If you have got your nutrition and training programs in place, you will need to take a look at getting a fitness supplement plan organised to work alongside this. But what are the best fitness supplements to go for?
As you are probably already aware, there’s a lot of incorrect information and hype surrounding the supplement industry. So, before you go out and purchase anything, take a look at our guide to the 5 best fitness supplements to consider:
Creatine is known as one of the most effective fitness supplements to ever have hit the market. This is one of the best fitness supplements to turn to when wanting to build bulk and lean muscle. This supplement increases your muscle strength by more than 10% and your muscle mass by approximately 10 pounds.
Creatine increases the weight of the water inside the muscle and therefore pulls fluid into the cells. Additionally, it provides the muscles the quick source of energy which fuels any muscle contractions during a workout.
Creatine is also an important energy component of muscle cells. An increase of this energy will enable you to complete more reps, so in time you will see an increase both the size and the strength of your muscles.
It is recommended that you take between 1-5 grounds before and following a workout, alongside whey protein.
In milk you will find two types of protein. These are casein and whey. Casein is 80% of the protein and whey is the remaining 20%. Whey is the best-selling protein powder available on the market, simply because it forms lean muscle. There is no other protein which is able to digest as fast as whey, as it delivers amino acids to the bloodstream within 60-90 minutes. This means muscle protein synthesis can be switched on quickly which instigates muscle growth. This is very important during workouts as the muscles are ready for it.
A second benefit of whey protein is that it is the best source of BCAAs out of all of the other nutritional proteins. There are three amino acids that make up BCAAs and these are crucial for muscle growth and they also give the muscles fuel source.
Finally, whey is able to provide special peptides which causes vasodilation. Vasodilation relaxes the muscular walls of the vessels, enabling them to widen. This in turn helps to lower blood pressure.The body is then able to get the blood flowing to the muscles and helps to send these amino acids quickly to them.
Make sure that you take whey before and following a workout. *Research conducted by Victoria University in Australia found that those who consumed glucose, creatine and whey both before and following a workout, for 10 weeks, resulted in an 80% increase in their muscle mass and an approximate 30% increase in their muscle strength compared to those who took the same supplements in the morning and at night. The first group also lost body fat, whereas the second group lost nothing.
It is recommended that you take 20g of whey each morning, 30 minutes before a workout and also 30 minutes following a workout.
Unlike whey, Casein is a protein which takes a long time to digest, taking up to 7 hours before it delivers its amino acids to the muscles. Therefore, it has been suggested that you take casein before bed. This could be in the form of a shake or from foods such as Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese.
Although many people believe that there is no point in taking casein around a work out, *Studies have in fact revealed that when casein is added to whey protein following a workout, muscle growth can be increased more than it would have with just a whey protein. Milk is also a good source of casein, therefore it is worth adding whey to milk following a workout, combining the two and maximising your casein intake.
Add 20g of casein to your whey protein and take this following a workout and before bed. Alternatively, add whey to one cup of Greek yoghurt or 2 cups of low-fat milk.
Glucose is the main source of fuel that you burn when you train. This is supplied by glycogen which is stored in the muscle fibres. In order to ensure that you have enough energy for a workout, your body needs to restore glycogen as quickly as it can. Therefore, following a workout, you need to have carbohydrates which digest quickly (high glycaemic). Vitargo is a complex carb which is the fastest. The second fastest is a sugar dextrose, which is glucose.
If you prefer not to buy glycogen supplements then there are some sweet options that consist of mainly dextrose i.e. Haribo gummy bears. White potatoes and white bread are less sweet but work almost as quickly.
It is recommended that you have approximately 40 to 60 g of these fast digestive carbs 30 minutes after you have finished a workout. If you mix whey protein with milk then make sure you take into account that each cup of milk contents 12 g of sugar. Therefore, one scoop of whey combined with 2 cups of milk and approximately 10 -15 gummy bears would work well as a meal following a workout.
BCAAs, otherwise known as branch chained amino acids, consist of valine, isoleucine and leucine. Out of these three, it is leucine that is important for muscle growth. There are two reasons for this. First, it switches on muscle protein synthesis in the muscle cells, meaning there is more potential for muscle growth. Secondly, leucine increases the levels of insulin which help creatine, amino acids and glucose reach the muscle cells.
However, all three BCAAs play an important role, as the muscles use these for direct energy sources. This is particularly relevant during a workout, meaning you can train harder without feeling fatigued. This makes BCAAs another one of the best fitness supplements to keep to hand.
It is recommended that you take 5g of BCAAs three times daily; every morning, 30 minutes before a workout and then 30 minutes following a workout. Taking BCAAs prior to working out will provide your body with energy. Those taken following a workout will help with muscle growth and recovery. By taking BCAAs each morning you put your body in an anabolic state.