Sports supplements sometimes get a bad name because some people tend to abuse them. However, when taken correctly, most of them can help maximize your performance whether you are working out or playing sports.
Just because you aren’t a professional athlete doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from taking a sports supplement. You could spend your life in the gym and never achieve the results that you want. Our bodies are all different, and if you’re not getting the desired results, then you may be missing a key supplement that will help push you over the top.
If you’re looking for that extra boost to help get over the hump and peak your performance, then here is a list of the best sports supplements that will help you reach your goals.
1. Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine is one of the most commonly used sports supplements because it helps improve muscle mass, strength and overall performance. Because of this, it is one of the best sports supplements that most people can take.
When you take creatine in combination with your physical training, you will notice that you are more explosive and have more energy and endurance to help you perform at your highest level. Creatine is great to take if you do high intensity workouts or play sports where you need a lot of power, like football, rugby or soccer. Don’t overdo it, though, as you should only take 3-5 grams per day.
There are plenty of natural sources of protein, but the reality is that most of us don’t take in enough of it to help our bodies. Protein is essential to help your muscles recover after a tough workout or after completing a sporting event.
When taken as a supplement, your body would benefit from about 20-25 grams of whey protein. You should typically take the protein supplement after a workout to help your muscles recover. Protein isn’t going to give you a huge burst of energy, but it’s essential in helping your muscles recover so you will be in top shape for your next workout or event.
Unlike protein, caffeine supplements are designed to help you perform better during the workout that you are about to take on. Caffeine gives your body a quick boost to help you get through the workout, while also making your mind more alert.
Caffeine should be taken in moderation prior to your workout. Generally, you need about 1.8-2.7 milligrams of caffeine per pound of body weight to achieve the best results.
4. Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in recovery after a workout. The main benefit of taking fish oil is to build and maintain muscle mass, while reducing post-workout soreness. Taking just 2-grams of a fish oil supplement will go a long way to increasing your workout performance.
No matter what supplements you take before or after a workout, your body is still going to wear down during a high intensity workout. That is because your body accumulates hydrogen ions, which drops your pH level, and results in fatigue. Beta-alanine supplements have been proven to help maintain the body’s pH level and delay fatigue.
Taking just 3-6 grams per day of beta-alanine will help you in any event that you partake in. If you find yourself struggling to finish strong, then beta-alanine should be your go-to supplement.
Avoid These Supplements
Just because a sports supplement doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean that it’s completely ineffective. Different body types react differently to supplements. On the other hand, companies will try to sell you on their supplement and claiming that it is the best, when it really has more of a placebo effect than anything. Here are some of the top supplements that should be avoided:
• Epinephrine – can diminish the recovery process
• Vanadyl Sulfate – can be harmful to other organs in your body, even if it helps your physical performance
• Methoxy – could have similar effects on the body as steroids
• Pyruvate – may be good for endurance, but not good for building muscle and can be harmful if taken in excess
• “Advanced” Creatine – creatine is what it is; any other claims are phony and aren’t going to be any better
All of the information presented here may or may not relate to you specifically. These are just general observations to help athletes know how to maximize their workout performance. You may have experienced different results with some of the supplements mentioned here, but that is not out of the ordinary. Remember, our bodies will all react differently to supplements, so trying some out and finding the best one for you is critical to achieving your top performance.
Sources: Body Building – Best Supplements and Body Building – Supplements to Avoid