Supplements For Beginner’s

Morning all, 

It’s time for some #TrainingTips advise this Friday morning.

Have you ever found the world of exercise supplements an absolute minefield?  I know I have and I do this for a living.  With so many different supplements available out there and differing advise on what is the best thing to use for your training goals, how are we actually meant to know what is of sound advise and what is a load of nonsense?

 

My aim with this post is to give you some sound advise and the reasons why you should or should not consider some of these commonly taken supplements.

 

Vitamin D

A popular and common supplement.  Vitamin D is involved in a whole host of functions inside your body and is critical for human survival.  It is associated with brain function, immune health, bone health and general well-being.  Some studies have also shown Vitamin D can also reduce risks of cancers, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Our natural source of Vitamin D comes from sun exposure but here in the UK the sun likes to play hide and seek more often than not, so our optimal levels of this micronutrient are often below par.  Vitamin D can be found naturally in fish and eggs and you’re also seeing a lot more foods like cereals being added with Vitamin D.

The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D supplements is 400-800IU per day.  However, this is relatively low for adults, so for moderate supplementation, a dosage of 1000-2000IU per day of Vitamin D3 is sufficient to meet the needs of the general population.  Vitamin D3 is advised over D2 as the body utilises D3 more effectively in the body.  For new users of Vitamin D increases in testosterone levels can be seen which I’m sure all the blokes will like to see.

 

ZMA

ZMA’s are a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6.  There are many claims that ZMA’s can boost your testosterone levels.  However, there is no research which proves this claim, but these vitamins are proven to contribute to electrolyte balance, bones, skin, hair and teeth health, nervous, immune and cognitive system function, protein synthesis and final glycogen and protein metabolism.

Other reasons why to consider ZMA’s, if you sweat a lot supplementing with Zinc can become quite important, Magnesium can be hard to obtain through diet alone, as well as there is research to suggest the supplementation of Vitamin D can cause an imbalance in the bodies magnesium levels.  So taking Vitamin and ZMA’s are probably a good idea.

 

Fish Oil

Fish Oil is a hugely popular supplement which is useful for our bodies due to it being rich in omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid EPA and docosahexaenoic acid DHA).  Fish oil is associated with healthier blood vessels, lower lipid count and reduced risk of plaque build up in your arteries, as well as a reduced the risk of diabetes and certain cancers.  As for dosage of fish oil, this can be quite personal to you and your goal, so follow the guidelines that best match you.

 

Creatine

Now if you’ve been in the health and fitness game for a while and you’ve not heard of creatine, where have you been?  Creatine is one of the most widely tested and researched supplements out there.  

Creatine is a molecule that is produced in the body naturally where it is stored as high-energy phosphate groups (phosphocreatine) to be used to regenerate our muscles fuel ATP.  By supplementing with creatine you increase these high-energy phosphate group stores which is why originally creatine became popular because by increasing this fuel store you can become stronger and get a few more reps out during your workout.  

Creatine not only improves your strength and power output supplementing with creatine has a host of other benefits too, for the brain, bones, muscles and liver, as well as having neroprotective and cardioprotective properties.  Creatine is especially useful supplementation for vegetarians.

Supplementing with creatine goes through a cycling phase of a period of time using it (usually 8 weeks) and a short period with out it (usually 1-2 weeks).  Differing products will advise you differently with dosages, loading and unloading periods so do a little research before you jump in feet first.  There are some side effects to creatine if you do not conform to the dosing suggestions and if you do not consume an adequate amount of water (hydration).

Supplements For Beginner's

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Whey Protein

Whey Protein is one of two proteins found in milk which is easily absorbed by the body and a great way to boost your protein in take if you need it.

Dietary protein is responsible for everything from our bodies structure, to our hormones, our enzymes, our immune chemicals, transport proteins and much more.

