supplements

THE 4 SUPPLEMENTS YOU NEED FOR BETTER NUTRITION

This article was originally published on www.mobiefit.com/blog

Even the most healthiest of eaters can miss out on key nutrients despite eating a well-balanced meal. If your meal plan doesn’t contain a perfect mix of every performance-enhancing nutrient, it will definitely take a toll on the fitness goals you are set out to achieve. If you are a beginner, then we understand your plight of figuring out a training split, nutrition plan, macros and calories tracking and now supplements! But don’t worry, we got your back.

You know that food supplies nutrients in combinations that supplements can’t really replicate, but sometimes they fall short due to the way your body absorbs these nutrients or the general quality of the food. Sometimes regular food may unwittingly be nutrient-deficient. This is where certain supplements can ensure that athletes and runners don’t miss out on any goodness that could improve their performance.

Supplements are not replacements and can only act as a stand-in for a good diet and a hard workout. They are merely aids which will help you achieve your fitness goals faster and give you the desired results.

Creatine Monohydrate

As opposed to popular belief, creatine is not a drug. It is actually a nitrogen-containing organic compound, that is naturally produced in the human body. Your body stores this in the liver and kidneys and doles it out as when required; in this case a strenuous workout or a long run. Creatine is scientifically proven to increase strength, endurance, and muscle mass and hence is one of the most popular sports supplements used by athletes and weightlifters. Creatine has shown to be most effective in high-intensity training and other explosive activities such as weight training and endurance sports such as sprinting, football, and baseball.

It is also known to increase leg power during cycling and provide greater strength on the bench press and squat press. However, despite the many benefits of creatine it is often misunderstood as being unsafe and dangerous. It improves your regular lifting capacity leading to bigger and stronger muscles. Weight gain using creatine is assured, without any doubts.

Dosage: Many use the technique of ‘loading’; whereby you start taking 20 g of creatine in split doses during the initial 5-7 days. After this loading phase, you cut down your creatine intake to 3-5 g per day.The idea of loading creatine is to saturate the muscle cells with creatine resulting in faster results.

The second method is simply supplementing starting with 3-5 g of creatine without the initial loading phase. Choosing this method will give you the same results as the first technique, but it will take longer to experience the full benefits.

Whey Protein

Whey Protein powder and muscle mass are synonymous with each other. This source of the protein includes branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which decrease exercise-induced muscle damage and improve muscle recovery to help your workouts build you the strongest core. In addition to this, dieters who doubled their protein intake in general ( not necessarily from whey) lost more fat and maintained more muscle than those who stuck to eating the recommended daily amount.If you are allergic to dairy products and hence have to skip out on protein, whey is a good option because it doesn’t generally cause any stomach upset or bloating, even in the people who are lactose intolerant.

Dosage: If you are unable to finish the food on your plate then whey is the perfect addition to your diet. Consume 20-30 grams of whey protein post-workout or in between meals for muscle growth and repair.

If you want to substitute dairy with whey then allot whey protein a minimum of 110 grams of your protein intake per day and you will see massive changes.

Multivitamins

Many gym goers find multivitamins tablets to be pointless. But though they might not give you bigger biceps or larger pecs, but they will definitely make you stronger. Multivitamins are believed to be a convenient and cost-effective way to get your daily dose of nutrients and help you go the extra mile or lift that extra pound.

They aren’t going to make drastic improvements to your diet, but it will help you fill in any deficits in essential vitamins and minerals. If you are eating the same thing most days, then your menu might be low in micronutrients such as zinc or manganese, and a multivitamin can help fill these small nutritional gaps so that you don’t have a problem.

Dosage: One multivitamin should suffice your daily dietary needs. It is advised to take it alongside fatty foods or fish oil tablets.

Caffeine

Caffeine not only gets you mentally ready to face the day but it also increases your mental alertness, betters your mood, and boosts your desire to run harder. Caffeine is a just a perfect way to start your morning workout session with especially a tough speed workout. In short, caffeine increases the concentration of endorphins in the brain.

Caffeine also has an impact on your mental alertness, increasing your reaction time and improves neuromuscular response time.It could also play a role in mobilizing or utilizing fat stores as a fuel for your body. This has a positive impact on your glycogen stores which can be used for other energy needs, such as your running. Caffeine catalyses the fatty acids in your bloodstream to help convert fat into usable energy. Needless to say, an espresso shot can have a telling impact on the initial few minutes of your exercise, making you conserve glycogen, enabling you to run or work out longer.

