5 Supplements you should be taking for optimum performance
Supplements are exactly that. Supplementing the nutrition you need but you aren't getting throughout the day. Even if you do meet your specific macros, the proper supplements will help you speed up your results. Although none are necessary, you might want to consider adding a couple of these into your training routine to boost performance and recovery.
The 5 Supplements
- 1. Protein Powder
2. Vitamin D
3. Fish Oil.
4. Muscle Builder
Protein Powder : There are many different varieties of protein powders it can sometimes feel overwhelming from all the options. With proteins such as whey, casein, and soy to choose, which one should you choose? We need to look at the criteria behind what makes a good protein powder.
1. Tastes good enough to drink it on the regular. If it tastes bad and you have to choke it down, you won't want to stick with it.
2. Offers good value for cost per serving. Paying more than $2 per serving is considered too expensive for a protein powder.
3. Has high protein and lower carb and fats ( Unless bulking .)
The most popular protein powder is Whey and for good reason. Whey protein is typically cheaper, tastes good, and has a strong amino acid profile which makes it perfect for building muscle. Whey protein contains a significant amount of the Amino acid leucine, which promotes protein synthesis in the body.
1. Whey Isolate
Whey Isolate is the form of whey protein where they remove most of the lactose and fat. Most of the time it's 90% protein by weight.
2. Whey Concentrate
Considered the least processed form of Whey protein. Contains more dietary fat and lactose that Isolate and ranges between 25% and 80% protein by weight.
3. Whey hydrolysate
Either Isolate or Concentrate whey protein that underwent additional processing to be easier to absorb and digest.
Most of the time when it comes to whey protein, you get what you pay for. However, this is not always the case. Make sure you check the back to see what key ingredients are in the protein and if you're getting the serving size you desire. In some cases, brands will add fillers to the protein so make sure the serving size contains the correct amount of protein.
Some indicators of a high quality whey protein is :
- Whey Isolate, hydrolysate, or concentrate is the first ingredient.
- Serving size is close to the protein per serving.
Casein protein comes from milk which makes it similar to whey. However, Casein is a slower digesting protein and releases amino acids into the bloodstream more gradually. That makes Casein the better protein choice for people who train at night and want that recovery boost that Casein protein can provide throughout the night.
EGG WHITE Protein
Most people don't realize that there are lots of Egg white protein options out there. It makes a great protein for two big reason:
- High biological value. Which basically means that egg white protein is very effective at being utilized and absorbed by your body.
- Very little carbohydrates and fat
Egg protein also contains no cholesterol.
Collagen protein seems to continue getting more popular due to a heavy increase in smooth marketing and health influencers. However, Collagen Protein hardly contains any of the essential muscle building amino acids such as isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine.
Collagen protein is also quite low in sulphur which helps the body with energy production, blood flow, and help to protect the bodily cells from oxidative damage.
While Collagen Protein contains a high amount of glycine, which helps with hair, skin, and nails, Glycine is very cheap and is very affordable to buy alone if you'd like it as a supplement.
Vitamin D :
Widely considered to be a bone vitamin, Vitamin D is actually so much more than just that. Shown by recent studies, we now know that almost every cell and type of tissue in your body has vitamin D receptors. Including your brain, heart, and others, Vitamin D is essential and plays a critical role towards your physiological processes.
Studies have also shown that Vitamin D helps to regulate your metabolism, immune functionality, and even cell growth. Because our bodies don't produce enough Vitamin D naturally, it's up to you to obtain it through sun exposure, supplementation, or diet.
It is found in food like cheese, egg yolks, and fatty fish such as Salmon. The biggest source would be Cod Liver oil with over 1,300 IU per tablespoon. To get Vitamin D from the Sun you would have to spend anywhere from 15-60 minutes per day outside. However, if you're in a colder climate, you may want to consider supplementation.
Fish Oil :
Fish Oil is obtained from fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, and anchovies. Fish oil contains two very important nutrients: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA.) These nutrients are both considered to be omega-3 fatty acids and our bodies aren't capable of producing them naturally. Simply put, fish oil can help with the following:
- Improved Cognitive performance ( attention, memory, and reaction speeds )
- Better mood ( less stress and anxiety )
- Faster muscle gain
- Higher muscle recovery speeds
- Increased loss in Fat
Besides the energy you may receive from caffeine, studies have proven that it also provides the following benefits:
- Increased Strength
- Greater power output
- Greater resistance to fatigue
- Improved muscle endurance
- Increased fat loss
Research has shown that having a smaller dose of 200mg of caffein can boost your metabolism about 7% over the course of 3 hours. If you do this over the whole day you can burn an additional 200 calories.
It's easy to build a tolerance towards caffeine so it's best to save the stronger caffeine amounts for before a challenging workout.
We saved the best supplement for last. Creatine is easily the most researched molecule in sports nutrition and has been through hundreds of scientific studies. All of the studies point to the same thing and that is :
- You get stronger faster
- You build muscle quicker
- Improves aerobic capabilities
- Improves muscle recovery
The best part is that it does all these safely and naturally. Creatine is also naturally produced in the body and is found in foods like eggs, meat, and fish. Creatine is active in almost every cell, where it acts as a "energy reserve."
When supplementing with creatine your overall body creatine stores are increased, with the additional creatine going into your muscle cells. When your muscle cells have a greater source of readily available energy your performance is greatly improved.
Creatine also increases muscle growth due to the increase of water in muscle cells. This impacts the nitrogen balance in a positive way and makes the muscle seem bigger and fuller. In the past, rumors have started around creatine that it makes you bloated. However, due to better processing methods, this is no longer an issue.
There are many different forms of creatine but the highest researched is Creatine Monohydrate. We recommend a unflavored creatine to put into your protein shake following a workout.
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