There are hundreds of bodybuilding supplements available on the market, so trying to find the right one can be a little daunting.
When choosing the right bodybuilding supplement for you, you need to first consider what your goals are? Are you looking to bulk up, burn fat, increase your energy levels or create a more balanced mindset to improve your performance?
Your answer may be all of the above, but for the purpose of this article, lets have a look at some of the different bodybuilding supplements available, and what they are used for, so you can make a more informed decision for yourself.
There are many bodybuilding supplements that claim to work specifically on enhancing muscle mass.
They fall into several categories:
- Mass gaining and weight gaining protein
- Testosterone boosters
- Amino acids
- Protein powder
Mass gaining and weight gaining protein are supplements that increase your calorie intake through the combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Creatine works to increase muscle strength and mass, therefore increasing overall weight.
Testosterone boosters work at raising your testosterone levels which results in increased muscle growth potential.
Amino acids are essentially the building blocks of muscle formation.
Specialised amino acids work to promote muscle growth whilst others enhance recovery.
Protein powder gives your body a protein kick which assists in building muscles by boosting the muscle protein synthesis.
Different bodybuilding supplements target reducing body fat in different ways. Some include:
- Appetite suppressants
- Stimulant free products
- Carbohydrate blockers
- Fat burning supplements
Appetite suppressants work at reducing appetite, therefore food consumption, which results in weight loss.
Some people, for health reasons or preference, prefer to avoid stimulants as a means of assisting in weight loss. Stimulant free products work on the process in which body fat is stored.
Carbohydrate blockers, or starch blockers, work at either preventing the body absorbing the carbohydrates or inhibit the synthesis of carbs into the body.
Fat burning supplements come in many different forms, but essentially they work at increasing the bodies ability to metabolize fat.
It is important that you consider your diet with all of these supplements. If you are choosing supplements designed to burn fat, yet eating a diet high in processed sugars and simple carbs, this is going to negate the properties of the supplement.
Increased Energy and Stamina
There are several different supplements used to increase energy and stamina that have popped onto the market, only to be banned after health risks have been discovered.
There are still many that safely produce the desired effects, some of these include:
Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system by inhibiting the calming neurotransmitter, adenosine. This creates a higher level of energy and alertness due to increase levels of adrenalin.
Cordyceps are a type of mushroom that work to increase stamina and energy by enhancing ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) production, increasing cellular energy metabolism, supporting adrenal functions and improving the way oxygen is utilized.
Synephrine delivers a boost of energy by increasing the metabolic rate.
You can buy different combinations of bodybuilding supplements, or ‘stacks’, that focus on different goals, or you can make your own.
Often buying pre designed supplement stacks will save you a lot of money because you don’t have to pay for each supplement individually.
So know you have a better idea of what each of the different supplements are used for, you are able to make an informed decision by matching your goals to the appropriate bodybuilding supplements.