pre workout

Top 5 Beginners’ Supplement For Bodybuilding

Here are the Top 5 Beginners’ Supplements and their benefits. 

1. Protein Supplements 

 Whey protein powder is the most commonly used bodybuilding supplements. A lot of people say that whey protein is just an added dosage of protein and might not consider it as a supplement. But for beginners, whey protein works best. When you indulge in rigorous training, a diet rich in protein will not suffice. You need to provide the body extra dosage of high-quality  protein to show effective results. Protein powders are an easy and convenient way to supplement extra protein in your diet. You can choose from a variety of flavors available in the market or even buy protein powders online. 

Protein powder benefits –

  • Excellent source of  high-quality protein 
  • Promotes muscle growth 
  • May help reduce inflammation 
  • Enhanced body’s antioxidant defense mechanism 
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  • Helps treat type 2 diabetes 
  • Highly satiating, which helps reduce hunger pangs and cravings 
  • Aids in weight loss 

Research says that 30g is the ideal dosage for whey protein. If you take this amount it’ll help in repairing the damage done during training and will also initiate muscle protein synthesis. 

How to use whey protein?
Now that you know protein is one of the best supplements and has many benefits, let’s understand how to take whey protein.
Taking protein powder after a workout will show best results. Mix 2 scoops of protein powder with cold water or skimmed milk to make a smooth shake. Have it within 30 minutes of finishing your training to initiate recovery process. You can also add protein or whey protein powder to your breakfast. Blend it with milk and fruits to make a high protein smoothie, or just add a scoop to your pancake batter for a healthy dose. 

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2. Fish Oil Supplements 
When listing the top 5 supplements for beginners, we cannot miss fish oil supplements. Available in the form of fish oil tablets and fish oil capsules, they have numerous benefits. The high content of omega 3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA are beneficial for the body and help in various bodily functions. 
Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids – 

  • Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel)
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts)
  • Dark leafy vegetables (kale, spinach)
  • Plant oils (soy bean oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil)

Omega 3 benefits –
Apart from being great supplements for beginners, omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements have other benefits for your overall health. These include the following –

  • Reduces risk of heart diseases 
  • Improves eye health 
  • Helps fight depression and anxiety 
  • Promotes brain health during pregnancy and early life 
  • Fights inflammation
  • Good for mental health 
  • Improves bone and joint health 
  • Good for your skin and hair 
  • Fights autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis etc. 
  • Alleviate menstrual pain

Image Source – Premium Times Nigeria

3. Pre-Workout Supplements
What 
is a pre-workout supplement? It can be any supplement, usually a powder mix drink that boosts your workout performance when you consume it before your training session. A good pre-workout supplement will have a balanced mix of carbohydrates, antioxidants, and B group vitamins. You can also choose a variety with low or no carbs at all. Most pre-workout supplements are enhanced with caffeine as one of the main ingredients. Caffeine is known to be a great stimulant for your body. It boosts energy and mental alertness and helps you to perform better during exercise. 
There are many 
kinds of pre-workout supplements available. Most of them are categorized based on ingredients and protein dosage present. Thus, it is important to do your research well before choosing a particular pre-workout supplement. 

Image Source – Healthline

4. BCAAs
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids that the body obtains from protein. The three amino acids are – 

  • Leucine 
  • Isoleucine 
  • Valine 

BCAA supplements are popular among fitness enthusiasts since they have many benefits. When taken during training BCAAs act as a fuel for skeletal muscles, promote muscle growth and recovery, and increase protein synthesis which helps give your training a push. 

BCAA Benefits –

  • Increases overall energy 
  • Decrease muscle soreness 
  • Reduce fatigue after exercise 
  • Helps in protein synthesis 
  • Boosts strength and power 

If you take a diet rich in protein, there are high chances that you’d be getting enough BCAAs in your diet. Foods with high BCAA content include – chicken breast, whey protein powder, soy protein powder, tuna, eggs, parmesan cheese, Greek yogurt etc. But for increased energy during rigorous workouts and better muscle recovery, one can opt for BCAA powder. MuscleBlaze BCAA is one of the best BCAA supplements available. 

5. Creatine 
During the 
recent times, creatine has been the star component of the fitness industry. There have been many researched on how it is one of the top 5 beginners’ supplements. Although it naturally occurs in the body, creatine can also be found in red meat and seafood. It is helpful in building muscle mass and strength during resistance training. If you want to maximize your muscles, then creatine is a great supplement. It not just boosts performance and reduces sprint time for athletes engaged in high-intensity activities, but is also beneficial in boosting energy output during exercising. 

