Top 5 Fitness Supplements
Forget the marketing hype, we go back to basics and run through the top 5 fitness supplements available on the market. These fitness supplements have proven to be highly effective for those with a variety of fitness goals, as well as being cost effective.
1. Whey protein
Whey protein is a high biological protein source, and is ideal for times when rapid digestion is sought after. So, although whey protein may not be ideally suited for normal feedings during the day, it is perfect for upon waking and directly after a workout.
There are two main types of whey protein; whey concentrate and whey isolate. Whey isolate is of slightly better quality than concentrate, with more protein on a gram to gram basis. Isolate also commands a higher price however, so we would recommend buying the cheapest as the slightly less protein per measure will make little difference in real terms.
20-40g post training or upon waking would be an average serving.
2. Meal replacement (MRP)
A quality meal replacement product will contain a complete nutritional feeding, including a quality protein source, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, as well as a spectrum of micronutrients. Such a product is ideal for those who find it difficult to eat regularly throughout the day due to travel, working etc. Most easily mix with water in a “shaker”, so can be kept in a bag and mixed on the go.
MRPs are great for those in a rush to ensure regular nutritional intake. Maintaining regular feedings will keep the metabolism raised, as well as supplying the body with the essential nutrients needed for repair, recovery, and energy.
Creatine has remained one of the most popular supplements since it was introduced to the market, and for a very good reason – it works! Not only does it conclusively show benefits to performance when tested in the lab, it also has plenty of testimonials from users past and present. Creatine is a supplement best used by those who weight train, or perform activities and sports which require explosive muscle contractions.
There does appear to be some “non-responders” to creatine, although the majority seem to notice positive effects to muscle strength and endurance.
Creatine monohydrate powder is also extremely cheap. There are other creatine supplements on the market which have various “delivery systems” (to aid the creatine uptake to the muscle) which are more expensive. The first time creatine user would be best trying a basic creatine monohydrate powder to begin with.
4. Ultra fine oats
Ultra fine oats are a great carbohydrate source to use within shakes, being of great quality, low GI, and easily mixable. Many trainers wish to include oats within their diets, and try to add them to protein shakes. This usually results in a poor textured drink which is gritty. Ultra fine oats reduces this problem greatly.
Great used within a shake (mixed with a protein blend) during the day as a slow digesting carbohydrate source.
Although maltodextrin is classed as a complex carbohydrate, in reality it is rapidly absorbed. Whilst fast absorbing carbohydrates are not ideal for regular intake during the day, it is a great choice directly after a workout mixed with whey protein to replenish glycogen stores. It is also a great source of rapid energy for those who perform highly intensive training.
Maltodextrin is very cheap, and can be purchased from any quality bulk supplement store.