Taking food supplements in bodybuilding is not the same as ordinary taking food supplements to make you healthy. Bodybuilding is a special type of strenuous activity where you need to take food supplements before and after your workout if you want to develop the kind of muscles that you’re aiming for.
You Need Strength Before and After your Workouts
The main purpose of bodybuilding is to beef up your muscles, not to develop your strength. You only increase your strength as an added incentive to having a beefed up muscle structure all over your body. In other words, you need strength to do your workouts and you need stamina so that you won’t get overly tired after your workouts.
That is why you need to take food supplements before and after your workouts. If you don’t, you won’t have the stamina to complete your exercise routine. If you are not able to finish your routines, then you won’t be able to develop your muscles.
Pre-Workout Supplements Will Keep You Strong
Your body needs fuel, just like a car needs gasoline to make it run. If you fuel your body before your workout, you can get the most out of your muscle building exercises. Here are the pre-workout supplements that you should take.
- Carbohydrates – 3 to 6 hours prior to your workout, you should eat a meal that contains complex carbohydrates. Carbs contain glucose, the main energy source of the muscles in your body while you are exercising. The best sources of complex carbs are brown rice, whole grains, bulgur, quinoa, millet and couscous.
About 1 to 2 hours before your routines, eat a snack that is high in carbohydrates such as whole grain pretzels, granola, crackers and fresh fruits. Avoid eating high fiber carbs such as broccoli and lentils as they can cause indigestion while you are exercising.
- Water – engaging in strenuous workouts make you perspire profusely. If you don’t have enough reserve water in your system, your body will not be able to cope up with the stress. You will lose coordination and fatigue will easily set in. Therefore you should hydrate yourself. Drink from 16 to 24 ounces of water one hour before your workout and drink around 8 ounces every 15 minutes while you are exercising.
- Protein – Eat lean sources of protein 3 to 6 hours before your workout. Although protein does not provide energy, it will contribute to your feeling of satiation thus helping you last your routines. Lean source of protein include salmon, chicken breasts, tuna, flank steak, and lean ground turkey.
- Fat – You also need to eat fat 3 to 6 hours prior to your scheduled exercises. Fats don’t supply energy, but they provide fuel to help you endure long lasting workouts such as running and long-distance biking. Some sources of small portions of fat are yogurt, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese and peanut butter.
Post-Workout Supplements Will Extend Your Strength
While doing your exercise routines, your body breaks down muscle protein structures as well as muscle glycogen. These substances have to be replenished to allow for new muscle growth. If not, your muscles will stay just as they are. To replenish these elements, you need to consume enough carbs to induce the release of substantial insulin. Insulin is the one responsible for delivering carbs and amino acids back into your muscles.
Within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout it is recommended that you take around 0.8 grams of carbohydrates for every 2.2 pounds of your body weight. If you miss taking them within this period, you will miss your chance to replenish the elements that your muscles need. In addition, you need to take about 1/3 to ½ that ratio in protein or approximately 0.2 to 0.4 for every 2.2 pounds of your body weight.
Here are some post-workout food supplements you may wish to take.
- Toasted Whole Wheat Bagel with Almond Butter – these types of bagels are chock-full of calories and complex carbs, and almond butter is replete with essential minerals such as potassium, an electrolyte that helps to maintain muscle contraction.
- Dried Fruits and Nuts – if you don’t have the time to prepare a healthy snack after your routines then bring along sumptuous amounts of dried fruits and nuts. The nuts will give you healthy doses of protein. Eating dried fruits will provide much needed simple carbohydrates. They are easy to digest and will readily replenish your muscle glycogen more quickly.
- Chicken Stir-Fry – this is another source of lean protein in addition to other essential nutrients such as niacin which is important in metabolizing carbohydrates. Although brown rice is preferable than white rice, you may wish to eat white rice after your workout since it has a high glycemic index and will help replenish your muscles with glucose faster.