The Top 10 Supplements You Should Be Using Right Now
Add these supplements to your athletic arsenal to bump your physique and fitness level into the realm of the elite.
At one point or another, every hard-training athlete has been made painfully aware of the limitations of his or her body. Whether it’s the specter of crushing fatigue, the frustration of a strength plateau or the malaise of an all-out training rut, your active, hard-charging lifestyle takes its toll. And while proper performance nutrition can stave off these setbacks to some degree, the strategic implementation of a few key supplements can help you become a healthier, more balanced athlete—one more resistant to injury and illness, more prone to shattering personal bests with regularity. But with seemingly endless rows of colorful tubs lining your local supplement shop, knowing what to put in your shopping cart can be daunting—until now. Here is a list that highlights the top 10 supplements you can begin using today to safely, effectively and definitively bolster your athletic pursuits.
These supplements boost your explosive power, as well as your ability to recover from exercise
CREA +: CREATINE MATRIX
“Taking creatine helps to saturate your muscles with the rapid energy they need to perform explosively. In the gym, this can mean a few extra reps on each set, and during sports this means much more power and endurance which ultimately leads to greater gains in muscle.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 2-5 grams 30 minutes prior to exercise or competition and another dose within 30 minutes after.
>> Best For: Sports that require short, explosive bursts of energy such as weight training, track sprinters, sprint swimmers, sprint cycling, soccer, baseball, and rowing.
If there is one supplement that belongs in everyone’s cabinet, it’s whey protein isolate. “Derived from milk, whey is rich in key amino acids that aid in muscle recovery,. “It is easily digested, which means a rapid influx of aminos to hungry muscles after exercise.” Taking whey at key intervals it can help you bounce back faster from tough workouts and preserve or even gain muscle.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 20-40 grams immediately post-exercise. 3 times daily is optimal, before bedtime recommended.
>> Best For: All athletes, recreational and competitive, can benefit from whey protein supplementation.
BCAA+ : Branch Chain Amino Acids
BCAA are the essential building blocks for muscles and also are a great aid in recuperation and endurance. Most professional athletes use BCAA’s for increased performance and recuperation. This makes it ideal during exercise and id also a great tool to prevent muscle tissue breakdown and also supports your immune system.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 10-20 grams during your training. You may also add 10-20 grams of casein to your post-workout shake.
>> Best For: Athletes concerned with the sparing of muscle tissue and increased endurance. Ideal for any athletic performance.
MASS+: High Quality Carbs
Known as a key supplement in muscle growth and weight gain, carbs such as maltodextrin and waxymaize also moonlights as a great solution for hard gainers and young athletes that want to gain weight. Your system requires to increase the intake of very complex carbs, so supplementing it is a good idea if you expect to keep to your rapidly increase your weight with lean muscle gains.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 2 to 4 servings four times daily, including morning, before bedtime and post-workout.
>> Best For: All athletes, recreational and competitive, can benefit from MASS+ supplementation. (Tip: Many weight gainers contain protein, so adjust supplemental doses accordingly if taking both.)
FUEL+ : Arginine based preworkout
While muscle-pundits celebrate arginine for its ability to provide greater muscle pumps during intense workouts, it holds a host of other benefits for the recreationally competitive athlete. Arginine enhances nitric oxide (NO) production which increases blood flow. This means greater nutrient, hormone and oxygen delivery to working muscles. Arginine has also been shown to raise levels of your body’s natural growth hormone (GH), which can aid in strength and muscle gain as well as fat loss.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 3-5 grams 30 minutes pre-workout.
>> Best For: Those who train with weights and are looking to add muscle, as well as athletes who can benefit from greater nutrient delivery such as runners, swimmers, and cyclists.
These supplements provide fuel and focus, while also helping you maintain a streamlined, athletic build and weight management
FUEL + : CAFFEINE
If your only dose of this miracle compound comes in your morning java, then you are limiting its payoff. In addition to improving alertness and mental focus, caffeine has been shown to immediately increase strength, increase energy use from fat, and decrease pain. Taken together, those benefits have tremendous implications for even the occasional gym-goer. And for the body-conscious, caffeine consumption can increase your metabolic rate by 15% (read: you’ll burn 15% more calories per day).
>> Dose & Timing: Take 200-400 mg 1-2 times per day, with one dose coming 30-60 minutes pre-exercise or competition.
>> Best For: Any athlete looking to gain an edge via mental focus and increased strength. It is highly beneficial for weight lifting, but its ability to decrease pain is a great advantage for endurance athletes of all types.
BURN+ : GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Lost in the shadow of the caffeine juggernaut is this herbal gem. But green tea extract has a host of benefits for athletes as well. “Green tea’s key ingredient is EGCG, or epigallocatechingallate. “This compound, with a name that’s near unpronounceable, provides energy and increases fat-burning; it has also been linked to the reduced likelihood of certain cancers and enhanced joint health.”
>> Dose & Timing: Take cspsules 2-3 times per day before meals or exercise.
>> Best For: Anyone looking to stay lean and healthy. Because of its ability to aid in recovery and boost general health, it is key for competitive athletes who need to perform at peak levels over the course of a long season.
BURN+ : CARNITINE
Most things that are fatty taste great. It’s when that fat ends up around our waistline that we start looking as sluggish as we feel. Carnitine helps us put said belly jelly to use. “Carnitine aids in the transport of fats into the machinery of cells where it can be burned as fuel. As a bonus, it has been shown to aid in muscle recovery after intense exercise and delay times to fatigue.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 1-2 caps on an empty stomach 60 minutes prior to exercise.
>> Best For: Athletes that regularly engage in bouts of intense exercise such as crossfitters, boxers, runners, hockey, football, soccer, baseball players, etc...and any other sport needing explosive energy. It can also benefit athletes that need to maintain weight for competition.
FOR GENERAL HEALTH
Fight off colds, joint pain, and other workout-killing maladies with these simple supps
Inadequate nutrition can put your immune system and your athletic performance at risk. Using a multivitamin will help to make up for any possible nutrition deficiencies that may arise from hard training.
>> Dose & Timing: Take one serving of a multivitamin as directed on the bottle each morning.
>> Best For: All athletes, recreational and competitive, can benefit from multivitamin supplementation.
TEST+ : TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS:
Known as a key supplement in muscle growth, libido improvement and increased strength, tribulus also moonlights as a healthy-living superpower. “Athletes systems requires teststerone to function to its maximum potential , so supplementing it is a good idea if you expect to keep to your natural testosterone production to be optimal and consequently to make your training constantly improve with the added benefits of a healthy libido.
>> Dose & Timing: Take 2 caps up to three times daily, including caps 30-60 minutes pre- and post-workout.
>> Best For: All athletes, recreational and competitive, can benefit from tribulus ans derivatives supplementation.