It is good to add supplements to your diet to get that desired body. But make sure to do your research well. Some of the supplements might have a side effect while others are more beneficial for you. Start by including a smaller quantity to see if the bodybuilding supplement suits you or causes any allergic reaction. Talk to your doctor and trainer about the kind of supplement that’ll be best suited for your fitness needs. 

Which Supplements Should You Cycle

You need to cycle supplements to maintain their efficacy. The rule is start-stop-start and it helps you get the best outcome of the supplements. 

Whether you’re working out to sculpt muscles, lose weight or build endurance, the concept of cycling is not alien to you. When you diet, you cycle carbs and during High-Intensity Interval Training, you cycle fast paced cardio with moderate to get better results. By the same logic cycling supplements, particularly those containing stimulants is useful to maintain its efficacy.

WHICH SUPPLEMENTS TO CYCLE

As a rule, of thumb any supplement that contains stimulants needs to be cycled. Therefore, it makes sense to cycle pre-workouts and fat burners to keep their efficiency active. However, creatine is subject to conditional cycling.

PRE WORKOUT

Formulated primarily with caffeine, green tea and Yohimbe, pre-workout is the key to transforming your average session in a gym to an extraordinary one. Caffeine, the star ingredient in pre-workout supplements are extremely effective in enhancing the performance if taken before a workout. Caffeine boosts energy and mental focus by enhancing the adrenaline levels in the body. By improving your body’s metabolic rate, caffeine in a pre-workout will help increase the body’s metabolic rate and stimulates the central nervous system. At a dose of 3.3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, caffeine has been shown to increase cortisol levels for up to three hours.

Cortisol is a stress hormone and elevated levels can make you jittery in the long run. Moreover, if you’re nibbling chocolates, having expresso shots during the day, then the additional caffeine can spell bad news for your adrenaline. Also, as your body acclimatizes to the effect of caffeine, you may not get the earlier rush of pre-workout.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

After using pre-workout for 2-3 weeks, you should take a break for 2-3 weeks.

FAT BURNER

Fat burner is an intelligent mix of herbs that work to suppress your appetite, interfere with the absorption of carbohydrates to help you build lean muscle mass. Usually, fat burners contain stimulants, like caffeine, Yohimbe, green tea, Garcinia Cambogia, epinephrine and hoodia. These ingredients when introduced in your system increase your heart rate, respiration, blood pressure. The cumulative effect of the fat burner on your body is to spike your metabolism and boost thermogenesis of your body to burn fat faster, in the short run. However, the effects do not last in the long run as the body adapts to the stimulants in the fat burner and works to establish homeostasis. This offsets the effect of the fat burner. Moreover, stimulants like caffeine can spell bad news for your cortisol level.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

It makes sense to give fat burners a break for 2-3 weeks, after using it for similar duration. You can even switch to a stimulant free fat burner during the rest period.

CREATINE

Creatine is one of the most researched supplements. It gives your muscles greater pumps for that explosive lifts and sprints. To get the full benefit of creatine, you must saturate your muscle cells with creatine.

In the Loading phase, you need to supplement with 20g of creatine for 5 days. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, reduce the dose and increase the duration, like you can supplement 10g for 10-12 days. 

During the maintenance phase, you should supplement creatine around 5g per day. For most individuals, 2-3g each day will be sufficient.

Ideally, creatine will improve your performance if you lift heavy (5-6 reps). If your reps are more than 10 or 11, you are not lifting heavy enough. Hence, supplementing with creatine will not be required.

Go off creatine when you revert to moderate lifts with higher reps. However, do remember that muscle anabolism happens when you push beyond the limit.

Exercise caution with supplements containing stimulants and cycle them. It will improve the efficiency of the supplement and will be kind to your wallet.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

For that explosive blast of energy, you should take creatine in two cycles. The cycle should be continued with two weeks gap.

  • Loading phase (5-7 days)

You can take one serving of 5g with200ml of water or non-acidic beverage of your choice four times a day for 5 days.

  • Maintenance phase (21 days)

One serving of 5g with 200ml of water or non-acidic beverage of your choice once a day, preferably post workout would give you good results.

It is also recommended that athletes should take creatine with a high carbohydrate drink like juice or concentrated carbohydrate solution or with a carbohydrate/protein supplement (like MuscleBlaze Mass Gainer) in order to increase creatine uptake.