If you’re a fitness-minded man, you are not just concerned with exercising, you’re also interested in putting the right “stuff” in your body. This means you watch what you eat, and many men take supplements to help build lean muscle mass, lose weight, lose fat, and more. Supplements can be a valuable addition to your workout and diet in terms of achieving the physique you want, but you have to be careful: there are a lot of junk supplements out there. Here are some of the most common substances you’ll find in workout supplements and what they are supposed to do.
Protein is a very common ingredient in supplements. The body requires protein to repair any muscle damage, especially that caused during weight training. To be more specific, your body needs amino acids, the basic building blocks of all kinds of dietary proteins. Whey is actually the fastest-digesting protein, which is why it is the natural choice for your post-workout nutritional needs. Protein blends and shakes that combine fast-digesting whey with other proteins that digest more slowly, are great for creating a sustained release of amino acids to your muscles over the course of several hours. These protein blends might contain milk, soy protein, casein, and wheat protein.
Creatine monohydrate, more commonly known as just creatine, is probably the best “natural” muscle-building supplement on the market. It could also have other beneficial properties, such as increasing fat loss and endurance, but those benefits haven’t been fully validated by studies. Creatine assists in making muscles produce and utilize adenosine tri-phosphate, or ATP, in a more efficient manner. Also, creatine helps muscles to store more water, making your muscles look physically larger.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) play a vital role in fat loss and building muscle mass. The BCAAs are leucine, valine, and isoleucine, and they are important because the body metabolizes them differently than other amino acids. Instead of the liver processing BCAAs, these amino acids are used directly by muscle tissue. This is important in muscle recovery after strenuous workouts, especially as anabolic triggers, which stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins. They also keep muscle tissue from being broken down during the metabolic process for energy by the body. This permits the body to pass to the next available bodily fuel source: body fat reserves.
Arginine is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements. L-Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), which causes vasodilation, permitting them to expand and increase blood flow to the muscle tissue. Recent studies have concluded that NO can also be valuable in the role as a fat burner.
Green Tea and Caffeine
Green tea and caffeine are both extremely common in diet and energy-boosting supplements. Green tea is a good source of antioxidants and could be a metabolic accelerator, and caffeine is a stimulant that gives additional energy. The combination of these two substances has been demonstrated to generate a metabolic rate increase that isn’t found in either substance by itself.