There’s bodybuilding. And there’s building a strong, healthy body.
I class the two completely differently.
I’ve seen too many ‘meathead’ bodybuilders put aesthetics, competition and their egos before their health.
Just to get ahead, to try and be bigger or better than others…while not really thinking about any long-term consequences of what they put in their bodies.
Even more worrying is the number of young guys admittedly taking steroids these days – without having a clue about the negative health effects.
Needle exchange schemes in the West of Scotland have seen a 600% rise in steroid users over the past 10 years, according to this recent study carried out by Glasgow University.
Anyone who even considers taking steroids for a better body is not only a meathead, but a plain moron.
You become fake, a fraud…and I won’t bore you with the ball-shrinkingly frightening health dangers right now. (But if you wanna learn more about those just read this article ‘Here’s What Steroids Actually Do To Your Body’.)
Secondly, anyone who takes other unnatural, synthetic pills, powders or liquids without properly doing their homework should also receive a ‘moron’ tattoo along with their gym membership.
Truth is: you don’t need to waste your money on a bunch of supplements, dodgy or otherwise, to achieve the great body you want. A clean, healthy whole foods diet to support a solid weight training programme can provide virtually all you need.
Having said that, there are still a handful of natural supplements that’ll help you get the job done much more efficiently and effectively.
I’ll detail the ‘essentials’ I use to supplement my weight training programme – and properly look after my body.
They’re safe, natural and opting for these will not only bring you excellent results, but it’ll save you time, experimenting with garbage products, and a heck of a lot of money.
Creatine – this could well be your weightlifting best friend. Creatine has been proven to be effective in improving performance in weightlifters and other athletes.
It increases the body’s ability to produce energy more rapidly, meaning you can train harder – and for longer.
Did I mention the benefits of fuller looking muscles, or enhanced recovery after workouts too?
Creatine is an amino acid that’s found in various foods and is naturally produced by the body too.
Creatine increases the formation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is where our cells get the energy to perform tasks.
More creatine = more ATP = more energy and power for workouts.
My recommendation: Optimum Nutrition Creatine Capsules available here via Amazon.
Plant-based protein powder – NOT whey protein powder. Nope, I ain’t a fan of the usual type of protein that 98% of weightlifters/athletes/gym-goers drink to help build muscle.
Many brands of whey protein are highly processed, contain chemicals and additives, and are acidic which makes it harder to digest and can be damaging to the body in the long term.
Myself and several friends suffered digestive problems caused by years of guzzling whey protein shakes. When we switched to an organic plant-based protein powder all the issues stopped (funnily enough).
This is because plant-based protein powders are much more alkaline and easily absorbed by the body.
Ditch whey protein, buy the plant-based stuff instead. You’ll save yourself, your toilet and anyone within a 1 metre radius of you the pain of your constipation, diarrhoea and toxic farts.
My recommendation: Warrior Blend by Sun Warrior available here.
A quality multi-vitamin and mineral tablet – the body uses vitamins and minerals to repair and replace cells. We simply cannot function without these nutrients. The standard Western diet and the processing of food strips what we eat of its goodness.
The result? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
These deficiencies lead to various health problems. For example, if you lack vitamin B12 you’ll likely feel tired, out of breath, or develop headaches.
It’s like a car that needs oil and the warning light comes on. The body gives us plenty of warning signs too and it’s up to us to give the body what it needs before it breaks down.
But even eating plenty of organic fruit and veg isn’t necessarily enough to cover all vitamin and mineral bases. So buying a good multivitamin and mineral supplement is a wise investment for foundational health.
My recommendation: Nature’s Own Multivitamins & Minerals via Amazon.
Magnesium oil – Magnesium plays so many roles in the healthy functioning of our bodies, and is crucial for sports performance and recovery. But this mineral is also very easily depleted in our fast-paced, stressful lives.
Intense exercise, such as heavy weight training can also further lower levels of magnesium and therefore it’s a very wise move to supplement with magnesium oil.
Dr Mark Sircus, author of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, said: “Few people are aware of the enormous role magnesium plays in our bodies. Magnesium is by far the most important mineral in the body.
“After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies, vitally important yet hardly known.”
When it comes to performance: the body’s main energy source ATP (adenosine triphosphate) must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. A deficiency in magnesium can therefore impair athletic performance.
When it comes to recovery: supplementing with magnesium oil is hugely beneficial for people lifting weights because it relaxes and soothes sore muscles, speeding up recovery times after tough workouts.
It’s also an amazing aid for a deep, restful sleep as it calms the nervous system by inhibiting the major stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Proper sleep is extremely important for muscle development and overall health.
My recommendation: Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil, also from Amazon