In the topic of fitness, the supplement side can seem like a completely different world, and in some cases it is. Today I'm going to break down the best workout supplements actually worth using.
#1 Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
The positive effects that nutrition has on our physical health and performance is real. Nutritional deficiencies can hinder not only workout performance but physical well being as well. Take for example a deficiency in Iron. Iron can be a difficult mineral to get everyday for someone who doesn’t eat foods like shellfish, spinach, liver and organ meats on the regular, so this is why supplementation could be a good idea to lower your risk of developing a deficiency (Spritzler, 2019)
Vitamin and mineral supplements main benefits are filling nutritional gaps in the diet
When deficient, Iron supplementation has been shown to boost energy levels in physical performance. A study ran in 2014 found female rowers who supplemented with Iron had better energetic efficiency during endurance exercise compared to the group who didn't have any supplementation (DellaValle, 2014).
Also, to add, it would be a good idea to start supplementing with a multivitamin that is 100% or lower of the Recommended Daily Allowance in certain nutrients can help maintain overall health and well being,
If you’re curious about some of the most common micronutrient deficiencies you can click here to learn them for your own well being.
How do I pick a Multivitamin?
As far as Multivitamins, I recommend Centrum Silver.
How Much Should You Take?
1 tablet a day.
#2 Whey Protein
Another kind of dietary supplement is Whey Protein Powder. Whey protein is one of two types of proteins found in milk, (Casein being the other), and its purpose is to help the consumer eat more protein in one’s diet (Pesta, 2014).
The most common kind of whey protein powder being Gold Standard Whey, having the calorie and macronutrient breakdown of 120 calories 24g protein, 3g carbs and 1g of fat per scoop.
Benefits of Whey Protein Supplement combined with Workout Regime
4.Satiation (helping you feel fuller longer)
5.Higher energy expenditure.
7. Reducing Injury Risk
Eating a high protein diet helps maintain more muscle mass when losing weight (Pesta 2014).
The reason for this is because protein is essentially the building block of muscle building and muscle retention, as shown in so many other studies. Muscle has also shown to improve strength, and higher energy expenditure. (Pesta 2014)
To continue, now we have the weight loss benefits. Eating a higher protein diet also helps with satiation, therefore causing those who eat a higher protein diet to eat less calories than they expend, therefore helping them lose body fat. (Pesta, 2014)
Research seems to suggest that Whey protein also helps with reducing injury and exercise performance. (Huang 2017).
Research led by Huang found that eating a higher protein helped reduce injury because of the lower levels in certain enzymes. Two groups of 12 male athletes were put in a week supplementation phase for 5 weeks, and found that the group who took whey protein found a lower risk of injury and better workout performance. (Huang 2017).
How Much Should You Take?
The amount to be consumed is based on your own body type. Generally to receive the benefits for muscle building, .7-1g of protein per kilogram of body weight for muscle building, but it's always best to consult your doctor to make sure this change is right for you (Pesta, 2014).
#3 Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Monohydrate is a molecule naturally found in the body, naturally seen in your muscle cells. Creatine is found is foods like meat, fish, eggs, etc.
Supplementing creatine is mainly used to improve exercise performance, therefore increasing muscle mass, and strength performance in the gym. Just to note, your body already produces 1-2g of creatine by itself, 95% of it sitting in your muscles, with 5% in your brain, kidney's or liver. What creatine does in specific, it increases the stores of phosphocreatine, helping your body produce more ATP, therefore helping your do better (Nordqvist, 2017).
Creatine Supplementation Benefits include.
1. Enhanced Recovery in high intensity exercise
2. Greater Strength
3. Muscle Mass overtime
Benefit #1 Enhanced Recovery
Athletes who co-ingested 5 grams of creatine with large amounts of carbohydrates (95g) prior to their workout performed 60% better because it enhanced creatine and carbohydrate storage in the muscle (Kreider 2017).
Benefit #2 Greater Strength
In the same meta analysis they found that American Football Platers Ingesting 20-25g of creatine of monohydrate, (with a high carb/protein meal), saw an increase in strength gains and muscle mass over a long time (Kreider 2017).
Benefit #3 Increase Muscle Mass
Creatine has an effect on short term and longer term muscle growth. Using Creatine Monohydrate as a supplement has also been linked to increasing your anabolic hormones, like IGF-1 which is directly linked to building muscle (Burke 2008).
Benefit #4 Enhanced Tolerance to exercise in the heat
The researchers in the meta analysis found that athletes who took creatine, who exercised in hot temperature took creatine monohydrate supplementation saw no thermoregulatory responses, meaning their body saw no change in internal temperature.
Over decades this supplement has shown to be one of the most beneficial and safe supplements out there.
How Much Should You Take?
1 Serving=5g of creatine monohydrate a day
Last but not least we have Caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant, helping the decrease of fatigue, increase power and energy, therefore increasing performance in your exercise.
Caffeine is found in energy drinks, tea and pre workouts, and obviously Coffee.
Research has shown that consuming any source of caffeine before performing working out can help with improving your overall strength in the following session (Martinez, 2016).
To also note, your body can build up a tolerance to caffeine, so it's important to not abuse it. Up to 400mg of caffeine a day should be safe for most adults (Mayo Clinic Staff 2017). Of course, everyone isn't the same, so you should consult a doctor to figure out your proper dose for you.
Burke, D. G., Candow, D. G., Chilibeck, P. D., MacNeil, L. G., Roy, B. D., Tarnopolsky, M. A., & Ziegenfuss, T. (2008, August). Effect of creatine supplementation and resistance-exercise training on muscle insulin-like growth factor in young adults. Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18708688.
DellaValle, D. M., & Haas, J. D. (2014, June). Iron supplementation improves energetic efficiency in iron-depleted female rowers. Retrieved November 5, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24195864.
Green, A. L., Hultman, E., Macdonald, I. A., Sewell, D. A., & Greenhaff, P. L. (1996, November). Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in humans. Retrieved November 12, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8944667.
Huang, W.-C., Chang, Y.-C., Chen, Y.-M., Hsu, Y.-J., Huang, C.-C., Kan, N.-W., & Chen, S.-S. (2017, June 22). Whey Protein Improves Marathon-Induced Injury and Exercise Performance in Elite Track Runners. Retrieved November 10, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28824296.
Kreider, R. B., Kalman, D. S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., … Lopez, H. L. (2017, June 13). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5469049/.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017, March 8). Caffeine: How much is too much? Retrieved November 20, 2019, from. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678.
Lehman, S. (2019, June 25). Overuse and Interactions Can Undermine Health Benefits of Supplements. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfit.com/benefits-and-risks-of-taking-dietary-supplements-2506547.
Martinez, N., Campbell, B., Franek, M., Buchanan, L., & Colquhoun, R. (2016, July 16). The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance. Retrieved November 10, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27429596.
Nordqvist, J. (2017, December 20). Creatine: Uses, benefits, and health risks. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263269.php.
Pesta, D. H., & Samuel, V. T. (2014, November 19). A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Retrieved November 10, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25489333.
Spritzler, F. (2018, July 18). 11 Healthy Foods That Are Very High in Iron. Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-healthy-iron-rich-foods.
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