Thứ Bảy, 1 tháng 8, 2015


The bodybuilding supplement business is a multi-billion dollar industry that, especially over the last decade, has been making a killing. And it’s the young (and not so young), eager gym goers desperate to pack muscle onto their frame who have been dying. Unscrupulous companies plaster their promotional material with images or steroid induced behemoths who claim that you have simply got to take their supplement to have any show of building muscle. After a few years of wasted investment, a lot of frustrated hard gainers simply give up.

Yet it needn’t be that way. It is possible to wade through the masses of useless junk to find the supplementary gems that will actually help you to pack muscle onto your frame. You simply have to now what you’re looking for.

In this chapter we present 5 key muscle building supplements that you should be adding to your nutritional arsenal.

Super Supplement No. 1: Protein Drinks

Protein builds muscle. That’s why it’s essential that protein forms the basis of your nutritional plan, especially before and immediately after your workout. Getting quality, lean protein into your body in the form of whole foods at these times can be tricky. That’s where protein powders come into their own. They’re quick, cost effective and they channel their nutrients directly to the muscle cells that are craving them. Taste is another issue entirely. Many powders out there taste like sawdust. That’s why we set out to find the best tasting protein powder on the market today. After all, if you don’t like it, you won’t keep taking it. And, just like with your training, consistency of protein intake is the key to success. Getting hold of the best tasting protein powder will make it easy for you keep up your intake. Here’s on overview of what you need to look for when considering your protein powder.


Taste, of course, is a subjective thing. We all like different flavors and types of food. When it come to protein powders, however, we can all identify the winners from the losers. Some products on the market, despite announcing a mouthwatering taste on their packaging, are virtually inedible. It pays, then to either check with family and friends to get recommendations on taste before spending your hard earned money on a product you may not be able to stomach. Alternatively, ask for a taste test before buying.

You’ll want to buy a protein powder that mixes effortlessly in your shaker bottle, without leaving residue in the bottom of the bottle. Clumpiness is a no-no, as is a chalky taste. Rather, your mixed drink needs to be smooth, like velvet. The best tasting protein powders will offer a range of flavors, providing a world of variety beyond vanilla and chocolate.


You don’t want a protein powder that’s going to leave you with gastro-intestinal upsets, cramping or flatulence. A quality product will leave you feeling strong and pumped rather than weak and deflated. It will have a yield rate of 70% or more (that’s the percentage of the actual product that is protein). The amino acid profile should include both Branch Chain (BCAA) and Essential (EAA) amino acids. A combination of casein, whey and egg protein will provide a great protein mix.


Unlike most other foods, protein powders have a job to do. If it doesn’t help to build muscle mass, lean you out and provide energy, you should stop using it, even if it is one of the best tasting protein powder on the market. Keep a record over the period that you take the powder, carefully noting your strength improvements and muscle mass gains. You should also check with gym buddies before spending your money on what they have found to be the best product to build muscle.

Ease of Use

The best tasting protein powders must also provide ease of use. It should mix equally well in a blender, a shaker bottle and with nothing more than a spoon. Make sure that the powder doesn’t cling to the sides of the mixing cup or give you mouthfuls of clumpy residue. You also don’t want a product that makes you feel bloated, especially if you’re taking your protein during the workout.

Whey or Casein

The two basic types of protein that you’ll find on the ingredient list are whey and casein. Whey protein is considered fast acting because it is able to break down into amino acids and get into the bloodstream within 15 minutes of entering the body. Whey is a dairy based protein, and should be your protein of choice prior to and immediately after your workout.

Casein protein is digested more slowly. As a result this is a good option prior to bed, as it will provide a slow release of protein throughout your system during the night hours when your body is busy at its replenishing and rebuilding work.

Super Supplement No.2: Branch Chain Amino Acids

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) have long been a favorite of bodybuilders and strength athletes, who have used them to increase protein uptake within the muscle cell a well to boost both intra and post workout energy and recovery. Emergency room workers, too, in hospitals know all about BCAA’s. They use them to improve healing and recovery time from injury. As a result of their medical and athletic applications, BCAA’s have been subject to a huge number of scientific studies. These studies have given the public at large confidence in the efficacy of supplementing with BCAA’s. If you’re not using BCAA’s to support your muscle building efforts them you are missing out on a vital ingredient. The current consensus is that BCAA’s act optimally when taken as a drink during the workout.

