Bodybuilding Supplements: What You Need to Know
Every young man dreams of having rock-solid pecs, abs of steel, and the body of a Greek god. However, sleeping and dreaming won’t do much to get you that dream body. A strong and well-built body takes lots of discipline, dedication, and bodybuilding supplements… maybe?
No “bro” talk is complete without one or two mentions of bodybuilding supplements. However, contrary to popular opinion, bodybuilding supplements do more than just build beefy muscles. It’s also a staple for people looking to get lean or tone their bodies.
After adopting a proper workout routine and a working diet, the final part of the equation is a solid supplement to top it all off. However, if you’re new to supplements, this final part of the equation is also the most difficult. Thankfully, we’re here to shed some light on bodybuilding supplements and help you out.
In today’s post, we’ll be looking at everything you need to know about bodybuilding supplements.
What Are Bodybuilding Supplements?
Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements that bodybuilders, weightlifters, and athletes use to help boost muscle mass. This translates to bulkier muscles, increased weight, and better athletic performance.
These supplements contain ingredients like caffeine, BCAAs, beta-alanine, among others. These ingredients promote faster muscle growth and also boost your energy levels. They thus help build muscle mass and facilitate better performance.
While supplements are great for building muscle, they aren’t magic pills. Bodybuilding supplements are, as the name connotes, supplements. This means they supplement your workout routine and diet to achieve the intended results.
Taking supplements alone will not increase your muscle mass, or at least significantly. You have to pair your supplements with consistent workouts and a proper diet for the best results.
Popular Examples of Bodybuilding Supplements
As of 2020, the US protein supplement market was worth a staggering $18.91 billion. Analysts expect the market to grow to a whopping $20.47 billion in 2021. As you’d expect from such a large industry, the supplements market is flooded with products.
Here are some of the most popular types of bodybuilding supplements you might come across with:
Creatine is a supplement that’s pretty popular with bodybuilders across the country. It’s also one of the most studied supplements on the market today. Creatine can increase muscle strength by about 10% and muscle mass by about 10 pounds.
Creatine works by increasing your muscle’s water weight. Muscles need water after workouts to heal microtears and reduce inflammation. The amount of water your muscles retain after a workout is known as water weight.
Don’t be quick to dismiss creatine as a supplement that only increases water weight. While it’s true that creatine increases water weight, that’s not the only thing it does. The water stretches the muscle cell membrane to trigger an increase in protein synthesis, accelerating muscle growth.
With creatine, you’re more likely to witness concrete results in the long haul. However, creatine will act as a quick energy source for muscle contractions while working out. This leads to better workouts because you can lift heavier and do more reps.
It’s also worth noting that creatine is both a pre-workout and post-workout supplement. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests taking creating before and after your workout can build muscle growth and strength significantly.
Whey is one of the two major protein types found in milk; the other is casein. Whey protein helps build muscle, serious muscle. That’s why it’s among one of the highest-selling supplements of all time.
Whey protein is easily digestible, meaning the amino acids from whey protein can reach the bloodstream in around an hour or so. This makes the protein available for muscle synthesis to facilitate rapid muscle growth.
It’s also worth noting that whey protein is a great source of branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs. These amino acids are crucial for muscle growth and also promote muscle strength. All you need is about 20 grams of whey protein half an hour before your workout and another 20 grams after.
Fish oil is not the first thing that comes to most peoples’ minds when thinking about bodybuilding supplements. While there’s nothing hardcore or sexy about fish oil, it doesn’t make it any less of a workout supplement.
Fish oil plays a rather indirect role in promoting muscle growth. Fish oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is common with workouts, especially if you push your muscles to the limit.
This inflammation hinders the body’s ability to absorb macro and micronutrients effectively. This can lead to poor athletic performance and slower recovery. Fish oil helps the body absorb adequate nutrients to rebuild muscle and ensure peak athletic performance.
You can think of glutamine as creatine’s little brother. That’s because glutamine does a lot of what creatine does but isn’t nearly as effective. This makes glutamine more of a long-term commitment to witness any significant results.
Glutamine increases the muscles’ uptake of glycogen after a workout which speeds up recovery and boosts stamina. It delays fatigue, so you can work out for longer without feeling drained. Your digestive system uses a lot of glutamine; that’s why you need to supplement it for your muscles to get some.
You can take glutamine up to four times a day in the following order:
- Around 7 to 10 grams in the morning after waking up
- Around 10 grams before hitting the gym
- Around 10 grams after the gym
- Around 10 grams 30 minutes before going to sleep
Remember, glutamine is a long-term supplement, so you’ll have to be patient to see solid results. Remember, consistency is key.
Arginine is among the lesser-known supplements, but it boasts incredible benefits. Just like fish oil, it plays a rather indirect role in muscle building. Arginine exists in the body as a converted form of nitrogen oxide that aids in protein synthesis.
Arginine dilates blood vessels to allow more blood flow to the muscles. This increases the amount of nutrients the muscles receive, thus promoting muscle growth. It works great with other supplements because it allows more of the supplements to get to the muscles.
Arginine is hard to find because it’s not that high in demand. However, you can check out stores like Wilson Supplements that always have a steady supply of the supplement in question.
Casein is another protein found in milk along with Whey protein. The body digests casein slowly, sometimes taking several hours to get all of it to your muscles. That’s why you should take casein before bedtime; to give the body ample time to digest it.
Most people are quick to dismiss casein because it’s a slow-digesting protein; don’t be one of them. That’s because casein helps decrease the breakdown of muscle protein during energy-intensive activities. This means you don’t lose muscle mass even when you deplete your energy of glucose.
Casein works best when you combine it with whey protein. You’ll realize much better results than if you use Whey protein alone. Try it and see the results for yourself.
What Are the Benefits of Bodybuilding Supplements?
Now that you know the most popular types of supplements, let’s have a look at why they’re so popular among athletes and bodybuilders. Here are a few benefits of bodybuilding supplements.
Weight lifting is no walk in the park; if it was, everybody would do it. While weight lifting is as difficult as it sounds, supplements can make it far easier. That’s because supplements boost energy levels to allow you to pull through extraneous workouts.
Some supplements help boost metabolism, which makes the body break glucose into energy much faster. Other supplements like fast carbs provide the body with glucose to convert into energy.
Promotes Weight Loss
You could do with an energy boost to help you complete that one-mile run to lose weight. Losing weight is easier said than done, but supplements can help make it less difficult.
Supplements help promote muscle growth which translates to more strength. This means you’ll be able to go through your workouts without straining. These supplements also give you the energy boost you need to complete your daily workouts.
Improves Your Overall Health
Taking the right supplements boosts the nutritional gain you get from your diets. Combining this with proper exercise equals a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, supplements also contain trace minerals that your body needs for a robust immune system.
Combining supplements with your exercise and diet makes for a healthy lifestyle. This makes you less prone to diseases and also increases your quality of life.
Take Supplements for a Stronger and Healthier Body
The right bodybuilding supplements make getting lean and muscle-building a breeze. However, remember that you still need to work out and have a proper diet to notice significant results. Give supplements a whirl today and see how they work for you.
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