The 6 Overlooked Supplements for Bodybuilders
It is common knowledge that a bodybuilder should take creatine, glutamine, protein powders, fat burners and amino acids if they want increased muscle growth and repair. But the uncommon knowledge is that taking only these supplements isn’t enough. If you want to become a higher level bodybuilder from the beginner stage, then you should also think about taking the following supplements.
Iron is essential for growth and plays a major role in red blood cells production (which is needed to transport oxygen to muscles). So pregnant women, babies and bodybuilders who want to develop mass need plenty of iron. Iron deficiency results in fatigue, less hunger, and decreased performance in muscle healing.
Iron can be found in red meat, tomatoes, beans, oatmeal and most vegetable.
Recommended for bodybuilders: Daily intake of red meat like beef, or an iron supplement comprised of 8mg a day.
Copper is the most overlooked of the necessary supplements. Copper aids red blood cells formation and plays a role in producing superoxide dismutase (SOD); SOD’s are very important for the body because they search for free radicals which are produced by intense workout. Free radicals are dangerous for the body when a bodybuilder trains too much and without sufficient nutrition; in such cases, the free radicals harm muscle cells and at times weakens the body’s immune system, which leads to a decrease in activity of muscle healing.
Copper can be found in fish, organ meats, shellfish and legumes.
Recommended for bodybuilders: Copper supplement comprised of 2-3mg a day.
Vitamin B12 is a major player in cell division, an integral process for growth. Often controlled diets that are notoriously low in calories result in a very low level of B12 (an example is when bodybuilders prepare for a contest by not eating any red meat). Lower levels of B12 result in fatigue, which leads to overtraining; overtraining produces unbalanced hormone levels that hinder mass growth. This also causes uneven quantity of muscle to be lost.
Vitamin B12 can be found in red meat.
Recommended for bodybuilders: Vitamin B12 supplement comprised of up to 15micrograms a day.
Arginine stimulates the release of growth hormone (GH). GH helps growth by increasing the uptake of amino acids into muscle and thus increasing mass; GH also aids the immune system and bodyfat burning. GH levels rise the most during workout and when sleeping, so bodybuilders would benefit the most if they take 6-8 g of arginine before workout before sleeping. If you want to increase your body mass, then you might want to take 2g of arginine after workout as well; this will increase the insulin level if taken with a meal of 50 g protein and carbohydrates each.
Arginine can be found in red meat, fish and fowl.
Recommended for bodybuilders: protein rich food and arginine supplement comprised of 12-18 g a day.
Potassium is essential for muscle contraction and also supports conversion of carbs into muscle glycogen (which is the stored energy source of muscles and liver). So a lower amount of potassium in the body will decrease carb content in muscles. It is also believed that potassium increases the water storage capacity in muscles. More water is extremely useful because water produces anabolic conditions in muscles and thus increases growth.
Potassium can be found in lean meat, yogurt, bananas and potatoes.
6. ACETYL L-CARNITINE
Acetyl L-carnitine (often confused with the fat-burner carnitine) can stabilize testosterone levels in athletes who might be overtraining. If bodybuilders train too much without sufficient rest, this leads to lower testosterone levels. Acetyl L-carnitine also increases absorption of glucose by muscles, which in turn results in increased muscle mass and less body fat.
Acetyl L-carnitine can be found in meat, fish and fowl.
Recommended for bodybuilders: Supplements comprised of 300-1,000 mg a day (specifically useful while dieting)