If you’re on a quest to burn fat, build muscle, increase your strength, and completely transform your body, you certainly won’t need to be told just what a monumental task the process is.
Bodybuilding is not a sport or a hobby, it is a lifestyle that is most definitely not for everybody.
In order to succeed as a bodybuilder, you must be willing to sacrifice several hours every single day to training, diet, nutrition, recovery, and education.
Bodybuilders must ensure that they eat around the clock, and that they only consume certain foods at certain times. Meals out with family members are few and far between. Drinking nights out with friends are off the table, and life in general should largely be dedicated to bodybuilding.
Assuming you follow a structured diet plan, and are training smartly, regularly, and intensely, the next thing you need to consider is supplementation.
Here are some of the most essential supplements all bodybuilders need.
Virtually every single strength athlete out there will include creatine as part of their supplement stack.
Whether bulking or in the early stages of a cut, creatine is a very useful supplement indeed. In fact, it is the second most popular fitness supplement on the market today.
There’s a lot of science behind how creatine works, so we’ll keep it simple. Basically, creatine helps to promote an increase in the production of Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP for short.
ATP is used by the cells in the muscles as a key source of energy. The more ATP the body can produce, the more energy can be delivered to the cells powering the muscles, and the harder the muscles will be able to work during training.
Not only that, but it also buffers lactic acid, so it helps to prevent muscular fatigue and cramping.
If creatine is the second most popular bodybuilding supplement currently available, whey protein is number one.
For decades now, whey protein has been the best-selling fitness supplement in the health and fitness industry, and this still stands today.
Whey protein is derived from milk and is a fast-absorbing, rapid-digesting protein that is perfect for consumption after training when the muscles are crying out for protein.
Protein is essential for the growth and recovery of muscle tissue, which is why muscle builders need to follow such high protein diets.
Whey protein is a convenient way of increasing your protein intakes and getting some fast-acting protein to your muscles quickly.
Casein protein is also derived from milk, yet it behaves very differently to whey protein when ingested.
Whereas whey protein is a fast-absorbing protein, casein protein is the exact polar opposite. Casein is a very slow-digesting protein that releases a slow and gradual stream of proteins into the body over the course of several hours.
Many bodybuilders will consume a casein protein shake right before bed, as it will provide the body with a gradual stream of protein and amino acids as you sleep, keeping you in an anabolic state and preventing muscle catabolism.
Finally, we have a good old-fashioned multivitamin.
For all-around general health and well-being, a multivitamin is ideal as it will provide several important vitamins, and often minerals too, which help to ensure that your body functions as it should.
The healthier you are, the harder you can train, the more efficient your gains will be, and the less likely you will be to get sick and miss time in the gym.
Not everyone may need a multivitamin though. If you consume plenty of fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables every day, you probably don’t need any further micronutrient supplementation.