Dosage: Chugging down cup after cup of coffee is not healthy, so limit your daily coffee consumption to 400 milligrams or less. Caffeine can also be taken in the capsule form instead of the regular espresso shot. Newbies are advised to take 100 milligrams of caffeine supplement about 30-60 minutes before your workout.

This article was originally published on www.mobiefit.com/blog

Which Supplements Should You Cycle

You need to cycle supplements to maintain their efficacy. The rule is start-stop-start and it helps you get the best outcome of the supplements. 

Whether you’re working out to sculpt muscles, lose weight or build endurance, the concept of cycling is not alien to you. When you diet, you cycle carbs and during High-Intensity Interval Training, you cycle fast paced cardio with moderate to get better results. By the same logic cycling supplements, particularly those containing stimulants is useful to maintain its efficacy.

WHICH SUPPLEMENTS TO CYCLE

As a rule, of thumb any supplement that contains stimulants needs to be cycled. Therefore, it makes sense to cycle pre-workouts and fat burners to keep their efficiency active. However, creatine is subject to conditional cycling.

PRE WORKOUT

Formulated primarily with caffeine, green tea and Yohimbe, pre-workout is the key to transforming your average session in a gym to an extraordinary one. Caffeine, the star ingredient in pre-workout supplements are extremely effective in enhancing the performance if taken before a workout. Caffeine boosts energy and mental focus by enhancing the adrenaline levels in the body. By improving your body’s metabolic rate, caffeine in a pre-workout will help increase the body’s metabolic rate and stimulates the central nervous system. At a dose of 3.3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, caffeine has been shown to increase cortisol levels for up to three hours.

Cortisol is a stress hormone and elevated levels can make you jittery in the long run. Moreover, if you’re nibbling chocolates, having expresso shots during the day, then the additional caffeine can spell bad news for your adrenaline. Also, as your body acclimatizes to the effect of caffeine, you may not get the earlier rush of pre-workout.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

After using pre-workout for 2-3 weeks, you should take a break for 2-3 weeks.

FAT BURNER

Fat burner is an intelligent mix of herbs that work to suppress your appetite, interfere with the absorption of carbohydrates to help you build lean muscle mass. Usually, fat burners contain stimulants, like caffeine, Yohimbe, green tea, Garcinia Cambogia, epinephrine and hoodia. These ingredients when introduced in your system increase your heart rate, respiration, blood pressure. The cumulative effect of the fat burner on your body is to spike your metabolism and boost thermogenesis of your body to burn fat faster, in the short run. However, the effects do not last in the long run as the body adapts to the stimulants in the fat burner and works to establish homeostasis. This offsets the effect of the fat burner. Moreover, stimulants like caffeine can spell bad news for your cortisol level.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

It makes sense to give fat burners a break for 2-3 weeks, after using it for similar duration. You can even switch to a stimulant free fat burner during the rest period.

CREATINE

Creatine is one of the most researched supplements. It gives your muscles greater pumps for that explosive lifts and sprints. To get the full benefit of creatine, you must saturate your muscle cells with creatine.

In the Loading phase, you need to supplement with 20g of creatine for 5 days. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, reduce the dose and increase the duration, like you can supplement 10g for 10-12 days. 

During the maintenance phase, you should supplement creatine around 5g per day. For most individuals, 2-3g each day will be sufficient.

Ideally, creatine will improve your performance if you lift heavy (5-6 reps). If your reps are more than 10 or 11, you are not lifting heavy enough. Hence, supplementing with creatine will not be required.

Go off creatine when you revert to moderate lifts with higher reps. However, do remember that muscle anabolism happens when you push beyond the limit.

Exercise caution with supplements containing stimulants and cycle them. It will improve the efficiency of the supplement and will be kind to your wallet.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO

For that explosive blast of energy, you should take creatine in two cycles. The cycle should be continued with two weeks gap.

  • Loading phase (5-7 days)

You can take one serving of 5g with200ml of water or non-acidic beverage of your choice four times a day for 5 days.

  • Maintenance phase (21 days)

One serving of 5g with 200ml of water or non-acidic beverage of your choice once a day, preferably post workout would give you good results.

It is also recommended that athletes should take creatine with a high carbohydrate drink like juice or concentrated carbohydrate solution or with a carbohydrate/protein supplement (like MuscleBlaze Mass Gainer) in order to increase creatine uptake.