When choosing supplements there are so many choices out there these days it can be very confusing when deciding which are the most essential supplements that will help give you the gains you are wanting to achieve.
There are essential supplements that are the building blocks to your gains and then there are supplements that work as temporary stimulants.
If you are on a budget you might want to stick to the essentials. Stimulants can give you an energy boost and help you to feel pumped, but most don’t have the lasting benefits like the following supplements I will focus on.
Protein is a critical building block to growth and muscle repair.
Everyone should be using a protein supplement as it has benefits that will enhance your progress which I will explain further.
Regular Whey Protein contains 70-80% of slower digesting protein than Whey Isolate and it is not as digestive friendly especially people with sensitive systems.
Whey Isolate Protein is the fastest digesting protein with a stronger punch of 90% rich absorbing protein. The body absorbs it the best and helps repair muscle tissue quickly. It also contains next to no carbs. Many people with digestive issues to Whey Protein can digest Whey Isolate much better. One of my favourites is Isoflex Peanut Butter Chocolate by Allmax.
If you are one to skip breakfast or maybe you don’t have much of an appetite in the morning, I suggest a protein supplement. Muscle protein breakdown is increased at night. Losses can be as high as 15 grams. 25-35 grams of Protein is essential first thing in the morning along with some carbs to help reverse the negative catabolic impact.
Throughout the day you want to make sure you are hitting your proper protein targets as well.
It is a good practice to also consume 25-35 grams of protein along with carbs before and after your workout for maximum gains.
Casein protein is a great choice before bed. It takes 5-7 hours to digest and it keeps the body in an anabolic state of building and repairing broken down muscle tissue. If your body goes into a catabolic state your muscles start breaking down and you loose muscle and the positive effects of repair and growth. If you keep your body in an anabolic state through proper protein synthesis you can prevent muscle breakdown and experience better gains.
One of my personal favourite choices is Phase 8 Protein by Muscle Tech.
I find it a bit too thick to make as a drink so I usually make these simple delicious recipes:
These are all great ways to enjoy this delicious protein and give yourself a much deserved treat!
1 scoop of Phase 8
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp baking powder
Mix together and fry in a non stick pan
Add some PB2 Peanut Butter Powder mixed with a tiny bit of water and Splenda for a topping and Walden Farms sugar free Syrup.
Oatmeal : Cooked oatmeal, 1 scoop Phase 8 protein, add the PB2 Peanut butter to your oatmeal or add cinnamon.
Pudding: Add just enough water to it to create a pudding consistency, add the PB2 peanut butter powder or 1/2 tsp cacao to make it a rich chocolate pudding.
Branch Chain Amino Acids is at the top of the list of most important supplements everyone should use. BCAA’s are the pathways to protein absorption. The body does not create it on its own and must be ingested, thus one of the most essential supplements to take in muscle development. My personal Favourite is Metabolic Nutrition Tri Pep Grape. I also love Allmax Aminocore
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 1-3 grams per day
Other non toxic non heated oils: 1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
1.3- 4.5% of fish oils is recommended for vitamin A D E and K absorption to help in prevention of cancers. I also recommend Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. Udo’s oils are also great!
Olive Oil: 1-2 TBSP per day
Vitamins and Minerals:
When looking for a good multi vitamin I recommend Animal Pak but here are a few vitamins and minerals to make sure you have for proper repair and recovery. Some food sources are mentioned.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
All eight of the B vitamins help the body to convert fat and carbohydrates into energy.
They are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. Thiamine is essential for heart health and for the brain and nervous system to function properly.
Food Source: Oatmeal is a good source
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
This is an antioxidant that fights the free radicals. It breaks down fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Food Source: Dark Brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 Increases good cholesterol (HDL) in your body, improves circulation
Food Source: Avocados, tomatoes, asparagus and nuts.
Vitamin B5 aids in the making of blood cells and it helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Food Source: Raw broccoli, avocados, lentils, raw cauliflower and whole grains.
Convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and helps promote healthy skin, hair and eyes.
Food Source: Bananas, nuts, starchy vegetables (like potatoes) and whole-grain products.
Vitamin B7 (biotin)
Cell growth and metabolism. strengthens hair and nails. It helps the body to maintain a steady blood sugar level.
Food Source: Barley, corn, nuts and soy.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid, folate)
It helps to produce red blood cells and to prevent anaemia.
Food Source: Spinach and turnip greens, Broccoli,beans, peas and lentils
Prevents a number of neurological problems, including numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, insomnia, loss of memory and depression.
Food Source: Eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
Boosts the immune system, helps eyesight.
Food Source: Citrus fruits, pineapple, berries and papaya.
Low intake of Vitamin D is linked to multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rickets, heart disease, diabetes, depression and several kinds of cancers.
Source: Our bodies develop it from sunshine. Often, about 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight a day is enough for the body to produce an adequate amount of vitamin D.
Helps prevent macular degeneration of the eyes. Protects against Alzheimer’s disease. High in antioxidants, helps the immune cells to produce antibodies,
Food Source: Vitamin E is common in seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds, peanuts and almonds. Whole-grain cereals and rice bran are also good sources of this vitamin.
Selenium concentration is higher in the thyroid gland than in any other organ in the body, and, like iodine, selenium has important functions in thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.
DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection.
Food Sources: Whole grains, low fat milk and yogurt, eggs, legumes, beans, pea’s, Brazil nuts, seeds.
Lean protein sources such as Pork, beef, turkey, chicken, contain high amounts of selenium.
Recommended Dietary Allowances:
Age for Male Female
Birth to 6 months 15 mcg*
7–12 months 20 mcg*
1–3 years 20 mcg 20 mcg
4–8 years 30 mcg 30 mcg
9–13 years 40 mcg 40 mcg
14–18 years 55 mcg 55 mcg
19–50 years 55 mcg 55 mcg
51+ years 55 mcg 55 mcg
Info Source: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/
Helps cellular metabolism. Immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc is required for proper sense of taste and smell. A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.
Protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation and heart rhythm & energy production
Whole grains, low fat milk and yogurt, eggs, legumes, beans, pea’s, chick peas, cashews & Almonds, seeds.
Lean protein sources such as lean beef, turkey, chicken
I hope this has helped you to choose the most important supplements to achieve good health and the best gains possible. For more on Meal Planning and Fitness Plans contact me today!