The secret to successful bodybuilding isn’t in the gym – it’s in the kitchen. What you eat throughout the day has a much higher influence on the strength and growth of your muscles than the hour or so a day you workout for.
This isn’t to say you can rely on bodybuilding supplements alone, of course. You still need to put in focused, consistent efforts in the gym to get the physique you’re looking for. But, taking supplements definitely puts you on a fast-track to success in comparison to weightlifting alone.
Here are 8 of the top weight training supplements you need to start using if you want your workouts to be as effective as possible.
1. Protein Powder
The use of protein powder to support muscle growth should be a given, but unfortunately, it’s something too many people overlook or don’t take seriously enough.
You can’t just take protein when you feel like it or every once in a while. It needs to be a part of every single workout you do, and you need to drink it right after your workouts for the best result.
Protein powder gives your muscles the support they need to rebuild the tears created from your workout right away. It speeds up the repair process making muscle growth easier to obtain.
2. Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Aminos are the foundation of every single protein in the body. As such, taking branch chain amino acids, or BCAAs, supports the growth process even more.
BCAAs are made specifically for muscle tissue. Other proteins support things like healthy blood flow and good cognitive function, which can split your body’s efforts during recovery. Taking BCAAs ensures your muscles get what they need while the rest of the body maintains homeostasis.
The key to any great workout is to get a good pump. Pre-workout helps you feel that pump from the second you step onto the gym floor. It’s packed with caffeine to get the muscles going before your workout even begins.
This means you’re better able to feel the mind to muscle connection that is crucial for good results. It’s not enough to go through the motions every day. The more you can work on targeting certain muscles and contracting well during each movement, the better your overall results will be.
The bodybuilding supplements thus far are the basics of any good diet program. It’s best to focus on those before incorporating other, more specific supplements for weight training like glutamine and creatine.
These are popular supplements that you’ll often hear people talk about in the gym or as add-ons at smoothie bars. But, you need to know what they do for you before you start taking them.
Glutamine is all about muscle recovery.
This supplement helps regulate your body’s balance of acids, which can be offset when you’re training heavily every day. Such a training schedule leaves little time for the body to detox certain minerals and compounds, which can lead up to intense muscle tightness. Glutamine combats that and supports long-term muscle recovery and safety.
Creatine is kind of like a more targeted version of pre-workout. It’s meant to increase your level of energy during a workout, but it can also support the recovery process.
The best use of creatine is to mix it with pre-workout right before your workout. However, there are some people who use it after they’ve finished exercise or take it at least an hour before their workout begins.
6. Nitric Oxide
Here’s a supplement you may not have heard anything about yet: nitric oxide. This is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, but the intake of more nitric oxide helps facilitate a healthy blood flow and ease muscle tension.
It’s a great supplement to have on hand if you have a tendency to get really sore if you’re feeling sluggish throughout the day. The use of nitric oxide improves your energy levels by supporting the way oxygen is distributed throughout the body. Muscle Freaks Nutrition has plenty of nitric oxide options for you to choose from and many more bodybuilding supplements available as well.
7. Fish Oils
Fish oils are another supplement worth adding to your diet. These are jam-packed with healthy fats to boost your energy levels throughout the day.
They’re not meant for instant energy like pre-workout or creatine. Instead, fish oils support a progressive increase of energy, which can lead to better performance in the gym and more focus at work or in school, too. These are a simple supplement to get your hands on which can do a lot for you.
8. Vitamins and Minerals
Just as it’s good to eat your fruit and veggies to have a balanced diet, it’s smart to raise your intake of general vitamins and minerals when trying to grow your muscles. Working out takes a lot out of you.
As much as you may be trying to burn fat or tone down, you still have to remember this is done at the expense of things your body needs to perform well throughout the day.
Taking vitamins and minerals ensures you have everything you need to crush your workout and still have plenty of support for your body to carry on at work, at home, and with personal matters. It’s the well-rounded approach to succeeding in the gym and taking on the rest of your life, too.
Find the Best Bodybuilding Supplements for You
It’s good to note that although bodybuilding supplements are made for a specific purpose, their effectiveness can vary among different individuals. Some people may see a significant difference in their workouts when using creatine while others may not notice much of a change.
More so, the alternative forms of certain supplements – like vegan protein versus whey protein – can create different levels of success, too. It’s worth easing into your supplement regimen so you can figure out what your body best responds to.
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