How do bodybuilding supplements work?
Bodybuilding supplements have become extremely popular lately, especially because they have the capacity to increase strength and power, help to burn fat, and to get you the best muscle mass. The more recent formulations are based on the stimulation of the nitric oxide (nitrogen) synthesis level, the stimulation of energy, and the prevention of muscles fatigue. How do bodybuilding supplements work?
Some of the facts.
It seems that the reasons behind the use of nitric oxide ingredient is the stimulation of muscle mass through the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscle. This happens because nitric acid causes dilation of blood vessels.
Arginine is one of the substances that turns into nitric acid. Most of the supplements used before training contain, besides arginine, substances for increasing energy, as well as the proteins needed to increase resistance, strength and efficiency of training. Most nitric acid supplements also provide fast-acting carbohydrate sources that promote insulin release.
Supplements based on proteins are directly linked to muscle growth, since the proteins are well-known to be promoting muscular health.
Supplements designed to postpone the occurrence of muscles tiredness and to offer a boost of energy are usually based on creatine, glutamine, and/or caffeine.
How do bodybuilding supplements work?
Bodybuilding supplements are welcome especially if:
You feel tired during your training
You can not finish the sets and repetitions that you have proposed
A study in 2008 showed that those who consumed supplements before training were able to increase the number of repetitions for their exercises, also showing an increase in the number of anabolic hormones (growth hormones and insulin production).
You probably know that one of the main ingredients of nutritional supplements is caffeine. Caffeine stimulates release of noradrenaline, which in turn leads to oxidation of fat and the elimination of fatigue.
Another study, carried out on a sample of 12 people, revealed that those who used the supplements 20 minutes before training had a higher resistance and felt the feeling of fatigue much later. You will probably say that it is just about the well-known placebo effect, but it appears that two groups were formed in the same study. One received real supplements, the other one a similar protein drink. And in this case, the first group has achieved higher performances.
Benefits of supplements before training:
- Powerful pump
- Stronger lifts
- Higher energy
- The ability to push heavy weights
- Facilitate the circulation of nutrients in the body
- Fat reduction in muscle mass
- Improved focus
What supplements you can take?
- Supplements containing creatine - Creatine has the ability to provide extra energy to sustain intense effort, help in muscle recovery and cell hydration. It should be taken 30 minutes before lifting or immediately after.
- Whey protein supplements - Are easier to digest and help increase muscle mass, preventing the feeling of fatigue. It should be taken 30 minutes before lifting or immediately after. Whey protein is also supporting an harmonious muscle growth.
- Supplements based on nitric oxide substances - They help, as I said, to the rapid flow of blood into the veins, which makes it easier for you to lift heavier weights. It should be taken 30 minutes before the start of the training.
- Caffeine-based supplements - Caffeine has the role of increasing alertness and focus power, as well as energy during lifting. It should be taken 30 minutes before liftings.
- BCCA-based supplements (branched-chain amino acids) - They relieve the feeling of fatigue in the muscles and help to increase them. It should be taken as soon as you wake up, 30 minutes before lifting, or immediately after training.
- Thermogenic supplements - Help to increase body temperature and metabolism. It should be taken either before training, either in the morning or at lunch, depending on the information on the leaflet. These supplements are designed, especially, for those who want to lose some weight while building muscles.
- Glutamine-based supplements - Help with the recovery period of the muscles by providing the energy they need. It should be taken after you wake up or immediately after you train.
What you need to remember is that bodybuilding supplements do no miracles and do not work the same for everyone. Some will say that they did wonders for them, while others would say they had no effect. The only thing you can do is give them a chance, try them and see if they give you more energy in the gym. Also, do not forget the main rules for bodybuilding:
- Follow a balanced diet – You should take all the nutrients (vitamins, proteins, minerals, and so forth) from your food, especially.
- Offer a long enough recovery period for your muscles – Muscles are not growing during the training as much as they do after the training ends, and too much workout on the same muscle groups will lead to fatigue which will halts the gorwth process until the muscles tissues are recovered. Always workout different muscle groups each day when you go to the gym room.
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