BodyBuilding Supplements

Body building supplements are one of the first things offered to you when you start body building and a good understanding of how they work, why and when to use them is very important for your health and the success of your training. When you are building muscle mass, your body requires an increased amount of certain substances in order to function optimally. Of course, you can exercise without using any supplements and with dedication and hard work, you can achieve good results, but you have to keep in mind that body building can be straining on your organism, so an increase from your regular intake of certain substances can often prove beneficial.

Body building supplements are mostly associated with weight training, but they can be used when practicing any sport in order to increase physical performance, build muscle mass and lose body fat. Some of the best known body building supplements are Creatine, multi-vitamins, glutamine, anti-estrogens, Amino acids and ZMA. Supplements are usually used in combinations, but you can also use a single type of supplement to increase your physical performances. The main role of supplements is to compensate for the increased demands of your body during body building, by providing it with the necessary substances. If you are under 16 years old, the use of supplements comes with restrictions; since your body is still developing you should limit yourself to basic supplements (such as proteins or multi-vitamins) and avoid those that stimulate muscle growth hormonally, because they can be harmful for your growth. Here are a few facts you should know before deciding which kind of body building supplements best suit your needs.

Protein supplements are some of the most commonly used body building supplements. The principle is simple, in order to add muscle mass, your body needs much more proteins than usual, and that’s where the supplements come into play. The best protein for muscle building is whey protein, and that’s what you’ll find in most protein supplements. Whey protein has an amazing advantage over the meat or egg protein, in that it doesn’t bring with it the fat the other two protein sources often bring with them(especially if taken from your diet), they have a high level of digestibility and have high amino-acid levels. They work by reducing the levels of muscle-damaging hormone Cortisol, improving liver function and immunity and lowering blood pressure. Protein body building supplements have no side effects if the necessary dosage is respected. An excess of protein supplements over a more extended period can cause kidney and liver damage.

Creatine is a nitrogen-based organic acid that naturally exists in the human body and serves as an energy supplier for muscle cells. Its effects in muscle repair have long been used in medicine and creatine is one of the top body building supplements used by athletes for its performance enhancing properties. Creatine’s chemical properties work to increase the duration of your physical performance and minimize your regeneration time, in other words, creatine provides muscle cells with the necessary chemicals to help them function longer and better and to require a shorter regeneration period between sets of exercise. The regular dose of creatine for body builders is between 5 and 10g daily. Unfortunately, the use of creatine as a body building supplement has been cause for some controversy and health agencies in several countries have (unsuccessfully) demanded that it be taken off the list of legal performance enhancers because of its potential side effects. Creatine is known to put quite a bit of strain on the liver and kidneys so caution should be employed if you know to be suffering from any liver or kidney illnesses. An increased water intake is required when using creatine because of its capacity to create water retention in muscle cells.

Glutamine is an amino acid contained in great measure in muscle cells and its roles in muscle protection, muscle development and immunity are crucial. Glutamine is also used in medicine for its role in speeding post-surgical recovery. Glutamine works against cortisone, a catabolic hormone and plays a great role in protein synthesis and glycogen synthesis (proteins help build muscle mass and glycogen helps keep the muscles toned and firm). The starting dose for glutamine is 3-5g a day and can gradually be increased to 10-15 grams a day as training progresses. Few side effects to the use of glutamine-based body building supplements have been recorded and while caution should be employed in the dosage of this supplement, much like with any other, it appears that glutamine is a safe, effective way to help your body building process.

Multi-Vitamins are used as body building supplements for their ability to enhance the effectiveness of proteins in building muscle, burning fat and the production of energy. There are two types of vitamins, fat soluble and water soluble. Water soluble vitamins in excess can be eliminated from the body, so an excess of water soluble vitamins, such as the B complex and vitamin C is not harmful for the body. Fat soluble vitamins will get stored in the body’s cells, and an excess of these can be toxic. Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. Well balanced multi-vitamin supplements will take these factors into account, but caution must be employed in the dosage of your daily multi-vitamins.

Natural Testosterone Boosters are body building supplements that naturally encourage the production of testosterone in your body, therefore facilitating an increase in muscle mass and strength. There are several products that offer this effect based on the different plant extracts they employ and the dosage varies for each product as per prescription. Testosterone boosters either work directly on increasing testosterone secretion in the body or by inhibiting the secretion of estrogen (estrogen is secreted in the male body as well), which results in an increased secretion of testosterone, but some products will combine testosterone boosters and estrogen inhibitors. Amongst the known side effects of testosterone boosters are an increased sex drive, increased aggression levels and at times, hair loss and acne. Testosterone boosting body building supplements should not be used by teenagers and should be used with reserve if you are under 25 years old, as before that age testosterone levels are at peak level and further stimulation is unnecessary.

