If you have been working out for at least a year you’re probably considering improving and enhancing your performance at the gym by incorporating supplements into your diet, you should consider consuming supplements once you have achieved a high level of intensity in your workouts that’s unmatched by the other gym members at your local gym. There are a lot of different kinds of supplements available on the market for purchase from dozens of brands from all over the globe; this article was created to help you understand the basics of sports supplementation.
First of all, if you go to the gym or even if you just do some kind of basic physical activity like swimming or jogging it’s essential to take some kind of vitamin supplement to make your body get the sufficient nutrients it needs in a day, fish oil is another great supplement that everyone should be taking specially if you go the gym, it helps with the stress and tension that the muscles and joints go through.
Now, if you’re looking for something extra that will help you take your workouts and your body to another level you need to look into sports supplements, at first you will be amazed at all the products and brands that are out there but don’t be fooled, not all of them are what they seem, just because they promise 50 grams of protein per serving it doesn’t mean that you’re actually getting it, below you will find a simple description of the mayor selling products in the supplement industry.
Pre-Workout: The name says it all, this supplement is meant to be taken before a workout; the ingredients in it usually consists of some kind of caffeine and natural herb mix that spike energy levels within a few minutes of consumption. In the late 80’s and early 90’s supplement companies used to make strong blends with ingredients that weren’t very liked or approved by the food organizations, pre-workouts from those decades were really strong! They would literally make you jump out of your seat, today things have changed, pre-workouts are a lot weaker than they were before, they still give you a big kick that will help you move some extra weight but nothing like the good old days.
Whey Protein: It’s probably the most known food supplement of them all, whey protein comes in powder form and is usually flavored in vanilla or chocolate, it mixes easily with water or milk, it has a low calorie content and it’s packed with protein. Whey Protein is meant to be taken right after a workout since it’s a fast digesting protein.
Weight Gainers: Weight gainers are very similar to whey proteins, they also comes in powder form but they have way more calories, depending on the brand a portion of this powder mixed with water or milk can provide you with up to 1500- 2500 calories, it has a lot more fat and carbohydrates than whey but it also contains a lot more protein, if you want to gain weight this is the only way to go.
Testosterone and HGH boosters: These are really popular amongst people over 40, after the age of 30 natural testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) levels decrease in large percentages in men, making it difficult to maintain or build muscle, these products are made to raise the percentages of these hormones in the human body naturally, they are not steroids and therefore are safe to consume.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA): The body functions based on protein synthesis, branched chain amino acids are crucial in this process, by consuming BCAA’S the body’s natural protein synthesis process will speed up and therefore muscle growth will occur at a faster rate, this supplement can be taken at any time of the day and even during a workout.
Creatine: Along with whey protein, creatine is one of the most talked about and used supplements in the entire planet! Creatine is found naturally in the body and helps with the transportation of water to the muscle, it is also found in small doses in red meat. Creatine will help with weight gain and overall muscle size as this supplement fills the muscles with water, muscles are 80% water, if you want to look swollen stay hydrated and take your creatine.
Not to be confused with anabolic “synthetic steroids” there are many all natural supplements also called legal steroids that can help increase strength and help you pack on lean muscle without the side effects, companies such as Crazy Bulk offers stacks for both bulking and cutting which are perfectly safe and offer good results.
Quick tip: Supplements are meant to be a small part of a diet, eating healthy meals is the best way to gain muscle but if for some reason you’re tired or don’t have the time and feel like you need some extra help that’s when you should consider taking supplements; based on the descriptions above you should be able to figure out what you need.
Always look at the label of the supplement you want to buy, you want to buy a product that uses natural ingredients, if you’re looking into purchasing a weight gainer or whey protein make sure you buy the product that offers the most protein and carbohydrates per serving. For Creatine you want natural 100% pure level not the cheap Chinese stuff, stay away from proprietary blends. Another thing to mention is that not all supplements are created equal, many supplements target the male athlete or bodybuilder, while others develop special formulas designed specifically for female bodybuilders.