5 Effective Supplements to Improve Your Fitness Performance
Want to lose weight or gain more muscle? There’s a fitness supplement for that. Increased energy level? There’s one for that too. Sound like any gym-lovers dream, right? Keep in mind that supplements are a money-making industry. Hands are out and ready to take your cash. So, before handing over hard-earned cash for supplements claimed to produce a fitness miracle, it’s important to make an informed decision. We’ve got your back! Discover which ones actually make a difference with our list of top 5 supplements shown to improve your fitness performance, backed by scientific evidence.
What are Fitness Supplements?
Sports or fitness supplements are products that have the potential to support the body before, during, or after workouts. They help individuals enhance their athletic performance and attain their fitness goals. However, the market is saturated with fitness supplements, so deciphering what really works for you can be a gruesome task. Fitness gurus and blogs touting these products as crucial for peak performance and explosive muscle growth might have you believe you can’t effectively exercise without them.
But, do these supplements live up to the hype, and are they even necessary?
Do You Need Fitness Supplements?
Supplements are a hot topic in the fitness community. Today, there are tons of supplements available claiming to help with pretty much any aspect of health and fitness you can think of. Still, a lot of those miraculous claims must be taken with a grain of salt. It’s important to learn why you might need supplements in the first place. Let’s bust some myths!
For any individual to physically perform at his or her best, a nutritionally adequate diet and sufficient hydration are key. A few dietary supplements might enhance performance when they add to, but do not substitute for this dietary foundation. Sometimes, we may not be getting all we need to perform at our best in our chosen sport or activity from our diet alone. Other times, we may just want a little bit of that extra boost for our workout.
Whatever your reason is, there’s a fitness supplement out there that can help you feel raring to go, support healthy muscle growth, or help you recover after, both safely and naturally.
5 Supplements Shown to Improve Fitness Performance
Despite the shady supplement market, there are dietary supplements out there shown to improve fitness performance that have been around for years. Do you need to shed some of that quarantine weight? Want to get stronger and put on some more muscle? The right supplements, paired with a healthy diet and consistent workout routine, of course, can help you get there.
To help cut through the hyperbole and get to the real truth, we’ve made a list of the top five supplements that have been proven to be effective in enhancing your ability to exercise, and/or maximize your gains.
Caffeine is probably the most widely used ingredient in pre-workout fitness supplements. It’s a stimulant shown to increase power output and training capacity. Caffeine can deliver a metabolism boost, plus provide bonus antioxidants. This will help you have enough energy to push through even the toughest sessions. Do you normally have a coffee or energy drink before your workout? Fancy stepping it up a notch? Specially formulated pre-workout drinks or powders could be the solution. However, more is not always better when it comes to caffeine, so proceed with caution before using caffeine supplements and consider other sources of caffeine you may be ingesting so you don’t overdo it.
There are three Branched-Chain Amino Acids (to give them their full title) that play a key role in muscle growth: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. However, there are thought to be some additional benefits to these three musketeers! Taking BCAAs can help with muscle maintenance, post-workout muscle recovery and provide you with additional energy during your workouts, too. Look for BCAA supplements that contain a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine.
Protein supplements offer vast quantities of protein - the essential nutrient the body uses to maintain or rebuild muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise. When people talk about wanting that ‘ripped’ or ‘tight’ look, they are really talking about building lean muscle tissue. The right protein intake can help you do just that. Most people get enough protein from a nutritious and balanced diet. But, if you are doing high-intensity weight training or cardio, you may require more protein than you normally would. This is where fitness supplements work wonders. Taking a high-quality protein supplement could also be the answer if you don’t have time for a protein-rich snack or meal, or if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Trying to get the max out of that last heavy lift? Want to add another 400m sprints to your session? Consider giving yourself a boost in the form of creatine monohydrate. Often thought of as being just for bodybuilders and sprinters, creatine is actually a well-researched supplement. Essentially, it is a form of naturally-produced fuel that helps your muscles perform short-duration exercises, and improves your ability to recover from it. However, the body only stores small amounts of creatine in the muscles. Taking part in any exercise characterized by repeated short bouts of intense effort means creatine stores can become depleted, leading to a reduction of performance. Supplementing creatine can help you maintain your creatine stores longer and perform more work during an exercise session.
If you’re trying to lose body fat, gain muscle, or just support your heart and brain health, L-Carnitine is a great supplement to add to your fitness supplements stack. It’s a nutrient naturally produced in the liver that supports the transportation of fatty acids into the cells so they can be used for energy. This fitness supplement improves your athletic journey by helping you increase weight loss, stamina, improve exercise recovery and decrease muscle soreness.
Level Up Your Fitness Supplement Stack
Now you know the basics when it comes to fitness supplements. And, knowing is half the battle. You deserve a pat on the back for working hard to stay in shape. Don’t let those gym efforts go to waste - supplement your way to the top and maximize your chances of meeting your fitness goals. Top it off with Iron Tribe’s performance-boosting clothing for ultimate workout productivity!