When it comes to bodybuilding or building muscles in general, our body is often limited by our nutrition. And regardless of how hard we train, sometimes we just can’t make any progress as we are lacking important nutrients that help us achieve better results. Therefore, people turn to supplements.
Supplements are an amazing way to add valuable nutrients that help us build muscle, recover faster or train harder. They boost the results and push our limits, allowing us to make a significant progress with each training.
And despite the fact that we all have unique bodies and react differently to some supplements, there are 5 essential supplements that every bodybuilder needs.
Whey protein is a fast-digesting milk protein that helps deliver essential amino acids to the skeletal muscle. It is a foundation for muscle gains and the most frequently used supplement.
Whey is quickly shuttled into the muscles where it exerts its strong anabolic effects. Therefore, it is often used as a pre-workout and post-workout meal to increase protein synthesis and improve muscle restoration and recovery. Whether your goal is to drop body fat or build lean mass, adding a whey protein can speed both the loss and the gain process.
It can help with:
Recovery – After the intense workout your body desperately looks for protein to repair itself. If taken immediately after the workout, whey helps trigger rapid muscle recovery and builds strong and lean muscles.
Appetite Suppressant – Whey protein shake can be even used as a meal replacement or a healthy snack that will increase body’s protein levels and reduce daily calorie intake.
Amino Acids – Whey protein contains essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis.
Recommended daily dosage: 20-30g
Creatine is the second most used supplement and for a good reason – it is a naturally occurring substance that promotes increased muscle cell volume, lean body mass, post-workout recovery and increased muscle performance.
Naturally produces in liver, pancreas and kidneys, creatine is primarily found around skeletal muscle tissue (95%), where it is transformed into creatine phosphate from which the energy molecule ATP is produced.
Creatine increases energy and strength, allowing harder workouts and better performance, which cause muscles to become bigger and stronger.
The creatine level naturally found in our body is sufficient for ongoing cellular function and is definitely not enough to cause massive muscle growth. Therefore, people opt for creatine supplementation to reap its full benefits.
Recommended daily dosage: 5-10g
Branched Amino Acid (BCAA)
Branched-Chain Amino Acid, also known as BCAA, is another amazing supplement that bodybuilders use to improve their workout results. Protein consists of 20 amino acids, and only 3 of them are referred to as BCAAs: valine, isoleucine and leucine. They help regulate protein metabolism and stimulate protein synthesis.
BCAAs have a similar function as protein – they drive nutrients into the muscle tissue and help muscles recover faster. They also serve as an energy source during workouts, so taking BCAAs as a supplement can replace the nutrients lost during intense exercises. They also improve metabolic recovery and reduce pain caused by muscle fatigue.
Recommended daily dosage: 3-5 grams upon waking and 3-5 grams before and after the workout
Glutamine is the number one supplement for a speedy recovery and therefore essential for every serious bodybuilder. It slows down muscle-tissue breakdown during intensive workout which elevate endurance and improves strength. It allows bodybuilders to lift heavier weights for a longer period of time and train harder, which cause the production of greater lean muscles.
Glutamine also helps preserve the muscle tissue, which helps burn additional fat, while slowing down the muscle loss. It also improves the immune system by placing stress on the entire body instead of just the muscle and quickly restores the health of the muscle tissue, which ensures rapid recovery of the whole body.
Recommended daily dosage: 5 grams upon waking, 5 grams after the workout and 5 grams before bed
Beta-Alanine (BA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that increase intramuscular levels of Carnosine by 60% in less than a month. During high-intensity workout the body accumulates large amounts of hydrogen, which cause our pH to drop and we become more acidic. This lactic acid can decrease muscle performance, cause severe fatigue and shut down the nerve drive (causing muscle failure).
By taking Beta-Alanine supplements, bodybuilders maintain an increased level of Carnosine and delay the accumulation of hydrogen and all its side effects. BA also elevates endurance, delays fatigue, improves force output and repeated sprint ability and works great with creatine.
Recommended daily dosage: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day