By James De Medeiros Men’s Fitness
Been to the health and sports nutrition store lately? There are so many products that if you’re a guy who’s simply looking to lose a little fat and pack on some muscle, you may not know where to look. Of course, the first thing you’ll need to do to accomplish your goal is to combine a healthy diet, with some cardio and various weight-training exercises. But, wouldn’t it be great to know which supplements are most likely to complement your efforts? We’ve come up with a list of six scientifically researched supplements that you should strongly consider as you proceed in your quest to reach your physical best.
6/ Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Do you find yourself experiencing muscle soreness and fatigue, but still not seeing the fat loss results you expect? If so, consider taking BCAAs. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK recently discovered that study participants who supplemented with BCAAs before and after exercise had a significant reduction in muscle soreness. A Brazilian study took it a step further and revealed that BCAA supplementation resulted in glycogen-depleted participants experiencing a significant reduction in fatigue, as well as enhanced fat burning.
Want to build strength and lean muscle mass? Try creatine. A group of Canadian researchers conducted an eight-week study and found that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I), which is known to produce anabolic effects in adults, was increased by more than 20% amongst creatine supplementing participants performing resistance-training exercises. Just be sure not to take excessive amounts as various side effects have been reported. According to the European Food Safety Authority, creatine supplementation of three grams per day is a safe amount.
4/ Protein Bars and Powders
Ask any expert and they’ll tell you the importance of consuming protein –pre and post workout– to stimulate muscle growth. Unfortunately few can schedule meals around workouts and that’s where protein supplements such as powders and nutrition bars come in handy. Need to eat and run? Forget the unhealthy, greasy fast food and grab a nutrition bar that’s high in quality protein and also provides you with essential fats and carbs. Have a little more time on your hands? Mix yourself a refreshing protein shake.
3/ Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Think all fat is bad? Think again. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) has omega fatty acids, also known as the “good fat” and according to a study originally published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that CLA could help you lose fat and have a positive impact in preserving your muscle tissue. In the study, the 71 participants consuming the CLA lost an average of six pounds. Be sure to get omega fatty acids through your diet or supplements.
Is all that training making you feel run down or even sick? If so, Italian research indicates that glutamine might be able to help. Their study revealed that glutamine could have a positive impact on the reduction of inflammation and infection. And, as an added bonus, it could also stimulate muscle growth. How? According to research conducted in Scotland, glutamine regulates glycogen within your body and has the ability to boost levels resulting in enhanced performance and muscle growth.
Can you hear your body talk? No, but if you could it would probably tell you that working out takes a lot out of you, including the loss of vitamins that you need to sustain yourself. Unfortunately, research indicates that many who train hard while desperately trying to maintain a specific body weight are often vitamin deficient. Multivitamins should help remedy that loss. Start your day off with this supplement and be sure to take only the recommended amount.