Bodybuilding supplements have been accepted as a normal part of everyday bodybuilding life for a number of years now and there are very intriguing the reasons behind this. Modern diets consist of a lot of processed foods and vital nutrients in these foods are lost during the processing phase.
As a result, in order for you to gain size from your food, you will need an awful lot of calories to achieve this.
Nutrient deficiency is a growing problem in the Western world and this is where health supplements come into play to try and compensate.
Up to 90% of the supplements involved sell “aesthetics “in a bottle like fat burners or hormone pills.
And with such an abundance of health supplements, consumers are often left baffled and bemused by the selection that is put in front of them. This is especially true for bodybuilding products.
Walk into any bodybuilding shop and you will see big tubs of amino acids, herbal testosterone boosters, creatine, fat burners, pre-workout supplements, d-aspartic acid, estrogen suppressants, and the list just goes on…
Where Does One Start?
Did you know that the leading bodybuilding magazine FLEX included fat burners in their top three types of supplements when trying to get big? If I was a novice and I read that I needed to be taking fat burners to get big, I’d be like…wtf?!?!
That’s why I have decided to educate my readers on health supplements and layout a plain easy to follow guide on exactly what you need to take and what you need to avoid if you want to grow your guns.
The first principle I always follow is to not go for the really expensive stuff because from experience, the $80 protein shake is not much different to the $25 tub.
It would be foolish to break the bank because I want to add more muscle.
My supplements list features cheaper alternatives that are guaranteed to be cost effective in the long run.
Muscle protein tends to get badly damaged because tyrosine becomes inactive which prevents its conversion to cathecholamines.
The body needs absorbic acid so it can undergo steroid hormones, neurotransmitters, and collagen synthesis. It also requires absorbic acid to convert cholesterol into bile acid which in turn enhances the bioavailability of iron inside the body.
All of what I’ve mentioned are essential for maintaining energy, power, and ultimately muscle mass. This is where vitamin C comes into play because it has been known for its infinite healing properties for generations, and is used from treating the common cold, all the way up to something as serious as cancer.
Vitamin C is also an extremely potent antioxidant, and is unrivalled in this regard.
Studies seem to suggest that vitamin C may be capable of preventing degenerative diseases, mainly the ones that are caused by absorbic acid deficiencies. It doesn’t end there. This vitamin is also essential for developing cells, assisting in tissue growth, healing as well as providing comprehensive calcium absorption.
Vitamin C works alongside all the B vitamins to create a perfect anabolic environment. Moreover, it is known to boost the immune system, fight infections, prevent blood clotting, and reinforcing the capillaries.
The most commonly used form of vitamin C is absorbic acid which is found in a large percentage of health supplements.
Recommended Dosage of Vitamin C
Experts recommend using up to 3 g of vitamin C on a daily basis when it comes to athletes. Although this may sound quite high, it can easily be split into two or three doses through the day.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids, especially linolenic acids are major components of the good fats. Also known as polyunsaturated fats are vital in anyone’s diet. They are extremely rich in vitamin F, and experts recommend that they should comprise of up to 20% of the average person’s diet.
In reality, most people don’t even consume as little as 5% of what they are supposed to. Essential fatty acids enhance protein digestion. When a person consumes a large amount of protein in one go, the fats are required to aid digestion.
Fat derived from food is normally stored by the body in the form of cholesterol, and the same system works for steroid hormones, both of which are vital for bodybuilders. It’s not unusual for fats to carry more than double the amount of calories that other nutrients do. The good thing about essential fatty acids is that day can promote the use of body fat as fuel.
Diets containing lots of fats tend to make you feel fuller much sooner, which ultimately means less cravings later.
Recommended Dosage of Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids taken from fresh food sources are vital, therefore don’t waste time looking for a supplement for this purpose. If you insist on going down the supplement root, up to buy canola or olive oil by taking up to 4 large spoons of the day.
I personally recommend 2 tablespoons up to 4 times a day accompanied by food, just before hitting the gym.
Zinc Magnesium Aspartate
Zinc and magnesium aspartate is a protected formula that has been making waves in bodybuilding circles in recent years and some of the best muscle builders now feature this famous ZMA blend.
Surprisingly, many sports athletes are known to be deficient in both zinc and magnesium for a number of reasons. For instance, calcium works to hinder the workings of zinc. Ironically, most zinc supplements include calcium filler. The idea behind this is that it is used as a bonding agent with amino acids such as aspartate or methionine. The absorption would be facilitated which would in turn enhance recovery and skyrocket natural hormone levels.
Hormones such as testosterone have been shown to skyrocket by more than 100%.
In magnesium’s case, it helps to produce ATP which triggers the “Krebs cycle” which is vital to any athlete looking for optimum performances.
How to Consume Zinc and Magnesium Aspartate
Night-time usage is highly recommended because zinc is known to make people feel sleepy, and it allegedly enhances the quality of sleep which is vital for maximum recuperation that should be embraced with both arms.
