BCAA (branched-chain amino acids)
BCAA consist of the 3 essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine. It is well established that branched-chain amino acids, especially leucine, stimulate protein synthesis. Also, BCAA reduce the rate of protein breakdown. These qualities are particularly precious when you are on a fat cut-down diet regime and the rate of protein breakdown exceeds the rate of the synthesis, resulting in muscle loss. BCAA also help to keep workout intensity when you are on the calorie restriction, as the production of neurotransmitter serotonin (gives the feeling of fatigue) is reduced. Although, whey protein is high in BCAA and digests fast, the full absorption of all amino acids into the bloodstream still takes up to several hours. Pure form of BCAA requires no digestion, they are almost instantly absorbed into the bloodstream. The rapid spike of amino acid levels in blood impact protein synthesis and protein degradation to a much greater degree than whey protein. In comparison to other amino acids, BCAA are not significantly metabolized by the small intestine or the liver. Therefore, an oral BCAA supplementation reaches the bloodstream so rapidly. The best time to use BCAA is when you are dieting to lose fat, before and after workouts and between meals (particularly if you feel hungry).
Glutamine is an amino acid that makes up 60% of skeletal muscle. Glutamine consists of 19% nitrogen, making it the primary transporter of nitrogen into your muscle cells. Glutamine supplementation helps with protein metabolism, anti-catabolism, strengthening of immune system and the increased natural ability of the body to produce human growth hormone. These qualities are the most valuable while sticking to a fat loss regime. Take 5 g of glutamine 2-3 times a day – in the morning, after a workout, and at night prior to bed time.
Multivitamins and minerals
The most overlooked bodybuilding supplement – multivitamins, the wide range of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). When you train hard your body requires an increased supply of vitamins and minerals. They are essential for your optimal performance during training sessions, strong immune system, shorter recovery time after intense workouts etc. Vitamins take part in the chemical reactions within the body converting food into energy and living tissue. Minerals are needed to produce the necessary hormones in the body. Although there are all the necessary vitamins and minerals in the variety of different foods, realistically eating enough of them for a hard-training bodybuilder is next to impossible, especially considering that vitamins, being organic, are vulnerable to heat, light and chemical agents. Choose the enhanced formulas of multivitamins, designed to match the needs of an athlete. While multivitamin formulas differ slightly one from another, normally they consist of:
• Vitamin A – supports vision, healthy skin, mucous membranes, immune system, bone/tooth growth and is an antioxidant.
• Vitamin B group – important for nerve function and digestive systems.
• Vitamin C – enzyme co-factor and antioxidant.
• Vitamin D – supports bone growth, helps to absorb calcium.
• Vitamin E – powerful antioxidant.
• Vitamin K – supports bones, teeth and cartilage health.
• Boron – improves the metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
• Calcium – supports bone and teeth health, plays a role in muscle contraction, the secretion of hormones and nerve transmission.
• Chromium – strengthens connective tissue.
• Iodine – engages to thyroid hormone synthesis.
• Iron – carries oxygen within protein haemoglobin.
• Lutein – supports eye health.
• Lycopene – needed for healthy heart and good cholesterol (HDL).
• Magnesium – involved into over 300 biochemical reactions of the body, including muscle contraction.
• Manganese – co-factor in energy production, also activates many enzymes within the body.
• Molybdenum – supports liver and kidney.
• Potassium – needed for autonomic nervous system (heart beet, brain function).
• Selenium – improves the overall health.
• Zinc – supports thyroid function and an enormous range of enzymes, particularly those involved in growth and development of nerves.