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Weightlifting Supplements You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

As weightlifters you endure intense training every day, where you push yourselves to your limits, and challenge your bodies to exhaustion. You strive for one more rep, or one more set at the end of your workouts to get that ultimate gain. With a vigorous workout and a healthy diet, you are on your way to maximizing strength. But, what if you could get even more out of your training just by taking a simple supplement pre and post workout?


Now, there are a lot of supplements out there that are said to enhance weightlifting, but here is a list of 9 supplements that you didn’t know you needed to incorporate into your daily diet.


Table Of Contents


  1. Alpha GPC Choline

  2. Cissus Quadrangularis

  3. HMB

  4. Tongkat Ali

  5. Acetyl L-Carnitine

  6. L- Citrulline

  7. Beet Root

  8. Hyaluronic Acid

  9. Essential Amino Acids


Alpha GPC Choline


What is it?


Alpha GCP is a natural chemical/nutrient that is released when your body breaks down fatty acids. Choline, which is a naturally produced essential nutrient, is one of the main components of Alpha GCP. Choline has many functions, but the one that we are mainly focused on is its role in acetylcholine production. Alpha GCP is used for supplementation of choline because it absorbs rapidly. Because of this, Alpha GCP can improve muscle growth and achievement.


How does it work?


Alpha GPC helps improve the body’s choline levels which then allows a higher production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that has a role in many processes but one being specifically important to weightlifting, neuro-muscular interaction. Acetylcholine helps stimulate muscles, making them contract, in turn increasing muscle endurance. Acetylcholine also improves production of growth hormone by supporting adrenaline hormones, which leads to an increase in muscle growth and fat loss.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


Alpha GPC is important to incorporate into your pre-workout diet because it enhances resistance training but increases your power output. Alpha GPC also enhances the release of a growth hormone to promote muscle growth and strength, during your workout. Lastly, Alpha GPC supplementation can increase mental focus, which can be indirectly beneficial for weightlifting.


Cissus Quadrangularis


What is it?


Cissus Quadrangularis is a plant that is part of the grape family and has been used as medicine for many years. Cissus Quadrangularis has great healing power due to the abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants it carries. You can get supplements of Cissus Quadrangularis in the form of powder, capsules, or syrup. The supplements consist of extractions from the leaf, root, and stem of the plant.


How does it work?


Cissus Quadrangularis supplements can improve the production of collagen in the body, which are important proteins that are found in connective tissues all over your body. While you are training, your body tears muscle fibers which leads to soreness or even injury. With enhanced levels of collagen, your body can repair those torn tissues faster allowing you to recover quicker. Because CQ carries an abundance of antioxidants, it can help the body get rid of the free radicals that your body creates during a workout, which will also reduce recovery time. Lastly, CQ can help the flow of cortisol through your body to increase strength. Cortisol is important to your body functions but too much could stop the production of testosterone which is a hormone responsible but muscle growth. CQ keeps levels of cortisol balanced so the release of testosterone isn’t inhibited.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


Cissus Quadrangularis has two major functions, one being to increase recovery speed, and the other being muscle growth and strength gains. It is important for weightlifters to recover from each day's workout quickly so they can train again the next day. Without this fast recovery, they could have trouble making progress in their strength training. It is also important for weightlifters to build muscle so they can accomplish their strength goals faster.


HMB


What is it?


HMB, short for Hydroxymethylbutyrate, is a naturally occurring chemical that our body produces when it breaks down the amino acid, leucine. HMB is used to enhance many areas of weight training including strength gains, muscle mass, reduces recovery time, and reduces muscle damage. It is often taken with other supplements to increase effects.


How does it work?


HMB supplements prevent the breakdown of proteins by maintaining the health of muscle cell membranes and increasing the speed of synthesis. These are important processes because they help repair damages to the muscles and support the growth of new muscle cells. In order to stay stable, HMB is bound to calcium. Calcium is a great nutrient or the body because it helps bone stability. HMB also stops the release of ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway which is responsible for muscle protein breakdown

How does it enhance weightlifting?


