Do Bodybuilding Supplements work? And How?

 It is no secret that bodybuilders and professional athletes regularly use protein and other components as a dietary supplement in their everyday training schedule. Bodybuilding supplements are designed to promote muscle growth when combined with regular exercise. They are usually taken in the form of powdered formula or pills, which can be mixed with water, milk, or fruit juice to make a tasty shake

 Walk into any supplement store and you will get the idea that you can be ripped like an Under Armor model in no time. Protein supplements compete for shelf space with testosterone boosters and muscle enhancers. You will find amino acid packets, protein bars, energy drinks, and even mass-gaining oatmeal with “x” grams of protein. Enticing, but do they really work? The big question is just how these bodybuilding supplements speed up the muscle growth process. 

Experts at Yes Wellness have broken down some of the most popular bodybuilding supplements and explained the science behind the pitch.  

#1 Testosterone Boosters

Due to safety concerns, steroids that boost up testosterone were removed from the store shelves in 2005. However, the manufacturers responded with natural products claimed to jack this muscle-building sex hormone

Tribulus Terrestris 

Tribulus Terrestris is harvested from the puncturevine plant and is sold alone or as a key ingredient in most of the testosterone boosters. Marketers of this supplement claim that it boosts testosterone levels and therefore increase the muscle mass and strength (not to mention sex prowess). 
However, according to the experts, taking this herbal bodybuilding supplement could lower your levels of good cholesterol and may also cause male breast enlargement. 

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

Due to aggressive lobbying efforts, DHEA is the only prohormone to survive the 2005 FDA ban. DHEA is secreted naturally in the adrenal glands and can be converted into estrogen and testosterone. DHEA levels elevate in our twenties and declines with age that clearly explains its appeal to men in midlife. Supporters and manufacturers claim that it slows down the signs of aging, including muscle loss. 

But the expert says it is not a heart-healthy choice as it reduces good cholesterol. Plus, there is the unwanted side-effect of extra estrogen and the feared “man boobs.” The experts suggest getting your testosterone levels tested by your physician, who can recommend the hormone if your levels are low. 

#2 Athletic Performance 

Whether you want to lift longer, workout harder, or recover faster, there are a variety of health supplements that promise to help you do that.   
 
 
 
Creatine 

Creatine is one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements of all time, used to fuel energy in the muscles, largely for short-duration, high-intensity exercise such as lifting weights and sprinting. Creatine may help you work out longer and harder, and recover faster. When used during resistance training, it has been shown to increase lean body mass. 

Creatine is a recommended supplement for all those who work out. However, stress injuries and muscle cramping are its commonly reported side effects. 
HMB (Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate) 

HMB is a derived from leucine, a branch-chain amino acid. Similar to creatine, HMB is used to boost energy in the muscles and fuel activities such as sprinting and weightlifting. Some bodybuilding supplement manufacturers make a creatine/HMB combination. 
HMB may be the real deal but wait until the research catches up as there is not enough known about its safety. 

L-Arginine 

Arginine is an amino acid known to increase the production of nitric acid in your body, which is thought to upsurge the blood flow to the muscles for better exchange of nutrients. However, a 2006 study issued in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that taking 9 grams of arginine daily might cause a heart attack or even death in men. Hence, the study was aborted with immediate effect. So taking it is not worth the risk. 

#3 Protein 

The most commonly supplemented proteins include the milk proteins – whey and casein.

Casein

Casein is what gives milk its white color and accounts for 70-80% of milk protein. Casein exists as a micelle, a compound similar to a soap sud. It allows the protein to provide a slow, sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream that can last for hours. This feature makes casein a good source of protein and a recommended one. 

Whey 

Whey is known for its remarkable ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It is the liquid remaining after the milk is congealed and strained. Whey is rapidly absorbed and digested and this is the reason why it is the most recommended bodybuilding supplement. It is available in three verities – whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey protein powder. 

  • Whey protein isolate is 90% protein and is mostly used in bodybuilding supplements 
  • Whey concentrate is 30-80% protein and is also used in many health supplements 
  • Whey protein is 10-15% protein and is used in many food products

Final Words 
There is still concern that the intake of bodybuilding supplements is bad for our bodies and it can be understood. Hence, the protein supplements should be taken after proper consultation with the experts and only use authentic products. 
 
 
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