The word "supplement" means exactly that: a nutrient or group of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils) that are meant to supplement, but not substitute for a healthy diet that you eat on a regular basis. Nutrition supplements come in a variety of forms: pills, capsules, powders, liquids, and even in gel form. The cost of nutrition supplements can range from almost "at cost" to being outrageously expensive.
Researchers, physicians and individuals have a variety of opinions about whether or not nutritional supplements are necessary in order to achieve our health goals. And if we do take nutritional supplements how much is necessary? How do you know which ones are necessary and how do you get the most bang for your buck?
Studies, demonstrates that over 80% of the world population is deficient in nutrients in the form of minerals, enzymes, or vitamins. We are not talking about third world countries. Shockingly, some of the most civilized nations have the biggest vitamin and mineral deficiencies among their populations. The more civilized the country is, the more deficiency in vitamin intake was discovered.
It is possible to prevent body pains, and early aging before reaching your biological age. It takes not only a healthy and natural diet, but also intake of supplements that are necessary to optimize the daily intake of all micronutrients. Following the consumption of highest quality nutrients, the cells in our body are given the chance to utilize those nutrients most effectively. However, can we feel confident that the food we eat contains those highest quality nutrients? A common saying, "humans did not need vitamin pills in former times" unfortunately, holds much ground. One hundred years ago, life was quite different. People burned roughly 3000-5000 k/cal daily from simply working 10-12 hours a day cultivating land, working in mines, etc. Therefore they had to eat larger amounts of food in order to function, which often times came from their own garden.
Today's world is a bit different, because the majority of population works with their head rather than their body. An average of 2300 k/cal is burned daily, so there are less nutrients and food needed, but people still tend to consume as if they were working physically from morning to evening. However, it is not fruit, fish, and vegetables they consume but often empty carbohydrates, and animal fat. As a result more people suffer from diseases caused by obesity unhealthy lifestyles. As many people are unaware that the food they eat, lacks vital nutrients, and is far under the required daily intake. Even with normal healthy food it is very difficult to achieve the minimum daily requirement for vitamins. Once there is a deficiency, it is virtually impossible to rebalance it with normal food.
Vitamins and minerals are necessary in order to maintain every part of our living body from the tiniest cell to the largest organ. Through a series of complicated metabolic reactions that requires specific nutrients the human body is able to function optimally and with little to no disease.
In theory we should be able to get all of the nutrients we need by eating a healthy diet. But the nutrients in the soil has been depleted from years and years of pesticides and pollution as well and is over planting. The result of this is that the food we eat is less nutritious than the food our grandparents once ate. In addition to that, the majority of individuals also consume large amounts of packaged in processed foods which have little to no vital nutrients.
NOT weight gainers, mass builders, MRPs, but good old simple protein. It doesn't have to be "top of the line" either, just clean and free of sugars and ca-ca. If you want a weight gainer, a mass builder, a post W/O shake...protein is your foundation. You can add back calories, carbs, and fats, but in many of today's products you can not take them away! An example would be most mass market weight gainers. Some have excellent protein sources, but they follow on the label right after fructose and maltodextrin. You'd be so far ahead of those products to take your protein powder and add, peanut butter, fruit, flax oil, cream or whole milk (individualistic), etc and make your own, w/o all of the SUGARS.
Note: The so-called Nighttime proteins are nothing more than casein. You can achieve the same thing with milk, calcium casseinate...even the addition of fat and fiber to a "fast burning" anabolic protein such as whey, will make it digest slower and become anti-catabolic. The science behind nighttime proteins is based upon the amino L-leucine which stays in your system for 7 hours as opposed to 3-4 hours with the other aminos.
Once you have been lifting 12 weeks or more...and your connective tissue is up to speed (to avoid injury from rapid strength increases), Creatine is the single most ergonomic aid next to protein. While it occurs naturally in meat and fish, supplementation with creatine allows for phenomenal progress, both in lean body mass and strength. There are no studies, or supported incidents of cancer, fat deposits on the liver or kidney damage. Even the occurrence of calf and hamstring cramping of elite athletes in hot humid weather has been dispelled as normally occurring, even in those NOT on creatine. Poor grades of creatine, with chemical by-product residue, will cause the traditional gastro-intestinal upset.
We only suggest glutamine to enhance recovery. If you are excessively sore, tired, and are unable to train several days in a row, glutamine can change your world! On top of the cell volumizing, anti-inflammatory effects, glutamine can also help repair and soothe gut problems and reduce sugar cravings.
When we exercise, we create additional oxidative free-radical damage. I can't stress the importance of additional vitamins, especially the antioxidants Vitamins C and E. While we derive many of our vitamins and minerals from our food, hard training athletes invariably benefit from supplementation. It is visible not only in increase recovery ability, but also in the athlete's capability to push the envelope day after day, without compromising their immune system.
Note: ALA, alpha lipoic acid, enhances antioxidant uptake and increases insulin sensitivity, definitely a supplement to consider.
These are the "essentials", there are many more, but those are the basics. I could elaborate on Chromium, CLA, Liver tabs, Aminos, etc, at another time. If this article were titled "Keep it Simple", we would stop here. There is a short list of things that work but are not cost effective (such as ZMA, CoQ10, and HMB). Also there are supplements that prevent or reverse certain conditions associated with training (such as Glucosamine Sulfate, MSM, EFAs, arnica and more), but are not within the scope of this brief article.
Nutritional supplements should be taken by all people, but bodybuilding supplements are a necessity for bodybuilders. Even the most health conscious people cannot get enough vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients in their everyday diets easily. Most people cannot eat enough vegetables and fruits in their diets no matter how hard they try. The soil in the world is deteriorating due to overuse and pesticides, so the nutritional value of our food is decreasing. This is one reason why nutritional supplements should be taken by all people that wish to be healthy and especially by bodybuilders that want to build muscle and keep themselves as physically fit as possible.
Bodybuilding supplements aid bodybuilders in maintaining the necessary energy level to complete their grueling workouts on a daily basis. Most people would be completely exhausted after one day of a bodybuilder's workout and would not even consider going back to the gym for a second day. Determination coupled with quality bodybuilding supplements can provide the physical energy and stamina required to push through the workout and get the results that bodybuilders are looking for. Bodybuilding supplements also help bodybuilders to strengthen their muscles by providing the necessary protein and nutrients to the body at the right times of the day. It is entirely impractical for anyone to eat the large amounts of protein that bodybuilders require along with the quality nutrition that they need before and after each and every workout. Therefore, supplements are essential. They provide the bodybuilder with everything necessary to make the workout do what it is supposed to do: build bigger and stronger muscles.
Time tends to be a luxury that is not available very often for bodybuilders. They spend so many brutal hours in the gym that they are not able to cook the types of meals that they would require to maintain their desired physique. Bodybuilding supplements provide bodybuilders with a convenient way to get the nutrition that they need without having to sacrifice their precious time that they need to spend sweating in the gym. Without bodybuilding supplements, bodybuilders would be required to spend nearly as much time in the kitchen as they do in the gym. This is entirely impractical and counterproductive for most bodybuilders.
If you are a serious bodybuilder, invest in yourself and get yourself some quality bodybuilding supplements. These supplements will make the time that you spend in the gym much more productive.
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