supplements. what the heck are they and why should i be taking them?!
with the fitness industry being SO large and SO many companies out there marketing their products, it can be super overwhelming!!!
flashy labels, fun colors, hot women on the bottle, jacked men pushing the product, it makes you think OMG I NEEEEED ALL OF DIS TO LOOK LIKE THAT!
1. NO. 2. hard work, dedication, consistency & a balanced diet is what makes you look like that.
but YES, supplements help HEAL your muscles, which helps you GAIN strength thus LOOKING better over time, but i cannot say it enough, there’s no supplement on the market that compensates a balanced diet and WORKING OUT.
ok, had to provide that public announcement. and yes there are tons of supplements out there with god AWFUL ingredients, but there ARE supplements that are all-natural and really, truly necessary.
about a year ago i did a blog post on all the supplements i take, since then i’ve learned a lot and have adjusted accordingly. some people swear by some supplements as being UBER important, and other people not so much, again, each his own. this is my opinion and i get a lot of questions on what supplements to take so here’s what personaly works for me AND an explanation on what the heck different supplements are for, incase YOU are on the hunt!
the two most popularly confused (is that even a real sentence?) supplements are BCAAs and Glutamine. so i’m going to break the two down, let’s clear up the confusion many people have.
So, glutamine, every supplement company makes you, why are you so special?!
Glutamine is actually found IN your muscle, over 61% of your skeletal muscle IS Glutamine. It’s an amino acid and while you are throwing around those heavy weights, your glutamine levels deplete in your body which decreases strength and recovery. no bueno.. gains bro, gains are going out the door. and no one got time for that. Yes, your body re-produces the lost glutamine, but it can take days, sometimes up to a week to get back to regular levels, YIKES! SO, thus we introduce a SUPPLEMENT to incorporate into your routine to SUPPLEMENT that loss. Taking in glutamine synthetically is key in protein metabolism building and helps with catabolism, which is the breakdown of your muscles. Glutamine also secrets human growth hormone, which takes us back to key 1. – metabolizes body fat and supports new muscle growth aka: burn body fat without losing any muscle. the bodybuilder’s #1 goal most of the time.
side effects you ask? no, studies have found there’s no side affects because Glutamine naturally occurs in your body. However, like anything in life, if you take too much that’s probably not necessarily smart, because it can cause an upset stomach, again like a high dose of anything. ate an entire cake? yeah, your stomach is going to be like WHATDAFUQ.
when to take it?! within 30 minutes POST lifting. imagine it being a bandaid for your muscles. you “cut” yourself, you need to cover it up. so you tear those muscle fibers, you cover them up!
it comes in pill form and powder form, I personally take the powder form because my awesome sponsor MAKES IT! WINNING!
Next up! BCAA’s!
Branch Chain Amino Acids to break it dowwwwn, are literally the “building blocks” of the body. These babies make up 35% of your muscle mass and are NECESSARY for growth and development to take place. again, this is why glutamine and bcaa’s are often confused because they SOUND like they’re super similar because all you see is “necessary for muscle growth” and immediately you assume they’re the same. NEGATORY. So unlike Glutamine, 8 of the BCAA’s are essential and CANNOT be created by the body naturally, the others are non-essential and they can be created by the body with a healthy diet.
These special acis build cells and repair tissue, form antibodies and are actually a part of the enzyme and hormonal system; which means they build RNA and DNA and carry oxygen throughout the body. HELLO SUPER IMPROTANT!
In order to to build muscle, over 20 amino acids are needed (along with lots of other factors; like red blood cells and other molecules in your body, but that’s just a “duh” taylor). Since your body can only produce a few amino acids itself, you need to supplement in the rest to get really get the best “bang for your buck” with weight training.
Supplemented BCAAs combine simpler amino acids to form a complex WHOLE muscle tissue – which stimulates the production of insulin as we all know is needed to circulate blood sugar to travel up by the muscle cells and used as a source of ENERGY! this insulin production then promotes amino acid uptake by the muscle. so during intense lifting the body is most of the time held in a catabolic state (unless you’re one of those people who jumpropes in between sets, you’re a whole ‘notha breed). when your body is in this state, glycogen stores are quickly being depleted which then your liver begins synthesizing glucose by using a mixture of L-Alanine (one of the bcaas) (1/2 of the amino acid content your muscle releases) which if you are NOT supplementing in BCAAs, your body signals itself to stop protein synthesis to the muscles, but TAKING BCAAs will affect this signal and actually allow protein sysnteis to CONTINUE ONWARD AND FORWARD! thus, #gainzBRO.
so when to take it?? think about it, if you need to “trick” your body to continue producing protein synthesis in your muscles WHEN put under stress…. yep! BEFORE you weight train. 30 minutes before you train, take 1 serving of BCAAs so it’s released into your body and chillin’ ready to be ACTIVATED when needed! A lot of people put the powder version in their water bottle to sip on at the gym, which is perfectly fine too.
I use the pill form, but most every company out there has powder and pill version!
i hope that helps clear up a lot of confusion you may have when you’re doing research on which supplements to take and the difference between the 2 of the most pushed ones out there, and in my opinion the most necessary!
what’s part of your supplement stack? any ones you swear by?
i know ya’ll feel me on this one