When it comes to gaining lean muscle mass, most people think that bodybuilding supplements are the most important part of the equation. However, this could not be any further from the truth.
Bodybuilding supplements are just additions to an already good nutrition and training program. Nutrition and training are the most important components of a bodybuilding program, with rest and recovery next to them. Once all of those aspects of your program are maximized, then you can start thinking of adding supplements to your program.
Please understand that supplements do not make up for improper training, or lack thereof, or a low quality diet. Bodybuilding supplements only work when your diet and your training program are optimal.
Why Use Bodybuilding Supplements?
Bodybuilding supplements are good because they prevent us from getting any nutritional deficiencies. The increased activity levels from your new exercise program will make your body have greater demands for vitamins and minerals, which will increase the probability of you suffering a deficiency without supplementation. Even a slight nutrient deficiency can sabotage muscle growth.
Can't we get all the nutrients we need from food alone? We cannot rely solely on food nowadays to provide us with all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs because the processing of foods before they get to the supermarket, cooking, air, and even light have already robbed your foods of most of the vitamins that they have to offer. If you are deficient in one or more nutrients your body may not be able to build muscle and burn fat properly.
Not all bodybuilding supplements are created equal though. Some your body always needs, others are more dependent upon what your goals are and what your budget looks like. Below you will learn what the different categories of bodybuilding supplements are and which ones you need to use at all times:
Basic Bodybuilding Supplements
These are the bodybuilding supplements that you always need year round in order to gain muscle. If you have a limited budget, these are the only ones that you need to concern yourself with.
Multiple Vitamin And Mineral Formula
Essential to insure that your body will operate at maximum efficiency. Why? Because on a very simplistic level, without vitamins and minerals it is impossible to covert the food that we eat into hormones, tissues and energy.
Vitamins are organic compounds (produced by both animals and vegetables) whose function is to enhance the actions of proteins that cause chemical reactions such as muscle building, fat burning and energy production. There are two types of vitamins:
Fat soluble vitamins - they get stored in fat and therefore if taken in excessive amounts will become toxic such as A, D, E, and K.
Water soluble vitamins - they are not stored in the body such as the B-Complex and Vitamin C.
Minerals are inorganic compounds (not produced by either animals or vegetables). Their main function is to assure that your brain receives the correct signals from the body, balance of fluids, muscular contractions and energy production as well as for the building of muscle and bones. There are two types of minerals:
1) Bulk minerals - Which are called this way as the body needs them in great quantities in the order of grams such as Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus.
2) Trace minerals -Which are needed by the body in minute amounts, usually in the order of micrograms such as chromium, copper, cobalt, silicon, selenium, iron and zinc.
Where Can You Get Vitamins and Minerals From?
I like simplicity and because of that I tend to get most of my vitamins and minerals from multiple vitamin/mineral packs.
The ones I personally use are the Prolab's Training Paks, which are loaded with potent levels of essential nutrients and bioactive compounds.
You have to be very careful with what type of vitamin and mineral formulas you choose as some don't always contain what the labels claim (thanks to unscrupulous manufacturers) and some come from such poor sources that they are not absorbed very well by the body.
Other Reputable Companies On The Market That I Have Used Include:
Twinlabs, EAS, Weider, Labrada, Shiff, Optimum Nutrition, Advanced Nutrition, Higher Power Nutrition, and Champion Nutrition