The life of a bodybuilder requires discipline, dedication and patience. The latter of these three virtues is often the most difficult for beginner bodybuilders to accept. It is not uncommon for those new to the sport to search for a little jumpstart in the form of supplements.
There are thousands of products to choose from on the market, all promising a dream body. Most of these just lead to disappointment and an empty wallet. Below are four supplements that are backed by science and have proven essential to serious lifters everywhere.
Protein Powders: For optimum muscle growth, consuming an adequate amount of protein is vital. Protein consists of amino acids, which act as building blocks for the body. Building and maintaining muscle mass is impossible without these amino acids.
Sufficient amounts of protein will cause an anabolic state, which allows the body to repair and build muscle tissue. In contrast, low protein intake will trigger a catabolic state, which causes muscle to be broken down and used as fuel. Protein powders prove invaluable in preventing this nightmare scenario from happening.
Fish Oil: Out of all known supplements, very few offer as many benefits as fish oil. Lower cholesterol, stronger bones, better moods and lower risk for cancer are just a few perks associated with this supplement.
As if that wasn’t enough, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown by many studies to speed up weight loss by increasing the fat oxidation process. In a sport where just a 1% difference in body fat often separates winners from losers, any assistance speeding up fat loss proves to be incredibly useful.
Greens: Most people are told from a young age about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. With that being sad, even many professional athletes fail to consume adequate amounts from just meals alone. It is for this exact reason that greens supplements are a favorite amongst bodybuilders.
These plant-based supplements are made from natural sources like barley, nuts, wheat grass and grains. Taking a greens supplement ensures the body receives a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The vital nutrients found in greens supplements are typically lacking in most diets and are required for the body to run at maximum health levels.
Creatine: Without question, creatine is the highest selling bodybuilding supplement on the planet. This supplement is used by a wide range of athletes, from those in high school gyms, to those competing on professional stages. With so much hype, one should expect noticeable results.
It’s important to understand that creatine is not a wonder drug, nor will it produce effects similar to anabolic steroids. In fact, creatine is produced naturally by the body and is comprised of three amino acids known as glycine, arginine, and methionine. These nutrients serve to provide muscles with energy needed for the rapid movements performed during workouts.
Taking a creatine supplement increases endurance, allowing for more reps, which results in higher muscle growth. It does this by regenerating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in skeletal muscle. ATP is required for muscle contraction, and increased amounts have been shown to improve both strength and performance. As long as one doesn’t have false expectations, creatine will quickly become a favorite for many who are new to bodybuilding.
It is important to understand that no amount of supplementation will replace hard work and proper nutrition. Supplements are not magic, they are meant only to assist a bodybuilder who is already exercising properly, eating right, and sleeping well. With that in mind, the above four supplements will do wonders at speeding up results for those who exercise hard and eat well.