Best Supplements for Bodybuilding, Toning and Recovery
The Safest and Best Supplements for Bodybuilding, Toning and Recovery
People often overlook the impact that supplements can have in improving the body’s health. Supplements that are safely produced can have immense benefits on the body. Take for instance bodybuilding. A bodybuilder who uses supplements can attest to the fact that his or her body feels better than before when they did not take any supplements. For activities like bodybuilding, muscle toning and recovery, supplements can make a whole lot of difference.
The best supplements for bodybuilders
Bodybuilding is an intense activity that requires the body to be at its best in order to achieve maximum results. While observing nutrition is a must, supplements make the bodybuilding process easier. There are plenty of benefits to be gained from supplements. As a bodybuilder, supplements can help get the most from intense training sessions. The safest and best supplements to use for bodybuilding are:
Creatine monohydrate is a muscle-building, power-enhancing supplement that is completely safe. This supplement works by increasing the availability or creatine and phosphocreatine
(PCr) within the muscle. These two components help in maintaining energy during high intensity exercises such as weightlifting.
PCr also increases speeds up your recovery between sets. In the long run, creatine supplementation enhances your quality of resistance training. The best dosage is 5g per day.
You may know caffeine as the most widely used stimulant. Caffeine has been shown to be a useful aid in endurance exercise and high intensity activity. It also decreases the rates of fatigue and lower perception effort during high intensity exercises. The recommended dosage is 150-300 mg either half an hour or an hour before you begin your workout.
Branched Amino Acids or BCAAs
BCAAs not only taste delicious but also help in speeding up recovery and repair processes after a tough workout. Taking BCAAs can help reduce muscle soreness and damage. In addition, one particular BCAA known as leucine helps in regulating protein metabolism. This it does by promoting protein synthesis and suppressing protein degeneration. Both these qualities are useful for muscle recovery after a workout. The ideal dosage is 6-10g during workouts.
Abbreviated as CM, citrulline malate is mostly used as an “antifatigue” supplement. CM contains a combination of L-citrulline and malate which help to increase the rates of ATP during exercise. They also increase the rates of PCr recovery after the workout. CM is very useful in improving exercise performance for both upper and lower body resistance exercises. 8g of CM an hour before exercise is sufficient.
Whey is a fast-digesting protein which has optimal benefits after a workout. It improves the ability of the muscles to recover and adapt after strenuous exercises. Whey protein stimulates greater muscle protein synthesis unlike other proteins.
Whey protein also increases muscle mass and strength. 20 to 30 grams of whey protein after a workout is the best dosage.
Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid that plays a vital role in repair and recovery. By removing excess ammonia that accumulates during intense exercises, glutamine helps to regulate your body’s acid-base balance. The removal of ammonia helps in relieving any pain after exercise and your muscles to recover. You should take 10g of glutamine after a workout.
Fish oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have vast benefits for the body. First off, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties contained in the omega-3 fatty acids help to heal your muscles from tears. Furthermore, they also reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
When combined with other supplements like BCAAs, more protein synthesis occurs leading to more protein mass.
Gaining muscle requires getting enough protein. Your body needs to consume more protein than it breaks down through natural processes. There are protein rich foods that you can consume but many people struggle with getting the right amount of protein. Fortunately, protein supplements are available. There are plenty of protein supplements like casein protein, soy protein and other proteins which contain proteins isolated from eggs, beef, and chicken or any other protein sources.
Adding extra protein from supplements rather than food sources only results in more muscle gain. But these benefits are only to be enjoyed by people who don’t get enough protein from their normal diet. If you are on a high-protein diet already, the protein supplements will not help much.
HMB, beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate is a product of the processing of the amino acid leucine by the body. HMB helps in reducing the breakdown of muscle proteins. HMB may be produced naturally by the body but taking supplements is creating higher levels and more benefits for your muscles. Finally, HMB improves your lean body mass from weight training.
These are supplements that are designed to help you get more calories and protein especially for people who struggle to gain muscle. With more calories, the body is able to build more lean mass. In case you are struggling to eat food and you are a bodybuilder, the drinking a weight gainer shake is recommended.
Supplements for recovery
Muscle recovery is the time after a workout where the body is at rest and preparing for the next workout session. Exercise can take a toll on your body muscles and without proper recovery, you will be ineffective in your next workout session. This is the reason supplements are important. They help your body recover faster and give you higher chances of attaining maximum results during the next workout. The best supplements to use during recovery are:
CherryPure is derived from tart cherries. It is specifically designed to provide your body with anthocyanins. These are compounds that have proven effective in reducing joint inflammations and oxidative stress. CherryPure reduces muscle soreness and aids in quick recovery of isometric strength. After a strenuous exercise, CherryPure is quite essential to treat relieve your muscles of inflammation and fatigue.
