10 Useful Supplements for YOU
Glutamine is the most commonly occurring amino acid in the human body. It is responsible for transporting nitrogen into your muscles. Glutamine also plays a large role in metabolism, the functioning of your immune system, protein synthesis and energy restoration.
During heavy workouts your body’s glutamine levels can become depleted, sometimes taking a week to get back to a normal level. Supplementing glutamine allows you to work out rigorously without running the risk of depleting your natural stores.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is by far the most beneficial vitamin to take in supplement form.
Researchers found that adults who took vitamin D supplements daily lived longer than those who didn’t. Other research has found that in kids, taking vitamin D supplements can reduce the chance of catching the flu, and that in older adults, it can improve bone health and reduce the incidence of fractures.
In 2012, a meta-analysis found that use of probiotics (most of which contained bacteria from the Lactobacillus genus, naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract) significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhea after a course of antibiotics.
All the same, probiotics aren’t a digestive cure-all: they haven’t been found to be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, among other chronic ailments. Like most other supplements that are actually effective, they’re useful in very specific circumstances, but it’s not necessary to continually take them on a daily basis.
4. Whey Protein Powder
Whey is the most crucial supplement for pushing protein synthesis. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids. Whey takes the crown because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training.
Creatine is made from three amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine. Anecdotal reports and scientific studies alike find that guys who take creatine gain a good 10 pounds or more of bodyweight and increase strength dramatically. Creatine works in a number of ways. For one, it increases the amount of fast energy in your muscles needed to perform reps in the gym. The more of this fast energy that’s available, the more reps you can do with a given weight, allowing you to get bigger and stronger in the long run. Creatine also draws more water into your muscle cells, placing a stretch on the cell that increases long-term growth.
6. Beta Alanine
Beta Alanine is a non essential amino acid responsible for the amount of Carnosine in our muscles.
Carnosine is heavily involved in sports performance. It’s a pretty intricate process to go into how exactly Beta Alanine acts in the body, but the upshot is that it creates more Carnosine, which stabilises the PH level of your muscles and in turn translates to a better performing athlete.
7. Multi Vitamins and Multi Minerals
By the time our food has been harvested, refined, packaged, transported and left on supermarket shelves, a lot of its original nutrients are lost. Eating the highest quality food can offset this challenge considerably, but it’s expensive and not always practical. As a work around, I recommend that everyone takes a multi vitamin and multi mineral supplement each day to keep their body enriched with essential nutrients.
ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. It’s an important supplement because hard-training athletes such as bodybuilders are often deficient in these critical minerals, which are important for maintaining hormone levels and aiding sleep (essential for recovery). Intense training can compromise levels of testosterone and IGF-1. In fact, one study found that athletes who took ZMA significantly increased their levels of testosterone and IGF-1 during eight weeks of training, while those who took a placebo experienced a drop in both T and IGF-1. Naturally, boosting testosterone and IGF-1 can make huge impacts on muscle gains.
Besides being a popular fat-loss supplement, carnitine is now known to enhance muscle growth through a number of mechanisms, all of which are supported by clinical research. For one, carnitine can increase blood flow to muscles, which means it provides similar benefits to NO boosters. It also increases testosterone levels postworkout and the amount of T receptors inside muscle cells, which allows more testosterone to stimulate more growth. In addition, carnitine supplements have been found to increase levels of IGF-1. Add all these benefits together and you have the potential to gain enormous amounts of muscle.
Glucosamine is formed naturally in the body as a combination of glucose and the aforementioned amino acid Glutamine. It repairs cartilage and other tissue. While we form glucosamine naturally, production in our bodies slows as we age.
Research suggests that Glucosamine is useful for those suffering with osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, as we grow out of our 20s and 30s, it is wise for all of us to start thinking of joint support. Glucosamine is a great choice as a protective barrier for our joints, and is often taken in combination with the supplement MSM.
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