Body Building: Supplements and Protein Drinks
There are a vast number of supplements available for bodybuilders, and it's no wonder that they become confused by what they should use and what they shouldn't. Some manufacturer's make wild claims about their products ability to increase muscle and bulk, but you should be aware that there are no regulations in place to guarantee the safety or purity of a product sold as a supplement. Supplements are not required to meet the same safety standards of a prescription drug for instance and no requirement is needed to prove the effectiveness of any health claims the product makes.
That's not to say that none of them work. Some studies have shown that certain products may do what the advertising claims. However some products may only leave you lighter in the wallet instead of giving you the benefits that the advertising promises.
So Should You Use Them, and What if Any Are the Benefits?Athletes may use them because:
- They have concerns over their diet providing enough nutrients.
- They believe that optimum nutrition can't be achieved by diet alone.
- Amino Acids
- Some herbal supplements may have side-effects.
- Because a product claims to be "Natural" it doesn't make it safe.
- Would modifying your diet give you the same results without using supplements?
The Most Popular Supplements AvailableCreatine Monohydrate - There has been a lot of scientific research done on Creatine and their findings agree that it does improve performance. It's claimed that Creatine will increase energy, increase lean muscle mass and speed up your recovery rate. You still shouldn't see it as a wonder supplement guaranteed to work. It won't for everyone, but you will need to try it to see if it works for you.
There are side effects to be aware of that include nausea and intense muscle cramps you should drink plenty of water when using the supplement.
Whey Protein - This supplement is exactly what it says it is… protein!The supplement comes from milk and is the highest yield of protein currently available. It is high in amino acids and potassium. It is useful for fat loss, and weight loss, and boosts the immune system.
There are no known side effects from using whey protein.
Glutamine- This supplement is claimed by some bodybuilders to be essential in achieving quality muscle, while other's claim it has no benefits what so ever. Glutamine is an amino acid produced naturally by the body and it makes up the majority of amino acids found in muscle. Glutamine is claimed to help support new muscle growth and aid the immune system. There is no clear clinical evidence that shows any benefits from Glutamine.
Glutamine that the body produces is the main nutrient for the intestinal body cells, so supplementing the levels can lead to a stressed digestive system which may help the body absorb food more efficiently.
Side effects can include stomach cramps and upsets.
Protein DrinksAs with supplements there are many protein drinks available too. They come in all kinds of flavours. Despite there being many different brands there are basically two main types of protein drinks. Weight gain drinks which have a lot of carbohydrates and calories and are used by people who want to gain weight and size. The other which is high in protein with only a little carbohydrate is used to increase lean muscle mass with less calories.
There are three main types of protein drink:
Whey protein - Which we've already mentioned and has the same benefits as the supplement.
Egg - Which comes from the egg white.
Soy - Which is derived from soybeans.
You should read the labels of these drinks to find out which one best suits your needs.
Finally, remember that supplements should be used as an addition to a healthy balanced diet and have no effect if used as your only source of protein.