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5 Must Have Supplements

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July 14th, 2011

Over the past decade supplements have gained popularity in the sports nutrition world. Companies are coming out with new supplements each day to help you build your ultimate body, saying that you wouldn't get the results you are looking for with just your workout. You can either go bankrupt by buying each one to hit the market and taking pills all day long, or you can buy ones that you truly need. Use this guide to help choose what you really need and how to find good quality for good price.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)- Well you probably know that amino acids are the small peptides (building blocks) that link together to make proteins. BCAAs consist of three amino acids: Leucine, isoleucine, and valine; which are the natural occurring molecules that your body uses to synthesize proteins. The reason why it’s called branched chain is because of the biochemical structure that the molecule is in but unless you really know you chemistry this is a hard concept to understand. Your muscles need these amino acids to perform all the work they do when you exercise. BCAAs are important because they are used and broken down in your muscles, while the others are broken down in your liver. You will see great results in your body and workouts if you supplement with BCAAs because they help keep your muscles intact. Try supplementing with BCAAs during and post-workout for best results.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)- This is a fatty acid that occurs in meat and dairy. You’re wondering why I’m telling you to take fat to look better. Scientific research has proven that taking CLA helps kick start your metabolism. Now you can eat a clean diet and still get all the fat you need, rather than eating a bunch of mozzarella sticks, and pizza.

Whey Protein- Probably the most important supplement for people who workout. You need to take your protein or your work at the gym is only 25% complete. Your entire body is made up of protein from your hair, nails, bones, to your muscles. You can find protein in things like Twinkies, but before you get excited this is not high quality protein and will not help you in anyway. On the other hang, supplement with a good quality whey protein will. Protein keeps your body in a muscle building state, rather than a catabolic one where your body uses your muscles as food and breaks them down. The recommendation of protein is to ingest 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day in women and 1.5 for men. Whey protein is one of the best protein sources available today.  Mix it with some fruits, milk and yogurt to get a quick post-workout meal.

Multivitamin- This is the most important supplement available and can be found everywhere. But make note that not all multivitamin supplements are good for you. Some contain excess amounts of the vitamins you need each day and most of them go to waste through your urine. When choosing a good multivitamin read the nutrition facts and stay away from the ones that say 7000% of the daily value of X(any) vitamin.  A good benefit of vitamins is that they help promote good health, strengthen your immune system and help your body use all the nutrients that you supply it each day.

CREATINE- Many people don’t believe the claims that creatine can help you get bigger and stronger, yet there is a lot of research that demonstrates it does. Creatine is a compound found in most meat products that help your muscles produce a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP. This is the rapid energy source for your body that is needed at all times to perform normal functions especially lifting weights. Your muscles can only use ATP for up to 15 seconds at a time! Creatine allows your muscles to produce more ATP, which results in better longer harder workouts. Another benefit of creatine is that it helps your muscles to appear fuller because it is a hydrophilic molecule (water loving). This is great because your muscles are 70% water anyway so the more water, the better!

Now that I have given you my list of must have supplements, go out and get these products instead of the other unnecessary ones on the market. Remember these are supplements, meaning that you CAN NOT and should not use them to replace of food and other nutrients. As long as you eat a well balanced diet you will have all of these in your body. Taking a supplement will help you obtain what doesn’t come fully from your diet and keep you from eating 24 hours a day to get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients, especially for those who are extremely active. Using these supplements will bring you the closest to your goals.

Check out a list of  top 5 supplements and brands from early 2011.

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