Before taking bodybuilding supplements, it is important to realise that they are not suddenly going to make you huge. That would just be wishful thinking.
Bodybuilding supplements will only help you if you are training and dieting correctly — if you don’t, you will just end up with expensive urine. To get the maximum benefit from body building or sports nutrition supplements, you need to use them as part of a well thought out programme.
When used correctly as part of a programme, they can enhance it by:
1. Adding an element of convenience: Using food supplements like Meal Replacement Powders and whey protein provide you with an efficient and fast way to get your necessary daily nutrients.
2. Increasing strength and decreasing recovery time: Using vitamin and amino acid supplements help to minimize the negative side effects of weight training and speed your recovery.
The Benefit of Convenience
Many people think that there is no need for anyone to take bodybuilding supplements. They are absolutely correct. There isn’t. Before these came onto the market, bodybuilders were capable of building amazing physiques without the use of meal replacements, prohormones or creatine.
Many years ago there were no exercise machines. Physiques were developed using compound free weight exercises. These did a great job of increasing muscular size and developing strength, so not only can it be done, it can be done extremely well. However, there are factors to consider when deciding whether or not to include supplements in your regime, and one of these it time.
In our modern day lives, time is often at a premium. Many people today just do not have the time to to be constantly shopping and cooking. In fact many people find it difficult to cook on a regular basis at all. While it is quite true that a balanced diet will give you all the nutrition you should need, it is questionable as to how many people actually eat a properly balanced diet, let alone a diet that is optimised for body building.
For anyone who struggles to find the time to eat the required amount of regular whole food meals a day, supplements such as whey protein and meal replacement powders can fill the gap.
It is far easier to eat three real meals a day and back these up with three protein supplement meals. You then know you will be getting a quantifiable amount of essential protein making it easy to track your nutritional intake. For success it is pretty crucial to get the required amount of six daily meals and essential nutrients, and this is an easy way of doing it.
Mass diets typically require a very high daily protein intake, of over 300g per day. Just to give you example of how much that is, here are some examples of what 300g of protein is equal to:
Tuna — 50 oz of canned tuna (the average can is 6-8oz.), which is 1,750 calories and 25g of fat
Chicken — 38 oz of chicken breast (equals about seven 6oz breasts), which is 1,313 calories and 38g of saturated fat
Beef — 43 oz of lean ground beef (about 2.7 pounds of meat), which is 3,214 calories and 215g of saturated fat
Eggs — 50 large whole eggs, equals 3,750 calories and 250g of saturated fat
Egg whites — 100 egg whites, equals 1,600 calories and almost no fat
Pure whey protein — 15 scoops of EAS Precision Protein, equals 1,500 calories 7.5g of saturated fat
Of course it is possible do get this from just eating whole foods, but you would need to be careful about consuming excess amounts of saturated fats. The essential fats that you need are unsaturated fats. These are the fats that are liquid when at room temperature, such as sunflower oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil and safflower oil, not the fats that are animal based. Taking whey protein supplements will give you the necessary protein minus the fat.
Increased Strength and Decreased Recovery
It is recommended that as well as a whey protein supplement, a multi-vitamin as well as vitamin C, should betaken as well as glutamine. Anyone over the age of 18 can also take creatine.
The need for Multi-Vitamins
With weight training, the body needs an increased amount of minerals such as magnesium and selenium. A deficiency can cause muscle weakness and suppression of the immune system, muscle cramping and fatigue. Taking a multi-vitamin supplement is an easy way to ensure that you won’t become deficient in these.
As the body is unable to eliminate excess iron, it is a good idea to take a multi-vitamin that does not include iron, unless you have been diagnosed with having an iron deficiency.Iron is also an oxidizing agent that can cause damage to the heart and arteries, and is a major risk factor in arteriosclerosis.
It is pretty easy to take in enough iron through diet alone. Foods rich in iron include, meat, fish and poultry and green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin C, is essential to prevent free radical damage, which is accelerated after the heavy trauma of weight training. It is also helps to repair connective tissue, in turn decreasing the amount of time you are sore.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by our bodies, however much of the time when bodybuilding, our bodies require so much, that it can’t create enough. Supplementing your diet with glutamine will increase your levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, which helps to combat the stresses of exercise trauma, and prevent muscle protein breakdown.
Many people believe that it helps prevent the body from breaking down new muscle during sleep.
Creatine’s purpose is to supply our muscle with energy. It is also found in red meat, but you would have to eat an enormous amount of meat to get the same benefits as taking pure creatine powder. The benefits of creatine are well known, so I won’t go into it here, other than to say that the major benefit from taking creatine is that it will increase your strength.
This will enable you to lift heavier weights, which will stimulate more muscle growth. If you take creatine and then stop, you will lose that extra fluid that creatine brings into your cells, but you will not lose the extra muscle creatine helped you to gain.
While bodybuilding supplements alone will not give you the body you desire, but they do provide convenience and enhancements that you wouldn’t otherwise get. You need to make a decision as to whether you wish to include these in your programme, so don’t fall for hype, understand what they won’t do for you and what they will do for you.
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