Do Supplements for Building Muscle Actually Work?
Serious bodybuilders know the importance of gaining muscle mass and some will do anything to get the upper edge including a few who may even go the illegal and unsafe route of steroids. Most conscientious bodybuilders who wish to avoid the health dangers of steroids, not to mention the stigma attached to the unfair and illegal use of these substances can still appreciate the benefits that legal bodybuilding supplements can give them. While there are many bodybuilding supplements available, they can be broken down into four major categories including proteins or amino acids, multivitamins, creatine based supplements, and supplements engineered to accomplish specific goals. It is the goal of this article to further discuss each type of supplement and how they may benefit a bodybuilder.
Proteins are the energy source needed for growing muscle and amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins. Proteins are often used by bodybuilders and because they occur naturally in nature, they are completely safe for human consumption. In order to build muscle, the bodybuilder must supply their body with the basic building blocks needed to feed new tissue growth. Protein is this necessary building block and without it, muscle tissue would break down instead of growing. The protein supplements can be broken down into four categories with each having different absorption rates and uses. Whey proteins break down quickly and therefore are best taken after a workout when the body is deep into the muscle building state. Casein proteins absorb slowly and our best taken before bed. Egg-based and Soy-based proteins have a medium absorption rate and can be taken at any time and while the soy based proteins are not as effective in bodybuilding, they are considered to have additional health benefits for women. Some companies that manufacture protein supplements blend all four proteins together.
Multivitamins are supplements that combine the essential vitamins and minerals that all human beings need. While anybody can benefit from multivitamins, bodybuilders need them more than the average person due to the fact that they are continuously breaking down tissue in order to build new muscle mass. While there are many companies that produce multivitamins, if you are growing muscle mass, it is best to choose a product specifically engineered with a bodybuilder in mind. A word of caution is needed here because although vitamins and minerals do occur naturally, taking more than the recommended dosage can result in dangerous and toxic effects.
Creatine based supplements work to increase muscle mass and add extra energy during a workout. While Creatine is naturally occurring in the body and considered to be safe and effective, it has developed a somewhat negative reputation in the past. More recently creatine is becoming more accepted in the bodybuilding world and scientific evidence suggests that it is useful for any bodybuilder who wishes to increase muscle mass and energy levels. This supplement comes in capsules, liquid, and powder forms and is often combined with protein supplements for enhanced effect. While many bodybuilders suggest that creatine is not absolutely necessary, a lot of serious athletes have begun using this substance in combination with other supplements for increased muscle growth.
There are a great number of bodybuilding supplements available, many of which have been engineered for specific needs. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss each and every one I will talk about some of the more popular. Glutamine is an amino acid found in muscle tissue and works to prevent muscle breakdown and helps increase the speed of recovery. Supplements such as natural testosterone boosters work to gain muscle and enhance mood while anabolic flavones are non-hormonal flavones that increase protein absorption and work well when mixed with protein. The nitic oxide is also a naturally occurring supplement and works to increase blood flow while the ZMA mineral formula is said to increase anabolic levels and elevate testosterone levels. Most of the engineered supplements are quite new and have been in development for only about the past 8 years.
With all the bodybuilding supplements available it can be extremely difficult for someone to decide what works best for them and what works will ultimately depend on what your goals as a bodybuilder are, what type of a workout schedule you use, and how much muscle mass you wish to gain. There is no set in a stone program that works for everyone with each individual having different needs. Hopefully, this article will give you an idea of what is available and what may work for you.