When you want to get into shape, there are generally three different factors to take into account. These are your workout routines and the way you’re actually training, the way you’re eating and what you put into your body and finally, the supplements you’re going to be taking.
Of these three things, the supplements are by far the least important aspect. In fact, you never ‘need’ supplements to get into shape and you can see some incredible body transformations without them. This then becomes especially true if you’re training from home and you’re probably going to be working with slightly lighter weights and requiring less drive to get yourself to start lifting. Very few people will actually take a pre-workout before training in their living room for example!
But that is not to say that there are no workouts that can be beneficial for a home workout, or that you should completely ignore them. Let’s take a look at some of the best supplements and just how useful they can actually be…
Protein shake is the number one supplement when it comes to building strength and size. A good protein shake should essentially be designed to simply help you to add protein into your diet, when growth is your number one goal. That’s because it is generally agreed that the optimal protein intake for muscle growth is one gram for every one pound of muscle mass. That’s going to mean 170 grams plus for a lot of people and getting that into your diet naturally is hard work. Protein shake is simply a useful and convenient way to help this process but that’s exactly what it is – a diet ‘supplement’ and not a meal replacement.
Note that you can get ‘bulking powders’ if your main objective is to gain weight (these contain lots of calories) or leaner mixes if you want to add muscle without gaining extra fat.
If you’re looking to build mass and size, the taking creatine is one of the very best things you can do. That’s because creatine will instantly increase water retention in the muscles, making you look more pumped, more of the time.
That’s not the principle role of creatine though, which is rather to help you increase your ability to get the most energy out of your diet. Creatine allows the body to recycle ADP and AMP into ATP – in simple terms that means a couple extra seconds of maximum exertion.
A multimineral and vitamin supplement is a very good idea to help build up your immune system and to improve your metabolism and your protein synthesis. It’s better to get it from your diet but a tablet can help you plug the holes in your natural diet.
And the Rest?
But what about BCAAs? What about l-carnitine? What about testosterone boosters and pre-workout shakes?
Sure, sometimes some of these products can have some benefit. Other times they just plain don’t work. But even when they do, the benefits are often so minimal as to not really be worth it for the vast majority of people. Stick to the basics!