In the world of workout and health supplements, it’s difficult to tell which of them work. Some companies will claim that their energy-boosting or fat dissolving pills will shape and tone your body, but these same companies will use little evidence to support their claims. Let’s cut the gimmicks and throw away the snake oil and find out which supplements are right and could actually work for exercise.
That’s right: caffeine can support your workout regime, whether in drink, foods, or pill form. According to this guide, caffeine is a common ingredient found in pre-workout powders because it improves cognition, reaction time, and mental performance. If you have no choice but to work out before 5 am, a caffeine pill can jolt you out of bed. With as little as 100-200 mg, you can receive a big caffeine rush that will make you focused and more intense.
Creatine is a substance naturally found in muscle cells to help them produce energy during high-intensity exercising and lifting. Creatine is the most well-studied exercise supplement and will benefit your workout every time you take it, whether you’re a powerlifter or a sprinter. While it won’t turn you into a lifting legend overnight, creatine will increase water retention, improve performance, and modestly increase strength for max weight and amount of rep.
Found in most protein powders, whey protein is a byproduct of milk. Liquid whey separates cheese curds to make them into a fine powder. Whey is exceptionally high in protein, low in calories, and produces more muscles per-pound than steak. It’s recommended to consume .75 g of protein per pound of body weight, and whey can help most lifts pack that amount in. Add a bit of whey to your coffee, milkshake or mixed in with your oatmeal for an extra boost.
Want to improve your overall training volume? Look no further than beta-alanine for its proven increase in muscle endurance. Beta-alanine works by buffering hydrogen ions which can help you keep the intensity up. Be warned that beta-alanine can produce a tingling sensation in adults, but that’s a normal reaction to this supplement and isn’t harmful. Take this supplement twice a day to negate the tingling effect and to increase your energy after lunch.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Supplement
Branched-chain amino acids are made up of multiple ingredients such as valine, isoleucine, and leucine. These 3 components help regulate protein metabolism, which allows this macronutrient to breakdown and complete synthesis. Leucine mainly stimulates this reaction and protects against a catabolic environment, which is the process of breaking down molecules. Taking BCAAs will delay muscle soreness, so you can train harder, faster, stronger the following day.
Citrulline Malate Supplement
Commonly found in multiple all-in-one workout supplements, citrulline aids in energy production, circulation, muscular endurance, and cellular energy. A citrulline supplement’s primary usage is to open up blood flow for more oxygen to travel throughout your body, which will significantly improve your physical performance. When coupled with branched-chain amino acids, you can heighten and lengthen the effects of citrulline, thus helping you reach your goals quicker than average.
While water retention isn’t seen as a positive thing when slimming down, it can be a great asset to your cells. Betaine is an osmolyte, aka retains water, to protect cells from damages occurring from stress. Betaine supplements are researched extensively for their muscle endurance properties and improved overall body composition. Taking a bit of betaine before a workout will help to increase the weight on your dumbbells while also giving you more lift endurance.
The workout supplements in this guide will benefit your workout and help you reach your goals quicker as long as you consume a dose appropriate for your weight and height. As most supplement companies combine common workout supplements, it’s safe to eat these boosters together daily if you speak to your doctor before usage.