What Are The Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements?
As an athlete, bodybuilder, or anyone interested in health & fitness, one of the biggest concerns is the use of dietary supplements. This concern often leaves the big question; “Should I use supplements? If so, what supplements should I be using?”
Are There Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements? Or Are We Being Tricked?
With the inability to answer the question above, some supplement companies take advantage of the curious customer. Many popular supplements use a catchy slogan like “Build Muscle Fast!” and feature a huge bodybuilder as an endorsement. Although obviously, they have used illegal substances to achieve their physique. Along with the endorsement and catchy slogan, the companies often advertise falsified research results. These results are not backed with any scientific evidence or long-term research. Some companies use ridiculous claims as an attention grabber. The supplement companies know that you will not do your own research. As well, they know you won’t perform a “trial and error” process to prove or disprove these claims.
It seems as if we are being taken advantage of. However, in the modern supplement world, there are typically only a dozen or so different main ingredients available. But despite this, some companies tweak little aspects of the products. Then they claim that the product is a “New Discovery!” and try to trick you. These companies have you believing that this ‘NEW’ product is the secret to the body of your dreams. But beware; if you’re like me, then you will probably just end up with disappointment and an empty wallet.
So, What Are The Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements?
Don’t worry! We all have fallen victim to these supplement companies at one time or another. Now it’s time to protect yourself with THE TRUTH! Remember guys, we don’t grow in the gym. We grow outside the gym with nutrition, rest, and supplementation. To help you grow and get the most from your workouts, supplements can be used. Therefore, I have compiled a list of essential supplements that are proven to work. These supplements should be taken daily to gain muscle, burn fat and achieve a healthy body. If you do not use the following supplements, you’re doing yourself an injustice. The supplements below are scientifically proven. They have decades of research and studies behind them. The results from supplementing with the products are overwhelming!
Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements – Protein
The first must have bodybuilding supplement is Whey & Casein Protein. This is absolutely the most important supplement of all. Whey protein is the fastest absorbing protein, which is great for post-workout! Unlike wise, Casein Protein is a slow-digesting protein that can be taken throughout the day and especially before sleep. The reason I listed protein as the most essential supplement is due to the importance protein plays for our bodies. As you should recall, there are three macronutrients; Protein, Carbohydrate & Fat. Out of these three, protein takes the longest for our bodies to digest. Therefore, this digestion will use a lot of calories as the energy to digest it. This caloric use can cause fat loss by just digesting, how great is that?
The next important reason behind Protein’s importance is a process called “Protein Synthesis”. Protein synthesis is the creation of new proteins. For example; your hair, nails, skin, organs, eyes, and most importantly muscle is made up of proteins! In order for all those to exist, protein synthesis must occur. So, by taking in additional protein, your body uses it to create new muscle at a much quicker rate! Proteins are without a doubt the most important supplement to use. This is due to their key role in bodily functions. Also, it’s due to the ability of protein to stimulate muscle growth.
Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements – Creatine
If mass is your goal, creatine is a must have bodybuilding supplement. Creatine is one of the most effective supplements. It is also one of the most controversial as well. Many misconceptions and negative side effects are rumored about Creatine. Yet, these rumors are due to the misuse or misunderstanding of the supplement. The biggest misunderstanding is that Creatine ‘creates muscle’. Creatine does not create muscle. It aids in the muscle building process. Creatine increases the energy level of muscle output. Meaning that Creatine provides the muscles more energy(ATP) to perform more work. Therefore the more your muscles work, the more muscle mass that will be created.
How do you use creatine? There are a few options. You can take 5g once or twice a day. This is the easiest way to take it. However, it will take a few weeks to notice the results from this approach.
You can also load it. This means taking 4 5g doses evenly spaced throughout the day. You follow this for 4-5 days, then take a 5g dose once a day. You will see the fastest results using it this way.
Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements – L-Glutamine
Amino Acids, found in protein are considered the ‘Building Blocks of Protein’. These building blocks are important because they aid tremendously in muscle growth. Out of the 20 Amino Acids, L-Glutamine is the fastest absorbing Amino Acid. The majority of the skeletal muscle is made of L-Glutamine and is the best amino acid for recovery. Meaning, L-Glutamine speeds up the recovery process better than any other supplement on the market. The recommended dose is approximately 10-15 grams per serving. Take one serving twice daily; immediately after your workout and before bedtime.
Not everyone might think of HMB as a must have bodybuilding supplement. Let’s take a look and see how it stacks up.
Hydroxy Methylbutyrate or HMB is primarily used for its Anti-Catabolic effect. In the 1990s, Iowa State University used HMB on a study of Cattle. At the end of 8 weeks, the cattle with the HMB had a significantly lower body fat percentage. They also had a higher lean muscle mass increase than the cattle that did not take it. These astonishing results later caused human experiments where the same result was proven. Like I previously mentioned, HMB is best known for its anti-catabolic state.
What Does Anti-Catabolic Mean Anyway?
Anti-Catabolic means an increase in anabolism (muscle increase) and a decrease in catabolism (deterioration of muscle). Right before your body enters the overtraining mode, the addition of HMB will prevent your body from using muscle as an energy source. It protects your muscles from being cannibalized. All in all, HMB speeds up the recovery process. This drastically increases muscle size and strength which makes it an essential supplement.
Must Have Bodybuilding Supplements – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
These are most often used in the form of Fish Oils. Omega 3 Fatty Acids provide several benefits. It is an essential fatty acid which means your body cannot produce it. The most popular benefits from supplementing with Omega 3’s include preventing cancer, heart attack, diabetes, and strokes. Omega 3 also improves vision and concentration. It also helps reduce arthritis, joint stiffness, or tenderness. An Omega 3 is considered an essential supplement due to its ability to perform “all in one” functions. The recommended amount per serving is 1-3 grams. Take Omega 3’s two to 3 times a day for maximum effectiveness.
As bodybuilders, we typically eat healthy. Still, it can be certain that we do not consume all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. Vitamins and minerals are responsible for regulating our bodies’ major and minor functions. Therefore taking a multivitamin can help ensure you are not missing out on any vitamins and minerals.
These are the best must have supplements. Always remember when choosing a supplement, do your own homework. Don’t believe the hype of advertisements. Typically many supplement companies spend more money on advertisements than on actual product development itself. Meaning you’re buying the hype instead of the results.
Instead, look for supplements with clinical dosing. Check the research yourself. Avoid prop blends. Always go with a fully disclosed label. Many products use several branded ingredients. Check the websites for these ingredients yourself.
Are you trying to get more muscle mass, more strength, and get healthier? By not taking the supplements listed above, you are doing yourself an injustice. Remember it’s not all about who trains the hardest, it’s about who trains the smartest.