If you just go around the fitness clubs in your country, I’m sure you’ll find someone shaking their protein shake, taking a pill, or yet adding some kind of powder to their water.

Such consumption of supplements tends to rise. After all, according to the ABFS (Brazilian Association of Supplement Manufacturers, in English), the fitness industry has moved over R$1 billion annually nationwide.

But, faced with so many names and options in the market, sometimes we can be at a loss as to which one we should pick towards our goals. For this reason, we have selected and broken down the top ten most popular Bodybuilding supplements consumed today. Check them out!

Protein

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What is that?

This one is super popular! Used for muscle gain and recovery after workout, it’s also known as whey protein (milk whey), however, it can be found in meats or vegetables, like peas, soy or rice. The difference lies in the amount of amino acid in each of them.

“Animal protein (milk and meat) is a source of essential branched chain amino acid (BCAA), which isn’t produced by our organisms. So if we want to get it, we need to include it in our diet or take its supplement”, explains Andrezza Botelho, a nutritionist and a member of IBNF, Brazilian Institute of Functional Nutrition.

Now, the vegetable protein has a lower biological value (has no or one essential amino acid), so it’s necessary to combine it with other foods, like vegetables themselves, so that it’s possible to ingest all the essential nutrients.

Yet, if you’re not willing to change anything and therefore prefer to go straight to whey protein, you should know there are three types of that: isolate, concentrated and hydrolyzed.

The first one is the purest form of protein, with at least 90% protein in its composition. Besides, this kind of supplement is usually fat free and contains less than 1% lactose, which is highly recommended if you’re lactose intolerant.

The concentrate whey, in turn, is rich in essential and branched amino acids, which permit the release of the bioactive components in charge of anabolic acceleration (muscle growth) and muscle recovery.

Lastly, the hydrolyzed kind. That’s the easiest and fastest whey type to be digested. It’s a kind of protein that’s less susceptible to cause gastrointestinal reactions.

When should you take it?

Usually for pre and post-workout, but mainly post.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

From 25 to 30 grams.

What if I exceed that?

In case you exceed the recommended dose, chances are you’ll have nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, dehydration and you may also be faced with the formation of kidney stones.

Maltodextrine

What is that?

A kind of carb used to keep your glycemic levels during workout, providing energy all along. “Plus, it helps with your muscle recovery and reduces weariness”, Andrezza adds.

When should you take it?

“In the pre-workout, in order to provide energy to accomplish the coming workout”, points Daniela Jobst, a specialist in functional and sports nutrition, in São Paulo.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

From 25 to 40 grams, though it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s label.

What if I exceed that?

It could cause stomach discomfort.

Albumin

What is that?

This kind of protein is found in eggwhite and is commonly used towards muscle gain and post-workout recovery.

When should you take it?

According to the nutritionist Andrezza, you should take it between meals as to increase protein intake.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

Up to 4 tablespoons (or 40 grams). “However, it’s worthwhile checking the manufacturer’s directions, because some of them can be more or less concentrated”, points out Daniela.

What if I exceed that?

The consequences could be nasty: gas and diarrhea. Besides, it could bring about allergies and kidney disorders.

Glutamine

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IG: Lazar Angelov

What is that?

It’s a free amino acid with the highest concentration in the plasma and the muscle tissues in our organisms. “Nutritionally speaking, it’s classified as nonessential, as it can be synthesized by our organisms through other amino acids”, Andrezza clears out.

It’s used towards muscle recovery as well as gain. Plus, it’s very good for our immune system. It also contributes to a good intestinal health.

When should you take it?

For post-workout and before going to bed, as it helps with the recovery and maintenance of our immune system, preventing overtraining, which is pain and other discomforts that we feel due to excessive workout and lack of appropriate rest.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

5g a day (1 teaspoon).

What if I exceed that?

Watch out, exceeding that could reduce intestine and kidney absorption of nutrients. It also brings about other consequences, like flatulence and constipation. One more warning: if you have kidney or liver disorders, you should not take glutamine, as it could cause more serious consequences.

Nitric Oxide (NO2)

maxresdefault(9)What is that?

This substance is responsible for the dilation of the blood vessels, promoting better and higher blood flow along our bodies, which, in turn, brings about efficiency in the distribution of oxygen and nutrients among the muscles. That’s why, the NO2 supplement boosts muscle recovery and lean mass gain, strength and resistance.

But, just a warning: “It’s not recommended to take it without the supervision of a professional. Because the NO2 could cause arrhythmia and micro vascular rupture. Besides that, it should not be ingested at night, as it could lead to insomnia” alerts Andrezza Botelho.

When should you take it?

Usually for pre-workout (30 minutes before it).

What’s the ideal daily amount?

From 1 to 2 teaspoons diluted in water. It’s a good idea to take a look at each manufacturer’s label too.

What if I exceed that?

Despite the fact that there aren’t studies proving its side effects, it won’t hurt to be careful. Because the NO2 is a vasodilator and, therefore, its overdose could lead to unexpected blood pressure fall. The consequences are: dizziness, headaches, nausea, fast heartbeat and water retention.

