The topic of supplements can be overwhelming. Here, trainer and founder of Result Based Training gyms Travis ‘TJ’ Jones shares his insight into supplementation.
With so many options available, it can be tough to separate the useful products from the snake oil supplements – or downright harmful ones. And the sad truth is, most supplements on the market don’t burn much more than a hole in your pocket.
There are, however, a handful of compounds that are scientifically proven to be beneficial. So whether you want to drop fat, build lean muscle or improve your athletic performance, certain supplements can help you reach your goals faster.
The following are three such supplements that have been shown to work and stood the test of time:
Protein aids recovery, is highly satiating and increases your metabolic rate, helping you to lose fat. But for some of us, consuming enough protein can be a daunting task. In such cases, a protein shake offers a solution. Shakes are a convenient option for consuming high-quality protein, while being low in calories. Whey protein is almost always the superior choice, just watch out for other hidden macros and sugar on the label – not all whey supplements are created equal – and buy a good quality brand (nothing from supermarket shelves).
The secret to reaching weight-loss goals will always be good nutrition and a smart training plan. However, the right supplement can speed up your efforts in revealing your best body. Caffeine powder (or caffeinated beverages) are among such ‘fat burners’.
Caffeine aids fat loss by increasing norepinephrine, which in turn raises your metabolic rate and the number of calories you burn throughout the day. Caffeine also aids the release of fatty acids from your fat cells, so they can be burnt off during exercise.
But before you start sprinkling caffeine powder on every meal, there is one important thing to note: caffeine only aids fat loss benefits if you haven’t built up a tolerance. So if you want to use caffeine as a fat burner, you should limit your caffeine intake to a maximum of two to three days per week.
What if you have already built up a tolerance due to habitual caffeine consumption? In this case, eliminating all caffeine from your diet for two weeks should be enough to reverse your tolerance.
So dump the latte and go for a double espresso shot (80mg of caffeine per serve) as your pre-workout.
The ideal way to get your nutrients is from food: not only do you get vitamins and minerals, but you also receive other beneficial compounds, such as fibre and antioxidants. That said, even with a nutritious and balanced diet, it’s unlikely you’ll be covering all your nutritional bases. This is especially true if you train hard.
The solution? Supplement your diet with a high-quality multivitamin. A multivitamin not only benefits your health, but also speeds up recovery and provides you with more energy so you can tackle your workouts with maximum intensity.
Remember all of the above are supplements – a supplement to a well-rounded nutritional profile. Buy quality not convenience, including your coffee. Especially your coffee.