When it comes to health and fitness the average person knows little to nothing about supplements in regards to the goals they are trying to achieve. Diet is the number 1 factor when it comes to your goals of either losing weight, gaining muscle and even if your goal is to get stronger.
I commonly hear that your diet should make up to 70-80% of your health and fitness plan. In saying that we all haven’t got the time to meal prep and must try to find the time during the day to eat. This is where supplements can help you achieve your goals whilst maintaining a healthy strict diet.
Everyone that is new to training knows how daunting it can be to select the right supplements for their goals. Of course walking into a supplement store and asking the men and women which deal with supplements on a daily bases can help you, but what if you could obtain some knowledge yourself and actually understand what the many supplements do.
That is why I’ve decided to write this article. To help others obtain even the slightest bit of knowledge which could help them on their way to choosing supplements that allow them to succeed in their goals.
I am not a qualified nutritionalist, nor am I a qualified personal trainer. Everything you will read is based on my personal experience with supplements and the knowledge that I’ve gained since I started training 8 years ago. This article will cover the 5 essential supplements I believe beginners should learn about. These 5 supplements will help you in what ever your goal is, from losing weight to building muscle and even to improving your strength. Before starting any supplement it is recommended to seek advice from your doctor or GP.
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Protein by far is the most common supplement when it comes to any sort of fitness plan or goal. The benefits of protein include increases in muscular strength and size, decreases in body fat, and a faster recovery time. This makes it a must have for whatever your goal may be.
Research has shown that the consumption of protein post-workout can substantially increase muscle protein synthesis.(Muscle protein synthesis is an important process for increasing muscle size and strength. Resistance training alone can increase rates of protein synthesis, but it also increases rates of protein breakdown.) Over time, this has been shown to lead to bigger gains in muscle size and strength.
Protein itself comes in many forms. The most common being Whey Protein. Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that enters the bloodstream rapidly. This allows it to get to your muscles faster and create a bigger spike in protein synthesis compared to other sources such as casein or soy.
Protein powders can vary in price. That is whys its best to find one that matches your goals or if you are short one cash find a supplier which offers buy now pay later deals so you can start your health regime or even continue it without having to put a hold on things.
Below are a list of proteins I recommend for the beginner to even advanced trainers to use.
2. Fish Oil. (Omega 3 fatty acids)
Fish oil tablets are classified as essential to any fitness program as your body cannot make its own supply.
The benefits of fish oil vary from helping to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness to building and maintaining muscles and helping promote faster recovery allowing you to train harder more frequently.
The recommenced daily intake through foods can be quite difficult for most people to achieve. So having fish oil as a supplement is the most practical option. Not to mention the low cost and less fishy smell.
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3, Caffeine / Pre-workouts
“I really want to train today but i can’t, I’m to tired” – An excuse I’m sure everyone has heard or even said themselves.
Caffeine is not only great for picking up your energy levels but it also increases your metabolic rate to help shed a few extra pounds.
Not everyone is a fan of caffeine in the form of coffee or tea, so their is a supplement alternative which is known as a Pre-workout.
Pre-workouts vary in caffeine potency to sustained mental focus. All of them have the same desired effect which is to increase your energy so you can get to the gym and perform at your best without falling victim to fatigue.
4. BCAA’s (Branched-chain amino acids)
BCAA’s are made up of three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. BCAA’s help promote protein synthesis and aid in muscle recovery and growth. BCAAs have also been shown to aid in Fat burning and support fat loss.
BCAAs are essential because your body is unable to make them out of other amino acids, meaning they must be ingested through food or supplements.
Consumption of BCAAs varies on your goals as well. You can take it Pre, Intra and post workout.
Many who train hard are often vitamin-deficient. Multivitamins are a great source to help remedy that loss and kick start your day. Although it is ideal to try and have your vitamin intake from fresh fruits and vegetables, sometimes it is just impossible for those on busy schedules or those who lack nutritional knowledge.
There are a wide range of multivitamins so it is best to speak to your doctor or GP about which is best for you and to find out what vitamins you are lacking within your diet.
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