HMB supplements are directly linked to weightlifting and strength training. Because it benefits athletes that have muscle damage and soreness on a daily basis, it is important for weightlifters to incorporate this supplement into their post-workout diet. Weightlifters push their bodies to the limits every day while training and HMB has shown to encourage muscle adaptation. HMB is also important for weight lifters to take because it stops the breakdown of muscle protein for energy while working out, which is crucial for muscle growth.


Tongkat Ali


What is it?


Tongkat Ali originated in Southeast Asia and comes from the roots of the Eurycoma longifolia tree. Tongkat Ali is also known as Malaysian ginseng because it improves energy and strength. It contains many antioxidants like flavonoids and alkaloids which help battle weakened cells caused by free radicals. You can find the herbal remedy, Tongkat Ali, in pill form.


How does it work?


Tongkat Ali helps weightlifters that train hard by improving levels of testosterone. During a workout, testosterone levels decrease, which is natural, but with Tongkat Ali levels of testosterone will be brought back to normal. It is important for levels of testosterone to be normal because it is responsible for the release of the growth hormone that increases muscle mass. Tongkat Ali also helps your body use energy more efficiently because it contains quassinoids, like eurycomaoside, eurycomanone, and eurycolactone. By using energy more effectively, you can increase endurance, reduce fatigue and enhance body composition.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


Tongkat ali is an important supplement for weightlifters because it increases muscle mass, energy, and reduces fatigue. Testosterone is often looked at as just a male hormone but women also release small amounts of testosterone making Tongkat Ali applicable to them as well. Weightlifters all have a common goal of gaining muscle through intense training and pushing their bodies to the limits, and Tongkat Ali supplements will help them accomplish that goal.


Acetyl L- Carnitine


What is it?


Acetyl L- Carnitine is considered both a vitamin and an amino acid but is most related to vitamin B. When the liver and kidneys break down lysine (an amino acid) and methionine (also an amino acid), Acetyl L- Carnitine is formed. Acetyl L- Carnitine is mainly stored in muscles and the central nervous system where it aids in the production of energy and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetyl L- Carnitine is also used as an antioxidant in the body.


How does it work?


Acetyl L- Carnitine plays a role in moving fatty acids to the mitochondria of cells, where they are then broken down for energy. When the body is undergoing intense exercise your body goes through this process faster. If your body does not have enough Acetyl L- Carnitine, it cannot bring fatty acids to the mitochondria resulting in less energy being produced. Acetyl L- Carnitine also helps keep blood-glucose levels low while training so your glycogen storage stays full.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


Weightlifters need enough energy to keep going throughout their workouts and Acetyl- L Carnitine supplements will help get the job done. It is also important for weightlifters to take Acetyl L- Carnitine because it keeps their glycogen storage full to ensure their body isn’t breaking down muscle proteins for energy.


L-Citrulline


What is it?


L-Citrulline is a non-protein amino acid that is produced naturally in the morning. Taking L-Citrulline supplements will raise your body’s level of natural L- Citrulline past normal. The higher levels of this amino acid can enhance exercise performance. However it also has a big role in the urea cycle and widen your blood vessels to increase muscle growth.


How does it work?


L- Citrulline helps widen blood vessels by converting to another amino acid (L- arginine) which generates nitric oxide in the kidney. The production of nitric oxide then helps oxygen and nutrients travel through the blood vessels more smoothly to working muscles. Because the working muscles have more oxygen and less waste, it can improve performance and reduce recovery time.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


When weightlifters train, they put their muscle under immense stress. They push their bodies as far as they will go and need enough oxygen in their muscles to do that. With L- Citrulline supplements weightlifters will have what it takes to bring their training to the next level. More oxygen in muscles makes for more reps each set and an overall increase in muscle mass. L- Citrulline also helps transport the waste your muscles produce when you train out of your muscles to prevent soreness.


