Bodybuilding is a science just as much as it is dedication, sweat, and hard work. While the science behind it can be somewhat complex and illusive there are several types of supplements that any serious bodybuilder would need to have in their arsenal to maximize their effort and get the most from every single workout, every single rep, and every single drop of sweat.
Here you'll find a breakdown of what you should integrate into your muscle building journey to make sure not only that you're doing it correctly, but doing it safely. Take some notes and before you know it you'll be taking a trip to the store to get these products and take your body to the next level.
This supplement is an obvious addition to most people, but let's break down how and why protein is so important for the body and any bodybuilder.
In its essence, a protein is simply a combination of amino acids. So, supplementing protein is also supplementing amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle which means to have muscle you must first have amino acids. Otherwise this would be like going to make a window without any glass; it's simply not possible. To break this down even further there are two types of amino acids: essential, and non essential. Essential amino acids are those that are not able to be produced in our own bodies. They are "essential" because they are needed, and we can not get them any other way. Non essential are the opposite and are made in our bodies.
The major types of proteins available in stores are whey, casein, soy, and egg. While there are positives and negatives to all of them some are widely considered to be better and more beneficial than others. Here is some more detailed information on the types of protein and what they offer.
These are probably the most popular types of protein supplements. Most protein shake powders and protein supplements on the market are based of whey. It offers a complete spectrum of essential and non essential amino acids and is incredibly fast acting and absorbing. If taken 10 minutes after a workout you will see the best results.
Casein is like whey in that it is a dairy derived protein. It is however the non-denatured version of the same protein that milk has in abundance. This is a very slow absorbing protein that isn't necessarily a workout recovery supplement, but rather one to be taken during the day to allow the slow absorption to continuously contribute over the course of a days activity. It is also a great nighttime supplement to act as a restorative and active contributor in the important muscle building during sleep.
This source is like whey protein and can be substituted in many of the same ways. It usually has the amino acid added to it to make it nearly a completely rounded alternative to dairy derived proteins. This is a great option for vegans or vegetarians who cannot eat dairy derived products. This is slightly slower absorbing than whey.
Egg proteins are mainly in the egg whites. There are supplements made of egg whites to concentrate the protein for easier consumption. A trend in bodybuilding is not to simply rely on protein supplements and other bottled, processed goods, but to try and incorporate as many whole foods and natural balanced diet proteins from animal or plant sources such as: chicken, steal, black beans, milk, kale and broccoli. All of those have very high protein content, and since they are natural tend to be absorbed very quickly.
Creatine is the other big name in supplements to a bodybuilder's diet besides protein. It is incredibly well researched and shown to be very safe for use and has no known adverse side effects of use in short or long term. Creatine acts as a great supplement to a bodybuilder's diet because it serves as another source of energy for the body's muscles. This allows better, fuller workouts and more results in a faster time.
A creatine regimen usually starts with a load phase where the body's intake is maxed out so that the muscles are holding as much as they can. The load phase is usually about 10-20 grams in a dextrose or sugar filled liquid. After that, the maintenance phase of the regimen is only 3-5 grams a day to keep the muscles holding all they can without making it overkill.
Multivitamins are a bodybuilder's best friend as they should be a friend to anyone in good health. The body needs vitamins and minerals to remain static and keep the immune system at its peak. Antioxidants are common in fruit and can also be found in supplements like Co-Q10 and green tea extracts. They can absorb free radicals and prevent oxidization in the body which can lead to serious disease and cancers. Fatty acids found in flax seeds and fish and hemp seed are a great way to stay sourced in this incredibly important building block of health.