November 15, 2023
Working out is hard for everybody, from dedicated gym-goers to athletes to those just starting their fitness journey. Whether you’re struggling with minimal gains, plateaus in weight loss, or unfamiliar muscle soreness, you've likely considered trying supplements to enhance your workouts. While supplements can’t replace hard work and dedication in the gym, they can provide that extra edge to reignite your fitness journey. The following are some popular supplements that can supercharge your workouts and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Protein is the building block of muscle, and for many, it's the most crucial macronutrient for muscle growth and recovery. While whole foods like chicken, fish, and beans are excellent protein sources, it can be challenging to consume enough through diet alone. Protein supplements, such as whey protein, casein protein, and plant-based options like pea or rice protein, are convenient methods to help people meet their protein needs.
Picking the best type of protein depends on your fitness goals. The body rapidly absorbs whey protein, making it a good option pre- or post-workout to support muscle growth and repair. In contrast, the body digests casein protein more slowly, and many take it shortly before bed. It provides a sustained release of amino acids throughout the night, which can help prevent muscle breakdown and boost muscle recovery during sleep. Whether you want to bulk up or recover more effectively from a strenuous workout routine, protein supplements can be a valuable addition to your diet.
Creatine monohydrate, often shortened to creatine, is one of the most well-researched and widely used supplements in the fitness world. The body naturally produces creatine and stores it in the muscles as creatine phosphate, and taking creatine supplements can boost these reserves. During short bursts of high-intensity activities, such as weightlifting or sprinting, the body uses these stores as a rapid energy source. Creatine also increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP) availability. ATP is the primary energy source for cells, and having more of it can help you lift heavier or perform more reps during resistance training. Additionally, creatine helps rapidly build muscle by promoting protein synthesis.
Proper hydration is essential while taking creatine supplements. Creatine is osmotic, meaning it pulls water into muscle cells. Although this is one of the mechanisms creatine uses to enhance muscle growth, it can lead to dehydration and muscle cramps without sufficient water intake.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of essential amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which play a critical role in muscle protein synthesis and energy production. BCAAs are popular among athletes and bodybuilders for their ability to reduce muscle soreness, prevent muscle breakdown, and provide a source of energy during workouts.
BCAA supplements are incredibly versatile, as you can take them before, during, or after exercise to maintain energy levels and improve muscle recovery. Sipping on a BCAA drink during workouts can help energize you and combat muscle fatigue.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that can enhance endurance during high-intensity, short-duration activities like sprinting or weightlifting. It is a building block of carnosine in the muscles, which helps buffer lactate buildup, removes waste, and delays muscle fatigue. Beta-alanine supplements also stimulate lean muscle growth. These properties allow individuals to work out longer, push through tough workouts, and perform more reps. Interestingly, beta-alanine supplements produce carnosine more effectively than taking carnosine supplements directly. During digestion, the body breaks down carnosine into beta-alanine and l-histidine and must reassemble it in the muscles. Taking beta-alanine skips this process and delivers more carnosine to muscles faster.
Although collagen is a popular anti-aging product, it’s also an essential structural protein that supports joint and bone health. It is a vital component of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that lubricates joints and exerts anti-inflammatory effects. Adding collagen supplements to your post-workout recovery stack can enhance exercise recovery, improve joint mobility, and increase range of motion. Additionally, exercise often places stress on joints. Taking collagen supplements, specifically hydrolyzed collagen peptides, can protect joints during heavy exertion. PureBulk carries three types of hydrolyzed collagen: bovine, chicken, and fish.
Taking supplements can supercharge your workouts, but they’re just one piece of the fitness puzzle. Maximizing their benefits requires a holistic approach that includes a well-balanced diet, proper hydration, and a consistent exercise routine. When used responsibly, supplements can enhance your efforts and help you achieve your fitness goals.
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