Everyone who has aspirations of improving their fitness, bettering their health, or increasing their strength needs to start considering how they can help achieve these goals. Getting into fitness and working out is great for improving self-esteem, increasing cardiovascular health, and getting your body moving during the day, but exercise without goals is difficult to stay committed to. Even more challenging than that? Trying to do this solo, without any assistance to make your workout goals a reality.
With that in mind, you need to start adding more additional support for your workout goals. What kind of support? You need supplements to help achieve these goals, not the gym buddy or the motivational social media accounts. A real, tangible way to get better in the gym is by improving what you put into your body outside of it. Of course, this means a great diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables, and vitamins, but supplements help complement what you may be missing. Here is a great guide to help you figure out what kind of supplements you need for your specific workout goals.
Gain Strength and Muscle
Many people who go to the gym, usually guys, want to work out simply to build muscle and gain strength, which is a noble cause. The best supplements for this are protein powders. There are two main ones, whey and casein. Whey is more fast-acting in the sense that you want to consume it before, after, or during a workout, and casein is best taken during sleep. Either way, excellent ways to help provide your muscles with nutrients.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs consist of three amino acids: leucine, valine, and isoleucine, and they are found in your muscles naturally. These amino acids help aid protein for muscle growth and create the building blocks for strength gains. You can get them from dietary protein sources, but a BCAA supplement can help if you cannot. They are best consumed with a diet already rich in protein.
Creatine and its derivatives, such as pre-workout supplements, are useful in building more muscle as it is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body. It helps produce more muscle growth and has been shown to help stimulate strength gains because of muscle growth. Creatine monohydrate is an excellent pairing for those looking to add mass and strength.
Not everyone is looking to get big, but you would be surprised at the overlap of creatine. Creatine helps improve muscle endurance, not just muscle growth. Creatine by itself, or as mentioned for pre and post-workout versions, can help improve anaerobic endurance, which is sustained activity without the presence of oxygen. It is surprising, but for post workout supplements visit Wilson Supplements, and it can benefit your endurance goals. You can also see that many supplements have multiple benefits for your goals as well.
Beta-alanine is another amino acid that plays a big role in the performance of your muscles. While it is typically taken to enhance the ability to produce lean body mass, it is also useful for endurance training. Beta-alanine helps muscles recover better from fatigue, which allows them to perform their function for longer, enhancing performance and endurance.
Again, protein is one of the essential supplements and a staple of any fitness fanatics cupboard because it is so all-encompassing at times. Protein is one of the most important building blocks for muscle growth, but not just growing bigger muscles and strength. Protein helps repair muscles quicker, which allows them to be utilized again in shorter periods, and over time, this creates more endurance as your body can repair faster.
Weight loss is another general goal that people have when they are working out. Losing weight comes down to a pretty simple equation of calories in vs. calories out. What you eat and how much of it is burned off by your activity. You can still consume supplements to aid this. A simple one that you probably have every morning is caffeine. In your coffee or a pre-workout supplement, you can use caffeine to help stimulate the body’s metabolism into working faster to help burn calories and increase exercise intensity.
The vitamins you need are endless, and you consume a lot of them with what you eat, but the B-vitamin family can be especially helpful for weight loss. It all comes down to the metabolism again, as many of the B vitamins help metabolize macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) by making sure the metabolism is working well. Common B vitamins include: B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), and others like B-7 (biotin) and B-8 (folate) are also found in the foods you eat.
Consuming an all-inclusive multi-vitamin could be useful in allowing your body to get everything it needs. Vitamin A, many of the vitamin B family, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are among the usual ingredients in a multi-vitamin, and they are certainly important. They help with heart health, bones, and bodily functions like the immune system.
Omega-3s and 6s
These two types of healthy fats are found in fish, but fish oil supplements can do the trick if you cannot stand eating fish every day. Omega-3s and 6s are great for heart health, bone health, and memory function. Similarly, they are easy to consume in either capsule or oil form, but the taste may not be for everyone.
Improving your flexibility could be a big goal for you with working out, so you should pair your workout with glucosamine. This supplement is a naturally occurring part of your body’s cartilage, the connective tissue in joints. Taking glucosamine can help repair or strengthen your bones and joints to allow for a better range of motion and easier daily living.
Lastly, there is a less popular but just as important supplement that derives from the naturally occurring cartilage. Chondroitin is used to help prevent osteoarthritis by strengthing joints and helping reduce joint pain and stiffness. The best results come from taking chondroitin long term, much like you would for glucosamine to take effect.
Your workout goals should align with your supplement intake. Many people swear by the supplements they take but are unsure why they take them. While this is not the most comprehensive guide, it helps you see what kinds of extra help you should get outside the gym, off the running trail, or the basketball court to improve your performance and meet your goals.