Glucosamine is one of the building blocks needed in building and maintaining muscle tissue and joint health. It is synthesized by the body from glucose and glutamine by the body. Glucosamine is hard to find in food sources therefore supplements are the best option.
Glucosamine reduces joint inflammation and pain thus keeping the joints healthy. It also encourages higher elasticity and strength. During the recovery process, glucosamine also slows down cartilage degeneration while repairing connective tissue.
Glutamine is sourced from protein. It may be produced in the body but it can get depleted during training. The body is unable to produce glutamine fast enough thus supplementation is needed. Glutamine is very useful for muscle recovery as it moves nitrogen atoms in areas where they are required. Nitrogen is important for tissue repair and damaged muscle, an important element in building muscle. Recovery is the most important aspect of training because without it, you increase your chances of injury.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs contain three amino acids: valine, leucine and isoleucine. During exercise our muscles burn the stored BCAAs in the body forcing it to burn skeletal muscle tissue in order to provide the three amino acids for exercise. BCAAs synthesize and repair muscles and since the body does not naturally provide these amino acids, BCAAs are essential for recovery.
It is recommended that you should take large doses of BCAAs before and after training to increase protein synthesis for better performance and recovery.
You can tell that BCAAs are important supplements for recovery because they improve muscle damage that comes with strenuous exercise.
Creatine has the main role of boosting ATP levels. Nevertheless, it helps to speed up the recovery of muscles. With faster recovery, you will be able to build more lean muscle mass and gain more strength. Generally, creatine has an effect on muscle performance and recovery after a workout.
L-carnitine L-tartrate or LCLT is a supplemental variant of L-carnitine supplements. LCLT is good for recovery. It works by cleaning the blood of various byproducts that result from muscle breakdown during exercise like lactic acid. It helps in reducing muscle soreness and reducing muscle damage.
Fish oil is a viable supplement for recovery. It reduces inflammation, muscle soreness and muscle damage from exercising. Fish oil also boosts immunity after a workout thus making you less susceptible to sickness after a workout. In addition, fish oil can protect motor neurons after prolonged physical exercise.
Supplements for muscle toning
Muscle toning is not about adding large amounts of muscles. It is about strengthening the muscles and reducing body fat so the muscles are more defined. As a result, your body appears toned rather than bulky. Some exercises are good for muscle toning. Nevertheless, supplements make the process easier.
The best supplements for muscle toning are:
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid used especially by strength-training athletes. CLA is a good supplement that reduces body fat. Furthermore, it increases a fat-free mass
MHP T-Bomb is a testosterone-boosting supplement. It:
Increases testosterone levels, whereby testosterone builds muscle and helps in losing fat
It prevents your body from converting testosterone to estrogen
It increases strength and lean mass
It helps reduce body fat
This is a distinctive protein powder which contains a blend of protein sources which provide a stream of amino acids. Gaspari Myofusion is important for muscle building and fighting off body fat.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
BCAAs include leucine, isoleucine and valine. They encourage muscle toning because the amino acids are an important for the formation of muscles. The amino acids are also good for recovery after exercise. According to the April 2010 edition of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research”, BCAAs promote higher levels of testosterone, an important hormone for muscle growth.
BCAAs help with burning fat thus getting the toned muscle look.
It is common knowledge that calcium is good for bone health. Nevertheless, this mineral is also required for muscle contraction and without it your muscle don’t contract properly. Other functions of calcium include:
Spurring fat loss by decreasing the amount of fat absorbed by the intestines
Suppressing the hormone calcitriolwhich is responsible for reducing fat burning.
There are calcium supplement tablets that you can take to meet the daily calcium requirements.
Beta-alanine is a nonessential amino acid which combines with another amino acid known as histidine to produce carnosine. Now, carnosine:
Improves muscle strength
Improves muscle size
Improves muscle endurance
Supports fat loss
The amount of carnosine produced in the body directly relates with the amount of beat-alanine consumed. Therefore, a beta-alanine supplement will be very beneficial in increasing the amount of the amino acid present in the body.
Casein is a compound found in milk which is very slow to digest. As a result, it provides a steady stream of amino acids over a longer time period. It is because of this reason that it is more effective when taken at certain periods like right before going to bed. Casein protein results in more muscle gain and growth. 20g of casein protein just before bed is sufficient enough.
You can tell from the list that some supplements have more than one benefit. They can be useful for both bodybuilding and recovery and for others they are beneficial for bodybuilding, recovery and toning. You should be confident that these supplements are safe and the best. They are used by athletes all over the world to achieve the optimum results.
Don’t underestimate the usefulness of supplements. While diet and exercise are important, supplements are important as well. And you don’t have to be engaging in any of these activities to include supplements in your diet. Even for keeping your body in good health, supplements like fish oil are very essential.
So go get yourself the supplements relevant for you and you will certainly not regret it. As a matter of fact, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Kreider, R.B. (2003). Effects of creatine supplementation and training adaptations.