Dietary supplements are a large part of the health and fitness industry. They provide convenient nutrients suited to our goals and individual needs. There are so many to choose from with specific benefits, pretty labels and nice flavours, but which ones do I recommend the most?
Below is a list of supplements I would recommend looking into. These include Protein Powder, BCAA, Creatine, Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, Multivitamins, and Fish Oil.
Here is why…
Protein powder is a convenient pure source of protein. It is a simple and effective additional source of protein specifically designed for people who prefer not to eat as much whole foods as needed to hit their daily protein requirements. Protein powder is also great for when you are on the go or have limited time to cook. I use protein powder on a daily basis, as my bodybuilding goals require a higher intake of protein. Protein powder is also a very cost effective source of amino acids.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
BCAA’s have a positive effect in reducing fatigue in both anaerobic and endurance activities. Supplementing with BCAA’s is not essential when on a high calorie (with high protein) diet however when calories are restricted for weight loss I would suggest looking at supplementing with BCAA’s.
Creatine Monohydrate will improve your performance during high intensity activities such as weight training and any other anaerobic exercise. Creatine Monohydrate supplementation will also deliver increased lean muscle mass, increased strength and power, improvements in speed, and single effort sprint performances. Definitely all relevant to weight training.
Beta-Alanine is a beta amino acid demonstrated to drastically increase intramuscular carnosine concentrations, thus decreasing muscular fatigue and increasing overall workload. It is a great supplement for improving strength endurance output.
Caffeine is a stimulant that has been demonstrated to increase anaerobic performance and delay fatigue by decreasing your perceived exertion during exercise. This means that workouts will feel easier and you will have the energy and drive you desire. A great way to get caffeine is to use a pre-workout supplement which is predominately based around caffeine in conjunction with various plant based stimulants.
Green Tea Extract
The main purpose for using green tea extract is the antioxidant benefits as well as the fat loss benefits provided by the polyphenol EGCG. Green tea contains a small amount of natural caffeine and is a great fat burner (in the sense of increased thermogenesis) when stacked with a pure caffeine supplement.
Multivitamins are beneficial to ensure you have adequate vitamins, minerals and antioxidants on a daily basis. You can’t always ensure these micronutrients will be present in your daily diet at appropriate amounts so an easy once per day supplement can help.
Fish Oil studies show benefits in regards to heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation, skin health, and more. Fish oil is also a source of Omega 3 fatty acids which cannot be made by the body and must be provided through diet or supplementation.
Consider these supplements as potential staples along side an health & goal based nutrition plan.