You have probably been asked several times by curious family members and friends why you take supplements and like me you probably say to fill gaps in your diet or maximise training results but don’t forget also to perform better in the gym!
I like to train hard, I’m not talking about an hour-long leg-day here but a 5-10 minute high intensity interval training (HiiT) session that feels like you’re gonna collapse at any moment. Your body is under a lot of stress and lactate is building up.
These type of tests can really make or break you, they are proper punishment if you are not ready for them but are an addictive type of triumph if you are. Multivitamins and protein powder may be a crucial part of your fitness life but are not supplements that will benefit you the most in the middle of a difficult workout, these are six high performance essentials you should have in your shaker bottle when going in to battle with a torturous workout.
You may be surprised to see this at the top of the list but it really is a game changer. Regular use of a quality greens supplement can have lots of benefits on power, strength and performance, I think it is one of the most important supplements when it comes to performance.
Greens supplements have an alkalising effect on the body and help prevent the build up of acid during exercise. The buildup of hydrogen ions causes pH levels in your muscles to drop, shutting your muscles down and causing failure and fatigue. Winning the acidity war will mean more reps with more power and a better appearance in the mirror.
Just take one scoop mixed in your daily protein shake or pre-workout.
Creatine is the most researched sport supplement and nearly all research has been positive. This basic, tasteless powder has an ability to increase strength, power, speed and overall athletic performance as well as muscle growth. Creatine is a prime mover in the body’s short-term energy supply, it has also serves secondary roles too. It operates as a pH buffer during exercise which means more energy and a more complete recovery between high-intensity workouts.
Creatine then in six words: More reps, faster recovery, better workouts.
That is only in the short-term, looking further ahead, creatine supplementation when combined with strength training amplifies the training-induced increase in the number of satellite cells in skeletal muscle. These cells are capable of fusing with existing muscle cells to aid new muscle growth. More muscle means more work in future training sessions.
Recommended dosage is 5-7 days loading with 20g and then continue with 5g as a loading dose.
This shouldn’t really be a surprise. Caffeine is one of the most popular performance enhancers as it works so well. Mainly popular with strength and power athletes as it can improve mental alertness, cognition, physical endurance and even maximum strength. Also things like dendrobium are popular among athletes, especially ones who may have built up a tolerance to caffeine.
Daily dosage depends on your tolerance, but taking 200-300Mg before a hard workout has shown to have certain benefits for a short, intense session.
Citrulline is an amino acid that helps in your body’s production of nitric oxide (NO) as well as other processes, it converts to arginine at the kidneys and into what is known as NOS (Nitric Oxide Synthase) pathway. This converts L-arginine into NO. NO boosts blood flow which brings more essential oxygen and nutrients to your muscles when they are under load, increased blood flow is also great for anyone looking for great muscle pumps.
Citrulline Malate is the most popular form of citrulline and has its own unique performance enhancing benefits. This is independent of the NO production. Citrulline is also known to buffer ammonia in the body, an acidic byproduct of intense exercise. The malate or malic acid is a powerful buffer of lactic acid. Together they both reduce fatigue and improve anaerobic and aerobic endurance.
For best dosage take 3-6g 45-60 minutes before training.
If you are really intensely into workouts and use a lot of pre-workout supplements, then you have probably seen the ingredient betaine on many labels and wondered what it is and what it can deliver. Betaine is a derivative of the glycine amino acid and is part of many foods such as wheat, spinach, beet sand shellfish, you may already get some of it in your diet. You certainly sweat plenty out when training intensely, supplementation has shown plenty of distinct benefits.
Betaine actually acts as a methyl donor that can help with synthesizing creatine in skeletal muscle. Remembering the importance of creatine in high-intensity exercise, it is a big plus. Research has also shown that it significantly reduces levels of lactate, boost muscle protein synthesis and delay exhaustion during a sprint workout by more than 40 seconds longer than water alone.
Regular daily use may help improve endurance and strength and also help convert strength training into a surprising amount of muscle growth, this can really help you get more results.
Recommended dosage is 2.5g before a workout.
Hard to say but worth knowing, although the amino acid L-Carnitine is better known for fat-burning, it can also aid performance and recovery times during intense workouts. This applies more so when taking the supplement L-carnitine L-tartrate, which is the most studied L-carnitine from a performance perspective.
L-carnitine L-tartrate has all the benefits of L-carnitine plus more. L-carnitine has shown to increase muscle glycogen storage and improve ATP production, this can improve strength and delay fatigue. Looking at it from a recovery standpoint, L-carnitine L-tartrate has been shown to decrease the production of free radicals and also reduce muscle tissue damage and soreness associated with exercise.
It can help you avoid the day after a hard workout and also help maximise fat-loss as a bonus.
Take 1.5-3g per day as a recommended dose.
All of these supplements can help improve your high intensity interval training, especially when it comes to any intense workout that can affect you a lot the next day.
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