This is the second instalment in my Sports Supplement Guide series and today I am going to tell you about two of the most researched and proven supplements available for purchase today; Creatine and Amino Acids.
The great thing about these supplements is that they are already formed inside your body, so can never be banned from sports, and , if you buy a good quality brand, will never cause any severe side effects.
Creatine is THE single most researched sports supplement available today, its safe, available in tasteless form and also ridiculously cheap. I mean you can pick up 500g ( 100 servings ) for under 10 bucks!
Im going to skip the science because I don't want to bore you, after all this is a guide not a science lesson.
In basic, creatine increases ATP which is what gives our muscles energy to perform actions, using this increased store of ATP we are now able to complete more reps or sets of exercise due to our new increased energy levels. This is the main reason creatine is used by beginners, so they can quickly improve their weightlifting or fat loss results.
Creatine also binds to water, so whilst taking in creatine I advise that you are taking in at least 4 litres of water daily. Not only will this increase muscle mass due to the water retention but the increased water consumption will work wonders for your skin and hair health.
A simple creatine monohydrate is your best bet, unless you want
to pay extra for sugars and flavourings in the designer creatines
Many people will recommend that you must complete a "loading" phase whilst first taking creatine to saturate your muscles with it. This is where you take 4-5 servings of creatine per day for the first week of consumption. I however do not think it is necessary and have experienced great results taking a single serving daily.
Creatine should be cycled, for example you could take creatine daily for 3 weeks and then take 1 week off, you then repeat the "cycle".
Creatine Monohydrate is the only creatine I recommend you to buy, just like with protein there are a large number of "designer" creatines that promise huge gains, but contain sugars. You will probably gain weight with them, but this weight will mostly be fat. The creatine that I use is Optimum Health Creatine Monohydrate 500g.
2. Amino Acids
Amino Acids are my favourite supplements to use and I highly recommend them to anyone who gets sore muscles the day after an intense workout. Amino acids in short are the building blocks of protein. Without Amino acids protein cannot be created and without protein, muscles cannot grow.
When you exercise muscle is broken down. When you finish your workout your muscles begin to try and recover and to rebuild the previous muscle bigger and better than it was before.
Amino acids are perfect for use during and after your workout as they are absorbed super quickly and can get to work right away, this helps reduce soreness and the time it takes for you to recover.
Doubled with this, most Amino acid powders are very tasty. My favourite Amino acid source is definately Scivation Xtend. I have had great results with this product and I love the taste.
Mix 2-3 scoops of the beautiful grape flavour with 600ml of water and your good to go.
Make sure when choosing Amino acid supplements that you choose a powdered form, tablets may be cheaper, but they take longer to absorb into the body.