2019 is almost here and I’m sure a lot of you are gearing up to become the best versions of yourself. You’ve enrolled in gym and are raring to go from January 1st! And the thing that’s probably at the top of your list of gym essentials is your supplements stack.
If you were to ask an experienced lifter about supplements, he’d tell you that a lot of them are marketing hype. Besides, as far as possible, you must try to get your nutrition from REAL food sources.
But are supplements really useless? Not at all: in fact, some supplements can actually be very helpful, provided you use them properly.
The Case For Supplements:
If you want to lose fat and get fit, then the best thing to do is to consume a hypocaloric diet where you are eating real foods with high satiety, most of the time.
But in some cases, it becomes difficult to complete your macros while still maintaining a caloric deficit. Also, powering your workouts on a deficit can sometimes be a challenge. That’s where supplements can be helpful.
Let’s look at 6 supplements that you should consider adding to your fat loss stack in 2019:
1. Whey Protein
Protein plays a key role in any fitness goal. A lot of people struggle to meet their protein requirements, especially vegetarians who don’t have too many lean sources of protein.
Whey protein can be a real lifesaver in such situations. There are many different variants of whey available in the market and frankly, most of them are marketing gimmicks. Unless you are lactose intolerant, you can choose Whey Concentrate. If you are lactose intolerant, then you can choose Whey Isolate instead. In all cases, overall protein intake is what matters the most.
Tip: Select a whey powder with 22-25g of protein, less than 4g of carbs and 1 – 2g of fat.
Of all the supplements, Creatine has probably been researched and debated about the most. A common myth about Creatine is that it damages your kidneys. And, like most myths, research has shown that it simply isn’t true!
The fact is that Creatine helps us improve strength by aiding the production of ATPs in the ATP cycle. Though Creatine is produced in the body when we consume non-vegetarian foods, it may not be sufficient for greatly improving strength.
Tip: One can supplement 5g of creatine per day as long as they want and at any time of the day.
Going hard at the gym will help you get stronger! A powerful stimulant which may improve performance and focus in the gym when taken in the right dosages is caffeine.
The dosage should be tailored according to the individual. For acute strength increase, 4-6mg/kg body weight is required.
Tip: If you are new to caffeine supplementation, then start with 100mg.
You can’t mention caffeine and not talk about pre-workout. In the right doses, a good pre-workout can really boost your performance in the gym. Think of it as the grand-daddy of caffeine!
The main ingredients of most of pre-workout supplements and their dosages are:
• Creatine: 5g
• L-Citrulline: 6000-8000mg
• Beta Alanine: 2-5g
• Caffeine: 400-600mg
• L-theanine: 100-200mg
The downside is that over time, your body can get adapted to it, thus making it ineffective. So don’t overuse it.
Tip: If you can’t find a good quality pre-workout, try making one yourself!
Another supplement that you can add to your fat loss stack is a good Multivitamin. It’s not always possible to get the required daily amounts of vitamins and minerals from food, especially if you’re on a diet. Adding a low dosage multivitamin will ensure you don’t face any deficiencies.
While there is no harm in adding a multivitamin to you diet, one should not exceed the recommended dosages as that may cause toxicity.
Tip: Having it after meals will help in better absorption.
6. Omega 3
Along with multivitamins, one may also add the Omega 3 supplements to their diet. It provides several health benefits such as healthier blood vessels, a lower lipid count, reducing high triglyceride levels and even helps in reducing soreness.
The American Heart Association recommends a dosage of 1mg per day. To combat soreness, 6mg is required which can be spread through the day.
Tip: To avoid fish burps, take the capsules with meals.
You shouldn’t solely rely on supplements for reaching your goals. Diet and workout should always be your top priority. Supplements should be added only to enhance your performance and to make good any gaps in nutrition.
Author Credits: Sravan Kumar