When it comes to maintaining your physical health and staying fit, you will have to put in a lot of work consistently. Maintaining your optimal body weight, the necessary muscle mass, and body fat ratio is a full-time job and requires serious commitment.
When it comes to bodybuilding and the desire to have more muscle, lifting heavier weights and having better muscle definition requires dedication and hard work. If you are interested in bodybuilding or like lifting weights and going to the gym regularly, then you must be aware of the importance of proper nutrients. Therefore, it is not surprising that bodybuilding and diet are so closely related.
Without a proper diet, you will struggle to achieve and maintain the muscle gains you are looking for while keeping your body healthy. If you are interested in lifting weights, then your diet should have a lot of protein, fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.
Apart from the diet, there are plenty of supplements that you can take. Today, different supplements have been designed with the specific needs of bodybuilding in mind, from protein powders that will provide your body with the necessary protein to pre-workout supplements that are designed to help you get the most of each workout to recovery supplements that ensure optimal recovery after working out. Most of these supplements are quite helpful, and they have been discussed in great detail in this chapter.
How can Supplements help Bodybuilders?
For lifting heavy pieces of metal, bodybuilders need to push their bodies to the limit constantly. Like you are aware, weightlifting can take a toll on the body. Taking good bodybuilding supplements will help provide your body with the necessary support and help optimize your results as well. There are plenty of benefits of bodybuilding supplements.
They assist in muscle growth, better athletic performance, improved muscle pump, improved endurance, better energy levels for longer, reduction in recovery time, increase in the synthesis of proteins, reduction in the soreness of muscles, better joint health, improved health of the bones, reduction in the risk of injury, better muscle definition, and improved in overall health.
There are two ways in which bodybuilding supplements are used. You can use it before working out to improve your energy levels, endurance, and performance and, after your work out, to improve your recovery time and reduce the soreness of your muscles.
Most weightlifting supplements would fall into either of these categories. As mentioned already, bodybuilding supplements offer plenty of benefits. However, some of the benefits mentioned are of a particular category of supplements, so don’t expect to enjoy all of those benefits by making use of a single product. If you are interested in weightlifting, you will need to take a combination of several products.
If you are interested in bodybuilding, then you have more reasons to take supplements than an average person. Why? Well, bodybuilding requires you to do some pretty extraordinary things with your body. Lifting heavy weights might make you feel like the Hulk, but it can put your body under tremendous stress.
To maintain your health while optimizing the results you obtain from the workout, taking bodybuilding supplements can come in handy. One primary reason is that bodybuilding requires more nutrients than regular exercise. For instance, those who engage in regular strength training need anywhere between 25% and 100% more protein than an average person.
A couple of other nutrients like creatine and BCAAs are essential for bodybuilding because of the intensive exercises that deplete the body of these nutrients. By making sure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, you are guaranteed that your efforts aren’t wasted and that your body will remain healthy. Even regular multivitamins are essential for weightlifting.
Another reason is that developing muscle is hard work! It requires absolute dedication and a lot of time for getting in shape, increasing muscle mass, and staying in shape. Therefore, if you are toying with the idea of building muscle and lifting weights, then you will need to use supplements to achieve the desired results.
For instance, creatine is a naturally available supplement that helps improve your energy levels while exercising (2). To define and build your muscles, you should add supplements to your diet because strength training can be brutal on your body.
Intense exercising can lead to several short-term problems like muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, and so on, as well as several long-term problems, such as joint pains and injuries.
For short-term relief, taking whey proteins, Omega-3 supplements, BCAAs, and the like can help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time. For long-term prevention, multivitamins and joint support mixtures can help ensure your overall health. Let us take a look at the best bodybuilding supplements available these days.
Joint Support Vitamin Supplements
What are joint support vitamins?
Joint support vitamins are designed to support the health of your joints. These usually consist of a mix of different vitamins, minerals, and several other ingredients that work together to improve and strengthen your joints. The common ingredients that these supplements contain include calcium, MSM, zinc, chondroitin, and other nutrients.
How do these vitamins help in bodybuilding?
Weightlifting does put your body through a lot of strain. Lifting heavy hunks of metal daily does take a toll on your body. Muscle pain and other muscle problems are quite common; however, the one problem that can cause long-term damage is joint damage.
While bodybuilding, joint damage is bound to happen from time to time; it could be a result of wear and tear. To make sure that your body is healthy in the long run, it is best to take a couple of preventive steps to protect your joints.
Joint support vitamins will help in protecting your joints, lubricating them, reducing any joint pain, and significantly reducing the risk of injury, which will allow you to exercise continuously and improve your overall health and wellbeing. You should keep in mind that joint support vitamins are just one piece of the puzzle, and you need to take other preventive steps as well.
