What are bodybuilding supplements? The answer: any of the various products designed to aid and support the diet and training regimes of weightlifters, athletes and bodybuilders. Powders, capsules, tablets, liquids, bars, and shakes are just some of the many forms these products take.
The purpose of these supplements can be divided up into three main categories. In the first category are those products designed to aid recovery and fuel muscle growth. Examples of these products include whey-protein, l-glutamine and creatine-monohydrate. Generally speaking these products are consumed post-workout in order to kick-start the repair process of damaged muscle fibres, which are broken down during training. These products are usually consumed during the post-workout “protein window” (20-45 mins after training) when the body absorbs nutrients rapidly and efficiently.
In the second category are those products designed to provide energy to fuel workouts. The most commercially obvious example of such a product is Lucozade, although bodybuilders tend to prefer something that packs a more powerful punch, such as products containing caffeine, guarana or maltodextrin.
In the third category are fat burners. These products are designed to increase the metabolism and help bodybuilders get ripped, or shredded by targeting the bodies fat reserves for energy. Examples of these products include: Chromium Polynicotinate, L-Carnitine, Gymnema Sylvestris, CLA Tonalin, MET-Rx Xtreme Thermo Surge and EFA’s (essential fatty acids).
Bodybuilding supplements are designed for effectiveness and convenience; they are intended to make the process of growth and development less difficult. Many experts and professionals suggest that the massive gains desired by most bodybuilders are not possible without the use of dietary supplements, such as those mentioned above. In order to grow the body needs specific nutrients and what bodybuilding supplements do is identify these nutrients, isolate them and compress them into their products to make consuming large amounts simpler.
Before starting a course of bodybuilding supplements in is recommended that you seek advice from your GP or dietician. Most products will offer similar advise on their labels. Never consumer products with entirely foreign packaging that do not include an English translation, as you cannot be sure what is inside such products. Although negative side-effects from legal bodybuilding products are relatively low it is always safest to seek advice in such matters.