5 Supplements to Consider for Your Workout
Going for a workout? Good for you! Everyone knows that regular exercise provides a multitude of health benefits such as helping with weight management and building muscle.1 Even if you’re working out several times a week, do you wonder if there is something more you can do to fuel your body for optimal performance?
Why add supplements to your workout?
There are many reasons to consider incorporating supplements into your workout schedule. Gaining muscle and building endurance are just a couple of them. Bodybuilders and professional athletes have long known that adding supplements can help the body perform better and reach new levels of endurance and strength.2,3 But for the regular, everyday person who wants a better workout, adding one, or more, of the following supplements may be beneficial.
Runners and weightlifters look to creatine monohydrate to help with intense bursts of exercise. Created naturally in the body, creatine helps muscles perform at high intensity.4 When you perform a lot of reps, your body uses up its creatine stores, and that last chest press can become very difficult to perform. Adding creatine to your workout may help fuel your recovery.5
Protein is built from branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which the muscles use for energy.6 Lifting weights or resistance and endurance exercises can damage muscle; taken after a workout, the BCAAs leucine, valine, and isoleucine may help muscle tissues recover and rebuild.7
Fish oil is full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which the body needs for multiple processes. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids positively influence skeletal muscle mass, as well as improve muscle function and metabolism.8 One study also demonstrated that muscle strength improved significantly when dietary omega-3 fatty acids were added to a regular exercise regimen that included resistance exercise.8
L-Glutamine is an abundant amino acid in the body that provides a fuel source for certain cells.9 Exercise (especially weight training) can deplete glutamine and result in muscle soreness, loss of strength, and a longer recovery time.10 Some clinical studies show that supplementing with glutamine after exercise may significantly reduce these types of exercise issues.
Protein is a vital macronutrient that is required for health and body composition. As muscle is mostly made from protein, it makes sense for active people to ensure they get enough. Consuming eggs, chicken, and beef can help meet the recommended daily amounts of protein, but you can only eat so much. Adding protein powder, made from whey or pea and rice protein, can help boost daily protein and help muscles recover from intense exercise.11
Taking the supplements plunge
Certain supplements may help more than others, while taking too much or too many supplements may have adverse effects. Whether you’re an endurance runner, a weight lifter, or simply looking for better results from your workout, always ask your healthcare practitioner first for more information before adding a supplement to your regular exercise routine.
This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare professional for advice on medical issues.
- Fletcher G et al. Circulation. 1996;94(4):857-862.
- Benardot D. Sports Science Exchange Roundtable. 2001;12(3):1–4.
- Williams M. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004; 1(2): 1–6.
- Kreider RB et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:1–18.
- Cooper R et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9:33.
- Holeček M. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018;15:33.
- Menayang A. Available at: https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2017/08/24/Limited-evidence-backs-BCAA-s-muscle-building-benefits-says-new-study. Accessed March 22, 2019.
- Jeromsen S et al. Mar Drugs. 2015;13(11):6977–7004.
- Cruzat V et al. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1564.
- Street B et al. J Exer Sci Fit. 2011;9(2):116—122.
- Cintineo H et al. Front Nutr. 2018;5:83.
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team