Any bodybuilder worth their salt knows there’s no shortcut to getting the body they want. Sweat and hard graft are what achieves results.
But never underestimate the role that great nutrition plays. And supplementation is an increasingly indispensable part of the process of building the perfect physique.
But are you making the most of the vast array of nutritional supplements out there? Here are five supplements less well known for their use to the bodybuilding fraternity – from selenium to kre alkalyn, you’ll be surprised how effective they can be.
1. Kre Alkalyn
Creatine Monohydrate is a bodybuilding staple well recognised for its effectiveness in promoting muscle development as part of a well designed workout regime. But it does require a loading phase, and it may in cause bloating and abdominal cramping in some people.
Kre Alkalyn is pH buffered creatine. 100% stable, it’s formulated to resist breakdown during digestion and reduce the need for front loading. Kre Alkalyn allows better uptake of creatine into the muscle tissue, the outcome – the possibility of achieving more with less.
Because Kre Alkalyn is available in pill form – offering a simple, effective way to saturate your body with ATP producing creatine, for longer more intense workouts.
Good for your immune system and effective at beating back free radicals, selenium can help you fight off infection, a constant risk factor for people who train to the max. An essential element of a healthy diet, selenium is commonly found in seafood and organ meats. Veggies will have to look for it in wheat germ, brazil nuts, eggs, oats and brown rice.
There are claims selenium can help fight certain types of cancers particularly those of the prostate, colon and lungs. The research does suggest this might be plausible, though more clinical evidence is needed.
You should be able to get all the selenium you need from your diet, but if you do decide to take a supplement to boost your levels, the NHS recommendation is not to take more than 0.35 mg per day.
3. Rhodiola Rosea
Also known as ‘golden root’, or ‘rose root’, Rhodiola Rosea is a folk cure from Eastern Europe. Traditionally, it’s used to treat mild depression, combat fatigue and to increase alertness – all very useful properties given the length and severity of Siberian winters.
Take Rhodiola Rosea to keep yourself in the groove when the weather turns dark and gloomy. Although hard evidence for the clinical effectiveness of herbal supplements can be thin on the ground, there’s often a kernel of truth in age old remedies.
Rhodiola Rosea has been the subject of several studies, all of which show some evidence of effectiveness. But because the herb may affect sleep, it’s recommended to take it earlier in the day, and for short periods only. Definitely one for when you need a boost.
4. Royal Jelly
A well known supplement popular for decades, Royal Jelly is packed with good things that keep aging rockstars playing to sellout crowds of oldies, but did you know, it could also give your workout a welcome boost?
So what’s the buzz? Royal Jelly is produced by bees and fed to larvae; it’s also the staple diet of the Queen Bee herself. It’s incredibly high in nutrients like vitamins A,C, D and E and more. But what interests us as muscle freaks is 5 7-kDa protein. Why? Because it seems to prevent lactic acid buildup.
In a study conducted on mice, royal jelly seemed to increase the rodents’ endurance levels by causing a drop in lactic acid and reduced levels of muscle glycogen depletion during exercise. But before you run off to the health food store – remember – if you’re allergic to bee stings, you’ll also be allergic to royal jelly!
5. Vitamin D
Good for maintaining healthy teeth and bones, Vitamin D is of more interest to the bodybuilder than you might think. Obviously, you need strong bones to lift heavy, and a decent frame to which strong muscles attach. But Vitamin D also reacts with receptors in your muscle tissue to increase size and explosive strength in combination with your workout program.
Sunlight reacts with the body to synthesize vitamin D, so to ensure you get enough, do some of your training outdoors. Food sources of Vitamin D are rare, but you’ll get it from oily fish and eggs.
Do remember to be careful not to get too much sun as UV rays are also a source of cancer-causing skin damage. Anyone taking a vitamin D supplement should be careful not to exceed the recommended dose. Overdoing it can result in over-retention of calcium which can damage the kidneys.