If you have just started lifting weights and are in a lookout for great supplements that can boost your results, then you’ve come to the right place.
First of all, you need to understand that supplements will never replace a proper nutrition, and it’s of utmost importance to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet. On the other hand, supplements can and will help you achieve your results faster.
However, not all supplements are for beginners, and it’s best to stick with the ones supported by science, both in terms of safety and efficacy. Also, if you are a beginner, it’s probably a good idea to stick to no more than two supplements and gradually add more. With that in mind, we present to you two supplements that every beginner should use.
Protein is a macronutrient essential for building muscle mass, but also for the proper body function. There are different types of protein and whey protein is the most famous and widely used. It makes up 20% of milk protein, and the reason why everyone uses it is simple – it digests quickly, meaning it can reach your muscles in a short period of time.
Therefore, whey protein is usually used as a pre-workout meal (a meal that you eat immediately after the workout) as it helps regenerate muscles and promotes muscle growth.
Whey protein consists of amino acids that reach our bloodstream within 90 minutes and start the muscle-protein synthesis for instigating muscle growth. It is also the richest source of BCAAs (branched amino acids), which we’ll discuss as well.
For all these reasons, whey protein should be the number one choice for all gym beginners.
Dosage: Take about 20 grams when you wake up, 20 grams within 30 minutes of your workout and 30 minutes after the workout (the most important part).
Creatine is the second most used supplement and it’s ideal for beginners that need more strength and bigger muscles. It simply boosts maximal strengths and energy output during workouts, helping you to lift heavier with more reps. Creatine is also known as the cell volumiser, as it makes muscles fuller (which is probably what you are after).
But what exactly is creatine and is it safe to use?
Creatine is a by-product of amino acid metabolites naturally found in pancreas, kidneys and liver. Most creatine (around 95%) is stored in skeletal muscles, while the remaining percentage is spread throughout the body. So basically, our body is already making creatine in small amounts, sufficient for ongoing cellular function, but it’s not enough to cause a significant muscle growth. For that reason alone, every fitness enthusiast uses creatine supplements.
And of course, there are different forms of creatine, but the one you need is creatine monohydrate. It’s been around the longest and the majority of positive studies related to creatine were done on monohydrate. These studies confirm that creatine increases both muscle mass and muscle strengths by more than 10%.
Creatine pulls more fluids into the cells and increases the water weight inside the muscles. The fluid then places a stretch on the membrane of muscle cells and signals an increase in muscle protein synthesis, which causes a long-term muscle growth.
So if someone tells you not to use creatine as it just pumps your muscles with water, now you know that it does a lot more than that.Dosage: It’s best to take creatine as a pre-workout and post-workout meal. The actual dosage will differ based on the supplement, but usually you should take 5 grams before and after your workout.