Any bodybuilder will tell you that while strength training and weightlifting routines are key to making gains in muscle size and strength, real gains can only come through proper diet and supplementation. In other words, what you put inside has a big effect on what you get on the outside. Weight training alone, without a good diet and the right supplements or steroids, won’t get you there alone.
So, with that in mind, what are the best supplements out there? There are so many choices and options, that it’s hard to decide which the best way to go when is it comes to bodybuilding supplements?
Below are some of the best supplements to take for bodybuilding, chosen specifically for their effects on the strength athlete’s body, as determined both by studies and the user community. The top 5 supplements for bodybuilders are:
- Whey Protein–Whey protein has long been known to not only increase muscle mass, but also aids in fat loss as well. Whey protein is usually ingested in liquid form, as a shake, and it delivers not only protein in relatively large quantities, but also calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Whey protein should be the basic building block of any muscle-building regimen, and is a fundamental requirement for any bodybuilder.
Whey protein, of course, contains a lot of protein, which is the fundamental building block for muscle in the body. That alone should make it the primary supplement for bodybuilding. But whey protein is also easily digested by the body, which results in more energy to use in weight training. Plus, whey protein contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that also provide energy and other benefits. Whey protein also contains a lot of amino acids that are important for protein synthesis.
Whey protein also naturally suppresses the appetite. Studies have shown that whey protein creates a significant increase in enzymes and hormones that tell the body it’s full, and doesn’t need to eat. And because whey protein gives the body so much of what it needs, the body often doesn’t need to eat.
Protein also speeds and fuels the metabolism, which in turn burns more fatand burns more calories.
- Creatine – Creatine is a natural metabolite that’s created by the body to supply energy to all cells within the body, primarily the muscle cells. Creatine promotes lean muscle growth, and aids in recovery from workouts. When it’s taken as a supplement, creatine has the following benefits:
- Growth of lean muscle tissue
- Increased muscle cell size and volume
- Faster workout recovery
- Increase synthesis of glycogen, leading to more energy
- Increased performance
Creatine is best taken before and after workouts, to aid in fast recovery and energy during the workout.
- Beta Alanine – Beta alanine is a natural amino acid found in most animals. In the body, Beta alanine increases the level of carnitine. When you exercise, you eventually build up hydrogen within the muscle tissues, which leads to the formation of lactic acid, which causes muscle fatigue, soreness, and decreased muscular function. Carnosine delays that accumulation of hydrogen, delaying the buildup of lactic acid, allowing you to keep working out and work your muscles even further. Additional benefits of Beta alanine include:
- Greater endurance
- Improved energy and output
- Less fatigue
- Enhanced performance
Beta alanine works well with creatine as well, and can be taken with it. And like, creative, Beta alanine works best if you take it both before and after workouts.
- Glutamine – Glutamine, also known as L-Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in muscles, comprising over 65% of all skeletal muscle. Glutamine slows muscle tissue breakdown and is itself reduced during workouts. So, by supplementing with additional glutamine, weight trainers can work out longer, with more energy and stamina. This lets you work out longer, and realize bigger gains more quickly.
Preserving more muscle also burns fatter. Many studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the ration of muscle to fat in the body and the ability of the body to burn fat. In other words, the more muscle you have, the less fat you have, and the more fat you burn.
Glutamine has also been shown to increase the immune system, which is good news for bodybuilders. Anyone who has worked out intensely for a period of time will tell you that they often feel a little sick, or get head colds, and so forth. This is because intense exercise over time can somewhat weaken the immune system. Glutamine helps the immune system to remain strong, so that you don’t get sick, allowing you to keep working out.
Glutamine also supplies nitrogen to the muscles, which is critical for muscle growth and regeneration.
- Branch-Chain Amino Acids – There are three branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the body – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – which are the main ingredients of protein, and which make up about 30% of the skeletal muscle in the body. BCAAs help the muscles recover from workout, and are key to muscle growth and regeneration. Like Glutamine, the body burns off BCAAs during workouts, so supplementing them help to keep BCAA levels high during workouts, allowing you to work out longer. BCAAs also reduce pain from workouts (soreness) and they improve metabolic recovery.
BCAAs have also been shown to improve endurance, because they keep muscles fueled, and have been shown to help runners and endurance athletes as well as bodybuilders.
Whether you’re a bodybuilder or a regular trainer who just wants to look better, weight training can help you increase muscle size and tone, along with cardiovascular benefits of which many aren’t aware. And, just as a good weight training regimen can help you achieve your fitness goals, so supplements can augment that training and help you reach your goals even faster. You don’t need to subscribe to every fad diet and pill that comes along. But if you combine your training with good nutrition and the right supplements, you’ll see results a lot faster than with training alone.
The above examples of the simple legal alternatives you can use to increase muscle mass and enhance fat loss. However, there are a number of other paths you can take as well. Major supplement and bodybuilding outlets offer legal steroids for sale or anabolic dietary supplements to again help promote muscle gain or aid in reducing fat. These legal steroids and designer steroids are often strong and come with side effects, so be sure to research the active steroidal compound/ingredients beforehand.