Supplementation is a great way to ensure that you are providing your body with the right nutrients at the right time. They aid in recovery, help muscle growth, assist with weight loss, as well make sure that you are as fit as a fiddle. The main purpose of supplements is to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle, and make sure you receive proper nutrition to achieve your individual goals, The supplement market at the moment will leave you spoilt for choice, and there are so many different things to take, but this guide will provide an outline of the essentials that you will always need.
Supplements can never replace proper diet and nutrition, but it is also difficult to get in certain nutrients in exactly when you need them. This is where supplementation comes in, and assuming you are already using a multi-vitamin, these are the 5 most essential supplements you need.
Protein is an essential nutrient required for the body to perform most basic functions on a daily basis. The first step in getting your required protein content for the day is through whole food. Sometimes, however, this is just not a viable option as it is expensive and can be time-consuming to sit and eat every 2-3 hours.
Protein supplements are fast acting and allow you to easily and affordably meet your daily protein requirements while maintaining a busy schedule and work life. Protein supplements are especially useful after a workout, because they are fast digesting, and much easier to breakdown compared to food, and aid in recovery to help prepare you for the next workout.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
There are three Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) namely; leucine, iso-leucine, and valine. When taken during your training, BCAA’s provide muscle energy, stop muscle breakdown, and promote faster recovery.
BCAA’s are naturally found in meat, and other protein products, but isolated BCAA’S taken while you are training will lead to increased performance, enhanced protein synthesis, faster recovery time, and boost your strength and power.
This is the most abundant amino acid found in the body, over 60% of skeletal muscle is made up of glutamine. It plays a vital role in immune health, as well as provide muscular energy, similarly to the way glucose does. Glutamine can replenish glycogen levels in the muscles, without spiking insulin levels. Glutamine assists muscle growth, reduced muscle catabolism, healthy immune function, and gut health.
We need omega-3 fatty acids to survive, they are involved in a vast array of everyday functions, and also provide healthy lubrication to joints, connective and muscle tissue, lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, as well as support a healthy immune system.
The benefits of fish oil mainly come from omega-3 fatty acids. These are “essential fatty acids” because our bodies cannot synthesise them by themselves, so we need to get them through our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are high in EPA and DHA, which assist in fat loss, muscle building, overall health, as well as cognitive function.
Creatine is the most studied and most effective supplement to enhance performance, and boost maximum muscle endurance. Creatine works by replenishing adenosine triphosphate levels (ATP), the muscles main source of energy, and also acts to pull water into the cells, acting as a cell volumizer.
Creatine is a natural compound made from three different amino acids; Arginine, Glycine and Methionine, and is produced and stored in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is often confused as having harmful side effects, but these are myths. It was thought that creatine caused kidney problems and required you to drink water to flush it out, but you are required to drink more water in order for creatine to do its job.
These are the 5 supplements you should absolutely have when you begin to have an active lifestyle, and no matter how advanced you become, these will always be the 5 staples of supplementation (including a multivitamin of course).