Here are all the supplements I take and why I take them condensed in a SparkNotes version. For the full detailed version, check out my other blog 7 Supplements I Take to See Results.
Protein should be on everyone's list of supplements to aid in their workouts. Protein supplements are a well-researched product and deliver quite a bang for your buck. Be it you’re losing weight or gaining muscle, accomplishing your protein intake for the day is necessary and studies show that.
Take 1 scoop (25g) post-workout and another 1 an hour later to increase your protein muscle synthesis.
If you’re allergic to whey protein, take a beef protein or egg protein over pea, soy, or vegan proteins. Research shows that these proteins are inferior to animal-based proteins and even inferior to carb fillers.
As a major source of energy, carbs are broken down into glucose and later converted into glycogen in the cell. They are the body's first source of energy and are great for high-intensity workouts or activities. If you find yourself lacking energy or getting lightheaded during workouts, try including this supplement.
If your goal is to cut fat, I would advise against taking carbs, however. More access to carbs means less burning of fat and carbs are usually in excess on current western culture diets.
Only use a carb filler if your goal is to gain muscle, you are an endurance athlete or an experienced weight lifter that engages in high-intensity workouts consistently.
EAAs stands for “essential amino acids” and consist of the 9 most readily available amino acids. You may have heard of BCAAs, which stands for “branch chain amino acids.” These only consist of 3 amino acids.
EAAs aid in energy production and output and during a workout session helps with slowing down protein breakdown. You take an EAA intra-workout, slowly sipping on it while exercising. This will maintain your energy levels and keep you focused during the workout.
When selecting an EAA, make sure to select a high-quality brand as many brands out there lack the quality and include many fillers such as sugars. Research before buying and look for quality certificates.
Creatine helps with ATP production which is a chemical in cells that create energy in the body. ATP would be the first line of energy production, followed by glucose and then oxidative. When ATP is more readily available in your system, your output during a training session will improve dramatically.
Creatine is great for anybody and has few drawbacks (contrary to common misconceptions.) If you’re a female, elderly, or vegetarian, creatine will be of great help as ATP is created using mostly compounds derived from animals.
Glutamine aids in lymphatic and immune function. When damaging the body through exercise, it is important to receive sufficient recovery. Growth in the body is achieved through recovery and, thus, needs help from the immune system.
This will reduce future fatigue during and after exercise and those using glutamine will see a speedier recovery.
Magnesium is one of those minerals that are deficient in a majority of people. Also responsible for ATP production, magnesium will help with nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and blood pressure regulation. Taken during training, it will also reduce fatigue and promote glucose and glycogen production.
Glycinate helps target muscle tissue specifically as other forms (i.e. oxide, taurate, threonate, malate, etc.) will provide functions to different organs and tissues. Avoid citrate forms as this is an inexpensive and low-quality form of magnesium.
Beta-Alanine is a common component in most pre-workouts but can be as good on its own. The main benefit of beta-alanine is its ability to increase carnosine levels in the muscle tissue. Carnosine has been shown to increase cognitive function and increased resilience to stress. Taken over an extended period, beta-alanine has also been shown to improve tactile performance and reduce neuromuscular fatigue.
Instead of using pre-workout, try using just beta-alanine and cut out the crap from the other stuff.