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Supplements

So you’ve been training for a little while now, making some great progress and you happen to hear two people in the gym talking about supps.

They both look quite fit so they must know what they are talking about, right?

You quickly rush home and jump online, excited to learn about all these new products that will “help you get shredded fast”, “Stack on slabs of muscle in no time” and pretty much turn you into some super human.  You soon realise that there are hundreds of different supps on the market all promising to be the magic potion of your dreams.

So whats bullshit and whats not?

First and foremost, there is no quick fix.  There’s absolutely no product out there that will substitute hard work, discipline and consistency.  As the name suggests, these products are meant to supplement your already dialled in training and nutrition.

Until you have some experience with training and nutrition, save your money and spend it on healthy, nutritious whole foods and your gym membership.

Not exactly glamorous and what you wanted to hear i know…. 

Now that we have that out the way, we have created a list of “proven” supplements that can be used by beginners all the way to athletes that are backed by research and aren’t just a so called “quick fix” wrapped up in a nice package and sold to you with empty promises and flashy marketing.

Protein Powder:

More than likely the first supplement you will hear about.

Protein as you know (See our blog on macronutrients http://www.regencoaching.com.au/macros/ ) is a macronutrient required for building and repairing muscle.

There are many different types of protein powders but the main ones are:

  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
  • Whey protein Concentrate (WPC)
  • Pea Protein
  • Rice Protein 
  • Casein Protein

Choosing a protein powder is an individual choice depending on your tolerances and personal preference.

They come in many flavours so finding one that you enjoy isn’t going to be hard.  Try to look for a protein powder that isn’t mixed with all different types of other supplements and fillers.

Protein powders shouldn’t be used as your only source of protein, but they are great for convenience (if you are short of time at work) or you are struggling to meet your daily protein requirements.

Creatine Monohydrate:

Creatine is NOT a steroid, nor is it even close.  Its actually one of the supplements out there that is backed by extensive research and is proven to be beneficial.

Creatine helps the body to produce energy during periods of higher intensity strength/power training.

There are a couple of different types of Creatines on the market but Creatine Monohydrate is what you should look out for.

Creatine can be taken at any time but it’s important to remain consistent.

See the label for suggested doses.

Multivitamin

Multivitamins are nothing new and can generally be found in many households.  They are fantastic if you are unable to eat a large range of different foods.

They can pick up the slack for any deficiencies that you may have but should NOT replace a well rounded diet full of different fruits and vegetables.

They can be taken daily, but like anything you can have too much.  Ensure that you stick to the dosage requirements on the label.

Fish oil (Omega-3)

Fish oil supplements are great if you are unable to eat much fish.  They contain Omega 3 fatty acids which are important to your health.  

When choosing a fish oil supplement you want to be on the look out for one that contains both DHA & EPA.

Fish oil supplements have been proven to reduce triglycerides in individuals with higher than normal triglycerides.

As fish oils contain fats, ensure that you take this into consideration for your fat intake.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone found in the body that regulates your circadian rhythm (body clock).

It has been proven that Melatonin has a huge effect on the decrease of insomnia.  It has a protective effect against stomach ulcers and can decrease the symptoms of heart burn.

Generally it is used to help people get to sleep.

1-5mg is generally the recommended dosage.

Caffeine

As i’m sure most of you already know, caffeine is a stimulant.  It can help you find the motivation to get stuck into your work day and be the most productive worker ever.

It can also be great as a pre-workout supplement before you train.  It will give you the energy to not only drag your ass to the gym but also stay focused and push out those extra 1 or 2 reps.

It’s suggested that individuals that are new to consuming caffeine stick to around 100mg and work your way up.  For healthy adults 400mg per day is considered safe.

If you have problems with anxiety or high blood pressure then you should first consult your doctor.

Although you may still be able to fall asleep, caffeine will reduce the quality of your sleep so its best to avoid later in the day.

It may also be best to avoid if you are already highly stressed as it will elevate your cortisol levels and keep your nervous system is a sympathetic state.

Save your money 

Although the above mentioned supplements can be beneficial they are definitely not required.  You can get everything you need from a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Start off with the above list and if you do wish to try out some other supps… Check out www.examine.com where you can find stacks of information & studies on a wide range of supplements.

As always, ensure you consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements and always stick to the recommended dosages.

If you would like any more information or have any questions, reach out to us at team@regencoaching.com.au