In a recent article I explained how certain supplements are safe and useful, but not entirely necessary. You also discovered that you need to get your nutrition (and workouts) in order first before you even think about supplements.
Let’s assume that you have a good nutrition plan in place and that you’re lifting weights several times per week. What supplements should you be taking to build muscle? Read on for some popular choices.
TIP: Don’t blindly take the following supplements just because they’re on my list. You need to first assess your own nutrition, workout program and goals. If, for example, you’re confident your diet is varied enough to give you all the vitamins and minerals you need, then don’t worry about taking a vitamin.
Taking any supplement is an individual choice. Don’t take it if you don’t need it.
Here are my top five supplements for beginners:
If you’ve cut your calories in order to lose weight, then ther’s a good chance that you’re not eating a wide variety of foods. And that means you may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. This is particularly true if you cook most of your vegetables, by doing this you destroy a good portion of the vitamins and nutrients.
If you think your diet is lacking, the best thing to do is to correct it by getting more variety. Getting your nutrients from whole foods is better than getting it via a pill. But if you can’t correct it – if for whatever reasonyour calories are temporarily lowered – then take a good multi vitamin.
Earlier we talked about how people who lift weights need more protein than the average person. Some bodybuilders eat up to a gram per pound of bodyweight. Now if you’ve started counting your protein grams, you might soon realize that you’d be eating an awful lot of chicken breast and egg whites.
The solution? Supplement with egg-white protein. Plus, since egg-white protein can be absorbed and utilized by your body very quickly, egg white protein is the best source of protein to intake directly after a workout.
Some people think creatine monohydrate is a steroid. It’s not. Creatine is found in your regular diet, especially in red meat.
So why take it? Because it helps you recover and it helps with things like endurance. In other words, it can give you the energy you need to give it your all in the gym, which in turn helps you shed fat and build muscle more quickly and easily.
A word of warning, however: If you take creatine, you’ll need to drink more water.
This amino acid is already in your body, and it’s responsible for things like strength and stamina. Problem is, when you work out hard (such as when you lift weights), your l-glutamine stores are depleted. That’s why you may consider supplementing with glutamine to see if you don’t have more endurance in the gym.
Earlier you learned about the importance of getting enough essential fatty acids. One of the best sources of these good fats is fish oil. If you’re not eating fish regularly – and if your diet is lacking in essentially fatty acids – then you may want to take a fish oil supplement.
That’s it for this time.
To your fitness success,