International surveys found that two-thirds of elite track and field athletes took one or more dietary supplements containing such ingredients as vitamins, creatine, caffeine, and amino acids.
But workout supplements aren’t just reserved for elite athletes. If you exercise regularly and want to ensure your body has the nutrients it needs, supplements could be useful. If you habitually lift weights or take part in high-intensity interval training and want to see better results, vitamins and supplements can help.
Read on for the top 7 workout supplements you can use to give your body what it craves to get big gains.
L-glutamine is an amino acid that can work wonders in slowing down muscle breakdown. The less muscle breakdown, the less soreness you will experience following a hardcore workout.
After an intense workout, your body’s stores of L-glutamine may be up to 50% less. And if other tissues in the body need L-glutamine, they will borrow it from your muscle stores. You definitely don’t want that.
If you have a surplus supply of L-glutamine available, other tissues won’t need to borrow it from your muscle stores.
Glutamine helps your muscles take in protein to form new tissue. That means you get better gains from the same workout when you take glutamine compared to when you don’t.
If you are training hard for an event, it is a good idea to take glutamine as a supplement. When your body experiences a lot of stress, l-glutamine stores drop in a similar way to after a workout. If you are under a lot of stress and your workout, glutamine supplements are a good idea.
This supplement often comes in powder form. You can add it to post-workout recovery drinks or protein shakes easily.
Some people suggest taking 5 grams several times throughout the day to ensure the body has a constant supply.
2. Branch Chain Amino Acids
Branch chain amino acids (known as BCAAs) are vital for muscle tissue recovery just like l-glutamine.
Your body needs enough amino acids to accelerate muscle growth. Best of all, BCAAs are a great source of protein without added calories. And when you work hard, you need to intake a lot of protein.
There are various branch chain amino acids when you are buying supplements check that the ingredient list includes leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are the 3 most important BCAAs for muscle recovery.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids play a huge role in brain health but they also help with hormone production. Testosterone is responsible for helping your body build muscle and Omega 3s help keep your levels up.
Omega 3s are also excellent fat burners so that you can keep the muscle yet be leaner with less body fat.
Most people don’t get enough good quality fat. Fear of mercury and dietary preferences prevent a lot of people from eating fish frequently.
Taking a fish oil supplement daily gives you a lot of benefits to your brain and body and should be at the top of everyone’s supplement list.
Note that there are many Omega 3 supplements that aren’t made from fish oil if you are vegan.
4. Leafy Greens Workout Supplements
One of the downsides of exercising is that when you do, your body releases free radicals that lead to aging and diabetes and cancer.
But, don’t stop working out! There are hundreds of health benefits to exercising regularly. Instead, minimize the damage to your DNA by ingesting enough leafy green vegetables before a workout.
Dark, leafy greens including kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens are rich in antioxidants and a great pre-workout food choice to prevent muscular damage.
You can get all the minerals and nutrients you need from a healthy diet that consists of dark, leafy greens. Yet, many people don’t get adequate amounts of leafy greens and so a greens supplement is a good option.
Not so fond of watercress and spinach? Just blend it into your smoothies and you’ll hardly taste it. Or go with a green powder from your local supplement supplier. Read the label to check that the powder has sufficient amounts of fiber, wheatgrasses, and digestive enzymes.
5. Whey Protein
Whey protein is called a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids. though it is a by-product of milk, it has a low lactose content.
Whey is full of BCAAs (which you know now are great for muscle soreness and growth). On top of that, it is an excellent pre- or post-workout supplement that gets you more strength gains, leaner body mass, and fat mass reduction.
A study compared 2 sets of males over 10 weeks and found that those who used a whey supplement had significantly better results than those who used casein.
If you want to use whey as a meal replacement, combine it with casein.
Many people suggest taking one mineral or vitamin such as vitamin D during the winter. But a better option is to choose a quality multivitamin.
Some doctors and nutritionists may say that you don’t need a multivitamin if you are eating a proper diet. Yet, soil conditions, processed foods, and other environmental factors make it incredibly difficult to get the right ratio of minerals and vitamins from food alone.
Multivitamins are a good idea not just as a workout supplement but for all adults. A good multivitamin and mineral supplement promotes cellular function. That is important for muscle growth and increased immune and muscle function.
There is a boatload of research on creatine out there. Creatine is one of the most researched natural supplements.
It is used to fuel energy in the muscles, primarily for intense, short exercises like sprints and weightlifting.
Science-backed benefits of creatine include improved high-intensity performance, faster muscle growth, and helps muscles produce more energy. It also helps lower blood sugar levels and fights diabetes.
Final Thoughts on Workout Supplements
Remember, not everyone needs every supplement. Consult with your primary healthcare provider about your specific body’s needs before starting any workout supplements.