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How to choose the right supplements for your specific goal

How to choose the right supplements for your specific goal
How to choose the right supplements for your specific goal

Today, we can rarely find an athlete, especially a bodybuilder who has not used any kind of bodybuilding supplements in their diet. And for a good reason, bodybuilding supplements can be a great aid for those who want to improve their performance, build muscle or improve their appearance.

There is a huge selection of supplements and medications on the market today, and it’s bit hard to decide what kind of a supplement you should use. We’ll take a look at a few types of fitness supplements and try to explain which supplement you need to choose to achieve specific goals.

MUSCLE MASS AND STRENGTH

– Weight gainer – a nutritional supplement containing a high percentage of carbohydrates, lower percentage of protein, as well as amino acids and vitamins. Weight gainers provide fast increase in weight and muscle mass and strength increase. Carbohydrates provide the energy and majority of the calories needed for weight gain and proteins are essential for lean muscle growth. This is why mass gainers are commonly used by beginners.

The gainer can be taken up to 3 times a day, but you need to know that you will not only increase muscle and strength, but fat mass as well. Depending on your physique type (ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph) you can choose the most optimal dossage (1-3 times a day). The most rational way to take weight gainers is about 30 min to an hour after your workout, as this is the time when your body needs the carbs to restore glycogen and protein for muscle recovery.

– Whey protein – concentrated protein-amino acid complex, derived from whey. Whey is actually a byproduct, created during the manufacture of cheese. Whey protein plays a big role for bodybuilders because it contributes to rapid muscle growth and fat burn. Of course when used for fat burning purposes, the dosage, consumption scheme, as well as carbohydrate intake differ from those used during bulking.



Whey protein typically comes in three main forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate.

Whey concentrate – the purification rate in concentrate is not too high. The content of biologically active substances can vary between 30% – 89%. Whey concentrate contains small amounts of fats and cholesterol as well as moderate amount of carbs in the form of lactose.

Whey isolate is a more clean protein source than the concentrate. The content of bio-active substances is more than 90%. The isolate as well as the concentrate still have a soft milky taste.

Whey hydroisolate protein is one of the purest protein sourecs, which are easily absorbed by the human body. They are usually the most expensive type of protein. The hydroisolated protein may be less allergenic than other two forms. It has a bitter taste.

Multi-protein complex is a mixture of proteins coming from various protein sources: egg, whey, casein, etc. It keeps the body nourished longer than whey as the different types of protein are digested at different rates. This is why the best times for consumption are before sleep or longer fasting periods.

Casein is one of the protein types found in milk. It is characterized by very slow absorption. It also helps with appetite suppression, as the time of digestion of this protein is 8-10 hours. This is why casein is also used before fasting or before you go to sleep.

Creatine is naturally produced in the bodies of mammals from 3 amino acids : arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine will make you stronger, it will speed up recovery and increase muscle mass in a very short time. Gains of 5-10lbs in a 30-40 day period from creatine are not uncommon. In addition, creatine buffers the production of lactic acid and can raise the levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, which also accelerates the growth of muscle mass.

It’s recommended to take 5-6 g of creatine, every day. On training days you can take it after your workout with your protein/carb shake and on rest days you can take it with your largest meal.

Glutamine is another essential amino acid. It can be found in large quantities in human muscle. Consumption of glutamine as a bodybuilding supplement increases strength, endurance, and accelerates the growth of muscle mass. The recommended dose is 4-8 grams. twice a day – after training and before going to bed.

BCAA – a combination of 3 amino acids: Leucine, valine, isoleucine. These are very important for muscle growth (after glutamine) and make up to 35% of all the amino acids contained in muscles. These three amino acids are not produced by the body, so they must come from food or as a supplement. They contribute to muscle growth, slow down the processes of deterioration of muscle tissue and contribute to fat burn.

Anabolic complexes – these multi-component nutritional supplements containing vitamins, amino acids, proteins, etc. with the addition of extracts of vegetable origin (Tribulus terrestris, d-aspartic acid, arachidonic acid, ZMA, etc.) aimed at stimulation of growth processes in tissues. This is an extensive group of dietary supplements, each of which has its own indications.

FAT LOSS

Fat burners are fitness supplements that reduce body weight by suppressing carbohydrate intake, excretion of excess fluids, appetite reduction, etc. There is a vast array of supplements for fat loss, the most common (legal ones) of which are the following:



Caffeine – a naturally occurring substance, found in almost all fat burners. It improves concentration, increases stamina, and gives a short-term burst of energy.

L-carnitine – an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. It promotes the transportation of fatty acids to the muscle cells, resulting in the release of energy. The result is improvement of mental and physical activity. L-Carnitine works best in a combination with physical activity.




Essential Fatty acids – fatty acids required for many biological processes, which cannot be synthesized by our body. Supplementing with omega-3 can effectively fight obesity, in addition, they are a source of antioxidants and are appointed to support the work of the nervous system.

Some other commonly used fat burners are guarana extract, yohimbine extract, green tea extract, extracts of pineapple and ginger, etc.

Protection of joints and ligaments

The joints and ligaments are subjected to enormous loads during intense training. This is why they often need some extra help. For their protection, modern sports nutrition uses a lot of different supplements, based on collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine, curcumin (an extremely effective substance derived from turmeric), magnesium, and vitamins C, B6 and B12.
Stamina and energy

Most fat burners will increase the energy and endurance, but there are some supplements whose action is directed solely at increasing energy. For example, isotonic drinks restore the lost electrolytes in the body.



Very often, energy supplements may also include a pre-workout complex containing caffeine extract, taurine, as well as the carbohydrates (complex and simple carbs), L-carnitine, amino acids and guarana.
Recovery

A multi vitamin/mineral complex can really help your body to recover from intense workouts. The most widely used are the vitamins from the B-group ans minerals such as Magnesium, Zinc etc.