When should I start taking supplements?
This is a question that most beginner athletes often ask themselves and other more experienced athletes. People are given skewed information that has more to do with what the athlete likes and less to do with the actual science behind the supplements. When it comes to choosing supplements or starting supplementation its best to stick to the path more traveled than the one less. There are supplements out there that have a myriad of science behind them. How they work, why they work, and how to use them.
Often when people begin their training circuit for the first time, they are extremely enthusiastic. The unfortunate part about most extreme enthusiasm is a severe lack of patience. Get the quickest and most visible gains as fast as you can get them. This path leads people to gimmicky supplements in shiny containers with a yoked out career athlete on the label. This leads them down a rabbit hole of deceit and ultimately failure. , it’s a sad fact, failure breeds failure in most people. Don’t worry though we have you covered with the best supplements that you should consider starting with. Ones that will get you the results you need in a healthy and efficient manner.
In our experience here, you only need a few things to succeed as an athlete.
1. Get a training program that is proven, one that is written by an athlete or trainer.
2. Tweak your diet, this will help ensure that your nutrients are balanced, your body remains fueled and that the use of supplements won’t be countered by diet.
3. Work your tail off. This isn’t easy, if it were everyone would look like they were from Sparta.
Protein is the number 1 supplement that has received more attention than anything else in the supplement world. It is always beneficial for an athlete to have a protein supplement in their diet. There are countless studies over the different types of protein and their effects on muscle growth, recovery and strength during all types of short term and mid-term resistance training programs.
Protein is used in conjunction with training. Most athletes will rapidly drink protein sources immediately before, during and directly after training. This intake of bioavailable protein will help stimulate protein synthesis in the body hence facilitating recovery. The quicker you recover, the faster you gain.
One of the key mistakes people make with protein is the dependence on the supplement itself for all of the protein required to work out or train. This isn’t true, this is a supplement, not a replacement. High quality protein from food sources is also your best friend when training. High protein food also contains many of the vitamins and minerals essential to healthy living.
Much like super foods fish oils are a supplement that nearly everyone should be using. A high quality fish oil does more than just help with anti-inflammatory effects, it helps blood flow, heart rate etc. It is super important that you, as an athlete, take care of your body and care about more than just gains. Remember just because you are an athlete and in great shape doesn’t mean that you are putting less miles on your body. You are putting more. There is a difference in being a tuned athlete and a healthy athlete.
Further if you are just starting out in the athletic world and trying to shed weight fish oil can be an important part of that process. Fish oil helps cut down your weight fast and train with more ease. This will help add to the ability to keep your body trained properly, instead of fighting itself.
A supplement that has been through the scientific ringer is creatine. It has been studied more than any other supplement on the market over the years. You can literally find thousands of references on the benefits of creatine. Mainly what you see and hear about creatine is that you are going to grow faster and look bigger. While this may be true there are many other benefits to creatine. If you throw the vanity side of it away, and look at the science of the supplement creatine has been used by athletes for years because of its track record. I say athletes and not body builders to give you the full spectrum of its use.
When working out you are only going to get out what you put in. If you only have x amount of energy when working out you are going to quit early or just quit entirely. What creatine does is give you short bursts of energy for high intensity workouts. This enhancement allows your capacity for work to increase. This means that you can work more and increase more past your natural limits. Creatine has also been used by endurance athletes to give that little more to dig down and get when they need to have a burst of energy. How this works is when the body is using energy a molecule called ATP is used as a donor energy source. When the muscles are stressed ATP releases one of its high energy phosphate groups to power muscular contraction. Once this happens ATP is no longer ATP, it becomes ADP which is merely de-energized ATP. To regenerate ATP to get more energy you need a catalyst. This is what creatine does!
This is where we suggest you start. Of course read more and more from other people and see what they think about the best supplements to start with. You may be surprised at some of the answers and always double and triple check your research. Remember it’s already hard to be an athlete, it’s even harder when you are discouraged and not seeing the results you want to see. Don’t fall into that trap! Starting your workout routine with the right mix of supplements can help you achieve and maintain your goals.