Today, we can rarely find an athlete, especially a bodybuilder who has not used any kind of bodybuilding supplements in their diet. And for a good reason, bodybuilding supplements can be a great aid for those who want to improve their performance, build muscle or improve their appearance.
There is a huge selection of supplements and medications on the market today, and it’s bit hard to decide what kind of a supplement you should use. We’ll take a look at a few types of fitness supplements and try to explain which supplement you need to choose to achieve specific goals.
MUSCLE MASS AND STRENGTH
The following bodybuilding supplements are usually used if your goal is to increase your weight, muscle mass and strength.
– Weight gainer – a nutritional supplement containing a high percentage of carbohydrates, lower percentage of protein, as well as amino acids and vitamins. Weight gainers provide fast increase in weight and muscle mass and strength increase. Carbohydrates provide the energy and majority of the calories needed for weight gain and proteins are essential for lean muscle growth. This is why mass gainers are commonly used by beginners.
The gainer can be taken up to 3 times a day, but you need to know that you will not only increase muscle and strength, but fat mass as well. Depending on your physique type (ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph) you can choose the most optimal dossage (1-3 times a day). The most rational way to take weight gainers is about 30 min to an hour after your workout, as this is the time when your body needs the carbs to restore glycogen and protein for muscle recovery.
– Whey protein – concentrated protein-amino acid complex, derived from whey. Whey is actually a byproduct, created during the manufacture of cheese. Whey protein plays a big role for bodybuilders because it contributes to rapid muscle growth and fat burn. Of course when used for fat burning purposes, the dosage, consumption scheme, as well as carbohydrate intake differ from those used during bulking.
Whey protein typically comes in three main forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate.
• Whey concentrate – the purification rate in concentrate is not too high. The content of biologically active substances can vary between 30% – 89%. Whey concentrate contains small amounts of fats and cholesterol as well as moderate amount of carbs in the form of lactose.
• Whey isolate is a more clean protein source than the concentrate. The content of bio-active substances is more than 90%. The isolate as well as the concentrate still have a soft milky taste.
• Whey hydroisolate protein is one of the purest protein sourecs, which are easily absorbed by the human body. They are usually the most expensive type of protein. The hydroisolated protein may be less allergenic than other two forms. It has a bitter taste.
• Multi-protein complex is a mixture of proteins coming from various protein sources: egg, whey, casein, etc. It keeps the body nourished longer than whey as the different types of protein are digested at different rates. This is why the best times for consumption are before sleep or longer fasting periods.
• Casein is one of the protein types found in milk. It is characterized by very slow absorption. It also helps with appetite suppression, as the time of digestion of this protein is 8-10 hours. This is why casein is also used before fasting or before you go to sleep.
– Creatine is naturally produced in the bodies of mammals from 3 amino acids : arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine will make you stronger, it will speed up recovery and increase muscle mass in a very short time. Gains of 5-10lbs in a 30-40 day period from creatine are not uncommon. In addition, creatine buffers the production of lactic acid and can raise the levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, which also accelerates the growth of muscle mass.
It’s recommended to take 5-6 g of creatine, every day. On training days you can take it after your workout with your protein/carb shake and on rest days you can take it with your largest meal.