Looking for that extra boost or that competitive edge the next time you’re in the gym or hitting the field for sports? Several key supplements can help you achieve your workout goals.
Basic Supplements to Increase Results
- Whey Protein
Protein is essential for exercise recovery, muscle growth and improvements in strength. But it’s sometimes hard to get all the protein you need from whole food sources. Protein supplements can help you hit your protein benchmarks.
Look for a product that contains 100% whey isolate, which is one of the purest and most easily digestible forms of protein on the market.
- Branch Chain Amino Acids
These supplements contain three essential amino acids: valine, leucine and isoleucine. Your body doesn't make its own BCAAs, so supplements help you get a basic baseline of these nutrients.
Your body uses them as a building block for muscles, and it can help reduce exercise fatigue so you can push harder and faster in the gym.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements to help boost exercise performance. Multiple studies have shown that it helps your muscles produce more energy, improves strength and endurance when you're exercising, and can enhance how quickly your muscles grow.
- Omega-3 Fish Oil
There are two main forms of omega fats in your diet: omega-6 and omega-3. Most people don’t get enough of the latter.
Eating more omega-3s can help with muscle inflammation and joint health, both which are essential for exercise performance and workout recovery.
What to Look for When Shopping for Supplements
Not all supplements are made alike. If you’re concerned about purity, hygienics and dosages, consider the following tips when shopping for vitamins and other supplements:
- Talk to your doctor first. Some supplements may interact with your existing supplements or medications.
- Look for the seal of the U.S. Pharmacopeia, NSF International, UL or ConsumerLab or similar on the label. This means the pills have what the manufacturer claims they have.
- Read the ingredients. From lanolin to glycerin, some supplements may be mostly filler and contain very little of the active ingredient you want.
This is a very basic overview of the different types of supplements, and there are many other types and benefits of using others. We will cover these in the weeks to come.