Supplements were definitely the hardest thing to get my head around when I initially started resistance and weight training. It is difficult enough learning proper form with regards to new exercises and trying to get your diet ‘clean’ without having to then think about supplements too!
Now I am by no means an expert when it comes to supplements. But over the past couple of months, I have found the following products which work for me and allow me to perform at my best:
Thermopure (£13.99)- Buy it here
I have read a lot of reviews which state this product is a little useless. But I have to be honest, it really has helped with my energy levels and tiredness…especially because I usually hit the gym after a full day of work!
Thermopure basically contains certain vitamins (B12 and B6) and caffeine which allows the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and therefore improve your performance when working out. For me, I have found it does exactly that if I take a capsule about 30-45 minutes before my workout (i.e. just when I am leaving work.)
If you are going to purchase this then please read the disclaimer on the website. As you can imagine, any product like this isn’t suitable for everyone!
This is definitely one I wasn’t familiar with until I started training! In a nutshell, CLA is a good, fatty acid (you can find it in certain foods) which your body needs to lose fat (and subsequently create lean body mass). However, the problem is, a diet alone makes it hard to receive this fatty acid as the food you tend to find it in also contained high amounts of saturated fat…so this is where the CLA capsule comes into play.
The one I buy (PhD Woman CLA Softgels – £10.95) can be bought here
Multi-Vitamins and Cod Liver Oil
These are a must for me, even when not training. They have so many benefits and I take one capsule everyday. It allows me to ensure that I am having all the essential vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamin C can maintain healthy joints.
In addition to this, cod liver oil has so many benefits including benefits for your joints, your heart (blood pressure, inflammation and stickiness) and your bones.
I want to stress that this isn’t really something I take just because I am training, and would definitely now take it anyway regardless of the gym!
Whey Protein Isolates – Buy mine here (other online websites sometimes have it much cheaper!)
Protein is a must when weight training for so many reasons. The main reason here however is for the growth and repair of muscles. Protein makes up our cells, tissue, organs etc. as well as contributing to the substances we need to allow the growth and repair of our muscles. To put it simply, in this circumstance, it is what will allow you to grow muscle mass without overworking and injuring your muscle.
So why whey protein? It is a protein which includes all the essential amino acids. Your body will need to absorb both protein and amino acids into its’ muscle cells when you are carrying out a weight training program.
The three main types of whey protein are: Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate. The one I tend to reach for is Whey Protein Isolate. This type of protein will be absorbed into your muscles within approximately 20 minutes. This is well within the 40 minute essential bracket your body requires after working out and upon waking
There are plenty more supplements that I want to try out and compare, but I do think that the best advice I can give is to keep it simple. Weight training and gym programs require so much dedication and thought as it is without complicating the plan with complicated and over marketed products.
I hope that this article has helped!