Creatine

Drink-Creatine-Step-10What is that?

An amino acid naturally produced in our organisms in order to provide the necessary energy to our muscles.

It’s recommended, mainly, to people doing activities like weight training and CrossFit, as well as other high intensity and short duration modalities”, suggests Paula Crook, a nutritionist from Patricia Bertolucci Nutrition Consulting, in São Paulo.

She adds that, during this kind of activity, we run out of creatine in just 10 seconds, which leads us to fatigue. “That’s when the supplement gains importance: to increase the storage of the creatine, making us able to keep the workout going for longer”, she adds.

When should you take it?

There’s no specific timing for creatine intake, but it’s usually taken for post-workout or with breakfast.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

“The athletes usually take 2 to 3 grams. This way, it won’t change our liver and kidney functions. Now, if you decide to take a different dose of that, you’d better see a doctor or a nutritionist”, Paula alerts.

What if I exceed that?

Then, my friend, that’s when it backfires, as the supplement will lead to weight gain, stomach discomfort and muscle cramps.

  1. BCAA

bcaa-capsWhat is that?

It’s composed by three essential branched amino acids (that have to be included in your diet, as our organisms do not produce that). The amino acids that form the BCAA are: leucine, valine and isoleucine.

“Studies have shown that the use of the supplement could be related to a number of factors, like the increase of muscle anabolism, fatigue reduction, improvement of your immunity system and the reduction of the degree of muscle injury as a result of workout”, explains Paula Crook.

When should you take it?

Before, during or after workout.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

From 1 to 7 grams, according to each person, workout type and duration.

What if I exceed that?

Watch out! Exceeding the recommended dose could lead to fast heartbeat and subjective effort perception. If you are a bit “cuckoo” and decide to take over 20 grams a day, you’ll suffer from gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, other than having the amino acid absorption functions compromised.

 

Hypercaloric Suplemments

hipercaloricoWhat is that?

They are energetic supplements containing high biological value proteins, lipds, vitamins, mineral salts and a high concentration of carbohydrates, whose main function is the high supply of calories.

“They’re used, mainly, by people who work out and are searching for a way to gain mass (lean and fat) in a short period of time”, points Paula.

Usually, people who have a hard time gaining weight due to a fast-paced metabolism choose this supplement.

When should you take it?

It can be taken any time of the day. However, take it with small meals so this way you increase caloric intake.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

If you are trying to keep your weight with your current meal plan, it’s recommended to change nothing in the diet and add an equivalent portion of 600 or 700 calories.

Now, in case you’re losing weight, the first thing you have to do is reconsider the amounts and quality of the ingested foods along the day (you could count with the help of a nutritionist for this). And just after that, you should add the hypercaloric supplement.

What if I exceed that?

First of all, an alert: if you have liver or kidney disorders, too much protein could overload these organs. Therefore, always see a doctor before taking supplements. Plus, too much carb will also lead to problems.

Some of them are: nausea, vomit and even diarrhea. People with diabetes or susceptible to it should see a doctor as well.

Thermogenics

giphy(8)What is that?

They are substances that increase your body temperature, promoting a higher caloric burn and reducing your appetite. “They contribute to the metabolization of fats, converting them into available energy”, points the nutritionist Paula Crook.

Besides that, thermogenics are recommended in case you need to boost your metabolism and lose body fat.

Of course, it alone won’t guarantee any fat reduction. Its use should be combined with a balanced diet and a workout routine.

We shouldn’t forget that the thermogenics must be avoided in case of heart diseases, hypertension, anxiety or hypersensitivity to its substances, as this supplement has stimulant properties that increase the function of many organs, like the heart, lungs and blood pressure.

When should you take it?

The recommendation is that you take it up to 6 hours before going to bed.

What’s the ideal daily amount?

In the case of the thermogenic, it varies according to each manufacturer, but it could be between 1 and 4 pills.

What if I exceed that?

The side effects are many. Insomnia, palpitations, irritability, anxiety, nausea, stomach discomfort, face numbness and worsening of ulcers and gastritis. Stay alert.

Essential fatty acids.

capsule-1079838_960_720What is that?

Just like BBCA, these elements are not produced by our organisms and are called linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3).

Considered to be “good fats”, they act on the transportation of oxygen, energy production, improvement of the nervous functions, muscle growth, maintenance of cells and metabolism boost. Plus, they stimulate the production of new nerve cells and more.

When should you take it?

After your main meals (lunch and dinner).

What’s the ideal daily amount?

Usually one 500mg tablet.

What if I exceed that?

Problems may come in the future with the reduction of the immune system, bleeding risk (due to the anticoagulant effect of the nutrient), stomach discomfort, diarrhea, bad breath and aerophagy (gas).

So, we’re done, right? No, sadly not. Overdosage can also increase chances of infections and tumors, like prostate and liver.

Now, all you gotta do it pick your supplements according to your goals. Just don’t forget to look at the recommended doses very carefully, ok?


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