Best nutritional Supplements
Supplements That Increase Physical Performance
OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD 100% Whey Protein Powder
THE TRUE STRENGTH OF WHEY
Whey Protein Isolates (WPI) are the purest form of whey protein that currently exists. WPIs are costly to use, but rate among the best proteins that money can buy. That’s why they’re the first ingredient you read on the Gold Standard 100% Whey™ label. By using WPI as the primary ingredient along with premium ultra-filtered whey protein concentrate (WPC), we’re able to pack 24 grams of protein into every serving to support your muscle building needs after training. ON’s attention to detail also extends to mixability. This superior quality powder has been instantized to mix easily using a shaker cup or just a glass and spoon. There’s no doubt that this is the standard by which all other whey proteins are measured.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) Main Ingredient
- GOLD STANDARD 100% Whey delivers 24g of whey protein, has 5.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs, and 4 grams of naturally occurring glutamine per serving. Gluten Free.
- Whey protein shake consumed before or after exercise helps kick start muscle recovery for men and women.
- More Than 5 Grams of the Naturally Occurring Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in Each Serving
- Whey Protein Microfractions from Whey Protein Isolates & Ultra-Filtered Whey Protein Concentrate
We are going to take a look at some of the best nutritional supplements that are available on the market. caffeine and creatine are the two supplements that stand out well above others: Both of these can increase your ability to exert power and would be wise choices to increase power output,and therefore would be a wise idea to use as a pre workout before hitting the gym.
Stimulants in general (of which caffeine is one) can increase power output and due to this the power increasing effect may also be extended to other stimulants.
Carbohydrates get a special mention here, as preworkout carbohydrates can easily boost power output during the subsequent workout; a supplement is not necessarily needed here, as a sports drink, candy, fruit, or some cereal would work splendidly.
Muscular endurance supplements tend to be directed to either reducing the speed at which your muscle fails, or helping “clean up” while your muscles are contracting.
The most popular option here appears to be beta-alanine, which is proven effective for exercises lasting more than 60 seconds. Although not a big difference, it is effective and reliable. There is even potentially some benefit for power output.
Beta-alanine works via buffering acidity in muscle tissues, and is something that also happens with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda!) Moderate dosing of baking soda, to avoid intestinal distress, appears to be similar to beta-alanine by increasing muscular performance.
Nitric oxide (a signalling molecule most well known for reducing blood pressure) also appears to be an avenue that is frequently manipulated. Although l-arginine appears effective, high doses can cause diarrhea as it is not well absorbed; l-citrulline is a superior option as it is better absorbed and unlikely to have the explosive side-effects. Both are proven for muscular endurance and power output in anaerobic cardio exercise (so unlikely they will be of benefit to powerlifting).
Fat burning compounds do exist, but we need to clarify your expectations. They are not very effective, and the ones that are most effective (relative to others) are either potent stimulants with side-effects or simply encourage you to eat less (via appetite suppression – usually nausea).
In the grand scheme of calories in versus calories out, fat burners make a 5% difference; it’s your diet that will be the real reason for any fat loss. We are talking about 100-200 kcal (or even less) daily, which is equivalent to a few oreos. That being said, assuming your entire diet is looking good, this 100-200 kcal addition can slowly add up over time and provide some benefit.
Caffeine and green tea are two ‘fat burners’ that do have evidence behind them, but are limited in their practicality. Caffeine is a great fat burner until you become tolerant to it and lose the stimulatory effects. Green tea catechins (the fat burning components in green tea) are quite unreliable in burning fat and appear to be heavily reliant on a gene product (COMT) that varies widely between races, with some studies suggesting that green tea only promotes fat loss reliably in people of Asian descent. If you are able to drink room temperature green tea and noticeably feel warmer, green tea supplements may work for you. If not, do not waste your money (room temperature tea is important as drinking any hot beverage can give a false positive in this test).
What About Testosterone Boosting Agents?
Testosterone boosting compounds are an interesting group. There are a few compounds that have been shown to work in humans and many that have been shown to work in rats. Despite this proof, it doesn’t mean that much in practical terms since society has conditioned buyers to expect steroid-like gains.
