The Basics: Supplements

In the never-ending quest for health and good looks, guys tend to take it to extremes (i.e. overloads of roids, exercise with no rest). I am going to give you the basics. Here are 6 essential supplements men need for optimal health (and fitness performance):

6) BCAAs: Branched-Chain Amino Acids. These aid in lean muscle, oftentimes assisting in fat loss and the elimination of muscle soreness. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK recently discovered that study participants who supplemented with BCAAs before and after exercise had a significant reduction in muscle soreness. A Brazilian study took it a step further and revealed that BCAA supplementation resulted in glycogen-depleted participants experiencing a significant reduction in fatigue, as well as enhanced fat burning.

5) Creatine: This has long been used for building lean muscle mass. A recent Canadian eight-week study found that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I), which is known to produce anabolic effects in adults, was increased by more than 20% amongst creatine supplementing participants performing resistance-training exercises. Just be sure not to take excessive amounts as various side effects have been reported. SIDE NOTE:  Creatine is microprocessed now, as opposed to the late 1990s when it was popular with bodybuilders and strength athletes (it was grainy and bad-tasting).

4) Protein Bars and Powders: Ask any fitness professional about protein products, and they will all tell you that using protein supplements are crucial for essential nutrients. The key to this is simply the protein bars and shakes (RTDs-ready-to-drink shakes) will control blood sugar spikes, food cravings that will often torpedo a diet and replenish your body with essential fats and carbohydrates.

3) CLAs: Conjugated Linoleic Acids or CLAs for short, contains omega fatty acids. These “good fats” can aid in fat loss and the preservation of the hard-earned muscle you crave to keep. A study that was done by the University of Wisconsin revealed that the 71 participants lost fat (at an average between 6-8 lbs) consuming CLAs.

2) Glutamine: Glutamine has long been used for recovery and even warding off sickness due to training fatigue. Glutamine aids in the regulation of glycogen, enhancing muscle growth. Glutamine also combats inflammation, infection and fatigue.

1) Multivitamins: As I always say, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. I guarantee you, if you could hear your body talk, it would tell you to take a multivitamin, as training takes a lot of vitamins and minerals out of you. Studies show that most who train hard are vitamin/nutrient deficient in some regard, especially those who are in a weight-management regimen. Starting your day with a multivitamin (there are tons of them out there that will suit your needs) is the way to go.


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