With the huge selection of nutritional and sports supplements available today, it’s often difficult to wade through all the hype to get to the optimum bodybuilding supplements for helping you reach 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 products targeted toward women are more concerned with dieting and fat loss than actually building your body and packing on 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 interested in simply slimming down while others love the look of hard round muscle packed on your tiny female frame.
However, there are some no-brainers when it comes to bodybuilding nutritional supplements regardless of gender. For instance, if you are going to be lifting mass weight and taking every muscle to the point of failure, it is vital you get enough protein. Protein supplements contain amino acids that are the building blocks of all that muscle. Without properly feeding the muscle-building beast inside you, you will quickly go catabolic. That is, your muscles will start feeding 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 whey protein isolate for pre and post workout provides you the most benefit.
And speaking of amino acids, Branched chain amino acid supplements are another staple in the bodybuilder’s repertoire of pharmaceutical trickery. 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 aids the body in recovery after the high stress of heavy weight training. However the body’s ability to synthesize enough glutamine in these instances is exceeded by the need for it. Enter glutamine supplements! These bodybuilding supplements come in powder form and in capsules. There are even drink packs you can add to water with 1000mg of vitamin C on top of a 5g dose of glutamine. Glutamine allows bodybuilders to train more intensely and recover more quickly leading to faster muscle gain.
Women generally carry a higher percentage of body fat than men so in the world of women’s bodybuilding, fat burners are a staple. The most popular of these are ECA stacks, which contain Ephedra, Caffeine and Aspirin. Depending on the individual blend, these stimulant based fat burners give bodybuilders energy, speed up metabolism, and suppress appetite all of which help to 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, every bodybuilder’s cocktail of supplementation will vary based on their individual goals. Whether it be prohormones to manipulate hormone levels, low carb supplements to maintain a slimmer physique or high carb products to give you added energy for completing those grueling workouts, there are sports supplements to aid in taking it to the next level of bodybuilding perfection.