Benefits of Taking Supplements
The exact benefit of a particular supplement varies according to what it’s supposed to do! Does that sound like a riddle?
It shouldn't, in simple terms, a muscle building supplement will help you to build muscle, while a weight loss one will help you to lose weight (surprise!).
But all supplements do share some benefits:
Supplements are easy to take.
Supplements come in a variety of forms with tablets and powder being the most common. There is an enormous amount of convenience in being able to swallow a pill and improve your health.
Supplements ensure you’re getting the right level of nutrients.
A supplement should be specific about what ingredients it has and the quantities. This ensures you know exactly what you’re taking and how much of it. Knowing what is going into your body is an essential part of losing weight or gaining muscle.
Being able to take a supplement doesn't mean you should avoid eating properly. They are called supplements for a reason!
Supplements boost metabolism.
Supplements can also boost your energy levels and metabolism. This will help you to perform at your best for longer. The result will be a workout that burns more calories and builds more muscles.
Supplements reduce inflammation.
Equally, there are supplements that can be taken after you workout, which will help you prevent or reduce inflammation and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
The Best Workout Supplements for Men
There are many different types of great supplements available. Since everyone's needs are different, this list is just a good starting point to find the best workout supplements for you.
Workout Supplement #1:
Helps With: Enhancing Performance, Building Muscle
There are plenty of studies which demonstrate the power of creatine for building muscle. It’s safe to say this is one of the most popular options on the market and, potentially, the best-known one.
Fact: Creatine will help you to build muscle, but that's not all it does.
ATP is a substance that occurs naturally in your body and is essential for powering muscle contractions associated with high-intensity exercises.
Your body naturally produces creatine, which increases phosphocreatine levels in your body and allows the production of more ATP.
However, naturally produced creatine is quickly used up by your body, reducing your performance and the effects of your training; supplementing with creatine will maintain ATP production and allow you to work out harder and for longer.
It really will help you to gain muscle and strength.
For the best creatine, in terms of both purity and efficacy, use German made creatine monohydrate.
How to Take Creatine
The most common way to take creatine is in powder form, mixed with water. The taste can be pretty bad, so most people mix it with their protein shake or drink it all in one big gulp.
It is advisable to load up with creatine. In practice, this means supplementing with 20g per day, split into 4 doses, for 5 days. You can then reduce to between 3-5g per day for maintenance.
Workout Supplement #2:
Helps With: Meeting Protein Requirements
You've already heard of this one and may even have tried it. Whey protein is actually just one of the forms of protein powders available. It's also the most quickly absorbed.
Protein is essential for the proper functioning of all the cells in your body. You will get some protein from your diet, but this may not be enough if you are exercising and trying to build lean muscle.
Whey protein is easily absorbed into the body and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that your body is unable to produce itself.
That’s good in itself, but protein is also an essential part of muscle growth. It is the base compound for protein synthesis, which is how your body repairs microfibers in your muscles. These fibers are torn when you exercise hard; the repair process makes them stronger.
How to Take Whey Protein
This is another supplement that comes in powder form and mixes with water or milk. You can take protein before or after a workout, and it will help improve your strength. The amount of powder and water will be indicated on the packaging.
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Workout Supplement #3:
Helps With: Meeting Protein Requirements in Restrictive Diets
There are many types of protein powders, but all work in the same way. Whey is considered the best for pre or post workout; other options simply cater to vegetarians, vegans, or those with a lactose intolerance.
But, casein protein offers the same benefit as whey except that it is much slower releasing. This makes it the perfect choice before you go to bed as it will ensure your muscles have all the protein they need while you sleep.
Fact: Your body does most of its repairing and growing while you sleep.
Workout Supplement #4:
Helps With: Energy Levels, Post Workout Pain, Reduces Risk of Diseases
Caffeine is a stimulant, but because it is in your coffee, it is not always thought of as a supplement. In fact, it is present in many testosterone and energy boosting supplements and can be taken as a supplement by itself.
Because it’s a stimulant, you can take caffeine before you work out. Caffeine is absorbed within 15-45 minutes of being consumed and will boost your energy levels for 30 to 75 minutes.
