Natural supplements and bodybuilding

We all know that a healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy appearance. It’s true what they say, you are what you eat. What should a bodybuilder’s daily food intake include in order for all nutritional needs to be met and build that body one dreams of? What is the role of natural supplements in this case? Let’s find out more about this in today’s post.

Nutritional needs and bodybuilding diet

Many people jump to supplements in order to feed all of their nutritional needs. It’s not a bad idea to do that but supplements should just add to a healthy food schedule. They are not a substitute for it. Many people don’t eat a large enough variety of food to meet all of their nutritional needs, and many people who are on a diet limit or even eliminate vital nutrients. No healthy diet does that.

When it comes to natural supplements to help you build the body you dream of and get those muscles shaped, the market bursts with all kinds of products that promise muscle building and fat burning. Unfortunately, many products are not tested or have not been subject to scientific studies. A large selection of bodybuilding supplements come with little information yet with an extensive list of great results one would reach if using the product.

There are appreciated and tested bodybuilding supplements that indeed do their job, though. Before buying any such products go for a thorough research, gather all the information you need and consult your doctor.

The most well-known and used bodybuilding supplements include the following: creatine, casein-whey protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, multi-minerals and fiber supplements.

Creatine supplements

Creatine is of prime importance if you go for high-intensity workouts. It’s not a must for people whose main sports activities include aerobics and are interested just in increasing work capacity.  Naturally, creatine is found in meat. This means the more meat you have, the more creatine you get. If you’re a vegetarian though or you rarely eat meat, creatine supplements must be included in your diet. Creatine neutralizes acidity in the trained muscles and acts as a second battery in your car.

Creatine has undergone several scientific tests and is said to be effective in 80% of people who use it. There are some side effects, though, although rare, that may come with the use of creatine and these include muscle cramps, gastrointestinal disturbances, and kidney disease. The best creatine form to be taken is creatine monohydrate which is 99% absorbed.

Casein-whey protein supplements

If you’re a bodybuilder, you’ve most probably heard of and even used casein-whey protein. Well, they’re a must. Why so? Because they promote a positive nitrogen balance. Casein is a slow-acting protein which delivers its amino acids over 7 hours and which prevents the excess of protein breakdown, thus promoting growth, whereas whey is a fast-acting protein that delivers its amino acids in around 90 minutes, which increases protein synthesis.

The market is rich in such supplements. Make sure you consult your nutritionist or doctor before ingesting any products and if he has okayed the use of such a supplement, make certain it is a high-quality one.

Omega-3 fatty acids

You’ve probably heard before that omega-3 fatty acids are of great importance in maintaining a good health. The brain is composed of 40% DHA which is one of the omega-3s. Known to be helpful in preventing several types of cancer, Alzheimer’s and depression, the omega-3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation which is great in relieving sore joints and muscles. Omega-3 supplements are not recommended before training and should be taken in five-gram dosage daily by bodybuilders. If you need such a generous intake too, you might want to consider the liquid omega-3 supplements.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are among the most important nutrients for a healthy living. They include vitamins, minerals and flavonoids among others and are to be found in fruits and vegetables. Many people, especially those on a bodybuilding diet, don’t get as many antioxidants as they need only from what they eat. This is where antioxidants supplements come into sight.

When exercising, the body produces oxidative reactions which are toxic. That’s why the body’s antioxidant system must be well “equipped”.  Antioxidants work against oxidation and toxic oxidants such as free radicals. In order for your body to get all the antioxidants it needs when on a bodybuilding diet, you should include the following antioxidants: vitamin E, C and B-complex, selenium, zinc, manganese, grape seed extract and green tea extract. All of them will work in concert so you can get the best out of your exercises without any damage.

Mineral supplements

You might find it a too common supplement for a bodybuilding diet. It might be common but it’s a must. Vitamins, which are coenzymes, become useless if not used in combination with minerals, also known as enzyme activators. Most supplements combining vitamins with minerals do not have a sufficient amount of minerals. Make sure you get all the necessary minerals by going for a separate mineral supplement or a vitamin and mineral combining product that comes with sufficient mineral content.

Fiber supplements

Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are needed for the fiber needs to be met. Many people don’t have so many fruits and vegetables though and low-carbohydrate diets lack fiber. So it’s here that fiber supplements become a must. They protect against inflammation and lower blood lipids and blood pressure. Taken before a meal, fiber supplements (be it soluble or insoluble) reduce the insulin release, decrease body fat and stabilize the blood glucose level.

It is recommended to go for both soluble and insoluble fiber supplements in order to enjoy all of its benefits. A great source of insoluble fiber is unprocessed wheat bran.  As for soluble fiber, there are various products, most of them containing oatmeal.

Final thoughts about bodybuilding diets and supplements

Before beginning any diet, make sure you talk to your physician and nutritionist. Don’t go for diets that are popular on the Internet and that eliminate nutrients of prime importance for promoting and supporting a good health. What works for some bodybuilders might prove useless for others. Get your doctor’s okay before embarking on a new diet journey. The right nutrients, the appropriate exercises, and perseverance should get you that body you dream of.