Walk into any sports supplement store and you’ll be confronted by a dizzying array of products that promise to deliver the fat loss, muscle gain, and overall health benefits that you are after. Many of them do little more than make you poorer. However, there are a few supplements that have both the scientific backing and in the trenches experience that make them worthy of consideration. In this article, we take a look at seven of the best supplements for gym-goers.
Beta-alanine is prized by gym-goers for its ability to enhance training energy and endurance in the gym. This amino acid is used in the formation of carnosine which is the actual compound that allows you to train harder for longer. When you train intensely your muscles produce hydrogen ions that inhibit your performance. Carnosine is able to buffer those ions, which allows you to keep training at high intensity.
Glutamine is the most numerous amino acid in the human body. It’s stored in our muscle cells and used up as an energy source when we work out. As a result, when you walk out of the gym, you are low in glutamine. Replacing those depleted levels after your workout is over is important to maintaining full and strong muscles.
Glutamine is found in many fatty foods such as red meats and cold-water fish. You could cook up these foods after your workout but a far more convenient way to replace your post-workout glutamine levels is to take them in supplement form.
Chromium is a very popular mineral supplement that is used to encourage muscle building, fat loss and is also used by non-gym goers to treat such conditions as heart disease and diabetes. There have been a lot of claims about the health benefits of chromium but not all of them have been verified. This mineral has been shown to be an important regulator of blood sugar levels and to assist the process by which insulin transports glucose into cells to be used for energy.
Creatine is the most used and studied gym supplement on the planet. It is used as part of the ATP process which provides your muscles with energy during short term intense exercise like weight training. After a few seconds of exercise, we lose a phosphate molecule, causing us to lose strength quickly. Creatine replaces that phosphate molecule, allowing us to pump out an extra rep or two.
Taking 5 grams of creatine daily will help to boost your training energy, increase your strength and help you to build muscle faster. Creatine supplementation is great for home workouts.
The fat in fish contains a form of polyunsaturated fatty acids called omega-3. These differ from the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils (called omega-6), and they have different effects on the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cells and play a key role in a range of vital body processes, from blood pressure and blood clotting to inflammation-fighting and immunity-boosting. They may be useful for preventing or treating many conditions.
Fish oil reduces the risk of heart disease. They also lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, and treat depression.
Zinc is a mineral that is not produced by the body, meaning that we have to rely on food or supplements to get it. It is a powerful immunity booster that will help ward off bugs and viruses. People who are zinc deficient will have a compromised immune system. Still, many people do not get enough of this vital nutrient with zinc being one of the most common vitamin deficiencies.
Increasing your intake of protein is usually associated with muscle gain. While extra protein does, indeed, provide the foundation for post-workout muscle rebuilding, it is also a key weight-loss nutrient. That’s because protein fills you up and has a high thermic effect. The result is that you will be less hungry and your metabolism will increase in order to digest the protein that you consume.
During your workout, your muscles get broken down. In order to rebuild those muscles, you need two things; time and amino acids. The amino acids come from protein. Taking a protein powder shake after your workout will make it easy for you to get it into your system.
There are hundreds of brands of protein powder out there in a range of forms. We recommend going with a whey protein isolate powder. Whey contains a high level of the three branch chain amino acids, especially leucine which is the most important muscle-building amino. Whey is also a fast-digesting protein so that the amino acids get to your muscle fiber faster.
Look for a whey protein powder that is free of artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and colorings. If you can find one that includes some of the other supplements on this list, such as glutamine or creatine, all the better.