Should I be taking protein powder? Is creatine going to make me stronger? Should I be taking fish oil? These are questions that every coach or trainer gets at least once every couple weeks or so and it’s totally understandable why. There are so many different views/ opinions out there as well as products that try to convince you to buy them. What works and what doesn’t work? That’s the follow up question a lot of people have that are thinking about using supplements. It’s hard to sift through all of the bullshit that’s out there to find the right answer. Let me help you out by talking about 3 products that I believe in.
Protein powder is one of the few supplements that actually works, still we have to be careful here because the ingredient list is hugely important. When you feel like you don’t have the time to get a proper meal together or it’s more convenient for you to carry a shake around I would recommend you looking into protein powders. The main source of food should always be real whole foods and we should always keep this as a priority. Real foods are a priority over powders because of the nutritional value that real foods add to your body.
Coming back to what I said earlier: the ingredient list for you protein powders is hugely important. The reason why the ingredient list is so important is because of the amino acids a.k.a the building blocks for protein. If the protein powder you’re taking does not have the right amino acids, I am sorry to tell but that’s not going to benefit you all that much. Our body can make some of the amino acids without the outside help of food and supplementation. If your protein powder mainly consists of the amino acids that you’re body can already produce on its own, we’re only adding to a stockpile that’s already big enough (these are also known as non essential amino acids). We’re looking for protein powder that contain the amino acids our bodies can’t produce without the aid of food/supplementation (also known as essential amino acids).
What are those essential amino acids you may ask? have a look down below of the break down:
BCAA stands for Branched-chain amino acids. BCAA are a group of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. If we look at the picture above, all of those amino acids belong to the group of amino’ that our bodies can not produce without external help. Keeping this in mind it’s important for the BCAA’s just like the protein powders to consist mainly of essential amino acids. Because amino acids serve as the building block for the protein in our body if the powder has the right consistency it can help us recover better during/ after workouts. The amino acids make the digestion of our protein more efficient, the more amino acids the more proteins our bodies are actually able to use. And obviously the more protein we’re able to use the better our recovery and training results are.
With the supplementation of fish oil we’re trying to create a more balanced consumption of omega 3 fats versus omega 6 fats. Go back 1000’s of years and our consumption of omega 3 and 6 fats were pretty much the same. Now a days our omega 6 fat consumption heavily outweighs our omega 3′ intake. Fish-oil supplementation improves the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and reduces the inflammatory responses in the body. Supplementation can improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular function, nervous-system function, immune health, memory, and mood issues. In order to gain a better balance between these fats we can start by eating more wild caught fish and reduce our consumption of vegetable oils and nuts. Just like any other supplement fish oils can not replace a bad diet. It’s called a supplement for a reason, it supplements/ adds to your normal daily nutrition.
I am positive that there are more supplements out there that could be beneficial to your nutrition and goals, but I can only speak about the products that I personally believe in. I have nothing to gain from praising any of these products other than trying to get no bullshit content out there.
Stay tuned, have fun!
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