What supplements do we recommend and why?
So supplements, as the name would suggest, should only be used to supplement good nutrition & consistent training. As I'm sure you'll know they aren't magic pills; hard work comes first. However some supplement companies would have you believe otherwise. Products like Green Tea Extract, ‘fat burners’, CLA – serious sound scientific research into the effectiveness of these is minimal; essentially – don’t waste your money. We recommend sticking to the basics, the supplements that have been proven time and time again to be effective. The supplements we recommend are mainly to do with improving performance, recovery, gut health & hormone management. We believe these are most important for overall wellbeing and to prime your body for improving overall body composition and metabolic rate.
Whey protein: is a fast digesting protein & a great convenience food to help reach your protein intake for the day. As it is quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream this makes it an apt food source to have as part of a pre or post-workout meal when other protein sources aren’t so readily available. It also has a complete amino acid profile which is essential for muscle recovery post workout. There are a lot of whey protein brands out there so please bear in mind the quality of the one you choose. Aim to choose to brand that has at least 75g per 100g of protein, no more than 3g sugar or 2g fat per serve; we both use and would highly recommend Multipower 100% whey or whey isolate protein (G4G20 gets you 20% off)!
Creatine: probably one of the single most useful supplements to take, with the most research to back it up its effectiveness. Creatine improves recovery (by reducing muscle damage and inflammation from high intensity training) as well as improving performance & stamina (by supplying muscle fibres with immediate energy to prevent premature fatigue). Creatine supplementation improves performance by helping to preserve muscle glycogen (that is greatly depleted through high intensity anaerobic exercise) by increasing creatine utilization during exercise. Essentially you can train harder for longer with better recovery. This then leads to an overall increase strength and muscular size. Creatine has also been shown to improve brain function!
L-glutamine: is the most common amino acid found in your muscles. When we train hard & frequently, glutamine levels are greatly depleted in our body and affect our stamina, performance etc. - supplementing with L-glutamine restores these levels enabling us to perform better. Glutamine levels are also responsible for protein synthesis; so supplementation minimises the breakdown of muscle and improves protein metabolism. Glutamine also promotes glycogen storage and so enables you to get the most out of your glycogen stores whilst optimizing performance and recovery. This is especially useful for those training in a caloric deficit with the goal of losing body fat. Your immune system also needs glutamine so it’s great for improving gut health, digestion and your overall immune health; this is particularly important if you are in a particularly intense bout of training where it is easy for the body to become run-down.
Fish Oils/Omega 3: keeps cholesterol levels in the body healthy, reduce blood pressure, helps maintain strong bones & support joints (which come under stress from resistance training). Omega 3 also boosts your mood by supporting levels of serotonin in the body.
BCAA's (branch chain amino acids): are protein in its simplest form as amino acids and are often supplemented to improve muscle protein synthesis. They are a useful way of ingesting quick acting protein during a session, reducing the loss of muscle. However, BCAA’s are probably the least necessary out of all the above supplements. This is because if you are getting enough protein in your diet then you'll get enough amino acids from the protein you're consuming. Although if you prefer or tend to train fasted then BCAA’s are useful for preventing muscle breakdown; so we’d highly recommend you have some if this is the case. Also most people enjoy drinking something other than water when they train! Again make sure you choose a high quality BCAA, not one that has unnecessary sugars/ingredients, we recommend Multipower’s cherry bomb flavour BCAA’s!