I think this is a topic worth writing about. But, we need to take into consideration what the word supplement means. Supplement is a noun, indicating that something is enhanced or completed by adding to it. If you take a multivitamin, you’re supplementing vitamins that you aren’t getting enough of in your diet.
In other words, you’re taking something extra to make up for a lack of a nutrient/mineral or vitamin that your body is lacking. Depending on your level of fitness and training, you may need to be taking more supplements in order to keep your levels topped off.
If you’re eating enough and choosing your diet properly, more than likely you’re getting ample amounts of protein, so there’s no reason to buy protein powder. On average your body needs about .8-1g of protein per pound. Currently I weigh 144.2lbs, so I need about 144g of protein per day, which I eat easily.
You can take any type of multivitamin, though if you’re training with intensity, you should try to take a multivitamin adapted for athletes. Basically, with as much training as you probably do, you’ll always tapping into your bodies reservoirs of essential minerals and vitamins. The multivitamin is there to really help you keep your levels topped off at all times.
2. Fish Oil
Basically, fish oil is your defense against joint pain. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Think of fish oil as lubrication for your joints. It’s not something that you’ll notice right away after supplementing it, it’ll be noticeable after a few weeks. This will help you big time with your joint health.
Creatine is the most researched supplement and has a high level of safety as a result. Creatine basically helps keep your muscles hydrated. It also stimulates muscle growth. Think of creatine as increasing your PRs by 2-4%. It’ll also help you go deeper in your sets as a result. That may not seem like a lot, but it’ll help you in the long run.
Also known as branch chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine & valine). Supplementation of BCAAs can help reduce muscle fatigued, increase protein synthesis and keep your energy levels topped off while you’re working out. Leucine helps in protein synthesis, isoleucine helps in inducing glycogen uptake and more study is needed to determine valine’s importance, though it is! As you work out, your body depletes your reservoirs of BCAAs in the body, and as a result of supplementing it, you keep your levels topped off which can help during exercise.
It should be noted that if you’re eating enough protein, so keep this in mind as it depends on your diet.
Glutamine is known as a muscle builder, though there is evidence that it’s not entirely something needed if you’re an overall healthy individual. Mostly, it helps those who have had physical wounds or low immune systems to build muscles. Considering the fact that if you workout with high intensity and you’re always pushing yourself to the max, then muscle strain is a constant thing. Therefore, consider supplementing glutamine so as to keep your glutamine plasma levels topped off. Also, it’ll help with your immune system and intestinal health, which isn’t a bad thing!
When you supplement L-Citrulline, your kidneys convert it to L-Arginine, which in turn is converted to Nitrous Oxide, which increases your blood flow during and after exercise. Effectively, L-Citrulline helps with the “pump” that we’re all searching for at the gym. It increases your power output during exercise, and as a result of the increased blood flow, you’ll more than likely be able to have solid reps towards the end of your sets whereas prior you might feel a little burnt out.
I’ve done a lot of this research when I chose to really push my workouts to the next level. Supplementation is an investment, and there’s plenty of products that people feel that they need, whereas in reality they don’t. The best thing you can do is read the research yourself, which is why I provided links to examine.com for each supplement that I recommend you take.
If you want the bare minimum in terms of supplements, I’d suggest the following: multivitamin, fish oil, creatine.
*Taking protein supplementation is not really needed if you have a good diet rich in protein already. The $30-$40 per month that you spend on protein could be used for these other supplements that I’m suggesting you take.
That’s my advice, feel free to leave a comment below.