Sports Supplements for Bodybuilding Success

By Sherry L. Granader (Sports Nutritionist)

Sports Supplements

Walk into any fitness center or gym and you will see those dedicated to the world of bodybuilding who are consistent with their workouts, while others show very little improvement in their physique, even if they exercise daily. Is it possible to avoid a similar fate? Yes, but building muscle does take years of dedicated work using proper form and technique while training and excellent nutrition.

Thinking you can build muscle overnight is a nice thought but unrealistic. Staying with consistent, proven training methods and a good-quality supplement program is essential to achieve long-term results. Stick to the basic fundamentals and be patient. Eighty-percent of what our physique’s look like is nutrition.

Priority #1 – Whole Foods

Whole foods are the most important tool for a bodybuilder to achieve a strong physique and good health. They include protein, fibrous carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins and minerals. Substituting supplements for whole foods will not replace sound nutrition.

Protein Sources

  • Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • Turkey breast
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Low-fat almond milk
  • One whole egg with egg whites
  • Flank steak

Fibrous Carbohydrates

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains

  • Apples and oranges
  • Yams and sweet potatoes
  • Oats (steel cut)
  • Whole-grain bread and pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils, beans and peas
  • Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers

Good Fats

  • Avocado
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Priority #2 – Supplements

Dietary supplements for bodybuilders are known as functional-food supplements that provide muscle building nutrients that can take your physique and performance to a whole new level. They are different from the basic vitamin and mineral supplements that support basic health and help prevent diseases that can arise due to nutrient deficiencies.

One of the hardest accomplishments for bodybuilders is to eat 5-6 meals every 3 hours that take time to plan, prepare and cook, not to mention the cleanup involved afterwards. Preparing whole foods can be challenging to take with you to work, keep fresh and usually require heating before they can be eaten. Here are some meal supplements that can be plugged into a meal any time of day:

Meal Replacement Powders

These provide excellent nutrition and are very convenient when you have a shaker cup or thermos. You can add a meal replacement powder to some almond milk in a blender with half a banana or organic berries, ground flaxseeds for fibre and good fats or perhaps some Greek yogurt for a delicious meal in a blender.

Meal Replacement Bars

Meal replacement bars are always good to have on hand as an emergency food in case you get stuck somewhere without any food. They are convenient, easy to transport and must be kept at room temperature.

Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes

The ready-to-drink shakes require no mixing in a blender, taste great and do not need to be refrigerated making them the ultimate in convenience. However, look for protein shakes in multi-layered packaging materials instead of cans because 90% of proteins found in a canned protein shakes deteriorate due to processing and the metal in the cans leaches into the liquid giving it a “metallic” taste.

Multi-layered packaging locks in the proteins, vitamins and minerals keeping out the moisture, light and air. It allows you to keep your ready-to-drink protein shake for months without refrigeration or harmful preservatives. It is called “aseptic processing” and is advanced that the Institute of Food Technologies call it the most significant innovation in science that reduces the time and temperature necessary for sterilisation. The benefits of this new technology are increased nutrient retention and flavour of the product with safety to boot.

Priority #3 – Read the Labels

For outstanding results, look for a ready-to drink protein shake that offers:

  • Good quality whey protein (at least 30-40 grams)
  • Great taste
  • Sugar-free
  • Low in fat
  • Vitamins and Minerals

If any of your meal replacement supplements don’t taste great, you simply will not drink or eat them making it more difficult to stay on your nutrition program. It is that simple. A good quality protein shake can break up the monotony of eating the same foods over and over again and give you the protein to build muscle tissue. You need lots of it to train hard, recover quickly and grow. Protein provides the body with nitrogen that the muscles use for maintenance and growth.

The key to building quality muscle is through protein sources that offer fast-release and slow-release of proteins that give a consistent flow of amino acids that support muscle growth and as a result, increase strength. It takes a lot of work, staying with the basics of good nutrition and using the best supplements on the market to enhance your workouts and get the body you always dreamed of.


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