Let’s get it out of the way early; Bodybulk are not endorsing the use of steroids, fat burners or any other form of ‘dodgy’ drugs which will cause you more harm than good.
We explore what to do and not do when it comes to gym supplements.
People in the gym use supplements for a wide variety of reasons: To help you feel better, improve your energy. To aid in weight loss or to gain muscle mass. To add nutrients or to replace foods.
Like anything, even supplementing the right things doesn’t mean that you can have unlimited everything. Most things are OK in moderation but you need to fully understand what and why you are supplementing.
Here’s what supplement won’t do for you
#1 – Replace your diet
#2 – Replace hard work
#3 – Replace a well-designed lifestyle
Although medically you might be able to live your life of supplements (this is not proven, nor unproven), this is seriously not recommended. Most of the supplements you could be taken, you can also get from food, as we’ll explore.
Here are 8 of the Bodybulk’s recommended supplements:
A bit problem in most people’s diet is a lack of protein. Cereal, porridge, bread, vegetables are all types of carbohydrates but it’s a common theme for people not to have protein in their diet.
Protein is one of three macronutrient, carbohydrates and fats being the other two. You need protein in your diet, it is essential to building muscle, losing fat and all around health.
Proteins are basically the building blocks of the human body, aiding you to repair your cells and structure your body.
Avoiding protein can lead to several symptoms, such as you metabolism being slower, trouble losing weight or gaining mass, low energy and tiredness, as well as muscle pain and your immune system not working as well.
You can get protein from foods such as seafood, white meat, red meat, eggs, and beans.
There is also supplementation which you can take, most common of which include Whey Protein and Casein Protein.
Whey Protein: Whey is produced from milk and leaves you with a powder which you can add to water to mix into a protein shake. Whey protein is instant protein and should be taken immediately after a workout.
Bodybulk recommends PhD Nutrition’s Diet Whey. I find it really helps get that additional protein, without unnecessarily consuming additional calories. It also contains different benefits that others get from having lots of different supplements:
It’s 91 calories per scoop, with each scoop containing 3.3G BCAA’s, 3.7G Glutamine & Glutamic Acid, L-Carnitine, CLA, Low in Fat, Sugar, Salt, Green Tea Extract.
Casein Protein: Similar to Whey protein, Casein also comes in a powdered format. Casein can aid muscle retention, especially when trying to cut fat and will aid in doing so, too. Casein, unlike whey, is a slower release protein.
Try using Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Casein. With 24g of protein per shake, it’s smooth texture also makes this taste as nice as
CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a type of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid which you can find in a lot of meat and dairy products.
It is particularly key in a strict diet to allow you to help improve your body composition and reduce any excess body fat, whilst keeping a good diet.
CLA’s will aid seeing the abs through, accessing your stored fat cells to burn additional fat and aid you in your muscle toning.
ZMA is exactly what it says on the tin – Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Asparate, and Vitamin B6 — we can make sense of that together!
ZMA helps to support your immune system and your muscles, playing a good role in aiding your overall muscular health and boosting your energy.
ZMA usage can also help boost your testosterone which is linked to muscle growth.
BCAA (Branded-Chain Amino Acids) are an essential supplement to take either pre-or during a workout. BCAA’s will help you have an improved and prolonged performance and promote recovery.
BCAA’s will help you maintain muscle mass when on a calorie deficient diet. This is due to what BCAA’s are made up of, namely three essential amino acids: Leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
They will help you in your recovery, prevent muscle soreness and fatigue.
Caffeine is a fuel for your workout! You can burn around 15% more calories from drinking caffeine. Adding it to your pre-workout could also reduce the muscle pain which you’ll produce during a big session!
It also adds to your reaction times and makes you think more clearly and be more alert (albeit, this is common knowledge)
It also has a load of health benefits, such as reducing your risk of liver cancer and a healthier heart
Caffeine does have some downsides and can be addictive with your body becoming almost dependant on it. Limit your caffeine use to big sessions and earlier in the day if you can! Drinking too much caffeine can cause restlessness and make it hard for you to get to sleep!
Multivitamins are very useful if your diet is slightly off point. As a short explanation, multivitamins give you all the nutrition and minerals you need in a supplement format, instead of from food.
You can supplement multi-vitamins if you feel you don’t get enough of a vitamin in your diet. Be sure to have a conversation with your GP or a Health Care Professional if you’re unsure as some vitamins may influence your body without you realising.
Furthermore, this handy guide on multivitamins will help you choose the right ones for you.
Creatine increases your physical performance in high intense exercise. This supplement is specifically geared towards people wanting to add mass on during their training and has been proven to do so over a period. It increases the ability for your body to swiftly produce energy, allowing you to train harder and get results quicker.
One thing is for sure: Creatine will make you add on weight!
Glutamine can play an important role in helping your body break down the proteins which you’re consuming, this is particularly useful for people wanting to get learner, such as if you’re wanting to keep muscle mass but lose extra body fat.
It helps stop you losing muscle, especially when going through a cut, so if you’re somebody who struggles to keep muscle when cutting, glutamine may be something for you.
It goes without saying that these supplements will only work well with a good diet and cannot just be added to your lifestyle if you have a poor diet or you don’t train correctly or consistently. They’re guidelines to follow if your lifestyle is on point and you need to extra ‘kick’ to help you achieve your desired results.