With the large selection of nutritional and sports supplements available today, it is often difficult to go through all the hype to arrive at the optimal bodybuilding supplements to help you achieve your individual goals. As a woman, it can be even more challenging because most bodybuilding nutritional supplements are marketed to the dominant sex in the sport, men. Most of the products aimed at women are more concerned with diet and fat loss than with building your body and accumulating lean muscle mass. And let’s face it, all women have different goals when it comes to achieving their ideal body. Many of you are simply interested in slimming down, while others love the look of hard, round muscles that build up on your diminutive feminine frame.
However, there are some no-brains when it comes to nutritional supplements for bodybuilding, regardless of gender. For example, if you’re going to lift massive weights and push every muscle to the point of failure, it’s vital that you get enough protein. Protein supplements contain amino acids which are the building blocks of all that muscle. Without properly fueling the muscle-building beast within you, you will quickly become catabolic. That is, your muscles will start to feed on themselves and all your hard work will be in vain. There are conflicting opinions on what is the best protein and when is the best time to take it, but most agree that pre- and post-workout whey protein isolate gives you the most benefit.
And speaking of amino acids, branched-chain amino acid supplements are another staple in a bodybuilder’s repertoire of pharmaceutical tricks. L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine comprise up to 1/3 of all muscle protein and are an important source of energy for muscle contraction. Most BCAA supplements combine these three components to promote protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown.
Next we have glutamine. Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid and is the most abundant AA found in the bloodstream. Glutamine helps the body recover after the high stress of weight training. However, the body’s ability to synthesize enough glutamine in these cases is overwhelmed by the need for it. Enter glutamine supplements! These bodybuilding supplements come in both powder and capsule forms. There are even drink packets you can add to your water with 1000mg of vitamin C plus a 5g dose of glutamine. Glutamine allows bodybuilders to train harder and recover faster, leading to faster muscle gain.
Women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men, which is why in the world of female bodybuilding, fat burners are a staple. The most popular are ECA stacks, which contain ephedra, caffeine, and aspirin. Depending on the individual blend, these stimulant-based fat burners provide bodybuilders with energy, boost metabolism, and suppress appetite, all of which help burn fat quickly and effectively. For those who wish to avoid stimulant products like ephedra, there are also non-ephedra alternatives.
There are a plethora of other bodybuilding nutritional supplements available. Whether male or female, each bodybuilder’s cocktail of supplements will vary based on their individual goals. Whether it’s prohormones to manipulate hormone levels, low-carb supplements to maintain a leaner physique, or high-carb products to give you extra energy to complete those grueling workouts, there are sports supplements to help take you to the next level of bodybuilding perfection.