You train hard, eat right, and get results. To go along with your dedication, you also want to maximize your supplement plan. But where do you begin? There are so many quality supplements on the market – protein powders, pre-workout formulas, creatine blends…the list goes on and on.
Look no further. This article will help you to get the most bang for your buck. Let’s face it, few of us have the budget to purchase all the supplements we’d like to try. If you want to build muscle, here are your priorities:
Priority #1 – Protein!
All right, this priority is obvious. Proper protein intake is essential for building muscle, and for retaining muscle mass while on a fat cutting diet. You can work hard in the gym, but if you aren’t eating enough protein, results will be hard to come buy.
Whey protein powder is best taken first thing in the morning and post-workout. Casein protein powder should be taken in between meals and right before bed. Protein bars are an excellent choice for individuals who are constantly on the go, and can’t take a shaker and protein powder with them. It never hurts to keep a stash of protein bars in your gym bag, or at work.
Priority #2 – A Quality Multivitamin
It is simply not good enough to eat healthy and hope that all your nutritional bases are covered. Weight training and cardio taxes the body, and depletes it of vital nutritional resources. In addition, you are placing your muscles in repairing and building mode, meaning that you will need more than an average share of vitamins and minerals.
But there’s a problem. Most popular multivitamin products aren’t tailored for muscle building. In addition, name brand, discount store vitamin brands aren’t top quality as you are lead to believe. Though a label may state that you are receiving a certain quantity, the actual dosages received may be far different.
Stick with a multivitamin designed by a bodybuilding supplement company, for bodybuilders.
Priority #3 – Fish Oil
The fact that fish oil ranks third may be a shocker to many of you. Fish oil provides many health benefits, including improved joint health and relief from joint pain. Fish oil also helps to maintain proper cholesterol levels, and works to regulate blood pressure.
It is also known for its ability to help fight pain from migraines, and as a supplement that can help stave off depression. To top it all off, fish oil is also very inexpensive. No hard working, health conscious athlete should look past this essential.
Whey protein powder is best taken first thing in the morning and post-workout. Casein protein powder should be taken in between meals and right before bed.
Priority #4 – Creatine
Outside of protein powder, creatine is the king of muscle building supplements. Creatine allows you to train harder, and with more energy and strength. This additional push on a day in and day out basis helps to amplify your hard work.
Creatine also assists with muscle pumps, which can help a lifter connect better with the muscle(s) they are targeting. A quality muscle pump can also give you that extra mental edge, motivating you to push harder and deeper into sets as you feel a muscle burn.
As with fish oil, creatine is extremely cost effective.
Priority #5 – BCAAs
BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are a popular bodybuilding supplement because they work to improve recovery, and to stimulate protein synthesis. BCAAs also work to boost endurance, and help to fend off muscle catabolism – or muscle loss.
While it is assumed by many that BCAA supplement isn’t needed, and that proper BCAA intake can be achieved through common protein foods, this isn’t often the case. Recent research reveals that BCAA supplementation is very beneficial while trying to cut fat. Additional research indicates that BCAAs promote the synthesis of muscle protein, and help to stave off muscle breakdown for energy.
Priority #6 – A Pre-workout Supplement
Pre-workout supplements are incredibly popular because they work, and work well. They provide you with an energy and focus boost during your workouts, helping to battle the fatigue and stress that comes from a hard day at work or school. Pre-workout supplements also provide a motivational boost; no matter how hard your day, you know that your pre-workout supplement will be there for you to provide a pick me up.
Many pre-workout supplement contain nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to increase blood flow in the body, and like creatine, can provide more energy and quality muscle pumps. Because of this, the combination of creatine and nitric oxide is a very popular muscle building stack.
The six categories of supplements listed in this article are not the only effective muscle building and fat loss products. Glutamine, testosterone boosters, intra and post-workout supplements and antioxidants are also solid choices. Also, if fat loss is a key goal, do not rule of popular fat burning and energy supplements.