Health Considerations for Bodybuilders

barbell deadlift

 

The sport of bodybuilding increases your strength and changes your physique. The demands of sculpting your body are tremendous. It takes time and a lot of hard work to reach goals in bodybuilding, but it’s very rewarding when you do.

Bodybuilders push themselves and their bodies hard. The stress they exert on their muscles and bones requires specific health maintenance routines particular to a bodybuilder. What works for most of us, won’t work for someone who pushes the limits of working out to greater and greater heights.

Gains come in small increments, but if you take care of your body while building it, you have a better chance of faster returns. Here are some ways aspiring bodybuilders can ensure their bodies stay healthy and robust as they develop more muscle and drop body fat percentage.

Healthy Eating

One of the keys to rebuilding muscle tissue that you have worn down due to extreme weightlifting is healthy eating. Most bodybuilders incorporate a lot of protein into their diets to help muscle rejuvenation. Egg whites, turkey, chicken or lean red meat are staples of a bodybuilders diet.

Other foods that help infuse the body with essential fatty acids are fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. Beans and legumes offer the body fiber which you need for a healthy digestive system. Kidney beans are particularly hardy and provide huge amounts of protein and fiber to aid muscle growth.

Along with high-burning proteins, fatty acids, and fiber, a bodybuilder also needs slow-burning carbs like oatmeal or sweet potatoes to fuel those intense workouts. Some athletes supplement their diets with protein powders like whey protein for an added boost of energy before a lifting session.

 

Supplements

The goal is to be the best you can be through building strength and muscle. However, as you work out, you are burning through the nutrients like wildfire, and your body needs replenishment more than someone who does not lift weights. One solution is to enhance your diet through supplements.

Not only do supplements refuel your body with the nutrients you need, but they can also help energize you for more intense training. Some supplements even help with pain management. A lot of bodybuilders use things like whey protein, amino acids, L-Glutamine, creatine and omega-3 fish oil to enhance their health while bodybuilding.

Kratom is gaining popularity with athletes, and it has been used by people in Southeast Asian for hundreds of years. However, this plant still needs more research in the U.S. to accurately determine the correct use and safety. People who take kratom often experience different things. Some feel energized, some claim it has miraculous healing and pain relief properties and others say it works as a muscle relaxant.

 

Pain Management

After pounding their bodies in the gym for that extra bit of gain, bodybuilders often experience a lot of pain. The most common form is joint pain, followed closely by muscle aches as the tissue rebuilds itself. One way to reduce the effects of a body-building workout is to warm up properly beforehand and to not overextend during the outing.

A simple home remedy is eating Jell-o after a workout. The main ingredient in Jell-o is gelatin. Gelatin comes from animal collagen and is a critical component found in bones, tendons, and connective tissue. Gelatin also has high-levels of two amino acids called proline and glycine that help to rebuild cells quickly and alleviate joint pain.

Flax oil is another all natural miracle cure for muscle aches and joint pain. Flax oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It’s made up of fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s that are essential for good health and healing. Everyone needs these fatty acids to live healthily but bodybuilders even more so because they are pushing their bodies to perform beyond the reasonable limits.

 

Vaccines

Bodybuilders are highly susceptible to diseases through exposure to sweat and other bodily fluids on shared weightlifting equipment and travel to competitions. The use of steroids can compound the problem by masking symptoms and prolong the effects before treatment.

Tuberculosis (TB), although rare in the U.S., is quite common in other countries, and vaccinations are standard with newborns. This deadly disease can be resistant to antibiotics. Therefore vaccination is the best way to eliminate the problem before it becomes an issue.

Getting vaccinated for TB is easy and very inexpensive. The doctor gives you a quick shot in your deltoid shoulder muscle. Most people experience few, if any side effects. Sometimes the area will get red for a few days, or there might be some slight pain. The only downside for getting the vaccination is that you will have a scar on that shoulder for life. Experts recommend getting a blood test for TB rather than a skin test which is less accurate.

 

Low Impact/Safe Weight Lifting

Another way to ensure bodybuilding success is to balance your fitness goals with joint safety. Often, there are safer versions of the same exercises that will not put as much strain on your joints but will give you the same benefit. Never lift more weight than you can safely handle.

Always use the correct form and process for lifting to help protect your body against injury. If you do injure yourself, get medical help quickly and let the injury fully heal before starting up again. Always give your muscles plenty of time to rest and recoup before working out again.

Avoid a 7-day a week workout regimen. A better schedule is one day on and then a day off. A 3 to 4 days per week bodybuilding routine works best to increase growth but also allow your body time to heal between workouts.

 

Nothing in Excess

Bodybuilding and weightlifting can be addictive and the more you gain, the more you may want to push yourself harder to get even bigger or stronger. Nothing in excess is ever healthy. The best way to achieve your goals is balance. Avoid steroids if you can and other over-hyped supplements that promise the world overnight.

Moderate your workout schedules and limit how much of anything you do or take to make progress. A slower road to success is a healthier way to get there. In the long run, those chances you take now might result in serious health issues or major injuries later, and you could end up battling painful arthritis or other joint-related problems later in life. Use common sense and listen to your body when it needs to rest.

Bodybuilders really put their bodies through the paces, and therefore their health needs are much different than the average person. Using a routine of healthy eating combined with supplements and frequent tests for virus or bacterial infections can help minimize the effects of strenuous weight lifting and keep bodybuilders feeling their best.

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