As the word goes workout supplements help to supplement the diet, it can be of any form like pills, powder, liquid, etc.
The term workout supplement:
Implies an item (other than tobacco) proposed to enhance the eating regimen that bears or contains at least one of the accompanying dietary ingredients: a vitamin; a mineral; an herb or other botanical; an amino acid; a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or
A concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any ingredient described in clause (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E).
We will covering, these topics in this blog,
- Supplements or food?
- Why bodybuilding workout supplements are important?
- Do supplements harm?
- Best Supplements for bodybuilding
- Branch Chain Amino Acids(BCA)
- Citrulline Malate
- Nitric Oxide Boosters
- Whey Protein
- Fish oils
- Multivitamins/ “ZMA”
- Beta – Ecdysterone
Workout Supplements or food?
Supplements are meant to fulfill the need when whole foods are not either sufficient or your daily requirement is more. So, its clear workout supplements cannot replace whole food. Further, supplements can provide you enough nutrition, fiber, and antioxidants that whole food offers.
Then what is the need of workout supplements when we can take all nutrients from our food?
Well if you’re generally healthy and eating a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, lumens, whole grain then in that case you don’t actually need any workout supplements.
But, in some cases consuming supplements are actually okay, say
- If you’re a pregnant woman and consuming iron supplements or prenatal supplements which contain iron or consuming 400 grams of folic acid either from food or supplements.
- Older age people can take multivitamins.
- If you don’t eat well and not consuming enough calories required for your body
- If you’re on a vegan diet and not consuming essential vitamins and including a variety of food in your diet.
- Not able to consume seafood once on few weak can cause omega-3 deficiency, so you can take omega 3 as a supplement.
- Women’s with heavy bleeding during menstrual period.
- And, obviously when you don’t have proper food.
Why bodybuilding workout supplements are important?
Let’s keep this straight and simple, people interested in bodybuilding or fitness can opt for supplements and exercise to improve their performance. But, there is something everyone must know,
workout supplements can never overtake whole food.
The science behind – Your body needs (0.1-.02 * your body weight) Grams of protein and your regular diet may not be enough to fulfill the requirement.
For example –
your body weight is 80kg, which means you need at least 80 grams of protein to fulfill your one-day protein requirement.
With an average Indian diet, it gets difficult to fulfill this requirement as our diet is mainly focused on carbs and vitamins.
So, if you can include more variety in your food and fulfill the requirement of protein and other necessary nutrients then you don’t even need to think about workout supplements.
A study said most bodybuilders accepted that they get the best result when they are focussed only on diet.
Do workout supplements harm?
Nothing new, anything in access and not in natural form is not good.
Say like Creatine or kava if not taken in proper doses can easily cause liver and kidney damage.
Well there’s a list of side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, blood thinning, anxiety, nausea, etc.
but, isn’t that obvious as if you search for side effects of Crocin there will be an entire page dedicated to just side effects.
Best Supplements for bodybuilding
Now let’s talk about which all supplements one can take for bodybuilding.
One must focus on timing and doses as well.
Creatine is known to be every bodybuilder’s best friend, it is an organic compound, CNCH2C02H.
It is cheap, effective, minimal side effects when not taken in the proper dose. Creatine is absent in a vegan diet and found invertebrates.
It boosts the recycling of adenosine triphosphate none other than the energy currency of cells, it helps to pump your muscle by increasing water retention in muscles and helps to get lift more weight and look shredded.
Suggested use – 5 grams/day. It takes 6-8 hrs to get absorbed by the body, so I would recommend you take it during your morning meal if you’re planning to hit the gym in the evening to get the best results.
Important caution – Increase your water consumption by 2-3 litres.
Creatine hydrochloride or monohydrate
This is the common question by many beginners, well both are actually same compound. Hydrochloride is formed when we break monohydrate further into smaller particles. Nothing new, body will still take almost the same time to absorb.
Branch Chain Amino Acids(BCAA)
Amino acids are important for muscle gains. After the rapture of your muscles after a training session, our body requires amino acids to repair and grow, and in case our diet doesn’t have enough amino acids it can cause muscle loss.
How muscle loss?
The body will break other muscles that are not being used regularly and supply those amino acids to build the muscle which you’re currently working on.
Suggested use – 5 grams/day , best time is to take during workout.
