Dietary supplements – some people love them and some people are skeptical of them. It’s true, there are a lot of snake oil products out there that either don’t work at all, or don’t work nearly as well as people expect. One of the supplements many people are skeptical of, largely due to the reputation of “fake” products, are bodybuilding supplements. Does the real deal work?
The trick is to understand what these supplements are meant to do. If you look at it as a proposed magic elixir or tonic that just makes you stronger, well, that is indeed a preposterous proposition. In actuality, these supplements are exactly that – supplements. They’re intended to enhance the results of an exercise and diet regime.
This is achieved by providing extra, easily-processed fuel for your workout, additional protein, and vitamins to allow muscles to grow faster and stronger, among other things. It’s more like a fuel additive to get better engine performance.
Today, we’re going to look at seven different supplements, how they work, and how effective they are. All of these products are readily available through Gaspari Nutrition, on our online store.
Creatine is one of the most well-known supplements in general. As we said, there’s no magic pill or potion for bodybuilding, but creatine is about as close as you can get in the real world. But what exactly is creatine, and how does it work?
Unlike what many think, creatine is not an artificial compound (though the supplement available at Gaspari Nutrition is of course manufactured/synthesized). It’s a natural enzyme the body produces, which stimulates the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (or ATP). This substance is critical in the repair and growth of stressed muscles.
In other words, as you exercise your muscles, this compound will give you bursts of energy, and increase the effectiveness of the work out by building better muscle. The old saying, “you have to break muscle to make muscle” is true, and with creatine, the additional muscle that you grow through healing will be in higher quantity, and of better quality.
This compound is available as a powder, as a solid, or as a liquid. You can also get it from meats, fish, and eggs in natural quantities. Obviously, compounds are more effective than relying solely on natural amounts.
Something a lot of people may not realize is that the post-workout is just as important as the actual workout itself. Your body goes into a healing and recovery phase, which is where new muscle and additional burned fat takes place.
This is where BCAA comes into play. BCAA is a mix of amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), which aid in muscle repair. This supplement, along with creatine, helps your muscles to recover faster, better.
There’s only one problem with BCAA, and that is, you need to imbibe this supplement multiple times throughout the day, not just before a workout, for it to be fully effective. Fortunately, BCAA isn’t particularly expensive, especially on Gaspari Nutrition’s online store.
At Gaspari, we really don’t understand why so many people write fish oil off. This is an excellent source of omega 3, which is an integral anti-inflammatory compound. It’s famously been touted for its brain and heart health benefits, but for those trying to get into shape, this is the oil that your body (a machine) needs in order to move properly.
Fish oil will help keep your joints from stiffening, fatiguing, or experiencing excessive pain while you work out. It’ll also improve circulation, and this delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to various parts of your body, improving stamina and endurance. As said before, this is a really excellent supplement for the brain as well, meaning it’ll improve your focus and determination as well.
You can get this from eating seafood, but seafood is a love it or hate it thing. If you hate it, omega 3 supplements are excellent for health even if you’re not trying to body build. Of course, these concentrates also provide a lot better dose than is naturally present in fish as well. Don’t overlook fish oil, your joints, heart, and mind will thank you!
Glutamine, like creatine, is a naturally occurring amino acid. The body uses it to maintain muscle mass. Unfortunately, it’s drawn out of the muscles during stressful workouts. Since the idea is to build up muscle mass, fighting against critical components for this muscle mass, is going to hinder progress, and endanger your health.
This is why a glutamine supplement is a very good idea. This is something you can get from natural sources, but they tend to be very fatty things like nuts, meats, etc. Since you’re working to build lean muscle, your fat intake needs to be kept to a minimum, and thus, getting glutamine from a supplement is the wise solution.
If you’ve encountered the social media accounts of any fitness guru, model, or athlete, then you’ve heard all about whey protein by now. There are countless brands, and various celebrities are always touting some new one as a miracle. The truth is, it is a powerful supplement, but it’s not some miracle potion any more than any other supplement out there.
Whey protein contains a high amount of leucine, which we discussed before, as well as lean protein as a building material for the muscles you’re trying to grow. The thing to remember is that you need to take this supplement a few times a day in the form of a protein shake, to get the full benefits of it.
Beta-Alanine is the supplement on this list that most people haven’t heard of. This is a carnosine boost, which can help to fight muscle fatigue. If you have endurance problems, this is the supplement to solve the problem.
Like other substances we’ve discussed, this is a naturally occurring compound in your body, but it’s in finite supply naturally. Taking this supplement can help improve duration and reduce depletion of your natural levels.
The trick is, like many of the supplements on this list, you have to stay on top of it. Simply taking this supplement before a workout won’t cut it.
Carbohydrates are very unfairly vilified in the nutritional world. “Carbs are the enemy”, every would-be fitness expert and dietitian out there will complain. This isn’t entirely wrong if you’re trying to lose weight, but if you’re into bodybuilding, you don’t have that problem.
Carbohydrates are the fuel your body burns, where proteins and fats are raw materials for repairs, growth, and structure. Your body is a machine, and all machines need fuel to work. This is why athletes and soldiers eat a high-carb diet, so they have the fuel to perform when it matters most.
Carbohydrate supplements, like those offered at Gaspari, leave out all the added preservatives, enzymes and other junk that you get from carbo-loaded foods, providing raw power to fuel your workout.
So, do bodybuilding supplements work? If you set up a regime of regular supplements, timed and balanced properly, then the answer is a definite yes. To learn more about these, and to see our wide selection of effective supplements, visit our online store today. At Gaspari Nutrition, we’re here to help you achieve the body you dream of in a safe and healthy way.