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It is recommended that healthy people get adequate nutrients by eating a variety of foods in moderation. However, taking dietary supplements that may otherwise not be consumed in your diet in sufficient quantities will help you successfully reach your fitness goals. This article covers in depth numerous supplements and their benefits that can be considered in your fitness journey.
1. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
These critical for building muscle. Of the 9 BCAAs, leucine, valine, and isoleucine are the most essential. Leucine supports muscle gains and fat loss. Valine provides energy. Isoleucine provides BCAAs with their fat burning benefits. Supplementing post-workout at a 2:1:1 or 3:1:1 ratio of leucine: valine: isoleucine will promote gains. At least 5 grams of BCAAs is recommended. Stacking BCAAs with glutamine may promote greater gains in muscle mass and performance.
A xanthine alkaloid compound that stimulates the central nervous system, temporarily increasing alertness. It is not only useful for an energy boost but is also good for increasing muscle endurance and strength. For those who do not consume caffeine regularly, a total of 200-400 mg per day in split doses taken between meals two to three times per day and 30 – 60 minutes before workouts will likely produce noticeable effects. Start with 100 mg to gauge its impact, then increase the intake to 200 mg. Afterwards, the dose can be increased by 50 mg if no effects are experienced. Be careful not to get addicted. Individuals with anxiety disorders, cardiac problems, glaucoma and high blood pressure should avoid caffeine usage. Heavy caffeine usage may lead to the following side effects: Insomnia, Nervousness, Restlessness, Irritability, Diarrhea, Muscle Tremors, Nausea.
3. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
A polyunsaturated fatty acid present in many animal and milk products. Used as a supplement to enhance the fat-burning effects of exercise, along with increasing resting metabolic rate and preventing the body from storing fat while simultaneously boosting muscle growth and strength. The recommended dosage for weight loss is 3,000 mg per day consumed before or during a meal two to three times per day. When using high dosages (over 6,000 mg/day), side effects may include 1) a negative effect on blood sugar levels by hindering the body's natural ability to handle insulin, and 2) a decrease in the amount of the "helpful" cholesterol (HDL) in the body. Fat loss from use is modest and is most pronounced in first 6 months. Long-term use is not recommended.
A nitrogenous compound found normally in the body with 95% of it in the skeletal muscle tissue. It also naturally occurs in meats and fish. Long term supplementation has been proven to increase muscle size and strength, performance (increased ATP levels), growth hormone production, and lean muscle mass. There are many types of creatine. The most popular forms are:
5. Fish Oil
This supplement speeds up exercise recovery time, burns body fat, supports testosterone levels, and promotes muscle growth. It also reduces the risk of heart attacks, lowers blood pressure, supports blood cholesterol profile, fights inflammation, supports joint health, and prevents strokes. The primary active components of fish oil are two essential Omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The daily dosage of EPA & DHA combined for a person actively exercising is around 6.5 mg per pound of body weight. For example, a 200-pound bodybuilder would require 1,300 mg (1.3 g) daily of EPA and DHA (i.e. 6.5 mg/lb * 200 lbs = 1,300 mg). While generally safe, too much fish oil can increase the risk of bleeding and possibly suppress immune system response.
The most prevalent amino acid in the body. Used by the immune system in large quantities. It also increases leucine levels in muscle fiber, which promotes protein synthesis and muscle growth. Finally, it boosts growth hormone levels to increase muscle size and strength, and promote fat loss through increase metabolism during exercise and at rest. A dosage of 5 grams twice per day is recommended for bodybuilders. On training day, one dose before and after workouts should be consumed. Stacking glutamine with BCAAs may promote greater gains in muscle mass and performance. Also, L-Citrulline and glutamine stacking might boost citrulline's ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which will result in better exercise performance, less fatigue, better recovery, and increased growth.
An amino acid naturally produced by the body and can be found in fruits such as watermelon. It aids in elevating nitric oxide levels, which can help dilate blood vessels to allow more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the muscles, improves heart health, improves workout performance, and helps speed up recovery and boosts muscle growth. Additionally, it plays a role in the removal of ammonia from the bloodstream to reduce mental and physical fatigue during exercise. Lastly, bigger “pumps” can be realized during workouts. A dosage of 3 to 5 grams per day is recommended for bodybuilders to reap the benefits of improved power output, oxygen consumption, and exercise performance. For non-exercise related benefits, a dosage of 3 grams per day is recommended. Also, L-Citrulline and glutamine stacking might boost citrulline's ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide for enhanced benefits.
You need between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight (i.e. minus body fat) per day to build muscle. For example, if you have 150 pounds of lean mass, you should eat between 150 and 225 grams of protein per day if you want to consistently gain muscle. The most popular types of proteins to consider includes:
Types of protein powder
All protein powders are not equal. The amount of processing (filtering out other components such as carbs, fat, water, etc.) that determines the amount of protein available in the product. There are several methods
Serves as the foundation of a supplement program. Provides the human body a wide and complex variety of complex nutrients to complete all of its daily tasks. Should be taken in the morning and immediately after a workout. When selecting a multivitamin, avoid products that contain phosphorus (already rich in typical diets), zinc, calcium, and magnesium. They interfere with the uptake of other micronutrients in the same product (e.g. zinc interferes with copper absorption, calcium and magnesium interfere with iron and manganese uptake, etc.). It is recommended to take the aforementioned minerals separately at another time of the day. Also, ensure that significant dosages of the following critical micronutrients are present in the product: Vitamin A (beta-carotene form), Vitamin K2, Chromium Picolinate, Iodine, and Copper.
10. ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate)
A supplement consisting of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6, all of which are involved in metabolic processes of the body and play a vital role in protein synthesis. Other benefits include better sleep and faster recovery, increased endurance and strength, and higher testosterone levels. Purchase the patented form of ZMA from SNAC systems for optimal uptake and utilization. Also, use ZMA products that contain zinc mono-L-methionine & L-aspertate, the only form of zinc which is readily absorbed by the body. It is recommended to take this supplement 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime on an empty stomach.