Supplements, capsules, pills, and powders; there are literally millions of items out there that are being sold to us (or that they’re trying to sell to us.) Scratch your head like a confused chimp when your buddy mentions the new nitric oxide/fat burner/laxative/bull testicle hormone enhancer that he “just can’t lift without?” Need help deciding which supplements are best for you and which ones you can do without? Fear not, athleticka is here to help:
This is the big one. Lots of us strive for as much protein in our daily diet as possible. It’s a big one because it is the main muscle builder. No matter what “diet” you are on, the emphasis on protein is always there, even for vegans. Recently there has been an explosion of protein powders available to the public, so when you are shopping make sure you read the ingredients and look at the Supplement Facts label. Lots of these manufacturers are giving you more than just simple whey. So if you are just looking for some protein, you have to pay special attention here.
Eating fat won’t make you fat. Please re-read that. Omegas are fatty acids that are good for everything from your heart to you skin to inflammation. Picking up a bottle of good fish oil and taking a few a day is a great way to keep yourself on the right track.
Creatine has been around for a long time and is finally getting more acceptance and lots of the original myths have been busted on it. Creatine is a powder that pulls water into the muscle. In doing this, it allows for a little bit more muscular growth and recovery. That’s why lots of people add this to their regimen when they are trying to gain a bit of mass. One recent discovery of creatine has been that it can assist with intelligence and memory. Bigger and smarter, yes please!
This little supplement came out when I was freshman at college. I remember seeing it at a friends house while studying for a final. I asked him what it did and I remember his answer vividly: “I’m not sure.” I thought about that while we finished up studying and before leaving read the bottle. I wasn’t much for supplements then, so it was all gibberish to me. I came to find out that NO Boosters are a HUGE market these days. The original idea was that Nitric Oxide will dilate your blood vessels allowing for more blood to be delivered to the muscles. Not a terrible idea. However, in recent years (much like with whey) companies have been adding all sorts of crap to their boosters. So if you want better pumps, this might be something to try. Or, you can work a bit harder at the gym and not put more chemicals in your body. I’ve never quite understood this product so I don’t have much else to say. Paying a bunch of money to be more vascular for a few hours, at the gym, in front of a bunch of people; not the best way to spend my money.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids. These are the building blocks of muscle. 35% of the required chemicals for building muscle to be precise. That alone is enough to stock up on this stuff. Of the BCAA’s, the big man on campus is Leucine. This one has been shown recently to be the driving force behind muscle development. So if you are looking around for some Aminos, make sure there is a plethora of Leucine in it. Look for some that are say 4:1:1 (meaning there are 4x as much Leucine as the other two BCAAs.)
This is another huge category. So I’ll try to be brief: Thermogenics means to produce heat. From a supplement point of view, this means that these pills/powders will increase your base metabolic rate (BMR); allowing you to burn more calories while doing less. Sounds great, but it’s not without a cost. The biggest complaint I have (and many others as well) is the heart palpitations that come with these. Increasing your BMR is like flooring the gas pedal in your car. Sure, for a while you’ll fly along; but after a while there might be a part of your engine, transmission or chassis that will wear out and give up. Putting stress on the body (increasing your BMR) is always a gamble, so be sure that you take them properly and be smart about it.
As a guy, I want the most possible testosterone in my body that it is capable of having & using. Why? Because the more test, the more muscle, the leaner I am, the bigger sex drive I have and so on, and so forth. It’s what makes a man, a MAN. However, much like these big sexy cars these days; our bodies have a “limiter” in them. Not everyone is capable of making the same amount of test as others, so if you feel like you have low testosterone the first thing you should do is see your doctor and get a blood test; not go out and buy supplements. If your test is low, then consider it. The biggest thing I see out there that pisses me off about these test-boosters is hearing teen age kids asking about these. If you are under 25 years old, don’t even consider it. Your body isn’t ready to max out it’s test-potential yet. If you haven’t peaked, these pills will not help. It’ll be a waste, go buy a nice steak instead.
These are just supplements. This means that they are only there to supplement an already healthy diet and training regimen. Taking any of these while sitting on your butt will make one thing weigh less: your wallet.
Tagged bcaas, boosters, capsules, creatine, energy for working out, fat burners, fatty acids, featured, fish oil, fitness, gym, nitric oxide, omegas, pills, powders, pre-workout, supplement guide, supplements, testosterone, thermogenics, vascular, whey protein, working out