When considering supplements for your personal body transformation program, certain products are key components of a sound start-up program.
These are the same products you will use throughout your bodybuilding and fitness journey--because they actually work, and meet specific needs that are critical to designing a solid "body-building" base nutrition plan. That said, I will center this particular discussion on products that should be considered "standard issue" for every body conscious athlete.
Metabolic Needs ///
Our metabolic demands come from our need to survive. Simple enough, right? We are unique biological machinery in constant need of "service." Tissue breakdown and repair are part of the cycle, and they require energy. This is further increased when you are a first-year bodybuilder whose "muscle machinery" is adjusting to the increased demands you are placing on it through training.
The tricky part is to consistently supply this energy without contributing to the unwanted storage of excess energy (i.e. body fat). One way to achieve this is by incorporating calorically efficient, energy- increasing supplements.
Convenient Meals ///
I'm sure many of you reading Bodybuilding.com will attest that convenience plays an integral part in your everyday life. Let's face it; in our fast-paced world, we all need convenience.
For bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike, it can be quite the strenuous activity selecting convenient meals that are in line with our health and physique goals. I mean, a Value Meal consisting of McNuggets and fries can definitely be considered a convenient "meal," but it surely doesn't come close to meeting the goals of someone concerned about losing fat and putting on muscle!
Protein Powders & Meal-Replacement Powders (MRP's) ///
The original "effective" bodybuilding supplement was arguably the protein powder. Today, there are many excellent protein powders and ready-to-drink shakes that can help you take in additional protein, without adding unwanted fats and excess carbohydrates.
Getting extra high-quality proteins from protein powders, food bars or MRPs is typically considered the number one choice for a quick meal or between-meal snack. In addition, when embarking on a personal body transformation program, you will have an increased need for protein, and you do not want to rely on junk food to get it.
Protein powders and MRPs take the top priority for anyone pursuing a lasting body transformation on a limited budget, because they provide high-quality protein to rebuild and repair damaged muscle fibers, and offer a consistent and predictable macronutrient profile.
Remember, a good rule of thumb when creating your nutrition plan for your body transformation program is to ingest one gram of protein per pound of lean muscle mass. For example, if you are moderately lean at 170 pounds, a good number to shoot for is 150 grams of protein per day.
Vitamins & Minerals ///
As bodybuilders and athletes, we often get too focused on the macronutrients, and don't pay attention to micronutrients. Luckily, most of the meal replacements we consume are chock full of essential vitamins and minerals.
Healthy eating habits don't hurt either, but we can't neglect the fact that some of these unsung vitamin heroes can help us stay in the saddle while we're desperately trying to reach our fitness goals. It is a good idea to get a separate vitamin blend (A, B's, C & E, etc.), and another full-spectrum mineral formula. Most formulas that combine vitamins and minerals lack the necessary mineral values to maintain optimal performance.
In closing, these are the essential supplements for any personal body transformation program: You need proteins and meal-replacement products to make sure meals are not missed (or ruined by bad choices), and to meet protein requirements. Plus, you require key vitamins and minerals that can augment all your hard work and efforts.