Peptide Sciences for Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is only increasing in popularity. However, achieving results is more difficult than you think. Bodybuilders will have to consume enough calories to build muscle mass but not so much to where they gain weight. Achieving this fine balance is challenging, which is why so many bodybuilders follow a strict diet or result in taking supplements. You may have heard that bodybuilders need peptides to achieve the goals they want. Will you see results when taking peptides for bodybuilding? Peptide sciences are more complex than you think.
Before you try them, you should know how peptides enhance your results and learn the different types of peptides you can take.
What Are Peptides?
First things first, let’s look at peptides and understand what they are. Peptides are short-chain amino acids. In other words, they’re the building blocks of protein.
As any experienced bodybuilder knows, protein is essential to building muscle mass. So much so to where 40% of your diet should be comprised of protein. Peptides also contribute to muscle tissue development, which is why bodybuilders need to consume peptides.
Peptides are also important for many other reasons. They assist in the production of DNA and even hormones.
Peptides naturally exist in the foods you eat. Animal sources, such as meat, dairy, fish, and eggs, offer a significant amount of peptides. Bodybuilders who follow a vegan diet can get their peptides from lentils, beans, and whole grains. As an alternative, bodybuilders can consume their peptides via supplements.
Keep in mind, there are different types of peptides that can offer more benefits than others. We will go over these later.
What Do Peptides Do to Your Body?
Peptides are used for various purposes, not just increasing muscle mass. There are various types of therapeutic peptides that have been used to treat various ailments since the beginning of the 20th century.
Taking certain peptides can result in various health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, preventing blood clots, reducing cholesterol, protecting cells, and can even improve blood pressure and inflammation.
The structure of peptides is similar to various messaging compounds in the body, such as hormones. They engage with different bodily receptors, which is why they alter many compositions throughout the body.
How do peptides work to increase muscle mass? Certain peptides boost hormone levels, not only stimulating muscle growth but also improves exercise performance, enhances fat loss, and may even aid in recovery.
Types of Peptides Used in Bodybuilding
If you want to try peptides to improve your gains, you’ll need the right types of peptides. There are three types of peptides that are essential for bodybuilders: growth-hormone-releasing hormones (GRH), growth-hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs), and ghrelin.
Growth-hormone-releasing hormones are released in the region of your brain known as the hypothalamus. Growth hormones stimulate another region in the brain, called the pituitary gland, to release growth hormones into the bloodstream.
From here, growth hormones entice muscle tissues to increase and can even increase the metabolism. This type of hormone also impacts food intake, sleep, and even memory.
There are a few hormones that fall into this category:
- CJC 1295 DAC
- MOD-GRF (1-29)
- HGH Fragment 176-191
Keep in mind, taking high amounts of GRHs won’t result in improved results. GRHs are only effective up to a certain amount.
Growth-Hormone Releasing Peptides
Unlike other types of peptides, GHRPs are not natural peptides. While they have similar effects as growth-hormone-releasing hormones, they are entirely synthetic. With GHRPs, the peptides are cloned to imitate a natural response. Therefore, many facts about GHRPs are still unclear.
The peptides in this category include:
- IGF-1 LR3
- Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
- Mechano growth factor
Unlike GRHs, you can take larger amounts of GHRPs in order to see enhanced results. There also aren’t stricter dosing guidelines.
Ghrelin is a hormone naturally produced by enteroendocrine cells. It’s often nicknamed the “hunger hormone” since it increases food intake. Naturally, ghrelin increases in the bloodstream when you’re hungry and levels return to normal after a meal. However, ghrelin levels increase drastically during periods of calorie restriction.
Many bodybuilders, especially competitive weightlifters, constrict their calories in order to maximize their fat loss. After the competition, their appetite becomes uncontrollable. This is thanks to ghrelin. Understanding the way ghrelin works and controlling this hormone are integral to achieving fat loss plus muscle gain.