Caffeine allows your body to use fat cells as an energy source instead of glycogen in your blood. It will boost your energy levels and help you to burn excess fat.
How to Take Caffeine
You can take a caffeine supplement, or you can simply drink black coffee or tea, the choice is yours. Just remember to lay off in the evening so you'll be able to get to sleep.
Helps With: Immune Function, Intestinal Health
Did you know that you can burn muscle cells when you exercise? This happens when your body can’t access glycogen stores fast enough. It’s common when you’re working out hard or for an extended period of time.
Glutamine can stop this from happening. It actually promotes the production of growth hormone and a positive nitrogen balance. In addition it improves your body’s ability to use the protein it has available.
Both of these things will reduce or prevent your body from using muscle cells for energy. You’re muscle building efforts won’t be in vain.
In fact, the production of growth hormone will help your muscles to grow and even speed up recovery time.
Helps With: Boosting Testosterone
Research shows that DHEA supplements can enhance the affects of weight training on muscle mass, especially in older men.
Funnily enough scientists don’t know exactly how it works, just that it does.
DHEA is a precursor to naturally occurring steroids in your body. This means that enzymes in your body can convert DHEA into estrogen and testosterone.
More importantly, the testosterone produced is free testosterone, meaning it can be used by your body immediately.
As testosterone is an important part of protein synthesis and tissue growth, it has a direct relationship with building muscle. An increase in testosterone by taking a DHEA supplement is likely to prove beneficial.
Helps With: Protein Synthesis
Branch Chain Amino Acids are 3 of the 9 essential amino acids that your body needs but can’t produce itself.
They are instrumental in the process of protein synthesis, this is when your muscles repair and grow after a workout.
In addition BCAAs can boost your performance abilities and even help you to burn more fat. That’s a pretty good reason to take them.
BCAAs are usually supplemented in powder form. Add them to water to create a shake similar to whey protein.
You may find it particularly beneficial if you take 5-10 grams in water while exercising.
Helps With: Body Maintenance
You need an array of vitamins to remain healthy.
In a perfect world you’ll get all of these vitamins from the food you eat. However, this is not always possible which is why you’ll find a multivitamin beneficial.
Although it won’t directly boost your workout capabilities, having the right balance of vitamins daily will help to ensure your body is working at peak capacity.
This will help you to reach your full potential when you workout and get the right results.
Workout Supplement #6:
Helps With: Required for Numerous Bodily Functions
Magnesium is one of the many minerals your body needs to function correctly. It is involved in any metabolic processes in your body, particularly at helping your muscles relax.
This is beneficial after a workout as muscles that can’t relax will start to cramp; which is painful and dangerous.
Magnesium may not directly affect your ability to workout but by keeping your muscles relaxed it will help them to grow and be ready for the next workout.
That’s as important as extra energy or strength!
Helps With: Bone Health
You know calcium is essential for healthy bones. It is also a critical element of healthy and strong muscles.
Calcium deficiency allows the increased production of parathyroid hormones which break down bones. When you exercise your calcium levels drop, even if you take a calcium supplement before you workout.
To maintain your bone and muscle strength you’ll need to take a daily calcium supplement.
Again, this isn't going to directly boost your workout capabilities. But, it will help you to stay healthy and strong.
Supplements should not be considered as an alternative to eating regular meals. A supplement is an addition to your normal balanced diet; it says so in its name!
They are an effective and viable way of ensuring your body has all the nutrients it needs. They are also beneficial when working out to help you meet your full potential.
But, you should proceed with caution, always follow the instructions on the packaging and build your tolerance. This will also allow you to assess if there are any unwanted side effects.
Use the free meal plan to get the right idea about nutrition, and this free workout is a great way to start building strength. The best supplements for men can help you achieve your goals, just don’t forget to share your results with us and help everyone in our community.
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Your new friend & health coach, Stuart Carter Head Training Staff, The Fit Father Project Brotherhood Nickname: “The Fit Brit” Bragging Rights: 16 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the best workout supplements for men.