Supplements can make a huge difference to your training and results when used correctly. Whey protein, creatine, glutamine, BCAA’s – the list is endless. But are they going to be of benefit to YOU?
When you’re just beginning with your training and nutrition it can be tempting to go all in with supplements. Supplement companies are very good at getting you to part with your cash. Before you know it you’re €100 deep in supplements and your body is in the same place! I would know, because that’s exactly what happened to me. I’d say I’ve tried every pre,intra and post workout supplement there is along with joint care supplements and fat burners! Yet I haven’t achieved my body composition goals – shocking I know!
Do you need supplements?
The million dollar question! Many beginners think they need supplements to start, another trap people fall into is thinking supplements will kick them out of a weight loss plateau.
If you’re just starting out with diet and training then try to get the basics right first! Supplements aren’t staples of your plan, if they were then they would be called Staples. They are intended to *supplement* your training and diet plan.
- Are you being consistent 7 days a week (yes a few pints on Friday or Saturday count towards your calorie intake!).
- Are you putting max effort into your training (not skipping or half assing sessions).
- Are you hitting your macros each day?
You may find that you’re struggling to hit your protein goal each day, in which case a supplement would be a benefit. You’ll only determine this though once you’ve monitored your intake! Remember – if it’s measured it’s mastered.
So what supplements should you take?
I’m not a great man for vegetables – anyone who’s seen me eat or watched my snapchat will testify to that! My veggie intake is something I’m working on but in the meantime I take a multivitamin every morning. Nothing too special – I got mine for a few quid in Aldi! If your diet is lacking in vits then pick some up and just knock it back first thing!
Probably the most common supplement there is! Once known as being just for gym heads this is now the most popular supplement there is. You can get it in Lidl and Aldi for god’s sake. Protein is my number one supplement – I’d struggle to hit my protein target without at least one shake a day.
It comes in an unbelievable range of flavours and you can get it fairly cheaply. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for advice.
Creatine is easily the most researched and debated supplement on the market today. This is another supplement I would recommend to any venturing into the supplement world.
Benefits of creatine include – increased muscle size, increased strength and energy and increased protein synthesis. I take 5g a day everyday and it’s been great for me personally.
Glutamine is a relatively new supplement for me, but I’ve seen great benefits from it. Benefits of Glutamine include – prevents catabolism (your muscles being used for fuel), speeds up recovery, maintains good intestine health and boosts your immune system. I take 30g a day (10g dosed throughout the day) and I’ve noticed genuine improvements in my energy and recovery levels.
Fish oils are a great supplement for anyone – not just people who are starting a fitness journey. Supplementing fish oil into your nutrition plan can have the following benefits: anti-inflammatory, mood support, promotes good cholesterol and bone health support.
A Word On Fat Burners
Fat burning drinks, tablets and gels are all the rage these days and there will be no shortage of people singing their praises. But don’t waste your money on them. Think of it this way – if there was a fat burner that worked, why would we still be fat?
If there existed a product that safely dropped 15kg of fat from your body in 4 weeks for only €20 then we wouldn’t have an obesity problem. As Joe Rogan once put it “If those pills to give you a bigger dick worked then every guy on earth would be carrying his around in a wheelbarrow”.
Stick to your training and diet plan and don’t fall for the snake oils!
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Until next time,