Some 650 muscles make up approximately 43 percent of an average man’s body weight and 34 percent of a woman’s. Along with the support of the skeletal system, about 620 of these muscles work together to create movement. The remaining muscles, which include the cardiac and smooth muscles, perform a number of vital bodily functions that include pumping blood and assisting in the operation of various internal organs. During bodybuilding, focus is on the skeletal muscles.
Skeletal muscles are composed of two types of muscle fibers – fast-twitch and slow-twitch. When heavy work is called for, fast-twitch muscles are used. They contract quickly and provide short bursts of energy, making them useful for high-intensity, low-endurance activities, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and swinging a baseball bat. Fast-twitch muscle fibers tire quickly; they can also become painful due to the buildup of lactic acid. On the other hand, slow-twitch muscle fibers produce slow, steady contractions; they are used for low-intensity, high-endurance activities like long-distance running and other aerobic-type exercises. These activities produce very little lactic acid. Endurance athletes tend to develop more slow-twitch muscle fibers, while power athletes develop more fast-twitch.
Proper nutrition combined with an effective weight-training program is integral for building muscles. In addition, dietary supplements are recommended to maintain a strong, healthy body and to replace any nutrients that are lost through sweating or training activities. The following list of nutrients includes supplements that should be taken after every workout.
Supplements to relieve sore muscles after exercise
• Coenzyme Q10
• Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM)