A Brief Rundown of the Best Body Building Supplements on the Market

April 18, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Body building is no longer seen as a hobby solely undertaken by the vain, the pig-headed and the clinically aggressive. It’s become not only a legitimate sport, but also a lifestyle more people across the developed world have fallen into as a way of not only becoming more healthy, but more confident too. Gaining muscle mass and keeping it toned is not easy though, in fact in a perfect world, it’s a task you’d want to dedicate at least 4 or 5 hours a day to. The increased amount of food you’re expected to put away, coupled with the hours of required gym time mean that besides working and sleeping, if you really want to bulk up, you’ll have very little time to do anything else.

This is partly down to our genetics. We’re not technically ‘supposed’ to put on such excessive muscle mass and as such, most of our metabolisms (at least the ones that work properly) are engineered to keep us svelte and lean. As such, muscle building supplements have been…well… supplementing workout regimes for years now and the results are often night and day (though obviously you need to put the effort in too).

So many of the big supplement companies tend to exploit the desire to bulk up fast though and will use their advertising materials to not only exaggerate the truth, but flat-out lie about their products. A lot of it might just be smoke and mirrors, but there are supplements out there that do the trick. They might not be the ‘key’ to bodybuilding success (I’m afraid that’s hard work and dedication), but they will almost certainly help.

The Basics

Before you decide to settle on a supplement, make sure you’re aware of exactly what they are meant to be supplementing. None of the supplements listed below will work unless they are taken in combination with a steady diet and an extensive workout regime. When it comes to bodybuilding, protein is your best friend and you should be eating at least every 3 hours. Also you should steer clear (or at least as clear as possible) from alcohol, sleep at least 8 hours a night and should be eating at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

Creatine

Very much the ‘bread and butter’ of the bodybuilding world, creatine comes in a powdered or tablet form and is made up of an incredibly high energy compound called ‘creatine phosphate‘. This is a compound that your muscles need to help them contract more intensely and as such, creatine works very much as a facilitator for an increased workload. Without a sufficient amount of creatine in your system, heavy, extensive weight-lifting sessions will feel significantly more difficult and you’ll ‘hit the wall’ much sooner. Of course, some keen weightlifters might already be getting a decent amount of creatine phosphate through their diets. Red meat for example, is incredibly high in creatine. For the majority though, the extra boost offered by a creatine supplement might be essential when it comes to high intensity weightlifting.

Protein

We’ve already established that protein is essentially the ‘be all and end all’ of weightlifting, but even if you make a conscious decision to up the amount of protein in your diet, you still might not be getting enough to fuel your muscle growth. Protein powders and ‘shakes’ are cheap and effective but be sure not to substitute any meals for pure protein as there are other essential vitamins you might miss out on. The most common form of protein powder is ‘whey powder‘, but there are others.

Glutamine

An especially worthwhile supplement for the naturally skinny guys and girls who want to get into bodybuilding, glutamine is a natural substance that essentially helps your body to cope with stress. Much as with creatine, it’s a compound that we will get from our natural diets, but considering a bodybuilder’s body is put under a significantly higher amount of stress than your average couch potatoes, you’re going to need that bit extra. Adding an extra source of glutamine to your daily intake means your body will be better equipped to handle the stress put on it by weightlifting and it comes in a variety of forms.

Greens

‘Greens’ are essentially fruits, vegetables, algae and grasses that have been compacted into a powdered form. When you’re bodybuilding, you’re going to be required to eat a lot of food, so much so that it can often be a struggle to physically cope with it. Greens powder solves this problem by giving you all the nutrients and vitamins you need from your vegetables and fruits in an easy to swallow powder or shake. This leaves you free to focus on more calorie dense foods, which really help when it comes to building lean muscle mass.

Supplements are a vital, cost-effective way to enhance your workout as long as you take the right supplements and do so under the right conditions. Add one of each supplement to your daily intake and stick to a rigid, disciplined gym schedule and diet. Within months, you should see results and you’ll have only yourself to thank!

Your writer Jeremy is not much of a gym monkey himself, but has friends who swear by the supplements listed above and has seen the results himself first hand.

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