In an industry that is flooded with hundreds of brands (and hundreds of different products within these brands) it can be a dilemma trying to figure out what supplements you should and shouldn’t be taking.
Here’s a quick run down on which products are going to benefit your fitness and health goals:
“I’m trying to lose weight” –
The primary supplements that are going to benefit your training goals for weight loss are: Whey Protein Isolate, L-Carnatine, and Fat Burners/Pre-workouts.
Whey Protein Isolate is a low carb/low fat variety of protein that is going to give you the bare essentials for repairing your muscles after training. When selecting a WPI, you want to ensure that the brand does not have too many ingredients that you cannot pronounce or understand. Also check out the amount of sodium per serve that is included in each brand (the lower the sodium the better), as companies often compensate a lack of carbohydrates and sugars with sodium-rich additives to maintain flavour. This type of protein can also be used as a meal replacement, however we suggest minimising the amount of meals you replace per day. There is no substitute for real food and nutrition!
L-Carnatine is an amino acid that aids in prioritising fat break down when exercising. It is often unflavoured and added to a pre-workout drink. This amino acid is a great non-stimulant solution to kicking your metabolism up a level.
PLEASE NOTE: We want to be completely upfront and honest when it comes to Fat burners/Pre-workouts. We included them in this post, as they do actually help to lose weight because they are full of stimulants and aminos that get your Central Nervous System pumping and inevitably you will end up burning more calories because of this. HOWEVER, these products can sometimes lead to health issues. For those who are obese or have a some form of heart condition, the stimulant effects can cause a number of cardiovascular problems. Despite a lack of clinical research into these products, others have claimed that detrimental impacts can also be experienced by the liver and kidneys. Don’t get us wrong, we know people who have taken these products for extended periods of time and have not experienced any negative impacts, but as with introducing any supplement to your workout regime, we want youto exercise caution if you do decide to go down this pathway and fully understand any underlying health issues you have before taking something like this.
“I’m trying to gain muscle mass” –
Mass Gaining Protein, Creatine and L-Arganine are our top 3 products when trying to put on weight.
Much like the Whey Protein, Mass Gaining Protein will provide your muscles with fuel to repair the micro-tears in your muscle fibres after a workout. It also includes carbohydrates (and sometimes fats) to fuel the body further and ensure that you are in caloric surplus. Although it is fine to purchase a bag of Mass Gaining Protein as it is, it can often be hit-and-miss with the amount of fillers that your powder will be stacked with and you are really relying on the fact that the company has mixed the bag perfectly to ensure you get the nutritional ratios that are promised on the packaging. If you want more control over your nutrition, purchase a Lean WPI, as well as a bag of Pure Carbs and mix the two into your shake, according to your specific requirements.
Creatine is a naturally occurring acid that helps to increase production of fuel for exercise, as well as enhance muscle volume through water retention. There are many clinical studies that prove positive benefits, from prolonged use (up to 8 years) of pre and post workout Creatine supplementation! Benefits include muscle and strength gain with no recorded negative impacts.
L-Arganine is another Amino Acid that can help to increase weight gain through Vasodilation. Vasodilation is when your blood vessels open wider in order to increase blood flow to working muscles. This increased blood flow will help to increase muscle volume, as well as improve performance when lifting in the gym.
Why you shouldn’t use pre-workout when trying to build muscle mass:
Some people will argue that they can push themselves harder in the gym while taking stimulants, which will increase the amount of micro-tears they cause to their muscle fibres and inevitably cause a greater increase in muscle mass. However, stimulant filled pre-workout powders can be counter productive to mass gaining. If you are heavily stimulating your CNS and significantly increasing your metabolism it makes it a lot harder to keep your body in a caloric surplus. Aim to stick to the non-stimulant Amino Acids that we mentioned previously.
“I’m trying to recover quicker and perform better” –
If you want to recover quickly and perform well on the field or out on court, we suggest Whey Protein Isolate, L-Arganine and L-Glutamine.
We have been over it a couple of times in this post, however a lean protein supplement is certainly essential for recovery. Aim to intake a quality source of protein within 20 minutes of finishing training or a game. Also mentioned previously, L-Arganine increases Vasodilation, which in turn helps more blood flow through to the muscles. The more quality blood that you can get to your muscle the stronger the contraction that muscle will be able to complete, as well as an increased amount of contractions.
Finally, L-Glutamine is an Amino Acid that is frequently used by elite athletes to fast track recovery. It helps to positively impact bodily nitrogen levels and increase the metabolism of protein in order to repair your muscles quicker.
So next time you are in your local supplement shop, try to look past the sparkly packaging and rippling physiques that you see on labels; try to think about what you are truly trying to achieve in order for you to determine which supplements are best for you.
Our expert-built PEAQ Protein is 100% natural, gluten free, lean, has no added nasties and absolutely no additives. At PEAQ we’re all about results, we’re not into silly packaging. Shop the vanilla or chocolate range here.