Lots of people will start at the gym and immediately run out to buy supplements to help them along the way. Supplements are generally marketed towards three main goals: muscle gain, fat loss, and general health.
While supplements can absolutely be helpful, they are supplemental to what you are already doing. If your diet isn’t where it needs to be or you aren’t putting in the work at the gym, even the best supplements aren’t going to help you out.
I am guessing you know that even if your diet is on point and you are putting in a lot of work some supplements just are not worth it.
For example, anything labeled as a ‘test booster’ is most likely a waste of money. The good test boosters are all prescription.
Likewise, most ‘fat burners’ are nothing more than caffeine, tyrosine, and maybe some carnitine. Throw in some random roots for good measure and a good heaping of marketing, and voila! A ‘Fat burner.’
However, there are some really good, long term tested, and actually useful supplements out there that you can be sure will actually help you out PROVIDED your diet is on track and you actually workout regularly. In no particular order some good supplements for muscle gain, fat loss, or general health are:
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is the old trusty of supplements. Everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to your neighbor Earl has heard about it and probably tried it.
Having a quality protein powder is an enormous help towards reaching daily protein goals and making progress in the gym.
As a general rule, avoid cheaper made, store brand protein powders as they will most likely not be as bio-available as higher quality powders will. When you can, grab the higher quality powders made with better quality protein and are low temperature processed. Quality powders are as bio-available and least chalky as possible.
If you are looking for a good powder, click here for what I will always recommend to my clients: HERE
Creatine, like whey powder, is a long term studied and trusted supplement that will help you make a ton of progress towards reaching your goals.
While creatine isn’t a ‘miracle’ supplement that will magically help you gain pounds of lean mass over night, what it will do is help you lift/run longer than you normally would by helping your body rebuild ATP molecules (energy) in your cells, supplying your muscles with more energy than you naturally would.
If you want a great overview of creatine and how it works, click: HERE
Magnesium is often overlooked, but is a great supplement and most people do not get enough in their diets. It does the exact opposite function as calcium which is often included as an extra ingredient in various food items.
Calcium is necessary to contract muscles, while magnesium is needed to relax them. What it also can do is help you relax, and often can help calm people as they hit the bed for the night and try to sleep.
If you struggle to sleep well, pick up some magnesium and see if it can help you out. HERE is a good magnesium product if you need help finding one.
Multivitamins. Everyone has heard of one, and most people have tried them. They are fantastic to fill in any nutritional gaps you may have. A quality multivitamin has tons of good stuff in them in the right amounts, and can get you things that the average western diet is deficient in.
They can come in tablet, capsule, powder, and gummy form, so there is no shortage of variety for you to choose from.
Look for a product that has various inspections and from a reputable company. If you want to know what to look for with a multi-vitamin, read THIS.
Fish oil. Omega 3/6 fatty acids. Enormously underutilized supplements. Most people don’t eat enough fish in their diets for various reasons, so these supplements can help fill that gap easily. Fatty acids in diets do everything from hormonal balance, to intracellular functions, energy storage, and cellular tissue creation and maintenance.
Stay away from low quality fish oils if you want to avoid fishy burps. Find a quality capsule from a reputable brand, and store them properly.
Here is some more information if you are interested in leaning more.
Greens powders are the new hotness in the market. These are aimed at filling a gap that most people have nutritionally: eating enough leafy greens.
Vegetables, specifically leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc., have a reputation of not always tasting good and not always being eaten in quantities needed for us to get the nutrition we need on a daily basis.
Think about it. When is the last time you got 2 cups of leafy greens PER DAY at minimum? Chances are it’s been a very long time. If you are like most people and don’t get enough of them, pick up a quality greens powder to help you fill that gap.
If you are looking for more information in greens, click: HERE
This is by no means an exhaustive list and there are a few other supplements out there that can give you some good results for muscle gain, fat loss, or general health. Most of them are naturally occurring, or very close to naturally occurring substances. If you are reading this standing in a GNC or Vitamin World, walk to the shelf with all the individually labeled powders (carnitine, glucosamine, etc.). Most of those will be helpful to an extent IF you need them.
Avoid anything with too much labeling, the above mentioned ‘fat burners’ and ‘test boosters’ and anything that makes wild claims about helping you look like Jay Cutler in a week.
If you have any questions on how to determine if a supplement will be helpful, shoot us a message. We’ll get back to you.
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Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.
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