Even the most healthiest of eaters can miss out on key nutrients despite eating a well balanced meal. If your meal plan doesn’t contain a perfect mix of every performance-enhancing nutrient, it will definitely take a toll on the fitness goals you are set out to achieve. If you are a beginner, then we understand your plight of figuring out a training split, nutrition plan, macros and calories tracking and now supplements! But don’t worry, we got your back.
You know that food supplies nutrients in combinations that supplements can’t really replicate, but sometimes they fall short due to the way your body absorbs these nutrients or the general quality of the food. Sometimes regular food may unwittingly be nutrient-deficient. This is where certain supplements can ensure that athletes and runners don’t miss out on any goodness that could improve their performance.
Supplements are not replacements and can only act as a stand-in for a good diet and a hard workout. They are merely aids which will help you achieve your fitness goals faster and give you the desired results.
As opposed to popular belief, creatine is not a drug. It is actually a nitrogen-containing organic compound, that is naturally produced in the human body. Your body stores this in the liver and kidneys and doles it out as when when required; in this case a strenuous workout or a long run. Creatine is scientifically proven to increase strength, endurance, and muscle mass and hence is one of the most popular sports supplements used by athletes and weightlifters. Creatine has shown to be most effective in high-intensity training and other explosive activities such as weight training and endurance sports such as sprinting, football, and baseball.
It is also known to increase leg power during cycling and provide greater strength on the bench press and squat press. However, despite the many benefits of creatine it is often misunderstood as being unsafe and dangerous. It improves your regular lifting capacity leading to bigger and stronger muscles. Weight gain using creatine is assured, without any doubts.
Dosage: Many use the technique of ‘loading’; whereby you start taking 20 g of creatine in split doses during the initial 5-7 days. After this loading phase you cut down your creatine intake to 3-5 g per day.The idea of loading creatine is to saturate the muscle cells with creatine resulting in faster results.
The second method is simply supplementing starting with 3-5 g of creatine without the initial loading phase. Choosing this method will give you the same results as the first technique, but it will take longer to experience the full benefits.
Whey Protein powder and muscle mass are synonymous with each other. This source of protein includes branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which decrease exercise-induced muscle damage and improve muscle recovery to help your workouts build you the strongest core. In addition to this, dieters who doubled their protein intake in general ( not necessarily from whey) lost more fat and maintained more muscle than those who stuck to eating the recommended daily amount.If you are allergic to dairy products and hence have to skip out on protein, whey is a good option because it doesn’t generally cause any stomach upset or bloating, even in the people who are lactose intolerant.
Dosage: If you are unable to finish the food on your plate then whey is the perfect addition to your diet. Consume 20-30 grams of whey protein post-workout or in between meals for muscle growth and repair.
If you want to substitute dairy with whey then allot whey protein a minimum of 110 grams of your protein intake per day and you will see massive changes.
Many gym goers find multivitamins to be pointless. But though they might not give you bigger biceps or larger pecs, but they will definitely make you stronger. Multivitamins are believed to be a convenient and cost-effective way to get your daily dose of nutrients and help you go the extra mile or lift that extra pound.
They aren’t going to make drastic improvements to your diet, but it will help you fill in any deficits in essential vitamins and minerals. If you are eating the same thing most days, then your menu might be low in micronutrients such as zinc or manganese, and a multivitamin can help fill these small nutritional gaps so that you don’t have a problem.
Dosage: One multivitamin should suffice your daily dietary needs. It is advised to take it alongside fatty foods or fish oil tablets.
Caffeine not only gets you mentally ready to face the day but it also increases your mental alertness, betters your mood, and boosts your desire to run harder. Caffeine is a just a perfect way to start your morning workout session with especially a tough speed workout. In short caffeine increases the concentration of endorphins in the brain.
Caffeine also has an impact on your mental alertness, increasing your reaction time and improves neuromuscular response time.It could also play a role in mobilizing or utilizing fat stores as a fuel for your body. This has a positive impact on your glycogen stores which can be used for other energy needs, such as your running. Caffeine catalyses the fatty acids in your blood stream to help convert fat into usable energy. Needless to say an espresso shot can have a telling impact on the initial few minutes of your exercise, making you conserve glycogen, enabling you to run or work out longer.
Dosage: Chugging down cup after cup of coffee is not healthy, so limit your daily coffee consumption to 400 milligrams or less. Caffeine can also be taken in the capsule form instead of the regular espresso shot. Newbies are advised to take 100 milligrams of caffeine supplement about 30-60 minutes before your workout.