The most important thing that you should keep in your mind is to learn the proper form when lifting weights; otherwise, you are increasing your chances of getting injured. Remember to stretch and warm up, and give your body sufficient time to recover.
How to take these vitamins?
These are usually available in the form of capsules or tablets and should be taken once or twice daily. Timing is not that important when it comes to these vitamins, but they need to be taken with a meal.
Possible side effects to watch out for
Most people wouldn’t notice any side effects when taking these supplements. However, a couple of minor side effects that you should watch out for are any gastric discomfort, gas, and slight nausea.
What are fat burners?
These are just what they sound like – supplements that facilitate fat burn. Essentially, these supplements contain certain ingredients that will help naturally boost the metabolic rate and induce thermogenesis, thereby leading to an increase in the number of calories burned and assisting in weight loss as well. Some products are designed to target fat, and then there are those that help in weight loss.
How do these supplements help in bodybuilding?
If you work hard on building your body, then you would want to show it off, right? However, at times, it can feel as if fat and unnecessary bulk are hiding away your precious muscles. Especially after cycles of bulking up, muscle definition is never what it could be, and most of those who take up intensive weight lifting start looking for ways to shed fat while maintaining their muscle definition.
At the same time, opting for a restrictive diet while you are trying to improve your muscle mass is not a good idea. Limiting your intake of calories will lead to a loss of muscle mass.
Therefore, fat burners or thermogenic are a good idea if you are trying to build muscle and shed extra fat. Fat burners have several health benefits, such as increasing overall metabolic rate, assisting in burning more calories, improving thermogenesis, helping in weight loss, burning fat, improving muscle definition, and helping get rid of fat while maintaining muscle mass.
As you can see, these supplements have plenty of benefits and can help you achieve the perfect “beach body” that you can show off!
I have also reviewed a lot of weight loss supplements, if you are interested, you might check them out.
How to take fat burners
Fat burners are usually available in the form of pills and capsules. The dosage would vary, and you should examine the supplements along with the instructions before taking them. Usually, one to three 3 doses of these products are recommended per day.
Make sure that you aren’t taking them on an empty stomach to avoid any gastric discomfort later on. These products tend to have caffeine and other stimulants in them, so avoid taking these before your bedtime.
Natural fat-Burning Foods
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Also known as CLA, it is present in fatty acids. This isn’t produced by the body, and it is a type of polyunsaturated fat. It is present in whole milk, cheese, butter, and beef. CLA helps control inflammation, facilitates changes in metabolism, improves the insulin response of the body, and regulates lipid levels in the body. It also helps burn fat.
Grapefruit essential oil
The active ingredients present in grapefruit help boost your body’s metabolism, reduce your appetite and unhealthy cravings, and provide some extra energy. You can rub a few drops of this oil into your skin or even diffuse it in the room you are working in.
Green tea not only helps improve your energy levels but also gives your metabolism a nice boost and reduces inflammation as well. Green tea helps burn fats as well. Catechin is an antioxidant present in green tea. It reduces your body weight and speeds up recovery after a workout. Having a cup of green tea 30 minutes to an hour after working out can provide you a nice energy boost and improve the burning of fats. There are different herbal teas that you can indulge in as well.
There is a form of good bacteria that is present in your body and is referred to as microbiome. These “good” bacteria are present in the intestinal tract, and they help improve your immunity, digestion, and hormone regulation. This, in turn, has a positive effect on your metabolism.
Probiotic foods help regulate your appetite and the storage of lipids. Consuming probiotic food can help in weight loss! So don’t forget to include some yogurt and cultured vegetables into your normal diet.
Foods rich in fiber (chia seeds, flax seeds, berries, and vegetables) help burn fat in the body. Cherries, apple cider vinegar, bone broth, and coconut oil are natural fat burners, too. Certain spicy foods like cayenne pepper help improve your body’s fat-burning ability. They suppress your hunger and control your glucose levels.
Side effects to keep in mind
Fat burners are made up of a variety of ingredients, and each recipe is different. People don’t usually notice any side effects after using fat burners. The most common side effects would be sleeplessness and dehydration, which are caused by the caffeine present in the fat burner. Drink plenty of water and avoid taking these supplements before you go to sleep.
Green food Supplements
What are green food supplements?
These are health supplements that have concentrated amounts of different nutritious vegetables and greens. They are made up of a variety of healthy ingredients, such as spinach, broccoli, green tea, spirulina, and much more.
Primarily, these products are designed to provide all the nutrients that the body needs by using natural ingredients instead of chemically synthesized ingredients. These supplements can be easily mixed into smoothies for the sake of convenience.
How do these supplements help in bodybuilding?
These supplements can benefit anyone, but the reason why they are really good for bodybuilding is because of all the different advantages they offer. Green food supplements can help reduce the levels of cholesterol, improve your overall energy levels, reduce recovery time after working out, lower your blood pressure, maintain your blood sugar levels, and enhance your immunity and overall health.
