If you are new to muscle training or a serious strength athlete, you would know by now that during your journey to reach your goal, there are different aspects you need to consider. The most important of them all is nutrition; it is the base of good health, lean muscles, and best outcomes, but no matter how determined you are to eat nutritious food throughout the year, it is always tricky for almost every athlete. Therefore, supplements have become important, correcting the misconception that supplements are not necessary. They will provide your body with what it needs to stay healthy, boost energy, grow and sustain muscles, even if you can’t eat properly or work out because of an injury.
The market is filled with different supplements and brands; in order to choose the best supplement for you, you need to refer to athletes’ reviews and doctors’ recommendations. Some websites also review and compare different brands; the writers at FitnessInformant.com explain that each year, there is a top brand that releases various new formulas. No matter which brand you choose, supplement quality and purity is crucial when selecting what suits you best.
In this article, we will list some of the top workout supplements to support your training, along with their specific features.
Besides increasing protein food resources in your meals, whey protein supplementation is a must, because protein is the major building block of muscle growth. This is why increasing your protein intake is essential, especially if you’re an athlete. Studies have shown that athletes, especially those who perform resistance training, have lost significant body fat and had greater lean muscle preservation than those that do not consume it.
Whey protein is one of the components of milk beside casein; it contains nine essential amino acids and has low lactose content. However, check the label carefully to opt for a whey protein powder that contains sufficient amounts of leucine, as it is essential for protein synthesis, which will aid in the growth and preservation of your muscle tissues.
While selecting your whey protein, you will find different labels like concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysis. If you want to lose fat and build muscle, isolate is your best bet; it is purer with fewer carbs and fats and can be better for people with lactose sensitivities.
It is best to take this supplement multiple times throughout your day: for best results, take it upon waking up, directly after training and before bed.
It first came out in the early 90s, and after countless scientific studies, this monohydrate sports supplement was proven to be highly safe. It works on increasing creatine and phosphocreatine within the muscle, which will improve muscle performance, help maintain power for high-intensity workouts, reduces muscle fatigue and increases muscle mass. It is one of the supplements that proved to work best in the long run, so if you are planning to try it, consume it for a long period of time, and you will feel more energized and motivated to do those last sets, in addition to witnessing some significant muscle growth.
Just like whey protein, it is best to consume creatine upon waking up and before training.
Branched-chain amino acids, known as BCAA, are recommended to be on top of everyone’s supplement list. It is a relatively new supplement consumed by athletes while training; they say it tastes awesome, and they like sipping on it between sets during their workout at the gym.
BCAA contains three amino acids: leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. In a recent study, it appeared that BCAA can help regulate protein metabolism by increasing protein synthesis and suppressing protein degradation, which enables immediate muscle tissue recovery, reduces soreness and muscle damages.
They are best consumed as follows: one serving early in the morning and another before bed.
Glutamine is one of the nine amino acids found in protein, which act as building blocks of muscles. It is produced in the muscles, and blood distributes it to the organs that need it. During intense training, L-glutamine levels decrease in our bodies by 50%. This supplement will stabilize L-glutamine levels, remove excess ammonia, and regulate the body’s overall acid-base balance. Additionally, it plays an important role in muscle recovery and repair.
Try to regularly consume it before and after training.
Omega-3 / Fish Oil
It is known that healthy people should consume fish about 3 – 4 times a week, especially salmon and mackerel, as they contain healthy fatty acids called omega-3. However, due to multiple reasons-such as availability, purity, and price-our bodies haven’t been receiving enough omega-3. This is why there are many supplements on the market, even for kids.
Fish oil supplements will improve your performance, overall health, and muscle building. They will help protein and carbohydrates circulate through your body and muscles while aiding in fat loss through maximizing metabolic rate.
Most athletes, if using powder, will divide their dosage between meals. There are also soft gels that you can swallow once a day.
Multi-Vitamins and Minerals
Although multivitamin and mineral supplements will not directly impact your muscles, they will surely improve your overall health while training. Most vitamins and minerals are not produced by our bodies, so it is crucial to know about vitamin-rich foods and how they can benefit you.
Doctors and nutritionists will advise you to always find a perfect ratio of all your vitamin intake through certain types of food, particularly vegetables. However, vitamin K2, for example, is found in animal sources only, especially livers. If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, or you do not like liver, you can increase your intake of this vitamin by adding a supplement in your daily diet. It will improve your bone strength and decrease calcium buildup in your blood, which will reduce the risk of heart strokes.
Multivitamins or single vitamin supplements are best consumed with breakfast, early in the morning.
Whether your goal is to increase and sustain muscle growth or just to be a good athlete, supplements will help you reach your goal. Knowing what to take, as well as when and how much to take it will boost the results of your hard training and workouts. So, enjoy playing your favorite sports, and rest assured that you’ll be getting the best results with the help of your daily supplements.