When it comes to training and exercise, nutrition is one of the key aspects that is essential to maintaining your fitness. Athletes often make sure they meet certain nutritional goals through the use of supplements; powders and vitamins that ensure their body is in top shape.
The world of supplements can seem daunting, as it’s tough to know which supplements do what and to what effect. So for those unsure if they need collagen protein powder or Vitamin K2, here’s a handy guide on the best supplements to consider whilst training.
1. Protein Powders
Protein powder is a great accompaniment to any workout as it has been proven to help build muscle mass and aid in fat loss. Different kinds of protein powders can be used for different effects depending on what you want you need. Whey protein powders contain useful amino acids that help repair the broken muscle fibers torn by exercising. This makes them a great supplement for those that want to build muscle and achieve a ‘lean’ but muscly body.
Collagen protein powders are great for alleviating joint pain from over exercising and also promotes a healthy body. Collagen protein powders can be used to promote heart health, prevent bone loss, and can even improve how your skin looks.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is most commonly known as the vitamin you get from sunlight, but you can get it in other ways. Taking a vitamin D pill every day can help boost your testosterone levels which in turn can help with enlarging muscle mass and getting stronger. Taking a vitamin D supplement can be particularly useful if you reside in countries that don’t often get much sunlight.
3. Vitamin K2
Vitamin K1 is found in plants and vegetables such as kale and collard greens, but vitamin K2 is a little harder to find as it’s mainly found in animals. The vitamin is mainly found in liver meat and helps promote bone strength and can prevent the build-up of calcium in your blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart disease. For those who follow vegetarian diets, vitamin K2 can be a useful supplement to take when training.
Magnesium is essential to keeping your body running as it is used in hundreds of chemical reactions in your nervous system every day. For this reason, it is important your magnesium levels are good as otherwise it can effect your energy levels, nervous system, blood sugar, and bone strength. Most people get enough magnesium through foods such as seeds, nuts, vegetables, and coffee; but it’s always good to play it safe and ensure your levels are high enough. Magnesium can also help with recovery from workouts.
Creatine is a supplement used by bodybuilders and athletes alike as a quick boost to any workout. Creatine in the body is used as a fuel to aid in quick movements. There isn’t actually much creatine stored in the body so a supplement can really help give your training an extra kick (both metaphorically and literally!). Creatine is great for use in training that requires short intense bursts of energy, as your natural creatine stores can become depleted over the course of a session.
6. Fish Oils
Much like collagen protein powder, fish oils can be great for maintaining healthy joints. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils can help reduce inflammation in joints that could be caused by heavy training. They also have the added bonus of helping maintain a healthy heart. Often found in the form of pills or liquids, fish oils are a great supplement if you don’t have much fish in your diet.
While most of the above nutrients are found naturally in foods and your body, if you want to maximize your potential and get the most out of every training session, supplements can be a great step in going the extra mile.