ProteinYour body cannot build muscle out of air. It needs the amino acids found in protein in order to make new muscle tissue and to repair muscle damage, so adequate protein is essential for every bodybuilder. One of the most digestible protein supplements available is whey protein isolate. Absorbed quickly, this supplement is best used right after each of your workouts to speed muscle repair.
In addition to whey supplements, many successful bodybuilders use supplements containing another milk-derived protein, casein. Unlike whey, casein is slow digesting. This means that it is most useful when taken before bed, so your body receives a steady supply of the amino acids that it needs in order to repair itself as you sleep.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)BCAA supplements consist of isoleucine, valine and leucine. These amino acids are important for muscle building and repair because they are metabolized within muscle tissue. When taken before and after you work out, BCAA supplements can help to fuel your training and to speed muscle recovery. These effects make it possible for you to train harder and achieve better results than would otherwise be possible.
Multi Vitamin and Mineral SupplementGetting sufficient vitamins and minerals each day is more critical for those who are training intensely than it is for average people. While you may think you are eating a well-balanced diet, it is likely that you are not getting sufficient amounts of all of the micronutrients that you need in order to support your training. Without proper vitamins and minerals, your body cannot function effectively or repair itself efficiently. This compromises your training, and it slows muscle building and recovery.
Fish OilRich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supplements should be part of every athlete's supplement regimen. Not only do omega-3 fatty acids support cardiovascular health, potentially reduce the risks of certain cancers, support joint health and help to maximize metabolic rate, but they also have a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Reducing inflammation is very important because it allows you to train more effectively, reduces your risk of injury and helps to prevent long-term joint damage.
CreatineCreatine is a very well-researched supplement, and many bodybuilders feel that it is the single most effective natural supplement for enhancing workout performance. A micronutrient that is normally found in skeletal muscle, creatine helps to increase muscle output, contributes to fuller looking muscles, helps to increase strength and acts to improve muscular endurance.
Darren is a Personal Trainer from Sydney, Australia, who competes in Natural Bodybuilding competitions. He says these five supplements are essentials for bodybuilding but they must be used in conjunction with a healthy diet. Darren believes protein powder for meal replacement is a good for the occasional meal but not as a constant source of nutrition.
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