Branch-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), include the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. All three of these are considered essential amino acids because they are not synthesized by the body and must, therefore be supplied by our diet. BCAA’s are unique in that they can be oxidized in the muscles for fuel. The other essential amino acids are broken down in the liver. BCAA’s, especially leucine, are key stimulators of protein synthesis and protein breakdown. BCAA’s can be used as fuel during exercise. They will also prevent the catabolic effects of working out. Post-workout they can enhance muscle building effects.

Benefits of a BCAA Supplement

· Increases metabolism

· Decreases appetite

· Prevents the breakdown of muscle tissue

· Decreases perceived workout exertion allowing you train harder and longer

Recommendations: Most experts recommend a slightly higher dosage of leucine and smaller dosages of valine and isoleucine. Supplement with 8g of BCAAs daily in a ratio of leucine / valine isoleucine of 3:1:1

Super Supplement No. 3: Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the human body. It is mainly synthesized and stored in muscles. Heavy weight training is associated with drops in blood glutamine levels, increasing susceptibility to infection . As well as providing athletes with immune support, glutamine supplementation promotes protein synthesis and help prevent muscle breakdown. Glutamine can be especially helpful to trainers who are experiencing burn-out or overtraining.

Recommendation: Glutamine is available in tablet, capsule and powder form. It should be taken pre (30 minutes prior to the workout), during and post workout at a dosage of 4g.

Super Supplement No. 4: Creatine

Creatine is the number one, most popular supplement used by people the world over to gain muscle mass and strength. Several hundred studies have conclusively shown that it does, indeed, improve performance and increase muscle mass.

Why Take Creatine

Creatine is not a steroid or a drug. In fact, creatine is naturally found in your body. The human body synthesises one gram of creatine per day. So what does creatine do?

Creatine is necessary to produce the energy for high intensity activity, especially those activities that typically last for less then ten seconds – like a weight training repetition. Supplementing with creatine increases your muscular stores of creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is necessary to help resynthesize ATP. ATP is what your body needs to lift heavy weight. Studies have shown that creatine will help you to recover from high intensity activity. If you’re looking to add some size, creatine will help you to add two to five pounds of lean muscle to your frame.

You can naturally find creatine in meat. However, in order to get one gram of creatine you have to eat about one kilogram of meat. To get the recommended daily amount for muscle gain, you would have to consume 5 kg of meat per day! Supplementing with creatine is a whole lot healthier – and cheaper!

To notice results, you’ll want to take 3-5 grams od creatine daily, even on non-workout days. Studies show that it doesn’t matter what time of day you take your creatine. They key is to simply keep taking it.

What to Look For

There are a huge number of options when you start shopping for creatine. Your first point of reference should be to go for a product that has a base of creatine monohydrate. Monohydrate is the original creatine and it is the one that has been the basis of the majority of creatine studies. It has been proven time and again to enhance the ATP system for increased energy, strength and mass gains. There have been a lot of new creatine variants come along, such as kre-alkyline, which is a 98% monohydrate with a buffer. Creatine hydrochloride requires a lesser amount of creatine, but it is also not as effective as straight monohydrate.

When looking for brands of monohydrate, check the label for Creapure, which is the brand name of a German manufacturer of monohydrate. Creapure have a patented process for how they derive their creatine monohydrate. Choosing Creapure will ensure that you are getting the purest form of creatine monohydrate available.

How Much Does it Cost?

When you consider how effective it is, creatine is extremely cheap. You only require 3-5 grams per day. You should expect top pay about four cents per gram. Creatine is available as a powder, a liquid or a capsule. The powder will always be the cheapest, with the liquid being the most expensive, sometimes pushing the per gram cost up to twenty five cents.

Super Supplement No. 5: Nitric Oxide

You work hard in the gym – and out. You discipline yourself to keep your diet clean and you get the rest and recuperation required to allow your body to grow and respond. You’re constantly looking for any advantage that will help you to maximise your workouts and get you to your physique and fitness goals faster. If this sound like you, then Nitric Oxide boosters are a supplement that you definitely need to get familiar with. Let’s consider the benefits – and the dangers!

