To be the best you must take every advantage you can, and nowhere does this precept hold truer then in the uncompromisingly tough sport of bodybuilding. As each year progresses, it can become harder to gain the competitive edge.
Age, an adjustment and acclimation to training that causes slower progress and the general complexity of life with its many demands and issues can all conspire to thwart our training efforts.
While training intensity can be accomplished trough a targeted training program and an ability to adequately stimulate our muscles is something the motivated and determined bodybuilder often has no problem doing, muscle recovery is another issue. It is especially important at a time of the year when social demands and incorrect eating combine to stifle our progress.
This is why it is particularly important to fill any nutritional gaps with quality supplementation, a practice that can be done all year round for maximal results in muscle size and strength. So lets have a look at the quality supplements that will for sure help you to jack up your performance.
As a foundation for muscle gains, quality protein supplementation is without equal. And the best absorbed form – often used specifically post-workout, and with meals to round out one’s protein balance – is whey protein. Whey protein has a high biological value and is extremely convenient to take.
While protein obtained from food sources can provide more sustained protein levels (especially prior to bed to offset the fasting period that usually occurs during sleep), whey is rapidly shuttled into the muscles where it can exert its powerful anabolic effects.
2. Branch Chain Amino Acids
Since taking Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) regularly I have witnessed a noticeable improvement in muscle density and my recovery rate has also increased exponentially. As essential aminos, the BCAAs (leucine, isoleucineand valine) must be taken through the foods we eat.
As the only three aminos metabolized directly by muscle tissue they are especially important for the immediate recovery of muscle tissue. They are used to build new proteins after hard training. As a primary muscle-building insurance policy, BCAAs should be on the top of anyone’s supplement list. Universal and SciFit are brands I have found to be effective.
Considered a conditionally essential amino acid, L-glutamine comprises up to 60 percent of free-from amino acids circulating in muscle tissue and is critical for muscle recovery. If the muscles and the rest of the bodily systems have an abundant supply of L-glutamine, muscle tissue will be less likely depleted under conditions of stress. After a hard training session L-glutamine levels will be reduced throughout the body by as much as 50 percent.
When creatine hit the shelves in the early ’90s, it quickly became the supplement of choice for athletes the world over.
A supplement that can support increases in size and strength. I have personally found that when I’m not taking it my muscles become much flatter and energy levels tend to plummet. Creatine’s major benefits – among many – are twofold.
It increases muscle energy, allowing one to train harder and to reap the results. And secondly, it hydrates muscle tissue, which, over time, causes them to become bigger and stronger.
5. OMEGA-3 Fish Oil
The many health benefits to be derived from eating fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel are well documented. However, due to various contaminants, purity and quantity of essential fatty acids supplied, availability and price, gaining valuable Omega-3 fatty acids from these sources is often not ideal. Fish oil in supplemental form, on the other hand, provides the perfect ratio of these Omega-3’s in the purest and most concentrated way possible.