Too Many Options

What to buy?

Whether you are new to working out, getting back into it or hitting a plateau that you just can't seem to break through you make be on your last ditch effort.  Many people turn to the world of supplements in hopes that it will get them huge or ripped and overall lead to better health, but do so blindly and just look for the next gimic.  In the crazy workout world that offers gene altering pills or the guarantee of getting big with a powder there are ways to see through it all and get supplements that have been shown to work.

First, some basics.  No supplement schedule should stand alone without good diet, nutrition and hydration.  Depending on your health and fitness goals your diet will vary but it should be consistent and have plenty of natural sources of protein, vitamins and minerals.  Now, on to the extras.  

Disclaimer: These are in no way required to gain weight or get big but they can definitely help and always check with a health professional before starting use of any supplement product.

The Starters Five:

1. Protein:  The staple of any "get big" supplement and lifting program.  It has been shown that size increase correlates to calories and protein intake.  A common misconception is that you can only take in and digest 30 grams of protein at a time. This has found to not be true and you should be aiming for 1.2-1.5gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight (1kg=2.2lbs).

2.Multi-Vitamin:  This is a common supplement taken by many people and it should be just that, a supplement to your diet and it should not be your main source of your vitamins and minerals.  It is important to focus on a balanced diet of vegetables and the like to bring these nutrients in.  Multi-vitamins also promotes general health and consultation with a physician and blood work should be done to address any specific deficiencies.

3. Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA):  These are the amino acids that make up the full proteins you intake every day and a full supply of these in addition to your normal diet will fill any deficiencies that might occur.  There are 9 essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body and need to be taken in from the diet.  A BCAA supplement will help make sure all of this essential amino acids are in your diet to help with tissue growth.

4. Fish Oils:  Omega 3 fatty acids have been a hot topic in the news lately and have been shown to have many beneficial effects.  They are great in exercise because they help promote joint health and can also help with weight regulation.  A diet high in omega-3 also helps at the cellular level in that they help make cells lipid bilayer more pliable and when hydrated well help their individual expansion.  Along with this expansion more receptors are brought to the surface which aids in the intake of nutrients for muscle growth.

5. Creatine:  One of the most controversial supplements on the market. Creatine can be essential especially in a weight lifters supplement plan.  Your body use three energy systems all day every day and the creatine phosphate system is used primarily for short bursts of powerful exercise.  These stores become depleted quickly and using a creatine supplement can help with recovery of these stores and general recovery overall and allow you to get back into the gym.  Creatine has also been shown to have long term effects in helping prevent Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

Please check with your doctor before going out and buying any supplement to make sure you are healthy both for the exercise and the intake of the supplement.  When taken correctly and added to a sound diet there is no limit the gains you can make and the sizes you will see.