As martial artists with goals to achieve, we always want to find ways to help us get to where we want to be, the quickest way possible. For many athletes, supplements help them improve their performance, health, fat loss, muscle mass and also recover faster. If you are interested in using supplements to aid your martial arts journey, look no further.
The thing is, there are thousands of different kinds of nutritional supplements out there. Choosing the right supplement could prove to be a harrowing experience, especially for someone who has never considered taking supplements before.
Today, Evolve Daily explains how to choose the right supplement for your martial arts journey:
Decide On Your Goals
Think about your purpose for taking supplements. Is it to help you get into shape for competition? To increase muscle mass? To lean down and get shredded? To help you recover quickly? To help you train at maximum intensity? By deciding on what you want to achieve by adding supplements to your diet, you can decide on which ones to take.
Goal: Build Muscle
The fastest way to build muscle is to add more protein to your diet, specifically, lean proteins. However, many athletes find drinking protein shakes easier than consuming a high protein diet. The most popular protein supplement is whey protein, which is also known to increase metabolism.
Goal: Increase Strength, Enhance Performance, Increase Muscle Mass
Creatine, a nutrient produced by the body, is involved in ATP production, which is known to supply energy for short, explosive movements. Creatine also helps you work out harder and build muscle. If you are looking to boost explosive strength, perhaps you should consider a creatine supplement. However, the downside to creatine is that it is known to add water weight. Creatine will help you reach your goal, however, it won’t help you lean out.
Goal: Increase Lean Muscle Mass and Recovery
If you’re looking for a way to build lean muscle mass but worried that cardio will ruin your gains, your best solution is BCAA’s. Studies show that BCAA’s are known to prevent muscle breakdown and increase lean muscle mass when combined with strength training. Taking BCAA’s is also known to trigger protein synthesis which is important for energy production, helps reduce muscle soreness, and lessens fatigue.
Goal: Get More Energy For Your Workout
Caffeine, which is a natural stimulant found in coffee, soda, tea, etc, is known to give people the boost of energy they need to go on for the rest of the day. It directly affects the central nervous system and could affect different people different amounts. For athletes, caffeine is helpful because it could lower perceived exertion as well as increase stamina and physical endurance. Caffeine has also been shown to help muscles refuel after workouts. A scientific study showed that athletes who took caffeine with carbohydrates had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrate alone.
Goal: Overall Health
Because of the highly processed food readily available to us, we tend to neglect to eat a balanced diet. Unfortunately, this means that our body isn’t getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly and stay healthy. This is especially important as we age, especially since our nutritional needs increase. To get your nutrients, you could take a multivitamin, which is packed with all the vitamins and minerals you can’t seem to get through your regular diet.
Whether you believe that supplements may be useful for your martial arts journey or not, it is important to know enough about them and weigh their pros and cons. Be warned that many supplements are unregulated and mislabeled so before taking them, be sure to do the research and use that information to decide.