If you walk into any gym nowadays, you’re just as likely to hear the rattling of a shaker bottle as the clanking of weights and pounding of the treadmill. In recent years, protein powders, bars and other supplements have become so deep-rooted in exercise culture that it’s hard to imagine not following up a great workout with a shake or health supplement of some sort.
Below is a guide to the recommended top 5 things you should keep in your cupboard to become the gym warrior you aspire to be, selected by Grenade’s in-house fitness nutritionist.
And if you’d like to WIN a Grenade supplement starter pack, just CLICK HERE!
Protein itself can be consumed any time of the day, but supplementation post-workout has been shown to be beneficial, particularly in helping you recover after a tough session to reduce the aching muscles you experience in the days following.
To choose the right supplement for you, a good rule of thumb is to firstly identify your short-term exercise goal then tailor your protein powder purchase around this. If weight management is your motivation then chose a lower calorie serving option, if you are simply looking to increase your body mass then chose a ‘Mass-gainer’. Ensure you take your protein within the hour following your gym session to offer the greatest benefit to your training.
Get creative at home and fuel your fitness with high protein boosting recipes before and after you train and get inventive with your favourite ingredients to tailor to your taste buds and appetite.
To maximise your workout potential, a pre-workout is the perfect product for you take. A cocktail of ingredients (including a hefty dose of caffeine and creatine which promotes speedy muscle growth) designed to increase your focus, strength and stamina while at the gym. Take this 30 minutes before you train and unleash your inner beast at the gym.
Use a Pre-workout for your hard sessions or tough days when you would rather be elsewhere. Becoming reliant on Pre-workouts for a great session can negate their effect as your body is a clever specimen and quickly becomes tolerant to continual stimulation.
To sustain your workout intensity and help you recover while you train, mix an intra-workout formulation into your water and drink throughout your session. Typically containing BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) and sometimes caffeine, this will stimulate your senses and nourish your muscles with key building blocks to aid recovery and prime your alertness to keep you in the zone.
For all types of training, this is a key supplement that should sit with pride amongst your supplement cupboard. Fish oils have 2 key components (EPA and DHA) that make them well recommended by all healthcare professionals.
EPA and DHA contribute to the normal function of your brain, heart and vision. For fitness warriors and aspiring enthusiasts, fish oils help to reduce the stress and inflammation of your muscles brought about by hard training and helps aid in their recovery post exercise while also maintaining healthy joints. Choose your supplement wisely though and look for at least a daily intake of 250 mg EPA + DHA per capsule to really feel the benefit. Take your Omega 3 first thing in the morning with your breakfast of choice.
Containing key nutrients and minerals, supplementing with a decent multivitamin is very beneficial for people who regularly undertake exercise. Usually containing high doses of vitamin c, this will help maintain normal function of your immune system during and after intense physical exercise. Combined with Iron, Niacin, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 & B12, this can help contribute to the reduction of fatigue you experience in your daily lifestyle and reap the rewards from your efforts in the gym.
Take your multivitamin with your Omega 3 supplement first thing in the morning.