The days when bodybuilders took steroids to boost their muscle mass have long gone, and those who attempt to use anabolic steroids in an attempt to get a competitive edge run a very high risk of being caught and stripped of any titles they have won – some would say that being caught is inevitable.
So how, then, do bodybuilders manage to build such huge muscles that seem far larger than those of other professional athletes? Is it because they spend so long in the gym and are very dedicated? Well, yes, bodybuilders have to have great dedication, but they also take supplements. These supplements are 100% legal and don’t have the nasty side effects of the old anabolic steroids, such as “roid rage”. You will find several products that are designed to boost your body’s levels of anabolic hormones or are describes as having an “anabolic effect”.
Unlike the old illegal steroids, these bodybuilding supplements do not add any hormones into your system. Instead, these supplements stimulate your body so it produces more of its own androgens and testosterone – the male hormones that enable bulky muscles to be laid down on the skeletal frame. Some of these bodybuilding supplements increase energy levels as well – common ones include creatine, NOx (nitric oxide) increasers, HGH (human growth hormone), and ZMA (which is a combination of zinc and magnesium, both of which are vital in testosterone production). These supplements are either used singly or in a “stack” or combination of several products. Some lines of bodybuilding supplements include products that come ready “stacked” for ease of use.
Of course, that’s not all. Muscles aren't built of air. All body builders take protein supplements and eat a very high protein diet. When building muscle mass – and this advice works for those who want to look a bit more toned or bulk up, as well as for those who want competition-level muscle bulk – taking a high protein supplement, usually in a shake or as a bar, is essential. This protein should be taken in combination with a small amount of glucose. The powder type of bodybuilding supplement is particularly handy for increasing the amount of protein in the diet, which all bodybuilders do.
Casting a glance over a discount supplier of these supplements, you can see that the protein supplements available to bodybuilders (and others) come from a range of different sources. Dairy-sourced protein supplements are the most commonly seen, with whey a popular choice, closely followed by casein (casein, just in case you were wondering, comes from the curds in the combination enjoyed by the legendary Miss Muffett before the spider arrived: curds & whey). Egg protein is also very popular and is suitable for those with dairy intolerance. Egg protein is sourced either from the whole egg or from the egg white only (just as an aside, powdered egg protein is also used in tree plantations – it’s applied to young trees to deter rabbits and hares from nibbling on them). And for vegetarians, soy protein supplements are also easy to find.
Other supplements that are commonly marketed as bodybuilding supplements but can be taken by anyone include multivitamin tablets and diet pills, especially the types of pill that increase energy levels and/or the metabolism, as this not only strips away excess fat (no point in having a really ripped torso and abs if those abs are buried beneath a spare tyre) but also supplies the extra stamina needed for the gym sessions (an hour or more) needed to build serious bulk.