Supplements 101: The Basics
Supplements are not the most important factor in making progress. Yes, we are a supplement retailer telling you supplements are not going to make or break your diet plan.
That being said they can help fuel the process and make up for some nutrients you're not able to get from whole food sources.
When selecting supplements it's very important to utilise researched, proven ingredients.
A supplement should be organised by function and priority.
For example, if you don't have a whey protein powder, there's no point looking at a fat burner or pre-workout.
There are a small handful of supplements that should be in everyone's supplement shopping list.
What you eat is the number one determinant for making progress. Hitting your protein, fat & carbohydrate totals from quality sources on a consistent basis.
The most difficult nutrient to get in is protein. Utilising a whey protein powder is a simple, cost-effective way of boosting your protein intake while keeping both fat & carbohydrates low.
Whey protein is very high in protein and fast digesting making it an ideal protein source first thing in the morning and post-workout.
Here's a selection of protein powders we'd recommend:
Branched Chain Amino Acids
As we just mentioned protein is the most important macronutrient and plays a vital role in muscle recovery and repeat performances.
BCAA's are free-form amino acids derived from a whole protein which do not require any digestion. This means they can go directly to the muscle you're training that day to stimulate recovery.
A 2:1:1 ratio is ideal and this will help fuel recovery & reduce muscle soreness the next day.
Here's a number of BCAA options we'd recommend:
Creatine is one of the most researched and proven performance boosting supplements on the market. It increases your bodies energy supply for explosive lifting.
Although this does not help with muscle recovery it does help to stimulate more muscle tissue which is an important part of the growth process.
Whether you're losing body fat or gaining muscle your goal should be to hang on to s much as muscle as possible. This goes for both girls and guys.
There are two main forms of creatine that are most effective:
Both forms of creatine serve the same purpose to supply your body with more fuel to train harder in the gym. We recommend using creatine HCL as the absorption rate is so much greater and there's no digestive upset.
Supplements for Maximum Results
Now you have the right products it's time to put the plan into place of how to take them for best results.
Protein: Ideal times to take this are first thing in the morning and post-workout. The dosage will be dependent on body size. If you're a 100kg male you'd be taking in 250gm protein/day. If you were to eat 5 meals a day then you'd need roughly 50gm at each meal which would be 2 scoops of protein powder mixed in 400ml water.
Using water makes it faster digesting and easier to track the calories for the meal.
BCAA's: These are perfect to drink throughout your workout. Mix 1-2 scoops in 700ml water and sip throughout your workout. BCAA's do count towards your protein intake for the day so remember to add these into your plan.
Creatine: This is best taken first thing in the morning and post-workout alongside your protein shake. Creatine is unflavoured so will absorb the flavour of your protein.
Girls-take 5gm in the morning and another 5gm post-workout
Guys-take 10gm in the morning and another 10gm post-workout
Girls-take 1 scoop of Creatine HCL with your post-workout shake.
Guys-take 1 scoop with both your morning and post-workout shake.
Now you have your essential nailed down you can look at some other products to accelerate your progress.
The goal of a pre-workout is to increase performance in training with more energy and the drive to stimulate more muscle tissue. This is an important part of the signalling process for muscle growth.
It's important to get a good balance of proven ingredients when choosing a pre-workout supplement. Some of our top picks are:
When it comes to both building muscle and losing body fat having lower estrogen is advantageous. It creates an ideal environment for better results and you're body will be efficient at utilising amino acids for recovery and burning body fat as an energy source.
As the name would suggest this is designed to increase your calorie output, boost energy and help your body utilise more body fat as an energy source.
This also doubles up as a great fat burning pre-workout option.
Below are some good product choices with some higher energy products and caffeine-free options.
That's it! Some essentials and some optional extra supplements to help fuel your progress in and out of the gym.
These are supplements and although they can make a difference it's important to remember these are to be added to a good training/nutrition plan.