Citrulline Malate is an amino acid but in a non-essential family, which means the body can produce some amount on its own. It is found in watermelon, cucumber, and some other foods. It is one of the common workout supplements.
This helps to increase vasodilation means widening of arteries or veins and increases blood flow and hence can be helpful for heart patients.
Suggested use – 2 gram/serving twice a day.
Nitric Oxide Boosters
As a workout supplement, It helps to widen your blood vessel and hence release of some important hormones such as growth hormone and insulin.
There are two types of nitric oxide boosters L-arginine (naturally present in red meat, fish and dairy products) and L-citrulline (naturally present in meat, nuts, legumes)
It helps in recovery after exercise and lowers the blood pressure for heart patients and pregnant women. It also helps in erectile dysfunction.
Suggested use – 2 gram/serving don’t exceed 3 serving a day.
Whey is the fluid staying after milk has been soured and strained, and one of the common workout supplements.
It is a result of the production of cheddar or casein.
100 grams of whey contains only 27 grams calories and hence this is one of the best choices of the supplement of protein to reduce calories in the diet and fulfill your protein daily requirements.
It is the best supplement to start with.
Whey Protein Concentrate Vs. Isolate Vs. Hydrolysate
concentrate consist of 80% protein, and
Isolate consist of 85-90 % protein, means Isolate goes through a further purification process and reduces the percentage of carbs and increase the protein content.
hydrolysate is formed when we concentrate isolate further and this involves breaking of some amino bonds by exposure of the protein to heat, acids, and enzymes. This makes hydrolysate to get more easily absorbed and provides body protein fast and effective just after a workout.
Suggested use – 1 scope/serving, for best result consume just after a workout. Don’t go beyond 2 scopes a day, your body will start storing as fat in that case.
Glutamine is building block of protein and a crucial part of immune system.
It is an important amino acid and helps you to build immunity. There are two types of L-glutamine and D-glutamine, they are commonly found in many foods like rice, tofu, and eggs, etc.
It helps in exercise performance and helps you to recover fast and life more.
Suggested use- 6 grams/day.
Fish oil is something everyone should consume if seafood is not accessible or your diet is not providing you enough omega -3. Even the WHO (World Health Organisation) says to consume 1 to 2 serving of fish a week.
There are so many health benefits of fish oils like regulates cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, can be helpful in weight loss, helps to fight against mental disorder, helps to improve eyes health, improve skin health, reduce liver fat, and can even improve attention in hyperactive children.
Suggested use – 250-500 mg/day depending on the brand the doses per capsule differs so check before consuming.
Caffeine is the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug. It helps to increase alertness and arousal and hence make the workout less tiring and not so bad.
Which also helps you to burn more calories and fat. You may end up sweating a lot, which is quite good. It helps you to lift more since your mood is already uplifted and there won’t be any sign of laziness.
There are many workout supplements but almost they all work kind of same.
Suggested use – 400 mg/day.
Important caution – don’t consume 5-6 hours before sleeping.
They are the most used supplement of the vitamin in the entire world and every day more and more people are starting to take this supplement. It can improve poor eating habits and even help in chronic diseases.
13 vitamins and 16 minerals are considered helpful and necessary for health. Fruits are the best source of vitamins.
It can help to improve eye health, brain function.
Vegan diet should be supplemented with multivitamins.
ZMA – zinc magnesium aspartate is one of the popular supplement, it helps to improve endurance and muscle growth. It can also boost your testosterone levels.
Suggested use – best to consult your doctor to know the best type of multivitamin to use and generally it’s once or twice a day.
Beta – Ecdysterone
It is a chemical found in some animals which live in water. They have a similar composition to make hormone testosterone. It can help you in improving athletic performance and even muscle building.
Suggested use – its dose depends on various factors such as age and health condition. So, it is best to consult with your doctor for the best dose.
How and when to take it?
Pre-workout – before exercise, usually 20-30 minutes prior.
Mid-workout – if you’re training long hours.
Post-workout – just after the workout.
To sum up, we can say workout supplements can be very helpful when your target is muscle building and strength building.
One must be careful with the quantity and type of supplement he/she is taking, proper suggestion from your doctor can be extremely helpful before trying any.
Ans. Bodybuilders can better go for multivitamins instead, they will make sure that your body is not vitamin deficient. Else try for Vitamin A,C,E etc.
Ans. There are plenty, protein, creatine, iron etc.