Nitric Oxide is a gas produced by the body. Nitric Oxide boosters are supplements designed to enhance the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide. They do this by facilitating the breakdown of the amino acid arginine.

The enhanced level of Nitric oxide in the body then works by promoting more efficient blood delivery to the muscle cells. They do this by widening or dilating blood vessels. This not only encourages better muscle pumps during and after your workouts but also helps to more rapidly transport nutrients to the muscle. This allows you to lift heavier for longer and recover faster from your workouts.

Nitric Oxide Benefits

The amino acids arginine, citrulline and beta-alanine are the most common ingredients in nitric oxide boosters. These aminos have proven nitric oxide boosting properties. Whether you’re looking to build strength, add muscle or recover faster from your workouts, nitric oxide booster supplements will get you there faster. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider nitric oxide supplementation:

Quicker Workout Recovery: By enlarging the blood vessels, NO boosters assist smooth muscle to relax and quicken oxygen delivery to the muscle cell. This along, with the enhanced blood flow will greatly boost your recovery ability.

Less Fatigue While Training: When you’re training hard, especially if performing high rep workouts, fatigue can be a major limiting factor. High rep training requires endurance and a limiting factor to endurance performance is oxygen delivery to the muscle tissue. NO boosters have the ability to dramatically improve your oxygen uptake.

More Energy: Improved blood supply to the muscle cell results in a more stable core body temperature. This means that less energy will be required to bring the body’s temperature down during hard training. That means that more energy will be available for the workout.

Burns Body Fat: The NO precursor L-arginine increases glucose uptake in the body. It also boosts the body’s ability to burn body fat as fuel.

A Great Pump: The increased blood flow to the muscle cell will give an awesome pump to your muscles. You’ll look great and feel even better. The pump may not last, but the motivation will.

Nitric Oxide Side Effects

The muscle, energy and pump inducing benefits of NO Boosters are real and demonstrable. But so are a number of concerning side effects. Here are the key side effects of NO supplementation:

Dizziness and Faint Feeling: NO boosters can drop your blood pressure to abnormal levels, leading to an uneasy, spacy feeling along with light-headedness. This is due to their ability to open up the veins to allow for better oxygen uptake.

Vasodilation and Bleeding. Vasodilation refers to the enhanced ability of the blood vessels to open and relax. NO supplementation will boost this ability with the resultant benefits mentioned above. But there is a downside to increased vasodilation. It can result in low blood pressure and excessive bleeding.

Herpes Susceptibility: The main amino acid in NO supplements is L-Arginine. It just so happens that this amino acid also aggravates the herpes virus. It is not uncommon for a person starting on NO booster supplementation to contract the herpes virus.

Diarrhea, Weakness, Nausea: Overdosing on NO Boosters may lead to these unpleasant effects, primarily as a result of too much L-Arginine.

More Frequent Urination: The higher levels of arginine lead to more frequent urination, both during the day and the night.

Lowered Dopamine Levels: Dopamine is responsible for our levels of motivation, our sleep patterns, cognitive ability and memory. Enhanced nitric oxide uptake, however, has been shown to reduce dopamine production by up to 66%.

Gastrointestinal Problems: Quite a common effect of NO supplementation is bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence. This is mainly due to the high levels of arginine present in most NO products.

Reducing the Side-Effects

To minimise the effects mentioned above, keep your Arginine levels below 5000 mg per day. Exercise regularly to naturally enhance dopamine levels. The amino acid tyrosine can also boost dopamine levels. Start with small dosages of NO supplements and then build up to the daily recommended levels. You can also divide your supplementation intake throughout the day. Don’t take nitric oxide if you suffer from hypotension.

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Whether to take nitric oxide supplements is a choice that must be individually weighed. Many people take them with no apparent adverse reactions while others may notice the majority of the above listed side effects within a day or two. If you feel that the benefits outweigh the potential risks, experiment with NO boosters for a six week period, carefully noting the positive and the negative results that you experience. If they get you bigger, stronger and more pumped without apparent harm, you’ve just found a winner. If not, you’ll know not to go there again. Either way, you will have benefited.

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