When it comes to bodybuilding or muscle building in general, our bodies are often limited by our nutrition. And regardless of how hard we train, sometimes we just can’t make any progress as we lack important nutrients that help us achieve better results. Therefore, people turn to supplements.
Supplements are an amazing way to add valuable nutrients that help us build muscle, recover faster, or train harder. They drive results and push our limits, allowing us to make significant progress with every workout.
And even though we all have unique bodies and react differently to some supplements, there are 5 essential supplements that every bodybuilder needs.
Whey protein is a fast-digesting milk protein that helps deliver essential amino acids to skeletal muscle. It is a foundation for muscle mass gain and the most frequently used supplement.
The serum is rapidly transported to the muscles where it exerts its strong anabolic effects. Therefore, it is often used as a pre-workout and post-workout meal to increase protein synthesis and enhance muscle restoration and recovery. Whether your goal is to reduce body fat or build lean mass, adding a whey protein can speed up both the loss and gain process.
It can help with:
Recovery: After intense training, your body is desperately looking for protein to repair itself. Taken immediately after training, the serum helps trigger rapid muscle recovery and builds strong, lean muscles.
Appetite Suppressant – Whey protein shake can even be used as a meal replacement or healthy snack that will increase the body’s protein levels and reduce the daily calorie intake.
Amino Acids: Whey protein contains essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis.
Recommended daily dose: 20-30g
Creatine is the second most widely used supplement and for good reason: it is a natural substance that promotes increased muscle cell volume, lean body mass, post-workout recovery, and increased muscle performance.
Produced naturally in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, creatine is found mainly around skeletal muscle tissue (95%), where it is transformed into creatine phosphate from which the energy molecule ATP is produced.
Creatine increases energy and strength, allowing for harder workouts and better performance, causing muscles to get bigger and stronger.
The level of creatine found naturally in our bodies is sufficient for ongoing cellular function and is definitely not sufficient to cause massive muscle growth. Therefore, people opt for creatine supplementation to reap its full benefits.
Recommended daily dose: 5-10 g
Branched amino acid (BCAA)
Branched Chain Amino Acid, also known as BCAAs, is another amazing supplement that bodybuilders use to improve their training results. The protein consists of 20 amino acids, and only 3 of them are called BCAAs: valine, isoleucine, and leucine. They help regulate protein metabolism and stimulate protein synthesis.
BCAAs have a similar function to protein: they carry nutrients to muscle tissue and help muscles recover faster. They also serve as a source of energy during workouts, so taking BCAAs as a supplement can replace nutrients lost during intense exercise. They also improve metabolic recovery and reduce pain caused by muscle fatigue.
Recommended daily dose: 3-5 grams upon awakening and 3-5 grams before and after training.
Glutamine is the number one supplement for fast recovery and therefore essential for every serious bodybuilder. It slows down the breakdown of muscle tissue during intensive training, increasing endurance and improving strength. It allows bodybuilders to lift heavier weights for a longer period of time and train harder, leading to the production of leaner muscles.
Glutamine also helps preserve muscle tissue, which helps burn additional fat, while slowing down the loss of muscle mass. It also improves the immune system by putting stress on the whole body rather than just the muscle and quickly restores the health of muscle tissue, ensuring rapid recovery of the whole body.
Recommended daily dose: 5 grams upon waking, 5 grams after training and 5 grams before going to bed.
Beta-Alanine (BA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that increases intramuscular carnosine levels by 60% in less than a month. During high intensity training, the body accumulates large amounts of hydrogen, which causes our pH to drop and we become more acidic. This lactic acid can decrease muscle performance, cause severe fatigue, and stop nerve impulses (causing muscle failure).
By taking beta-alanine supplements, bodybuilders maintain a higher level of carnosine and delay the accumulation of hydrogen and all its side effects. BA also raises endurance, delays fatigue, improves force production and repeated sprinting ability, and works great with creatine.
Recommended daily dose: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day.