What supplements do I need for bodybuilding? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What supplements do I need for bodybuilding?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Supplements can help you maximize your bodybuilding efforts by filling in gaps in your nutritional regimen.
  • You should also take multivitamins to help fill in nutritional gaps while bodybuilding.
  • Pay close attention to the ingredients in your supplements to best increase muscles and stamina and avoid unnecessary weight gain.

There are many supplements on the shelves, but what supplements do you need for bodybuilding?

When you are striving to improve the look of your overall appearance through muscle tone, it is important to use products that will maximize your efforts.

As you well know, bodybuilding requires dedication and energy.

To target specific areas and see the desired effect will take time, work, and the right supplements.

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Which Supplements Work Best for Building Muscle?

Taking supplements is important because they supplement or add in anything missing in your nutritional regimen.

They also help you regulate your diet, even during times when your eating habits are not so great due to stress or changes in your schedule.

If you have modified your eating habits, are working out regularly, and are still not seeing more muscle, supplements can help.

Products containing chromium picolinate are best because they help your body to better process carbohydrates for use in building muscle.

Protein supplements, such as casein protein and whey protein, can help get this vital nutrient into the muscles, where it can be used for the greatest advantage.

These usually come in a convenient powder form. Used in conjunction with regular exercise, they can give you the desired effect of decreasing fat and increasing muscle.

You may have seen news reports about BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids. Supplements that contain BCAAs help the muscles to recuperate after a strenuous weight lifting session. You should look for products featuring L-glutamine for optimum results.

Another supplement that can be good for bodybuilders is creatine. Naturally found in your body’s skeletal muscles, adding more in supplement form is effective in helping your muscles retain water, which results in giving you a more muscular physical appearance.

Your body needs a combination of food, nutrients, and minerals all working together in order for it to function properly.

This is also true for muscles, which is why taking good care of your muscles should also include vitamins.

Individual vitamins such as vitamin C provide a boost of antioxidants to help guard your body against the ever-present free radicals. Although vitamins do not provide energy, they are necessary for the overall size of your muscles and strength in your bones.

Multivitamins comprise many of the nutrients you will need for bodybuilding, such as iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. They should be included in any supplement plan.

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What Should You Take to Increase Your Stamina?

Products that list alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) as a primary ingredient can be beneficial if you are looking for that added boost. ALA is found naturally in the body, but supplementing this fatty acid works to help you get more energy from sugars such as glucose.

You want to be sure that you are performing at your peak, and this can only be done when your body has all the tools it needs.

Since it is difficult to get the correct amount of calories, vitamins, and minerals, supplements can be a helpful means of closing the gap.

There are a variety of products that make it easier to increase the calories you will call for while building muscle.

These should be used only to supplement your existing diet so you can avoid taking in more calories than you need, which results in more weight gain instead of muscle building.

Typically, each product will list its calorie amount so it’s easy to find one that is right for you.

When Is the Best Time to Take Supplements for Bodybuilding?

For most supplements, including glutamine and BCAAs, they are best taken after your workout. They can help you recover after putting your muscles through a strenuous exercise session.

The multivitamin option can be taken at any time. However, you may want to start your day off in the right direction and take it with your morning meal.

Supplements for weight gain work better when you take them after exercising or as a meal replacement.

Is It Always Necessary to Take Supplements?

Some health advocates believe that simply changing your diet to include more carbohydrates and foods low in fat is enough.

Nevertheless, supplements can aid your body’s natural functions by helping it to use the food you take in for optimum benefit to your muscles and strength.

It is important to remember that not all supplements will work the same for everyone. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Do your research before choosing the ones that will best support you and your bodybuilding goals.

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