Four Key Workout Supplements
By Curt Pedersen
Guest Writer/Chief Blogger at Stay Fit Central
Taking the right nutritional supplements can help you look, feel, and perform your best. If you want to be lean, muscular, strong, and healthy they can help you reach these goals. The right supplements won't just help achieve these goals now, but can help you look and feel good throughout your life.
This article describes 4 nutritional supplements every man should know about. Beside taking a multi-vitamin, these nutrients make up the basics of a man's nutritional supplement program.
Often referred to as 'Natures Muscle Builder', creatine monohydrate is one of the most clinically researched nutritional supplements available. Studies show that it can help you safely and quickly pack on pounds of muscle, lift more weights, and recover faster during your workouts. It's ability to help build muscle will help you look better at the pool or beach too. If you play sports like basketball, football, soccer, or any other that requires you to jump, hit, sprint, throw, or kick it will boost your performance in these activities too.
Studies show that you will get the best results from creatine by completing a loading phase of 10-20 grams a day for 5-7 days. After this, your muscles are 'loaded'. You can then keep them full of creatine and continue to benefit from by taking 5 grams every day.
When buying a creatine supplement, always choose creatine monohydrate over any other type as it is what's proven to work the best. Studies show that it outperforms liquid (link here) and creatine ethyl ester (link here) supplements in every way. You should also buy a brand that is guaranteed to be free of impurities. Two that meet these requirements are Prolab Creatine and Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate.
Taking fish oil should be part of your daily routine for many reasons. First, it is good for your brain. Studies show it can also help you feel and think better. Second, it's good for your heart. While you may not be worried about the health of your heart in your 20's and 30's, protecting it now will reduce the risk of problems as you get older. Fish oil supplements can also help your joints, which is nice, especially after several days of tough workouts or a weekend of basketball. Taking a fish oil can also help you lose fat, especially when added to a weight loss diet and workout plan. After taking it for a while you're also likely to have fewer cravings for foods that pack on fat. This makes it that much easier to stay lean and keep the six pack abs you've worked hard to achieve.
When buying a fish oil supplement, make sure you get a product that is tested to be free of impurities like potentially toxic pesticides and heavy metals. You should also look for a supplement that has at least 1 gram of EPA and DHA per 2 capsule serving. These are the fats that give fish oil its benefits. One product that meets these requirements is Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. You can learn which others are good to use by checking out the IFOS website.
You're likely to see the best results from taking 2-3 grams of EPA and DHA daily.
Vitamin D is perhaps the most important supplement on this list. It's the least expensive too. Taking this powerful vitamin which is actually a hormone, can benefit you in many ways. Studies show that most people are chronically low in it too. Vitamin D can benefit the health or your bones, brain, and heart and reduce the risk of several diseases. Having adequate levels of vitamin D are also shown to improve your performance in the gym as well.
Most health experts that healthy men should take between 1000-5000 IU of vitamin D every day. This is easily done with a vitamin D supplement. Make sure you use one that contains only vitamin D3 (cholocalciferol) as that is the type that is best for your body. You can get your blood levels tested by your doctor to further dial in how much you need.
If you want to look, feel, and be your best you must get enough protein in your diet every day. Supplementing your diet with a protein powder makes it easy. The best proteins for both building muscle and keeping you healthy are whey and casein. Studies show that when compared to whey protein alone, drinking a whey and casein blend is superior for adding muscle, cutting body fat, and increasing your strength. Adding about 50 grams a day from protein or meal replacement shakes will do the trick.
When looking for a whey/casein based protein powder make sure that these two proteins are listed first on the label. You want a product that the majority, if not all of its protein comes from whey and casein. This will give you the best results. Products that use whey and casein as their primary proteins are: BSN Syntha 6, Cytosport Evo Pro, and Biotest Grow.
Whether you use one or all of these supplements together, when added to a good nutrition and workout plan they're sure to help you be the man you want to be, in and out of the gym.