Fundamental Supplements You Should Never Skip as An Athlete
When it comes to bodybuilding and many other sports, exercise and a well-balanced diet may not be enough to burn stubborn fat and pack those impressive muscle mass. You need supplements to get the most out of your grind at the gym. But the reality is that choosing the right supplements can be confusing for most athletes, as there are hundreds of supplements from a diverse number of manufacturers. To help you get your bodybuilding hustle on overdrive, i have curated some of the most important supplements fundamental to building muscle mass in record time and optimize your efforts without wasting your money.
- Protein supps have already been explained int this article
- Branched chain amino acids
- Essential aminoacids
- Beta alanine
Creatine occurs naturally in the body as a nitrogenous organic acid and is vital for the rapid production of energy. Creatine is the choice supplement for bodybuilders looking to rev up their performance, and this has been proven by several scientific studies such as this study from Canada.
Creatine is especially effective in boosting performance during anaerobic activity, which results in increased strength and muscle gain. While there are different forms of creatine, the most popular and effective variety is creatine monohydrate. In fact, Creatine has been adjudged to be the most ergogenic and safe supplements you can access legally by the International Society of Sports Nutrition. It is arguably the best supplement for increased performance at high-intensity workouts, which is why it’s the favorite of many bodybuilders all over the world.
3) BCAA (Branched-chain amino acids)
If your muscles feel sore and achy after working out but without commensurate loss of weight or weight gain, you should add BCAA to your list of supplements.
Branched-chain amino acids are precursors to protein. BCAAs play an important role in protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle growth as well as promote glucose uptake in muscles. BCAAs occur naturally in the body, but exercise can deplete them, causing fatigue. This is why supplementing BCAA can reduce fatigue in addition to boosting muscle gain.
According to a study conducted at the University of Birmingham, athletes who used BCAAs before and post workout experienced a significantly lower muscle soreness. Other studies have shown that supplementing BCAA can increase fat burn in glycogen-depleted trainers and lower fatigue.
4) Essential Amino Acids
Essential Amino Acids or EAAs for short are amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body, which implies that you have to get it through your diet or supplementation. Like BCAAs, EAAs are essential building blocks of muscles as they are required for protein synthesis. However, you may don’t need to supplement EAAs if you are on a high-protein diet.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissues and plays a crucial role in the maintenance of muscles. Glutamine offers a variety of benefits to bodybuilders and athletes. Glutamine promotes protein synthesis and muscle repair and recovery. Supplementing glutamine helps to shore up the reserve of this amino acid during exercise so you can get more out of your workout. According to a study conducted at Dundee, Scotland, glutamine can help regulate glycogen levels and increase performance and muscle gain.
Beta-alanine is technically a non-essential beta-amino acid, structurally, beta-alanine is a hybrid between the potent neurotransmitters L-glycine and GABA, which may explain why consumers often claim to experience a caffeine-like response from it and its also a neurotransmitter. It increases the amount of work you can perform at high intensities, supplementation can help promote muscular endurance and reduce fatigue. Some studies also suggest that it may promote muscle gain. However, beta-alanine is only effective in activities that exceed 60 seconds, making it ideal as a performance booster during high–rep workouts.
Caffeine is a popular pre-workout stimulant which is known to promote muscular strength and endurance. Caffeine can also increase performance in weightlifters who are sleep-deprived. Caffeine aids performance by increasing spinal cord excitability and promoting the recruitment of muscle fiber while decreasing muscle pain and fatigue. However, caffeine can be highly addictive, and the body can quickly adapt to it, reducing its effectiveness.
Arginine is a precursor to the vasodilator nitric oxide. Arginine stimulates the release of nitric oxide which relaxes the muscle walls to widen the blood vessels for improved blood flow. This activity promotes muscle conditioning and endurance. Also, arginine plays a crucial role in protein synthesis, and it is an important component of glutamine.
Vitargo is a carb–based supplement used in the form of a powder in a shake. Vitargo has been touted as the best post workout supplement to capitalize on the anabolic effect of exercise for accelerated muscle gain. The supplement works by replenishing depleted glycogen stores, providing the nourishment your muscles need to deliver on your next workout session. The supplement is popular among bodybuilders, endurance athletes and cross–trainers because of its rapid effect in boosting energy for increased performance. Vitargo can also be used before and during workouts to boost your energy reserves for higher performance and weight gain.