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Complete Your Workout with Bodybuilding Supplements

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By: Trevor Mulholland

Bodybuilding supplements are part of many a weight trainer's nutritional regimen, whether they are beefing up just for personal satisfaction or training for a weightlifting competition. These supplements are designed to build a weightlifter's muscle mass and provide him or her with increased energy and stamina. As any bodybuilder will tell you, building muscle takes quite a bit of effort. Why not speed the process along a bit by taking supplements?

To acquire those hard, prominent muscles, a person needs to work out harder and more often than usual. In addition, he or she needs to eat a nutritious diet, one that is rich in fruits and vegetables, but most especially food that is rich in protein. Bodybuilding supplements are usually filled with protein, which is essential in building muscle mass and maintaining muscular health. Bodybuilders can take protein supplementation in the form of protein bars, shakes, and pills. Whey protein supplements are particularly popular because they contain fat, lactose and protein, which are all important if you're working out. Whey protein is composed of a number of protein components, which include peptides such as lactoferrin and lactoperoxidases, as well as bovine serum albumin immunoglobulins, and glycomacropeptides. These protein subfractions also play a preventive role in health by hindering the emergence of various ailments and improving the immune system. Another important bodybuilding supplement is glutamine. It's not only important, it's necessary. This amino acid is essential in the repairing and building of muscle tissues. The muscles produce glutamine, but if you're working out, your body consumes glutamine much faster than it can be replenished naturally. This is why glutamine supplements are a requirement for serious bodybuilders. These supplements make sure that the needed amino acid reaches the muscles in a short amount of time for maximum effect. Glutamine plays a role in making muscles look strong and healthy, not flat and dehydrated. Moreover, it also helps make the immune system function more effectively to increase resistance to disease. Experts recommend that glutamine supplements be taken on an empty stomach and that plenty of water be drunk. Doing so will help hydrate the muscles faster, making them look better and feel stronger.

A number of bodybuilding supplements contain creatine, also known as creatine monohydrate. Some people believe that creatine is almost or just as good as anabolic steroids when it comes to building muscle, but without the stigma attached to steroids. Just like glutamine, creatine significantly helps in the hydration of muscles. The resulting creatine-rich fluid in the muscle will enable greater leverage and it will require the muscle to move less and carry more weight. In addition, the presence of fluid in the muscles will encourage the cells to stretch and cause them to grow -- giving rise to those prominent and hard muscles of which bodybuilders can be proud. Creatine is available in powder form, to be mixed into a shake. Use a blender or shaker to mix it with non-fat milk, and you'll get a concoction that looks just like a milkshake. Another amino acid that is important to bodybuilders is something called arginine, specifically, L-arginine. This substance can be found naturally in foods like seeds, nuts, and chocolate; however, it is also carried in many bodybuilding supplements. While the presence of fluid in muscles is desirable, water retention under the skin is not -- and arginine helps prevent this. It also helps the body retain nitrogen to facilitate the muscle-building process and its role as a vasodilator provides assistance to the muscles as they grow. Arginine is important in helping proteins in the body synthesize. In addition, like creatine and glutamine, it also enhances the functioning of the immune system to enable bodybuilders to train harder and avoid minor ailments. But don't be overly enthusiastic when taking bodybuilding supplements, especially amino acids. Too much of them could cause nausea and weakness. They should be introduced gradually and the dosage built up as the body becomes accustomed to them.

Other types of protein such as egg protein, soy protein, and casein protein can be found in dietary supplements to help bodybuilders grow their muscles. But whichever types of bodybuilding supplements you choose (or your trainer chooses for you), make sure that you couple it with a nutritionally-balanced diet. By doing this, you will see that all those hours you sweated it out at the gym will bring the results you desire faster.

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