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Bodybuilding Supplements Reviews

The best bodybuilding supplements you should be using as part of your program and why.

Creatine

Creatine monohydrate is one of the most effective supplements on the market today. Clinical studies show that it increases strength and endurance and speeds up recovery time from your workout, which means more muscle growth. To get the most out of creatine, take it with glucose, honey, or grape juice one hour before your workout and again right afterwards. 6-10 grams per day every day is the average dose. Drink a lot of water: 4 + litres a day. Don't take it with 'hot' liquids or citrus juices (the acidity turns creatine into waste) and avoid caffeine completely. No coffee, tea, coke etc. Creatine makes your muscles retain water, caffeine makes you lose it (diuretic). After 3 months, stop for a few months so your body doesn't lessen its ability to create its own creatine. Stick with the pure (99%) creatine monohydrate powders and be wary of 'cheap' deals.

Whey protein

If you want to build or maintain muscle mass, you need quality protein. Whey protein, in hydrolized and ion-exchanged form, is without a doubt the best. It contains the highest Biological Value (BV) out of all protein sources, which means your body will absorb and utilize it more than other proteins. Egg white protein has a BV of 88, and a good brand of whey protein should have a BV of at least 150. As a bodybuilder, you need a minimum of 0.9 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight daily.
Whey protein supplements allow you to get your daily requirement of protein without the fat and calories of an average diet. This will ensure you build muscle mass without fat, recover more quickly between workouts and maintain a fit and healthy body.

Multivitamins

If you are eating a good variety of foods, ie. meats, carbs, dairy products, fruit and vegs, you will probably be getting your daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. As a bodybuilder though, your need is much greater and you can not afford to fall short if you want to recover and grow whilst training. Your body must have an adequate supply of essential elements so your immune system can cope with the intense training and your caloric intake is metabolized properly. Compare the quantities contained in different brands before choosing one that will give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals and take it regularly. Because liver contains just about every mineral known, dessicated liver tablets can also be beneficial, especially if they contain plenty of iron.

L-glutamine

Of all the free amino acids found in our muscles and blood, L-glutamine is the most common - over 60%. It is the main transporter of nitrogen and protein into muscle tissue where it is synthesized for growth. The levels of L-glutamine drop significantly if the body is heavily trained, and this causes our immune system to weaken, making recovery even slower. Supplementing with this amino acid restores and enhances the immune system, increases growth hormone secretion and promotes nitrogen retention resulting in faster muscle growth and recovery. Take 8 grams per day, once in the morning, one hour before you workout, 30-45 minutes after and once before bed. Taking doses higher than 2 grams at a time will result in the glutamine being used up by the liver and intestines and little actually getting to the muscles.

Vanadyl sulphate

Vanadyl sulphate helps increase the amount of carbohydrates and protein that are transported into the muscle to aid muscle growth and development. It mimics the effects of insulin - modifies tissue responsiveness to insulin. You have to realize that this is a heavy metal and should be cycled. Take 50-70 mg a day with meals for no longer than 4 weeks. After this, wait 9-10 weeks and start the vanadyl sulphate again. You should experience a tremendous pump on this stuff and feel great after your workouts.

Chromium picolinate

Chromium plays an important role by making muscle more sensitive to insulin, which stimulates protein synthesis and reduces protein breakdown. By doing this it helps to preserve muscle in dieters so that they burn more fat and less muscle. If you are trying to lose fat and maintain muscle, you need chromium picolinate. It also reduces your hunger, especially for sugars, and boosts your metabolism on a low fat diet. Having said that, there's no reason why you can't take it all year round - it's effects are not immediate, but will lead to more efficient insulin function and lean tissue gains over the long term. Take 400-600 mcgs a day with food.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens connective tissues, including blood vessels, and protects other vitamins from oxidation. It inhibits the formation of free radicals, the destructive particles that damage cells and lead to disease. Higher doses of Vitamin C have been tied to improved athletic performance, cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, increased longevity, and enhanced brain function.
This water-soluble nutrient is not stored by the body and so we need a constant daily supply. As a bodybuilder you need this vitamin in substantial amounts. At least 1500 mg a day - not all at once though. Try to take Vitamin C tablets containing bioflavonoids which make it more easily absorbed by the body.

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