Supplements: What should I take?
With today’s explosion of workout supplements on the market, how would anyone have a clue where to start?
Our muscles need nutrients for maintenance, repair and development. Most of this repair process can actually be achieved with just a perfectly controlled and balanced diet. However since not all of us are fitness junkies (if only cheat day was every day!) this is where the role of supplements come in. Supplements provide the extra for us to maintain the consistent nutrient intake we need.
Whilst not everyone are firm believers in consuming mainstream workout supplements, most people including Flop and I believe supplements positively assist in nutrient intake in the body. Remember at the end of the day supplements are exactly that, supplements. Your diet should already be providing your body with the nutrients it needs. At this point I want to add that is always great to include that little bit of extra fruit in your diet whenever you can.
As an amateur gym enthusiast I usually stick to the following basic supplements as a minimum. I would also say these supplements are the most common consumed by many amateur gym enthusiasts (see below for detail)
- Protein Powder, for building muscle
- Pre Workout Formula, for focus and energy
- BCAA (Branched-chain Amino Acids), increase recovery and nutrient uptake
- Flaxseed Oil, for healthy joints
Protein can be referred to as the building blocks for the human body. It essentially aids growth, development and maintenance; some even refer to protein as food for the muscle which is pretty much what it is. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component in muscles. Protein also can supply a small source of fuel for body, typical only when carbohydrates and lipid resources are low during exercise or muscle usage.
Did you know? Protein is needed to form blood cells!
Pre Workout Formula
We all need an extra kick once a while, so think of it as octane booster for your body. Taken approximately half an hour before a gym session, it will assist you with focus and increase your endurance for your workout; not to mention increasing your metabolic rate. However caution must be exercised as pre workout does put stress on the adrenal glands. Always read and follow the label as each pre workout varies, and please never exceed the recommended dosage. Pre workout formula is most effective when used in off and on cycles.
Did you know? There are pre workout formulas that do not use caffeine as a stimulant!
BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
BCAA or Branched-Chain Amino Acids supplement assists in protein uptake and muscle recovery. Studies have shown taking BCAAs increased protein synthesis as well as reduced muscle soreness leading to quicker recovery times.
Did you know? That using BCAAs can maintain high levels testosterone levels long after an intense workout.
Flaxseed Oil (also known as linseed oil)
Flaxseed oil, is rich in essential fatty acids such as Omega 3/6/9 fatty acids. When used in correctly, flaxseed oil (high in Omega 3) can reduce joint inflammation, reduce joint stiffness and soreness not to mention the added benefit of reducing bad cholesterol in the body.
Did you know? Our bodies require them but cannot produce them hence we require to consume them from other sources. Flaxseed being the most concentrated however fish oil can also be a good substitute.
It may seem hard enough eating on a schedule, especially if you’re in a demanding work environment and not to mention eating when you’re not actually hungry. But with careful planning, that nutrient void can be filled with supplements. It might take some getting used to consuming extra supplements at different times of the day, but once you understand the benefits and see the gains you will make sure it’s like clockwork. I know I started off by setting reminders on my phone and outlook calendar.
How do you do it? We would love to hear, comment below!