What Your Trying to Find on this Page

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Top Workout Supplements

The Basics

What are Supplements?  Well, they are usually compounds extracted from food sources such as: vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids, and the list goes on.  They allow you to get adequate nutrition in areas your diet may otherwise be lacking in.  Workout supplements are often times taken together for optimal results; this is called stacking.  We are going to focus on what the most common supplements you should be taking while working out, lifting weights, performing/competing in sporting activities or body building.  If you are exerting your body in physical activity on a regular basis, supplementing your diet can help to prevent your body from breaking down and also to perform at the best level you can.  Supplements should be taken along with a HEALTHY DIET!  I have to stress that supplements are called supplements for a reason, they SUPPLEMENT your already fantastic diet!  Also, before taking the supplements listed below, it is recommended you accompany them with a good multivitamin and that you stay WELL HYDRATED!  Drink plenty of water when taking these supplements.  Let's get down to business.

Workout Supplements


Protein supplements have BCAA's (branched chain amino acids) in them that are NOT naturally occurring in the body.  BCAA's play a huge role in muscle synthesis and recovery.  Supplementing with protein is key if you are not eating enough of it within your normal diet.

Whey protein isolates and hydrolyzed proteins are the most common forms of protein supplementation and are usually found as a protein powder to make protein shakes.  The reason manufacturers make protein in an isolate or hydrolyzed form is because it absorbs faster. There are also slower digesting proteins made to have a longer lasting effect on your body.  The most common form of this protein is called casein protein.  A lot of people take this form before bed or during down times throughout the day to maintain consistent protein consumption daily.

Protein Regimen

   Overall it is recommended that you consume the equivalent in grams of protein of your body weight or twice that!  
For example:  If you weigh 150lbs you should eat 150g to 300g of protein daily!

 Keep in mind that this is optimal and completely healthy even to people who don't workout!
You might want to watch your fiber intake as well though considering protein supplements can back you up pretty badly if you aren't eating a healthy diet rich in fiber!

Nitric Oxide
Sounds harsh huh?  Well it isn't because you aren't actually ingesting nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide is produced by many cells in your body.  The most important production from a workout perspective, however, is the production by a process called vascular endothelium which is particularly important for blood flow.  Blood flow is obviously extremely important in your muscles performance in physical activity.  Not only does blood flow increase performance, it also allows more nutrients from the supplements you'll be taking before and after your workout to reach your muscles and can improve your recovery time.  In other words, you could be less sore the next day and you'll be maximizing the potential of the other supplements you're taking.  Some supplements seem to dramatically increase blood flow allowing you to get what weight lifters call a "pump."  Besides the benefits of the increased blood flow, it feels awesome to have your muscles fully engorged with blood when you're pushing them to the limits!  Nitric Oxide production is also key when getting an erection for men.  Obviously, this means a lot of nitric oxide supplements are also beneficial for males sexual performance.  In fact, a lot of male enhancement supplements have nitric oxide supporting ingredients in them.

What are we actually taking to achieve this increase in nitric oxide activity?  Not to long ago, an amino acid named arginine was considered the best for nitric oxide production however, studies have shown citrulline to be a better alternative.  Both are amino acids that naturally occur within our bodies.  One study found that ingesting citrulline malate actually increases arginine levels in your blood more then taking arginine.  Besides citrulline, there are many manufacturers that use a multitude of ingredients and different forms of the ingredients claiming to increase workout stamina.

Pre Workout Regimen for Nitric Oxide Supplements

It is usually recommended that you take nitric oxide supplements about 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.  Doses and recommended times to take the products completely vary depending on the product and the manufacturer.


Creatine is a powerful and safe supplement that is awesome for physical performance.  I have personally noticed a significant ability to lift more weight when supplementing with creatine vs working out with out it. This supplement is HUGE when it comes to professional athletes and weightlifters!  ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the biochemical way to store and use energy.  Simply speaking, creatine allows your body to create ATP that is crucial in shorter more strenuous activity like lifting weights or sprinting.  This being said, creatine can be beneficial to any athlete or person looking to improve their performance in physical activity.  Creatine comes in many forms and it seems that as time passes, manufacturers find new ways of producing creatine for optimal absorption. 

Creatine should be taken as recommended by the manufacturer.