Supplements should never make up the base of your diet, but they can be extremely useful for improving your diet or making up for areas that you’re lacking.
Today, we’re going to go over 5 supplements that can be extremely useful if you’re looking to improve your recovery abilities quickly.
First up, we have protein. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually build muscle in the gym. While you’re exercising, you’re breaking down your muscle fibers. You need calories and most importantly, protein to rebuild them bigger and stronger.
If you’re not consuming enough protein, then you put yourself at risk of not recovering between sessions or at least not progressing at as quick a rate as you could be.
The best protein options are whey and casein. However, if you can’t eat dairy, then soy, pea, and plant-based blends will be the best options.
Magnesium is a key nutrient needed to help us sleep as well as helping in muscular contractions. Not only this, but magnesium helps protein to rebuild any damaged tissue and also, lower inflammation.
Magnesium is found in its highest amounts in leafy greens, but you can get it in much larger amounts from supplements. If you’re serious about progressing with your health and fitness, then you need to be supplementing with magnesium.
3. Fish Oil
We often hear about the importance of omega-3s, but not many of us get enough in our diet. To be healthy, we should have a relatively equal amount of omega-3s to omega-6s. Yet, in the Western world, many of us have a 1:5, 1:10, or even 1:20 ratio which can cause all sorts of issues for the mind and body.
Omega-3s help with our cardiovascular health, brain health, and muscular recovery. Naturally, omega-3s occur in sea-based foods such as oily fish. It can be expensive and monotonous to eat enough fish regularly. Therefore, supplementing daily with omega-3 can provide a welcome boost for your overall health.
Glutamine, or ‘L-Glutamine,’ is an amino acid that helps your muscles to recover from stressful situations. You can find it naturally in protein-rich foods, but supplementation can provide added benefits.
Glutamine helps to remove waste products from the bloodstream, and also improves with brain function, digestion, and immunity. In terms of exercise, glutamine can help to move nitrogen atoms to wherever they’re needed and help maintain a positive nitrogen balance, an essential state for building muscle.
After an intense workout, directing nitrogen to your muscles helps to improve the repair and recovery process. If you have a glutamine deficiency, then your tissue may stay damaged because it doesn’t have the right tools in order to rebuild.
Lastly, we have carbohydrates. When we exercise, our body turns to the glucose stored in our muscles for energy. Therefore, at the end of our intense sessions, these glucose stores can become depleted and we need to restock them through consuming enough carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates also provide important calories that the body needs in order to rebuild damaged tissue. Without enough calories, then we not only run the risk of not recovering but may actually enter into a state of catabolism which causes the muscles to break down.
Carbohydrates are an easy solution to this as they’re relatively easy to eat. By supplementing with carbohydrates, we can help to provide our body with more macronutrients and calories so that it can rebuild itself quicker, more efficiently, and more effectively.
Carbohydrate supplements come in a range of forms such as bars, drinks, and gels, but none are better than the other, so find the option that suits you best.