Supplement 101

Author: Brady Burrows

If you have ever visited your local GNC or supplement superstore then you have been bombarded with claims that “this pill will knockout fat”, or “this drink will pack on muscle”. Well I’m sorry to tell you, but there’s no magic weight loss pill. While nothing will help a bad diet or poor workout regimen, proper supplementation can help fill gaps in your nutrition. So without further ado, here’s my list of supplements that give you the most bang for your buck.

1. Whey Protein

Protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery, and not getting enough will definitely hinder your results. There are many different kinds of proteins but whey comes in at the top. It is a fast digesting protein that breaks down and gets to your muscles quickly. Making it ideal for right after a workout or waking up. Benefits of whey include, increased muscle mass, increased protein synthesis and faster recovery.

How to take it

I recommend getting .8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. (ex. 200lb person = 160-200 grams of protein a day) I’m not saying to drink all of your protein, but supplementing whey will make it much easier to reach those numbers.

2. Creatine

Creatine is naturally occurring in your body and found in red meats and oily fish. Your body takes the creatine and turns it to creatine phosphate. Which plays a big role in ATP production, your muscles main source of energy.  Benefits of creatine include, increased muscle mass and strength, increased endurance, increased power output and faster recovery. Multiple studies have shown that creatine was able to show a 12-20% improvement in strength and a 12-26% increase in power output.

How to take it and side effects

The daily recommended dose of creatine is anywhere between 3-5 grams depending on body weight. While some companies recommend a loading phase no research has proven this. You may have heard over the years that creatine is bad for your kidneys, but this is simply not true in otherwise healthy individuals. In fact, creatine is one of the most widely studied supplements on the market and no research has shown creatine to have any negative effects.

3. Fish Oil

Fish Oil is a common term to describe two different kinds of omega 3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The benefits of supplementing fish oil are endless, and work best when the ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are equal. Omega 6 fatty acids are high in a typical diet of red meats and eggs, so supplementing with fish oil will help to balance that ratio. Fish oil has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels by 15-30% in overall healthy people, increase your bodies fat oxidation (percent of energy being taken from fat tissue), and in one study was showed to help with muscle soreness after exercise. Furthermore, it has been shown to have a multitude of benefits on the overall health of your brain. Results of those studies showed an improvement in memory, a decrease in anxiety, and reduced reaction times.

How to take and side effects

The American Heart Association recommends taking one gram of fish oil a day for general health, but that number could be adjusted depending on your diet again aiming for a balancing of the omega ratio. 

 

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