As a good guy, it’s important to improve your physical health. I get it, though. I remember how intimidated I was going to the gym for the first time. Then there are the supplement stores. Wading your way through a GNC can be like learning the Dewey Decimal system for the first time. Today, I’m going to focus on basic supplements every good guy should be taking in addition to hitting the gym. If you want to put on size, you need supplements. I hear naysayers talk about not needing them, but let’s be honest here, they aren’t that big are they? When I stop taking supplements, I generally lose about 10lbs. Not cool. Here are 6 workout supplements you should consider if you’re just beginning an exercise routine.
There are several proteins available: whey, casein, egg, and soy. I recommend whey for convenience and because it has all the essential amino acids. Whey digests quickly and has the highest absorption rate which makes it an ideal protein for athletes. I take it first thing in the morning, blend it with some almond milk for a snack between meals, and after workouts. For a post-workout smoothie, I use a whey isolate for even quicker absorption.
There are two types of creatine available: Creatine Monohydrate or Kre-Alkalyn. Some guys prefer the Kre-Alkalyn because they believe there is less water retention compared to the Monohydrate. It depends on how your body reacts. I don’t see it, so I use the Monohydrate, which is also cheaper. The benefits of creatine include its proven safety and its increases in strength and recovery.
Known for its anti-inflammatory effects, taking fish oil may help with workout recovery, and has also been shown to prevent heart disease. You can buy fish oil as softgels or bottled. Just in case the idea of swallowing fish oil makes you want to puke, you can purchase flavored fish oils like lemon or orange. Believe it or not, they are good!
I recommend a pre-workout if you’re worn out after a long day of work or school and need a pick-me-up. Coffee can be used as a pre-workout, or there are a range of pre-workout supplements you can use. Keep in mind, many of these also contain creatine, but you can buy some of them creatine-free. If your body isn’t used to caffeine, use with caution. My first experience with NO-Explode was on a leg day and involved projectile hurling. Start with half the recommendation and move up from there.
While they may not be the most promoted or obvious, multi-vitamins are important to take when you begin a muscle-building routine. Athletes need more nutrients due to the intense and frequent workouts. Multi-vitamins will keep you from getting sick and increase your energy levels.
Branched Chain Amino Acids:
Branched Chain Amino Acid supplements or BCAAs, are good for maintaining muscle mass if you are trying to lose weight. While whey protein is high in BCAAs, they aren’t free form. Using free form BCAAs aid in fat loss and muscle retention. BCAA’s can be purchased in capsule and powder forms.
It seems the main question I get is what supplements I am taking. If you need more information, www.bodybuilding.com is a great resource as well. At the very least, start with a whey protein. Optimum Nutrition and Dymatize make solid whey proteins I’ve used for years. Good luck with the training, and feel free to contact me on the home page if you have any questions.