Fitness influencers and CrossFit althletes promote so many products as crucial for peak performance, fat loss, and explosive muscle growth. That in combination with complicated scientific-sounding names and labels might have you believing you've gotta be taking them to exercise effectively. But do these supplements live up to the hype, and are they even necessary or even safe? Dietary supplements are not reviewed for safety and effectiveness by the FDA. It’s a good idea to do a little research on their safety and effectiveness before deciding to add them to your routine.
There are a few supplements that have research-proven effectiveness and will enhance performance and promote recovery and muscle growth:
If you spend any time listening to the fitness and nutrition coaches at Beo, you know how important protein is to a diet, especially when the goal is muscle growth and fat loss. A protein supplement just gets you closer to the 1gm per pound of body weight we're looking for in an active person. Look for a powder with at least 20 grams of protein per serving and stay away from added sugar. If your tummy is sensitive to whey, try an isolate or a plant-based option.
Ah, creatine... the holy grail of supplements. The primary benefit of creatine is an improvement in strength and power output during resistance exercise. Creatine is well researched for this purpose, and the effects are quite notable for a supplement. When used in conjunction with resistance exercise, creatine may increase lean mass. Bottom line: creatine helps us lift heavier, move faster and recover more quickly. All of this leads to a stronger, leaner body.
Type II collagen is a protein and component of joint cartilage. Consuming collegen an hour before workouts may result in less exercise-induced joint inflammation. There is also some anecdotal evidence that it promotes elasticity in skin and healthy hair and nails.
A proven performance inhancer, caffiene will help you train longer and with more intensity. But, whether you drink a cup of coffee or use a caffienated pre-workout, consuming caffiene an hour before your workout will give you the best results.
Beta-alanine has been shown to enhance muscular endurance during high-intensity exercise lasting 1–10 minutes... sounds like a CrossFit WOD, huh? Be aware, though- beta-alanine may cause a tingling feeling called paresthesia that's harmless but some people find uncomfortable.
Questions about supplements? Reach out. We've got answers!