However, some bodybuilders struggle with the opposite effects. These people are known as ectomorphs, which is the body type that struggles with weight gain — which also includes muscle gain. Ectomorphs typically have smaller frames and this body type can be seen in both men and women.
In order for ectomorphs to gain weight and enhance their natural bodybuilding results, they need to consume more calories than other bodybuilders. Taking ghrelin supplements can increase your calorie intake, resulting in gained weight.
How to Take Peptide Supplements?
You can find both natural and synthetic peptides in supplement form. There are two main ways to take them: orally and through injection. If you’re taking them orally, they usually come in pill form that you swallow.
If you’re taking them via injection, the peptides will come in powder form. You mix the powder with water in order to inject it. Taking the steroid intramuscularly is becoming more common and most people use an insulin syringe for the administration.
Taking supplements orally is one of the safest methods. That’s because injecting the peptides comes with added side effects. For example, you could hit a blood vessel.
You’ll also need to consider dosing instructions. For example, be cautious to not take too many GRHs. You’ll also experience better effects when taking GRHs at night, specifically right before midnight, since that’s when your natural human growth hormone (hGH) levels peak.
What’s Inside Peptide Supplements?
The best peptide supplements extract the required peptides, whether in natural or synthetic form, and isolate them. However, there are also peptide supplements that contain multiple types of peptides. That’s because certain types of anabolic peptides are now prohibited in sports.
On the contrary, peptides are often essential for health. Peptides are found in the foods we eat frequently.
There are also multiple types of peptides available, making peptide supplements beneficial for your training. Make sure the secretagogues or releasing factors you’re taking are one of many peptides. Always know if the peptides you’re taking are banned in the sport you’re competition you’re in.
Are Peptides Safe?
As stated previously, some healthy and nutritious food contains peptides. But in order to avoid consuming excess calories, many bodybuilders resort to getting their peptides from supplements. Are they safe bodybuilding supplements?
As you can see, there are many types of supplements and all have their own unique safety concerns. To keep things simple, let’s refer to them as growth hormone secretagogues (GHS), which is the category they’re in.
GHS peptides seem to be safe. However, most studies have only used GHS peptides in small doses and the studies have only lasted for short durations. Out of all of the GHS peptides, GHRPs seem to come with the most adverse side effects. As with all supplements, make sure you’re buying them from a reliable manufacturer.
If you can, stick to grow-hormone releasing hormones or ghrelin (if weight gain is your goal). Ultimately, you should be getting your peptides from food sources.
Peptides vs. Steroids
Peptides aren’t the only supplements that bodybuilders take to improve their results. Many bodybuilders use SARMs or even steroids to increase muscle mass while cutting fat. Since some people confuse peptides and steroids, we’ll focus on the differences between those two.
The steroids that bodybuilders use to increase muscle are called anabolic steroids. While there are therapeutic steroids used for health purposes, anabolic steroids are different. They’re synthetic versions of testosterone, which is the main sex hormone in men.
They’re often misused, resulting in a wide variety of side effects — from acne all the way to increased blood pressure. Even though anabolic steroids don’t cause a “high,” they can be addictive.
Steroid misuse is also common among women. Testosterone occurs naturally in women, but in smaller amounts compared to men. Some of the side effects that women experience include facial hair growth, changes in the menstrual cycle, and a deepened voice.
While this can result in increased muscle mass and improved fitness performance, they also come with a slew of side effects. They’re also illegal and are banned in just about every sport and fitness competition.
Should You Use Peptide Supplements? Or Should You Get Peptides Through Diet?
When deciding whether or not to get your peptides through supplements or through your diet, make sure you weigh the benefits from the risks.
While peptides are generally safe, some may come with more effects than others. In addition, peptide supplements are also becoming banned in many sports and competitions.
Overall, most people should get their peptides from their diet. But if you’re restricting your diet, are struggling to get peptides from vegan sources, or want to use peptides to gain weight, you can find a peptide that’s right for you.
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