HMB or beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid can be used as a body building supplement for its role in protein synthesis, which has great effects in muscle building, muscle repair, the prevention of muscle degradation and the increase of endurance. The usual dose is between 1.5 and 3 grams daily, and while its effects are considerable at all levels of training, its main benefits are for beginners in body building.
HGH or the human growth hormone is used in numerous body building supplements. While the effects of oral HGH supplements are debatable, especially considering that the assimilation of HGH orally is very difficult, the effects of HGH injections have not been contested. Often used by professional athletes for their muscle building and fat burning effects, HGH injections come with a series of side effects such as cancer or Acromegaly and a price few can afford.

Nitric Oxide is a gas naturally contained in the human body which acts as a vasodilatation neurotransmitter. In other words, its release causes blood vessels to dilate and more blood is pumped into muscle cells, which means better oxygen transfers, energy production, increased strength and muscular growth. Nitric oxide is used as a body building supplement either on its own, as arginine (a nitric oxide precursor), or in combination with creatine, a combination which has been known to give amazing body building results. Unfortunately, the prolonged use of NO has multiple side effects, such as cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Amino Acids have been known for their beneficial effects in body building and have therefore been used as body building supplements. The chemical structure of the amino acids reveals them as “building blocks” of proteins. Basically, proteins are formed from a series of amino acids linked together. As such, and knowing that protein intake is the basis of successful body building, their uses become evident. Amino acids are extremely helpful during recovery and in the prevention of muscle destruction during training, and their effectiveness grows if used in combination with glutamine and arginine. No side effects to the use of amino acids as body building supplements have been recorded, provided that the dosage is respected. The recommended dosage is 1.5 grams divided into two daily doses.

Methoxy is the name generally attributed to a kind of body building supplements from the Isoflavones chemical class. These substances are phytoestrogenes, which means they can sometimes have anti estrogenic effects. Methoxy body building supplements are advertised as a healthy replacement for steroids, and while certain opinions tend to be overwhelmingly positive, some professionals in the body building business still seem to distance themselves from the product and skepticism as to its efficiency is not uncommon.

ECDY or Ecdysterone has recently started being promoted as a body building supplement, and sellers of the substance claim that it will increase muscle mass while reducing fat. Tests show that this edcysteroid (a molting steroid in insects) has muscle building and fat burning effects and a lower rate of side effects than regular steroids, but something not many know is that ecdy has been commercialized and used as a body building supplement, despite lacking FDA approval. While smaller than those of steroids, side effects of Ecdysterone include gastrointestinal discomfort, which can however be lessened with the use of a high-protein diet. The regular dose as a body building supplement is 5 mg daily. Despite the very promising results this substance has achieved in testing, conclusive information is still scarce and further testing is required before reaching a clearer conclusion about the potential effect of this body building supplement.

ZMA is a two minerals and vitamin B product designed to boost testosterone and IGF – 1 (a growth factor) levels in training athletes. Because of its natural composition of minerals (zinc and magnesium) and vitamins (vitamin B), it can safely be used by teenagers as well. Studies have shown a great effectiveness of this product in building muscle strength, though later on, the accuracy of those studies has been contested, as was the effectiveness of the product. This supplement should not be taken with calcium or calcium containing products like milk or dairy because calcium prevents zinc from being absorbed.

Steroids have long been used as body building supplements before studies began showing their extreme negative effects, resulting in their banning. While their effects in muscle building, muscle strengthening, fat burning and virility are evident, their side effects, amongst which hair loss, acne, sexual dysfunctions, cardiovascular disease and increased blood pressure can’t be denied. Despite the known negative effects steroids can have and despite the negative view of public opinion on steroids, there are those that still try to use them, wanting quick results with a minimal amount of effort. What they don’t realize is that the use of healthy supplements, a well balanced diet and dedication can help them achieve amazing body building results without taking a negative toll on their appearance and health.

There are multiple body building supplement combinations that can be tried before you find the one that best suits your physical needs. Every person is different, and depending on body type and muscle structure, some products and combinations might work better for some than for others. It’s also recommended that you alternate the different combinations and body building supplements in order to get the maximal effect out of all of them. It’s very important that aside from choosing the adequate supplements for your physical necessities, you have an appropriate diet, get plenty of sleep and allow yourself enough recovery time between exercise sessions so that your body can function at optimal level. You might also want to try getting some advice from a professional trainer or body builder before choosing any body building supplements.

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