When you’re just starting to get into fitness, the world of supplements can be a daunting one. There are so many different available options, that it can be hard to know where to start. Now, let me first clarify that supplements aren’t necessary but rather complementary. By all means, it’s quite possible that you can achieve your fitness goals without the need for any supplementation. However, when used in addition to a proper diet and exercise routine, supplements can enhance your training; producing faster results.
Here are three supplements that I would recommend for those looking to get their feet wet.
1. Protein Powder
Protein is one of three primary macronutrients (alongside carbohydrates and fats) and is made up of smaller organic compounds known as amino acids. These are essentially the building blocks of muscle. Protein plays a vital role not only in muscle growth, but also in terms of its maintenance and repair. Though protein can be obtained through some foods in your diet (ex. meat, milk, eggs, nuts and greek yogurt), many people still fail to consume enough of this macronutrient on a daily basis. This is why I believe that protein powder is a great supplement option.
As I mentioned, protein can be derived from a variety of different sources. Therefore, this should be taken into consideration when determining which protein powder is right for you. Some people may be unable to tolerate or simply prefer a certain protein and that is perfectly fine. From milk based to plant based proteins, there’s something for everyone. Another thing to keep in mind would be the filtration process of the protein you’re buying, as this will effect its absorption rate into your body. For example, a hydrolyzed isolate protein powder will absorb more rapidly as it has undergone more filtration compared to a concentrate protein powder.
Protein Powders I use are: Nutrabolics’ Hydropure and Cellucor’s COR-Performance Whey
BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids. Of the 20 different amino acids, nine are called essential as they aren’t naturally produced by our bodies and must therefore be obtained through our diet. Among these nine, there are three which are considered to be BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids are set apart from the rest due to their physical composition and the fact that they are metabolized within human muscle. There are many benefits to supplementation with BCAAs, most notably the role they play in regards to muscle retention and recovery. BCAAS are also involved in supporting signalling pathways within your body that will provide you with more energy during your workout. For this reason, I would recommend drinking BCAAs as an intra-workout supplement.
BCAAs that I use are: Nutrabolic’s Anabolic State
Pre-Workout is a great supplement to have on hand for those days when you’re needing an additional boost of energy. Though this is not a supplement I’d recommend using every time you head to the gym, I do recognize it’s benefits. Pre-workout allows you to train harder by pushing past muscle fatigue and providing you with a pump. Many pre-workouts include stimulants though there are also stimulant-free alternatives. Whether or not you chose to purchase a pre-workout supplement without stimulants is up to you, however I did want to note that it is an option. Depending on the given ingredients found within your pre-workout, you should experience increased power, energy and metal focus.
I should also mention that you may experience an itchy/tingly feeling a few minutes after the consumption of your pre-workout. This is most likely due to an ingredient known as beta-alanine which helps with muscle contraction and endurance.
Pre-Workouts I use are: Cellucor’s C4 Gen 4 and Cellucor’s C4 Ripped