If you are just starting on your working out journey or even if you’ve been going to the gym for years and are looking for a way to take your gains to the next level and start getting a bit more serious about it.
You’ve no doubt, heard about, and even considered the possibility of using supplements to help you get there?
But which supplements to use, and in what quantities? Here we are going to offer a quick beginners guide to getting started in the world of workout supplements.
What Do You Want to Achieve From Working Out
You should think about what you want to achieve as this will help decide what supplements are going to be beneficial for your program. The most common type of supplement is a protein supplement.
Why is this? Well, simply put protein is useful for muscle building, so if this is not your aim then don’t go too heavy on the protein supplements. This is a common problem we’re flagging up as if you don’t understand the basics then you will inevitably end up taking things that are not giving you the advantages you are looking for.
What Should You Take Pre-Workout
Pre-workout supplements are becoming more and more common, and it’s good to know about why as traditional thinking, and much of the current advice, simply concentrates on post-workout because as we mentioned above there is sometimes an assumption that what everyone is after is purely muscle gain.
If you are a beginner gym user and may feel tired and sluggish even getting going for your early workouts then a pre-workout supplement can give you that extra boost to get you going.
One issue with this is that many cheap suppliers simply pack a supplement with caffeine and sugar, which is not a healthy way to go. This is why I prefer to use a no-caffeine pre-workout powder which gives all the benefits and is better for your body.
Do You Have any Dietary Restrictions
The point about caffeine brings me on to our next point. Dietary restrictions. If you have any allergies you will want to avoid these things, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.
There is pretty much everything available nowadays, even vegan supplements as the vegan revolution is in full swing and there are so many plant-based alternatives to the traditional supplements based on animal products.
As we touched upon before protein is essential for muscle building, it’s not for everyone if that’s not your aim, but it still easily make up the largest section of the supplements market. The most prominent types are Why protein or those based on traditional food products such as rice or egg.
But there are so many types these days, and alternative ones can be made from products as diverse as Hemp. Soy or Casein. I find this guide very good for a little more detail on these if you are interested?
A good question is do you need protein or amino acids more? It’s a bit of a wrong assumption that it’s one or the other, amino acids are the building blocks of protein and so it’s not a one or the other type of question.
So a good amino acid supplement will help you in building protein, so if you take these then the protein supplements will actually be more effective.
Creatine Monohydrate is a great way to increase your strength and give you a lean figure and work on your weight. It is an organic acid and is found naturally in the body, it will regenerate ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) which helps repair and reissue tissues and nerves in the human body.
This can be in a variety of ways, it just as much helps build brain matter after studying as much as muscle matter after working out. So this type of supplement can benefit you in all aspects of life.
Workout Planning & Scheduling Etc.
Now supplements are essential but it is not the whole story of how to plan a workout schedule. How to look to make gains, keep them and not to plateau or regress. Taking supplements is not a magic solution that will automatically propel you to being a fitness God and you should be aware of where you are starting from in terms of body shape and general fitness.
You need to be careful not to do too much as taking a range of supplements can boost your performance a little but it is within your physical limits and if you put too much strain on your body before it’s ready you will end up injured no matter how much you take.
Be sure to look after your diet in general as this is as big a part of your journey as supplements. It’s all in the name, a supplement is to supplement an otherwise good schedule and lifestyle. Make sure to get enough rest, take lots of water on when working out and work within your limits.
Don’t Take Unqualified Advice
There is so much ‘gym talk’ about the best supplements to take and everyone working out will have a take on what’s the best, what they take you will, no doubt, get lots of unsolicited advice on what you should do or what you should take. Firstly, no matter how fit someone looks it’s not a given that the supplements they take are what made them that way or where they got their info from. What works for them may not be the best fit for you.
The best way to approach this is to ask the advice of your trainer if you have one, and if you are a beginner it’s always a good idea to get the input of a good trainer. If you really want to go the extra mile you can always get an appointment with a sports nutritionist to tailor a dietary and supplements plan that’s specific to you.