Bodybuilding and supplements go hand in hand. If you’ve ever taken a peak into the bedrooms of an avid gym rat you might mistake it for being a GNC storefront. Supplements can be confusing, especially for bodybuilding newbies. Hopefully I can simplify things for you.
As a beginner, you don’t need to worry about supplements too much. Your body is still new to weightlifting and probably doesn’t need that extra boost that supplements provide.
Creatine is a common supplement in the bodybuilding world. It’s main purpose is to replenish used energy in muscle tissue.
I won’t bore you with all the scientific mumbo jumbo, but essentially creatine has been shown through numerous studies to significantly increase power output by up to 26%. Creatine is the most studied sport supplement on the market so these numbers weren’t pulled out of thin air I assure you.
Creatine comes in two forms: powder and tablet form. Take whichever you prefer, but beware of the serving size. Studies have shown that 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day in adults is more that sufficient. Certain supplement companies will put 30 grams as their serving size on the label. This is simply so you burn through the creatine faster a need to buy more. 30 grams won’t hurt you, but your body can only process a few grams per day, the rest will be flushed out of your system.
It is important to stay hydrated while you take creatine. You should be drinking plenty of water regardless of whether or not you take creatine anyway, as water helps with muscle protein synthesis.
Aside from energy production, creatine has been linked to numerous other health benefits such as increases in glycogen levels (also important for energy) improved mood, and even reduction in headaches and dizziness.
There have been a number of claims that creatine has a negative effect on kidneys and liver function, but none of these claims have any scientific evidence behind them. As stated above, creatine is the most heavily researched sport supplement, and it has been found to be 100% harmless to humans when used correctly.
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Whey protein is a source of protein found in milk. The protein powder extracted from milk is rich in both protein and branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s).
Whey contains plenty of other health benefits, such as the presence of immunoglobulins and lactoferrin which have been shown to increase your bodies immune response, as well as having anti cancer and anti aging effects.
Whey protein is not 100% protein however, being a dairy source it also contains some fat as well as sugar. There are two different types of whey protein: Whey concentrate and whey isolate. Whey isolate is more geared for lactose intolerant individuals, the protein undergoes an extra process that separates the protein molecules from the lactose. Keep in mind the added flavoring will also add more sugar. Aim for the highest protein content you can find. Whey can be mixed either with milk or water, depending on personal preference.
So is whey protein necessary? That all depends on you and your preferences. All the benefits listed above can be found in your daily protein rich foods. Some people however, have trouble hitting their protein needs with food alone, that’s where supplementation is needed. So if you need help hitting your protein goals, whey just might be the answer you were looking for.
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