When it comes to losing body fat and getting in shape, your nutrition is going to be absolutely essential. What you eat and how much you eat will be the bridge between all your hard work and the reward you get from it. However, despite cleaning up their diet and consuming the required amount that is aligned to their goals, many people are unsure about the topic of supplements.
What supplements do I need? How much do I need? How much do I need to spend? Are supplements important for getting in shape? These are all common questions people ask due to a lack of knowledge and clarity, which is perfectly understandable. This article will address all the necessary supplements for achieving your fitness goal.
The first supplement that would be highly recommended is protein powder. In the early days of a journey to improve your body shape, hitting a protein target that is much more than you have previously been consuming on a day-to-day basis can be an intimidating task. As a result, it can be difficult to fit in the required daily protein amount and there is a fear that you will have to turn into a carnivore to do so.
This does not have to be the case. Having different sources of protein is important for overall health when it comes to getting in a variety of nutrients for your body, so having a wide selection of protein sources is going to be beneficial to you. In addition to having essential amino acids, protein powder is an extremely convenient way of getting your protein in. It is also very versatile and can be used as in a shake, smoothie, or in your meals (oatmeal bowl, protein pancakes, for example). It is also very low calorie (on its own) for the protein it provides and is a particularly good option when you’re on a restricted number of calories. So, if you’re struggling to reach your protein target, investing in some supplements is going to help you massively.
This is another great way of helping you reach your protein target for the day. Protein snacks (bars, cookies, brownies) are also very convenient, especially if you have a busy work life, and easy to fit into your bag before you head off for the day. They are also extremely tasty and can help satisfy your sweet tooth without you going overboard with your calorie intake, whilst also hitting your protein target at the same time. If you are struggling with hitting your protein goal, protein snacks are a great and easy way of helping you get there without consuming a lot of food.
This a supplement that may not be necessary at the start of your fitness journey, but as you get stronger and start to lift more weight during your resistance training sessions, it can be very effective. Creatine is a substance, found naturally in muscle cells, that helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise.
It is known as the best supplement for improving your performance during resistance training sessions, while certain studies also show that it can increase muscle tissue and strength, as well as potentially protecting against neurological diseases. It is also has proven to be very safe to take and is the most tested supplement in the world. Another benefit is that it is very cheap and lasts for a long time, due to the relatively small amount you have to take every day.
So, as you improve week by week, make sure that you add creatine into your routine, with 3-5g mixed into a drink per day.
This is a supplement that contains leucine, which acts as a ‘trigger’ to enhance muscle protein synthesis rates. Known also as branch-chained amino acids, BCAA’s provide essential ‘rescue’ protein synthesis when your meals are low in protein. If you regularly have meat, fish, or poultry for your meals, there is less of a requirement for BCAA’s. However, if you are vegetarian/vegan and suffer from a lack of protein, this can be a good supplement to take. However, hitting your protein target through your diet should be the priority.
When looking to get into shape, your priority should be to consume the number of calories and protein in line with your goal, consistently perform the required number of resistance training sessions per week, perform a sustainable form of cardio, and excel in other important areas, such as sleep, stress, water intake, and digestion.
Supplements will not provide you with optimal results if you are struggling with these areas. However, these supplements can provide excellent support for your diet and help you reach your goal(s) in the most efficient and effective way possible.
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