No herbal testosterone booster currently has enough evidence to support their grandiose claims; the testosterone boost is present, and technically it should help with muscle protein synthesis in a dose-dependent manner.
This increase in muscle growth is likely to be barely noticeable, and the most significant benefit one can expect from a testosterone booster is an increase in libido (this applies to both genders). Muscle recovery rates may also be enhanced, but again this is likely to be to a very small degree.
Do they work? Sure. But it’s the equivalent of taking a car’s range from 40 mpg to 42mpg – it was boosted, but not really noticeably.
Common Supplements and What They Do
A few common supplements are to be addressed here, as they can be found in supplements stores or are very commonly added to supplement blends.
Glucosamine is the most common joint health supplement in the western world, and for no real good reason. It appears to have been one of the first on the market and due to societal exposure it got a lot of research for it; this bounty of research gives the illusion that it is amazingly effective.
It appears to have limited use and benefit for the purpose of reducing the rate of osteoarthritis progression. That’s it. It is just as effective as acetominophen (for osteoarthritis) but acetominophen appears to be preferred due to having more evidence and reliability.
Similar to the testosterone booster analogy of the car’s efficiency, it’s slightly effective. It’s questionable if it’s worth the cost.
Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is involved in muscle protein synthesis; when incubated with muscle cells in a petri-dish, it causes muscle growth.
Sounds great? Except this growth does not happen in our bodies. Supply of glutamine to muscle cells is tightly regulated, thus making it useless as a muscle builder.
It appears to be anti-catabolic (preventing muscle loss) in periods of severe physical trauma such as tissue injury or burn victims.
The muscle growth promoting effects of glutamine supplementation are greatly overhyped, and they are currently not supported by evidence. Glutamine, as of right now, appears to be beneficial for gut health (although this benefit also exists with high dietary sources of glutamine, such as whey or casein protein). If you eat enough protein, glutamine has absolutely no benefits.
BCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids (as well as Leucine and HMB)
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are three amino acids characterized by their branched side chains: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are muscle-saving, and when taken if you’ve been fasting they do appear effective at this claim. These effects are mostly related to the amino acid leucine, and are somewhat mimicked by HMB (ß-hydroxy-ß-methylbutyrate).
The practical significance of BCAA supplementation is limited – BCAAs are found in regular protein (and at high levels in animal products and some grains). Although BCAAs per se are important for muscle protein synthesis, a protein rich diet should get you enough BCAAs to not need supplementation.
Arginine (and Citrulline)
Arginine is an amino acid that is able to produce nitric oxide in the body, and nitric oxide appears to be a critical regulating agent for cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and a fairly good regulator of muscle protein synthesis. L-Arginine is supplemented in the hopes of increasing nitric oxide production in the body.
L-Arginine does appear effective at this claim, although to a limited degree as higher doses are not well absorbed and excessive doses cause diarrhea. L-Citrulline seems to be a better option due to it being better absorbed.
Studies on L-Arginine and L-Citrulline do suggest benefit with supplementation, but are not magical by any means. They may also increase anaerobic muscle performance (just like beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate).
Green Coffee extract and Raspberry Ketones
These two supplements are newcomers to the supplement field and have become popular due to Dr. Oz. As they are relatively new, the research on them is sparse.
Raspberry ketones might be able to act as a thermogenic agent (make you heat up, thus causing more fat to be burned), but this is no scientific evidence of this. For the time being, it is completely unproven
Green coffee extract (GCE) is a source of the molecule known as chlorogenic acid, which is a fairly healthy molecule. It is marketed as a fat burning agent with little evidence to support it. It appears to work via inhibiting carbohydrate absorption in the intestines, but the human studies currently are quite mixed in how effective it really is.
Furthermore, inhibiting carbohydrate absorption is not necessarily a good intervention (literally useless on a ketogenic diet and limited use for a low carb and calorie controlled diet) and is not unique; many agents from plants can inhibit carbohydrate uptake.
This guide is definitely simplified, but it should get the major points across. Your focus should always be first on your diet, and then figuring out where there are holes in your diet, and then potentially filling in those holes via supplements.