it properly as it encourages the body to retain water.
Creatine rose to popularity during the Barcelona Olympics. Many of the athletes there publicly spoke about how they had used creatine to build up their muscles ready for the event. As more bodybuilders started using creatine, they quickly realized that it is one of the most effective supplements in the world for muscle gain.
There are two ways that you can take creatine effectively. They are known as the load and no-load methods. Loading on creatine is when a bodybuilder takes 20 grams of creatine daily for a few weeks before going down to a maintenance level of 3 – 5 grams. Creatine, much like the protein powders mentioned above, can be hard on your digestive system. Some bodybuilders feel that taking too much creatine can damage your body and choose instead to “no load” by only taking the maintenance dose and skipping the loading phase. In this case, they take between 5 – 7 grams a day.
Creatine is typically added to a protein powder or MRP, or just taken with grape juice. It’s a good idea to use creatine with another supplement because creatine is better absorbed by the body when you take it with some kind of sugar.
1) Micronized Creatine
It’s easier to digest creatine when it’s taken in its micronized form. This means that the supplement has been cut into smaller pieces to increase its surface area twentyfold. If you have the stomach ache and other digestive problems as a result of taking creatine, then you should try taking micronized creatine.
L-Glutamine is sometimes known as just glutamine. It’s an amino acid that is used to trigger the production of human growth hormone (HGH). Like every amino acid, l-glutamine is also used in the production of protein.
Human growth hormone is one of the most important things for overall health and muscle development. Unfortunately, it’s illegal to purchase and use HGH supplements so instead bodybuilders will use supplements that naturally stimulate the production of HGH in the body.
One great effect of glutamine is that it aids in the recovery process after a tough workout. This is why glutamine is used by endurance athletes as well as bodybuilders.
OTHER BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENTS TO CONSIDER
As well as the supplements we’ve mentioned above there are some other supplements you should consider if you’re serious about improving your fitness, losing weight and gaining muscle:
Sometimes bodybuilders are so focused on getting plenty of protein and meat that they can find themselves not eating enough green vegetables and fruit. As such powdered green supplements provide the best solution for getting all the vitamins and minerals, you need from vegetables in one quick and easy drink.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements are commonly referred to as a wonder supplement because there are just that many benefits to taking them. Fish oils like omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve your heart health and help you maintain a healthy weight. In cultures where seafood and fish make up a primary part of the diet, such as with the Native Americans in the Arctic and the Japanese, people live much longer and are often much healthier than people in cultures where fish is less common.
Fish oil is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Bodybuilders who lift the heaviest weights they can put a lot of strain on their joints and muscles and can have bad inflammation problems as a result. Fish oil supplements can really help out with these chronic inflammation problems.
The main reason fish oil is so great is because of the omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil is a powerful vegetarian source of these fatty acids. As such flaxseed oil gives you generally the same benefits as fish oils but is suitable for vegetarians. It also works to keep your GI system healthy. Flaxseed oil is the perfect counter for the gastrointestinal and digestive problems that can arise as a result of taking creatine and protein supplements.
Bodybuilders neglect more than just fruits and vegetables. They also tend to neglect the other important vitamins and minerals that their body needs to stay healthy. This is why we recommend both male and female bodybuilders should take a good multi-vitamin.
If you’re serious about losing weight and gaining muscle then you know how futile just sticking to the treadmill can be in the quest to reach your fitness goals. It’s true that your physique depends on your diet, so it’s important to take some form of nutritional supplement if you’re interested in building muscle and increasing your fitness levels.
The most important supplement that you can’t do without is protein powder. This gives your body the protein it needs to build muscle and lose weight. If you want to get even more muscle, then you should invest in creatine, which is considered the ultimate muscle building supplement. You should also consider taking other supplements such as glutamine and multi-vitamins depending on your own personal goals.
All in all these supplements, if you take them correctly, give you the perfect recipe for fitness success by helping you reach further heights than just proper diet and exercise.