Top 5 Essential Bodybuilding Supplements
There are many bodybuilding supplements on the market available in a range of brand name products. It can be confusing to know which of them you actually need, and which of them you can live without. Rather than trying as many as you can find, it’s a much better plan to identify the best supplements for building your muscles, and then stick to just taking those. There are conflicting opinions on which of the many bodybuilding supplements work best, but there is a general consensus on some of the basic ingredients that make up the more popular brands.
Rather than shopping for the brands that get mentioned a lot, you should be looking at the basic ingredients of the brand name products. This is what makes a supplement, and many of the top brands contain the same basic make up, though like different types of cake, for example, each product brand name may be mixed in slightly different quantities. The different supplements perform different roles. Some are useful for building up muscle cells, others for repairing muscle cell damage and yet others provide energy to the body. Here then are the top 5 essential bodybuilding supplements that every bodybuilder needs.
1. Branched-chain amino acids
Also known by the acronym of BCAA, these are essential nutrients found in the proteins of many natural foods, but especially in foods such as legumes, dairy products and meat. The body can obtain branched-chain amino acids through eating those foods, or through taking supplements that contain BCAA. Athletes and bodybuilders take BCAA in order to stimulate protein building in muscles. It may also help to prevent or reduce muscle breakdown. Branched-chain amino acids has many other uses, such as helping to aid concentration and prevent fatigue. People who are confined to bed through illness or disease usually experience muscle wasting. BCAA taken as a supplements can help to slow down the process. It is also taken as treatment for certain diseases. These include Lou Gehrig’s disease, chronic hepatic encephalopathy and tardive dyskinesia.
2. Whey protein
This is perhaps the most important staple of all the bodybuilding supplements. It is a natural food source of very high quality protein, rich in branched-chain amino acids. Whey protein is available in two basic types: concentrate and isolate. The concentrate is the less expensive of the two to buy, but it also contains higher levels of fat and lactose. The isolate type has undergone a process to remove the fat and lactose, and it is over 90% pure protein, compared to the concentrate, which is around 75% pure protein by weight.
Whey protein is excellent at speeding up the process of building muscle size, building strength and facilitating muscle recovery times. It also has a fast acting characteristic, which means the results of taking this protein can be seen very quickly. It also helps to build a strong immune system, because of its antioxidant qualities. Whey protein blend is the most popular supplement product, a mixture of concentrate and isolate at an affordable price.
3. Casein protein
This is a protein source that fully complements whey, and should be taken in conjunction with it. While whey protein is digested fast to act fast, casein protein is digested slower and acts for much longer after whey has dropped of. Casein is commonly used by bodybuilders before going to bed, and also through the day, rather than for post workout. Muscle repairing and rebuilding mostly takes place while the body is asleep. The slow released supply of proteins that casein can provide for up to 7 hours during the night is ideal for this purpose.
This is an amino acid found most abundantly in the body. Under normal circumstances the body can produce all the glutamine it needs, but following the stress of sustained exercise, it usually needs some topping up, and this is where glutamine supplements come in. Glutamine is good at getting rid of excess ammonia, and it is good for the immune system too.
5. Creatine monohydrate
Creatine occurs naturally in the body and supplies energy to the muscle cells in particular, especially in skeletal muscle. The body obtains its creatine mainly from meats, but other foods can provide it as well. Creatine supplements can provide a bodybuilder with an explosive surge of power with increased muscle contraction, muscle recovery and impressive strength gains. Creatine monohydrate supplements are widely considered to be among the top supplements any bodybuilder can take.
These and other supplements useful to bodybuilders can be easily obtained in many online outlets such as eSupplements. Be sure to read the list of ingredients when shopping as brand names don’t always indicate what a supplement product consists of.