Bodybuilders need supplementation. For new bodybuilders, it’s important to know the right way of doing it. These strategies will ensure your nutrition and training are on target so you can get the most out of your supplements:
- Consume up to 6-7 meals a day, focusing on getting a lot of protein per meal (around 20 g), pushing to eat a total of around 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight every day, even during rest days.
- Don’t weight train more than 4 times a week and not longer than 75 minutes a session as a novice. Excessive weight training can cause overtraining which can tear your body down faster than it can recover between exercises.
Once you’re following these basic guidelines, you’re equipped to take advantage of starting supplementation. Here’s what we propose (ranked in order):
- Use a whey protein supplement pre- and post-training.
Whey protein is one of the fastest-digesting protein sources. It’s eagerly absorbed by your body so that it can work on supporting recovery and muscle-building from your workouts and giving amino acids throughout exercises to promote training and physical courses that support bodybuilding.
Whey protein supplements are widely available and offered in various price ranges. You may use them as your budget permits to increase your whole-food protein consumption.
What to Take: A whey protein shake pre- and post-training. You may consume up to ¼ g of protein per pound of bodyweight per meal. Meaning, a 160-pounder can consume 40 g pre- and post-exercise. A 200-pounder should aim for 50 g of whey protein before and another 50 g after trainings.
- Eat fast-digesting carbs pre- and post-workout.
A common blunder many novices make is overstressing protein at the expense of carbs – either dietary or supplemental. Carbs are important in increasing muscle growth as they aid in supporting recovery, providing nutrients to your muscles. Quick-absorbing carbs like sugar or a carb supplement must be taken before and after training.
For the kind of sugar you must consume, dextrose is your best option, or sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is not as recommended unlike the two.
What to Take: For beginners, always match the amount of carbs and protein you ingest pre- and post-training. Don’t give up whole-food carbs such as starches (e.g. pasta and whole-grain breads) and slow-absorbing carbs (e.g. brown rice and oatmeal) at other time of day. But do reduce carb intake before bedtime as they’ll be stored as body fat.
- Take creatine for improved strength and better weight-training effects.
This amino acid compound helps increase ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. More creatine means having stronger sets so you can lift heavier weights and do more reps. Taking creatine after a workout helps your body reload its natural levels. After trainings, muscle cells have a bigger ability for taking in nutrients, and creatine helps provide these nutrients to where they’re required to promote recovery and muscle growth.
What to Take: 3 to 5 g of creatine pre- and post-training for a total of around 10 g a day.
- Supplement vitamin C to promote recovery and growth.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for health, but they’re also an important part of getting the highest benefits from your trainings. Many young bodybuilders undervalue the harm that weight training causes their bodies. When you exercise, your body produces free radicals which can harm your cells. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that counteracts these destructive molecules. A new study shows that vitamin C also gives energy, possibly useful for those who train hard, as well as the inactive.
What to Take: Start supplementing vitamin C slowly. Take 500 to 1,000 mg once or twice a day. You may gradually increase your dosage by adding 500 mg a day every week, until you’re consuming 2,000 to 4,000 mg a day, in 2 to 4 doses of 500 to 1,000 mg each.