Three Of The Best Supplements For Bodybuilding
If you are a serious bodybuilder and want to take your results to the next level, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the importance of proper supplementation.
Once you fine-tune your training and nutrition, you can lock in the perfect triangle of growth and fat loss with proper supplementation.
The big question is, which supplements work and which don’t? The market is overstuffed with products and it can be frustrating and confusing to sift through the noise and make an informed decision.
Fortunately, we’ll cover the topic of effective supplements for bodybuilding, how to time them correctly, and what the dose should be.
Three of the Best Supplements for Bodybuilding
Without further ado, here they are:
1. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
As a strength and physique athlete, you must provide your body with the building blocks it needs to repair itself and develop further. BCAAs provide your body with three of the essential amino acids required for protein synthesis - leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs are best taken throughout the workout to ensure that you are providing your body with a steady stream of amino acids and thus muscle protein breakdown is avoided. They are especially important if you can’t get a post-workout meal soon after training, you train fasted, or you’ve had your pre-workout meal a few hours before hitting the gym.
The recommended dose: 5-10 grams before and/or during your workout.
2. Protein Powder
Protein powders come in many shapes and sizes - whey, casein, hemp, rice, pea, egg, beef, soy, and more.
All of them are effective, but research has repeatedly shown that whey and casein are one step ahead when it comes to effectiveness.
For example, research has shown that whey protein is digested much more quickly than many of the other protein powders, making it the perfect option for a post-workout shake.
Casein and egg protein powders digest more slowly and provide the body with a steady stream of amino acids for an extended period. This makes them the perfect option for a quick snack before bed.
Plus, protein powders are very convenient. All you need is some water or milk, you can mix them up, and you’ll have yourself a high-protein shake. If your diet isn’t particularly rich on protein sources, you can make up for it with a shake or two per day.
The recommended dose: 20-40 grams, preferably after a session at the gym.
Creatine is the cheapest and one of the most effective supplements out there, by far.
Bold claim? It is.
You see, creatine is one of the best-researched supplements out there with studies dating back since the early 1970s. It has been shown to be effective and safe to take in hundreds of trials.
Creatine works by providing an ‘energy reserve’ to the muscle cells. It donates molecules called Phosphocreatines which are then bound to the precursors ADP and AMP.
What are ADP and AMP precursors for? ATP.
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the primary energy molecule used by the muscles for virtually everything, including lifting weights.
When creatine lends a helping hand into the precursors ADP and AMP, the critical ATP molecules are created faster, thus providing us with a bit more energy, endurance, and strength.
That’s why many people claim they can lift a bit more weight for a few extra repetitions when they are taking creatine. It’s not placebo, it truly works.
Recommended dose: You can take a standard 5-gram dose each day. The time of day doesn’t matter. You’ll start to feel its effects within two to three weeks. Alternatively, you can do a loading phase of 20 grams per day for 5-7 days and then lower the dose to 5 grams per day.
The Bottom Line
There certainly are a few other great supplements to take, but these three are going to deliver the best bang for your buck.
Each of them is relatively cheap and can significantly enhance your results at the gym.