BCAA – Branched-Chain Amino Acid’s
BCAA’s are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. These comprise around 35% of your body’s protein. They are essential as they have to come from food or supplementation, your body cannot naturally produce them. However, unless you have a low dietary protein intake it isn’t essential to invest in BCAA supplements. You can get all you need through a diet rich in protein (around 1 – 1.5g per lb of bodyweight, daily).
Creatine (comes in powder form, capsules, and is also found in red meat/fish) can be supplemented into your diet to aid the body’s ability to produce energy rapidly, improve strength and growth alongside diet. Creatine is already present in the human body, 5g a day can be a useful way of assisting with the above – before investing, always research and ensure you are buying and using a safe and reputable product/company.
Whey Protein is a high quality, well-absorbed source of protein that can be very useful for hitting targeted protein intake goals. As a supplement, it is purchased in powder form and can be blended into shakes, added to porridge, baked products, etc. There is no harm in adding this into your diet to ensure you are keeping protein high enough to assist in growth and recovery. Vegan options are also available, with all of the same benefits as Whey. The amount to take depends on protein targets and specific goals.
Can be taken in powder form, or even pre-canned – examples are Monster Energy Drinks, NOCCO Drinks, Reign Energy, 3D etc. Essentially they are formulated powders/beverages that will give you an extra ‘kick’ or ‘buzz’ during your workout. This is often down to the high caffeine content as well as various chemicals. Although safe, think about the amount taken and time as it can negatively affect sleep the later it is taken – to be on the safe side, stick to products that contain up to 200mg per serving.
Multivitamins are a great addition alongside a healthy diet, these are usually taken in capsule format first thing in the morning. They contain a mix of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to help support better health. The benefits of supplementing a Multivitamin daily can help correct any nutritional deficiencies, promote proper growth/development, improve brain, eye, bone, and heart health as well as supporting a healthy pregnancy in women – these products vary dependant on the brand, expect to consume 1-3 capsules daily.
Omega 3/Fish Oils
Supplementing with Omega 3 is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and helping prevent heart disease. These oils are found naturally in fish, however, supplementing with oils/capsules can be an easier option for the amount required daily – also, not everyone likes fish! You will also find Omega 3’s aid in reducing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, can aid weight loss, improve eyesight, reduce inflammation, and even promote healthy-looking skin! Once again with branding, the amount can vary, but 1-3 capsules per day with meals is normal.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, it can be found in fish and eggs and the biggest, natural source of this nutrient is of course the sun. Who doesn’t love the sun! Supplemental Vitamin D has many benefits including increased cognition, immune/bone health, feelings of well-being and can reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. As we cannot rely on the sun each and every day, daily supplementation of this product can be greatly beneficial for overall performance, expect to take 1 tablet per day for optimal results.
ZMA – Zinc & Magnesium
ZMA is a supplement that contains zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. It is a great supplement to aid in increasing zinc (promotes testosterone in men, reduces the frequency of illness in both sexes) and magnesium (reduces blood pressure, and improves insulin sensitivity). When taken in this form, it is taken before bed and can help us sustain a deeper sleep, which of course aids in training recovery as well as overall recovery to lead an active and positive lifestyle – 1-3 capsules taken per night, 1 hour before sleep dependant on the brand/active ingredient per capsule.
We know how confusing and overwhelming the world of supplements can be, so we’ve broken down 8 different supplements, what exactly they do, and if you really need to spend your money on them!
Written by Dylan Scott, Junior Coach.