Beet Root


What is it?


Beet Root supplements are exactly what they sound like. The supplements contain extractions from the roots of beets. Beets contain many antioxidants and nutrients that are beneficial to athletic performance. The compound, alpha-lipoic acid, is found in Beet Root and plays an important role in lowering glucose levels. Beet Root also contains vitamin C, carotenoids, phenolic, flavonoids, and nitrate which is then converted to nitric oxide when certain foods are eaten.


How does it work?


Like L- Citrulline, Beet Root helps the production of nitric oxide which can widen blood vessels, to enhance blood flow and muscle contraction. This allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the working muscle and toxic waste to leave the muscles. This improves overall muscle performance and increases the time to exhaustion. Beet Root also contains a good source of vitamin C which helps produce the protein, collagen. Collagen is an important protein for your body because it is found in all the connective tissues and can improve joint health by repairing cartilage.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


Beet Root is a similar supplement to L- Citrulline because it has the same effect on the body. Both supplements increase the production of nitrate oxide which brings more oxygen to muscles during intense training allowing weightlifters to push harder for longer. However, Beet Root has the added effect of vitamin C. Because Vitamin C helps the production of collagen, weightlifters will have healthier joints. This is just as important to weightlifters' progress as strength is because the more muscle mass they put one, the stronger their joints need to be.


Hyaluronic Acid


What is it?


Hyaluronic acid is a naturally produced substance that can be found in skin and connective tissues. It plays an important role in retaining water in your body, specifically the connective tissues. However, the biggest role that hyaluronic acid has is the ability to create new blood vessels.


How does it work?


Hyaluronic acid is converted into oligosaccharides that are small sugars that have the ability to grow new blood vessels in certain areas. With more blood vessels in an area, the more nutrients and oxygen that that area can accumulate. Having enough nutrients in the muscles is important because it allows protein synthesis, which leads to an increase in lean muscle mass. However, in order for enough nutrients to reach the working muscles, there needs to be a balance between salt and water consumption.


How does it enhance weightlifting?


The answer is obvious. The more nutrients your muscles receive, the bigger of a pump there is. When weightlifters train they push themselves as hard as they can go and they need oxygen and nutrients to reach their muscles. Without those nutrients, the muscles will not grow and without oxygen, muscles will be fatigued more quickly. Hyaluronic acid is the perfect supplement to create more blood vessels and get more nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.


Essential Amino Acids


What are they?


Essential Amino Acids are the 9 amino acids that our bodies cannot produce so we have to incorporate them into our diet. Those amino acids include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are part of the BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids, along with histidine, lysine, threonine, methionine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan. Taking an Essential Amino Acid Supplement can increase the function of the immune system and help boost energy during weight training. Our bodies need these 9 essential amino acids in order to synthesize protein. We can get these amino acids from food sources but weightlifters should take a supplement to increase muscle growth.


How do they work?


Essential Amino Acids have many functions considering they are 9 different amino acids. The BCCAs conserve muscle glycogen storage allowing continued energy throughout a workout. The amino acid, histidine, helps with many metabolic processes in your body. Lysine can help your body produce energy and has a role in muscle growth. Threonine is converted to glycine once it is consumed and it helps to limit any undesirable muscle spasms. Methionine is responsible for the production of certain molecules in your body. Phenylalanine produces tyrosine, which helps release hormones. And Tryptophan helps your body create brain signaling chemicals and build protein throughout the body.


How does this enhance weightlifting?


Essential Amino Acids enhance weightlifting in many ways. All 9 of the amino acids have a different function within the body. However, the main way that an Essential Amino Acid supplement will benefit a weightlifter is through the energy it provides before and during a workout and the muscle growth it provides after. An Essential Amino Acids supplement is perfect for getting a little bit of everything.




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