Know Your Bodybuilding Supplements!

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Used as performance enhancers, almost every bodybuilder and sportsperson uses bodybuilding supplements as a vital part of their diet.  A number of nutrients are required by these athletes to fulfill their bodily requirements and thus almost every nutrient is consumed in the form of supplements.  The different nutrients available as supplements are Proteins, vitamins, amino acids particularly the branched-chain amino acids or the BCAA’s and creatine to name a few.

The markets are full of dietary supplements and with bodybuilding becoming a rage; there has been an even greater increase in the use of bodybuilding supplements.  It is not uncommon to find bodybuilders using a wide range of nutritional supplements to boost their bodybuilding process.  But as a user, it is necessary that you know the components of the different dietary supplements you could possibly use and also be aware of how they affect your body.

Listed below is a brief description of some of the commonly used bodybuilding supplements.  You may find an average individual with fitness goals consuming the same, though they are used the most by professional bodybuilders and athletes.

Protein Supplements

Proteins being the prime requirement to build muscle mass, protein supplements are available in a wide variety.  The different types of protein supplements are:

  • Whey Proteins: It is the best post workout protein supplement, as it is has a combination of proteins from various sources.  It also helps to maintain the lean muscle mass.
  • Soy Proteins: They are best advised for the vegetarians.  They draw their proteins from a vegetarian source and have low fat content as well.
  • Protein powders: They are an easy source of protein.  If you are the fussy types, they are sure to work for you, as they are available in a range of tasty flavors like butterscotch, vanilla and the likes.  These can be mixed with water or milk and consumed in the form of a milkshake.
  • Egg Proteins: As the name suggests, this supplement has eggs as its protein source.  So the ones who find egg as the safest protein intake and cant get their hands on eggs themselves, this supplement is going to fulfill your requirement.
  • Plant Protein: With a large part of the population turning vegan, health companies have directed their focus towards their vegan clients looking out for protein supplements.  From sources like brown rice and peas, this supplement is packed with vegan protein.
  • Protein bars: the best form of protein supplement while you are travelling or on the go.  Just open and grab a bite for your daily dose of protein.

The main reason behind bodybuilders consuming protein supplements is that the regular protein intake is not enough o support their muscle growth.  Since they train hard to build muscles, their bodies require larger amounts of proteins to support their bodybuilding.

Branched-chain amino acids

Amino acids are nothing but the broken form of proteins found in our stomach and intestines.  A BCAA supplement provides you with the direct bi-product needed for muscle growth.  In case of protein supplements, the proteins are first broken down into amino acids and then begin the muscle development process.  But with BCAA’s, the development process becomes faster.  However, the intensity of workout for individuals consuming BCAA’s need to be much more rigorous and intense.

Fatty Acids

The most common source of fatty acids is seafood.  Incase you do not consume fish; you can fulfill your fatty acids through an omega 3 fatty acid supplement.  Flaxseeds also contain fatty acids required by the body for growth and development during intense training sessions.


Creatine is an essential nutrient required by the body for energy supply to the muscles during weight training routines.  Known to boost up the levels of energy and strength, creatine supplements are being widely used by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.  The popularity of this supplement is due to its easy availability and cost effectiveness.

While using creatine, keep in mind that certain medication when taken with creatine can lead to complications.  Patients with kidney, liver and blood sugar irregularities should avoid the use of creatine.  Your water consumption should be high as creatine could leave your body dehydrated.

In extremely rare cases, use of creatine over a long period of time may have certain side effects.  These include:

  • Stomach problems
  • Nervousness
  • Exhaustion
  • Giddiness
  • Skin rashes

Depending upon your requirement you could choose from the above-mentioned supplements or ask your trainer for other options.  There are options for vitamins, minerals and calcium supplements as well.  At times of injury your supplement requirements may change to speed up your recovery process.  The market also has complete nutrition alternative energy drinks that you could substitute with your daily dose of food.

Though all these supplements are often considered to be very safe and health friendly, studies have shown significant side effects over prolonged usage.  Some of the severe side effects include liver and kidney damage, blindness and anxiety issues.  Make sure you consult with your physician before taking any sort of supplement.

It is also essential for you to understand that the amount of supplement that your friend may be taking is not what your body would require.  Every individual’s body has different nutritional requirements and these can be best judged by your fitness expert or you could also consult a nutritionist.

The use of bodybuilding supplement requires you to be highly alert as many manufacturers and health clubs sell steroids in the name of supplements for better results.  Once you get into the wrong habit, it will be very difficult to get out of it.  Make sure your physical fitness expert is a trustworthy person and supplies you with the best quality supplements.

When used in the right way and with the right intention, your bodybuilding supplements can take you a long way.  They can be your support system and prevent your body from experiencing any sort of nutritional deficiencies.  After all the hard work you put in for bodybuilding, you wouldn’t want it to be wasted because of the lack of essential nutrients.  Work out well and eat better.

Category: Nutrition

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