There is a certain pride that might make you keep everything “natural” when it comes to fitness – relying only on the food to help your progress along – and there is nothing wrong with that. In a world where you can be jacked up and a vegan, there really is no limit to what you can do. However, it is always interesting to see how you can get where you are going with the help of supplements that might not normally be present in your diet or could be present less than required.
Start with the basics
Of course, you’ve probably heard of protein. It is one of the basics of any muscle gain – to keep that protein coming. Normally, protein is found in meats, eggs, dairy products, as well as things such as almonds and broccoli and it is quite possible for you to be able to cover most of your daily needs by eating these foods. However, if you are aiming higher, especially if you are trying to build up mass, you will need a lot of protein and you might find all that extra food a bit too much to swallow. And that is where your good friend protein can jump in, providing the necessities in a much smaller package.
Break it down
BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are only the smaller building blocks of proteins and yet they have a role of their own to fulfill. BCAA are especially useful in muscle recovery. Every exercise where you push your muscles harder than before is actually hurting them – and making them grow. BCAA are there to help this process go smoother, especially are intense exercises. These amino acids have been making their way into the mainstream and today are readily available around the world as supplements, at stores such as Australian Sports Nutrition and similar.
Omega-3 for the heart
Fish oil has long been considered as very healthy, however, it has probably just as long been considered hideous for consumption. However, when it’s packed in a tight little package such as the supplement pills, people have no reason not to use them. Especially when you consider that they decrease the risk of heart diseases and help with motor functions. This goes for athletes, however, anyone who is putting their body through its paces could benefit from these. Apart from your heart, it can help in keeping your cognitive function, immune system and vision up to par.
Get that creatine as supplements
Now, creatine is one of the most well-researched and used supplements out there. It is interesting primarily because your body creates it (from amino acids, glycine, and arginine) and stores about 95% of it in the muscles in the form of phosphocreatine. This helps your body produces ATP, which helps you perform better during exercises, as it basically serves as the energy currency within your body. It can help you improve your strength and energy, but also work as a “cell volumizer”, which means that your muscle would look fuller.
A coffee alternative?
Caffeine is well-known for making you more active, affecting your central nervous system. Naturally, if you wanted to feel the effects of coffee, you would just brew yourself a cup of Joe, right? The thing is: what if you don’t like coffee at all? Or perhaps your stomach doesn’t really like the whole thing? Why skip on the benefits of caffeine because of that? A good side of the caffeine pills is that you know exactly what amount of caffeine you are bringing into your system, while still reaping the benefits: energy boost, focus and improving athletic performance. Caffeine is also good for your brain as it reduces the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, as well as reducing the risks of depression.
Don’t look at supplements as obligatory, all-encompassing and necessary for your physical development. They are there to help you reach the pinnacle of what your body is capable of. If that is something you aiming to achieve, with hard work and dedication, supplements are there for you. They are not a shortcut to success, nor are they a crutch, but a tool to get you to where you want to go a little more easily.