Top 5 Best Bodybuilding Supplements
Many gym goers who aim for maximum muscle gain, from either side of the experience spectrum, continually look for the “best” bodybuilding supplements on the market. There have been many supplements brought onto the market over the years, and whilst many come and go there continues to be a handful of supplements which remain the best value for money in terms of their ability to aid a sound bodybuilding regime for maximum muscle gain.
1. Whey protein. This high biological protein source is widely available on the market, with bulk suppliers selling unflavoured whey at great low costs. The majority of bodybuilding supplement brands also sell whey, usually in a variety of flavours. It would be recommended to ask on a bodybuilding or fitness forum for feedback before purchasing a product, to gather unbiased testimonials to its quality and taste. Whey protein generally comes in two different forms – whey protein concentrate, and whey protein isolate. Isolate is argued to be greater in quality, with lower levels of fat and lactose, and higher levels of protein. Of course, the isolate is usually marketed at a higher price than the concentrate. In the real world, would a slightly more refined protein make much difference, and be worth the extra cost? For the majority of the gym goers I would argue the answer is no. Whey is fast acting, and is therefore commonly taken post workout, and maybe upon waking.
2. Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine Monohydrate is extremely popular among bodybuilders and strength athletes due to its ability to increase performance, and also its cheapness. Creatine Monohydrate powder is available from many bulk powder suppliers, with 100g only costing a couple of £s. With a daily dosage advised at around 5 grams, it is clear to all the great value of the supplement. Creatine Monohydrate is also relatively tasteless, and mixes fine with a fruit juice. In a nut shell, Creatine increases the amount of Creatine Phosphate (CP) within the muscle cells, therefore leading to a greater turnaround of ATP, the energy source of the muscle during muscle contractions. The increased CP stores also lead to greater water retention of the muscle tissue, and can lead to greater protein synthesis, which is great for bodybuilders.
3. Meal Replacements Powders. MRPs are ideal for those who need to quickly consume a meal on the go, which applies to many bodybuilders who have to work away from home during the week, or travel a lot due to work. A quality MRP will contain all the nutrients you would expect from a bodybuilding meal, supplying the body with all the building blocks it requires for optimal growth. MRPs can be relatively more expensive in comparison to the above supplements, yet are fairly good value in comparison to the actual cost of a meal with a similar nutritional breakdown.
4. Weight gainer. A weight gainer differs somewhat from a MRP type product, with the weight gainer generally being focused on protein and calorie content, with little in the way of micronutrients, and other essential nutrients. The purpose of the weight gainer is to top up calorie and protein intake, dietary aspects vital for weight gain. The carbohydrate source generally comes in the form of maltodextrin, which is fast acting, yet this should not matter too much for those which weight gainers are suited for, those who struggle to add weight from their diets and have a fast metabolism.
5. Casein protein. Casein is a slow digesting protein, and therefore is ideal for times when the body will be starved of protein and nutrients, such as at night time. Many proteins blends contain a decent ratio of casein protein, and therefore would be good for during the day to ensure a sustained release of protein.
In truth, the best bodybuilding supplement is a good dose of reality. The above supplements are great for supplementing a sound diet plan and training routine, yet will do little if the foundations are not there. Stick to the basics, eat plenty of wholesome foods, and try some of the above supplements to aid in your bodybuilding goals.