Greens can indeed help speed up the process of recovery, and it comes in really handy if you are interested in bodybuilding and weightlifting. They also ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Given that most of us tend to lead extremely hectic lifestyles, you might not have the time to cook healthy meals, and this supplement really does come in handy.
How to take these supplements
These supplements can be taken at any time. They help with post-workout recovery, but you shouldn’t take them immediately after working out, as greens tend to restrict insulin from being released to the muscle.
If you are using greens as a post-workout recovery drink, then make sure that you are giving yourself at least three hours before taking this supplement. Apart from this, you can take it whenever you want during the day. You can have it as a snack or turn it into a healthy breakfast smoothie.
The timing doesn’t matter, as long as your body is getting all the nutrients it needs for its better functioning. These supplements have an earthy taste to them because of all the fruits and vegetables that go into it.
There are no side effects of this supplement because all the ingredients used in it are from natural sources. So don’t worry about any side effects, and take plenty of green supplements.
What is L-glutamine?
This is an amino acid, and it is found in the human body. It helps in strengthening your muscles, and it plays a significant role in maintaining your overall health.
Glutamine is found in the muscle tissue in the body. The most popular glutamine supplement is L-glutamine, and it is usually taken by athletes and bodybuilders to improve the growth of their muscles, enhance protein synthesis, and improve the functioning of their immune system.
How does it benefit bodybuilding?
There are different benefits that it offers. From improving the body’s ability to synthesize proteins to speeding up recovery time, this is one amino acid that you should consider taking if you are interested in bodybuilding.
A couple of benefits of L-glutamine are that it helps improve recovery time, reduces muscle breakdown, supports the growth of new muscle, helps metabolize fat, improves protein synthesis, lends support to the immune system, increases the production of human growth hormone, and helps improve workout results.
Therefore, it isn’t surprising that L-glutamine is one of the best bodybuilding supplements. This amino acid is naturally found in the body, and a supplement just helps enhance its functioning and replenishes the stores of this quintessential amino acid to improve the health and strength of the muscles.
How to take L-glutamine
While working out, the natural stores of this amino acid are exhausted, and ideally, they should be replaced as soon as possible after working out. Therefore, this supplement should be taken within 30 to 60 minutes after working out. The standard dose of administration is about 5 grams, and this can be taken multiple times during a day. You can easily mix it with milk, water, or juice.
What are the common side effects?
Given that it is a naturally occurring amino acid, there are no usual side effects that it causes. However, a couple of minor side effects are gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, and even joint pains when taken in large doses. So don’t overdo your intake of this supplement.
As long as you take this supplement as directed and don’t take too much of it, you shouldn’t experience any side effects. If you feel any adverse reactions, contact your doctor immediately, and stop using it.
What are pre-workout supplements?
Pre-workout supplements are potent bodybuilding supplements that will help give your workout performance a nice boost. These supplements increase energy, improve muscle pumping, enhance endurance, and even improve strength for a little while.
Most of these supplements make use of a blend of ingredients, such as caffeine, creatine, and so on. As the name suggests, this needs to be taken right before working out.
How do these supplements help with bodybuilding?
These supplements are really good for bodybuilding, and they help enhance your performance, as well as improve the results you desire. By improving the different aspects involved in working out, these supplements will allow you to optimize your performance.
It helps increase energy, provides better focus, enhances endurance, enhances the process of fat loss, and improves the overall efficiency of the workout. By improving the quality of the workout, the results from it can be improved as well. If you make use of a good pre-workout supplement, you will improve the quality of your workout.
How to take these supplements
These supplements should be taken right before you start working out. Ideally, take these supplements about 10 to 30 minutes before your exercise routine. This will provide your body with sufficient time to absorb these ingredients to provide good results. Most of these supplements are available in powder form and can be easily turned into a delicious drink.
Are there any side effects?
There are a couple of potential side effects, but most people won’t experience any. The side effects also depend on the composition of the pre-workout supplement, and given that there are different combinations available, it does get really difficult to make an exhaustive list of all the potential side effects. The most common ones that you should look out for are sleeplessness, anxiety, and some bloating.
The other supplements that you can make use of to improve your muscle strength are multivitamins, BCAAs, Omega-3 fatty acids, and beta-alanine. The dosage and usage of these supplements have been thoroughly explained in the previous chapters. So refer to those chapters to get all the information you need.
Now that you have read the list of best supplements that you can take for bodybuilding, we hope that you are prepared to perform at your absolute best! All the supplements mentioned are quite beneficial for you, and depending on your diet and goals, you can select those that best suit your needs. Always check with your dietician or medical practitioner before you think about adding any of these supplements to your daily diet if you have any medical conditions.