It’s a part of the fitness industry which is inescapable. Whether it be adverts for protein shakes or people talking about what they take or most likely being sold at the reception of the gym you go to, supplements are everywhere!!
However there are so many different type of supplements that it can become confusing what to use and what not, especially considering every other fitness guru seems to make outrageous claims about how good different supplements are (Which usually they are being paid to do). With all this variety and all this biased misinformation being given, it’s understandable that most people have no idea what to buy to supplement their fitness goals.
Here then is the cold hard truth about supplements:
They only place to start when discussing supplements is exactly that, the actual word ‘supplement’. That is because supplements are there to supplement your diet into making sure that you are giving your body all the fuel it needs to reach your personal fitness goals.
Here's the thing then...
Supplements are not essential at all if
you are getting all the nutrients that you need from your diet! That's right if you were to get everything you need to build muscle from your diet then there is no need whatsoever to take any supplements! However it is very hard in the modern world to be able to get into your diet everything your body needs to grow. Unless your someone like Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson who has a team of personal chefs it is near impossible to give your body everything it needs and that's where supplementation steps in!...
By far the biggest selling supplement on the market and for good reason, protein is the macro nutrient that your body builds muscle out of as well know. High levels of protein then are essential for growing muscle. Of course you can get high levels of protein easily into your diet by eating high protein foods like meats, fish, eggs, dairy, but for most people it is still difficult to be eating enough
protein. If you are one of those people who struggle to get in enough protein then I would always recommend buying a whey protein. It is an excellent fast digesting source of protein which is convenient and easy to take after the gym, to help you hit your protein targets. I always say that whey is overly marketed as they all pretty much do the same thing. I also just advise getting a cheap one that doesn’t contain too many calories. For that reason MyProtein Impact Whey is my protein of choice.
When to take it? Whey can be taken at any time in the day to up your protein intake, but can be particularly effective after a workout due to it’s fast digesting nature, getting the protein straight to the muscles when they need it most!
Evolve Muscle Recommended? Yes. Great for making sure you get enough protein into your diet.
Mass Gainer Whey Protein:
Exactly the same as the protein above, but it is filled out with many more calories usually in the from of carbs and also usually slightly higher in protein, designed for those of us who tend to be skinny and struggle to put on mass and size.
When to Take? Once again typically straight after your workout, but
if really using to put on mass as you are a hard gainer then maybe another time throughout the day.
Evolve Muscle Recommended? My honest opinion on this is that if you are a hard gainer and you need to increase your calories, then there are better and easier ways of doing this purely from your diet. Eating foods high in fats like nuts, oils, fatty meats, and adding plenty of carbs is my preferred method of increasing calories for those people who struggle to add muscle mass.
Another of the most widely used and discussed supplements out there is creatine. However most people take it not fully understanding what it actually does and how it can actually benefit you. Essentially what it does is it facilitates the recycling of ATP (muscles energy source), in the muscles, thus giving the muscles more energy during your workouts which can lead to greater strength and endurance. This is why bodybuilders tend to take it for those benefits. I personally always take it two months on and two months off, including the month off so that your body doesn’t stop producing it on its own from food digestion.
When to Take It? A lot of people think creatine should be part of a pre workout, but it actually doesn’t matter when you take it, as it isn’t an instantaneous process and takes time to build up in the body. So take whenever it suits you once a day.
Evolve Muscle Recommended? Yes. May help you squeeze out those last couple of reps, so it’s a yes from me.
Another highly marketable supplement is pre-workout. The goal of
these is to get send your mind and body into overdrive with copious amounts of caffeine so that you feel energised to smash a big workout! The extreme caffeine boost, raises your heart rate, raises your alertness. So it really can give you a psychological and physiological boost.