Supplements are no longer the luxury item they once were in the 50s and 60s when the golden age of bodybuilding was just getting started. Today, supplements are commonplace in every kitchen. From better concentration to fat loss to sleep aids, there is an ingredient for almost every fitness goal and medical condition.
Guys, we understand how you must feel when you walk into a supplement store or browse online. With the thousands of supplement options being thrown in your face each day, it can feel like an impossible task to know which is best for you. Let’s review the best fitness supplements that all men should be taking for their health and performance.
Hands down, the most popular supplement in the fitness industry is whey protein. Whey protein is famous for its ability to promote muscle growth. When you drink a whey protein shake, your body breaks down the protein into amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Studies show that these amino acids, when used as a part of a resistance training program, can help to build lean muscle tissue.
If you’re worried about weight management, whey protein might be able to help with that as well. Whey protein is a great way to support fat loss and weight management, according to several studies. It spikes your metabolic rate while keeping your appetite satiated throughout the day.
Guys have a love-hate relationship with post-workout soreness since it hurts but it also means you did a great job in the gym. Whey protein can aid in recovery in two key ways: First, the amino acids within protein help to repair muscle tissue. Second, whey protein has been shown to promote anti-inflammatory benefits.
Low testosterone has become one of the most pressing concerns for men in the United States in the modern day. Low levels of vitamin D are often associated with low levels of testosterone. Studies suggest that if you want to support natural testosterone production, vitamin D supplementation may help to help as it is a pre-cursor to the sex-steroid hormone.
Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” it’s no coincidence that you feel sad in the colder months when the days are shorter. Vitamin D has been shown to fight depression, and improve overall mood and mindset.
Want to get the maximum amount of vitamin D each day? Suit up in the proper outdoor workout clothes, exercise outside or go for a run, and soak up some sun.
Made up of three ingredients: zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, ZMA has been shown to increase the quality of your sleep as well as time spent in deep sleep cycles. Spending more time in deep sleep cycles can have a dramatically positive impact on all areas of health, including hormone production, cognitive function, and athletic recovery.
Speaking of testosterone: Not only can more time in deep sleep improve your testosterone levels, but each of the individual ingredients in ZMA has been shown to support healthy testosterone production.
More sleep and healthy hormone health can have positive impacts in your sports performance. ZMA has been suggested to be an effective way to increase your rate of recovery while helping you avoid over-training. During deep sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which is key for recovery.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another great way to boost sports recovery is with compression-based fitness apparel. Used during your workouts, compression workout clothes can improve blood flow, nutrient delivery, and overall recovery.
Over the last decade, studies have revealed that fat isn’t the main culprit behind weight gain (sugar is), and that healthy fats are a necessity in any diet with an emphasis on omega-3 fatty acids. First, omega-3 fatty acids can play an important role in decreasing inflammation and supporting post-workout recovery.
Continuing with the point above, inflammation is at the center of most of the common diseases you hear about in the news, especially those deemed preventable such as obesity. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of inflammation-based diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, can support your overall health with an emphasis on your eyes, brain, and mood. Studies show that humans and animals lacking in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are more susceptible to poor cognitive health and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are an excellent source of DHA, and have been shown to promote cognitive function while improving mood.
Probiotics, more commonly known as “good bacteria,” help to support your gut health. A breakthrough area of medicine that is receiving a lot of serious attention, your gut is thought to be the key to your overall health. From digestion to disease, probiotics might be able to have a tremendously positive impact on your wellness and longevity.
More than 70% of the immune system is in your gut so it should come as no surprise then that probiotics have been shown to boost your immunity. Studies suggest that taking probiotics may help to reduce the risk of illness while helping to fight infection.
While not a miracle cure, probiotics are being suggested by medical experts as a natural means to improve mood, mindset, and alleviate symptoms of depression. Taken with omega-3 fatty acids might have a tremendously positive impact on your mental health with subjects reporting less occurrences of depression and anxiety, and more optimistic days.
What Fitness Supplements Do You Take?
Do you use any of the supplements listed above? If so, which benefits have you experienced? Do you take a supplement not mentioned on our list?