Dosage of dietary protein whether that is through food or supplements should be based on an individual basis and your training goals and these guidelines should help:

  • If you are an athlete or highly active person attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean muscle mass, a daily intake of 1.5-2.2g/kg bodyweight (0.68-1g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
  • If you are an active person, or you are attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean mass, then a daily intake of 1.0-1.5g/kg bodyweight (0.45-0.68g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
  • If you are sedentary and not looking to change body composition, a daily target of 0.8g/kg bodyweight (0.36g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.

Obese people should not follow these guidelines as the body weight calculations with result in very high dosages, these people should base their intake on the their weight they would be if they were not over weight. 

 

Colostrum

Supplementation with colostrum is very much the same as whey protein but does offer some benefits to the immune and digestive system.  Colostrum is a pre-milk produced by mammals that have recently given birth which is rich in enzymes, antibodies and growth factors which promote growth and fight disease.  

However, colostrum and its benefits only truly benefit an undeveloped intestinal tract, which as adults we don’t have.  But even though the growth factors are not affecting the muscles, they do increase intestinal integrity and gut health which in turn is immune boosting.

 

HMB

HMB is an active metabolite of Leucine that reduces muscle protein breakdown and has an anti-catabolic role for muscle.  HMB delays muscle protein breakdown, lowers cholesterol and has immune boosting properties.  HMB appears to be significantly more potent gram per gram compared to Leucine in preventing catabolic breakdown however is less effective at inducing protein synthesis which helps aid increased muscle mass.

 

BCAA

BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) refers to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.  These amino acids are important for muscle protein synthesis and induced glucose uptake into cells.  Using BCAA’s prevent serum decline during exercise and can promote protein synthesis and muscle growth.

Supplementation of BCAA’s are not necessary for people who consume a sufficient amount protein in their diet.  Dosage will change dependant on product used and can be quite personal to you and your goal, so follow the guidelines that best match you.

 

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a component of a few enzymes involved in the usage of fat for energy.  However, before you think you’ve found the magic supplement to burn that fat away, L-Carnitine is only effective in the manner when you are deficient in L-Carnitine already and even then it doesn’t really burn that much fat.

L-Carnitine does have positive effects of increased alertness, anti-agin properties, improving insulin sensitivity and blood vessel health.

 

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10) is a molecule produced by the body and has a critical role in producing energy for the body.  COQ10 can enhance blood flow and protect blood vessels by reducing damage from LDL and reducing plaque build up in the arteries.  There is however no evidence that COQ10 can induce fat loss or increase muscle growth which some suppliers do claim.  People with COQ10 deficiencies may suffer with fibromyalgia, heart attacks, depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, male infertility, Peyronie’s disease, migraines and also Parkingson’s.

 

Fat Burners

Fat Burners do they actually work? NO of course not, there is no evidence that they do work and if they did obesity would be a thing for the history books.  But companies still claim the amazing effectiveness of them because you keep buying them.  Put it this way, you will lose more weight out of your wallet than you will from your body by taking fat burners.  Fat burners are meant to work by increasing your metabolic rate, but then again so does exercise and a health diet.

Sorry guys there is no such thing a the magic supplement.

 

Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone Boosting supplements are meant to increase the amount of testosterone circulating in the blood.  There are many different products that claim this accolade but little evidence gives concrete proof they are effective over repeated studies.  Care must be taken before taking such supplements as in some studies it was clear that testosterone levels had increased but so had estrogen too.  It’s a good idea to cycle them if you are taking them as some side effects could be problematic id used excessively.

In my opinion if you really want to boost your testosterone level go lift some heavy weights, get some sleep, have good nutrition and reduce the stresses. 

 

Supplements For Beginner's

Image Source: https://nobullnutrition.co/2016/05/31/supplements/

All research and evidence used for this post came from http://examine.com.  Examine.com are an independent organisation that investigates the science behind supplementation and nutrition, so if you’re ever unsure on a supplement check it out here first.

 

Have a great weekend guys.  

 

Stay strong and live, love and laugh!

Dan

#1CoachDC

#FitFam

 

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