Supplements! Should you take them? The answer is complicated, but I will try to answer it in the most simple way.
Yes, you should take supplements. But not steroids or artificial “magic” supplements. Steroids and artificial supplements like synthol, cause long term physical and sexual disabilities. Stay as far as you can from them.
But there are some supplements which you can use to reduce recovery time and advance muscle gains. We will discuss about these supplements now.
Protein: Protein is the building block for muscles. It is one of the most essential nutrient if you want to build lean muscle. It supports hypertrophy and helps in recovery. Whey protein, casein protein and soy protein are the most beneficial forms of protein.
Whey protein is made from milk, as a by-product when producing cheese. Whey protein is available in two forms, whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate is good for people who are lactose intolerant. Whey protein is digested instantaneously.
Casein protein is also derived from milk. Casein is absorbed in body very slowly.
Soy protein is derived from soy beans. Soy milk is a rich source of soy protein.
How to use: As whey protein is absorbed fast, it makes an excellent pre and post workout supplement. Using casein product as meal replacement and consuming it before sleeping is a good idea, as it takes time to absorb and will keep providing nutrition throughout the night. Soy protein is good for vegan people, but is known to cause rise in estrogen levels.
Also keep in mind, protein consumes a lot of water to digest. Hence, keep yourself well hydrated.
Creatine: Creatine is the most widely researched supplement. It is a must for athletes, as it provides significant burst in strength and speed for short interval. Creatine is available in various forms, namely, creatine mono-hydrate, creatine ethyl ester, micronized creatine, creatine citrate and many more. The best and most widely used it creatine monohydrate. It is also the cheapest.
How to use: consume it anytime you can, as it takes around 4 to 6 hours to enter blood stream. Consider consuming it with fruits, as it is known to cause faster absorbtion.
Glutamine: Glutamine is essential for if you want quick recovery. If you are a working professional, a professional athlete, or simply want to recover faster to avoid soreness, glutamine is a great supplement for you.
Hot To Use: After workout is the best bet.
Fat Burners: Fat burners are quiet tricky to understand. They will help you till a certain extent, but after that, they are useless. Supplements claiming spot reduction or weight-loss in very less time are garbage, do not even consider them.
Hot To Use: Occasional use, for example, if you hit a weight-loss plateau.
Weight Gainer: Another scam. Weight gainers are full of sugar, which not only make you gain unhealthy weight but also create health problems like bloating. If you still want to consume weight gainers, check for protein to carb ratio, there shouldn’t be too much of a difference.
Hot To Use: As a meal replacement, or as a post workout shake.
Pre-workout: Most of the pre workout supplements are high, concentrated dosage of caffeine and taurine. Use pre workouts very cautiously, like on the days where energy is really low or you are going to try and break your personal best. Otherwise, a simple cup of coffee will suffice as a pre workout.
Pre workouts are known to cause crashes, where you are completely depleted of energy and are not even able to concentrate on simple daily tasks.
Hot To Use: To break through a plateau and occasionally.
Multi-Vitamins: Yet another scam. Vitamins are easily acquired through food stuffs which we consume daily. The extra vitamins you consume through pills is washed away in urine.
Hot To Use: Particular vitamin deficiency or after illness.
Remember, these supplements are not replacement for food. Eat healthy and balanced food, especially home cooked and supplement it with above given “supplements”. They are secondary and can never replace nutrition food provides. Use them properly and gain amazing results.