Figuring out which supplements will bear the most effective and desirable results is a respectable challenge in itself. If you are relatively new to the sport, this challenge will be even more severe, and I feel this issue needs to be addressed. Supplements are too costly to be persuaded by a companies advertisement, and end up wasting cash on a over-estimated product. I have used supplements since the age of 16, and obviously both my knowledge and supplementation program have advanced. I've been getting a lot of E-mails about effective supplement stacks, or combos, as well as the correct dosages of each product. It is very important that you consult a physician before including supplements in your diet.
First of all, for all the new bodybuilders out there, supplements are a great resource of nutrients and there is no need to be afraid of any of the supplements listed in this article. They are all considered natural under all natural bodybuilding competition rules and should be perfectly safe when proper dosages are followed. I don't believe supplements should be used by people under the age of 15, however, that is my opinion on this subject.
I suggest giving your body at least a year to adapt to weight training, and allow your form to develop before investing in supplements. Once your form has developed, you will be able to deal with heavier weights. After the first year of training, you should be ready to start gaining some serious mass. Obviously a well thought-out nutrition program is fundamental to building muscle, and should include a variety of high quality foods, as well as supplements.
For a basic beginners program, I suggest simply using a high quality Creatine Monohydrate and Whey Protein supplement. This is a fail safe method of aiding the muscle building process and will allow you to witness how effective the two most popular bodybuilding supplements are. It is the program that I started off on, and gained my first bit of noticeable mass. The Creatine Monohydrate volumizes the muscle cells. This simply means it opens the cells up so the nutrients will flow in much easier and more efficient. Not only will Ceatine volumize your muscle cells, but it will allow you to develop muscular strength and endurance much easier since it replenishes ATP and the muscle's ability to handle higher amounts of torque. Whey Protein is an excellent source of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids). Amino acids are used by the body to rebuild muscle, so the more protein you ingest, the better growth you will receive. As I've mentioned in previous articles, the majority of your protein intake should come from whole, non processed foods.
This is a very effective, fairly low cost supplement stack which can be used the entire time you supplement. Dosages are fairly straight forward, 5 to 10 grams of Creatine daily, and usually you don't need to exceed a 50 to 75 gram serving of Whey Protein a day. If you are interested in a more advanced program, the only other supplements I would recommend using at this age would be a Multi-Vitamin and Glutamine. The Multi-Vitamin is very important. It will ensure you receive an ample supply of essential vitamins and minerals to help keep your body running smoothly. Simply use the dosage listed on the bottle. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in muscle tissue. It is used for muscular recovery and growth, as well as an immune system booster. 10 to 15 grams per day will be plenty to reap its benefits. As a final product to add to your supplementation program, I suggest you use Glucosamine. This product is the major building block of cartilage. Glucosamine levels determine the speed at which joint repair occurs. It also helps reduce joint pain and tenderness that may be caused by sloppy lifting. If you are interested in using the listed products, it is important that you ingest them at the correct time. There is a controversy regarding when Creatine Monohydrate should be taken, before or after a workout. To solve this problem I simply take 5 grams a half hour before training, and another 5 grams after training. Your Whey Protein supplement should be taken directly after your workout, to kick start the muscle building process. I usually take my Multi-Vitamin as soon as I wake up, this ensures your body is running correctly from the start of the day. Glutamine should be taken in equal servings, 2 to 3 times a day. Finally, I've found that taking a couple of Glucosamine capsules right after training helps strengthen tendons, therefore avoiding injuries before they have a chance to occur.
Train safely, effectively and most importantly, keep it natural.