Natural bodybuilders take no illegal substances and any other related compounds that are banned by the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation (BNBF).
Many fitness professionals regard true natural bodybuilding as never taking any form of performance enhancing drugs and supplements that are not part of a natural nutrition plan.
Therefore the natural bodybuilder has to keep their eye on the ball in terms of what the banned substances are because they are updated on a frequent basis.
In terms of supplements many natural bodybuilders tend to side with caution, as the wrong move or a misjudgement in this area can lead to a ban from competitions for up to 7 years. It is this worst case scenario that drives the natural bodybuilder to use ‘food’ supplements i.e. protein. This is used to bridge the gap in their macronutrient intake.
It is particularly important to fill any nutritional gaps with some quality protein supplementation and this can be done all year around for top results in both size and strength. The misconception that you don’t need to supplement has existed for some time but advancements in protein supplement quality and purity ensure that all of the boxes are ticked- when combined with the right nutrition and training regime.
Protein supplementation is very popular because:
- You can save a vast amount of money when compared to buying foods that are stacked with proteins such as fresh grass fed beef and fresh sea foods
- They have a smaller quantity of fats and carbs when compared to consuming a high protein dietary intake
- They are a lot easier to prepare in comparison to cooking meats, eggs and sea foods
- They give a quicker hit because many protein supplements are also high in branched-chain amino acids and these skip digestion and go straight to the skeletal muscle
Whey Protein Powders
Protein is the king of all supplements for natural bodybuilders and it is a solid basis for all muscle gains. Every natural bodybuilder should have this bad boy in their supplement arsenal because it is a superb catalyst for protein synthesis and recovery.
Whey protein is made up of the following active ingredients:
- Beta-lactoglobulin which helps to preserve muscle during and post exercise. It boosts the bioavailability of the fat-soluble vitamins
- Bovine serum albumin peptides which play a key role as an antioxidant
- Immunogloblins these increase your immune function and boost recovery times
Whey protein isolate is a lot purer than its protein counterpart whey concentrate. Typically whey protein isolate has a longer filtration process and it contains around 90% protein and has a reduced amount of fats and carbs in its ingredients.
It is absorbed a lot quicker by the body than whey protein concentrate and this should be the whey protein of choice for all natural bodybuilders.
It is best to consume whey protein in the morning as your body will be in a slight catabolic state. Plus it can be used pre or post work as it has excellent muscle building and recovery properties.
One of the main ingredients of milk is the globules and these compounds don’t mix very well with other liquids. This is the main reason why casein protein takes far longer to digest and absorb into the muscles than whey protein.
Casein protein has a slow and continuous release and it this mechanism that helps with nourishing the muscles in between meal times and during sleep. In other words it prevents the muscle from entering in a catabolic state which is very bad news for any body builder.
You can purchase casein in different forms and these are as follows:
This is made by adding calcium, potassium and sodium to casein. Caseinate is very high in protein content and it is very easy to mix with milk or water.
Micellar casein removes all of the casein by microfiltration. This mechanism separates the casein from the whey and it also removes a lot of the lactose and fats. It is more difficult to mix with water and it is the slowest absorbing of all of the casein proteins. A suggestion is to consume it before bed time due to its slow release and absorption.
This type of protein is produced by hydrolysing the casein and this process breaks down the bonds between the amino acids. Hydrolysed casein is the fastest absorbing casein protein and can be used in between meals and after you finish exercising.
Goat’s Milk Protein
Some bodybuilders are allergic to cow’s milk and this has led to the manufacturers creating a whey and casein protein substitute. Goat’s milk protein is made from goats that are grass fed and the casein protein is far easier to absorb when compared to protein derived from cows.
However it can taste a little bland and it has lower amounts of protein and higher fat and carb content when compared to cow’s milk protein.
Egg protein powder is the highest grade protein on the market and it can be rapidly absorbed by the skeletal muscle. It has very high levels of amino acids and it has no fat or carbs in its content. It can be used before or after your work outs and it is excellent for both protein synthesis and muscle repair.