Have you been going to the gym for a year and it seems as if your progress has reached a point of stagnation? You can try switching up your routines and your diet as much as you want, but at the end of the day, what you’re missing are workout supplements.
What Are Workout Supplements?
Gym-goers often associate workout supplements as being essential supplements for bodybuilding, but this is not true. Even though bodybuilders depend on these supplements to reach their physical goals, casual gym-goers can use them too.
Workout supplements are another form of dietary supplements that comes formulated with ingredients whose main purpose is to provide your body with increased energy levels as well as increased muscle growth.
You'll find that there is a massive range of workout supplements available. All it takes is to pinpoint precisely what you wish to improve regarding your fitness regime, and the workout supplement you need to take will become apparent.
Types Of Workout Supplements
Protein supplements are one of the basic supplements you’ll see people consume in the gym like its water. Those wanting to increase both their strength and endurance will find that protein supplements are the solution.
Some turn to protein as a way to limit their carbohydrate intake, so their workout sessions become more effective in the long run.
As to when you should take protein supplements, you can consume it pre- or post-workout, the choice is up to you. Depending on the workout you perform, drinking a protein shake before or right after a workout will enhance your muscles differently.
Most people take protein supplements in the form of protein powder, and the market for such a powder is very diverse. This powder comes from a wide range of sources, so you should choose one that reflects your dietary preferences and needs.
Remember that your protein powder does not have to taste horrible and that you should test it out before you purchase a 5-pound tub of it.
How Does It Help?
Once you finish a workout, you should immediately follow up by drinking a protein shake since it will take 30 minutes for it to reach your muscles after it has gone through indigestion. This means your muscles get exposed to the protein whose job is to heal the micro tears in your muscle tissue.
As you can imagine, the time it takes to bounce back from leg day is not as bad as long as it used to be thanks to the extra help of the protein supplement.
Vitamin C Supplement
You may have heard of taking Vitamin C supplements to combat a cold, but it can help you with so much more than to simply treat a cold. Whenever you're stressed out, Vitamin C supplements are there to help. The stress can be linked to environmental reasons or because of an extensive workout regime.
Since Vitamin C is an antioxidant, it plays a huge role in keeping track of and training metabolic stress. When you know you're about to put your body under stress, doesn't it sound wise to load it up with supplements that can aid it to endure the stress load? The answer is yes.
You can take Vitamin C supplement either pre or post workout, but you can play around with it to find out which combination works for you.
As a side note, some studies have shown that Vitamin C can minimize your chances of coughing before and after a workout, which can enhance your performance in the gym.
It's crucial that you focus on developing a post workout supplement routine, and this definitely applies to those who exercise for more than one-hour intervals.
Carbohydrates can refuel the muscles that you’re putting to use. When you consume carbohydrates after your workout, you are giving your body the tools to replenish the glycogen in your muscles that have been burned out.
The primary fuel source that your muscles rely on for energy is glycogen, which is a form of glucose. Those out there who wish to enter the bodybuilding competitions need to consider taking their carbohydrate intake much more seriously than any other basic bodybuilding supplements.
The last thing you want to do is cheat your muscles from their ability to recover by neglecting to consume carbohydrates. Studies have shown that even if you delay consuming carbs two hours after you complete a workout session, it will reduce the glycogen replenishment rate by half.
It would be incorrect to assume that when we say eat carbs that you run for a big plate of pasta or a slice of pizza. These are not the carbs you should eat after a workout, and the carbs you should be consuming are high-glycemic ones.
For instance, there are carbohydrate supplements that contain dextrose, which is meant to be taken immediately after a draining workout. You'll go from feeling fatigued to being able to continue with your day with no issues.
Many other high-glycemic carb options out there can do the trick for replenishing the glycogen in your muscles. Also, these carbs will satiate the craving one gets for starch or sugar-based carbs.
This is good news for your diet because you won't relapse as quickly, and eventually, you'll never even crave unhealthy carbs ever again.
Why You Need Supplementation Before And After Workout?
People often wonder what’s the point of taking workout supplements before and after a workout. They are also the same people who wonder why they aren’t showing any muscle gains after going to the gym for several months.
Each workout supplement affects how your body operates either while you workout or afterward. Some supplements function best when consumed right before a workout, while others will come in handy after you're done with the workout session.
Ultimately, the type of workout supplement you take will dictate when you should consume it.
To break it down even further, workout nutrition is the type of food you eat before (pre) and after (post) a workout. As we mentioned above, protein shakes are essential supplements for bodybuilding and are largely taken after a workout.
The post-workout protein shake will promote muscle repair and growth, slow down muscle mass from breaking down, and ensure your body's energy levels stay consistent.
Without the protein supplement, your recovery time after an intense workout will be much longer than if you had chosen to drink that protein shake post workout.
The amino acids and electrolytes present in workout supplements can help your body repair itself after a workout. However, you can consume it before a workout and have it still be effective.
Regardless of when you take the supplement, it'll help you with reducing muscle soreness and putting your anaerobic energy systems to work. But, you can take full advantage of a supplement when you consume it at the right time.
As a general rule of thumb, only worry about a post workout supplement when you didn't take a pre-workout one.
Tips For Those New To Workout Supplements
Workout Stacks For Beginners
Those who have no idea as to which workout supplements they should begin to take, then the best way to get the full experience is by stacking them together. Thankfully, certain workout supplement brands already have workout stacks available for purchase, which has everything you need for pre and post workout.
Bodybuilding newbies aren't aware that mixing two supplements can cause an adverse reaction that is counterproductive to what you want the two to achieve. For example, taking zinc with magnesium is not a good move.
All the ingredients in workout stacks don’t react with one another, so you don’t have to fret as to whether or not the supplements are working.
Regardless of what your experience in the gym is, everyone at all levels should consider incorporating workout supplements to their fitness regime.
You could amplify the results of the countless hours you spent at the gym if you took advantage of the push that workout supplements give your body to take it to the next level. Hopefully you'll begin to consume one of the workout supplements mentioned above for the benefit of your body and health.