As a fitness junkie I have discovered how many different supplements are out there! And to be honest, I did not know what the heck most of them were when I first started! So here is a great beginner’s guide to build upon.
These are just some of the basic supplements…otherwise I would be typing forever because the list is endless. Keep in mind that supplements will not replace a good nutrition; they can only help enhance it.
Types of Supplements
Protein powder begins feeding your system almost immediately to help sustain protein synthesis which is crucial for muscle growth. Since it is something you will be drinking 1-3x/day, you want something that is good quality and tastes great. So don’t be afraid to splurge on your protein. Protein shakes are a great addition to your diet because 20-40% of your diet should be proteins- which can be hard to achieve from solid foods alone. Whey protein is the best because it is the fastest acting protein and promotes lean muscle growth. There are many types of whey so be sure to choose which is right for you. Therefore, the best times to drink a whey protein shake are within 30 minutes right before and after your workouts. Casein protein is another great protein because it is slow-digesting so it keeps a steady stream of amino acids flowing throughout your system longer. That is why it is best to drink it right before bed because it can take up to 7 hours to completely digest. The serving size varies based on the brand of protein you have.
This is a very important supplement because it makes sure you get your daily vitamin and mineral requirements met. You need to have the right nutrients in your body in order to perform at your best.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which are needed by the body to boost overall health, burn fat, promote healthy skin, improve joint health, increase cognitive function, reduce heart disease, and build muscle.
Glutamine is the most abundant, non-essential amino acid found in the body. It helps keep your body in an anabolic state which builds muscle instead of breaking it down. So after your workout, it helps replace the amino acids that were depleted and restores them- muscle recovery. In addition to speeding up recovery, it also helps your immune system. Fun fact is that burn victims are instructed to take glutamine in order to help with the healing process.
Branched chain amino acid supplements contain three of the most important essential amino acids for recovery and building muscle: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. So they are best taken before, during, and/or directly after your workouts. BCAAs can also be consumed throughout the day in order to keep the body in an anabolic muscle building state.
These drinks are usually made of caffeine or other stimulants in order to give you energy before your workouts. They contain multiple other ingredients that allow you to get more blood pumped to your muscles and increase your endurance as well.
Creatine is a natural substance found in muscle and protein. It is made up of amino acids. The main studied form used is called Creatine Monohydrate. It increases the bodies ability to produce energy so you can workout longer and over time build more muscle. Best for those who do high intensity sports and weightlifting because it helps with explosive movements. Some research shows it may also increase your resting testosterone levels and your memory.
7-Keto is a product by Beverly International that burns fat and improves body leanness. It increases your body’s caloric burning rate without the poor effects of using a stimulant (like crashing, jitters, depression, or anxiety). It contains green tea extract which is also known to help reduce body fat. It also contains bromelain and grapefruit extract which reduce water retention. Lastly, it contains Hoodia Gordonii which is an appetite suppressant!
Fat Burner (ie Lean Out by Beverly International)
Thermogenic fat burners increase your metabolism which causes your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Overall, it helps decrease body fat and improve your BMI (body mass index). Lean out is a great one because it is stimulant-free. Lean out is a fat transporter which means it not only extracts fat, but helps transport it to your liver/muscles where it can be broken down for energy. The main ingredient in it is L-carnitine which reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass.