Bodybuilding is no joke. Engaging in tough workouts out regularly and getting all the nutrition you need in your diet to see gains can be difficult.
If you’re into bodybuilding or looking to gain some muscle mass, you have probably been blown away by the plethora of bodybuilding supplements and products available on the market. It is easy to get confused by all the different types and ingredients, especially if you’re not sure about the safety and efficacy of the ingredients. So which supplements should you be using?
Some of the most popular bodybuilding supplements available include creatine, caffeine, protein powder, BCAA, fish oil and HMB. Let’s break down these widely used bodybuilding supplements and talk about their benefits and usage.
Ingredient 1 – Creatine
Creatine is one of the best supplements to use for bodybuilding and has a high safety profile as well. It is an organic molecule naturally found in our bodies in the form of creatine phosphate, which is utilized by the muscles to provide energy during exercise.
Creatine is highly ergogenic, making it very effective in building muscle mass, increasing strength and boosting your overall exercise performance. It is found chiefly in the form of creatine monohydrate in supplements. Creatine also has a lot of research behind it to prove its efficacy.
A 2017 research study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that Creatine monohydrate is presently known to be the best ergogenic nutritional supplement for athletes who intend to increase stamina for high-intensity exercise and their lean body mass.
Although it has an excellent safety profile and is generally safe to use as a pre-workout supplement, it is not recommended for people under eighteen.
If you’re looking for a basic yet important bodybuilding supplement to start with, try one with creatine monohydrate. Huge Supplements stocks a potent creatine monohydrate in tablet form. It is a popular one on the market with a great positive rating. It is available on Amazon and the price starts from $30 for a pack of 150 tablets.
Ingredient 2 – Caffeine
Who doesn’t love a steaming hot cup of coffee to start their day? Prized for its wakefulness properties, caffeine can be a valuable supplement for bodybuilding to give you that extra boost of energy and adrenaline.
Although there is not a lot of research proving that caffeine has a direct link to increased muscle mass, it can help you stay alert and focused and enable you to train harder and longer by reducing fatigue and tiredness. It has an energizing effect on the body, both mentally and physically.
Drink 1-2 cups of coffee about an hour before you exercise for optimum efficacy during high-intensity workouts. Or, look into taking a pre workout powder.
Ingredient 3 – Whey Protein Powder
For most bodybuilders, eating a large quantity of protein in every meal is not only impractical but also sure to break the bank as good quality red meat is pretty expensive. Protein powder supplements are relatively cheap and a great way to boost your daily protein intake.
It is essential to have a high amount of protein in your diet if you want to gain muscle mass. In order to build muscle, a positive nitrogen balance must be achieved. This basically means that the amount of protein you consume should be more than the amount naturally broken down by the body every day.
Protein powder drinks can even replace a meal if your total calories and nutrient intake are sufficient. The majority of protein powder supplements are made of Whey protein, but Casein protein products are also available.
Your body needs around 40-50g of protein after each workout for proper growth and repair of muscles. Remember that this amount depends on the duration and intensity of your workout, so make sure to buy a product that suits you and follow the proper guidelines about how to use it.
Ingredient 4 – BCAAs
BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) comprise three essential amino acids—valine, leucine and isoleucine. Essential amino acids are a group of ten amino acids that cannot be made by our body, so they must be present in the diet. They are found in animal protein sources such as fish, eggs, poultry, etc.
BCAAs are essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue and they must be present in sufficient quantity in the diet for an increase in muscle mass. If your diet lacks good quality protein, you should consider getting BCAA supplements that provide these essential amino acids.
However, there is little research to show that increasing the amount of BCAAs in your diet beyond the required amount results in significant muscle gain. Nonetheless, we find it a great addition to those serious about packing on size.
Ingredient 5 – Fish Oil
Fish oil is packed with highly beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids and essential fatty acids. It has numerous health benefits that include improved cognitive function, a healthy immune system, skin and eye health, joints’ proper functioning, and much more.
It’s great for building muscles and improves the overall health of your body as well. It is considered to be generally safe for use and is available in bottles (although not very pleasant to taste!) and also in the form of soft gel capsules.
Fish oil supplements are readily available, and you can easily find them in your local supplement or online store.
So there you have it, a list of the six most popular supplements for bodybuilding that you should keep a lookout for.
Remember to do your research into these supplements and products and consult your trainer or dietitian for proper guidance according to your body type.