Most people who are bodybuilding, weight training, or training for any type of sport use nutritional health supplements to help them train more effectively and efficiently. In this article, we will primarily focus on bodybuilding supplements for those who are trying to get stronger, get bigger, and gain muscle in general.
Nutritional supplements are absolutely crucial if you are doing any kind of weight training. These supplements are nothing like steroids and are, for the most part, totally safe and healthy.
However, you will not even come close to getting the results that you want from your training efforts unless you take at least a couple of these weight training supplements. Let’s take a look at some of the most common supplements taken by your average weight trainer.
- Protein. Protein is a basic nutrient that is required for human life, but it is also essential to building muscle. While we all ingest protein with in our daily diets, we need much larger amounts of protein when trying to build muscle. Most experts recommend ingesting between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 100 lbs, you would want to intake between 100 and 150 grams of protein per day. However, too much protein can be hard on your kidneys, so do not go overboard and be sure to drink plenty of water. I will add a full article about protein eventually, but generally why protein is the most effective type.
- Creatine. This is probably the most popular bodybuilding supplement in history, and for good reason. Creatine is proven to quickly and effectively promote gains in muscle size when combined with a weight training regimen and proper diet. Studies have shown that creatine can increase energy, strength, and muscle mass and also reduces recovery time. A pretty amazing supplement! Creatine occurs naturally in the body in small doses. Side effects of creatine supplements could include dehydration and cramping, and it is also speculated that creatine may be tough on the kidneys. It is important to drink plenty of extra water while taking creatine and even after you stop taking it, since it builds up in the body. Avoid excessive heat and use caution when performing extensive aerobic exercise: be sure to drink extra extra extra water and fluids!
If you are new to weight training and/or do not want to spend a lot of money right away, a protein supplement would be the one product you should definitely get. If you do not get enough protein, you simply cannot build and maintain muscle. After protein, creatine is the next must have bodybuilding nutritional supplement. The effects will speak for themselves. After these two, you may want to consider some of these other bodybuilding supplements as well.
- Nitric Oxide. Also known by its chemical symbol NO, nitric oxide has recently become quite popular among bodybuilding and weight training supplement enthusiasts. NO is a gas that has many, many functions in the body but, essentially, can work to increase the flow of blood in the body. Increased blood flow translates to more nutrients and energy being delivered to the muscles, resulting in less fatigue and longer, more effective workouts, and longer muscle building phases in the body.
- Testosterone Boosters. Testosterone boosters are easily the most controversial nutritional supplement mentioned in this article. Proponents claim these products boost the natural production of testosterone in the body while, unlike steroids, staying within the “normal” range of testosterone. Some critics claim these products are largely ineffective while, on the other end of the spectrum, others claim these products are practically legal steroids. Despite these criticisms, testosterone boosters such as ZMA continue to be best sellers for manufacturers of nutritional health supplements.