* It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the workout supplements in the market
* These three supplements are all you need after a long day at the gym
* Improve your gains and quicken your recovery time
The workout supplement market is so diluted down with products that promise a flatter stomach or instant muscle growth. Anything to sell an overpriced pill or powder right? The only reason these products continue to pop up and sell with great success is because of the lack of knowledge based around what is needed to fuel the body.
Spoiler: no supplement that guarantees quick results is worth your money. Results are only established through consistent hard work. However, refueling your body properly and making it an efficient machine for rebuilding muscle is another story.
Below are three types of supplements that we suggest for anyone on a workout program hoping to build lean muscle. We’ve also suggested our favorite, and most effective supplement product for each of these categories.
1. Whey Protein
Everyone knows that protein is an essential part of your diet when trying to build lean muscle. However, protein comes in many different forms. The protein that you get from foods like chicken or steak is absorbed by your metabolism entirely differently then how protein from a shake is processed.
When it comes to whey protein shakes, you can buy whey isolate or whey concentrate. Isolate typically has more proteins and less carbs and fat than its concentrate counterpart. My recommendation in deciding between the two is based on your goals. If you want to gain more muscle and overall weight, I’d suggest sticking with the whey concentrate and focusing on lifting heavy rather than worrying too much about cardio.
If you want to add lean muscle, but still try to shed a layer of fat, then I’d suggest the isolate whey protein and a balance of cardio and weight lifting. With summer around the corner, keeping those abs in mind, I am going to suggest Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Isolate by Optimum Nutrition. This brand of protein has been consistently ranked as one of the best protein supplements for years with their perfected formula for optimal protein breakdown and digestion. Drink one shake per day immediately after a hard workout and you will see and feel the difference.
2. Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
This supplement is not as well-known as protein shakes. The BCAAs are made up of three different amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. The importance of these lies in their ability to help your muscles recover, and to help re-hydrate your body.
Taking BCAAs activate enzymes during the protein synthesis after a workout. Leucine is the major component here that will increase the rate at which your body can process protein as well as decrease the rate of protein degradation in your resting time. The other two amino acids aid in producing energy and regulating your blood sugar levels.
My favorite product to date is Xtend Hydrasport BCAA Powder by Scivation. Take this a few hours after your workout everyday and and you’ll begin to notice a difference in your energy levels and your ability to push through those tough last reps.
Creatine is also made up of amino acids, but they work differently than BCAAs. This supplement is mainly for increasing strength due to its ability to support immediate energy production when you need it most — I.e. in the middle of your workout.
There is a lot of debate surrounding creatine though. The two types, monohydrate and hydrochloride, have long been argued over which is better. Creatine hydrochloride (HCL) absorbs faster, which makes water retention not as much of a concern. Less water weight is a positive, though creatine monohydrate is more popular and it is the cheaper of the two.
There just isn’t enough research out there on HCL, and monohydrate has been proven time and time again to help with strength conditioning, at least in my experience. This is mainly due to its purity, which helps your body and muscles absorb it better.
My personal suggestion is Platinum Creatine Monohydrate Powder by MuscleTech. It is 100% pure creatine and if taken properly, you will notice a difference in your energy levels while working out. Take as directed on the product label as there are different phases for your dosage. Just be sure to hydrate yourself adequately each day you’re on it too.