Essential Supplements for the Fitness-Minded Individual
Delving into the world of fitness supplements can be a tricky game, as it is a market rife with gimmicks and empty promises. One thing you’ll learn very quickly is that there are no shortcut supplements that will help you reach your goals without putting in serious work. With that said, there are still some beneficial supplements out there that can make a serious impact on the hard work you put in. Check out these essential supplements that will give you that extra kick and help you improve yourself in and out of the gym.
One of the most widely researched supplements of all time, creatine has a number of proven benefits for any fitness minded individual. Often in powder or pill form, creatine works by boosting the production of adenosine triphosphate, a compound that aids in muscle repair and growth (1). This is the perfect supplement to help you go that extra mile or push out that final rep.
Rich in Omega 3’s, fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that is fantastic for aiding your body in recovery after a strenuous workout. It can help ease any discomfort including joint and muscle soreness and plays a key role in maintaining blood circulation and cardiovascular health (2).
Shorted for branched chain amino acids, BCAA’s are perfect to drink before, during, and after your workout to continuously provide fuel and to your muscles. Incorporating these into your supplement stack will result in shorter recovery times, improved energy during your workouts, and reduce production of cortisol, a hormone that works against your body’s attempt to build muscle (3). BCAA’s are found in powder form in a variety of flavors that can be added to your water bottle, making it dead simple to include into your daily supplements.
Probably the most well known of all workout supplements, whey protein is one of the best ways to pack in extra quality protein in your diet to build muscle (5). A good whey protein will be low in calories and high in protein, without any added sugars. Protein is the building block of muscle, so making sure your body gets enough of it is crucial. Keep in mind that whey protein should only be used a supplemental protein source to your daily food intake.
This is the stuff that will fight off fatigue during your workout better than anything else out there. Taking beta-alanine can increase your overall strength and endurance, and can help you contract your muscles with more force (6). If you really want to boost its potential, try taking it with creatine, as the two potentiate each other, resulting in greater muscle gain and fat loss.
This amino acid provides plenty of benefits to your workout recovery and muscle growth, but it is also known to help decrease muscle breakdown while simultaneously boosting up your immune system (7). Glutamine can also help increase the number of calories burned during a workout, resulting in improved weight loss.