Should we take dietary supplements?
Which ? Why ? How and with what? I have already had the opportunity to talk many times about food supplements on my site, including through the tests I started on the main brands of supplements. Today I am going to try to make a little synthesis on this subject which makes the practitioners talk a lot and sometimes their entourage. Because of the media I think, some tend to mix a little bit of everything and associate complements and doping.
Definition of a dietary supplement
This seems logical enough since everything is said in the name, but a food supplement is a complement. First advice therefore: it is therefore useless to spend your money in protein powder, creatine or fat burners if your diet, your workouts and the quality of your rest are not optimal.
Start by asking yourself about your nutritional needs according to the specificities of the sport you practice. Some require more energy expenditure than others. The meals of professional swimmers for example are impressive because they burn a very large number of calories during training. Well … if you are on this site, it is certainly the bodybuilding that interests you!
Know that even in bodybuilding there are differences depending on your goals: a practitioner looking for hypertrophy and strength gain will not necessarily take the same supplements as a powerlifter who wants to develop maximum muscle power. Caloric and energy needs will sometimes be close enough but not always the same.
Some supplements such as whey protein or creatine are “universal” (= everyone can take to supplement the protein intake in food) while others like leucine will be less. Thinking in the short term makes no sense in bodybuilding.
Protein: think long term
A protein supplement will actually allow you to reach your daily protein quota but probably not transform overnight.
Count on 2 to 2.3 grams of protein per kg of body weight to ensure your intake of essential amino acids, BCAA, L-glutamine , etc. A protein powder is a functional food. In other words, it will only bring you a certain amount of protein and nothing else. From here, 25g of whey = 25g of casein, or 100 calories. The only difference between the two will be in the assimilation time. For my part, I always favor egg proteins or multi-sources to increase this relative release time of the animate acids.
Attention to marketing
Avoid following the good words of marketing who tout the merits of the isolate after the training. If you have used up a lot of your glycogen stores with intense training and then take 80 grams of protein, you will still have to admit that there is a problem somewhere. Start by giving your body what it claims if you want to stimulate hypertrophy seriously. Obviously, taking a good protein (in terms of nutritional quality and taste) should be considered in the long term if you want it to be beneficial. If the animated acids are involved in muscle fiber reconstruction, consider that this reconstruction will take 3 to 5 days (on average).
Creatine helps you develop muscle strength
The principle is simple: creatine monohydrate will naturally add to your phosphocreatine reserves, helping you maintain your muscle strength. So you will go a little further at each series and you will stimulate a little more muscle hypertrophy. 3 to 5 grams of creatine before and after training is enough to produce a significant effect on muscle strength. Check that it is indeed a pure creatine and not of Asian origin … If you are interested I realized in another article a comparison of the best creatines . In any case, favor brands that are transparent on the traceability of their complements.
Creatine is good but with beta-alanine it’s better. These two molecules are well known to be associated because they both allow an improvement in anaerobic performance and therefore a benefit from the first few seconds of exercise. The tanpon effect of carnosine combines very well with creatine as a phosphate donor.
My advice therefore: if you take creatine, also take beta alanine.
Protein, creatine … What else?
Think also about vitamins in group B. They are essential for the metabolism of 3 macronutrients, among a host of other indications. Vitamin B3 is the precursor of NAD and NADP. These coenzymes are essential for the generation of cellular energy. Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is also essential for bodybuilders because it participates in the formation of red blood cells, oxygen carriers.
In addition to the vitamins of the B group, also think of supplementing you with magnesium in an assimilable form. I do not need to go back on the benefits of magnesium on your health and your sports performance. For those with muscle congestion, combine L-Citruline and L-Arginine, or make sure your pre workout contains these two amino acids.