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Five Tried and Tested Bodybuilding Supplements

There are many bodybuilding supplements out there, making various grandiose claims. With all the hype, it can be a confusing business for the aspiring bodybuilder trying to make the best possible choices. Here we look at the five most important bodybuilding supplements that can be found in a variety of products:

1. Creatine. This naturally occurring substance can be found within the muscle cells of the human body some 95 per cent of it in the skeletal muscle tissue. As a metabolite, creatine can be reproduced as a bodybuilding supplement in the form of creatine monohydrate, where it performs the function of assisting lean muscle building, a greater volume of muscle cells, quicker recovery times after a workout and better performance during a workout. It also increases glycogen synthesis. It is best to take 5-10 grams of creatine a day half as pre-workout supplements and half after the daily workout.

2. Whey protein. Taken in the form of shakes or powder supplements, whey protein is well known among bodybuilders as a primary source of muscle-building protein which is easily digested. It is also a great source of other vital minerals such as magnesium and calcium, which are not readily found in normal meals. Like Creatine, whey protein is taken both before and after workouts, in order to help with muscle recovery and restoration. It also suppresses the appetite, making a low-calorie diet more viable, provides amino acids and improves the bodybuilder's metabolism.

3. Beta Alanine. The naturally occurring amino acid Beta Alanine is also a great performance-enhancing bodybuilding supplement, and can be found in many protein-rich foodstuffs, such as chicken breast. Its efficacy stems from the fact that it can increase intra-muscular levels of carnosine sometimes by more than 60 per cent over a four-week period. Carnosine slows the accumulation of hydrogen in the body during workouts which causes acid build-up in the muscles and hastens fatigue. Beta Alanine supplements also acts as energy supplements, providing greater endurance, better body composition and a beneficial symbiotic relationship with creatine.

4. Glutamine. Used as a bodybuilding supplement for its useful ability to delay the breakdown of muscle during workouts, glutamine is a great way for bodybuilders to improve their strength thresholds and endurance levels. Another beneficial side effect of this is the creation of more lean muscle tissue.

5. Branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs). Three of the 21 amino acids to be found in the human body are known as BCAAs, comprising the main protein elements and vital for muscle recovery. Their use as a bodybuilding supplement is similar to whey protein, being used for restoring the nutrients burned off during a workout and improving metabolic recovery.

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