Experts recommend taking 30 mg of zinc, and 450 mg of magnesium aspartate around an hour before going to sleep, preferably on an empty stomach, and without any interaction with calcium that may have been consumed prior.
Creatine is a natural compound that possesses out-of-this world regenerative properties when it comes to ATP. ATP is the main energy supply the body needs. Anaerobic energy causes ATP to break down into ADP. Creatine consumption causes the ADP to recycle back to ATP, which provides powerful surges of energy in the short term.
Creatine can cause water retention which allows for enhanced size and enhanced absorption of vital nutrients such as protein, which (everyone knows) triggers muscle growth.
How to Consume Creatine
This is a very commonly asked question. First and foremost, forget any of the more expensive brands, because creatine is pretty much the same quality, regardless of what the price is. Secondly, you need to be very careful of your sugar intake because it’s very easy to put a lot of unwanted weight on.
I recommend taking three doses of 7 g which are to be spread over a period of five days, and you should continue this for up to 10 weeks followed by a month off period.
Ideally, the last dose of the day should be taken straight after working out.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Branched chain amino acids have been used by fitness fanatics for number of years because they are great for creating an anabolic environment, and are renowned for their anti-catabolic qualities. In recent years, these properties have come under scrutiny. As a result, their popularity has diminished.
This shouldn’t mean anything to the super focused bodybuilder because branched-chain amino acids have provided amazing results for a huge number of people. There are individuals out there that seem to think that branched-chain amino acids are not anti-catabolic in nature. I say…take a close look at the workings and physiology of leucin, which is the first element of branched-chain amino acids.
In terms of an anabolism, gross tissue is created from amino acids. The basic definition of “anabolic” is an environment conducive to promoting growth.
Some people tend to believe in non-essential amino acids, and let me tell you that these are not needed for your muscle growth. The body can create its own essential amino acids. The bottom line is that a lot of these essential acids will struggle to get absorbed, basically meaning that they are likely to bypass the system.
Branched-chain amino acids consist of nine essentials that play a direct role in muscle development and replenishment. In my opinion, they are certainly the best choice for someone who wants to supplement their amino acid intake. Although branched-chain amino acids may not be the first choice of supplementation for many people, they have a proven track record and should be prioritized ahead of the expensive shit.
How to Consume Branched-Chain Amino Acids
The best time to consume branched chain amino acids is when you train. If you prefer training in short bursts, try to get up to 10 g incorporated into your post workout meal and you will notice better recovery and enhanced muscle development. On the other hand, if you’re the type of guy who loves long sessions in the gym, try getting in up to 15 g before working out.
There is no clear-cut recommended dosage that I can point you to, that’s why I am advising from experience.
The protein that you receive from your diet contains a whole array of amino acids and their metabolites. Unfortunately, the ratios are not always ideal. That’s why amino acid supplementation is essential.
The bottom line is that amino acids are the basic building blocks of all tissue and rather than wasting your money on crap, turn to these and you will notice massive improvements.
How to Consume Amino Acids
Normally, 2 g before or immediately after training is enough to enhance recovery and fill in any voids. Amino acids come in a variety of forms including pills, powders, and drinks.
Most diets aimed at achieving mass will no doubt be focusing on foods that contain a massive amount of calories containing micronutrients. A person can easily become deficient in micronutrients which essentially mean that the body can be impaired when trying to function in an optimum manner, and this leads to massive obstacles when trying to achieve muscle growth.
As stated earlier, it is these very minerals that are the basic building blocks responsible for building the bones, transporting nutrients, and triggering various cellular actions. The minimum levels must be kept above a certain threshold to maintain proper growth. This is precisely why supplementing with multivitamins is good practice. This will ensure that you are addressing all your basic nutritional needs.
How to Consume Multivitamins
You only need one dose which is enough to provide you with all your vitamin needs, as long as you do this daily. The timing of your intake is irrelevant, but most people like to pop the multivitamin pill in the mornings.
Weight gainers are essential when trying to pack on some mass. You remember, when you are trying to bulk up, you need your fair share of macro and micro nutrients without becoming fat. You need to try to ensure that you spend all the calories even when you are trying to bulk up so that you gain muscle and not fat. If you notice, the really dedicated bodybuilders can eat up to 8 meals a day.
This is precisely where weight gainers come into their own. Typical weight gainers can provide 800-3000 calories without actually having to eat a full meal.
They are extremely simple to prepare, all you have to do is mix and hey presto!, You have a high calorie meal in front of you.
To Sum Up…
Now that I have spelt out all my muscle building supp secrets, all you guys need to do is follow my advice. Although I have not covered every type of supplement that’s out there, I have prioritized the most important and presented them to you guys.
There’s no harm in conducting your own research because knowledge is infinite.
Happy getting big guys!