Everyone is on their own path when starting their fitness journey, but if you’re looking to know where to start at the gym and improve your sports nutrition we got you! Here are 6 supplements that you can take to help support your fitness efforts.
1. Protein (Whey Isolate)
Protein is a great place to start when looking to gain muscle mass.
Protein powders are typically developed from milk, which contains 2 main types of protein: casein and whey (However vegan and dairy-free options created from plant-based sources are also available). They’re a convenient and affordable way to add protein to your diet, especially for those lacking protein.
When it comes to how much you need, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams per kilogram which most people can get in their diet. However, research suggests exercisers look at one-and-a-half to two times more protein as the RDA.
Nowadays there are a bunch of different options and flavors when it comes to protein. You can add them to smoothies, oatmeal, and snacks for something different or just mix with water for a quick protein shake before or after a workout.
Different Protein Options:
- Whey Concentrate
- Whey Isolate
- Collagen Hydrolysate
- Pea Protein
- Casein Protein
- Bone Broth Protein
- Rice Protein
Creatine helps to increase strength, endurance, energy levels, and muscle mass.
This natural amino acid is among the most researched supplements for sports nutrition, is made in the body, and part of the process involved with ATP, the body’s way of providing energy for itself. When it comes to supplementation, the most common form is creatine monohydrate.
Creatine is super popular in the fitness industry for its benefits with strength and muscle growth, injury prevention, cognitive health, and bone health. For athletes over 50, creatine can be especially beneficial since it can help with sarcopenia, the age-related decrease in muscle mass and strength. Not only does this help with muscle performance but also helps decrease the risk of falls.
There isn’t any specific time you have to take creatine in order to reel in the benefits. So you can take it after a workout or right before bed. It’s a great option to stack with other supplements, like BCAAs, Protein, and pre-workouts. And since they come with flavored and unflavored options you can mix and match flavors.
3. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAA supplements may help reduce exercise fatigue, improve endurance, recovery, and performance, and may increase muscle mass.
There are a total of 9 essential amino acids that every person needs from their diets. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the 3 essential amino acids that makeup BCAAs. Offering a convenient way to get these in your diet and improve exercise performance.
Studies have shown that BCAAs helps to reduce fatigue when exercising, improves energy metabolism, and lowered levels that indicate muscle damage. It also works as a great way to replenish fluids lost during exercise and helps your muscles feel less sore after exercise.
Here’s another amino acid for you! Beta-Alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine and is shown to increase athletic performance and strength. Reducing fatigue and improving performance during high-intensity exercises.
It’s popular in pre-workouts or as its own powder. It doesn’t need to be taken during a specific time of day, making it beneficial whenever you take it. It can be mixed with other supplements like creatine. Although studies have shown that taking an excessive amount can cause a harmless tingling sensation, it’s considered a safe supplement.
Overall, this safe, effective supplement is great for boosting exercise performance and reducing fatigue.
5. Fish Oil
Commonly known for heart, brain, eye, and joint health, gym-goers typically take fish oil for anti-inflammatory properties, reducing muscle soreness and workout quality.
Fish oil is extracted from oily fish like salmon, herring, halibut, and mackerel. Their tissues are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps the body with muscle activity, cell growth, and more.
While there are varying factors that can affect this, research shows fish oil can help with heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and rheumatoid arthritis for those who don't eat fish often. Also playing an important role in brain function and inflammation.
L-Glutamine is another amino acid, beneficial for the body’s immune system, gut function, and other essential processes especially in times of stress.
It’s naturally occurring and abundant in the body, produced in the muscles, and distributed by the blood. L-glutamine is important for providing “fuel” to the cells. It is especially used during times of stress. When the body uses more glutamine than the body can provide, l-glutamine supplementation can keep the body’s glutamine levels up.
While not used for building muscle mass, it can help boost the immune functions of athletes and decrease muscle soreness and recovery. However, results can vary.
While it’s always important to take care of your body in traditional ways, physical activity, a healthy diet, and good sleep, supplements help to fill any nutritional gaps and aid your healthy efforts. These supplements can help aid you on your fitness journey and give you a place to start when looking into supplementing your health.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.