This is always a hotly promoted topic in the fitness industry so let’s break it down nice and simply into those worth taking for general health and well-being and those for the greatest benefit to your training.
Before I get specific however, it’s important to point out that supplements are simply supplements, they are not a substitute for a well balanced diet. If your diet is poor to begin with then no amount of supplementation will make up for that!
That being said, there are four supplements that I recommend to all clients for general health and well-being. Listed in order of priority, they are:
1. Fish Oil
2. Multi Vitamin
3. Vitamin D
For the majority of people, I find that a good quality fish oil supplement and multi-vitamin is sufficient. The key word there however is ‘quality’… Supplement quality is very important and it’s worth looking beyond the everyday high street brands: I personally prefer to get my products from ‘Solgar’.
In terms of more training specific supplements, I recommend:
– Whey protein or BCAA supplementation;
– Carbohydrate supplement;
Whey protein or BCAA supplementation will help support and protect lean muscle. BCAA supplementation can be taken 2-3 times daily, but we generally keep whey protein for post-workout supplementation. We recommend myprotein.co.uk
A carbohydrate supplement is for those of us looking for lean muscle growth. There are a number of different options but I like to use Maltodextrin again from ‘myprotein’. Use this supplement post workout to replenish glycogen in the muscle, best when mixed with your post workout whey protein.
Creatine is proven to promote new levels of strength in individuals, and from my own experience I have found it is invaluable in physique training. This is not a supplement to take all year round though so make sure you cycle on and off for the recommended time frames. There are a few different forms of creatine, I personally use creatine monohydrate from ‘myprotein’.
With the demands of modern life, supplements can provide the extra support that our bodies need, but just to reiterate, a well-balanced diet is essential and supplements are just there to supplement!