The fitness industry is filled with hundreds of different sport supplements all claiming to be the best on the market – and promising you that, if you take their supplements, you will achieve your goal of becoming stronger, faster, bigger, or leaner. But which one do YOU want to be? Do you want to be stronger? Faster? Bigger and leaner?
Unfortunately, you have to pick one or two of those goals and stick to them, because if you are seeking all of them at once you will most certainly crash and burn and never reach your desired end result. But that’s a different topic of discussion; here we are talking about how to choose the right supplements for your goals.
Doing so will definitely enhance your chances of better recovery, a better mindset to train harder, a better muscle mind connection and more. But taking a supplement that’s intended to repair your muscles will not by definition help you get leaner. At the end of the day you don’t want your kitchen pantry to look like a supplement store or pharmacy where you don’t even know what you have or why you are consuming certain products.
Here is a list of supplements you should be taking, broken into specific groups, to help you reach your desired goal.
CORE SUPPLEMENTS: Whey Protein, Fish Oil, Multivitamin/Mineral
These three are the core foundation to any fitness-related goals. You might argue that whey protein isn’t necessary because you can get all your protein from foods – which is fair – but I doubt you will be able to consume all different sorts of variety of food to get what one multivitamin/mineral tab delivers to your body.
STRENGTH AND SIZE: Creatine, BCAA, Glutamine
Studies have repeatedly shown that the above three amino acid supplements have been integral for pro athletes and individuals seeking better recovery and growth from their training. Creatine supplementation works by increasing phosphocreatine stores within your muscles, allowing for quicker regeneration of ATP, the body’s source of energy. BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are essential amino acids for your body to perform protein synthesis. L-Glutamine makes up more than 60% of all amino acids required for skeletal muscle tissue growth.
ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE: Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, B-Vitamins
When talking about athletic performance, a few scenarios come into play. Outside sports, indoor sports, running, hiking, swimming, etc…the truth is that if you are looking to last a little longer in your athletic abilities, the three supplements above will definitely help you. B-Vitamins increase energy production and are neurotransmitter cofactors, so they help improve mood and help the body detoxify, which is necessary after exercise. Additionally, the process of building and repairing muscle tissue depletes B-Vitamins – so if you’re lifting heavy or damaging your muscle tissue in your workouts, you’ll need to take extra B-Vitamins to help the rebuilding process. Beta Alanine can help improve explosive muscular strength outputs, boost your muscular anaerobic endurance and increase the exercise capacity of your muscles so that you may last a tad longer. Finally caffeine – the most researched product in the world – works wonders for those looking for an extra kick of energy. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, which most pre-workouts include and will definitely give you an awakening boost if you need it.
LEAN MUSCLE MASS STACK
The key here is recovery and priming the anabolic environment – which means getting optimal protein and nutrient delivery to the muscles and enough calories to allow for growth. Creatine and nitrus-oxide supplements can assist in muscle recovery and increased blood flow. Consuming a blend of protein and carbs before and after workouts will help keep energy levels consistent during workouts and help speed up the recovery process afterwards. Remember, you grow outside the gym.
FAT LOSS STACK
Since muscle is basically the only thing that truly “burns calories“, it is essential to help keep the muscle while burning the fat. Thermogenics can assist in helping to increase the metabolic rate. Plenty of quality protein will assist in keeping muscle from being burned as fuel. Good, complex carbohydrates will help keep energy levels up while eliminating big insulin spikes that may allow the body to store more fat.