Having tried many supplements over the years thinking this is the answer to all my fitness goals, I have dwindled my list down to just a few that I have found which actually work for me and I firmly believe that the list below will help any serious gym user reach there target that little bit quicker.
Over the last 10-15 years nutritional information surrounding protein has changed massively. It is now widely known that hard training individual’s not just athletes need around 20-30% protein in their diet. This percentage stays the same but each individual will require a different amount due to weight. A 100Kg person will need significantly more protein than a 60Kg person. This is where supplements come in very handy. To hit those requirements on a daily basis just through food will be eating roughly every 3 hours and it a be very expensive.
Whey protein supplements offer a tasty, easy and cheap way to hit your daily protein intake. If you can hit your protein solely from food. That is always recommended before supplements
In my opinion multivitamins are the unsung heroes of supplements. Most people take them but don’t really understand why and usually buy a cheap bottle of tablets to hit our vitamin needs. When it comes to buying a multivitamin i recommend doing a bit of research and not just grabbing the first one you see in the supermarket. Different brands have different levels of vitamins and minerals. Some target men or women. Some target over 50’s. Do some research and educate yourself on which product is best for you and your body. I’m not going to list the benefits of a multivitamin because the list is endless. What I will say is too much of a certain vitamin/mineral can be harmful to the body just like too much of anything.
Fish oils offer numerous benefits because of the levels of omega-3 fatty acids, omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids which mean the body needs them but can’t be made by the body.
Omega-3s are found mostly in oily fish, eggs, grass fed beef and wild animals. Omega-3 can be found in non animal products also such as flax seeds, walnuts and Brazil nuts.
The benefits of fish oils are outstanding. They support:
- Cognitive function
- Normal, healthy immune system
- Healthy heart function
- Healthy skin
- Joint health
There are many more healthy traits that fish oils carry and in my opinion a must have in your supplement cupboard
BCAA’s – Branched chain amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.
To start with, Leucine is the one which most people take BCAA’s for. This is the amino acid that helps you recover quicker from DOMS. Meaning you can get back in the gym quicker and train again, leading to greater muscle growth.
Isoleucine is the amino acid which will aid you during your workout rather than after. Isoleucine increases the body’s capacity of glucose during exercise. Meaning you will have more energy for your workouts. Isoleucine also helps regulate blood sugars which prevents harmful insulin spikes and drops.
Valine has similar properties as isoleucine and Leucine and works best when combined with them. Valine helps with body recovery and can stimulates muscle growth.
Having said all this. There is extensive research to support BCAA’s but there is a huge number of studies that say they are a waste of time. If you have a solid diet plan in place you should be getting all your BCAA’s from that. From my own personal view. Taking a BCAA supplement while training such as (Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy) I do feel more focused and will usually have a better workout while taking the supplement. Read what you will with this. If you are having a better workout, is it really a waste of money?
Creatine gets a bad press because of misadvise many years ago. Studies have found that creatine is one of the few supplements that actually work. It can increase performance of an individual in high intensity, such as weight lifting and strength training.
Creatine can boost maximal strength and energy output during intense exercise. This allows you to lift heavier for longer. For those of us who are after aesthetics, creatine can make your muscles look fuller meaning you will fill that t-shirt out better.
The misconception about Creatine is that it makes you fat and gives you water retention. This is simply not true. Water retention is held under the skin. With creatine it is held in the muscles which is what gives you the fuller muscle look.